Sunday, 28 October 2012

Sunday Blessings - 41st Wedding Anniversary

Last  Sunday  I  was  invited  to  a  celebration  of  Rev  and  Mrs  Ghosh '  41st  wedding  anniversary. They are  age  old  family friends  and our  spiritual  teachers so  I  was  glad  to   attend. Rev Ghosh  is  Pastor  of  Holy  Trinity  Church, which  is  an  Anglican  Church,  more  than  150  years  old,  built  by  the  British.Its  architecture,  furnishings,  liturgical  service  and  Anglican  music all speak  of its   ancient  past. The  services  are  conducted  in  English. I  took  some  photos   for  you  to  enjoy and  get  the  feel of  the High  Church  of  England  in  India.

Beautiful brass  Bible  reading  stand.

Rev  Ghosh  preaching  on  his  anniversary. He is  a very  learned   man  and  is  a professor  at   a  Seminary .
My  sister-in-law who is  also a  professor in  the  Allahabad  University  leading  the  litany  of  prayers.. Her husband  who  is an eye  surgeon (cousin) plays  the  organ  and  other  instruments  in  this   church.At  one  time  this  church had  a  pipe  organ  but  it fell  into disrepair  and  no  one  could  fix  it,  so  they  removed  it.
The  happy  couple

Tea  and   snacks  served  on the  porch.
Some  Japanese  visitors. One  of then  brought  Momo (stuffed  steamed  dumplings)  to  be  served with  tea.

The  Ghosh  family. Rev and  Mrs  Ghosh , daughter  Ruth,  Esther ( works  as  a  project  Manager  in  a  Christian  organisation), son  Issac who  is  a professor of English   in  Agra.
Esther  made  these cakes   for  her  parents.
Japanese friends  with  Ruth in  the  front. They  gave me  a  lift  back in  their  jeep.  The  girl  on  the extreme left  is  married  to  an  Indian  man  and  speaks  very  good English  and  Hindi. She  is  the  one  who  brought momos  for  the  tea. The girl  on the  extreme  right is  from   Nepal. They  are all  involved  in  training  farmers  in  a non-formal farmer  's training  school. We  have  many  friends  there.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Day 40- Practice the Presence

St Joseph 's  Cathedral

I  have come to the  ultimate post  of  my 40 day pilgrimage.
Sometimes  I  felt    God  breathing down my back.
Sometimes  He  appeared  to be  distant , yet  very much present.
He  has  made  Himself known in sunshine  and   the  rain.
In noise and in silence.
I have  heard  Him knocking at  the   door of  my  heart.
And  when I opened the door, we supped  together.
I have felt His presence as an individual and as  a part  of  a community.

This  is  the  end  of  my  40 day excursion my my  life 's  odyssey continues in which I hope I shall practise  the  presence  of  Christ in the mundane or  humdrum and  the  exciting and ethereal experiences.

"...we should establish ourselves in a sense of  God 's presence by continually conversing with Him. is a  shameful thing to quit His conversation to think of trifles  and  fooleries.
That we  should feed  and  nourish our  souls  with  high  notions of  God,  which would yield us great joy in being devoted  to Him."
(Brother  Lawrence - I edited  the  quote)

Psalm 139;7-10
Where can I go from Your Spirit
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.


Friday, 19 October 2012

Day 39-Let My Life Show It

Winter Timber painted  by David Hockney (2009)

help me to love you
the way You
to be loved -
with doing,
not dreaming;
with obedience,
not oratories;
on my feet,
not just my knees.

-Susan Locke

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Day 38- Our William Carey

                                         (Google  photos)
26 For [r]consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to [s]the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may...

nullify the things that are, 29 so that no [t]man may boast before God. 30 But [u]by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, [v]and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
1 Cor. 1 (BIBLE)
Many people come to our mid-week Bible teaching on Wednesday evenings . Illiterate , semi-literate, college graduates and university professors come together.   Yesterday, a cobbler   from the side walk came. He  has put  his trust  in  Christ. and  wants to  know  him  more  closely. He sat shyly at the back. Pastor, Dr Herbert made him sit in front and told him about William Carey a  cobbler from Nottinghamshire,  who transformed India. Dr Herbert christened this man, William Carey
The  humble  man  sat  up  straighter  after that and  had  a  twinkle in his  eye as he  greeted  everyone  with  a Jai  Yeshu (Praise  Jesus) after  the  meeting.
This  is  experiencing  God as Christ  made Him known , among  the poor,  down trodden and also  the  privileged.People  from  all  levels  of  society  were  drawn to  him.
God  sometimes  uses  the  weakest  forms  of  life  to display  His  strength , power  and  wisdom.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Day 37- Mirrors

