Monday, February 23, 2009

The most difficult prayer

I think the reason we pray more and listen less is because we are not ready to give up our control. I tend to tell God what to do, which is kind of foolish if we think about it. I desperately want all the circumstances in my control and I desire to have things going the way I want.

To me, the most difficult prayer is - "Your will be done". It's scary. I feel like losing all my control, giving up my agendas (which I am not used to)...

Could we pray like this?

When we lose our job
- "Your will be done"

When we face foreclosure
- "Your will be done"

When our children make foolish decisions
- "Your will be done"

When we find out we have cancer
- "Your will be done"

When we lose our loved ones
- "Your will be done"

When your spouse leaves you for another man/woman
- "Your will be done"

When our comfort zones are challenged
- "Your will be done"

When a hurricane hits our area
- "Your will be done"

When our loved ones reject Jesus
- "Your will be done"

If we can't pray this prayer, how can we:

Give thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus? - (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Homeownership for dummies

I am having a blast in my home ownership deal. I will share a few of the latest.

Ever since we bought this home we are seeing light water leakage in the basement when it either rains or when the snow melts. (It is a surprise that we didn't notice the water stain on the floor when we came to view this home before buying it!) I had been ignoring this all these days because of the fact that our basement is not carpeted. But now that we have decided to fully finish the partially finished basement, the water leak bothered me. The guy who is doing the finishing work helped me to take the drywall out of the area where it leaks so that we can take a look at the bare wall to find any cracks. After he took the wall off, we realized that the water is not really leaking through the wall, instead the water is coming from way 'up there'. By observing from the outside, we figured out that somehow water is streaming through the vinyl wall when it rains (which it shouldn't be doing, all the water is supposed to go to the roof gutters)

But I still had to find the area where the water enters inside the wall and I am almost getting scared by the fact that when it comes to home repair and maintenance, I am a dummy. Is there a much stronger word than 'dummy'?

But hey, like all the men in the world, I am not willing to admit it...

So, for the past few days, in the morning, before I go to work, I take my ladder, unfold it and climb up there to 'check' things on the roof. Every time I go I would trouble my wife, asking her to get the flash light etc as if I am doing some important work and she has to 'assist' me in small things like handing over a flash light. The truth of the matter is I am afraid of heights but the realization that if I try to bring in a 'Professional leak proofer' I would end up paying big bucks, overtakes the fear of height. So I carefully climb up there with jerking knees, standing on the ladder, look all over the roof with a 'Forrest Gump' kind of face.

After a minimum of 8-10 climbs so far I still have absolutely no clue where the water is leaking through. One of the biggest challenge is, to do this we have to wait for rain or melting snow (which don't happen everyday) Each time I come down from the ladder, I am more afraid that I am failing in my mission. I ask myself: shouldn't all men need to know these things. I would feel very inferior and stupid!

Once I come inside the home after each of my adventure trips to the the roof, my wife would curiously ask me if I have found anything. I used to share all my 'knowledge' and findings with her earlier but lately I would just say 'still investigating'. The thing is I have absolutely no clue.

You might be thinking that I am a miser and not ready to spend any penny on my home. Well, not exactly! Few days ago, I called a leak proofing company and a guy came and explained what 'could' be happening and finally said, they don't fix this kind of things. It seems like they fix only the leaks coming from the foundation of the basement. (Talk about specializations!)

So where do clueless dummies go? Where else other than Internet? (I wonder how people even lived without internet!)

So I search in google for phrases like 'roof leak + water in basement', 'why roof leaks?', 'how to stop leak?' etc. I read a lot of similar stories in "Yahoo Answers" and as I realize there are a whole lot of people out there with similar or may be more severe problems than this, I will feel so relieved. I even feel good. Also, I have learned so many terms such as 'shingles', 'drip edge', 'caulk', 'sealant' etc. Now when I talk to my wife about this issue, I will use those words and smile inside because I know she has no clue what I am talking about. She is dummier than me in these kind of stuff.

