Posted in Christian, Daily, Family and Society, Musique, Reflections, Uncategorized

Through Uncertain Times

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” Corrie Ten Boom

As I was stacking up the old newspapers for recycling; amidst them was last year’s calendar. With the accompanying monthly pictures being beautiful, I hadn’t discarded it but kept it aside to cut them out. With the pending task being accomplished, I leafed through the months and the tiny notes along the dates. “School reopening”, doctors’ appointment, “sports’ dates”, local functions aref ew of the many red or green inked circles that were scattered through the year.

“For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God is my strong fortress, and he makes my way perfect.” 2 Samuel 22:33

Looking back, I felt blessed by His Grace and the countless ways He had kept watch over us and the daily happenings. At times, the feeling of wonder strikes as one realizes long after the difficult situations were over, how God had stood over our lives, guiding us with His Hand and by His Word. The relocation to a new place of work, new school year, family weddings and many more; all the big events within the family were felt big and difficult in those days; but went smooth largely due to His Grace and Blessings.

“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.” Martin Luther

Many a time, some of the changes in life may be forced. An unforeseen work related transfer, opportunity to pursue higher studies, ill health and the like. Though decisions are made, they mayn’t work out. Yet once we place it in His Hands and be prepared to do things as they come; then things start falling into place and happening at the right time. Eventually when the obstacle had been crossed, one realizes the true magnificence of His Grace, His Power and His Love. Man being man mayn’t foresee many things. How much more better it would be ], when we put everything in His Hands, put in our efforts and await His Will to show us the way.

“And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17

“….I am one of those who are determined to go to the end.
I will not slow down the pace, I will not look back, but I will praise Christ.
I will not give up, do not shut up,
Do not weaken and do not burn.
I will not finish praying, with Christ I stand.

I am one of those who firmly decided to go to the end.
I can not stop, do not buy, do not hold.
And when He comes to pick up his own, he will recognize me,
Because I am one of those who have come to the end.

And if the salt loses its power that will replace it?
And lit a candle, do not put it under a vessel.
Here I am before You, use me for Your glory
On earth, Jesus, let Thy will be done

Olga Yatsenko ( few lines of Poetry/lyrics of “Till the End”, translated to English)

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Posted in Christian, Daily, Life, Personal Musings, poetry

Thy Will be Done

“Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.” (Psalm 25:4—5,9)

Following the principles of the Christian Faith, family prayer is an essential part of the daily life. On praying aloud with children in the family; for a toddler to understand elaborate words may be difficult. For the little ones, to comprehend the concept of Christ and His Sacrifice may be difficult, but they deeply feel the love of God and His Kindness. On reading passages from the Bible, they’re engaged in the story and the events that unfolded. Yet while praying together, keeping it short and simple is easy for them to learn and understand the essence of Christian Faith.

“Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.” (Proverbs 16:20)

While teaching the little ones to pray before they sleep, the Love of Christ, God’s Grace as well as the protection of the Holy Spirit is said as a part of their prayers. however complete submission to God’s Will and His Role in the Christian need not be echoed by elaborate words but as simple words as , “Lord let it all be as by thy Will”. Prayer from the heart doesn’t demand nor does it ask for concessions. To pray from the heart with complete surrender putting their worries into His Hands, repenting for the wrongs, trusting His Will and His immense Grace to make things go as per His Plan, is not easy to practise; yet much is the power of true prayer.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”(1 Thessalonians 5:16–18)

God, Here Is Bill

Simple and poor
The old negro prayed to God.
Husky bass he firmer
Only three words. “God, here, Bill,”

Pastor John with him for a long time struggled
to pray he studied,
to a beautiful saying,
Not just:. “God, here Bill”

Negro hours on his knees
slalom Creator Thanksgiving
but prayer is offered
as succinctly: “God, here, Bill,”

His life has come to a close,
and in the hospital room
he for the poor hit.
Pastor John to it went.

But once it was clear
that the empty bunk Bill.
the pastor politely asked
patients: “And where is Bill?”

The whole hospital room,
Quietly embraced with joy,
Bloomed like a May garden.
And the patient said:

“Oh, Bill, our saint, believe me.
In the morning, before the death
of Tycho, the last effort
to pray,” God, here, Bill. “

The entire chamber followed by
illuminating the bright light
as if the angelic palace.
From the Sky, a voice: “Bill, God is here.”