Indianapolis-born and New York City-based photographer Daniel Kukla spent last March living in Joshua Tree National Park in southern California as part of an artist’s residency. While hiking and driving, he would catch glimpses of the border where the Sonoran Desert met the high Mojave. In the ecological sciences, the border space created by the meeting of distinct ecosystems is referred to as the edge effect. To document this unique confluence of terrains, Kukla took a large mirror and painter’s easel into the wilderness and captured opposing elements within the environment. Using a single visual plane, this series of images unifies the play of temporal phenomena, contrasts of color and texture, and natural interactions of the environment itself.
His photo project has been published in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and National Geographic and many more.

Daniel 's creativity and expertise  is  clearly reflected in  these  magic  mirrors. My  favourite  is  the  last  one  with  the   stars  shining  in   the  deep   dark  night  sky. The  stars  look  like  pearls  sewn on velvet cloth.
Which is   yours?

In  1  Cor. 13;12  the  Bible  says that "Now we  see  in  a  mirror dimly, but then face to  face, now I know  in part, but then I shall  know  fully just  as  I  also have  been fully   known.

My  experience  of God is  sufficient  for  this   earthly life ,  but  it  is  not  complete. Its  like  peering into a dark , milky mirror compared  to what I will  find  in heaven.  Then I  will  know God as  He  knows  me   now,  completely.
 All  mysteries  and questions  will  be  solved.

Till  then...
Mirrored here may our  lives , tell His  story.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Day 36- Invisible

Today' s  post  has  been  taken  from  the  online  devotional Our  Daily Journey.The  story of Queen Esther  really  fascinates  me.  Its  about  God  working  behind the  scenes.
His face  is  hidden
His  hand  is  invisible
Yet   He  is  very  much  active  and  present  in  the  lives  of  His   chosen people, in  this  case,  the   Israelites  in captivity in a hostile  country.
I  have  lived in  and faced  hostile  situations , in  which it  was  hard  to  believe  that  I was  on  the winning  side,  but  as  things  heated  up,  God provided the  victory.And  I  want  to  testify  that I  have experienced  God  in  the   most  apprehensive  and  antagonistic state of  affairs

Invisible Hand of God

Esther 2:1-11, 16-18

The king loved Esther more than any of the other young women. He was so delighted with her that he set the royal crown on her head and declared her queen instead of Vashti (v.17).

While her mother-in-law was out of town, my friend was given the keys to her luxurious car. Later, my friend said to me, “The leather seat seems to be made just for your body shape. And the car cruises silently along the highway. Wow, such luxury is intoxicating.”

Indeed, power, wealth, fame, and pleasure can be intoxicating. With that said, I wonder what it was like to be Esther—an orphan Jewish girl living as an exile— plucked from rags to riches? She received pampering beauty treatments, had seven maids standing by, and she stayed in the best place in the harem (Esther 2:9).

The Bible is surprisingly silent about Esther’s character, however. Unlike Daniel (Daniel 1:4), for instance, nothing about her devotion to God or character was mentioned. We only know that she was physically very beautiful (Esther 2:7,15). This is most unusual, for if the Bible tells us anything, it tells us to judge a person in terms of their character—not according to their good looks.

Yet, many of us are easily inclined to view Mordecai and Esther as godly. The question is why? Why are we happy to see Esther on the throne, even though she’s the winner of a contest . . . which included sleeping with the king?

Something is drastically wrong with God’s people as represented in the book of Esther. One Bible teacher suggests: “God is not mentioned in Esther, because God is not thought of in Esther.” As we read through the book, however, we sense that His invisible hand is working through events and people to preserve His chosen nation. He’s faithful even when His people are unfaithful.

Let’s walk faithfully with our great God who providentially cares for His people—even in the midst of intoxicating pleasures that threaten to distract us.