Well, anyways I thought I would share this. There is not much spiritual application here other than my recent prayers to stop raining and snowing in Michigan. We have no luck so far, so I am kind of stuck. May be I will climb up there once again this evening and see if I can find anything! (No kidding!) I even prayed to direct my path to the source of the leak...

Classic Tour - Detroit, Michigan

People to People team is doing a Classic tour conference here in Detroit on March 6-7. In the meeting, which is held at Kensington Community church, Bob George will be sharing his own personal journey from a disappointed and unfulfilled religious life to a new relational, dynamic life in Christ Jesus.

As I have shared before here, this ministry (especially their daily radio broadcast and Bob George's book 'Classic Christianity') has been a huge blessing in my own life.

If you are living or visiting Detroit area during that time, or if you can travel down here, attending this 2 day meetings would be a great blessing.

By the way, Kensington church is merely 1 mile away from my home, so pls. let me know if you are planning on coming...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hi, my name is 'Mr. Church'

And I have so many siblings and cousins, we are very proud of who we are.

You may see us in every nook and corner of America and all over the world.

In some places we are underground but in America we are mostly overground and we think it's okay either ways.

We stand there in various shapes, styles and names.

Some of us are dwarfs and some are tall and fat. The more fatter we are, the more successful our care-taker is.

All of us have care-takers called - pastors, priests, rabbis etc and they all come in different flavors depending on which family there were born or who converted them later on.

Have you seen Jesus's statues in us? Aren't they beautiful? Some of our Jesus' are bleeding, some are blessing, some are gloomy and depressed. But as long it has a beard and a divine light around its head, it is Jesus.

Some people love us and some hate us, but we really don't care.

Sometimes we think that it's funny people build us so beautiful but use only for few hours a week and pay mortgages year-round. LOL! Well, may be it isn't that funny!

Some of us are 'mega' and it usually depends on the charisma of our care-taker.

People build gymnasiums, swimming pools, prayer rooms, cafes, delis etc inside us and the more entertainment, the more happy the residents are. Isn't that cool? Oh! by the way, we love the poor.

Some of us are like iMax theaters - cushion chairs with cup holders on it, huge screens for the play. We don't mind if you take a nap sitting in our comfy chairs or enjoy a cup of coffee while watching the play. Hey, after all we are there to make you comfortable!

Is your marriage in trouble? Come to us, we have marriage seminars!

Would you like to learn how to raise your kids in Christian discipline? You are welcome to attend our 'Parenting lessons on strict christian worldview'.

Do you aspire to become a leader (and ultimately a care-taker of one of us)? Come on in, we have leadership seminars!

We have solutions for pretty much any problems people face - social, political, cultural, behavioral, you name it.

Are you confused whom to cast your vote? Listen to our pastor!
Are you confused whom to marry?Attend our youth ministry, you sure will find your soul mate there. But don't mess with the freedom there, we are against abortions.

Some of our pastors might talk about Jesus and His love, grace, blah blah, but don't worry if those things don't work, we have enough other tools and techniques to make you a good christian.

Sitting in our pews, you will feel the peace jesus offered, because we have dim lights, slow music, comfy chairs and air-conditioned halls.

Some of us are 'Full Gospel', some are Half Gospel and some are No Gospel.

Would you like to experience a little more 'glory' while you worship? Pick the ones with stained glasses and distinguished arts in it.

After all you are free to pick us. You have Freedom!

By the way, are you too lazy to wake up early on Sundays? The sermons preached by our pastor is available on DVD for a minimum donation of $60. Who can beat that price?

If you are first time visiting, feel free to pass that offering plate to the next person; but if you are a member, well, you know...

Most of us have visions. If you want to know our vision, check our website.

Some of our siblings and cousins fight and don't like each other, but don't worry we all believe the same thing.

Now, you are not a big fan of those slow hymns? Looking for a little 'high'? No worries, some of us have rock and roll worship, you will surely enjoy those. Feel free to use the freedom to dance and feel good.

