Friday, 30 December 2011

Prayer request

My  mother   had  a  fall  on  Dec  28th and   broke  her  left  thigh  bone.  She  will  have  a  surgery  tomorrow  Dec  31st.  Need   prayers  desperately

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Sunday Blessings -A Mini Christmas Story

Inspired  by   my  friend  John  Cowart  who  made  a video called Christmas  in  a Tin Box ,  I  made  this  video which  could  be  called Christmas  in  a Cardboard  Box with  the  help of  a creche  sent  to   me  by   my  Texan friend Holly.

Jesus  was  born  among the poor, the  hungry, the  disadvantaged  and the  unloved. He came to an ordinary family among  ordinary people. He came as a Saviour- on a rescue  mission to redeem and to liberate.
 God,which makes  us  glad  with  the  yearly  remembrance of  the  birth of thy  only Son Jesus  Christ; grant  that as we  gratefully receive  for our  Redeemer, so we  may   with sure  confidence behold  Him  when  He  shall  come to be our  judge,  who liveth  and  reigneth forever.
( Collect  from the  1549  Prayer Book)

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Christmas Tree Gift Service

In  India  we  have  a  yuletide  tradition  in  many  churches  called  the  Christmas  Tree  Gift  Service  or the White  Gift  Service.
Its  an   evening  of  Christmas  carols and  a  homily by  the   Pastor  followed  by  the  distribution  of  simple  little  gifts to  the  children and  adults.
There  can  be  a  gift  exchange  also. In  the  white  gift  service presents  are  wrapped  in  white  paper  and  laid  around  the  Christmas  tree and  you  can  come  up  and  pick  a  little  package .In  large and  rich  congregations  more  expensive  gifts  are  given  for  which  money  is  collected beforehand.
One  church  I  know  did  not  have  a  gift service  for  themselves.  Instead  of   that  they  used  the  contributions  to prepare a  nice  meal  for  the  inmates  of  an  old  people 's  home. The  elderly  folk  shared  the  joy  of  Christ 's  coming with  this  group. What  a  neat  idea.
Last  Saturday the  Believer 's  Church  held their  Christmas  Tree in  our  church. There  were  about  150  people  or  more. Only  the  little  children  got  gifts. This  church  is  not  rich. Here  are  some  photos  I  took.

 Singing  carols

 Sunday  school  children
 Lost  in  worship -  O  come  let  us  adore  him.

The  Pastor 's  wife (seated)  distributing  gifts  to  the  children.  They   got  a  lollipop  and  a  pencil each.

The  joy  of  brightening   other  lives, bearing  each  others ' loads  and supplanting   empty  hearts  and  lives with  generous  gifts becomes  for  us  the  magic  of Christmas.
- W C Jones

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The 12 Dogs of Christmas

Enjoy  his  cute  video. Its  in  book  form  too.
12 Dogs Of Christmas

On the ______ day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

A Poodle in a doghouse
2 St. Bernards
3 Cocker Spaniels
4 Basset Hounds
5 Golden Retrievers
6 Boxers Boxing
7 Huskies Howling
8 Sheepdogs snoring
9 Chihuahuas chomping
10 Dalmatians dancing
11 Labs a  singing
12 A CAT!
Our Princess  Gaga aka Sheeba  has  her  birthday  on Dec  25th. The  pet  shop  couldn 't  specify  a  date  so  we  chose  Christmas Day.  She  was  a  gift  from  my  sister Anjali  and  BIL Prem  10  years  ago. She  will be  70  years  according   to  dog  years.
Happy Birthday  Princess  Gaga

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Sunday Blessings -Christmas for the poor

                  Worshippers  at  the Grace  Festival

Oscar  Romero who  fought for  the  rights  of  the  poor  in  South  America and  who  was  killed  in  the  midst   of  his  prophetic  ministry recognised  that   we don 't  only  need to  stand   with  the  poor...but  to  recognise our  own  poverty of  spirit.

No  on can  celebrate  Christmas without  being  spiritually  poor.
The  self  sufficient  , the proud,  those   who, because  they have  everything  look  down  on  others.
Those  who  have  even  no  need  of  God - for  them  there  will  be  no  Christmas.
Only  the  poor, the  hungry, those  who  need  someone to  come  on  their  behalf will  have  that  someone.
That  someone is  God, Emmanuel, God  with  us.
Without  poverty  of  spirit there  can  be  no  abundance  of God.

