Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Listen to the Falling Rain

My  cousin' s  teenage  daughter
baked this  cake  for  my mother.
They  visited  us   after  a  long time
that  made  it  even  more  special.

This  little fellow  was  enjoying
the  worship  music  at the  retreat.
He  brought  his  toy  guitar
to play  along.

The  advent  of  the  monsoons  has  brought  us
refreshment  and respite but  a rise  in  everyday  problems too.
Read  this  report  published
in  Times  of  India
 (  these miniature cement
sculptures are  by
a Western artist)

ALLAHABAD: Denizens of the city faced numerous problems owing to extensive waterlogging, as the rains lashed the city on Sunday night and Monday. It was a virtual doom, as many areas of the city were submerged in almost knee deep water.

As a result, traffic in different parts of the city was not only affected, but also came to a grinding halt, as people faced problems, while negotiating their way through the waterlogged streets. The rains have also categorically exposed the tall claims of the Allahabad Municipal Corporation regarding comprehensive arrangements to tackle the problem of waterlogging.

The condition of roads, which have been dug up for the laying of underground sewage pipelines further deteriorated. The slush caused hardships for the commuters and the schoolchildren going to their school.

The problem was acute in the areas of Rambagh, Bengali Tola, Kydganj, Chaukhandi, Allahpur, Mumfordganj, Baghambari Gaddi, Alopibagh, Chowk, Rani Mandi, Nakhas Kohna, Dara Shah Ajmal, Bahadurganj, Khuldabad, Muthiganj, Chak, Colonelganj, Subzi Mandi, Attarsuiya, Daraganj and other areas of the city. In Bengali Tola and Rambagh, people had to wade through knee deep water. Different lanes and bylanes of the locality was filled with water. People were keeping a close watch on the level of water, lest it enter their houses.

Speaking about the woes afflicting the residents of the area, Abha Dwivedi, corporator of Rambagh says, "There is problem of water logging every time, whenever there is rainfall. The problem is acute in the area of Bengali Tola, which always gets filled with water even during slight drizzle."She rued that the area is not properly cleaned, due to absence of adequate number of sanitary workers.

Besides, the area of Allahpur also witnessed heavy water-logging. Various lanes of Baghambari Gaddi Housing Scheme was filled with water. Due to the non cleaning of some portion of Dandiya Nala, water did not drain out and it caused water logging in some portions of Allahpur. The problem was more acute in Alopibagh, where the work of constructing sanitary chambers is going on. A truck turned turtle here causing traffic problems in the area.
Roads of some areas of the city including Ashoknagar have also caved in. Some of the cattle in the area also died due to electric current during the rains.

At Mumfordganj, residents of MIG Colony complained that silt along the main drain of the locality has not been lifted. The silt has once gain fallen into the drain due to which there was problem of water-logging.

The problem deteriorated in Dara Shah Ajmal locality, where water entered in many houses of the area. This area always faces this problem as it is located on a lower topography compared to the surrounding localities.
(Times  of  India)
I  am  not  venturing  out  much because  the  slippery  roads  and  puddles   makes  walking   difficult  for  me. I  don 't   have  a  car. A helper  does  small  jobs  for  me.

But God' s  grace  is  sufficient  for  us . Like  gentle  rain drops   of God 's  grace  fails  into  our  lives.

Last  week   the  government  announced  another increase in fuel  and  cooking  gas  prices. Which   means prices  of   all  essential  commodities  and  food   will  jump  up  again. The  whole  of  India  is in  uproar  at this. Transport  will  become  more  expensive. The  hole   in  my   pocket  is  getting   larger.

A  Christian brother who  runs  an  orphanage in Calcutta  says   it  will  be  difficult to  feed  his  90  children. All  protein based  food has  become  very  expensive.  Its  so  hard  for   the  destitute and  backward people. The  rich  don 't  care.  They  have  plenty  in reserve.

According  to  UN  surveys India  ranks  high  on  the  world  hunger  index.  More  people   go  to  sleep  hungry  in India  than on  the   continent of  Africa they  say.

