Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Grandfather

My grandfather passed away last Tuesday and I was in Boston for the funeral. I have mentioned about him earlier also. It was a good time even in sorrow as our whole family got together. I couldn't attend the funeral of my grandparents from my father's side. So it was different and as far as I can remember this was the first funeral service of a close family member which I was attending.

In this post I just thought of adding what I spoke during my grandfathers wake service being the eldest grandson. Here is what I spoke:-

Greetings to all in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am the eldest grandson among the nine grandchildren and I want to say a few words in memory of my grandfather.

My grandfather lived a remarkable life, one that inspired me greatly. When I think of him, first my thoughts go back to my childhood days back in India when during the summer vacations I used to go to my grandparents house along with my sister and 2 other cousins. Everyone who knows my grandfather knows that being an ex military personal he was very strict but at the same time very loving. At one point of time he was the person whom I feared most in the world. But his love was evident in mist of all this.

But for me the most important thing was his role in helping me and my sister to reach where I am now. God really used him during some crucial periods of my life. There was a point in my life when my family had to go through some tough situation and nobody was there for me. At that time it was my grandfather and grandmother who took care of me and my sister. I still remember the times when my grandpa would come to meet me at my boarding school and would leave behind packets of Chocolate with my hostel warden giving instruction to give it to me. There are so many small but significant examples which I can remember which reflected his love and concern for me. I still remember the day when after getting a Job in US and one day before flying out of India, I called him to tell that I am going. He was very happy for me and mentioned that it was his prayer and concern for since I was the only one out of all his grandchildren who was in India. He was very happy and I could feel his joy and gratitude towards God during that conversation.

Out of all the events which happened recently, 2 would always be there in my memory and I will cherish it for a long time. The first one was the conversation I had with him 1 week before he was hospitalized. Normally whenever I call he will not speak too much but would allow my grandma to do most of the talking and he would hear and give some comments here and there. But that day it was different. He picked up the phone and spoke with me for sometime before calling my grandma and handing over the phone to her. I was unusual and I even called my mother later to tell that Appachen i.e. my grandpa spoke for a longer time with me. I will remember most of the things we spoke that day as that was my last conversation with him.

The following Monday I got the shocking news that he is admitted in hospital in a serious condition. I took the early morning flight from MN with the prayer that God will give me at least a chance to see him alive once. Indeed I could see him in ICU. The next 2 days spent in the hospital where tense and I spent most of the time reflecting on the old days I had with my grandpa. Thursday night was unique as I asked God if He can give me one chance so that I can go back with the peace that my grandpa saw me after a long time and at least speak to him with some response back from him. Many people were praying for him. Friday evening God gave the answer to the prayers. He was out of vent for 3-4 hrs and we had a great time. That was one of the most joyful moments in my life. I will cherish that moment for a long time as it was both an answer to my prayer and an opportunity to talk to my grandpa and see him responding.

Out of all his grand children, I may be the one who has spent least amount of time with him especially during the recent years due to various reasons, but I am thankful to God that I was blessed with a wonderful grandfather who above everything constantly prayed for me. I could learn from other people that He was very happy about the Spiritual activities with which I am involved and spoke to others with great honor about it. That was always encouraging and will remain as an encouraging factor in coming days also.

One more things which make me specially thank God at this time is the fact that at this occasion the whole family could be here. Four Children and their families could spent time with him during his last days and everybody could be here on this occasion. I am sure that its a great blessing and our whole family is thankful to god for that.

Before concluding I would like to read few verses from the Bible. The scripture portion comes from I Thessalonians 4:13-18. It’s from NLT translation

13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.
15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these words.

I will miss my grandfather dearly. But I will treasure his memory forever.

Friday, August 7, 2009

When your Calculations go wrong

When faced with a crisis in life, everything seems to take backseat and you seem to move forward with crisis issue. Then life takes another turn and you get used to things and then what was once a crisis moves down your priority list. Sometimes I feel that the ups and downs in our life make it interesting.

Last week I had to rush to Boston as my grandfather was admitted in ICU. It was tough to be there realizing the fact that someone who did so much for your life may be gone forever. But by God's grace I could get some time when he was taken out of ventilator for first time when I could talk to him. Those moments I will remember as some of my best moments with him. He is still in ICU. Keep him in your prayers.

I was back in MN this week and we are having some good time of fasting and prayer. It is true that "better is one day in the courts of God than thousands elsewhere" (Ps 84:10). The sons of Korah were absolutely right.

The title of this post is when your calculations go wrong. What's that? There are many times when our calculations go wrong. We feel rejected, lonely, hopeless etc. We feel like maybe we did something wrong. In Bible there are many examples when people’s calculations went wrong. In John 2:1-11 Jesus did a miracle at a wedding in Cana in Galilee. Jesus was invited along with his disciples. But the person who arranged this function had something go wrong. His calculation about the wine needed went wrong. It is written that there were 6 stone water Jars which could contain 20-30 gallons. So if I take an average of 25 then its 150 gallons of wine. I don't think that if the shortage was only 5-15 gallon then Jesus would have asked to fill all jars but just one. But it was a big crisis. Calculations went wrong big time. So what to do now?

Many times in our life also calculations go wrong. Things may not work in the way or in the time we think it should. It can be for anything in your life. Sometimes you may desire a change in life. You may do some calculations for better job or better house. Sometime it may be for your family, ministry and may be for your marriage. But everything may go wrong. The feeling of a person who has lost everything in life may take hold of you.

Now let me add the final verse of this story here. John 2:11
"This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him."

Jesus used this calculation which went wrong to perform a miraculous sign and revealed his glory. His disciples put their faith in him. The beginning of the powerful ministry of Jesus started here. The source or the reason is someone’s calculation went wrong. There are so many examples in Bible where people thought they have lost everything and then God turns their situation and use it to reveal his glory so that many can put their faith in him.

What will you do with your calculations which went wrong? Are you going to be disappointed and lose hope in life or trust in God and pray that God will use all the circumstances in your life to reveal his glory.

My friend, you may be going through some tough times. But trust in God and put your faith in Him. Other side is that don't blame or expect anything if your are rebellious and go in your own way. Make sure every step and decision you take has the approval of God.

So if your calculations go wrong even when you are walking in close fellowship with God then don't worry. God is in control. Thank God that your calculations are going wrong. God's glory will be revealed in your life very soon.

May God bless You!

Be Alert: Do not fall into this trap!

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