November 23, 2017

People Are Good

People are good even when our health isn't
People are good when times feel uncertain
People are good when they make others a priority
People are good even when parenting isn't
People are good when reflecting the face of Jesus
People are good in frightful weather
People are good when money is tight
People are good when times are hard
People are good when we are consumed by grief
People are good during the holidays  

AnnaMarie McHargue


See: You call it chaos, we call it family : )

Dan kau kan tahu mengasihi itu

Mengasihi itu menerima
Mengasihi itu bertahan
Mengasihi itu apa adanya

                        melayani
                        mendengarkan
                        me-bahagiakan
                        me-ingat
                        mencoba memberi

Mengasihi itu mengingat
Mengasihi itu tetap
Mengasihi itu mengampuni

                       mengalah
                       mengikuti
                       menangis, tertawa, bersama

Mengasihi itu
Mengasihi itu
Mengasihi itu



November 22, 2017

Where does my help come from

Help my unbelief,
            my discouraged heart.

Help me reposition myself,
            see the vision You have set before me,
            walk through the doors You have opened.

Help me draw close,
            stay on the path,
            stay the course.

Help me soar, run, and walk.

Help me feel Your love,
            receive Your love,
            give Your love.

Help me meditate on,
            memorize,
            and live out Your Word.

Help me to notice,
            commit to memory,
            appreciate,
            and reflect on the little things.

Help me keep up,
            keep going,
            keep striving,
            keep rising.

Help me in good times,
            in bad times,
            in quiet times,
            in chaotic times.

Help me find peace,
            find beauty,
            find closure,
            find sanity.

Help me grab for the Rock,
            grasp for the Rock,
            hold tight to the Rock.

Help me to stand,
            to fall,
            to kneel,
            to bow down.

Help me to speak,
            to cry out,
            to pray,
            to be silent.

Help me, Father God,
            Son of God,
            Holy Spirit of God.

Help me read Your Word,
            understand Your Word,
            find revelation in Your Word.

Help me realize my sin,
            repent my sin,
            not repeat my sin.

Help me speak forth the Word,
            whisper the Word,
            shout the Word,
            repeat the Word,
            proclaim the Word again and again.

Help me overcome yesterday's sorrow,
            experience today's joy,
            expect tomorrow's blessings.


Elaine A. Lankford


Image courtesy of Relevant


November 10, 2017

Can we stay thankful in this life

I entered DearReader Contest again for this year on last October 2017. Still didn't win, though. But, I'm a bit proud because Suzanne Beecher, who held the contest, said that the quality of the entries this year was amazing--and that she's sincere about that. 

I hope my piece could be featured in her Honorable Mention columns, though : ). But, if it's not, it's also okay.

I would like to congratulate Mr. Herman Martin as the First Place Winner, Ms. Mary Lauck as Second Place winner, and Ms. Ina Massler Levin as the Third Place Winner this year, respectively. And I believe nothing is coincidence, because the topics of shoes and socks were the winners this year.

Well, before reading my entry for that writing contest, I'd like to share some thoughts regarding the contest, in which could be a lesson for myself to write next year and enter the contest again in order to be a winner. These are just my thoughts : ).

From what I have read from the winners' entries of last year, as well as this year, they all have some things in common, such as:

Your writing should be simple. (Perhaps Einstein said it well: "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough," and "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.")

You have to be honest. Not to cover up or make up your piece of writing with what I call in Indonesian language as kembang gula (manisan) or "sweets" in the surface. Because you do not present your whole being in the writing. No matter what happens. I hope you understand what I mean. It takes courage--and time--to be honest indeed. But, I hope, in time we all could just be honest, just as we are. The good. The bad. And the ugly. And beautiful.

Your writing should be a kind of topic of a daily life experience, real, and could touch the readers' heart. By that I mean, can we see, feel, and hear what you write? It takes a human to write for another, fellow human being.

And most of all, I guess, our writing could bring joy, for whatever that means : ). And hope. So that we all could learn, at least something, if not precious, from your story. Because we do want to understand and know about you as writer, as a person, as a soul who pens that writing. For in the end, after reading yours, we can feel and be sure that we are still not alone in this world, in this life, and that we know and thankful enough for somehow that you have shared your life, too, from your writing.

That's it.

Now, please allow me to share with you my simple writing that I sent to the contest. Anyway, may God bless you, Suzanne Beecher, for creating the event and making it possible for anyone of us, me, to write about ourselves. An opportunity to open our truest selves.

(I apologize for my modest English).


***


Can We Stay Thankful In Life?

This is a HUGE topic, I think. Writing about Life. Because, what do I know? But... allow me one thing to share with you, and that is a question: Can we stay thankful in this life, no matter what we face today?

