Wednesday, 30 July 2014

BLESSED BRAZIL!

As i boarded the EK0262 to Dubai at Garulhos International Airport in Sao Paulo, i was filled with sadness at the thought of leaving behind so many wonderful firends i'd made over just 8 days stay in Brazil!

The ADHONEP CONFERENCE in RIO
God had blessed me so much ever since the beginning of the trip which began on the 21st of Jul 2014. Pastor 'D', the founding pastor from Grace Covenant Church, Dubai had received an invitation from Dr. Leandro and Apostle Miguel to preach at ICAPA (Igrja Cristao de Apostolica e prophetica em Alphaville) and then attend the AHONEP conference in Rio Janeiro. Being 80% blind, Pastor 'D' needed a companion for the trip. Being conversant in Portuguese, i was requested and i immediately agreed to accompany him. It was also an all expenses paid trip and that made it even easier for me to accept :-)

At the ADHONEP conference in Rio De Janeiro with Pastor David, Dr. Leandro and Ghaiton
I had no idea that God Himself had predestined this trip for me as i learnt day by day that He was speaking to me personally through all the beautiful messages which were being preached by the anointed preachers over there.

We landed at 4.30pm after a 15 hour flight from Dubai. Dr. Leandro and Apostle Miguel were there to receive us at the airport. Before leaving for Alphaville, we were introduced to 'Pao de Queijo' and Brazilian coffee at the airport. When we reached Ap. Miguel's villa in Alphaville, i was pleasantly surprised at how different the place was from all the feedback i had received from people who had been to Sao Paulo before! Of course, they had not been to South America's richest and most expensive developments. The various gated communities there are absolutely beautiful in their layout and Architecture! Pastor 'D' and occupied one of the 4 bedrooms in the villa, overlooking the swimming pool and green hills.

Besides much feasting on delicious Brazilian food cooked by our gracious host Apostola Nancy, our spirits also received wonderful nutrition. Pastor 'D' preached the opening day sermon on the 23rd of Jul, 2014. It was titled 'Revival'. He took us from the first Christian Revival that started with Peter's sermon in Jerusalem which got 3000 souls in the kingdom, to the more recent revivals like the 'Toronto Blessing'. He ended up by requesting the church to dance like David did in the Old Testament. Even the usual 'dignified' crowd started dancing. How lovely it was to see the whole church jumping and praising God!

On the 24th, we flew to Rio where we attended the Adhonep conference at the HSBC Arena. Over 3000 people attended the 3 day conference. There were beautiful testimonies and sermons preached on all 3 days. Many well-known worhip leaders from Brazil, like Fernandinho as well as international preachers like Morris Cyrillo preached at the convention. God answered ALL my questions through the testimonies and sermons in Rio.

Prophetic Sketch
Apostle Sydney Stair
On the 27th, we were invited to Dr. Leandro and Daniella's ordinations as Pastor and Pastora in ICAPA. Prophetess Ydsia and Apostle Sydney Stair preached that day. God did something amazing that day ... Ap. Sydney had seen me at work doing caricatures at the lunch table that day. So he asked me to do a prophetic sketch whilst he preached his sermon that evening. He preached in Spanish and believe me, i did not concentrate on what he was saying as i sketched the vision God gave me. At the end, it turned out that i had 'connected with him in the spirit' because what i drew, was the exact message he preached that day (Resurrection!...See attached sketch).

I returned to Dubai last night from Brazil after a very blessed trip. I am jet lagged as i write this and so i made it short. I hope to post a video link some time soon.

Be blest!








Monday, 30 December 2013

THE YEAR IN REVIEW By Antonio J. Dias




Dear family and friends,
It was a pleasure socializing with all my family and  friends in Dubai during this time of the year.
It’s that time of the year again !  While CNN and BBC do their bit of news round ups, the traditional write-up of my year in review is shared with friends and family (also attached) Please read/enjoy!
I take this opportunity to wish you a bright peaceful prosperous healthy wealthy and blessed new year 2014!
God bless


    2013 - a year of learning
When the clock struck 12 on New year’s eve, I was on my balcony watching the tallest building in the world erupt into a grand show of pyrotechnics, illuminating the night sky. The witches of last year’s misfortunes were symbolically burnt at the stake, with a promise of a brand New Year.
The first few months kept me and my brother Joseph busy with the establishment of ‘Diasquare’ (our own architectural consultancy ) I was a bit apprehensive at first but slowly digested the idea, succumbed to the decision and am still nurturing the passion to make it big… Sometimes it is challenging to leave the comfort zone and venture out of the well of protection when you are employed by others. Jeffry Archer was in town at that time and I did find an inkling of comfort in what he said – “it is better to find the time and fail than convince yourself that you might have made it…do not let anything stop you.”
‘Diasquare’ got fairly busy, thanks to the first clients who trusted us and ex-companies such as John R Harris who we supported with our architectural skills.