Lord  forgive  me that  I  am so  self sufficient
                                              so easily satisfied
                                              so full of self
Create in me  an empathy  with  the  poor that  I  may  be  truly  understand
Create  in me a poverty of  spirit which reaches  out  to  you  for  more...

(Rob Frost)

Friday, 16 December 2011

I Hate Christmas

Oh  no  its  not  me  but  Oscar  the  Grouch from  Sesame  Street who  is saying this.

Its funny , but poor  Oscar   is  partly  right.If  I  was  celebrating Christ' s  birth  in a  treadmill meaningless way I  would   hate  it   too.
Christmas  kept  as  a  frenzied  holiday  can  be  pretty  stressful. Just  a  rigmarole  of  tradition and  activity. A  lonely  time  for  singles,the  bereaved  and  those  separated  from  their  family  for  various  reasons.

Childhood  is   the  best  time  to  enjoy  Christmas. You  are  not  responsible  for anything -  just  enjoy  the fun which  older  people have  arranged  for  you.

I  remember  our  family  activity  around  Christmas  time.The  baking  of     traditional  Christmas  fruit cakes.  My  grandma  with  with  the  help  of maids  and  aunts prepared  special  goodies and  I  was  always  eager  to  sample  them  hot  off the  stove. The  tantalising  aroma  of   sweet  and  savoury  eatables   made  them  hard  to  resist. I  teased  my  grandma by  playfully  pinching  handfuls of  delights  from  loaded  brass   platters. She  was ready  for  my  naughtiness and  pretended  to  scold  me.

The  provender  and  cakes  were  stored  in  large  trunks waiting  for   guests  to  arrive. Family  and friends  would  visit  us (  and still  do )  during   Christmas  week  and after  and  were  served  Christmas  specialities   with  tea  and  cake. Sometimes  people  call before  they  visit  otherwise  one can  drop  in  anytime.

On  December 25th  we  attended  morning  church ,  and had   lunch  at home  .  There  were  lots  of   visitors  to  share  food  with. After  that we   set  off  to  visit  relatives   and  friends returning  late in  the  evening.

Gift exchange  was not  prevalent  among  adults  in  those  days (  as  it  is  now)  but   children  got  toys  and   money. I  always  wished  for   books. We  gave   away food  packages  ,  money  and  clothes  to   the  less  fortunate  and  our  helpers,   and  still  do   each  year.

Sending  cards  and  telegram  greetings  was  in  vogue,  but  in these  modern  times  it  has  been  replaced  by  emails, telephone  calls and  text  messages.

We got  our  Christmas clothes  ready. It  was  not  necessary  to  buy  new   clothes  each  year.

Decorating  the  house   was  fun with  everybody  giving  instructions  to  each  other. I,  being  the  family  clown teased  and  tackled  my  sisters  who  chided  me  with   indignation.

When  our  old  artificial  Christmas  tree  shed  all  its  leaves , Sonia  used  a  tall potted  fern  to  string  up  the  ornaments.  And  I  enjoyed  poking  fun  of  her "Desert  Christmas  tree".  Poor  Sonia still  remembers  that  levity.

There  were  lots  of   Christmas   music and  pageants to  attend  and  participate  in. (Tomorrow  we  are  having  a  Christmas  program  in  our   church  organised  by  the Believer 's  Church.)  And  weddings  too.  People  like  to  get  married  in  the  cool  season as  the  weather  is  pleasant. Oh  yes  there  were  picnics,  outings  and fairs  too.

Just  take  out  Christ  from  Christmas  and  what  do  you have  left just  a  holiday- something   for  the  body but  nothing  for  the  heart.

I  want  to  have  a vision  of the  glorified  Christ  this  Christmas.

St  Teresa  of Avila was  born   in 1515.She  was  a  great  Christian  mystic and  many  people  today   are  blessed  and  encouraged  by  her  writings. Once  she  tried  to  describe  her  vision  of  the  glorified   Christ.

"It  is  not  a  radiance which  dazzles, but  a soft  whiteness and  an  infused  radiance which, without  wearing  the  eyes causes  them  the  greatest  delight nor are they  wearied  of  the  brightness which  they  see  in  seeing  this  Divine  beauty...It   is a light which never  gives  place  to  light, and being always light is  disturbed  by   nothing."