This is not Poor Richard's Almanac alike that's full of wisdom. This is only a simple thought about can we be thankful in life. Such as:

Do we thankful every time we wake up early in the morning at 4.30, or a little bit late at 9.30?

Can we be thankful even when we lost something precious or valuable for us? (Just like recently I lost my file under a name of INPUT as its folder, which consisted of many meaningful notes that I have collected to support me when I need an inspiration when I write. I lost it because I forgot to make its back up as I reinstalled Windows 10 in my laptop. I was a bit mad at first because it's gone, and it's too precious, but eventually I tried to accept it. After allregarding inspirations and theories to writeschool's out, so let's quit studying the subject and start actually living it!)

And many other things to challenge us to keep being thankful.

Life is a like rainbow, isn't it? Not a single color. There are times when things are brighter, there are also times when things are not TOO colorful. But, either way around, we should be able to learn to be thankful.

I'm still 35 y.o. right now. And bald. I don't know why I'm being bald at this young ageis it because of too much stress? A friend, who is also bald even he's still in his thirties, said that we're bald because of using drugs in our previous years when we're still, say, in our high school. But, can I stay thankful even when I'm bald? I can. I just hope that God would still care about me, because Matthew 10:29-31 says, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

In addition to being bald due to drugs abuse, I'm lacking confidence when I talk with others because of fear in spreading a bad breath due to having some cavities and holes (and one little in front) in some of my teeth. I barely dare to smile! But, can I be thankful? I can.

I'm also still living with my in-laws. I'm married with two kids. Living with the in-laws are indeed quite common here in Indonesia, especially among the Javanese or the Chinese descent. But, I'd really love to live in my own house someday with my own family. But, as for now, can I still be thankful no matter what others might say about me as a married man still living with my wife's parents? I can.

What else?

Actually, I (we) can make a list of SO MANY things to complaint in life, instead of being thankful. But, at least, make one single reason to be thankful, no matter what, that hopefully it could help us to keep moving on in this life. Such as:

I'm thankful of this life, that I still can have the air to breathe.

I'm thankful of my job, that I hope there is a good progress along the way.

I'm thankful of friends. Near or far.

I'm thankful of my family, and yes, including my in-laws.

I'm thankful for my problems, my enemies, and my everything.

Things to complaint & regret will make us poor. Things to give thanks and be grateful will make us rich. No  matter what.

And gee, I'm thankful that you could answer the simple question of mine.



We have 12 clocks in the house

We have twelve clocks in the house
still it strikes me there’s not enough time
You go out to the kitchen
to get chocolate milk for your spindly son
but when you get back
he has grown too old for chocolate milk
demands beer girls revolution

Benny Andersen


Luangkan waktu untuknya yang selalu ada untukmu. (Grab)

November 9, 2017

Why I Love Being Married to a Chemist

Why I Love Being Married to a Chemist
by Barbara Crooker

Because he can still cause a reaction in me
when he talks about SN2 displacements,
amines and esters looking for receptor sites
at the base of their ketones.


Because he lugs home serious tomes like The Journal of the American
Chemical Society
or The Proceedings of the Society
of the Plastics Industry
, the opposite of the slim volumes
of poetry with colorful covers that fill my bookshelves.
 
Because once, years ago, on a Saturday before our
raucous son rang in the dawn, he was just standing there in the bathroom, 

out of the shower. I said Honey, what's wrong? and he said Oh,
I was just thinking about a molecule
.

Because he taught me about sublimation, how
a solid, like ice, can change straight to a gas
without becoming liquid first. 


Because even
after all this time together, he can still
make me melt.




November 4, 2017

Helen Steiner Rice's 10 Commandments

1. Thou shalt be happy
2. Thou shalt use thy talents to make others glad
3. Thou shalt rise above defeat and trouble
4. Thou shalt look upon each day as a new day
5. Thou shalt always do thy best and leave the rest to God
6. Thou shalt not waste thy time and energy in useless worry
7. Thou shalt look only on the bright side of life.
8. Thou shalt not be afraid of tomorrow
9. Thou shalt have a kind word and a kind deed for everyone
10. Thou shalt say each morning -- I am a child of God and nothing can hurt me





October 31, 2017

Abt Vogler

Would that the structure brave, the manifold music I build,
Bidding my organ obey, calling its keys to their work,
Claiming each slave of the sound, at a touch, as when Solomon willed
Armies of angels that soar, legions of demons that lurk,
Man, brute, reptile, fly,—alien of end and of aim,
Adverse, each from the other heaven-high, hell-deep removed,—
Should rush into sight at once as he named the ineffable Name,
And pile him a palace straight, to pleasure the princess he loved!

