December 06, 2008


The next moment stunned them. Scales of darkness began falling apart as bright sun rays shone into their eyes. They slowly opened their eyelids and to their wonder, they could see! Jesus had healed those two blind men! They looked around in awe and wondered at God’s creation. Their excitement knew no bounds!

“Amazing!” a rich man exclaimed, “Who could give a blind man his sight back save God? Maybe the Jesus they were talking about is God…”

“Those lucky guys! They are my best buddies. They first came and told me what Jesus did to them. Wow, they can actually see! I’ve been here with them for ages but I’ve never seen them so happy. It’s not that temporary-kind happiness. But it’s special! They have really experienced something beautiful. Take me to Jesus, I too want this happiness!” a beggar exclaimed.

“Yeah, those two men…they would sit over there in that ally. Man they had some miserable lives! But now…I just don’t know what’s happened to them. They can see! They said that Jesus gave them their sight back. Could this Jesus really be the Messiah?” a street vendor remarked.

“No charges, absolutely free! Can you imagine? Jesus just gave them an invaluable gift,” a child excitedly said. “Wow! Jesus is the best!”

These two men really didn’t know how great and awesome that man was who healed them. They were just two ordinary blind beggars who begged their days for a living. All they knew was that this man had given them a new life, a new hope to carry on. No more had they to live in dirty streets begging for money. Jesus changed their lives and they deeply desired to share this good news with everyone. And that’s what they did! Hundreds of people came to know about Christ through them. Many were touched by their experience with Christ while many others greatly desired to meet this Christ. These two men didn’t have any great knowledge about Christ. But those few minutes they spent with Christ compelled them to go around telling others about their great Savior; from their best buddies to the street vendors, to women and children, and to the rich of the society.

Why do you love Christ so much today? What is that special thing you’ve experienced in Christ that always fills your heart with joy, that makes you fall down on your knees and worship him? Witnessing for Christ could be just telling others about that great thing Christ has done for you. It really doesn’t need to be fancied with attractive words of knowledge about Picture1God. But it can be something simple, something true, something that you really experienced in Christ that you’d love to tell others. That’s what those two men did. It didn’t matter to them how simple and frail their good news was, they just wanted to be witnesses for Christ. Would you share that special thing about Christ with someone today?

November 27, 2008


It’s easy to break people’s heart. But to mend it back, through experience I say, it takes a very long time. Its painstaking for me to relive that day when a close friendship between two friends, who lived through years of childhood together, broke within a couple of seconds. Each time as I go back to that day, my heart breaks and my conscience hurts. That day brings me into light of how foolish and how careless I’ve been. But now I relive that day, just for the last time. But this time, with hope, with a much clearer conscience and with a burning zeal to never live such days again in my life.

While I kept arguing, he kept listening patiently. While I spoke out my mind, not my heart, clearly to him, a tear dropped through his eyes, but yet he kept listening patiently. It was like the phone didn’t have anyone else on the other line and I was talking like a fool. But now when I think over it, assuredly I say, I have been a fool. Misunderstandings did happen, otherwise why would I scream over the phone like some animal? And while I complained that he didn’t take an effort to work over the misunderstanding, I never took an effort to understand his pain. I just couldn’t put my feet in his shoes. It seemed like unthankful ground, it seemed like indifference. But was I the indifferent?

But all that didn’t make things better. In my haste, I called him up again making things worse. “Beep…beep”…and the phone was cut. Those ‘beeps’ made my heart to beat a hundred times faster. It felt like maybe that was the last time I ever spoke to him again. The very next day, I penned down an obligatory sorry letter. But he didn’t bother to reply. Again the next day, I beautified my words and penned down another obligatory letter. But he didn’t bother to reply again. While this continued for another few days, I tried to console myself that he might be just too busy to reply.

Through all this I maintained my stand that I was right and he was wrong though the letters spoke something different. But as I relived those days again, my conscience kept pricking me that I was the one at fault. I tried to put myself into his shoes to correct myself. I did find my mistakes, but his mistakes seemed greater to me than mine. But the guilt in my conscience didn’t spare me. It kept haunting me even in my dreams.

Even after a month into the incident, things didn’t get better neither did my guilt stop haunting me. Deep inside, I longed for a restoration. I longed for forgiveness. I longed to tell him that I’m sorry. But was this longing a true one? I wondered why years of such a close relationship should break within a few seconds. I began blaming myself for the whole situation. But all this just kept adding up to my guilt. In my pain, I again wrote down a letter to him. I was really afraid to talk to him personally fearing that I would land up saying something that would break his heart again. With high hopes I wrote a letter to him from a more sincere heart. But this time, I got a reply.

But his reply wasn’t at all nice. All that I remember in his reply is “I don’t want to be friends with you again”. This really hurt me to the core. I was even ready to go to the greatest possible extent to find my lost friendship. But this statement really put me down. Guilt got over me. I really didn’t find any pleasure in life.

I prayed to God earnestly to get me out of this mess. Even in my prayers I tried to goof up the whole incident. But God really wasn’t pleased with that. I had to be open at least in the sight of God. And if I wasn’t going to do that, God clearly told me that he wasn’t going to help me out of this situation. He made things difficult for me till I ran to my knees confessing myself before him. In his mighty love and grace, he made things better and restored me back my lost friendship. It didn’t happen in a day! It took another two months for me to actually begin talking with him like before. God was working, but it was a real test to my patience. If God wouldn’t have helped me control my emotions, maybe I would’ve done something foolish in the course of time.

Through this entire incident, God broke my ego. He taught me that it doesn’t cost much to accept that you are the one at fault. He taught me how to say sorry. He taught me to put in sincere efforts to take very good care of relationships. He taught me that relationships are not made in one day, but it requires a lot of patience and hard work from you.

Now when I look back to those days, I thank God for all that has happened. Though it took more than three months for things to get better, it was a journey never to be forgotten. You may say that I overdid the whole scenario. But though it sounds a bit too much for a person to do to get himself reconciled, its true of me! Why couldn’t he be the person to get reconciled back with me? Hey, why not I? If the love of God is really there in me, I should be the one to ask for forgiveness. And now as I read 2Cor. 7:11 God reassures me that he has honored my prayers.

“For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”

Is this true repentance?

November 25, 2008

my SISTER and I

My sister, this is especially for you. It’s kind of weird to talk to you through a blog post but it makes more sense to me as of now when I think over it. We live together under the same roof and yet when we see each other, we do have something new to say. You have your own thrills in life, the happenings around which you love to share it with others. But then there am I in the midst of your excitement, a difficult-to-smile kind of guy, listening to it patiently. Though I’m not bothered to say anything in the middle, I land up adding in a stern critic that says something like this, “What a pointless waste of time!”

When I look at my comforts, the privileges that I enjoy, wow, they are many. But it’s not the same when I look at you. Why is that so my sister, why? At times, I wonder if I am more special to my parents. Is it because I’m stronger than you, I don’t know? Is it because my masculinity is overpowering your feminism, I don’t know? Is it because, the world will accept me and not you, I don’t know? Is it because we were brought up learning that you are supposed to be confined to the four walls of the house, I don’t know? Is it because our culture taught us that your ultimate purpose was to have and nurture a family, I don’t know?

It’s recently since I started appreciating you. It’s recently since I started respecting you for what you are. I could never talk to you as freely as I’m doing to you nowadays. Maybe it’s because we understand each other better. We argue, we fight over various matters, we try landing into some conclusions, but I love it. We are yet young and the fancies of this world may soon affect us. But I will take all my care to see that you will always be precious to me. You are yet young, not in your maturity, but in your feminism, and you are exploring the world. It’s not that I’ve seen the world, but that I see it from different eyes.

My sister, don’t run behind your feminism because you will never be able to catch up with it. It’s not that being a feminist is wrong. It’s just that you’ve interpreted it wrong. The world taught you feminism is fighting for your rights. You should be treated equally, why shouldn’t you be? Why should demanding for what belongs to you, what you’ve been discriminated from, be wrong? Why should there be separate laws for males and females? I too agree with you that all these are wrong, and you should be treated equally. But as long as you run behind your feminism, the chains of masculinity will always hold you behind.

Fighting for your rights is fine and will work in a society which respects you. But in our society, though they respect you, they respect you otherwise. In our culture, you were always looked upon as someone delicate, full of grace, and a really shy person. But the sudden change in culture with the introduction of feminism turned out to be like an untimely birth of a baby. The baby grew but with deformities. And you, my sister, adopted that baby. The baby signified an alteration of the core principles of our culture. As this change was unexpected, it was rejected.

