Saturday, 31 January 2009

Young Brooke

I am currently reading a book called 'Crazy love ' by Francis Chan.
"Chan writes with infectious exuberance challenging Christians to take the Bible seriously.He describes at length the sorry state of 'lukewarm" Christians who strive for a life characterized by control, safely , and an absence of suffering.In stark contrast ,the book offers real life accounts of believers who have given time ,money,health, even their lives- in obedience to Christ 's call.Chan also recounts his own attempts to live 'crazy ' by significantly downsizing his home and giving away his resources to the poor.Earnest Christians will find valuable take-home lessons from Chan 's excellent book "-Publisher 's Weekly.
I was specially challenged by the story of Brooke Bronkowski.

"Brooke Bronkowski was a beautiful fourteen-year-old girl who was in love with Jesus. When she was in junior high she started a Bible study on her campus. She spent her babysitting money on Bibles so she could give them to her unsaved friends. Youth pastors who heard about this bought her boxes of Bibles to give away. Brooke wrote the following essay when she was twelve years old it will give you an idea what kind of a girl she was.


By Brooke Bronkowski

I’ll live my life to the fullest. I’ll be happy. I’ll brighten up. I will be more joyful than I have ever been. I will be kind to others. I will loosen up. I will tell others about Christ. I will go on adventures and change the world. I will be bold and not change who I really am. I will have no troubles but instead help others with their troubles.
You see, I’ll be one of those people who live to be history makers at a young age. Oh, I’ll have moments, good and bad, but I’ll wipe away the bad and only remember the good. In fact that’s all I remember, just good moments, nothing in between, just living my life to the fullest. I’ll be one of those people who go somewhere with a mission, an awesome plan, a world-changing plan, and nothing will hold me back. I’ll set an example for others, I will pray for direction.
I have my life before me. I will give others the joy I have and God will give me more joy. I will do everything God tells me to do. I will follow the footsteps of God. I will do my best!!!

During her freshman year in high school, Brooke was in a car accident while driving to the movies. Her life on earth ended when she was just fourteen, but her impact didn’t. Nearly fifteen hundred people attended Brooke’s memorial service. People from her public high school read poems she had written about her love for God. Everyone spoke of her example and joy. I shared the gospel and invited those who wanted to know Jesus to come up and give their lives to Him. There must have been at least two hundred students on their knees at the front of the church praying for salvation. Ushers gave a Bible to each one of them. They were Bibles that Brooke had kept in her garage, hoping to give out to all of her unsaved friends. In one day, Brooke led more people to the Lord than most ever will. In her brief fourteen years on earth, Brooke was faithful to Christ. Her life was not wasted. The words from her essay seem prophetic: “You see, I’ll be one of those people who live to be history makers at a young age.” Sadly, many people die while living selfishly…. The truth is, some people waste their lives…. I think it’s easy to hear a story like Brooke’s and just move on, without acknowledging that it could just as easily be you or me or my wife or your brother whose life ends suddenly. You could be the next person in your family to die. I could be the next person at my church to die. We have to realize it. We have to believe it enough that it changes how we live. A friend of mine has a particularly wise perspective on this subject. He was asked if he weren’t spending too much of his time serving and giving too much away. His gentle but honest response was, “I wonder if you’ll say that after we’re dead.” (taken from Crazy Love)

Brooke has joined the great cloud of witnesses in heaven but her life still challenges me and you to live the kind of life which will impact eternity.

I recommend this book to all my reader 's. You can also visit Watch some of Chan 's videos where he talks about his book.

Cheryl on The Perch has read this book and is celebrating her blog anniversary in a very innovative way. You can also contribute to a worthy cause by visiting her blog and dropping a comment.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Movie Makers

In 2004 my two cousin sisters made a movie called "Little Box of Sweets" They also acted in it. Some of the sequences were shot on our campus. In the photo below you can see part of our house.

Here the actors and crew are sitting on the parsonage steps. The girls are my cousins.

Set near the city of ALLAHABAD in North India in the early 70's/ mid 80's, the film brings to life a rainbow of characters from different backgrounds and a small fading Anglo Indian Community. The common thread of - love, friendship - celebrations and tears - nothing says it better than 'LITTLE BOX OF SWEETS'.
If you are interested you can check out their website for more images


It was very interesting to watch the shooting (the aesthetic not the violent kind LOL)take place. But we all had to be very quiet and keep our 2 excited dogs calm too. They borrowed my coffee mugs and tray to use as props.

