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Thursday, March 20, 2014

What India needs?

What India needs is not more of hatred, communal-ism, divisions, factions, riots and bloodshed based on religion, caste and color, nor more of scandals running to unbelievable and astronomical amounts or rupees but what it needs is development, mutual understanding, mutual respect, love and harmony. What it needs is not more rhetoric on religious fundamentalism nor more leaders who are criminals, mass murderers, rapists, power hungry, hatemongers who spew the venom of hatred and violence in order to keep us divided baying for each others blood and they being successful in harvesting the votes so that they can rule over us with disdain, but what India needs is true leaders who have integrity at their core, who are humble to serve others and the country than themselves, who do not preach anti-corruption but live it out, who are not just 'common men' for the sake of the media but common and ordinary day in and day out, who have the inclusive development and progress of the country as their driving passion and vision.

What we need is leaders who can rise above the ordinary and realize the basic human rights of millions of people- to overcome the degradation of crippling poverty, to live dignified lives, that every child in India will have a chance to be educated, that every person can earn a livelihood, to be respected and treated equally irrespective of gender or caste, to be heard and informed, to improve the quality of life, to contribute to the building of the nation meaningfully. What India needs is not more of freebies and subsidies, not more of reservations and corruption at every level  but what it needs is consistent development on key growth factors like health, infrastructure, agriculture, industry with utmost human ethics and morality in place. What India needs is not more of the MNC's and billionaires getting richer but the millions of poor getting adequate wealth through meaningful means of engagement and the marginalized and oppressed being brought to the mainstream.

What India needs is visionary leader's who can galvanize every Indian to achieve their maximum potential for the greater good of the country not leaders who promise to deliver the moon on a platter if elected to power but will even snatch that platter away once they come to power. What India needs is people who are true at their core, who are trust worthy because of who they are; not voracious wolfs in sheep's clothing who run propaganda machines to project themselves as "good and development oriented" but in reality rotten at their core. But alas we deserve this because we do not speak up, we are not wiling to change, we are happy with the status-quo as long as we are safe and our selfish  interests and progress are met.

 It is time we the common man speak up and speak out and engage and be the change so that our country will be transformed. Our vote is valuable, it matters how we cast it, let us choose wisely, Vote responsibly and above all let us join our hands in Prayer beseeching the Lord to bring the right people to power, people who are just, who have integrity, who are God fearing and willing to serve the masses of this country. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Decision Making - God's way

As individuals and body of Christ how do we make decisions especially on weighty matters that has the potential to affect many lives and have far reaching consequences? Do we rush into a decision based on our own intuition; do we go by analyzing the pros and cons from a practical human stand point and come to a decision or do we really take time to wait upon the Lord and seek his face to know His will.

We see more and more organizations and churches jumping into making faulty decisions and then paying a huge prize for it later. These decisions are primarily  driven by selfish motives or hidden personal agendas of self gratification or aggrandizement benefiting the few in some way or the other  (the Indian Cricket body - BCCI and Srinivasan model)  rather than keeping the long term good of the mission in mind or for the benefit of the people involved in general. Interestingly most of the time the justification given is either a sugar coated high claim of divine origin or immediate necessity which will for the time being keep some of the gullible followers into a misguided obedience and silence. Any attempt by the few discerning ones to question will be severely clamped down through manipulation, threat or might even result in being shunted out. This in effect is destroying the very fabric of missions, churches and organizations leading to low morale of the people involved, low impact, less fruits, no life transformation, high attrition rates and ultimately ending up as a monument.