Maybe one of the best ways to come out of this wretchedness is to respect our culture. Sure, it’s not your comfort zone. But use culture as a tool to overcome male chauvinism. It would be foreign to go out of the bounds of a culture to teach people who are bound in the framework of that culture that they are wrong. But respecting the culture and being a part of it gives you opportunities to express your voice, your desires, your grief; your feminism! But this time, your feminism will mean much more to you than just fighting for your rights. You will achieve satisfaction without leaving anyone disappointed or ego broken.

When I look at you I see the beauty in God’s creation. I thank God for such a beautiful gift. I love the cakes, the ice-creams and all the special stuff that you make. And what do I do in return? Sit and watch T.V.! I love the enthusiasm with which you oft correct me when I go wrong. It does hurt my ego to receive a correction from you, but now, I take it as a challenge to believe in a change from different eyes. I thank you for those days when you stayed up awake late in the night waiting for me so that others aren’t disturbed entertaining me with canes and bitter-gourds in the night. What else…I do have a lot to say, but it’s my love for you that will say the rest. And still you are my bigger sister!

what does EVANGELISM mean to me?

“What does evangelism mean to me?” This question oft stumps me in my shoes. At church I hear a commanding message, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel…” All that I take back from that message is ‘PREACH’. But, “WHAT DOES EVANGELISM MEAN TO ME?”

Rushing through my earthly morning rituals, I take my journey to college. As I approach the bus stop, out of the blue, a bus whizzes pass me. I run hard to catch it. But alas! The bus doesn’t halt. Disappointed, I hurl my feelings of anger at the bus conductor. “7:45 slow local to Churchgate has arrived on platform 2…“ On hearing the announcement, I run a 100 meter dash to the platform. I somehow make my way through the huddle of people and get into the train. “Who cares if they get hurt, as long as I’m safe in the train!” I struggle to breathe a sigh of relief when I hear some unmelodious instruments and people chanting “Om…Om.” To add well to my agony, a few poor kids walk up to me begging for money. In my rather suppressed fury I plead them to get lost.

En route, I pass by a temple. Looking at those people, I pity their wretchedness and console myself, “Thank God, I’m not one of them.” In spite of all the running, by the time I reach college, I’m 15 minutes late, welcoming the angry cries of my teacher. Thankfully, there are those cheery friends who without fail make up the day for me. Soon, the college gets over and I follow my routine promenade back home. On my way, I snack at the sev puri wala, quarrel with the auto rickshaw driver for the 1Re. change, bemoan the lousy cries of the beggar on the overhead bridge, and articulate my hundred complaints against the people in the bus and train.

Now at the end of the day, I still ask myself, “What does evangelism mean to me?” I never got an opportunity to witness today, my day was really bad. How can I witness in such adverse circumstances? At that moment, God in his grace answered,
“My son, it’s very nice to know that you’re actually concerned about evangelism. I do see the zeal in you to evangelize. But somehow things are just not working out for you. Unable to capitalize on opportunities, you stand puzzled on where to start and how to start. And today, well, you had the bus conductor, the beggars, some annoying people on board the train with you, and many others who somehow robbed you of those opportunities. But what if evangelism began with these people? You could have been polite with the bus conductor against whom you spoke roughly, and been gentle with the people at the station whom you pushed and hurt to get inside the train. You could have been more considerate to those orphans who begged you for some money. What if your teacher, your classmates, the rickshaw driver, the sev puri wala, the beggar, and the many people you met today, be people with whom you would one day share the gospel? If they ever are going to believe in the gospel, they got to see it in you first! Evangelism begins with a daily impersonation of the gospel of Christ. Evangelism must necessarily begin in the Jerusalem you live in. These people are a part of you furthermore they make or break your day. If you don’t care for them, what really does evangelism mean to you?”

November 08, 2008

TRULY! hypocrites

First day at college, I make desperate attempts to keep myself updated with the new crowd. I search for new friends and in the process I find many of my old friends in the same college and we enjoy a hearty chat. Soon the bell rings and we hurry to our respective classes. The first day is really an exciting experience with everything new and many new people to meet. Within no time the first half of college gets over and we gather together for lunch at a place we secured for ourselves as our ‘adda’. As we ate our lunch, one of my friends asked me a question, “Are there any hot ones in your class?” At first, I couldn’t understand his question but then another friend slipped in a reply, “Hey, do you think he will be interested in those things? He’s not like us that he should be crazy after girls. Forget being crazy after the good ones. Am I not right?” I give a weird smile and mumbled, “Yeah, I guess…”

Look here or there, in school or college, in posters or hoardings, in television or internet, in newspapers or magazines, there is one topic that has fascinated the youth and teens – sex and love. There has developed a craze for sex and love among teens that they feel it need be an essential part of them. Sex before marriage has become so famed that the truth and sanctity of sex has been marred down the lane. While sex is an extreme, flirting, fleshly love, kissing, etc. have all become socially acceptable. There need be an essence of filth in the conversation of these people without which they feel they aren’t up to the standards of their peer group.

At the same time, to your disappointment, you are there in the midst of all this allure as a Christian, struggling with such friends. While they love to indulge in all these topics, you’re kind of confused on your stand. Though you know that all that they are talking is wrong, the talk just sticks back with you. It’s hard for you to confess that those talks would have enthralled you a little. But because you’ve to maintain a good testimony among your friends, you try hard to pay a deaf ear to their vain conversation. If they talk to you on the same, you slowly shirk away from them. But your fascination with the topic leaves behind with you a longing in your heart which you are unable to express. Aren’t you a hypocrite?

And there are times they crack jokes on sex, love, the opposite sex, etc. and laugh heartily. But you, as a Christian, cannot do so and pretend serious. You too want to laugh with them because it’s funny, but your conscience pricks you reminding you that you’re a Christian. While they laughed their hearts out and after a while forget about the joke, you find yourself still thinking about the joke and often laughing within yourself. Then there are times they see a beautiful girl pass by and comment on her and have fun on her. But you as a Christian turn away your eyes from such pleasures. You too like that beautiful girl, but you are unable to show out your pleasures. Your friends are observing your every move, and well, they count you as a good person. However, as soon as your friends leave, you wait back and take a second glance of your desire. Then there are times when you see your friends flirt around with the opposite sex. You know that flirting is wrong courtesy Bible. But you’ve never had such a privilege with the opposite sex and you long for such kind of a relation. Aren’t you a hypocrite?

You’re travelling in a bus when you see a bad hoarding pass by. You know that looking at it is wrong but since the first glance was left incomplete, the need for the second glance becomes essential. And since you are all alone, you turn behind and quickly grasp the second glance. Then there are other times when you open the newspaper to see a picture of a female dressed scantily. You then look around to see your parents nearby. You wait for them to leave and then hurriedly take a glance at the picture. Then there are times when you are at home all alone. You switch on the T.V. against the orders of your parents and watch a movie. That’s fine, till you see forbidden things and taste the forbidden fruit, desperately scrolling through channels till your desire is quenched. That’s the T.V., less talk about the internet. You know that all these things you do are wrong and displeasing in the eyes of God. But at the same time, your basic Bible knowledge saves you and you happily call back to remembrance that God forgives you ‘seventy times seven’. Now you’re a true hypocrite, aren’t you?

When you misuse God’s gift of grace, remember he’s hurt and crying. He hates hypocrites! Truly, fighting your flesh and your lust is not easy. You might be falling every 9 out of 10 times. When you do want to take a stand for God your flesh so often persuades you into doing things that displeases God. At these times you tend to resort to a mask so that the ‘true you’ will be hidden from others. Remember these struggles you face will be there with you for a long time and it’s not easy to leave behind. You need God’s grace and strength to overcome it. But running around with a mask will not lead to any solution. He doesn’t bother about your 100% attendance in church and the many number of spiritual activities you are involved in. You are just using God and his church as a stage for hypocrisy. Now that’s very hard for you to admit. Admitting it will mean you will have to make drastic changes in your life. God wants you to be open before him and before everyone. He wants you to experience his strength. The first step to making a change in your life is to accept that you are in need of a change. Take the first step and stop being a hypocrite!

