Easter – The hope of resurrection.

“Because I live, you will live also” ( John 14: 19)

Easter is the most important Holy day of the Christians which marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ taking victory over death. The Christian Church’s foundation of faith is the resurrection of Jesus. If Jesus had not resurrected, then there would not have been Christian faith and the Church. That is why the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15: 14, “If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.”  Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” . (John 11:25)

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When Christians world over were celebrating the resurrection of Jesus on Sunday, the 20th of April ’19, some religious fanatic suicide bombers blew up themselves, killing more than two hundred people who were praying and worshipping the Risen Lord in the St. Sebastian’s Catholic Church, St. Antony’s Catholic Church, and the Zion Protestant Church in Sri Lanka. Apart from the churches, bombs exploded even in hotels and other tourist places where tourists had gathered. Visuals of blood and body parts strewn all over the place was appalling, devastating and horrific. There were blood stains on the church walls and on the statue of Christ at the St. Sebastian’s church in Negombo.

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Sri Lankan Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardena described the bombings as a terrorist attack carried out by some religious extremists. Media reports suggest that the Sri Lankan attacks could be a handwork of IS inspired terrorists. Whoever they are, and whatever their intention, no one with a sound mind can ever comprehend these ideologies of killing people – innocent men, women and children on the basis of their religion, for the fulfilment of their religious fanatism of some.

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We can only join withPope Francis in his prayer “I entrust to the Lord all those who were tragically killed and pray for the injured”. And to all my readers and the members of the bereaved families, I can only say that there is hope in the resurrected Jesus. The Bible says “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen ( 1 Corinthians 15: 13). Jesus himself has promised that “Because I live, you will live also”. This is the greatest message Easter has for all those who believe in Jesus. St. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18; “But I do not want you to be ignorant brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep ( meaning dead), lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, evenso God will bring with Him those who sleep ( meaning die) in Jesus. Therefore comfort one another with these words”.

In this hour of grief, let us join the Catholic Church of Jerusalem in their words of prayer, which reads, “We pray for the souls of the victims and ask for the speedy recovery of the injured, and ask God to inspire the terrorists to repent of their killing and intimidation”.  Amen…

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WATER– A GIFT OF GOD

WATER– A GIFT OF GOD
March 22nd is celebrated as UN World Water Day throughout the world. An ad on the front page of that day’s newspaper caught my attention, as it would have of anyone who has seen it. The message was quite loud and clear in the six little words which read,”Too little to let it go!”. It said that only 1 % of all the water in the world is safe for human consumption, and it’s dwindling fast.

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Well, this is a fact nobody can ignore. Even though about 71 % of the Earth ‘s surface is covered by water, and the oceans hold about 96.5% of the Earth’s water, just 1% of the water in the world is suitable for human consumption.

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When we see so much of water is available in the oceans, naturally we might ask, why not use scientific technology to convert it to potable water by removing the salt out of sea water?. Desalination technology has been around for thousands of years. Even Aristotle worked on the probability way back in the 4th century BC. But the first actual practice of desalination involved collecting fresh water steam from boiling sea water. Around 200 AD, sailors began desalinating sea water with simple boilers on their ship. The energy required for this distillation process today makes it prohibitively expensive on a large scale. A lot of the current market for so called ‘Thermal Desalination ‘ has therefore been in oil rich, water poor countries in the Middle East.

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While in school, we have studied in Chemistry classes that water is H2O. That is, when 2 atoms of Hydrogen combines with 1 atom of Oxygen, we get water (H2O).
Wow ! So simple!. If it’s so simple, then why is that the World’s Scientists aren’t manufacturing water on a large scale in the laboratories and factories and making it freely available the people, instead of the Government’s spending billions of dollars in Space Research to find out whether there’s water out there in any other planets on the outer space ?.
Well, you just can’t simply take two hydrogen atoms and stick them to an oxygen atom and make water. This formula has been known to scientists for centuries, but until now no one has made it to work. In theory, it’s extremely easy to make water from hydrogen gas and oxygen gas. But it’s simply not possible. Then, where did the water come from?. For an answer, Scientists take us back to their ‘ Big Bang Theory ‘ that happened billions of years ago. According to the scientists, the high energy that was released as a result of the Big Bang ,put into the cosmos copious hydrogen which later combined with the oxygen which the Stars spew into the space when the Stars go Supernova * with an explosion . Thus oxygen and hydrogen commingle to make water. (* Supernova is a star that suddenly increases greatly in brightness because of a catastrophic explosion that ejects most of it’s Mass).
When we study all these things, we can only stand in awe, lifting up our eyes, hands and hearts, unto heavens and praise the Awesome God for His Wonderful Gift of Water, without which life would not have been possible on this planet Earth.

