A Thankful Heart – 2

“Papa, I have something for you in my bag. We have to give thanks,” he said. He was smiling bright as usual.

“Let me see?”

“Not now, when we get home.”

We climb up the stairs until we reach our floor. Once inside, he opens his school bag and showed me a ‘Certificate of Merit’ which he got from a competition in his school.

“We have to thank God for this,” he said.

“Yes, very well said. I will do the honor.”

“No Papa, I will say it by myself. I know how to.”

So, we closed our eyes to be in one heart. He thanked God, in the name of Jesus Christ, for every minute detail of His help during and before the competition.

As a dad, it was a proud moment to cherish for me for a long time. It was more of my son’s thanksgiving attitude that I would cherish more. It was a good lesson for me too.

A thankful heart is more valuable than gold. It cannot be bought nor can it be stolen.

My five-year-old son prayed for God’s help every night. He even asked Him to stand with him so that he might not fear standing before the audience. I heard him praying every night.

At least, we should thank God when we get what we asked for. Although we missed tons of things in our prayers; I meant we get more than what we deserve. Should we get only those things we asked, we would not have survived this far.

There is always, always something to be thankful for. We can be thankful for the people around us. Without their understanding and their help, life would be really hard. They are the one who makes life worth living.

What about thanking God for all the works He did behind the scene? In other words, for those blessings that can’t be seen, or even felt, we can be thankful.

Whether in our good and bad situation, we should be thankful. Not only thankful, we should give thanks. That’s how the Bible tells us to be. Let’s read here:

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God for Christ Jesus in you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, Ephesians 5:20)

Sometimes we should be thankful for the adversities we faced on our way. For they could make us stronger in faith, it could be a renewing phase for our old and harden attitude.

However, it should not be taken as an obligation to be thankful. It should stem out straight from our heart. And that would be more acceptable to our God.

Yet we can ask God to give us a thankful heart. Or we can ask for revitalizing our once thankful heart. For it can get minimized in our busy schedule of life. We can spent some time alone and reflect on the work of God in our life.

It might be intended or unintended but a thankful heart keeps away the work of evil.

So this is about living a daily life. If I didn’t tell you the biggest reason to be thankful, it would be incomplete and misleading.

The most important reason to be thankful would be because of the sacrifice Jesus Christ paid for us on the cross.
With full of grace, mercy, and love, Christ Jesus was crucified. He took the pain for mankind. He was buried yet rose again from the dead. The price for our sin was paid, and gets us connected to the Father again; a place was assured with Him, one day.

Let us give thanks for this act of love for saving mankind!

Let us be thankful for everything!

Abiding Grace: The Joy of Companionship

In moments of sadness and happiness, we always need someone’s company to be with us.

‘Companion’ in its verb form could be ‘accompany’ with whom one spends lots of time with or travel with.    Synonyms of ‘companionship’ are friendship, acquaintance, togetherness, and many more.

Birds sitting and playing on a tree
The Joy of Companionship

We do know that God is always with us.  His abiding grace is sufficient.  But many times, we cannot feel His companion right away.  To feel it, first, we need to empty ourselves and give Him, His much deserved, space.  Surely, He will make us whole again.

Let me share you part of my journal entry.


June 14, 2017 1400 HOURS

As usual, some unwanted occurrence visited me.  This time, it’s a bit harder.  But I try to let it pass as soon as possible.  It might be due to the change in weather condition, I guess, as it happened before.

We were at home with my two little children.  I let them know of my situation and that God’s abiding grace will be with us.

I kneel down to pray sliding on our bed.  My eyes got a bit blurry but I was fine.  My little ones did not want to disturb me.

They came, and as we pray, I hold them in my arms – one on my left and the other on my right.  I told them to put their holy hands on my head and pray for me too.  And they did!

“Heal my daddy’s head inside-out.  Please give daddy longevity.  That, we will live together for a long time.  We love him very much!”

On hearing their prayer, it gives me new strength and I was filled with tears of happiness.  It gives me strength to carry on.

Then I resume my prayer and thank God for everything.  His companionship came in the form of my own children today!  I am really hopeful that my God would consider their request.


We cannot, always, have the same strength as yesterday’s.  It might be due to different reasons.  Small things, for some other persons, can still let us down.  As long as we are breathing, it will exist.

When we were discouraged and disturbed, we want companion, at least.   But, if you’re like me, we don’t want to let loose our mind and everything either.

Today, in what form do you get your companion – that, I did not know.  However, our heavenly father is and was so kind to be with us.  It is just that we don’t have time to realize His presence.