TRICKS and treats of FOOTball

GOALLLL!!!!!!.....I hear that and I go wild……wild if our team scored a goal and I go running around crazy happy else wild because I’m mad that the other team got through us. If the latter’s true….hope the goalkeeper isn’t anywhere around me else he is sure to have a bad day. Football is something that has captured the hearts of millions through ages. Die-hard fans of football travel the world round just to support their team. Wow that’s crazy football….I like it but it’s hard for me to digest. Anywz….football and me…we’ve been good friends for a long time…I’ve seen myself progress playing football…and blah blah…errr…did I say something wrong?

I categorize footballers into a couple of groups. It makes sense to call them footballers because each one of them thinks that they are the best or maybe another C.Ronaldo or Henry. Whatever, this is the best part of ‘gully’ football or ‘street’ football. Everyone believes that he’s got the best plan for the team. Going out of the conceived strategy finds nasty looks and whispers going down the field against the offender. Thus is born the groups of footballers.

Let’s talk about the group of not-so crazy enthusiasts who believe in playing football because their friends play it. These guys come down on the field just to kick the football around. It doesn’t matter to them where the ball is going to go, or into which goal he kicked it into, or if he just robbed the ball from his own player. What matters to him is that he gets to kick the ball. And if he doesn’t get the ball, he might be well satisfied with kicking someone else’s leg. And at the end of day, he will exclaim, “Wow that was a good game…wasn’t that?”

Then there are those who stand around and they just keep doing that throughout the whole match. “Can’t he pass the ball…?” he mutters to himself all the while standing away from the main game. If life will ever improve for him is when he actually get a pass and messes up the whole game. “What the hell….why did you pass the ball to me. You know that I wasn’t ready. You should have at least called out. Damn it…all because of you….” he exclaims aloud to the fellow who passed the ball to him and walks away with a big grin on his face as if he accomplished something.

Then there are those who believe in themselves much more that what they are capable of. They believe that they have a perfect plan jotted down and run ahead asking for a pass. The other team players see his confidence and readily pass the ball to him with high expectations. And poofff…he manages to kick it out or maybe just run over the ball leaving behind those high expectations. And then he will look back and scratch his head profusely and hush “that pass was a bit too fast…”

Then there are those who get fed up with the way his team is playing and when he gets the ball runs with it determined to score cutting past his own players. All that he can see is the goal and the ball under his foot. He does a trick or two along the way getting past those players who really don’t play well and in his determination continues running with the ball. Till finally when he is about to shoot, someone walks by him and slips the ball away from him. But alas!! He is too late to change plans, too late to shun away the nasty looks and too late to run away from the wild critics thrown out in the air. Frustrated he looks back and gives a sad look saying, “Come on…I thought you guys will help me…”

How can I forget those real passionate footballers? These are the guys who breathe in and out football - guys who stand out for hours trying to master the craziest football tricks. They can pull out of their sleeve some of the toughest football tricks. Well it is a treat to watch them performing these tricks, but on the field, they are no special. Where did all the tricks go?? They say, “The ball didn’t have sufficient air.”

Then there are they who oft complain that they have become old (…they are still in their early 20ies) and cannot play as well as they would actually play. They brag about their past and remember their old days when they kick the ball outside instead in the goal and say, “Oooh, how I miss those good old days…”

Then there are those who really play well. These are the players, everyone actually claim as the king of football on the field. They do perform, they do play very well and they do know how to maintain their reputation on the field. If you ever do want to spot these guys just look around for half-a-dozen players running like wild dogs behind a person trying to get the ball from him or else at least trying to trip him down.

Then there are people like me who can nicely fit into all the above categories (guess not in the last one) and still stand aloof the field and say, “Man! These guys can’t play as well as me…”

November 07, 2008

QUICK takes

The Great Crash:
As 2008 began, the investors and traders began the year just like us with new commitments and better initiatives to boost trade and speed growth. The SENSEX began at around 10,000 and steadily progressed like as if it would conquer great heights. And soon within a couple of months it did and conquered the 20,000 mark. Then like as if the fuel got over, amidst the party and celebrations, the bull came crashing down. Investors lost millions of rupees and thousands went bankrupt. The uprising engineered the richest man in the world, but the downfall threw-out the biggest loser in the world, and yes he was once upon a time, the richest man. While the downfall wasn’t local but global, India was lucky enough not to be as badly hit as the other countries. The government rushed in to the rescue shelling in cash and bailouts, ensuring liquidity in trade (I don’t know what this means), etc. to ensure companies don’t go bankrupt and lose out in the race. While most of the money traded in the process is just mere paper and ink and not hard copies of the same, a loss or a gain is just a matter of erasing or adding a couple of zeros from your profit of 100,000. The misery of the Great Crash was the number of people who committed suicide. Young families were found dead because they went bankrupt. Even till now cases are being reported of such suicides.

The Marathi ‘manoos’

He got arrested, well to our curse and discomfort. He was put behind judicial bars, so that we could be barred in our own houses. People say he is their Savior. But I find him as a nuisance. He is Raj Thackery. Not that I support or like the Thackery family, but this guy is a real big nuisance. He would be having hundreds of people just to scratch his arms or legs when a mosquito bites him. That’s the kind of support he enjoys. Following the tradition of Shivaji Maharaj, the Thackery family are on the roads trying to ensure that every Marathi ‘manoos’ enjoys all comfort and privileges. Wow, that’s dedication and commitment to a cause! I love such commitment but I hate his attitude. I hate his methodology. I hate the echoes of his footsteps. All that he does is resort to violence and aggressive agitation so that his word is counted as law. What is better to do - see your car being smashed up or sit home and watch other cars being smashed up? Obviously the first one, unless you own a car factory. That’s what he does to ensure he is law. Yup, to ensure that he is law.

Recently he launched violent assaults on North Indians who came to the ‘city of dreams’ to see their dream unfold its wings. These poor people didn’t know that their wings would soon catch fire and disappear into pits of misery. Then he sent out inciting and provoking messages to the North Indians asking them to evacuate Mumbai. Well even the police fear this guy. Even if they try act fearless in the media, bribes would shy them down to their former state. That’s the police – a group of people struck by corruption and ignominy.

He talked in the media like a king and challenged the police to arrest him – and that’s what they did. He got arrested, his supporters ran out on the streets with stones and sticks and the city griped in a hidden fear. Most of the people were barred behind the four walls of their houses fearing the worst. I love this guy’s commitment, but I hate his approach. Why does he have to resort to violent agitation to get his cause done? Why does he have to disrupt the whole society and defame the society? What does he think of himself - someone greater than the law? Isn’t there a better way to develop a society and bring progress to your community?

The Revolutionist
He came, he saw and he conquered. He shook the world with his ideas. He won hearts of millions through his speeches. He stepped down to the level of children, the young guys and well, also stood up firm, collar to collar amongst the best in the society. When he stood to speak, the world wondered, when he spoke, the world admired, when he ceased speaking, the world applauded. They wondered because he is not their own. They admired because he spoke their hearts out. They applauded because they ‘believed in change’. “Yes! We can”, “The change has come”…he echoed down these mottos into the hearts of the people and into time and history. An Afro-American, he’s writing a new era of change in the history of America. Hail, Barack Hussain Obama – the revolutionist.

While America was cumbered under the fears of her crashing stock market & her economic woes, her miserable state in Iraq, her children crying for cheaper education, the gays and lesbians fighting for recognition, her standards going down in the world, there arose the revolutionist and addressed the nation the answers to her grief.

His first speech, “The audacity of Hope” got him a Grammy. But his victory speech, as the critics say, lacked quality. He’s just began his presidency, but how long will it survive? The world has put their trust in him. Will he uplift their hopes and deliver? Will he be able to paint his incredible speeches into works of art painted into the heart America? Will he be able to overcome his immaturity in politics and mature into a President? Will be bring in ‘the CHANGE’? Will he indeed be a revolutionist?

October 09, 2008


Time’s running real fast. It’s already one year into writing my blog. One year of painting a new art with colors of memories and lessons I learnt in life. I look at my blog and can today exclaim “WOW!!” Couple of years back I never would have imagined myself writing like as of today…forget the idea of writing a blog. Well I know that I’m not at all up to the level of professional writers. And all the gRamMaticle misTAkesS that keep occurring frequently in my blog makes me laugh as I read back through it.

