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Reflections

Thoughts captured along the way!

The Tree and the Bird!

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A little nest on a dried tree, at my office walkway

A stroll at my office walkway, a fresh dose of breeze wakes my sleeping mind, the sun rays sharp yet mild seeps in, waking my every cell.

There are some days, where I want to spend a few more minutes just walking and soaking around in the mildness of the morning. Today, was one such day I went to take a stroll and on my way back I found a dried tree, nothing sort of a beauty, with all its fallen glory was a home for a little bird.

I just clicked the pic, and moved on with thoughts that I’ve penned here –

The tree was completely dried up, it may not be dead yet – it may just be a season of withering and wilting just to be ready for the next spring. So often like the tree we go through seasons of utter dryness yet “we can still be useful to a little bird somewhere to make its home”. Our maker, our creator has seasons set for us, he turns everything beautiful in HIS time, uses each time for its set purposes. Yielding to the voice of God which tells us to just breathe, let go of all the old leaves can be very rewarding.

The bird dint really care if the tree was dried or dead, it dint panic about the emptiness of the situation and surroundings. The little bird, was just doing what it was supposed to do, building the nest and laying its eggs, and finding food! It is an incredible effort to find strength to carry on, doing the right things each time despite the circumstances. Trusting God to be taking care of our every detail, when he can care for the little bird why not me?

Fresh inspirations this morning 🙂

 Isaiah 61:3

To all who mourn in Israel,
    he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
    festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
    that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

 

Matthew 6:26-27

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life

 

Steal, Kill, Destroy!

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Busy days, packed with monotonous cycles of work kept me away from my little living pots. Thanks to my Nanny who just doesn’t take care of my baby but does also water my plants when I’m busy. She’s indeed God’s provision, I’m extremely thankful and in awe of God who provides!

After almost a week, I got to visit my plants this morning and not surprisingly I found a spider had got comfortable in its web amidst the tomato shrub, there were white flies hiding underneath the leaves. The jasmine sapling almost killed with some unidentifiable pests.

Nutrition in the form of water and sunlight kept the plants alive, they dint do well to avoid the pests.  An abundant life, for plants to thrive, bear fruits – nutrition alone is not sufficient, pest control and management is equally important

Today’s reminder –

Going to Church, Reading the Bible, Praying definitely nourish us and keeps us growing.

How about identifying the pests that attack us all through the day and night?

Have we allowed the spider to weave a web of emotions – anger, jealousy, disappointments, hurts, bitterness, past failures, dissatisfaction, discontentment,  greed, and pride that have the ability to STEAL our peace.

Are we being KILLED by the arrows that fly through the day, the pestilence that stalks through the night? We live in a fallen imperfect world and we are bound to be effected by the wrong choices made by others. Can we rise above the hate or are we getting KILLED?

Does the web we are caught in DESTROY our focus, vision, family, relationships, productivity, and God’s good plan for us?

Satan is very smart – his strategy is crystal clear. He attacks the MIND and steals us of our peace, kills our joy, which affect our BODY eventually wanting to destroy our SOUL. Ain’t it evident with rising medical expenditures, increasing blood pressure, diabetes, cancer etc. Doctors say most problems are because of our unhealthy lifestyles and STRESS.

Inasmuch as we focus on getting the right nutrition to keep growing, dont be caught off guard by the pests that attack us every minute. 

Greater Purpose of Pruning

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The last few months have been eventful, the two incidents that hallmarks them are – My dad’s younger brother who has blood cancer was on the ventilator a few months ago is now walking and normal, it is nothing less than a miracle. Two days ago one of my moms elder brother was on the ventilator and was given only 10 mins of survival time, and he narrowly escaped death however his right leg has been amputated.

These two incidents have been giving me a heartache whenever I try to comprehend the pain they may be enduring, the troubles their nearest family members may be going through. It is unimaginable to dissect God’s plan in such instances, far be it to understand the logic behind all of this.

At dusk today I went to water plants, with little more extra time on Sunday I thought I will clean the pots and pull out the weeds. I observed that the tomato plants had both branches that were drying up and new tender shoots with new flowers in some pots. Tomatoes had given me a good crop but the number of fruits and size of the tomatoes was dwindling. For growth of better fruits, the plant required removing the old dead, dying leaves and while I was pruning the plants by mistake cut one little fruit and yes it died a bad death.

That was a moment of revelation!