What does the Bible talk about decision making? Do we have a model there? The answer as we all will echo is a resounding "yes" in fact Bible is full of them. Whether it be Moses the greatest leaders of all time seeking God's face to know the will of God for his people or the Prophet Elijah at the brook Kerith waiting on God to know God's will for the nation of Israel or King David calling out to God to know whether to follow and attack the enemies who have taken his family as captives or the example of the elders in the church at Antioch fasting and praying before setting apart and sending Paul & Barnabas; these are all great models of decision making. The greatest of all is Jesus Himself our ultimate model spending the whole night in prayer seeking to know His father's will before He chose his twelve disciples. What a powerful model to follow as His chosen leaders. We are called to Know His will in Romans 12:1&2, His perfect and pleasing will by surrendering ourselves and constantly renewing our minds and most importantly by not confirming to the patterns of this world which is eating into our minds and distorting our thinking and decision making.

Friends do we take time individually and corporately to seek God's face and wait upon Him to know His will before we make a decision. Do we spend time in fasting and prayer before we make up our mind on something that is important? If not it is high time we return to the Basics, to God's word and His principles on how we come to a decision whether it be big or small matter. God's work has to be done God's way not our way.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Spiritual Burn-out

Are you feeling that there is something amiss in your spiritual life? You get this funny feeling that there is some thing wrong but you are not able to nail down what it is. Lack of motivation! finding yourself pushing too hard, but constantly fire fighting, juggling options, struggling to meet deadlines, trying out different strategies in work & missions but most of them falling flat, hundreds of things to do but not able to concentrate on one, feels as if people are expecting too much from you and dumping their work on you, of lately has lost your cool often, that too on trivial matters especially on your family; not able to enjoy your quiet time and your conversations with your wife is progressively getting to monosyllables, feel as if your children are craving too much of your time and attention,suddenly there is a feeling of insecurity and anxiousness; there is this premonition that you are on a performance track or on a rat race trying to out-smart, out-scheme and out-class you peers. Wait a minute! Gosh what are you talking about? Good Christians don't do that kind of stuff, that is Sin!

You long to go back to that first love, those days when there was a praise in your mouth, spring in your walk, and a smile on your lips, enjoyed the work and found amazing joy in the presence of the Lord and sharing Him with others. You wonder what went wrong? Deep within us we wish that we  could correct and get back and we constantly try. Sounds too familiar? Beware you are not far away from a "Spiritual burnout". 

Most of us growing up might be familiar with the Kit Kat add which says, "take a break, have a kit kat". It is kind of a no brainer ,but it is good to keep this formula in mind, not to have a Kit Kat but to take a break from all that you are busy with now. The break is not a vacation or a luxury trip to some paradise island, once in a while that is a good idea, in fact we need to have it for our physical and mental well being but the break that I am talking about is to be In His presence. What? I do that all the time. I have a systematic and regular Bible study and prayer life? Is that a break? you might ask. 

Well the break that I am suggesting is to be "still" in God's presence, spending unhurried time with the creator and sustainer of your life. This probably might be the most difficult thing for a mission worker to do as he is always busy, doing activities, attending meetings, traveling, speaking and running ministry probably all  those might be important things, I am not devaluing any of it. But the most crucial thing that  God wants us to do is to be "still" in His presence. It is like filling up our empty and dry reservoir from which we have drained out every bit of power. We need that back desperately, King David longed for it when he cried out in Psalm 27: 4, "One thing I have asked of the Lord that I desire, to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life". That's one thing that could make all the difference, the one thing that make us alive; to be in His presence, to enjoy that fellowship with Him. 

Again he exclaims in Psalm 16:11b "In your presence is fullness of Joy". One critical thing that many of us find missing in our mission work is that 'fullness of Joy' in serving Him, we are finding it more of a drudgery, a burden, frustrating at times, drained out and weak. Some of us might be just going through the motions of ministry.  Moses understood the crucial nature of being in God's presence when he said in Exodus 33: 15, "If your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here". Jesus emphasized this powerful truth in John 15:5b when He said for apart from me you can do nothing. This is what marks a believer, this is the distinguishing feature for a missionary. Abiding in God's presence and drawing upon His resources.We have a amazing promise in Isaiah 40:31, "but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Take a break and Be still in His presence!