Posted in Christian, Daily, Personal Musings, poetry, Random Thoughts

Start Off Today

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Reviewing the events of the past week, one is forced to acknowledge that certain “things to do” at the beginning of the week, which were initially planned were still left undone. For instance, the clean up drive previously volunteered for, but later given a miss. Or the intense involvement in the tree plantation drive in the neighbourhood, yet failing to spend time with the children and teach them to love nature. Likewise the person who gets to give a seat for the old woman in the bus, but neglects to help in the household chores. Each one of us may have innumerable commitments planned for the future, but the reality lies in what steps has one taken to do a little bit of that significant something today, instead of saving it up for the tomorrow.

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)

Unlike the birds of the air who live in the present, the innate nature of man is to live for the future. Yet in this quest wherein one calculates the steps for the future, the fact that today has still not gone by and tomorrow mayn’t be so is often neglected. Time is always on the run. If both run parallel, one would never meet. Instead, it requires one to observe the course and plan a path so that the future begins in today.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

Today
Author Unknown

We shall do much in the years to come,
but what have we done today?
We shall give our gold in a princely sum,
but what did we give today?
We shall lift the heart and dry the tear,
We shall plant a hope in the place of fear,
We shall speak the words of love and cheer
but what did we speak today?

We shall be so kind in the afterwhile,
but what have we been today?
We shall bring each lonely life a smile,
but what have we brought today?
We shall give to truth a grander birth,
And to steadfast faith a deeper worth,
We shall feed the hungering souls of earth,
but whom have we fed today?

We shall reap such joys in the by and by,
but what have we sown today?
We shall build us mansions in the sky,
but what have we built today?
‘Tis sweet in idle dreams to bask,
but here and now do we do our task?
Yes, this is the thing our souls must ask,
“What have we done today?”

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Posted in Christian, Daily, Family and Society, Random Thoughts

Treasured Hopes

“O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 136:26

Despite the busy schedule of the week, one of the most looked forward to event is the “weekend”. For some of us, it involves going out of town, meeting with old friends and family and the like. Whereas for some of us, weekends are meant to be “in the social framework”, or to withdraw from the modern day to some quiet “lone time”. Whichever way it may be, one needs a break from the regular week to recharge and refresh. From my personal experience, one of the best ways to relax and let the worries take of themselves, is by reverting back to nature.

“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

Imagine when that blissful weekend is gatecrashed by an emergency meeting, unplanned event or similar. With hopes dashed, one gears up for sorting out the sudden change. In times like these, it is the treasure chest of memories that one delves into and recharges themselves. This treasure chest is not made by simply earning or doing big, but by collecting small moments as memories to cherish. In fact, not just the weekend, but each day is made up of minute memorable events, which when thought retrospectively, bring a smile on the tired faces. To collect them, requires us to take a pause and breathe once in a while. During the silent quest to make something of our lives, each one of us need to learn to live by the moment.

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16

I Hope You Do!

I hope you woke up this morning with a big smile on your face
I hope the sun is shining just for you
and the birds are singing their very best songs…

I hope your coffee is hot and tastes just right
and the cats are purring contentedly, and the mailman waves a
cheery hello and there are no bills in the mailbox…

I hope just everything goes your way …
I hope everything is well with your world,
a place for everything and everything in it’s place…

I hope you can enjoy all you do and you are
complimented on the way
you look and you can laugh
and talk and share to your heart’s content

I hope you have all you wish for yourself and those dear to you,
and all your dreams come true…

At the end of the day
I wish you a perfect moon shining just for you,
a snug and cozy bed with the softest of pillows
and I hope you sleep like a lamb with a smile on your face…

I hope you have a perfect end to the perfect day
and I hope that every day is just as wonderful in it’s own way
I hope your day is … filled with love!
-Author Unknown

Posted in Christian, Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Random Thoughts

From the Past, To the Present

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Psalm 46:1-3

Driving back to my ex-workplace, courtesy of a regional seminar to attend; there was a sense of wonder at how things have shaped over the past few months. On the first outlook, any change from the comfortable zone always involves a trepidation of whether the choice made, is the right one or not. Besides the fear of the loss of the routine, the loss of control on the outcome is what discourages any movement out of the comfort zone. The unfortunate part about opportunity is that, one will never know it till they try.

