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

Knowing that Secret

Looking back on the past couple of weeks, there were pretty simple but quite startling revelations. One among them was the fact that one could find themselves with plenty of things to be thankful about. Finally the last couple of weeks saw the garden being worked on, children being read to bead by both parents, time for a family musical drama , the old knitting which never saw it’s story being knitted out was ready and a whole lot more. What more, there was quite a lot of things to do in the checklist being worked out and completed.

Through this all, while the urge to go out and be “in the social nows” was there in the initial few days, those feelings and perceived necessities had quickly winded down. Instead one was able to find plenty to do, along with their “work from home options” or otherwise.

For those of us us, who had the worst chain of circumstances being experienced by them, they had learnt to adapt and chose what was left in their hands and make a better chance from what was left, and go with the flow. Most important of all, one learnt to appreciate with being given something to hold on to in each and every situation, even if that something was hope alone.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:12)

For man, each day is a sojourn of something new. Being in the constant search, we sometimes forget to take a pause and breathe out in and see the world around us. Missing out on the reality of the now, in the hunt for the something better for tomorrow results in plenty of bitter lessons a little late to comprehend and understand. Ironically once we attain whatever that has caught our fancy earlier, it no longer holds the wonder of then now. In our own insatiable hunger for more, our assumption is that “now is never enough”.

In certain arenas, one does need to hunt for a lot more. It could be to be better at their own professional field, their personal dreams and the like. Yet once we forget to stop every now and then, and smell the roses around us; all this pursuit may end in vain when explored form other different but quite interesting and important angles. By then, time has passed and hindsight can be a real pain. On our own, we do pursue desperately something or whatever we think will satisfy us; until then the next thing comes along and we run behind it, once we realize that the previous objective wasn’t that good. Some instances, that discontent is a another form of anxiety or a shield to hide us from the reality and face the situation.

Ironically it is once we learnt to experience what we had feared once the most, to appreciate what one has truly within their hand in the present. While it may be important in the better path for tomorrow, pursuit of the same shouldn’t make us shed off the mantle of being content and purposeful within the now. As the His Words and His Love have shown us, to be content in each and every situation is when we learn to embrace His Love, His Grace and His Mercy. For those alone will help us face every situation, be they wonderful or dire. For through Him, we get our strength for the worst of the days, whenever they come by. Knowing this secret alone, is what keeps the unrest at bay. By this, the inner contentment grows and the world of now shows a much clear path for a bright tomorrow.

“11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13)

Posted in Christian, Stories Around the World

Of Beatitudes, Grace and Gratefulness

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)

Reflecting on the happenings of the last week, the fact that one was truly blessed struck deep within. At a time when the global crisis is still creating unrest, discovering this feeling gives a deep sense of peace within. Counting on the gifts of having our loved ones with us, a roof above our heads, family both near and distant safe so far as well as enough food to get by, these simple things when at hand, are enough to get on our knees and thank Our Maker above.

Yet on the other hand, there are among all of us, those who may have lost everything. Whether the loss be family, friends, jobs or even the comfort of the daily life; know that one is truly blessed in having the gift of life given to them. While the loss may never be replaced, the realization is that we have had those blessings for this long may offer some solace to the restless mind. And that, we still have the gift to breathe the air of today. 

“No matter what happens, always be thankful for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

While in the crisis we go on our knees, asking for His Help, His Mercy and His Comfort; let us not forget to thank Him for the gifts provided till the present hour. As life has shown us, some things no matter how hard we try, will never be in our complete grasp. Though man may never command, our Lord above can.

When we pray on bended knees, let us know to remember this little wonders of the Blessings and Gifts received so far. Let both the angels travel to Him with not only our prayers of requests, hopes and wants; but also our sincere prayers of thankfulness for His Love, His Kindness and His Mercy.