Would it might tarry like his, the beautiful building of mine,
This which my keys in a crowd pressed and importuned to raise!
Ah, one and all, how they helped, would dispart now and now combine,
Zealous to hasten the work, heighten their master his praise!
And one would bury his brow with a blind plunge down to hell,
Burrow awhile and build, broad on the roots of things,
Then up again swim into sight, having based me my palace well,
Founded it, fearless of flame, flat on the nether springs.

And another would mount and march, like the excellent minion he was,
Ay, another and yet another, one crowd but with many a crest,
Raising my rampired walls of gold as transparent as glass,
Eager to do and die, yield each his place to the rest:
For higher still and higher (as a runner tips with fire,
When a great illumination surprises a festal night—
Outlining round and round Rome's dome from space to spire)
Up, the pinnacled glory reached, and the pride of my soul was in sight.

In sight? Not half! for it seemed, it was certain, to match man's birth,
Nature in turn conceived, obeying an impulse as I;
And the emulous heaven yearned down, made effort to reach the earth,
As the earth had done her best, in my passion, to scale the sky:
Novel splendours burst forth, grew familiar and dwelt with mine,
Not a point nor peak but found and fixed its wandering star;
Meteor-moons, balls of blaze: and they did not pale nor pine,
For earth had attained to heaven, there was no more near nor far.

Nay more; for there wanted not who walked in the glare and glow,
Presences plain in the place; or, fresh from the Protoplast,
Furnished for ages to come, when a kindlier wind should blow,
Lured now to begin and live, in a house to their liking at last;
Or else the wonderful Dead who have passed through the body and gone,
But were back once more to breathe in an old world worth their new:
What never had been, was now; what was, as it shall be anon;
And what is,—shall I say, matched both? for I was made perfect too.

All through my keys that gave their sounds to a wish of my soul,
All through my soul that praised as its wish flowed visibly forth,
All through music and me! For think, had I painted the whole,
Why, there it had stood, to see, nor the process so wonder-worth:
Had I written the same, made verse—still, effect proceeds from cause,
Ye know why the forms are fair, ye hear how the tale is told;
It is all triumphant art, but art in obedience to laws,
Painter and poet are proud in the artist-list enrolled:—

But here is the finger of God, a flash of the will that can,
Existent behind all laws, that made them and, lo, they are!
And I know not if, save in this, such gift be allowed to man,
That out of three sounds he frame, not a fourth sound, but a star.
Consider it well: each tone of our scale in itself is nought;
It is everywhere in the world—loud, soft, and all is said:
Give it to me to use! I mix it with two in my thought:
And, there! Ye have heard and seen: consider and bow the head!

Well, it is gone at last, the palace of music I reared;
Gone! and the good tears start, the praises that come too slow;
For one is assured at first, one scarce can say that he feared,
That he even gave it a thought, the gone thing was to go.
Never to be again! But many more of the kind
As good, nay, better, perchance: is this your comfort to me?
To me, who must be saved because I cling with my mind
To the same, same self, same love, same God: ay, what was, shall be.

Therefore to whom turn I but to thee, the ineffable Name?
Builder and maker, thou, of houses not made with hands!
What, have fear of change from thee who art ever the same?
Doubt that thy power can fill the heart that thy power expands?
There shall never be one lost good! What was, shall live as before;
The evil is null, is nought, is silence implying sound;
What was good shall be good, with, for evil, so much good more;
On the earth the broken arcs; in the heaven, a perfect round.

All we have willed or hoped or dreamed of good shall exist;
Not its semblance, but itself; no beauty, nor good, nor power
Whose voice has gone forth, but each survives for the melodist
When eternity affirms the conception of an hour.
The high that proved too high, the heroic for earth too hard,
The passion that left the ground to lose itself in the sky,
Are music sent up to God by the lover and the bard;
Enough that he heard it once: we shall hear it by and by.

And what is our failure here but a triumph's evidence
For the fulness of the days? Have we withered or agonized?
Why else was the pause prolonged but that singing might issue thence?
Why rushed the discords in, but that harmony should be prized?
Sorrow is hard to bear, and doubt is slow to clear,
Each sufferer says his say, his scheme of the weal and woe:
But God has a few of us whom he whispers in the ear;
The rest may reason and welcome; 'tis we musicians know.

Well, it is earth with me; silence resumes her reign:
I will be patient and proud, and soberly acquiesce.
Give me the keys. I feel for the common chord again,
Sliding by semitones till I sink to the minor,—yes,
And I blunt it into a ninth, and I stand on alien ground,
Surveying awhile the heights I rolled from into the deep;
Which, hark, I have dared and done, for my resting-place is found,
The C Major of this life: so, now I will try to sleep.

—by Robert Browning



People Are Good

People are good even when our health isn't People are good when times feel uncertain People are good when they make others a prio...