Sunday, December 10, 2017

In the beginning was the Word...

In the beginning was the video/ images/ Word...

What would be the best way for me to convince you that I am currently writing this article from planet Mars, your options are:
a- just say it, I trust your word
b- send a "Marfie" (selfie image taken on planet Mars)
c- give me a video call ( i would see, hear and then believe)

For this episode, lets play "Sherlock Holmes" and his science of deduction to the option b :)
Lets say, i do send you a Marfie , will you really believe me then? How would you verify the authencity of the Marfie sent? Can i not photoshop the image as many do?Hmm...

Lets ask Facebook, how do they examine images?
Facebook users are uploading 35 crores new photos each day, i.e each of Facebook's 150 crores users are uploading an average of 217 photos a piece every day.
But the examining process is actually low-tech .When a request is submitted, facebook employees on the company's safety and legal teams look at the image that's been flagged, reviewing each one individually, and evaluating the public interest and newsworthiness of each message .Each company makes its own rules based on how it wants to shape its community. Facebook and Instagram, for example, have rules against nudity in photos. Twitter has no such rules .
It may seem incomprehensible to many users that in an age of algorithms and high technology, Twitter would remove offensive images by hand rather than by automation. Twitter and other companies like Facebook, Microsoft and Google all have and use an automated technology that lets them identify and flag images based on certain criteria.But they use that software technology as a secondary filter not the primary one. The primary filter is a team of men whose conscience is guided by the companys agenda.

My dear students, Its clear what instagram,facebook, watsapp,and other modes of social media are communicating, and what agenda rules guide them.
But we as disciples of Lord Jesus are called to communicate Truth (read as Jesus in Jn14:6).We as a UESI family, are called to transform the student community to impact university campuses. Thats our Lords agenda through UESI.And thats our agenda too.

But then we have a tough challenge infront!! As Ravi Zacharias puts it-"How do you reach out to a generation that listens with its eyes and thinks with its feelings.We are intended to see through the eye with the conscience. But now we see with the eye devoid of a conscience".

The Visual media has embezzled todays generation with images.
In this modern media age there is a constant bombardment of images, many times devoid of context, and it is imperative that we do more than just passively absorb them without a filter.

I conclude by suggesting atleast two levels of filters at which to examine our use of visuals both in receiving and sending communication:
i) first filter every time would be my conscience (guided by Gods word) not just my eyes.Everything that appeals my eye but sears my concience is not communicating truth.
ii) second filter would be the question: is this going to shape me/the community as God intends to, or is it serving someones else agenda.


So lets continue to play the detective "Sherlock" in this world of Images and may God grant us the wisdom and understanding to know and apply the rules of Gods Word to communicate truth(Jesus) and nothing but the truth(Jesus) to todays generation.


"Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth"...John17:17

Thursday, October 12, 2017

SELF ESTEEM: WHO DO YOU THINK I AM!!

Mat 16:13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked his disciples,“Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

When my Lord Jesus asked this question, it makes me think, was my Lord going through a period of low self esteem like I do often? Was He having a bad day? Were there times where even Jesus would have needed someone to pat on His back and say “Its OK, Its OK” (please pardon me the audacity to think this way)? But stay with me through the course of this conversation Mathew 16:13-20 and try unfolding this question “Who do you think I am?”

As a student in school and college, I had asked myself the same question many times? What do classmates think of me, my seniors, my juniors. What do the girls talk about me? What comes to peoples mind when they think of my name” _______”. My teachers and parents were the only ones whose opinion I didn't have to ask, as they always had a mouthful of things to say to me anyways :)
Opinion matters don't they- to me, to you to everyone. As infamously made out in TV journalism—The Nation wants to know!!! Interesting that our Lord, the second person of the Trinity, should ask one of these “Opinion Polls” questions—Who do you think I AM? Well lets look at the answers;

14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
They” here implies that the answer came from different sources present there and the gospel writer has summarised in one line; Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.
I too got such varied answers about “who I am”, don’t you? Different people think differently about us. Like our Exams Question paper, I wish the options for answers were single radio type but no, the answer would always be multiple type (all of the above). Parents, teachers acquaintances, juniors, seniors all have multiple answers; most of the answers I fear to hear, but still want to hear. You see we are wired that way isn't it? We want to know-what I think about myself, is it the same others think about me?

