Sunday, 30 November 2008

Sunday Blessings - O Come, O Come Emmanuel

On the Sundays leading up to Christmas I will be posting videos of my favourite Christmas carols.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel is my first choice as it is my best loved carol.The lyrics are pure doctrine and the 12 century music melts my heart. I wish to sing it during a Christmas Eve candle-lit service in a Gothic cathedral or monastery. And also singing it or hearing it sung in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Israel also would be thrilling.
Many years ago one of our church members translated this song into Hindi (our mother tongue) and gave it a very distinct Indian context and connotation. I would like to learn the Latin version.

O Come O Come Emmanuel !
The favourite O Come, O Come Emmanuel carol was originally written in Latin text in the 12th Century. The author of the words and composer to the music of O Come, O Come Emmanuel is unknown. It is , however believed that the melody was of French origin and added to the text a hundred years later. The Latin was translated into English by John Mason Neale in 1851.

Oh, come, our Dayspring from on high, And cheer us by your drawing nigh, Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, And death's dark shadows put to flight. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!
Oh, come, Desire of nations, bind In one the hearts of all mankind; Oh, bid our sad divisions cease, And be yourself our King of Peace. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!
As the events the the past week unfolded before our eyes
in what we are calling India 's longest televised horror show , it embedded in our hearts that
Our God Emmanuel is our only hope.
We watched in heart-wrenching pain till
the last battle was won
on Saturday morning.
The song I have chosen is also my prayer to our Dayspring Jesus to come and disperse
the gloomy clouds of night
Here is a news report from BBC News

How Mumbai attacks unfolded

Investigators are piecing together how the attacks unfolded
New details have been slowly emerging about the early stages of the Mumbai terror attacks. Much of the information has been gleaned after the capture of one of the militants involved, as the BBC's Prachi Pinglay reports from Mumbai.
The story of the Mumbai terror attacks likely began when a private fishing trawler with five crew members set sail from the Arabian sea off the coast of Porbandar in India's western Gujarat state on 13 November.
Sometime during the next 12 days, the trawler was taken over at sea by at least 10 young men, aged between 20 and 23 years, carrying backpacks and bags, according to sources in the Mumbai police, coastguard, and commandos.
Investigators still do not know what the men were sailing on and where they were coming from when they took over the trawler - though suspicion has fallen on the Pakistani port city of Karachi.
What they do know is that the men tied up one of the crew in the trawler's engine room, and slit his throat. The abandoned trawler was found by Indian coastguard ships more than three nautical miles off Mumbai.
GPS co-ordinates
When coastguards boarded the vessel, they found the dead crew member, plus a satellite phone and GPS tracker that possibly belonged to the trawler's crew.
Investigators say that Kasar has told them that their work was to 'take hostages for safe passage'
Investigators told the BBC that the tracker showed "a return mapping for Karachi", leading to speculation that the men who attacked Mumbai had planned to return in the same trawler.
A ferry doing about 20 knots can cover the 506-nautical mile distance between Karachi and Mumbai in a little over 24 hours.
After abandoning the trawler, the men opened the inflatable dinghies they were carrying and sailed into Mumbai waters early on 26 November, a little more than 10 hours before the attack, investigators say.
An abandoned dinghy has been recovered in the sea off one of the many fishing colonies which dot the city's coast.
One of the top investigating officers told the BBC that the gunmen - nine were eventually killed and one arrested - split up into four groups and took the city's rickety black-and-yellow Fiat taxis from the fishing colony at Cuffe Parade to some of the locations they planned to attack.

See a detailed map of the area
They say the men left grenades or bombs inside the taxis before they got out. The taxis exploded soon after, killing two drivers and one bystander.

