Monday, 12 October 2009

God is close when darkness comes

God is close when darkness comes

Many times I have wondered why God's help usually comes at the last moment - at least in many cases it is perceived this way. Does God have a problem with keeping appointments, or does He not understand that here on earth we have something called time?

It is maybe not completely right that God is close to us when darkness comes because He is everywhere and if we live in fellowship with Him, He is with us not only in times of darkness. David says in Psalm 139:7-8: Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

However, sometimes we experience that darkness comes and in the middle of our need we see that God meets us in a very special way. Maybe it is not because He was not there when we did not have problems, but because in these situations we have a tendency to come closer to Him.

James 4:8
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Some people begin to blame God when darkness comes, but our problems are not His fault. God is the solution and not the problem - He wants to help us. The Bible assures us that nothing bad or no problems come from Him.

James 1:16-17
Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

However, we are living in a world ruled by the evil one and godless people. The fact that sin came into the world and, as a consequence, evil became a reality, does not mean that it was God's will. It was not God who led the human kind into temptation. The Bible says clearly and distinctly that He does not tempt anyone, but people themselves get tempted by the evil one.

James 1:13-14
When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.

Do not blame God for the darkness that you or other people have caused. Seek rather His help because He is more than willing to help.

Jesus helped those who imposed themselves on Him
In the times of Jesus there were many sick and troubled people, but not all got healed. It says that when Jesus came to Nazareth, he could not perform so many miracles there because people doubted (Matt 13:53-58). However, there were others who experienced that God came close to them in their darkness, even though they were actually not Jesus' target group.

Matthew 15:21-28
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession." Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said. He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." "Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Jesus did not heal all the sick and troubled in Israel when He walked here on earth, but He healed all those who took initiative and imposed themselves on Him. You will not read about even one sick person who came to Jesus, but had to leave disappointed. The only people who went away disappointed were the Pharisees and the rich young man who did not want to repent.

When you watch the news, you hear about war, hunger and terror, and the reaction of many is, "How can there be a good God when there is so much evil?" My answer is, "Is it God or us who create problems?" Everything we do has consequences both for us and other people around us. When people in the authorities make stupid choices, it also has consequences, both for themselves and for the people under their influence.

Can you feel safe?
The question then comes: Can you feel safe when you live in a world ruled by the evil one? We know that the Bible says that in the latter days there are going to be wars and hunger. The world we are living in heading for a fall - and you do not need to believe in the Bible to understand it.

Matthew 24:6-14
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

All the signs are indicating that we are living in the latter days, but Jesus' challenge is clear: "Do not let yourselves get frightened!" When darkness comes, do not be scared, but hide yourself in God - let Him be your safety. If you have your safety in earthly things such as the money you have saved, your education or your social network, you have a good enough reason to be worried. However, if you have your safety in God, you can feel safe even if the whole world is raging around you. Then you can say like David:

Psalm 91:7
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

A Norwegian song says: Do not look at the world because then you will get depressed. Do not look at the others because then you will get irritated. But look at Jesus because then you will get inspired.God does not pull away when darkness comes. There is no changing shadow in Him and if we hide ourselves in Him, we can be safe even when darkness comes.

Faith in God

Faith in God - Through the Innocent Heart of a Child
One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grown-ups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way He doesn't have to take up His valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to the mothers and fathers.

God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this.

God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere, which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting His time by going over your Mom and Dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have.

Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in my town. At least there aren't any who come to our church.

Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking on water and performing miracles and people finally got tired of Him preaching to them and they crucified Him. But He was good and kind, like His Father, and He told His Father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said, "O.K."

His Dad (God) appreciated everything that He had done and all His hard work on earth so He told Him He didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So He did. And now He helps His Dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones He can take care of Himself without having to bother God. (Like a secretary, only more important.) You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.

You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God. Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides, the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway.

If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared in the dark or when you can't swim and big kids throw you into real deep water.

But…you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and He can take me back anytime He pleases.

And…that's why I believe in God.

Faith in God - Christ's Perspective
The simple perspective of a child's faith in God is a key principle in Christ's teaching. We should constantly tap that wonderful innocence and purity of heart when approaching God through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.