Now we see further, our Lord didn't stop with the “Nation wants to know” answer, He gets interested to know the answer from His close confidants;(His disciples) “Who do you think I AM”?
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Well look here!! Don't we all want to know what our close friends think about us? Because they have watched you closely day in day out and so the answer becomes so very important to your Self Esteem.
But then we are talking of our Lord Jesus here aren’t we? Why is my Lord insisting on getting this answer? How does the answer of mere mortal fishermen matter? After all does He not know Who He is? Stay with me on this.

You see our Lord does not require anyone to build up his Self Esteem (i.e. confidence regarding his own worth or abilities-dictionary meaning). He has got His Self Esteem PASSPORT attested by someone above and we see the answer in two different places in the holy scripture:
And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Sonwhom I love; with you I am well pleased."  Mark 1:11
And a voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is My Sonwhom I have chosen; listen to Him!" John 5:20

So I understand my Lord didn't ask this question to build His own self esteem but rather the verses ahead exposes our Lords marvellous way of building up Self esteem of Peter.

17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Imagine the next time, Peter would go through a phase of low self Esteem, he would have been reminded of what the Lord had to say about him. This is our Lords style , true to his uniqueness is His style, “bilkul hatke”. That’s why I never stop falling in love with the hero of the scripture Jesus Christ. Am sure you are also in love with His character!!

My dear friends as a student or graduate , we all go through times when we like Peter think we know it all – about ourselves , about God, about everyone around us. We are always in DIY mode (Do It Yourself), we think its our self worth and own abilities that forms the crux of our faith, we conclude “We have arrived”.
Peter thought the same didn't he? when he said,
Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will
 “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” (Mathew 26:33,35)

But like Peter we too need to be reminded that our Esteem comes from the Lord. When we forget this highlight, we actually are implying “Lord, I don't care what you think of me , what matters to me is what I think of myself and the world thinks about me.
May it not be the case for any of our EU/EGF fellowships, Naah Naah! my friends may it never be.
Concluding:
Peter found his self worth from the words of his master Jesus in Mat 16:17-19
We can find ours from the same words of Jesus in the scripture. We in UESI place a high value on “All sufficiency of scripture” and from there comes out QT, PBS,etc. Lets continue to actively engage with the word of God and build our self esteem.
So the answer to the question: Who do you think I am?
I am a chosen person, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that I may declare the praises of him who called me out of darkness into his wonderful light.

................words of St. Peter in 1Pet2:9

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

FLEXI TIME - YES ! FLEXI LIFE- NO!

Can I make Monday as my Sabbath as I have to go to office every Sunday for a build release?
Can I skip Sunday church since I have coaching classes, I m sure God wont mind
Can I miss my early morning devotion since I am a late riser, but I am sure I will do it before I go to sleep.
Can we have prayer over watsapp call as we all are pressed for time.
I will give the morning church worship service a miss and attend EGF in the evening, after all its all about meeting?
Can we meet only for ICEU event and programmes as every week cell fellowship is too much of a drag.

Well if your answer to all this “Can I” questions is a NO, then you are not flexible person out of step with the current “FLEXI” generation, where everything form Vodafone recharge to EMI payments is flexible.
And if you go further and quote verses like:
Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Exodus 20:8
Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, Hebrews 10:25
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Mathew 18:20
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds. out of the mouth of God.'" Mathew 4:4
...etc. etc.

then ho ho, you are for sure to be branded “Old school, legalistic, fundamentalist, insensitive, khadoos(crazy) in the books of many.

So before we ask “HOW should we”, a well thought out answer should be given to the question “SHOULD WE OR NOT” bring the concept of FLEX TIME into our spiritual lifes that our companies adapt so well.

FLEX TIME: “SHOULD WE OR NOT”

In a young graduates EGF which meets every Wednesday morning, Siddharth starts with his stand on that question:

Siddharth: As for me, I would say No we should not have flexibility with regards to all areas of life. There are certain principles, boundaries, disciplines that for good reason are not flexible, there are absolutes and not relative!

