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Posts Tagged ‘religiosity’

So this is Christmas

Another Christmas season is happening in this world. Snowmen, reindeer and sinterklaas are “coming” to the world. The decoration in the shopping centers  are  in red and green with joyful songs. Following the discount and sales, try to accommodate people  who celebrate Christmas on buying gifts. Well, the last one is also accommodating those who does not celebrate Christmas too on rejuvenating their cupboards. For me, this season never fails on boosting my mood. I can truly feel the joy. I can really feel the good tidings. I consider this as one of the most wonderful days I know, indeed, just like the song.

And what have you done? Another year over, a new one just begun

Be merry happily

Be merry happily

New year is the following. We have just passed the last working day of 2012. New year always be an interesting moment for met, at least. I can feel its joyousness and enthusiasm. Yet, I also get anxious on what would I be in the new year. Many statements on the 2013 resolution on social media websites and applications. Indeed, somehow, we start to think and consider what would be our goals in the new year. This kind of thought always lead me on a thrilling moment. The heart is pounding, full of excitement. Aiming high  realistically. At the same time, while we are thinking about the future, naturally we think back to the past too. This kind of thought has diverse emotions. We can feel relax, happy and even proud for what we have accomplished. We can feel disappointed for what we failed for, regret for what we could have done or for what we did. (more…)

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Lately, religiosity is being an important issue in daily life. Many things happen in the name of religions.

In my case, yes, I have a faith that I hold dearly. Yet, I could not say that I can not share few things that I do not like in the religion. Yes, I divide those into two different things. Most of the time, religion is the organization(s) which have responsibilities to ensure the faith keep going on track. That the followers would behave as expected. Sometimes, unfortunately, the organizations talk about marketing ideas too!

Many violences in the name of religion happen in the world. Many claim what they have done in the name of the Almighty. Many believe that they did the right things, no matter how many people suffer due to their acts. That what they did might cause negative images instead of positive as expected.

Humans' ideas: Division and subtraction (Frank & Ernest - April 07th, 2000)

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At least, for the last few years, my mind keeps questioning a part of John Lennon’s lyric. “And no religion too. Imagine all the people living life in peace”. I wonder whether the world will be peaceful if religions had not been “invented”. That the goods and faiths will only be as they were, no one formed or organized them to be religions. I wonder whether spirituality and morality are just enough.

Indeed. I also argue that people are stubborn and always thirst for power. Humans will always think that they are cleverer than others, and thus, need to rule the world to be a better place [according to them]. That under the name or humanity, human rights and freedom, people shout loudly that they have the rights to do whatever they want to. Humans are naturally homo homini lupus. We will, always, think that we have rights, but get used to forget that we do have obligations too.

We obligate to obtain our rights without assaulting others’ rights.

I know that religions are not the scapegoats. That the ‘punishments’ should be laid to the people not the teachings or faiths. But that does not prevent me to think that religions, at certain point, have power to alienate others. That people in particular faith groups [religions] have authorities to isolate the outer-groups. These negative, pessimistic points keep growing in my mind. These teach me to sarcasm with lots of bitchy words, to those who were justified their stupidities or supremacy syndromes in the name of religions.

Therefore, I always look forward for events of interfaith dialogues. Not as a speaker or sources. I just need refreshments to bring my positivism back.

Then, in early of December 2009, there was the Parliament of World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia. In short, it was held to not discriminate or classify people with their differences [especially in the name of religions], but to unify under the similarities. No suspiciousness toward other groups. No judgment or evaluations about which group is the best, the most truth, the brightest, or even the heir. No place for any form of hostility and aggression, not even in verbal.

Interestingly, people participated from across the world. Either as speakers, contributors, guests or even volunteers. I attended a free event, ‘the Melbourne – River City – Place of Gathering‘. There was not only speeches, but also art performances. I captured two memorable moments. First, there were a Swami Monk, Catholic Pastor and Buddhist Monk. They had been living in the same house for seven years. The ‘living together’ point itself was interesting. At the beginning, they were strangers. Until the day they stood on the stage, they were still ‘strangers’ in public’s opinion. Three ethnics, three cultures. Three religious leaders of three different religions. Three different beliefs, three ways to ‘reach’ GOD. Hence, they succeeded to live together for years.

Even to live with others with the same ethnic or culture is still hard. Parents teach their children in their ways, even sometimes the same parents might treat their own children differently. Then, what was the secret? The Pastor said something like this: “We have lived together for 7 years, but none of us, ever, provoke others to convert” that followed with three big smiles.