It is no ordinary thing, that my uncles are alive today after being on the ventilator – It is purely a miracle. God has a purpose for our lives and this life he gives is a gift. I believe God is sovereign and his ways beyond our understanding. He uses sickness, situations and circumstances to teach all of us, to repent and get closer in relationship with God. It is his way of pruning our lives, unlike me he makes no mistake.

The very challenge, situation, sickness, disease, problem facing you and me is THE best for you and me – to learn, to change, to grow and bear fruits.

Be Pruned 🙂

5 Years Reflection

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April 2013 – Had the opportunity of being trained on “Six Sigma” with a multicultural group of people at the ITC Grand Chola, Chennai

As I reflect on the 5 years that went by, apart from seeing God’s hand at work in my life. I also see how my attitude has developed over the years, I can’t stop from learning lessons from the Parable of Talents by Jesus Christ

The Parable has many Pearls of wisdom in it –

Peculiar talents (Different/Unique)  – Anywhere you turn around, you will find people who have better jobs, better brands, better skills. It doesn’t matter who has what, all that matters is we put to use what WE have. I have learnt to understand and comprehend this by appreciating what I have”. It takes a whole lot of effort to overcome the evil of COMPARING that comes so easily and naturally

Put to Use  – We may all appreciate what we have, but it takes effort and continuous action to  be effective. It requires us to move out of our comfort zones, to overcome Laziness, Slothfulness and the like to be able to make use of the talents we already have.

Perspectives matter – It is very interesting to observe the attitude of the third servant who received one talent. He seems to be have analyzed the master more than analyzing himself. He seems to be judgmental about his master (calling him a hard man). He spent more time developing a perspective of his master, rather than introspecting about himself. This is the key – in all spheres of life, we have to make the wise choice of controlling what we can and work on what we have in our hands rather than exploring what we cannot change.

I thank the good Lord, for teaching me through these years to learn and reflect on some of these. I am a work in progress.

Today I feel Grateful and Content!

Matthew 25:14-30English Standard Version (ESV) – The Parable of the Talents

14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property.

15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.

16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents.

29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Camouflaged

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Plant worm with voracious appetite

Healthy leaves have holes –

Tender leaves Disappear –

Naked stalks revealed!

Demands Time –

Effort of the Eyes –

To Find who was behind this all!

 

Clutched, and Camouflaged –

The worm voraciously fed itself.

It lay unmoved by constant Ruffle –

Still defending its Place!

Either Remove the Parasite –

Or Choose to wreck Life!

 

What Holes – drain our Spirit?

What Kills –  our joy?

What Clings – on the seat of our hearts?

What Feeds – as just the normal?

Choose to cease what Camouflages,

Let Existence – Thrive!

Lunch time Reflections

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Apologies for the poor quality picture.

I was almost finishing my meal which included a boiled egg sandwich, veg salad, fruit juice and there was also raita which is a combination of onions, cucumbers, carrots, green chilies, tomatoes in curds.

The chilies were too spicy making each spoon of the raita hard to eat. I sat patiently picking up the chilies and dropping them into another portion of the plate. No sooner the curd was free from those hot, tiny, chilies I relished and emptied the raita within seconds.

It reminded me of something my husband told me this morning “He said that we need to remain patient and what we may be experiencing currently is more of training and mending for something that’s in store so that we can be blessing to as many as possible in the future.”

There are so many of those hot spicy horns within each of us, our maker is patiently and carefully removing them one by one with every new challenge and situation that cloud us. One day when he’s done we can see the beauty of it all.

We need to learn, be patient, and hope in God for his purposes to be fulfilled in our lives and for his glory to be revealed.

Good day 🙂

Don’t Judge, Just Love

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Pic courtesy: Firstcovers.com

Jesus is the best teacher from all that I’ve read for a quarter of a century – well I’m not 25, I started reading at the age of 5 🙂

Its a quick reminder today first for me, then for the rest to ponder on the two commandments of Jesus Christ in his teachings.

Matthew 7:1 – “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

Matthew 22:39 – ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

While, Matthew keeps the words simple, disciple Luke expands to combine both the commandments into something interesting

Luke 6:37-38 – 

“Judge not, and you will not be judged;

condemn not, and you will not be condemned;

forgive, and you will be forgiven; 

give, and it will be given to you.

Here’s a principle worth embracing – When we look at people who are struggling, when we hear of tough situations our neighbors may be facing, when we talk about problems with no solutions – JUDGE NOT but LOVE through ACTIONS not mere WORDS

It is easy to analyse their situation from our view and judge, point our fingers, blame, etc. Judging someone may showcase our shrewdness but we need to remember that we always know very little of the person than they do themselves. Understanding that our knowledge is limited is key to make paradigm shift in our thought process which enables us not to judge.