s
SRILANKA –the emerald isles



One of the first projects was a design of a safehouse for girls in Colombo, Srilanka. We offered our services and flew into Sri Lanka for a few days. Dilurakhshi, our young philanthropist friend, the proprietor of this vision took good care of us. Dilu is very passionate about her work with street kids, providing them with food clothing education and above all a loving Christian home experience. A long standing desire was fulfilled to visit the mission land of our own Goan Padre Jose Vaz. The Emerald island is blessed with beautiful greenery and above all, friendly and hospitable people.  My last visit to a Buddhist temple was in Malacca in 2004 and I remember feeling a bit creepy but this time I had no option but to explore a lot more Buddhist monuments and edifices which were imposing but for some reason, the whole ambience,- the vibration created by the chanting, the coloured buntings and burning of incense and agarbathis put me in some peculiar ‘deja-vu’ kind of a disposition.(maybe I was a Buddhist in my last birth! J )The return to Dubai was marked by the sad demise of a good friend uncle Joe who was a kind soul and a vibrant personality in our friends circle and community.(R.I.P) Another notable person in my life worth a mention who departed the earth is Mr Fred Ellis , coordinator at our Church who I respected and admired as a disciplinarian and a meticulous organizer.(R.I.P)
My cousin Melwyn and Valerie graced us with their presence from the wintry North to soak up the Dubai sun. It was one nostalgic ride after another mostly on the curry express as their taste buds were craving the Eastern specialties they missed for a year. It was a refreshing and enjoyable visit.
Delicious “mancurado” mangoes and jackfruit tree (below) at maternal villa, Margao.


Saligao Church, Goa decked up for the feastday
Summertime and we welcomed the taste of Goa with mum and Aunt Margarida holidaying in Dubai for a month. As usual it was devoted to family fun and heaps of good food! At this time,the office was in full swing and Joseph and I had to leave the guests and make a quick visit to Goa and Pune for site visits and job prospecting. Although we missed Mum’s presence in Goa, sister in law Ivy and brother Cosme, Luella and Leron took very good care of us. It was a hectic yet enjoyable visit, my first summer in sizzling hot Goa after a very long time, so I got to feast on the local summer fruits. A memory worth revisiting is our trip to the Goa Chitra museum in Benaulim which is very educative and it brings out the best of my beloved land.
The visit to the “Lord’s ranch” in Pune was a wonderful experience; - set high up in the mountains , surrounded by forests, clean air and verdant greens, was a lovely respite from the concrete jungle we live in . It was a pleasure to collect the little sweet berries- karanda (Carissa spinarum, the Conkerberry or Bush Plum) and I could eat them sun ripened straight from the thorny shrubs. This is the first time in years I got to look up and acknowledge the beauty of the sky for never had I seen a darker sky . I could literally recognize and count the stars distinctly.

some views of “the Lords’ Ranch” Pune
This year was not a good year for travel which in a way was a disappointment but was definitely a year of learning. The mind certainly did a fair bit of travel – in the spiritual realm , learning about the Bible and studying religions and body/soul/spirit in general ;  business;  work…. They say every day is a school day and though I felt like I was in exile the whole year through mostly confined to the 4 walls of my home office classroom, I was not alone for Google was my best friend and BBM, Skype and Whatsapp were the vehicles of instant journeys visiting family and friends!   Missed the days working in offices in the past when there was always someone around to socialize and chat with. But I am thankful to a few good friends and family who were always around who more than make up for this. My brother Felix kept me fattened by providing delicious home cooked meals from time to time too. It was always a pleasure visiting them and playing with Jayden and Jeremy. This has been a frugal year personally, considering it being in the first year of independent employ but has been rich in experience of every kind, - meeting different kinds of people, visiting prospective clients, a good peek into other corporates and consultancies etc. Attending meetings sometimes took us to such corners of Dubai, we had never been before so a lot of new roads (less taken) discovered and hopefully inroads as well for future clientele!
As far as creativity is concerned the awareness was always sharp taking in ideas, reading, baking, trying some creative desserts and the diary and pen kept well exercised .Conducted two classes of introducing crafts to children at a school book festival which was again more of a learning how to contain unruly kids then teaching! A renewed sense of appreciation of the teaching profession and I silently blessed my own teachers. My nephews Leander and Leroy made the family proud with their artistic talents; Leander excelling in his music and writing and Leroy ‘the little Picasso’ winning painting prizes. Early next year Leander leaves us to pursue his higher studies in the UK.  An occasion to celebrate - Cousin Merle tied the knot but I could not be a part of her big day in Goa on the 23rd of December. Wish her well as we welcome Chris into the fold.
All in all, mixed feelings as we cross another milestone , not a smooth ride but when bad things happened specially on the work front we just calmly laid out all the options (with the help of the ever positive Joseph), and failure was not one of them…. Panicked a bit (that’s my birth right ! ), but we never gave up on finding a solution. So each day was lived inside a classroom which will surely see a successful graduation day,… someday ! J
“The babbling brook would lose its song if the stones were taken away” !!!  J On this positive note I move into the new year…..Wish you all a blessed new year 2014!
God bless you, 

