Friday, 31 December 2010

Why I am celebrating New Years

This video pretty much sums up my feelings tonight on the eve of 2011

I f th e video doe s not sho w up please click on THIS LINK to watch it
I did not make any resolutions as such. Because the word resolution is very heavy and weighty.
I have a simple goal for 2011.
Try to break out of the treadmill of routine by tackling things in a different way. And take time to smell the roses.
May your 2011 be hapy, healthy and God centered

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Christmas Visitors

In India it is acceptable to drop in and visit people unannounced. This week we' ve had plenty of surprise visitors. On Sunday after church 11 people came. I served tea and refreshments to all.
Everyone enjoyed the warm sunshine in our garden.
A cousin 's son. While I served tea to the elders, this little guy wanted a cold drink (which I always give him in the summer). He was disappointed I didn 't have any on hand. (LOL).
Yesterday an aunt and a cousin and her husband visited - all pleasant surprises.

And today the biggest surprise were Dennis and Elizabeth, our friends from Australia. Dr M trained and educated agriculturists in the Christian Agricultural University. He was the director of the Dept. of Non Formal Education. The M 's ( 4 children - 3 daughters and a son) were like family to us. They were the energy, life and encouragement of our Fellowship. now they are back in their home country Australia, where Dennis is pastoring a church and Elizabeth is a school. teacher. All their children are married and they have 4 cute grand daughters. They are visiting India after 4 years.

With Mama

I read this except on Taiwan Prattler 's blog.
This was the way I was introduced to Timothy Keller who is likened to a present day C S Lewis. I would like to read his book Prodigal God and others too, if they are ever available here.
On Timothy Keller 's website you can read book reviews and read Chapter One from Prodigal God.

The story is quoted in Tim Keller’s Prodigal God, page 51:
One day Jesus said to his disciples: “I’d like you to carry a stone for Me.” He didn’t give any explanation. So the disciples looked around for a stone to carry, and Peter, being the practical sort, sought out the smallest stone he could possibly find. After all, Jesus didn’t give any regulations for weight and size! So he put it in his pocket. Jesus then said: “Follow Me.” He led them on a journey. About noontime Jesus had everyone sit down. He waved his hands and all the stones turned to bread. He said, “Now it’s time for lunch.” In a few seconds, Peter’s lunch was over. When lunch was done Jesus told them to stand up. He said again, “I’d like you to carry a stone for Me.” This time Peter said, “Aha! Now I get it!” So he looked around and saw a small boulder. He hoisted it on his back and it was painful, it made him stagger. But he said, “I can’t wait for supper. “ Jesus then said: “Follow Me.” He led them on a journey, with Peter barely being able to keep up. Around supper time Jesus led them to the side of a river. He said, “Now everyone throw your stones into the water.” They did. Then he said, “Follow Me,” and began to walk. Peter and the others looked at him dumbfounded. Jesus sighed and said, “Don’t you remember what I asked you to do? Who were you carrying the stones for?”

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Santa' s Pet

Friday, 24 December 2010

Happy Birthday Jesus

This Christmas tree and almost all the ornaments are a gift from my sister Anjali A metal Christmas tree candle holder I bought from a crafts bazaar

This Nativity scene is a family collection from my childhood. My parents collected pieces from here and there and put them all together. We have kangaroos, camels, horses a Polar bear from Anjali, drummers from India and Africa and elephants from Sri Lanka. I could have added my Russian hen and a ceramic cat too.
This wood carving is from Malawi, a gift from our missionary friends.

Anjali and Prem brought this for us from Nigeria. Its sculpted from sandstone.

