The Small Cabin – a place of hope

I’d just graduated from High School.  It was time to move into universities.  My friends and my peers are busy juggling their choice of universities.   For me, it doesn’t seem to happen soon as I wanted.

There was no money in our family balance sheet for entering a prestigious university.  Since Daddy involved us in maintaining the balance sheet at a very young age, and I know, there is no money.  There is no point of putting up a demand, which cannot be met.  It will simply lead to unwanted misunderstandings for a moment.

At that time, we lived in the western corner of a small town.  Nearby our house, there was a place designated for prayer but not yet in used.  In the family, we called it as ‘our Bethel – our place of prayer,’ taken from the biblical Bethel.  Every evening, just before dark, Daddy led us there to kneel and pray.  So the practice of talking to God was inculcated in us.

One day the thought of spending time alone with God, acknowledging my needs and concerns, came in my mind.  I asked Daddy for his permission to go alone in a prayer mountain, which was located at the outskirts in the eastern side of our town.

Daddy agreed with the idea.  So, in the evening I set out carrying the Bible, hymn books, and some candles to be lighted in the night.

Prayer Cabins
NPT Prayer Hill

There are number of small Prayer Cabins made available for anyone who wanted to spend time with God.  It was maintained by the Nehemiah Prayer Team based in the vicinity of our town.  I’d occupied one such cabin by myself – all alone.  I was there for three days and four nights, fasting – without eating a thing.

I’d sang and prayed through day and night.  I’d started pouring out my heart.  My secrets were made known to God, especially those I could not afford to tell anyone.  In that way, letting myself emptying.  There was no time for sleeping.  It was as if someone came down to spend time with me.  It was a great feeling.  It was a time I will never forget in a life time.  My request and thanksgiving were let known to Him.  It was a time to commune with my God.

In between, I remember singing several devotional songs like –  ‘God will make a way’, ‘There is none like you’ by Don Moen, ‘Pass me not…’ by Fanny J Crosby, and many more.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope,” Jeremiah 29:11 reads.  This is a ‘very promising verse’ in a ‘very unpromising chapter’ of the Book of Jeremiah.

Now that the fourth night was over, the Caretaker of the place came and informed.  My brother came to pick me up and bring me home.  I was happy to spend such time at a very young age.  However, my request to God for a prestigious university did not happen for one year.  I felt lighter and happier than before.

I am blessed to work as a small time Teacher in an Elementary School at that time.  After a few months, I got settled in my job.  I loved spending time with the school children, imparting knowledge as much as I can.  I also enjoyed their company through the day.  I was thoroughly enjoying my role as a teacher.  Even more so, I earned money for the family and my enrolment in a local college.  It was a tight schedule from morning to evening, and I was really happy.

One year had already passed, when one day, I got a long distance call from one of my Uncle.  He was enquiring if I would like to pursue college degree from a prestigious university.  I was informed that they could spare some amount from his hard-earned money towards my study expenses.  And that I might pursue higher studies if I wanted to.  Now, I was overwhelmed by what God has done.

Even after one year, when my hope has already become thin, He answered my prayer. Not all prayers are answered, there are unanswered prayers too.  I praise God for His unfailing faithfulness!

We discussed the matter with my father, and agreed to take advantage of the ‘help’.  I was fit and healthy then.  So, with high hopes, I set out to enter one of the top universities of our country.   I started there and go on to complete my master’s degree in few years.

Unexpected twist and turns are experienced over the phases of life.  However, one thing that never deserted me – ‘His presence’ – the presence of God even in the worst crisis of life.  I do believe, He will lead me Home safe and sound, when all life’s works are completed.

Written based on my journals.

Birthday Thought

I’m in my thirties.  I have a good palate but I’m not very fond of creamy cakes for some reasons.  I’m not that ‘old’ to write my thoughts about life.  But there are certain things I’d been through, which make me write this piece.  By the way, today’s my birthday!

From my near death experience to having a glimpse of Heaven, life here on earth is as good as it gets.  My life, we usually called it, was not really in my hands.  In the hands of God, who created me, I will return in His time.  And for that, the way of life and the way back to Him were clearly stated.  Life’s like an infatuation.

