Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The man who makes my heart swell with love!


My father is no mahatma. 

He is no millionaire.

He is no perfect man, either.

But he makes my heart swell with love!

This is no daddy’s girl talk. I’ve sat down and given enough thought to why he makes me feel so weighed down with love.

He stands tall as a tower of integrity. Against all odds, he stands strong as a rock for the cause of justice. If there’s anything or anybody he fears, it is God. He’s the one angry young man I adore to this day!

Here’s a man who can talk his way into anything. Sadly, none of his three children inherited that quality from him. And that makes me think, it is a gift that God puts into some special people! Over the years, he has let God tame his gift of the gab. I believe, that’s when the gifting makes sense. It becomes priceless! God makes even his silence speak- an austere dignified vacuum speaks volumes, which a million words he could have mouthed couldn’t have!

He is a father who chose to be a friend to his children. He risked his right to “reverence from a distance” for a reverence that comes only out of love and intimacy. I cannot remember a day when I was not given the freedom to say what I wanted to. He let us feel his heart beat and saved the trouble of long debates to make us understand his head. We are indeed children after our father’s heart! Believe me, I did not struggle to picture my Heavenly Father as my dearest friend, thanks to my earthly father, who effortlessly demonstrated that!

What really shakes me up about him is his confidence in God. I have not encountered anyone who so firmly believes in the forgiveness of God. He fearlessly admits his follies and runs back to God, in sheer confidence that he would be accepted back. I have held against him things God forgave him, only to see that God continues to be on his side. God is on the side of the righteous and the Holy Spirit gently nudges me to say, “Righteousness is not a function of your deeds but your faith!”

These few paragraphs of appreciation don't do justice to what my father deserves. But, I’d still go ahead with this much because, I’m sure he understands my heart has swollen with love for him so much by now that I can’t put another word down!

God bless you, precious father of mine!

Ps: In our lives, we take many things for granted. In mine, it’s my family I have taken for granted the most. I see the need to change...and I'm using this space as a tool to help me stop and thank those who make my life worthwhile... I’m grateful that God has allowed me a second chance that wasn’t too late.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I want to be like him!

I am a student of my husband.

The more I study him, the more I am inspired by him.

The more I am inspired by him, the more I want to be like him!

I realise, this is perhaps the biggest compliment a spouse could get. I don’t know about you, but in my case, I have had many a personality I was drawn to initially, but have ended up having a sort of repulsion as time went by, because the more I went close to them, the more of their flaws I saw. Then I’d realise that the initial overwhelming impression of “Wow! What a man/woman!” was all an exaggeration of the little good that I could find in them in my limited interaction with them.

It doesn’t thrill me to conclude that the only perfect man to walk the earth was and will be Jesus, knowing that we are all called to be like Him. It is a tall order. I don’t expect myself or others to be totally like Jesus in everything. The checkpoint can be, “Am I a little more like Jesus today than I was yesterday?” But, somewhere deep inside, I hope to find someone who resembles the most to the Jesus I know. Not some kind stranger on the street whose tenderness of character might impress me for that moment- I don’t know how he is on a mundane day with his wife, children, parents, boss or subordinate, and whether what I saw in him was just a sudden spree of goodness that happens to him once in a blue moon! I yearn to find at least a far-flung reflection of Jesus in someone I know close enough to judge fair. 

Then, I met my husband. After a year and a few months of living with him and knowing him closely, here’s what I found.

He is just another ordinary young man with no natural advantage over weaknesses. He is prone to get angry, just as anyone is. What makes him extra-ordinary is that he doesn’t sin in his anger. I consider his greatest strength to be his control over his tongue, the most difficult organ to tame! I haven’t caught him speak a word that hurts, let alone cursing or swearing, even when he’s fuming inside with anger.

