Posted in Christian, Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Stories Around the World

Reality of “ad confidunt”

As the calendar states that it is mid-March, the weather-man begs to differ by sending a couple of heat waves across. Consequently as the heat and humidity rises, the power outages happen, almost on a proportional scale. For the first couple of hours, the invertor works till they run out too. It’s the late nights that are the worst. Being scared of the pitch black darkness, the kids had begun to cry as they woke up from their sleep. Then through the darkness, what calmed them down were the familiar voice that soothed them through the night, the voice that they put their trust in and let their fears rest.

Reflecting on this incident was the likeness with the sudden bouts of uneasiness that flare up within the self. They just happened, some as a consequence or a build-up; while other times they had happened just out of the blue. What calmed the soul and the restless mind when one tried to do so, were His Words.

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3)

All of us have our own set of fears and problems. To find a resolution is a must, but at times it goes beyond us. Those are the days when we need to learn to put our complete faith and trust in the Lord. Saying it easier then doing so. For many of us, trust never comes easy. We often tend to fear opening up, especially if it may be used against us at a later stage. Such is human nature.

Yet God’s trust and faith are way different from what is perceived by man. His Faith not only encourages us, but empowers one to face obstacles as they come. Here, faith and trust go hand in hand. His mere presence through the scriptures and teachings brings the flame of hope and strength through the dark hours. For all this we need to truly believe. Learning to trust like the babe in the cradle enables us to grow in His Grace and His Love. Such a gift of true faith and trust is what clears the perceived gray clouds in the mind, bringing a fresh lease of life to the day. Whether our lives be short or long, we don’t know. But what we will know or realize is that, by putting our complete faith and trust in Him, we will find the beauty of life and joy of living, in each hour and day as they come by.

The amazing story of Charles Blondin, a famous French tightrope walker, is a wonderful illustration of what true faith is. Blondin’s greatest fame came on September 14, 1860, when he became the first person to cross a tightrope stretched 11,000 feet (over a quarter of a mile) across the mighty Niagara Falls. People from both Canada and America came from miles away to see this great feat. He walked across, 160 feet above the falls, several times… each time with a different daring feat – once in a sack, on stilts, on a bicycle, in the dark, and blindfolded. One time he even carried a stove and cooked an omelet in the middle of the rope!

A large crowd gathered and the buzz of excitement ran along both sides of the river bank. The crowd “Oohed and Aahed!” as Blondin carefully walked across – one dangerous step after another – pushing a wheelbarrow holding a sack of potatoes. Then a one point, he asked for the participation of a volunteer. Upon reaching the other side, the crowd’s applause was louder than the roar of the falls! Blondin suddenly stopped and addressed his audience: “Do you believe I can carry a person across in this wheelbarrow?” The crowd enthusiastically yelled, “Yes! You are the greatest tightrope walker in the world. We believe!” “Okay,” said Blondin, “Who wants to get into the wheelbarrow.”

As far as the Blondin story goes, no one did at the time!

This unique story illustrates a real life picture of what faith actually is. The crowd watched these daring feats. They said they believed. But… their actions proved they truly did not believe.Similarly, it is one thing for us to say we believe in God. However, it’s true faith when we believe God and put our faith and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Note: In August of 1859, Charles Blondin’s manager, Harry Colcord, did ride on Blondin’s back across the Falls. Author Unknown
Source: inspire21.com

Posted in Christian, Life, poetry, Random Thoughts

To Hold On

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)

Reaching beyond the mid-phase of the Lenten period brought around a multitude of thoughts within the mind. Unlike the years before, as most of the meetings have been switched over to the online mode; reading the Scriptures and writings is how the present Lenten period is being observed. On listening to the narration of the Jairus’ daughter ( Mark 5:21-24, 35-43) reminds us of His Grace and with faith anything is possible.

“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” ( John 8:12)

Each of us have our own bundle of sorrows and pain. Going beyond them requires one to find the courage from within. To find it, one needs to hold onto the Faith that He is with us always, will catch us when we fall and even if it happens, ill protect us. Such is His Love and His Grace as echoed through the chapters of the Gospel. As they always as, knowing and believing are two different aspects. Let this Lenten period teach us to experience strength and hope in His Love, His Grace and His Mercy. For He is always there, we just have to learn to never let go of His Hand.