Militants split into groups, attacking a number of locations
The first round of attacks took place around the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or the Victoria Terminus railway station, when gunmen entered the platforms and fired on people indiscriminately.
They walked out of the station after the carnage, and shot three policemen and fired at journalists gathered near a cinema to record the event. Then they took a police van and drove off.
A flat tyre forced the gunmen to abandon the police van. The men then stole a Skoda car and drove towards the seafront Marine Drive, just as the other groups of gunmen were attacking a cafe, two luxury hotels and a Jewish cultural centre.
As the Skoda took a zig-zag route through the streets of Mumbai, the men inside opened fire in several locations - including at the Cama and Albless hospital for women and children.
Police say they intercepted the Skoda on the seafront and shot at it, killing one of the gunmen and arresting the other.
Twenty-one-year-old Mohammed Ajmal Mohammed Amir Kasar, who police says hails from Pakistan's Punjab province, is now the investigators' key to unravelling the planning that went into the attacks.
'Senseless violence'
Commandos who fought early pitched battles with the gunmen in the two luxury hotels, the Taj Mahal and Oberoi Trident, say that the lithe attackers moved quickly from room to room and climbed up and down floors to throw them off tracks.
The gunmen set fire to curtains and threw grenades to distract the commandos, according to federal commando chief JK Dutt.
"We found a lot of unexploded grenades inside the hotel. They damaged a lot of property. It was senseless violence," he said.
They also found lots of dry fruits, Indian and American currency, ammunition and fake Mumbai college student identity cards in the bags the gunmen had left behind during the attacks.
"We are checking whether the gunmen had any local support. But what we are sure is that they were not from India, and had trained in and were carrying stuff - AK-56, AK-47 and 9mm revolvers and hand grenades possibly of Chinese make," said an investigator.
The investigators say that Kasar has told them that their work was to "take hostages for safe passage". He also told them their aim was to "create an international incident, and anything big in Mumbai would be noticed all over the world".
Is there any special place you would like to sing O come, O come Emmanuel?

Thursday, 27 November 2008

India 's 9/11

I got an email from Vishal Mangalwadi whose ARTICLE I posted earlier. He was interviewd on Fox News LA about religious hatred. I searched for a video clipping but did not find any. Here is the news story they had

Faces of Terror - courtesy FOX NEWS LA

UPDATED @ 9:35 a.m. EST — Indian officials say commandos are engaged in a fierce gunfight with terrorists holding an unknown number of hostages inside the luxury Oberoi-Trident hotel complex in Mumbai.
Police have taken at least seven people out of the two-hotel complex, one of three buildings where gunmen are still holding hostages in country's financial capital.
The roof of the Oberoi hotel was ablaze as a result of explosions inside the building.
Commandos reportedly were sweeping through the adjoining Trident hotel, checking to see if terrorists were using it as an escape route.
A correspondent traveling in the region reports that some of the terrorists may have fled Mumbai in stolen government Jeeps, and that police and military forces were setting up checkpoints and roadblocks around the city, according to local media reports.
The Associated Press reports one of the rescued hostages told reporters he had seen many bodies inside the hotel. He did not give his name.
Indian TV, meanwhile, reports government officials fear the death toll at the Taj Mahal hotel could be high, with as many as 80-90 bodies inside. Some of the dead appear to have been killed by the gunmen, while others may have died in subsequent explosions and fires.
Wave of Terror Attacks Strikes India's Mumbai, Killing at Least 82
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India Terror Attacks