Read   an  IBN 7  news report HERE

Well,  all  this   is  pretty  depressing  so  let  me  end   with this  video. I  used  to   listen to  this  rain song on  SLBC (Shri  Lanka Broadcasting  Cooperation  Radio) in my  teens.  I discovered  it  on  YouTube. Maybe  you  remember  it  too.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Sunday Blessings - The Harvest Is Plentiful

The  enervating  heat  and humidity  did  not  lessen  the  zeal and  enthusiasm of some 300 young  people ( ranging from  a  few  months  to  50) from  coming  together  for   2 days of  day retreat. The  Assembly of  Believers held  this  event  in  our  church. This  is  a  vibrant   and  growing  church with  branches  in  different  parts of  our  city. We  were  glad  to   provide  them  with  our  facilities  and  cooperation.

The  theme  asked  a question.
Are  you  on Faithbook?
A  friend  request  from Jesus.

The  church  hall  was  jam packed .

There was  worship, teaching,
drama,  music, talent display,
face painting, quiz and
a  treasure  hunt.
A very  simple  lunch of  dal(lentils)  and  rice
was  served  to  all.
On  both days lunch was  delayed
by 2  hours as the  cooks were  slow,
but  no one  complained,
not  even  the  tiny  tots.
Their  mums   gave  them  cookies  to 
munch while  waiting.

A  worship  dance

Face  painting time

You had  to  display  a  Biblical  truth

No  one  is painting my face.

For  the judges  to  see.

Another  group of  musical worship

These  damsels  came   to our  house  to
make  friends  with Sheeba

Sheeba  was  over joyed  with
all  the   attention  she  got

Here is  another  cutie

Many  people made  new  commitments
to the  Lord
and  believers  re-affirmed  their   faith.

The  Sunday School   kids  on  stage

The  parents  of this  11  month old  boy  sat
in  our  living  room everyday
to  feed  him.
They  are  a  beautiful couple.

Watch  these  videos  to  catch of  spirit.

he (Jesus) said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." Matthew  9; 37,38 BIBLE (ESV)

We  invite  you  to support  our  ministry  in whatever  way  you  can.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Today is my Mother 's 80th Birthday

Mama  is  80  years  old  today.
"What  shall  I  render  unto   the Lord for   all  Hi s benefits  towards  me". Psalm 116:12 (BIBLE)

How  can  you  express  to God  your sense of gratitude-for His  mercies and  His blessings  everyday renewed?
Just by passing on to others what  He  has  bestowed-sharing with the  travellers you  meet  upon  the  road...
Scatter wide  the  good  received your thankfulness  to  show. Cast  your bread  upon the  waters, gladly let it go.
(Patience Strong)

Mama with  a little  girl

With Megan

My desk top is not working, so  instead of  scanning  these photos I photographed  them.

Mama and Papa upon
graduating from  University.

Happy together

Proudly displaying  her  gladioli

In Nigeria (19 years  ago.
(Top photo)
with my  sister Anjali  and  her kids)
(second photo)
Worshipping at  a  Lagos church)

My  parents   with
daughter  Namrita

With me

Dancing with  Aunt  Maya
at  my  sister 's  wedding.
All these memories we  hold so
dear and  thank  the   Lord  for  them.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Upma recipe wins $100,000

Upma worth $100,000

Hindustan Times

New Delhi, June 17, 2011First Published: 17:06 IST(17/6/2011)

Upma is to south India what bread and butter is to the rest of the world, and yet it took New York chef Floyd Cardoz a handful of mushrooms, some coconut milk and chicken stock to make it win the popular US TV show, Top Chef Masters (season 3). The Mumbai-born chef, who bagged the $100,000 title on Wednesday, made the dish under the category of his first food memory. “I remember having upma at home with my family with with tea but I have to make a little bit of changes to it,” said Cardoz on the show.

Traditionally a semolina-ginger-onion breakfast staple, it is now trending on Twitter and has made the country sit up and take notice of how a simple dish, not even on the menu of most gourmet restaurants in India, could prove a jackpot winner.

Cardoz named his prize-winning version ‘Wild Mushroom Upma Polenta with Kokum & Coconut Milk’.