At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, verily I say unto you, except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever shall receive one such little child in my name receives me. (Matthew 18:1-5)

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

God's eyes....

If we knew how to look at life through God's eyes,we would see it as innumerable tokens of the Creator seeking the love of his creatures. The Father has put us into the world, not to walk through it with lowered eyes, but to search for him through things, events, people. Eveything must reveal God to us.

Long prayers are not needed in order to smile at Christ in the smallest deatails of daily life....

big god

In Time of Difficulties, don't ever say "God I have a Big Problem". But instead say
"Hey Problem,
I have a big God".

Monday, 14 September 2009




1 TIMOTHY 3:1-13

Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled,
respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family,
how can he take care of God's church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.
Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.
They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them,
let them serve as deacons. In the same way, their wives are to be
women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and
trustworthy in everything. A deacon must be the husband of but one
wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who
have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in
their faith in Christ Jesus.

JOHN 19:25-27
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's
sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw
his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother,
"Woman, behold, your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your
mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

Today's feast focuses on the way Mary shared in the suffering of Jesus her Son. Our Lady of Sorrows is one of her many titles. She is also the Queen of Martyrs because she suffered a new kind of martyrdom. As a mother, Mary witnessed her innocent Son, the one whom she loves with her whole being cruelly tormented and put to death. According to St. Alphonsus, this was the 5th sword that pierced her heart. When Mary presented the infant Christ in the temple, Simeon prophesied that a "sword will pierce her heart." Pope John Paul II commented in
Redemptoris Mater that this was the 2nd Annunciation. "She will have to live her obedience of faith in suffering at the side of the suffering Savior and that her motherhood will be mysterious and sorrowful." "Every torture inflicted on the body of Jesus", says St. Jerome "was a wound in the heart of Mary". Under the cross Mary was offering the life of her Son to the Father for our salvation. She was cooperating with Christ for our redemption. By her sorrow she was leading us to eternal salvation.

Saturday, 5 September 2009



Are there any answers to all these question

Are there thoughts in my mirrored reflection

Beneath the sound of thunder "Is it any wonder"

Why my heart's alive

Beneath the city street this night

Am I truly lonely, do you really think so

Are there thoughts beyond my window

Do they understand me in twilight

In the distant echoes of yesterday "calling"

Beneath the a seed of passions lust

Will my thoughts be turn to dust

So long have I waited

Within the vessel of my heart

To watch and wonder, and then to ponder why

Is there reason behind what we learn

As the planet slowly turns

Believe "Is there an answer"

For in the solitude of twilight

I shall watch the stars

Like pin holes in the night

God is my Father

God is my Father

Can you say.........

"God is my Father and I am his child.

Matthew 6:9

I am part of the Family of God.

Ephesians 3:15

My Father is the creator of the universe, the maker of heaven and earth, yet he knows me by name and I am unique and special to him.

Psalm 121:2

He meets all of my needs - body, soul and spirit.

Philippians 4:19

He watches over me and cares for every area of my life.

Matthew 6:25-33

When I fall down, my Father lifts me up.

Psalm 40:2

When I am weak, he strengthens me.

Psalm 18:32

He loves me unconditionally even when I mess up.

Romans 5:8

My Father is for me and encourages me to fulfill the dreams and desires in my heart.

Psalm 37:4

He loves to communicate with me. His love letter, the Bible, was written for me.

2 Timothy 3:16,17

My Father wants me to prosper in all areas of my life and to be in health.

3 John:2

He has prepared a place for me in heaven to live with him forever when I pass from this earth.

John 14:2,3

My Father desires to always give me good gifts because he loves me and I am part of his Family."

Matthew 7:11

God the Father invites everyone to be part of the Family of God, to know him and his love, and to receive a wonderful plan for their life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, Jesus Christ, that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but have eternal life and enter into the Family of God.
‘God is my Father’

Is Jesus a Carpenter?

Is Jesus a Carpenter?

Nowadays it is quite common to refer to Jesus as a carpenter from Galilee. You might even see people driving around with a bumper sticker that says, “My Boss Is a Jewish Carpenter,” by which they mean Jesus.

