Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Free Ticket to Heaven,...

...See Bible for further information

I’ve heard this phrase a couple months ago, in the bible study, Amsterdam. I found it funny and attractive.

As I started to observe the words one by one, I found a lot of implications in this expression.

Free, yeah,… who don’t like free things? Free goodies from parfumerie store when you buy a bottle of perfume,, tasting new snack free in the supermarket, buy one get one free, get a free cap when you purchase $ 30 of the products, all free things with a ‘but’, with a requirements.

You don’t just get a free thing. Maybe you can try a snack freely in the supermarket, but yeah,.. you are expected to buy one. Anyway, you always go to supermarket to buy something, don’t you?

But in the expression above, free ticket is an absolute free. You don’t’ need to pay, no entrance fee, or enrollment fee. It is totally free.

You don’t need to follow a competition or quiz to win the ticket (as I did to win Pathe free ticket – to watch film in the cinema).

Heaven. Hm,.. does it really exist? Many people would even believe that it exists. One of my friends ever said that she believed there will be ‘something’ after people die. How about if Heaven is the best thing ever that will happen after you are not in the world anymore, after you close your eyes, breathe the last breath? Would you refuse it? Would you say ‘I don’t care!’?

Maybe you would, but for you who wouldn’t, think about how nice it is to get a free ticket to the best place ever, where there will be no more cries, no more pain, you will be surrounded by the ones you love. What a wonderful thing!

I would be extremely happy if I get a free ticket to North Sea Jazz, or free ticket to Indonesia, or to Norah Jones, Al Jerreau concert. I would happily scream if I receive free ticket to Hawaii (it will be my honeymoon place!), or free ticket to go to Disneyworld (I know I am childish).

How about you? Could you imagine that you get a free ticket to a place that better than any rock concerts, orchestra, holiday ticket, etc.?

The last one, see Bible for further information. Maybe you will think that you must read the whole Bible, and then you will get the ‘free ticket’. No, it is not that complicated. If you confess with your heart, and your mouth, that Jesus Christ is God, you will be saved,.. and guaranteed to be in Heaven with Him.

Thus, any applicants?

p.s. as Indonesia a land where you can’t obviously persuade people to follow your religion, I won’t do that either. I am a writer, I write what I have in mind, and if you don’t agree with what I’ve written, you may write me an e-mail. On the other hand, if you are moved by this article, I will be more than happy to talk about it and pray for you.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

(Again) About Love

It is a second part of Garry Chapman seminary. It is not that I don’t have anything else to discuss, or I lack of creativity, but this topic is really cool; it spoke to me deeply.

“It is about your attitude towards your partner, not only emotionally but also using your mind.”

I think it is really beautiful statement. One says ‘love is blind’. Yes it is when you don’t use your mind. Love is not just the feeling you get and will last forever; you have to learn to love.

As I wrote in the previous post about the tingles, yes, you have to work on to keep the tingles stay in your relationship.

Why learn to love?
Love is an emotional need. The deepest emotional need is to be loved. It is not only in (marriage) relationship, but also with family, children, parents, and maybe, friends.

Thus, how do we feel in the empty jar of love? What should we do when the love is empty, when the tingles are gone?
Here is when Garry Chapman talked further about his book, Five Language of Love
Love of affirmation (read 1 Corinthians 8:1)
Love is used to confirm/affirm your partners with words.

Nia’s comments:
I am not really romantic, thus I am not really good in expressing my love with words. I am also too shy to say. However, I would be happy if someone say that s/he cares about me; Not only ‘I love you’, but also many other encouragement words.

Like this evening, the owner of my house where I live now, Jocke, told me that she would be really worried if I am home really late. I am so happy. It means that there is someone else care about me beside me family,.. and I am loved.

Physical touch
It is pretty clear how this second language work. What interesting is the example from the bible. Jesus, himself, practiced this language. He put his hands on children hands (read mark 10). Thus, he showed that it is important to use physical touch to express love.

