Worldly accolades

I used Reeves gouache paint and watercolour from Kuretake to draw this peacock

I want to share all with you the verse from 1 John 2:15-17 and Colossians 3:2. 1 John states “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in this world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions—is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remain forever.” This is further emphasised in Colossians 3:2 where it is stated “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

Many times I am enticed by worldly desires. Nice things to buy, delicious food, all the world can offer. Sometimes I also desire to be approved by people, and what I am struggling with is doing marvellous things so that people would approve and accept me. To be honest, I have a high ego, and a lot of pride, and I am proud of my achievements. But now I say, that I am no longer proud of what I have achieved, because I know that it is God who did all these things. He gave me love and support. He gave me parents who would sacrifice a lot of things for me. He gave me brothers who really cared for me. Mentors, physicians, professors, friends; He provided them all for me. I would not have reached this point without support from all these people I have just mentioned. God is humbling me to the point where I say going to a good university is by God’s grace, and not my own doing. Being able to finish with struggles of course, is by God’s mercy. I cannot be proud of my intelligence, because it does not bring me anywhere. My dependence on God, pleases Him and brings me to know Him more, that He delights in giving me gifts. Now I know, that God loves me so, and He will never leave me and also this verse from Psalm 91:14-16: ” Because he has his heart set on me, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he knows my name. When he calls out to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble. I will rescue him and give him honour. I will satisfy him with a long life and show him my salvation.” This particular verse helped me in times of extreme stress, and helped me manage my emotions.


That is why I learn to have 7 days of grateful. Not setting my mind on worldly things, but setting my mind on Him, who truly satisfies. He never disappoints. He has the best plan for your life. Whatever hurdles, disappointments, hopes and dreams we have. He always listens and replies, but He sometimes replies in a different way than we ever think. As Isaiah 55:8-9 states, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

I was a prideful young woman, but Jesus taught me daily to depend on Him, which leads me to humbling myself upon His feet daily. My current health is because I depend on Him. He renews my mind, and He gives me peace and joy, and also contentment in all circumstances. I hope those who are reading this may understand and know God’s love and not set your minds on worldly things. Wealth, riches, accolades may pass away, but God’s word remain true, and it will change you.

What does it mean to love?

I used goauche paint and Affinity Photo Editor to edit this painting.

What does it mean to love someone? Yesterday..there was a sermon about hurting the Holy Spirit’s heart. These three bees represent the three times I hurt His heart. I remember it again.. a few years back, last year and now.. And I want to share that with all of you..

  1. The first time was the pain in my heart… like a broken-hearted feeling. The pain of unrequited love. I understood that feeling.. but that pain was not mine.. It was the Holy Spirit. At that time, I didn’t love Him at all, and that hurt Him. I remembered the time when I liked someone but that person did not like me back, and it hurt.. I cried..but this pain was more heart wrenching. It brought me back to the years when I got broken hearted.. that was the same feeling.. that life meant nothing without that person. I can relate to how God is feeling too.. that life is more beautiful when He can relate with us… His creations..
  1. The second time was when I cried… but it was not my tears. I was honest to God.. that my desires for a husband was bigger than my desires for Him.. and it pained His heart..It was like a knife cutting in my heart… I felt that pain..but it was not mine…it was His. My question is this to you all.. what if the person you love most love someone else instead of you? Would you get hurt? How would you feel? You love that person deeply but his love is not for you.. How painful it must be.
  1. The third time is when I hurt someone else. It pains Him because He loves that person too..When we bad mouth somebody, when we hurt people with our words, when we curse someone, when we hate…it pains Him.. because He knows that those sins rots us and makes us sick. He does not want to see us suffer. He wants us to forgive, to speak in gentleness and wisdom, He wants us to bless people because those things gives us peace and joy.

Let me end this sharing with a verse from Luke 5:31-32:31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

We need Him.. We are imperfect beings.. who have been hurt, broken, and trampled through the waves of this world. He came to give us that love, the love which heals. He found me at that place where I am most broken. I am found and cherished by the One who loves me most, and through this, I want to not hurt His feelings and want to learn to love Him more because He is worthy. He is patient, waiting for us to love Him back, but how long more do we want to keep hurting His heart that loves us deeply?

UPH Business Centre for Law Studies

UK Economic Growth Improves

Written by: Bryna Budiman

According to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), they estimated that UK’s economy grew by 0.7% in the three months to March, from 0.6% in the previous quarter. CBI’s monthly survey consists of 764 private firms from different sectors, the problem they were facing was ongoing Eurozone and Greece’s bailout, in addition the businesses in UK have to be ready to handle the strong pound, where the currency have been pulling down on weak export growth. The survey reads of 18% for the three months to March on the private sector growth indicator, where it shows that performance of businesses was improving. The survey shows that business and consumer services, along with manufacturing sector will strengthen in the near future. CBI’s deputy director general Katja Hall commented lower oil prices now which are felt by consumers, where cheaper petrol causes people’s household income and spending power to increase, and lowering costs for businesses.