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When we read the Creation Story as written in the first page of the Bible ( The Book of Genesis), we understand that God created water and that the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. ( Genesis 1: vs 1-2). He then divided the waters above from the waters below by making the heavens or the sky by the Power of His Word. Then God ordered the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place and let the dry land appear. God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. ( Genesis 1:6-10)

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We also read in the Bible, God asking few hard questions to Job as to ” Who shut in the sea with doors, when it burst forth and issued from the womb. When I fixed My limit for it and set bars and doors; when I said ‘ This far you may come, but no farther; and here your proud waves must stop !’ “(Job 38:8-11).

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The Bible clearly teaches us that it was God who created the earth and the cosmos and all in it, including water, the source of life. The Bible says,” You laid the foundations of the earth so that it should not be moved for ever. He sends the Springs into the valleys; they flow among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field; tbe wild donkeys quench their thirst. By them the birds of the heavens have their home; they sing among the branches. He waters the hills from His Upper Chambers; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works”. (Psalms 104:5-13)

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The gift of water is precious. It’s the source of sustenance of all life on this earth, including plants, trees, birds, animals and man. But man , selfish as his nature is, has been exploiting and wasting this precious resource without any consideration for his fellow beings and other creations. This great Gift of God is fast depleting because of man’s abuse and cruelty to the Nature. It is said that there’s a worldwide scarcity of this precious resource and that future wars will be fought between Nations for water. It is to drive home this point that the United Nations has declared 22nd March as World Water Day.
Let’s take a Solemn Pledge that we will not waste this Precious Gift of God, and that we shall preserve it for the future generations to come. It’s only Water Conservation and better Water Management that can save this earth from a disaster. Remember, so far Man , with all his scientific knowledge , research and Space Expeditions have not been able to find another Planet like the Earth, where water is available to maintain life.

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TEARS  – A GIFT OF GOD

TEARS  – A GIFT OF GOD
‘Jesus wept ‘ ( John 11: 35)

Home they brought her warrior dead:
She nor swoon’d nor utter’d cry:
All her maidens, watching, said,
“She must weep or she will die.”
Then they praised him, soft and low,
Call’d him worthy to be loved,
Truest friend and noblest foe;
Yet she neither spoke nor moved.
Stole a maiden from her place,
Lightly to the warrior stepped,
Took the face-cloth from the face;
Yet she neither moved nor wept.
Rose a nurse of ninety years,
Set his child upon her knee— Like summer tempest came her tears—
“Sweet my child, I live for thee.”

(From the poem ” Home they brought her warrior dead”- by Alfred Lord Tennyson)

The poem quoted above is one of the most celebrated poems by the Victorian Era poet Lord Tennyson. The crux of the poem is the importance of expressing one’s emotions. The poet tries to bring out this scientific fact through the story of a war widow whose ‘stony silence ‘ or ‘ icy reaction ‘ when the body of her husband who was killed in the war was brought to her house. The stark reality is that she is in such a shock that she is not able to react like a normal human being who in her situation would have beat her breast and cried aloud. She is stunned and sits like a stone statue in front of her husband’s dead body. All her friends and relatives tries to arouse her emotions and make her weep, but fail. Everyone knew how bad and worse it’s for physical and mental health to suppress her emotions, but none could make her cry. It was then a 90 year old granny, who with her wisdom of long years of experience, gets up and takes the widow’s child and puts her child on her lap. Only then the flood gates of her emotions were opened and she started crying profusely for her child, thus relieving herself of the suppressed emotions. Through this poem, the poet tries to tell us the importance of crying.
Crying or weeping is often considered as a sign of weakness or femininity. In our society, boys are taught from their childhood that they should not cry like the girls and that they should suppress their feelings. This is a wrong teaching. For many women, tears are their Trump card to get what they want or to bring men on to their knees.
But, when God created the Tear glands or the Lacrimal glands( as they’re called in medical term ), and kept it above each eyeball ,and under the control of the Autonomic nervous system(ANS), His intentions were wider.
Emotions such as happiness and sadness can produce tears. As we get more emotional,the cerebral prefrontal area of the brain stimulate the action of the ANS, and a large volume of tears produced by the Lacrimal glands flow out through our eyes. Emotional tears are unique only to human beings.