Antonio 

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Death of a Guru: The Story of Rabi Maharaj

Here's a great book that i read several years ago ... A great testimony for new believers!

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No matter how fulfilling life becomes, there are always certain regrets when one looks back.
 My deepest sense of loss involves my father. So much has happened since his death. I often wonder what it would be like to share it all with him, and what his reaction would be.
We never shared anything in our lives. Because of vows he had taken before I was born, not once did he ever speak to me or pay me the slightest heed. Just two words from him would have made me unspeakably happy.
 How I wanted to hear him say, "Rabi. Son." Just once. But he never did.
For eight long years he uttered not a word.
 The trancelike condition he had achieved is called in the East a state of higher consciousness and can be attained only through deep meditation.
"Why is Father that way?"
I would ask my mother, still too young to understand. "He is someone very special -- the greatest man you could have for a father," she would reply. "He is seeking the true Self that lies within us all, the One Being, of which there is no other. And that's what you are too, Rabi."
Father had set an example, achieved wide acclaim, and earned the worship of many, and it was inevitable that upon his death his mantle would fall upon me. I had never imagined, however, that I would still be so young when this fateful day arrived.

When father died I felt I had lost everything. Though I had scarcely known him as my father, he had been my inspiration -- a god -- and now he was dead.
At his funeral, my father's stiff body was placed on a great pile of firewood. The thought of his body being sacrificed to Agni, the god of fire, added a new dimension of mystery to the bewilderment and deep sense of loss that already overwhelmed me.
As the flames engulfed him, it was impossible to suppress the anguish I felt.
 "Mommy!" I screamed. "Mommy!" If she heard me above the roar of sparks and fire, she made no indication.
A true Hindu, she found strength to follow the teaching of Krishna: she would mourn neither the living nor the dead. Not once did she cry as the flames consumed my father.
After my father's funeral, I became a favourite subject for the palm-readers and astrologers who frequented our house. Our family would hardly make an important decision without consulting an astrologer, so it was vital that my future be confirmed in the same way.

 It was encouraging to learn that the lines on my palms and the planets and stars, according to those who interpreted them, all agreed I would become a great Hindu leader.
 I was obviously a chosen vessel, destined for early success in the search for union with Brahman (the One). The forces that had guided my father were now guiding me.
I was only eleven and already many people were bowing before me, laying gifts of money, cotton cloth, and other treasures at my feet and hanging garlands of flowers around my neck at religious ceremonies.
How I loved religious ceremonies -- especially private ones in our own home or those of others, where friends and relatives would crowd in. There I would be the centre of attention, admired by all. I loved to move through the audience, sprinkling holy water on worshippers or marking foreheads with the sacred white sandalwood paste.
I also loved how the worshippers, after the ceremony, bowed low before me to leave their offerings at my feet.
While vacationing at an Aunt's ranch, I had my first real encounter with Jesus. I was walking along enjoying nature one day and was startled by a rustling sound in the underbrush behind me.
 I turned quickly and, to my horror, saw a large snake coming directly toward me -- its beady eyes staring intently into mine. I felt paralysed, wanting desperately to run but unable to move.
In that moment of frozen terror, out of the past came my mother's voice, repeating words I had long forgotten:
 "Rabi, if ever you're in real danger and nothing else seems to work, there's another god you can pray to. His name is Jesus."
"Jesus! Help me!" I tried to yell, but the desperate cry was choked and hardly audible.

To my astonishment, the snake turned around and quickly wriggled off into the underbrush.
 Breathless and still trembling, I was filled with wondering gratitude to this amazing god, Jesus. Why had my mother not taught me more about him?
During my third year in high school I experienced an increasingly deep inner conflict.
 My growing awareness of God as the Creator, separate and distinct from the universe He had made, contradicted the Hindu concept that god was everything, that the Creator and the Creation were one and the same.
 If there was only One Reality, then Brahman was evil as well as good, death as well as life, hatred as well as love. That made everything meaningless, life an absurdity. It was not easy to maintain both one's sanity and the view that good and evil, love and hate, life and death were One Reality.

