Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Greatest Trunaround In the History of Humanity! (Happy Easter)

If you are looking for hope then read on ...

If you feel your situation right now is very hopeless then read on ..

BTW, Happy Easter !! : ) Easter is the greatest symbol of hope that I am aware of!

About 2000 years, a guy named Jesus started Christianity. His movement for barely 3-4 years old, when he was unjustly arrested and crucified! And Jesus was given an extremely horrible death  ... Isaiah 57 says: "His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness" ...

The disciples of Jesus who witnessed all this, must have been utterly shaken & shattered to the core and must have thought the "Jesus  movement", which was barely 3-4 years old, is all over ... Things surely looked completely hopeless at that point ...

But, then came the biggest turnaround in the history of humanity ... Jesus rose from the dead in three days (http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/josh2.html)!! And 2000 years from then, today, ~2 billion people (1 out 3 people in this planet) claim to be Christian!!
Isn't this the biggest turnaround in the history in humanity?!

This is why I am always in so much awe of our GOD ... history shows how GOD can turnaround and bring back to life situations that may look so bad, so dead, so hopeless ...

And, all this makes Easter - the ultimate symbol of hope - So, HAPPY EASTER TO YA'LL!!



Can a dead man rise from grave?

Can a dead man rise from grave?

YES!! : ) Happy Easter!!

Well, you may think it is superstition, unscientific, bla bla ...
But I believe, if you are open minded, it can all seem scientific/logical/etc.

These are some good articles to start with, to understand how a dead man (Jesus ~2000 yrs ago) could have came back to life:-
http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/historical-evidence-for-the-resurrection
http://christianity.about.com/od/easter/a/7-Proofs-Of-The-Resurrection.htm
http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/josh2.html



Thursday, April 17, 2014

#FreeSaeed


It was an honor to meet Saeed Abedini's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saeed_Abedini) wife Naghmeh last weekend at the Church! She gave a very powerful testimony:-
http://vimeo.com/channels/724451/91924970



Friday, April 11, 2014

Francis Chan on his downsized lifestyle


http://video.foxnews.com/v/2267196777001/pastor-francis-chan-on-his-downsized-lifestyle/#sp=show-clips

Chan: (~5:45) " ... when I came back from Africa my heart was just broken, I look at all the stuff around (here) ... and I go honey (to wife) it's so hard ... you gotto see these kids they are so beautiful but they are digging through the trashes and you gotto go with me and you gotto see it .. "

(A brief interview on why Francis Chan left his mega Church and moved on to serve in SF ...)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What do you do in your spare time? ;)

A clip from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93hux7vQSyY Francis thinks it's the story of the most interesting man ; ) An incredible, mind-blowing, heart-warming, superbly-inspiring ministry accomplished in spare time! " .. With God all things are possible!" Matthew 19:26

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Saturday, February 8, 2014

END IT MOVEMENT :: FEBRUARY 27TH

http://enditmovement.com/

http://www.youtube.com/enditmovement :
"FEBRUARY 27TH. Will you stand by or will you stand up? Will you join the fight for FREEDOM? #enditmovement"

Friday, January 3, 2014

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Rethinking Church

Francis Chan - Rethinking Church from Aron Sakhrani on Vimeo.

Aron: "Francis explains the vision behind our new church planting movement in San Francisco, which is still in its experimental stages. Keep in mind this is just a rough cut and the beginning of an ongoing conversation."

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Credibility of Joan of Arc who heard voices

Readers Digest, November 2013:



" ... While a schizophrenic can carry out a plan, a schizophrenic carrying out an elaborate and sustained plan, such as leading a war, is very unlikely."

Monday, April 1, 2013

What did Steve Jobs had to say about God?



According to Isaacson, Jobs, a self-proclaimed Buddhist, began questioning the meaning of life and God in the past few months before his death.
"I remember sitting in his backyard in his garden one day and he started talking about God," recalled Isaacson. "He said, 'Sometimes I believe in God, sometimes I don't. I think it's 50-50 maybe. But ever since I've had cancer, I've been thinking about it more. And I find myself believing a bit more. I kind of – maybe it's cause I want to believe in an afterlife. That when you die, it doesn't just all disappear. The wisdom you've accumulated. Somehow it lives on.'"

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Outreach Month


2013 started for us with a lot of blessings from God! Lots of prayers went out for God to rain salvations in Galveston and nearby counties. People went out in streets, parks, neighborhoods, shopping malls to engage the people in the city in spiritual discussions. Initially we thought that people would just avoid us and not talk to us. But we were surprised that we had a lot of deep conversations about God with people we had never met before! We did see a lot of new people join us in Church this month.

You don’t want to live a life now which will bring a lot of embarrassments latter!

Recently, someone brought to my attention Luke 16:19-31 (parable of the rich man and Lazarus) in a way I never thought about it before! In the parable, the rich man dies and is carried away to Hades where he was in immense torment. In his torment, he cries out to Abraham: “I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’” 

Remember one day a lot of people (with whom you ate, drank, partied, spend a lot of intimate happy times or even those you briefly came across in your life) may think about you, while being in Hades, that you never warned them or told them about Jesus!! So make the best of every opportunity NOW to tell people around you about Jesus! Else, there may be a lot of embarrassments about missed opportunities latter!

Monday, December 17, 2012

"Jesus Understands Our Deepest Sorrow" - DG website

In the "Desiring God" website, Jonathan Parnell talked with Nancy Guthrie, author of Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow, to ask her about what the humanity of Jesus means for us:



Quotes from it:

- The Lord Jesus Christ — the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, the one through whom all things were made — became human like us.

- Jesus is a safe person to draw close to when life is hard. He is not a distant deity who knows nothing about the struggles and pressures of living life in the real world. He knows, He understands. He can relate with us as He himself endured severe hardships. Isaiah (53:3) described Him as a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. In the garden of Gathsemane, His soul was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death (Mark 14:35). Hebrews 4:15 says He was tempted in all ways.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Quote of the day!


“The Christian is to be a demonstration of the existence of God”. - FA Schaeffer.

Are you doing that?? :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Love

From: http://www.ransom.tv/notes/lucinda-shelton

"Lucinda grew up being abused by her dad. Because of that, she hated him, even to the point of wishing he was dead. Watch her ransom note to see how Jesus healed and transformed her, such that she now deeply loves and cares about her dad":



Lucinda reminds at the end: With God all things are possible :) (Matthew 19:26)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Really, life is all about money?

Yes, there are a lot of people who think life is all about money. I don't know frankly how people come to that conclusion. Just yesterday, I was trying to explain to a friend why this is a prevailing myth, without much success because I am not good at debating ;) Then today I heard this song on KSBJ: http://www.lyricsbox.com/holly-starr-lyrics-dont-have-love-fq657df.html
which gives a good idea why there is much more to life than just money. Maybe God led me to this song today, so that I can better explain to others what life is really about!