I must say making a film is very hard work. Perfection doesn 't come easily. In fact the ground work is very un-glamorous and tedious.

This film is a very good reflection on the Christian community of North India, relations between the East and West and ordinary Indian life.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Jai Hind

Today India celebrates her 60th Republic Day.
Our national holiday is marked with great pomp and show and patriotic fervor. There are Parades and celebrations everywhere.
But the grandest one is held in New Delhi .
These photos are from the New Delhi Parade.
Modern weapons displayed
Soldiers marching in colorful columns
Helicopters spraying the sky with ouur national colours
The Maratha Light Infantry showing a tradional sport called Malkumbhi
Elephants in the march past. On them are seated children who have won
bravery awards.

Children performing a play about our Independance struggle.
Here is a video of India celebrations in Woodstock School, (you can click on the link) Uttrakhand,North India
I taught in this school for a number of years.
It is an international community of staff and students from all 5 continents.The school was established 150 years ago by American missionaries.
In the video you can see the annual school Mela or Fair.
As the band plays everyone enjoys the food and dances and wares being sold.
You can have hotdogs
Bhaturas- fried bread which is eaten with a dish of savoury chickpeasThe lacey jalebis are sweets dipped in syrup.
Next are Tibetan momos -stuffed dumpling eaten fried or steamed.
South Indian rice pancakes called dosas are being prepared on a hot skillet. And if you notice the food is being served enviroment friendly disposable plates made with leaves.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Thank You Gail

Thank you dearest GAIL for sending me this award.Getting to know you through your precious blog has been such a blessing to me.Your posts encourage me and urge me to live for Christ. You are such a caring person and take a stand for justice and reach out to people in your community. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you always
My friend SITA wrote about child human traficking in Cambodia. Here on
ABAUM 'S WORLD (Jan 12th post) you can see how children are being expoited for hatred. Why are children so sinned against!
And for little bit of comic relief I included this cartoon strip.The first thing I look for in my newspaper.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Red Tuesday -Red Hot Chili Peppers

My Tuesday photos are a day late
as I was watching the inauguration of the
American President.
I bought these red hot chili peppers
to make pickle.
Washed and sun dried them.
Then I stuffed them with 7 different spices
mixed with salt.
I bottled them pouring some mustard oil,
vinegar and lemon juice over them.
I put the bottle out in the sun.
The pickle should be ready
in about a week.
This is a salad I made with our garden produce.
Grated beets,carrots daikon.
and salad leaves.
These are my beet root plants.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Obama - Through Indian Eyes

In India Obama 's inauguration is making front line news.There is a lot of interest in this event. All the news channels will be broadcasting it live from Washington DC. Mum and I will be watching. It will be late night for us

Dr Vishal Mangalwadi (top photo) has delivered a series of lectures on Barrack Obama and the Bible. You can view them on his YouTube site
This is his introductory talk
How the Bible has shaped western civillization
A short while ago I saw this song on TV and found it on YouTube.
Its a hindi song in praise of Obama. I am not an Obama fan.
If you read the sub-titles it says Obama worships the Hindu god Hanuman. Young India is treating Obama like a demi-god.Hope he does not disappoint them.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Watch This

To me this performance is very symbolic.
Many of us have suffered losses in the area of our health, finances,family
emotions etc but with God 's enable-ment we can dance a dance choreographed by the Chief Musician.
Also most of us in the body of Christ (God 's family) have lost an "arm or a leg" - nobody is perfect. Let us reach out to support and strengthen one another.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Good Blogging Ideas

I found this website with
The author makes some very good suggestions

Ease of use
Easy navigation
Fast loading
Fonts and typeface that’s easy on the eyes
Pleasant color-contrasts
(the above 2 points are important for those with disabilitites -
many times I am unable to follow a blog because
of its small font or uneven colour combination)
Captivating images
I like personal blogs with cultural intonations,
photos and humour, inspiration and
real life stories ...blogs that encourage
me to hold on to God 's hand more tightly.
And its just not the blogs , its the people who are writing them,
my precious friends from whom I have received so much.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Red Tuesday

My mother was a very skillful knitter
in her her day.
She made this red sweater
for my elder sister
about 25 years ago.
I have preserved all her handmade creations
very carefully.
Most ladies of my family
are very good knitters.
Now many of them have given up knitting due to
advancing age and poor eyesight.