My blog has frequently got its wardrobe changed with new layouts and designs. But after all, all the design just sticks to the predefined templates provided by blogger (Hey BLOGGER we need new better looking templates and more flexible ones!!!). Unfortunately I do not know much of HTML and thus cannot a create better one. Recently my sister started writing a blog for the first time (ohh my gosh…I forgot to add her blog to my blog links…hope she spares me…) and happily it was my turn to give her out my pieces of advices on how to run a blog. But she got a better hand in one area. She found a cool template for her blog via the internet. And my dulled out brains forgot to think of such a stupid thing. And now I’m stuck with this template. Well not that I don’t like the present one, but I out of competition put my googling skills on the run and found out cool new templates for my blog. I uploaded one, but that didn’t work and so a few couple more. Suddenly one of them worked, and whoa I was all ready to see the new attire of my blog. But ‘Crrrraaaasshhh’….(that’s how it actually sounded in my dulled out brains…) my ideas shattered into micro-granules that immediately flew away with the wind. The blog looked completely messed up with all my widgets scattered here and there haphazardly. In the process, I was asked to delete some widgets before saving the new template. And my happy excited –at that time stupid- conscience said OK and voila…3…2…1…the widgets got deleted. DUhh myself…those were very important widgets!! And I forgot to backup the details of those widgets. And all my one year’s data vanished away as though it was never there. So then back to square one, I went around searching the net for those widgets. Thank God they are back again!

That’s about the widgets and the junk on my blog. Coming to more important things…posts…writings…articles…etc. I’ve seen myself improve in my writings and my style of writing slowly has changed, till lately, as some feel that it has changed a lot. I don’t understand such things though…I just write because I love to, because I feel I should improve my life, because I feel there has to be a vision for every mission, because I feel there need be a change in this world beginning in my life…blah..blah..blah…I can just keep writing on that. It really encourages me as I read through my previous posts, because the thoughts and the lessons I learnt so far has been immense. The scripture portions I elaborated on touches me today as I read though it. Sometimes I wonder if I really have written those thoughts but I thank God for his leading in those thoughts. There were times of ups and downs in my blog. Sometimes I could post up to 5 posts every month, but then it gradually decreased to a hard worked 3 posts every month. There were two-three months when I didn’t post at all anything. As I look back to those days today, I realize that the cause of it was my spiritual failures and struggles I lost. And there are some posts too which when I read today, I find myself not agreeing completely to those posts. But I want to leave those posts as they are, because it refreshes me on my thoughts I left behind.

A very big complaint I received was, obviously, I write too big posts or say, ARTICLES…I know that it’s really difficult to read something as big as 1200 words in a single sitting. I write this big maybe because my essays are not a precise writing or because I want to make my point loud and clear or maybe because I just want to keep on expressing myself till I’m satisfied. Sorry for that, but I hope to make stuff a little bit smaller. Ooops already 750 words… I got to stop….

Ending with, I want to first thank God for giving me this gift of writing and for helping me thus far in writing this blog. Also I thank all of you who faithfully are reading my blog and even all of you who do once in a while peep in (remember it’s open to all - 24x7 hours). A special vote of thanks to Joe who helped me mature this blog and develop in me a ‘skill’ to write. Thanks to his invaluable critics, my writing has improved thus far. While reading my blog do spare a few minutes and post a comment if you feel like. It encourages me. Anywzs…Enjoy Reading Everyone!!...and be a part of my blog. Thanks.


Recently I interestingly scrambled through the pages of The Week magazine getting myself updated with its cover issue. However, as if it was unexpected, the cover issue turned out to be on the violence against Christians in India, esp. Orissa. With all the violence going on around, The Week’s focus brought into light a rather different view of the whole situations with respect to Christians. They made the whole situation look like as if the Christians are to blame for it. While the Christians got persecuted and beaten up and some to the extent of even being killed, the cover issue flipped the coin in Orissa. They got in people from the opposing parties to speak up. While the opposition readily spoke up their mind, it embarrassed me slightly.


Back to square one. The VHPs the Bajrang Dal and the other opposition cried aloud their agitation and anger into the pages of The Week. They alleged that the Christians were ‘presenting their gods and goddesses in a bad light’. While the issue of forced conversion was still there present in their allegations, they focused more on this new allegation. The head of the opposition stated that they would continue their violence and attack on churches if the Christians wouldn’t stop forcedly converting and presenting their deities in a bad light. And they stated that if the Christians would stop doing the same, they would too stop their violence.


So what is this ‘presenting their deities in bad light’? It all started when they attacked a church and found a book which accused the gods of the Hindus of various things and thus presented their deities in a bad light. It was this issue that really got into their nerves. But now what was wrong in that? Don’t we have the freedom of speech? Can’t we exercise our rights and speak out our minds to the world? If we do feel that there is something bad in someone else’s god, don’t we have the right to say so?


I guess not!! If you can’t believe it, believe it because God says so, because the Bible says so! If we turn the pages of the scriptures to Exodus 22:28 we see that God tells us not to abuse or speak evil of any god. And here we are writing books and volumes of books over each god of another religion, abusing them and presenting them in a bad light. Well I may argue that God calls the other gods as gods having eyes but can’t see and ears but can’t hear, etc. It’s weird because God didn’t abuse them at all. He just presented the facts as they were. Whether it be an idol of Jesus or an idol of any other god, the fact that an idol is inanimate will always be true. So did God ever abuse any other god? I guess not. If we see the life of Jesus while he lived on this earth, he never disrespected other people’s gods. He gave people the liberty to choose between him and the other gods. So if God didn’t use his liberty as a sovereign God to disrespect any other god, how can we use our so frail liberty to portray any other god in a bad light? Respect all gods, whether you feel that they are true or not.

September 22, 2008


Churches vandalized, people burnt to death, people shot dead, Bibles and biblical literature burnt, people forced to deny Christ at gun-point, people’s houses burnt and property damaged, many forced to leave the State while many are homeless staying in fear in the forests, children tortured along with women, others chopped to death for standing for their faith. And the worst is that this is just 10% of the news. While the rest is hidden from the media and the world, the worst is feared to be much more dreadful.


Why the whole mess? It all began when someone killed a Hindu sage. While who the murderer is, is still a mystery the Hindu’s claim that the Christians were behind the murder. The media reports on what the Hindu’s claim,

‘This sage was a great reformer in that place. When he observed that Christians were involved in forcedly converting the Hindus to Christianity, he took a pioneer’s step and went around preaching Hinduism. He began propagating Hinduism like how Christian missionaries propagate Christianity. He began to equip youth to stand for their faith and not fall into the lure of Christianity. The tables turned on him when he was murdered by Christians who saw his ministry getting more and more prominent and their business going in loses because of his reformation. While he was loud on the fact that Christians were bribing Hindus with material attractions, he claimed that all this was a business for these Christians and they were earning in profits. Seeing all this lure and people from his own faith falling into this lure, he stepped out on a journey for reformation and thus gained respect and name in that village.’


On the other hand, the death of this sage didn’t exactly cause the violence to erupt to this big an intensity. As the media flourished the news of this murder, the prominent Hindu communities in Orissa erupted and thought this as the best opportunity to attack the Christians. A long time enmity between the Hindus catered towards the Christians finally broke into a mass violence after this incident. A group of Hindu fanatics, the VHPs, began the violence while other groups like the Bajrang Dal joined in the attack. Orissa is also infamously known for burning alive the Christian missionary, Graham Staines, along with his sons while they slept in their car. This heinous act was done by one of these Hindu groups. Keeping all this in mind, Orissa was a prime hotspot for torture of Christian missionaries. While the Hindus lost their stand on the Graham Staines issue, they now hope to recapture their stand on this issue. Right now they see themselves in the forefront leading the battle and heading towards a clear victory against the Christians.


Then there is the Christian community being tortured and persecuted. They are fleeing helplessly for safety. While the churches are shut on account of violence, even the Sunday morning worship gatherings are very rare. And it is not a particular group of Christians that are being targeted, the Catholics, the New Life fellowship ministries, the Brethren community, etc. are all being targeted together. While the Hindus claim that the Christians in Orissa are forcedly converting Hindus, there are many Christians who stand for their rights and deny the Hindus on their argument. Though the Hindus are huge in majority in Orissa as compared to the feeble population of Christians which barely go up to 1% of the total population of Orissa, yet there is a huge fear coupled with hatred being felt among the Hindu crowd against this feeble number of Christians.