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (1 Chronicles 16:34)

There were two angels living in heaven. One of them was always resting, and the other was constantly traveling from earth to God.
The resting angel asked the other:
– Why are you flying all the time from here to there?
– I am carrying the messages from people to God which start with these words: Dear God, help… And why are you resting all the time?
– Well, I have to carry the messages to God which start with these words: I thank you Lord…

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

Sip from the Saucer

One of the quarterly church retreats was held at a tea estate a day’s journey away. On arrival we were all greeted by a steel tumbler of tea in. a wide bowl ( more like a cup of tea and saucer). With the tea being piping hot, it was custom to pour a little out into the accompanying bowl and sipped from therein. This custom reminded me of the days of my grandmother wherein hot tea was sipped from the saucer. The rule at the estate was to refill the tumbler of tea when reached to half level, unless the guest had requested to stop. Watching the morning sky, one couldn’t help but be thankful for His bountiful Blessings and His Mercy as our cup overflows.

“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” (Psalms 23:5)

Looking beyond the present, when one tries to count own blessings, is when the realization of how blessed one is begins. Though the modern world may set up plenty of benchmarks on the definition of success, achievement and progress; the most important thing is to count our own blessings. Looking behind one realizes that one may have reaped more than sown, or that while the planning may haven’t happened as desired; one wouldn’t exchange the present for anything else in the world.

“For you the cup isn’t half full or half empty, you’re always topping it up.” Rowena Cory Daniells

Though our troubles are hot at times, as we learn to pour it out into His Hands, we realize that our burdens are lightened. The fallacy of human nature is that one realizes how blessed one is, mostly at times of deep introspection. The trouble one takes less time to reflect on oneself and more time is spent on running the wild goose chase. Each of us have been blessed in our special way. Knowing that is important, for as our cup gets filled with His Love; learning to appreciate it and experience them, is what makes our lives enriched and beautiful.

Drinking From The Saucer
by John Paul Moore

I’ve never made a fortune,
And I’ll never make one now
But it really doesn’t matter
‘Cause I’m happy anyhow

As I go along my journey
I’m reaping better than I’ve sowed
I’m drinking from the saucer
‘Cause my cup has overflowed

I don’t have a lot of riches,
And sometimes the going’s tough
But with kin and friends to love me
I think I’m rich enough

I thank God for the blessings
That His mercy has bestowed
I’m drinking from the saucer
‘Cause my cup has overflowed

He gives me strength and courage
When the way grows steep and rough
I’ll not ask for other blessings for
I’m already blessed enough

May we never be too busy
To help bear another’s load
Then we’ll all be drinking from the saucer
When our cups have overflowed

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

The Search for the “why”

As the world around us reels from the pandemic, one is conflicted by numerous emotions through the day. From struggling to provide for family or self to trying to keep down own job, managing the domestic front, worrying about loved ones, surviving through the lock-down and quarantine period, coping with the loss and death; grief, worry, fear and uncertainty clouds the minds. To deal with all these, one may put on a silent front or a litany of rants and raves; while others may seek solace in their hobbies, comfort of His Spirit or just put on the shutters in their mind. Whichever way it may be, each one of us have our own struggle each day.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

Across the continents, as more and more get infected; the thought of the whys of this events always lies buried in the mind. At the end, as questions mount, authorities gear up and media brings the news to the front-line, society watches and wonders as to why these events had escalated to the present point. For those with no contact history or living in places where community spread is rampant, each day is a living nightmare. Some find comfort, while others face irreplaceable loss. Through all this, His Existence is questioned.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Roman 12:2)

Unfortunately what one must realize is that these bad days, have always been a part of history. For those of us with great-grandparents, grandparents or parents who had served during the wars, various accounts of the past memories would have had similar tones of the stress seen today. Yet through all this, God has been there during good and bad times as well.

What makes each day different, is how we gear up our own Faith and lean on His Word to find solace, comfort, peace and hope. Regardless of the whys, hows, whats, wheres or ifs; one must seek out the courage lying deep within and take His Help to face each hour as they come by. For that is the gift of Faith and His Love ever present over the generations of then, the now and henceforth.

