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March 18th, 2013

Understanding Finances by Rev. Johnson Varghese

Rev. Johnson Varghese is the Pastor in-charge of Bethel AG Church – International Worship Centre, Hebbal, Bangalore, India. Here are two video clippings where he shares with us how to understand the concept of money, how a christian should deal with money and what Bible says about money. Watch the two videos given right below.

Understanding Finances – Part One

Understanding Finances – Part Two

About Rev. Johnson Varghese

Chosen by God at a very young age to do His mighty ministry, Rev. Johnson gave his life to the call of God. Now more than 10 years, God has been faithful to the humble ministry and the fruits are evident. Rev. Johnson shares the story of his voyage thus far.

Born to an Air Force trainer turned full-time minister, Rev. Johnson had a passion for ministry inspired by his father Rev. Dr. M. A. Varughese. Prayer and study of the Holy Bible was part of his everyday life. Constant relation with God helped him build a solid relationship with his Maker, Jesus Christ. Rev. Johnson is married to Cynthia; they have two young sons. You can reach Rev. Johnson at pastorjohnsonv@godworks.tv

February 1st, 2013

Why I Love Charismatic People

Why I Love Charismatic People

Samuel, the pastor was a known figure active in all seasons, whether hot sunshine or heavy rain. He had an arch handled umbrella and very old, worn out Jubbah. He would be carrying an old Bible always in his hands. He wouldn’t mind whether it is a boy, young man or old people; his method was to start preaching the Gospel right away.

Many would change their way in order not to confront the pastor. He would never leave anyone empty handed ones came up on his way. The real fact was that I couldn’t always reach school without facing Samuel. Our land was predominantly Syro Malabar rite; strong catholic belief was deep rooted in the blood of people who claimed to receive faith directly from St. Thomas the Apostle. Here, Samuel the pastor was a real ‘surplus’.

Reasons were two; he had been a member of the low caste; in the language of the government – a converted Christian. As such the pastor’s place was much the scapegoat against the rich heritage of the people of the land. The other reason was that he had nothing to speak pleasing the thoughts of the strong Catholics.

The boy of the fourth standard was amazed at the heavy flowing river in the village. There was no other way except to cross the river. I had been always slow in walking, then and now. It is the custom that the slow ones become last on their journey. That was the case on the day.

As I was trying to put my step into the water, catching hold of my bag… suddenly there was someone with powerful hands to catch me from behind. When I turned, it was Samuel, the pastor. Without saying a word, he took me on his shoulders and put his steps into the river. Yes, even he was finding it hard to cross the river which was flowing heavily. He followed me a while even after the river. Then too he was silent. It was the first time I see him not speaking a word.

It was the time when there was heavy rain and flood all over. I am sure that if I had stepped into water that day, I would never be on earth to pen these lines (I see your face in smile, had it happened? Isn’t it) Slowly Samuel was evading from our land. Sometimes it was because I couldn’t see him as I grew older and moved to higher classes.

Baiju made me remember Samuel, the pastor after almost thirty years. He is a friend of mine from Nottingham. I knew him ever since I reached Nottingham University for studies. Baiju telephoned me one of these evenings… ‘Praise the Lord, Brother Santimon…’ I replied, ‘Praise the Lord.’ ‘I heard that you became a pastor, is it true.’ He enquired. I got the point. A small prayer group in London had found me as a preacher, as they didn’t get anyone else. Coming back from prayer meeting I received his call.

For sure, I remembered Samuel, the pastor; His worn out old dress, Bible and heavy filled river. There was a period in my life that I claimed Charismatic men are to be stoned to death. A time when I believed that all those who work miracles in the “name of God” are hypocrites. Period when I philosophically analyzed that healings were mere psycho somatic relieves.

Don’t you remember that age old drama of revolution; ‘You made me a communist…’ I just make it new… ‘You made me a charismatic…’

I cannot forget a day in November, six years back; days when I had been carrying within me a cloud of sorrows. Many faces were of love and concern amidst the few ready to devour me. I came to know that with such so called reliability, gossips can be spread easily. Many of us write our own stories as we like, once we get a character in our play. No hunter sends the arrow after consulting the prey, does he? Most probable point would be the most unnoticed.

True. I had nothing to rely on except the Bible – that book which I put aside as a boring text for years. That was an English Bible. When I opened it, these words struck me first; “The mountains and hills may crumble, but my steadfast love for you will never end…” (Is. 54:10).

An experienced smith changes the shape of the weapon putting it under fire. Yes, this is less sharp, my dear friend. I would be more and more conscious that this weapon shouldn’t hurt anyone.