Some lines from the song:

"You can have money, and cool friends, a ring on your left hand
But it's never gonna be enough, if you don't have love
You don't have love
You can have a fast car, a mansion, and everyone's attention
But it's never gonna be enough, if you don't have love
You don't have love, you don't have love

If you don't have love
Then you've got to, got to have love"

SO, if you want to be true-ly satisfied in life, you need love. Not just any kind of love, but the kind of love that never fails! And where do you find this kind of love? In God (Father, Son-Jesus, Holy Spirit) alone! :) (Psalm 136, Jeremiah 31:3, Romans 8:35, John 15:13, 1 John 3:16, 1 John 4:10, 1 John 4:9, Ephesians 1:4).

Please, let me know if you can find unfailing love anywhere else!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Best ever birthday :)

This year, I spent my birthday with my mom in Kolkata, India. And God blessed it as my best ever birthday!

Yesterday night, my mom accepted Christ as her personal Savior!
There could not have been any better birthday gift for me from anyone.

I did not realize the coincidence of the two dates, unless today.

God continues to surprise me with His awesomeness, as always! :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

“Your presence is heaven to me”

“Your presence is heaven to me … ”: heard this song lately?
http://lyrics.wikia.com/Israel:Your_Presence_Is_Heaven_To_Me
Pretty cool, yea?

I used to wonder what it mean’t when people said they were in the presence of God. Does it happen when you go to Church on sunday mornings?

That happens at times when you completely surrender yourself to Father God. That is, when you place yourself in His perfect will. It is then you experience the promised peace (Philippians 4:7), which surpasses all understanding. The parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) is a great example. As long as the younger son lived with his father (lived as per his will, in his presence), he was doing great. When he left his father (against his will and away from his presence) and started living in the world, he started wasting himself away, until he came back.

From the church service in Pune last sunday:
-- to live in complete surrender to Father God means to live in complete obedience.
-- to live in complete surrender is not the best way to live BUT the only way to live.

Lastly remember, Matthew 6:25-33, is an epitome of what it means to live a surrendered life: 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? ….  33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Christ in Olympics

Gabby Douglas, is the new Olympic All Around Champion. Before she competed, she tweeted this:
"Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me." Amen!
(courtesy : KSBJ)


Friday, June 29, 2012

Quote of the day

"This is God's universe and He does things His way. You may have a better way, but you don't have a universe." J. Vernon McGee

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

When God's Will Isn't Clear

This is a follow up on an earlier post about Piper's:
"When God's will is not clear

Quoting from https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=139989935971 :

When the brilliant ethicist John Kavanaugh went to work for 3 months at “the house of the dying” in Calcutta, he was seeking a clear answer as to how best to spend the rest of his life. On the first morning there he met Mother Teresa. She asked, “And what can I do for you?” Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him. “What do you want me to pray for?” she asked. He voiced the request that he had borne thousands of miles from the United States. “Pray that I have clarity.” She said firmly, “No, I will not do that.” When he asked her why, she said, “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.” When Kavanaugh commented that she always seemed to have the clarity he longed for, she laughed and said, “I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you will trust God.”

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

This momentary life

The amazing love story of Ian and Larissa from John Piper's "Desiring God" website:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Life’s a fight of wrong and right

Artist: Chris August lyrics
Title: Battle


http://www.lyricsmania.com/battle_lyrics_chris_august.html
:
"
There’s a battle between good and evil ... And it’s raging inside of me ... There’s a struggle - it’s God and the devil ... It’s Love against the Enemy

Whoa no ... I’m not giving up now ... Whoa

Life’s a fight of wrong and right ... That’s tearing me apart ... Oh but what the cross has done ... Yeah the world will try to battle for my heart ... But the war is already won

There’s a snake that’s hiding in the garden ... There’s a beautiful apple tree ... There is trouble on the horizon ... But I’m claiming victory ... Whoa ... I’m not giving in now ... Whoa

Life’s a fight of wrong and right ... That’s tearing me apart ... Oh but what the ... cross has done ... Yeah the world will try to battle for my heart ... But the war is already won

Whoa ... I’m not giving up now ... Whoa ... I’m not giving in

Life’s a fight of wrong and right ... That’s tearing me apart ... Oh but what the cross has done ... Yeah the world will try to battle for my heart ... But the war is already won
"

Saturday, March 10, 2012

"More Beautiful You" - Diaz, York

Artist: Jonny Diaz
Album: More Beautiful You
Genre: Christian
Songwriters: Jonny Diaz, Kate York

http://www.songlyrics.com/jonny-diaz/more-beautiful-you-lyrics/:
"
Little girl fourteen flipping through a magazine
Says she wants to look that way
But her hair isn't straight her body isn't fake
And she's always felt overweight

Well little girl fourteen I wish that you could see
That beauty is within your heart
And you were made with such care your skin your body and your hair
Are perfect just the way they are

There could never be a more beautiful you
Don't buy the lies disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you

Little girl twenty-one the things that you've already done
Anything to get ahead
And you say you've got a man but he's got another plan
Only wants what you will do instead

Well little girl twenty-one you never thought that this would come
You starve yourself to play the part
But I can promise you there's a man whose love is true
And he'll treat you like the jewel you are

So turn around you're not too far
To back away be who you are
To change your path go another way
It's not too late you can be saved
If you feel depressed with past regrets
The shameful nights hope to forget
Can disappear they can all be washed away

By the one who's strong can right your wrongs
Can rid your fears dry all your tears
And change the way you look at this big world
He will take your dark distorted view
And with His light He will show you truth
And again you'll see through the eyes of a little girl

That there could never be a more beautiful you
Don't buy the lies, disguises and hoops, they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you
There could never be a more beautiful you
"

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

IJM Chennai: A Dozen Slaves Rescued from a Rice Mill

Quoting from:
http://www.ijm.org/news/ijm-chennai-dozen-slaves-rescued-rice-mill
:

"Tags: Forced Labor Slavery Rescue South Asia

CHENNAI, INDIA – A dozen men and women and their children were freed from slavery in a rice mill over the weekend. Local authorities partnered with IJM to rescue the families and restore them to freedom.

One of the men who was rescued said he had not been allowed to leave the rice mill to visit his home for almost four years – even though his home is five minutes from the mill.

The government officials granted twelve of the individuals release certificates, emancipating them from slavery and cancelling any outstanding debt the owner may have claimed they owed him. The certificates also entitle each freed person to government-allocated funds that will help them build sustainable lives in freedom. "

Can you believe how many crazy things happen around us? Yes, we live in a world which is so broken. Kudos to Christ led IJM for their amazing works. Please check out http://www.ijm.org/ to become a part of slavery rescue efforts worldwide!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

How is your relationship with God going?

Voice of Martyrs (VOM) published a news about Asia, a Christian imprisoned in Pakistan, highlighting her daily relationship with God in prison. This is what Asia said to a VOM representative:

"
(1 Kings 17:6a): 'The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening ...'. There is a beautiful thing that happens every day in my cell. Two days after they announced my death penalty, I was brought into [death row]. Every morning around 3:30 or 4, a brown bird with a long beak appears and sits on the boundary wall. This bird also comes every evening around 5. He sits there for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. Later on he became my friend. I talk to him and he also talks to me.

