Keep writing

For the first time I received an email by someone who read my blog. It was wonderful to hear that the person had been moved to ask me some questions.

One of the things I learnt last year in ministry is to avoid evaluating oneself with tangible results. One must not chase tangible results, it can be very disappointing.

Moreover you never know whose life you touched. Sometimes you get to know later, most of the time you just don’t. The most important thing is to do faithfully what God has entrusted you with.

Of course, the moment you hear from someone who was blessed by what you shared, spoke, sang, sketched,
rapped, forwarded or wrote, is indeed a sweet one. It encourages you to continue.

But just don’t depend on it. You do what you have got to do. Let God do what He will, and just trust Him.

Thanks for writing in friend!

image

Advertisements

Clapton’s guitar

It is so difficult to be the loser.

I like winning, although it hasn’t be the way of things with me.

Jesus’ affinity for the last, the least and the lost is about the only thing that is currently keeping me going. You find it in “Kingdom, Grace, Judgment: Paradox, Outrage and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus” by Robert Farrar Capon. He says, death and losing is about the only way in which God can bring His salvation into our lives.

Which then is a good thing. Am I a successful youth chaplain?  Whatever that means! Currently, by the parameters of the world, I am not successful. Leave those parameters. This is what I would like:

I would like myself to be a wonderful instrument in His hand. I’d like to imagine Him as Eric Clapton and me, his guitar.  That way, a meaningful ministry. Something that would touch so many lives that they see what God sees in them.

I am sure God reads my blog.

God became audio-visual and came online among us

It’s like in those self-help books.
I shared my vision, and they caught on to it. What amazes me is that there was hardly any resistance.  Every youth, every pastor, every person I spoke to was for it.
I am talking about the Online  Great lent devotion series by the Mar Thoma youth of Mumbai. It is a blessing to see a group of people who take on to the vision and make it their own. They have begun to own it. As instructed by stalwart Chaplains like Samson achen, Bensy achen and P.C. Mathew, I got a team of leaders who were ready to work behind the scenes,  day and night for this purpose. I am so blessed to work with them. Through it all, I feel the invisible hand of God guiding us through the process.  He’s the one who makes it happen. Praise be to the One and Only.

My intention was to take the Word of God where you will definitely find the “unreachable” youth of today – Online.  They are there. And once they get the link to the devotions, they will definitely watch it when they can.

Am I making them lazy to take time to read the Word of God? Honestly,  I don’t intend to. But I hope to reach the Word of God and a thought along with a ligw application tip, wherever they are.  You know, if I could reach close to 500 youth in six months,  in a single day we are reaching from 800-1000 youth with the devotions.
I am ordained to share the Word, teach God’s Word and to initiate people to the Sacred Mysteries of God through the sacraments.

I am trying.  I am really trying. Only if I knew how. I am doing my best.
Lord, I am sincerely trying.

(If you wish to join the online lent devotion series which lasts 2-4 minutes each day, go like our Facebook page : www.facebook.com/youthministrymumbai

Or search for ” @Lent ” on youtube and subscribe to the channel. We’d love to hear from you if it is a blessing)

Can you relax?

Late morning, almost noon. It’s calm outside, although the ceiling fan which is going nowhere but in circles is raking up a storm.

The bookshelf beside the bed is still dusty. It has been, every time you visited this house.  But the rest of the interiors are beautiful.

You lie there on the bed. You relax.  Do you allow yourself to relax ? Never completely.  Are you capable of relaxing completely?  I don’t know.  There is always something that isn’t complete. That thought is the carpet of your subconscious mind. You keep stamping on it mercilessly,  never paying attention.  Will I ever be complete? One day.

So why not enjoy the moment?
I’m scared.
Of what?
Of resting too long and becoming lazy.  I’m quite capable of being that.
But your seminary life showed that you hardly compromised!
Yes. But these thoughts were in the back of my mind.  I feared so but it didn’t happen.
So why not now?
(A brooding silence).

Undivided focus – A single solution to many things

Having entered Christian youth ministry four and a half months ago, I had a lot of questions in my mind regarding how, what, when, where etc. Mumbai is a huge city and the group I minister to is huge. In addition, the youth are spread across twenty six churches and they have their own Youth Leagues and vicars.

Much of the time I have been anxious as to whether I was doing enough. One of the things that a fellow brother of a pastor told me was, ” First, connect.”

I have been spending time doing that. It has been fantastic that way. But slow. My fellow clergy have assured me that this pace is good and that my job was to till the land, rather than seek the fruit immediately. I may never see the fruit.

I love to grow and I have been divided in the way that I use time and energy. I might tend to call it ineffective knowing that I am capable of great things. My interests range across various matters. There is simply no time for  everything.

That is when I was read Selwyn Hughes’ ‘Everyday with Jesus’, a daily devotion that has been of invaluable help to me at least for the past 11 years. What I read to do said that a divided mind produced divided results. Once Jesus came to his life, Paul’s primary focus became proclaiming Christ.
“If we are double-minded then we end up delivering ourselves in too many directions. We need to learn… to be one person, with one motive moving towards one goal,” writes Hughes.

That is the secret. I need to cut out all other interests and simply focus on serving the Lord. Just that. Proclaiming his Word. Sharing His love. Lifting up weary hearts. Doing justice, loving mercy, walking humbly with my God.
image

Cut out. Focus.

“Will that limit me?” calls out the anxious heart.

Show me what you have become being unlimited, challenges a voice in my head. 

The question of rest

Rest is an important biblical mandate. There is no permission from the Almighty God to keep running. Our finite human bodies need rest.
Last week I felt I was feeling more tired more often. The reason is primarily that I do no drink enough water and secondly that I do not plan my time well, eventually feeling worn out the next day of a busy week.

The Lord rested after six days of creation. He warned the Israelites specifically to observe the Sabbath, the day of rest.

I need rest at appropriate times. Which also makes me ponder whether I make use of my time effectively, whether I deserve rest. My prayer to the Lord is to show  me what to be and do as well as how so that I can enjoy the time of rest, guiltless.

Contents

One of the challenges you face as a youth chaplain is preparing and sharing biblical content that is related to life. All this through various media. The content has to be in a finished form, bite-sized and easily comprehendable,  packaged keeping today’s social media in mind. Attention spans are less. Dedicated “growing time” or “quiet time” seem to be a rarity. Therefore one might have to grab the attention in the transient window-period of focus and aim to reach the heart.

That takes time,  thought,  personal quiet time, creativity and above all, the quickening of the Holy Spirit.

The most important skill I am trying to develop is a patience to review.

I get content. I have made content.  All I need to do is pore over those content and take stock of what I have. It’s got plenty for really long time.

But I’m ever in the search of the new and trying to catch up! It’s a hard struggle that way. I need help!