Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Living Christ is hard!!

It's really hard... Maybe the things I do, in the world's perspective is not a big deal, some of it may be a big deal too - but each time I do something wrong I just realize how sinful I am and the fact that no amount of good I did could make up for the sins I do every single day - big or small. I'm so glad I have His love!!

Oh and hopefully someday I'll make a pledge to one other person who'll love the Lord as much as I do (or maybe better than I do) - coz I don't love Him enough. And he and I will live every day of our lives - not on our knees the whole day but living with Him as our perspective - so that when other people look at us, they won't look at us as hypocrites or "oh they belong to that denomination". Rather they should be able to say, "Oh, they must be Christians - that's the reason why they're such loving, gentle, sensible people - seems a lot like how a follower of Christ would be" - so that the credit goes to the Lord, not to me or my family because it was from Him through His Word, the Bible that I got to know how to be that way. I just choose to do what He says - as long as I'm aware. Even then, after that much, there's so much lacking in me - SO MUCH!! I still sin every single day, be it in the smallest way - I still do sin - sometimes knowingly, and sometimes unknowingly. Either way, it's still sin.

I don't want to be the type who, when people look at me, feel I'm very religious and won't tolerate any kind of nonsense. I want to be the type that knows how to have good, clean, not just fun - but lots of fun while, doing it and a lot more for the Lord's glory.

Today my chemistry final got over. It was my one and only cumulative this semester. It wasn't that big of a deal but while I was preparing for it, I felt somehow the Lord had something in it for me to learn. I can feel a lot of things changing in my life as I make this transition at this age. Maybe its because of my age but I feel a lot more mature. I make it sound very supernatural but that fact is there's a lot behind it... all of which it is impossible to describe....

Catch ya later!!!

Jesus Reigns!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Keep it short and sweet!

Maybe I should stick to keeping my blogs shorter than the current length... I usually don't plan out how long to keep it but I think that's a good thing to contemplate changing about my blogs...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Last Thursday, we celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time in our lives - turkey and all. It was awesome, although it was only all 5 of us in my family (which I'm thankful for). Mom started by saying she was thankful about being saved and for a home in heaven and for being able to come here ( NC - although she was not exactly for it... :) ). She was also thankful her husband chose to marry her and also for her 3 blessed children (of course, of course... ;)). She talked about 3 mins or so. I followed, and expressed being thankful for my family, for the people who go to our chapel, especially the young people who have really set an example to me through their every word, action, and reaction.

Now that I think of it (and didn't mention it during our little celebration) I'm thankful that I have been able to bring back that one-to-one relationship with the Lord, which I wasn't able to do for a long time... since the time that I had been away from my parents in my home state - after coming here, it's almost been like I was learning to be a Christian for the first time all over again.

Coming back to my original topic, I also said I wouldn't exchange my family for any other in the world, if that was the last thing I could do. Last of all, but not the least, I thanked the Lord for myself - just as I am, and for the way He was teaching and changing me in different ways leading me on my way to be perfect like Himself - ie, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Likewise, my sister mentioned a few things she was thankful for, followed by my brother (his thanksgiving included his perfect attendance certificate - how sweet to be that simple, I don't know if i could be that specific or thoughtful), and then my father followed, after which we gave thanks for the food and lo and behold... we had begun to EAT! The turkey came out well - had been in the oven about 3 hours or so and looked simply yummy! :) It wasn't a very big one but was just enough for all of us. There was boiled beans, "sweet potato and apple with honey and butter" (That was just YUMMY!!), bread - which no one touched since there was so much else to eat, and (okay, this is weird) - not iced tea, but Mountain Dew. The whole day went real good... I loved it - we've never celebrated anything of the sort but I really enjoyed the turkey (although it was made by my mother - so it's possible that's the reason why I liked it).