—Poh Fang Chia

Read Psalm 101 to see how one man—who was powerful, wealthy, and famous—committed himself to walking faithfully with God.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Day 35- Oil For the Bones

Taking  a  moment   to  smile  with  God.
 I can   experience   God  in laughter'
He  certainly  has funny  ways  of  dealing  with  things  sometimes.
The  joy  of   the  Lord  is  my  strength. When I  feel  tired  and  burdened I sit  a while and  share  a  smile  or  two with  someone. 
 Its  soul medicine.
The  only   TV  show I  watch regularly is   a  wholesome comic  family drama - with   loony   characters,  just  looking  at  them  makes  one  laugh.
America 's  Funniest  Videos  is  good too.
The  song  from  the  movie The  Sound  of  Music -
My  Favourite  Things, is  also  along  these  lines.
These  cartoons   were  emailed to  my  by   my   friend  Sita  Henderson.
Thanks  Sita.
A joyful heart [i]is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones
Proverbs 17:22 NASB (BIBLE)
From  this  scripture I can  infer that a merry  heart is like  medicine for  my  aching bones.
And  mind  you  it  the   cheapest  medicine too.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Day 34- Pause

For  the  past  few  days  I  had to  pause in my  40  day  journey because  of  computer problems. I  am  still  learning   the  new  operating system,  so  I   am  slow. But  I  am  getting  there.

But  it  all  happened  for  the  best. That 's  why  I  put  up  this  poster  I  found on  Facebook.
Sometimes our plans  don' t  work out.
God  has  better  ones.
Our  prayers are not answers
Maybe  we  are  asking  for  a  stone,
God  wants  to give  us  bread.
Sometimes our safe  walls  and  defences  fall  down
God  is   enlarging  our  space (tent)
Our  friends  suddenly  disappear when  we  need  them  most,
And  swimming alone in the dark
We  find God 's  everlasting arms supporting us.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose
Romans 8:28 NIV (BIBLE)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Day 33- Discovery

I  am  discovering  many  things.
Sunsets  are   for free.
Traffic  hams  clear  up.
People  keep  their  promises.
Forgiving   others  makes  you   feel  light.
Hearing  the  other  half  of  the  story  surprises  you.
Misunderstandings   and  conflicts  can  be  cleared  up  with dialogue.
The  cool   season  arrives   after  the  heat  melts   away.

For  all  these  things  and  more  I  bow  my  knee in  praise  before  the  Source  of   all  good  things.
 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
James  1;17 NASB (BIBLE)

Monday, 8 October 2012

Day 32- Agnes Dei

Agnes  Dei (1635-40)
Fransisco de  Zurbaran
A new spring lamb with its feet trussed is up for the slaughter. Agnes Dei or “Lamb of God” is a powerful reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice for humanity. The composition is austere, aided by the single source of light and deep chiaroscuro (contrast between light and dark), evoking a sense of spiritual piety
I received  this  painting in  my  inbox  today and    sat  looking  at   it  for  a  few  minutes thinking  about  Jesus  the  perfect  Lanb  of  God  slain before  the foundations  of  the  earth.
The Renaissance  masters  made  scriptural truths  come  alive   with  the  stroke  of  their   brushes.These  religious  paintings  were  all  the  more  meaningful and  significant  in that  day and  age  as  the Bible  was  virtually  inaccessible  to  the laity ,  the  clergy  being  its  tenacious  custodians.
Latin  was the  language of    Catholic  Christianity  and the   common man bowed  his  head  before  it, worshipping  God with  words  they barely could understand.
Now  , if I was  living  in the Renaissance period , dwelling  in small hamlet  in Europe and  one  day had  an  opportunity  to  see this masterpiece  in an imposing cathedral in a  city-  what  would this  painting do to  me?
I would  probably  know  Agnes  Dei   from  the  Gregorian Chant
sung  by  a  monastic  choir  in  the  parish church.

I  would turn   to  the  painting  with  that  music  throbbing  in my heart.
Look  at  the  lamb, spotless, unblemished,  perfect.
Lying  in peaceful submission on the  altar of its  sacrifice. Its  legs  trussed  up. It  is  not   struggling or  bleating or   pleading for  mercy.
And  I  would  recall  the  words  of  Jesus uttered  in the  Garden of Gethsemane, His  last  resting place  before  his  journey towards the  cross.

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”
Matthew 26;39 NASB (BIBLE)
Listen  to  a  monastic choir  sing
the Agnus  Dei  from  the  Gregorian  Chant

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Day 31- Seeking God

In  my Day 24  post  last  Sunday I shared   about  a  hapless , sick  woman  called  Simla  who  came  to  the  evening service  and  requested  prayer  for  her  multiple  medical  problems. She  was  so  weak  she   could not walk  up  to  the  front  of  the  church  and   stand  in  the  prayer  line. Glory  be  to God ,  she  came  again  tonight  and  was  well   enough  to  walk  up  front  ,  she  testified that  she   is  feeling  stronger.