He is as susceptible as anyone to pride. What makes him different is that he acknowledges his area of failing and takes precautions. I’m amazed at the many times he evades exclamations on his education by making a plain statement, “Yeah, I moved out of home for my engineering; I went to Rajastan”. I’ve noticed that many people wouldn’t want to know where in Rajastan, and thus he would have cleverly avoided undue attention on himself. But there have been a curious few who probed, “Ok, so where there?” The answer to that was a crisp, “Pilani” and looking away to avoid further questions. I can remember only one time, when the other person exclaimed “Oh, BITS, Pilani?” to which he gave a nonchalant nod as the answer. May be, this is one area he has overcome and that leaves several others, where he shows prompt willingness to examine himself. Being his wife, I am his worst critic. When faced with criticisms, this man listens, and more so, listens defenceless! Then he sinks into an exasperating self-examination mode. When I insist that he responds, he does it with a “Thank you for pointing that out. I’m wondering how to bring about a change, but I’d give my best”. I can guarantee that he gives his best to any change that would make him a better man.

Sometimes, I find it difficult to believe that he has faced the worst of rejections in life. If total surrender to God can buy one immunity from the world around, he is a perfect testimony. He cares a lot about people, but very little about what they think of him. I see a totally healed man with his identity safe in God; I am yet to meet a more secure person than him!

If there is anything quite impossible to do to him, it is to offend him- he has an ego that is too docile to be pricked to action! He breezes through difficult situations unaffected, when a ‘normal’ person like me would go beserk with offence!

He finds it possible, and at times easy, to forgive and forget. He can talk about a hurt in the past with an unfading smile on his face. Try talking to me about something that has deeply hurt me and I would break into tears in a matter of a few minutes! His ‘indifference’ to the pain of the past has not ceased to evoke a sense of awe in me. When I repeatedly ask him about how he manages to do it, he says this, as if it is the simplest thing in the world to understand, “It’s like this- when God heals you, you don’t even remember how it felt back then, and it is so easy to forgive!”

I’m not trying to prove that he’s made it. Undoubtedly, there are new challenges awaiting him pointing to newer areas in his character to be worked on, and it is my prayer that Christ-likeness will triumph in him, through it all.

What I have discovered though, is that people who resemble Jesus exist. And that gives me hope!

I wish to be like Jesus some day, and I guess it’s not a bad idea to start with a tangible role model. So, precious husband, let me start with you. I want to be like you!

Ps: Be kind enough not to quote anything from this post to my husband and embarrass him. Thank you!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

2009 that was!

A year and two months of no updation- I’m certainly not proud of the feat!

I’m not sure if there’s anyone out there to read this anymore. I have watched many a blog ebb away quietly and it was painful, especially if among those were my favourite ones. I want to sincerely apologise to my regular readers for not showing up with my ‘winged words’ for a long while. I’m not going to blame it all on the inevitable busyness of a homemaker cum working woman that I have become. Laziness got the better of me, and that remains the sole truth! Here’s an attempt to make up for the wait. No, I don’t promise an earth-shattering read ahead; I’ve always been cynical about radical come- backs.

So, where did I take you last? To the rugged cross that gives me hope for 2009? Well, the year has zoomed by and we are into a brand new one already, while I’m overwhelmed on realising that the hope has only grown bigger with time!

2009 was special- it was our first year of marriage!

We were warned by family, friends and well-wishers, at times, in vivid details, of the unpleasant side of marriage. “It’s not a bed of roses!” – Can you imagine, they still say it, irrespective of how wholly clichéd it sounds! “Just wait and see how long this ‘lovey doveyness’ would last”, remarked my well- meaning friend, on meeting us just two months after the wedding.

“To gel with another person with totally different tastes on practically everything in life is the biggest challenge”, “Men show their true colours only after wedding; you better be prepared for it”, “Don’t get carried away with all the sweetness in the beginning, life would only get harder after marriage”, “You know, sometimes you’d wish you were single”, “It’s not easy, marriage is suffering; take it in good spirit, though” “Smile all you can now, ‘cos there’s a lot of tears to handle after it”....this post would grow very long if I were to list all the precious pieces of unwarranted advice doled out to me, before and soon after wedding, in the hope that I would be better braced for this disaster called ‘marriage’!

And guess what, they were right- partially!

I did not find a bed of roses or a long-lasting ‘lovey doveyness’. To gel with a totally different person was a challenge and so was coping with his ‘true colours’. There were soiled clothes and dirty dishes, menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner (easier suggested than done), exasperating consultation with someone(husband) before you do anything, dealing with the new family...everything constituted the unpleasant side of marriage for me- just as they predicted!

Still, I was in for a surprise- a pleasant one!