G.K. Chesterton quotes"Whenever you remove any fence, always pause long enough to ask yourself, 'Why was it put there in the first place?'"
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6
If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? Psalm 11:3

I draw my interpretation that just like boundary lines & foundations cannot be flexible, it has to be definite. Imagine a house with flexible foundations or a boundary line which can be extended as per seasons. Similarly it is in a disciplined Christian life

So here what I draw my point to, there are certain negotiable and non negotiables in general which can be drawn for Christendom and for all Christians. There is no flexibility in that.


Now Naresh joins in the discussion rather more animately:
Naresh : how can you throw a general blanket cover principle to all lifestyles?
Sidharth: but does not the bible do the same when......
Preeti (interrupting): “how insensitive” of God oops I mean how sensitive of you siddharth to quote the bible now, don't you realise you are acting too rigid here?
Madhusmitha: Well, I have an idea, why don't we come together to the drawing table and frame the negotiables and non negotiables in the life of a student and the life of a working graduate

They all nod their head in unison and start.......

NON NEGOTIABLES
(NO FLEXIBILITY OF TIME ALLOWED)
NEGOTIABLES
(FLEXIBILITY OF TIME ALLOWED)
1.
1.
2.
2.
3.
3.



..and the discussion continues....

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Remembering my Lover on Valentines day!!

A Lover who... feeds you
A Lover who...stands for you
A Lover who...who pays taxes for you
A Lover who...loves your mother in law
A Lover who...washes your feet
A Lover who...comes home to dine with you
A Lover who...loves your children
A Lover who...travels with you by road or by sea
A Lover who...forgives your betrayal
A Lover who...understands your denial
A Lover who...gives you a job to do
A Lover who...appreciates you for just sitting at the feet
A Lover who...writes his love for you withhis own blood
A Lover who...wrote a love letter to you
A Lover who...gives you a teacher to understand his letters
A Lover who...died loving for you
A Lover who...is preparing a place for you to be with him forever
A Lover who...is coming back for you

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY MY LOVER -MY JESUS!



Thursday, February 2, 2017

FACING FAILURES GRACIOUSLY!!!

 Australian cricket team is known as the worst losers. They will do anything to win a cricket match. Sledging , cheating, putting pressure on umpires, playing out of their skin- on the verge of losing they will pull up every trick under the hat. Ask a Australian cricketer and he will say, we don't like losing, we were trained to win. Debatable philosophy on field.

But off the field. on life’s race, failures are inevitable. Failures will come and will test what metal we are made off. Our response to failures determines our Character. There are well known quotes like:
-Failures are stepping stones to success.
-No great success was ever achieved without failure: Thomas alva Edison 10,000 attempts to create a light bulb.Etc. etc

But no other quote is more powerful than this one” the mother of all truths”...
It goes like this from Romans 8:28” And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose”

Meditate the depth in this verse. Someone asked” what is more important than one’s life”.The other replied ”the cause for which one lives”.Failures have a purpose, but that can only be seen from the eyes of God. You and I may not have a podium finish all the time in life, but then faced with failures you can trust God to write your ending. Always have God write the ending for every situation in life. We tend to worry about the battle at hand, but God looks at winning the final war. So its important to not see temporary momentary loses but look towards permanent everlasting gains. Lose the battle (may be Yes), but win the war, (oh yeah hallelujah!)

 Reminds me of the final volume written by Sir Winston Churchill about the  final years of the 2nd world war. The overriding impression I received as I read it was that the allies knew exactly when they were going to win the war. And although it didn’t always go according to plan the fact was that they had a plan – and would make adjustments to the plan as they went. Churchill, along with the American and Russian leaders that worked closely with him, knew when Hitler’s and the Japanese nation’s demise was going to happen. And they then continued to work towards the fulfilment of that plan. They never considered the possibility of defeat. It was a detailed and well executed plan that we can now read in the history books.
And life is very much like that. I know for a fact that throughout my lifetime there are innumerable battles that I have lost – but my concentration is not on the battles. I want to make sure that I position myself with God(Joshua 5:13-14) so that at the end of my life God will be able to clearly declare – and it will be proved by the legacy that I leave behind – that I have in fact won the war.