My  cup of  joy    just  ran  over  when I  saw her. God  is  merciful.

A  man  brought  his  daughter in law and  two  tiny  grand children  to  church today. He  asked  prayer  for  his  son  who  constantly  fights   with  his  wife   (the  DIL) and   ill treats  her. The  poor  woman  sat  on  a  bench  looking   so  scared  and  nervous with  her  children  next  to her.
Her  name  is  Gulshan and  her  husband' s  name   is Bhaiyya. Please  join  us  in praying   for  this  couple.  May  their    marriage  conflicts and  fights be  resolved   and   they  may  live  peacefully  together.  Most  of  all  the  light  of  Christ  may  shine  in  their  home.

The   Lord Jesus  Christ   said,
Come to me all  you  who are  weary and  burdened, and  I   will  give  you  rest. Matthew  11;28  (BIBLE)

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Day 30- Lesson Learnt From An ATM Machine

Last   month  I  discovered  that my  ATM debit  card  which  can  also  be  used as   a  Master   and  VISA  card  had  expired.  Since  I had  not  used it  for  a  long  time  ,  there   was  a  lengthy  procedure  to  go   through to get  a  new  one. After  fulfilling  all  the  requirements  I  finally  got  a  new  card. With  it  I  got  an envelop  which contained  my   secret PIN  number.

There  was  a  black patch  on  the  envelop with  instructions not  to scratch  the  patch. But  I  did  exactly   that .  I   rubbed  the  black  inky   part  and  in doing   so  I  smudged  the  PIN  number which  I  could  barely  read.

Now  it  turned into a  intriguing  card  game  somewhat  like  online  Solitaire. I  had  a  choice  of   numbers  .  After  punching   in  3   combinations,  the  ATM  locked me  out, saying  my  transaction  was  denied..  I  had  to  wait  24  hours  for  another  attempt. Machines   do  that   to  prevent  hacking and   use  of  stolen  cards.

24  hours  ended   this  evening  , so  I  went  to  back   for  another  attempt.   I  punched  in  a  number  and  lo and  behold  ,  it  worked . The number I  guessed  was correct. As   I  retrieved   my  cash, I  wiped  my  brow.

Lesson  learnt...You  cannot  play  casino  games  with  an  ATM   machine.Approach it  the  correct  PIN  number otherwise  get  locked out.

I   must have  a  PIN   to  access  God and   this  PIN    is  no  secret.  He  is  Jesus  Christ .I have free  access to  God  the Father  at any  time  of  the  day  or  night  through Jesus.He unlocked  the  gates  the  heaven for  me  when  I  invited  Him  into  my  heart.

People  are  trying  to  enter  God' s  presence with  their  own  smudged  PIN  codes. They  are  trying  various   combinations. Jesus  said ,"I  am  the  door, no one can  come  to  the   Father  but  through me."

Jesus  said," I am  the way  ,  the  truth and  the  life, no man  cometh unto the  Father  but  by me."  John  14;6 KJV (BIBLE)

"For  through  him (Jesus   Christ) we  have   access  by the One  Spirit unto the Father." Ephesians  2;18 KJV (BIBLE)

Friday, 5 October 2012

Day 29- Honesty begins at Home

Today  is  the   29th day  of  my  forty  day  pilgrimage with  the  deliberate  intention  of  sharing  how  I  experience   God' s  presence   and  intervention in  my  life.

A  father told  me  the  story  of  his  13  year  old   daughter 's  honesty that  touched  my   heart and   also testified  how  God 's  Spirit is  moving  upon  the  earth

This  man   is  a  driver  in  an  educational  institution  and  earns  a  very low  salary, just  enough to  make  ends  meet. He  went  to  the  vegetable  market  the  other  evening  with  his  family and   found  an  expensive   cell  phone  lying  on the  ground  near  a  stall. He  glanced  here  and there , nobody was  looking  for  it , so it  seemed  pretty  easy  to  pick  it up  and  bring  it  home. After  all his old   cell phone was  falling apart  and  here  was  a  new  Nokia.