Nia’s comments:
Believe it or not, I scored the lowest in this language; I am so bad in this business. First, I am too shy, especially when I have to use ‘this language’ with Mr. Weirdo (heheh,.. please do not ask further explanation). Second, I am afraid of rejection; not only with Mr. Weirdo, but also with friends, colleagues, etc.

On the other hand, I am okay if others do it with me, yet, preferably not in public. I would feel a little bit awkward if other people stare at me. Hehe, no wonder it needed more than half year for my schoolmates in the high school, to notice that I had a relationship with Mr. Weirdo.

Give a gift
Read Ephesians 5:25

Nia’s comments:
I didn’t give further explanation above, because I know it is clear. I reckon, I score the best in this section. I love giving others gifts. For instance, for Mother’s day, a couple weeks a go, I bought Jocke a box of chocolate and a card saying that even though she is not my mom, but she cares for me as my mom would also do. Mr. Weirdo has a big box filled in with my gifts.

I don’t give only expansive gifts, but mostly, gifts that I make by myself.

My mom has noticed my strength since I was in kindergarten school. She told me that I would give my bread to my classmates even though I hadn’t eat any yet. Or, I gave out my stickers collection to my classmate when I knew that he liked it very much. Heheh,.. funny, huh?!

Shortly, I think it is important to show our love with give. As I said, the gift doesn’t need to be expansive, but meaningful.

Quality of time
Do we spend enough time?
Garry Chapman gave a statement that made me stunned, and thought about myself, my relationship, and how I’ve spent my time with my loved family, friends and Mr. Weirdo. He said “if you spend 20 minutes to talk with your partners, you spend 20 minutes of YOUR LIFE to talk with him/her.”

Nia’s comments:
I stunned. I spent, indeed, less time with Mr. Weirdo, also because of the long distance relationship. I promise to myself that when I go back to Indonesia, when I will meet Mr. Weirdo again, I will spend more time with him, using the time effectively, so that I won’t regret in the future.

I am actually not bad in this section, but I could score more, especially with my family. One thing I would do for sure when I go back to Indonesia: spending most of my (holiday) time with my family.

Acts of Service
Read 1 John 3:18. It says that we should love with actions, instead of only with words and tongues.

Nia’s comments:
I agree with this statement. I score quite good in this business. I don’t mind serving others.

I remember what Garry Chapmans’ examples were. He said about cleaning the house. For marriage couple, helping to clean the house is an essential thing to do (especially for men), to make the wives happy.

In my case, I have once said to Mr. Weirdo “Sometimes I doubt your love. You said ‘I love you’ repeatedly, but your actions didn’t show that you really love. Please tell me honestly, do you really love me?”

To close this section, Garry Chapman explained that everyone only has ONE language that s/he really good at. So, which one is your language?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

It's about Love (1)

“Experience of falling in love: having tingles in your heart - your heart is bouncing so fast, you feel nervous.

“It is actually easy to fall in love with someone you shouldn’t marry with. If you notice that you and your partner don’t march the drum in the same beat.

Garry Chapman said “the state of being In Love only exists two years. Afterwards you should learn to love, because God wants that the Love, based on His Unconditional Love, exists forever, all of your life. Read John 13:34-35!” (…Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.)

Garry Chapman said again about the tingles, that if we follow them, we might get married six or seven times. A tingle, feeling the tingles, is not a sin, because it is a state of admiring someone, since the person is nice, beautiful, success, etc. Yet, it would become a sin if you start to ‘play’ with it.

I went to a seminary, which the speaker is Garry Chapman. He is a famous Christian writer, who wrote the book Five Language of Love. I’d had no clue about this seminary, but my neighbor asked me whether I would go. That night, I didn’t have anything to do, thus,.. yes, it happened.

He spoke a lot about love, in marriage, as well as love universally.

Back to the topic above (heheh, a little bit as a lecture in a class). Let’s say that I, who already have a boyfriend, met someone, at the office, cute, tall, smart, half Indonesian, and apparently he is a musician, Okay, I would certainly adore him, saying to my colleague that he is adorable; I would feel something in my heart, a tingle, especially if he stared at me with his a special look, too. If I just stop at that point, only admiring him, that’s it! Anything else won’t happen. However, if I took another step, exchanging telephone number, e-mail address, making plans to meet each other and further and further, I would play with a fire here.