The pastor fell to his knees,
To praise the Creator,
But he managed to say
only three words: “God, John is here.”
-Vladimir Artemyev

(Translated to English, Source:vk.com)

“…….. your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

Posted in Christian, Daily, Family and Society, Life, Reflections

When in a Quandary

Flights cancelled due to bad weather. Consequently connecting flights lost. Whether refunded or not, the planned visit, trip, seminar or conference mayn’t work with plans delayed, changed or cancelled.

Daycare and school cancelled owing to unforeseeable circumstances. Grandparents out of town. No leave available. Working from home for both parents aren’t an option. Adjustments and decisions need to made quickly so that children aren’t left alone during office hours.

Stuck in a traffic block and getting late for an appointment, all this happening even though one had started off early.

Traffic diversions. Routes re-routed. Unprecedented road chaos. Job insecurities. Health affected. Promotion with long distance transfer. Lost employment opportunities. Loans and bills overdue.

During all the above scenarios and many more that may have a similar resonance to the above situations; evoking the same feelings of sudden disappointment, fear of the unknown, acute helplessness at the situation and disturbance of the routine or the expected; the words of the psalmist echoes in my mind, ” I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” (Psalms 121:1-2)

Each of us, have our own share of problems and difficulties, maybe known only to us; while others perceive a rosy picture. Yet God above, who has created us, knowing every hair on our head (Luke 12:7) will never forsake us. Troubles will always come, in one form or the other; but tackling them, for any Christian, requires immense Faith and Trust that His Grace will always be with us. While on one hand, we do put our complete Faith in the Lord; on the other hand He demands us to still put our efforts and deal with the situations as best as we can (1 Timothy 5:8). When we allow God to work in our lives through Faith, it is by His Will that plans go, though at the same time, we continue our life and work by His Principle and His Teachings as the Scriptures have and still are teaching us.

For the practising Christian, there are innumerable places where when things have gone out of hand, sudden unexpected help had changed the scene or after a series of what may mean as “lost opportunities”, blessings in a more better manner with more feasibility or rewards were received, bringing peace and happiness within. When the balance tilts, the most important thing is to keep the Faith and go on giving one’s best shot, no matter what may come. God will always help is His Time, by His Will as per as His Plans, especially when Faith, Courage and Trust never waivers.

Psalm 121
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

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

Words for “Tomorrow”

“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

For every newborn that is born, there are numerous hopes and dreams as well as love radiating in their parents’ eyes. Each newborn has their own story behind them. While some enter a loving home from birth; few others face a home of “differences” and some even face tragedy or misfortune from the cradle on. Yet for every child or newborn; there is a prayer and wishes running in the mind of the adults that they meet, from parents to guardians as well as grandparents, relatives, neighbourhood, community and society on the whole.

“Children are not casual guests in our home. They have been loaned to us temporarily for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built.” James Dobson

Children are the roots of the society. Without them, the very root of the social and adult existence holds no meaning once when their own time runs out. For every child of the future, boy or girl; certain pertinent lessons are learnt directly or incidentally so as to brave the future society and world on the whole.

“When you hold your baby in your arms the first time, and you think of all the things you can say and do to influence him, it’s a tremendous responsibility. What you do with him can influence not only him, but everyone he meets and not for a day or a month or a year but for time and eternity.” Rose Kennedy

Earnestly hope for every young mind to master any craft, art or any undertaking that they love, regardless of their position, background or education received; so that their own hands can always feed, cloth and shelter them.

Hope that every young mind will see at least a little world in order to stop regretting their own land, understand that since the time of the fall everything is about the same as well as know that “the grass is not always greener on the other side”. What matters more is what one does with that grass or land; water to let the “green prosper” or let it stand still to wither from the elements of time, weather and season, without care or nurture.

“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” Charles R. Swindoll

Patiently learn to endure and combat physical as well as mental pain; learning to handle it and temper them such that they are dealt with in the right manner; trying in the process to not inflict the same or as little as possible to cause pain for others.

Foresee that money though a necessity of life, doesn’t bring happiness and peace along with it, if it is made the central part of lives. Money has it’s worth as long as one can use it for harmony, peace and spread kindness through it, not for the lone purpose of one’s own selfish interests or betterment. Money when shared right an just, increases it’s value more, both as materialistic realities as well as mental happiness and peace of mind. The more attached we become to money, the more collared one becomes.

“Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence.” Plato

Keep family and fellow beings as the highest priority. Happiness lives within and is encompassed of the simple things of life. The roots lie in the strong sense of love, respect, understanding and kindness that one holds for the other. Family, community and society is a network interlocked with the other and self. When one “standing block” stumbles, it will fall on the rest to hold it up so that the roots and the foundation can be set up again. Elements of nature and time will always weather one down; but when the lattice stays strong, the mind flourishes and the land prospers. For the grid to be strong, every element matters, including own and immediate others.

