June 27, 2007

Does God really talk to us?

"Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts." Psalms 95:7-8

A young man had been to Wednesday night Bible Study. The Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord's voice. The young man couldn't help but wonder, "Does God still speak to people?"

After service he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways.

It was about ten o'clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, "God...If you still speak to people, speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey."

As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, "God is that you?" He didn't get a reply and started on toward home.

But again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk. The young man thought about Samuel and how he didn't recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli. "Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk." It didn't seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use
the milk. He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started off toward home.

As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge," Turn Down that street." This is crazy he thought and drove on past the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street. At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half jokingly, he said out loud, "Okay, God, I will".

He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in a semi commercial area of town. It wasn't the best but it wasn't the worst of neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people were already in bed.

Again, he sensed something, "Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street." The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat.

"Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid." Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk.

Finally, he opened the door, "Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something but if they don't answer right away, I am out of here."

He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man's voice yelled out, "Who is it? What do you want?" Then the door opened before the young man could get away.

The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn't seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep. "What is it?"

The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, "Here, I brought this to you." The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway.

Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face.

The man began speaking and half crying, "We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn't have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk."

His wife in the kitchen yelled out, "I asked him to send an Angel with some. Are you an Angel?"

The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put in the man's hand. He turned and walked back toward his car and the tears were streaming down his face.

He knew that God still answers prayers. Sometimes it's the simplest things that God asks us to do, if we are obedient to what He's asking,we will to be able to hear his voice more clear than ever. Please listen, and obey! It will bless you (and the world). Phil 4:13

Jesus said, "If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you before my Father."

You might want to share this with someone else... Remember, "Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts." Psalms 95:7-8

Note: This was a email forward received from Bro. Maynard

June 25, 2007

So, who’s managing you now-a-days?

Well, well, well, that’s quite a thought to ponder over for a little while. We all were managed by our parents when we were kids. Similarly, our school and college life was managed by our teachers and professors respectively.

Of course, when we have had a little freedom we’ve all done some mistakes and learned lessons the hard way.

But what of our career and daily operational issues in work life? Are you the Captain of your career cruise, or, some one else is?

On a positive note this week, let’s reflect on our attitude towards our work, career and life. Ask yourself the following questions—

  1. Am I giving my 100% to my work?
  2. Am I serious about progressive learning on the job?
  3. Am I asking intelligent questions to my seniors?
  4. How does my boss rate my work and the quality of it?
  5. How do my seniors perceive me as an individual?
  6. Have I ever asked for feedback from my boss, seniors or colleagues?
  7. Am I so involved with my work that I am ignoring my work relationships?
  8. Am I so busy making friends and chatting that I’m ignoring my work?
  9. Am I proud of at least 3 contributions to my company?
  10. With the current situation, where do I expect myself to be in the next year?

It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and, in a highly dynamic sector like ours, it is an imperative that we’re abreast with the current market scenario, and continuously improve ourselves.

Make your choice today, do you want to manage yourself? Or are you content with others managing you.

Have a productive week ahead!

June 18, 2007

Friends With / Without Faces and odd little names

It speaks straight to our hearts... the Internet generation!!!

We sit and we type,
And we stare at our screens,
We all have to wonder,
What this possibly means.

With our mouse's we roam,
Through the rooms in a maze,
Looking for something or someone,
As we sit in a daze.

We chat with each other,
We type all our woes,
Small groups we do form,
And gang up on our foes.

We wait for somebody,
To type out our name,
We want recognition,
But it's always the same.

We give kisses and hugs,
And sometimes we flirt,
In MIRC we chat deeply,
And reveal why we hurt.

We do form friendships
But why we don't know,
But some of these friendships,
Will flourish and grow.

Why it is on the screen,
We can be so bold,
Telling our secrets,
That have never been told.

Why is it we share,
The thoughts in our mind,
With those we can't see,
As though we were blind.

The answer is simple,
It's as clear as a bell.
We all have our problems,
And need someone to tell.

We can't tell "real" people,
But tell someone we must,
So we turn on the computer,
And to those we can trust.

Even though it is crazy,
The truth still remains,
They are Friends Without Faces,
and odd little names.

I've received this wonderful stuff on a e-mail forward by my friend Manu N. Should you know the author of this, please email, or leave a comment, so the person may be acknowledged here...

June 13, 2007

We don't need golden words...

What we need is some seeds -- words of life

The preacher was meeting the congregation after the service was over, and people started greeting. "Lovely thoughts you shared," said a brother, when another approached "Very good message brother." After a while, a lady approached to compliment him yet again, "Golden words you have spoken." Gosh! Those are few delightful moments for the preacher.

That reminds me of many experiences, where I've seen and heard individuals comment about the preachers message, scrutinizing it and passing judgments. We start of with, "the way I see it..." or "the way I interpret it...", and there you have some varied opinions. Whatever happened to the 'one accord', in which the early disciples used to be in!

