J. Peter Daniel
Last month, one of my colleagues celebrated his Birthday for the sake of celebrating it. Because, he hated to know that he is growing old. Moreover he thought that it is a reminder of nearing to grave. It shows that he was not able to accept the fact, the life is short.
In a short span of life, the people are living as dead even though they are alive.. Jesus has pointed out the same in Luke 11:37-54. He picked out the specific group of people who are living but they are living as though there is no life in their lives. Let us see the title and their activities that God has explained in this passage.
1. Living graves:
A Burial mound is a place for burying dead people. In Middle East, there is no identification of dead person just like name and duration of life on this earth. It looks like a 6 feet hump all around the places. There is no surprise if the same place may be turned in to construction site or landscape of ‘twin towers’ in the near future.
In verse 44, God had specifically mentioned Pharisees and Lawyers as a living grave. They were known by all of them because they were sitting on the higher places and expectation of applauses from his people. Robes were flowing from top to bottom to show their strength. They were famous law makers and then breakers of their own law.
God had equalized them with grave. Because their deeds are clean outwards (v. 39) but inward parts were full of greed and wickedness. Their activities were more important than their attitudes. They lifted one law as to be followed but left alone other laws. Making the law has burden for other people but not willing to help them for a moment.
In our present day to day life, we are seeing a lot of people are living without Christ like characters and biblical values. Further, there is no thin line between the world and the Christian believers. Their lives are equivalent to nameless graves that everyone walks over it. Living but really they are dead.
2. Build the tombs:
Living graves people will build the tomb for prophets and saints (v.47) who lived during their father’s time. The reason is to hide their father’s iniquities and to escape from the curse of forefathers’ sin. Likewise, present day Christians have started to build a lifeless structure (tomb) just like symbolic of washing the feet, talking lengthy about apologetics without having any purpose, arranging irrelevant programs, procuring more advanced gadgets (sound system, LCD, gospel vehicles) to show the fellow Christians and the world that they are doing God’s ministry. But they have left the core of bringing new souls to Church everyday.
God calls Peter to leave fishing job, a profession of caught and killed. He was asked to take up the life giving job of catching the men. Let us analyse ourselves, are we building the tomb or are we living as a tomb in this world. If we do God’s work in bringing souls then we are catching the men for giving eternal life. Let us realize that we are here to seek the lost to give a life through Jesus Christ.
J. Peter Daniel
Glocal youth vision
Kingdom of Bahrain
(Rick Warren was the Pastor at Pres. Obama’s inauguration)
You will enjoy the new insights that Rick Warren has, with his wife now having cancer and him having ‘wealth’ from the book sales. This is an absolutely incredible short interview with Rick Warren, ‘Purpose Driven Life ‘ author and pastor of Saddle back Church in California
In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said: People ask me, what is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity.. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.
One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body– but not the end of me. I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act – the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.
We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn’t going to make sense. Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into another one.
The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.
We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character.
This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer. I used to think that life was hills and valleys – you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don’t believe that anymore.
Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.
And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for. You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems:
If you focus on your problems, you’re going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain.’ But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.
We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her- It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.
You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.
It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don’t think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease. So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit.. We made no major purchases.
Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.
Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.
Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back.. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.
We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?
Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God’s purposes (for my life)?
When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don’t get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn’t put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He’s more interested in what I am than what I do.
That’s why we’re called human beings, not human doings.
Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.
Reconversion plan in Orissa.
Bhubaneswar: April 30: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has planned a grand “reconversion” ceremony in riot-hit Kandhamal district of Orissa soon where an estimated 400 Christians are scheduled to return to Hindu fold. Senior functionaries of the VHP’s “dharma prasar” wing are scheduled to meet over a three-day conclave in Puri, 65 km from here, starting from Friday where the programme is likely to be given the final shape. “We have not yet decided the place and timing. The Puri meeting would take the final decision”, VHP dharma prasar unit’s eastern region secretary Harihar Tripathy told this newspaper on Thursday. The reconversion ceremony is most likely to be held in June, he indicated. Mr Tripathy further indicated that nearly 1,100 Christians have returned to Hindu fold in Kandhamal district since January. The church and the Sangh Parivar have been on a collision course in Kandhamal district over conversion. Kandhamal recently witnes sed widespread communal violence following last year’s murder of VHP leader Swami Laxmananand Saraswati, who was opposed to conversions by the churches. The violence had led to death of at least 38 people. Meanwhile, the VHP “reconverted” 733 tribal Christians to Hinduism at Jada village in Sundergarh district two days ago. (Asian Age 1/5/09)
Seven year old girls marry frogs.
Women have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince, according to the well know expression, but two seven year old girls in India cut short the quest and married the amphibians. Vigneswari and Masiakanni wore traditional Indian bridal saris and gold jewellery for a double wedding in their remote village in Tamil Nadu. The marriages were conducted as part of a centuries old Tonga harvest tradition to “prevent the outbreak of mysterious diseases in the village”
Hundreds of villagers in Pallipudpet, 150 miles from Madras, walked to the temple, carrying the brides on their shoulders while the frogs were tied to sticks decorated with flowers. At the ceremony, a priest tied the brides’ hand on behalf of the grooms and pronounced them frogs and wives before a holy fire. After the ceremony, the frogs were thrown back in the pond.
Young Saudis say a loud no to high dowry
Young Saudi man have started an online campaign to boycott marrying Saudi Women because dowries and marriage costs ae spiraling. “Let her become a spinster!” is the theme of the campaign which is attracting a large number of young Saudi men who can’t afford to marry Saudi Women and are looking for non- Saudi brides. The websites leading the campaign want Saudi society to intervene before the cost of marriage gets completely out of control. The websites areasyeh.com, almgha.com, toyota4arab.com, tomaar.com, alhora.com, and montdiatna.com. “The theme of the campaign may a bit harsh… but these young men have their reasons”. Said Abdullah Aljefn, an Islamic Scholar and researcher. He said the campaign touches on an important issue which should be studied in Universities and schools. “For most young Saudis, getting married is a dream that is becoming increasingly hard to achieve”. Said AlJefn said. “Shariah law allows the girl to ask the man for whatever dowry she likes: this is not wrong or banned in Islam”. He said.
Goat accused of trying to steal car
Police in Nigeria are holding a goat on suspicion of attempting to steal a car. The animal was handed over by a vigilant group. Which claimed it was a car thief, who had used black magic to turn himself into a goat to escape arrest. Another man also attempting to steal the car had escaped, a police spokesman said reports citing a different police spokesman said the animal was being held at the station.
Man tried to trade daughter for beer.
A Mexican father in California has been arrested for arranging to sell his 14 year old daughter for $ 20,000 and 100 cases of beer. Police arrested Marcelino de Jesus Martinez after he approached them because an 18 year old man had failed to pay the bride price. Authorities in Greenfield, a small rural town 50 miles south of San Jose, said Martinez was unaware of united States laws prohibiting the sale of children.