You might be wondering why I'm going on about all this - the reason is very plain - I only wanted to express that I am so thankful for anything and everything and everybody that has ever happened to me. I love myself as I am today and each part of me has become itself because of the effect of somebody or the other or some or the other circumctance in my life - even if it was something about myself that I used to dislike. Speaking of which, I have observed that I have a lot of weak points and I hate the way I act or react when sometimes those very weak points lead to me landing myself in trouble. But what I probably can't see is the good that comes out of those weak points. At first those foolish steps that I take might seem totally destructive but later, when the good has come out of it a long time after, I am always able to look back and say "It was for good that that had happened..." concerning that particular "foolishness" rather than crying over it "If I hadn'e done it this way, all this wouldn't have happened" or "If something else had happened then I would have been better off now". That is why the Word of God says "[A]nd we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" Romans 8:28, King James Version.

Whether it be hard, sad, easy, happy, or lonely times or times when it seemed like the whole world is on our side - all through those times, whether good or bad, my Lord was good to me. Times when I turned away from Him and forgot Him and didn't give Him the favor He far more than deserved, He remained faithful. Where can you get such a partner on the face of the earth? Sometimes the silliest of things can be the hardest to do and certain ways we once were against can suddenly become favorable to us. What I'm trying to say is man keeps changing and so you can't trust him (or her, for that matter). Then who can you trust? Isn't the answer obvious? God? Because He never changes does He? Isn't that something to be thankful for?
For all you know a person could promise you something today and tomorrow, something drastic can happen in that person's life to make him or her change his or her mind about that very same promise due to no particular fault of his or her own. But then its us who suffers isn't it? No matter what, there's no person in this world who'll love anybody else in this world other than themselves. Put a person who thinks he loves you at the edge of a cliff without any warning and tell him to jump. What do you think he or she going to do? Now come on, and be honest. If he's not stupid or downright crazy he won't jump until he finds out what really is going on right? Coz one wants to make sure all's going well only then will one make that decision of even jumping from the cliff for you... lol... sorry couldn't help it...

Whoa there I go, wandering off to my favorite topic - Love... hahaha... The point I was trying to make was that no one else is precious to anybody else other than himself or herself. Only can God can love you more than He loves Himself - He's already proved that, right? Did He deserve to die on that cross treated like a criminal? No! He never did a single sin in His life! The Bible says "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that WE MIGHT become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). If you have something good in you how happy will you be with all the credit or half of the credit going to somebody else? That's exactly what the Lord did!! He gave up all his riches to put on skin just like you and me!
I think that's the most awesome thing anybody could do! You better think so too!! :D jus kiddin.. But I'm not kiddin about the facts I mentioned.

He lived all eternity in perfectness and having absolutely not known no sin at all and then lovingly made his most wonderful creation - man, who hates him. Knowing man was doing it purely out of ignorance, He left His heavenly splendour and came to earth, and was accused like a criminal - why? because He claimed to be God, and was put to death. Not only that, He rose from the dead and lives today and still people refuse to believe Him. Is that something you would expect a majestic, omnicient, omnipotent God to do? Wouldn't He rather sit in His heaven and reward "good" people and punish "bad" people? But no, He chose to take up your and my punishment Himself so you and I could live with Him, all you have to do is personally accept that love and allow Him to make you His.

Each time a new thought comes up in my mind even as I type right now, I feel even more thankful and even more unworthy because I don't deserve it. But I am definitely thankful and I want to make the sacrifice He made worth it, in order to please Him - He doesn't need me to please Him of course but i'm totally humbled by the fact that He died in order to have a wretched sinner like me to live with Him forever. And I will.... someday!!! Don't you want to have that same hope? Does it sound like I am in love? :) I sure am.... I have been for the past 10 years and will never fall out of it. Wouldn't give it up for all the riches in the world.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Fall in love or choose to love?

Is there something such as falling in love? Take for example a guy who sees a real good looking girl and he immediately "falls in love" with her. Is that love? Wouldn't you rather call that lust? Okay, I consent to the fact that he might have had an attraction to her because of her good looks and gradually he might have gotten to know her better. After getting to know her if he still loves her even if she's the haughtiest and charcterless person he's ever seen alive, maaaybe you could say he loves her. But you know what? Love has the power to transform even that!! But more of that later...

