Sunday, 31 October 2010

Sunday Blessings- The Just Shall live by Faith

Martin Luther posting his 95 thesis on the door of the Wittenberg Cathedral

Reformation Day - October 31

On Oct. 31, 1517, a young monk, dissatisifed with some of the practices of the Catholic Church, wrote a letter to his superiors about his problems. With the letter he included 95 propositions for discussion and debate. Although this was not the first time someone had questioned the authority and practice of the Church, Martin Luther's act marks the symbolic beginning of the Reformation, of which most of us are spiritual heirs.
Accordingly, many Protestants--principally Lutherans, but also Presbyterians and other Reformed denominations--celebrate October 31 as Reformation Day. For convenience, local churches often transfer the celebration to the preceding Sunday, hence the name Reformation Sunday.
In earlier days, when there was a great deal more animosity between Catholics and Protestants, the latter group often celebrated Reformation Day as we would celebrate a military victory. There would be triumphal processions, hymns glorifying the church, and often the sermon would be a diatribe against the "Papists." (To be fair, during the period the Catholics--in a different part of Europe--would be dealing the venom right back to the "heretics.")
Today, while the hymns remain (as they should!) many Protestant and Catholic churches use Reformation Sunday as a opportunity to highlight areas of common agreement. On Oct 31, 1999, the Lutheran World Federation (of which the ELCA is a member) and the Roman Catholic Church signed a joint declaration on the doctrine of justification, clarifying positions where Lutherans and Catholics agree and disagree.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Try Making this Chicken Tikka Masala

I have never tried making Chiken Tikka Masala but this is an easy recipe I 'd like to try. I will perhaps add a few more spices.
This dish has replaced fish and chips in the UK, it has become its national dish. Here is what Wikipedia says-
Chicken tikka masala Hindi: चिकन टिक्का मसाला; Urdu: مرغ تکہ مصالحہ is a curry dish of roasted chicken chunks (tikka) served in a rich-tasting red or orange-coloured sauce. The sauce is usually creamy, lightly spiced and contains tomatoes. The origins of chicken tikka masala are disputed. An Indian expert on street food from Delhi, Rahul Verma, has stated that the dish originated (probably by accident with subsequent improvisations) in Punjab during the last 50 years[1] Another view is that it originated in the first Indian restaurants in Soho, London, during the 1970's.[2] In 2009, a Glasgow MP suggested it should be given EU Protected Geographical Status as a Scottish food. No application for such status was actually made.[3]
Surveys have found chicken tikka masala to be the most popular dish in British restaurants and it has been called "Britain's true national dish."[

How To Make Chicken Tikka Masala

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Now and Then

We are more
the just aquantances...
it is as if we are cut
from the same fabric.
Even though we appear to be
sewn in a different pattern
we have a common thread
that won' t be broken-
by people, or years or distance.
Tigi and Alan , Christian Fellowship brothers from 15-20 plus years ago
came to vist us .
They were here to celebrate
the Centenary of SHIATS
the Christian University whee they studied.
Tigi worked there too.

Tigi, Mama and Alan.

These guys used to come to our place to relax and have fun, food an d fellowship.

They recalled how Allahabad was the turning point of their lives. They found Christ here and fellowship and teaching in our home..They said what we are today is because what we gained here. They are doing doing very well at their jobs. Tigi is into agricultural training an d planning. H e has a lovely German wife .Before they left for Germany they used to drop into our home frequently, and sometimes so hungry after their strenuous field work that they ate whatever was in the kitchen. We loved that.

Today also the first thing Tigi said was, ' Make us some coffee ' That ' s how he used to ' greet ' us. We loved that.

(Tigi, Mama and me)
But today the boys bought us lunch from a very nice place and dessert too. And placed a love gift in Mama' s hand before leaving. We were so touched.
(Alan showing Mama his photos)
He has a managerial post in a top company and travels the world over. He is involved in a widows ministry in Mumbai. They feed hundreds of widows in that city.

Tigi looking at some old photos from hi s student days. He scanned and save d the one s below.
We were all kid s in this one L-R Sonia,(sis) Namrita,(sis)Dolly, Anjali (sis),Tigi (16 yrs),me Thomas and I forgot the last guy' s name.

This a group photo from a summer camp in the hills.

Student 's camp- Bible study group.
Lunch time at the camp. Now these ladies are married an d have kids of their own.