Among the bodies removed are those of Australian, Japanese and British nationals.
A senior U.S. State Department official told FOX News that it could not yet confirm whether any Americans are among the casualties.
Meanwhile, Indian police reportedly are negotiating with gunmen holding hostages at the ultra-orthodox Jewish Chabad Lubavitch Center.
There were unconfirmed reports that some of the hostages at the Oberoi hotel are Israeli nationals.
Reuters reports a militant at the Lubavitch Center phoned an Indian TV station with an offer to talk with government officials about the release of hostages.
The caller reportedly also complained about abuses in Indian Kashmir.
"Are you aware how many people have been killed in Kashmir?" the caller asked, speaking in Urdu. "Are you aware how your army has killed Muslims. Are you aware how many of them have been killed in Kashmir this week?"
A previously unknown group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the attacks in e-mails to several media outlets. While there was no way to verify that claim, security experts in India and U.S. speculated the group either is an Al Qaeda faction, or has the backing the Muslim terrorist group.
Dozens of people are still trapped or held captive, nearly a day after teams of heavily armed gunmen invaded two five star hotels, a popular restaurant, a crowded train station and a Jewish center, killing at least 104 people in coordinated attacks on India's commercial center.
Pradeep Indulkar, a senior official at the Maharashtra state Home Ministry said 101 people were killed and 314 injured.
Officials said the bodies of nine militants were removed from the scene.
The gunmen appeared to be part of coordinated attacks on at least 10 sites that began around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday local time.
Gunmen also seized the Mumbai headquarters of the ultra-orthodox Jewish outreach group Chabad Lubavitch. Indian commandos surrounded the building Thursday morning and witnesses said gunfire was heard from the building.
Click to view photos from the attack sites
Police loudspeakers declared a curfew around Mumbai's landmark Taj Mahal hotel, and black-clad commandos ran into the building as fresh gunshots rang out from the area, apparently the beginning of an assault on gunmen who had taken hostages in the hotel.
Soldiers outside the hotel said forces were moving slowly, from room to room, looking for gunmen and traps. At noon, two bodies covered with white cloth were wheeled out of the entrance and put in ambulances.
A series of explosions rocked the Taj Mahal just after midnight. Screams were heard and black smoke and flames billowed from the century-old edifice on Mumbai's waterfront. Firefighters sprayed water at the blaze and plucked people from balconies with extension ladders. By dawn, the fire was still burning.
At the nearby upscale Oberoi hotel, soldiers could be seen on the roof of neighboring buildings. A banner hung out of one window read "save us." No one could be seen inside the room from the road.
Officials at Bombay Hospital, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a Japanese man had died there and nine Europeans had been admitted, three of them in critical condition with gunshots. All had come from the Taj Mahal, the officials said.
At least three top Indian police officers — including the chief of the anti-terror squad — were among those killed, said and A.N. Roy, a top police official.
The attackers specifically targeted Britons, Americans and Israelis at the hotels and restaurant, witnesses said.
Alex Chamberlain, a British citizen who was dining at the Oberoi, told Sky News television that a gunman ushered 30 to 40 people from the restaurant into a stairway and, speaking in Hindi or Urdu, ordered everyone to put up their hands.
Click to view photos from the attack sites
"They were talking about British and Americans specifically. There was an Italian guy, who, you know, they said: 'Where are you from?" and he said he's from Italy and they said 'fine' and they left him alone. And I thought: 'Fine, they're going to shoot me if they ask me anything — and thank God they didn't," he said.
Chamberlain said he managed to slip away as the patrons were forced to walk up stairs, but he thought much of the group was being held hostage.
The White House, meanwhile, said President Bush expressed condolences to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the attacks.
Press secretary Dana Perino said the president had the conversation with the Indian leader while spending Thanksgiving Day with his family at the Camp David mountaintop retreat in Maryland.
Perino said that Bush offered Singh "support and assistance" as he works to restore order in the populous and growing Southwest Asian nation. The president also wished Singh success as Indian officials investigate "these despicable acts" in Mumbai.
The motive for the onslaught was not immediately clear, but Mumbai has frequently been targeted in terrorist attacks blamed on Islamic extremists, including a series of bombings in July 2006 that killed 187 people.
Mumbai, on the western coast of India overlooking the Arabian Sea, is home to splendid Victorian architecture built during the British Raj and is one of the most populated cities in the world with some 18 million crammed into shantytowns, high rises and crumbling mansions. The Taj Mahal hotel, filled with Oriental carpets, Indian artifacts and alabaster ceilings, overlooks the fabled Gateway of India that commemorated the visit of King George V and Queen Mary.
A spokesman for the Lubavitch movement in New York, Rabbi Zalman Shmotkin, said attackers "stormed the Chabad house" in Mumbai.
"It seems that the terrorists commandeered a police vehicle which allowed them easy access to the area of the Chabad house and threw a grenade at a gas pump nearby," he said.
Around 10:30 a.m., three people were led from the building and escorted away by police: a woman, a child and an Indian cook, said one witness, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.
He said he did not know the status of occupants of the house, which serves as an educational center and a synagogue.
Early Thursday, state Home Secretary Bipin Shrimali said four suspects had been killed in two incidents in Mumbai when they tried to flee in cars, and Roy said four more gunmen were killed at the Taj Mahal. State Home Minister R.R. Patil said nine more were arrested. They declined to provide any further details.
"We're going to catch them dead or alive," Patil told reporters. "An attack on Mumbai is an attack on the rest of the country."
Indian authorities ordered schools and colleges and the Bombay Stock Exchange closed Thursday.
Blood smeared the grounds of the 19th century Chhatrapati Shivaji railroad station — a beautiful example of Victorian Gothic architecture — where attackers sprayed bullets into the crowded terminal.
Photos in the Mumbai Mirror newspaper showed a young gunman — dressed like a college student in cargo pants and a black T-shirt — walking casually through the station, an assault rifle hanging from one hand and two knapsacks slung over a shoulder.
Nasim Inam, a witness said four of the attackers gunned down scores of commuters. "They just fired randomly at people and then ran away. In seconds, people fell to the ground."
Other gunmen attacked Leopold's restaurant, a landmark popular with foreigners, and the police headquarters in southern Mumbai, the area where most of the attacks took place. The restaurant was riddled with bullet holes and there was blood on the floor and shoes left by fleeing customers. Gunmen also attacked Cama and Albless Hospital and G.T. Hospital, though it was not immediately clear if anyone was killed.
Early Thursday, several European lawmakers were among those who barricaded themselves inside the Taj, a century-old seaside hotel complex and one of the city's best-known destinations.
"I was in the main lobby and there was all of a sudden a lot of firing outside," said Sajjad Karim, part of a delegation of European lawmakers visiting Mumbai ahead of a European Union-India summit.
As he turned to get away, "all of a sudden another gunman appeared in front of us, carrying machine gun-type weapons. And he just started firing at us ... I just turned and ran in the opposite direction," he told The Associated Press over his mobile phone.
Hours later, Karim remained holed up in a hotel restaurant, unsure if it was safe to come out.
Since May a militant group calling itself the Indian Mujahideen has taken credit for a string of blasts that killed more than 130 people. The most recent was in September, when explosions struck a park and crowded shopping areas in the capital, New Delhi, killing 21 people and wounding about 100.
Relations between Hindus, who make up more than 80 percent of India's 1 billion population, and Muslims, who make up about 14 percent, have sporadically erupted into bouts of sectarian violence since British-ruled India was split into independent India and Pakistan in 1947
They say watching the news and reading newspapers makes you insensitive and you just shrug away the woes of the world around you. But not for me I just could not prevent myself from crying as I watched the news.
Thank you friends for asking about our well being and safey and for your prayers.
We just can 't help feeling more and more vulnerable and insecure. as each new terror episode unfolds in our country.When I was growing up terror attacks only happened in distant lands and they were few and far inbetween.But now they are right at our doorstep.
My mother is so scared when I leave the house for business.We lock the front door when we are not outside. All this was unthinkable a few years ago.
We are living in the days of pre-flood Noah.