One day a friend of my cousin Shanti, whose name was Molli, came by to visit.
She asked me about whether I found my faith fulfilling. Trying to hide my emptiness, I lied and told her I was very happy and that my religion was the Truth. She listened patiently to my pompous and sometimes arrogant pronouncements.
Without arguing, she exposed my emptiness gently with politely phrased questions.
She told me that Jesus had brought her close to God. She also said that God is a God of love and that He desires us to be close to Him. As appealing as this sounded to me, I stubbornly resisted, not willing to surrender my Hindu roots.
Still, I found myself asking, "What makes you so happy? You must have been doing a lot of meditation."
"I used to," Molli responded, "but not anymore. Jesus has given me a peace and joy that I never knew before." Then she said, "Rabi, you don't seem very happy. Are you?"
I lowered my voice: "I'm not happy. I wish I had your joy." Was I saying this?
"My joy is because my sins are forgiven," said Molli. "Peace and joy come from Christ, through really knowing Him."
We continued talking for half a day, unaware of how the time had passed. I wanted her peace and joy, but I was absolutely resolved that I wasn't going to give up any part of my religion.
As she was leaving, she said:
 "Before you go to bed tonight, Rabi, please get on your knees and ask God to show you the Truth -- and I'll be praying for you." With a wave of her hand she was gone.
Pride demanded that I reject everything Molli had said, but I was too desperate to save face any longer. I fell to my knees, conscious that I was giving in to her request.
"God, the true God and Creator, please show me the truth!"
Something inside me snapped. For the first time in my life, I felt I had really prayed and gotten through -- not to some impersonal Force, but to the true God who loves and cares. Too tired to think any longer, I crawled into bed and fell asleep almost instantly.
Soon after, my cousin Krishna invited me to a Christian meeting. I again surprised myself by responding: "Why not?"
On our way there, Krishna and I were joined by Ramkair, a new acquaintance of his. "Do you know anything about this meeting?" I asked him, anxious to get some advance information.
"A little," he replied. "I became a Christian recently."
"Tell me," I said eagerly. "Did Jesus really change your life?" Ramkair smiled broadly. "He sure did! Everything is different."
"It's really true, Rab!" added Krishna enthusiastically. "I've become a Christian too -- just a few days ago."
The preacher's sermon was based on Psalm 23, and the words, "The Lord is my shepherd," made my heart leap. After expounding the Psalm, the preacher said:
"Jesus wants to be your Shepherd. Have you heard His voice speaking to your heart? Why not open your heart to Him now? Don't wait until tomorrow -- that may be too late!"
The preacher seemed to be speaking directly to me. I could delay no longer.
I quickly knelt in front of him. He smiled and asked if anyone else wanted to receive Jesus. No one stirred. Then he asked the Christians to come forward and pray with me. Several did, kneeling beside me. For years Hindus had bowed before me -- and now I was kneeling before a Christian.
Aloud I repeated after him a prayer inviting Jesus into my heart.
When the preacher said, "Amen," he suggested I pray in my own words. Quietly, choking with emotion, I began:
 "Lord Jesus, I've never studied the Bible, but I've heard that you died for my sins at Calvary so I could be forgiven and reconciled to God. Please forgive me all my sins. Come into my heart!"
Before I finished, I knew that Jesus wasn't just another one of several million gods. He was the God for whom I had hungered. He Himself was the Creator. Yet, He loved me enough to become a man and die for my sins.
With that realisation, tons of darkness seemed to lift and a brilliant light flooded my soul.

After arriving home, Krishna and I found the entire family waiting up for us, apparently having heard what had happened.
 "I asked Jesus into my life tonight!" I exclaimed happily, as I looked from one to another of those startled faces.
 "It's glorious. I can't tell you how much he means to me already."
Some in my family seemed wounded and bewildered; others seemed happy for me. But before it was all over with, thirteen of us had ended up giving our hearts to Jesus! It was incredible.
The following day I walked resolutely into the prayer room with Krishna.
 Together we carried everything out into the yard: idols, Hindu scriptures, and religious paraphernalia. We wanted to rid ourselves of every tie with the past and with the powers of darkness that had blinded and enslaved us for so long.
When everything had been piled on the rubbish heap, we set it on fire and watched the flames consume our past. The tiny figures we once feared as gods were turning to ashes. We hugged one another and offered thanks to the Son of God who had died to set us free.
I found my thoughts going back to my father's cremation nearly eight years before.
 In contrast to our new found joy, that scene had aroused inconsolable grief. My father's body had been offered to the very same false gods who now lay in smouldering fragments before me.
 It seemed unbelievable that I should be participating with great joy in the utter destruction of that which represented all I had once believed in so fanatically.
In a sense this was my cremation ceremony -- the end of the person I had once been...the death of a guru. The old Rabi Maharaj had died in Christ. And out of that grave a new Rabi had risen in whom Christ was now living.

