Category Archives: Strong Tower
Music opens doors in our hearts. It can move us to a whole new world or even rob us of our ability to listen keenly and judge reasonably. But still it has the ability to shape our lives, morals and value systems.
Can Christians also listen to secular music? Should Christians be restricted to only a specific style of music? If so, then why do we have secular music in the first place? These and many other questions triggered me to research and read wide about Christian Perspective to Music.
Well, you too might be having similar or maybe exactly same questions. This will probably answer you.
In determining the kind of music to listen to, I will take you through three key factors to consider, from a Biblical point of view. These are The purpose of music, The style of music and The content of the lyrics.
View original post 520 more words
Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it. Psalm 127:1.
Luther on these words says, ” Let the Lord build and manage the house; meddle not with this work; it is his part, and not thine own to take care of it; therefore leave the care to him that is the supreme Landlord and husbandman. Is there much wanted to furnish and provide for a house? The Lord is greater than a house. He that fills heaven and earth will Certainly be able to fill a house. No wonder that there is a great want in a house, if God is not the governor in it! Because thou dost not see him that is to fill the house, surely all the corners must seem to be empty; but looking upon him thou wouldst never observe one corner to be empty, every one would seem to be full, and is really full. If it is not, the fault is only in thy eye, as it is in a blind man who cannot see the sun. To him that sees rightly, the Lord changes the word, and says not, there goes much into a house, but there goes much out of it.”
O Lord, give only faith, love, and knowledge of thy will, that I may not only expect all things confidently from thy hand, since a labourer is worthy of his hire; but also manage every thing afterwards as a faithful steward to such purposes thou hast granted it for, be it for my own use, or for the use of others. That I may never be saving to thy dishonour, for my purse is thine, and consequently rich enough.
‘Tis all in vain, till God hath blest;
He can make rich, yet give us rest:
Children and friends are blessings too.
If God our sovereign makes them so.
– From “A Golden Treasury”
“Sing a little song of trust,
O my heart!
Sing it just because you must,
As leaves start;
As flowers push their way through dust;
Sing, my heart, because you must.
“Wait not for an eager throng
Bird on bird;
’tis the solitary song
That is heard.
Every voice at dawn will start,
Be a nightingale, my heart!
“Sing across the winter snow,
Pierce the cloud;
Sing when mists are drooping low
Clear and loud;
But sing sweetest in the dark;
He who slumbers not will hark.”
– From “Streams in the Desert” by Mrs. Cowman
Could you not watch with Me one hour? – Matthew 26:40
A young lady whose parents had died while she was an infant, had been kindly cared for by a dear friend of the family. Before she was old enough to know him, he went to Europe. Regularly he wrote to her through all his years of absence, and never failed to send her money for all her wants. Finally word came that during a certain week he would return and visit her. He did not fix the day or the hour. She received several invitations to take pleasant trips with her friends during that week. One of these was of so pleasant a nature that she could not resist accepting it.
During her trip, he came, inquired as to her absence, and left. Returning she found this note: “My life has been a struggle for you, might you not have waited one week for me?” More she never heard, and her life of plenty became one of want.
Jesus has not fixed the day or hour of His return, but He has said, “Watch,” and should He come today, would He find us absorbed in thoughtless dissipation? May we be found each day, in the expectant attitude of those watching for a loved one.
– from Days of Heaven on Earth, by A. B. Simpson
So they wore sackcloth around their waists and put ropes around their heads, and came to the king of Israel and said, “Your servant Ben-Hadad says, ‘Please let me live.’ ” And he said, “Is he still alive? He is my brother.” – 1 Kings 20:32
When the servants of Ben-Hadad sought the mercy of Ahab, there were few obvious choices before the cruel king of Israel. He could have, of course, opted to murder his arch-rival. Or Ahab could have just forgiven Ben-Hadad and sent him his way. But, the king of Israel says, that “Ben-Hadad is my brother.”
Dear friend, when we seek the mercies of our Lord Jesus Christ, there are many ways in which He could deal with us. For our sins, we could lose our life on earth; or even the eternal life itself. Or we could be forgiven and sent our ways. But Jesus Christ chose to became our Brother. For us, it is a great honor. But to the Son of God, the Most Holy One, it is not a honor; it is something to be ashamed of. But the Bible tells that He was not ashamed to call us His brothers and sisters. (Hebrews 2:11)
Once I asked some fellow believers about how they see their relationship with Jesus. For many, Jesus is the Lord; for some, He is the Master. For few, He is the Husband. For others, He is their Friend. But not one of them said, Jesus is their Brother. The Bible says that He had to be made like His brothers in every way – like you and I in every way. Isn’t this amazing?
For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:17)
Jesus became, in every single way, like us. HE had the same nature as we have; He faced the same trials as we face today; He suffered temptations like we do. And why is this important? The Bible answers that in the very next verse.
Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:18)
Dear friend, Jesus knows your pain. Jesus understands your suffering. HE sympathizes with the amount of temptation you are facing. And He is able to. HE is able to help you. Not only to help you power through your pain and suffering, but Jesus is also able to help you from sinning. Because He won a decisive victory over the temptation, the tempter and the sin that so easily entangles us, HE is able to help you. Come to Him. Come to Jesus. Come to your Brother Who is ready to help you.
As I was lying in the emergency ward, slowly I started to realize that the hospital staff were avoiding looking at my face. I was not surprised by that, as I had gotten used to such aversion by then. Some of the church believers who visited me at home when I was sick, would turn their faces away as soon as they took one look at my face. Initially I used to think it was because of disgust, but then as the tear drops rolled down their cheeks, I understood that it was because they were unable to accept what had happened to my face, that they turned their faces away.
