Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Angklung @ TTC Cultural Night 2011

What a lovely poster right? Very colourful and ethnic. I love it. 
It's the poster for TTC Cultural Night 2011.
Cultural Night is an annual event at TTC. On this day, students from many countries cook their traditional food and perform something that introduces a glimpse of their countries. 
This year we, Indonesian students, decided to play angklung, an Indonesian traditional musical instrument originated from Sundanese tribe in Java. We played two songs: one Indonesian song titled "Ampar Ampar Pisang" from Kalimantan and a hymn, "Amazing Grace". You can check the video below.

The response from the school was great and we were offered to play angklung again during TTC Thanksgiving Dinner in October.  
I'm happy because we can both promote Indonesian culture and praising God with our traditional instrument :)

Behold the Lamb (Communion Hymn)

Today is Holy Communion in TTC Chapel. During holy communion two of my classmates sang "Behold the Lamb". It's the first time I heard this song and I think both the lyrics and the tune are so beautiful.

Behold the Lamb who bears our sins away,
Slain for us: and we remember
The promise made that all who come in faith
Find forgiveness at the cross.

So we share in this Bread of life,
And we drink of His sacrifice,
As a sign of our bonds of peace
Around the table of the King.

The body of our Savior, Jesus Christ,
Torn for you: eat and remember
The wounds that heal, the death that brings us life,
Paid the price to make us one.

The blood that cleanses every stain of sin,
Shed for you: drink and remember
He drained death's cup that all may enter in
To receive the life of God.

And so with thankfulness and faith
We rise to respond: and to remember.
Our call to follow in the steps of Christ
As His body here on earth.

As we share in His suffering,
We proclaim: Christ will come again!
And we'll join in the feast of heaven
Around the table of the King.

Keith, Getty, Kristyn Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright 2007 Thankyou Music

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Be Still for the Presence of the Lord

This is the song that I most remember from the Day of Prayer.

Be still for the presence of the Lord
The holy one is here
Come bow before him now
With reverence and fear
In him no sin is found
We stand on holy ground
Be still for the presence of the Lord
The holy one is here

Be still for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around
He burns with holy fire
With splendour he is crowned
How awesome is the sight
Our radiant king of light
Be still for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around

Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place
He comes to cleanse and heal
To minister his grace
No work to hard for him
In faith receive from him
Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place

Monday, August 22, 2011

TTC Day of Prayer 2011

Good things are meant to be shared.

This time I would like to share with you the sermon by one of the professors in TTC for our annual Day of Prayer.
I'm glad to find out in that they post the sermon on TTC Website. I would encourage ALL of you to take time to read it. It is truly a sermon not to be missed! I do hope it will contribute to growth in your prayer life, just as it has done to me. You can find the sermon here.

Another thing is I really like the poster. It is simple. And the strength is its simplicity. And it's also brilliant. It is TTC logo and the "ren" (Chinese word for "person"/"people") consists of The Lord's Prayer in Greek, Latin, Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, English, and Bahasa. I personally request the designer to provide me soft copy. Here it is.

Ok, now let the picture not distract you from the sermon. Click the link to the sermon NOW! :D

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Compliment & Criticism

Compliment & criticism...

Both are dangerous. 
Compliment can make us steal God's glory. ("Yes, I am good!")
Criticism can discourage us to the point that we went down to bitterness or make us quit. ("I can't stand it!")
So... Be aware of both! 

But both can also be good.
Compliment can give you opportunity to testify of God's goodness. ("It is not me, but God" - must say it with both  our mouth and our heart, beware of hypocrisy!)
Criticism, if they are constructive ones, can actually lead to awareness of our weaknesses, motivate us to improve and make us be more depending of God.
So... Embrace both! :)

Why am I suddenly thinking about compliments? Because lately I have been showered with lots of compliments. A good subject rep, a good testimony, good teen ministry, good this, good that. Sometimes I feel so tired. Why? Because everytime people compliment me, I need to take time to check myself whether I'm giving the glory back to God or not. 

Of course I can't blame others for giving me compliments. I believe they have good intention, which is to encourage me to keep doing good work. But how I process compliments and how they affected me also get me to think that I should also be careful in receiving compliments and in giving compliments to others because compliments can destroy a person instead of building them.

And why am I suddenly thinking about criticism? Because lately me and my friends have been giving a lot of criticism to others, especially pastors and lecturers. This pastor can't preach well. That pastor is very weak in pastoral care. This lecturer don't know what he is talking about. 
And it hit me. I realise one day I will stand on the pulpit preaching and many people will comment on my sermon. Or maybe one day I will stand in front of the class teaching and my students will talk about how they are disappointed with how I teach or my incapabilities to teach. 

Am I afraid? I don't think I should. I know it will be tough, but hopefully, by God's grace, I can ignore "bad" criticism and embrace "good" one. I've seen people doing that. Nothing is impossible with God.
Will I keep criticising others? Yes. But with caution. I will try to give "good" criticism (feedback). And I will   find balance between criticising (giving feedback to others) and criticising myself.