There are stars as well as black holes in Charismatic field. We are consoled that there are more stars than the black holes. It is this consolation that makes us believe more and more in the goodness of men.

– – – written by Santhimon Jacob

December 8th, 2012

Is God Calling Me?

Is God Calling Me

Destinies are sometimes so; they would be incidental and surprising; some are heavy responsibilities, others the anointing to cry out the unpleasing. Some others would be the persuasion to carry His cross and help Him. Dear child, God’s call is so!

I do not know which of these the destiny is entrusted to you. But I know one thing; that, from now on your daily troubles would not be such as the old ones. You would never be watching the old ways, streets and familiar faces that you used to.

If God is calling You

If you are sure that He has called you… then, just keep your ears a bit closer to His heart and listen. Yet again if you could discern that voice, you are never to stay back. What awaits you is not a land of Canaan flowing milk and honey; not a paradise of wealth and pleasure. You may not have the castles of authority.

What you are to see; hearts bleeding, turbulent tides of lamentations unrest, skulls everywhere, crowds that condemn you; there may not be a sleepless mother waiting for you or a woman to embrace you on your journey back home.

When you are soaked under the rain and reach home, there may not be mother with a kerchief; no one to wait for you and share with you hot food. You are alone… Paying ears to the very many troubles and pains of the multitude, you would just be a cloud that is clotted in the air and unable to shrill rain. As you lift the bread in front of the thousands, you will be called to break yourself like it. Yes, my dear child, that is called vocation!

God’s call is so

Abraham – He first called an old man, a man who had to earn nothing at the end of life. He was one who couldn’t even give birth to a child at his fruitful years. He is called and asked to move to a land unseen and unheard of. He couldn’t resist His call nor deny it. Because his name was ‘Abram’; the one destined to be called.

Moses – Another man was called from the burning bush prepared literally like a ‘trap’. It was burning but not consumed. Moses was about to watch that great miracle from a little close circle and then he was called. (Exodus 3). God called him. From that day onwards his life was different; a journey for forty years leading an ungrateful people. He was tempted to stay back many a time. But he was unable to come to blows with the one who called him.

David – We see such call yet again in the first book of Samuel. A poor cattle boy, he was not even counted as worth in his family, the eighth son of Jesse. The greatest prophet of Israel is in search of him with a jar of anointing oil. That day David’s boyhood was over. The oil that poured out from the jar of Samuel, took away the little peace that he enjoyed in his life. My dear child, the ways that he ran through… tears filled nights… worries that he had to suffer. Yes, anointing has a price to be paid; a non payable price. Those are the psalms flowing from the heart which spreads through the 150 chapters.

Samuel – Look at the life of boy Samuel. There was a man called Elkanah in the hilly areas of Ephraim. His wife Hannah. She was barren. But she pleaded with the Lord and earned Samuel; a woman who made a covenant with the Lord. Hannah had promised God to offer her offspring to the Lord, if she is blessed with a child. She kept her promise. As he finished breastfeeding, she offered him to the Lord. A boy in the Temple… let us call him ‘offering.’

His Lord and owner was God Himself. Eli the priest was his guardian. In a cold night in the temple, God called him by name. Not one time, but three times. For the first two times he thought that it was Eli calling. Samuel approached him and asked for the purpose. ‘Did you call me?’ But Eli corrected him. He knew it was God calling Samuel. The call was clear for the third time. ‘Samuel, Samuel…” He responded, “Speak Lord, your servant listens.” Yes, it is called vocation.

Mary – Much more accidental was the call of Mary the young girl. Her father Joachim and mother Annah. Both of them died at her very young age. God is her owner. It is to this young girl that the messenger of the Lord, Gabriel, arrives. Mary was engaged; she never knew the man. That call might have stunned her. What gossips all around? What are the perils on the way…? Her life too was different from that day onwards. It was the call of a young girl called to be the Mother of God.

Mathew was a tax collector. He was called from his field. Peter’s call was not different. He left his boat and net aside and followed him. Another young man was hesitant and requested some time… and he was rebuked. Those who want to follow me must come in time by leaving everything. What an adamant invitation!

Saul – You might have heard of the call of Saul the young man. A man in the opposite team… He too was changed. Saul became Paul. He trusted in the one who called him… that too till death.

A question still awaits… Lord, tell me, what is my call?

“This is just useless as an old piece of paper. It could be thrown out as a worn out shoe. But you are calling me… I do not know for what… that is up to you. Here I am. A broken drum… tattered flowers… a tumbrel with raucous voice. Here I am Lord… you might use me as you wish…”

Download the document guide: Is God Calling Me

– – – written by Santimon Jacob

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