Student' s camp at a Mission hospital. We all loaded up the OM truck.

This is the Siwait Student' s Camp. In a Mission an hour 's journey from the city. Many people found Christ there. Its our place of pilgrimage. (these photos are from th e 80 and 90s)
Yesterday I wrote about s conflict situation we are facing and how these people ridicule d me because of my disabilities and Mama of he r old age.
Friend sit hurts a lot. But God has given us grace to bear this hostility.
Thank you for your prayers and kind words.
I found Joni' s devotional so appropriate for today.

A "Kidney" Christian

On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpreventable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it.-- 1 Corinthians 12:22-24

Some time ago I forced myself to watch The Operation on the Learning Channel. They show real operations, with real blood and real sutures. I made myself watch because they were showing a kidney transplant, and I wanted to see what a good friend of mine, Mike Yuen, had to go through when he gave a kidney to his brother, Geoff. Mike made this big sacrifice because people can't survive without a kidney.You can live without your eyes, your ears, or use of your hands or legs. I know thousands of people who do. But here's the irony: While most of us are convinced we could never survive without these up-front, kind of showy body parts ("Oh, Lord,I could never survive without my eyesight!"), we never consider the pancreas, kidney,or liver. Because we don't see these hidden body parts, we quickly forget how critical they are to life.

There's a parallel here to the body of Christ. As 1 Corinthians 12 says, a church can't make it -- the church can't survive as the functioning body of Christ -- without that weaker person, that needy family, that man or woman who isn't up front. The church can't be what it's supposed to be without that individual. Hurting people give the rest of the body of Christ an opportunity to serve. And sacrificial service means there's no time for division, factions, or rivalry.You need your kidney. And your church needs a kidney kind of guy who may be homeless,helpless, handicapped or hurting.

Do you have needs you should express to the church?

Or should you meet the need of another member? Maybe you need to do both!

Sometimes, Father God, I get so caught up in the part I think I should play in the church that I don't stop long enough to ask if I understand correctly. I'm listening to You now.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Be Warned

These knitting pieces are from BRUTAL KNITTING which features funny crazy sci-fi inspired headgear. Click on the link for more.
If there are any aliens reading my blog - they 'd be surely interested . Space tourists will find it easier to identify with little green men and such like when they have close encounters of the third kind. (Smile)

I wish people came like this - showing their real horror faces. But the bejewelled Venetian masks they wear hides their twisted visage and intentions. They are wolves in sheep 's clothing, the Bible calls them that.
I have has two such people in my life and although I got glimpses of their wolf nature several times I ignored it having a patient, long suffering and magnanimous nature.
I was also trying to avoid conflict, and I find it difficult to assert myself due to my physical limitations. I recently read a book called Conflict by Joyce Hugget.
She says in chapter one, 'Conflict can be horrid hurtful harmful, disruptive of relationships and personal well being.....The Chambers Dictionary similarly claims that conflict means 'a trial of strength between opposed parties or principles, a violent collision, a struggle or contest, a battle to fight, contend, to be in opposition, to clash, to be at odds with...
Such disharmony, such clashes, such violent collisions, such fights for supremacy's often over power us with the suddenness and force of an tornado.They catch us off guard and leave such havoc in their wake the many Christians assume that conflict is innately sinful and something to confess.
But is this assumption correct?
In Team Ministry Justin Dennison challenges it by suggesting that conflict is neutral (neither good or bad),natural (not to be avoided or denied), normal (neither your particular problem nor necessarily your fault); and indeed healthy (part of being a human being) As such conflict should be viewed as being common to all human relationships as people interact closely with each other.
He goes on the insist that our goal "should not be to ensure the absence of conflict,but to be equipped with the ability to handle and resolve conflict in an honest and healthy way. It is unresolved conflict , not conflict as such that can damage relationships.
Surely Justin Dennison 's observation must be correct. After all Jesus was so frequently locked in conflict and indeed often initiated clashes that for him, living with disharmony and disagreements could be said not only to be the morm but even necessary.
Conflict then cannot be innately sinful. Rather it is the way we handle collisions and contests that determine whether or not sin creeps into the equation. Jesus skillful handling of power struggles demonstrated the news that surprise some
-that all conflict, whatever is the source is potentially creative.
It is creative because it faces us with a choice to respond in a way that strengthens and builds up relationships ,promotes the kingdom of God and causes individuals concerned to grow in Christ likeness and maturity or to act and react in a way that disrupted friendships and fellowships inner peace and integrity."
I found this passage from Huggets book very helpful as we are in tte throes of conflict. For a long time I tried to ignore it but now I cannot. The opposite party is scheming against the church- making moves to acquire church property illegally. When I prevented them from doing so they called me insulting , denigrating names - referring to my disabilities in from of the servants. Literally making fun of my disabilities.
In front of me they are all sugar and honey but they are stabbing me behind my back. I cannot take this anymore so firm action has to be taken against them. I have already spoken to their superiors and are in full sympathy with me and Will support me. I have to make a written complaint against them. Then they will be shown the door.I gave them unlimited chances to improve but they did not avail them . I have to save my church and mission.
Some difficult and tough days are in store for me. But I will step forth in the strength of the Lord. The valley of Elah looms large before me- and the hulk Goliath. I have 5 smooth stones and a slingshot as my weapons.
I covet your prayers for Mama and me as we face difficult, threatening , hostile and lonely situations- physically challenging too. I need supernatural power from above.
I ma confident in the lord. He will bring us through. Please pray for Mama all this is intimidating and bewidering for her.