God, help me.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

More Thanksgiving


I received the above software a few days ago. It is a testimony of how God provides for me. I did not spend any single cents to purchase it. Since early this semester I was thinking that I would need to buy it because it is such a great investment. Throughout the semester God provides for me through some friends who gave me love gifts.

I received my education report. I was surprised because my grade for the 2nd semester is above what I targeted.
Old Testament II              A-
New Testament II            A-
Church History Survey II  A
World Religion (Isl.)         A-
Theology II                      A-

I can continue my scholarship because my average grade fulfilled what is required by my sponsor :)
I'm thankful to God for providing me scholarship! The cost of studying in Singapore is quite high. I am reminded of it as I received a copy of bill from the school a few days ago.

Thank you, Lord!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Testimony/Thanksgiving-Based Evening Vesper

Today I have the privilege to lead TTC evening vesper/prayer for the second time. The first time I did it was on March and it was my favourite "sytle", meditative (based on Lectio Divina). Today is my second favourite style, the testimony-thanksgiving based style. The Scripture Reading assigned to me was Matthew 6:1-4. 

What did I do?
1. Read Matthew 6:1-4.
2. Pray and ponder.
3. Take one point of message.
4. Contextualise it for TTC students and testimony/thanksgiving-based "style" of evening vesper.
5. Write my testimony/thanksgiving
6. Ask the chaplain for feedback
7. Edit, edit, and edit
8. Practice reading it
9. Pray, pray, pray

The testimony is not intended to be a sermon, and I did not open any other book/commentaries/software except my NRSV Bible. And here is my testimony/thanksgiving:

"It is natural for humans to demand signs. We are created with senses: to see, to hear, to smell, to savor, and to touch. We also naturally feel excited with something extraordinary.

I am no exception. During my one year plus studying in TTC, I always yearn for inspiring moments. I feel so excited and grateful when the lecturer says something that is relevant to my life or when they share their wonderful life experiences. I am grateful when the speakers in the chapel share something that touches my heart. I thank God for moments when I read textbook and feel that God really speaks to me personally through what I read. I am touched when my friend takes time to come to me and ask me how I am doing. I am happy when TTC won the trophy of Intercollege Games Day and I got treated at Subway (meaning that I have a valid reason to skip dining hall meal).

Those moments are special. Those moments makes me feel good. Those moments make me shout in my heart, “Wow, thank you, Lord. You are awesome! I know that you are with me!”

But, the reality is, I don’t always have that inspiring moments. Most of my days in TTC are routine and mundane: weekly reading assignments & Bible quizzes, eating dining hall food, doing my cluster cleaning, classes, chapels, evening vespers, class groups and family group.

But today’s Bible reading reminds that God does not work through extraordinary things only. It means he works and speaks to me through ordinary and mundane stuffs in my life. It is my incapability to grasp it. I am just not sensitive enough to see His presence in those mundane stuffs.

When I ponder about it, God shed some light to me on how he works through ordinary things. And just as I thank God for the extraordinary thing, I also want to thank God for the ordinary thing. I took time to come up with a list of thanksgiving for ordinary activities and for people who do "mundane" things. I will read to you my thanksgiving list:

Lord, thank you for the ordinary mundane things that you give me to do (reading, going to chapel, attending family group) because these things are forming me spiritually, although I might not appreciate how important these things are now.

Lord, I thank you for administration and finance staffs in TTC. They have been working so hard in arranging the classes, issuing my transcripts, liaising directly with my sponsor so I don’t have to be worried about paying the tuition fee, organizing allowance for my international friends. I believe there are many other things they do that I do not know, so I thank you for them.

I thank you, Lord, for cooking staffs in dining hall and cafeteria. Every morning they wake up as early as 5am to cook for me so I can eat on time and be physically prepared for every activity that I have each day. Because of them I do not need to spend time planning what to eat or spend time to go out to eat.

Lord, thank you for the cleaners. They keep TTC toilet clean.

Lord, I also thank you for the housekeeping staff, who makes sure the aircons are working, fix our toilet pipe, fix our doors, change our light bulbs, provide cleaning tools, and do many other things for us.
Thank you, Lord, for those people who are doing mundane stuff that we sometimes don’t even realize. I know that you also work in our life through them."

The evening vesper was only 15 minutes long. After the evening vesper ended, a senior came to me, shook my hands, thank me, and told me, "I was just complaint about mundane stuffs yesterday, and what you share is a great reminder to me." 
I was stunned. A coincidence? Looks like, but of course it's not! I believe it is God speaking to my senior through me, an ordinary person. 

Some last points:
1. Thanking God for routine and mundane stuffs is not a one-time thing. It is a very difficult habit to cultivate. It is a lifetime learning. This week is just another point of time where I was reminded again by God about it.
2. I think I'm addicted to leading evening vesper :) I still have two other "style" to try, liturgical and contemporary. But I don't think I will be given a chance to lead evening vespers again. Guess it's time to pass the baton to the juniors.
3. Everyone can give testimony and be used by God to be a blessing! All we need to do is read the Scripture silently and prayerfully.