But what I remember most was when my daughter came to see me at the emergency ward, she had actually refused to come inside as she was worried in what condition I was. Only after she was assured that I had become stable, she came in. Yet, the moment she saw my face, she turned her face away as she could not stomach what she had seen.
I don’t blame any of them for their reaction. Because before going to ICU, one night I woke up around 3 AM and just wanted to see how I looked. And the face I saw in the mirror scared me so much, I cried so loudly. Not only my face had changed, but one of my eyes was completely blocked because of the swelling and even the other eye, I was only able to open partially. It was a horrible face to look at, especially at 3 in the morning. So, I don’t blame any of them for their reaction. But they all had few questions in their minds: is it really God’s plan for my face to be thus disfigured? How could it be? Isn’t our God a loving God? To be honest, I had the same questions on that morning when I cried aloud.
But when I was at ICU, as I was thinking about all these, suddenly I remembered one of most known passages from the Bible – the 53rd chapter from the Book of Isaiah where he writes about the suffering Servant. And it made me realize how much the God our Father loves us.
Think about this. I am not that good looking to begin with. So, if I am disfigured, not many would even know the difference. But we are talking about Jesus Christ. HE is Chief among ten thousands. HE is altogether lovely. Jesus is fairer than the children of men. HE is so precious. His lips utter the most gracious words a human could ever hear. His eyes show the love He has for us. In person, Jesus is overflowing with all the graces and unction of the Spirit of the Living God. HE has all the glory of God our Father. And His Father and our Father, His God and our God, is very pleased with His Son and our Savior Jesus Christ.
Yet, when the time came for His Son to suffer for our sins, God our Father allowed it. HE knew that His beloved Son’s face would be swollen because they slapped Him and pulled the hair from His beard. Our Father in Heaven knew that His Son’s face would be covered with spit, sweat, blood and dirt. That Jesus, His Son, would be pierced for our transgressions and for our iniquities, He would be crushed. Yet, our heavenly Father allowed it.
As I consider the anger of those who love me, that the Lord had allowed such a trial for me, I look at what He allowed His only Son to undergo for my sake, and to be honest, I realize there is no way I could ever understand this love, this love God has for us. And all I can do is, bow my head in humility and say, “Lord, I am not worthy. But You sent Your Word and You healed me. All praise, honor, glory and strength is Yours, forever and ever. Amen.”
One of the things I wanted to learn when I was a kid was photography. I love photography, though I don’t spend anymore time on it now; God willing, I will buy a DSLR camera soon and will resume shooting photos. Anyway, I learned photography all on my own. Had many different cameras and still own a Canon SLR which I love. So, you can understand how much I hate how everyone is an expert photographer with their smartphones. And, oh, will someone ban these selfie madness, please?
I have no problems against selfies, per se. But so many of the selfies are horrible, with the facial futures distorted, foreheads protruding, etc. It is like aliens taking photos of themselves. And those who take those horrible photos, keep taking them. With the same facial expressions.
I cannot talk more on this, as both my daughters are selfie-lovers. And one day, one of my daughters sent me her latest selfie and I was left wondering why does an alien look like my daughter. I wish I can post that photo here, but then there will be murder and the next blog would be the last one – my obituary. So, I will skip that part. I called her to tell that was a horrible photo, but by the time, I called, in those few minutes, that same photo had received hundreds of likes and comments like, “Wow”, “Amazing” and “Oh, you are so cute”. I must have forgotten my English, apparently.
So, instead of listening to me, my daughter ended up giving a mini lecture on how I don’t have the “aesthetic” eye and how I don’t know what the modern trend today is. Since this is not the first time this had happened, I just let it go, but I was very worried about my apparent lack of “aesthetic” eye.
But then yesterday, my 3-year old niece came and started browsing the photographs in my laptop. As she came across that “aesthetic” photo, she recognized my daughter, but then in revulsion, asked me: “Why does your daughter look like an onan?” (Onan is the Tamil word for the reptile Calotes versicolor.) I could not control my laughter and the kid looked at me, and with irritation, asked me, “But, uncle, why do you have such ugly photos in your computer? You should delete them.”
I know that this is cheap, but I felt so vindicated. Because at the end, only a kid can tell that the emperor has no clothes, right? LOL
In the Gospel according to Mark, 14:51 talks about a young man who followed our Lord as He was arrested by the soldiers. And when a soldier spotted him and held on to his garment, the young man ran, leaving the garment aside; and he obviously was not wearing anything inside and hence, ran naked. And there are many arguments about who that naked young man is. The most common interpretation is that the young man was Mark himself. I am going to go with that interpretation for this one.
In Acts 12:12, we see that Peter, being freed from the prison by Divine Providence, came to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, the evangelist. And many people were praying there for the release of Peter.
As I was meditating on this, I was surprised to realize that many people had gathered in the house of the mother of a young man, who on that night when the Lord was arrested, ran away naked; and they were praying for a man, who on that same night, denied our Lord thrice. Yet, the Lord heard their prayers and delivered Peter. And Mark went on to write the very first Gospel and became very useful assistant to Peter, the Apostle to Jews and to Paul, the Apostle to Gentiles.
Prayer prevails. It does not matter what your past holds; it may have some dramatic failures or abject humiliations. But are you ready to surrender yourself to the Lord and pray to Him? Then He will surely fulfill His purpose for you and will use you in ways that you can never imagine. So, no matter what your past history has against you, pray continually.