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” Psalm 9:9-10

In those moment of doubt and fear, the best options is put our trust in the Lord. As one prays and gives their best efforts, the rest things will fall in line. Like seasons that change, live will move forward. Before any life changing decisions, one does list the pros and cons. Yet at times, it mayn’t be enough. If one steps and sees that things weren’t in the right place, don’t stop but continue the efforts. With prayer and grit, eventually things will fall into place. For His Love and His Mercy is true and endures forever.

“For You have been my help, And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.” Psalm 63:7

I Told You
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I told you the winter would go, love,
I told you the winter would go.
That he’d flee in shame when the south wind came,
And you smiled when I told you so.
You said the blustering fellow
Would never yield to a breeze,
That his cold, icy breath had frozen to death
The flowers, and birds, and trees.

And I told you the snow would melt, love,
In the passionate glance o’ the sun;
And the leaves o’ the trees, and the flowers and bees,
Would come back again, one by one.
That the great, gray clouds would vanish,
And the sky turn tender and blue;
And the sweet birds would sing, and talk of the spring,
And, love, it has all come true.

I told you that sorrow would fade, love,
And you would forget half your pain;
That the sweet bird of song would waken ere long,
And sing in your bosom again;
That hope would creep out of the shadows,
And back to its nest in your heart,
And gladness would come, and find its old home,
And that sorrow at length would depart.

I told you that grief seldom killed, love,
Though the heart might seem dead for awhile,
But the world is so bright, and so full of warm light
That ‘twould waken at length, in its smile.
Ah, love! was I not a true prophet?
There’s a sweet happy smile on your face;
Your sadness has flown – the snow-drift is gone,
And the buttercups bloom in its place.

Posted in Christian, Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings

“They still Smile”…

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:1-4)

Meeting these little smiles on a Saturday afternoon ( as a part of the weekend voluntary community service) taught me a lot about life, His Grace and happiness. Attached to the hospital, along with the regular hospitalized patients, in association with the local NGO, there was a small home set up for the cancer patients ranging from the elderly and the few enrolled children, meant for their regular chemotherapy and minor hospitalizations. The purpose was to avoid them being cross infected by the general population. Spending an afternoon with them teaches one about the real essence and gifts of life.

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” (Romans 8:16-17)

Despite the pain of the disease and the load of chemotherapy, the smile on their faces especially the little ones, never wavers. For them, the disease is indeed a part of their life but it doesn’t rule them. From engaging in their activities of school lessons, music and learning new skills of art and the like; their days aren’t lost in cribbing about their state of affairs, finding fault with life and God. Instead the spirit of resilience is seen in their approach to life. In comparison, it shames one when thinking about the usual grumbling at own lives, at the workplace or even within.

Interacting with the caregivers too, one learns a lot from their quiet acceptance to the strength that radiates from within. On seeing the suffering and the pain of their wards, along with the lost years of life can result in any parent or guardian being depressed, loosing hope in His Faith and dwelling in the negativity. Yet they face all those, come out from the bouts of depressing thoughts and conquer the storm within; so that their children can have their happy moments in life. While certain things may never change, the way we live in the present matters the most. No one ever knows the entirety of His Plan, but what one does know is that His Hope, His Grace and His Love is sufficient to survive in the world of the present.

“Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.” (Isaiah 58:8-9)

Posted in Christian, Daily, Personal Musings, Reflections

Follow the Rays

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)

Towards the wee hours of the morning, the lights were lit and bags were kept in the trunk. Pairs of sleepy eyes being huddled and buckled into their car seats. With a strong cup of Joe and steaming thermos of tea, we were off for the three hour drive to the main family homestead. With the centenary celebrations of the hometown cathedral where my spouse was christened, this trip was a must on the calendar. As the hours progressed, the drive felt like we were following the light cast by the rays of the rising sun.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” ( Palm 119:105)

Mornings are a beautiful way of God saying that He Loves Us. The golden light that dispels the fear of the night and the darkness. On the regular days, it feels special to be woken up by the light rays of dawn. Stepping out in the fresh morning air, with the quiet chirping of the feathered friends and the fresh smell of the dew, they offer strength to face the day. The bright light of the morning sun often reminds me of the Word of God, offering hope and guidance during the dark days, promises of His Love and forgiveness through the wrongs of our lives. His Word lights up the dark skies and brings the rainbow after the heavy showers. No matter where one is stuck, His Word brings us out. Such is His Love for His Children.