As I watched this bird every day, I tried to understand the meaning of him coming day after day. I think this is a messenger from God giving me His message. When the bird comes, I feel encouraged and peaceful. I feel comforted after his visit. I think this is a very significant sign from God.
"

Asia also reported that she spends much of her time in prayer, including prayer for those around the world who pray for her and speak out on her behalf.

(Quoted from VOM news)

Friday, August 5, 2011

State of Religion in America today

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/figuring-faith/post/why-religion-will-matter-in-2012/2011/08/04/gIQAVGCiuI_blog.html
: quoting:

"Consider these findings from the 2010 American Values Survey, conducted by Public Religion Research Institute:

· Nearly six-in-ten (57 percent) Americans say religion is very important or the most important thing in their lives.

· A majority (51 percent) of Americans report attending religious services at least a few times per month.

· Nine-in-ten Americans report that they believe in God. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) believe that God is a person with whom one can have a relationship.

· Nearly seven-in-ten (69 percent) Americans believe that the Bible is the word of God, and nearly half of this group (33 percent) believe that the Bible should also be taken literally, word for word.

Moreover, religion is not only a personal matter for many Americans, but it is also something they see as important in evaluating political leaders."

Friday, December 31, 2010

God's plan for your life

This is an interesting article on Jeremiah 29:11 ("For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future"):

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/deeper-walk/features/21141-the-most-misused-verse-in-the-bible?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Indeed, this is how God loves us!

Quote from the video: "Have you encountered the love of God? If yes, then you will never be the same!"

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Do you want to change the world?

I often meet people who say they don't need Jesus. How can that be possible?

Like, don't we all of want to change the world? (like, Obama's mantra during the elections was "change") There is so much darkness and chaos in this world. Like, it is estimated that some 800 million people in the world suffer from hunger and malnutrition, about 100 times as many as those who actually die from it each year. Some say 20% of 20 million of children in India alone are part of the commercial sexual exploitation network. In 2000, nearly 88,000 children in the United States experienced sexual abuse. Intense human oppressions occurring now in Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, etc. Then there are happenings like 9/11 terrorism, Nazi oppression, etc. The list of crazy dark things happening in this world goes on and on.. we read it in daily news all the time.

So what is the best way to deal with the darknesses and chaos in the world? Bible points to Jesus as the solution. Jesus said in John 8:12: "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.". Jesus uses darkness as a metaphor for the sins in this world because sin is in total opposition to God/light (The book of Genesis says that God created light and he separated it from darkness). In a nutshell, as per Bible, Jesus is the best answer to all the chaos and darkness in this world. So, if you want to change this world and get rid of the bad stuff, you need to be that change first (as Gandhi said: "be the change you want to see in this world") by becoming a follower of Jesus Christ. So you do need Jesus (and so does your neighbor)!

References:
- lives of Martin Luther King, Jr; Mother Teresa; etc.
- http://my.auburnjournal.com/detail/150148.html

What has been the most peaceful moment of your life?

I met this woman at the UTMB Jail hospital. She is under custody and also suffering from cancer. She is probably in her forties. She said that right then at jail, as she is going through her cancer treatment, she has been most peaceful in her life. She has found her peace in eternal God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).

Hmm, so essentially she testified, what King Soloman said in the book of Ecclesiastes that our pursuits in this world is not going to give us everlasting peace/contentment/joy, if they are not centered around God.

It also reminded me of Apostle Paul: "I can rejoice at all times and I can be content in whatsoever state I am in, even when I am in prison" (Philippians 4:4,11). "Christ is everything I need! Christ is my Life!" (Colossians 2:10; 3:3). That is, our joy does not depend on circumstances, but on the eternal God.

This is also what Jesus said, in John 4, about the "living water" He gives: "Whosoever drinketh of this water (i.e., things of the world) shall thirst again.But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.".

Monday, June 7, 2010

God's timing

Yesterday I watched Spielberg's eye-opening movie "Schindler's list". It was pretty amazing that right when Schindler was about to finish up all his money (which he was using to protect the Jews in his factory and also towards non-cooperation of Nazi war efforts by not producing a single weapon that could be fired), Germany surrendered. Any delay of German surrender could have been catastrophic for all the Jews in Schindler's factory.

I was also wondering how much did the growing resentment of the weapon manufacturers, like Schindler, towards inhumane killings contributed to Nazi defeat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oskar_Schindler

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Depending on God on a daily basis and GENEROSITY/laying_up_treasures_on_earth

Quoting from:
http://www.centralpc.org/sermons/2005/s050206.htm
http://www.urbana.org/articles/what-wesley-practiced-and-preached-about-money

In 1731 John Wesley made 30 pounds. He lived on 28 of them and he gave away 2. It's less than a tithe. The following year he made 60 pounds. He lived on 28 and he gave away 32. In the fourth year he made 120 pounds. He lived on 28 and he gave away 92 pounds. And finally, later in his career John Wesley became one of the best paid preachers in all of history. He made the modern equivalent of $1.4 million dollars in one year. Now that is without CDs, that's without TV. You know we think the TV evangelists are making it. This is on penny tracks and preaching engagements. $1.4 millon dollars. That year he lived on the equivalent of $30,000 and gave away all the rest.

He was afraid of laying up treasures on earth, so the money went out in charity as quickly as it came in. He reports that he never had 100 pounds at any one time. He was concerned about the gospel and the needs around him. He was content to live at some level that wasn't 100% of what he owned. And he really believed that it was worth it to live in light of eternity. He really believed that God was going to credit this to his account, just like Paul says to the Philippians.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

You are what you eat

Yesterday, Gideon Stanley rightly pointed out "you are what you eat". And, Gideon said, this is exactly true with the Word of God, on which we need to feast on frequently, so that we can be more and more like Jesus... John said Word became Flesh (Jesus) and Jesus talked of eating His flesh...His body was broken for us, and we do communion to remember that (bread we eat reminds of His body and is analogous to in-taking Word that became flesh)...

More passages from Bible on the importance of regular feasting on God's Word (courtesy MIKE Cleveland):
- Not only were the Israelites told to put the blood of the lamb on their doorposts, they were also instructed to eat the Passover lamb (now Jesus/Word). (Exodus 12:11)
- Psalm 1:2, 3: "His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law He meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither."
- Deuteronomy 8:3: "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."
- John 6:48-51: "I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
- Jeremiah 15:16: "When your words came, I ate them. They were my joy and my heart's delight."
- John 17:17: "Sanctify them [set them apart from sin] by the truth: your Word is truth!"
- Joshua 1:8: "Do not let this book of the Law depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."

Monday, May 3, 2010

God is proposing to you right now

In the second video of his book "Crazy Love", Chan does a great job in explaining what a Christian life is about and about how God went crazy to pursue a deep,intimate relationship with each one of us. He uses the analogy of God as a bridegroom who is proposing to you to spend eternity with Him ...

Are you crazy about God?

I started reading Chan's book "Crazy love", which is getting popular these days. We are starting to follow it in our campus Bible study.

