As we come to the close of 2019, what are some of the things that is wise for everyone of us to reflect about? Areas of successes, areas of weaknesses, how we handled personal struggles, our thoughts, intentions, attitudes… the list is surely exhaustive.
A few years ago, I heard this testimony from one of my favorite speakers, and ever since these two questions are questions which I ponder very often. Maybe you could make it a part of your prayer time meditation too!
A faithful minister of God had an experience of being taken before the very throne of God. After a short silence, he said, two questions came to his ears like peels of thunder. The questions that proceeded from the throne were, 1. DID YOU LEARN TO LOVE? 2. DID YOU DO MY WILL OR YOUR WILL?
The minister of God testified that he trembled and thought he would be doomed forever. After sometime, the sound proceeded forth again saying, “Your time has not yet come. Return to fulfill all My will.” Upon hearing those words, he revived back on the earth.
It seems to me like 2019 was just born, and before we knew how, we have come to the close of another year!
What has been the transformation in our lives in this last one year? Have we strived hard to live in Love? Have we strived hard to have a clear conscience before God? Have we resisted temptations? In what way have we changed into the image of Christ, however small the change may seem!
Personally speaking, I can think of tons of things I could have done differently!!!! I’m sure we all can see areas in our lives where we are terribly lacking, and I’m sure there are areas where we could say to ourselves, “Hey, not bad huh! By the grace of God, we climbed that mighty mountain.” 🙂
Whatever be our hearts position right now, for a moment, bring to your minds eye, the throne of God and talk to Jesus about your very own struggles. Ask the Lord to throw light in the areas of your shortcomings.
Let us throw down our pride, judgement, critical attitudes at the foot of the Cross and come before Him with a child-like heart!!! Observe intently at your own heart and ask God to help you. He is FAITHFUL to Help! Our God is not a God who is waiting to condemn but He is waiting to embrace, when we go to him with a penitant heart.
It is better to judge ourselves today in the presence of our Lord, than to be judged in the final day! The Bible puts it thus:
“Now if we judged ourselves properly, we would not come under judgment.” 1 Cor 11:3.
Aren’t we all waiting to hear those precious words from the lips of our Master? “Well done my good and faithful servant?”. But if we don’t do well, it is ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE to hear these words too: “And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
To think that each one of us independently, will have to stand before our Maker and give an account of our lives, should be the ONE prime factor that should drive us!!!
“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:13
Reflect, as we step into another brand New Year, with unlimited possibilities at our disposal! Let our highest priority be to draw nearer to Jesus than the year before! Oh! Yet another year before us to ADORE HIM!!
Wishing everyone the blessings of the season 🎄🎄 and an abundant New Year! 🎉🎉
I’ve not known many people who have a fascination for trees. But my husband is an exception to the norm. Everywhere we go…. guess what captures his attention. It’s the trees. “Look how tall that tree is…” or “Look how it’s branches are spreading out” or “I wonder how that tree is not uprooted, coz it’s trunk looks so fragile”, “I’m sure this tree is at least 200/100/50/25 years old!” 🌴🌳🌲
All the while, I’m looking with magnifying glasses 🧐 to see something that would stand out in my eyes!!! But after 12 years, I’ve come to realize it’s just not in me, to admire trees!!! 🌳🌴😯
About a year ago, it was a gloomy morning coz’ something was running in my head and I was fretting and awfully fearful over something. After Jaden left for school and Jeev left for work, I sat down on my favorite green chair, my heart sullen in despair.
In about a couple of minutes I heard a totally weird sound. I thought it was my alarm making an untimely wake up call, so I went to the bedroom to find that it wasn’t my alarm clock. So I came back and sat on my chair, my heart still very, very low. After a couple of minutes I heard the same sound again.
If I have to describe the sound, it was something like a sweet crow. It was a crowing sound, but sweeter…very very sweet. As I sat n’ looked around, out of my window on the deck railing, I saw a pretty little sparrow crowing in kind of a talking tone!