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Crying doesn’t only happen in response to something sad. Sometimes you may cry when you are extremely happy, scared, or stressed. Researchers at Yale University believe crying in this way may help to restore emotional equilibrium. When you’re incredibly happy or scared about something and cry, it may be your body’s way to recover from experiencing such a strong emotion. It is a natural way to reduce emotional stress that, if left unchecked, can have negative physical effects on the body, including increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other stress-related disorders. But, continuous sadness and crying needs medical attention as it may be a sign of depression.

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We start our life on this earth with a cry. A baby’s very first cry when out of the womb is a very important cry. Babies receive their oxygen inside the womb through the umbilical cord. Once a baby is delivered, they must start breathing on their own. The first cry is what helps a baby’s lungs adapt to life in the outside world.Crying also helps babies clear out any extra fluid in the lungs, nose, and mouth.
There are three different types of tears:
Reflex tears,

Continuous tears,

Emotional tears

Reflex tears clear debris, like smoke and dust, from your eyes. Continuous tears lubricate your eyes and help protect them from infection. Emotional tears may have many health benefits. Whereas continuous tears contain 98 percent water, emotional tears contain stress hormones and other toxins. Researchers have theorized that crying flushes these things out of your system.Tears lubricate and smooth the surfaces of our eyes so that light is refracted correctly, enabling us to see clearly. Moreover, tears contain a substance called lysosome, which has an antibacterial action, and works to prevent invasion and infection by microbes.Tears contain components that heal damage to the surface of the eye.
The tear glands continuously supply tear fluid that’s wiped across the surface of our eyes each time we blink our eyes. After blinking, a film of tear fluid coats the surface of the eye at a certain thickness, and is maintained for a while. This is called tear stability. Tears not only keep the eye moist but also have an important role in maintaining the healthy functioning of the eye.

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We involuntarily blink (close our eyelids) 15-20 times/ minute. If we don’t blink, the cornea ( the transparent tissue covering our eyes) becomes dry and our eyes starts feeling tired accompanied by a dry sandy feeling. This condition is called ‘ Computer vision syndrome or Dry eye syndrome ‘ by doctors. This is commonly seen in I T professionals and those who sit staring at the computer screen for long no.of hours without blinking their eyes .Doctors prescribe ” Artificial tears ” eye drops to treat this condition.
After reading this , I am sure you would agree with me that the Tears are indeed a gift of God.
As I said earlier, we start our life on this earth with a cry;and we leave this world making others cry. In between the period from the cradle to the grave, there will be many situations that will make us cry. My advice to you is– cry. Don’t hold back your emotions. But don’t overdo it, lest you end up in a psychiatrist’s clinic.
A short outburst of tears can do a lot of good to your system. It is written in the Bible- “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep ( Romans12:15).There are many instances in the Bible which says that Jesus and His disciples had cried. The Bible has recorded in John 11: 35 that “Jesus wept” when he was near the tomb of His friend Lazarus.