My blog friend Holly sent me this tiniest set from TX. Its so cute, fits into a matchbox.
We talk about the Incarnation at Christmastime. Incarnation means ' taking flesh' in Latin.
God 'took flesh ' and became the human Jesus.
We say it so glibly.
But the idea is so impossible.
God became flesh?
Its like trying to fit a battleship into a bathtub.
Making a skyscraper fit into a dollhouse.
A field of wheat crammed into a cereal box.
More than that , it is like making blue paint out of the blue sky.
We can 't fathom such things.
In the same way we cannot imagine the God of the universe becoming a baby.
Its so odd. After all the whole point was that God wanted to rescue us.
But a baby can 't rescue anyone.
Babies need rescuing themselves.
Maybe because God couldn 't make Himself greater to impress us , He made Himself smaller to attract us.
And the Christmas story is attractive.
In all history there is nothing like it.In all the cities of the world you will see great monuments built in the memory of outstanding men and women. Bit have you ever seen the statue of a famous person as an infant?
You would never see George Washington or Gandhi portrayed in a stroller.
That would be silly.
But it is not silly to honor the Lord of the universe as a baby because this child signifies the Incarnation.
That God took on flesh is amazing
like an oil well fitting into an oilcan,
or a mountain squeezing into a molehill.
God became flesh-
(adapted from Joni' s More precious than Silver)

Thursday, 23 December 2010

A Christmas Wish

Today I have a special
Christmas wish.
I wish for a holiday reunion
with my 3 sisters and their families
in a tourist resort
where all of us
can relax and have fun
and no one would have to do
the cooking and cleaning LOL.
There 's a special kind
of freedom sisters enjoy.
Freedom to share the uttermost
thoughts , to ask a favor,
to show their true feelings.
The freedom to simply
be themselves

My elder sister Anjali with her family

Younger sister Namrita at a
school picnic

With a friend

She was with us last
winter with her 2 sons.
Today is her birthday.

Sonia came with her son and husband
just for 24 hours.
They were on their
way to M P state
to spend Christmas with
an aunt and her family.
Here they are waving goodbye
as their left
for the railway station
to catch a train this afternoon.

I have another Christmas wish and this is for the whole country

I just wish the prices of onions,garlic and vegetable may come down.

In the past one week food prices have sky rocketed and poor and middle class people are really suffering. Onions and garlic which is an essential part of our food is literally bringing tears to our eyes. Its going to be a bland frugal holiday season. They say the situation will remain the same till March. Read more about it HERE and THE PRICE MONSTER

I wish Santa would fill my stocking with onion, garlic and fresh ginger etc. LOL.

This is the cutest Christmas video I have ever seen

Please please Please watch this.
It deserves an Oscar.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Last night a group of young men from Evangelical Union came to sing carols for us. EU is a sister organization of Inter Varsity Fellowship. Our family has been a part of it since more than 30 years.

On November 30th the EU had a Christmas Programme which was attended by 103 students. 28 were from non-Christians faiths The students were able to make 50 contacts which will be followed up in Bible Study cell groups.

Look at Sheeba sitting right in the middle of everything. The boys were riding motorcycles, You can see their helmets placed on the coffee table. They are students from different parts of India all studying in the Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture and Technical Sciences (SHAITS) Its a prestigious university and has international students too.

Last Sunday the university took out a Christmas street procession. It had about 12 floats all displaying various Nativity scenes. It passed near my house but I did not know about it otherwise I would have gone and witnessed it and taken photos too.
I want to introduce you to Paulson 's blog. He is a professor at the Engineering College.
His wife Shirley is a medical doctor. Their 2 sons and a daughter are school going. The Paulsons are very devoted to the spread of the Gospel. They are members and mentors of EU and host a weekly Bible study for Engineering students in their home. You can visit Paul HERE
Mama and Sheeba - captive audience.
As the celebration and decoration of Christmas is picking up momentum all over the world the following quote by Martin Luther made stop and reflect.
Of Christmas Eve Martin Luther wrote once," There are some of us who think to ourselves,"If I had only been there!How quick I would be to help the Baby. I would have washed His linen . How happy I would have been to go with the Shepherds to see the Lord lying in the manger? Yes we would say that.And we say it because we know now how great Christ is But had we been there at that time I don' t think we would have done any better than the people of Bethlehem."
Martin Luther has a good point. And I am afraid he' s got my number.
(adapted from Joni' s More Precious Than Silver)

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Sunday Blessings - Christmas Moon and Star