Taxes Hit Hard on Alibaba

Written by: Bryna Budiman

When there is IPO, companies have option to “lock-up” shares from trading for the purpose of preventing major shareholders from flooding the market in the start of a trading period. In Alibaba, two of the company’s “lock-up” agreements has ended, releasing a huge amount of 437 million for trading, where in addition to that, another 1.6 billion shares owned by Jack Ma and Joe Tsai and investors Yahoo and Softbank will hit the market in September.  To add, Alibaba has sold 320 million shares (13% of the company) in its IPO. All of these amount to a representation of 80% of their company, if sold Alibaba would get $165 billion. Due to this huge amount, China tax specialist, partner at Zhong Lun, Clifford Ng said, the more successful the company, the more reason for the government to collect taxes from them.  The taxation in China is concentrated on worldwide income, where it applies progressive tax rate on employment-based income which ranges from 3% to 45% and a capital gains tax with maximum of 20%. IN the past, authorities have failed to collect taxes from rich Chinese who use creative ways to launder money abroad. Now, Beijing is working hard on solving tax evasion as government debt becomes more evident. The government now requires big firms like Alibaba to register with State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), to control how much money flows in and out of China. In response to this, Alibaba spokesman Bob Christie replied that they will comply. Governments required companies to register with SAFE because now Chinese companies are listed overseas.


Battling Corruption

“It is well-known that corruption is widespread in Indonesia, both in government and in businesses. Please describe one major cause of corruption and a concrete strategy for addressing it in order to reduce the corruption in Indonesia.”

Written by: Bryna Budiman

Corruption is often a difficult issue to handle, but what I believe is in this quote by Gandhi, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”  In order to change society, you must start from within first. The prevalent cause in corruption would be the situation of the people in Indonesia, most of the people of Indonesia are in a state of poverty, which can create greed in officials who did not have enough income per say, and to that, are the mindsets of people which agree that corruption is culturally acceptable. 

From the background I will focus on one issue that is taxation, from taxation, government can acquire funds, which are needed to improve poverty and increase the living standards of the people in Indonesia. Tax officials have linked many data from our E-KTP, tax file number, banking records, and land title and asked questions for instance, if we had an income of Rp 100 million/ month, and we go to Paris every week, isn’t there a discrepancies? In order to solve this problem tax officials need a team of data analyst to act on discrepancies, and this team needs to be clean, how to achieve that? I was inspired by Lee Kuan Yew’s way of battling corruption; he used the “carrot and stick approach”, where he raised salaries of government officials, to limit the need for officials to be corrupt or to have greed as they already have a high income.  Firstly, I believe Indonesia should do the same and create rewards for the team of data analyst for taxation.

Secondly, I believe that the will of Ministry of Finance and the President plays an important role here. It is important for the President have a vision and political will for Indonesia to be a bustling and robust economy. He must communicate with his team and translate his mission step. Not withstanding that, in order to change the country, the President must realize what needs to be changed in himself, may it be more eloquent and understanding like Obama, or strict and disciplined like Lee Kuan Yew, or maybe has clear direction like Margaret Thatcher. The flaws in oneself must be improved daily, and to say it is not only in great leaders that one should change himself, but I say it all happens to ourselves. Whether we want to or not, in order to create a change in our family, our friends, our city, our country, it must first start with ourselves. 

Corruption is not an easy thing to handle, and is one of the major problems of our country. If I may give an example of changing oneself, I used to be a weak person, meaning I did not have the tools or experience to become strong. Years before, I was in an energy-consuming event, I was tired and did not have the will, but I kept pushing on, with the support of those around me, and came out a mature person than I will ever be if I did not tackle that event. Presidents have challenges themselves, if they are willing to tackle this corruption, with a vision in their mind, starting from looking at their flaws and weaknesses, acknowledging them, getting support from their team, I strongly believe Indonesia will come out a blooming country in the future.

Thirdly,I must also emphasize on the mindset of our people, where they tend to accept their fate, or avoid confrontation-musyawarah, or the thinking that everything will be okay in the end, also that culturally, we could not confront someone. The Indonesian people should be more educated so that they know that corruption is an issue to be dealt head on, and this is where the role of NGOs come on, where they give check on government, whistleblowing tips where they will put that in media. These NGOs have to push for changes to make their voices heard. 

In the future I believe, that the middle class will also play a role, and as their incomes increase, they would ask, why am I paying tax and the other people are evading, the voices of this middle class people would get bigger, and then we will come to tackle the issue of corruption.

What I want to emphasize here is corruption is a complicated issue, and it may take years to change this, however, if we look inside ourselves, acknowledge our flaws and face our problems, together with the help of our team, united we can solve corruption by raising income for officials, and changing the mindset of our people. It is a tough fight, and I am not saying it is not like fast food, which can be done in minutes, but it requires a process, same like when we undergo a process of learning in this life, there may be ups and down during the process, but in the end it will be worthwhile. I may take an example of a student, he would like to go to top universities, but then he have to be hardworking, discipline, committed and motivated. In battling corruption, the President must have all these qualities, in the short run, it may be tiring, time-consuming, but throughout the process, he may learn something from it, and grow and develop Indonesia as a country. 

