Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What He is to me

I got this in an email from a dear sister. I thought it is worth sharing...

What He is to me?

He is the First and Last,
The Beginning and the End!

He is the keeper of Creation and the Creator of all!
He is the Architect of the universe and the Manager of all times.
He always was, He always is, and He always will be ...
unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone!

He was bruised and brought healing!
He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom!
He was dead and brought life!
He is risen and brings power!
He reigns and brings Peace!
The world can't understand him,
The armies can't defeat Him,
The schools can't explain Him, and The leaders can't ignore Him.
Herod couldn't kill Him, The Pharisees couldn't confuse Him, and The people couldn't hold Him!
Nero couldn't crush Him, Hitler couldn't silence Him,
The New Age can't replace Him, and "Oprah" can't explain Him away!

He is light, love, longevity, and Lord.
He is goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and God.
He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure.

His ways are right,
His word is eternal,
His will is unchanging, and His mind is on me.
He is my Savior,
He is my guide, and He is my peace!
He is my Joy,
He is my comfort,
He is my Lord, and He rules my life!

I serve Him because His bond is love,
His burden is light, and His goal for me is abundant life.

I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise,
the power of the powerful,
the ancient of days, the ruler of rulers, the leader of leaders, the overseer of the overcomers, and is to come. And if that seems impressive to you, try this for size.

His goal is a relationship with ME!
He will never leave me,
never forsake me,
never mislead me,
never forget me,
never overlook me and
never cancel my appointment in His appointment book!

When I fall, He lifts me up!
When I fail, He forgives!
When I am weak, He is strong!
When I am lost, He is the way!
When I am afraid, He is my courage!
When I stumble, He steadies me!
When I am hurt, He heals me!
When I am broken, He mends me!
When I am blind, He leads me!
When I am hungry, He feeds me!
When I face trials, He is with me!
When I face persecution, He shields me!
When I face problems, He comforts me!
When I face loss, He provides for me!
When I face Death, He carries me Home!

He is everything for everybody everywhere, every time, and every way.

He is God, He is faithful. I am His, and He is mine!

My Father in heaven can whip the father of this world.
So, if you're wondering why I feel so secure, understand this...

He said it and that settles it.
God is in control, I am on His side,
and that means all is well with my soul.

Everyday is a blessing for GOD Is!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gift of Pain

What if there wasn't any pain in this world? What if humans, animals and birds didn't have the ability to feel pain? At the surface, we might think that it would be wonderful to live a totally pain-free life. But is it so?

Few years ago, I read a book called "Gift of Pain", written by Dr. Paul Brand, who was a medical doctor and a missionary to India and worked amongst people suffered from leprosy. Leprosy starts with the symptom of losing one's ability to feel the sense of touch and a corresponding inability to feel pain and temperature.

What happens if you lose the ability to feel pain? You will injure yourself badly. You will get disfigured by self-amputation. The damaged bodies of lepers are mostly a result of self-inflicted injuries (i.e stepping on nails, touching something too hot). As part of the treatment, Dr. Brand offered custom-built footwear for the patients to wear all the time, so that they won't self-inflict injuries.

Though the book starts with the premise of bodily pain, it goes beyond that into emotional pain and spiritual truths as well. It is the first time my perspective shifted to see pain from a different angle - pain as a gift. I agree, no one likes pain, yet if you think, isn't pain a gift?

What if we didn't feel any pain when relationships are broken? What if we have a numbing insensitivity towards death, rejection, unforgiveness, hatred and ridicule? Would we ever appreciate life, acceptance, forgiveness, love and peace?

I think pain is essential. Life, with all its challenges is a gift. Without pain, I think, we wouldn't even know we have a valuable, beautiful life. Can you imagine living in a pain-free, fallen world? We would easily endanger ourselves. In a world filled with a million ways of instant-gratifications and easy methods of escapism from sufferings by depending so much on pain killers and mind-numbing chemicals to alter our thinking, have we ever thought that there might be a purpose for the existence of pain? And there might be a solution beyond the mere painlessness?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

How grace destroyed my prayer life.

My prayer usually started with "My loving father in heaven" for a long time. Eventually I got bored with that salutation, so I tried few others such as "My precious Father", "Our loving gracious Father in heaven" or simply "Lord Jesus". I was taught that quoting Scriptures while praying is very effective. In other words, we might get more action from God if we claim things which he had promised in the Scriptures but have forgotten to give to us.

Every time, during the family prayer in the evening, I wanted to make sure my kids followed the Christian discipline of sitting in full attention with their eyes closed. I was proud of being a perfect Christian Dad, making sure even our 2 year old followed my strict prayer-time discipline.

Depending on who is present, most of my public prayers were directed to them, kind of using the prayer time to preach to them or to show off my religiosity. After all, that’s the only time they are forced to be silent and listen to me. When my parents (who are not protestant Christians) are present, I threaten them through my prayer about the countless punishments God is going to send on them if they don't accept my belief system. My conscious effort there was to prove them wrong and prove me right.

Depending on whom I am praying with, my prayer changed. I pray the most hypocritical prayer if there are unbelievers around. In the midst of super hyper believers, I pray as if I am also super hyper like them. You know, praying for the souls perishing all over the world? I knew how to add a touch of unbearable pain to the tone of my prayer to make it more dramatic.

Do you want to add more excitement and power to your prayer? Add more loud "Hallelujahs".

In short, my public prayer was a show and my private prayer was mostly a laundry list of things I thought I couldn't live without.

Grace destroyed all this drama and made it unbelievably simple. I can't believe I did all that for so many years. I feel embarrassed. Now when I pray, I hardly know that I am praying. It is like talking to a real person. It's a joyful occasion of tremendous freedom, peace and love. I don't mind talking silly things to Him. Now I don't necessarily want anyone around when I pray because I know that my prayer might sound very silly and child-like; mostly do not make any sense to the people who don't know where I am coming from.

And I think that's ok.