Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Hello Sheeba & A Short Note on India 's Caste System

Sheeba and Chandi saying Hi to each other.Chandi is the youngest member of our church

She also has a dog named Jacky. Her family takes good care of him, I see that when I visit them.

Sheeba is doing better. Her food intake increased today. She needs a bath , with all the dust flying around.

Today, on Day 7 the workmen gave the living room its first coat of paint and scrubbed the walls of the veranda and filled the cracks and fissures with putty , then smoothed the rough patches. It is a time consuming and laborious job. That 's another reason why people in India prefer to hire men to paint their homes. Painters belong to the lower economic class, and they are either ill-literate , semi literate., or school drop outs. Its good they find employment this way.These kind of people form a large part of our work force - people who perform daily mundane tasks, jobs which according to the caste system is reserved for the lower classes.. Sounds very bourgeoisie but its practical.This is a way the poorly educated people find means of livelihood.

I got interesting reactions from some of my readers about India 's caste system.

The caste system is an ancient Hindu legacy which has caused a lot of inequality, injustice and suffering over the centuries. There i s more on this Wikipedia LINK

It is completely banned and declared illegal by law. In fact the government has made considerable efforts to raise the status of the lower castes by providing job reservation, subsidised education ,health care, scholarships , cheaper food etc. Although this aid is riddled with faults ,controversies and corruption. At present the upliftment of Dalits ( underprivileged , backward classes)is a major issue politically. The Governor (Chief Minister) of my state is a Dalit woman, democratically elected.

The caste system is deeply embedded in the psyche and social milieu of our nation and it will take ages to completely get rid of it. But the Dalits are progressing and are taking pride in their identity. In fact if you can prove you are a Dalit, Scheduled Caste or Tribe or Backward Caste you can get special privileges.

On the other hand anyone who becomes a Christian loses his Caste status , although they retain their tribal identity.(A very controversial and complicated subject.) Christians don 't condone or practice the caste system. In fact the Christian world view and teaching acceptance of all men equal in the sight of God played a major role in the abolition of this degrading practice since colonial times.

Christians themselves were ( still are) considered low castes - worshiping a 'western god ' and eating meat etc. It was an anti colonial mindset too. Christians were clumped together with the British rulers.

Now after more than 60 years of Independence things have improved vastly but there is plenty of room for more.

With unemployment rampant, well educated or high caste Hindus etc. are vying for jobs which the lower class people used to do

In Ephesians chapter 2 , Paul likens believers to a building which God is constructing, whose cornerstone is Christ .

Ephesians 2

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

I wonder how the Master Builder is cementing us all together,cleaning, polishing and smoothing us applying pressure and heat to make us worthy bricks for His temple.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Home Improvement

This is a photograph of a marble engraving in a palace in Rajasthan (India). The tour guides play a game with the visitors. They ask them to identify the shapes carved on the panel. Everything blends so skillfully in this ornate carving. Can you identify the different motifs ?

On day 5 a good part (1/3rd) of the house painting is over. I am relieved to get my computer back.
Saturday came with a rain storm which brought the temperature down.The heavy rain resulted in a 4 hour electricity outage. It rained for over 3 hours.
I have taken out light warm clothes.
This is a time to give away things we don 't need any more. We have lived in this house for 28 years and originally there were 9 of us. Only 2 are left now - my mother and me. The season of our lives has also changed so we need to get rid of extra baggage. One has to overcome the sentiments attached to stuff which has been with us for so long, though.

I am also thinking of how to re-arrange things and give the rooms a different look. One thing is for sure . I want to minimise the clutter.

Some of you asked about the color. I have chosen white paint for the walls and grille (iron work) and pale cream for the doors and windows. I like the clean sterile look. White will also keep the house cool in the summer. I will post some photos once the work is completed.

Once my Dad had the bedrooms painted pink and rest of the house in cream. But a darker shade will require more lighting and may cause eye strain too.

Have a good week ahead friends. On Monday my kitchen will be painted so I will not be able to cook anything. Everything is dismantled . I have some left overs in the fridge and will manage with bread and butter.