Monday, 25 October 2010

I know where I am going

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight Proverbs 3 ; 5,6

God has been good to us. We had to make some tough administrative decisions regarding our church ministry. God gave wisdom, courage and determination for that.

If I had a choice I 'd be a follower rather than a leader, but if God has given me a responsibility I will fulfill it to the best of my ability.
My friends thank you for your prayers and kind thoughts.

I have not been too well, I have a cold and sore throat, but I am managing with pills.
(Update on Tues AM - Not feeling well at all)

I will have visitors through the week.

Many of my friends have come to the city to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Christian Agricultural and Technical University. Two brothers who were very close to our family visited this evening . Mom and I were so happy to meet Alan and Tigi
We talked of about old times and missed those who were not present. They chatted with my sister Namrita on the phone. We have so many happy memories. Time when I was relatively carefree and healthy.

We praise God, He has been good to us and both these brothers are doing very well at their jobs and also sharing God 's love in practical ways.

Life real and sculpted.
The next two photos were taken with my mobile phone on an impromptu encounter with an ikka -horse cart in the market place. ( I don 't carry my digital camera with me at all times)

Ikka means one -a one horse cart. They can only move on a few roads in the city.

The horse looks well cared for.

The next three photos are from a photoblog. This is a life like sculpture of a tonga
somewhere in Delhi.
Here is the tonga wala and a lady passenger. The girl looks a bit lost, but the driver appears very confident. "I know where I am going ," he is saying, that 's why I gave that title to my post.

Its a very dramatic and expressive work of art.
One wonders what kind of conversation is going on between the driver and passenger.

Even the horse wants to put in a word edgeways.

My dear friend Holly took a blog break and is back to sharing her vintage creations again. She shares very attractive graphics which you can download for free. This cute image is from Holly. She also creates beautiful jewellery which you can order from her Etsy shop. Holly has gifted me with her pretty creations and lovely surprises and also my doggie bayti Sheeba.(Bayti is Hindi for daughter) Pay Holly a visit HERE

I also want to introduce you to Doris 's excellent blog. Its a boon for care givers . Her gentle heart warming posts encourage me so much. I am learning a lot from the way she deals with residents in a nursing home. Drop by and visit Doris HERE

Friday, 22 October 2010

I Heard God Sighing

God sighs when He sees us tossing and turning on our beds.
Battling with obstacles along our path.
Locked in loneliness.
Wringing our hands in helplessness.

Thank you for your prayers dear friends. Our trials help us reach higher ground. Battling against corruption is difficult but we are overcomers in Christ.
The photos I have posted are from my favourite India Photo Blog.
The devotional by Max Lucado stirred my heart.