I'm talking about that certain instant in your attraction for this significant person when you decide for yourself whether or not you love that person. Everything you do in your life, you are making a choice.
You want to call that person up and talk to him or her or NOT - its your choice. Is love so empowering that you can't live without talking to that person? Do those kinds of feelings come the first time you see or talk to that person? Of course not! That is simply ridiculous! Those are merely reactions formed out of habits performed as part of a routine - that is no sign of the real love.

One can never love a person without deciding to do so oneself.
Sure, you might have had a particular picture in mind of a special "somebody" who will come along the way and suddenly this particular person comes along and fits that picture almost perfectly - almost! But wait - is it really that way? Isn't it that wanting to be considered special by someone else that motivates you to go forward? Is it really the true realization of commitment to one another that makes you go forward? Or is it merely the thought of being considered important ie given special attention ie fleshly pleasure ie sin that motivates you? Never thought of it that way? Think again for yourself. Its the need to feel wanted and loved or to get attention - basically a matter of pride that makes you want that somebody to fill that space - isn't it?

Is that what you really call love? Or falling in love, if you want?

Let me explain what I think could be the case:
I'll start this way. There are certain standards by which you lead your everyday life - what you do and don't do are chosen by you - whether it be friends, food, clothes, choice of subjects, places you go, how you walk, what words you use, how you present yourself to others, how you think others think of you, and so on and on and on. When it comes to love, (and I'm not talking about mere attraction or infatuation; but the kind of love that makes you feel like you'll accept any part of that person's character as it is, no matter how much you don't like how he or she behaves), don't you think you are the one who gives in? Early in the stage we are the ones who choose whether or not we want to get ourselves in the whole thing, with or without realizing the consequences of it.

Look at "falling in love" literally - When you literally fall(not in love, just anytime you fall), you hurt yourself - you don't want to fall because you know the consequences. You don't choose to fall, as in, while you're walking, you don't say "Okay, I've been thinking about this for a long time now and I've decided that I want to fall down now" - and you fall. It's the same with love. You couldn't fall in love! If you fell, you surely regret that it ever happened - in that case was that truly love? Or just something stupid and silly or worse - lustful? None of us like to think that way - but this is us - you, me and everyone else. This is the way in which everybody , atleast most people think, unless one refuses to admit it.

That's why each of us needs a Savior from this lustful, sinful flesh so we don't have to ever regret doing wrong - that is if we ever thought of regretting doing something wrong. Even better - we have an inspiration for doing good (not a carefree attitude about doing wrong and still getting away with it) - ie Christ the Lord because when we think of how much He, the Creator King who "fearfully and wonderfully made" each and every one of us, gave up for the same each and every one of us, we can never return that same love after accepting it and live a life of ungratefulness by not living a life the way He wants us to.

Say, for example, you are a person who earns just about $8 per hour. One fine day, someone comes upto you and gives you a $50 bill for free what would you likely do with it? Maybe refuse at first?.... Maybe refuse a couple of times more... but what if the person persuades you to take it and that person seems sincere about it and promises to never ask you to repay it back to him? And he is gonna live upto that promise. Wouldn't you accept it? Gladly? After all, it's not everyday that you're offered a $50 bill for free, is it? Say you accepted it (truth has to be accepted atleast at times na? lol), what's your attitude gonna be like towards that person? Go and spend it on your friends and party right? Atleast do you think that's what you ought to do? No way, you'd take care of those $50 and make sure you use them well because you'd have to do just about a day's work to get that much otherwise, right?

Something like that can be likened to what the Lord Jesus is offering to you and to me and to everyone else in this world. Not just a day's benefit but an eternity's worth of benefit..... Is it worth the risk of letting go of it?

You may or may not find or intend to find the love of your life. But this is a decision you will have to make. If not today, then tomorrow. But by then do you know everything that's going to happen to you? It s ot scary if you just let your child-like faith take over. How does a son know his father will take care of him? He doesn't go around trying to test his dad's DNA to see if he really is his dad. He trusts him because his dad has told him so and he can see that his dad loves him from his very own health and well-being. Even if he falls down at times, it does not mean that his dad made him fall down. He knows that even if he falls down, his dad will lift him up and see that he's not hurt for the worse but for the better. The wise dad sees to it that his son learns something from that fall. That is exactly how our heavenly Father deals with us each day once we become His child.

