Tuesday, September 11, 2012

When Life Finds Love

Dear Josh,

A poetry dedicated to you on your Birthday

Life was hard before you came by,
And there was no ray of hope.
Everything seemed like fantasy,
To think of happiness was foolishness.

It all looked as if heavens did not favor,
Any good tidings or to imagine there was love.

When you came by,
It was then proved,
That life sure meets with love,
A love so unselfish and pure.

Life would not have been made without you,
Where you made all the difference.

Life did see its share of good tidings,
And I know not,
What it would have been like,
Had you not come by.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Keeping Expectations at Bay...

One of the reasons why people get disappointed easily is because of high expectations. It is no wrong to have expectations in life, for hope is another synonym for expectation. Hope is good and is healthy. A hope  that things are working for better or for good is a very positive hope. It enables to deal with negative aspects in a helpful way.

But having too big an expectation can many a time cause disappointment. Because we get stuck to it so much expecting it to work our way, that we have not thought of an alternative or have plan B ready for us to lean on. Keeping our expectations at bay is an easier way of dealing with life. Otherwise unknowingly we expect life to work out for us in our terms. In reality not everything works in favor of us, especially those aspects of life which we do not have much control.

Understanding that we sometimes need to flow with what life throws at us is not an attitude that is embraced by a majority. This does not mean that we should not have goals and dreams which we may be pursuing. We need to have personal goals and dreams which we need to persistently pursue. Though we may be steering our life's boat, we need to understand that there may be challenges, require change, or take a different course. Even the best sailor, sails with how the course favor's the journey. Sailing with focus yet accepting what comes in the way by keeping our expectations at bay is a better way to avoid despair.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Think and Ink...

It is so very easy to preach, teach and give advice to others, but very difficult to practice the same in our own  lives. For instance, people who advice greatly on dieting are the ones with poor eating habits. It is seldom rare to find good advisers who are good practitioners too. Through life's self lessons, I have learnt not to advice others but only myself through self-talk. I find this very helpful to me and if at all I am telling or teaching somebody it is only to my closest one-my daughter. As a mom, I believe that I have a responsibility to teach my daughter some important life lessons.

This afternoon, came one life lesson during lunch time. The crux of the lesson was "We should not hide things from dad". This lesson wouldn't have come up if an incident would not have taken place. Unable to find a table in the room, I placed the food container on the laptop table without much thought. My daughter immediately jumped up saying that I can't do that as her dad has asked her not to use the laptop table for eating food. Not knowing what to do, I convinced my daughter saying that I will be cautious not to spill any food on it (I could imagine how mad this can make my husband. But I was handful to look for another table, though I knew this wouldn't be considered as a valid excuse). Before I could think of another option my daughter replied "Okay we will not tell this to dad". I told my daughter, "We should not hide things from dad. We will tell him what happened and I will have to take it if I get scolded". My daughter asked me again, "Mom, we should not hide things from dad?". "Yes, we shouldn't. You know that I don't hide things from dad no matter what". "Even if we get scolded?", she asked again. "Yes, I said". I was happy that what I said was getting re-emphasized in her mind. "To be transparent and honest is more important", I said. My daughter agreed. I could see that she was totally convinced because she has never seen me do things without my husband's knowledge. If we desire that our teachings, advise and preaching should carry weight and value to our kids, we better teach them those stuff which we ourselves do...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Counting My Blessings

Whenever we find life dry, we are often recommended to count our blessings. And when I think of blessings I cannot think anything beyond my husband Josh and my daughter Jeru. If not for them, life would not be there for me.Today, as I look back 9 yrs before, it is the day Josh and I were married and I just cannot think what my life would have been without him. If I think of someone (outside my family) who can love me more than themselves, it is none other than him. I am not sure if I had been anyone better to him, but I can be 100% sure that I am blessed by the heavens to get him.

Never had I imagined that I would find a man who would come into my life and would look beyond outward beauty. Until I met Josh, I always saw that it was next to impossible because I know how I look. But I had a small hope and faith that my God in whom I trust would not let me down. He would surely give me a man who would love me for my heart. And surely He did. Josh came into my life when I was 26 and I waited in the  Lord all those years to get my gift. Though the wait was tough, it was worth the wait. Josh is a blessing. Never has been a day in my life where I regretted my marriage. My man and my kid are blessings to me; two gifts of grace. Many times my other disappointments in life dies down when I remember my blessings. I see how good my God has been to me when I count my blessings and so can He be to anyone who trusts Him without wavering.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

In Pursuit of

I was drowning ...I could recollect that I was hit hard and was drowning perhaps into something deep and all the thoughts that were racing in my mind was my teen years. Everything seemed like a reel of memories rolled behind. I was seeing myself as a teen in search of meaning for life, a heavy disappointment hidden within me, a life without a purpose. I have found Lord Jesus. Now I am in the quest of what the Lord would want me do for Him. I am looking for a life with purpose. I am searching for my life's work. I meet a lot of people. I grow in the Lord. But day after day, month after month, and year after year, I only find disappointments. I don't find a single person who could direct me in the path of my quest.