I hope most of us have read and understood what the Sadducees and Pharisees used to do. That's what we've exactly become now. It's no surprise though, that we have 600+ (figure might not be exact) denominations only among protestants, and so, we have varied doctrines and philosophies, formation of cults, which only multiply every day. And then, there are counter-teachings about the new-age doctrines.

I am reminded of Luke chapter 8, where Jesus compared the word of God to a seed. While the gap in comparison and Jesus' comparison with respect to 'golden words', and 'seed' is quite visible, what's to be pondered over is - 'Why do we preach'? To impress people or to get complimented? To get more viewers, more donations? Well, I agree that our motives might be mostly right in line with the word of God, but are we packaging it too much with stories, experiences, humour that we're robbing off God's word its spirit and essence?

To adapt the sowers parable in today's scenario, people come, listen, criticize / appreciate, forget... (there's a flip side to this, which is a whole big issue in itself). Whatever the case, maybe be it's time to introspect if we're trying to frame golden words for people to accept, or we're actually sowing some seeds...

We don't need any golden words, we need word-seeds that can sprout and bear some fruit.

June 11, 2007

Priceless words, worthless people

For such, even words seem to loose their value!

It's those first few days when you've fallen in love, and all those words lovers exchange... Man... Priceless! There's no count of the 'I love you's,' Mushy smiles, 'Honey's', 'Darling's', ah! and all those luvy-duvy conversations...

And then, such songs seem to make perfect sense...

'Nothing's gonna change my love for you, (Geroge Benson)
'I'm everything I am, because you loved me' (OST, Up Close and Personal), for instance, or
'Everything I do, I do it for you...' (OST, Robinhood)

Wow, that's a ready made service to express your feelings, isn't it, just play the tape, and pass that love-filled smile, and whisper - 'that's for you, dear.' Easy way to winning hearts!

But, then, look what happens when a lover's got ditched, dumped rather? The love turns sour when people are left closest to tears... Ha! Most of us have been through that... Dean Sherman, in his 'Love, Sex and Relationships' writes, ask an elderly person about their first love, and they'll fondly tell you stories of the same. . No one forgets their first love, and so, no one forgets what left them heart-broken.

And then there are friends, and dear ones who come over, sympathize, empathize... and extend help to get over the 'ditcher', say kind words... and then you realize, that the person neither 'was' or 'is' worth all those words, nor your tears... and whatever time you even spend on thinking about them. 'Worthless', is the word.

Yet, we see such songs, filled with meaning and love... Huh! Priceless words, worthless people, indeed!

Having said that, undoubtedly, there are a very few of those who deserve such words...

June 7, 2007

Pathetic political leadership

What choice to we have instead?

It's election time once again, and there you are, discussing in groups... "Who do you think will win this elections?" All politicians are the same..." and the same common talk sipping tea... Undoubtedly, you'll see the same old faces of politicians splashed everywhere in the media, and should you come across a new one to vote for, you'd not know completely if this one's a good one or not.

There are messages by the election commission, encouraging every eligible citizen to go and caste their votes, and to make their decision. But, are people really that free to make their decision? Do we have the choice to actually not vote for anyone... cos, you might know how filthy are the acts of your local politicians, and how sincerely they do live up to their promises. Many for that matter, can even be called a disease for the community they exist in.

While I was thinking about this issue... It's a great coincidence have this mail in my Inbox today, which is given below, talking of exercising your complete choice--

Did you know that there is a system in our constitution, as per the 1969 act, in section "49-O" that a person can go to the polling booth, confirm his identity, get his finger marked and convey the presiding election officer that he doesn't want to vote anyone !!!!

Yes, such a feature is available, but obviously these seemingly notorious leaders have never disclosed it. This is called "49-O".

Why should you go and say "I VOTE NOBODY"... because, in a ward, if a candidate wins, say by 123 votes, and that particular ward has received "49-O" votes more than 123, then that polling will be cancelled and will have to be re-polled. Not only that, but the candidature of the contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since people had already expressed their decision on them.

This would bring fear into parties and hence look for genuine candidates for their parties for election. This would change the way, of our whole political system... it is seemingly surprising why, and election commission has not revealed such a feature to the public.... please spread this news to as many as you know... Seems to be a wonderful weapon against corrupt parties in India... show your power, expressing your desire not to vote anybody, is even more powerful than voting... so don't miss your chance. So either vote, or vote not to vote (vote 49-O) and pass this info on...

This is a forwarded e-mail, and I do not vouche for it's authenticity. More information is available on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/49-O. In case, this is not entirely true, you may drop in a mail or comment so that appropriate changes may be done.

June 6, 2007

Who made them No.1?

Silly claims to fame can get a bad name

Just came across yet another No.1 XYZ yesterday, after lots of No.1 Website, No.1 Business, No. 1 College, and No. 1 ABC… It looks so na├»ve when you start getting into the details. So, who’s given that title—‘No.1 Company’? NO ONE! It’s like listing your best qualities, and then calling yourself, ‘God, I’m the best’. Such things are figuratively compared to ‘a frog in a well’ (at my native). The frog, because of its limitations thinks— this is my world, and I’m the best. LOL!