In this book Chan argues that if you are not crazy about God or if your lifestyle does not reflect your craziness for God, then probably you don't know or understand who God is and what He has done and is doing in your life. That's why in this book Chan's goal is to educate the readers about who God is and what He has done and is doing for us. So that they can become crazy about God after reading it!

He starts with this great video:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ya12I036lg

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thinking is one of the most hazardous things we do.

I liked what Piper says in:
http://www.desiringgod.org/Events/NationalConferences/Archives/2010/Invitation/

"Thinking is one of the most hazardous things we do. But it is absolutely necessary for being human and worshipful. The apostle warns, "Knowledge puffs up" (1 Corinthians 8:1). But he also commands, "In your thinking be mature" (1 Corinthians 14:20). Do this dangerous thing. But do it well. ..."...FOLLOW THE ARTICLE FOR COMPLETE READ.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Song of the weekend: What a friend we have in Jesus

I found this new awesome song in the weekend prayer & worship meeting:

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Where do you find people praying and reading Bible all day?

So, where do you find people reading Bible and praying all day?

You can find such people in prisons.

I am planning to write-up my experiences of prison ministry, at TDCJ, UTMB.

Usually when I go to minister there, I would always find couple of them who would minister to me. They would spend their time so well in the prison: reading Bible and praying all day. I sometime ask them to keep me in prayers, as they pray so much.
They can essentially become pastors, when they are released.

I also notice that sometimes they give me affirmations & love much more than people outside prison.
Because they become so grateful that someone from outside came and showed them respect and care.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Who do you think in the Bible needed least prayers? And who do you think prayed most?

Today the sermon in the Galveston Bible Church was about prayers. It was a great session. Some quotes from Pastor Clay:

-Who do you think in the Bible prayed most? Jesus? But who do you think would have needed least prayers? Jesus?
--Prayer is conversation with God. Jesus, Paul, etc. needed constant communion with God so much. Just like in a relationship, how long can you stay away form your spouse without talking? God longs for us so much, that He gave his only Son to suffer & die to have a continuing relationship with each one of us.
--Intercessory prayer is an important component of prayer. Pray for unreached places, mission fields, those in drastic need & suffering (places in Haiti, Zimbabwe)
--Thanksgiving is also an important component of prayer
--What do you constantly pray for: for God to show up, which way to go: directions, etc.

-He knows what you need and when you need

-How sweet is Your Word, sweeter than honey

-IT IS SO EASY TO GO TO CHURCH, LISTEN TO A SERMON ON PRAYERS, AND COME BACK HOME AND NOT DO IT!
We have to keep up with your prayer life consistently. Jesus warned in Luke 22:46: "Why are you sleeping?"- he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tim Keller's new article: How Do We Handle the Big Issues Facing the Church? AND HIS NEW BOOK:"Counterfeit Gods:The Empty Promises of Money,Sex,Power"

http://theresurgence.com/handle_the_big_issues

This is a good read. It talks about one important need of the current time: "The local church has to support culture-making"

BTW his new book, Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters (Dutton Adult, October 2009)is becoming increasingly popular -- a very good book!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

This is the real deal

As we pray for John Piper and his family, this is one of his great sermons on living a Christian life:

Life does not become a cake-walk

Even so blessed people like John Piper get overwhelmed:
http://theresurgence.com/8-godly-precedents-piper-sabbatical
Quoting:
"I was brought to tears and was extremely humbled by the courageous letter that Dr. John Piper wrote to explain that he is taking a sabbatical “because of a growing sense that [his] soul, [his] marriage, [his] family, and [his] ministry-pattern need a reality check from the Holy Spirit.”"

I think this is a very good life lesson for all Christians.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Two great books I recently read

I liked these two books by BILL THRASHER and also recommend them to those looking for some Christian books to read these days:

--"Living the Life God has Planned"

--"Believing GOD for His Best: How to marry contentment and singleness"
----If you are single and wondering what is God's way to go about dating & marriage, then this is a very good book to read!

God's annointing on Francis Chan

I have been listening to Francis Chan's online sermons (sequentially from the day 1 of his church). As I listen to his sermons, I feel he has special anointing from God, to further His Kingdom in this age. In-fact people have started calling him young John Piper!! His book "crazy love" is becoming increasingly popular (reminds of Rick's "purpose driven life", when it came out first).

His wiki is interesting. It says:

"Chan's parents both died by the time he was 12 years old. He was somewhat close to his brother growing up. He did not get along well with his father, but says that his fear of his father has helped him understand a level of fear of God. He also stated he didn’t understand the love of God well until he became a father himself."

"Chan frequently talks about 'What the bible is really saying' and really living our lives that way. He is not afraid of confronting lukewarmness, but his challenge seems to draw more people to his message, rather than pushing them away. In-fact his church is now one of the largest churches in Ventura County, California. He started his church in 1994 with only 30 people. Within two months, the church had grown to 100 people, and by 2000, Chan was leading a $1 million project to provide for the 1,600 member congregation."

"Chan gives away about 90 percent of his income ... Chan doesn't take a salary from his church, and he has donated all of his book royalties, which total about $500,000 to various charities. Much of it goes to organizations which rescue sex slaves in foreign countries."

I do highly recommend listening to his sermons sequentially from day 1!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

It all belongs to God..we are just His stewards

Quoting from a text:

John Wesley’s house caught on fire and burned down. Someone went up to tell him about it and Wesley responded by saying, “God’s house burned down…one less thing to worry about.”

Friday, March 26, 2010

‘Do you mind if I clean the latrines again today?’”

Pastor Mark Zeiler talked about RAVI ZACHARIAS's account:

http://rzim.org/justthinkingfv/tabid/602/articleid/10018/cbmoduleid/881/default.aspx

Of all the stories I’ve told after thirty years of traveling, this one is nearest to my heart, probably the most moving to me. In 1971, I preached in Vietnam. I was in my mid twenties; my interpreter was seventeen years old. His name was Hien Pham. We covered the length and breadth of the country. The American troops carried us around or we went by motorbike. How our lives were rescued, I don’t know. But we came back safely. A revival broke out in the country through the preaching of these two young men.

Hien was my interpreter. In the city Natrang, I held him close, embraced him, and said, “Goodbye, Hien. I’ll probably never see you again.” I flew to Saigon and on back where I was living at that time in Toronto.

Seventeen years later, my phone rang. I was in Vancouver speaking and the phone rang at 11:00 p.m. The man said, “Brother Ravi.” There’s only one person who called me with that intonation that way. I said, “Hien, is that you?” he said, “Yes.” I said, “Oh my word! Where are you?” He said, “California.” I said, “What are you doing here?” He said, “Have you got a few minutes?” I said, “Yes.”

He said, “After Vietnam fell, I was imprisoned by the Viet Cong because I’d worked with the Americans, worked with people like you. They put me behind bars, they took away all English from me, took away my Bible from me, tried to knock faith out of me. I was only allowed to read Marx and Engels in French and Vietnamese. After about a year in there, so worn out, I said, ‘Maybe you don’t exist, God. I’m giving up all hope. I don’t believe in you. Tomorrow when I wake up, I’m not going to pray.’”

