Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us...

We are all familiar with this mnemonic for planets in the Solar system. Since Pluto's demotion, I recently saw this - "My! Very educated morons just screwed up numerous planetariums. "

My take on this is this: Humans, educated morons or not, came up with this classification system in the first place and therefore inherently have the right to change it as necessary.

Sentimentalism is another thing, but that is not my point.

Officially a "planet" is a celestial body that:

  1. is in orbit around a star or stellar remnants;
  2. has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape;
  3. is not massive enough to initiate thermonuclear fusion of deuterium in its core; and,
  4. has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.

Change any of these parameters, and the celestial body ceases to be classified as a planet.

God has set down some parameters too. It is all here.

Again, my take on this is that we, in our current state of existence, come to know of him only after we are born ( I mean physically ) through some medium (books, audio (grandma), TV etc) or the other.

When we do, if we choose to live according to his parameters, then we qualify to receive what he has to give; both now and eternally, and I gladly add that he is only too happy and willing to give to those who comply and ask.

If we don't, then we get to live with and as others who don't; both now and eternally.

The difference here is that God does not need to hold a referendum to adopt a new resolution because he has discovered something new, or because he now has a deeper revelation of something which he did not have before.

The point to note here is that we are composed of materials that disintegrate if we choose to change the parameters set by our creator.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Doctrine of Demons?

Colossians 3:24 (3:23-24) Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

I was thinking about a quote that I heard. It goes like this. “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”. That made me think. Apart from me carrying a bible around and shouting a few hallelujahs, would there be any evidence from the way I go about doing the things to even suggest that I am a Christian?

Can people look at the way we live and do things and say, “oh, there is so much peace and wholeness coming out of him” or, “There is beauty in everything she does. So much joy and fulfillment, so much contentment”? I want what she or he has.

Being a musician, I've heard it said that the devil has stolen all the good music and is using it to turn people away, have you ever thought about what the devil has stolen from our daily lives?

John 10:10 - Life in fullness, joy, fulfillment, peace, wholeness,

Nowadays if you talk in the church about beauty, contentment, selfless service, shanthi (peace) & worship in relation to work, we immediately think, hey that is going into un-biblical (Hindu) philosophy, doctrine of demons etc.

Yoga by definition is a Hindu system of contemplation for effecting union of the human soul with the Supreme Being and Karma yoga basically consists of entirely selfless service, in which the Ego is given up to the desire to serve God in every thing – be it man animal or plant.

Now I am not supporting these beliefs. The way they are practiced are wrong and can open doors of demonic influences into your lives.

So then are these attributes – self contentment from work, finding beauty in it, peace and God in work, and devotion to work – really forbidden for a believer? Or is this another thing that the devil has stolen and perverted??

Are we not given a system or method of contemplation for effecting union of the human soul with our creator through Jesus? Are we not called to selfless service, in which the Ego and our flesh is 'given up' to the desire to serve God in every thing?

Devotion is an act of submission out of love, and in that sense work becomes an act of worship when we do what we do “for the Lord rather than for men”. There is a great need in our lives to understand and know this truth. I believe that it is vital factor of victory in our daily lives.

So these truths don't belong to Buddha or to a Yogi, but to us.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

I'm not really a Christian, but I did see one on TV once

“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison” Henry David Thoreau.

Thoreau wrote this on an essay on non violent civil disobedience that inspired a certain lawyer in South Africa about a 100 years later. This lawyer, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, took this to heart and went on to become the father of my nation.

Being resurrection Sunday, my meditation took me to the time right after Pentecost in Acts 5. The freshly anointed apostles had already been in jail once for preaching about Jesus, had then been sprung out of jail by an angel, got caught again for talking about this Jesus and now are in front of the Jewish authorities who decide not to throw them in jail but order then never to say Jesus' name in public.