I admit that I’ve fallen to a certain point because of the tingles. When Garry Chapman said about feeling the tingles, he also said that we wouldn’t only feel them when we are young, but anytime, even when we get older. I found that it is really true. I felt the tingles, not only with the one I’ve already had, but also a couple times with the ones I admire. The process was always the same. I admire him because he was nice, or at least he was being nice to me. He gave me the attention that I need; I could talk easily to him, and in the end bump!!... the tingles grow, and grow, and grow.

It is not really easy to have a long distance relationship, because there is a time when I need attention so desperately; especially I am not living with my parents or close family in the Netherlands. Sometimes I feel so lonely that when someone enters my life, giving the right attention I need, everything impossible would happen.

So, how can we overcome the tingles?

It was a great point that spoke to me directly.
Go away from the cause! If the one you admire always comes to same supermarket at certain times, don’t come at that time. If the one you like is in the same sport club, don’t come to the sport club. If your classmate you fancy would stand somewhere waiting for you, do take another way and avoid him.
It is not easy, indeed, but God shall be with you. He will be there in your difficult time. (Isaiah 41:10)

Believe it or not, I was JUST in this kind of situation. Not bad, not at all, but it was a start. He gave me the attention, phone calls I need (and I miss from Mr. Weirdo), but, thanks God, he was just in the wrong time. I am now so crazy in love with the one called Mr. Weirdo (hopefully he feels the same as I do). Anyway, Go Away from the source, was indeed a good solution.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

20 Indication that Nia gets older

  1. Being jealous when I see married coupled - Lord, I want to get married as well! :P
  2. Single Guys Only – If I see a cute guy, the first thing I observe after his cute (attractive) face is his finger, Does he have a ring? Is he married?
  3. Choosing Mom-Bag rather than Postman Bag or Backpack
  4. Do not like too colorful motive anymore. Lately, I chose more basic colors – black, white, (light) brown, soft yellow, grey
  5. Avoiding t-shirt with motives, cartoon characters, childish motives. I would prefer shirt, blazer, Colbert, Neat trousers.
  6. Wearing jeans occasionally. Trying to wear formal dress to the office.
  7. Drinking a lot of tea and coffee. For tea, I choose herbs tea instead of fruit and normal tea, and normally I will choose for ideal weight tea (sort of slimming tea).
  8. Don’t watch teenage movies anymore – go to the bios only for good quality movies (it is also due to my financial situation)
  9. Wearing bath-suit after taking a shower (Oh, I am so old!)
  10. Willing to buy high-heels shoes (Oh, finally Nia,.. after a long time!)
  11. Wearing MAKE UP (Oh yeah,.. I do!) and wanting to but new make up equipments, new blush on, eye shadows, foundation and perfume ( Now I am being consumptive!!)
  12. Difficult to lose weight (Oh yes,… I am old!!!) thus lately I’ve been always on diet (like my mom does)
  13. Long-term plan: Buy a house – cycling around the city (Veenendaal) to stare at some cool houses, imagine that I would have one like that one day.
  14. Car – I do still fancy motorbike, or at least (Jamie Oliver) vespa, wanting to buy it one day. Yet I now have eyes on some cute cars, thinking what kind of car I want to pick up my children, for me, for my husband.
  15. 3 children only – thinking how many children I want, their names, boys or girls and their born card (it is very popular in the Netherlands to send out ‘geboorte kaart’, they are mostly really cute and creative, with poetry)
  16. Reading articles about marriage
  17. Asking my married friends about their marriage, how they met each other, their wedding party, etc.
  18. Thinking about how my wedding party would be – song, wedding dress, wedding kiss (ups,..)
  19. When I call Mr. Weirdo, I will occasionally raise a topic about getting married, but only as jokes (once or twice we did talk about it seriously).
  20. The last, but not least,… I am not tempered anymore,.. yipeee