(Editor's Note: If you would be interested in a detailed account of Rabi's conversion, read his book Death of a Guru. Rabi is presently based in Southern California and is involved in evangelism all over the world. He invites you to write: East/West Gospel Ministries, P.O. Box 2191, La Habra, CA 90632.)

(Alternatively, if you live in the UAE, you may order a copy with WORD VENTURES ... email: jodias27@gmail.com)

Sunday, 17 November 2013

SIGNS OF THE TIMES?

I read the following in a report on the horrific Typhoon Yolanda :


“Madness” is certainly an appropriate description for Yolanda’s rampage. With winds that clocked in at an average strength of 195 mph (314 kph), the typhoon left chaos and destruction in its wake – a city in ruins, a population rendered homeless and desperate, and countless bodies strewn all over the streets. Climate specialists believe that the explanation behind the genesis of Yolanda – and the actual impact climate change had on it – is not simple to determine as it seems.


Scientists all over the world appear to be baffled over the  explanation for this disaster. Even the survivors will be asking the question WHY. Is there a logical explanation for what has been happening in the world in recent times? 

Recently, in a mid-week service of Grace Covenant Church, Pastor 'D' shared a beautiful message on END TIMES. I have extracted a few notes from that message for my readers to ponder on. It blessed me tremendously and I'm sure it will bless you too!

Consider the following verses from scripture:
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!- 2 Timothy 3:1-5
New King James Version (NKJV)

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles.[a] These are the beginnings of sorrows - Mark 13:8 New King James Version (NKJV)


(Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains - NIV translation)

A woman in labour has contractions which increase in frequency as the time of delivery approaches. It appears that there have been natural disasters in the past and in more recent times, the Tsunami in Japan, the earthquake in Haiti and the terrible typhoon 'Yolanda' which seem to show that the frequency of these natural disasters is definitely increasing just like it is predicted in the Holy Bible (Birth Pains!). It surely means there is more to come and at shorter intervals every time!

But then what does the Bible say we should do when we face perilous times? Those who are 100 percent committed Christians have been called to :

Rejoice always!

1 Thessalonians 5:16

New King James Version (NKJV)

It is time for 'lukewarm christians' to renew their thinking and surrender to the Lord's will fully! It is time that Christians understood the 'Eternal Life' that we can inherit through Christ Jesus. Life on earth is but transient. Although death is inevitable, it is the only way to pass into eternity. We have a sure hope that many of those who have lost their lives in the Typhoon and have called upon the name of the Lord have been translated into the the eternal life that He has promised.

It is time for Christians to confess scriptures like the one given below and align their wills to  His purpose!

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose - Romans 8:28 New King James Version (NKJV)

Whether you believe it or not, all things happen for good! Have no doubt, God loves you. God is always for us.

It has been my personal experience that the best period of my life has been when going through my worst in life! God has a plan for you even through your difficulties! He IS THERE right beside you to help you pass your 'test'. 

I strongly believe that it is not about whether HE is with us but rather about WE being with HIM! HE is always there with us but we don't experience His presence because we keep Him far from us!


JEHOVAH JIREH! 




Tuesday, 5 November 2013

MARRIAGE ISN'T FOR YOU!

HERE'S A SHOCKING REVELATION FOR ALL MARRIED PEOPLE!
Marriage should not be like the returns policy of some hypermarkets! If it does not make you happy, take it back and get a new one! Nowadays, the world seems to be getting it all wrong!
So...Let's get it right then shall we?  MARRIAGE ISN'T REALLY FOR 'YOU'! You marry to make 'someone else' happy! You marry to make 'your family happy'! To make your 'future children' happy!. Who will help raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage is about the person you marry! It's not about YOU!
Resolve to make him/her happy; to see him/her smile every day, to make him/her laugh every day.
No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams.
The way of the world is - “What’s in it for me?”
Biblical Love asks -  “What can I give?”
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." - Luke 6:38
Let us all learn to LOVE LIKE JESUS! A SACRIFICIAL (AGAPE) KIND OF LOVE!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