They don’t tell you how many couples stay married; they only tell you how many are divorced. They don’t tell you how many remain in their jobs; they only tell you how many are fired. They don’t tell you how many kids are growing up in the fear of God; they only tell you how many go astray...they also don’t tell you how fantastic marriage is; they only tell you how hard it can get!

Believe me when I say it’s not all that bad as everyone makes it sound. My dear ladies, who are still waiting for the knight in shining armour, when somebody warns you “He’s got clay feet and the shine of his armour will get bleaker by the day ”, please retort, “ A clay footed knight in his worn out armour will do just fine for the equally flawed princess!” Bravehearts, by now you should know she’s got freckles behind that make-up, and that a freckle-free face will not make a trouble-free home; so don’t worry when someone snorts, “beauty is only skin-deep, beware!”

Marriage is a good thing and it will only do you good. Two is always better than one!

Sometimes, it takes marriage to know how stinking selfish you are and how repulsively proud! Sometimes, it takes to be married to learn to be more real than a smiley Christian on a Sunday morning. Sometimes, it takes two imperfect people to live together, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to be able to see others through God’s eyes! Now, tell me, isn’t the unpleasant side of marriage fleeting in comparison with its pleasant counterpart?

So, 2009 has been a fantastic year for me and it’s only gonna get better!

Friday, January 23, 2009

As 2008 fades into history...

Economies crashing…Terrorism raging…Planet warming…

Marriages failing…Chaos reigning…Values crumbling…

Fists clenching…Hearts aching…Hope fainting…

We live in a dreadful age.
My Bible tells me these are the last days.

The blessings that preserved me in this tough world are many. When I look back at 2008, my heart chokes with gratefulness to the Almighty. The hands that hold the universe together, held my cells together and my wits too. Mountains moved…Oceans parted…Loaves multiplied…Storms calmed. And in situations when heaven chose not to rain miracles down, He taught me to be still and know that He is God!

In the face of this difficult time, what gives me hope is not Obama and his call to change...
My hope is in the rugged Cross and its promise...
My trust is in the One who has proven to be faithful and unchanging...
His grace was sufficient in the days gone by, and will be sufficient to carry me through in the future!

His is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory forever.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Into a new morn...

It’s been a long time, I know.

Probably, this is the first time I’m returning to the blog after a hiatus, feeling I didn’t miss anything :-)

I’m happy, and can’t you tell?

Betrothed and reserved for wedlock : I’m in that once-in-a lifetime phase of life, and enjoying it to the lees…every moment is new…fresh…full of life…

How I laughed the thought away when my newly-wedded friend winked at me and said, “Marriage is a fantastic thing; you should try it!” :-) That was only a few months ago. Then, I didn’t see the prospect coming my way, to sweep me off my feet, so freakingly soon! From the pinaform to the wedding gown! Even as our BIG day is 27 days away, I haven’t quite come to terms with the transition.

But, it’s all well…and it’s all for the good! :-)

These days, I surprise myself quite often. I forget to crib about the fact that I do not fit into those slim dresses at the stores…I don’t lose my cool with the rikwallah who takes me for a ride…I retain a graceful poise when I feel taken for granted by people who matter…in the warmth of a smile, I melt the harsh words hastening to get off my mouth…I feel another’s pain at a depth I haven’t felt before…I know God’s heart better than I have ever known it…

I care more…

I cry more…

I listen more…

I laugh more…

I love more…

Life’s gettin’ fuller by the day!

I never knew God could use one person and the season he brought, to turn me around to this extent. If you’ re thinking, it’s just that love’s in the air and I’m kinda dazed at the moment , well, I believe that it’s not just that. I believe that it’s real…and will last and not fade. I believe that the healing is as real as the hurt…and the rainbow is as real as the storm… :-)

Monday, July 21, 2008

I believe!

You and I,
Hand in glove;
In love,
I believe!

You and I,
Refuting myth;
In truth,
I believe!

You and I,
Past all fears;
In blissful tears,

I believe!

You and I,
Laughter rife;
In life,
I believe!

You and I,
Melting sorrow;
In tomorrow,
I believe!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

In the wake of a letdown...

This has been an incredible season- of pruning and its sweet pain!

