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My Day Off

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It felt so good today to wake up at 8:00 am and not panic that I am late for work:) Had an off today for Diwali ( Major Indian Festival). I had decided to stay at home and just enjoy the day and that’s what I did. Cooked some breakfast, watched a movie and read a book. It felt so good to slow down for a change. I will be going to work tomorrow, but as everyone is on leave it will be nice to have the office room to myself;)

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Flu:|

Its been long 5 months of monsoons, crazy work and the flu. I really don’t remember

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the last time  felt completely well. Its Sunday morning and here I am again, at home while the family is at  church. I am really missing the fellowship and the Sunday sermons. I am so grateful that we have bibles studies at our place, so that way I get to meet our church folks. Really learning to be content in this slow ill phase of my life. If not anything, I am able to be more compassionate towards my sister who has always had a weaker frame health wise:|

On the brighter side I am glad I am staying with my family, as home cooked meals are a blessing during flu:) Hoping that as the new week begins, I get to better health and able to get back to my usual routine.

 

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Germany

So much has happened since the last time I wrote on the blog. Somehow I feel life is just going by so fast that I am not really able to grasp and process all of it. Just today I was thinking of the Reformation Conference I attended few months ago. I remember planning it for  an entire year since last May..and here we are already in mid August.

The trip to Germany was quite a memorable one. It was an adventure. Not knowing the local language was probably the biggest challenge. Needless to say Europe is absolutely breathtaking. We entered Germany via Frankfurt. We could have gone directly to Berlin , but wanted to do the Euro trains. I am so glad that we made the right decision:) I saw some of the most beautiful landscapes on my way from Frankfurt to Wittenberg.

Our main reason to go to Germany was to be a part of the 500 Years Reformation Conference. EBTC (A Christian Organisation) had organised a week of sessions on the 5 Solas. Apart from wanting to experience some sound teaching, we also added some  vacation days:) Oh It was one crazy vacation!

We had our ups and down with  the whole racism thing, but we made some great memories too. The town of Wittenberg is such a beautiful place. We just kept walking and walking. We also did an impromptu trip to Berlin. I am quite a planner about things, but I am glad we did this one on the fly.

Anyways I don’t want to go too much into the details, but all in all a couple of months. Before I end below are some pictures from our small little adventure:)

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The youth hostel

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Main Conference Hall in Wittenberg

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Break time-love those white tents😃

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Steve Lawson

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The Chorale

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John MacArthur via VC

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Leadership team at EBTC

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The garden we frequently walked through:)

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Last photo before we left the hostel:/

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My sis:)

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On route to Berlin😬

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The capital😎

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Had fun wandering about in Berlin:)

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Brandenburg Gate

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REPOST: WHAT TO READ WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO READ

I was feeling like this today morning and I did not like it. I am so glad I went through this post on the Blazing Center.

Published March 31, 2017 in Bible reading on the Blazing Center.

There are days I don’t want to read my Bible.

Sometimes it’s because I’m tired and groggy. Other times I’m running late and I’m anxious to get on with the day’s work. Other times I find my heart growing distant from God, maybe even frustrated by recent circumstances. Other days I think “I get it already, okay? I’ve read on other days. Can I just go on with my day?”

Now, this can be a problem since I’m a pastor and I’m more or less expected to read the Bible. Even worse, I’m a Christian, and believe the Bible is the inspired inerrant word of God. So why in the world wouldn’t I want to open the living, active word that connects me in fellowship to my Savior?

And yet, some days my Bible stares at me on the shelf and I’d rather keep it closed.

When this happens I often follow a path I learned from one of my pastors during an internship. His name was Jon Smith and he had the painful habit of scheduling meetings with us interns at 7 am. He didn’t think a 7 am meeting was an excuse to skip your reading and prayer, but he shared what he did when he didn’t feel like reading.

It was a simple acronym and three simple verses – Psalm 119:35-37

L – “Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.”

I – “Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!”

T – “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.”

When I don’t want to read Scripture I turn to Psalm 119:35-37. I walk through the verses slowly trying to make each of the phrases into a prayer

“LEAD ME”

I need God to help me walk down the path of his word. I need a guide. I need my mind to be sharp and I need the Spirit’s help.

Father, please lead me in your word today. I confess that I’m not coming “delighting in it” but I want to “delight in it.”

“INCLINE MY HEART”

I need help even with my own heart. There are days my heart feels inclined away from the word and from God. I need his help to incline it where it should be inclined.

Father, please incline my heart toward you today. I want to hear your voice through your word. I want to fellowship with you in prayer.

“TURN MY EYES”

Often I don’t want the thing I should want because my eyes are elsewhere. My eyes too easily drift to “worthless things” — I think I’ll be happier with a few extra minutes of sleep, or scrolling through Facebook, or a few more minutes on Netflix, but none of these have true life in them the way God’s Word does.

Father, please turn my eyes from looking elsewhere for comfort or satisfaction or joy today. I confess that I’m tempted to waste this time or find something else to do. Turn my eyes to you.

“GIVE ME LIFE”

It doesn’t quite fit into the L-I-T acronym but I end by asking God for life. I believe that true life comes from abiding in Jesus, from fellowship with him. Life is found “in his ways” and those ways including being faithful to read Scripture and pray. 

Father, give me life as I read and pray this morning. You are the source of true life. You are what my soul was created for and what my heart truly longs for.

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This is the well-worn path I follow, more often than I’d like to admit, before I begin reading and praying.

It’s not a magic formula. Simply reciting the verses doesn’t automatically change my heart. But I’ve found something over and over: when I slow down and make this prayer my own God answers me. I start here and then move on to whatever Bible reading or Bible plan I’m following.