Keep Walking…
Barbara Aldrich

Here we stand together,
Dressed in our pain,
Covered with scars
From wounds we did not ask for
Or deserve.

So what now?

We can’t go back and relive our lives.
We can’t take back the innocence we lost
Or make the sadness we felt into happiness.

But we can go on from here,
So let us start.

Stretch out your hand to mine,
Close your eyes
And slowly let the pain slip away.
Let go of the sadness;
It belongs to yesterday,
And let’s walk.

The earth is firm beneath our feet.
The sun is warm on our face.
Heavenly Father sees our struggle,
Smiles at our effort,
And sends us strength.

My friends, we can’t stay, looking back,
Lest we falter.
We must face forward,
Eyes wide open,
And keep on walking.

Hold tight and don’t let go;
You aren’t walking alone,
And neither am I.

Barbara is a part-time teacher and E.M.T. (Emergency Medical Technician), the mother of six children and three step children, married to her high school sweetheart for 23 years and living in Nevada. Thank you for sharing this with us Barbara!© 2005, Barbara Aldrich (Source: inspirationpeak.com)

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Reflections, Work

Stop..Observe..Shift..Move

Ever felt the awe on wondering how one had reached the end. Sometimes it’s so hard to grasp that one has finally checked off that “to-do” in our own list. Such were the feelings on nearing the finish of the present project. While the start and the journey through were something not to be experienced again by choice, the lessons learnt have not just changed the mind but moulded the perspective for the years ahead. The initial phase of the project was something akin to the experience of Edison and his light bulb; too many glitches and hang-ups on how to start off. In the end we had to break it down to many minor components and then tackle it down. Through all this was team-work, improvisation and plenty of re-dos. But the point was to stick on to it.

“Life is a blank canvas, and you need to throw all the paint on it you can.” Danny Kaye

Many of us have gone through similar phases in some part of our lives. They were those days when one couldn’t earmark them as progressive days. But the reality was those were the rest days to regroup, re-focus and re-centre ourselves once again. Those gap days gave the energy to strive on. The change of thinking lay in not rushing off to mark each day as a failure or success, but to look at the bigger objective and target. Sometimes in our haste to reach tot he top, we forget that without the rest for the soul, the body nor the mind can’t move ahead.

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

To regroup, sometimes we need to go back and re-trace our steps. Few may be wrong; but admitting them mayn’t be an easy task. For those moments let the feeling of “I’m always right” take a backseat. Being human, we all are prone to err. So it doesn’t really matter that one went wrong, rectification if feasible, is what makes a whole lot of difference. As long as one keeps the will strong, time would be an ally to the self. Take a moment, a deep breath and chin up. As always, be true to the self and move ahead. Eventually we’ll all reach there.

The Mountain

If the mountain seems too big today
then climb a hill instead;
If morning brings you sadness
it’s okay to stay in bed.
If the day ahead feels heavy and your plans feel like a curse,
There’s no shame in rearranging,
don’t make yourself feel worse.
If a shower stings like needles
and a bath feels like you’ll drown;
If you haven’t washed your hair for days,
don’t throw away your crown!
A day is not a lifetime.
A rest is not defeat.
Don’t think of it as failure,
Just a quiet, kind retreat.
It’s okay to take a moment
From an anxious, fractured mind.
The world will not stop turning
While you get realigned!
The mountain will still be there
When you want to try again
You can climb it in your own time,
Just love yourself till then!

Laura Ding-Edwards

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, Photography Art, Reflections

Flap to Flight

Cooped in the same stretch of space for a couple of weeks drives “not just the toddler in the house” but also the bigger ones into a frenzy. While the taller they are the more refined become the ways to kill boredom, the smaller ones don’t get diverted that easy. Which is why one of the practical purchases online included the “bi-no-culars”. Courtesy of it, the first project of interest was the nest on the old banyan tree in the backyard. For we had chanced upon the family of coppersmith barbet (chempukotti), with their hatch-lings residing covert amidst the branches.