THE DRUMMER BOY

A true account about Charlie Coulson - The Drummer Boy

I was a surgeon in the United States Army during the Civil War. After the battle of Gettysburg , there were hundreds of wounded soldiers in my hospital. Many were wounded so severely that a leg or an arm, or sometimes both, needed to be amputated.
One of these was a boy who had been in the service for only 3 months. Since he was too young to be a soldier, he had enlisted as a drummer. When my assistants came to give him chloroform before the amputation, he turned his head and refused it. When they told him that it was the doctor's orders, he said, "Send the doctor to me."
I came to his bedside and said, "Young man, why do you refuse the chloroform. When I picked you up on the battlefield, you were so far gone that I almost didn't bother to pick you up. But you opened those large blue eyes, it occurred to me that you had a mother somewhere who might be thinking of you that very moment. I didn't want you to die on the field, so I had you brought here. But you've lost so much blood that you're just too weak to live through an operation without chloroform. You'd better let me give you some."
He laid his hand on mine, looked at me in the face and said, "Doctor, one Sunday afternoon, when I was nine and a half years old, I gave my life to Christ. I learned to trust Him then, I know I can trust Him now. He is my strength. He will support me while you amputate my arm and leg."
 I asked him if he would at least let me give him a little brandy.
 Again he looked at me and said, "Doctor, when I was about 5 years old, my mother knelt by my side with her arms around me and said, ‘Charlie, I am praying to Jesus that you will never take even one drink of alcohol. Your father died a drunkard, and I've asked God to use you to warn people against the dangers of drinking, and to encourage them to love and serve the Lord.’ I am now 17 years old, and I have never had anything stronger than tea or coffee. There is a very good chance that I am about to die and go into the presence of my God. Would you send me there with brandy on my breath?"
I will never forget that look that boy gave me. At that time I hated Jesus, but I respected that boy's loyalty to His Saviour. And when I saw how he loved and trusted Him to the very end, something deeply touched my heart. I did for that boy what I had never done for any other soldier – I asked him if he wanted to see his chaplain.
The Chaplain knew the boy well from having seen him often at the tent prayer meetings. Taking his hand he said, "Charlie, I am sorry to see you like this."
"Oh, I am all right, sir," answered Charlie. "The doctor offered me chloroform, but I told him I didn't want any. Then he wanted to give me brandy, which I didn't want either. So now, if my Saviour calls me I can go to Him in my right mind."
"You must not die, Charlie," said the chaplain, "but if the Lord does call you home, is there anything I can do for you after you're gone?"
"Chaplain, please reach under my pillow and take my little Bible. My mother's address is inside. Please send it to her and write a letter for me. Tell her that since I left home, I have never let a single day pass – no matter if we were on the march, on the battlefield, or in the hospital – without reading a portion of the God's word, and daily praying that He would bless her."
"Is there anything else I can do for you, my lad?" asked the chaplain.
"Yes, please write a letter to the Sunday School teacher of the Sands Street Church in Brooklyn, New York. Tell him that I've never forgotten his encouragement, good advice, and many prayers for me. They have helped me and comforted me through all the dangers of battle. And now, in my dying hour, I thank the Lord for my dear old teacher, and ask Him to bless and strengthen him. That is all."
Then turning to me, he said, "I'm ready, doctor. I promise I won't even groan while you take off me arm and leg if you don't offer me chloroform."
I promised, but I didn't have the courage to take knife in my hand without first going into the next room and taking a little brandy myself.

