July 27, 2007

Thought From the Scripture : Provoking God

We are living in a age where sin burns and consumes people in their lusts and devices. In such a situation God has placed people like us who are supposed to live like Christians. Its like sheep surrounded by lions..we won't get harmed unless we wander out of the fold to see how 'beautiful' the mountains are.

We are placed in this world as Christians to be a testimony to the people around. But I personally think, living a true Christian life is the most difficult thing to achieve in this world and it is guaranteed that one cannot live a life up to the expectations of God without his much-needed help. Scripture instructs 'flee away from sin'.....that's when you start wondering what exactly does it mean to flee away? When you are alone and faced with the greatest weakness in your life it is very rare that you can escape from the sin safe...In such a situation you think..."Just once more...it'll be alright...anyway God is a gracious God, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy...well he will forgive me" ...knowing that this is not the first time you said such kind of a thing before falling into sin. That's when we start provoking God.

The people of Israel when they sinned willfully, the punishment upon them was not famine or drought but instant death. Even if they were caught breaking any of the laws, they were stoned to death.

The scripture says in Hebrews 10 : 26,27 "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, then there remains no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries."

I sill imagine is God really that strict? Though he is a righteous and holy God yet his compassion is so great! If I would count the number of times I sinned willfully....man! how on earth am I alive? The most severe punishment I would have got was a bad stomach pain or something like that.

the scripture further goes on to say in Hebrews 10 : 29 "....Of how mush sorer punishment suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under feet the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?"

The moment I read this verse I was deeply moved remembering that the verse strictly meant for people like me. I thank God that he still loves me and will never fail to do so.

The other day, my friend and I spent a lot of time discussing on this subject and the areas in our life where we fail. I thank God that he provided me such kind of a person who I could freely interact with and talk about the problems that I face. One thing that he told me that really pricks me when I am on the verge of falling...."Imagine what would God feel when I sin....He would be crying up there in Heaven...."

We are so shameless that we forget to cry for our mistakes but make God cry!! The Lord himself says "Vengeance belongeth to me, I will recompense it." If God would have revealed his true nature to us, which is hid by the blood of Christ, I doubt if I would have been there to write this article today.

Let's take a stand to say "NO" to sin and change our ways. I know it is easy to preach but extremely difficult to practice(at least in my case) and when it comes to our secret sins. Rather than provoking God through our sins lets ask God for his grace daily with a true heart to help us to carry on each day.

Agrawal Classes.....my 'XIIth' tension

A much hyped classes known generally for generating toppers...that's the thought every Agrawalite steps in the classes with. "One day, my name will be engraved along with the toppers in Agrawals"...these are the kind of thoughts everyone gets when they step into the classes for the first time. Nut faint they know that the aspiring thoughts will last for only a few weeks or say a few lectures till they realize ..."Am I really in the right place or am I stupid?" You start dividing your batch based upon their IQ level...than as friends. You start realizing that you are not smart enough to be with the brains neither can put in hard work i.e. studying for 5 - 6 hours!!!

So you mix around with both the groups hoping you will get the qualities of both.

Them comes the judging of the professors. As people normally say...you tend to develop a liking for those who are able to impress you the first time you meet them. Some turn out to be very good who can take you to another level of understanding along with fun and excitement. But there are others who really put you down or with whom you can't get along with; either they are too boring or you are too sleepy(remember we have to get up at 5:30am).

'9 : 50am'.....

"tring tring......' '........beep beep......'

"Come on leave us yaar...!!!....we have to eat!!!!"

.....the alarms start ringing.....restlessness mounts although there are still 10 minutes remaining of the break. During the break if you happened to go down to breathe in fresh air....you will find that the whole footpath is crowded with the hungry, vicious, nerdy animals....oops!!!...Agrawalites. The other day a passer by asked me whether there was a program or a party going on or what??...Can't he see that we are the aspiring loyal nerdy - yet hardworking hungry students of Agrawal Classes??