I  wish  you  the  brightness  of   a  vision  of  the  glorified  Christ  this  Christmas.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Joy To The World

You  will  want  to  watch  this  video  again  and  again  and  show  to  your children

Peace  is  joy  resting
Joy  is  peace  dancing
- F F Bruce

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Hungry For Money

Where  is  that  crackling rustling  sound   coming  from we  wondered.

There  was  something  going  on   under   the  sofa (couch). Our  Sheeba  was  occupied mysteriously.
The  next  morning while  cleaning  the  floor  we  found  a  half   eaten  10  rupee  note  under  the  sofa.
No   prizes  for  guessing  the  guilty  party

You  know  what  her  favourite pop  song  is?
Money  Money  Money
Must  be  funny
In  a  rich  man 's  world.
by   Abba.

When  she  was  a  puppy she  chewed  up  Aunt  Sybil 's  50  rupee  note  in  collaboration  with  her  mate  Jimmy. Aunt  Sybil  was  so  good  humoured  she  gently  rebuked  them  with  a  smile.

Old  habits  die  hard  Sheeba.

Another of  her  favourite  pass  time  is  to  chew  beads  or  sequins  off  clothes. She  has  done  it   with  a  scarf  of  mine  which   had  a  beaded  border.

A  few  weeks  ago  I  left  some  washed  clothes  on  the  sofa which  included  a  shirt  with  beads  on  it. I  don 't   have  to   tell  you  what  I  found  the  next  morning.

Well,  every  dog  has  its  bead or  day.
Yesterday  and  today  were  good.  Accomplished  some   important  jobs.
I  haven 't  put  up  any Christmas  decorations because  of  the  additional  dusting  it  would  involve. In  India  people  decorate  close  to  Dec  25th.

May  we  all  decorate  our  homes with  love  and righteousness  as   the  day  of  our  Lord 's birth  approaches.

Monday, 12 December 2011

The Defeat of Darkness

On  Dec  10th  we  witnessed a  lunar  eclipse  in  our  part  of  the  earth. It  was  a beautiful  sight  to   behold.The  moon  gradually disappearing   behind  a  cloak of  darkness  and   then  emarging bright  and  luminous  once  more. It  all took  more  than  an  hour . Scientists ,  researchers , students  and interested  people  gazed   at it  with  specialised  equipment and   the  naked eye. The  news  channels  did   their  best  to  show   it  to  us  at  its  various  stages.
Below  are  my  attempts  at  taking   some  mug shots  or  potshots  at  the  moon.

(Lunar  eclipse Dec  10, 2011)

It  was  a  rare  sight .  The  moon  being  enveloped  by  darkness  and  then  slipping  out  from  the  shadow in  all  its   silver  luminence.

Christmas  is  the  season  to  celebrate  the defeat  of darkness.

This  is   a  prophecy  made about  the  birth  of  Christ  by  the   Prophet  Isaiah hundreds  of  years   before   his  birth.
2 The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them.
3 You shall multiply the nation,
You shall increase their gladness;
They will be glad in Your presence
As with the gladness of harvest,
As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
4 For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders,
The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.
5 For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult,
And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.

6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

Joni Eareckson Tada   says,
"God permits all sorts of awful things to happen... things he doesn't approve of.
God allows others to do what he would never do. At the same time, he hates evil.
Please don't think that God sits back and nods appreciatively at the peddling of
drugs to ninth graders. He's not the one who fired the ovens of Auschwitz and other
Nazi death camps. He does not smile when doctors slip up leaving children with crippling
defects, or high school linebackers crush the neck of the opposing team's quarterback.

He hates these things

God is truly grieved over evil. He is grieved at how we've ruined the world and
abused each other. This grief is partly why he gave the Ten Commandments: don't
murder, he says -
 I hate unjust killing.
Don't commit adultery -
 I despise seeing
families ripped apart.
 Don't steal - society will crumble if you do.
God cannot
tolerate wrong...
This is why he sent Jesus to be born into our dark world. From the day of his birth,
the forces of darkness began plotting against the Babe in the manger. Why?
the adversary and his wicked hoards knew that this was the Child who would ultimately
crush Satan and bring an end to wickedness in this world. God is so grieved over
evil, that he sent his only Son to die in order that righteousness and peace, truth
and love would prevail... in order that we might escape the clutches of hell and
be welcomed into heaven. God permits what he hates to accomplish that which he

Celebrate the defeat of darkness by singing this verse today from the Christmas
carol, "Joy to the World": No more let sin or sorrow reign, nor thorns infest the
ground; He comes to make His blessings known far as the curse is found!