To finish my views, what I answered here is to what I know and to what I perceive can happen, I believe Indonesia has potential, true, it may be just a couple of islands, but to believe in one country is the first step for it to move and strive, as it is in oneself. Somebody once told me, if you don’t believe in yourself, then who will believe in you? To finish, believe and change comes from within.

Treat your friendship as yourself

I have a Chinese friend in class who told me about this saying: “君子之交淡如水” (jun zi zhi jiao tan ru shui); this means virtuous men will treat the friendship flowing as water. I guess love for someone first comes from friendship. I am amazed how my Chinese friends have a deep understanding of this. That having someone as a partner is having deep friendship with someone. He also advises me to treat that friendship as you treat yourself, to love that person as you love yourself as you do not get overwhelmed with the emotions. That is good advice. Sometimes, the emotions overtake us, and it can cause pain and other things. 我希望我那朋友会得到真心的爱因为我当成他是个好朋友!

Bringing my life plans

I drew this with pencil and outlined it with Visconti rollerball and coloured it with gouache paint and coloured it with Faber Cast ell Polychromous Pencil Colour.

As in my previous post, at the end of my education in Universitas Pelita Harapan, a lot has happened. I tend to rush things, wanting to run in this race of life, instead of taking it step by step and to walk by Him. But He has been good, always good. I was upset when I did not get accepted into Ivy League schools. I was disappointed and very upset. However, he provided a way and now I will be finishing my LLM at University of Sydney. And also, I have been applying for jobs. I do not know what He wants for my life, but I know it is for my good and for His glory as stated in Romans 8:28.

I prayed in 2015 that I hoped to be able to apply my legal skills and hone my writing and art skills too. He has been good, and always good. The education I am doing and the blog I have been starting to write has indeed fulfilled my desires unto His plan for my life. I do not know what else He has planned for Him, but it is fulfilling indeed to trust Him in every aspect of my life. In John 15:4, God asks us to remain in Him, so that He may remain in us and that we may bear fruits. I pray that I may bear fruits that may be a pleasing aroma to God and also that I may be a blessing to others.

I hope one day I can help people using my legal, art and writing skills. I do not know what the future holds, but God holds me. In Song of Solomon, the writer says, “I am my Beloved, and His love is for me.” May I be reminded of this truth and be grounded in His love. I pray also to whoever is reading this that you may trust God and surrender all your life to Him because He knows what you need and want, and that He always wants the best for you and knows what is good for you. After a long journey of distrust, I finally realised that God never meant harm for me. He always has loved me, and will always love me, and will never leave me, let alone give snakes to His children, how more O’ friends He will give to us as our earthly father would give us bread…O’ How deep is your love O’ Lord. Help us to trust You and love You more day by day. In Jesus name, Amen.

True Love

This is an interpretation of David Bowman’s painting of Jesus Christ Hugging Child

Jesus loves all His children, but who will walk with Him? The Holy Spirit pushes me, speaks for me, for the Holy Spirit desires Jesus. I always try to find something that could fill me, the yearning to be loved. As I searched everywhere, I found no fulfilment. It is only in His embrace, that I am filled with love and grace. I had no desire whatsoever at first. But He kept loving me, tenderly, passionately, gently. When I searched for love, I found nothing in this world. Only in Jesus, I can say… His embrace, His acceptance. His love is the fulfilment of my soul and desire. Let this be our prayer in this Easter.

Dear Jesus,
I want to put you first in my life. Let nothing hold first place in my heart except you Jesus. Let me be your vessel so that your love can pass through me and into me. Let me walk with you and be closer to you each day and let me love you more and more and passionately. Father, I am your child, and I want to be entrusted by You to do Your will. Use me for your glory and always embrace me with love and grace each day. Give me joy and peace and never let me go. I want to be like You, Father. I want to walk with You. And I want to be transformed. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Let this Easter be a reminder of the yearning of a Father who loves His child and waits for His child to be in His embrace, and His wish for the child to love Him, revere Him and grow with Him. Someday, we will be united with the bridegroom. Let us prepare ourselves for that day.

Loving Him

I drew this with Carand’ache mechanical pencil and painted it with Kuretake watercolours layering it one by one

Many people seem to confuse what this verse from Deuteronomy 6:5 says ,”Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Is it a linear position where we put Him first and disregard the other important things in our life such as family, relationships, work school. To answer that, it is linear but linear in the sense that it branches out. Putting God first in your heart does not mean disregarding other parts of your life such as family relationships, school, work. Loving Him means involving Him in every parts of your life, this is where the linear position is is linear like a tree but branches out with the roots, involving every part of your life to the root of it and giving it all to God. This means being honest with Him what are your desires, pain, hurt, disappointments.

It is not easy to put God first in which we surrender every detail and parts of our lives to Him. We think it is much easier to handle it ourselves. Like decision of which school to go to, what job should I apply to, whom should I marry, and other things. But we must remember He has a good plan for those who love Him such in Romans 8:28, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” It is hard to surrender and trust Him with all our plans, but isn’t it much harder to handle it alone?