Who Will Welcome Me?

Our Pastor welcomed me, amidst the congregations, as I attend our church’s Sunday Worship Service again. Almost a year had gone since I last attended. It really was a great privilege for me being able to go to church again.

When he gracefully asked me to stand, calling on my name, to welcome me; it brought an ineffable merriment deep in my heart. My heart knows, very deeply, it was only by the grace of God that I am able to set my foot in the church, on my own.

So when my name was called and I rose to stand amongst my fellow churchgoers, my heart pounded with joy. These questions filled me, instant and warmly: Who will welcome me when I get to heaven? Will I be there when my name is called? ……. I want my Savior to richly welcome me home when my life on earth’s over.

Although I wanted to leave it behind as of now, here I’ll give a quick look back at what had happened two years ago:

In the last quarter of 2015, I have developed unwanted health problem for which I was hospitalized for three long consecutive periods, each lasting more than three weeks. The second installment of my hospital stay witnessed me underwent brain surgery, just before Christmas that year.

In the third installment, I was rushed into the hospital in an ambulance. My loving God graciously spared my life this time although there’s a possibility of me going home. Since I already wrote about these experiences, I wouldn’t go into details here.

These episodes in my life left me to stay at home; caring for the damage caused during this period. That is the reason why I am unable to attend our church worship services, on Sundays, for almost a year. However, I am blessed to get enough verses, from the Bible – the word of God, while in my hospital bed. I’d read and re-read during this period.

A Rich Welcome:

2 Peter 1:11 reads, you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Only those of us who are saved by the blood of the Lamb are entitled enter the eternal kingdom of our Lord after death. While this offer is made for all, it is limited with certain terms and conditions.

Welcome to the universe
Welcome with open arms: for reference purpose only

We should make every effort to add goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection and love to our faith. And possesses these qualities in increasing measure, we’ll be productive and not stumble on our way to the eternal kingdom. More importantly, we should be cleansed from our past sins.

Just as the Prodigal Son was welcomed by his father, we’d be welcomed by our Savior should we faithfully follow Him. When his father saw him, he ran to his son; threw his arm around his son and kissed him. His servants brought in the best robe and put it on him. (Luke 15:11-32)

This time, in heaven, it would be a white robe, which shone bright in the presence of the glorified Lamb of God. We’d assemble joyfully joining the angels with our savior as our mediator. And the God of hope would fill us with joy and peace.

Deeply Missed Welcome:

My father, who welcomes me home every time I visited home, was no more to be seen here on earth. I can still remember his welcoming words, the place he would stand, thanking the Almighty Father for keeping us safe.

He always wanted me go home straight, without lingering on the way bothered by relatives, extended families and friends. ‘Set your heart on our humble dwellings – our home,’ father would advise us. Our worldly home doesn’t offer much but it is here in this place, we find a loving heart.

Then the day came when my father was no longer to greet me. Emptiness stung my heart. But his words remained to console my grieving soul. For he told me, he had a father who lovingly saved his soul and prepare a place for him.

When the thought of my father resting in the arms of the savior crossed my mind it gave me peace. Yet I deeply missed even his mere presence.

Musings on the Heavenly Welcome:

There are times when I ponder over the grand welcoming awaiting us. The privilege we have in the blood and promises of Christ. A day, which will surely come, when we enter our eternal being.

Have you ever thought about it? It is time we get ready. Do we need to worry so much about our welcoming? No, but we must be certain where we’re headed, confidently.

I cannot say much about the grand welcoming as I’m still here like you. But I have hope that it will happen in the near future. Here are some musings of mine:

How will they welcome me, when I got home?
Will I be there when they called on my name?
Yes, my name’s surely in the Book of Life.
Worn out, suffered, in the valley of death
Who will welcome me in the gate of heaven?

When I cross o’er the other side of life
Will they call on my name as I stood there?
Would my happiness worth the pain
That day; Savior will wipe my tears away.
Would I regret not having shed more tears?
What joy to be saved by the blood of the Lamb!

What would be my welcoming words before Him?
Will He say, Come in, worthy servant?
What will happen when I see His face?
Will I simply stand shamed; empty-handed?

Would the desire of my heart be completely filled?
Oh, how I long to be there!
I wanted my sufferings be rewarded
Afflict me more, would I say in regret?
The crown, would I be entitled?
Oh, who will welcome me?
I want my Savior to welcome me!