Mumbai Under Seige

Woke up this morning with this news.

ReutersPosted: Nov 27, 2008 at 0836 hrs IST
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Mumbai Gunmen killed at least 101 people in a series of attacks in India's financial capital Mumbai and troops began moving into two five-star hotels on Thursday where Western hostages were being held, local television said.
Gunfire and explosions were heard at the landmark Taj Mahal hotel and thick plumes of smoke rose from the building, witnesses said. There were also explosions at the Oberoi hotel and firing at a hospital where gunmen were surrounded.
"The terrorists are throwing grenades at us from the rooftop of the Taj and trying to stop us from moving in," Ashok Patil, a police inspector said.
Police said at least 300 people were wounded in the attacks which also targeted a railway station and the Cafe Leopold, perhaps the most famous restaurant and hang-out for tourists in the city.
An organisation calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen said it was behind attacks, television channels said. The previously little known group sent an email to news organisations claiming responsibility.
"I guess they were after foreigners, because they were asking for British or American passports," said Rakesh Patel, a British witness who lives in Hong Kong and was staying at the Taj Mahal hotel on business. "They had bombs."
"They came from the restaurant and took us up the stairs," he told the NDTV news channel, smoke stains all over his face. "Young boys, maybe 20 years old, 25 years old. They had two guns."
India has suffered a wave of bomb attacks in recent years.
The latest attack, apparently aimed at least partly at prosperous Western tourists, is bound to spook investors in one of Asia's largest and fastest-growing economies.
Hemant Karkare, the chief of the police anti-terrorist squad in Mumbai, was killed during the attacks, police said.
"We have shot dead four terrorists and managed to arrest nine suspected terrorists," PD Ghadge, a police officer at Mumbai's central control room, told Reuters.
Japan's Foreign Ministry said one of its nationals was killed in the Mumbai attacks and one injured.
Mark Abell, a British lawyer, said he had locked himself inside his Oberoi hotel room after hearing two explosions.
Several hundred people had been evacuated from the Taj hotel, one witness said, but many more remained inside, some calling for help from the fifth floor. Firefighters broke windows to reach trapped guests.
"We came down the fire exit, but I think they took some more people, they are trying to get to the roof," one foreigner told local television. "I think about 15 people (have been taken hostage), about half of them are foreigners."
In Washington, the White House and US President-elect Barack Obama condemned the attacks, as did France, current President of the European Union, and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
A European official was among the wounded.
"My hotel is surrounded by police and there are gunmen inside," European lawmaker Ignasi Guardans told Spanish radio from the Taj. "We are in contact with some deputies inside the hotel, with one in a room and another hidden in the kitchen. There's another official hurt and in hospital."
Indian Home Minister Shivraj Patil said there were around four or five attackers in each of the two hotels.
"They have attacked hotels, they have attacked the hospitals, they have attacked the railway station," he said.
A driver told Reuters at least 50 Koreans were stuck inside the Taj with their drivers waiting outside.
"We were just getting ready to pick them up, when we heard the first blast, police did not let us get past and they (the Koreans) are not answering the phones," Deepak Aswar, the driver said. Europeans were also caught up in the attacks.
"I was in the restaurant inside Oberoi and I saw this series of gunshots and death which I don't want to see again," a Spaniard who declined to give his name told Reuters.
"I crawled out into the kitchen and waited there, until I sensed it was all quiet and seemed over."
Maharashtra state police chief A.N. Roy said attackers had fired automatic weapons indiscriminately, and used grenades, adding that they were still holed up in some buildings.
Sourav Mishra, a Reuters reporter, was with friends at the Cafe Leopold when gunmen opened fire around 9:30 p.m. He was injured and is in St George's Hospital.
"I heard some gunshots around 9:30. I was with my friends. Something hit me. I ran away and fell on the road. Then somebody picked me up. I have injuries below my shoulder," Mishra said from a hospital bed he was sharing with three other people.
Another Reuters reporter saw a hospital ward full of injured people with bullet and shrapnel wounds. Many people were crying as the injured were brought in on trolleys.