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We also read in Mathew 26:75 that Peter, one of the favourite disciples of Jesus ‘wept bitterly ‘ after denying Jesus three times. Mary Magdalene, the woman who first saw the Risen Lord after His resurrection , stood weeping outside the tomb , when Jesus appeared to her and comforted her. (John 20:11-17). David , King of Israel had lots of troubles in his lifetime and he used to cry out to God. He has written in his Psalms ; “I drench my couch with my tears (psalm 6:8); he asks God to put his tears in a bottle and keep an account of it.(Psalm 56:8). So when we go through tough times that make us cry,the comforting words from the Bible teaches us that the Lord hears the cry of His people and delivers them out of all their troubles .
My dear friend, if you are lonely and is going through a rough patch in your life and wish you had a friend on whose shoulder you could lean and cry to your heart’s content, don’t worry Jesus is near to those who have a broken heart ( Psalm 34:17-18), and ‘He will wipe away every tear from the eyes of His beloved ‘ (Revelation 21:4).

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ONE STEP AT A TIME

ONE STEP AT A TIME

“Keep Thou my feet ! I do not ask to see
The distant scene; One step enough for me. ”
John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

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Have you ever watched a toddler taking his/her First steps?
Oh! Those are the divine moments mostly only the mother sees first. If you have ever seen it once, you can witness it only with great awe and a smile on your face. So awesome is the beauty of the sight of a baby slowly taking his/her steps one by one.

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Later, the baby grows and learns to walk and then run. But even then, we can see that while climbing up or climbing down a staircase, the child still takes only one step at a time. Sometimes, the baby may be holding on to the father’s or mother’s hand, but again he/she will take steps carefully, one step at a time.

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As the baby grows and become an adolescent and then a young man, we see him in a hurry. He takes a fleet of steps in a few seconds by taking multiple steps at a time by skipping the in between ones. He is always in a hurry, and is out into the world to conquer it. He has no time to waste by taking one step at a time.

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Even escalators and walkalators are too slow for him. I have seen many youngsters walking and running on the moving walkalators in the New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport. They are rushing either to catch a flight or to the exit way to get the first taxi to take them to their Meeting venue or to their office. A typical moving walkway belt or walkalator travel at 1.4 mph if you just stood on the belt. People walking on it on a normal speed stride at roughly 2.24 mph to 3mph.

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The world is always in a hurry. If you have ever travelled in the Mumbai suburban trains , which is the main arterial transport system of the city, then you will understand the word ‘ hurry ‘ better. Recently I happened to see a Marathi short film in the YouTube. It’s a film on the life of a typical Mumbaikar. He has been so accustomed to getting up early and rushing through the daily routine of catching the local train to office. One day, while he was rushing to the station to board a train, he gets a phone call from his wife to remind him that he had retired from his service on the previous day. Then his life comes to a standstill and the film ends there.

(For those who are  interested in watching this short film click this link)

This is life. It makes a complete circle and brings us back where we started. That’s why Jesus said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Mathew 6:34)
So, it is better to have some Speed- breakers in your life’s Journey to avoid accidents, mishaps and unexpected collapsing due to work pressure leading to hypertension, diabetes, and heart attacks.
Take a break. Enjoy the world and people around you. See God in His creations around us and praise Him. Start noticing things that you have never noticed before – like the beautiful roses and other flowers in your garden; hear the buzz of the bee and the fluttering of the butterfly which comes to draw honey from the flowers.

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Look at the brilliant blue sky above and the flapping of the bird’s wings and the clouds that move on in the wind above your head.

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Next time you take a morning flight, ask for a window seat and look out of the window and enjoy the brilliant sky and the silver lined clouds lit up by the early morning sunlight, instead of working on your laptop. Then, you will agree with the Psalmist who said,  “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. ” (Psalm 19:1).

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The Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Solomon in his wisdom said “Remember your creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come and the years draw near .” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).
So, slow down a bit. Learn to take One day at a time, and enjoy your life on this beautiful earth singing the beautiful prayer song written by Marijohn Wilkin and Kristofferson given below.
“One day at a time, sweet Jesus
Thats all I’m asking of You
Just give me the strength to do everyday
What I have to do
Yesterday’s gone, sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine
Lord, help me today
Show me the way
One day at a time”.