As I fixed my gaze at the sparrow, to just watch it’s beauty, I felt like it told me, “Hey girl.. Why are you downcast? Look at me. See how my father takes care of me. Won’t he take care of you?” N’ just like as though it’s job of delivering the message was done, it flew away.
I sat there thinking, “Am I Dr Dolittle or What!!!”…. I must be imagining BIG time!!!! So I brushed aside the thought, and decided to listen to some uplifting music. I went to YouTube n’ the first song that popped up was the song, “Consider the lilies”, by Charlotte Ritchie:
Consider the lilies, they don’t toil nor spin, But there’s not a king with more splendor than them;
Consider the sparrows, they don’t plant nor sow
But they’re fed by the Master
Who watches them grow!
So to the question, how many languages does God speak, the ideal answer would be: As many as the number of people on this face of Earth, coz’ Gods language with EACH person is different.
“For God may speak in one way, or in another, Yet man does not perceive it.” Job 33:14
For one person, trees could be the language God may use, for a bird lover, a tiny sparrow could be the mailman for the day, for PM Modi recently, it was the ‘Ocean’ which inspired him to go deep in thoughts and write a poem. It is a wonder how uniquely beautiful each One of us are to God and the language He uses to connect with each of us, is JUST AS UNIQUE!!
In all these, here’s the common denominator:
God pursues EACH of us ever so passionately to turn our eyes toward him SOMEHOW….SOMEWAY…. in a language that was knit within us even before we came to be!
It is not the language of the tongue, but the language of the heart….from His Heart to Yours!
“I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.”
One of my MOST favorite things to do is journaling. It is nearly impossible for me to travel anywhere without my journal.
I picked up the interest from my school friend Neha, when I was in my 8th grade. We collected a variety of stickers, we wrote about our favorite episodes in X-files🛸🛸, and also wrote down masala stories about our favorite cricket heroes!!! 🏏 🏏
But, what started as a fun thing to spend time on, has completely turned around and today, I can almost say that it is one of the MOST useful things that I do.
I record every scripture that God speaks to me, write down pressing prayer points for my own family or for dear ones, write new songs, and record anything that I sense, is from my Father above.
Another interesting thing that I do, is write down questions for which I would want a clear answer or direction from the Lord. And…. have been appalled by the way God gives his answer!! Looking back at some of my old journals, leaves me stunned many-a-times, at the goodness of God!!
I’m pretty sure most of you have experienced answers from Heaven, but I believe ‘journaling’ them down is an excellent habit to pursue – coz over a period of time, you would have learned to discern the voice of God, something that EVERYONE of us, hunger for!!!
To me personally, it has been an incredible tool by which I learned to discern the voice of God. To be specific, to discern or distinguish between my own random head thoughts and the ‘still small voice’ as noted in 1 Kings 19:12.
I essentially write down anything which I feel is perhaps the Lord. And almost always, when God speaks, he confirms the word by 2 or 3 witnesses.
“By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.” 2 Cor 13:1
God talks with everyone who has a sincere heart to please him and has a hunger to hear from HIM.
But many times I have been so confused, unable to discern clearly as to what God is speaking regarding a specific situation. If you have EVER been there, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you to start journaling! You will soon learn to tune into the very heart of God.
In the beginning we may have a lot of scratches n’ may have to write on the side, “Not the Lord”, but soon you will echo with John’s words: “It is the Lord.” John 21:7.
John was able to perceive what the other disciples were not able to. The reason I believe, is because John had a desire to lean upon the bosom of Jesus, WHENEVER Jesus was around! It’s the same thing with Journaling. Every time you sit for your personal time with the Lord, lean closer to the Lord, and write down every little thing that you hear! Over time, you and I will surely be able to perceive Jesus with a bit more clarity, just as John!