Coming to the issue of forced conversion, what is forced conversion?  How in earth can one convert a person to another religion forcedly? Is it by bribes, by lure, by material attractions? Karan Thappar, a prominent journalist and a Hindu himself famously known for his debates on ‘Devil’s Advocate’, correctly pointed out that a person who changes his religion on account of these temptations was never ever loyal to his earlier religion. Religion is an expression of freedom, a freedom which you express when you believe the god which pleased you. If at a certain point in life, you feel that another god pleased you much more than the earlier one, the Constitution of India legally allows you to change your religion and follow your new god. Following after a religion or god, comes from the heart and not from your mind. It is an expression of love not an expression which can be bought by bribe or lure. Unlike other religion, where there is a certain procedure to be followed for you to accept a new religion, Christianity does not follow any such procedure. Whereas becoming a Christian is a renewing of your mind and a change in your heart.  It is not something that can be written down on papers which claim that you are a Christian; neither can Christianity be bought by money. It is an abstract expression and never a material expression. Hence, where is the issue of forced conversion?


If at all one claims that he was forcedly converted to Christianity, it’s eminent that his faith in Christianity was just a mere show for greed and not a real conversion into Christianity. And why did he ever leave his previous faith for Christianity? He left that god to believe in another God just for the sake of greed. He wasn’t at all loyal to either of the gods. What a fool is he! And there are the other groups of people who go around supporting these fools. Here, the Hindu fanatics, who just need an issue to create strife and fear among the society in the name of religion. They are going around destroying churches and killing people, for what?? In support of these disloyal people who converted themselves into Christianity and came back and told you that they were forcedly converted? What a pity! Add misery to your shame!


It’s kind of weird when you look at the whole situation that has erupted. Hindus are fighting against the Christians for forcedly converting many Hindus to Christianity. But what do the scriptures say? The Hindu scripture says that you have the freedom to worship any god, whether it is one of the millions of the Hindu gods, or Jesus, or Allah, or any other god from any other religion because all gods are one. And the Hindu scriptures makes it well marked that worshipping any of these gods will attain you salvation in the end. So where is the issue of forced conversion? If you are ever interested in your brother attain salvation, don’t be worried about his faith because irrespective of his faith and god, he will attain salvation.


I appreciate the tolerance the Christians have shown towards the whole situation. Except in one or two cases where they retaliated back, everywhere else they showed tolerance and patience. I remember the time when the statue of a Hindu god was marred and the whole city went on an uproar. However, the reaction exhibited by the Christians was exactly the opposite in this incident. While the media flashed the picture of the cross of Christ being broken into pieces, the whole community of Christians remained quite. Not that they accepted the situation, but silently suffered the defamation. If I was a Hindu and had Jesus as my god and would have seen the statue of my god being smashed up, I would have brought the whole nation to a standstill till justice was done. Hats off to the Christians for holding firm to the lessons from the life of Christ!


If you are a Hindu, wake up, its dawn! Night’s far spent, awake to rationalism! Know what you believe! If you are a Christian, don’t sleep for the times are too hard and will keep getting harder! Follow the pattern of Christ and walk through the narrow way till the end.

September 17, 2008


“Help!! It’s coming after me! Help!!” I cry, but in vain. There is no one there to save me or help me. I look to heaven and cry for help, but I don’t have faith to sustain it. I run helpless falling into the pit of despair. I look around to see all darkness, feel all darkness and be all darkness


I walked into the world and heard “Sex…wow!! Its life, dude! Its life!!” I opened my eyes and observed. I open my mouth and enunciate,

“From when did sex become so big a craze? From when did people adopt sex as a cult religion? From when did the world begin to talk over sex publicly and implement laws for it? From when did love redefine itself to sex? From when did smiling at another person indicate love? From when did kissing on the cheeks become lip locks with the opposite sex? From when did girls become hot chicks for trade? From when did ‘looking’ at the opposite sex become fascinations and wet dreams? From when did people begin to explore their own bodies intriguing themselves in new realms they think are unseen to many? From when did discovering the other sex become so mesmerizing? From when did the woman behind the veil begin to strip in a movie? From when did, not watching pornography, become socially weird? From when did sex sell as drugs and hotcakes on the street? From when did sex and pornography become the biggest industry in the world? From when??”


Maybe I was not born at that time. Maybe I’m not alive now. Maybe it’s all just an illusion and I’m sill sleeping. Maybe it’s all just a made up fairytale. Maybe I’m blind and deaf to not perceive it. Maybe I am an alien in this world. Sex…hey…I’m hearing that word for the first time. What’s that??....por…no…gra…phy??...that’s something new to me…anyways, dude, listen…I’m a spiritualist.


I walked into the church and heard “Salvation, justification, redemption, ‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine’…”. I opened my eyes and observed. I open my mouth and enunciate,

“Why didn’t the church talk about sex? Why was it considered as an unspeakable sin and a taboo? Why were my parents so hesitant to even talk about it? Why was mixing with the opposite sex banned? Why was every person sidetracked and watched continuously? Why wasn’t sex education given at the first place? Why were people reluctant to disciple and help them over these issues? Why are 90% of the youth stuck in the problem of sex? Why are so many youth addicted to pornography? Why is the internet and the television used for things other than its purpose? Why in spite of all this, they still claim their innocence? Why is the mask so prominent? Why??”


Maybe the church thought that such kind of a thing can never happen. Maybe they thought that it was all just a fairytale. Maybe they thought that teaching doctrine in church was more important than these. Maybe they thought that these people are still babies. Maybe they thought that knowledge in the scriptures and being present in church is the essence of man. Maybe the church is still under the influence of sleep…Wake up!! The night is far spent, O you church, awake to a dark morning!!...Sex…and church??...a white blasphemy…hey you listen, we are all spiritualists.


How would a spiritualist know such things? True, he is innocent, unblemished by this world. He is a man just born into this world who abides by the scriptures, page in and page out. He is lives an exemplary lifestyle. Hey but that’s with a spiritualist…not me.


Yeah, I’m too one of them, but just that I one day I thought I’m missing something special. I walked into the world and what a welcome! They brought me into the banqueting house as I discovered my lusts on something as sweet as wine. While the moon arrayed itself in beauty, I arrayed myself in robes of pleasure. I danced and had merry, till I was overtaken with ‘wine’. Then suddenly as I feasted, everything began to disappear. I awoke from my pleasures and looked behind to see the feast disappear leaving behind it shadow of filth and rottenness. As sunlight shone through the dark room, I saw my ‘wine’ bottle lying under my legs. I picked it up to see a label imprinted on it, ‘POISON’. I knew I had been doomed. As the day turned to another night, I found myself still stuck in this place. Suddenly the room lit up, music began and the huge banqueting table reappeared. I ran towards it as history mirrored itself to this another day. I ran and asked the gatekeeper, if this was heaven or hell. He said, “He that comes here never goes back again. If you define heaven as this glorious place, well, then THIS IS HEAVEN. Welcome to ‘Hotel California’! Welcome to the city of sex!”


I touched, I felt, I liked and I enjoyed it. It seemed as if no one else knew about it and I thought I discovered something fascinating. I fantasized it and made it a daily routine. It dripped like honey, sweet to taste. It filled my soul with feelings incomparable and made me desire for more. Till one day I realized that everyone craved for it.


Vexed and famished am I in the city of sex. Look here or look there, everywhere I find pleasures for mine eyes. Pleasures they are, as sweet as wine that satisfies my lust and kills my soul. Vanity of vanities though they be, yet I look at them and embrace them with a kiss. Sold myself to the city of sex in trade of some pleasures, I am a slave under the rod of my master. I run, but the city never seems to end. I hide, but his devils find me out. I cry, but I’m a bond slave till I die.


How painful is it, to live under such a burden and offence! How gruesome is it to suffer under the cruel chains of this wicked master! Through all this my soul is vexed day in and out. My daily battles become struggles for victory. But victory is soon marred by the victories of defeat. It’s so difficult to live a Christian life in this city of sex. With sex all around and even your friends enjoying themselves in the pleasures of sex, I stand on sinking grounds. I hush and giggle with them. But immediately my conscience shouts out loud that I’m a child of God. I shun myself away from the second glance when with them, but indulge merrily the second glance alone. I say no when they offer me porn, but… unscrupulous me! I then say wholesome lies to cover my unwholesome heart. Vexed by my desires and lusts, I give myself up for a little while to enjoy the pleasures of this life. A reckless spiritualist indeed!


A spiritualist undoubtedly I am, walking along in pride. Shouting loud my profession, I walk in white robes of disguise. What need I fear when there is no one to watch over me? God…well, he’s up there! What need I dread if I can run away from my own conscience? If there is something that I know very well in the Bible is that God will forgive me seventy times seven.


