Posted in Christian, Family and Society, poetry, Reflections

Shades of Red

Gazing out at the fiery evening sky brings to mind the words of Francis Bacon, “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” Reality wise, it mayn’t be so. Even as the sun rises or sets, we carry over the fury to the next hour, knowing or not. Only when the dust settles quite late, does one realize the futility of holding onto that strong emotion of “anger”. Truth is then, at the moment of restless and fury, that anger was what felt right.

Certain scenarios in life justify expression of “anger”. Own credit transferred to the senior or colleague, inability of the other person to listen, the same error going on complete loop are just a couple of many scenarios that eventually trigger the anger wire. Sometimes it is this anger and injustice that keeps the inner flame burning, allowing one to move on. Yet this “anger” can cause one to combust and burn own self to embers. Such is the power of anger. Contrary to what most say, as per the writing as by experts in this field, often express the opinion that anger should never be stored away or stewed away. It needs to addressed and expressed in the right manner. And finally it needs to settle down, so that one regains the normal balance of own.

“26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:26-27)

Like the two edged sword that it is, anger needs to be used in the right manner and also let gone back into the folds of time. Dragging these shades of red, over and over again, makes one lose out on the brilliance and vibrancy of the other colours around us. True that being humane, things happen and one feels the anger. One needs to acknowledge, address it, reason it, use it to better own self but never to feed it, so this beast consumes us from within. If and when this anger festers, give vent to it in private, journal it and pray for strength and patience for the soul to calm down. For taunts and rebukes never help but self-destructs. Hold fast and hold true to the soul, for this phase of “anger” shall too pass. As the anger fades into the night, the next morning shines clear and bright, for a better tomorrow.

How Clear, How Lovely Bright
A.E.Houseman

How clear, how lovely bright,
How beautiful to sight
Those beams of morning play;
How heaven laughs out with glee
Where, like a bird set free,
Up from the eastern sea
Soars the delightful day.

To-day I shall be strong,
No more shall yield to wrong,
Shall squander life no more;
Days lost, I know not how,
I shall retrieve them now;
Now I shall keep the vow
I never kept before.

Ensanguining the skies
How heavily it dies
Into the west away;
Past touch and sight and sound
Not further to be found,
How hopeless under ground
Falls the remorseful day.

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

Splash of Promise

Improvisation is a must, especially when running a houseful of tiny feet. This subtle fact is realized, when off-hand promises are called into account. When guile doesn’t help, it’s time to bring out the big guns and aim for a happy outcome. Alas, real life, especially for us big ones, it doesn’t always happen so.

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favour and honour; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” (Psalm 84:11)

Each of us may have had our fair share of promises. As the years go by, we realize that some mayn’t be kept as duly when said; while others may happen over time, albeit in a manner such that the snail may go at a faster pace. Yet many a time, we just let those words go fade away, for the mind and the heart feel those words would stay in the infinite emptiness.

Nevertheless when those believed to be empty promises do happen, the first feeling that swamps through is the gift of His Grace. Once this is known, the feeling of awa and surprise lights up within the self. In building our plans or going by our regular, we often tend to overlook the fact that there is He supreme above all of us. Every now and then, as we are shown, His Love and His Grace has the power and gift to dissolve the stones across the path or give us strength to chart a new route. His Promises hold true for those with His Faith, whether it be smaller than a mustard seed. The strong belief and faith that each of our rainbows will come in our due time, would bring in the light to chase away the shadows of uncertainty. And when the mind is being weighed by those unfulfilled promises, know that each of us will have our share our share of His Rainbow, all we need to do is to survive through the torrential rains or gales, whichever way it may be. Till then, hold true, pray deep, preserve on, buckle down and let His Love and Strength lift us from within.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”(James 1:17)

God’s Rainbow
by Author Unknown
The falling rain dissolves into mist
And the thunder begins to die
As the sporadic lightning fades
An arch of color pours from the sky.

Rainbows appear after mighty storms
When things look their worst
Just when the sky is darkest gray,
Out of Heaven does a rainbow burst.

God first sent the rainbow to Noah
As a sign that His word is true
The rainbow’s eternal message
Still speaks to me and you.

The rainbow is a sign of God’s promise
That He will guide us through any storm
That He will ease all our troubles,
No matter what their form.

When you feel battered by life’s storms
And you are filled with doubt and dismay
Just remember God’s rainbow is coming,
For it’s blessing you have only to pray.

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Posted in Christian, Family and Society, Reflections

Remedy of a Kind

An unfortunate accidental brush with the hot skillet, lead to a speedy escape to the cabinet in the washroom, wherein the hunt was on for the red capped tube among the toiletries. After washing with running water and applying a thick salve of toothpaste, the sting from the burn had significantly come down. Giving an internal whisper of thanks, that tube of toothpaste had become a lifesaver of sorts. This ready remedy had saved a trip to the town clinic.

“The punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

Prone to making mistakes, some of our errors are due to lack of sight or erratic movements, often termed as “being clumsy”. Though sometimes, those mistakes are quite painful to bear and deal with it. Each of us at some point throughout our lives have felt pain. When the pain is physical, we reach for that salve; yet when the pain becomes more of an emotional or inner turmoil, to lessen the pain is no easy feat. One needs plenty of courage, inner strength and time to heal through those wounds.

Every now and then, sin infects each of us. It may leave a stinger behind as it’s mark or cause the rash of inner unrest and troubled thoughts which may precipitate in a couple of days. Facing the after-effects of the latter makes us enter the slow though vicious cycle of pain and grief. Pain of this sort, happens on two fronts. First is when we bring it forth onto those around us and second is when we bear the effect of it, as a consequence of actions, which have happened towards us whether they be direct or indirect. Either way, we deal with the pain and disease of sin, causing it or bearing the brunt.

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace…” (Ephesians 1:7)

Surprisingly the balm for this sort of problems are always found in His Word. As the Scriptures teach us, the vicious cycle and effect of sin, isn’t easy to break. It tends to leave the burn behind, making the pain and their reminders affect us then on. By the gift of His Love and power of His Grace, we get healed from the effects of sin. Though for this to happen, one should learn to identify the burn of the sin. When we believe in His Word, the sickness brought on from sin and its vices, are removed by His Healing Power and the restlessness within is squelched. To experience the healing salve, we tend to identify the pain and the fact that it’s there. Then we address the problems.

While the pain may recede by the power of His Love in a couple of days; other situations it may take weeks to months to heal from it completely. Whether it may take a lifetime to learn to recognize the burns, teat and address them; the need to do has to arise from within. For His Love always awaits us. It is we who need to start on that hunt for the remedy, as we chose to treat the pain by the power of His Grace and His Mercy. But taking the first step, lies in our hands alone. Unless one does so, the experiences and the richness of life then on, will not be an experience of reality but a much awaited and anticipated dwam of sorts.

“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

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

Through the Way

With the season getting a little busy few miles down at the my in-laws farm and relatively less helping hands, we had decided to pitch in for the next one week. Since the work-from-home mode was still in effect and on turn this week, shifting the venue of work, involved a few hassles but was done. In due process, the first venture was getting the morning chores done. From cows being milked, eggs collected for the market and goats fed fodder, time just runs on the farm. Watching the young calves get on their feet and the chicks follow their mama and accepting their first few steps into the new world, makes one realize that life has few cycles of it’s own and we shall all survive it.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Walking on the built roads and the steady worn down paths, helps one see the fields ahead. But to explore the woods, paths don’t necessary tell us all about the hidden treasures within the woods. Experiences in life are akin to the well trodden roads through the fields or the untrodden paths in the forest. Each person has their own tales of travels and survivals. What may seem trivial for one mayn’t be so for the other. Yet through all this, the common thread is that, we all will prevail.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” ( 2 Corintihians 5:7)

As read time and again through the Scriptures, what may be uncharted waters for one mayn’t be so for God. As weave our own way through my experiences in our lives, knowing that His Grace is watching our step on those untrodden paths and will catch us when we fall, is what give one the Faith to put one step in front of the other. Across all these paths and roads, known or unknown as we let Faith help us find our way, one realizes that one is never alone.

Letting His Grace and our Faith work within us, is always what takes us through all “these downs and the ups” in life. As we cross one hurdle after the other, the realization that nothing is impossible, especially when we work through Him. Though small, but highly potent Faith and history has always taught us, that we will prevail, as long as we believe.

“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:38)

There is a difference between a soaring bird,
That surrendered to the power of the air masses,
And that one, in the direction of the flying one, –
Her keen eye is fixed on the target.

Here is the first fluff spinning,
Spread wings like a string,
As if it falls on a bed
And it rests from the works.

The second is tirelessly carried,
Although the headwind does not spare.
Mighty flow, but the bird does not give up:
Contrary to obstacles flies.

There is a difference between those who are Floating
and thinks that they are moving forward,
Who have ceased to appreciate their salvation,
Whose habitation among the muddy waters –

And those who live only God every day,
Who does not surrender to storms and rains,
Who walks , but not sideways,
And the eye does not lead to the goal ahead.

Who, tired, does not go back
And does not cease to believe God,
But who multiplies prayers multiply,
To whom worldly dirt does not stick.

Who, like an eagle, does not hide in bad weather,
Whom and in a storm attracts height,
And for whom victory in God is happiness,
Who does not think his life without Christ.

There is a difference! Though inconspicuous today,
But only good will enter the granary.
Let’s draw strength in God’s Son,
Moving forward on the wings of faith!

Ermolova S.

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, 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, 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.