I dream to do so many things- a counselor, youth worker, social worker etc. But I see that I am heading no where. I don't get any openings and the opportunities I get I am not satisfied. I find myself unable to work with people with different purpose and motives. I always look forward for selfless service and its hard to find like-minded folks. People have their own agendas and plans and I find it hard to gel with them. If we are to serve others selflessly, we need to do all that it requires to serve them even if it is going to take the extra mile. And I see that it is hard for others to do that as each one are too busy with their own agendas.

Years have gone by and life phases change. Marriage, kid, responsibilities change... so with the roles. Amid all these I still try to pursue my life's purpose working on some natural traits and burden only to eventually witness that these are short-lived like that of quick passing clouds. I still go straight with 2 attempts only to face continued failures. To forget all the series of disappointments and the heavy hidden remorse, I consciously choose to quit my pursuit for life's purpose.

Now having come to my mid years, I only try to build my career. Suddenly  I remember the hard blow I have had recently. A big disappointment in another sphere of life (my passion) seemed like a last blow to all the hope I had been holding to. Yeah, the picture comes vividly to my mind and as I open my eyes I realize that I am drowning and I cry out to my God like the psalmist does...doubting if help would come. I only recollect a verse from the Bible which is from Psalm 138:8

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your love, O Lord, endures forever —
do not abandon the works of your hands. (NIV 1984)

I just repeat this verse again and again. I am not sure if I have the courage to believe this. 16 yrs has already passed, and to think that this verse is going to come true seems little skeptical. Not knowing what to do... I just say "I wish I could believe this, Lord help my unbelief", and then I close my eyes.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Machine Gun Preacher

I know that many who may watch this movie "Machine Gun Preacher" may take a skeptical view because the first question they may ask is how can a preacher take a machine gun and call himself a preacher? However, you need really get into the man's shoes to see all that he went through to save the lives of children in East Africa (Sudan). This is not just a movie. It is a real story of a man named Sam Childers, once a drug addict and a gangster whose life changes after accepting Jesus. This man's life changes so drastically that he  comes out of a life of sin, drug addiction and illegal activities and works as a construction worker to keep his family. He does not steal or beg or manipulate others to get money to run his family (something which I believe is a trait of a changed man who has met with Jesus), but goes to the extent of donating his blood for $20 to provide for his family needs.

The story doesn't end there, seeing this man's dedication at work, Sam Childers grows in his profession to the extent of having his own construction business. During this phase of his life, Sam goes to Africa to do a construction project where he comes to witness horrible heart pounding series of events where African children are killed and kidnapped by the African rebels. Many African parents are also killed in the process. Fearing that their children would be kidnapped or killed, parents send children out in the fields to take shelter for the night. Because homes are much more a dangerous place for the children to live as the rebels kidnap them. The intention of these kidnapping and killing is to make children as terrorists, indulge them in flesh trade and also sell them. Witnessing all this Sam's heart breaks; and he comes down to Africa to save these children. In order to save children from the rebels he joins the freedom fighters in Africa and fights the rebels with the gun. Sam often goes back home in Pennsylvania to get funds to buy the necessities to save the children. One should watch the movie to see his struggle.

Prayer, good intentions and good plans cannot just save lives. And God is not interested in them. Somebody has to take action. Sam Childers took that action. He sells everything that he has, builds an orphanage which at first attempt the rebels burn it down killing so many people involved in the project. Sam builds the orphanage again not wanting to give up on the mission he had taken up in his hands. Sam sees children burnt and killed by bombs and guns right in front of his eyes. Do you think any parent or a person with a human heart would just see a child being killed and burnt and still keep quite saying that God will save? Faith should be accompanied by actions. Without actions faith will be void.

Sam Childers may not be considered as a preacher by many because he takes a "Gun" in his hands to save children. As I said not many can understand what Sam Childers is doing. You need to get into his shoes to see his perspective. Even to this day Sam Childers lives in East Africa serving children. What you think about Sam Childers is your personal opinion. If somebody says that he cannot be called a preacher but just a humanitarian, it is like finding fault with believer (whose faith is in Christ or Christian) soldiers who fight in the borders to protect the country because they too indulge in killing others for the sake of the country.As for me being in the comfort zone and preach gospel is a very easy task than getting into the battle field to save lives both for God and for the human race.

If somebody is still not convinced about Sam Childers as preacher see the movie and answer the only one question the real Sam Childers asks after the movie and see if you can answer it honestly...

Watch the movie "Machine Gun Preacher" and to know more about Sam Childers here is the site http://www.machinegunpreacher.org/

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A non-conformist?

How many of us do things just because we would like to be seen as a part of the crowd and not different? Conforming for the sake of social acceptance is something natural since we live in our own social circles. To do things out of the social norm will be perceived not only as different but as weird. We sometimes do a lot of things just because we need to feel accepted in our social circles. These things which we do can be religious/spiritual beliefs, cultural traits, family habits, etc.