SOUND SLEEP……. A GIFT OF GOD

SOUND SLEEP—A GIFT OF GOD

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William Shakespeare wrote in his play ‘ Macbeth ‘ , “………the innocent sleep, Sleep that knits the ravell’d sleave of care, the death of each day’s life, so labor ‘s bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s feast “.
Through these words, Shakespeare explains that sleep is a time when our minds are at rest and the subconscious mind comes out to play. Sleep is also what heals and cures our minds and bodies. Without sleep we slowly begin to disintegrate. Mind and body cannot cooperate without the healing force of sleep. Shakespeare uses sleep both as a reward and as a consequence in his plays. If a character is innocent and pure, he is allowed restful, fulfilling sleep. If the character lacks these traits of goodness, he is condemned to a life time.

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According to Medical Science, Melatonin is the hormone responsible for sleep and is also called as the Sleep Hormone. It is produced by the Pineal gland of the brain and is often considered as the body ‘s natural pacemaker, helping to regulate one ‘s body ‘s internal clock. This hormone is light sensitive and responds to light and darkness. Darkness is essential for a sound sleep. The absence of light sends a critical signal to the body that it is time to rest. This is the law of nature and that is why all birds and animals return to their nests or caves as the sun goes down. Melatonin influences sleep by sending a signal to the brain that it is time for rest. This signal helps to initiate the body physiologically for sleep — muscles begin to relax, feelings of drowsiness increase, heart beat slows down and body temperature drops. Melatonin levels naturally rise during the early evening as darkness falls and continue to climb throughout most of the night before peaking at approximately 3 AM. Body levels of melatonin then fall during the early morning and remain low during most of the day. Exposure to light early in the morning brings down melatonin levels, stimulating the body and mind to a feeling of wakefulness and alertness. This is the normal physiological functioning of sleep mechanism as intended by God.

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But, changes in lifestyle as a result of modern scientific inventions have brought about changes in the way people work, relax and live , taking its toll on man ‘s health. Studies have shown that blue light emitted by TV screens, computer and cell phones etc suppresses melatonin levels making it difficult to fall asleep.

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In the US, it is estimated that 30 % of adults and 66 % adolescents are regularly sleep deprived. I am not aware of the statistics in India which is a growing economy. Doctors say that while infants need 14 – 18 hours of sleep, an adult should get minimum 7 to 8 hours, and children 10 hours of sleep for the healthy functioning of the body and mind. Sleep disorders are on the increase in our modern day society.
Insomnia (medical term for sleeplessness), can lead to medical problems and metabolic disorders such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, psychiatric problems, and in extreme cases even death.

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The above basic scientific information helps us to understand that SLEEP IS A GREAT GIFT OF GOD; and the lack of it can be disastrous as in the case of Randy Gardner.
Seventeen year old Randy Gardner wanted to create a new world record in the Guinness book of World Records for how long a human could stay awake. Finally, on January 8, 1964, after remaining awake for 11 days and 25 minutes (264.4 hours) by drinking soft drinks and hitting the basket ball court and bowling alley, he collapsed setting a new world record. Before collapsing, he started loosing one by one, his sense of taste, smell and hearing. His sense of coordination mental stability went haywire. Luckily for Gardner these problems did not cause permanent damage , but he suffered from severe bouts of Insomnia.

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Staying awake very late till past midnight in front of the computers, TV and cell phones can cause serious harm to human body. It can adversely affect our learning abilities , memory, mood and reaction time.
While scientists continue exploring the mechanisms behind sleep, we can be rest assured that slipping into slumber is a necessity if we’ve to maintain our health and sanity.

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Unlike Randy Gardner who deprived himself sleep intentionally, we may also at times suffer sleeplessness for a number of reasons like fear, anxiety, and the distress of living a stressful life in a highly competitive world moving at a frantic pace. But there is hope in Jesus. Given below are some gem quotes from the Bible which are reassuring to all of us who are burdened with worries , anxiety and tensions.

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Jesus said ” Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest “. ( Mathew 11:28)

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” Cast all your care upon Him,for He cares for you “(1 Peter 5:7)
Unless the Lord builds the house, we labour in vain. And most importantly, vs;2 says ” He grants sleep to those He loves ” Psalm 127:1 (NIV Bible).