We live in a world warped by the influence of sin. The Devil has put in systems in place which ensure that it becomes very unpleasant for anyone to open their mouth and talk about Jesus. In some countries, he has made it illegal, punishable by death, and in others, he has made it culturally irrelevant where people have heard of this Jesus and it is nothing new to them. They do not know the power behind the name. How can they?

The very people who are supposed to be called to demonstrate this power sit passively thinking only about what God can do for us and not what we can do for the one who purchased us with his very own blood.

The truth is that Jesus us the only way, the only truth and the only access to eternal life with our father in heaven. We can't apply the six degrees of separation theory to this.

This means that people are going to perish unless they get a chance to know him. As Paul said, how can they believe in the one of who they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

The fact is that we live in a culture which makes us feel bad or which make us a criminal if we say that the 'unsaved' who does not know Jesus is bound for hell. However unpleasant that may sound, that simply is the truth. This was the message the apostles preached in Acts and nearly all of them ended up in jail for that.

“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison”

I am not saying that we all have a Jail house ministry. In the sentence above, substitute the word government with society and then think about what is more unjust than not being given the freedom to speak about a solution that can save people from to eternal death, the freedom to execute that which we have been commissioned to do. Prison need not mean just behind bars, but it could mean anything from that to being a social outcast or not being invited to the neighbor's BBQ.

If prison is where such people belong according to the law of this land, then are why am I trying so hard to stay out? Who I am conforming to and trying so hard to please? Whose law, written or unwritten, am I trying to adhere to by being socially acceptable? Who am I trying not to offend by not talking about the consequences of denying Jesus?

To me that is like saying “I'm not really a Christian, but I did see one on TV. once”.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Getting personal

An article I read started by saying that “Evangelicals generally insist that "the meaning and purpose of life is to have a personal relationship with Jesus." ”, which later went on to question and discuss the reality of such relationship. [http://www.perspectivesjournal.org/2005/11/essay-relationship.php]

I would rather say that having a personal relationship with Jesus gives life its meaning and purpose than saying that the meaning and purpose of life is to have a personal relationship with Jesus. Life becomes meaningful when we invest it to accomplish the purpose for which we have been given this life.

To that end, a relationship with Jesus is critical. How else would we know what our calling is or what is set apart for us to do? How would we get Godly insight and wisdom in daily living?

This relationship is possible and like any relationship, the relationship I have with Jesus was something I had to commit to, build over a period of time. It was not easy initially to tune into what he had to say, for example, and many times I too had the same questions about the reality of this 'relationship'.

For me the answer to anyone's quest for this relationship with Jesus is the Holy Spirit. Pardon the term, but he is the sim card we need to connect to God the father through Jesus. Without him there our relationship with Jesus will be as successful as a GSM mobile phone trying to connect without a sim card. True Jesus is not here physically, but the Holy Spirit who lives within us makes a connection which surpasses anything email has to offer.

As for the intimacy or fellowship that comes with sharing a glass of wine, who can you get more intimate with or fellowship more with than someone who knows your heart far better that you do?

This relationship is available to anyone who desires it. When I preach it, I just let the Lord do his thing, and I have not seen anyone who has gone the distance disappointed yet. I believe this is true because Jesus desires a relationship with us more than we do.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

GIMP & the truth in the inward being

Installed GIMP today. Wanted to get away from photoshop, mainly because the ones available to me are pirated.

Downloaded Grokking the GIMP. Just what I need to get going.

Having made a decision to not use any pirated software, I am pretty happy with where I have reached so far. Learned to do websites with HTML-kit and NVU, CSS with notepad2 and Topstyle lite and now with GIMP, I'm hoping to get creative.

Living in India, going legit with software is not an easy decision to make, but the laborer is worthy of his wages. Taking or using something that the owners require payment for basically qualifies as theft. This is no deep revelation but it has become a conviction which has lately given me the strength to make sacrifices.

Life is not worth living without truth in the inward being. I must practice what I preach