But is Jesus really a carpenter? Let’s examine the gospels and see.

They asked, “Is not this the carpenter?”

Right away we find that the words “Jesus” and “carpenter” occur together only once in the New Testament:

On the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary [Other ancient authorities read “son of the carpenter and of Mary”] and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

—Mark 6:2-3 (NRSV)
There are some interesting aspects to this passage.

Depending on which ancient manuscript you read, the people are either asking if Jesus is a carpenter or if He is the son of a carpenter. Either way, they were asking because they were surprised to see someone whom they thought was a carpenter functioning as a rabbi. Jesus was teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath; in other words, He was preaching the sermon. Since they thought He was a carpenter usurping the role of a rabbi, they understandably took offense. If He were a carpenter, as they wondered, His ability to preach would be quite amazing.

However, the only people who thought this situation was remarkable and offensive were the people who were mistaken. Obviously, the synagogue authorities had allowed Him to preach, which means they knew that He was not a carpenter.

The New Testament calls Jesus ‘rabbi’ about 13 times

Here are three examples.

Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

—Mark 9:5-6 (NRSV)

Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.”

—John 1:48-50 (NRSV)

Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work.”

—John 4:31-34 (NRSV)

When people called Jesus “rabbi,” He never corrected them. Unless He is being deceptive, this means He is a rabbi.

The New Testament calls Jesus ‘teacher’ about 47 times
You can look these up on your own; I will give you one example.

On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, ‘My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’”

—Matthew 26:17-19 (NRSV)

Notice that in this passage Jesus is referring to Himself as a teacher, which is really interesting because the same gospel discloses that it uses “teacher” to mean “rabbi.”

The New Testament uses ‘teacher’ to mean ‘rabbi’

When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day.

—John 1:38-39 (NRSV) See also Matthew 23:8 and John 3:2

Matthew was writing in Greek, but ‘rabbi’ is an Aramaic or Hebrew word, so he explains to the reader what ‘rabbi’ means and that he uses it ‘teacher’ as a translation of the title ‘rabbi.’

So here is our evidence:

In the gospels, total strangers walk up to Jesus and ask Him cast out demons, heal the sick, settle disputes, and probate wills. Carpenters don’t have that job description, but rabbis do. This also means, incidentally, that Jesus had to have been dressed like a rabbi; otherwise, the people wouldn’t know to ask.

In the gospels, there is no incident where a Pharisee invites Jesus to fix a wobbly table, but He overhears the dinner conversation, interrupts with His observations, and amazes them with His wisdom. That’s what would happen if He were a carpenter. Instead, the Pharisees keep inviting Jesus to dinner to discuss His teachings. So obviously the Pharisees perceive Jesus as a rabbi, because carpenters do not have teachings, but rabbis do.

In the gospels, Jesus has disciples. Carpenters don’t have disciples, but rabbis do.

Matthew informs us in Matthew 23:8 that when he uses ‘teacher’ as a title, he is translating the word ‘rabbi.’ That means Jesus is calling Himself as a rabbi in Matthew 26:17-19. Nowhere does He call Himself a carpenter.

So it is very romantic to think of Jesus as a carpenter, but not very scriptural.

Jesus is a rabbi.

by the Rev. Kenneth W. Collins.


Bible quotations taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® NIV® ©1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. All rights reserved.

My God Died Young

My God Died Young -a book

Sasthi Brata burst on the literary scene in the late 1960s with My God Died Young, an autobiography. Its unassuming style and youthful angst spoke to a whole generation and the book was an instant publishing success.

In this explicit and irreverent autobiography, Sasthi Brata tells his life story, his increasing sense of alienation from his wealthy and extremely conservative Brahmin family, his traumatic experiences at school where the housemaster’s moral lessons almost made a psychological wreck of him, his intense love affair with a girl whose parents married her off to the man of their choice, and his agonized search for roots which took him to England. Alternately tender and brutal, he lays bare the shams of tradition-bound society in India as well as in the West with his no-holds-barred honesty and astonishing insight and understanding.