A university professor asked his students a question:”Does everything that exist was created by God?”
One student answered bravely:” Yes, created by God.”
“Did God create everything?” asked the professor.
“Yes, Sir,” the student answered.
Professor said, ” If God created everything, that means that God created evil, because it exists. And according to this principal, the things we do determine who we are, that means – God is evil.”
The student got quiet after hearing that answer. Professor was very happy with himself. He boasted to the students, that he proved once again that God is a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said,” Can I ask you a question, professor?”
“Of course,” professor answered.
The student got up and asked:Professor, does cold exist?
– Of course it exists. Didn’t you ever get cold?
Students laughed at the question of the young man.
The young man answered: “Actually, Sir, cold doesn’t exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider to be cold truthfully is the absence of heat. You can study a person or a thing according to its ability to transfer energy. An absolute zero (-460 degrees according to Fahrenheit) is a complete absence of heat. The whole substance becomes inert and unable to react in that temperature. Cold doesn’t exist. We created that word to describe what we feel at the absence of heat.”

The student continued: Professor, does the darkness exist?
– Of course it exists.
– “You are wrong again, Sir. The darkness also doesn’t exist. Darkness is actually the absence of light. We can study the light, but not the darkness. We can use the prism of Newton to expand the white light into many colours and study the different lengths of the waves of each colour. You can’t measure the darkness. A simple ray of light can burst into the world of darkness and light it up. How can you find out, how dark is some kind of a space? You measure the quantity of light submitted. Isn’t it? Darkness is an understanding which people use to describe something that happens in the absence of light.”

Finally, the young man asked the professor: ” Sir, does evil exist?”
The professor timidly answered: – Of course, as I have already said. We see it every day. Cruelty among the people, lots of crimes and violence around the world. These examples are nothing other than the manifestations of evil.
The student answered to this: ” Evil doesn’t exist, Sir, at least, it doesn’t exist for itself. Evil – is just an absence of God. It is similar to darkness and cold, created by people, to describe the absence of God. God didn’t create evil. Evil is not the faith or love, which exists like light and heat. Evil – is the result of absence of Godly love in a human heart. It’s like the cold, which comes when there is no heat, or like the darkness, which comes when there is no light.”

These words left the professor speechless.

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

With His Hand

One of the early evenings at home, there was a sudden inspiration to start off a new recipe. Unfortunately it required quite a bit of milk. So there was an impromptu trip to the local grocers’. Leaving a child alone at home wasn’t an option, so he had tagged along. It’s only when we ventured onto the sidewalk, the realization of a “busy road” was understood. With heavy traffic on one side, road construction still going on and plenty of feet on the sidewalks, it was a huge rush that one could be lost in. So holding hands ( not the norm’ for a seven year old) we had crossed the road. While nothing eventful happened, the smaller hand held on securely for the fear of getting lost in the crowd was upper most in the mind.

“Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?” (Amos 3:3)

During the walk together, holding hands ensured that both went along the same path, keeping an eye on the road, the pile of pebbles or gravel alongside and watching for any construction pits nearby. When a car takes a sudden detour, it was the restraining by the hand that caused one to look up and stop or watch their step. Such is the love of our Father. He just requires us to hold His Hand as we walk ahead.

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”(Micah 6:8)

To walk with Him requires us to follow the same direction as He Goes. His Ways are defined by His Word, as the Scriptures teach us the same. The best part as we walk with Him is the feeling of safety, His Love, His Grace and His Care that surrounds us completely. In the event that one may stumble or fall into the pits, His Hand would reach out to hold us back or guide us through the stumble; such that we feel safe and loved once again. As the toddler who feels secure with his parents or carers, such is the security and love that one feels when God walks with us. Such walks are to be treasured and priceless gifts of time and love that life gifts us.