That morning, he was assigned to clean the latrines. He said, “Brother Ravi, it’s the dirtiest place on earth you’d want to be. I bound a handkerchief around my mouth cleaning the wet floor, and I saw a little bin with dirty pieces of paper, with human excrement in it. But something told me as I looked there, there was one paper, a piece of paper with English.” He said, “I hadn’t read English for so long. I washed it off, put it in my hip pocket, waited for everybody to go to bed, to sleep. Lights were out.

I took out my flashlight under my mosquito net. I flashed it. On the right hand corner it said, Romans chapter 8.” He said, “I started reading and cried. ‘Oh, my dear Lord, you didn’t leave me one day without you.’ ‘For all things work together for good to them that love God; to those that are called according to his purpose. For who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Neither things present, nor things to come, nor life nor death.’”

Hien said, “Next morning I went back to the commanding officer. I said, ‘Do you mind if I clean the latrines again today?’” He went there every day. He found another page from the New Testament. The commanding officer had been given a Bible a long time ago. He was tearing out a page every day using it as toilet paper. Hien was washing it and using it for his devotions every day.

I said, “Where are you now?” He said, “I’m at Berkeley doing my business degree.” I said, “I can’t believe this, Hien.” He said, “I’m in America.”

I said, “How did that happen?” He said, “I was released and I built a boat with 52 others. Four days before my release, before our escape, four Viet Cong came armed to the teeth and grabbed me and said, ‘Are you trying to escape?’ I lied and said, ‘No.’ They said, ‘Are you telling us the truth?’” He said, “Yes.”

They let him go. He got on his knees, and said, “God, I lied. I’m running my own life. I lied. If you really want me to tell them the truth, let them come back again.” He said, “I sincerely hoped that prayer would never be answered. Hours before we left, the four of them came with their machine guns, grabbed me by the collar, rammed me against the wall. ‘You’re lying, aren’t you?’”

Hien said, “Yes, I’m escaping with 52 others. Are you going to imprison me again?” They said, “No. we want to go with you.’”

“Brother Ravi, if it weren’t for them we would never have made it. They knew how to navigate the ocean on that boat, get us safely to Thailand. I was then listed as a United Nations refugee. I’m here in America now doing my business degree.”

He runs a financial planning company now in California. He came and visited us, wanted me to officiate at his wedding, and he looked at my kids and said, “Don’t ever think God is far away from you. That intimate relationship is the greatest thrill of anyone’s life, for He seeks such to have fellowship with Him.”

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The 20 Most Brilliant Christian Professors

The 20 Most Brilliant Christian Professors
http://www.collegecrunch.org/professors/the-20-most-brilliant-christian-professors/

Wow James Tour is there also :-) I attended his Bible classes and ate in his house many times :-)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tozer's pursuit of God

Quoting from Tozer's pursuit of God:

"The doctrine of justification by faith -- a Biblical truth, and a blessed relief from sterile legalism and unavailing self-effort -- has in our time fallen into evil company and been interpreted by many in such manner as actually to bar men from the knowledge of God. The whole transaction of religious conversion has been made mechanical and spiritless. Faith may now be exercised without a jar to the moral life and without embarrassment to the Adamic ego. Christ may be "received" without creating any special love for Him in the soul of the receiver. The man is "saved", but he is not hungry nor thirsty after God. In fact he is specifically taught to be satisfied and encouraged to be content with little."

(I think, Dallas Willard also stresses on this in his book)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Does God see you as His friend?

I was listening to a sermon from cornerstone/simivalley church on Genesis 18:16-33. It talked about God consulting Abraham in deciding the fate of Sodom. The preacher said, God was like: "Shall I hide from (my friend) Abraham what I am about to do?". The preacher claimed that this is a very good example of "personal relationship with God" ... I thought that was a very interesting analysis ... I had never seen Genesis 18:16-33 like that ...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

George Muellar

Quoting from "Living the life God has Planned":

George Mueller was burdened to encourage people to experience the faithfullness of God. He founded an orphanage not only because he cared about the needy children but because he wanted God's people to see that He is faithful and will answer prayer. He saw older people living in fear of whether they would be forsaken by God. He saw people operating unethically in their careers because the feared that they could not compete if they lived honestly in the business world. To honor God's faithfulness was his objective in starting an orphange and making his needs known only to God. In his lifetime he recorded more than fifty thousand prayer, and many of these are found in the book Answers to Prayer

Quoting from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_M%C3%BCller :

Müller prayed about everything and expected each prayer to be answered.

Once, whilst crossing the Atlantic, his ship ran into thick fog. He explained to the captain that he needed to be in Quebec by the following afternoon, but the captain said that he was slowing the ship down for safety and Müller's appointment would have to be missed. Müller asked to use the chartroom to pray for the lifting of the fog. The captain followed him down, claiming it would be a waste of time. After Müller prayed, the captain started to pray, but Müller stopped him; partly because of the captain's unbelief, but mainly because he believed the prayer had already been answered. When the two men went back to the bridge, they found the fog had lifted.

The captain became a Christian shortly afterwards.

Müller's faith in God strengthened day by day and he spent HOURS in daily prayer and Bible reading.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tiger Woods does remind me of King Solomon ;)

Yes, Tiger Woods does remind me of King Solomon ;)

Look at this article:
http://www.newsweek.com/id/233947

"Buddhism," said Woods in his awkward 13-minute address, "teaches that a creation of things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously, I lost track of what I was taught.".

The article also says, Woods – a man who has everything, and is reeling from the possibility that it will be taken away....

Pray for Tiger and also that people will learn from Tiger's life.

Friday, February 19, 2010

are you a happy soul? :)

http://www.crosswalk.com/1300750/

Fanny Crosby was given a wrong medical treatment at six weeks of age that resulted in permanent blindness. As a child she made up her mind to store in her heart what she called the "little jewel of contentment." She declared this jewel to be the "comfort of her life." When she was eight years old she wrote:

O what a happy soul am I!
Although I cannot see,
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be.

How many blessings I enjoy that other people don't.
To weep and sigh because I'm blind;
I cannot, and I won't.

Scores of people have been blessed through the legacy of hymns she has left the church, and millions have been blessed by her learning the lesson of contentment in God's sovereign will.

Fanny Crosby married Alexander Van Alstyne when she was thirty-eight. This dear couple experienced a great loss when their only child died at a very young age. In her grief she penned the hymn "Safe in the Arms of Jesus." A ministry borne out of a humble and contented heart bears great fruit.....

Friday, February 12, 2010

Where did your riches/success come from? Abraham Lincoln "said" on National Day of Prayer & Fasting:

http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/fast.htm

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"We owe the world an encounter with God." -Bill

Pastor Bill Johnson says, "The only way we are going to be people who bring the world an encounter with God is if we are consistently encountering Him ourselves. We can only give away what we have..."

