Viewpoint

Kingdom-Minded People

  Photo by CHEC Pro       This week I had the opportunity to meet up with various people. It is always good to connect with people on a regular basis. One in meeting in particular was notably a blessing to me. I met up with a pastor of an international church here in Jakarta. In fact, I have met up with him a few times over the last year in my visits Indonesia....

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Indonesia’s Independence Day 2009

        Today marked the celebration of Indonesian’s independence from the Netherlands. On Friday 10:00AM, August 17, 1945 the official proclamation was made to the world. Every August 17th is a joyous occasion for all Indonesians. There are many festivals, parades and activities usually planned for several days to celebrate their day of freedom. They decorate pretty much everything with red and white (the nation’s colors). Since their declaration of independence is still...

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New Strategies of Outreach

  One of the biggest dangers is settling for the status quo. One phrase that we try not to use in HMCC is – “It’s because we have always done it that way.” If we get too comfort or locked into a particular way of doing things, then there is a good possibility that we can miss out on what God is doing. God never changes, but the times and circumstances do. Therefore, it is...

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Michael Vick and the Gospel

  Photo by AP       It was interesting to hear the responses by various people and sports commentators about Michael Vick signing a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. After serving 18 months in prison for running a dogfighting ring, Vick was reinstated with conditions by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Now, this is going to be interesting. How will animal-lovers respond? How will Christ-followers respond? How will Christ-followers who love animals respond? Regardless of...

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Trusting the Locals

  I knew I should have taken out my wisdom tooth while I was in the States. But due to all the busyness and procrastination, I never got to it. Then last week, I felt a sharp pain in my mouth when I woke up one morning. When I went to the bathroom, I noticed that my gums were bleeding. Pretty much, I found out that there was no more room for the wisdom tooth...

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Dreams Build Our Faith

        I was reading the other day an article that Rick Warren wrote about faith. He said, “Faith is like a muscle: it can be strengthened. It can be weak or it can be strong, depending on how much you use it. How does God build your faith? The first thing God does to build your faith is give you a dream. When God wants to work in your life, He’ll always...

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Saving Face Doesn’t Save Time

  Photo by Tokyo Times       It is amazing how long it takes to “settle in” to a new place. I think the process time increases when you are in another country. It is not only the issue of language, but various cultural expectations and values do not help in the speed of getting settled. So, we have been developing patience, and God is giving us the grace to have greater understanding. I...

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Spiritual Observation

  After we dropped the kids off at school, Christina and I had some time in the morning to run various errands. It has been good to spend time together as we get adjusted in a new country and culture. We live in an area that is very expat friendly; therefore it is easy to get comfort and forget about the needs around us. But driving just a few minutes outside of our area, Christina...

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Getting Lost

  Photo by Corey Amaro       Driving in Indonesia is incredibly fun. I still can’t believe the freedom that drivers have on the roads. You can throw away the “rules of the road” manual in Indonesia. Rules are usually suggestions and driving etiquettes are luxuries. Also, it is not the cars that you have to watch out for but the motorcycles. They are everywhere! I have been calling them “bogies” – yes, similar...

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Passion and Talent

  The YouTube below just reminded me about the importance of passion and talent. When those two things come together it makes a powerful combination. Passion is often times the fuel that enables a person to do something, while the talent is the tools or the instrument in which we can accomplish things. There are a lot of people with a specific talent but they do not have the passion. Then there are a lot...

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Responding with Grace

  Photo by images.com       Every day as the kids finish their day of school, we ask them how things went for them. It has been our ritual so far. Christina and I just want to make sure that the kids are adjusting well. One day, Karissa responded by telling us of something that happened with one of her classmates. Supposedly, a girl in her class made a mean comment about Karrisa’s ID...

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“We Are the Foreigners”

  Photo from Empire and Sleep       I have found myself constantly repeating the phrase, “we are the foreigners, not the Indonesians.” When it comes to doing cross-cultural missions, it is easy to see everything from a self-centered perspective. Christina and I have been feeling some of the frustrations of not being able to communicate fully in Bahasa and wondering why people cannot understand simple English. But this is when we have to...

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Flexibility is the Key

  We are planning on getting our cell phones and SIM cards this Saturday (FINALLY). It is hard to believe that it has been about a week without a cell phone. I have been temporarily using someone else’s cell phone and another alumnus has given us another phone for our team to use. After dropping Christina off, I was thinking how crazy it has been without a cell phone. With just two cell phones for...

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Never Losing the Awe

  Photo by U.S. Army       Albert Einstein once said, “He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.” The thought of losing the wonder and the awe in my life is something that I think about quite often. I don’t know what it is, but for some reason as we get older...

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