Now you tell me what is love. Isn't love more of commitment, sacrifice, maturity, hardship and responsibility first? Sure it is caring, sweet talk and all the rest too but first comes the commitment. Only then can the full measure of that love be treasured. Else it is pure fantasy, or in other words, lust! That is why we have something called marriage because when you commit yourself to one person you are accepting the fact that neither of you is perfect and that each is going to "put up" with the other's good AND bad points.

Especially in today's world, since "love" is so projected and spoken of as a part and parcel of daily life through different means, like movies (which don't do a very good job of it) and books and several other means too, it is no longer falling in love, because you know where you're going when you get into a relationship - it doesn't JUST HAPPEN!

These are my thoughts. Other opinions are most welcome. I want to see how much I can unwrap of the wonders the Lord has kept in store for me.

Friday, August 31, 2007

How do you know if you're in love?

Do you know for sure if you're in love? Do you keep thinking to yourself, "Is this love or just my imagination?"

To find that out you first need to know WHAT LOVE IS!

The following are the true test of the fruit of (or are seen as a result of) your love?

1). Love is patient:
No matter how wrong things go, love will bear it and still give another chance OR it will wait for the fruit of what it does for as long as it has to.

2). Love is kind:
Another way of being patient. Only if you have patience can you be kind. Rather only if you have LOVE, can you be kind. No matter how much a person hurts or wrongs you, if you talk with kind words, there is love in your heart for that person.

3). Love doesn't envy:
Be content with who you are. If you're determined to love somebody, you can accept a person just as he or she is. So you'll always want good for that person no matter how much better than yourself that person is.

4). Love doesn't boast:
If you have love, you wouldn't think in the heart of your heart that there's a whole big deal in you. Valuing yourself is different, its not the same as over-valuing yourself.

5). Love is not proud:
Follows from boasting. No matter how high your opinion of yourself, you will never let your pride in any form rule your decisions in your life concerning that person or anything that can affect that person

6). Love is not rude:
Somewhat the same as being kind. No matter how much someone hurts through their words or actions you do not hurt them back in ANY way. Give back intelligent answers without being too lame and naive.

7). Love is not selfish:
When you look for the benefit of someone else, the benefit of it comes around to you automatically. I don't mean to say that you get immediate benefits but when you do get the benefit it comes in much, much bigger ways than you expect it to - trust me on this one. Try it out for yourself if you haven't yet and if you have and think you haven't gotten any benefits, you probably just spent so much time thinking about what you lost that you weren't aware of the benefit that came your way and that escaped your attention.

8). Love does not get angry easily:
3 simple rules in this case:
1 - Forgive; 2 - Forgive and 3 - Forgive
It always pays in ways visible or invisible to you. It is very difficult to anger the person who TRULY loves you.

9). Keeps no record of wrongs/Thinks no evil:
Again forgiving. Once you've forgiven, its easy to forget. Poking the person and making them feel guilty about something wrong they've done only draws them away from you. Notice more and more of their good points and you'll realize that the mistakes and faults find it hard to find their way into your memory. Love does not inspire you to hope for the bad of the one you love.

10). Does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth:
If you love someone, you wouldn't involve yourself with that person in doing wrong. You wouldn't want your love to do things which aren't right, would you? If that's what you'd want how can you trust your love to do things that are right in anything involving your own self? Doing the right things the right way gives much more joy than doing the wrong things (whether that is done the right way or the wrong way).
In other words, love finds joy in the person's achievements and less (almost no) joy in finding out the person's failures - that means again don't dwell in what the person has done wrong to you but rather on what he or she has done well for you.

11). bears, believes, hopes and endures ALL things:
No matter what bad or how bad things get, bearing those things, believing your love, giving each other hope and enduring through to the end only builds up and increases the love for your love.