The downside of journaling of course is that you get to see some of your own foolishness of years ago 😑- Of how I thought of myself to be Miss Perfect 2007 👑 🤦🏻, Of How I set deadlines for God to perform his miracles 📅; and at the smallest hurt of sorts, “Lord, where is your mountain quaking 🌋🌋, Earth shattering Fire and Brimstoneeeee ☄💥💥 ??”
What was I even thinking, I’ve often wondered!!! We faintly, but clearly see the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and marvel….simply marvel!! He picked an old rag like me, and gave worth to even me!!!
In essence, a Journal would remind you of 3 things – God’s Kindness TO you, God’s work IN you, and God’s voice TO you, quite well… Page by Page!!!
” …. all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16
Did you know, God has a journal too?!! It’s your story and mine that’s in there! Cool, ain’t it?? 🙂
Blessed month ahead!
Out of a handful of interests of mine, politics is definitely one of my favorites, to watch and follow.
I happened to stumble upon an interview of a politician a couple of days ago and I can definitely say that it was one of the best interviews of a politician, I’ve seen thus far.
This Politician was not trying to fabricate anything for any reason. She came across pretty genuine. Toward the end of the interview, the journalist posed a question to her. “You have reached great heights in your political career way beyond your predecessors in your own family. What are your thoughts on that?”
She responded by giving honor to her father who, she said, worked tirelessly for the sake of the people, but went ‘unrecognized’ in his time. She bid farewell to the interview by saying that every success that she has achieved in her life, she gives it back as a tribute to her father, to whom she owes her entire political career!
It is interesting to note that many times, when one generation bears burdens and walks a life of righteousness, the fruit of their labor and hard work is reaped by the NEXT generation.
One generation may lay the foundation and the next generation builds on that! One generation lays the road and the NEXT walks on that!!
“Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” John 4:38
The life of David and Solomon is an excellent witness to that. David’s life was pretty much all about running away from his enemies and hiding in caves, leaning and depending on God every moment, for the security of his life. But for every sweat drop that David shed and every tear that he cried in the presence of God, the one to reap a time of Peace and ABUNDANCE, was not David, but Solomon.
“But now the LORD my God has given me peace on every side; I have no enemies, and all is well.” 1 Kings 5:4
The politician I talked about, may not share the same faith as I do, but, what she did in her simplicity of heart, to HONOR her father for laboring well, is definitely something that we can emulate!
Honoring our elders and giving them their due respect for their labors, is losing its value in the society that we live in!
About fifteen years ago, at a Christmas concert in one of the churches in Chennai, a choir, which pretty much comprised of older folks, were singing. They seemed very off tune and struggled to stay on Key. I saw two young women who were well-known in Chennai for their skills in Music, sitting in the front row, laughing and chuckling throughout the time that these old folks were singing.
We live in a society where older people are least respected, their company is disdained and thought of as unnecessary. But if you can take a sneek peek into their little hearts, every thought that they think toward their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews are nothing but full of LOVE!!! Even some of the things that they repeat over and over, is coz’ of the deep, deep concern they have toward us!
That scene from the concert has kinda stuck to my memory! I often think to myself… What’s the point of all the fame and name in our fleeting lives, if we haven’t learned to live well??
Our best of education in exemplary institutions or our names being widely known, cannot gain for us anything, what a SIMPLE righteous life that has gone before us, CAN!!!!
Honor the elders in your circle, coz we walk on the roads that THEY have built!!
“To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” Proverbs 21:3
Pic below- My cousins and I with my great grand dad on my Mum’s side! A godly man who walked with God during his time!!
WE can lay such a foundation for our children too!!
Last week we were invited for dinner by a relative of mine, whom I lovingly call Celina Akka. My DIL who normally shy’s away from social gatherings and dinners, was looking forward to going, coz’ Celina akka’s husband and my Dad-in-Law are from the same village called Alangulam, in the Tirunelveli district.
After a SUPER DELICIOUS ooru saapaadu, Athai, myself and Celina ka were chatting, while Jeev, Mama and Annan were (I think) trying to comprehend Why our CM Edappadi made a foreign trip!! 😜 Just kidding!!!