Tests are a once in a month affair and they never bother you except on the report card that is sent home.that's when the restrictions start. Well the tests are kind-a tuff with no optional questions. The worst part is that you have to give a test for around 7 to 8 chapters together and not just on subject but two!!!

You will rarely find people getting marks between 65% to 80%. It will either be more or less.well I fall in the latter!

That's Agrawal classes in short. An experience you will never forget and will always be profitable.

July 14, 2007

Praying in Hindi!!!

How would it feel when someone comes and tells you to pray in Hindi....when you are person who barely can pronounce Hindi the way it is supposed to be pronounced (you know that the best!!!!) .....or if you the kind of guy who always talks in English and always finds the opportunity to escape from someone who knows only Hindi......

It was Friday evening Prayer meeting in the church. We had a new person who joined us recently for the prayer meeting. Well he knew only Hindi and could understand only Hindi. My friend and I were sitting together with him. We never ever before prayed in Hindi. What should we do? We were in a big fix. We couldn't allow him to go and sit with others because well they didn't know him well and also he was knew in the church. We couldn't just abandon him. Took out a moment and then we decided to pray in Hindi.

Imagine being asked to talk in French when you just know only the ABC's of French. That was the same way we were feeling. My friend decided to open by taking the challenge and praying in Hindi. He prayed well though he prayed only about half the time he would normally pray. By that time my another friend came and he could pray in Hindi. I heaved a sigh of relief thinking that he would take him aside and pray with him separately. But no!!!! that didn't happen. He took his turn and continued the prayer time. All during his prayer I was preparing for my prayer...The big-big Hindi phrases that I never used even in my Hindi essays in school. Well it was my turn after him. I shrugged with a sense of doubt in myself and started my prayer...with long gaps in the middle I somehow managed to pray for at least one-fourth the time I normally pray. Though the Hindi was horrible....it was an experience never to be forgotten.

July 12, 2007

Revisiting seven/eleven

One year has past and yet those horrible sounds keep echoing in your minds. The bloody pictures of those people who fell a prey to those antisocial elements in our society, still are vibrant.Bodies after bodies just scattered apart on those tracks where 181 people met their earthly destiny.Chaos all around as the rest 1000 people watched knowing that they could have been one of them. Scars left behind in their mind never to be erased or healed till they meet the same destiny.

Just seconds after the plot succeeded hundreds of people were out there on those tracks placing those bricks back on the wall. through the smallest of the gaps they pulled out people who failed to open their eyes ever again.Soon help poured out from all the areas as though those people were your own blood. Unity undefined and yet so great kept alive the hopes of those who survived the blast.

Before the police and the ambulance, it was the media who got out there to that horrible site.'First Pictures' of those bloody scenes flashed across the screens of millions of people of which some watched their hopes die as time passed by. Investigations began as the blame-game slowly arose out there in the political chambers. Hospitals got crowded as thousands of people gathered to relive their lost hopes. Hundreds joined hands as they rushed to the hospitals to donate life to the dying. Hundreds of doctors worked overtime as patients kept pouring in. And it was evening and the day closed with a shimmering light yet burning in the hearts of the relatives of those 181 people.

A force greater than the force that ripped apart that train from its very strength brought together the city of Mumbai barred neither by religion nor creed nor caste nor sex. That night behind the scenes hundreds of people worked together to see that the city is back running on those very tracks very it once fell. Lets take out a minute to just salute all those who left their comforts and leisure to help those ailing and helpless victims of the seven/eleven blasts.

Though the city runs today, and the world keeps spinning again, hundreds of people are still out there who will never be able to live a normal life ever again. As you revisit every moment of that gruesome day, I'm sure that a chill will run down your spine.

"Why don't things happen the way you think that they should go?"

Why don't things happen the way you think that they should go? The other day I really had to take out time and answer this question. What is the purpose of all the things, the time I spend on perfecting it? All the hard work put into it just goes in waste...the mind and the creativity behind a project is all shattered when someone rejects your idea.