May we ever be ready to face failures by the grace of God, for only God knows what He is about.(the truth renaissance poem)


When God wants to drill a man and thrill a man and skill a man when God wants to mold a man to play the noblest part when he yearns with all his heart to create so great and bold a man that all the world shall be amazed watch his methods watch his ways how he ruthlessly perfects Whom He royally elects how he hammers him and hurts him and with mighty blows converts him into trial shapes of clay which only God understands While his tortured heart is crying and he lifts beseeching hands how he bends but never breaks When his good he undertakes how he uses whom he chooses and which every purpose fuses him by every act induces him to try his splendour out God knows what he's about!

TU WATCHMAN HAI!!!Why does my watchmen sing "Jaagte raho" at night

Oye Saa.....bji Salaam!!

The ascent of a gorkha nepali ( pardon the discrimination) doing the rounds of your colony at night , or the coco cola add of aamir khan or for that matter, even the sound of it now ringing in your minds---what picture does it draw in all-- MY WATCHMAN!!!

Have you ever questioned in your inquistiveness--why do watchmen whistle at night.Why do they have to say "Jaagte raho" . Well if you have heard it at mid night, and you have just woke from your deep sleep, then am sure thats not the time to think but to think aloud "what the _____ is this watchmen doing? He just woke me from my sleep. Am i not paying him that i may sleep sound, then why is he waking me up with his whisting sound and "jaagte raho" tune. Well i know there are many things that does'nt allow me to sleep sound--my neighbours dog whistling "oooooooo" or the mohalla dogs/witches barking and fighting over their "territory breach" or closer to bed my wife snoring....But no , i got the right to shout at my watchmen....why??...for moneys sake i am paying him so that i can sleep tight.

Well there are some Paradoxes of life, we may not think much about, its just a Paradox.
Well i did think for once and i found a little more than i looked for...anything but the answer for my question "WHY DO WATCHMEN make  the sound at night....Here it is " TU WATCHMAN HAI" from this Ezeikel 33:7-9extract...

You, son of man, are the watchman. I’ve made you a watchman for Israel. The minute you hear a message from me, warn them. If I say to the wicked, ‘Wicked man, wicked woman, you’re on the fast track to death!’ and you don’t speak up and warn the wicked to change their ways, the wicked will die unwarned in their sins and I’ll hold you responsible for their bloodshed. But if you warn the wicked to change their ways and they don’t do it, they’ll die in their sins well-warned and at least you will have saved your own life.

Comment me your answers, what do you think of it?tab tak "JAAGTE Raho"

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mere Brother Ki Shaadi Hai !!!



I am writing this on the advent of the emotional confusing occasion of my younger brother getting married. Happy ,Yes. Sad , No. Expression : Straight Face
Life right now to me is a trailer of the past. This trailer shows me and my brother in the limelight, the only two other people blinking are my parents. Well it seems not long ago this movie had a long run in my life as it would seem almost 21 years , till one hero left to scene to study further.....and then the younger hero followed to another planet....and finally the producers :) return back to their birth place.....To every sibling- "The Family" - movie brings mixed emotions, some might say am glad it ended early, and some like me would wish "Oh my...how i Wish the movie went on..."! . 


 You see We grew up in the 19th century where Father is the head of the house-outdoor,mother the kitchen lady-indoor and siblings playing in the front yard breaking glasses-outdoor and indoor. Oh Deja Vu... Now get married in the 20th century, where Father,Mother are the head of the homes depending on availability and Grand maa/ House maid is the kitchen lady again depending on availability and siblings in their individual private rooms but hey they they are social networking--ofcourse depending on network and balance availability. 

 To the gen-Y couples, the worst advices are one that goes like..."In our days... 
The best ones seems to be the one that would say...STAY Married...till 21st generation comes up at least. 
And that's what i am to going to give to my brother on the advent of his Marriage Movie release. Anything more will be a flop... ....

 What advice would you like to give this gen X ??