Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Red Tuesday

Yesterday my adopted sister Sonia arrived with her
son Abner
and husband.
So there is a lot of activity in the house.
Mama has perked up quite a lot.
She sat outside in the garden
after a long time ,instead of just sitting on the veranda.
At one time there were 9 people living in
our house when everyone was
alive or un-married.
We lived as a joint family.
When visitors came it was like a
mini-camp.But there
was room for everybody.
Even strangers recommended by friends or relatives
were accommodated and lots
of mission workers.
Abner made this card for
Grandma and Aunty.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Sunday Blessings

Yesterday I went to a shopping Mall to
buy groceries and a present
for my cousin 's January 5th wedding
I bought these nice stainless steel cups and saucers -
they are quite in vogue here.
Walking around window shopping. I saw a lovely
black patent leather hand bag - Chinese made -
just the kind I fancied - cost about $10 after discount I asked for a further discount, but was refused -
so I self - denied it
Shopping is a good
practice in self denial and control.
When I dug into my purse to pay the check-out girl
I found my wallet missing..
The ground from under my feet slipped
clouds of darkness swirled in front of my eyes
an elephant stomped on my lungs and I felt
like I was scuba diving in slow motion
in the depths of the Arabian Sea.
I thought someone had pick-pocketed me.
This was my personal
I had bought a few things at another store
and before entering the mall deposited my
bag at the baggage counter - people are not
allowed to carry anything except their purses into the
the shopping area for security reasons.
I explained my position to the cashier and
she was very concerned and said she would hold my things while I
went and checked my other bag.
I ran to the baggage counter breathing fervent prayers
to My Eternal Rescuer
There I found my wallet with all the cash in tact inside my other bag.
I nearly collapsed to the floor with relief.
Everyone at the cash counter
was also relieved when
I told them I had found my wallet.

This might be my misjudgement or forgetfulness
but it could have been worse and I praise God
for being my "very present help".

Friday, 26 December 2008

Peaceful Christmas

Here is an excerpt from an email I got from Dr Mangalwadi
Thank you for your prayers for Orissa: major Hindu groups have called off the agitation planned for Christmas Day. This is a huge relief. However, some Christians are still cautious because (a) not all players are a party to the cancellation, (b) grassroots level groups are still capable of creating large scale chaos, and (c) some extremist groups would like to embarrass the relatively moderate Hindu leaders who called for "reconciliation and dialogue."
Continue to pray for lasting peace.

This morning we had 7 visitors dropping in to greet us and stay for tea and snacks.Only 2 had informed us beforehand that they would be coming.In India its common for people to come by without prior notice. You have to be prepared.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

My Father 's House

If the Lord leads you to support my church ministry with your gifts and donations please contact me by email
Western Union transfer is the easiest.

May the Lord bless you abundantly.


Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Golden Day

If my Dad was alive it would have been my parents
50th - (Golden )Wedding Anniversary.
They were married on 24 Dec 1958
in my church.
We have preserved the wedding invitation.

The above photo was taken on Christmas Day 1978
It was a very nostalgic day
for Mama and me.
If things were different we would have had
a large family get-together and celebration.
Here they are with their beloved
grandchildren Ashish andMahima
about 8 years ago.
It was a cold January day
and they are warming themselves
with a charcoal fire
Thank you for praying for the difficult situation we were
facing. The Lord is gracious to us.
The couple involved came to us
and invited Mother and me for Christmas lunch
and they spoke very lovingly.
We were not surprised because they are God 's children -
and He answers our prayers.
This made our day golden.
God bless your Christmas with peace and joy.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Red Tuesday

The three pictures below were taken by my niece and nephew when they visited India 2 years ago.Children playing in a school
in a rural area a few kilometers outside the city.
Roadside flower sellers.

A closer shot.
These flowers are offered to the
Ganges river which is worshipped.
They are also temple offerings and people decorate their dashboards with them.

Today is my younger sister Namrita 's birthday
With her elder son

Mishael and Rayguel
Here is Namrita before her marriage

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Sunday Blessings - Remember Orissa

Hindu fundamentalist groups issued a warning to the Government that if by Dec 15th the murderers of their leader are not arrested they would strike back at Christians in Orissa on Christmas Day.