In that few seconds, what I treasured and my cherished moments will vanished in thin air.  However, I should not be mistaken for this; life should be lived to its fullest but there would be judgment on our life after death.

Life is like sequences of forming a circle.  It is God who formed or created us.  Here, King David wrote our beginning:

For (God) You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,

In between, while living our life here on earth, there is one important thing we should not missed.   Sciences and their innovations or inventions are meant to help live our life easier.  Every effort was put to re-discover or research about the great work of God.  In the midst of all this, there is a certain way that will lead back us to God.  Have a look at this:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

If we accept Him that means we go through the right way.  Victory over death we’ll proclaimed, as He did.  If there is no hope of life after death, for me, I don’t find it worth suffering each day.  Let’s read here again that:

…We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

That is the day eagerly awaited by the believers.  We can be one of them.

Now if you see, life is like a circle:  We were formed by God, we lived here on earth, and going back to Him is inevitable.

Many times, I know, God doesn’t make sense.  Probably, when my desires are not met by Him in the way I wanted it to be.  Human wants are unlimited, and we knew it.    I hope we’ve been through that hard times but it doesn’t lasts forever.  Hang in there and wait for Him.  One after another, we will be delivered.  Not necessarily in the way we wanted, but it will be in His ways.

Read:  Psalms 139:13, John 14:6, 1 Cor. 15:51-52.

She is my Mother!

A thousand miles away from home, I am blessed to start a small family.  It wasn’t easy.  When things did not fall as planned, there’s someone to whom I can always poured out my heart.  Being grown up isn’t easy either.  We all need someone to cry on.  She did not interrupt me while I am pouring out my mind.  She did not utter unnecessary words, she knew what I needed.  And that she is my mother!

There was no hospital nearby.  Every delivery was attended by experienced mothers in the village.  The labor pain must be intense.  The suffering, however, was taken to be just a normal thing by men.  We did not know what they go through, mentally, physically, and psychologically.    To give birth to me, she risked her life.  She is my mother!

The use of diapers was not introduced to us at that time.  My bedwetting spree was the talk of the house in my childhood times.  Mother never scolded nor treated me bad because of that problem.   I still remember what she told me.  ‘You can do one thing,’ she said, ‘to pray to God so that you wake up when there is pressure for urinating.’  In that way, dearest Mommy instilled the power of prayer in my life, which I could use throughout my life.  She is my mother!

She spent sleepless nights because of me.  My tears and my cry pierced her heart.  She spent all her thoughts and strength tending to me.  I became the apple of her eyes.  At the same time, she need to prepare meal for the whole family as they were busy working to make ends meet.  We were big family then.   With the little energy she gets from the meal, she fed me.  She is my mother!

In the field, she grew vegetables.  When we were young, mother was toiling during the day.  Mother worked through every kind of weather, be it sunny and rainy days.  The vegetables products were sold in the market by her.  The money earned was used to buy clothing and meeting educational expenses for us all.  However, I never heard my mother saying a thing about being tired nor did she complain.  It was an act of love, she never runway from obligations.  She is my mother!

In my younger days, I used to spent time with my friends till late at night for some years.  I know there will be someone who would not sleep till I get home.  In the middle of the night, when I got home, she was there to welcome me.  She reminded me to get home early but never did she scold me.  To which many times, I replied in a light mood, ‘Mom keep praying for that’.  But I never fully understand how much I meant to her.  She is my mother!

She was soft-spoken but was tough when needed.  I did not remember my mother shouting on me.  She did not use harsh words.  With her love she molded me in taking the right steps.  She was true to her words.  Her soft words easily heal my heart.  There are times when I really longed to hear her voice.  She is my mother!

The first time I hear Mommy’s voice trembling was when Daddy left us for eternity.  She was a strong woman who can hold her emotions.  She did not simply show her emotions.  I respect her for deeply loving my father.  They were together everywhere they go and whatever they did.  Many times I thought Daddy must be real happy to have her in his life.  And that she is my mother!

A mother’s love was unique and binding.  She never gave up on her children.  Many times, I saw her on her knees praying for her us.  A praying mother was truly a blessing to have.  When mother told, “I am praying and/or will pray for you”, it always gave me comfort.  She is my mother!

