Author Archives: felixt

New year

I was reflecting on the year that has just passed yesterday as well and making plans and goals for this year, as we all do this time of the year. As I was doing that, I took a break in the middle to reflect on God’s word.

I have been using John Piper’s app called Solid Joys for my reflection and I found today’s reflection from 1 Corinthians 15:10 is worth pondering.

The proper response to the grace you experienced in the past is thankfulness, and the proper response to grace promised to you in the future is faith. We are thankful for the past grace of the last year, and we are confident in the future grace for the new year.

A lot has happened in 2016. both good and bad – but one thing to thank God for is his grace, by his grace I can call him Father, his grace has sustained me, his grace worked in me through my sins and failures. And in 2017 and onwards, regardless what happens, good or bad, his grace will still be there, this I can be sure of.

‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home. (from Amazing Grace)

Kaya dan miskin

Found out this note that I wrote back in 2010, I still feel the same way.

Setiap kali pulang ke Indo – aku selalu diingatkan akan jurang perbedaan antara kaya dan miskin. Menurutku aku termasuk golongan yang kaya, yah antara menegah ke menengah atas lah. Bukannya bermaksud menyombongkan diri tapi ini adalah realita, keluarga aku memang berkecupukan. Melihat orang-orang sekitar di Indo, kadang aku sulit mengerti kenapa bisa sebegitu besar perbedaan finansial aku dengan orang lain.

Sulit dimengerti, lebih sulit untuk dicerna. Contohnya, tante saya dapat hadiah menginap di hotel berkelas di Surabaya, sangat bagus – saya ikut kecipratan juga merasakan tinggal di hotel bintang lima ini. Tinggal di hotel ini serarasa tinggal di surga. Keluar dari hotel aku serasa menginjakkan kaki ke neraka. Hanya bebarapa ratus meter di luar hotel terlihat pedagang kaki lima, anak2 kecil dan orang2 berusaha menyambung nafkah di bawah terik matahari dan bau asap kendaraan bermotor.

Yang menyentuh perhatian saya adalah, tadi saya melihat bapak, ibu dan 3 orang anak lelakinya. Ayahnya sepertinya punya usaha tambal ban di pinggir jalan. Ayah menyuapi anaknya, salah satu anaknya tertidur pulas di pinggir jalan, sang istri menggendong anak yg paling kecil (masih bayi). Tambal ban.. berapa penghasilan yg dapat diperoleh sang suami setiap harinya? Tentunya dia tidak pernah merasakan empuknya bantal dan dinginnya AC di hotel yang baru saya tinggali.

Kehidupan di Australia sangatlah berbeda – tentu ada orang miskin di Australia, tapi saya yakin semiskin-miskinnnya orang di Australia, hidupnya tak akan lebih susah dengan kaum miskin di Indonesia.

Bagaimanakah seorang yang kaya hidup di Indonesia? Saya rasa hidup di Indonesia bagi saya pribadi akan menekan batin. Saya mau menikmati hidup, siapa sih yang tidak mau? Tapi mampukah saya 100% menikmati yang saya punya ketika saya dikelilingi orang yang berkesusahan? Haruskah saya menutup mata dan telinga?

Kadang saya juga tidak habis pikir melihat keborjuan orang kaya di Indo – bangun rumah kaya istana sampai pake satpam segala – padahal di sampingnya kampung yang banyak orang miskinnya.

Seperti pikiran2 saya yang lain – saya tak punya jawabannya.

Brisbane Holiday

We had a wonderful 10 days holiday on Brisbane (mainly) last week. We drove from Sydney to Brisbane – which is about a 1000km drive, we didn’t drive all the way though. On the way up, we stayed overnight in Coffs Harbour and on the way back we stayed in Nambucca Heads. The drive was very pleasant, it was quite scenic drive on big roads with minimal traffic. We tag teamed the drive, very thankful that Lina could drive. We thought we could’ve gone all the way in the future – but we took a conservative approach as we haven’t done that long of a drive before.

We lived in an Airbnb accomodation in Algester – which was very pleasant. We lived in a 2 storeys brand new house – we lived in the upper storey, the owner live downstairs. Our host was very friendly and accomodating – and again the property was really good – we got 3 bedrooms, the boys were very happy with having their own rooms for a week.

Our primary aim of going to Brisbane was to look at suburbs that might buy a property in. And I think it was a fruitful visit from that point of view. We also managed to travel around in Brisbane city a bit, visited South Bank and Fortitude Valley – I immediately taken by the city (compared to Melbourne for instance which was a meh for me – no offence Melbournians).