12). Love never fails:
If you have love, it will never fail, it keeps trying continuously without accepting defeat. The person receiving your love will know that you love them, you don' have to necessarily say you love him or her.

In case you haven't realized yet, all of the above were taken from the below reference:
I Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails

No other person gave a perfect example of true love than the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to the world among us and showed each of those attributes mentioned above and more of it. That's what motivates me each day in several ways.

God be with you!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Is ignorance really bliss? How precious is Innocence?

Innocence is precious. As much as possible, it must be kept, but being too innocent can lead to being extremely naive and gullibility( or gullibleness - if that's a word). You can believe easily what people tell you. Now that's something everyone knows right? Everyone's dying to go out into that world during their "boring" teen years to explore the world and see what "exciting" things it has in store for them, right? They're independant - do whatever they wish. But once they're there making the wrong choices, do they realize that little by little they're losing that precious innocence? Those precious little bits of information without which they wouldn't have to bother about so many things.

So many thoughts cross our minds when we deal with people based on our past experiences with others: "What did he mean when he said that? Did she mean it for my good? Or was there another meaning to it? How will I know if they mean it for good?", "When I'm making a decision, how many things do I have to be aware of, before I go ahead and make a decision about it?"

Do I have to know everything? But since I'd have to know how every person thinks in order to make sure that I don't hurt myself in the process of trusting someone I haven't met before, won't knowing EVERYTHING drive me crazy? Imagine if I had to know every bit of information and then make a decision about something major in my life, wouldn't that make me totally lose my mind if taken to a little over the edge?

When I look back I realize that once I've gained knowledge about something and I can't undo it. Will I ever get back that innocence with which I first started making new friends and loved people without thinking of their faults? Is it ignorance or innocence that governed those choices?

I pondered over this for quite some time over a long period of time and this is what i concluded: You don't have to be ignorant in order to remain innocent. You can know everything but it still is your choice to do what is under your control right? Innocence can kill you but as the saying goes, ignorance is bliss. So what do we do?

This is where WISDOM comes in. You don't have to know everything. Use what you know to make wise decisions with good in your heart. Don't give in to anything that people say, but make use of the time you have in hand. Haste makes waste! So don't make decisions in a hurry. Think well before committing. You don't have to deceive before you do something either. Innocence of a dove and the sharpness of a fox may be how we can probably put it as my dad always said.

Jesus gave intelligent answers to those who came to test Him and make Him stumble with His own words. His answers made his questioners stumble over their own words.

Wisdom is very less sought after today but it is something that is very much needed to succeed in every step you take in this world, other than strength, dependance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ which is needed much before that. Wisdom does not come of oneself rather it comes from the One who - gives us wisdom, is wise Himself and whom no knowledge escapes!

Please feel free to comment on any opinions you may have on the topic above!

God bless you!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

So what if God loves me? Why can't I live without him?

Because without Him I'm nothing... sound a little underconfident, right? Its not lack of self-confidence that makes me say that but the attempts I have made to survive myself without His help and failed miserably, that makes me say that! Most people I have met believe in God. Especially Indians - very rarely do you find a professing atheist or agnostic. But is that what is really needed?

Its NOT OUR NEED to believe in God that should make us believe in Him but OUR INDEBTEDNESS to Him that should make us live the way He wants us to live.

Let me put it this way:

The scene is a courtroom. Say a man Abe is accused of a crime, found guilty and sentenced to death! No matter how hard Abe tries to gets all the lawyers and witnesses he can get hold of, what crime he has comitted can't be put off because he has committed it and full proof has been provided that he has! The moment Abe hears the death sentence being made he realizes how he has wasted his life and at that instance regrets everything he has done - sincerely, truly, right from the bottom of his heart. But to whom is he going to say that? He tries deperately to save himself from the dreadful unknown that awaits him at death's door - just one more chance. But all is decided and the case is about to be closed when his own lawyer, stands up and accepts responsibility for all the murders and crimes that Abe has committed. He says Abe "knows not what he does". He explained that what Abe had done was not intentionally committed. He didn't really mean to commit the crime but what had happened had happened and that a solution had to be made. This gracious lawyer asked that the punishment be given to himself, provided that Abe was set free and let go of. The culprit was so dumbstruck he couldn't say anything as the court went ahead and passed the sentence for the lawyer to be put to death as punishment for what Abe had done.