Hold deep respect for knowledge, sacrifice, history as well as forefathers of the past. On arrival at any prosperous event in life, to remember with grace, dignity and respect of the sacrifices, teachings as well as advice of the elders of generations past and senior. Whether they be better or worse than us during their times or even if they have lived their ways and days different, learning to be silent and listen does a lot of personal good for now and later. Listening with respect and learn to accept and regard advice wisely. While some may have been there readily, others have imperceptibly and subtly influenced the course of events.

“To be a good father and mother requires that the parents defer many of their own needs and desires in favor of the needs of their children. As a consequence of this sacrifice, conscientious parents develop a nobility of character and learn to put into practice the selfless truths taught by the Savior Himself.” James E. Faust

Most importantly and above all, hold true to the Faith, beliefs and ideals as per His Word. Doing right is and has always been as well as will be difficult. Wrong is wrong and sin is sin, no matter the way we project, clothe or explain it. True faith is never light. It involves a lot of self effort, introspection as well as humility to work towards one’s betterment and follow the right ideals of life. Diligence, loyalty, respect, love, faith, kindness, humility and generosity are few of the fruits of the Spirit which form a part of the core fulcrum to live one’s life to the fullest.

“Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society.” Benjamin Franklin

Every parent, guardian and elder wishes that these were few of the lessons that children learned in life; so that they grow to lead independent, wise and life rich in worthiness, fullness and remain happy. Although one underlying fact stays strong and true;what one knows one will impart. Unless as adults, we learn to do the same; how can children be taught to do better. For every child to do well; as adults, guardians, parents and society as a whole should strive to improve each day in the right way, manner and principles that Faith, Time and Life teaches us again and again.

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Frederick Douglass.

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

Of Request and Trust

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” ( Phillipians 4:6)

From the very early years of childhood, the concept of prayer has been taught, explained and seen. Through the Scriptures, prayer has been a form of request, supplication, thanksgiving, forgiveness, help and many more. Prayer is the way in which one puts their complete trust and faith in His Love, His Guidance, His Mercy as well as ask for His Hands to be over us at all times.

“But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me.” (Psalm 22:19)

 

Yet man being man, the innate nature of trying to control every outcome to his own plan and purpose, little realizing or often forgetting that we ourselves are a part of His Plan. In fact, our lives are such that whichever way we go or whatever purpose or aim we try to reach, unless it is governed by His Will, all attempts or successes are in vain and in the long run, come to naught.

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.” (Ephesians 3:16)

While man tries to define everything by rational thinking, controlling of the causes and nurture by evidence based principles, put on the armour of reasoning, facts, logic and proved theories; not all things happen by those clauses. Many a time, one is forced to revise the “proved” of find a reason to define the change. In stead, when one learns to combine these facts, logic and realism with faith in the His Will, one eventually realizes that good things do happen at His right time. Doing so, in the long run, the final outcome may be beyond our wildest expectations. One needs to work and pray, doing their own share of effort, burning one’s own energy and sweat for their purpose or aims in life; but always request in prayer to let our will be in accordance with His Will and His Purpose. When one starts putting this ideology in practice, one discovers that this path will be difficult. For to live by the principles of both Faith and Trust is never easy; yet the final fruit goes beyond one’s own imagination.

“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.” (Psalms 18:32)

 

One monk planted an olive tree and began to pray: “Lord, send rain to my tree.” And the Lord sent rain upon the earth. The tree was saturated with moisture, and the monk continued to pray: “And now, Lord, I ask you to send a lot of sunshine – my tree needs warmth.” And the Lord sent the sun. The tree grew. The monk continued to pray for him: “Lord, send a little frost to strengthen the roots and branches.” The Lord sent a frost and …. the tree died. The monk was very upset. He went to another monk to tell his story and share sorrow.

“I also have an olive tree, look,” another monk replied. His tree has grown beautifully. “But I prayed differently. I told God that He is the Creator of this tree and knows better what is needed for him. I just asked God to take care of him.”
This also applies to us. We often ask for what we think we need. But only the Lord knows what we need. Trust Him completely!
– Rus Svyataya

“If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” ( 1 Peter 4:11)

 

Posted in Christian, Daily, Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes

Midsummer…Another Chance

“Oh, the summer night,
Has a smile of light,
And she sits on a sapphire throne.”
– Barry Cornwall

With midsummer this weekend, the knowing that summer is coming to a close is acknowledged deep inside. Change is always happening, either in small degrees or in mighty moves. All the same, it’s the aftermath and the consequences that highlight the events.