You? Fear you? Never!! You don’t even know me. You can’t even step into my shoes. Rather, you would know these things better. Yup, you…you, not me…! Haven’t you walked on the streets of the heaven of pleasures? Come on! Don’t bluff. It’s written on your face. Wasn’t this your experience that I just shouted loud? Kick yourself to your honesty. You are guilty! Your heart would’ve skipped some beats as you read it. See yourself being exposed! You laughed at me when you saw my mask falling off now I laugh at your misery…you hypocrite! You…you are a sex freak! Shun away!! Run away!! Run away from your own conscience. Run away from your guilt. Run away from the darkest side of your life. Run away before anyone sees you. Run away before you are caught in your misery. Run away before your mask falls down. Run, you reckless freak, run!!


It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away, it’s a slow fade when black and white turns to gray, thoughts invade, a choice will be made, a price will be paid, when you give yourself away, people never crumble in a day, it’s a slow fade.

-Casting Crowns”

August 23, 2008

Confessions of a Reckless Spiritualist

I write now, for better or for worse, writings that fade that soon will be history, gone with the wind
With ink of tears that hope to brighten up tomorrow though I stand knocking the doors of darkness
Scribbling my life on white-washed tombs within which lie a mockery of victory
I run! Trying to outrun my shadow of defeat but faint I realize it’s now my identity
What shall I say? Where should I start? All these thoughts run down a chill of guilt through my spine
If I could take one step backward and change the course of time, I wouldn’t be one step closer to fading away into despair
A Christian they call me, a born-again believer I claim to be
But as I scribble the first line trumpeting my faith, I see my mask falling off revealing my true identity

JUST AS you got a routine in life, I too have one. Just as you read your Bible while sometimes out of a necessity and by the time you reach the tenth verse you are half asleep, I too have a similar ‘Bible fiesta’. Just as life goes on day by day and you stand wondering at the end of the day ‘what different was life today from yesterday?’ my routine too is written down on similar pages. An unknown compulsion that drives my soul into the routine, a feeling of emptiness that creeps in if I stumble apart from my routine, a sense of pride that develops and runs up my spine as the routine becomes more profound and a sense of hypocritical achievement that I cater to at the end of the up-fall.

Being ruled under the mastery of my routine, I realize that living outside my routine is trespassing unfamiliar territories. It’s become a compulsion that I ought to follow or face consequences that can shatter the essence of my pride. To avoid the fallouts of the downfall I put on a mask of hypocrisy disguising myself to others as ‘a perfect one’-on par their conclusions. Becoming famous as ‘their perfect one’ soon gives me comfort in that mask. The mask soon gets embedded into my character and becomes my identity. The routine becomes me as I wear that mask and I become that mask. Then pride rises to unconquered heights and attains a feeling of immortality. Then I stand and look down to the world and sculpt a statue of my routine - I sculpt my god.

ANOTHER DAY at church and with the Sunday School Anniversary coming up in a couple of weeks, a lot of work had to be done. Song, skit practices and a whole lot of other practices left to be done; Saturday evening was a little exciting. Through all the hustle and bustle I managed to finish off with the practices and reach home before my dad turned red and blue.

On my way back home, I misplaced my music player in an auto rickshaw. At first I thought I would have left it back at church, and made desperate attempts to find it at church but in vain. When I realized that there was no way for me to get it back, I sat down in disappointment. It was dear to me. “Come on, it’s just another music player…nothing precious,” I told trying to console myself. But somewhere down beneath I felt a deep loss within me. I wasn’t crying for the music player, but a kind of sadness filled my heart. That night as I slept I sat thinking about myself. No more bedtime music. That night marked a change. Just silence and thoughts hovered about me. As thoughts dawned over me, I groaned and cried bitterly from within when I realized what exactly I lost.

HOW DOES it feel to be an addict? Bad, bad and really very bad…that’s what I can say through years of experience. Addiction can shatter one’s life and can destroy his character. Secret addiction is more destructive. It can devastate one’s self-confidence and can put him under a burden of guilt leaving him shattered. An addict finds himself caught in a fix between the false character he puts on for the outside world and the true character he dearly hides from the world. Telling an addict what he’s doing is wrong, will not lead to any conclusion or change in his life. Well, firstly, he would have heard that a thousand times from similar ‘advisors’ while secondly, he too admits it! An addict loves a person who can guide him out of the mess he has created. Well, I’ve not written a theory of assumptions, it’s my experience. When I look at my life now, I just hate and am disgusted by the mess I’ve created.

MY LIFE was not at all cool through that whole week, at least in the sight of God. Oft getting into stuff that didn’t please God, I ruined my entire week. As the desire for sin grew in me, I got desperate to satisfy myself. It would have been fine if had this been a sudden problem. Frankly, it’s been following me for over a decade! And the solution for it…well, I have a God who forgives me and he will ALWAYS forgive me. Taking advantage of his grace I ran into gutters of stinking water which seemed to me as rivers of pleasure and comfort. This whole stuff breaks my heart as I write it.

THERE HAD to be something done! Being stuck in such a misery for a long time, I had to do something to come out of this mess! But how? Every time I tried to pull myself out, I kept sinking deeper. I needed help and desperately. I would sometimes cry before God when I was all alone just asking him for his help. I knew his promise that he is always there to help me but… When temptations stood a test against me, I would try hard to let go my desire for pleasure, but just couldn’t succeed. Sometimes, I would feel that I was too weak to claim God’s strength. Other times I would give up myself to pleasures, willing. Caught in a net of self-made failures, was I running away from his presence?

I found friends who tried to help me and guide me out of this mess but their efforts just strengthened me emotionally. The advantage, they helped me make myself responsible to at least someone. To some, I could talk freely about the problems I face. But at a certain point I realized that even they are not perfect. They too were facing similar problems. They too were still fighting themselves out of their problems. Their help would just encourage me of the fact that I am not alone in the struggles of life; there are people with similar struggles too. Again, one really wouldn’t seek advices from such friends but just encouragement. Once stuck in a mental framework that I am not alone in these struggles, I would land up getting disarmed and lazy in my fight getting myself back to the routine I created for myself! Somehow, all this just couldn’t provide me a real solution.

I was caught in a maze of reckless decisions that changed my life into a routine of failures. I was just running around a bush making no sense of my life. With no good solution to the mess, the routine created for me a mask of hypocrisy for a disguise to the outside world. I knew the mess I created of my life, but didn’t have the courage to admit it to myself, though I would readily admit it to my friends. It seemed as if the road ahead kept getting darker with no hope whatsoever. Through all this the mask kept getting deeper embedded into my character until it became my character, and I became the mask.

IF ANYTHING could be done, only God could do something. And Praise God, he acted. That night he spoke to me as I sat in the emptiness of my heart crying for something I lost unknown by me. As he silently whispered to me what I lost, I was completely shaken when he told me that I had lost him. I had lost Jesus! Me, a person so famously known to others as their perfect one, a person who people always saw as walking with God, suddenly lost Jesus! It may not sound fascinating enough to convince an addict, but it convicted me powerfully. I stood emotionless at the thought. God had to take away something material to make me realize the pain of losing Jesus. More than my pain, I realized the pain that God had to go through. As silence hovered around me, I sat down to listen to the whispers of God, for the first time, as he began to testify about me.

At this juncture I realized the mess I had created. I shook myself to tears of repentance. I got myself to admit the situation I was miserably stuck in. Things were completely a failure. Attending church, getting involved in spiritual activities, being active in church, with all those other church activities just proved to be a stage for hypocrisy. To hide the guilt that stayed hard with me after my routine of failures, I would make myself ‘visible’ in church. I had to admit this fact. All these years I just couldn’t admit this fact. Admitting it would prove disastrous to my pride. Admitting it would mean to make drastic changes in my life. It was just too big a thing personally for me to admit. The fact that I was using God and the things of God most of the times as a stage for hypocrisy really pained me. Faint are my memories when I’ve actually done something for God out of a true heart. The rest jumbled up into a platform to cover my guilt. As God kept blessing me in my life, I kept bundling them into the baggage of my routine. With all the things I claimed to be doing for Jesus already bundled up in that routine, I started taking pride in my routine. It became my mask of hypocrisy. It became my essence of worship. It became my god!