We are watching the various news channels for reports. The terrorist drama is still being played out several hours after the initial attacks.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Red Tuesday

I was invited to the christening and birthday dinner of Sarah who turned one year today.I took my camera along hoping to get some red color for today 's theme. Sarah
Sarah, her Dad and birthday cake
She had a big birthday cake.
Cakes like these are usually ordered from a confectionary.
They are only meant for special celebrations that 's why they are so big
Clowns - I did not like the masks.
The clowns belong to a Halloween Party
or Ghoul Club.
Maybe the kids are so used to watching ugly cartoons on the various
cartoon channels they were not scared of them.
Many cartoon characters are frightful and hideous.
I often advise parents to monitor their kids cartoon watching.
One mother told me that when her daughter started displaying the distasteful actions of a particular cartoon character and she banned that show.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Barack Obama and the Bible

I received this article from my from my friend, and elder brother in Christ Vishal Mangalwadi. I taught his daughter too and his wife is a close friend of mine. They live in California now. Check out his website which I have linked.
Vishal is an author, speaker and thinker of international fame. (International lecturer, social reformer and political commentator) He has written 13 books on Eastern religions and the New Age, India 's social problems and the impact of the Bible on the western world.He travels all over the world speaking in top universities, presenting Christ and engaging in open forums and debates.He is really a radical thinker. This is what he says about President Elect Barack Obama.