She was encouraging.  She told us to be strong and face the world.  Mother always reminded us that the world and its beauty will fade someday.  Whatever is happening on this earth will not last forever.   The good the bad included.  And I believe I can face the world because of her payer.  She is my mother!

There are more reasons to write about my dearest mother whom I adore and love so much.  Stay blessed Mommy.

In Love: Being Rejected and Accepted

We were alone at home.  Daddy knew her well, he assumed.  It was time for her noontime nap.  Daddy cleared his throat to sing a soft lullaby.  When Daddy cleared his throat, it was as if he is to going perform in a rock concert.

So she cried and push a little.  Daddy feel rejected, and he crawled out like a lazy cat.

“Papa….please”, she pleaded me to come back.  She knew there was no one beside daddy in this time of the day.  Daddy wanted to act proud but he couldn’t.  He goes back and sings a very soft lullaby.  Her hands running over my face becomes velvety soft.  And she fall asleep in few minutes.

It is selfish to love someone because of selfish attitude.  Every human should be appreciated for their existence, not because of what they can do for us.  We preach love but we did not follow.

Acceptance, had you ever ask someone what they most wanted, was what we craved for.   The feeling of being accepted is a game changer for many.  However, what is bad for the family and society or for the person, should not be accepted.

Love someone not just because you need them.  Not just because you have the obligation to do so.  Not just because you wanted to please your desire.  It is tiresome.

Here, I am not saying my girl is selfish.  It is with them young children.  They will soon outgrow it.  However, she taught me this beautiful thing by the way she acted.

Someone’s love is better not to be taken for granted.  We won’t find the true meaning of it.  And we might end up hurting someone.  When we found out, it might be too late.   I had come across few people who have experienced it in their life.

Above all, there is only one true love, which should not be rejected; Agape* – the unconditional love of God.   I don’t think you are alive today by mistake or just because you take enough care of yourself.  It is because of the love of God.  Even when you do not need and despise His love, you were never rejected.  You are given time….may be you might end up without accepting it.   If so, it our life would be a complete blunder.

“In the time of my favor I heard you, And in the day of salvation I helped you.”*

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 2 Cor. 6:2

Rest assured in him.  However, don’t get me wrong when is say this.  There are so many things to fight in life.  But one thing, God will give you the strength to carry on, lived on.

  • Agape is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love, the highest of the types of love in the Bible.

2 Cor. 6:2, Isaiah 49:8

Reflection of me

‘Now you look like a real Mister’, echoed my son in the back of the room.  I was dressing up for the day.

By this time, I knew someone was always watching my behavior.  What comes from my mouth and what I did are going to have impact on my child.

Parenting was not an easy task.  There is no certain written code, for success, in the program.  While they are young they learn more from what they heard or seen.  They did not have that processing needed for filtering as of now.

It seems we are playing the game of ‘copycats’, if there is such a game ever.  In reality, it is not a game.  I am the main role model for my child at the moment.  I am happy with that.  In the meantime, it is time for me to guide in choosing a role model outside the house, for now and when they grow up.

Which book to pick up first in the morning, they knew already.  How did Daddy start his day?  You ask your little ones, they will have the answers.

Sometimes I think children are the reflection of us, at least before they become intoxicated with the outside world.  So it is important to act thoughtfully, which was rather much easier said than done.

Although studies do not show most of the bad behavior of the child does not reflected from their parents, it is worth a try.

A Broken Bicycle

A Broken Bicycle with chain
A Broken Bicycle

Sam, a young boy, was hustling down his old bicycle in the streets.  As usual, there were people queuing in the vicinity of a dented building.  He was trying to run pass the crowd when suddenly the cycling chain broke into two pieces.

Many times I told my father to get me a new one’, he murmured angrily to himself, as he stood there helpless for a while.

Another boy Jim, who was standing in a long queue nearby, was watching the boy.  He saw what was happening.  More so, he was envious of the boy’s bicycle.  As the boy was cursing, he knew that the boy had a father too.

‘Oh! I wish I had a daddy too’ he sighed heavily.  Jim was trying to get shelter for the night for him and his sick mother.  They are force out of their rented room few months ago.  Jim was happy they got a shelter for the night.