Floyd Cardoz’s winning upma recipe

Four servings


2 cups cream of wheat
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shallots
1 tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon chillies
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups coconut milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cilantro, as garnish
Pea shoots, as garnish

3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup oyster mushrooms
1/2 cup Maitake
1/2 cup king oyster mushrooms
2 shallots
1 chilli pepper
1 knob ginger
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup white port
1 tablespoons cilantro, chopped


1. Heat oil and cream of wheat and toast for 10 minutes on low heat. Remove from pan

2. Heat oil mixture then add mustard seeds and whisk until seeds pop. Add cumin and reserve

3. Heat pan. Add spice oil and butter. Add shallots, ginger, chillies, and cook for 2-4 minutes. Add cream of wheat and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add stock and coconut milk. Mix and cook. Simmer

4. Should be smooth.

Directions for mushrooms

1. Heat oil in sauté pan. Add mushrooms and cook with lightly coloured sear

2. Add butter, shallots, ginger and chilli

3. Deglaze with white port

4. Season with salt and pepper and cilantro.

What city chefs say

For us, upma scores high on nothing. It’s like a blob on a plate. Adding mushrooms and tomatoes to the original three-step recipe seems like an inspiration from its Italian variant, polenta

Chef Sabyasachi Gorai, Olive Bar & Kitchen

I think what made the dish click was the fusion spin. An upma made the traditional way may not have made such noise. He made the humble wheat dish look like gourmet

Chef Tarun Kapoor, The Metropolitan

While we go on aping the West, we tend to overlook our own dishes. It’s heartening that Floyd Cardoz chose to make something Indian. It must make all Indian chefs proud

Chef Debraj Halder, Suryaa

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Sunday Blessings -Hedged In

 Many  of  find  ourselves  in  confining  and  restricting circumstances,  like  I  do, due  to  illness,  physical  disability or  economic restraints  and  family responsibilities.
We  want  to  spread  our  wings  and  fly but  the  aviary nets hold  us  in.

Joni Eareckson Tada  is  a  cages  songbird whose music  is  close  to  my  heart. She 's  been  confined  to  her  wheelchair   for  several  decades now and  God  is  using  her  to   lift  people  out  of  their  bed  of  woes.

A  wide  range   of  authors   are  on  my  reading  list but  I  pay    closest  heed  to  those  who have   suffered pain,  hardship  and  loss .  Their 's  is   not  a  second  hand  knowledge or  counsel.

Jesus  endured temptation,  pain,  suffrering , povery, betrayal, injustice  and torture , even separation from His  Heavenly  Father. That  is  why  He  can  sympathize   with  us  in  our  weaknesses.
Hebrews 4:15
English Standard Version (ESV)BIBLE
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Hedges and Walls

Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in.
--Job 3:23

The four walls of a sick room can feel terribly confining, even if you are only
in bed a short time. When I was stuck in a hospital room for over a year, those
four walls felt like a jail. I resonated with the prophet who wrote, "He has walled
me in so I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains" (Lamentations 3:7).
There's a lot of lament in that verse, and in today's.
There is also comfort. For it is God's hedge. Those are God's walls. It is God who
has confined you in. He is the one who has surrounded you with that high hedge.

It is only when we view our restricting circumstances as being placed there by God's
hand, that we find courage to face the wall and the hedge. Walls are cold and hard.
Hedges are unyielding and thorny. But the love of your God is supreme and matchless,
and he only confines you 'round for a wise and timely purpose. For those who believe
in the love and wisdom of a sovereign God, even a terrible confinement can be a
place of building trust.
* * * * * * * *

A high hedge cannot shut out our view of the skies nor can it prevent the soul from
looking up into the face of God. That's what happened to me in the hospital. During
the year within those four walls, I earnestly wrestled with God, pleading and praying
to him. Looking back, it was dreadfully difficult -- but it was a rich and deep
spiritual time which I wouldn't trade for anything. Because there is so little else
to see, the hedged-in Christian may possibly apprehend God more fully than the disciple
who moves about freely and unconfined.
Today, I need to remember that the 'four walls' of a difficult situation force me
to look up.

 Lord Jesus, please help me to see you in the confining situation.

The Hedge

Therefore I will block her path with thorn bushes; I will wall her in so that she
cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will
look for them but not find them. Then she will say, 'I will go back to my husband
as at first, for then I was better off than now.'

--Hosea 2:6-7

When I was a little girl, my mother would take me to Grandmother's every Wednesday
morning. While she cleaned house, Mother gave me free range in the spacious back
yard which was lined with a tall thick hedge. I had plenty of room in which to
play. I didn't know what was on the other side of the hedge, but I wasn't about
to trespass beyond the watchful eye of Mom. Who knew what dangers lurked beyond
the safe, secure wall of thorny leaves that defined my family's property?