Poor Sheeba (my doggie) has her pants in a twist. She is eating one small meal in the afternoon. She asks for a bite after 10pm. With her favourite snoozing spots disturbed she thinks the Martians have attacked the house.
While their house was being renovated some friends of ours put their household things in storage and stayed in a hotel for sometime. Fortunate people!

Just finished using Spellcheck so here is a parting thought
And some can 't spell worth a hoot but have profound things to say.

Friday, 26 November 2010

My House Resembles A Disaster Area

On the morning of Day 3, my house resembles a disaster area. Have to bear it (smile). The men are doing a good job and I am demanding it. 1/4 of the painting has been completed.
I am tired but have to keep going.
I will not be able to use the computer for the next 2 days.
Best wishes to you of you.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The Blessing Of Discomfort

I have to share this Franciscan Benedition I found on the web.

May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths,
and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice,
freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain,
rejection, hunger, and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them
And turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.


This is such a godly and courageous prayer. Who would like to receive this benediction when we all want our comfort and opt for the path of least resistance? Makes me pause and think.

Well, there is another kind of discomfort we will be putting ourselves in for a few days.

From tomorrow we our getting our house painted. Its a messy , tiring and stressful job. We have employed a couple of painters. In India everyone hires painters, no one paints their house themselves.

We were putting it off because of the mess and stress but can 't anymore.

The weather is grey and cloudy, not really ideal for house painting but we will see how it works out.
The result of this discomfort will be good.

I want to recommend THIS post by DONETTA. In her family they are celebrating Thanksgiving differently

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Sunday Blessings - O Come Little Children

The lyrics of this Christmas carol are echoing in my mind awaking childhood memories. The Allahabad Choral Society used to sing this song during its Christmas performance under the directorship of Mrs Erika Harper. She was an American educationalist and music teacher - her husband was a professor in a Christian College. Their children studied in Woodstock School where I later taught. In the 70s they sported cool hippie style clothes and hair which made us children look up to them with great wonder .

O come, little children, O come, one and all,
O come to the manger in Bethlehem's stall;
And see what our Father on this holy night,
Has sent us from Heaven for our pure delight.

O see, in the cradle, this night in the stall,
O see how the light dazzles even us all;
In pure gleaming white lies this Child
heaven's love,More
and holy than angels above.

These pictures are from the Kidz Fest which was held in our church on Oct 16th.

It was a day long program full of music, teaching, group activities and games. Good food and snacks were served.

About 150 children were present.

The story of Barabbas was the focus. The rebel leader Barabbas was set free by the Romans and Jesus was crucified in his place.

The children are watching a video on the life of Barabbas.

The notorious prisoner Barabbas deserved to die but Jesus , the innocent Lamb of God took his place. Read the whole story in Matthew 27:11-26 (New Testament)

(The gladioli and tube roses are from my garden. The tube roses emit a lovely fragrance after night fall which lingers in the air for some time. In Hindi these flowers are called Raat Ki Rani or Queen of the Night)

My blog friend TERRA of TERRA GARDEN gifted me a lovely book she has co-authored called A SCRAPBOOK OF CHRISTMAS FIRSTS. It is full of fresh ideas and practical ways to weave delight into the Christmas holidays. It overflows with tips for creating warm family memories and traditions, gift giving and also how to grow myrrh.

Terra 's delicious Turkey/Greece dessert called Baklava was such a hit at a church dinner that a man took a bite out of it and yelled across the room ,"I want to marry the woman who made this". You can find her recipe on page 58 of the book.
Oh Terra if filo pastry was available in here I would try it too (smile).

Some of the stories in the book made me cry, they reach into the deep parts of my heart.

Please visit her to get information on how you can order this treasure trove . She has info on her side bar.
Question: Which Christmas carol from your childhood do you love the most and why?