While cutting through the flesh, Charlie Coulson never groaned. But when I took the saw to separate the bone, the lad took the corner of his pillow in his mouth and all I could hear him whisper was, "O Jesus, blessed Jesus! Stand by me now." He kept his promise. He never groaned.
I couldn't sleep that night. Whichever way I tossed and turned, I saw those soft blue eyes, the words, "Blessed Jesus! Stand by me now.'' Kept ringing in my ears. A little after midnight, I finally left my bed and visited the hospital – something I had never done before unless there was an emergency. I had such a strange and strong desire to see that boy.
When I got there, an orderly told me that 16 of the badly wounded soldiers had died. "Was Charlie Coulson, one of them?" I asked.
"No, sir," he answered, "he's sleeping as sweet as a babe."
When I came to his bed, one of the nurses said that at about 9 o'clock two members of the YMCA came through the hospital to sing a hymn. The Chaplain was with them, he knelt by Charlie's bed and offered a fervent and soul-stirring prayer. Then, while still on their knees, they sang one of the sweetest of all hymns, "Jesus, Lover of My Soul." Charlie sang along with them, too. I couldn't understand how that boy, who was in such horrible pain, could sing.
Five days after I performed the operation, Charlie sent for me, and it was from him that I heard my first Gospel sermon. "Doctor," he said, "my time has come. I don't expect to see another sunrise. I want to thank you with all my heart for your kindness to me. I know you are Jewish, and that you do not believe in Jesus, but I want you to stay and see me die trusting me Saviour to the last moment of me life." I tried to stay, but I just couldn't – I didn't have the courage to stand by and see a Christian boy die rejoicing in the love of that Jesus who I hated. So I hurriedly left the room.
About 20 minutes later an orderly came and found me sitting in my office with my hands covering my face. He told me that Charlie wanted to see me. "I've just seen him," I answered. "and I can't see him again."
"But, doctor, he says he must see you once more before he dies.'
So I made up my mind to go and see Charlie, say an endearing word and let him die. However, I was determined that nothing he could say would influence me in the least bit, so far as his Jesus was concerned.
When I entered the hospital I saw he was sinking fast, so I sat down by his bed. Asking me to take his hand, he said, "Doctor, I love you because you are a Jew. The best friend I've found in the world was a Jew." I asked him who that was, and he answered, "Jesus Christ, and I want to introduce you to Him before I die. Will you promise me, doctor that what I am about to say to you, you will never forget?" I promised, and he said, "5 days ago, while you amputated my arm and leg, I prayed to the Lord Jesus Christ and asked Him to make His love known to you."
Those words went deep in my heart. I couldn't understand how, when I was causing him the most intense pain, he could forget about himself and think of nothing but the Saviour and my unconverted soul All I could say to him was, "Well, my dear boy, you will soon be all right." With these words I left him, and 12 minutes later, he fell asleep, safe in the arms of Jesus.
Hundreds of soldiers died in my hospital during the war, but I only followed one to the grave, and that was Charlie Coulson. I rode 3 miles to see him buried. I had him dressed in a new uniform, and placed in an officer's coffin, with a United States flag over it.
That boy's dying words made a deep impression on me. I was rich at that time so as far as money was concerned, but I would have given every penny I possessed if I could have felt towards Christ as Charlie did. But that feeling cannot be bought with money. Alas, I soon forgot all about my Christian soldier's little sermon, but I could not forget the boy himself. Looking back, I now know I was under deep conviction of sin at that time. But for nearly 10 years I held back, until finally the dear boy's prayer was answered, and I surrendered my life to the love of Jesus.
About a year and a half after my conversion, I went to a prayer meeting one evening in Brooklyn . It was one of those meetings where Christians testify about the loving kindness of God. After several had spoken, an elderly lady stood up and said, "Dear friends, this may be the last time I have a chance to publicly share how good the Lord has been to me. My doctor told me yesterday that my right lung is nearly gone, and my left lung is failing fast, so at the best I only have a short time to be with you. But what is left of me belongs to Jesus. It's a great joy to know that I shall soon meet my son with Jesus in heaven.
"Charlie was not only a soldier for his country, but also a soldier for Christ. He was wounded at the battle of Gettysburg , and was cared for by a Jewish doctor, who amputated his arm and leg. He died 5 days after the operation. The chaplain of the regiment wrote me a letter and sent me my boy's Bible. I was told that in his dying hour, my Charlie sent for that Jewish doctor and said to him, "5 days ago, while you amputated my arm and leg, I prayed to the Lord Jesus Christ for you."
As I heard this lady speak, I just couldn't sit still! I left my seat, ran across the room and took her hand and said, "God bless you, my dear sister. Your boy's prayer has been heard and answered! I am the Jewish doctor that Charlie prayed for, and his Saviour is now my Saviour! The love of Jesus has won my soul!"
A true account about "Charlie Coulson - The Christian Drummer Boy" taken from an old, out of print book called "Touching Incidents and Remarkable Answers to Prayers."

Saturday, 12 October 2013

REORDER YOUR LIFE !

I have a very 'worldly rich' friend who has loads of money but experiences no heavenly blessings. His wife and little son yearn for him but his business takes him to many countries for long stretches of time. He owns expensive mansions everywhere but hardly lives in them (His servants have a better time in them!). When you ask him to slow down, he says that if he stops running, his competitors will have time to take a bite at him!

I have another friend who is equally rich but thankfully, this one has discovered the secret of life. He has sold all his company shares to his brother and travels to spread the Word of God! He was a Hindu whose life was totally messed up. His wife had left him and his children fell to diverse temptations (Alcohol, drugs etc). Now, just by being a 'doer of the Word', God has restored his whole family. His relationship with his wife now, puts Romeo and Juliet to shame! This friend put God first and blessings keep following him!

I attended the third anniversary of the GCCI church of Sharjah yesterday and i was truly blessed with Pastor Frank's message on how we lead our lives. According to him, if you have not set your priorities right, you are facing disaster! Check if you got your life in the right order!

First Priority: GOD
Second Priority: CHURCH
Third Priority: MINISTRY
Fourth Priority: DREAMS & GOALS

For the longest time after the message, i wondered why he did not pick out FAMILY as a priority! But then i realised that Life is a journey that you undertake individually. It is all about you and your God. In a family, we are supposed to practice the same love relationship you have with Jesus. Love in the family should result out of the individual's intimate relationship with Jesus. Without loving others with the love of Christ, we will surely fall prey to the selfish, familial, erotic love of this world. Love is not love if there is no sacrifice.The FAMILY, i believe should fall in the 4th priority! It would be better placed there!