Dialogue, understand, tolerate and respect.

Then, there were four young adults represented four groups: Buddhist, Jewish, Moslem and Christian. They stood proudly on stage. Their speeches were amazingly beautiful. Especially the Moslem, whose speech was outstandingly smart and wise. Unfortunately I couldn’t remember her speech, and others in details. All that I can remember, that they agreed that differences can be found in their religions, yet those could not cover up the fact that they have fundamental similarities too. That their religions do not legalize any discrimination or harassment in any form to others.

In the end, the Jewish said something very crucial.

The more we know our religions, the more we should love others.

Indeed!

I wish this world has millions of youngsters with that attitude. I imagine that if there are more people have this belief, especially youngsters, peace would not only a dream. At least, every war would only be in the name of political interests. That religions would never be the ‘weapon’, to legitimate people’ thirst for power.

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This time, I want to talk about how great GOD is.
The last week, I felt like being hit by a world champion boxer.  Hmph, it might not the best illustration. As after any boxer has been hit by the opponent, he/she will get unconscious. So he/she might feel numb. Meanwhile, I was not feel that way.
I was angry and feel that I’ve got discriminated. I felt miserable and almost get depressed. There were a lot of emotions that I have. At the end, those make me feel so tiny and worthless. In fact, I should use the words ‘I feel’ instead of ‘I felt’ as whenever I remember the incident, I still feel the same way only with different level. Even now.
However, I will not share the incident but will focus on the positive impacts. Well, to bear in mind the positive points is much more important to build up the motivation. In brief, the incident is about how I be treated improperly. That I felt like being discriminated. To illustrate the pain, this incident does not only make me cried or angry. It has impacted on my self-image and self-esteem. It does make me depressed. The depression has outweighed the anger.
Further, with no intention to sensationalized, I even can feel how broken my heart is. Yet, the incident was far from one’s love life. For those who learn and/or understand about psychology, I did practice the avoidance coping. I really wanted to put those things as far as I could. I really wanted to go away to other continents, to not face the incident-related-future. I really did!
I was totally notice, how hard I had to push myself, my fingers to be on the keyboard. To type. And so was the brain. I had to dictate the brain to keep on working. To be sensible. To be sane. This helps me more than I need to know [in my opinion] how it feels to be pushed on doing things that you hate, but you don’t have other options.
Thus, I really learn that there are times when people do not really have the options. Previously, I do understand about this. That life is unfair. I do understand that disadvantaged situations might not always due to the people’s faults or even laziness. But, previously, that kind of understanding was only based on my empathy and knowledge on social issues.
But now, I do more understand and have more empathy with this kind of situation. But, I wouldn’t push people too much to be persistent with what they have started but don’t like. Though I still believe that we should be responsible on what we have started, with our decisions. But I have more tolerance on those who have to put aside things that they don’t like even they have to break their promise. Yet, I am not talking about marriage.
Meantime, as I pushed myself to concentrate and be rational instead of emotional, I put rationalism as the way of coping. In fact, I use this frequently. I rationalize that I couldn’t give up as it will fulfill what the opponent wants. I couldn’t give up as I receive many supports and couldn’t fail those people who put their hopes on me. However, it is not enough. Yes, rationalism is not enough. It brings me to have doubt on myself. As I said previously, it has impacted on my self esteem. To those who know me in person, it means that the incident is a totally horrible, as I am a hard-headed who rationalize almost everything. Therefore, I commit more on religious coping.
Well, I use it frequently too, but usually in the same proportion. I usually make a good balance between rationalism and religious copings to face the problems. This time, every rational points of thinking have failed me. I couldn’t think any rational reasons behind the incident except ‘everything happens for reason’ and it relates to GOD’s will. Nothing else. I couldn’t think other explanations. Usually, although I always hold that faith consistently, I am always able to see the bigger picture, to get a sense of explanation. This time, all I can think was only GOD knows why.
Yet, I have a sense what I should learn from this incident. As I always believe that ‘nothing is a coincidence’, I am being more sensitive on noticing motivational words. In fact, those are religious coincidences.
I played a playlist of religious songs in shuffled mode. Then, the list played the songs which related with what I need, surrender to GOD’s will. When I read the daily devotion, again, they state about GOD’s will. When I opened the Bible in random, the verses talk the same thing. All of those reminds me to have more faith on GOD’s will. That, HIS shall be done and not mine. No matter how difficult or hard they are, it has written in my life, the cross of mine.