© 2018, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

Our Reading Time at Home

My son joined me as I was reading my daily dose of devotionals. He was learning how to read. We were struggling with those repertoires of vowels.

When I hold the book in my hand, he’d simply take a seat beside me, pushing me slowly. So, for the next few moments, we are going to spend some time together. We change our place of reading, from time to time.

Many of the words are difficult for a five-year-old to read. The vowels did have many sounds. They were important because the vowels were the letters that really make the sound out of a word. But we go on. We even prayed for the vowels to go easy on us.

In reality, we are following the instructions of their teacher in the schools too. They pressed hard on reading practice at home. Since English is not our native language, we are speaking indigenous tongue; we have to learn several languages.

I am happy because he came out of his sheer will of learning. Although it consume much of our time, it was worth trying, spelling the long words and trying to make the most suitable pronunciation out of them. Sometimes it might sound silly. But is it silly? I thought not!

Reading daily devotionals at home
Our reading time at home

In the meantime, he would say English reading is really hard. However, I assured him that in few times he would be as smooth as the news readers. Most things are difficult when we learn, many times, I assured him.

It requires a lot of patience followed by encouraging words from me. Sometimes, we wonder together where these words have come from. The laughter and the thoughts that followed our reading times are worth more than our struggles.

The Good Part of Our Reading:

Now let me tell you the best part of our experience. But let me tell you that we are still struggling.

When we’re done with our reading, we’d revisited the meaning and lessons to be learn from our devotional readings.
He insisted on telling him the Bible verse for the day:

“Papa, now tell me our Bible verse for today with the meaning,” he said. To which I quickly, at the same time happily, read out the given verse again and again.

We would revisit the stories around which the verse was taken. He was more than willing to listen. One more thing: explaining those difficult words and their meanings are valuable.

The best part is that it’s a good time teaching Christian values straight from the Bible. When we understand the words; why it was recorded or written, to whom, for what purpose, and its implications, it is good for the soul.

Explaining the Given Verses:

Our reading task can be arduous but it few minutes of uphill climb we could understand them all. Some of the words in the Bible are deep-rooted. But when we asked the owner of the word, we can have a sufficient understanding of the words.

Here, in this short space, I cannot share you those multiple verses we read every day. But I wanted to share you one:

One evening, we are reading about a topic on rest; the rest we are invited to have. (Matthew 11:28) For a young child in his tender age, who’s hardly weary and burdened, it takes time to let him understand in its truest sense.

We started by saying that our world is full of weariness, pain, hunger, debt, poverty, disease, illness, and death. Now he stopped me, there are few of them he understood. For example, he knows what hunger is – when he is very hungry and I did not give him something to eat. That’s really difficult, he said. It is because it could take times preparing the best meal for our children.

He also understood illness and few more. We always pray for daddy to get well. When we pray for someone and our self, God really did work in the best way for us. The reality is, God’s ways are His ways, we cannot understand in its subtlety.

Jesus Christ invited us to have this rest. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” And we need this rest!

We are entitled to have this rest, in His blood, even during this life. While our pains and worries would be wiped away in its entirety when we attended the new heaven and new earth. (Rev. 21:1-5)

Everyone Needs Rest:

We spend some more time listening, to the type of worries and pain, from a five-year-old. Sometimes we burst out laughing listening to the list; but all the listings are given due important. Maybe, I will write some other day.

In our walk of life, we wanted many things. All the things we wanted are not a necessity for living. But when our wants are not fulfilled it can caused weariness in our living. Our wants can be misunderstood as our needs too.
So, in several certain situations we need understandings from God, which would eventually give us rest!

Even in our reading exercise our eyes can get strained. Straining in our eyes can be simple for some, but it caused uneasiness and sometimes pain. We need to take a short break from our reading period.

In the end, our reading together, with my son, is one of those moments that would be sweetly cherished. It is a privilege to enjoy special time with our love ones. This experience taught us certain lessons, as a parent, and as part of our Christian Living.

© 2018, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

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!

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

Voice of the Pilot

In the summer of 2015, with a heavy heart, I’d boarded a flight on my way back home. I was heavy-hearted because I am back from attending the funeral service of my dear elder brother’s departed soul.