I’ve survived many a letdown and what amazes me is not that I did survive, but that my response to them has evolved over time- from a “You too Brutus?” loaded with bitter accusation, to “Why does it happen to me?” dripping with self pity, to the present “Why not forgive and move on?”

The beauty of the last response lies in the fact that I realize that I’m just a sinful human and my self- righteousness is as good as filthy rags and I’m only banging my head against the wall of impossibility, trying to forgive and move on in my own strength! It brings me to my knees to acknowledge that I’m not an easy person to start with, and since I’ve had the luxury of being forgiven by God and people who love me, I have no reason, whatsoever, not to forgive another!

But the story is far from over…the next level I need to reach is, “I would love you and stick by you, even if you were to let me down a million times over!”

Just when I thought the buck stopped there, God gently nudged me and said, “Baby, the level I want you to reach is even higher…and that is, “I love you till there is no pride left in me to feel let down…I love you the way God loves you…beyond any rhyme or reason…I love you because I love you!”

I shook my head and threw my hands up in the air in sheer haplessness. The farthest I could go was to forgive once and keep a distance! But here’s God wanting me to stick by the people who hurt me at the risk of being hurt again and love them through it all….and at some point in the process, I must learn to love with God’s love and rise above being affected by what others do to me!

Well, this looks particularly difficult for me ‘cos in my dictionary of phrases there’s no thing called “second chance”! I don’t give myself a second chance, let alone others! As has been preached down my being several times already, I can’t give what I don’t have! It all had to start with and in me!

There were areas I had messed up beyond redemption and chosen to bury the hurts within me, and decided to move on, not taking a glance back. What proceeds that is predictable. Later, when similar situations come up, the buried wound opens up, and starts to hurt with double the intensity! Then I go back and examine the past and bandage the wounds, hoping they would heal some day…

And I wake up one morning to the rude fact that, that some day has never come!

The reason for that was evident- I never let God do the total cycle of healing which ends with resilience! Resilience that comes from daring to hit head on with the same/similar situation with a grit to deal with it differently! Healing is never complete without second chances! It has never been about escapism! It is never over, if you get over the hurt only to an extent that equips you to be cautious to avoid similar hurts. All’s well for a while… the days are bright and you hear the birds chirp sweet nothings and life is beautiful…till you fall and sink nose deep into the same situation at unawares, while strutting cautiously around it! Self pity sets in at the opportune moment- “duhhhh! Again!! I’m forever gonna get into the same mess and feel as miserable! I’m a certified Miss. Goof- ups!”

The key is to be intentional about facing similar instances, with the confidence that the earlier hurts are done with and I’d apply the lessons learnt from them to do things right this time! It’s about being kind to myself and giving myself a second chance…It’s about not beating myself up every time I fail at the same thing…It’s about dealing with myself the way God deals with me- gently, patiently, lovingly…so that I may be healed…and may deal with others the same way! Does it mean that I keep doing the same mistakes end number of times? As Joyce Meyer says, “I’ve been around the same mountain many times now…it’s time I did something about it!” When you are patient with yourself and lean on to God’s strength rather than your own, when you become intentional about change…well, you wouldn’t need to go around the same mountain again and again! You’d be out of the circle before you know it! Take heart! There would be a day when you would testify saying, “I used to have a very harsh tongue!” or “I used to not trust people!” and so on.

Extend the same philosophy to the others…give them a second chance… a third, and a fourth, and a fifth, well… how many ever it takes…it’s not for nothing Jesus instructed us to forgive seven seventy times!

The easiest checkpoint would be: Am I following the greatest commandment? Am I walkin’ in love?

Love is patient. It tells you not to give up on yourself or others!

Love is kind. It asks of you to be gentle!

Love does not boast. It wouldn’t let you talk about the umpteen number of times you have forgiven others!

Love is not proud. It leaves no ‘self’ behind to be hurt/let down!

Love is not rude. It would keep you from exploding and speaking unkind words when things go beserk!

Love is not self seeking. It removes the “Fragile: Handle with care” tag from you and puts it on to others!

Love is not easily angered. It smoothens out your touchy edges!

Love keeps no record of wrongs. It wouldn’t remind you of all the others times you’ve been wronged!

Love rejoices with the truth. It enables you to wear your face and not your mask!

Loves ALWAYS protects…ALWAYS trusts…ALWAYS hopes…ALWAYS perseveres!