I think that God too had to take out time and answer this very same question at least once and most appropriately when his creation disobeyed him. That was the time God had to ask himself "What is the purpose of me creating mankind if they do not worship nor honour me. Man! these people are rebellious and if left on their own will surely never obey me. Didn't I have a wonderful plan for them? But they've have made their own plans. Ain't I the one who is all knowing, but they now think that they have become like me. Didn't I provide them with everything they wanted? Weren't they all sufficient? yet they coveted for that forbidden fruit! Did I make a mistake in making them??" I'm sure that God would have really questioned himself (though it is completely in man's perspective and contrary to God's character).

Why do people die or leave you when you think you are very close to them? Plans in life to get into this college, graduate in this field from a well known college, get into this job in this company, get married to this person and yeah all the other things that hurriedly follow.Well all these things do come into your mind but the moment you don't surrender your plans to the hand of God, its hard to say but you make God ask himself that very same question again!!

That’s where I fail and do fail many a times still. The day I go out on my own abilities that day I'm sure to fall.

The reason for this is as simple that you are interfering with what God has in store for you

It applies even for the things you do for God.The time and effort you spend behind it would all go in waste if it is not in the will of God.

I had to learn this the hard way and still do learn when I try to be the 'omnipotent one'. We had the monthly youth meeting started for the first time. My friend and I prepared a couple of new songs and practised well for it. Well since the program for the youth meeting was assigned to me, I took the whole responsibility of the meeting on myself and took pride in it too somewhere deep inside. But when the youth meeting started, it was like no one was even interested in singing those songs (though everyone looked forward to the games and the food more). Further incidents during the meet really tested my ego and my emotions. For the next few days, I was continually troubled with the thoughts. "Where did it all go wrong? Why wouldn't they cooperate? Why wouldn't they understand the hard work and efforts put behind preparing it? Why? Why??" But I never thought "Ha, I was the wrong man out there. I'm the one who is at fault. I was the one who insisted that the meeting should go the way I wanted it to go. I was the one who was becoming too selfish and not allowing God to work!" But praise God. After a couple of days God brought to light my faults and corrected me to the right way. had I allowed God to work & not my ego....well that day would have been a much more profitable than it was.

These times do come in our lives when we do not allow God to work through us and that’s when the problems start and all those self-questions. At these times we emotionally confront with our inner-self as a reflection on a mirror and begin to question ourselves..."Why don't things happen the way you think that they should go?"

July 09, 2007

What you wear?

It was a Friday prayer meeting...I like usual came 5 - 10 minutes late...

I saw one of my friends standing out waiting for his mom...He had gone out and had come directly to church...well he wasn't dressed well for the church.

I asked him why was he waiting out. He told me that he had to change. Well it sounded a bit weird because he didn't have to actually change. He was coming from out and though it was late he still decided to come. No one would say anything to him if he had worn what he was in at that time. Also he had a quite good excuse. But he didn't do so. He changed his attire and then came to church.

But if it was me in that place, I would have come in with all those excuses and made myself sound quite reasonable.

This incident really made me to look back and see where am I standing. How do I dress and come to church. For other places I can wear whatever I feel. But when I come in the presence of the Almighty God do I dress like that man who came to the wedding feast without a wedding dress? The punishment for that man was severe.

God wouldn't punish me at this time...yeah he is a gracious God...merciful and compassionate God...and anyway why is God so worried about my attire...It should be my heart that matters...na??? .....these are the excuses that everyone can make and personally I would've made.

We are living in times that give us freedom in everything. But can we misuse these freedoms in Church...???

God expects me to be a testimony to this world. What I wear is what the world knows me by. The decency I have in my attire is what separates me from this world...though my behavior and testimony play the major role.

Let's us look into our life and see wear do we fail in this areas. I was touched by this small incident, maybe you would too be....