Walk With God
by Ellen Bailey

When you walk with God, you can do anything
It doesn’t matter what problems life may bring
You may have your days of ups and downs
But if you call out, He’ll be around

When you walk with God, your heart will sing
From the love and joy His presence brings
Your path will be clear, for He is the light
But you must walk with faith and not by sight

When you walk with God, you join a Holy Team
The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is what I mean
They will shower you with an abiding faith
And fill your heart with love and not with hate

Posted in Christian, Daily, Personal Musings

Being “Here”

“Mom, I’m here.”
This loud announcement are the first few words that we often hear, especially on return from that grocery trip (minus kids), a weekend vacation of kids with their grandparents, just coming back home from work or them coming back home. These words carry tons of emotions, thousands of feelings and memories. Just the other day, my elder cousin was saying that with kids at college, she missed hearing those words.

These words “I’m here” often run out of use towards the adult years. While as children, the eagerness to be around those they love runs high. The spontaneity and zest with which they face life, in all her situations, signal how those innocent minds just embrace life. Those words signify their welcome back into their own fold, the reassurance that they are still here and the fact that they want to be back home. As one grows older by years, these words are said more often to indicate a location especially when to reassure the other that one is near.

As per the early accounts in the Scriptures, when Moses saw the burning bush and Lord called out to him, the first words were “Here I am”. Likewise were the similar words said by the prophet Samuel when the Lord said his name. Those words “Here I am” signify their willingness to put aside all their work, tasks of that moment and worries. Then they paid attention and heeded His Words.

“When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” ” (Exodus 3:4)

As the years go by, we often dedicate ourselves to too many things. Some are long desired tasks, some that belong to the requirement of the moment and some that we unnecessarily burden ourselves with. When we say “we’re here”, the mind still runs over the silent cycle of worries, never devoting ourselves wholly to the activities or words of that hour. Many a time, the same is echoed when we seek help. When we read His Word, how many of us actually comprehend and understand His Teachings, than just trying to read them. Many of us often may drift off in the mind and thoughts as we gather in His House or as we pray. Learning from those young minds, let their joyous “I’m here” be echoed through our actions and thoughts as we devote few of our minutes of our days in learning His Word or just simply being in His Presence.

Posted in Christian, poetry, Reflections

His Gift

“He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'”(Luke 24:6-7)

As the early rays streaked across the skies, giving dawn it’s beauty; the magnificence resonated with the gift of His Love. As written in the scriptures, the resurrection of Christ brings to light the second chance given by God to man.

From being a living hope to forgiveness for the mistakes committed by man, Easter signifies God’s mercy, love and forgiveness for His people. Realizing that, one should not let this blessing of second chances go to waste. And if one chance is lost, sincere regret would let one regain hope and an opportunity to receive as well as live His Gift again.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3)

The Gift of Easter
by Bill Marshall

Upon a hill between two thieves
they hung Christ on a tree.
They mocked Him and they tortured Him,
for everyone to see.

They nailed a sign above His head,
this is the “King of Jews.”
Then one thief said, “If this is true,
save both of us and you.”

And as the people watched Him there,
the rulers sneered at Him.
This sacrificial Lamb of God,
he took our place for sin.

“Forgive them Father” was His prayer,
“because they do not know.”
You sent me here to do this task,
give sin a final blow.

Christ paid a debt He did not owe,
for a debt we could not pay.
He gave his life upon that cross,
so we may live someday.

To see Him on His heavenly throne,
to see Him in His glory.
To give Him honor, to give Him praise,
to sing “The old, old story.”

Oh think of that great love Christ had,
to give His life for me.
To shed His blood, to pay the price,
in all humility.

To take my sin upon Himself
and pay that debt for me.
By this great deed and by His word,
I know I am set free.

Set free from sin, set from guilt,
set free from Satan’s power.
Set free to overcome these things,
the trials of this hour.

Then joy throughout the universe,
the joy of that third day.
Christ conquered death, He rose again.
That stone was rolled away.

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)