Remember Who Holds You!

Remember Who Holds You!

My husband is an avid lover of music. When a singer he loves hits a particular note, the expressions on his face are priceless. I often wonder what it would feel like to be so enthralled by music.

Well, just recently I heard a song that did the same to me. No, it wasn’t the music that touched me, although it is quite good. It was the words…

As I heard about the One whose arms held me, and whose voice called out to me, it made me feel loved, protected and truly cherished. I certainly hope it encourages you too, today.

The Arms that Hold the Universe

If you can’t view the video above, click here.

Lyrics:

I know it seems
Like this could be
The darkest day you’ve known
But believe you me
The God of strength
Will never let you go
He will overcome, I know

And the arms that hold the universe
Are holding you tonight
You can rest inside
It’s gonna be alright
And the voice that calmed the raging sea
Is calling you His child
So be still and know He’s in control
He will never let you go

Through many dangers, toils and snares
You have already come
His grace has brought you safe this far
(And) His grace will lead you home

And the arms that hold the universe
Are holding you tonight
You can rest inside
It’s gonna be alright
And the voice that calmed the raging sea
Is calling you His child
So be still and know He’s in control
He will never let you go

You can hope, you can rise, you can stand
He has still got the whole world in His hands
You can hope, you can rise, you can stand
He’s still got the whole world, the whole world in His hands

And the arms that hold the universe
Are holding you tonight
You can rest inside
It’s gonna be alright
And the voice that calmed the raging sea
Is calling you His child
So be still and know He’s in control
He will never let you go

He will never let you go!

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Counting My Blessings: 1621 to 1630

Counting My Blessings

Every week (more or less), I share on the blog all the good things (and bad) I am grateful to God for. If you’d like to know more, check out these blog posts on why I do it and how to get started. Care to join me on this journey of intentional thanksgiving?

1621. My firstborn losing his first tooth. A milestone of sorts.

1622. The boys enjoying the animals, birds, insects, and all the space at their grandparents’ village home.

1623. A 12 hour road trip that included a flat tyre, and an icky, sticky mess.

1624. Enjoying the journey… rather than rushing towards our destination.

Boys enjoying the journey

1625. A stocked up freezer, thanks to my mother.

1626. A Life Worth Living by Nicki Gumbel.

A Life Worth Living

1627. Easing back into our routine after a week away from home.

1628. Jason giving me an impromptu kiss in the morning after a restless night.

1629. Authentic South Indian filter coffee.

Filter coffee

1630. Watching the boys during their Christmas choir practice.

Are you in the habit of counting your blessings? I mean, literally counting them 1, 2, 3… Would you consider joining me on this journey? Would you dare to live fully, right where you are?

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How do you greet God?

How do you greet God?

It was a Sunday night and the boys had just jumped into bed. My husband and I sat down beside them, so we could end the day together in prayer.

As Judah began to pray, we noticed that Jon was still reclining on his pillow. My husband asked him to sit up for prayer, but he was simply not in the mood to comply.

We took a few minutes to explain to Jon (and the others) why their stance during prayer matters. Here’s what we said.

“Imagine Grandma just walked in through the front door. What would you do?”

“We’d jump up, and run to her,” they said.

“Wouldn’t you hug her, and talk to her about everything that’s on your mind?”

“Yes!” they admitted.

“If you would do that for Grandma, won’t you do that for Jesus who loves you, and has done so much more for you?”

… I think they got the point!

And I think I got it too…

When we sit down for time alone with God, our physical stance does not matter as much as the state of our mind.

What is our attitude when we approach God’s throne of grace?

Do we approach the Master of the universe with reverential fear?

Do we run to our Father with overwhelming joy?

Do we get excited over what He’s teaching us from His Word?

Spending time with God everyday is not a mundane ritual, or a non-negotiable duty.

It is life-giving…

Hope-inducing…

Fear-abating…

Joy-filling…

Peace-stilling…

Clarity-producing…

…time alone with our Father, Master, Savior, Creator, Brother, Shepherd, Redeemer, and Friend.