Being a non-conformist is a difficult task and to be one without hurting somebody's feelings is all the more challenging. Over the years I have met people who would prefer to be a conformist and doesn't want to raise a voice, because they are afraid to be devoid of social acceptance. As a Tamil Christian writer my dad gains much attention and appreciation for the good writing pieces he gives through his self-publishing magazine. His intention of writing the magazine is to clarify some of the interpretations people give to the Bible scriptures and Christian living. He often says people choose to interpret Bible scriptures for their own selfish benefit. They do not wish to shape or align their lives to Biblical teaching, but just want to take those scriptures and interpret them which will suit or benefit them. Once two pastors and a brother had come to meet him after having read his magazine. A discussion began on how some preachers live their  private lives lavishly with Church offerings and not a simple life like Christ did. My dad's only argument was that though men and women of God can live their lives on tithes and offerings, they cannot live in luxury but be good stewards of the Church's money. One pastor agreed to my dad's statement and affirmed  that there are preachers who live lavishly though they should not be doing so and said that we can do nothing about it meaning we cannot oppose them or criticize them. I was totally taken back by such statement.

This was not one such incident. We once met a good man of God who did his profession as a painter so sincerely, that being surprised by his dedication at work we rewarded him with gifts and an award. However, even this person who showed so much simplicity, humility, dedication and good faith in Christ did not want to   comment against ministers of God who lived a life opposing the gospel. The question that lingers in my heart is..."Why should people of good faith be a conformist?" Is being a non-conformist such a difficult task? Or do people think why should I be bothered about how others are? As long as I am on the right side that is fine..? Or do people choose to be a conformist fearing that they will be looked upon as weird or different or even a opposer of faith and be devoid of their social circle? I don't know the reason. But I don't want to be a conformist.

The perplexing thought that often comes to my mind is...so should we just ignore such things happening in Christian circles saying this is the common trend and we better not talk about it but rather ignore it? If this is what a majority of opinion would be... My next thought is had Raja Ram Mohan Roy been a conformist during his time, Sati would not have been abolished in India. Had Gandhiji been a conformist, the British rule would have continued this day in India. So if I am suggested that I should just go along with my social group and not be bothered about who is wrong and who is right is it fine? No, but I don't want to be a conformist and I am not afraid to be a non-conformist...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Wishful Thinking?

How many of us invest our time on wishful thinking? I guess most of us do that. I many times regret for having spent days on wishful thinking...Perhaps there has been not just days but also months and years gone in just wishful thinking. What is this wishful thing? Well sometimes it can be as simple as wishing badly that  Monday morning would be a holiday for work or school/college. Hoping that somebody did the dishes for us or perhaps even cooked?! Didn't have to bother to take bath and carry on with our daily routine. Wished on a good rainy day to have tea and snacks (like South Indian bondas and pakoras), watch movies and spend time with family, so on and so forth.

The best part of these wishful thinking is that most of them doesn't happen. Sometimes it may turn out to happen as if God answered our heart's small longing. As long as these wishful thinking are small ones i.e simple aspects of life, I guess it won't be a problem to us and it won't really affect our quality of life (QOL). However, if we get into the habit of making our wishful thinking for big plans and decisions of life, we may end up having major disappointments. For instance, many single folks wish that they may find their prince charming or miss world accidentally, just like the way it happens in movies. Oops! They may later hope during their mid-lives that it was just a wishful thought and not a reality...(just kidding)

Wishful thoughts are usually slightly out of practical thinking. Sometimes it shows our childish way of thought process. I am not saying by indulging in wishful thinking we are being childish. Perhaps it reveals a child in us. It is okay to have a wishful thinking as along as their a minor things and not serious stuff in life. For instance, what if I develop a wishful thinking that I become an ace shooter just because I discovered a new passion in rifle shooting. It seems slightly impractical isn't it? However, not all wishful thinking are unrealistic and unpractical. Some wishful thoughts suddenly work for people by things falling in place. However, we need to go with what works in life and what doesn't. What suits our lifestyle and what doesn't.

Having said all this, many of us can waste time in wishful thinking. We just need to evaluate ourselves how far we are going in this track and if at all it is helping us or not...And next time you indulge in wishful thing, take heed and Happy thinking...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Thinking Positively Different

Have you ever wondered what is the first thing that comes to our mind when something negative happens? Negative thoughts, negative emotions and even negative reactions which comes to us naturally. To think positively takes a lot of mental energy. For instance, let us say somebody hurt us either by their words, behavior or actions. It is very difficult for us to think something like..."Perhaps she had a bad day and was not her own self." or even "Perhaps they are having a tough time themselves". Sometimes we may get irrationally angry with somebody just because they did not do, act or behave according to our expectations. If we take a moment to analyze our emotions, we will see that many of those are baseless. We actually can choose to deal with them more positively by being rational.

To deal with our emotions positively we need to be consciously aware of what we are going to choose. We can either fall prey to our emotions and let our thought process run non-stop and even go to the extent of making decisions based on our emotions. Or we can first choose to calm down our emotions by rationalizing i.e diverting our thought process to a different perspective, a positive perspective. The more we think positively or differently than our natural way of thinking, the more our emotions are kept at bay. Keeping emotions at bay does not mean that we are ignoring our negative emotions or push them down to our sub-consciousness. However, it means that we first acknowledge that we feel hurt and are feeling awful with the whole thing and then stop with that. We take the next step, the most important step by rationalizing our thoughts. Instead of saying "What a snub she is to have ignored me?" We can choose to say "Perhaps she didn't do that intentionally". This kind of thinking is good for us as it will help us calm down. First we are being non-judgmental and giving the other person or scenario a benefit of doubt. Second, we are not falling prey to our negative emotions and negative thought process.

