Saturday, June 19, 2010
FRIENDSHIP AMONG NATIONS (FAN)
Pertama didirikan pada tahun 1985 oleh Dave Broos di kota Bandung untuk mengakomodasikan hobi bersahabat pena yang sangat populer saat itu. Di mana klub ini dimulai olehnya dengan beberapa teman sahabat pena di Indonesia dan Belanda hingga lalu berkembang menjadi sebuah klub sahpen dengan ribuan anggota dan berasal dari ratusan negara yang ada di dunia.
Salah satu misi dari Friendship Among Nations (FAN), saat itu adalah bukan saja menjadikan klub sah-pen ini sebagai ajang persahabatan atau ada pula yang menjadikannya sebagai tempat mencari jodoh, tetapi juga sebagai media perdamaian antar bangsa, negara, agama, jenjang sosial maupun pendidikan. FAN berupaya menjembatani perbedaan yang ada dengan saling menghargai dan mencintai perbedaan sebagai sebuah maha karya dari Sang Pencipta. Bisa dibayangkan bila seisi bumi semua orang nampak seragam baik cara pandangnya, penampilannya, berbicaranya dan seterusnya…betapa membosankannya dunia ini.
Setelah hampir satu dasawarsa FAN mati suri akibat kesibukan pendiri maupun para aktivis/relawan masing-masing. Kini FAN kembali dengan wajah baru untuk menyuarakan kembali misi persahabatan dan perdamaian antar bangsa. Pada tahun 2010 ini, kami telah mengadakan pertemuan kembali bersama di Food Court Pelangi di Jl. Lengkong Kecil, Bandung. Pertemuan yang non formil dihadiri oleh para “gegedug” FAN; Dave Broos, Vicktor Widjaya dan Dewi Sulistiani (sedang Jujun dan Yanti S berhalangan hadir sebab ada pelatihan/tugas dari instansi masing-masing). Sedang rekan-rekan yang lain masih kami cari kembali. Kami harus mengucapkan terimakasih pada Facebook, yang mempertemukan kami kembali setelah lama sekali tak bersua. Ada sedikit pergeseran dari dunia “pena” ke dunia “maya”.
Kami membicarakan kembali apa yang dapat kami lakukan secara korporat untuk membawa misi persahabatan, perdamaian dan menjadi berkah bagi setiap kota yang kami tinggali dengan membuka layanan sosial, pendidikan, usaha mikro, gerakan Go Green, gerakan anti narkoba, alkohol & tembakau, gerakan Pro Life, against trafficking, dll.
Kami pun tengah membicarakan pengembangan FAN dengan membuat situs jejaring sosial dan majalah atau buletin, baik secara fisik maupun e-book.
Pada perkembangannya ke masa yang akan datang apakah yang akan terjadi, kami belum tahu. Kami mau mengalir di bawah pimpinan Sang Pencipta untuk tidak menyia-nyiakan hidup kami selama hayat masih ada dalam tubuh kami untuk membuat dunia ini menjadi lebih baik melalui perdamaian, persahabatan dan melakukan “the good fight” menegakkan kebaikan dan keadilan di tengah masyarakat yang terkontaminasi dengan keserakahan dan keegoisan.
Hal yang pasti adalah kami mau pertama-tama hidup dalam perdamaian dan saling mengasihi dan menerima satu sama lain walaupun kami berbeda. Memandang perbedaan sebagai sesuatu yang indah dan maha karya Sang Pencipta.