Friday, 19 November 2010

A Royal Wedding - Jodhpur Style

Prince of Jodhpur weds in style

[ Date : Nov 19th, 2010 ]
The wedding ceremony of Yuvraj Shivraj Singh of Jodhpur and Gayatri Kumari of Askot on Thursday was probably the largest congregation of royalty, only after the ‘Dilli Durbar’.
When the baraat from Jodhpur reached the Jaipur railway station on Thursday morning, the entire platform was decked up to welcome the royalty. There was elaborate rangoli — including the traditional mandana made from 20-25 kg material and floral decorations that used over 500 kg of flowers.
The guests spent the rest of the day just re-arranging the traditional attire. In the evening, when the “baraat” ( groom 's party) assembled at the gates of Hotel Rambagh Palace, they were all in traditional Rajput finery — embellished achkans, churidars, breeches, swords, kamarbunds and colourful safas or headgear embossed with their ancestral sarpech, or the turban ornament.
It was a sight to behold as royalty from all over the world could be seen dressed in their traditional state attire accessorised with the neck piece ‘kantha’, gems and jewellery and jooties(shoes) embroidered with pearl. “I’ve never seen men folk wear so much of jewellery,” exclaimed a guest from London.
Source: TOI
This video gives an idea of the pre nuptial prepations and festivities.

The groom 's party went to the bride 's palace in Askot where the wedding took place. Traditionally the womenfolk stay at home awaiting the return of the newly wedded bride and groom. But most people are breaking that tradition these days.

Two days ago the official, auspicious Hindu wedding season started. All the wedding halls, hotels and guesthouses in our vicinity are bustling with activity. It time for everyone involved in the wedding industry from the humble cooks and musicians to the snobbish fashion designers and decorators to make good money. Even the dozens of family soap, sagas and serials on TV are featuring weddings.

Each culture has its own set of rituals and traditions connected to bethrothal and marriage. Joni Eareckson Tada wrote about a Jewish marriage custom from which we can draw a precious lesson.

In the old Jewish tradition, this is how a bride and groom became engaged: The young man traveled to the home of his loved one to ask for her hand in marriage. A dowry was agreed upon. It was the price paid by the groom to secure his loved one (it demonstrated to the father that the groom had the means to properly care for his daughter). The betrothal contract was sealed, culminating in a formal ceremony in which the bride and groom confirmed their covenant by drinking together from a cup of wine. After the marriage was established, an engagement period ensued during which the two were officially married, yet did not live together.During this period, the couple would prepare for the time when their marriage would be consummated. The bride-in-waiting learned all she could about being a good wife. The groom returned to his father's house to prepare a place for them to live.Usually he constructed a large addition on to the house where they would live under the same roof with the family. After many months, the groom would come for his wife!This tradition provides a beautiful parallel.

Jesus gave his life as his dowry. The cross shows us that he and his Father agreed on an exorbitant price. Every time we drink from the communion cup, we remember him and the new covenant. As the bride of Christ, we prepare ourselves for his coming. In the meantime, Jesus has gone ahead and is presently preparing a place for us in heaven. It only required seven days for him to create the earth... and he's had almost 2,000 years to work on our rooms in his mansion.
2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14: 2,3)
I am looking forward to my room, are you?

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A Blog Award and 10 Blogging Mistakes

Mr Joseph of A MAN ON THE MOVE gave me this award. Thank you. Mr Joseph has a very attractive and interesting blog. His brilliant photos from South India , cultural information and inspirational posts make very good reading. I would encourage you to pay him a visit.

I am a very ordinary blogger and hardly posses the skills of language or expression which all of you my fellow bloggers so beautifully exhibit in your compositions.

I recently read an article on blog improvement by Michael Hyatt, the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Here it is.


Assuming you want to increase your blog traffic, there are certain mistakes you must avoid to be successful. If you commit these mistakes, your traffic will never gain momentum. Worse, it may plateau or begin to decrease.

How do I know? After writing more than 1,000 posts and receiving more than 20,000 comments, I have made most of the mistakes you can make—numerous times. As a result, I have begun to see certain patterns emerge. These are my top ten traffic-killers.

Mistake #1: You don’t post enough. Hobby bloggers may go weeks between posts. But frequency is what separates the men from the boys. You cannot build solid traffic without frequent posts. I have seen time and time again (via Google Analytics) that there is a direct correlation between frequency and traffic. The more I post—within reason—the greater my traffic.

