Saturday, 24 December 2016

CHRIST in CHRISTmas!

Each year, on the 15th of December, Grace Youth Carolers Margao (Goa), would hit the streets every evening with lanterns, guitars and song sheets. The youth looked forward to the caroling for several reasons - The mood was special, girls and boys professed their love for each other, many households would offer free drinks and eats and the best reason of all ... the collection over the 9 days of singing would be spent on a grand picnic (Of course some of it would go towards charity!)

Sometimes, my brothers and i would be part of the school choir to compete with other school groups all over the State. Many of us met our soul mates during this romantic time. Some of us even made it to marriage!

Today, even as i call myself a 'bible following' Christian, the season still brings over me that wonderful mood each year and i feel pretty nostalgic. I miss my mom and extended family in Goa terribly over Christmas and it's been several years since i've spent Christmas with them. This year, my brothers and their families are in Goa and i was not able to go due to reasons beyond my control. As i sat and mulled over all those beautiful moments i spent with loved ones in Goa, i was saddened over that one memory of my Melbourne trip that keeps coming to mind and that is of the dishevelled hippie who stood in the middle of a busy pavement holding a placard that said - REMEMBER CHRIST IN CHRISTmas!

Whilst we make merry, get drunk, go for dances, romance and party let us remember the real reason for the season - Christ!

Saturday, 17 December 2016

GOD'S CAKE! (Author unknown)



 
       Here's an old post from the internet which i was greatly touched by. I hope it touches your lives too and so i will post in on my blog.  
.................................................................................................................................................................

       After all life is not a piece of cake, or is it?  So
   the next time you feel troubled why not have a piece of.....

                                      God's Cake

       Sometimes we wonder, "What did I do to deserve this", or
   "Why did God have to do this to me". Here is a wonderful
   explanation!

       A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going
   wrong, she's failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her
   and her best friend is moving away.

       Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her
   daughter if she would like a snack, and the daughter says,
           "Absolutely Mom, I love your cake."

           "Here, have some cooking oil," her Mother offers.

           "Yuck" says her daughter.

           "How about a couple raw eggs?"

           "Gross, Mom!"

           "Would you like some flour then?

            Or maybe baking soda?"

           "Mom, those are all yucky!"

       To which the mother replies: "Yes, all those things seem bad
   all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right
   way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake!

       God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He
   would let us go through such bad and difficult times. For God
   knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they
   always work for good!   We just have to trust Him and,
   eventually, they will all make something wonderful!

       Always remember, God is crazy about you.
   He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning.
   Whenever you want to talk, He'll listen. He can live anywhere in
   the universe, and He chose your heart. 

       Now I hope your day is a "piece of cake!"  After all, Life may
   not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might
   as well dance.
                                                         ---Author Unknown---

WORK IN THE "BLESSING''

Here are a few notes i took down from an anointed preacher who preached in Rio De Janeiro at the ADHONEP Conference held a few years back. I hope you will be blessed by them!

BLESSING = EMPOWERED TO SUCCEED NO MATTER WHAT THE ODDS
CURSE= EMPOWERED TO FAIL NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU WORK.

In Genesis, man was in paradise ... blessed. Disobedience brought a separation from God and therefore the 'kingship/dominion' over all of creation was taken away from man.

Jesus came to restore this relationship back with God our father.

Through His WORD, we can reconnect and claim our blessing through faith.

1:The the ability to CREATE wealth TO FUND GOD'S KINGDOM as well as TAKE FOR OURSELVES WHAT WE NEED
2:We have the AUTHORITY in the area of 'LAW'
3:We have territorial DOMINION
4:We can create an atmosphere for MIRACLES.
5:We have a MINISTRY and to run it well we are given the ANOINTING of the Holy Spirit

In essence, when we WORK FOR GOD, we are then elevated to the rank of 'FAITHFUL SERVANT' ( you know the parable!)

When you are thinking the KINGDOM PRINCIPLES at all times (PRIORITY) then GOD GIVES YOU CREATIVE IDEAS TO DWELL ON.

These when put into action produce much return which means that you have actually ACTIVATED your BLESSINGS.

Obedience to God's holy WORD is a must!

Funding His KINGDOM is a must!

We must SOW to REAP!
If you have not even purchased the LOTTERY, you would be foolish to DREAM of the PRIZE!!!!
When you have understood the above, 'sow' a seed into God's kingdom and then activate the blessing ... it can be any seed, but let it be the best seed you can afford to sow at the moment

Believe that you have activated the BLESSING and pray for a 'vision' and 'idea'!

BATHROOM REFLECTIONS

Whilst i was humming ' How great is our God ' in the shower yesterday, i saw a jumbled up array of video clippings on the timeline of my mind. There was no particular sequence but just images from the past projecting themselves on my screen of consciousness. I was not even dwelling on any particular 'video clip' but just letting them flash up and disappear. The surprising thing is that i can still remember and therefore i can write this article!

It started with a flashback of my childhood days, of how my mom used to give me a bath near our deep well. My grandmother would draw water from the well (22 hands deep ... that is how they measured the depth of wells those days!) and fill a huge copper pot. It always sat on 3 stones with fire burning under it. Hot water would be drawn out from it with a steel tumbler into a bucket and mixed with cold water until a bearable temperature was reached. It was then taken outside, and kept next to the washing stone, where i was given my bath. The water just flowed into a channel, which meandered downhill until it met the main sewer. Today, i was standing inside a posh bathroom with a choice to either lie lazily in my bathtub or just take a shower with water controlled by a mixer on the wall! I considered myself blessed and highly favoured by God to have such comfort and luxury when many dive into cold muddy waters to wash themselves clean even in the chill of winter!

Greg B's (A missionary) message came to mind. He had asked himself, " Why was i born in an affluent American home and not in some slum-dwelling family?" We come with no choice of where we are born but then we have millions of choices to make in our lifetime thereafter. What choices do we make? Are they 'world-wise'? ' Word-wise'?

Last week, Greg had shared again. I saw him asking me, " So Bro. Joseph, you are an Architect right? Tell us something about the foundations of 'Burj Khalifa' (Tallest building in the world)". The take-home from his message was screaming in my head. The ground is excavated, the piles are driven very deep into the ground until they hit rock, the piles are capped and the raft slab is poured .... One may not see any building coming out of the ground for months on end! But when it does rise tall, it is there to stay for a long time, come storm or tempest!

Matthew 7:24-27
Build Your House on the Rock
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

Are we digging into the

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!

.............................................................................................................................................................
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!