Golden Globe for Slumdog Millionaire

New York, Jan 13: Music maestro A R Rahman on Monday scripted history by becoming the first Indian to win the prestigious Golden Globe award for best original music score for Mumbai-based saga 'Slumdog Millionaire,' with the film hitting the jackpot bagging honours in four categories.
A Mumbai underdog's rags-to-riches story directed by British filmmaker Danny Boyle, the movie swept awards in all the four categories it was nominated for, brightening its chances at the Oscars next monthLiving up to its reputation of an underdog-winner tale, the 'Slumdog' has emerged a favourite in almost all the pre-Oscar award ceremonies. It has already won the the best film, best director for Danny Boyle, best writer for Simon Beaufoy, best young actor for Dev Patel and best composer award for A R Rahman at the 14th annual Critics Choice Awards by Broadcast Film Critics Association's of America last week.
Boyle's film depicts the heart-warming story of an orphan Jamaal, who goes on to win the Indian version of popular game show 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? to get his love back. The film was adapted from Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup's novel 'Q and A' .

Taken from

I have not seen this movie. You can watch it online.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Magh Mela - The Sacred Bath

Today the January Festival or Magh Mela opened
in Allahabad, my hometown, at Prayag on the banks of the Ganges River.
Magh is the eleventh month of the Hindu calender.Sangam is the spot where the 3 rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the unseen Saraswati have their confluence.According to Hindu belief bathing in the Sangam during holy auspicious times can wash away sins and help obtain moksha - freedom from the cycle of re=births.

The above photos were shot by my niece Mahima
2 years ago when she was 14.
(The following excerpt has been taken from}
Magh Mela is an important annual Hindu ritual held on the banks of Sangam ( Rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) in Prayag (modern day Allahabad). Magh Mela is also known as mini Kumbh Mela and is held in Magh month as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India. The main ritual involves taking a holy dip (bathing) at Sangam on auspicious dates. In 2009, Magh Mela begins on January 11 and ends on February 23. It must be noted here that Magh Mela is not confined to the Magh month and the important bathing dates are spread over a period of 45 days.
The important dates during Magh Mela 2009 are:January 11 (Paush Purnima)January 14 (Makar Sankranti)January 26 (Mauni Amavasya)January 31 (Basant Panchami)February 9 (Maghi Poornima)and February 23(Maha Shivratri)
It is widely believed that taking a holy dip at the Sangam on the auspicious days during the period will wash away the sins and will lead to Moksha (merging with the Supreme Soul) – the ultimate aim of Hindus.
Important bathing dates during Magh mela attract nearly a million Hindu devotees. A temporary tent city is erected on the banks of Ganga in Allahabad. Numerous religious organizations and ashrams erect separate camps for their followers.
A major highlight during the period is the Kalpavasis – pilgrims who live in these camps during the period of the Magh Mela.

(The rest of the photos were taken from the Internet)

According to the Bible, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.Jesus shed His blood for us on the cross to pay the price for our sin. The Bible says without the shedding of blood there can be no remission or forgiveness of sin. Someone had to die in our place to obtain our freedom .

Jesus took our place on the cross.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

A Close Encounter of the Beast Kind

This morning as I was walking back from
the Post office, I encountered a big black stray
bull ambling right into my path.
I paused and stepped aside to let him pass -
complying with animal etiquette, but
the black beast came right at me like
a slow moving train engine.
I had nowhere to run except into the traffic as
workmen were digging a trench for
underground cables.
I screamed and asked a man cleaning the road to help me.
He shouted at the bull.
But the beast was not his baby.
Anyway the shouting and screaming
distracted him and I escaped unharmed.
I was scared as I 've been poked by a cow once and bitten by a monkey.
Web photo of a stray bull.
When people have no use for them they
loose them on the streets.
They don 't euthanize them
as they are worshipped by the Hindus.