This new edition, with a new introduction by the author, brings this cult classic to a new generation of readers. The questions Sasthi Brata raises and the issues he addresses—faith and superstition, logic and science, fatalism and the freedom of choice—are as relevant today as they were nearly forty years ago when this classic was first published.

Friday, 4 September 2009

my drawing Jesus as a bhikshu- one who is in need of others for his living.......for Sunday Shalom news paper.

God and the poor

The Bible is full of God’s demands on behalf of the poor. Isaiah 58:6 onwards talks about loosing chains of injustice, freeing the oppressed, sharing food with the hungry, sheltering the homeless and clothing the naked. Micah 6:8 calls for a just and merciful life. In the Psalms, God uses many words in connection with the poor that suggest they are high on his agenda.

Defend - Psalm 10:18

Give - Psalm 146:7

Fill - Psalm 107:9

Stand - Psalm 109:31

Raise - Psalm 113:7

Lift - Psalm 113:7

Justice - Psalm 140:12


A concern for the poor is at the very centre of who God is; you could say it is at the very ‘heart of God’. Not simply in terms of his love, as we often refer to the heart, but also in his actions - the heart is a ‘doing’ organ after all! Someone whose feelings don't lead to outcomes is often referred to as half-hearted. God’s heart simply overflows with love in action in the Old Testament, and doesn’t stop in the New…


Colossians 1:15 describes Jesus as the visible likeness of an invisible God. In which case you’d expect him to have his father's heart for his people. Jesus was the ultimate demonstration of feelings in action. From the beginning of his ministry, Jesus makes it clear that he is the Messiah and the evidence of this will be seen in the transformation of the lives of the poor, outcast and marginalised.

'The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour.' (Luke 4:18-19).

3. ME

That's all great but what about us? Well, the scary thing is that Jesus' pre-departure left us with this challenge:

'I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these' (John 14:12 ).

So it’s clear then - God has a heart for the poor. Jesus expresses this through his life of action and we are called to do even more on his behalf. Getting involved with Tearfund is one way you can take part in God’s mission to his world.

my pictures

Jesus the alien

Consorting with Aliens
(Luke 24:13-35; 1 Peter 1: 17-23)

First of all, Jesus is a truechild of Israel; living in exile was in his blood, so to speak. His ancestors -- Abraham, Jacob, Jeremiah -- all lived as ....
my drawing for Suday Shalom- a sunday News paper in Malayalam

The appearance of an alien, however, is not just a contradiction which the believer is to overcome in order to perceive the real Christ; it is a fitting form for the manifestation of the Lord. First of all, Jesus is a true child of Israel; living in exile was in his blood, so to speak. His ancestors -- Abraham, Jacob, Jeremiah -- all lived as aliens at one time or another. Diaspora and pilgrimages were not just part of the corporate memory of his people; they belonged to his own personal history, as Matthew’s narratives of Jesus’ exile in Egypt show (Matt. 2:13-14).

Second, though the world came into being through him, Jesus was not of this world; he came from above, and for this reason he was an alien in his own country.

Finally, it seems fitting that Jesus would be recognized as an alien because he is not bound to one culture or region. One does not travel to the holy land to see Jesus: he is made known in the breaking of the bread and in this way makes all lands holy.

Is this association of Jesus with an alien a fleeting one that becomes irrelevant once he is recognized? The unknown author of 1 Peter (let’s call him Peter) doesn’t think so. Peter charges his reader to "live in reverent fear during the time of your exile." Christian time is time of paroikia, of living as an alien. Peter and the early Christian community believed that the church was a paroikia (the root behind the words "parish" and "parochial"), a community of aliens gathered to commemorate the death of one who died outside the gate, one who died as an illegal. This is not simply a ghetto of resident aliens, but an assembly of illegal aliens, meaning people who literally have no citizenship here because, as Paul says, "Our citizenship is in heaven" (Phil. 3:20). In other words, Jesus’ alien form does not vanish -- it is assumed by the church.

So perhaps "alien" is not such an ugly word. Perhaps those two Mexican men saw more clearly than most of us what the church both is and is called to be. Maybe if I walked with some illegal aliens for awhile, listened to what they have to say and invited them to stay, my eyes too might be opened and I too might confess: The Lord has risen indeed!

This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.