KESEDIHANKU MELIHAT BANGSAKU
Kesedihan melihat bangsa ini diporakporandakan oleh segelintir orang yang mementingkan dirinya atau kelompoknya saja hingga bangsa yang dahulu dikenal sebagai bangsa yang ramah kini menjadi bangsa yang pemarah. Ketika agama satu mulai beradu dengan agama yang lain, ketika suku yang satu mulai memerangi suku yang lain, ketika kebencian terhadap etnis atau bangsa tertentu muncul, ketika orang miskin hidup bertambah susah, anak-anak kurang gizi, anak-anak putus sekolah atau kuliah, meningkatnya pengangguran, perusakan lingkungan (alam) secara besar-besaran, pembodohan masyarakat bawah terjadi…..mau kemana bangsa ini?? Dimanakah para pejuang keadilan? Dimanakah orang yang tulus ingin membangun bangsa ini? Apakah semua hanya memikirkan keuntungan diri sendiri dan keluarganya, sudah sekorup itukah bangsa ini?
Saya percaya masih ada orang-orang yang memiliki integritas dalam bangsa ini untuk kembali membangun bangsa ini menuju Indonesia yang damai dan sejahtera. Dan itu harus dimulai dari diri kita sendiri dan keluarga kita.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
King of The Castle
In English we have this little rhyme that we used to sing as kids. It went something like this:
I am the king of the castle
and you're the dirty rascal!
On and on we would sing it, standing on the tallest stone or wall we could find. Even as children there was something special about being the king or queen. About being treated with admiration and respect. The day you got married, you took a place of royalty in your home. You became the queen and your husband became the king.
Have you caught yourself wishing that your husband would treat you like a queen? Then how about treating him like the king of his home? Take something really practical. Think about the last time that your husband was not feeling well. Perhaps he was tired. Perhaps he had a cold or maybe he just had a headache. How did you treat him? Did you treat him like a king? Or did you tell him to fetch his own medication and go lie down?
You know we are the ones to have the babies and the Lord has built this ability in us to be able to handle certain things better than men. We handle pain better. We handle the smell of dirty diapers better. But men are different! It is true that if men were the ones to have babies...we would NEVER have to worry about a population problem in the world. Men are strong, but when it comes to being sick, you once again see the child come out that desires to be treated with love and "mothered" a little.
Now if you know all the GMRN teachings and principles, you could preach right back at me. You could say that he should not need anyone but the Lord. You could tell me that he needs to get his faith up. You might even run around looking for curses. Yet while you do all these things, you forget to fulfill your role as the wife in your home and to treat your husband with love and respect. You let him seek the Lord for himself, while you meet his other needs.
Before you start to preach, cook some soup, get an extra blanket, give him a cuddle and ask him how he feels. A little bit of tenderness goes a long way and will get better results than, "You need to have faith...stop moaning...get up and go to work!"
In the book of Esther we see how Vashti was banned from the King's presence because she did not give him the honor he deserved as king. As a result he found a queen that did respect and honor him. A wife that pleased him! Esther was such a queen. Giving her husband the admiration he deserved.
Do you want to be treated like a queen?
Then its time to make YOUR man the King of His Castle!
Friday, June 11, 2010
Women and The Giving of Gifts
Ezekiel 16:12 And I put a jewel on your forehead, and earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown upon your head.
13 Thus were you decked with gold and silver; and your raiment [was of] fine linen, and silk, and embroidered work; you ate fine flour, and honey, and oil: and you were exceeding beautiful, and you did prosper into a kingdom.
14 And your renown went forth among the heathen for your beauty: for it [was] perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon you, says the Lord GOD. (GMRV)
If you have children you know that there are three basic things that they love. The first is candy. The second is ice-cream. And the third thing they absolutely love is getting gifts!
I think that there is a little girl inside every woman that is waiting for candy, ice-cream and gifts, even though her childhood is long past. Men are often not much different, but women in particular have this inner hunger for romance that gift-giving just makes possible.
But this can become quite a touchy subject. There have been many marital argument about gifts. As a man, just give the wrong gift to your wife and you can get the ‘cold shoulder’ for a week! Why are women so picky? Why is it so hard to please them?
Well let me help you out a bit with a few secrets that we women share. The joy of a gift for a woman is not in the practicality, the size or even the shape of the gift, but rather the ROMANCE of the gift. When a man gives a woman a gift, that woman is looking for the meaning in the gift.