Short video by an American tourist.
Here is another video
Cat-tle Walk on National Highway # 8
We will, we will
Shock you!!!

A Birthday Party

On Dec 31 was my cousin Antim 's birthday.
He is the youngest of 6 children, so he
was named Antim which means Last.
Here he is with his fiance Smriti.
He is a dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon.
Smriti runs a computer training school for women.
There were more than 50 guests .
Plenty of cake to go around.
They laid out a lovely dinner
prepared by professional cooks.
Antim 's sister M is a singer, actress and movie maker.
She lives in London. This is her fiance Andrew who is also
a musician and composer.

Some more relatives from Amtim 's dad 's side.
His Mom Aunt Joy is related to us.
You can see her at the bottom right of the picture.
The man with the camera on the left is
Rajat whose wedding I could not attend.

On the left bottom corner is Dr A,
Antim 's brother . He is a reputed
eye surgeon and he told me he plays
more than 10 musical instruments.
The girl in the white jacket is Dr A 's daughter.
She is a medical student and plays
badminton very well.
These are all very successful and accomplished people by the world 's
standards, but rate low on the spiritual scale.
Year 's ago when we shared the Gospel with
them they called us mad and crazy.
But now they respect us and even though
our lifestyles don 't match
there is fraternity and brotherhood among us.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Red Tuesday

My aunt, whose son got married yesterday
is an artist.
On her dining room wall hangs
her re-creation of The Last Supper.
She has given it a stained glass look.
I am feeling better today, but I 'm still quite weak.
Sonia and family left this morning.
Praying they may reach home safely as driving in the fogcan be risky.
I got a call from Sonia saying they got home safely.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Burn Out

In the afternoon I suddenly felt
terribly sick -
Vertigo, nausea,headache and extreme weakness.
As a result of this I could not attend my cousin 's wedding.
It came as a huge disappointment to me -
I had been looking forward to it
and Sonia too.
She also did not go without me.

I 've been going through
a lot of stress these past few days -
my aunt 's illness and surgery
church affairs etc.
Today my body called the shots
I rested in the afternoon and now
I am feeling better.
But my head feels heavy.
I need a good rest and sleep.
Tomorrow Sonia, Avi and Abner will leave.
We will miss them.
Their visits add colour and life to our lives.
They will travel by road.
Due to heavy fog ,highway visibility
is very low.
Please pray for their journey safety.
My inability to go the wedding made me very blue
but the Lord is teaching me to accept the ups
and downs of life at the beginning of the new year.
His ways are not my ways.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Sunday Blessings - Praise Report

Aunt Virginia 's surgery was successful.
Thanks be to God for that.
There is a lot going on here.
Once things slow down a bit I will post the pictures and stories.
North India is in the grip of cold weather. Temperatures around 5 C or in the low 40s and 30s with icy winds.
Many people have died as they have no protection from the cold.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Quick Note

I want to wish all my buddies a
Thank you for your greetings.
This is quite a crazy time for my family and me.
My Dad 's elder brother 's widow
80+ year old Aunt Virginia was in pain since
Dec 21st.Mama and I are her only relatives. (She does not have children
and her brother 's children don 't care.)
We got a doctor to examine her and it was discovered that she has
fractured her hip bone and needs to have a steel
rod inserted through surgery.
On Dec 31st we got her admitted in the hospital.
Jan 1st was a crazy day as we had to arrange for a
blood donor. My Pastor and his wife were a tremendous help. Around midnight he found a donor.
The surgery was scheduled for Jan 2nd at 9 am.
We all assembled in the hospital ,
the nurses prepared auntie.
Prayers were said and we waited for them to wheel
her into the OT.
After a long wait (10.30am)
they told us that the operation
has been postponed till Jan 3rd. as
one of the surgeons on the team took off on an emergency leave.
So we have to go through the whole process this morning which is very draining emotionally and physically.
Apart from all this I 've been
trying to juggle other activities like
a birthday celebration
a wedding reception
a pre-wedding ceremony (today Jan 3)
a cousin 's wedding (Jan 5th)
guests and visitors
Taking care of Mom 's needs and
house chores.
Sonia is a great help.
Please pray for Aunt Virginia.
The doctors have cautioned us that the surgery
is risky due to her age is weak physical condition.
We are very anxious and worried because of that.