Friday, April 18, 2014

The Greatest Sacrifice

The turning point of mankind 
People have varied opinions on the turning point of mankind, some say it was when we invented the transistor. The newer generations claim it was after the WWII. The most recent generations claim the ARPANET, the first TCP/IP packet based network, which led the way to Internet. If you ask this question from a science student, you would hear penicillin as the answer. The evolution of technology and science have made our day to day life much easier and saved many lives although it has its own fair share of failures and setbacks. Sadly though, science or the technology has failed to defeat the death or find answers to the eternal questions on life after death. 

If someone asks my opinion on the turning point of mankind. I have an easy answer. It was the day when the Word took a cross in flesh on behalf of all the mankind, two thousand years ago. On a day like this. That was the day, when the separation between men and God was put to an end on a cross by a Man named Jesus. That was the greatest sacrifice on the surface of earth, and there won't be any of that kind ever in this world again. 

In simple words, the turning point of mankind was the day when Jesus was crucified on a cross. He was crucified to pay the price for all our sins, as a sacrifice.

What does that mean ?
A line of separation was drawn between men and God, since the day men turned away from God towards sin. The priests, descendants of Levi tribe were chosen to mediate between men and God. It was the highest priest, who met God in the most holy place in temple, representing men. 

The most holy place in the temple was the meeting point of God and the high priest; which was visually separated by a curtain from the rest. This process wasn't God's desire, His plan was to have a direct relationship with men and bless them with eternal life with His abundance of love. But the sin separated men from God.

Who is Jesus ?
Jesus is God. God sent Jesus into this world, to pay the price for all our sins; once and and once for all. Jesus was the sacrifice and the priest on the cross. His sacrifice cleansed us and spared from the eternal condemnation. This eventually terminated the need of having priests among men to consult God. Jesus took over the priesthood by becoming our mediator between God and us. His self offering was accepted by God as Jesus rose from the dead on the third day since he was crucified.

What it takes to have Him in our lives ?
Jesus Christ didn't come into this world to start a new religion or to establish a new denomination. Religions are a product of men, denominations are a barrier between the same league of followers. He came into this world to put an end to a thousands of years long dispute of man kind with God, to make a WAY for men to have a relationship with God through Him. His message is very simple. That is to accept His sacrifice and He as our personal saviour, to have a relationship with God. To save our souls at the end of our life span in flesh. 

Death is an event which spares our soul from the flesh. The soul lives on until the end, we follow Jesus to save our souls and to make our souls to be with Him at the end.

Jesus wants us to be His friends, come closer to Him, to become His followers. Following Jesus is all about taking our own cross and following Him and experience Him, His power. This process helps us to have a good communication with God. A communication means, a two way communication. Not just we talking to Him but to hear His voice in return.

What it takes to experience Him ?
The first and foremost thing is to become humble and honest. We can't come closer to Him with our own egos. God didn't have an ego. Jesus being God, humbled Himself at the hands of sinful men during the crucifixion. Being sinful, weak men, what do we seriously have to be ego driven ? Our days on the earth are numbered. We simply take the relationship we have with Jesus and the knowledge of Him when we bid farewell to this life in flesh.

Jesus didn't expect us to be just believers, instead He expects us to be His friends, followers and disciples. The early church didn't have a church building or well qualified preachers but it was filled with the power of God with Fire. Today we have well equipped church buildings with all the fancy things in the world in it, choir groups, well educated preachers (preaching boring sermons), comfortable seats, massive sound systems but the Spirit of the Lord and His power.

I'm glad there weren't any bible collages at the time of apostle Paul. Had there been bible collages during his time, he would have spent decades learning the bible, spending his best time learning the word, without actually carrying out his "duty". The only qualification God expects from us is to have a BA; Born Again.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Keith Green

In this day, we are stormed with faith albums all around but sadly I question the purpose they serve. There's a huge vacuum for worship music, so the musicians and record companies exploited this by increasing the production of faith albums. Just like a toy factory produces toys to cater the consumer demand. What these so called musicians have failed to realise was, faith music is not just another genre but the music for the King of the Kings, to the most Highest. Worship music indeed has a purpose to serve. Hence, I thought of writing about a musician who served that purpose, with the right spirit and the attitude.

The worship music not only meant to glorify His name, but it should bring the audience to His presence. I have listened to a number of modern faith albums but I didn't truly connect, they fail far behind. Needless to discuss about some of these artists. Their Christianity last just on stage, while they perform and it's all gone in their real life, the moment they step off that big flashy stage they perform.