Now I know if you are a man, that might sound like the most ridiculous thing you ever heard. But never forget this fact: WOMEN DO NOT THINK LIKE MEN!
So if your wife loves to paint or do crafts, but you give her a vacuum cleaner for her birthday, what message is she going to think you are giving her? This is NOT a very romantic message at all.
I wish that I could tell you the most perfect gift to give any woman, but amongst flowers, chocolate and jewelry (which are always a good start) each woman is different. They want to know that their man has discovered their secret desires and picked something out just for them! They want the romance and the childish excitement that gift-giving brings.
Finding out your wife’s desires is pretty easy. You can just ASK her! Why not take time this evening and ask your wife this very simple question:
“What kind of special gifts could I give you as your husband to make you the happiest women in the world? What gifts would you really like to receive from me?”
Do not be surprised to hear her express desires that you did not know she had! Encourage her to talk about the gifts you have given her in the past and what she thought about them.
You might come to find that it was not always the expensive gifts that were the most treasured, but the special ones. Are you ready to hear the truth from your wife? I sure hope so, because this is a subject you can both share about and be honest about.
Talk about the gifts you received that meant the most to you, and also share your disappointments. Not only will you get to know each other better, but gift-giving will turn into something that is fun and enjoyable for you both, instead of an obligation!
Try it. Sweep your wife off her feet and romance her just like Christ romances us! How does He romance us? By giving us the desires we do not deserve, and by enjoying seeing us receive them. If Jesus loves to give to His bride in this way, then you can become the image of Christ to your wife in gift-giving too!
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Finding Time and Breaking the Rules
Esther 4:11 All the servants of the King and the people in the king's provinces know, that if any man or woman comes to the king in the inner court, who has not been summoned, there is a specific law to put him to death. The only exception is when the king holds out his golden scepter to let the person live. But I have not been invited to come to the king for the past thirty days. (GMRV)
Esther 5:1 On the third day of her fast, Esther put on her royal clothes, and appeared in the inner court of the king's house, right in the entrance hall to the kings house: and the king was sitting on his royal throne in the royal house, facing the entrance of the house.
2 And when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased to see her: so the king held out to Esther the golden scepter in his hand. And Esther came closer and touched the top of the scepter. (GMRV)
Life gets so hectic at times that you do not find time to spend with your spouse as you should.
When this happens, be grateful that you did not live during the time of Queen Esther. When her husband got too busy to pay attention to her, she had to take her life into her hands to get his attention.
It is likely that he had made time to be with other women. No man can be so busy that he does not desire sex for over 30 days. On the other hand, perhaps he was just so busy with the affairs of running the country, that he had no time to think about his lovely Queen.
You might think to yourself, “If I were married to the most beautiful woman in the country, I would want to be with her every night.” But alas, each one of us has the experience of burn out where sometimes you forget that you are married to the most wonderful person in the world.
You just get too busy with other things to pay attention to your marriage and the person who shares your life with you. And often when this happens, things start to go wrong that you are not even aware of.
What can a woman do when her husband is too busy to notice her any more; when his work seems more important to him than her? She can do what Queen Esther did in the incident described above.
Notice firstly that the Queen did not just rush in. She prepared her heart with fasting and prayer. So before you barge in with a wrong attitude, begin firstly to prepare your heart and attitude.
Secondly she approached the king in humility, not arrogance.
Thirdly she put on her Royal Garb before approaching him. She did not just appear as a sexy woman, to stir his hormones. He had plenty of women who could do that. But she approached him in a way that reminded him who she was. She was The Queen, not just any other woman.
And finally, she came with boldness into his presence, expecting him to respond positively. To use a common expression, she “got right in his face.”
You can also use this approach if your spouse has been neglecting their part in the marriage. You can step out boldly, yet in love and humility, to remind him or her of who you are and what you are expecting.
This is sometimes a dangerous step, because it could lead to another quarrel or marital fight. But perhaps it could make your partner wake up to realize that they have been drifting away and neglecting the marriage.