My mother dropped me to the local bus terminal. She reminded me to not indulge in unwanted thought and assured she’d be praying for me.

When I boarded the flight from Dimapur Airport (DMU), the pilot welcomed us. The pilot assured us of a pleasant flight in his hoarse voice. He was talking after taking few breaks, it seems.

It was a pleasant flight till we stopped at Kolkota Airport (CCU) for allowing some passengers to join us. It rained very heavily.

In the meantime, the pilot apologizes for the delayed take off. After a brief wait we take off heading towards our destination New Delhi (DEL).

Upon nearing our destination, sudden jerking of the plane can be felt inside. A likely squall from the nearby Thar Desert region seems to be causing turbulence in the plane.

a pilot in the sky
An aeroplane in the sky

We, passengers, are in panicky-mode when we are told to calm down and wait for advice from the cockpit. We waited. With the turbulence being still there, it is more than difficult to remain calm.

Passengers young and old are demanding update from the pilot in that short, long, span of time. No update was received as expected. Instead the flight stewards are trying to calm everyone on board.

The pilot’s voice might not bring good news, we don’t know, but still we wanted to hear his voice. That’s when this line crossed my mind, ‘the pilot who hardly speaks’.

In moments of distress, we wanted hear some voice with authority, at least, from time to time. But the pilot did not do that. He might have his reasons but we don’t know!

Then, a voice was finally heard. We are diverted to take landing in the nearby Airport available, as the condition did not improve.

We made a U-turn and headed towards Lucknow Airport (LKO), where we did refueling of the plane. There we landed.

Again, it is time to wait for the voice. Personally, with my health not in its best, it was difficult to endure such kind of journey. But I have no choice in hand.

Darkness has already descended. The four hours, approximate, traveling time has been doubled. When we first boarded the flight we did not expect this to happen.

Again, we take off and reached our destination New Delhi airport more than five hours late. We were tired and exhausted. But finally we deboard the plane and we will be home, soon.

Let me tell you why I narrate this journey:

It has great similarity with my own life. The usually empty heart, the unexpected turns, and U-turns. Always needing a guiding voice. The insecure heart!

In our journey of life, there is a pilot. The journey cannot and was not always pleasant. We can be empty, tired, and exhausted due to different and difficult circumstances. I am also one of them.

Many times, we wanted to hear a voice which assured us to go on even in unwanted circumstances. The voice of the pilot of our life – Jesus Christ, was unheard. Especially, when most needed.

But His voice not being heard does not mean He is not there. Yes, sometimes He remained silent. He might be silent because we did not pay heed to Him. Or, may be, He has far greater plan beyond we can understand.

As long as Jesus Christ is there in the cockpit, He will lead us home. He will not leave us midway.

U-turns are a possibility. Personally, when I tried to settle down the way I’d planned, I was made to take U-turn in life earning zero. But since He is there, I have hope.

Even if I did not take off from my present situation, I will meet Him one day and all my questions will be met. That voice, I longed to hear again in my journey of life.

Should there be a necessity to crash in my journey, my pilot knows what’s best. I know my pilot. Did you? Will you?

One day a voice will call our name to be with Him.

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

With my little ones: In the same shade

Reflecting back on what has happened to me when I first take up almost the full job of looking after our two children; my three-year-old son and eight-month-old daughter, then.

I had undergone right Amygdalohippocampectomy on December 14, 2015, and the unexpected huge repercussions that happened early in January 19, 2016 that nearly ended my life, here on earth.  Now the time has arrived for me to spend most of my time with my two children again.

Left my permanent job with the sole purpose of looking after my two children, life has been more of a blessing than sadness.

I had spent, most of my childhood days, missing my parents, as I have the chance to stay with close relatives, for the purpose schooling and helping them or them helping me.  Many tears have been shed by me because I had missed my parents so much.

So, it has been my goal that once I had my own child I will not leave them whether they are with somebody or not as long as possible.  I want them to have me by their side in whatever they need and witness them as many as I could.

In that way our emotional attachment and understanding might reach the necessary level needed by a normal human being.  However, I do not want to be a possessive Dad, throughout my life, either.

They are my (our) hope for a better future.  Even if I didn’t succeed in trying to mold them into a good human being, I will simply say, I ‘d tried my best.  I gave them my whole time, in this short span of life.  Furthermore, it is more important for me that they live their life in the likeness of God.