For example, (quoting from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_M%C3%BCller)
Müller prayed about everything and expected each prayer to be answered.
Once, whilst crossing the Atlantic, his ship ran into thick fog. He explained to the captain that he needed to be in Quebec by the following afternoon, but the captain said that he was slowing the ship down for safety and Müller's appointment would have to be missed. Müller asked to use the chartroom to pray for the lifting of the fog. The captain followed him down, claiming it would be a waste of time. After Müller prayed, the captain started to pray, but Müller stopped him; partly because of the captain's unbelief, but mainly because he believed the prayer had already been answered. When the two men went back to the bridge, they found the fog had lifted.

The captain became a Christian shortly afterwards.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Interview with Patrick Fung

I liked the interview with Patrick Fung at:
http://www.urbana09.org/program.webcast.cfm

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A passage from the book, Desiring God (copied from XA blog)

Once we had no delight in God, and Christ was just a vague historical figure. What we enjoyed was food and friendships and productivity and investments and vacations and hobbies and games and reading and shopping and sex and sports and art and TV and travel . . . but not God. He was an idea--even a good one--and a topic for discussion; but he was not a treasure of delight.
Then something miraculous happened. It was like the opening of the eyes of the blind during the golden dawn. First the stunned silence before the unspeakable beauty of holiness. Then a shock and terror that we had actually loved the darkness. Then the settling stillness of joy that this is the soul's end. The quest is over. We would give anything if we might be granted to live in the presence of this glory forever and ever.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Distressed?? How does your's compares to Jesus's?

As Dustin pointed out, Jesus can relate to our pain and distress very well:

http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-t018.html

Before the crucifixion, as Jesus Christ prayed in the Garden of Gesthemane, the disciple and physician Luke noted that:
“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
—Luke 22:44 (NKJV)
This was written by the physician Luke, a well-educated man and a careful observer by profession. Luke is also the only gospel writer to mention the bloody sweat, possibly because of his interest as a physician in this rare physiological phenomenon, which spoke elequently of the intense spiritual agony Jesus was suffering… (Dr. Henry M. Morris, The Defenders Bible, arginal notes for Luke 22:44)

Although this medical condition is relatively rare
, according to Dr. Frederick Zugibe (Chief Medical Examiner of Rockland County, New York) it is well-known, and there have been many cases of it. The clinical term is “hematohidrosis.” “Around the sweat glands, there are multiple blood vessels in a net-like form.” Under the pressure of great stress the vessels constrict. Then as the anxiety passes “the blood vessels dilate to the point of rupture. The blood goes into the sweat glands.” As the sweat glands are producing a lot of sweat, it pushes the blood to the surface - coming out as droplets of blood mixed with sweat.

What was the source of Jesus great stress and anguish? Clearly he was in intense spiritual agony. Being the Son of God, he would have in detail everything that was about to happen to him. He knew that he was physically facing one of the most horrible forms of capital punishment there has ever been. His body was human, and he would feel everything at least as intensely as we would. Was this the source of his severe stress? It is doubtful....(read rest in the website)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

"Chasing the Dragon" and "Smith Wigglesworth: The Secret of His Power"

I just found this quite an inspirational book:
"Smith Wigglesworth: The Secret of His Power"
I am reviewing it, right now.
It is challenging my current spiritual state, to a great extent, as I read it.

I think it goes very well, hand in hand, with "Chasing the dragon". Jackie Pullinger seems to be the Smith W. of today! Wow.

And i read somewhere that Leonard Ravenhill said that Jackie is the closest woman walking with God alive today.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Can ancestory of Jews be traced using modern genetics?

I came across some interesting articles:
http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/cohanim-dna-connection/

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rick and Kay Warren's Painful, Gradual Love Story

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/novemberweb-only/145-21.0.html

[Some highlights]

A word from God. Then another. Then misery. How the Warrens finally fell in love.

....All of that left little time for dating, which didn't seem to bother him in the least. He and some like-minded friends jocularly proclaimed themselves "Bachelors to the Rapture" and boasted that they would be pleased to remain single until the Second Coming...."Rick just figures, 'Why spend money on a girl you're not going to marry?'" he explained. "He believes that when the right one comes along, God will point her out and that will be that."...One weekend he accepted an invitation to speak at the First Baptist Church. Kay played piano for the service. Rick would recall what happened: "I looked over at her right before I got up to speak, and God said just as clearly as I'm talking to you, 'You're going to marry that girl.' Now, I immediately doubted it for two or three reasons—first, I didn't love her; second, God had never before or ever since talked to me that clearly in my life, ever; and, number three, she was madly in love with my best friend." He decided to keep the revelation to himself.....Soon after they returned to school in the fall, Kay's boyfriend broke up with her....Rick asked her out and she accepted....Eight days later they went out again,... as they finished praying, Rick looked up at her and blurted out, "Will you marry me?"....

[Read the full story in the web-link]

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Traditional medicine

http://research.chance.berkeley.edu/page.cfm?id=11&aid=35

I am trying to find out how did Samoan traditional healers discovered
the natural medicine for treating hepatitis which also has the promise to be an anti-AIDS drug!

Laminin vs Jesus :D (blessed are those who study biology ;)




So what is LAMININ? Laminins are major proteins in the basal lamina also called the basement membrane, which is a protein network FOUNDATION for most cells and organs.
It reminds of Jesus in many ways! Apart from its resemblance to cross, it does exactly what Jesus does, as described in Colossians 1:17 (He is before all things, and in him all things hold together). Laminin literally holds your skin, muscles, organs, and everything else in your body together, it is literally the glue of your body. Like Jesus holds together the individuals in the body of Christ.
It keeps us functioning normally and protects us from degenerative diseases such as muscular dystrophy or progeria.

Laminin is also made up of three parts--three in one, just like our triune God (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.)

Laminin--called the "basement membrane" without which we would literally fall apart

http://www.instructables.com/community/Lamanin/
http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=61216516


Hence blessed are those who study biology ;)

On May, 2010, Lowe rightly commented on this: who said we are not made to love and give :)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Skill of His Loving Hands

I found this inspiring devotional by Bakht Singh:
"Skill of His Loving Hand"
http://www.scribd.com/doc/5563670/Skill-of-His-Loving-Hands

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakht_Singh
Bro. Bakht Singh is often referred as 'Elijah of 21st Century' in Christendom. And The Lord received him for his ministry on three conditions:
1. Do not join any organizations—serve all equally.
2. Do not make your own plan. Let Me guide you and lead you every step of the way.
3. Do not make your needs known to any human being. Ask Me only and I shall provide for your needs.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sermon Jams

Found cool sermon Jams:
http://www.1031sermonjams.com/
I also found some free mp3s of these on web, but they might be illegal!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Abondoned baby (copied from http://francischansblog.blogspot.com/)



FRANCIS: "why is my life more valuable than this baby's? Someone asked me recently why I don't save money for emergencies, or retirement. My answer was how can I justify saving for myself "just in case" something happens to me when something IS happening to so many already. 29,000 kids will die today of preventable causes. If I'm to love my neighbor AS myself, why spend so much time worrying about me?"