This song came to mind as I walked in my garden in the light of the moon and star.
The awesome Barbara Streisand

I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Saviour did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I;
I wonder as I wander out under the sky
When Mary birthed Jesus 'twas in a cow's stall
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all
But high from God's heaven, a star's light did fall
And the promise of ages it then did recall.
If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing
A star in the sky or a bird on the wing
Or all of God's Angels in heaven to sing
He surely could have it, 'cause he was the King
"The Word became flesh and dwelt among us" John 1:14

The star in the day time
Sheeba wanted me to post some more of her pictures. In the first one you can see Naughty lounging in the distance.
Today after church we decided that we would have a Christmas Gospel Lunch after morning service on Christmas Day (25th).
We will invite our non-Christians friends and share the meaning of Christmas with them and serve a vegetarian lunch. Please remember this event in your prayers.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Season in the Sun

I have an album of photos for you today.

These are our roses. In late October the rose bushes were pruned and their roots exposed to the sun for a few days. Then we fed them fertilizers and manure and covered up the stumps.
They started flowering after 3 or 4 weeks.

And this is Mr Naughty - the Troublemaker

If he was trained and cared for he would turn out to be a nice animal. But his owners neglect him and he is left to fend for himself. They just feed him once a day and patch him up occasionally when he gets wounded in the neighbourhood gang rumble.

The front of our house. I wanted to get the shade painted , but can' t afford it. It will cost another 2000 rupees. (about $50)

Sheeba among the plants taking her herbal treatment. Dogs eat grass and leaves to purge and heal themselves.

My Judy and Rambo loved eating sunflowers.

Sheeba ensconced on the living room carpet . We took it out for airing and washing. I had given her a hot bath with Pantene Shampoo.

She looks so cute here.

I made my own atta or whole wheat bread yesterday. Its healthier than the store bought refined flour/maida bread. Turned out to be real good.
I was unable to meet the Bank Manager this week. Yesterday was a holiday due to a Muslim festival - Moharram and today Saturday , he was busy with meetings. H e has called me on Monday.
Tonight my Inrterne t is working quite well and my pictures uploaded faster then ususal. In the morning I was having trouble. My landline phone is not working since the last 3 days.
Today the lights did not go off at all.
When something works smoothly I am pleasantly surprised and wonder why? We are so used to things breaking down , so we wonder what' s right??? LOL

Drs Marjorie and Sudhakar visited us in the afternoon. Sudhakar studied engineering at the Christian University here and joined the staff. We were in school, when he got married to Marjorie akka (Akka is elder sister in the Tamil language - they are natives of the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu). Akka is a medical doctor and she served in the Christian Leprosy Mission Hospital here for several years. They have 2 daughters. One is an Army wife.
The younger is a teacher of technology at her father 's university.
Akka and Anna (anna is Tamil for elder brother) were pillars of our Christian Fellowship and Mission. We miss them so much , now that they have settled in South India where Anna is the Head of an Engineering Department at Vellore Technical Inst. VTI is a reputed university.
Their daughter is also teaching there and wants to do her Ph D.
Marjorie Akka is working at the Karigiri Leprosy Hospital.She is such a gentle and soft spoken doctor. I have never met a doctor like that. She is a great prayer warrior, praying with deep burden and tears. This couple provided free transport for people who could not come to Bible studies and prayer meetings on their own. They used to take me along.They are living letters for Christ - living Bibles.
Akka brought us a box of lovely syrupy Bengali sweets and a hand made letter holder wall hanging.
The leprosy patients at Karigiri are rehabilitated and taught various trades like weaving ,carpentry and so forth so they can earn their own living and do socially productive work. I visited one such place in Dehra Doon, run by an old wheel chair bound German lady called Agnes. I have to dig out the pictures from somewhere. I used to take my students on a field trips there.
This fabric is woven on hand looms , then stitched and painted.
Its wonderful to see people creating such beautiful things when they are supported and helped.
Jesus cured many lepers while on earth, And sin has been likened to leprosy in the scriptures. He is still doing that today, both spiritually and physically.