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October 23rd, 2014

The Crown Of Roses In The Thorns Of Life

Holy Rosary

Rajkumar was one of my close friends during college days. He was a joyful and charming youth. Kind of a “yo-yo” in today’s fashioned words!!! He often wanted to enjoy his life. Although born in a middle class family he never felt the need to grow up in his life and help his hard toiling parents because his parents just cared and loved him so much that he never felt any pain in his life.

Days and months passed. When I reached the third year of my college life, I came to know that Raj was addicted to alcohol and girls! I recollected the days in the first year of my college life, where he used to seek my help in studies just to get the pass mark. And I remember him saying that he was the school topper for the 10th grade in his school. All those memories once made me ask him what has pulled him to get addicted to all these things? And his reply was so simple – “Friend !!! We have only one life and we have to enjoy it to the fullest!!!”

Years passed. Four years later and just few days ago, while browsing through my Facebook feeds I saw one of his closest friend posting Raj’s photo with the tagline “R.I.P Raj”. I was really surprised. I never believed it but later I was compelled to digest the fact that Raj, a 25-year-old lad, passed away while travelling in a bus, in his sleep.

Thorns of Life

Now, what are these thorns of life? The moment we hear “thorns”, only problems of our life come into our mind. And in fact you are correct. But then I would like to classify these thorns into two, Visible and Invisible. All the problems, which we feel is a real problem, are these visible thorns and all those which we think are not really a problem as per today’s fast growing world are the invisible thorns.

Visible thorns are part of life and most of us have them a lot . And believe me, we are called to enjoy these visible thorns! Because they refine us to become as pure as gold. But invisible thorns are more serious. The life of Raj was ruined just because he was unable to detect these invisible thorns in his life. He thought he was enjoying his life and in reality he was ruining it.

Even today, we never think of things which are required to enter the house of the creator but we just enjoy our life by looking at the things which make us and our children comfortable. Beware of these invisible thorns because these are the most poisonous thorns that can pierce deep into our lives and destroy it completely.

Is life not to be enjoyed?

So does this mean that this life is not to enjoy ourselves? Never!!! This life is called only to enjoy and to enjoy it in its fullest with the creator. For the holy words are as follows: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”(Jn. 10:10). Most of us are really afraid about our death because we cling on just to the worldly enjoyments and relations we have here. But shift your focus and keep it straight towards Christ because the life which He gives never ends!

St. John The Apostle

Dear friends in Christ, shifting our focus to Christ in this worldly life is really tough. But the history quotes enormous number of people who focused their lives towards Christ. Here, I would like to quote a character from the Holy Bible, none other than the energetic apostle St. John. St. John was a similar youth as Rajkumar, a young lad clad with all kinds of thorns of life. But when Christ called him, he shifted his focus towards Christ, who alone can give life in abundance. His thirst for this abundant life drove him until the foot of the cross where our Lord was bearing the excruciating pains of our sins.

Imagine! What kind of feelings would have gone through the mind of St. John? The feeling of loneliness, the question that who is going to be with them when their savior is about to leave them, the urge to go to the cross and get crucified with Christ, the question that who is going to wipe away their thorns of life. And dear friends, even while going through such an agonizing pain, our Christ had only one thing to tell, pointing out to our Mother Mary, to John, “Here is your mother” (John 19:27) . Further the word of God says “And from that hour the disciple (John) took her into his own home”(John 19:27). John further lived his life until 94 years and became the only disciple who was never martyred.

Are you enjoying life in its abundance?

In this world, where people communicate with each other with just a swipe of their fingers, where people seldom think of reciting the rosary in their families but are ready to welcome their friends for a cocktail party at home, where praying has become a mere ritual and out fashioned, where helping others have turned into a prestige factor, where hearts doesn’t work but brains do , I simply have one simple question for you – Are you enjoying life in its abundance? If the answer is a big “NO”, then dear friends, in Christ God is calling us to give this life in abundance.

As St.John was thirsty to enjoy this life in abundance, we also can gear up to enjoy it, as he did. Lets gear up towards the feet of the cross with the pains of our Christ getting hammered in the Cross, with the pains that is hammering us even today at our work places and in our homes, let’s go to Christ. And looking at all our pains, he has only one thing to say to us pointing to our Mother Mary – “Here is your mother!!!”. And now its our turn to take her into our homes, to take her into our hearts, to take her wherever we go. Because only through her we can reach Christ.

What can we do now?

Lets take some strong decisions in our lives today. As the famous author Robin Sharma says, “Be strict not to others but to yourself. And that’s the way to success!!!”. No matter what we were till this day, lets shape up what we should be in the coming days. Just as we stick a paper, lets start sticking our hearts to Christ and the only strongest bond that makes us stick to Christ is Mother Mary.

Rosary, the strongest prayer the Catholic Church teaches us, is the most pleasing way to welcome our Mother to our homes and into our hearts. The word Rosary comes from the Latin word “Rosarium” which means the ‘crown of roses’. And that’s why Christ took the excruciating pain of the crown of thorns to his head and gave us this crown of roses, which is easily bearable for us. So let us start to recite his beautiful crown of roses, the Holy Rosary and give all our thorns of life to our Mother who will relentlessly give it to the one who is ready and happy to bear it for us! Amen.

- – – written by Charles Sunny


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October 18th, 2014

How Do You Spend Your Free Time?

How Do You Spend Your Free Time

Free time is not a trivial matter. The activities we participate in during our moments of leisure shape our identity.

The Apostle Paul tells us not to make good use of our time, but to make the best use of our time. His understanding of the present evil age leads him to strong exhortation regarding the way followers of Jesus must manage our time. Our lives are so short. James reminds us that our life is little more than “a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”

How Are We Spending Our Free Time?