Have you been saying EVERYTHING that God wants you to say? (copied from http://francischansblog.blogspot.com/)

The prayer people refuse to pray (copied from http://francischansblog.blogspot.com/)

9 ur old about how to live (copied from http://francischansblog.blogspot.com/)

Two GREAT sermons I just heart

Francis Chan
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3875379187214966791

Misty Edwards
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1881104351786712058

Friday, April 10, 2009

Pray for transformation of heart...pussy cat analogy

Courtesy Houston FM104.7 (http://khcb.org) Pussy cat went all the way to England and ended up in queen's place. She was asked: "Pussy cat, pussy cat did you see the queen?". Pussy cat replied: "Queen? i dont know..but i saw the wonderful mouse under the throne!!". Moral: Notice the desires of the heart for the pussy cat: so different, from say humans! If one prays, God can indeed transform the heart to a very different holy one!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday Sermon III: Jesus prays for His people's JOY and Satan tries to steal it like he always does as he did in the garden

John 17:11-19: Jesus prayed for His people:

-But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my JOY made complete in themselves.
---(COMMENT: watch out SATAN IS ALWAYS TRYING TO STEAL OUR JOY and you will say "enough is enough..no more Jesus/Bible/Church". Satan tries to decieve us today the same way he did in the garde of Eden. Remember greater is He that is in us that what is in the world!!)

Sunday Sermon II: Jesus prays for His people's protection & sanctification

John 17:11-19: Jesus prayed for His people:

-Holy Father, PROTECT THEM in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one
-While I was with them, I protected them in your name that* you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost,* so that the scripture might be fulfilled
-I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.
-Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

Sunday Sermon I: HOW TO BE PRODUCTIVE?

Todays service was great!! It started with: John 15:1-17:"Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit...". Jesus said the Father is the Gardner, in charge of tending to the branches and making sure there is good and healthy growth.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

recession; bad market; no jobs

But Jesus says there are more jobs and less workers: "Harvest is plenty; but the workers are few".

Saturday, March 14, 2009

an old email

i am cleaning my inbox these days, as my stanford account is going to expire. i found this email from Pete:

Pete Sommer wrote:

> Hi Mitul,
> you remain in my thoughts and prayers. I have not yet called the Chackos.

> Remember that when Jesus was abandoned, mocked, denounced, spit upon,
> beaten, and crucified, he was thinking of you. His head turned to look
> at you in love. He thought it was all worth it, in order to save you.

> If this is so, you can never be forgotten by God. His presence is with
> you.
>
> Let me know if you want to meet again.
>
> Pete

Life is not about worrying about what you dont have but rejoicing about what you have

..lets see how Biblical is that...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

“Christ gave us the goals and Mahatma Gandhi the tactics.” — Martin Luther King Jr, 1955

I have been a big fan of Gandhi. He once said:"When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and when I see not one ray of light on the horizon, I turn to the Bhagavad Gita, and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. My life has been full of tragedies and if they have not left any visible and indelible effect on me, I owe it to the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita.

Now thats a different question why Gita and not Bible. The point here is "overwhelming sorrows", "tragedies" is part of everyone's life. Note how people find peace by reading scriptures. Something what Jesus said: "THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE".

Some of his quotes:

"Be the change you want to see in this world"

"I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test:
Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him. Will he gain anything by it? Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to Swaraj for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and your self melting away. "

"I do not want a kingdom,salvation,or heaven, what i want is to remove the trouble of the oppressed the poor, and the needy" (I cannot confirm if Gandhi actually said that. This is from http://www.manavsadhna.org/)

Without faith it is impossble to please God

Yesterday was a bit stressful, someone smashed my car door. But as a result i did get more time to spend with God :-) because as i was driving around my car to get it fixed, the Christian radio was on! I was getting worried about loosing work time but then i realized God is everywhere (& sitting right next to you) and there is no waste of time if it is spent in Him! But i was still stressful and i coudnt work when i reached my office and decided to go back home from office and at home there is no Internet :D. Additional worries about my overdue paper also started to attack me. At the end, I didnt have any other option but to read scriptures the entire evening with the hope to find peace and i must say it did work :D So yes yesterday was a good day because a lot of time was spent in understanding how He works in our lives :-)

In the morning while reading scriptures and listening to Christian radio, the Words i had was: "Without faith it is impossible to please God .... They cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress: He brought them out of darkness and deepest gloom and broke away their chains (Psalm 104)"

Also i realized when something chaotic happens, you start thanking Him for the all the past days when He was protecting from all kinds of chaos. So once in a while chaos is good for me :D so that i realize more how He has been actively protecting me in the past...



As i am thinking more about "It is impossible to please God without faith", i realize why He keeps Himself unseen in ways that we often doubt in our minds about His existence: so that we have more opportunity to exercise greater faith and hence be more blessed. As Jesus said to His disciple: "Is it because you have seen me that you have believed? How blessed are those who have never seen me and yet have believed!"

Monday, March 9, 2009

He is working in my life

There is no doubt He is working in my life these days, as I see He is constantly reminding me of apostle Paul's: "I have learned to be content with whatever I have, in any and all circumstances". Yes this is what i need in my life asap, something which i think i had lacked a lot in the past. Today I saw a girl walking down the corridor with a smile (which reflected as if true contentment) in her face, with her gaze pointing downwards. When i saw her, i instantly felt she is acting as if her world was just perfect. It was as if He was telling me this is the kind of smile one has to carry to reflect inner contentment! PTL indeed!

My weekend / Jesus's prescription for success

My weekend was quite eventful. We moved to a new apartment, so a lot time was spent in cleaning and moving (good physical exercise ;). I was really amazed by the range of emotions i went through: pretty much everything: from His peace to full-of-anxiety. But i was very glad by the end of the weekend and i felt i was pretty much in His grasp throughout the weekend (i slept pretty much exhausted and woke up clearly renewed by Him). The highlight of the weekend was the Bible class taught by a rice university professor. That was such a blessing. I have been praying to get in touch with a Christian professor (as i might become one) who could give me some tips about balancing between research and other things in life. The professor's message was Jesus's prescription for success: "Mark 9:35: If anyone wants to be first he must be last of all and servant of all". He pulled out stories from his life & experiences to support it .... Then followed another blessing, the worship session in the church: it was such an amazing song (i am trying to find the song online): i felt it was just for me: He cares about me so much :-)...Then we went to the house of the professor for lunch which was again such a blessing. It was a gathering of young rice student believers who gave me a lot of tips about following Jesus. I got a lot of insights into what it means into having "life in abundance" as promised by Jesus. And if Holy Spirit remains in us forever once received. And if we can have joy through Him all the time, no matter what the circumstances are, as Apostle Paul stressed..

I also learnt how important it is to take breaks in between crazy day and medidate/pray/call on Him to regain His peace. I realize again & again that i relate so much to "Blessed are the poor in spirit"...i have called upon Him during my anxious moments by far more than in my peaceful moments...The professor gave me the final tip: make sure i always start the day with Him, then i will see how He guides me rest of the day...