It reminded me of how Elisha was prompted to ask God to open the eyes of his servant to see ‘the invisibles’!  (Read 2 Kings 6: 14-17)

In moments of loneliness and helplessness, several times, we wanted to see ‘the invisibles’, if you’re like me.  For a person who easily gets disturbed because of the long-suffering and not living the dream, we wanted to feel His presence, His abiding companionship, every day and every hour.

For the wandering mind, the companionship of someone is most needed.  For the insecure at heart, it gives relief with someone’s mere companion.  That is one among the JOY of living with an abiding grace.

Do not fear. He will keep you safe and sound, in His companionship.

 

Please feel free to comment or write your thoughts.

What do you want to say to God?

“Papa, I forget my prayer lines!” exclaimed my son.  The feeling of little disappointment can be sense from his voice.  And I rushed to his rescue, immediately.

join hands while praying
Joined hands in prayer

A child needs to be taught how to pray.  I teach my children few prayer lines, which I thought, would instill the practice, and make it easier for them beginners.  Bed time, morning, and mealtime provided suitable time for such practices.

“Dear, don’t get upset,” I said to encourage him in his learning.  It is a good feeling when a child wanted to say a prayer by themselves.

In the meantime, questions like: Why do I need to pray? Is God really watching… needed to be answer sincerely and carefully.

“What will I do if I forget my lines again?” he asked.

“Son, you won’t forget again. However, if it happens again think about what you wanted to say to God.”

His eyes shone bright in excitement!

So I continued, “Because, in reality, you are talking to God when you pray.  If you are happy, say thank you to God.  If you are upset, let it be known to God.  If you want something you didn’t have  yet, you tell Him.  Then, if it’s necessary for you, God will give you.  So, say something at the least.”

“Oh! I’ll keep that in my mind next time,” said my son who now looks really excited.  And he really did it.  I’ve seen him.

Again, I asked him, “What do you want to say to God?”  The answers seem to be unending.  For a child, who did not know what to say to God a few minutes back, he was now flooded with his so many ‘thank yous’ as well as his request for himself and others he cared for.

During His time here on earth, Jesus Christ taught disciples how to pray.1 It makes me believed that one needed to be taught how to pray, especially for beginners in life and  spiritual new born.  More importantly, it is the heart which really matters than what we expressed, we are also told.

We are so blessed that we can pray anytime, anywhere, and whenever we need His presence.   God is omnipotent and preeminent, and we knew that, although there are some people who didn’t accept it.

Sometimes, being an adult human in the ‘groaning’ planet, it is difficult to get into the mood for praying.  I don’t feel connected.  The feeling of being unconnected, mostly, is because I had focus too much on myself or due to an astonishing lack of discernment.

However, in that particular time and place, I needed prayer the most.  In those moments, your priceless act of concern by praying for me will set me free.   There is no such thing as insurmountable problem in the eyes of God.

So, whether you are happy or unhappy, let me urge you to say something to God.  For your one act of random kindness by prayer will work wonders for you and for others as well.

1. Matthew 6:9-13 (The Lord’s Prayer)

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)

Special Time; Story Time at Home

Story time with children
Story time at home

It was mostly quiet at this time of the day.  For most of the city slickers, it is time to take rest just after having their lunch.  My children were done with their assigned work.  It was calm, and the wind was lazy, just before taking their noon time nap, it was story time for us.

“Papa, tell us a story,” they demanded .  Our special time is about to begin.

They would settle down into their favorite place, or should I say, ‘our story place’ of the house facing the trees.  I’d gather them around my arms and hold them together to narrate stories, which I hope would have morals in their life.  I have the chance to pick the genre of stories, but not always.

For a Dad, who was no more working, it was always special to be able to spend precious time with my children.  Most of the time, stories told by my Dad and Granddad, in my younger days were retold.  It was a time to inculcate knowledge about the reality of life to the young minds.

Relatively important topics like; why people die? Why is my sister a female? Why not all humans are male? and the likes, were covered in these times.  It was always a special moment in a day.

Why did Mommy need to work?  This needed to be answered many times.  Most of the times, my kids get emotional, and, I feel, draw closer to me.  But what is more important is to tell them the importance of what Mommy is doing for them.  Balancing act needed to be done cautiously.

One thing that made me happy was their eagerness to learn and knows the life stories of Jesus Christ.  After every short stories or topic-wise discussion, came up the demand for at least a brief incident in the life of Jesus.  That always ended up with me enacting the implications of what has been told.

This small practice, simply, many times reminded me of the sharpness of young minds.  How the world has changed the mind of people and the impact of technology on their minds, which I will later discuss here, can be seen.

It makes life worth living.  Happiness can be seen from small things in life rather than the much-anticipated or highly-rated social events.