God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay, remember Christ our Saviorwe were gone astray,
O tidings of comfort and joy!"


 This   is  Mary' s  soliloquy  addressed  to her  new  born  son. Max  Lucado  has  written  it   beautifully
Tiny Mouth, Tiny Feet

God. O infant-God. Heaven’s fairest child. Conceived by the union of divine grace with our disgrace. Sleep well.
Sleep well. Bask in the coolness of this night bright with diamonds. Sleep well, for the heat of anger simmers nearby. Enjoy the silence of the crib, for the noise of confusion rumbles in your future. Savor the sweet safety of my arms, for a day is soon coming when I cannot protect you.

Rest well, tiny hands. For though you belong to a king, you will touch no satin, own no gold. You will grasp no pen, guide no brush. No, your tiny hands are reserved for works more precious:
to touch a leper’s open wound,
to wipe a widow’s weary tear
to claw the ground of Gethsemane.

Your hands, so tiny, so tender, so white—clutched tonight in an infant’s fist. They aren’t destined to hold a scepter nor wave from a palace balcony. They are reserved instead for a Roman spike that will staple them to a Roman cross.

Sleep deeply, tiny eyes. Sleep while you can. For soon the blurriness will clear and you will see the mess we have made of your world.

O eyes that will see hell’s darkest pit and witness her ugly prince … sleep, please sleep; sleep while you can.

Lay still, tiny mouth. Lay still mouth from which eternity will speak.
Tiny tongue that will soon summon the dead,
that will define grace,
that will silence our foolishness.

Rosebud lips—upon which ride a starborn kiss of forgiveness to those who believe you, and of death to those who deny you—lay still.

And tiny feet cupped in the palm of my hand, rest. For many difficult steps lie ahead for you.

Rest, tiny feet. Rest today so that tomorrow you might walk with power. Rest. For millions will follow in your steps.

And little heart … holy heart … pumping the blood of life through the universe: How many times will we break you?
You’ll be torn by the thorns of our accusations.
You’ll be ravaged by the cancer of our sin.
You’ll be crushed under the weight of your own sorrow.
And you’ll be pierced by the spear of our rejection.

Yet in that piercing, in that ultimate ripping of muscle and membrane, in that final rush of blood and water, you will find rest. Your hands will be freed, your eyes will see justice, your lips will smile, and your feet will carry you home.
And there you’ll rest again—this time in the embrace of your Father.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Sunday Blessings - The Lonely Christian

Lately  I  've   been  going  through  some  trials and  this  quote sent  by  a  friend blessed  me. When  Jesus  stepped  onto  the  earth  as Emmanuel,  God  with  us,  He  also  choose  loneliness.

The Loneliness of the Christian

“The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share his inner experiences he is forced to walk alone. The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way.

“The man who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over-serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens. He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.

“It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else.”

AW Tozer
My  blog  friend  John  Cowart  is  an  author of  repute he inspired  me  to  start  blogging . He  made a great Christmas video   called  CHRISTMAS  IN  A  TIN  BOX
Please  visit  his  blog  and  watch  him  tell  the  Christmas  story in  his  own   way.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Bond With The Best

Bond   with   the  best was  the  theme  for  the  EU  Christmas Outreach held  on  Dec  6th. And  that  motto  was  fulfilled   most  certainly.  More  than  100  people  comprising  of university  students  and  families  with  Young  children came to  hear  the  Christmas  message.

The  university chapel  is  very  far   from  my  house  but  God   provided  transport (motorbike rides) so  I  could   participate  and   enjoy  fellowshipping  with  friends   I  "meet"  on  Facebook.

Worship  leaders
Brother  David  gave  the  message   from  John 5:24
   “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgement, but has passed out of death into life. (words  of  Jesus)

He  gave  his  own  testimony , how  God  saved  him  from  a  life  of   crime and   empty  living. And  what  it  means  to  be  saved.

There   was  special  music  and  a  video  presentation.

The  students  were  cooking  a   meal of  vegetable  rice, a  curry  of  potatoes  and  fresh  green  peas and  yogurt  salad (raita). Believers  contributed  money  for  that and a  professor  donated   cake  for  dessert.