Given that we’re now living in a global village, guess companies and individuals must grow beyond these gimmicks of ‘No.1’, ‘world-class’, Best this, Best that… whatever!

I must admit that there have been many other companies to have written about, but this specific one is what triggered this—

Raj Travels had aired a television ad, calling themselves the No.1 in tours… so I Google’d ‘Raj Tours’ to get a warning that this site may be harmful to your computer - http://www.google.co.in/interstitial?url=http://www.raj-travels.com/...and then, the company profile – specifies that… “The CHANGE had taken place and Raj Travels began its journey to become the Number 1 Outbound Tour Operator in the country.” There are no dates to when, how they “revolutionized the entire travel industry in a short span of time.” Nothing more than a typical attention drawing, PR exercise.

The company has rights.

Every individual has those rights, but all such folks need to take a break, think it over – whose yardstick matters when you claim such (treacherous towards ignorant) frivolous ‘best’ titles.

For the audience, it’s time to do some reality check.

June 4, 2007

Whose money is it anyway?

Who can thrive on chaos, and make money out of destruction?

Can you think of someone who can make money on someone's sheer existence? Whether you did or not, I guess you want to include the ‘Media companies’ to that list. Ever wondered how the Media industry has evolved? I am no journalist, but I’m sure they must be teaching some stuff in college.

A rich and famous person gets divorced and her life is in turmoil, media has news. A kid has fallen in a manhole, it’s sensational. Someone has got killed, the family is emotionally devastated, and media wants quotes, news… Whatever is the sanctity of this profession, it baffles me to look at various newspapers, magazines and realize that they’re trying to make money even out of the dying and billions of others who are either happy or weeping o’er their tragic lives (both rich and poor). When nations are waging wars, media houses are concerned about making money about it. Oh, and there’s who wanna argue about its usefulness—Media plays an important role, it creates awareness and blah blah blah…

No, let’s not discount the role of all the journalists risking their lives to bring news of wars, people at remote locations, get shot and killed for nothing! My journo friend Surabhi wouldn’t want me to sound so very negative… But unfortunately, that’s the greatest paradox today… journalists at the bottom keep running pillar to post finding and breaking stories and file them, but unfortunately, the decision of what goes for print, and what doesn’t is not theirs to execute. Pity, when honest stories might sometimes be tampered with to give them a unwanted facelift, and change the whole meaning of it. All the sweat, blood and efforts… flushed at one decision of the editor.

Having said that, do we really believe that today’s media is only about revealing facts and breaking stories… I believe those values have got buried long ago till people started minting money out of it through public relations, advertisements, add to that powerful people wielding their influence over the media. The situation today is… people don’t even know if what they get to know is true… “You never know,” remarks one of my associates. “Nevertheless,” says another one, “students get benefited, as their communication skills get honed, depending on what media they’re reading/ watching.”

Television channels are interested in TRP ratings, so we have all the unnecessary ‘Flash news’, foolish sensational stories; and the print media's more interested in readership. So, some newspapers in India go the extent of, I quote one of my professors ‘making their supplements equal to pornographic books thrown at your doorstep early in the morning’. Huh! Some heights there! What about all the researches about Top brands, Top Celebrities, Top This, Top That… Some Bull**** they’ve got to offer there. What else, they also have a lots of buyers to it!!! Let me share a secret (if it actually is) — You can be clear of all doubts that these ratings and rankings given out by almost all publishers are (at least a little) fudged.

Says Joy Suchitra, a research consultant, “Refer to the recent madness on television about celebrity weddings like that of Abhi-Ash… the media went bonkers overdoing their coverage… wonder how many days media ignored the rest of important happenings to cover that private affair.”

There’s still a great trickery adopted by media which not everyone discusses openly. The presentation of truth and lies on the same platter, it’s like the Da Vinci Code recipe; you give few facts, add loads of fiction, and bingo, you've created an illusive story… So media houses have sections of handpicked letters to the editor, wanted, unwanted, deliberated and forceful stories, articles and other messages to create the packages called magazines, newspapers, tabloids, and of course, not to miss all those innovative titles given by various news channels. What more, they’re a hit!!!

Tampering, Fudging, Fraud… they’re all so common in the media… I wonder if we could do a sting operation on key media personnel. Cos, it’s become a vicious cycle, controller of media, the ministry of information, politics, the other authorities, and people in power join hands to make a complete mockery of it (of course, there are exceptions always)… But one thing is certain—they’ll never cease to cash-in the most bizarre event or people, ‘cos that’s where they make their big bucks from. Making money out of everything, anything! Coming to serious issues that affect you, me, the society at large, this question still remains unanswered—will we ever know the truth?

If the media industry is just evolving now in India, wonder what’s the state of media industry in developed and underdeveloped nations is like!