Now there was a new god in my life. One that was made up of failures, one that was an addict, one that didn’t have its own identity, one that was an hypocrite, one that despised the true God. Each one of these characteristics built this god-my routine. In the pursuit after this new god, I left behind my Savior. I left behind my true God. I outran Jesus! I lost Jesus in the pursuit behind my routine. This fact really broke my heart. As God kept talking to me in that night, I lay silent to hear the voice of God who cried as he spoke to me. His tears washed away my guilt. His pain strengthened me to leave my past. It gave me courage to face every day with strength from above. It helped me find a purpose in my life. As I end these confessions, my thoughts still stand afresh to the whispers of God that changed my life. If there had to be a change in my life, only God could do something!
Lots more to write on this, but for now, I limit myself. I want to leave you with this sincere plea; Never outrun God.

August 21, 2008

Jepthath’s Sacrifice

It seemed as if the night didn’t seem to end. The clouds had covered the moon. Heavy rains lashed through the night. Lightning slashed through the dark clouds as thunders ran shivers down the spines of many. The night was never so dark since years. A certain unusual unrest ran through the camp. Not a soul was visible on the streets as the elders of the camp made their presence felt around. People sat in their houses in anxiety fearing uncertain futures. As time passed, minutes seemed to be hours as people eagerly awaited the word. Suddenly, a rustle ran through the forests. A shadow cut through the forests, as a man riding on his horse came towards the camp. The elders girded up their loins and made their hands firm on their swords. As the man approached near, silence chilled the hearts of the elders. He removed his sword and raised it high in the air and cried out with a loud voice,

“Hurrah!! Hurrah!! We’ve won…we’ve won the battle. It’s all over! We’ve won!!! The LORD God of Israel and Jepthath has defeated the Amorites with a great slaughter. Jepthath and his army are now returning back and will be here soon.” The victory cry echoed through the camp. Immediately the trumpets played the music of victory and people came running out of their houses in joy and happiness. The long sting of the night was over. Relief and comfort broke the barriers of anxiety and uncertainty. As celebrations began, the family of Jepthath was getting ready to meet their champion of war.

They weren’t just happy as the others were, their joys knew no bounds. Jepthath had just achieved something which the others dreaded and had proved everyone wrong. Although it was past midnight, the joy of victory echoed through the wilderness. Jepthath’s wife ran to the farm and chose the best of the lambs and got herself preparing a grand feast for her husband. Jepthath’s daughter was planning something very special for her father. She ran to the nearby houses and called all her close friends. Her excitement knew no bounds. They got together and prepared a big welcome ceremony for her father.

Morning dawned. Birds chirped sweet melodies and the cock crowed its familiar tone. The sun shined its first rays of light as the dark clouds gave way to a bright new morning. Preparations were still going on in the camp when suddenly the trumpets sounded. Far away yonder, light shone through the forests. Horses and chariots paved their way through the woods as people marched their way to the camp.
“Here comes Jepthath! Here comes Jepthath!!” the messenger cried out his lungs. A wave of excitement ran through the camp. From the old to the young, all the people gathered themselves together at the entrance of the camp to welcome Jepthath and his army. Jepthath arrived with his army as the elders of the camp greeted them with a great pomp. He got down from his chariot, and gathered the attention of the crowd. He thanked God Jehovah for this great and awesome victory. Then he looked onto the multitudes standing besides him and cried with a loud voice, “Glory to God, we‘ve won the battle” Then the crowd roared in excitement and the shouts of victory echoed through the forests.

Jepthath, now all tired and worn out after the battle, longed for the company of his family. Then he looked around the crowd for his family. But they couldn’t be found. He ordered his chief general to search for his family. While they searched through the crowds, a small girl came running making her way through those hundreds of people and saluted Jepthath. “My lord, my lord, your family awaits your arrival at your home, “she told him as she tried to raise her soft voice over the mad rush of celebrations around her. Jepthath was all surprised to hear that his family didn’t come to meet him with the others. Disturbed, he saddled his horse and went towards his house.

As he arrived close to his house, he saw from afar lights arranged in a rather interesting pattern with the whole street decorated. As he approached closer, he saw a group of young girls and boys dancing in front of his house. A huge crowd of people had already gathered around his house by then. He got down from his horse and walked towards his house. Music got louder, and the celebrations got wilder. These young girls and boys put out a fascinating performance for Jepthath through music and dance. Then as he approached the door of his house, his daughter came dancing out of his house dressed in her best apparel and sang songs and played music on her timbrel.

Jepthath walked towards his daughter to hug her when suddenly his heart skipped a beat. His hands and feet began to shiver and his smile sulked. His joy broke like a jar of clay and despair got hold over him as he stood taken aback. “Alas, Alas…” he cried out walking backwards as if he had seen something terrible. He fell down on the floor and took the mud of the ground and covered himself with it renting his clothes. The whole crowd stood shocked. Music stopped. Not a sound was heard in the camp. His daughter seeing this sight stood speechless. She immediately threw down her timbrels and ran towards him.

Inside in the kitchen, Jepthath’s wife was putting her final touches on the feast that she had prepared for Jepthath. Her heart was overflowing with joy on hearing that Jepthath had arrived home. She just couldn’t wait to see him. While she dressed herself to meet her husband, one of her maids came and told her that something had gone wrong outside. Suddenly her daughter came running home crying and weeping. The beautiful dress that she wore was all muddy and dirty. The timbrels were missing in her hands. Things didn’t at all seem alright. She cried out and told her mother, “Mummy, something terribly has gone wrong. Something has happened to daddy. He’s crying and weeping. He’s even rent his clothes! Come quickly!!” Before she could even finish, her mother ran outside the house. At the doorstep, Jepthath’s wife stood dumbfounded at the sight she saw. She ran towards her husband who lay like a dead man on the ground. She fell down on to the ground and wiped of the mud from his body and tried to lift him up. Her tears covered his body. Then her daughter came towards him crying and weeping.

When Jepthath saw his daughter coming towards him, he got up and started walking away from her. He pulled out all the decorations in anger. He broke the instruments of music. He took the lamps that lit the place and threw it on the ground. No one moved as everyone stood shocked. “No!! No!!...” he cried in dejection. He then walked towards his daughter and caught her on her shoulders and shook her crying, “Why? Why, my daughter, why? Why did you have to do this?” She didn’t know what to say as she was all confused. He then bent down on his knees near the feet of his daughter and looked to the ground and softly said,
“Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low, and you are one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back…” He then lifted his head to the heavens and cried, “I cannot go back!!…” he cried in disappointment, “LORD why did you have to do this? Why? Why only her? My only daughter! Take me instead of her. Why??” He kept beating the ground and throwing mud on his head.

He then took his daughter apart and privately told her, “My daughter, I’m sorry. I know you will never forgive me on this.” He paused and cried. “What is it my father, what is the matter?” she asked him looking worried. He gathered up courage and went to close to her ears and whispered to her, “My daughter, I have vowed a vow before the LORD that I will offer to the LORD as a burnt offering, anything that first comes out of the door of my house. And you were the first one to come out. You my daughter, you!”

She shoved him off her shoulders and stood astounded. She slowly turned her face from him and left him weeping out there running towards her house. She barged in her room banging the door right on the face of her mother who didn’t know anything about the vow and locked herself in her room and started crying loudly for hours and hours together. Soon the whole camp came to know about Jepthath’s vow. The whole camp stood shocked at the whole incident. Celebrations were suspended and silence was observed in the camp.

Evening ushered in sooner than ever. As the sun began to set, Jepthath went over to the top of a mountain and sat there overlooking the sunset. Thoughts ran through his mind. The day of victory turned out to be a day of great loss. His hands shivered as he thought of his vow. Killing his daughter!! He just couldn’t think about it. He cursed himself for making such a foolish vow before the LORD. And now he couldn’t go back on his word. He bowed himself and sat weeping and crying for his daughter. He was completely shattered and broken. No one dared to come close to Jepthath. It was all silence in the camp. Suddenly, a hand came from behind and embraced Jepthath on his shoulder. Jepthath turned behind only to see his daughter standing. She caught his hand and lifted him up and hugged him. As tears flowed, emotions expressed itself through silence and tears. She then bend down on to her knees and told her father,

“Father, my father, if you have opened your mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which has proceeded out of your mouth; For the LORD has avenged you of your enemies. The LORD has done so great a thing for you. I am ready for whatever you’ve promised the LORD. But please give me permission that I may go up into the mountains with my friends…” she said broken and crying. “Let me alone for two months for I want to weep with my friends because I will never get to enjoy marriage. I want to bewail my virginity,” she broke out in tears and sat down on the ground weeping. Her father lifted her up and hugged her dearly and told her, “My daughter, you may go. Certainly go.”