Like my first 'friend', there are many who put the 'I' first in everything. 'I' did this and 'I' did that! The 'I' does not acknowledge God in everything ! Look at Proverbs 3:5,6:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And lean not on your own understanding
Acknowledge God in everything
And He will direct you path.

When misfortune strikes, such people are the first to say, " Why me Lord?'

When a local church is feeding you the 'Word', be a responsible member of the church and support it in every way you can. If God sent someone to introduce the Gospel to you and saved you, there are many who still need to be reached. The church is the only place where a new believer can be discipled and sent out to preach the Good News. Fellowship is important and the fire of your love for Jesus and the Word must be sustained by interacting with like-minded people. It is like coals in a barbecue pit. When the burning coals stick together, the fire is sustained for a much longer time however, if you separate a single coal from the pile, the fire dies out in no time! Don't try to do it alone! Be part of a church and be a responsible 'Christ-driven' individual- supporting the church with not only your finances but any other God-given talents you may have!

When you go out to save souls, be of one accord. Pastor Frank beautifully expounded on the following passage of scripture:

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on - Mark 2:1-12

In the above story, all of the four men had great faith in Jesus' wonder working power! If not, they would not have been driven to open the roof up and lower the paralyzed man! This is what ministry is all about! Each and every one of us has a 'ministry'. Each one of us is a 'KING' and 'PRIEST'!

ISA 61:6 And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named
ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
1PT 2:5 And you also, like living stones, are being built into a
spiritual house, to be a Holy Priesthood.
REV 1:6(KJV) And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father.REV 5:10(KJV) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests and we shall
reign on the earth.
ROM 5:17 Says we will reign in life through Jesus.( the Greek word for
"REIGN" is derived from the the word for "KING". And means to be a king).

When your 'dreams and goals' are set in line with God's Word, you will run the very race that God has set for you. God has made every provision available to you when you run that set race!

“Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). 

And of course there's that favourite scripture of mine that gives you the very secret of a great life on earth:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
(Note: I recommend that everyone reads from Mat.6: 25 to 33 to glean the true meaning of the scripture)



Tuesday, 8 October 2013

DESTINY? ILL FATED?

I almost ran over someone yesterday! He just stepped off the kerb when i was doing 70 kph. I braked hard and the car skidded to a halt ... i missed him by a hair's breadth!

Both Leander and i were silent with shock. Then i broke the silence with, 'Thank you Lord!"
Later, i told Leander that although i was blameless in this instance, the first thing the police would have done was to lock me up! Whilst in the lockup, the decision could go either in my favour or against me! (Depends on the social position of the injured/dead!). My destiny would have changed in that accident!

Several years ago, i read about those who were saved from getting killed inside the World Trade Centre buildings on 9/11. One had gone to drop his kid to school because she had missed her school bus. Another had gone out to bring breakfast for his colleagues since it was his turn for the task. Yet another stayed home because of a headache. But then, look at the flip side of things ... the firemen who lost their lives. They must have been chatting about the birds and the bees before they responded to the distress call. Even whilst they entered the building, they would never have thought of a total collapse of the building! THEIR DESTINY CHANGED! MOST OF US WOULD CALL THEM 'ILL-FATED'!

A typical response to a belief in fate is resignation—if we can’t change destiny, then why even try? Whatever happens, happens, and we can’t do anything about it. This is called “fatalism,” and it is not biblical.

Fatalism is a major premise of Islam, which demands total submission to the sovereignty of Allah. It is widely held in Hinduism, too; in fact, it is a fatalistic view of life that helps keep India’s caste system in place. Again, fatalism is not a biblical concept!

The Bible teaches that God is in charge. At the same time, He has given us the freedom to obey or disobey Him, and there are some things that God does only in answer to prayer (James 4:2).


God blesses the obedient, and He is patient with those who disobey, even to the point of seeming laxity. He has a plan for our lives, which includes our happiness and His glory both in this world and in the world to come. Those who accept Christ as Savior have accepted God’s plan (John 14:6). From then on, it’s a step-by-step following of God’s best for us, praying for His will to be done (Matthew 6:10), and avoiding the sidetrack of sin (Psalm 32:1-11;119:59;Hebrews 12:1-2).


You may still not understand why bad things sometimes happen to good people but then if you are following Joshua 1:8, then your path WILL BE PROSPEROUS! If in your obedience in doing the will of God takes you through a process of untold hardships (Read about Joseph in Gen 37, or the book  of Job!), then know that he will also deliver you out of the same!

 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" - Romans 8:28.