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Relax ! Jesus Loves you ! And He will give you sound sleep, which is a Gift from God.

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Who Am I?

WHO AM I ?

The Children’s book ‘ NOTHING ‘ , written by Mick Inkpen, is the story of a long forgotten and faded stuffed toy cat, left in a dusty corner of the attic. Lying there unattended for many years, the cat forgot who he was. ” I don’t know who I am ” , he used to moan; ” I don’t know who I am !” , until one day the movers come to clear the attic and he is tossed aside. He hears someone saying ” Oh it’s nothing “, and thinks that his name is ” Nothing “. Now that the pile of junk has been moved, little Nothing can stretch and stand. He takes his first steps and embarks on a journey of self discovery. Along the way he meets different characters- a mouse, a fox, and finally a cat who helps him find his way home and meet his owner. It is only then ” Nothing ” remembered who he truly was. Though he had no ears, nor whiskers, no tail and no stripes now, he was for certain a little cloth tobby cat whose name was not “Nothing ” , but little ‘Toby ‘ . His owner lovingly restores him, sewing on a pair of new ears, a tail, whiskers and stripes.

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Sometimes a story like this opens up the window to our soul, and I think about my own identity and ask myself ” Who am I ?, where did I come from ?”, what is my purpose here on the earth? , where do I go from here?”.
When confronted with such questions and thoughts, I get back to my Bible and try to get the answer.

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1. Hagar was just a bond woman and a “nobody ” in her troubles. Pregnant and alone, she fled to the desert without help or hope. There she encountered God in the desert. God became real to her. So real that she gave God a name,’ El Roi’, which means ” You are the God who sees me “. She said, ” I have now seen the One who sees me”. ( Genesis 16:13).

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2. Moses felt that he was ” nobody ” and asked God this question ” Who am I?” when the Lord wanted to send him to Pharaoh to free the Children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt.

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3. Gideon thought he is a “nobody ” , when the Lord called him to save Israel from the hands of the Midianites. So he asked the Lord, ” O my Lord, how can I save Israel? —– I am the least in my father’s house “. ( Judges 6: 14-15)

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4.King David too felt humbled and asked God this same question ” Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that you have brought me this far?”(2 Samuel 7:18), when the Lord blessed him and said that He would establish his Kingdom forever. David, still in awe asks God,” what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?”(Psalm 8:4).
The above quoted are only representative of the persons who have asked the question ” Who am I?” But when we study the relevant portions of the above mentioned incidents, we understand that God had not left them in the dark about their identity and had given them clear vision of the mission God had for them.
1. In the case of Hagar, Sarai’s maid, the Angel of the Lord meets her in the wilderness and advises her to return to her mistress and promises her that the Lord would multiply her descendants exceedingly through her son Ishmael, “because the Lord has heard your affliction “.(Genesis 16:9-11).
2. To Moses, God said,” I am who I am “, “I shall certainly be with you “( Exodus 3:12,14); and God used him to free more than two million people who were in bondage in Egypt for more than four hundred years.
3. The Lord reassured Gideon saying, ” Go in this might of yours , have I not sent you? ( Judges 6:14), and used him alongwith three hundred men to defeat an entire army of innumerable Midianites and Amalekites , and freed Israel from them.
4. David was hand picked by God from the sheepfold to be the King of Israel and he ruled his people for forty years, because the Lord had been with him wherever he went and made him a great name. (2Samuel 7: 8-9).
MY IDENTITY
Who am I?
When I asked this question ” Who am I?” to myself, I couldn’t but say like St. Paul- ” O wretched man that I am ! …..for the good I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. “( Romans 7: 19 &24).
But , just like the cat “nobody “was lovingly restored to his original glory by the owner when he returned to him, God in His Mercy redeemed me with the precious blood of His Son Jesus Christ, and has given me the Spirit of adoption by whom I can cry out, ” Abba , Father “.

Now I can repeat along with St. John, ” Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us(me), that we (I) should be called children (child) of God!” (1 John 3:1). And if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. ( Romans 8:17). So I can now say that I am a child of God and a joint heir with Christ.