Mistake #2: You post too much. Yes, this is possible, too. I don’t need to hear from anyone more than once a day—unless it is a group blog or a news site. You would do better to focus on writing one really great post a day rather than several mediocre ones. The trick is to find your frequency sweet spot. For me, it is four to five posts a week.
If a post starts getting too long, consider breaking it up into several posts.

Mistake #3: Your post is too long. Seth Godin is the master of the short, pithy post. His are usually in the 200–400 word range. I shoot for less than 500 words. But I often post 750 words and sometimes more. You can get away with this if your posts are “scannable”—that is, you make use of subheads, lists, and other devices that keep people moving through your content. If a post starts getting too long, consider breaking it up into several posts.

Mistake #4: You don’t invite engagement. When I talk about “engagement,” I am referring to a combination of page views, reader comments, and social media mentions. Postrank.com is a great tool for measuring this kind of engagement. The posts that generate the most engagement for me are those that are controversial, transparent (especially about failure), and open-ended. This is why I try to end every post with a question.

Mistake #5: You don’t participate in the conversation. When bloggers don’t participate in conversation by commenting on their own posts and responding to their readers, it is like hosting a party at your home, making a brief appearance, and then disappearing. In any other context, this behavior would be perceived as rude or odd. The same is true in blogging. People want to have a conversation—with YOU.
When you use subheads, lists of bullets or numbers, it draws readers in by making your content accessible. Shorter paragraphs also help.

Mistake #6: You don’t make your content accessible. Since I am in the publishing business, I often get asked if I think people are reading less. The simple answer is “No.” In fact, I think they are reading more than ever. But they are reading differently. Readers have shorter attention spans. They are scanning content, looking for items that interest them. When you use subheads, lists of bullets or numbers, it draws readers in by making your content accessible. Shorter paragraphs also help.

Mistake #7: You don’t create catchy headlines. According to Brian Clark, who runs the must-read site, CopyBlogger, “on average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.” This means your headlines are the most important thing you write. Fortunately, Brian has an entire series of posts called “How to Write Magnetic Headlines.” I suggest you read every post.

Mistake #8: Your first paragraph is weak. This is critical. Assuming that you have written a great headline, people will next read your first paragraph. You must use this paragraph to pull them into the rest of your blog post. Start with a story, a promise, or a startling fact. The idea is to grab their attention and hang onto it. Many bloggers spend too much time trying to setup the post or provide context. Just get to the point.

Mistake #9: Your post is off-brand. I have often been guilty of this one. If you are a hobby blogger, you can get away with the occasional post that strays from your primary message or brand. But if you are trying to build traffic, you need to find an editorial focus and stick to it. A tighter focus leads to higher traffic. This is why I have tried to narrow my own focus to three areas: leadership, social media, and publishing. If I want to write on something else (e.g., fitness), I do so through one of these three lenses.

Mistake #10: Your post is about YOU. Unless you are a mega-celebrity, readers don’t care about you. Not really. They care about themselves. They want to know what’s in it for THEM. Your personal stories can be a doorway to that, but in the end, the best posts are about your readers’ needs, fears, problems, or concerns. Always ask, “What’s the take-away for my reader?”
There are other mistakes, too; I doubt this list is exhaustive. But I think I have covered the major ones. If you can avoid these, you will be well on your way to increasing your traffic and growing your audience.
Question: What other traffic-killers have you witnessed as a blogger?

Monday, 15 November 2010

Is God Fair?

Sometimes it seems like life itself is preying on you like these two mini predators I clicked . We have the occasional stray dog rifling through our space and of course there is Naughty ( the neighbour 's feral dog - can one get used to irritants like him ?

I like this painting of stray dogs done by an European painter.

And why do you thing this woman is sitting with a stick by her side-
to scare strays away.

(web photo)

The eye surgeon examined my mother on Friday and said she doesn 't

need immediate surgery. He has prescribed some eye drops and vitamins for a month, then he will check her again.

Namrita , her husband and younger son are all down with Chikungunya. They are some better. Family and friends are by their side. Thank you for your prayers.

Reading my blogfriend Kathryn 's post set my thoughts in motion about the fairness of God.