Meanwhile Sam seems to have a terrible day.  But his mother came, and took him home in their car.

Sam’s mother doesn’t look happy either.  By the way and how she behaves with his son; it seems she was too tired taking care of everything for the family.

In a moment, they reached home.  They called the local mechanical agency to fix the broken bicycle. The mechanic came late.  However, he managed to get there just before darkness takeover the dimming sunlight.

Sam’s mother enquired what took him so long.  The mechanic apologized, and told her that he had to buy some medicines on the way and that takes time more than usual.

The mechanic told them, he needed the money for his treatment, so he came despite that.   If not he wouldn’t have come.  He further told her that he used to work in a company.  In the company, he was in the back office operations.  However, he could no more meet his employer’s daily requirement due to his body ailments.  One day, he had to quit the job and he requested his employer to help him.

The request was granted and that is to remain available when there is excess demand for service.  But this time, as a mechanics, the skill he learned during his stay with them.

However, one thing is certain.  He will be able to pay for few medicines more.  The poor mechanic look so happy with what he got, his life.  He was cheerful and happy, humming few songs while repairing the cycle.

The necessary repairing is done.  He put his tools in a bag, and was about to leave the place.  He was so good in his work.  It left Sam giving him a big smile.

Out of a sudden Sam’s father appeared and thank the mechanic. He shook his hand and told him that he was watching from the window, as he was performing his job.

‘You came in the right time,’ he said.  The mechanic was wondering what he was trying to say.

Then he added, ‘I will not bring home my workplace stress with me anymore.  I needed to be happier that I was able to work although I do not fully love my job’.

Contentment depends on our approach to life.

Superhero – an enticing characters

We love something extraordinary, just a larger than life figure, it seems.  Adult and children are equally left bewildered about such characters.  In today’s world, it is another craze of our generation.  It is a good thing to help in understanding the heroes.

Superman, Spiderman, Batman… to kid’s Yokai, you name it.  Characters are countless.  Every distinct culture must have their own characters or myth, which are larger than life.  By the way, we all are fascinated by such stories and character.

I still remember the day I introduced such type of character to my children during our ‘story time’.  The name was Samson-the strongest person recorded in the Bible.  My kids are mesmerized by the story as I was narrating.  Each short pause in the narration was waited by anxious faces.  They have seen much cartoon characters and superheroes movies but not a natural power, who don’t need extra catalyst to incite his power.  It was different.

There is a secret to Samson’s power.  His hair should not be cut.  A razor must not touch his head.  As an adult, Samson’s strength allowed him to tear apart a lion with his bare hands and to defeat many of their enemies* with supernatural acts of strength.  There comes Delilah, the harlot, who was used by the enemy to subdue him.  Samson falls on the beauty of Delilah.  They captured him, cut off his tresses, and was blinded.

After a time, the enemies chose to bring Samson out of prison to make sport of him.  He was brought into the arena during a festival where about 3,000 men and women were in attendance.

Samson repented and begged forgiveness before his God, and also to renew his strength.  God did approve his prayer.  He renewed his strength but not his eyesight.  He died there with many of his enemies.   That’s to it.  He died there amongst his enemies beaucse he despise his purpose.

My children have so many questions to ask regarding this ‘very strong man’.   Would he be stronger than Hulk or Spiderman or Superman….and so on.  Parents, who have experience their curiosity level, will know clearly.  “Can we be as strong as him, if we didn’t cut our hair?”  The reply was, “I don’t think so, No”   But that’s the joy of telling a story to children.

Even in our young ages, we already have a craze for something larger than life.  Although for kids, it is to have control over their friends, to be the boss.  It is not a wonder that the so-called Power Blocs of developed countries are vying for making armaments, which could subdue the poorer countries.  I agree, it does give them huge interest in the political arena.  For man, that is the largest thing they can achieve in a life time.

Now coming back to our Superhero(s), I personally appreciate when they included the famous line, “With great power come great responsibilities”, in the Superhero movies.  It does teach us many things.  Although there is no such thing as Superhero, except for Samson.

It is a good way of teaching the children about responsibilities and the fruit of sin.

*Philistines, the enemy of the Israelites at that time. (Judges 16)