Why then do we fritter so much of our lives away in front of the television screen? Why do we spend every evening playing or watching sports? Why do we spend our weekends roaming the shopping malls, looking at more things we do not need?

Jesus tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Seeking first the Kingdom means we are not seeking after the same things as the pagan world around us: food, drink and clothing.

We must take a good look at our lives. Do we shop as often, and for the same things, as our non-Christian neighbors? Do we covet all the newest fashions? Are we as drawn to the latest technological gizmos as everyone else? Too often, we give lip service to seeking first the Kingdom, while our lives demonstrate pagan preoccupations.

Structuring Our Free Time

Structuring our free time in a God-honoring way means we will prioritize our leisure activities so that it is clear that Jesus is on the throne of our lives. We will make time for daily Bible study and prayer. We will share meals around the table instead of in front of the tube. We will engage in family prayer and worship. And when our devotion to Jesus collides with the temptation to put something else on the throne, we will demonstrate to the world who is our King.

One way we can prioritize our activities is quite practical. Many organized sports leagues now play soccer or softball on Sundays, as though it were any other day. What should a Christian do in this situation?

Here’s another example: While in high school, my brother played for an advanced soccer league that practiced every Wednesday night during the church’s youth group hour. My brother was faced with a dilemma: should he sacrifice his potential soccer scholarship in order to attend church? Or should he sacrifice Jesus on the altar of his sports ambitions? I was proud of his choice to fellowship with the Body of Christ, even if it meant he sacrificed playing time during the games. (Later, he was awarded a soccer scholarship to a Christian university.)

Sundays Are Important

Too many Christians pay lip service to Jesus as King and yet demonstrate by their recreational choices that something else is on the throne. Ball is Baal. When parents replace Sunday morning worship with a Sunday morning ballgame, they are communicating more to their children through that one action than many years’ worth of words stressing the importance of church attendance.

We declare something to be worthy by giving it our time and attention. Sports, movies, television, video games, shopping — all of these activities may be worthy of a place in our lives. But in a world in which people are bowing down to the Caesar of Leisure, spending so much time and energy in recreation and entertainment, Christians should intentionally seek to undermine the high status given to leisure by showing people that Jesus is more worthy.

What Should I Do?

For some, it will mean cutting out certain forms of entertainment completely. For others, it will mean sacrificing Sunday ballgames for Sunday worship. Our friends who are devoted to leisure might think we are crazy for cutting the cable cord, stopping our shopping sprees, praying at fixed hours, or missing some sporting events. Ironically, it is only when we put leisure back in its proper place under the lordship of Christ that we restore true sanity (the Apostle Peter calls it “sobermindedness”) to our lives.

What we do with our free time shows who is King of our lives.

- – – written by Trevin Wax on his book ‘Holy Subversion’


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September 27th, 2014

Jesus Advice To Sinners

Jesus Advice To Sinners

Whether you are Christ follower, a fence walker, or a non-believer who just stumbled on to this post by chance, Jesus Christ has something to say to you right now. He has called out your heart amid a digital stream of millions to make sure you hear His voice and understand how far His love will go to find you.

Jesus’ Advice To Sinners

1. You are my beloved. (Eph. 5:1)

2. I knew you before you were born. As my hands formed you, I whispered purpose into your bones. I can’t not love you. (Ps. 139:1-6)

3. I love you beyond human reason—even at your very worst, steeped in sin. (Rom. 5:8)

4. My love is contrary to all you know of “love.” I Love you “even though” and “deeper still.” My love reaches, pursues, remains. (Ps. 36:5)

5. My Love for you won’t walk out, fail, or ever come to an end. (Deut. 31:8)

6. No matter what you’ve heard or what you’ve come to believe, there’s nothing that can separate you from my Love. (Rom. 8:38-39)

7. I am not like people. So please—don’t put human words in my mouth or apply human behaviors to my character. You will miss me altogether. (Isaiah 55:8)

8. I’ve never ignored you. I’ve been here all along. Protecting. Loving. Waiting. (Ps. 56:8)

9. Your love of _____ (sin) isn’t worth eternity. I will break your chains. I will give you the desires of your heart. (Jn. 8:32, Ps. 37:4)

10. Please forgive some of my followers. People—even Christian people—will fail you. You live in a fallen land, where no one is perfect and all need My grace. Put your faith and trust in Me alone. (Psalm 146:3)

11. There’s no sin I will not forgive. You are the “whosoever believes in me” whom I will give eternal life . . . if you believe. (John 3:16)

12. As resourceful and brilliant as you are, you cannot save yourself. It’s by God’s grace and faith in Me alone that you are saved. (Eph 2:8-9)

13. I understand your pain and heartbreak. And my heart breaks with you. (Is. 53:3)

14. There’s nowhere you can go where my Love won’t find you. (Psalm 139:7-8)

15. The shame and guilt weighs you down has been taken care of on the cross. Your bill has been zeroed out. (John 3:16)

16. The addictions. The pride. The selfishness. The hate. The lust. The jealousy. The critical spirit. The greed. I can heal it. All of it. You can start fresh. Today. (Rom. 8:1-4)

17. I will forgive you. But only if you ask. And I care more about the “ask” than I do about the sin. (Acts 3:19)

18. I will not force you to do or be anything. I want a relationship with you more than I want to rule over you. (Jeremiah 31:3)

19. I will forgive your sin and I will forget it. That’s right—completely erase it from my mind. No replays, no record. Gone. (Ps. 103:12)

20. It’s never too late to turn your life around. I came to give second chances. (Luke 23:42-43)

21. I love you. Let’s talk. (Jer. 29:13)

These are the 21 things every sinner should know. Know that our Jesus is the friend of all, including sinners.


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