At the end of this long introspection, I'm left with the simplest of prayers, “Lord, reduce me to love!”

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Adversity, where is your sting?

Foreword: Those of you who sneak into this space just to know wassup in my life and nothing beyond that, please note that you needn’t waste your precious time on the following. In a nutshell, I’m doin' very well, quit my job, and sittin' at home, enjoying the season while it lasts :-) Those of you who want to know more are welcome to read further.

The title of this post has been the triumphant cry of my heart for the last several months. I’ve been feeling it, believing it and living it, all this while. At this juncture, it would be unfair if I don’t share with you a secret: that I wanted to write on the topic, when my life became a li'l better and more rosy and comfortable than what it is now. Then I realized I have a choice between the good and the best. The former is to point to how my life has been turned around completely and glorify God for the same, and the latter, (which according to me is the best option), is to lay bare how hopeless life seems to me at times, and why I would still challenge the current state of affairs, with all the defiance I can muster and trace the rainbow in the rain!

I celebrated my 25th birthday this month. The silver jubilee of my rather conspicuous existence on planet earth! Yes, I said ‘conspicuous’. Conspicuous, first to the devil, because my name has been on his hitlist for 25 years now, and it gives him pain pangs to realise that it’s gonna remain there for eternity! Conspicuous to the people who love me, because I have been part of their lives, to be loved and to love, to be comforted and to comfort, to laugh and to cry with, for 25 long years. I remember many a peril that struck me in this tenure- from the fits that almost ended me as a 3 month old infant, to the emotional turmoil that nearly strangled me to death as a young person, to the truck that missed me by an inch when I crossed the busy road yesterday! I know that if I’m alive and well today, that’s because God isn’t done with me yet and there’s something significant yet to be accomplished in and through me. Looking back at the yesteryears and days, which tell the tale of His faithfulness holding my hand, refusing to let go, I wanna smirk at the devil and spit out to him these words which are my current favorites, “Adversity, where is your sting?”

Relationships have failed me and I have failed them. People have hurt me and I have hurt them. Love in all known forms- parental, sibling, platonic, romantic-has eluded me time and again. The more I reacted in bitterness, the more bitter I became. The more I buried my wounds, the more I wounded others. My life hasn’t been a fairy tale; it’s as real as yours! However, my journey is tagged, “Mission Accomplished”, because it accomplished the one mission it was assigned- to birth the beauty of Christ in me! The journey which started with an overbearing proud being inflated with ‘I, me myself’ has at the moment reached a broken but healed, lost but found, stripped of self confidence but clothed in Godfidence (read as ‘confidence in God! :-)), giving and forgiving, in short, a distant resemblance of Jesus! When I think of how I was built up through the many failures and disappointments so far, and how I’m better equipped to help others who go through the same, I can only mutter under my breath, as I sigh in relief, “Adversity, where is your sting?”

As any young person who wants to be successful in life, I dreamt of a beautiful future and made fool proof plans to reach them. I admit I never had absolute clarity on everything, but I knew what I wanted to become and how I would get there a few years down the line. At some point in life, it felt like I woke up startled from a nightmare and found myself in a place that I was unfamiliar with even in my dreams…I watched helplessly as my plans for the future fade into nothing with every passing moment. I struggled with questions that crippled me every now and then- “Is it that the dream wasn’t from God in the first place?”, “Wouldn’t I have been left jobless or underpaid if I had pursued what I wanted?”, “ How could I end up at a place I couldn’t even picture myself at?” I still do not have answers to any of these. But what I do have now is something called “trust” which tells me “He who wove you in your mother’s womb knows you better than you do, and hence has better plans for you than you do!” It is complimented by something called “hope” which reassures me that “His ways are higher than yours…so are His dreams for you!” As this hope soars high, a certain joy fills my heart and it says, “Look! Don’t you see a proud Daddy smilin’ down at you?" Now, I stand tall with an undeserving Degree in my hand and a future more colorful than my bestest dream! I hold fast to the 5 years of my higher education which came to me unprecedented, as something I wouldn’t trade for the most promising possibility of MY plans coming to pass! If I were to relive those years of not knowing what I was doing, and feeling deprived of living out the desires of my heart, I would see the end from the beginning, and would turn around and ask, “Adversity, where is your sting?”