On Dec 15th the Hindu organization's ultimatum to the government expired . Their demands have not been met: even though the police have detained two more people for questioning in connection with the murder of a Hindu leader on August 23, no one has been actually charged with the murder. The stage is now set for them to carry out their threat to force everything in Orissa to close on Christmas Day. Since Christmas is already a holiday, they are expected to march out against anyone celebrating Christmas.They are likely to turn violent.
In the mean time the Maoist (communists) who have already claimed to have killed the Hindu priest, have sent a threat letter to another important Hindu leader in Orissa - the Shankarachariya of Puri.
Christians in Orissa and everywhere else are in grave danger.
Prayers are needed.
I am writing with a rather heavy heart .
Today after church a strife like situation developed in a business meeting.In a leadership position you cannot be a people pleaser , sometimes you have to say "No" which leads to someone trying to step on your face.It involved me and a husband and wife. I explained my position and the husband took it very decently but the wife was very hostile.She has been that like since several days.
My Mom and I were deeply affected by this.In the evening the Lord sent a lovely Christian family to cheer us up and we had a long talk with my sister and BIL ending with a prayer time over the Internet which comforted us. Please pray for us.My mother is feeling very low and depressed and I am having occasional anxiety attacks....the devil 's fiery darts.
Also a man who did some building work for the church presented us with a unfair extra bill after we paid him. He is a vicious man and could be of formidable danger to us.
Goliath has reared his ugly head.Prayers are needed.
My chosen advent song for this Sunday is The Friendly Beasts

Saturday, 20 December 2008


Since the past 2 days my Internet connection
had been disrupted. Its all over India I was informed.
Some undersea cables have snapped.
It took me close to 2 hours to get the pictures of
this post uploaded. I was doing
other things while keeping an eye
on the computer.
Well, God certainly has a sense of humor and He fulfils the
desires of our hearts in
surprising ways.
This week I was feeling the seasonal blues as
everyone I know seemed to be
going out for parties and celebrations.
I was bordering on self pity by Thursday afternoon
when the phone rang and I received
an invitation to the closing dinner
of the Bible College.
That really perked me up -
just meeting people and hanging around a large group of folks
most of them I don 't know personally.
Yesterday I went to a Bible Institute
for a Christmas worship service and dinner.
Above is a photo of the decorated
meeting hall.
A group of African students
(they are university students)
sang very lively songs in Swahili,
the Zambian language, English and Hindi.

Aunties who gave me a ride in their
car. They are my church members.

All these ladies are my mother 's friends.
The lady in the centre is the oldest member
of her church.Everyone calls her Mama
and gives her a lot of love and respect.
The Bible Institute decorated with Christmas lights.
Its not too cold for me, but my Mom
was feeling very cold
so we lit a charcoal fire for her
Later on the turned on the electric heater.
We don 't have central heating in our homes.
Hope you all are keeping warm.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Christmas In India during the British Raj

Christmas in India"; chromoxylograph from a drawing by E.K. Johnson; 1881. An idealized picture of British home life: attentive servants and happy children (who would be packed off to England for schooling before long).

A bearer or valet and ayah or nursemaid

A bhisti or water carrier

Recollections of English domestic life in India present a picture of an existence both contented and full of difficulties, both luxurious and spartan. Britons generally occupied commodious bungalows (the word itself comes from Indian terminology meaning something from Bengal and referred to a particular housetype originally from that province) and commonly employed numerous servants to run the household.
Yet even into the 1940s the house would not have electricity, running water, refrigeration; it would have been open enough for insects, rats, snakes and--in remote areas--even wild animals to invade. Moves to new postings were frequent and thus life was unsettled. It was thought important to send children home to England for schooling, so that family members were separated. There were likely few other Europeans nearby, so that people--especially wives with no official work, possibly no children at home, and only a menage of servants to interact with all day--might feel very isolated. Indeed, women who found outside interests--whether their husbands' work, local charitable pursuits, or the outdoor life--were thought to be happiest.

Red Tuesday

Pretty chrysanthemums
Fresh carrots from my garden

This cloth purse is a gift from my younger sister who lives in Meghalaya.
(N.E. India)
It is hand woven with a unique tribal design.
The while shawl is from Himachal (N.W. India)

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Sunday Blessings Circle of Light

This evening I went to a multicultural

Christmas program at the Seminary.

It a microcosm of India.

There are students from 25 Indian states speaking various languages split into 32 dialects the Principal told us.

Choir from Nagaland

Rev B R delivering the message.

We know him from the late 70s when he was

the speaker at our summer camp.

Rev and Mrs R after singing in a Hindi choir.

After retiring they live in Canada.

It was good talking with Mrs R

about friends and old times.

Sunday school children

These students are singing a qawwali.

This genre of music is from the Islamic style or tradition.

It has been adapted to Christian music.

These girls are doing a

choreographed number to a Micheal W. Smith song.

East meets west here.

After the service we all stood outside in a circle
of light with our candles.
Bible verses were read.
Songs were sung.Greetings were exchanged

and a great cry of victory

for Jesus Christ was raised

in the moonlit night.

On the 3rd Advent Sunday

I have chosen Infant Holy Infant Lowly .