Thinking differently and positively does not come naturally for most of us are not made that way. Our brains are wired in a way where we react quickly to our emotions. However, with practice we can change our natural ways of thinking and become more positive differently...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Why Look Outside?

As a Bible believing individual I understand the work of spiritual forces and their interference in human's life. But I am not too bothered about the devil. I have come across many Bible believing believers who show more interest in talking about the devil rather than God as if the demonic forces are always at work in their lives.

As for me, my life is centered around the Lord and I believe He is in sovereign control of me and my life. Nothing will touch me, my family and our lives as long as we stand in the Lord leaving a life with God-conscious mind and heart. I believe that we are covered by the blood of Christ and nothing can harm us or no weapon formed against us can prosper. This is my faith based on His word (the Bible). Hence I don't see the need to be too bothered about the devil and his strategies against me or my family, because the eternal God is our refuge and underneath are His everlasting arms (Deu 33:27). Simple as that isn't it?

I am not too comfortable with people who keep blaming the devil for everything that happens in their lives. Years before, once I had my right wrist fractured when I slipped and fell off my bike. I was at home for close to two weeks taking off from work. When my Church friend visited me she said that it was the work of the devil. I was totally taken aback. I tried to tell her that the incident happened because I was trying to adjust my dress when about to sit on my two wheeler and missed to hold the handle bar due to which I fell off along with my bike to my right side. I am well aware that it was because of my carelessness that I fell and fractured my wrist for I had missed to concentrate my posture and the handle bar. However, my friend ignored my explanation and she tried to convince that it was the devil's doing. I was not convinced by her perception and not wanting to offend her, I remained silent.

This is not one incident where I have met people who are all the time devil-blamers meaning for everything that happens in their lives (and other lives) they would like to either blame others or the devil which is a typical Christian mentality these days. I am tired of listening to people who try to give an explanation for everything in the spiritual realm as if they have the answers for every single problem on earth. Believe me even though I am a Bible believing Christ follower, I don't have answers for many perplexing questions in life and I don't need to know because I know who knows the reason.

Coming back to where I left,  I am not buying in for the thought process of devil is the reason for this and that. However, I am not totally ignoring the forces of darkness at work. I have heard of and seen people who are really demon possessed and who have been delivered through prayer. On the other hand, I have also met people who are devil-blamers all the time whose talk is always like- This is the act of the devil. That person has got the spirit of greed or the lady has the spirit of jealousy, etc.

People are too good to blame others of having different kind of spirits. Why not look inside? A truly matured individual is one who will indulge in self-reflection often rather than being like the first Adam and Eve who were typical blamers (put the blame on the other). When God confronted Adam and Eve for their disobedience, Adam put the blame on Eve saying that Eve asked him to do so and likewise Eve put the blame on the devil for having deceived her. Come on!!! When will we grow up and stop being like Adam and Eve and learn to take responsibility for our actions???

I like what Stephen Charnock, a Presbyterian preacher of the 17th century from England says, "Self is the great antichrist and anti-God in the world, that sets up itself above all else". We actually don't need to search for the devil outside, but can honestly afford to take an inside look or introspect to see if there is any trace of conceit, manipulation, selfishness, self-righteousness, pride, arrogance and above all attitude or smug. This is all we need to do to grow up and stop worrying about what the devil can to us or who has got a spirit like that of a devil?! If we are really mature, we will stop blaming others and stop saying whose has got which spirit ...We are all bad enough on the inside that we specifically don't have the need to search for the devil outside or in others...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why Bother?

Being non-judgmental is a good virtue and not many of us posses this trait. We all know that it is not right to find fault with others while being blind on our own. I practice my best to be non-judgmental. However I become quite judgmental when I encounter people's actions or speech filled with hypocrisy. I try my best to push off this attitude emphasizing myself saying, "Why should I be bothered if he/she is a hypocrite?" It is their life and they will easily be identified of their hypocrisy. So why bother and be worked up?

Though I believe in being non-judgmental it does not mean I support people who do wrong or is hypocrite. I still hate when people give a justification for the wrong done. For me this is heights. If everybody starts giving justification for doing wrong, why do we have laws and moral standards which govern the life of man. Our lives are governed by universal moral laws just like the way we are governed by physical laws. 

Many of my well wishers tell me why should be so worked up by people who are hypocrites, haughty or self-righteous? True, why should I ? Can't I just ignore them and keep my cool? Yes, I can. And the best way to deal with such people would be to withdraw from them rather than being judgmental.

My only attitude (not justification) to why I can't stand to some of the negative traits such as hypocrisy, haughtiness and self-righteousness is...None of us are perfect and all of us unintentionally or intentionally behave negative or do the unaccepted. However, we have the choice to admit and learn from our mistakes. And to  admit our mistakes requires self-reflection and courage...killing our inner pride. Though I don't preach this...I do my best to practice it.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Living to the Fullest...