Early next morning, she got up and embarked on a journey with her friends to the mountains and bewailed her virginity for two whole months. At the end of two months she returned back home and submitted herself into the hands of her father. She still was a virgin and never had any relationship with any man. Jepthath then performed before the LORD according to his vow. What kind of an agony Jepthath would have gone through while sacrificing his daughter! Indescribable indeed! He sacrificed his love, his only child for a person who loved him greater than anyone. At the same time, the sacrifice of his daughter was unspeakable. She gave herself, willingly, completely to God. Amazing! The whole camp stood amazed at the commitment of Jepthath and the sacrifice of his daughter. Yearly, for four days in a year, they remembered Jepthath’s daughter for her great sacrifice.

July 18, 2008

Hip! Hip! Hurray!! Here we go for Children’s Club…

“WITNESSING….and me? Hey that’s not my cup of tea,” I would shyly mutter and slowly squeeze out of a conversation. Witnessing is something that is not meant for me, is an idea by which I would stand. I always felt that God has specifically assigned each person a role to play and not everyone had the talent to witness. For me witnessing was not sharing the gospel by mouth but a lifestyle. While the latter I strongly believed in and tried to practice, I would shun away from the former. Doing the latter was much easier for me. But sharing the gospel…to my friend…or in public!!...well, those things and myself never got close to each other. The only instance in my life I shared the gospel to my friend got me asking myself many questions about my belief in God.

Fear is what lurks deep down within me each time I am faced with an opportunity to share the gospel. How will I start?...what will I say?...what if I am not well prepared?… what if he interprets the gospel in a wrong manner?…what if he rejects it?…then will I ever be able to show my face again in front of him?...will we still be friends?? Hundreds of such questions would bombard my mind as I would stand succumbed to these unanswerable questions. Then I would clam down myself by convincing my shattered mind that witnessing for me is just a lifestyle. Witnessing as a lifestyle is what I still believe, the first step towards sharing the gospel. But how long!!! long will I remain in the first step of sharing the gospel. Indeed a child can never remain a child, he has to grow up!

“GOOD MORNING teacher…” Being welcomed by little children to another day at the Children’s Club, I walk in with a whole new zeal and with a completely different approach to life. “Well children, how was your last week…” that question would usher in a collection of stories and incidents that happened to these kids last week. “Very nice, today we are going to learn the story of a man who built one of the bigggggest ships in the world…Are you ready for the story…?” And before I even can complete my last sentence, there is a resounding “Yes teacher!” echoing in the classroom. “Okay, here we go…” With that it feels like as if I am sitting in the seat of a pilot with a whole bunch of naughty little kids sitting right behind me all geared up to enjoy a beautiful ride through the whole world…the Bible. Well, at times I had to pull the brakes in between to see to that all the children sit in their seats and before the plane could crash I had to get back to the pilot’s seat and continue on the flight…difficult job indeed…guess pilots should get some training from me…lol!

The ride in this plane is one of the craziest plane ride you will ever get and remember its FREE! From BC.4000 to AD.30 to AD.2008 to AD.2010…time travel has never been so easy! From India, to Egypt, to America, to Europe and back to India and not to forget, you get to stop a couple of times in Israel too! From ships to toy cars, from Indians to Israelites, from friends to enemies, from fighting in school to doing homework in the bus, from flicking someone’s pencil in school to dropping a bomb in Iraq, from Power Rangers to David and Goliath, from sin to the gift from heaven, from religion to true faith, from ‘Grumblers’ to some of my favorite action songs like ‘Twelve men went to spy on Canaan’, from flashcards to movies, from puppet shows to getting ‘Zonked out’ in games…etc…all that included in a single package that comes just for 0$. Amazing, isn’t it? Plus the added advantage of travelling in this plane is that you get to play a lot of games and sing some amazing choruses. And here comes my favorite, chocolates…for all those who perform the best in the class. Wish they would give me some chocolates for being a good pilot...

6 DAYS…18 HOURS per day…10 sessions per day…tons of homework and projects…can you imagine?! But that’s what I guess has shaped me into a pilot today…a pilot of a different kind. A pilot who is qualified to fly toy planes into the clouds of Biblical stories. Those days were more than a training ground for me. It equipped me with a better insight to the role that I am supposed to play. It kindled a small fire of courage and boldness in me. Though I faintly could see the results of the training during those days, now I can better understand the role that I can play to be much better armed for my Captain of the Hosts.

“CHILDREN DO you know that there is someone who really loves you…much more than your mummy and daddy? He wants to be your friend…yes YOUR friend…and he has a very big gift to give you…do you want this gift?” Child evangelism, that’s what I call it…that’s what the Child Evangelism Training Programme has trained me up to be - a child evangelist. Weird profession indeed! But that’s what the greatest Child Evangelist thought good for me.

Children constitute around 40% of the world’s population. India being the second most populated country in the world has a majority of children in this census. And among the so many people that die everyday, children are too a part of it. Many of them are fighting dreadful diseases like AIDS and cancer because of which they live in uncertain futures. Many of them live below the poverty line and face each day from hand to mouth. Many of them are deprived from education, leave aside quality education. Living in a city like Mumbai, I see hundreds of kids everyday…kids who though living in one of the richest city in India, still are under the dreadful claws of poverty.

Well, I can write a lot about the miserable condition these children live in but when I see them there is always a bright smile lit up on their faces. That really challenges me. They enjoy their life. Though they live in such poor conditions, they are satisfied with what they have got. They can laugh and smile through all the problems they face. Might be because they really don’t have any thing much to lose. The saying ‘The riches of a rich man adds up to his sorrows’ is true. Looking at the conditions that these children come from humbles me to my knees and teaches me to be grateful to the blessings that I’ve got in my life.

Flip the coin and see the other side of life. There are children from the higher class too. Children who enjoy all the pleasures life has to offer them. Never would they have worried for their daily sustenance. While reaching out to the earlier class of children is easier, it is very difficult to reach out to the higher class of children. But it really doesn’t call me to forsake this higher class of children. That’s when the Children’s club comes in.

“CRASH, BANG…heyy!!!...what was that big noise I heard over there,” screamed Noah. “Shem I told you to take care of that plank of wood. Remember that plank of wood will have to take the weight of two elephants. And if you plan to destroy it now, you are going to have a tough time with the elephants…the elephants…they are ten times your size and are nasty and untidy.” I remember those days in Sunday School where I learnt the story of Noah something like this…“There was a man called Noah….he was a righteous man….but the world was wicked….and hence, God destroyed the earth with a flood…...but Noah was saved in an ark…..and they lived happily ever after.” All that I got through that story was a lot of information, but scarce anything precious to take back home. But here are a bunch of children who are experiencing the story of Noah in a completely different way. Not just another Bible story with a ‘fairytale’ kind of ending, but a Bible story with a thought or two to carry back home. Through pictures and slideshows, through dramas and emphatic narrations, through daily life examples and history, it all adds up to a fun filled time of learning precious truths out of the Word of God.

Irrespective of which background the child comes from, he is sure to have learnt something valuable and have had fun along with the learning. While ‘Learning Bible Stories with fun’ is a part of the Children’s Club’s activities, its main motto is to evangelize. Through these Bible stories, we bring out the problem of sin and God’s remedy for it. Thus presenting the gospel to these children in a very simple way through which the child can easily understand the gospel of God. This is what the Children’s Club aims at and God has been blessing this ministry thus far.

SO…WHAT is a Children’s Club? A Children’s Club is as the name suggests a club for children - a club with a different motto, a club with a different music, a club that caters to every class of children, a club that reaches the gift of God to children. Once in a week we invite children from our society and the neighboring societies for an hour of Children’s Club. There are Children’s Clubs that are held even in slums and small hutments. These Children’s Clubs caters to every group of children irrespective of their caste and background.

NOW I am growing. No more a child in witnessing. No more one way witnessing. But taking the further step in life, I go on now to take witnessing from being just a lifestyle to speaking up for Christ. Well my feet still trembles and shivers as I stand in front of children teaching Bible stories. It’s not a child’s play, no way! It requires me to be prepared well before hand with my lesson. And still those questions do come in my mind - questions that pushed me down to humble myself before my fears. But now I face these questions with solutions to it, not allowing those questions to push me down but facing them bravely. As I look forward in life, I see myself wanting to do a lot for my Savior. But now I take one step forward in accomplishing a service for my Master as his humble servant.