I am blessed to know Jesus, and consider it a privilege to meet Him without any hassles on a daily basis.

I’m learning to greet my God with a cheerful attitude every morning.

How do you greet God?

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Top 3 Thursday – Edition #49

Top 3 Thursday

Here are 3 blog posts that encouraged me this week… Click through and read them, won’t you?

1. 3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don’t Leave the Church @ FaithIt {Eye-opening!}

2. Surviving The Strong-Willed Child @ Tricia Goyer {Some really good pointers, some of which I’ve successfully implemented with my boys.}

3. Running on Empty @ Missional Call {A reminder that we can’t reach out an minister to others, when we’re running on empty.}

If you have read or written an encouraging blog post during the week, would you share the link in the comments below. I’d love to check it out!

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Counting My Blessings: 1611 to 1620

Counting My Blessings

Every week (more or less), I share on the blog all the good things (and bad) I am grateful to God for. If you’d like to know more, check out these blog posts on why I do it and how to get started. Care to join me on this journey of intentional thanksgiving?

{I’m not one to post a lot of pictures… But this batch of long-pending blessings needed some imagery to express my overwhelming gratitude!}

1611. Enjoying this view outside our home with the family.

Sky

1612. Saying “Goodbye!”

Accent

1613. And, “Hello!”

Mobilio

1614. Relishing an Onam Sadya for the first time.

Onam Sadya

1615. Getting a free copy of this.

Messy Beautiful Love

1616. Learning the difference between Logos and Rhema here.

Bethel

1617. Barbecue with friends, another first.

Barbecue

1618. A friend’s surprise baby shower.

Baby Shower

1619. Our first Comic Con experience.

Comic Con

1620. Having this as my desktop background. Calming.

Water

Are you in the habit of counting your blessings? I mean, literally counting them 1, 2, 3… Would you consider joining me on this journey? Would you dare to live fully, right where you are?

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Book Review: Living Life Undaunted

Book Review: Living Life Undaunted

Living Life Undaunted by Christine Caine is a daily devotional book based on the author’s bestselling book, “Undaunted” and her other inspirational writings.

The author takes us on a year long journey through the 4 sections in the book:

  • Broken
  • Loved
  • Empowered
  • Commissioned

In the first section of the book, we are led to confront our brokenness and trust God in the healing process. The second quarter reveals God’s unconditional love for us, and teaches us to be more like Him. In the third segment, you will find encouragement to be whole again and grow in faith. The final section of the book calls us to participate in God’s commission and make a difference in the world.

There are 365 devotions in all – one for each day of the year. Each devotion begins with a verse from the Bible, contains a few thoughts from the author, and ends with a couple of questions to help us reflect on the day’s passage.

I loved the author’s personal stories that were woven throughout the book. And there are several nuggets of wisdom that God has used to challenge and inspire me.

Here are some of them:

“God’s Word does not say that all things that happen to us are good, but it does say that God is able to work all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”

“When there is a fight between my heart and my head, experience has taught me that the best thing to do is pick up my Bible and remind myself of what God says.”

“It is always dangerous when our gifts take us to a place where our character cannot keep us.”

I do not normally recommend devotional books because they tend to overshadow our daily habit of reading straight from the Bible. But I will recommend Living Life Undaunted as a great supplementary resource if you’re looking for bite-sized daily inspiration.

On a personal note, I have been deeply touched by the author’s personal testimony, and tremendously inspired by her story of healing. I’m eagerly looking forward to reading her other books!

Disclosure: I received a free Kindle version of this book from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are entirely my own.

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Thanking God in Sickness & in Health

Thanking God in Sickness & in Health

I remember stumbling upon a series of books by Merlin Carothers way back in my late teens. I devoured several books in the series, starting with my late grandmother’s copy of “Prison to Praise”. The essence of these books was how praise works, especially when we choose do it in the midst of a trying circumstance.

I’ve heard it said that we thank God for what He’s done, and praise Him for who He is. When we choose to praise God amid our difficulties, we reaffirm our faith in Him who will work it all out for our good and His glory.