How many of us are living our lives to the fullest? I guess not many can reply in affirmation. Some of our deepest longings, deepest desires and deepest needs are unmet and it seems we are just living on the surface...I am not talking here about material things. Because luxuries, pleasures and comforts can never satisfy our deepest longings and needs of our lives.

There is a real person deep inside us and not many with who we may live is aware of. Have you ever desired to do something noble which could give you the life's deep satisfaction and have regretted for not doing that? Yeah, this is the real you. We may not be aware of our real self if we are living on the surface. Our loved ones with whom we live (spouse, children, parents, siblings, etc) would have never had the chance to know the real us...Because nobody would have asked us: "What the deepest longing or desire of yours which you would like to do?" We cannot blame others for it, for even we wouldn't have taken the effort to know the real others.

We can either continue to live on the surface or can pursue to fulfill our longings or desires which will give us the satisfaction of our being. However, the pursuit is never easy. The road is full of challenges, difficulties and disappointments.But the best part is our deepest longings and desires is attainable. And it is totally in our hands to make the choice...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Oh! I want to be "Me"...

Oh! How many times I have wished I was able to be me?...But either my loved ones or situations did not allow me to be what I really wanted to. I shouldn't be blaming situations here. It was more like the people around me (my loved ones ) whom I was conscious about whether I would be accepted if I do something what I intend to. For instance, once when we came out of a restaurant, I saw a mentally challenged women with torn clothes begging. I impulsively wanted to buy her clothes from a nearby store and give it to her. I neither had that much cash at hand nor I was sure if I could do that (fearing what reactions I would get), I eventually I kept quiet. But unable to ignore her and just walk away I asked my husband to buy her some food.

This is not just one such situation. There have been 'n' number of situations of this kind where I intend to do something and I was not able to do so. The other day when I heard of a mother and daughter living in a deprived situation of their lives, I wanted to visit their house (in another town) and show them my care, concern and empathy. How I wished I had the freedom to be just the way I wanted to? Should there be a restriction even to be good or do good? But there is a restriction to be what I want to... and I live within the boundaries of what I am expected...

I sometimes think weird. What if I could voice my thoughts aloud and claim that I have the right to be and live my desire? I am not intending to do something immoral or unethical. I am only intending to be good and do good for others. I know I can't do that...I know the reactions I may get and know the extent it can affect the significant others. So I am continuing to live up to their expectations.

However, many weird things come to my mind like...What if I just go out of the way and do things without being concerned about others reactions. What stops me most of the time is the outcome of my action. I confine to my own feelings and thoughts and try to deal with my regrets and ill feelings of what I couldn't be by doing things which I passionately do...writing. The only part where I am myself is through my writings. As I often say, writing is an expression of myself. Here I can be what I want to be without limiting my true self...

Monday, July 30, 2012

God Told Me?!...

I have seen many people who claim that they say or do things because God told them to do. I am little skeptical about this outlook. I am not stating that these people are fake though there are false teachers, preachers and prophets. But generally believers are under the assumption that God talks to them directly and tells them to do things. This is common among those believers who perceive themselves to be highly spiritual just because they spend more time with God or do ministries in His name.

It is true that God speaks to His children who spend time with Him. But I believe all those communications  would be like that of a Father to a child. When we are down, He speaks a word of comfort or encouragement, a promise to meet a need, His unconditional love, His forgiveness, His compassion, His expectations of the characters or traits He would like to see and be built in us.

I am little skeptical when people say, "God told me to tell you this" kind or "God told me that I would be so and so". Or even worse "God told me that she is the girl I should marry"...

I still believe that there were men and women of God who were used tremendously by God and God did directly speak to them to edify His children. Some of such men and women of God who readily comes to my mind are Kathryn Kuhlman and Smith Wigglesworth. We can never say that these people simply stated as God told them. Like a tree that is known by its fruit, these people of God were known by their fruits in their character and service they did for the community.

There are still men and women of God today who are blessed with prophetic ministry to edify the Church. However, they will not be telling us stuff like"You will be going to US" or "You will be blessed with a son" kind of prophecies. These people are true and will give prophecies of hope and awakening. They are of rare kind and if we are smart enough, we can identify between the authentic and those who fake...

Coming back to where I left...In my perception, people get into a wrong perception that God is telling them something and that is the reason they give for their actions, deeds and choices. However, we get to see that their actions or words are not authentic. Again I am not judging that they are faking. But they have a misconception because they fail to rationalize with the facts or the truth considering whether it is human enough to do so or will God be please with my action or deed? I call this self-deception. We can deceive ourselves by believing something as true. We will not come out of it unless we are open to our own beliefs and perceptions, lay it bare and evaluate them with facts and the truth. I am able to say this because I have been through self-deception.

After having accepted Christ, I was in search of my life's destiny and I wanted to realize and establish my identity. At different stages of my life, I presumed that God wanted me to become somebody which I never became. For instance, I initially wanted to be a counselor, then a youth worker and then as a person who laid hands on the sick and prayed and also shared God's word. At different times it was different roles. However, none of these prevailed for long. I was successful in few attempts though, but I did not continue to build my identity and destination in any of these lines.