On the contrary, I have this fear that I might not be able to provide them their financial needs.  Also, there is also this fear that in my old age I might not be able to take care of myself and left alone by myself.  There is no guarantee in life that every good or bad thing is going to happen.

A life, once lived, will not come back, as they say.  I may regret or I may regret not, that is in the hands of the Heavenly Father.  Sometimes, I did missed my office-goer life.  “Fight the good fight”.

Yes, it is important for me state that I am not a single parent.  My wife is working hard to put bread on the table every day.  Work culture in our city was hard.  No reasonable off-days when most needed were common.

Happy Father’s Day!

*Re-published Sept 2016

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

Homebound – Walk of Life

There was a rich and influential man.  He was influential because he was rich.

He was a good man but with shrewd workers.  His workers loved him as they can take advantage of him.  As far as he is concerned, he felt people loved him.

His workers exploited the common people and his riches were built out of their sweat.  Since he’d interacted with his closed associates, he never knew how people felt about him.  There are few homeless men around him whom people cared.

People regarded him as being selfish and greedy.  His obsession with luxury lifestyle spoke for them.  He never interacted with the common people.

Unpredictable journey
Unpredictable

One evening, he had a terrible accident and never recovered from it.  He could sense the end is near but he wanted to live at any costs.  His wealth wouldn’t last long, he thought.

He had a wish, he ordered his burial-place must be prepared in a spacious land with perfectly designed small structure.

Gradually, his wealth had declined.  He has nothing left behind for his heir-apparent, which further eroded the happiness in his life.

The end has come.  So they buried him in that specified land, per his wish.

Several times had gone by, when one day, the news of a homeless man’s death is doing the rounds.  The people, who knew him well, wanted to give him a good burial at the least.

The homeless man’s life story was filled with bitter fate.  He gave his best shot but was still reduced to this condition.  So he had the sympathy and loved of the people.  They contributed to buy his dead body a burial spot.

They heard about the heir-apparent of the rich man’s deteriorating living condition.  And they propose him to sell some land, which he obliged immediately.

At last, the homeless man was buried.  He was laid to rest next to the rich man’s spot.  The people are happy to perform the last rite of the homeless man.

In their short span of life, they walked different path, although undetermined.   They both are hated by some and loved by some as well.

Ostensibly, they ended in the same place and in the same spot.  They are going home!

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

Home that’s where the heart is!

It was a hot summer day.  My son just came home from school.  After finishing his home assignments, it was time for him to take a short nap.  It is a great privilege for me to assists him in whatever I could.  I’d sing him a lullaby, which would coolly put him to sleep peacefully.  I would watch him sleeping from near, very dearly.  Somehow I was reminded of my childhood days.

Since my Kindergarten days, I had the privilege of living away from home in our relatives places.  I’d stayed in their places, which are miles away from home.  This practice helped us in many ways, mostly on financial grounds, as we could not afford good schooling.  This staying away from home gave me immense joy and experience in my life.

It was during the night, I mostly craved for home.  The touch of my parents and grandparents along with my siblings was deeply missed.  Many times, I remember lying in a pool of my own tears.  This was NOT because my relatives were harsh to me.  It was just that I missed home.  The smell of home just passed through my senses.  I was just a lonesome child far away from home.  I can recall my cousins ‘sympathizing’ me as best as they could.

Summer holidays are welcomed with great excitement.  For a short stay at home we would walk miles with gaiety.  Once I told my parents, I’d already shed enough tears for the love of them that I wouldn’t shed no more tears in their departure.  However, I realized that it was far from the truth.  When Daddy was diagnosed with cancer, I regretted going to the city for pursuing higher studies.  I told him straightaway I spent too little time with them.

Home that’s where the heart is! The corporal punishments and scolding for better behavior was still sweet from parents, not from anyone other than them.  In a matter of time, we all become grownups, which make it necessary to start making our own living and fight for our survival.  At that point of life, it was impossible to stay together if the pasture was thinning away with time.  Even now we lived faraway from home.  We need to find our own way of sustaining life.

For someone, I know, it might feel not worth telling or uncalled for.  I find it to be indispensable.   We need to remind ourselves what we’ve been through.   It is simple but close to my heart.   Your comments and experience, if available, would be appreciated.   Let me reiterate here again that;

Home that’s where the heart is!

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.