Same-sex marriage is now being framed as a new Civil Right movement. Since the opposing view comes from the Bible, it will be cast as the enemy of progress, liberty and human rights. Will President-Elect Obama come under pressure to break with the past and "change" the tradition of a new President swearing on the Bible to take the Oath of Office? He may not succumb, but those concerned need to spark a public discussion on the place of the Bible in the past and future of American civilization?
Most people have no idea that Mr. Obama was elected because of the Bible. It was the Bible that inspired America to abolish slavery, institute civil rights, and transform Europe's aristocratic culture (that would have elected Hillary Clinton or John McCain) in favor of meritocracy that elected a little-known member of a racial minority to its highest office. As you will see below, the Bible supplied the values that forced Hillary Clinton to support her opponent.
A national conversation on the Bible is needed urgently because America has drifted so far from its heritage that the above claims would seem outrageous to most people. I presented a cultural case for the Bible in a lecture series at the University of Minnesota: "Must the Sun Set on the West? An Indian Explores the Soul of Western Civilization" (available from
The following are some of my reasons: Why Obama Should Swear on the Bible on January 20, '09 (Please strengthen, add or challenge this summary) 1st Segment: (5-7 minutes) Obama was Elected Because the Bible Made America a Meritocracy President-Elect Barrack Obama should place his hand on the Bible to take the Oath of Office because he owes his election to the Bible. How could Americans select Obama over distinguished rivals such as Hillary Clinton (former First Lady and Senior Senator from New York) and Senator McCain (war hero, Senior Senator with a distinguished pedigree and a wealthy, glamorous, socialite wife)? Negative reasons such as economic fears and an unpopular President were real factors behind Obama's success, but they would not have elected him in any other culture. America elected Obama because through the Puritans the Bible wrote the principle of meritocracy into the very DNA of America. John Winthrop, the first Governor of New England was not a nobleman. Class conscious English aristocrats would have never chosen him to lead the Company that came to colonize America. The Puritans accepted him as their leader only because they followed the Bible in putting ability above class and connections. (Expound David, Jesus and the 12 Apostles, 1 Corinthians 1:26-28 etc.) The Bible's emphasis that God prefers humble and capable follower-leaders is the reason why people coming from class-oriented European society metamorphosed into meritocracy in America. Obama won because (rightly or wrongly) the voters perceived him as the better leader. This American/biblical tradition of putting merit before pedigree, wealth or connections is one of the most important cultural reasons for America's intellectual and economic ascent over the rest of the world. By undermining the Bible, America will undermine its very soul - the secret of its corporate success: educational, scientific, technological, economic and political.2nd Segment: (5-7 Minutes) Obama was elected because the Bible ensured that Hillary Clinton had to Support Him Senator Hillary Clinton needed to do nothing to ensure that her supporters voted for McCain in order to defeat Obama. But her support for Obama was passionate, powerful and unequivocal, even if it came out of a broken heart. If Hillary Clinton were an Indian politician she would have gone as far as seeking a McCain-Clinton ticket! American culture, however, required her to support an opponent who had defeated her in an emotionally charged primary. Such trivial issues split Indian political parties that not one of our 900 registered political parties can even imagine holding "primaries". During the Democratic Convention, Mrs. Clinton asked her foot soldiers why they were campaigning for her during the primaries. She claimed that her election campaign was never about her. It was about America's greater good. She was fighting, she said, for certain moral principles and values and if her supporters understood her and cared for what she cared for, then they would have to rise above personal hurts and campaign vigorously (along with their former in-house rivals) to elect Obama. As an Indian, I want to understand what makes American politicians different from Indian politicians. Why didn't Hillary Clinton follow secular postmodern/Nietzschean "will to power?" Why was she able to submit the 'quest for personal power' to (what she considered) higher "moral" principles? When I heard her speech, as an Indian I assumed that her appeal was nothing more than political necessity; she could not be sincere; she could not really want her supporters to work for Obama. Yet, as the election unfolded it became clear that most of her supporters believed her and worked for Obama. I was still an Indian in my subconscious thinking but her supporters were biblical at the core of their being, even if they reject the Bible at a conscious level. I doubted Hillary's sincerity because secular universities deny that we live in a moral universe where moral laws are real and moral principles matter more than personal power. By doing so, secular intellectuals have made themselves incapable of helping our countries understand why American democracy still works. Hillary Clinton acted the way she did because she is an American and has the DNA of the American culture which was written by the Puritans who came seeking - not just gold - but the Kingdom of God. People followed the Lord Jesus in search of the Kingdom of God. He taught them that they cannot have God's Kingdom unless they deny themselves, take up their cross and follow him in sacrificing themselves for others. America loves to condemn its Puritan past. But the reality is that at its core American culture continues to be Puritan rather than postmodern. Had the Bible not been the soul of Western civilization, Obama could not have become the President. Therefore, it will be wise for him to honor the Bible at his inauguration. 3rd Segment; (5-7 minutes) Obama was elected because the Bible wrote the Truth of Human Equality into America's DNA Many American women supported Hillary Clinton because they do not experience themselves as equal to men. Indeed, it was "self-evident" that the secular media did not treat Governor Sarah Palin as a candidate "equal" to Joe Biden. The blacks voted for Obama because it has never been self-evident to them that they are equal to the whites. Human equality has never been self-evident in any culture at any period of history because it is not an observable, empirical, self-evident, scientific fact. Inequality is the observable fact. Equality appeared self-evident to the American Fathers only because their mental lenses were colored by the Bible. If the American Constitution were being written today, it would have to read, "We hold these truths self-evident that all human beings have evolved equal . . ." That would be an absurd statement because evolution is an explanation for the observable fact of inequality. No amount of intellectual juggling could build a case for equality on the basis of a belief in evolution. [The segment will discuss the historical and theological basis for America's faith in human equality, its relationship to Obama's election and why it would be a huge mistake if he saw himself as the answer to the hopes and dreams of the oppressed in our world. The best thing that he can do for the minorities in America and the oppressed for the world is to turn their attention to the Bible]

Thursday, 20 November 2008


A little sparrow flew into our house the other evening..It started chirping vociferously for help as it could not find its way out. I left my computer perch to give it a wing up ( couldn 't give it a leg up).
Birdie grew more and more confused and zoomed all over our domestic airspace like a lost UFO. I snapped a photo of it sitting on a painting frame. It took an hour of broom waving exercise on our part to assist our feathered visitor out into avian airspace.