Finally, I realized that God uses the natural talents He blesses us with. I found my passion in writing and I have been writing since the last 5 yrs or even before that if I recollect. More than saying that God told me to become a writer, I prefer saying that I am blessed with this talent and I will use it as long as I find my passion and profession stuck to it by His grace. So I am out my "God told me" perception and I hope you too would ...

Responsibility...Whose Job is it Anyway?

One thing which I believe as the most essential thing we need to do in life as mature adults is to take responsibility. It is so easy to blame others, circumstances, situations, missed opportunities, ill luck or even the devil for life's mishap.

It is easy to say: "That lady is so cunning. She was behind this whole thing" and "That man always plays double game". "He didn't give me the freedom to do what I want". Again "They did not support us being Christians and so we made our own choices"...My response to such statements ...!?

I believe as mature adults we need to take responsibility for the choices we make, the way we react or behave and "for all that we say". And indeed for the "big decisions" we make which can change the course of our life. I was baffled when I once heard a believer in Christ state that a pastor fell into adultery because he was deceived by the devil.

My! When will people start taking responsibility for what they do. The devil cannot make you do something, unless you intend to do something evil or sinful or even make a self-destructive choice. The devil has no control over us...yet indeed if a person secretly craves to indulge in acts of sin or evil.

The second thing which annoys me when I get into a discussion of that kind (a believer falling into disgrace or sin) is when people tell me that I should pray for such folks because those people are deceived by the devil and are not aware of it. Again this sounds ridiculous for me...

The biggest gift that God has given mankind is common sense and conscience. I cannot agree to the  statement that a person falling into sin or cause disgrace is not aware of it and is being deceived. Each one of us with a sound mind have the discernment to make distinction between good and bad. Then why blame somebody else or the devil for what we do? When will we as adults learn to take responsibility?

Even if something negative has happened in our lives, a mature response would be. "Yes, this is my life, this is my situation, I own the responsibility. I can take the choice to make to it better or worse. I will stop blaming others or my situation. I can't expect others to make it good for me. I have to make informed choices for myself and I am responsible for the outcome too"...Well! that would sound more like maturity...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Perception Like Habbakkuk

Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NIV)
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

I wish I could say like Habakkuk. It is so easy to fall into despair when disappointment follows disappointment and life is nothing but a trail of disappointments. When I read the book of Habakkuk, I could see that the prophet was full of complaints and murmurings. His tone was that of righteous anger, frustration, mumbling and despair. However, having said all this and having argued and wrestled with God, Habakukk is finally able make a bold confession to God and himself.

Wow! That shows a quite confidence in the God he worshiped. Habakkuk knew his God well. He knew that God was a God of righteousness, justice, love and compassion. The inward struggle that Habakkuk had was because of God's silence.

It is sometimes difficult to understand God's silence and delays. It is may seem mysterious and overwhelming to an agonized soul. But the assurance that God is in control and He will not allow things unless it would serve a purpose, will help us in having a perception like Habakkuk.

If Habbakkuk's perception should become ours, we need to repeatedly internalize the above scripture (say it again and again in our minds) so that we are accustomed to have our view changed.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Perception at Risk

Believers in Christ are taught to pray to God for their need without ceasing, claim promises and do their best to achieve their goals. I believe it is right. However, many of us would feel tired if the wait is long. The need may be anything and it may be genuine.

As human beings we have an earnestness for the need to be fulfilled very soon. But when the waiting is long it may seem as if God did not care. It is natural to feel that way. Even feelings of disappointment, frustration and anger may erupt and it may make us doubt the goodness of God. In such situations what do we do especially when we feel helpless and the need remaining unanswered?

Well we may be trying different ways for our need to be met. The most important thing here is, in all our trials and efforts our perception of God always poses a threat. Do we tend to perceive God as caring and loving if our need for long remains unmet? We may wonder if God is so loving and caring then why doesn't He answer my prayer? Why this long wait? Does God delight in keeping me wait? Why is God silent?

I guess many believers in God may be plagued with this question in their minds, knowingly or unknowingly and perception of God becomes a threat during those times. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow (Heb 13:8). He will never change even if we may change or our perception of Him changes.

I have been in situations such as these and my perception of God has posed great threats. I have shared my disappointments, frustrations and anger with God for I believe that it is not wrong to do so. The Psalmists did the same. However, in conclusion I do not allow my perception of God change. I submit to His will and abandon my need saying "When He knows how to care for the flowers in the wild and feed the sparrows, so will He know how to meet my need". Though I may not have answers for my anxiety right now, He does know the reason why the wait and I believe that is enough...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Perception Shapes Attitude...

Yesterday I wrote a blog post on how perception really matters, the way we look at ourselves, others and the world. Perception also matters the way we see relationships, our goals, priorities, work and our choices. But more than all this our perception shapes our attitude.

If I perceive hard work as an essential part of my life, then my attitude is to give my best in what I do. If I perceive hard work doesn't pay then my attitude towards work is: Work Less Earn More. I may tend to do my work on the surface and may not be giving the best of my ability.

Most of our perception and attitude has been developed in us for years due to our experiential learning (what we have learned from our experience) and some of them due to genetically inherited traits. One may wonder if we can ever inherit our perception or attitude from our parents, grandparents or blood related uncles or aunts. Yes, we do.