The present phase of my life is titled “Waiting”. It goes hand in hand with “Growing”, which is a variant of pain itself! When I recline on my bed, taking a hard look at the days gone by and carefully recording the learnings from it all, something within me lets the alarm on, triggering a train of roadkill questions, “Why me?”, “How long?”, “Would there be an end?”, “What if..?” Sometimes, it ends there, but at times it is just the beginning of committing the gravest sin of all- worrying! Adversity creeps in, in its most subtle but deadliest form- self pity! But somehow the silver lining of the cloud manages to shine through. It lies in the fact that I have become irrevocably accustomed to the goodness and faithfulness of God that my mind cannot be pulled down beyond an extent! It recoils to its initial state of rest, though stretched considerably- rest in knowing that God’s putting the pieces together while I choose to wait…

That’s when I experience something rise in my spirit…
Something that gives me strength…
Strength enough to take one step at a time…
To face one day at a time…
Soon I’d soar on wings like an eagle…
Renewed, refreshed, strengthened in my inner man…
I’d run and not grow weary…walk and not be faint…
Adversity, where is your sting?!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Seven Days to the Rugged Cross!

"The force behind the hammer wasn't an angry mob…
The hand squeezing the handle wasn't a Roman infantry man…
The verdict wasn't decided by jealous Jews...
Jesus Himself chose the nails…
Had the soldier hesitated, Jesus Himself would have swung the mallet!"

- Max Lucado

A read that gripped me this season...

Seven Days to Live
What can we learn from Jesus' last week on earth?

When some celebrity dies—such as Princess Diana or Sonny Bono—filmmakers often scramble to put together a documentary that examines the last hours or days of that person's life.

What if you knew you had only one week to live? What actions, what priorities, would be captured on film?

Passion Week—the last week of Jesus' life, before he faced a criminal's execution on a cross—was an extraordinary week. Jesus knew he was going to die in seven days. He knew it would be an excruciatingly painful death. But there's much we can learn from what Jesus taught and from how he acted in the week preceding Easter Sunday.


The weekend before his death, Jesus stayed at the home of three of his closest friends in the small town of Bethany, about two miles outside Jerusalem. These people weren't among his 12 disciples; they were personal friends—Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Jesus chose to spend his last days of freedom with them.

Throughout Jesus' teaching ministry, he emphasizes the importance of community. Jesus continually told all who would listen, "You were created for community with God and others. You were created with a yearning to know and be known, to love and be loved, to serve and be served, to celebrate and be celebrated."

Have you found this kind of community in your life? It's more than good relationships with your family. You need an inner circle of friends who are fellow believers—just as Jesus had—with whom you can be honest, with whom you can "do life" together.


On Palm Sunday—six days before Jesus' death—people lined the streets, waving palms as he entered Jerusalem. It was the first-century equivalent of our ticker-tape parades for heroes down the streets of New York City.

Jesus' popularity was at an all-time high; his teaching had astonishing power. Jesus had changed people's hearts and healed them physically. He'd even recently brought someone back from the dead! By far, Jesus was one of the most popular people in the entire Middle East.

But everyone who lined the streets had a different reason for waving those palms. Some were political activists; they'd heard Jesus had supernatural power, and they wanted him to use it to free Israel from Roman rule. Others had loved ones who were sick or dying. They waved branches, hoping for physical healing. Some were onlookers merely looking for something to do, while others were genuine followers who wished Jesus would establish himself as an earthly king. Jesus was the only one in the parade who knew why he was going to Jerusalem—to die. He had a mission, while everyone else had an agenda.

A couple of weeks ago, I spent some time between flights looking at books on spirituality in the airport bookstore. I discovered things haven't really changed in two thousand years. People are still trying to push their agendas for what the power of God can do. What about you?


On this day, Jesus did something that shocked people. Known for his love, gentleness, and humility, Jesus came into the temple, saw all the little arcades set up for commercial business, and cleaned house. He overturned the merchants' tables and kicked them out of the temple. People had never seen this side of Jesus before.

Why did Jesus act with such passion? Because he saw worship at the temple in Jerusalem going awry. Jesus knew he had to straighten out the situation before he died, was resurrected, and returned to heaven. The message of his transforming power was going to be left in the hands of worshiping communities. Jesus couldn't afford to have any church get distracted and caught up in questionable activities. They alone would possess the message that would change the world. Jesus sent a signal: Don't get sidetracked. Stay on target. Stay on the mission of spreading God's love.