If you approach this right, you might be surprised to find that your spouse was not really aware of what has been happening. They might quickly break out of this and realize that they have neglected you.
And when this happens, you might just get the golden scepter, and an offer of half of the kingdom. So don’t sit wallowing and complaining about the state of your marriage.
DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Know Your Spouse
Marriage is the best!
Marriage is great!
Marriage is heavenly!
Now check your mate!
This week I want you to take a little time out to have some fun! I remember a program once that was always fun to listen to. It was called ‘Check Your Mate’. Basically it was a game to see who knew their spouse the best. So are you up to it? Do you think you REALLY know your spouse?
Well there is only one way to find out! Below are a list of questions that will tell you for sure. Simply type in the answers and forward them to your spouse. The real test will come when they respond and tell you how many you got right and how many you got wrong!
So get ready... steady ...GO!
Check Your Mate
Answer each of these questions and forward them to your spouse for marking. If both of you play this game you are in for some laughs. And who knows, you might learn a few things about your spouse you never did before!
1. What is your spouse’s favorite color?
2. What is your spouse’s idea of a romantic evening?
3. What does your spouse love the most about your body?
4. What character traits does your spouse love the most about you?
5. Which of your habits does your spouse dislike the most about you?
6. What kind of gifts does your spouse like to receive?
7. Where does your spouse love to touch you the most during love making?
8. What makes your spouse feel attractive about him/herself?
9. What is your spouse’s favorite outfit or pair of shoes?
10. What are your spouse’s goals for their career or ministry?
11. And finally... What is the one thing that you could do, that you know would immediately cheer up your spouse when they are having a bad day?
Do not end the game here! When you mark your spouse’s answers, add a few more questions of your own! Or even better, try to think of one thing they do not know about you and tell them about it!
The Lord has created something so special between the two of you. As you continue to open your hearts to one another and to the Lord, you will just keep getting closer. Everyone has days when you fall down and things do not go as you planned, but get up and keep going again. Look past the conflicts and take that time to just say, “I love you.” It is amazing how just a bit of love can go a long way.
I trust that you have as much fun with this project as I did. I cannot wait to see what your results were. Be sure to let us know your score on the Marriage Message Board!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
For You My Love
1 Samuel 18:25 And Saul said, Thus shall you say to David, The king desires not any dowry, but a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.
26 And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king's son in law: and the days were not expired.
27 Therefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave the full number of them to the king, that he might be the king's son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife.(GMR)
Aren’t you glad that these days a man does not have to pay to get his wife? But in the early days and in some cultures still there was a price to be paid if a man wanted to marry a woman.
Do you remember how important your wife was to you when you first fell in love with her and desired to marry her? Some men still have to pay the price of asking the father of the bride for permission to marry the daughter.
But is it really a price? Most men would risk their lives to win and gain the one that they love.
Think back on what it was like before you were married, and how you longed to be with your love. What price would you have paid then? She was the most valuable thing in the world to you. He was the most precious thing you could think of.
But each day as you rise up and start the day, do you still feel the same? Each day, as you go through the problems of life and face difficulties, do you still think this? Or do you simply take for granted the fact that you have someone who spends their life with you?
What if your spouse were made a better offer than what you are? What if another woman offers herself to your husband in your place? What if another man were to offer himself to your wife in your place?
What would you do? Would you consider your spouse valuable enough to fight for, and give up all for? Would you be prepared to pay any price to keep them?
And then as you look at yourself, would you consider yourself valuable enough to your spouse that you would never need to be afraid of this? Are you sure that you are of such value that no other person could ever compete with you?
Every day marriages come to an end because someone stopped realizing how valuable their spouse was. Marriages end because a husband or wife are no longer valuable to their partner.
Perhaps if you were to think back on the price you would have gladly paid, or did pay to get your husband or wife, you will realize how precious they are to you. And then perhaps you will find yourself once again ready to risk your life for the one you love.
Could you take in your hands the biggest price you could pay, and hold it out to him or her, saying,
“For you my love. You are worth every bit of it”?
Monday, April 12, 2010
Climbing The Hill Together
Song of Solomon 2:6 His left hand [is] under my head, and his right hand embraces me.
7 I charge you, O you daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that you do not stir up, nor awake [my] love, until he pleases.
8 The voice of my beloved! look, he is coming leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.
9 My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: look, he stands behind our wall, he looks out at the windows, showing himself through the lattice.
10 My beloved spoke, and said to me, Rise up, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.
11 For, look, the winter is past, the rain is over [and] gone;
12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing [of birds] has come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
13 The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines [with] the tender grape give a [good] smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.
14 O my dove, [that is] in the clefts of the rock, in the secret [places] of the stairs, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. (GMR)
The passage above can best be understood if it is interpreted to describe the wonder of the final climax in love making.
It begins with the intimacy of holding and touching, and leads finally to the fullness of the sexual experience.
Notice especially the consideration that each one gives to the other. Yet how often does this truly happen in your experience? How often do both you and your spouse give each other enough consideration to make sure that both have a fully satisfying experience during love making?
If you do, then you will understand some of the symbolism of this passage. The first stage is one in which you embrace and begin to touch each other. The sense of touch is probably the most important of all in love making.
But where do you touch your lover to bring them the greatest experience of pleasure? This is something that varies from person to person, and each one has a nervous system that might be different. We all have parts of our body that are more sensitive than others, and they are not always the same for every person.
So which parts of your spouse’s body experience the greatest sensation of pleasure when touched? This is something that you should have found out by experimenting a bit. Or were you so keen to get to the orgasm that you did not take the time to touch, fondle and stroke each other?
For a man, the sensation of penetration can be so strong, that he needs little else to come to a place of climbing that mountain leading to the final peak of the love making. But for most women it is not quite the same. A woman needs to be touched and stimulated far more then a man, because she is not immediately aroused by the sight of her husband’s body, as he is by hers.
But there are no fixed rules. Each one is different, and you should take the time to explore each other’s bodies to create the most wonderful love making experience possible. Often the longer you take to climb that mountain leading to the peak of pleasure of the sexual experience, the greater your final experience will be.
For the man it might involve holding back until his wife is fully aroused. But this is not always the case. Sometimes even a man needs some kind of foreplay and build up in order to fully enjoy the experience of love making.
So take the time, and if necessary, make the time to be tender with each other, and to touch each other, rather than just rushing in and getting it all over with. It is an investment which really pays off.
A woman who is given this consideration more often, is more likely to get excited about making love more often. But if you just rush in to satisfy your needs before considering your wife, then do not get angry when she finds excuses to not make love tonight.
The passage above describes some of the feelings that come when love is approached the right way. Touch soon leads to talking, and expressing your love in words, or just emotional sounds.
Notice the woman describes the voice of her husband as he is quickly aroused, and he wastes no time on moving into the position for love making. But he is not a selfish man. Instead of satisfying himself immediately, he waits for his wife to catch up.
He encourages her with the words,
“Rise up, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.”
He knows that once he has come to that peak, his part will be over, so he holds himself back, and encourages his wife to rise up first and be satisfied ahead of him. He speaks a lot more to her, painting some beautiful pictures to help her relax and come to the orgasm first, so that they can then move into it together.
The chapter ends with a lovely description of the woman encouraging her husband as he too comes to that wonderful place that God has created for us to reach in this wonderful experience of love making. The two have become fully one and the experience is so wonderful that you feel it can last all night.
Song of Solomon 2:16 My beloved [is]mine, and I [am] his: he feeds among the lilies.
17 Until the day breaks, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether. (GMR)
Would it not be wonderful to experience this every time you make love? It can be possible if you both consider each other, and go about pleasing your partner first instead of satisfying your own desires first.
It is indeed true, as the Word says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”