We would have seen that a child would have inherited some behaviors or habits from his/her uncle/aunt or even grandparents (Genes do play a role). The better example would be that of a child who would have inherited a personality trait of being silent or being hot tempered from his/her father. We may say, "She is exactly like her dad".

A surprising thing which I witness myself is my daughter's inherited trait of humor or wit from her grandmother whom my daughter has never seen.

Coming back to what I was saying. We do inherit perceptions and attitudes from our blood related family members and a majority of them due to experiential learning. However, a significant part of our perception and attitude is shaped from the things we learn by observing or focusing. And it depends on whom or what we observe and focus...

I have seen husbands or wives having inherited a few traits from their spouse. For instance some of the language or vocabulary use that runs in the family. I believe we need to become aware of what or whom we are observing and focusing on a consistent basis. Because it has the power to shape our perception and therefrom attitudes.

I believe that a majority of believers in Christ want to be like Him. And many times we find that we fail to be like Him. The reason why we may fail is that we may earnestly pray saying "Lord, make me like you", but perhaps we are taking less time to evaluate and change our perception and attitudes according to the Bible. The Word of God has immense scriptures on how we can change our perception and attitude like that of Christ. If you are really eager to know which ones are they...continue to check back here, we have more to discuss...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Perception Matters...

I always respect people for who they are. I do my best to be non-judgmental. Sometimes if I had criticized or judged someone, I would later correct myself saying that I don't have any right to comment on other's choices and decisions.

As human beings we do have a weakness to find fault with others rather than look onto ourselves. However, I am quick in correcting myself and change my perception therefrom. I believe that perception counts a lot in the way we look at ourselves and others.

I am sure none of us will have a bad or wrong perception of the self. But when it comes to our perception of others, we are quick to find fault. If we can only see that each individual as a person is capable of making decisions and choices that best fits them, then I guess we will be less judgmental and will not be bothered by others decisions and choices.

Unless others decisions or choices does not affect me directly, I choose to remain secluded and not respond. However, when others decisions, choices, behavior and communications do affect us by having a direct impact on our personal or professional life, then we tend to respond with anger and accusation.The better way  to respond in my perception would be to talk it out to the concerned person if possible. Otherwise it is ideal not to react to the concerned individual and share it with someone trustworthy.

I always choose to share my concerns with God and leave the matter with Him believing that my God not only teaches me the path of righteousness and justice but will also do the needful for me when I am wronged. So in a way I still choose not to judge and criticize people who have wronged me. I am aware that this is a tough thing to do, but I have learned to do so because this helps me to be in peace.

I know who I am and what others think of me really doesn't matter. However, this attitude of mine doesn't make me look at others with contempt. I am not plagued with a superior ego or with an inferior self-identity. And hence I look at others the same way (with respect). However, I don't stand when people display pride, arrogance, hypocrisy and contempt. But again I choose to keep off from such people so that I neither become judgmental nor choose to confront them for their conduct.


When I first came to you Lord,

The very thing that touched me was your "Unconditional Love".

All these years, you have only showed me,

How to be a good human...

I learned what it means to love purely, accept non-judgmentally and live without prejudice,

I learned to accept, respect and empathize with others.

I choose to live by your way- of righteousness, justice and peace,

A life of hard work and selfless giving.

I have learnt the cost of the carrying the cross,

And not to wander behind the crown.

I have been made known that riches is

And fame a mere vanity.

By seeing you, I learn everyday,

How to be like you...

In my talk, walk and the way I am,

And in everything that I do.

I choose to be open to you,

So that I can correct my mistakes,

And learn from you,

Not causing you shame.

Help me dear Lord learn from you,

Not in fancy prayers,

Without any change,

But truly live...in and through you.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blessings All the Way...

I see that most of the believers in Christ are plagued with the blessings syndrome. One thing which takes me off the hook is a message on "Blessings". Is living in Christ...centered only around blessings? Isn't life much more than that?

I always wished that I heard sermons on living righteous, Christ like maturity and poise, the true meaning of charity (selfless giving to the really needy), sacrifice, internal change and stuff like that. I have recently seen and heard of people not in the Lord indulging in selfless charity and sacrificial living and have wondered "Shouldn't this be more of an attribute of those who claim themselves to be in Christ?" Where are we really heading to...?

Either we will hear/find messages on blessings or it will be on prophecies. And these prophesies are mostly on catastrophic or promising events or unrealistically glorious future.People plagued with blessings syndrome are hooked onto the receiving mode and not the giving mode. But I am sure most of us know that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).

Again I see that there is a misconception among people when it comes to giving. Giving is seen merely in terms of monetary aspect. I have seen people giving more towards already flourishing ministries and churches than to the genuinely needy.

The next thing people usually think after blessings is either good works or evangelism. Good works is seen as an reciprocal thing we need to do for the blessings we receive. I hope we are not intending to indulge in a barter system with God. Good works is seldom seen as a natural trait  of a human being (especially Christ's followers, the best example being people during the time of Acts). It has to come naturally in everyday aspect of life.