Is God fair?. No He is not, according to our limited human perspective. But He is right , just and merciful. If He was fair, we would have received our just desserts and all perished because we all like sheep have gone astray - lost in our sinfulness. But God who pronounced judgement on us provided the penalty too. The death of Jesus on the cross - an atonement for our sin.

Here is an article on the fairness of God.

Question: "Is God fair?"

Answer: Fortunately for us, God is not fair. Fairness would mean that everyone got exactly as he or she deserved and everyone would be treated the same. If God were completely fair, we would all spend eternity in hell paying for our sin, which is exactly what we deserve. We have all sinned against God (Romans 3:23) and are therefore worthy of eternal death (Romans 6:23). If we received what we deserve, we would end up in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14-15). But God is not fair; instead, He is merciful and good, so He sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross in our place, taking the punishment that we deserve (2 Corinthians 5:21). All we have to do is believe in Him and we will be saved, forgiven, and receive an eternal home in heaven (John 3:16).

All have the opportunity to respond to the revelation of the creation (Psalm 19:1-3), as well as the conscience God has put within them (Romans 2:15), and turn to God. Those who do not will receive what they truly deserve because of their rejection of Him. Those who reject Him receive the punishment they deserve (John 3:18,36). Those who believe are receiving far more, and much better, than what they deserve. No one, though, is being punished beyond what he deserves. Is God fair? No. Thankfully, God is much more than fair! God is gracious, merciful, and forgiving - but also holy, just, and righteous.Recommended Resource: Knowing God by J.I. Packer.

HERE IS ANOTHER ARTICLE on the above subject. It refers to the parable of the hired workers.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Light Your Lamp

There is a church in England that has no lights. Many people who visit the church are shocked that the architect left out something as important as overhead lighting.But the architect had a plan. The various families who regularly attend the church are given their own pew, as well as a lamp and a book. When a family comes to church,their lamp is lit. If they are not in church, the pew is dark.
What difference can one darkened pew make? Not much, you might think. But what if several pews are lacking lamps? Then the whole church would be affected. It's obvious.If all are present and in their pews, the church is alive with light. If not, the place becomes dark.
What a beautiful picture of the body of Christ! If any one of us is not using the gifts God has given, there will be darkness; but as we use our gifts, the whole body will be full of light,. This is how intimately we are linked one with another.That's why the Lord made it a command - He has made us a light in order to shine for the sake of others.*[1]
"If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it" (1 Corinthians 12:26).

My mother and I are kept by God 's grace. Mum has her eye appointment tomorrow at 7pm. I have arranged for a taxi to take us. We are confident that all will go well.
I was having severe back and knee pain but today I am better. All the stress and tension of the past few days cause d it I think.
Dear friends I have slowed down in my blog visits, but I am catching up slowly.
This morning I got a call from Namrita (my sister who lives in N.E. India). She contacted a mosquito bourne viral fever called chikungunya.
She has excruciating body and joint pain as well as fever. Her husband is also not well. Namrita is a working Mom and does her own housework. Please pray for her recovery and for her husband 's extended family and friends to help them. She can 't even get up from her bed.
Her in-laws are very good and have assisted them when they 've been sick. I have also written on her Facebook wall and a local friend has responded.
Click HERE for information about this horrible disease.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Diwali Surprise

Sometimes when your problems hit you like a deluge, unexpected help and support visits you.

My sister Sonia arrived with her husband and son on Nov 4th for a surprise 4 day Diwali visit. Diwali is a 5 day Hindu festival. Read more about it HERE so they had a long weekend.

This has been a difficult week for us. A couple who had been my late Aunt Virginia 's caregivers have been giving us trouble since more than 4 months. I will not go into the sordid details. But this duo had to be confronted and dealt with as they were over-stepping their boundary.
They rewarded our implicit trust and faith in them with avaricious , scheming and offending behaviour.

It was good that Sonia and her hubby arrived at this crucial time because they were a tremendous source of help and moral support. I believe God put it in their hearts to pay us a surprise visit from the state capital.

We discovered that several valuables have been stolen by this couple who had barred our entry into my Aunt 's house for this purpose. Its very likely that they have embezzled her money too. And to think of it , they were considering my mother and me as sitting ducks because we trusted them so much.This was the straw that broke the camel 's back. Its not strangers who cheat you but people posing as friends and well wishers. The Bible has plenty to say on this subject.