Jesus taught from early morning till late at night. When the sun went down on Tuesday, his earthly teaching was done.

As dusk approached, Jesus taught the parable of the talents. In those final moments before his teaching ministry came to an end, he told his listeners, in essence, "You have one life. That's it. Some of you have all kinds of gifts and abilities; some of you have less. But don't squander the one and only life God's given you; do something noble and great with it." How poignant it is that as Jesus talked about this, he knew his life was almost over.

Jesus also spoke about the day of reckoning. The closest our society comes to that is tax day—April 15—a financial day of reckoning! But Jesus referred to the day when all moral accounts will be settled. He taught that when that day comes, either people will pay for their evil by being separated from God forever, or they'll be rewarded for having accepted Jesus' payment on the cross for the evil they committed. It's either the self-payment plan or the Christ-payment plan—no other option. Jesus urged his listeners to follow his plan. Whose are you following?


Most scholars believe this was a day of solitude for Jesus. He was doing the most important thing he could—getting alone with God. As he quieted himself, he heard the still small whisper of his Father say, "You're on a mission, and it's going to be difficult, but I'm asking you to endure. I'll be with you."

Some would call it a wasted day. Others would say it was a day that gave Jesus strength to do what he needed to do.

We live in a culture that no longer values solitude. We go from one meeting to the next, one deadline to the next, one activity to the next. Too often we fail to quiet ourselves enough to hear what God would say to us—if only we were listening.

What if you took just one hour to go to a quiet place and say, "God, if you have a message for me, I'm listening"? Some of the richest times you'll know in life will be spent in solitude with God.


This day, Jesus took a normal Passover meal and changed it forever. All the arrangements had been made, but then the foot-washer didn't show up! The disciples came to dinner with dusty feet, and stood around asking who messed up the arrangements. It never dawned on them that maybe one of them could humble himself to do that for anybody else.

Jesus came, took off his robe, put a towel over his arm, filled a basin with water, then knelt down and started washing the disciples' feet. They couldn't believe it! The Son of God, the Savior of the world—and he had the humility to wash their feet.

In today's words, here's the lesson: True fulfillment never comes from a life of self-gratification. The way to the top in God's economy is through serving. It's finding God's mission for your life and engaging in it. It's finding people you can humbly serve in daily, down-to-earth ways. And when you find God's purpose for your life and pursue it in a spirit of humility and servanthood, your heart spills over with love and gratefulness.

Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, and when he was done, he said, "Now, you go out and live this way."


On Friday, Jesus voluntarily submitted to be nailed to a cross.

The Bible says at noon the skies got dark. There was an earthquake. The temple veil was torn. People suddenly realized that when Jesus cried out, "It is finished," and then died, he was no ordinary man.

Jesus was taken from the cross, prepared for burial, and put in a tomb.

Thankfully, the story doesn't end there. But what follows next—Saturday—is most difficult of all, because it's the day between the promise and the fulfillment of the promise. Jesus had predicted he'd be crucified, and that he'd rise from the dead. He was dead all right. But would he come back?

On Sunday, Jesus burst forth from the tomb exactly as he'd predicted. The guards at the tomb saw him, went back to tell the officials, "He's alive!" and were paid to keep quiet about it.

Jesus appeared to more than 500 people—cynics as well as believers—before he ascended into heaven. There was no question about whether or not Jesus was resurrected.

I once spoke to a Muslim who knew I was a Christian. He said, "How come you won't convert to Islam?" I said, "'Cause I won't follow a dead guy. It's that simple. Your prophet Mohammed is in the tomb. How can you get behind anything where the leader, the founder who claims to be something, has no evidence for being any different than any other man?" Jesus Christ is the only religious leader whose tomb says "unoccupied."

With his resurrection, Jesus proved he is the Son of God. And by what he did during his last week alive, but most importantly, on Easter Sunday, your life—and your eternity—can be changed forever.

Bill Hybels is senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The diary of a young woman.

8th March, 2008

To my man!