In my perception first we need to come out of the blessings syndrome. Second,  the context of giving selflessly, good works and evangelism needs more clarity. Giving need not always be in monetary terms. Giving can be in terms of time, a listening ear, displaying empathy and a little compassion  to the socially disadvantaged groups (people suffering from mental disorders/illness, transgender group, victims of abuse, HIV/AIDS sufferers etc).

Good works and charity can be displayed by reaching out to the totally disadvantaged groups in the society or even by showing a genuine care and give a listening ear to those who are hurt or neglected. And again I really don't believe in jumping into an evangelical mode when it comes to giving time to people. It is more than enough if we can be a good listener, show love, acceptance and respect and be non-judgmental.

When it comes to sharing the gospel, I believe that people should be drawn to know the Lord by the life that I live, my character, speech, behavior, personality, attitude, perception, etc. People should be able to see in me a difference, and be curious to find the reason behind it. One thing I am very clear about is that unless my life and I as a human being cannot portray Christ likeness, no one is going to be impacted by the gospel I preach.

Our life is an open book which people are able to read silently. Each individual's  character, attitude, perception, actions and deeds are being noticed, observed and understood by our verbal and non-verbal communications, decisions and choices made (including personal). Pride, arrogance, self-righteousness, selfishness, manipulations, deception, playing double games, politics, bragging, backbiting, gossip and slandering are quite naturally noticable and these traits cannot be masked easily. Genuineness is something noticeable and so is facade.

If people see that we are good preachers but do not practice what we preach, then we are bad examples of the gospel we preach. And so the gospel will become void for people who see us. The gospel has never been or is never void but can been made so by those who preach without practicing it. Our planet is filled with a vast majority of people who are good preachers but not practitioners of the gospel.

Without Christ-likeness it is impossible to preach the gospel and if people continue to preach the gospel without Christ-likeness, I believe it might only be ruining His name instead of glorifying it...I only hope that people would stop using blessings as a bait to bring people to Christ...and more than preaching the gospel, it is living the gospel which should top the priority list of those who claim to follow Him...

Or should I say that the 'Body of Christ' which should actually be representing the Master be flooded with preachers, teachers, and believers who will not be plagued with Blessings or Evangelism Syndrome but who are ready to clean up the Body of Christ uncompromisingly?...In my perception it is not the world that needs the Savior, but the 'Body of Christ' which needs a Savior, so that we don't misrepresent the gospel that is supposed to be saving the world...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I am Who I am...

This new blog which I am starting today is more of a personal narration. The purpose of this blog is to share my views and perception about life, faith and everything relative to it. I am no preacher, but definitely I am a writer which I believe is by His grace.

In this blog I may share positive attributes of my faith and some negative aspects of Christianity which may sound a little skeptical to some people. However, I would like to acknowledge that this is wholly my perspective and in no way am I offending anybody's view or perception.

To begin with, I would like to brief a little about my faith and my perception of it. I don't want to tag myself as "a Christian" or "a believer". In simplest terms I would like to describe myself as a person in whose life "Jesus Christ" has made (and still making) all the difference...

My personal goal in life is this...

I want to be crucified with Christ so that it is no longer I live but Christ lives in me. And this life which I live in my body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loves me still (as I believe from His Word) and gave Himself for me (paraphrasing Galatians 2:20)

The very reason why I don't want to carry a tag as a believer or a Christian, is that there are so many people in this world who carry a tag but they seldom live a life worthy of the tag. So I chose to refrain having tags as such. Besides, I do not believe in preaching the gospel but believe in living the gospel to my best possible awareness and strength. I know it is a challenge but that challenge is no excuse for not living a life worthy of the grace due to which we say we are saved. I believe it is possible to live the gospel by His strength.

When I accepted the Lord16 years before, I was sure of the purpose of the One I was going to follow and the outcome therefrom. I knew that the very purpose of being chosen by God was to make me (and us) more like that of His Son Jesus. Rom 8:28-29 (NIV) [28.... who have been called according to his purpose.29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son]

For me blessings has never been an attraction element for choosing Christ. When I chose Him, I knew that He could make a better person...I know that He would help me grow up and be more like Him. I was sure that He would be able to instill His attributes and His personality in me (as long as I chose to yield to Him). As far as blessings is concerned I see it as an outcome of the relationship, the Lord has with me. When an earthly father knows to give the best to his children, how much more a heavenly Father?

I really don't think, I need to nag, be adamant and claim my blessings. Am I sounding like a saint here?Well, I am not one. I do ask my heavenly Father for my needs. I do share my disappointments, anxieties and frustrations that I face in life with Him. But I don't see that I need to be too concentrated on my needs or blessings which will make me look like a immature child.

To be honest, I was like that before...nagging, pestering or even demanding towards God. But I realized that I don't need to be. I need to grow up, know my Father well, and rest in Him believing that He will do His best for me. As a mother, when I know how to take care of my child's needs, I believe He knows much more than I do...He is aware of my sincere longings. He knows my heart's ache. He is able to empathize and I believe He will do the needful...

I have much more to say...but to begin with I am starting simple...my faith. If anyone wants to comment on this blog, you are invited to do so...positive, negative, anything...I assure you it will not put me down...See you later...