However there were a few musicians who thought about worship music, a bit different to that. They took it quite seriously and did their best to generate what faith music was supposed to do. Late Keith Green was one such musician. It was more than a decade when I first heard Keith Green, on an audio tape that contained nearly two dozen songs of various artists. I remembered his rendition of Amazing Grace although the rest was soon forgotten. [That was a time I didn't know much about faith and I was at the process of learning the depths and widths Christ's love.]

Keith not only played Christian music and brought many to His presence, but he's someone who lived a life on what he preached and sang. He didn't stop there, he dedicated his life to serve the most Highest. He used his music as a way to preach the gospel and reach the _dead_. Let alone Christianity, none could deny Keith as one of the best pianists of our time. Had he chosen to be a commercial artist, he would have gone past many commercially successful artists in the industry. Keith was signed a record contract at the age of 11 with Decca records

However, Green decided to instrument his music, life and family to bring the lost to His wings after learning a few lessons from the Messiah. He was blessed to have the influence of Leonard Ravenhill and Randy Stonehill during his journey in Christ.

His first album, "For Him Who Has Ears to Hear" was one of the best if not the best Christian album of our time. It was God inspired, which Stonehill revealed after many years. He released 5 great albums carrying the Word in them. These albums can be purchased as a compilation from the Lastdays Ministries in 4 CDs. Keith completed what he was told do and went on to be with Jesus at the age of 28 leaving his legacy behind on 28th July 1982.

“If somebody writes a great poem, people don't run around applauding the pencil, saying 'Oh, what a great pencil'...I'm a pencil in God's hands.”
― Keith Green

A couple of Keith Green songs :
Until that final day :

Your love broke through:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How to freeze your denims

I've been struggling when it comes to buy jeans matching my waist and length. I was stumbled upon two brands who produce my correct waist and length. They manufacture a bit expensive raw jeans (Hugo and G-Star). The raw jeans are the ones who don't get washed after dying, during the production phase. Most modern jeans use indigo dye and you might lose the whole purpose of wearing a raw denim when you wash it.

The raw jeans look great when you wear them for a period of time without washing them. The jeans would fade away naturally leaving a nice pattern, over a period of time. The skinny/straight jeans often get molded into the body shape leaving a nice pattern of a honeycomb or a stack, when you wear them without washing for a while. However, when you wash them, you're forcing their natural wear, tear and fade to get awkward;  washing away their quality. Ruining the whole purpose of buying and wearing a raw jean.

I wash my jeans very very rarely and *never* my raw jeans. So here comes the question. How do I keep my raw denims clean and fresh ? Pretty simple, you need to freeze them. Yes, you heard it right, you need to freeze your jeans to smell and feel afresh. I have never washed my raw jeans and I've been wearing them for years. These are the steps that I have followed, which worked well for me. I wear shorts during summer, so I never made my jeans soaked with sweat.


The preparation :
1. Leave the jean inside out for 4-6 hrs (not under sunlight)
2. Brush your jean gently
3. Fold your jean
4. Put it in a plastic bag or wrap using a cling wrap
5. Put it in the freezer for 10-12 hours.
6. Take it out, leave it outside for a couple hours
7. The denim is ready to rock and roll

When you fold the jean, make sure to fold it into just 2 or 3. Don't fold it beyond that or try to shrink it. The plastic bag should be a very thin transparent one, the thick bags aren't ideal for this. An extra large freezer bag would surely do.

If your jeans were soaked with sweat and dirt you may have to wash them, if the above approach failed to make it clean. (That's highly unlikely to occur) I would simply use a single bucket of plain water to make it clean if that's really and truly necessary. 

Follow steps 1 & 2 as above. Then :

8.  Pour a bucket with cold water
9.  Put your denim into the bucket

10  Let it get soaked for about 30 mins
11. Take it out from the bucket

12. Don't try to squeeze or shrink it
13. Hang it on a clothesline, inside out 

14. Keep it away from sunlight
15. Never user a dryer. 

16. Let it dry naturally.

Alternatively, you could wear your jean while taking a shower if it truly truly needs a wash; my preferred way. No matter what, if you wash your jeans more than twice a year then you're transforming your raw jean into a skirt. Think before you wash, save water, save the planet and your jeans. Please freeze them. ;-)

Still in doubt ? Listen to what Tommy Hilfigre says.