I often think of Grandmother's hedge when I look at my wheelchair. It may be a thorn
in my side, but it is God's barrier; otherwise, I would be reaching for and running
toward a lot of wrong things! I thank my wise God for placing this hedge in my life.
It may hurt and sometimes humiliate me, but it keeps me within the safe, secure
boundaries of God's protection and provision. It keeps me out of the worse kind
of danger: moral trouble.

Today's verse describes a rebellious, headstrong person who is ruled by desire,
a person who looks for ways to trespass God's boundaries of safety and borders of
protection. Don't invite the Lord to block your path with a taller, thornier hedge
Be content within the confines of his commands. The Bible's precepts give you room
enough in which to grow. What hedges has God placed in your life? How has "hedging
in" helped you?

Lord Jesus, I desire to trust and obey you with a willing and contented spirit.
I am thankful for the hedges you place in my life


Joni and Friends

Taken from Pearls of Great Price. Copyright © 2006 by Joni Eareckson Tada.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

India 's longest Lunar Eclipse - June 2011

"The  moon  was  a  ghostly  galleon tossed  upon  cloudy  skies" those  words  by   Alfred Noyes came  to  mind as  I    beheld  the  fascinating  heavenly drama last  night.It  was  the  longest and darkest  moonlit  night when the  earth stood  between   the  sun and  moon . The  ellipse lasted 100  minutes starting  at  11.53 pm on June 15th,  most  of  it  happened after  midnight  on June  16th.

All  the news  channels  were  abuzz with  the  ellipse  story specially  the  Hindi  channels. In  India  the English  and Hindi  news  channels treat news  stories  differently. The  Hindi  ones   lean  towards  sensationalism   some  of  them  targeting a  semi literate ,  traditional audience ( at  least  that' s  what  I  think)  and  the  English  news  channels  are   for  more  sophisticated  and  Westernized viewers. I jump channels  whenever  I   find  an interesting  story. But  I  must    add some  Hindi channels feature  excellent  programs with India' s  top  journalists,  analysts  and  news reporters. I  don 't   want  to  appear  biased  against  them.

The  discussions  on TV  followed  2  streams  or  angles.
One  group  of  people  viewed  the  ellipse   as a natural  phenomenon and made  rational scientific  comments  about  it. They were scientists,  star gazers  astronomers and   lay folk  among  them.
The other group  consisted  of  Hindu  priests,  astrologers, horoscope readers and  suchlike  who  were  cautioning     viewers  against  the  calamities  that  might  befall  them  if  they  don 't   fulfill  certain religious   obligations    and  rituals. They were  bent  upon  invoking  fear and  apprehension. The  clash  of opinions  was very vociferous and  ear-splitting  on one  frequency.It  was  quite  amusing -  maybe  they  were staging  it  to  increase their  ratings. But  all  serious  and  responsible  news  anchors  were telling  people  not  to  be  fearful  of this  natural  occurrence and  fulfil  their  religious practises at  the  same  time. Sort  of  the  middle  path.
Many  people fasted, made offerings at  temples (whose  doors  were shut during  the  eclipse) and took
baths  in    holy  rivers in  order  to  appease  the  gods and  for  good luck.

My  heart  was  full  of  worship  and  wonder  for  the  living  God  ,  our  Creator. He  is  the  one  who  rules  us   and  not  the  network of  stars which  He  has  flung  out  in  space.

"The  heavens declare  the  glory  of  God and  the  firmament  showeth  His  handiwork" BIBLE Psalm 19:1

I  took   a  few  photos  with   my  Sony Cybershot at  various  stages  of   the  eclipse. I  like  the reddish bronze  glow  in  the  last  pictures.

"Space  is   the stature  of  God",  so  said  Joseph   Jourbert. How  right  he  was

(the  above  photo  is  from Google)
The Met  dept. has made  an  announcement
that  could make us  break out  in  sweat.
It  has  not  been hot  enough this  summer.
The  highest  temperatures  have
fluctuated  between 40 -43* C (low 100s F).
But  for  a  good  monsoon the
mercury should  have  risen up  to
47 * C or 110* F.
Well  dark  clouds  do roll along
from time  to  time  and we 've
had  a  light  shower  too.
Lets  see  what  happens.