Infant holy, infant lowly, For His bed a cattle stall; Oxen lowing, little knowing Christ, the babe, is Lord of all. Swift are winging, angels singing, Noels ringing, tidings bringing: Christ the babe is Lord of all. Flocks were sleeping, shepherds keeping Vigil till the morning new Saw the glory, heard the story, Tidings of a gospel true. Thus rejoicing, free from sorrow, Praises voicing greet the morrow: Christ the babe was born for you.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Family Christmas Night

Earlier this week I was invited to a Family Christmas night and potluck supper called the Agape Meal at the Pentecostal Church.
I was really blessed by the fellowship and warmth of the church people.
They focused on celebrating Christmas as a family. About 7 or 8 families presented Christmas carols. It was fun to see people of all ages - from little children to grandparents participate.
Above is sister K with her husband and daughter.This dear American lady is the Pastor of the church.She leads the church after the death of her father-in-law who was its founder.I am full of admiration for sister K. She is a fine example of perseverance, courage, spiritual strength and leadership.Her assistant Pastor began his ministry in our church, later on he joined her.

This lovely family is reading out Bible promises
for their church.
The 12 Days Of Christmas
My dear friend Robin had the story behind The Twelve Days Of Christmas on her blog. Gives the song a new meaning

This old and beloved carol is Ireland's very own. During the centuries when it was a crime to be Catholic and to practice one's faith, in public or private, in Ireland and England "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written as a "catechism song" to help young Catholics learn the beliefs of their faith. It was a memory aid when being caught with anything in writing indicating adherence to the Catholic faith could not only get you imprisoned, it could get you hung.
The songs gifts are hidden meanings to the teachings of the faith. The "true love" mentioned in the song doesn't refer to an earthly suitor, it refers to God himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person.
A Partridge in a pear tree - Jesus Christ, the son of God.
Two turtle doves - The Old and New Testaments
Three french hens - Faith, Hope and Charity, the theological virtues.
Four calling birds - The four Gospels and/or the four Evangelists.
Five golden rings - The first five books of the Old Testament (The Pentateuch).
Six geese a-laying - Six days of creation.
Seven swans a swimming - The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven Sacraments.
Eight maids a-milking - The eight Beatitudes.
Nine ladies dancing - The nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit (sometimes also listed as the nine classifications of angels).
Ten lords a-leaping - The Ten Commandments.
Eleven pipers pipering - The eleven faithful apostles.
Twelve drummers drumming - The twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed.

courtesy of http://www.irelandnow.com/christmas.html

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Red Tuesday - Lo How a Rose Er ' Blooming

Ladies dressed in red saris. Red seems to be the color of the season.

A velvety red rose from our garden.
Today on Internet Radio I heard another favorite Christmas carol of mine.This one called Lo How A Rose Er ' Blooming is from Germany.

We used to sing it in the Allahabad Choral Society.

The late Mrs Erica Harper (Presbyterian missionary) was the conductor.My sisters and I were the youngest members of the choir.

The wife of my Dad 's cousin Dr S (who is the head of the pathology dept. of the Medical College) sang the solo.

Lo, how a Rose er ' blooming from tender stem hath sprung!Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as men of old have sung.It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,When half spent was the night.
Isaiah ’twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;With Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind.To show God’s love aright, she bore to men a Savior,When half spent was the night.
The shepherds heard the story proclaimed by angels bright,How Christ, the Lord of glory was born on earth this night.To Bethlehem they sped and in the manger found Him,As angel heralds said.
This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;True Man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us,And lightens every load.
O Savior, Child of Mary, who felt our human woe,O Savior, King of glory, who dost our weakness know;Bring us at length we pray, to the bright courts of Heaven,And to the endless day!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Sunday Blessings - O Holy Night

This evening I went to a Carol service held at the Holy Trinity Church.
I have sung many times in this church.
Trinity Church is about 150 years old and was the first civil Anglican church of Allahabad built by the British. Now it belongs to the Church of North India although it holds on to its Anglican uniqueness.

The beautiful spire decorated for the occasion

Another view with the moon

The altar with a stain glass window.

The pulpit

This is a Bible reading brass stand in the shape of an eagle.

About 17 choirs from different churches took part in the service

Children 's choir. There are 2 Korean girls in there.

The man playing the accordion is my cousin brother. He is a reputed eye surgeon of our city. He plays the piano, classical guitar and other instruments.His grandmother was the first Indian pianist of our city during the British rule. His late father composed many Christian hymns and Biblical musicals in our mother tongue.

At the close of the service the congregation processes out with candles.
Everybody gathers in the church yard where Scripture verses are read.
O Holy Night is another favourite carol of mine.
Who could have sung it better than Luciano Pavarotti

O Holy Night Lyrics The words and lyrics of the old carol 'O Holy Night' were written by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure in 1847. Cappeau was a wine seller by trade but was asked by the parish priest to write a poem for Christmas. He obliged and wrote the beautiful words of the hymn. He then realised that it should have music to accompany the words and he approached his friend Adolphe Charles Adams(1803-1856). He agreed and the music for the poem was therefore composed by Adolphe Charles Adams. Adolphe had attended the Paris conservatoire and forged a brilliant career as a composer. It was translated into English by John Sullivan Dwight (1812-1893).
O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining, It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining. Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth. A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices! O night divine, the night when Christ was born; O night, O Holy Night , O night divine! O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!