The first of our winter roses - after the bushes were pruned and fertilized.
And a gladiola in bloom

I got this award from an Indian blog watch site

Best General Blog of all time. I am rather surprised.There are many more worthy blogs than mine.This website lists only 179 blogposts, but I have actually published 387 posts.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Red Tuesday - Ticket to Ride

This picture of me on holiday in Mussoorie
was taken in November 2000 has nothing red in it
But it was a red letter day for my American friend Elsie and me
as we had so much fun.It was the day the new state
of Uttrakhand was formed and everyone was celebrating
as Mussoorie is a part of it.
Elsie and I with the horses.Elsie has my red cardigan draped around her shoulders.This was the last holiday I had.

I ma wearing a very old silk sari. My parents
gave it to me when I passed grade 12.
Its got red parrots on it.
Its still in very good condition.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Sunday Blessing - My Table You Have Prepared

I made a batch of Chocolate fudge brownies to celebrate
the goodness of the Lord .
In the second week of Sept there was a theft in our church. Several things were stolen including our precious, very expensive Public Address/sound system.I wrote about it on my Sept 14 blogpost.
We asked the Lord to provide the funds to buy a new set.The first donation of Rs 500 (about $12) came from an retired school teacher (our church member). We praised God for it , but it was only a drop in the ocean. But the Lord laid it on the heart of a friend who wishes to be anonymous to send us a gift enabling us to buy a new PA system.
I took a photo of the PA system but by mistake it got deleted.But I have a picture of the shop where we bought it.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil my cup overflows. Psalm 23;5 (Bible)

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Children 's Day 2008

November 14th is the birth anniversary of our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and it is celebrated as Children 's Day in our country.But because hardly anything is being done to alleviate the pathetic condition of millions of poor impoverished children, its become a farce - just an excuse to immortalize the undoubtedly great Nehru, architect of modern India.
Our children are victims of poverty, illiteracy, disease, abuse, child labour and human trafficking. The good work being done by social and Christian organizations is just a drop in the ocean.
I read in today 's newspaper that in Orissa , the state in which violence against Christians precipitated to unfathomable heights, more than 100 schools run by Christians lie in ruins. A group of Orissa children went to New Delhi to rally against it and to show their support for their ransacked schools. They say the Orissa police tried to stop them because they did not want these young children to tell their horror stories to the outside world.

I am posting two videos of a street child in Bombay.
The second video was filmed after a gap of 3 years.
Ravi is a peacock fan vendor out on the streets. He has
never been to school. He has learnt several languages
on the pavement which is his classroom.
In his broken English (2nd video) he talks about
the Hanging Gardens of Bombay which are laid out on top
of a large water tank and the Parsee graveyard
or Tower of Silence.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Under the Shadow of the Cross

I attended the half day retreat today in the
Christian University 's Chapel of Brotherly Love.
It is shaped like a boat or ark.
The chapel hall is on the first floor with
the cross in the background.

The 20 foot high cross at the entrance

Brother P C preaching the Word
While waiting for the morning tea to be served
a group of students broke into songs of worship.
Group discussion on
1 Cor 2;14 - 3;9
The characteristics of 3 kinds of
people described in that passage
This was my discussion group led by
Dr Thomas Abraham (seated on the
extreme right) he is my younger brother in ChristView from the back
Notice the girls are seated on one side
and the boys on the other.A culturally accepted thing where singles are
meeting in church.
More friends

Lunch was served in the garden in the
pleasant afternoon sun.
The Pastor 's family who gave me a ride in their car
was staying back for the evening revival meeting,so I stayed back with them after informing my Mom and making sure she would
be OK all by herself at home.
The Pastor 's family and I went to a
friends home to rest.They gave us their house keys and we relaxed in their
large house while they were away.
This is a view of their back garden and lawn.
It overlooks the Yamuna river.