Celina akka’s faith has inspired me on countless occasions. She ain’t a preacher, nor a counselor nor anyone this world would call great! But I have seen that her conversations are full of adoration to God. She was sharing with Athai and me about how she always prays and asks God for wisdom before she decided on a menu for the guests. I haven’t heard anyone say something like that before. Ask Jesus to prepare a Menu….. a simple Menu???!! She showed me the list. The list had about 10 items. And she felt
terrible that she couldn’t do all 10, but just 8!! 😄
Athai loves to work in our yard!! It’s her favorite thing to do!! The following Monday, after helping me out a little in the kitchen, athai told me she’ll be in the yard, to get the weeds out! She headed out.
After about 3 hours, athai came back in, super excited! She told me that, as she kept pulling out the weeds, she kept asking God to show to her eyes, the hidden weeds. Unusually, she was able to uproot about 50-75 weeds, coz usually she gets only about 25!!
I kinda realized that what Celina Akka had shared on Friday, (that one can depend on Jesus, even for menial tasks), had helped Athai reach out to Jesus, for her menial task! I think this scripture is JUST as what it says!!
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7
It’s incredible how one person’s simple faith, can touch another to believe God for their circumstances!!
You, sharing your faith, can be someone else’s helping hand!! Don’t be shy of your simple child-like stories, coz not all of us may have a Red sea parting experience! To those that have a child-like heart, fixing a happy meal for eight or pulling out 75 weeds is probably greater than even the parting of the Red Sea!!
What a friend we have in JESUS!
About 2 years ago, I had purposed in my heart that I will get to the church half an hour early every Wednesdays, to spend sometime in prayer before the service began. It wasn’t easy, coz I had to ask Jeev to get home early, so he could watch Jiana while Jaden n’ I went to church. I had to even get dinner prepared ahead of time, coz it was easily 8:30 by the time I got back. I’ve always noticed that when we DO pay a price to worship the Lord, the Lord takes pleasure in that act of Worship.
One such Wednesday evening, Jaden n’ I got to church a little early, and I remember I got on my knees to pray. I was silently talking to the Lord, when I was suddenly engulfed by a strong presence of the Lord and out of that presence came a still small voice which said, “DELIGHT”….and then the presence lifted.
I was shaking after that experience for sometime before the service began. I didn’t understand why I heard what I heard.
We were looking for our new home back then, so in my naiveness, I sincerely thought that God was giving me the name of the lane that our new house would be in! Delight Drive, Delight lane…. or something of that sort. 🙂 I was looking at Zillow and realtor everyday to see if there were any houses on a lane called “Delight lane”!!
N’ then, since I couldn’t find any, one day I came across a coffee creamer called “Delight” in Walmart. After I learned about that, I kept opening the refrigerator in every open house, to see if I can find the “Delight” coffee creamer! Jeev was baffled! “Why on Earth are you opening the fridge everywhere”, he kept asking! Of course he didn’t know the great big secret! 😀
It was one hilarious episode, I tell you!!! But somewhere along the way, the Lord Jesus in his unending patience taught me that, when we DELIGHT in the Lord, he will give the desires of our hearts! Psalm 37:4
And sure enough, he blessed us with a beautiful home which we stepped into about 2 years ago!
When we think of experiences such as these, surely it tingles us and for a long time I was kinda lost in that experience. However it took time for me to realise that it is wrong to idolise such experiences because no ‘experience’ is worthy of honor, except the unchanging, eternal Lord Jesus alone!!!
The Lord delights to draw close to us when we draw close to him and give us spiritual experiences, but nothing can replace simple, devoted, faithful worship unto the Lord on a day-to -day basis!!! Experiences may come and go, but Jesus remains with us forever!
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8
It is not about what God spoke to us a year ago…or a month ago….or even a day ago! The question is What did he teach you TODAY! Are we intimate with Jesus to hear the whispers of our Maker, TODAY???
Sitting at the feet of Jesus, the best place man can EVER BE!