One of my personal highlights of the visit was visiting our 2 friends – one of them is our old friend from church. He is a pastor now in church in St Lucia. It is always good to see a brother in Christ and how he stays faithful and seeing his passion for the Lord and the opportunities in Brisbane and UQ in particular.

Then I visited and stayed with old friends from high school. I was floored by their welcome and hospitality. It was super nice catching up and talking about all things especially the good old days. We haven’t seen each other for almost 5 years yet it doesn’t feel that we are apart that long (if that makes sense). As a plus – our boys had a good time with their girls too.

Few interesting things happened on Friday, had a job interview via Google hangout in the morning – which was unexpectedly long about 45 mins and thank God I got the position (notified few days ago). After that we drove down to Gold Coast, had lunch with fellow property investor – which was an enlightening conversation. We then drove to Main Beach to have a swim – the weather was warm and beautiful and you can’t go to Gold Coast without swimming of course.

That’s when the low point of the holiday happened. We swam (or played in the water I guess) near a bridge in the beach (which Lina already warned that it’s not a very good idea). We did try to play a bit further from the bridge – but somehow Matt at some point went a little bit too close to the bridge and got carried away by the current towards the bridge unable to make his way back. When I saw him in trouble, I went to him straight away, I was walking towards him and when I got close to him, I suddenly realised my feet were off the sand bed – which meant there was a steep drop, no wonder Matt was in trouble. I was quite panicked too at this point – I managed to get to Matt and tried to make my way towards one of the pillars of the bridge as it seemed to be easier swim rather compared to going back.

We held on the pillar for a bit (which seems like forever) – shouted at Jeremiah to get help – people must have noticed by then. Few blokes came over to help us and we were saved. Thank God that Matt is ok, I got cuts on my arms, legs and chest from shells on the pillar – but it’s ok, as long as everyone is saved in the end – thank God.

Thankfully the rest of the holiday was pleasant. Went to a couple more of open houses on the next day, then we went to Sirromet winery – had a late and pleasant lunch with my high school friends and their girls. We stayed at their place – had a long chat until late. We went to their church on Sunday then we went to Gold Coast for lunch at George’s Paragon (really nice seafood) – after that we had afternoon coffee and it was time for us to bid Brisbane goodbye as we started our trip back to Sydney.

It was a memorable holiday – I am liking what Brisbane has to offer.

Struggling to write

I found that writing a blog post is harder than before.

It’s not that I don’t have any ideas to write. I do have a lot of topics to write in my head, but my struggle is with structuring the topic and put it into a writing.

This, I think, is because I just don’t do enough writing nowadays. We all know practice makes perfect, so is with writing – to make writing easier, write more.

But why don’t I write more? I used to blog a lot, although I have to admit most of them is short and more like status updates rather than fully fleshed writing.

One reason why I don’t write anymore is because I consume more. What do I consume? What else – the social media of course: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There’s also HackerNews (thank God for HN newsletter!).

Here’s hoping for more producing and less consuming in 2016.. maybe?

White Belt

So I have been training in karate for about 6 weeks now and it’s been an interesting and challenging experience so far (more on that later).

I wanted to do karate mainly because of Jet and Matt. They have been doing karate for about 2 years now. I slowly fell in love with karate after watching them practising and competing. I thought to myself, how nice it would be to be able train with them and enjoy karate together.
I also then started to read more about karate – its origin and history, its founders, its differing styles and philosophies, watching kata videos – I became more interested.

The next move was to find a karate dojo that I can train with. My sons’ dojo naturally is the first place that enquire. I am very happy with my sons’ senseis and dojo – but unfortunately they don’t have adult training nearby.

So I spent the next few weeks after that, searching and researching karate dojos. It wasn’t as easy as I thought initially, the problem is, I wanted to train in Goju Ryu specifically and there isn’t that many Goju Ryu dojos around (more Shotokan and Kyokushin). The training times also need to fit with my family and church commitment (means no Friday nights and earlier training time better). Finally, I found G.K.M.I – could only fit one training weekly but I think that would have to do for now.

Six weeks in, I can say that karate is challenging – physically and mentally. For me personally, being super stiff doesn’t really help. I am also struggling with some of foot movements and combinations. But good thing is, I am improving – very slowly. Practising kata unsurprisingly has been a highlight for me. It’s good being a noob all over again, being a student again.

My gym routine now has changed too, I am now looking for exercises that will benefit my karate (been reading Hojo Undo book – but probably too early for me). So I have almost stopped lifting weights altogether and focused on getting more flexible.