The next door neighbour , RJ has these
ferocious German Shepherds.
RJ and family are also our friends and
he is like my elder brother in Christ.
I was glad for that fence between the dogs and me.
Worship time at the evening meeting

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Advice Heeded

I heeded your advice and ordered my helmet
and safety suit. Now I can play in the traffic.
I got a car ride tonight and tomorrow morning also
the Pastor 's family will take me with them
to a day retreat in their car.
I know you guys will be knocked out
if you came face to face
with our Indian traffic
that 's why I find
The World 's Wildest Car Chases
quite tame!

<< Proverbs 17:22 >>
A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.
(New American Standard Bible)

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Red Tuesday

Baby Karan, taken a year ago.
His grandparents lived for free on our church campus and did odd jobs for the church in return.
Throughout this week there will be revival meetings at the Christian University. A Pastor Uncle took me yesterday on his motorcycle.
The ride was OK but you have to have nerves of steel to maneuver through the heavy and careless downtown traffic.
Rev G was wearing a helmet , but I was not. Ladies usually don 't.
But as my two friends (see comments) cautioned me I should have been wearing one.
And you don 't know what our traffic is like.
It has a Japanese video game effect on you.
How many points can you score dodging
your attackers.Have I frightened you?
Bro. PC who is the speaker is a family friend, spiritual mentor
and teacher to us all. They lived here to 24 years. His wife was the Director of the Home Economics College and he worked with a sister organization of IVF, sharing the gospel with university students and intellectuals.Now they have retired in Chennai. But Uncle PC (note that in India the word Uncle is a term of respect and endearment, one doesn 't have to be related) has not slowed down at all.
He preaches with the same fire and gusto as he used to, a modern day Spurgeon.His messages pierce the marrow and the bone and really make one sit up.He has ushered hundreds into God 's kingdom specially from among the thinking, intellectual community.
Tonight I could not go as there was no one to take me across the river where the University is located.
Maybe tomorrow Rev G will go, he had an engagement today.
You can read about Brother P C 's ministry HERE

Friday, 7 November 2008

Happy Birthday Billy Graham

When I was 12 years old Dr Akbar Haqq, an associate evengelist with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association came to my city to hold revival meetings. Our family went every night. And on a Sunday afternoon when I heard the preacher expound the death of Christ on Calvary and why I must be born again and make my decision publically , I gave my heart to Jesus. It was very difficult for me to raise my hand and walk up front for prayer as I was very shy and lacked self confidence, but I did it by God 's grace. A missionary lady was my counsellor and I still have the little booklets she gave me about how to live the Christian life.

I used to listen to "The Hour of Decision " for many years . I wrote to them every month and got free books which Cliff Barrows anounced. They also sent me the Decision magazine which I carefully saved.

God bless you Dr Graham and Happy Birthday to you.

_______________________________ Those whose lives have been influenced by the ministry of Reverend Billy Graham are being invited to send a special birthday greeting to the evangelist.

Editor's note: Associated Press is reporting that the evangelist
was hospitalized last Saturday) after suffering a fall late Friday
at his home in North Carolina. X-rays showed no broken bones,
and he expects to be home later today.

Graham turns 90 on November 7, and to help the evangelist celebrate, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) is asking people to submit birthday wishes and testimonies to the ministry's website. The greetings and stories will be gathered and made into a book that will be presented to Dr. Graham. Ken Barun with the BGEA believes the greetings and well-wishers will encourage Graham. "So many people have been touched by the work that the Lord asked Mr. Graham to do while he's on this earth that we wanted to give an opportunity for those people to get in touch with Mr. Graham, send a birthday greeting, and share the story about how their [lives were] impacted by him," Barun explains. Barun says Graham is losing his sight and hearing, but he is alert and well enough to have spoken for about 15 minutes last month at a picnic for ministry staffers.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Race to the Whitehouse

The American elections affect the whole world. So let me put my 5 cent worth here.

Its been a historic election specially for non-white people, as America has gone from

ANDREW WARNOCK makes a very good comment on his blog, encouraging Christians to pray for Mr Obama.
I found Mark Driscoll 's comment also very insightful on his RESURGENCE blog

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Red Tuesday

My friends Terry and Felisol of Pilgrim Pals (see sidebar) post photos with red in them on Tuesday. I followed in their suit.

This photo was taken about 23 years ago. We were on a holiday in Matheran, a hill resort near Bombay.
It was here that I watched the one and only equestrian event of my life.

Saturday, 1 November 2008