There  was  some  delay on that   front  so  the seniors  presented  special  songs  and  kept  everyone  lively  and  happy.

The  ride  back on  the 
motorcycle  was  chilly
but  my   heart   was  warm  seeing 
God  at   work 
among   young  people.

Let  me  end  with  what  I  read 
in  my  morning  devotions.


What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! ...As it is written:
'There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one
who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there
is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues
practice deceit. There is no fear of God before their eyes.'... no one will be declared
righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious
of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known...
This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.

--Romans 3:9-12, 17-18, 20-22

Someone once asked an evangelist "Is it hard to get people saved?" He thought for
a moment then replied, "No, but it sure is hard to get them lost!" He's right. It's
hard to get people to see how utterly lost they are. Yet before the Good News can
sound good, a person must hear the bad news -- that "all have sinned and come short
of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

No one is righteous before God -- not even the person who tries to consistently
do the right thing. It's impossible to always live the right way, to always keep
the law. The purpose of the law is to show a person how far he misses the mark.
But bad news never sounded so good... for then, we see the need for a Savior

Christmas is upon us and our hearts are happy as we celebrate the arrival of Jesus,
God's Good News! But let's not forget the bad news - that a heart without Christ
is full of deceit. Oh, how we need Jesus; and to live rightly is to live dail
in his grace. It really is all about him!

Father, it's hard to understand how lost I really am without Jesus Christ. Help
me to live completely and totally on the grace of Jesus today!

(Joni  Eareckson Tada)

Monday, 5 December 2011

A Tender Plant

The  Bible  describes  Jesus  as  a  tender  plant growing  on  hard , rocky , unproductive   ground. Garden keepers  know  how  difficult  it  is  to  work  on a  unfertile  land . Unfriendly  weather  also  affects  plant  growth. Hardly  anything  grows  well  during  our   hot,  dry,  blistering  Indian  summers. Only  vegetation adapted  to  heat remains  green  and  productive. The  opposite  is  true  for   cold,  snow  bound  places.

Jesus,  God' s  tender  plant  was  meant  to  live in  this  harsh and  hostile world.
"He  came  to  his  own  and  his  own  received  him  not" Gospel  of  John  1;11

Let  me  share  with  you  some  scenes  from  our  winter  garden and  a  page  from  from  my  devotions.

A Tender Plant

by  Henry   and  Richard  Blackaby ( Experiencing  God  Day  by  Day

For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. Isaiah 53:2

The coming of Jesus was like a tender plant in the midst of a parched ground. Parched ground offers little hope for survival; it is dry and too hardened to allow most plants to penetrate its crust. Yet Jesus was prophesied as a tender plant that would break through the hostile soil and overcome the dry and lifeless environment in order to bring life.
When Jesus was born, His people were hardened to God’s Word. There is no written record of God’s having spoken to His people for four hundred years. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day had studied and memorized the Scriptures, but the words were lifeless to them. So hostile had they become to the truth that when God’s Son came to them, they killed Him. Nevertheless, despite the enmity of the people, Jesus brought life to all who believed in Him.
 Jesus is capable of bringing life to any person, society, or culture no matter how hardened or hostile they have become to the gospel. Even the most calloused sinner will discover that Jesus knows how to penetrate the heart and bring life where there was only bitterness. The work of Jesus in a person’s life may seem fragile at first, but like the mustard seed, it will eventually grow into something strong.
As you pray for someone you care about, don’t be discouraged if this person has not responded to Jesus. Just as a tender plant finds a way to grow in a hard and unreceptive environment, so the love of Jesus has the ability to emerge in a life that seems completely unresponsive.
Tomorrow evening  (Dec 6)   we  are   having  a  Christmas  Outreach  programme for  University students.  It   will  be  held  at   a  College  Chapel. More  than  100  students   are  expected. I  will be  going  too.
Please  pray  for  a   mighty  work  of  God among   the  youth from  all  over  India.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Sunday Blessings - Jesus You Have Come to Save Us

May   the  words   and  music  of  this  holy  song  lift  our  hearts close  to  heaven  in  worship  and  praise thanking  God  for  sending  Jesus to  save  us  from  the  incurable  disease  of  sin.
Jesus  said,"I  have  come that  they   may  have  life,and  that  they  may  have  it  more  abundantly." John 10;10