These are some verses that ‘coincidentally’ reflect on what has happened to me. How those verses and devotional article strengthen me to keep on standing. However, I would not share all of them, but some which highly related to what I have experienced.
NIV’s [New International Version] devotion on Wednesday is titled ‘walking with GOD’. It states that:
‘this personal attitude toward GOD what we call devotion to GOD. But it is always devotion in action. It is not just a warm, emotional feeling about GOD, the kind of feeling we may get while singing some grand old hymn of praise or some-modern day chorus of worship…it is an attitude toward GOD.’
It is clearly related with my situation, and so does the previous three days’ devotions. I was in the midst of uncertainty, learned helplessness.
NIV’s devotion on Friday is title ‘fools for Christ’. It states that:
‘…Sacrifice is not giving up things, but giving to God with joy the best we have…means the surrendering of the miserable sense of my own unimportance…–not, do you know what GOD is going to do? You cannot know, but you have faith in HIM and therefore HE can do what HE likes.’
It reminds me to learn to that the glory has to be His instead of mine. That I, as HIS creature, should surrender by HIS will. That being considered as a fool by others might has different intention, according to HIS.
Amongst those NIV’s devotions, the weekend is being the most encouraging for me.
‘To wait on GOD is to struggle and sometimes to fail. Sometimes the failures teach us more than the successes. For the failures teach us that to wait on GOD is not only to wait for his mercy, but to wait by his mercy…The glory hidden in our failures is the discovery that the very thing we wait for is what we wait by! The success of our waiting lies not in who we are, but in who GOD is. It is not our strength that will pull us through to the end, it is God’s amazing grace and mercy.’
I cried [again] when I read this. All that I can do with the incident is just wait. There is nothing that I can do, except to try my best and put the rest on HIM. However, I usually put my will above HIS. I realized that I have to learn more about surrendering. And in fact, that is all that I can do. To surrender.
When I randomly open the Bible with a deep breath… God really ‘talks’ to me. Amongst those verses, I opened the pages which contain Psalm 91 to Psalm 94. Psalm 91 talks about under the GOD’s protection. Psalm 92 talks about GOD, the righteousness judge. Psalm 93 talks about GOD, the eternal king. And Psalm 94 talks about GOD, the righteousness fortress. These all have boosted my emotion. Those really comforted. As far as I remember, the first chapter that I saw is Psalm 94. With a deep breath, I read it through.
‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my GOD, in whom I trust.’ [Psalm 91:2]
‘The Lod is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.’ [Psalm 92:15]
‘He will repay them for their sins and destroy them for their wickedness; the Lod our GOD will destroy them.’ [Psalm 94:23]
And yesterday, I did that again. To open the Bible in random. Guess what I was leading me into? It was the page of Psalm 64 and Psalm 65. I read the Psalm 64 as somehow I sensed that way.
‘Hear me, O God, as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy. Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from that noisy crowd of evildoers. ’ [Psalm 64:1-2].
Not to mention the websites that I read on those days. One of it is titled ‘Learning humility: Not every flower can be a rose’. The author reminds us that each of us has our own roles. To be
A heart that is humble rests confidently in His mercy and love, and has no fear of being little or unnoticed, nor any need for adulation. He may be walking with the red rose in His hand, smelling its sweet fragrance, but He will also lie down on the grass that is covered in a bed of small wildflowers, and He will rest His head on their simple beauty, enjoying their soft comfort. I can think of nothing sweeter than to be that wild flower that’s pressed close to His heart as He lies down to rest. That is all my soul really longs for.
And yesterday, I read a daily devotion which said that ‘God often digs wells of joy with the spade of sorrow’. I think those proofs are more than enough to share. As believe it or not, the words are keep on coming. Not only from the Bible, website or other articles; but also through friends. They unpredictably said things that beyond expectation. They have pointed things that highly related although they don’t have knowledge on what had happened to me in details. Well, that’s amazing.
So, at the end, one conclusion that I have is put your life under GOD’s will is too d**n difficult. Yet, HIS understanding is beyond what we could imagine. Just hold the faith, keep it without doubt.

Last week, I felt like being hit by a world champion boxer. Hmph, it might not the best illustration. As after any boxer has been hit by the opponent, he/she will get unconscious. So he/she might feel numb. Meanwhile, I was not feel that way.

I was angry and feel that I’ve got discriminated. I felt miserable and almost get depressed. There were a lot of emotions. At the end, those make me feel so tiny and worthless. In fact, I should use the words ‘I feel’ instead of ‘I felt’ as whenever I remember the incident, I still feel the same way only with different level. Even now.