When God Sighed

by Max Lucado

Two days ago I read a word in the Bible that has since taken up residence in my heart.To be honest, I didn’t quite know what to do with it. It’s only one word, and not a very big one at that. When I ran across the word, (which, by the way, is exactly what happened; I was running through the passage and this word came out of nowhere and bounced me like a speed bump) I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t have any hook to hang it on or category to file it under.It was an enigmatic word in an enigmatic passage. But now, forty-eight hours later, I have found a place for it, a place all its own. My, what a word it is. Don’t read it unless you don’t mind changing your mind, because this little word might move your spiritual furniture around a bit.
Look at the passage with me.Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought a man to him who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. (Mark 7:31-35)Quite a passage, isn’t it?Jesus is presented with a man who is deaf and has a speech impediment. Perhaps he stammered. Maybe he spoke with a lisp. Perhaps, because of his deafness, he never learned to articulate words properly.
Jesus, refusing to exploit the situation, took the man aside. He looked him in the face. Knowing it would be useless to talk, he explained what he was about to do through gestures. He spat and touched the man’s tongue, telling him that whatever restricted his speech was about to be removed. He touched his ears. They, for the first time, were about to hear.But before the man said a word or heard a sound, Jesus did something I never would have anticipated.He sighed.I might have expected a clap or a song or a prayer. Even a “Hallelujah!” or a brief lesson might have been appropriate. But the Son of God did none of these. Instead, he paused, looked into heaven, and sighed. From the depths of his being came a rush of emotion that said more than words.
The word seemed out of place.I’d never thought of God as one who sighs. I’d thought of God as one who commands. I’d thought of God as one who weeps. I’d thought of God as one who called forth the dead with a command or created the universe with a word … but a God who sighs?Perhaps this phrase caught my eye because I do my share of sighing.I sighed yesterday when I visited a lady whose invalid husband had deteriorated so much he didn’t recognize me. He thought I was trying to sell him something.
I sighed when the dirty-faced, scantily dressed, six-year-old girl in the grocery store asked me for some change.
And I sighed today listening to a husband tell how his wife won’t forgive him.
No doubt you’ve done your share of sighing.If you have teenagers, you’ve probably sighed. If you’ve tried to resist temptation, you’ve probably sighed. If you’ve had your motives questioned or your best acts of love rejected, you have been forced to take a deep breath and let escape a painful sigh.
I realize there exists a sigh of relief,
a sigh of expectancy,
and even a sigh of joy.
But that isn’t the sigh described in Mark 7. The sigh described is a hybrid of frustration and sadness. It lies somewhere between a fit of anger and a burst of tears.The apostle Paul spoke of this sighing. Twice he said that Christians will sigh as long as we are on earth and long for heaven. The creation sighs as if she were giving birth. Even the Spirit sighs as he interprets our prayers. (Romans 8:22-27)
All these sighs come from the same anxiety; a recognition of pain that was never intended, or of hope deferred.
Man was not created to be separated from his creator; hence he sighs, longing for home.
The creation was never intended to be inhabited by evil; hence she sighs, yearning for the Garden.
And conversations with God were never intended to depend on a translator; hence the Spirit groans on our behalf, looking to a day when humans will see God face to face.
And when Jesus looked into the eyes of Satan’s victim, the only appropriate thing to do was sigh. “It was never intended to be this way,” the sigh said. “Your ears weren’t made to be deaf, your tongue wasn’t made to stumble.” The imbalance of it all caused the Master to languish.
So, I found a place for the word.
You might think it strange, but I placed it beside the word comfort, for in an indirect way, God’s pain is our comfort.And in the agony of Jesus lies our hope. Had he not sighed, had he not felt the burden for what was not intended, we would be in a pitiful condition. Had he simply chalked it all up to the inevitable or washed his hands of the whole stinking mess, what hope would we have?But he didn’t.
That holy sigh assures us that God still groans for his people. He groans for the day when all sighs will cease, when what was intended to be will be.
From God Came Near: Chronicles of the ChristCopyright (Thomas Nelson, 1999) Max Lucado

My blog friend Abigail Jasmine has a lovely Giveaway on he r blog. Its a pretty bracelet from Africa, do visit and participate. She is a very creative photographer and her creates poetic posts. Visit Abigail HERE

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

God Will Make A Way

My dear friends thank you so much for praying for me. Troubled as I was, I could hardly sleep last night , but I prayed and read from the Holy Book. I read the story of Peter walking on the water. In order to do that he had to get out of the boat and fix his eyes on Jesus.
I have to walk by faith and not by sight in my circumstances. God gave me peace and wisdom and literally what to say to a person.

We are dealing with wolves in sheep 's clothing. God revealed the wolf 's garb to me. The clouds are parting but we have an steep uphill journey.