When  he  showed  it  to  his   family , his  13  year  old  daughter  immediately  took  it  from  him.
"Papa", she  said,""We  must  return  this  phone  to  its  owner. He   will  call  this  number  after  a while.He has  not   only lost  his  phone  but  all  his   contact  numbers  which  he has  stored  in  it.  How  difficult  it  will be  for  him  to  get  them  back. Just  imagine if  this  had   happened  to us.."
Nobody  could  refute  that.

And  sure  enough  the  phone  rang , and  the  young  girl  answered  it  immediately.
"Don 't worry sir, 'she  said , 'I  have  your  lost  phone. Here  is  my  address. Please  come and  take  it  from me. When   you  are  near  my  street  , call   again  and  I  will  stand  outside  my  house and  wave,  so you  can  identify  me  easily."

A man  showed  up  at their  doorstep after  a  short  intervall.  He  was  a   lawyer. Receiving his  phone  from  the  teenager,  he  offered  her  a reward  of   a  hundred  rupees. This  amount  meant  a  lot  to  the  child  because  she  hardly  ever  got   any  pocket  money.

"No sir," said  the    girl,  "Keep  the  money. It  is  not a  good  habit  to  give   money to  children." The  affluent  lawyer  was  greatly   humbled  and  left  with  a  grateful and  admiring  heart. The  father told  his  story with great  pride  and  I applauded  .

It  is  hard  to  be   honest  when one  is  so  poor. One  will  dive  for  a    coin glinting   in the  dirt. In  our  world  ridden  with  scams,  cheating and  robbery  it  is  amazing  to see  a child  display  such  strength of  character.A  glimpse of  the  new  millennium society where  all  things  will  be  made  new.

.Isaiah 11:6

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Day 28- The Real Jesus

Let  me  share  with  you  a  devotional  by  Max  Lucado which reminds  me  that  my  Saviour lived  a  life   just   like me. He  faced  the  twists  and  turns   and  rough  edges  of  life   just  as I  do.
He was not  cushioned  in  comfort  like  a  prince  .
Neither  was he sequestered  in  solitude  like  a  hermit.
Being  very God ,  he was  completely human.
Defies  human comprehension.
But it  draws  me  closer to Him.
Here is  Lucado 's article

Completely Human

When a bookstore owner told me a woman had stomped into his shop, angry, slamming one of my books on the counter, I knew exactly what he was talking about. I wrote that Jesus may have had pimples. He may have had bony knees. But I said, “One thing’s for sure, he was, while completely divine, completely human.”

There’s something safe about a God who never had calluses. There’s something majestic about a God who never scraped his elbow. But there’s also something cold about a God who cannot relate to what you and I feel.

Rejection? He felt it. Temptation? He knew it. Loneliness? He experienced it. Death? He tasted it. And stress? He could write a best-selling book about it.

Why did he do it? One reason. So that when you hurt, you’ll go to him and let him heal you!

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15.”

From In the Eye of the Storm
Check out Max’s guest blog at Ministry Matters!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Day 27- Mind Wash

Sometimes  as  the day  progresses  my  mind  becomes   weighed  down  by  burdens,  blunders,  irritations  and  frustrations  that  I  encounter  along   the  way.

This  rolling  stone  does  gather  moss  as  she  rolls  downhill. And  the moss  and  mud  needs to  be   washed   away before  she  rests  in  the  valley of  peace.

Today  the  Lord  provided   such  a  shampoo   after  a  mossy  morning. I  had  just finished  my  lunch  of   dal, rice  and  vegetables  when my  cell  phone rang. It  was my   cousin inviting me  to her  Mom 's  (my aunt Joy 's)  82nd  birthday  celebration. That  filled me with  such  joyful  anticipation  that I  forgot   all  the  irritations of the  morning. Now I  am  looking  forward  to  an evening  with  my  cousins  and   aunt. 

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Phillipians 4; 4-9 NIV (BIBLE)

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Day 26- Let Your Kingdom Come

Let  Your   kingdom  Come 
Let  Your  will  be  done  in  India  as  it is   above

(Please   click on  the   photo  to  enlarge  it)
Today  India  remembers  Mahatma  Gandhi on  his 
birth  anniversary. It  is  a  national holiday.
Around  the world it  is  observed  as  International
Non Violence  Day.
Many  Christians  have  set  this day  aside  to fast  an d pray  for our  country.
In my  church  we  had  a  day  long  children 's  program in
which  about  200  children  participated.
I want  to  share  some  colourful  photos 
gathered  from  the  web.