The shock, hurt and betrayal is too much to bear. I will let God have His way in their lives. Vengeance is mine, I will repay says the Lord. My bruised emotions and spirit has to heal.I feel physically weak . They mocked my physical disabilities which made me feel so impoverished.

God sent Sonia and her husband to us. My other 2 sisters live so far away, they are very concerned and want to come and help us . But because of the distance and job restraints they cannot do so. They are hurt too, but talking to one another and spending time together softened our misery and difficulties.
The couple is displaying an altered attitude , but I cannot trust them.
Very soon my mother will have her cataract surgery. Her appointment is on November 11th. The surgeon will examine her and fix a date for the operation. Mama suffers from nervous anxiety, small things make her tense, please pray for her and me too. And for God to provide for the surgery. I also have to get help from someone to take her to the surgery in their car.

In spite of our weaknesses and shortcomings God is so good to us.

President Obama is on a visit to India. We enjoye d watching all the events and appointments on TV.
This is where they stayed in Delhi

Michelle at the crafts bazaar

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Lay Your Burdens Down

Here is a song from yesteryear which brought immense solace and comfort to my soul as I listened to it on my tape player and sang along. Chuck Girard is my favourite singer. His voice strikes a deep chord in my heart - gentle, moving -impelling.
Do we have any Chuck Girard fans reading this?
Other songs by Chuck which I like are entitled 'Sometimes Alleluia ' and 'Slow Down '.
The video images from this song are from the Haiti disaster.
My heart is burdened and it is a time of testing for my mother and me . This is my song for the day.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11 (Bible)

Lay your burden down, lay your burden down
Take your troubled soul, your tired mind
And lay your burden down
Lay your burden down,
get your feet on solid ground
Take your worries to the foot of the cross,
and lay your burden down
Lay your burden down,
lay your burden down
Take your weary life,
your heavy load,
and lay your burden down
Lay your burden down,
get your feet on solid ground
Take your failures to the foot of the cross,
and lay your burden down
(Lay your burden down)
You've been tryin' hard to make it all alone
Tryin' hard to make it on your own
And the strength you once were feelin',
isn't there no more
And you think the wrong you've done,
is just too much to be forgiven
But you know that isn't true
Just lay your burden down,
He has Forgiven you
Lay your burden down,
lay your burden down
Take your burden to the cross,
and lay it down
Lay your burden down,
lay your burden down
Take your worries to the cross and lay them down

Monday, 1 November 2010

For All the Saints

All Saints' Day
All Saints' Day (also known as All Hallows' Day or Hallowmas) is the day after All Hallows' Eve (Hallowe'en). It is a feast day celebrated on November 1st by Anglicans and Roman Catholics.
It is an opportunity for followers to remember all saints and martyrs, known and unknown, throughout Christian history. As part of this day of obligation, followers are required to attend church and try not to do any servile work.
Remembering saints and martyrs and dedicating a specific day to them each year has been a Christian tradition since the 4th century AD, but it wasn't until 609AD that Pope Boniface IV decided to remember all martyrs. Originally May 13th was designated as the Feast of All Holy Martyrs. Later, in 837AD, Pope Gregory IV extended the festival to remember all the saints, changed its name to Feast of All Saints and changed the date to November 1st.

Ephesians 2:19 (New American Standard Bible)
19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household
Hebrews 12:1 (New International Version © 2010)
Hebrews 12
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

Our Saviour has inspired generations of believers who have fought , prayed , persevered, suffered and passed on to glory. We stand on their shudders.
"For All the Saints Who from Their Labors Rest"
by William W. How, 1823-1897

1. For all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confess,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest,Alleluia! Alleluia!

2. Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress,
and their Might;Thou, Lord,
their Captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear,
their one true Light.Alleluia! Alleluia!

3. Oh, may Thy soldiers, faithful,
true and bold,Fight as the saints
who nobly fought of old
And win with them the victor's crown of gold.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

4. O blest communion, fellowship divine,
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia! Alleluia!