Too shy to dance and worship? We provide dance lessons and worship practices. Make use of those free classes. They are absolutely free. There is no catch.

Are you someone who likes to dress up and show off? We have both contemporary and traditional services. Contemporary is 'come as you are' (blue jeans ok), traditional is more of suit and tie. Pick the one you like.

Have you never been to one of us before? There are 'seeker friendly' ones. Check them out! They are pretty cool. And, hey, pls. don't forget to fill out the visitor cards. It's very important to us.

Some of us are very politically correct and post modern, we accept pretty much any ideas under the sun. How cool is that?

You don't like the shape of some of us? Check out our newly introduced 'home' ones. You will feel like at home.

We usually operate around our pastors, who are usually very smart. We don't exist without them, so respect them, ok?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why religion? Just why?

When I lived in the walls of institutionalized church, I felt as if I was holding a fragile glassware up on my finger tip all the time, balancing it with extreme care so that it won’t fall down and break. It was like a circus. All my energy had been used to balance the glassware, so my growth was stunt.

My every strength was consumed for the ‘defense’ against temptations (falling).

I thought if call my ‘secular’ friends, I might fall into sin or talk ungodly talks, so I purposefully avoided meeting/talking with my friends of ‘pre-IC’ era.

I avoided some of my office get-togethers’ just because those were done in bar restaurants. I thought, what if I get tempted to drink alcohol?

I stayed away from smokers. What if I get tempted to smoke cigarettes?

I closed my nose to avoid smell of some good food. What if I get tempted to eat while I am fasting?

I stayed away from 'worldly' people. What if I get an 'influence' from them?

I never felt secured in the love of God. Never! So I was always trying to hold this glassware (religion) up so that I can feel a false security. Some of the things in it were: do not mingle with unbelievers, do not drink alcohol, do not smoke, do not look at woman, do give tithes, do vote conservatives, keep strict 'christian' boundaries (whatever that means), stand against 'evil doers', always look for ways to witness to everyone you ever encounter, etc

I could never live loved. There wasn't even a shred of freedom in that life. Religion shrank my heart.

Insecurity and fear were the two things driving me all the time.

I was afraid, if I let the thing I am holding fall down, god would whack me and throw me straight to hell.

Fear was my motivation to hold it up all the time.

I never grew up; there wasn’t any room for growth. All the resources were used to ‘keep the lights on’ or in other words, to 'keep the mask on'.

Now I am asking why? Why religion? For what purpose? Let that glassware fall down and break! Let those things roll on the floor! Let those shackles be shattered, and you soar up like the eagles of righteousness... Let no religion, in any way or form, hold you down!

Monday, February 9, 2009

On the Lighter Side... :)

What if Starbucks Marketed Like a Church?

Baptism by the Water Cooler


(Thanks to for the above links)

Automatic Confession

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The bait and switch gospel

We say people can come into the Kingdom through grace, but once they're in, we switch from grace to duty, obligation, and pressure. Though we preach that you can't contribute a thing to your own salvation and that it's all God's gift for you, once you're "safe" however, you'd better keep up and step up. This fallacy is why Paul had to be pointedly firm with God's family in Galatia when he said: "Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?" In today's distorted Christianity, you can come in under God's power, but once you're in the door, it's about your effort to make this thing work. Grace dissolves into exertion. And because you can never do enough, exertion soon turns to shame: "I know I'm supposed to be serving, loving, thinking pure thoughts, but I just can't. It goes well for a while, then I blow it... again." Soon, shame turns into resignation: "I no longer want to try harder. I feel like giving up." And God asks the Church, "Why do you turn my glory into shame?!"
- Jim Robbins (Recover Your Good Heart, page 10)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Some souls...

The way they draw water...

Water is precious...

It's not easy as turning the tap on...

They way they work...

The way they sleep...

They way they travel...

The way they live...

The way they sell their products...

Comfy bed for a nap?

Too young for this kind of work?

Photo courtesy: