Posted in Christian, Musique, Photography Art, Reflections

Chimes of the Day

“Christmas Bells”
I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men! by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

As the lights twinkle nearby, both above and nearby, they bring a Christmas different from the year previous. Instead of the usual family all pouring in, this year it would be a half and half, few of us together and the rest sharing in the joy from different parts of the world or even the same state or areas as well. Whichever way it may be, the essence of Christmas doesn’t change.

With the last minute preparations being completed, the candles are lit, ribbon-ed and christingles are completed; it all brings to the mind of the faith that things will always change for the better. As Christmas always reminds us of the unconditional love God had for each of us, bringing light into an otherwise dark world. Though the seasons change and winds may go against us, there’s always the hope that His Light gives. Even the dark cloudy skies have the occasional twinkle from the stars that lie in them. All one needs to do, is to hang on and do their bit; for the rest will come through.

“After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” (Mathew 2:9-11)

As this Christmas comes and will soon go by, to remember to carry on the message of love and peace is what is important. To make room in our hearts for those who need a hand. To know to cherish, support and love those around us. And above all, to always share a little bit of kindness along the way as we go across different paths is what brings the sparkle and peace to not not just the lives that go by us, but into our own as well.

As each Christmas says, let the spirit of love and goodwill always be a part and parcel of us, no matter how troubled or different times may be. For as always, love, hope and faith shall conquer all.

“Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad.”

“Music on Christmas Morning”

Music I love -­ but never strain
Could kindle raptures so divine,
So grief assuage, so conquer pain,
And rouse this pensive heart of mine -­
As that we hear on Christmas morn,
Upon the wintry breezes borne.

Though Darkness still her empire keep,
And hours must pass, ere morning break;
From troubled dreams, or slumbers deep,
That music kindly bids us wake:
It calls us, with an angel’s voice,
To wake, and worship, and rejoice;
-by Anne Brontë

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

“A”-Way we Go

With the sudden chill in the air, announcing the arrival of early winter showers; the sodden steps of the porch bore the evidence of the persistent rain overnight. Surprisingly the small backyard kitchen area wasn’t covered by wet pools; more likely that the winds of rain didn’t go that way. While wiping out the excess water from the porch steps; it brought to mind the directions that we go in our lives.

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” E.E. Cummings

Different people, different lives and situations and of course, winds that blow in varying directions and at odd times. Comparing life to a ship a sea is a familiar analogy that even non-avid readers (or as mildly known as keen newspaper readers) are familiar with. As always the analogy states, it’s about the outcome of how we get to the other side or the destination. It is the captain who mans the ship and sets the sails or the motor in motion, steering it, to reach the shore safe.

Switching the focus into each of our ships that we are a part of, the facts lie in not just how we steers but also in who guides us and gives us the inner courage and the will to forge ahead. In other words, who gives us the peace and calmness to the mind, heart and soul within each of us. That is the answer that one always seeks for. While a part of it lies in His abundant Grace and His Love, another part of the answers is what makes us whole. A part of it is the emotion of love, humaneness and kindness that binds together as a family, a unit, as friends or neighbours or makes the network or own social circle a welcome place to be in. Into the last month of the year, finding the will to steer and prepare ourselves to write or start off another segments in the life that we live.

The Set of the Sails
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

One ship drives east, and another west
With the self-same winds that blow;
‘Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
That decides the way to go.

Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
As they voyage along through life;
‘Tis the will of the soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

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 Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Random Thoughts

Contention

Each of us have one of those days wherein, the entire day starts off a sour note. The “what-ifs” and “if’s” plague us to the extent that one may have a couple of hours (or even days) of uncertainty, despair and anguish. While dwelling in it, things never make any sense at all. Later when the dust-storm settles down, things get a little clearer and the realization comes. The latter being that one has to either go with the flow, against or modify it to own heart’s content. The million dollar way out, is how to settle the storm within.

“It’s not always necessary to be strong, but to feel strong.” Jon Krakauer

Looking back, the sudden bout of “going downhill within” quite often stem from our own insecurities. Of whether what we have done so far, was any worth or whether we would be able to follow and do a little of our dreams in the near future. The hard fact is that these feelings are bound to stay and surface every now and then. The trick lies in not letting those “feelings” get ahead of us.

“So how to temper down the storm ?”

The answer never comes easy. But it helps never to forget how far one has come. The roots that we have come from and how far we have made it. Though the journey may hold many more miles ahead, to savour the success of the past and the present, no matter how small they may be, are important. The chart of our dreams need to be looked into again, to find our present standing in the map. Then we fold it, take a deep breath and dig out the shreds of will, strength and courage from within. Finally with one foot ahead of the other, the attempt to is made to find a way ahead. Though the gait may be shuffling in manner, the point is to try and be who we want to be. Not a mold of another, but who we are at heart.

As the phrase goes, “Accept that some days you are the pigeon, some days you are the statue” but the fact remains that one still holds the belief within that they can try. All it lies is not in giving up, but holding onto the flame within. As one reaches to the safe side and traces out those “storm days”, few of which may be buried deep in the recesses of the mind; the sheer survival of those dark hours gives strength to face the trials over time.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.” Henry David Thoreau

Be Who You Must Be
Diarmuid Cronin

I don’t know where you are on your path
I have never stood in your shoes
I see not with your eyes.
I know not what your purpose is here
In this stage of your evolution
But I feel blessed to know you
As you are not in my life by chance
And you are my teacher
As I hope you learn from me
I pray I show reverence to you
I pray not to judge you
I wish to let you be
Who you are
Who you dream of being
I will just be beside you
And watch you grow
And the day will come for sure
When we will know why
Our paths crossed this way
And until then my friend
Be who you must be

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)