Here is a great post by our guest blogger – Br. John Ashley
“Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.” -Winnie-the-Pooh
The Cambridge Dictionary defines Relationship as ‘the way in which two things are connected.’ Simple; right? Yet, there seems to be nothing more complicated than this aspect of life. It only takes a quick trip to your nearest library or bookstore to view the mammoth number of books written on this single topic.
You may have heard statements like: “In this era where relationships are formed on the basis of ‘what can I get out of it syndrome’, potential usefulness becomes the mandate for associations.” Well, with such generalized assertions, we can conveniently put the whole blame of social deterioration on new-age kids and dwell in the talks of ‘those good old days’. However, the truth is, no human generation is different! In the name of practicality, we have been using and exploiting each other until the milk runs out and cow starts to bleed.
I was about 8 years old when I first read Aladdin and the magic lamp. Since then, at different stages of my life I have attempted to answer this magical question –
If you would be granted one wish, what would that wish be?
I’m sure many of you have attempted to do this too and have come out with some really innovative ideas, including asking for a ‘million wishes’. With our ever-changing desires, you probably would ask for wealth, fame, travel, or even be the best athlete /singer/dancer, etc.
One man was asked the same question by God, and he found himself receiving more than what he asked for – Solomon, better known as King Solomon. He is known as the wisest man who ever lived on earth. Kings and queens from far-off nations would visit him to hear his words of wisdom. Yet, the more significant message is the reason behind this great wisdom of Solomon. Continue reading The Glory of Humility→
The Beatitudes – one of the most familiar portions in the Bible, eight precious teachings of Jesus that most Bible readers or church-goer can’t miss – they are mentioned in the book of Matthew Chapter 5. I remember memorizing these verses as a child without understanding the true treasure and beauty they carried. I always found the teachings quite controversial, as I saw it from the lens of what I had learned from people and things around me. Until recently, when I got the opportunity to study the Beatitudes.
The reason why so many of us do not understand these teachings is that Jesus is talking about an ‘up-side-down’ kingdom – a place that does not work on the principles of ‘happiness’ the world around us teaches. He teaches that we can remain blessed and happy always.
If I were to ask you to describe someone for me, say people at work, college, church or within the family, I’m sure at first instance, we come up with a list of people whom we remember for all the nice things they have done to us or for the kind of person they are. Subconsciously, there also lies another hidden category of people that we definitely do not want to remember or associate with. By remembering them we invoke memories that caused pain – Judgment. Hate. Negativity. Arrogance.
The list could go on. We all live in a world where such things are bound to exist. Most of us at one point or the other are -Hurt. Betrayed. Manipulated. Misunderstood. Backstabbed. Continue reading The Invincible Struggle→
No sooner had I asked this question in the Sunday School class than I saw shy looks and naughty grins. Some even put their heads down as if to completely avoid the question. The reason is obvious. There is a general conception that temptation is a sin. But is temptation a sin? Continue reading Understanding Temptations→
Don’t we all make it a point to pray for our children? As a mother, I do! I pray for my children every day without fail. While this seems like the ‘normal’ thing to do, the quality of our prayers often surrounds our concern for our children’s safety, studies, spiritual growth, health, exams, future, etc. And sometimes very generic such as ‘Lord, bless my children’.
Looking back at a Saturday morning about six years ago, believers working in the corporate industry throughout the city decided to fast and pray for their companies and colleagues. To me, it was just another day of prayer. I knelt down before the Lord to pray for my colleagues. Something strange happened. A great burden filled my heart to pray for one particular senior manager working in the same building. I could feel there was some kind of urgency in the matter. It was undoubtedly a strange experience for me because I had never spoken or met this person before. I thought of talking to him once I was back in the office. This was the first thing I did on Monday morning, only to find that the manager had moved out of the project with a new assignment and to a new location. This made me quite restless as I had a message from God to convey to him and I felt a deep urge to somehow convey this. I even had thoughts of doubt wondering if I should make an effort, but I pushed myself to take the step of faith. Continue reading The Power of Intercession→
It’s that time of the year again … the hot summer gives way to a mild winter in this part of the world. In this transition, the mornings are welcomed with heavy fog and mist. It’s more of an eye test for me, as visibility hits low extremes, even driving becomes a challenge. Sometimes there are pockets of thick fog and I suddenly emerge from the cloud to clear view until I hit the next pocket. I always wondered how difficult it must be for pilots who try to land aircrafts in such conditions. Thank God for radars that helps them land safely.
Faith – a small five letter word, but more powerful that anyone can imagine. To most, it is associated with their religion and what they believe in. To others, it’s Continue reading Is Your Radar On?→
I was hurrying to drop Nathan to school one morning and it was already quite late. Of course, this is not the worry of a 4-year-old and he was in his own little world as usual. He stopped me at the main door and asked me to look through the key hole. I was quite hesitant but knowing the after effects just in case I don’t, I thought I will give a look just to satisfy him. My thoughts were set on leaving home as soon as possible.
As I looked through the key hole, I told him what I saw… ‘The outside gate’. Well, at the back of my head, that was my focus and getting out through the gate was my primary thought. Nathan stopped me asking, “Mummy do you also see my green ball? It is lying in the sun” and then he went on describing his ball.
The description of his vision explained with all colors is what caught my attention. He saw what I couldn’t see. I smiled as I listened to his words. As I drove to school, this message is what God put in my heart. In our busy lives, Continue reading Do You See What I See?→
We are all familiar with little Samuel’s Bible story when he heard a voice calling his name repeatedly. Each time he ran to Eli the priest thinking he was calling him, but he kept sending him back. On the fourth call, Eli realizes it is God’s call and guides little Samuel to respond “Here I am Lord, speak to me”. God speaks to Samuel and conveys His judgment upon Eli’s household for their sins.