In brief, the incident is about how I be treated improperly. That I felt like being discriminated. To illustrate the pain, this incident does not only make me cried or angry. It has impacted on my self-image and self-esteem. It does make me depressed. The depression has outweighed the anger. However, I will not share the incident but will focus on what I’ve learned. Well, I’ve learned some things, but these are some of them. And to bear in mind the positive points is much more important to build up the motivation.

Further, with no intention to sensationalized, I even can feel how broken my heart is. Yet, the incident was far from one’s love life. For those who learn and/or understand about psychology, I did practice the avoidance coping. I really wanted to put those things as far as I could. I really wanted to go away to other continents, to not face the incident-related-future. I really did [and still do]!

I was totally notice, how hard I had to push myself, my fingers to be on the keyboard. To type. And so was the brain. I had to dictate the brain to keep on working. To be sensible. To be sane. This helps me more than I need to know [in my opinion] how it feels to be pushed on doing things that you hate, but you don’t have other options.

Thus, I really learn that there are times when people do not really have the options. Previously, I do understand about this. That life is unfair. I do understand that disadvantaged situations might not always due to the people’s faults or even laziness. But, previously, that kind of understanding was only based on my empathy and knowledge on social issues.

But now, I do more understand and have more empathy with this kind of situation. But, I wouldn’t push people too much to be persistent with what they have started but don’t like. Though I still believe that we should be responsible on what we have started, with our decisions. But I have more tolerance on those who have to put aside things that they don’t like even they have to break their promise. Yet, I am not talking about marriage.

Meantime, as I pushed myself to concentrate and be rational instead of emotional, I put rationalism as the way of coping. In fact, I use this frequently. I rationalize that I couldn’t give up as it will fulfill what the opponent wants. I couldn’t give up as I receive many supports and couldn’t fail those people who put their hopes on me. However, it is not enough. Yes, rationalism is not enough. It brings me to have doubt on myself. As I said previously, it has impacted on my self esteem. To those who know me in person, it means that the incident is a totally horrible, as I am a hard-headed who rationalize almost everything. Therefore, I commit more on religious coping.

Well, I use it frequently too, but usually in the same proportion. I usually make a good balance between rationalism and religious copings to face the problems. This time, every rational points of thinking have failed me. I couldn’t think any rational reasons behind the incident except ‘everything happens for reason’ and it relates to GOD’s will. Nothing else. I couldn’t think other explanations. Usually, although I always hold that faith consistently, I am always able to see the bigger picture, to get a sense of explanation. This time, all I can think was only GOD knows why.

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On the last two-three weeks, I’ve got three religious “advertisings”. I used religious instead of spiritual because they preached on their own ideologies.

First, I went to campus library and there was a guy standing near the door. He said whether I can help him filling the questionnaire. So, I looked at it, it was a one page questionnaire with not more than 10 questions. I filled it, although I knew that I can’t answer most of the questions. The questions asked religious things, pointed verses. I filled it because I just want to help him. I thought he had to finish his thesis or something.

I was wrong. On the last question, he suddenly opened his bag and took out the Bible. And, he opened certain verses from books of Bible. He started without giving any sign! I guess, he knew that I would runaway if he gave the sign. He just said this and that, blah blah blah… While I was looking and thinking how to get rid from him. He preached things from Bible, which had been translated words by words. While, in my opinion, religion needs faith.

Second, there was two people knocking my house. One of my housemates opened it. A few minutes after, she called me and said that there was two missionaries… I wondered why. She said that those missionaries want to say something but she just said that she is Moslem. So, I had to face them. Once again, I had to face others’ preach.

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[time for everything]

There is time for everything…
And He has made everything beautiful in its time…
(Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11).

I think most of us will agree with that statement, without any doubt of it. Am I right?
But there are few “problems” because of that, which are:
1. can be be patient enough to keep on waiting for “the beautiful” things?
2. and how we know that it is the right time or not? or should we keep on waiting without any assurance about the future?
3. then, if we know that this is the “right” decision for “the beautiful” things, can we brave enough to take that? because sometimes the path to “the beautiful” things is not an easy one?

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Eventhough I got this quotation from The Holy Bible, but I see it as a general spiritual quotation. Full of spirit 🙂

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom has given us.”
(Romans 5:3-5)

It does not mean that we will love to be suffered. But at least it reminds us that we’ll always have HOPE….
and for me personally, FAITH and LOVE….

So…
Let’s keep on hoping faithfully with the power of love
^^

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