While Midsummer is celebrated as the longest day of the year as the Summer Solstice; it has a rich history of centuries old tradition especially in the Northern Hemisphere as a time for community based festivals and bonfires as well as the feast day of the early Christian martyr St. John the Baptist.

 

As the Christian community prepares to commemorate this day, neighbourhood and community as well as the Church prepares for the feast if St. John. The 4th century A.D. Christian Church had established this day, in honour of the birth of the Saint John the Baptist, which as recorded in the Gospel had been six months before the birth of Christ. Accordingly the Feast of Saint John (Saint John’s Day) was celebrated at midsummer, exactly sixth months before the nativity. additionally as St. John prepared the way before Christ, his words “He must increase, but I must decrease”( John 3:30) is symbolized by the fact that the “sun begins to diminish at the summer solstice and eventually increases at the winter solstice.”

Marked by varied traditions and celebrations around the globe like processions of ships down the Danube (Austria), quadrilha of Brazil, light great fires (Canada), maypole dances (Sweden for instance) to list a few; midsummer is marked by highlighting the life and plays on St. John the Baptist as well as celebrations of fireworks, bonfires and dances. The pre-Christian Era had seen similar celebrations, primarily as a pagan ritual as well as marking the end of the summer farming season.

“In summer, the song sings itself.” William Carlos Williams

 

Midsummer, this year brings to mind, the fact that six months will be soon gone by. Has the time passed been of “inner value or gain” for one’s betterment ? Has the time gone by, resulted in the growing of the True Path and His Way within; or are we still clamoring for material gains and worldly pleasures ? The answer is need for one’s self alone and not for the appeasement or gratification of others. Once we realize the truth, making the change soon would be better before the year comes to an end by it’s own time.

“Peacefully
The quiet stars came out, one after one;
The holy twilight fell upon the sea,
The summer day was done.”
– Celia Thaxter

 

“It is God in the house when the curtains lift gently at the windows, and a young child sucks his itching gums.
We do not understand the mysteries of God.
God the winter. Summer, Septembers.
Moody dark tones of fathers dying.
The splash and laughter.
Children playing.”
– Ellease Southerland

Posted in Christian, Daily, Family and Society, Life, Reflections

“Situational Awareness” From Within

“This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.” (Philippians 1:9)

With the long weekend off from work and the longing to go somewhere new, the whole joint family, with grandparents, children and all of us “working adults” found ourselves onward to the nearest hill station for an impromptu getaway. While exploring the national parks, wildlife boat rides as well as the mini treks, the constant checking if everyone was there, paying attention to those around us as well as what was going on. Today on reflecting the events of the past few days, the realization of how we were all silently practising the art of “situational awareness” had come as a surprise. The sad truth is the time such that the world we live in; it isn’t safe anymore.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)

 

The concept of “situational awareness” has been drilled into military, law and order as well as defense to be their second nature. Yet with changing times, the more we see or hear of the current scenarios, the gravity and need for “being awake and alert” with every situation from a very young age arises. the everyday life demands that the consideration of the complexity of people, relationships, bills, jobs and responsibilities. One needs to have an innate awareness of their surroundings no matter how engrossing the task at hand may be or whether one is in a hurry. Even if cellphones are at hand, earphones on or if one is prepared; unless one stays awake, alert and aware, things may go out of hand.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? ” (1 Corinthians 6:19)

 

Situational awareness doesn’t exist based on physical, social or emotional front alone, but also on a spiritual level. Going downhill may take only a few moments, the struggle lies in going upwards and in the right way. The honest, true and just way is never easy. To fall into traps, snares and temptations along the journey in life can happen in a single moment, yet the ramifications can be huge, irreversible and regrettable. Which is why constant renewal of faith through His Word is necessary in these times.

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” (John 16:13)

Prayer should echo the desire for increasing discernment with respect to the who, what, where and why of the situation. Going to the extreme of “being aware” would result in a load of worry, skepticism as well as unrest within. Instead seek His Word, His Wisdom and Guidance so as to remove the blinders from our eyes and see the complete picture around us. The best way of living would be when our lives springs from within with the awareness of God. Doing so would enable us to be “situationally aware” at all fronts of physical, social, emotional, mental as well as spiritual levels. Each one is given one life to live. While chances may be between few or many, it’s how we change situations or use them while being “alert and aware” is what matters the most. Just like time can never be reversed, life goes on always.

“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.” ( Proverbs 26:4)