I have peace. God will provide help in His way and His time.

The following devotional from Joni Eareckson Tada blessed me.

Sometimes due to my physical limitations I feel like a caged bird. But God has taught me how to sing in that cage.

The life of Madame Guyon has inspired me tremendously. She was ill treated by her family, husband and the church yet she held on. Please get her biography and read it.

We had a huge rain storm this evening and were without electricity for 2 1/2 hours. Praise God we got it back. I was going to make pizzas (from scratch) had to scrap that plan, so I used the dough to make poories, like tacos.

God's Hedge

He has walled me in so I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains.-- Lamentations 3:7

The four walls of a sick room can be so confining, even if you're there only stuckthere for a short time. Whether in the hospital or at home, we long to escape those suffocating walls. At such times, you may be tempted to cry out as Jeremiah didin our verse for today, or as Job who groaned, "Why is life given to a man ¼ whomGod has hedged in?" (Job 3:23).But it's God's hedge and his walls. Only when we view our restricting circumstancesas being placed there by God can we find courage to face the wall or hedge. That'swhat Madame Guyon, a French noblewoman who was confined to a dungeon for ten years,managed to do. She penned these thoughts:

A little bird I am shut from the fields of air;
and in my cage I sit and sing
to him who placed me there
Well pleased a prisoner to be,
because my God it pleases thee.
Naught have I else to do,
I sing the whole day long,
and he whom I most love to please
doth listen to my song.
He caught and bound my wandering wing,
but still he bends to hear me sing.
My cage confines me round;
abroad I cannot fly;
but though my wing is closely bound,
my heart's at liberty;
my prison walls cannot control the flight,
the freedom of the soul.

The hedge cut off Madam Guyon from the world and confined her on every side. But even a high hedge cannot shut out our view of the sky or prevent the soul fromlooking up into God's face. Because there is so little else to see, when you are hedged in, you view God more clearly than those who move about unconfined. With a hedge around you, the only way "out" is up!* * * * *

My loving Father, help me to remember that hedges and walls protect as well as confineand that your good pleasure is to use whatever means necessary to turn my gaze to you.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Need Prayer

Dear friends please pray for my mother and me. We are facing a trial of faith.
I feel like Elijah by the brook Cherith
Job on the pile of potsherds
and Jonah under the broom tree.
The burden seems heavy on my heart and shoulders.
But God will make a way when we seem to be groping in the dark.
Plesae pray for us.

Dusshera Mela

On Oct 13th there was a Dusshera Mela or fair in my vicinity. These fairs are held during the Hindu festival of Dusshera and Navratras ( nine nights) during which the goddess Kali or Durga is worshipped in her various avtars or incarnations.

This festival is celebrated with most enthusiasm by the people of Bengal.Besides the temples they erect worship venues or pandals ( elaborate marquees) where Durga is worshipped with music and dance. A nine day fast is also observed during which a special Navratra diet is consumed.
People are known to participate in various forms of black magic and sacrifices to ward off the evil eye and please the goddess (similar to voodoo).
In my city Dusshera is celebrated with street fairs and religious processions called Ramdal.
They begin a week after the birthday of god Krishna. The festival concluded yesterday with the burning of the effigy of the demon god Ravana and immersion of the idols of Durga.

I went to click some photos the procession with the pageants and floats comes out very late at night. An elephant makes the rounds.

There are stalls with cheap toys, jewelry and food and games and rides for children.

The chaat wala (street fast food)

Colorful glass bangles.

The bangle wala. Indian women are very fond of tinkling glass bangles. We used to buy lots when my sisters were all here.

Cheap sunglasses


Steel kitchen toy utensils for children.

A mother carrying her little one.


Plastic dishes.

Fresh coconuts
Lamps and decorations
Plane ride

A boy selling bows and arrows for kids

Chinese noodles and burgers - vegetarian
A take away from a posh sweet shop

Vegetarian burgers called Pav Bhaji
Garlands to decorate idols

Artificial flowers

More jewellery

Stuffed toys

Naag devta or serpent god

Hot pop corn made in a wok over charcoal.

Rice and sesame sweets called andarsay ( I bought some)

Sweet light


Son papri ( sweet)

Peanuts being roasted.

Ornamental figures

Sweet and snack kiosk

Little purses
I hope you like these photos.