So the next time you don’t want to read the Bible, read this.

 

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Hello from the long silence

I try as much not keep a long gap in my posts on my blog. But somehow I get caught up in the daily routines of life and am not able to keep that promise to myself. Now that I am just recovering from a stomach bug, and have no where else to go and nothing to do as I feel tired almost the entire day, I thought- why not write a post 😐

Its been a month since we moved to the new place. Its nice, it will take some time to grow on you. but that’s ok I guess. Somehow I liked the last place we were in. We realized how cool it used to be there after we moved here. The summer heat is definitely felt in this house. But for what its worth I am glad we moved.

Work has been good. Another end to a financial year, which means work will pick up soon. March was a little slow for us, which is always a blessing.

I think I am so tired from my illness right now that I  cant think of anything else to write about. Well I know the coming months are gonna be interesting;) So maybe then I will have something more.

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A New Start

What’s been happening with me you ask? Well it’s just been a whirlwind of things. I moved again as a family into another house and hoping that the rented house situation ends soon. Will be updating my blog soon. For now this is all I have to say:)

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Repost: Challies

My sister shared this post with me the other day and it was a hard read as I am so quick to judge those who are late :/ I really hope to be more compassionate .

No, You Are Not Running Late. You Are Rude and Inconsiderate!-Tim Challies

You are not “running late.” You are rude. You are inconsiderate. You need to change. Greg Savage’s frustration with other people’s tardiness boiled over into an amusing rant that he posted online, and that was subsequently read by hundreds of thousands.

10 people kept waiting in a meeting for 20 minutes, while some selfish pratt who idles his way via the coffee shop, is actually 20 minutes times 10, which is 200 minutes wasted – while you keep us waiting because you did not catch the earlier bus. That is over 3 hours wasted. By you! How much has that cost the business? Shall I send you an invoice?

And an arrangement to meet someone for a business meeting at a coffee shop at 3 pm, more often than not means at 3.10 you get a text saying ‘I am five minutes away’ which inevitably means 10 minutes, and so you wait for 15 or 20 minutes, kicking your heels in frustration.

Like most epic and enjoyable rants, we can all identify with the heart of the issue. Most of us feel some of his angst, because most of us have been kept waiting by someone who pulls in late too often and who apologizes too seldom. Somehow lateness has become culturally acceptable, excused away by busyness or traffic or the other trappings of our frantic lives. Savage says, “I consider serial lateness a character flaw which I take into account when working out who to promote, who to hire and who to count amongst my real friends.” In his view it is that important.

In many ways I am inclined to agree with Savage. I can very easily see a link between promptness and character, where people of mature character tend to be the ones who show up on time, or even a few minutes early. Here in North America we could probably lobby to make it the missing fruit of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, promptness, kindness, gentleness… But there is always one nagging little thought in the back of my mind: Jesus was late. Or was he just on time? He certainly looked late. In John 11 he is summoned to rush to the side of his friend Lazarus. But he dawdled and arrived not 20 minutes late, but 2 whole days late. By that time Lazarus was not only in the grave, but getting pretty ripe in there. His friends were disappointed in him, assuming that he didn’t properly understand the situation, or that he didn’t properly prioritize it. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

But Jesus had been waylaid for the best of reasons–he was deeply in touch with God’s will and knew that God had something he meant to do and something he meant to prove in this situation. Where a human perspective made Jesus look like a failure, from a divine perspective he was the greatest success. We can see the same in the Psalms where David seems to assume that God is late or too busy with other things, too busy or too distracted to reply to David in his agony. We can see it in the cries of God’s people under oppression, as God seems so slow to turn his face toward them. Sometimes even the Divine looks late when we look at Him from our so-human and so-limited perspective.

And this is just my fear when we demand promptness and assume that tardiness indicates a character flaw. There is so much we don’t see. There are many people who love to do good to others, and they allow that doing good to others to take precendence over their schedules. My temptation is just the opposite, to refuse to do good because I don’t want to be late. In fact, just last night I dreamed about witnessing an accident but driving away so I wouldn’t be late for an elders’ meeting.

This issue has been an important one in my church. Toronto is the most culturally diverse city in the world, which makes the churches multi-racial, multi-cultural, and multi-everything else. I would say that nearly half of our church is from a West African or South American background, and both continents regard time differently from the way we do. I might be tempted to regard this only as weakness, but there are strengths as well. While I arrive on time but alone, my African friends might arrive thirty minutes late, but in a socially-engaged crowd. While I might be tempted to rush right back out of church to get home, to get lunch, to get a nap, to get geared up for the evening service, my African friends might dawdle at the church and socialize for hours until the next service begins. The issue that may frustrate us also masks genuine strengths. Will those strengths diminish as promptness increases? Is it worth the cost? Some of the most thoughtful people I know, are also the most consistently late people I know. They show their thoughtfulness in other ways—ways that sometimes make them late.

I do not mean to defend lateness. I still believe promptness is an application of Jesus’ simple command that we are to let our yes be yes and our no be no. If you say you will arrive at 10, arrive at 10, not 11. Like Savage, I believe the deeper issue is with people who plan to be late, who think so highly of themselves that they don’t even attempt to get there on time anymore, and who don’t care a bit for how this inconveniences others.

So by all means, let’s plan to be on time, and let’s live orderly lives. But let’s be slow to stand in judgment of those who show up at a time we deem inappropriate. If nothing else, let’s know people for their many strengths and not only that one weakness that most frustrates us.

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