“You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

Morning
Clinton Lee Scott

From the East comes the sun,
Bringing a new and unspoiled day.
It has already circled the Earth and
Looked upon distant lands and
Far-away peoples.

It has passed over mountain ranges and
The waters of the seven seas.
It has shown upon laborers in the fields,
Into the windows of homes,
And shops, and factories.

It has beheld cities with gleaming towers,
And also the hovels of the poor.
It has been witness to both good and evil,
The works of honest men and women and
The conspiracy of knaves.

It has seen marching armies, bomb-blasted villages
And “the destruction that wasteth at noonday.”
Now, unsullied from its tireless journey,
It comes to us,
Messenger of the morning.
Harbinger of a new day.

“The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130)

Posted in Christian, Daily, Random Thoughts, Reflections

Trail of Blessings

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Being a totally free weekend, yesterday late evening saw both the adults hitting the herb patch at the far east side of the kitchen garden. With the heavy rains and the onslaught by the garden slugs, most of the young parsley were damaged. It was a tenuous process, weeding out the damaged ones, tracing the slug trails wherever seen, putting salt on the few that were seen and replanting rosemary and mint along as stripes to ward them off. All through this procedure, one is reminded of the enormous clutter left in the thoughts and minds at the end of week. Flashbacks of unhappy incidents, moments of anger and frustration all surface in the mind. Just like the slugs, their trail need to found and weeded lest they grow in plenty.

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7

During the twists and turns of the day, it serves to remind ourselves of the blessing that the Lord has bestowed on each of us. Each one of us have our own share of problems, be them physical, mental, emotional or social issues. Instead of carrying over the frustrations and spilling them over to the next day; address them and cancel them out with the unexpected gifts and blessings received. The more one appreciates the gifts of His Love, then one realizes His Grace and His Kindness which is silently bestowed, at times when one needed it most. Despite the damage and after effects of the downfalls or pit stops; learn to look beyond at the blessings which may have their young shoots soon surging upwards. Once we learn about Hus Love, only then will the true appreciation of His Blessings in our daily lives come.

“O Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.” Psalms 95:1-3

We Thank Thee
Ralph Waldo Emerson

For flowers that bloom about our feet,
For tender grass so fresh and sweet,
For the song of bird and hum of bee,
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For blue of stream and blue of sky,
For pleasant shade of branches high,
For fragrant air and cooling breeze,
For beauty of the blooming trees,
Father in heaven we thank Thee.

For this new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

Posted in Christian, Daily, Personal Musings, poetry, Random Thoughts

Colour the Grey

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”(2 Corinthians 12:9 )

The afternoon jaunt after the heavy rains over the past few days, was a source of fun for the children. Stepping into the puddles, picking up a wildflower or two, running after the scampering squirrels and kittens along the walk was a joyous experience. Despite the messy mud and puddles around, the grey of rocks were masked by few wildflowers cropping up at the unexpected places. Further ahead, there were carpets of them growing along the fences of the fields.

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.”(Psalm 34:4)

Wildflowers, many of us are a lot like them. Through rough seasons, closed and crowded spaces, these little flowers not planted by hand but by nature, bring a smile to the tired mind. Those vibrant colours often remind me of God’s love and His Grace. The difficult days, troublesome moments and doubtful occasions, it is His Grace and His Guidance that helps us see a way out. The air and light He directs our way offers the necessary help to get out of the quagmire, when one seeks His Help. God’s Love helps us to grow even when the rocks below are hard and water is scare. To be like a wildflower is indeed a blessing, especially when one learns to bloom and bring colour to the dull, dark, dreary days. Let such colours brighten each of our days.

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15)

Wildflowers
Kitty Chappell

Lord, help me to grow as the wildflowers grow
be it a meadow or a crack in cement.
Despite the terrain, be it good or bad,
let me know I am there by intent.

Instead of my sadly complaining within
regarding life’s rough terrain,
May my face, too, look upward to you
through seasons of drought and rain.

Help me to bloom as the wildflowers bloom,
regardless of where I am placed;
wherever the spot You plant me, Lord,
let the air there be sweet with Your grace.

Someday a tired pilgrim may stop to rest
from carrying his heavy load
And thank my Creator for placing me there
to brighten that spot in life’s road.

(Kitty Chappell, award-winning author of Good Mews: Inspirational Stories for Cat Lovers and Sins of a Father: Forgiving the Unforgivable.)