I don’t care who you are, where you are, or what you are like…Oh no! Not that I don’t care in the real sense of the term ‘care’. It doesn’t matter, is what I meant to say! Yep, I’ve started the hem and haw already…:D

It doesn’t matter….
If you’re a Malayali or Mangoli (just for the sake of the rhyme; no pun intended!)…if you’re tall or dark or handsome…if you sport an evening shadow on week days…if you’re momma’s boy… if you plop in front of the TV watching the cricket match, not letting go of the remote (!!)… if you leave the wet towel on the bed…if you forget birthdays and anniversaries…if you can't say, “I love you” as often as I wanna hear it…if you can’t manage two things at a time…if you’re not able to make sense of ‘idioms’ like, “aww…chooo chweet!”…It doesn’t matter ‘cos, I’d love u, anyway!

It doesn’t matter ‘cos…
Whether I’m a beauty pageant winner or a not-so- hot-next door kinda girl…whether I talk like I have no clue of this thing called full stop (!!)…whether I roll on the floor and laugh watchin’ Tom & Jerry…whether I go gung-ho about Josh Groban’s killer voice and looks…whether I’d visit umpteen shops only to come back to the first one to pick up something I like…whether I cry myself to sleep reading one of Danielle Steel’s touchy family novels...whether I nag you into talking when you just need to be left alone…whether I assume inexistent things and weave a story (often animated!) out of such assumptions… it doesn’t matter to you, and you’d love me anyway!

I love the fact that we are not alike…and yet are fearfully and wonderfully made!

I love the fact that we haven’t been chuddy buddies and are ‘not acquainted with each other’s ways’, but are willing to understand each other and grow together…

I love the fact that we’ve been through rough times as individuals and have learnt from it all…and would help each other in pullin’ out the garbage from the past that we lug around…

I love that fact that you’d be in the cheer band, when I’m getting shaped into the Proverbs 31 woman :-)

I love the fact that we’d be partners in crime as we live out I Corinthians 13!

I love the fact that I’m a woman…and that you aren’t one! :D

As the world celebrates the International Women’s Day today, I felt like leavin’ this li’l note for you, my not-yet-discovered-Mr. Right!

And don’t you forget to thank all the incredible men in my life, who have contributed their best into the making of the stunningly beautiful woman that I am today! :-)

Have a great day ahead!

Only yours,


P.s: All the lovely women in my life!! I don’t need a special day to tell you how special you are! Without you, where would the world be??!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

“Who touched Me?”

Despair was my middle name,
Suffering, my faithful friend;
My face was covered with shame,
Life’s woes would see no end!

Twelve years of shedding bloody tears,
Of a weakened body, mind and soul;
I pressed on, parting all my fears,
“This man would make me whole!”

The crowd was fervent to see the marvel,
Of the Miracle Man healing the sick,
The blind, the lame- all were made well;
For His touch today, won’t I be the pick?

The Master was rushing to Jairus’ house,
His twelve year old was dead and gone;
Alongside the mob, my angst did rouse,
I felt reduced to fate’s absurd pawn!

There was nothing left to try,
“The final chance!” I stiffened my heart!
The prospects of cure were way too wry,
The doctors had all done their part!

Finances were zilch- not a penny,
I had reached the end of the rope,
To turn for help, there wasn’t any,
But, in this man, lay a ray of hope!

I crawled on, believing in the unseen,
I saw a healed me thro’ the eyes of faith,
I reached out with a resolve too strong to ween,
And a grit sharpened in time’s own lathe!

Touching the hem of His garment was all I could do,
In that instant, with an eerie power did I quiver!
He stopped!! “Who touched Me?” Who?!
His voice pierced the din, and made me shiver!

I fell face down at His feet,
My story, in tears I mumbled,
He smiled in no airs of the feat,
My being, in grace, was humbled!

“Daughter!”, said He,
"Your faith has healed you!
With you shall peace be!”
He left. And the crowd too.

I picked myself up,
Blurred in blissful awe,
Suffering’s sour cup,
Lay crushed by faith’s paw!

I know not what to tell
The world, of me or of Him,
But I’d declare aloud, the spell,
My faith had on His hem!

When cures fail and comforts flee,
Rescue is just a Faith- touch away!
He must stop and ask,“Who touched Me?”
Let Him not pass you by on His way!

Based on: Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-47