 It is tougher to stay calm, and think of solutions and ways we can productively help someone in need. Here’s a challenge for all of us.

Stay challenged 🙂

Sheep, Wolves, Serpent and Doves

The people of the book called the Bible, some good Christians, most preachers would effortlessly identify the title “Sheep, Wolves, Serpent and Doves” with the verse quoted by the Son of God himself.

As it is written in Matthew 10:16 – “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves”

This verse acts as a prelude to the context Jesus was setting in the verses that follow.

Matthew chapter 10, is unique in its contents – There are beautiful gifts that Jesus promised to his DISCIPLES, valuable instructionswords of caution and tit-bits of prophecy. (Take time to read  Matthew 10 carefully, to see what God has to say to us – no amount of man’s interpretation can compensate for God’s word)

In the entire chapter the verse 16 has a lot of wisdom to offer that we can use it in our own lives when we call ourselves Christians (Disciples of Christ)

Whom does Jesus call Sheep and Wolves?

Sheep – His Disciples

Wolves – We may think in our world, that non-Christians are wolves, or the ones who dont know Christ. But surprisingly in verse 5&6 in the chapter it says – “These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel “.

 

Jesus is saying my children who are called to be disciples, go to your own fellow men who are ferocious wolves. No.. No.. It can’t be so, I can’t tell my own family people about whats wrong and whats right, how can I tell other Christians that they’ve lost their way?

Jesus are you kidding me ??  Its easy for me to share the word of God with a non believer, distribute a track to a stranger, go to church and sing loudly, preach generally and be a silent spectator.

Jesus, “are you asking me to a bakra amidst those cunning wolves, who’ve lost their way”? No Jesus, I’m sure you want me to be comfortable and you’ve asked me to lay all my burdens onto you.

Ain’t it easy to say we pray, and gossip about issues and think they will be solved! Duh..

Alright, what about the Serpent and the Dove.

Here’s a great principle of balance that Jesus is teaching – “Be shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves”

Shrewd means “having or showing sharp powers of judgement”,  innocent isn’t ignorance but “not being harmful”

Putting all the pieces together, Jesus is saying to us his children who are called to be his disciples, to go to the wolves and make them his disciples and be wise in our judgments and innocent in our actions.

How do we do that in our ever increasing complex world

Apostle Paul, helps convert Jesus advice into practical tips for living in his awesome chapter to Romans. (Romans 12:9-21)

Let love be genuine.

Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

Love one another with brotherly affection.

Outdo one another in showing honor.

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

Live in harmony with one another.

Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.

Never be wise in your own sight.

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good

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Pic Courtesy: Judges.com

When you know you can’t do much

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Hannah – Easter 2016

A long Saturday with numerous tasks came to an end, I was only dreaming of hitting the sack as soon as I can. My hopes of rest came crumbling down with a load of Hannah’s excitement, inquisitiveness, laughs and her stubborn will of being awake past 11:30 pm.

She laughed and played for sometime as my mother in law watched TV in the living room. I was waiting to pounce on the tiniest sign of sleep on Hannah’s face, unfortunately she was only getting excited with each passing minute.

Tired and grumpy as I was, I chose to put her to bed even if she dint like it. I tossed her onto the bed convinced that she will have to sleep. The moment I hurled her onto the bed, she screamed waking her dad from his deep sleep. He got up pacified her and locked the room, switched off the lights, and tried to put her to sleep.

It was completely dark, Hannah was still not ready for sleep while we both just needed that. She kept crying and tossing and my husband was too tired to watch over her and went back to sleep. In the dark, I watched her and was amazed at what she did.

She crawled down the bed, slid on the side and went to the door and bent down to the light that was seeping in from the living room into the dark bedroom. She was calling out to her grandma to rescue her from the dark room of sleep into a living room filled with life and activity.  When her constant pleas for help were rendered fruitless, she did the only thing she knew – She cried loudly, sternly, deeply and pointedly, to be set free!

The cry moved me, I got down opened the door and she was happy to have seen light.

Often there are times when we are locked inside closed doors, we see signs of light but nothing seem to be happening. Sometimes, it might seem like a never ending tunnel, it may be a difficult, dark valley, could be an unending sickness, an emotional turmoil, troublesome conflict with no solutions, or just dirty sin that drags us deeper!

The times when we have done everything we can, when there is nothing else we can do –

Pray, cry, wait on the Lord and remember the answer is on its way!!

 

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