If you were in that courtroom would you ever extend your support for something like that to happen? Didn't that murderer deserve the punishment he was getting - for all the lies he had said and all the murders he had committed? I'm sure if you don't know what the Lord Jesus really did and what He meant, you would never support what happened in that courtroom, because that's exactly what He did for you and me. You and I were wretched murderers who deserved to go to hell (that's an eternal place - for those who haven't thought of what hell really must be like - something that never stops torturing and people will want to die but never can). Hell is a place where bad people go. Don't you agree? You say you're not bad?

Have you lied?

Have you looked and lusted at any person of the opposite sex?

Have you cheated?

Have you stolen anything (even if it be something as insignificant as a sweet or a pencil)?

Admit to atleast one of the above or any other similar or worse wrong thing you know you have done - just answer honestly to yourself - you are guilty ("bad") in God's sight! That is how holy God is!

You're right - that way no one can get to heaven! That's a good thing isn't it? Just imagine if we were to get to heaven because of what good we did, heaven would be full of boastful, sickening people who would only have time to boast about what great things each of them has done and praise themselves, instead of praising GOD - who deserves all that praise an eternity's worth more than we do!! If that were the case, THAT wouldn't be heaven anymore would it?

That is the reason why He chose to help us to still reach Him and still have hope even though we were so hopeless.... just like Abe! Is there any lawyer who would actually stand up for his client and take his punishment? Even if he knew that the murderer was innocent? I doubt it! There is only one Lawyer who did that for us. You know why He had to be our Lawyer? - Because we belonged to Satan from the day we sinned, (also born in sin, by sinful parents) and God had no claim over us unless we were purchased from Satan. But no price was high enough for Satan but the blood of Christ - sinless blood! He who knew no sin died for the sinner! For those who ever thought they knew love at its highest form - here's a point to ponder on. Is there a greater love than this?

Now all Abe had to do was to accept that gift and go free, and live the way he wanted to... right? If you were in Abe's place, would you do that, if you had the decency not to? I mean wouldn't you be awestruck and forever indebted to this lovely gem of a lawyer who died in your stead? Wouldn't you do all you could to pay him back for the way he paid your price in full? Abe has to first accept that free gift that the lawyer was truly and whole-heartedly offering, right? That is where Christ comes in - I mean into our lives.

We need to accept that we were wrong, we were sinners, and need Him in our lives -out of desperation, because we're weary and have no more strength to keep us running away from the truth. We need to ask Him to come into our heart personally and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and personal Saviour. And also that from then on, you will live for Him, only for His sake - put yourself in Abe's shoes an think! Once you do that, you become His child -you're free from the bonds of sin and death. You don't have to fear death anymore because Christ died for you and conquered death for you. He died but death couldn't hold him, he defeated death and rose from the dead in flesh and in blood, ascended into heaven and still lives today! Think about it! Isn't it wonderful! I think its the most beautiful love story ever told - even better - its TRUE! Its a promise! Who doesn't love promises? Even if you die today, you know for sure that He's gonna take you home - His home - that better be heaven! :)

Religion is man reaching for God, but which religion's doctrine demands that you accept God's love first and then live a life pleasing to Him? Doesn't every religion teach that if you are good, if you do good, are charitable, love everyone, then you will please God and that MAYBE you will go to heaven?

Remember we will never succeed in pleasing God well enough, because that's how perfect He is! He's not just another mere man, he is GOD!! Holy, just(or impartial), righteous(or fair), gracious(offering us things we don't deserve - like entry into heaven), merciful(not giving us things we really deserve - like hell) and a whole lot of attributes which would never be enough to describe Him. Such an awesome God is the one we mess with each day and take the name of in vain in our daily life. Do we have anything to demand of Him? Are we worth that much at all?

This is TRUE LOVE:
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life"
The Bible, John 3:16