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan

The curiosity and whispers that accompanied for the next couple of days were about the happenings on the tree. One of the activities observed was how the three fledglings were taught to fly. After the first few falls from the nest, they discovered that by spreading out the wings, the falls were not that jarring. After a couple of days the next things we saw was them flying onto the low branches.

What set the grey cells into action was the fact that they had “spread their wings and flapped”. Putting that little lesson into the realities of life, each of us are thrown into the situations that we least expect. There are many ways to deal with those scenarios. Crib and cry, or buckle up, gather the few feathers we have or grow new ones, spread them out and learn to flap. Eventually we’ll fly. At the end of the day, it all boils down what we really want to do. If one really wants to fly, know that one can and will. Whether it may be soon, in some time or long time; that isn’t entirely in our hands but what we can do is to learn and try. The rest shall soon follow.

“I was shown a fledgling learning to fly. It’s first efforts were very feeble. But as it used its wings more and more, they became stronger until it found the freedom of flight and was able to soar to great heights and fly great distance without any effort. I heard the words: Faith comes with practice. Live by faith until it becomes rocklike unshakable, and find the true freedom of the spirit.” Eileen Caddy

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

Posted in Family and Society, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes

Little more “Give” than “Take”

Another end of one of the most celebrated days around the world; though this time by on the weekend, it gave a little more extra minutes to catch on those that make our “circle of love”. From the newspapers to television screens and, oh yes, not to miss out on the social media pages; get flooded with greetings of the day, we still need a reminder to know what really “love” is all about.

“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get–only with what you are expecting to give–which is everything.” Katharine Hepburn

This emotion involves a lot of “give” than “receive”; such that the beauty or the richness is enhanced by the former. Love is what brings us hope on the dark cloudy days. It is what gives us the life when one has sunk deep. It is that which keeps one alive through the mundane days of life. It is what makes us whole, giving courage and strength; whether it is to love or being loved. From very simple things to big actions or statements, love can be shown in many forms. Whether they be big or small, the feeling or emotions behind them is what makes its’ presence felt not just during those moments but even beyond them.

“Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it.” Nicholas Sparks

Cloaked in many forms, we all experience these feelings of endearment and warmth within our homes, across families extended , close friends and neighbourhood. Paradoxically this emotion doesn’t exist in itself but is made whole by tagging along with two aspects of any personality, the ability to be kind and respect. For both of these, one needs to give and share them around to allow love to enrich our lives. Love never boasts of being perfect. Rather its’ presence is felt better, when regardless of the imperfections perceived by own self, there is a mutual shared feeling of regard and attachment.

“The only thing we never get enough of is love; and the only thing we never give enough of is love.” Henry Miller

Love comes in different shades, but common to all of them, is the gift of being truly happy and at peace, within the heart, mind and soul. Being able to experience this is indeed a blessing in life. Spread a bit of the warmth around in the little things of not just today, but throughout the year. Let this day serve to be a true reminder of the gifts that life want to endow on us; but to receive them we need to share with others a true part of our lives. For roses are roses, whether they be seen through the bramly woods wild, or in potted sheds; the beauty is there to be seen only when one takes the effort and patience to nurture them, along with thorns and all.

Results and Roses
by Edgar A. Guest

The man who wants a garden fair,
Or small or very big,
With flowers growing here and there,
Must bend his back and dig.

The things are mighty few on earth
That wishes can attain.
Whate’er we want of any worth
We’ve got to work to gain.

It matters not what goal you seek
Its secret here reposes:
You’ve got to dig from week to week
To get results or roses.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:5-8)

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Quotes, Stories Around the World

The Gem Within

Ever experienced the niggling sense or foreboding that the self is being taken for a ride. The sixth sense in us, comes out of the dormancy and starts issuing the alert, slowly increasing in tempo and then we finally make a decision or a move. Sometimes it’s easy to get hold of own self and walk away, other times we may be swept with the tide and barely escape from being drowned. Worst, when we know we are sinking and far too gone. Hindsight is a pretty powerful thing, ain’t it ?!

“Sometimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth and value, but because we finally realize our own.” Anonymous

No matter the situation one is placed in, we all have a choice; whether to do or not, how much to do or not or when to do or not. The choice depends on a lot of things, but quite often we tend to overlook how much “the doing or not” changes us deep within. No one is indispensable, neither is anyone of us disposable. Each of us has that little something, that makes us extra special for the other.

Never let go of that something; for that is what makes the pleasant and vibrant colours of the fields. As nature always says, there are many shads of green, but the riot brought by the flowers is what brings the green to life.

“Never see your importance through the standards of the world.” Anonymous

Lend a hand, but not to lose oursleves in the process. Working for the daily bread and butter, doesn’t mean to lose the self. Each one of us needs to better the “special wihtin us” and doing so, gives the feeling that truly life is beautiful.

“A father before he died said to his son: “this is a watch your grandfather gave and this is more than 200 years old, but before I give it to you go to the watch shop on the first street, and tell him I want to sell it, and see how much it is”.
He went and then came back to his father, and said, “the watchmaker paid 5 dollars because it’s old”.
He said to him: “go to the coffee shop”. He went and then came back, and said: “He paid $15 father”.
“Go to the museum and show that watch”.
— He went then came back, and said to his father “They offered me a million dollars for this piece”.
The father said: “I wanted to let you know that the right place values your value in a way right, don’t put yourself in the wrong place and get angry if you don’t. Who knows your value is who appreciates you, don’t stay in a place that doesn’t suit you”.
Source: The Internet

“People always think that the most painful thing in life is losing the one you value. The truth is, the most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of valuing someone too much and forgetting that you are special too.” Anonymous

Posted in Daily, Food, Stories Around the World

Twist in the “Cup”

Quiet mornings are high on the wish-list these days, so when the weekend rolls over; the lure of the peace is strengthened by a hearty cuppa. With the new trend of butter to bulletproof coffee, yours truly did a couple of twist after intense research and experimentation to give a different flavour to each weekend of the month. As the new saying may be like something new, something old and then an extra something borrowed (not blue) gives a new vibe for the coming week.

Coming to coffee trend across the continents, the Austrian Kaisemelange can keep one guessing the ingredients. Traditionally made by mixing the egg yolk and honey, and adding strong black coffee while stirring gradually; the flavours give a different meaning for the day. Doing it at home, it took quite a number of tries to get all the proportions in sync.

On the other hand, the traditional Finnish “Kaffeost” combines the cheese to the coffee. Into the birch burl carved mug, a cube of cheese (originally juustoleipä from reindeer milk, leipäjuusto or juusto; recipe variations mention about bread cheese) is placed at the bottom and boiling black coffee is poured into it. As the coffee is being sipped, the softened chunks can be spooned out or left behind as dregs. This coffee flavoured cheese and the nutty buttery coffee flavour, gives off a dessert-ish vibe and especially enrich the morning routine.

“Like a symphony, coffee’s power rests in the hands of a few individuals who orchestrate its appeal. So much can go wrong during the journey from soil to cup that when everything goes right, it is nothing short of brilliant! After all, coffee doesn’t lie. It can’t. Every sip is proof of the artistry – technical as well as human – that went into its creation.” Howard Schultz

Going across to the next continent, the traditional Malaysian “Ipoh White Coffee” is made by roasting the coffee beans with margarine and no added sugar. Roasting the beans with wheat, sugar and margarine gives the other popular Malaysian ‘black’ coffee roast (Kopi-O). Coming to the Indian kitchen, the ever popular spice rack holds a special position there. Which is why the Mexican Café de Olla was on the “to try” list. Made traditionally in the earthen clay pot, the basic ingredients include ground coffee, cinnamon and piloncillo (unrefined whole cane sugar or dark brown sugar); served with optional ingredients like orange peel, anise, and clove to spice it up. pot brewed coffee with raw sugar and spices. The coffee is prepared in a stainless steel saucepan with water, brown sugar, cinnamon and dark roasted ground coffee and served in a cup with an orange peel.

All in all, the different “coffee trends” around the globe makes for an interesting experience, whether it be in the popular cafe or in the comfort of our kitchen. Each “cuppa joe” has its’ own special story, to share, experience and relish in; a voyage even in the these times.