Also i note something profound from Zac poonen's online sermon during the last week: "If a person has spirtual gifts, it dosnt necessarily mean the person is also spiritual": hmm something to remember...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What am i doing in Houston

What i am doing in Houston?

I was supposed to finish my postdoc project at Stanford by Nov 15. But i coudnt, as the project was more complex than we first thought. So it is still going on. I came over to Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, as it has all the expertise in the project. Incidently Stanford didnt have any signifcant expertise (very funny) in my project. Today, 03/07/09, i think it should take may be 1-1/2 months more to finish it up and submit the paper.

Ok, so what next?

Well at this point it seems i am headed to become a professor (in some university, thank God there r so many in the world) or a scientist in some lab. The question is when do i apply for one such job. Well right now i think i would try to acquire couple of more years of postdoc training before i apply for a permanent position. I want to make sure that after i start with a long-term career of a professor/scientist i have enough expertise to understand & do science at a very broad level. Ok, so in a nutshell after i finish my current postdoc, i will do a second postdoc and then after that apply to become a full-time professor/scientist, after couple of years, unless God has some other plans for me =P Keep me in your prayers, that i am led by Him =P

So How is Houston?

Oh man it is working out so nicely to me. God is so helpful! I have got 24/7 access to my lab at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM): something i didnt even have at Stanford after Nov 15. BCM is located in Texas Medical Center (awesome place).
Next door is Luke center: it has a chapel: which always has a pastor during the work hours: meaning during the weekdays: u can just go over to get prayers and share with him your burdens!! so cool! Next door is rice university: which is also amazing. At times, i drop by Christian fellowships of Campus Crusade & chi-alpha: they have AMAZING worship sessions.

There is an amazing park (golf course, houston zoo) outside BCM: i take breaks and sit in the park: and yes believe me i get, as if, glimpses of heaven: i forget all my needs: i feel like spending all my time there. Its a perfect place to pray, meditate, spend time with Him and melt away all worries! The reason all worries melt away is because you feel so good immersed in the nature that you dont feel like wanting anything else (well i have only tried that place couple of times, lets see if i get the same feeling in future also ;-). I didnt plan for all these, they just happened as if all planned out by Him (my friends & i did pray for relief from need worries)!!

Houston Christian radio

As i drive back and forth form lab to home, my time is really really blessed with the Christian radio FM 105.7 (only in houston, but everywhere: http://www.khcb.org/)

Zac Poonen's sermons

I found Zac Poonen's verse-by-verse Bible sermons:
http://www.cfcindia.com/web/mainpages/verse_by_verse.php

It is amazing! Zac Poonen rocks! He has a very good reputation as a true preacher and if often invited to Abundant Life Christian Fellowship.

my prayer partner

Few months back God blessed me with a prayer partner: Leslie (guy with girls name ;). Since he is retired, he has enabled me to call anytime to share and get prayers. I am so blessed: Leslie is about 50 yrs old and is a veteran believer. He helps me with stories from his entire life (& also life of his mom) about how the Chirstian faith is so true, faithful, & life saving!

I found Leslie, when i visited Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in December to get prayers for rekindling my faith!

some prayer requests

You may pray for me that i will be truely in His grasp (v. imp, as i note that at times i can be very disobedient & try to take things into my own hands) and clearly see Him in my life. There can be moments in my life where i am like: does God really exist..those r the most terrible moments, as i feel very vulnerable then..these sometimes can happen when things don't go my way or i suspect taking bad decisions despite praying. But do praise the Lord that He is really taking care of me in Houston very well!! For example, it just happened that the funding for my project resumed miraculously for a brief amount of time! My roommate is so caring (he feeds me at times)! People in my lab are helping me a lot! And so far i have always been restored very-well from low-periods!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ministries

[Last updated: mar 09]

I have been praying about what my ministries in His Kingdom. I got some words of wisdom, hopefully from Him. It seems for me my ministries start with places where i am put into. I guess the idea is what Jesus said to Peter: "Take care of my sheep"..

-Surprisingly, its only recently, i realized my main ministry is my lab!! Yes people around me are usually non-believers. So its really important how i conduct myself in my lab & treat my labmates, keeping in mind that His will is to bring in His Kingdom into our work-places through believers around!

Now it is becoming more and more clear of the need & importance to invest in becoming good friends with labmates and think&care about them and try to become part of their lives. People around can be very stressed out and do seek for friendly attention.

Also people in any research lab usually have the "publish or perish" pressure, which results in a lot of junk publications! Christians are expected to maintain integrity of character in work and follow 1Kings 9:4: "And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee,..."

-Then i realized my home is my 2nd main ministry: i have 2 room-mates: 1 muslim, 1 hindu. One is very stressed out these days with jobsearch. My other roommate is a devout muslim and such a nice guy, that i am learning a lot from him. I think God prompts me a lot to invest in deep friendships with them...

-And my mom, bother, sister, their family in India.

-While driving to work, there is an opportunity to drop by 8-9am, M-F Bible study with homeless in a church for homeless (http://www.lordofthestreets.org/). There is a lot of opportunities out there: like pray for them during & after the Bible study, etc.

-And yes recently i got words of wisdom about facebook ministries (while praying, yeah!). I am working on: "Pray for the World"
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=70687636352&ref=ts
the idea is to regularly pull out issues around the world and post it there, so that people in facebook can jointly pray about them...i am working on it :-)

Another one is a book review of "celebration of disciplines":
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=66244503768&ref=mf
The idea is to share "favorite quotes" from books that i read with others..

While reading "celebration of disciplines", i am becoming very excited about fasting. It does a really good job in presenting the discipline of fasting. At some point when Great Britain was in danger of being attacked by France, the whole country started praying, and the French invasion seemed to have averted. I think one can use facebook to that that!! -- it should be very easy to call people, through facebook, for joint worldwide fasting if some serious world issue comes up!

Facebook evangelism should work out very nicely for people who spend a lot of time on computers (like myself ;).

-As i interact with Christian here, i am realizing how important it is for Christians to go on regular mission trips. Outside US, there are so many places, which need Jesus so much. Hope He would also bless me with mission trips every year.





-Understanding the science behind faith: I noticed that my faith is still very weak. Usually, i have seen, that when something dosnt happen my way, i get distressed and start questioning my faith. It happened again the other day, and i started reasoning if God is real, from a scientific point of view! This came to my mind:
"If there is someone like God who knows everything that is going to happen in future, then it means everything is predetermined. But Bible says that we do have free will & choices to make. Hence how can someone like God exists who knows the future!". Matt from campus crusade, rice u., told me not to loose faith because of it as this is the classical "Compatibilism" issue. He gave me some links to study:
http://www.monergism.com/directory/link_category/Free-Will/Compatibilism/

http://www.theopedia.com/Libertarian_free_will
http://www.geocities.com/freewilltheology/foreknowledge.html
http://www.amazon.com/reader/0830826521?_encoding=UTF8
ref_=sib_dp_pop_toc&page=9#rea
der


Since I am a scientist, i think its useful for me to study these kind of things, so that i could help people in my workplace better understand God from a scientific point of view.