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Where did I come from?
The answer to this question I found in Psalm 139 vs 13-16. ” For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb…..My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret…..Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed “. I know that I am His handiwork– His Master piece!.

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What’s my purpose on the earth?
I got my answer in John 15:16; Jesus said, ” You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain “.

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Where do I go from here?
The Lord showed me the answer in John 14:2-3. Jesus said:” I go to prepare a place for you……I will come again and receive you to Myself; and where I am, there you may be also. “

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Thank You Lord !
Thank You Lord for helping me to shed off my feeling of ” Nothingness “, and revealing my real identity and providing me the answers to my questions through Your Words of Everlasting Life in the Bible.
I sincerely hope and pray that those who read this too may find answers to their questions in the Living Word of God. Amen.

Life’s Journey

In an article I read recently, it was reported that according to the US Census Bureau, Americans move from one address to another on an average of eleven to twelve times during the course of a lifetime. The same article said that in a recent year, 28 million people packed up, moved and unpacked under a new roof.

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I’m not sure whether any such surveys are conducted and statistics published elsewhere in the world. Anyway, I have not come across any such statistics published in India, which is my country. But, when I look back, I realise that this is very much true in my life too. My family had moved in and out of eleven houses so far, and the house that we are living now is our twelfth address. We have been packing, moving, and unpacking all these years; and hopefully pray that the present house where we’re living ( which we have named ” Canaan “), is our last abode on this earth, before we reach our Heavenly abode.

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During Israel’s forty years sojourn in the wildernesses, the Cloud of God’s presence led a whole family nation to make one move after another in anticipation of a new homeland. Over and over, the whole lot of God’s people packed and unpacked not only their tents ( as they were living in tents) and their belongings, but also the tent and furnishings of the Tabernacle.

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In the Holy Bible, the Book of Exodus gives us an account of how the Lord God led His people of Israel from the slavery of Egypt to their promised land of Canaan. In Exodus 14:19 , we read that the Angel of God went with the camp of Israel as the Pillar of cloud during the day and as a Pillar of Fire to give light by night.

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This perpetual protection continued all through the forty years in the desert. In the Book of Numbers chapter 9: vs 16 it is written that ” So it was always: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night “. In vs: 17-18, we read that ” whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, after that the children of Israel would journey; and in place where the cloud settled, there the children of Israel would pitch their tents . At the command of the Lord the children of Israel would journey, and at the command of the Lord they would camp; as long as the cloud stayed above the tabernacle they remained encamped.” In the same chapter vs: 22 & 23 , it is written that ” Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud remained above the tabernacle , the children of Israel would remain encamped and not journey, but when it was taken up they would journey. At the command of the Lord they remained encamped, and at the command of the Lord they journeyed”.
The perpetual protection of our Lord was our experience too all the years of our life’s Journey.

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It was not that the journey of the people of Israel in the desert for forty years were without any troubles. On the contrary it was full of troubles, and there were times when they said ” for it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness. ” (Exodus 14:12)
There had been situations when Moses- their leader, almost gave up and cried to the Lord, saying ” what shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me !”( Exodus 17:4). On another occasion, Moses lost his control and in his frustration asked God, “Why have you afflicted Your servant ?….that You have laid the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I beget them, that You should say to me,’Carry them in your bosom, as a guardian carrying a nursing child, to the land which You swore to their fathers?”(Numbers 11:11-12). But, the same Moses, towards the end of his life, talks to the people of Israel and reminds them of the miraculous ways in which the Lord had taken them though the journey in the desert, and sums up by saying that, ” your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years “. (Deuteronomy 8: 4).

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Similarly, looking back ,I too can say that My God has been good all through our life, in spite of all the troubles, ups and downs we are undergoing in our lives as a family. Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. ( Lamentations 3:32). His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, and great is Your faithfulness O Lord. ( Lamentations 3:22-23). And like Joshua, we submit ourselves to the Lord and re- dedicate our faith in Jesus, saying, ” But as for me , and my house, we will serve the Lord “. Amen.

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