Posted in Christian, poetry, Random Thoughts, Reflections

For an Answer

“Part of doing something is listening. We are listening. To the sun. To the stars. To the wind.” Madeleine L’Engle

Reaching home after work, is as always, a mad rush. After the new routine of “outdoor clean-up”, the usual tune is to run the maze between the study table, the kitchen and the laundry. Add to it, is the continuous movements of hands, each doing their own, to just settle the state of the house. Amidst all this, would be the occasional tug from below, “Mom did you see my new drawing?”, “Can I have cake for dinner?”, “Online session was so ‘bo-rrr-ing’ today!!” and the like. The automated response revolves around “how nice”, that’s wonderful to really !” Not to get me wrong, I do listen, but the initial hour or two, is solely to settle the house. Though these thoughts come with regret, sometimes one does wish that the first routine would be just to put our feet, and listen to listen to those young voices around us, and those that are within us.

“It takes a great man to be a good listener.” Calvin Coolidge

As always said and known, listening is a skill that is soon coming to be a rarity or a gift. The notion that no one has enough time has become a common chant, till it becomes ingrained in our minds as a reality. Truth we all have just enough time to do, what should be rightly done, not to do solely as per the dictates of society or profession. Among those “to-do” things is to learn to listen to those around us. Sometimes the big things in life come in very minute and quiet moments.

“Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;…” (Proverbs 2:2)

Noise and thoughtless clutter drives one away from own self. Each of us have our own prayers for help. But to feel them answered, one needs to listen and notice. Not everything in life comes with a “clang”. There are those gifts of life, that come best in the quiet moments. Amidst all the clatter around us, as we promise ourselves to listen to the gifts and blessings; life becomes a beautiful voyage wit each day being better than the previous. And this self-discovery is what gives buoyancy to the heart, mind and soul.

And A Meadowlark Sang
Ravindra Kumar Karnani

“The child whispered, ‘God, speak to me’
And a meadow lark sang.
The child did not hear.

So the child yelled, ‘God, speak to me!’
And the thunder rolled across the sky
But the child did not listen.

The child looked around and said,
‘God let me see you’ and a star shone brightly
But the child did not notice.

And the child shouted,
‘God show me a miracle!’
And a life was born but the child did not know.

So the child cried out in despair,
‘Touch me God, and let me know you are here!’
Whereupon God reached down
And touched the child.

But the child brushed the butterfly away
And walked away unknowingly.”
© 1999, Ravindra Kumar Karnani

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, 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, 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