When we went through an extended period of sickness last month, I tried to praise God and stand on His promises. Let me tell you, it was not easy. My affirmative prayers and words of praise quickly turned to desperation, pleading, and a whole lot of whining. I definitely was not a pleasant person to be with at that time!

Now that we’re all back to good health, I’ve been led to thank God for that period of sickness, and make note of what He has taught me through it all.

1. I’ve learnt to appreciate good health

I woke up with a sprained back today, and even the easiest task seems herculean right now. I needed help to roll out from bed, and the tiniest movement causes me immense pain. This (and our past sickness) made me realize how often I take a regular day for granted. Not anymore! I am grateful that the kids are not coughing, my husband is strong, and I am able.

2. I’ve learnt patience, endurance and selfless service

I’ve never been good with waiting, but sickness has taught me to patiently endure – whether I like it or not. There was little I could do, but wait till the infection subsided and the fever ran its course. But it wasn’t passive waiting either. A mother can’t remain passive when her family is suffering. Mopping up messes, changing soiled clothes, taking temperatures every hour, swabbing hot bodies, cajoling kids to take their meds, staying alert through the night… None of it was easy, but it had to be done.

Sometimes putting our families’ needs above our own comes naturally, but not always. It was a good experience for me to ignore my discomfort, and selflessly serve my family that needed me. True, I did not have the best attitude, but I’m learning to cheerfully give of myself (even when I don’t want to!). I have a feeling this is one lesson God will keep trying to teach me until I finally get it! 😉

3. I’ve learnt that God’s grace and strength are just enough.

Those who know me personally will attest that I am not a physically strong person. I can be very determined though, and that has helped me ease through physically tough seasons in the past. But my determination and will-power fizzled out within the first week of our sickness. I was completely drained out and on the verge of collapse. But God… He remained faithful. He gave me just enough grace and strength to make it through yet another day.

I would wake up every morning those 3 weeks, wishing that would be the day all our kids would finally be fever free. I would get up from bed, knowing I did not have the strength to make it through another grueling day. But God… He always held me up when I was ready drop down. And my husband (God bless him), always took over when he knew I needed a break.

It’s never easy when our kids fall sick, and it’s worse still when we fall sick along with them. But I am grateful for the generation we live in. We have easy access to good doctors and effective treatments, and the money to pay for it.

No matter how much we try to protect ourselves, as long as we are in this world, we will fall sick. We need to believe we are the apple of God’s eyes. He holds our families in the palm of His hands. He will strengthen us and watch over us, until we meet Him face to face in the land where there is no sickness or pain.

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Counting My Blessings: 1601 to 1610

Counting My Blessings

Every week (more or less), I share on the blog all the good things (and bad) I am grateful to God for. If you’d like to know more, check out these blog posts on why I do it and how to get started. Care to join me on this journey of intentional thanksgiving?

1601. Getting things done before they are due.

1602. The boys’ excitement over getting to pick a helmet for their father.

1603. Long talks with my mother.

1604. Four-day school weeks.

1605. Long weekends (at least for the kids).

1606. The boys moving furniture around to create an obstacle course in our living room.

1607. Sons who can get a room from chaos to clean in 5 minutes flat.

1608. Realizing that my sons who always say, “I don’t like to eat nuts,” actually liked pistachios.

1609. Jon saying, “Mama, this is the best food I never ate!”

1610. Realizing God used one blog post to convey different things to different people, based on their specific need. {Humbled.}

Are you in the habit of counting your blessings? I mean, literally counting them 1, 2, 3… Would you consider joining me on this journey? Would you dare to live fully, right where you are?

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Counting My Blessings: 1591 to 1600

Counting My Blessings

Every week (more or less), I share on the blog all the good things (and bad) I am grateful to God for. If you’d like to know more, check out these blog posts on why I do it and how to get started. Care to join me on this journey of intentional thanksgiving?

1591. Holding a new born baby.

1592. The kids laughing out loud while watching Piglet’s Big Movie.

1593. A humble breakfast out with the hubby.

1594. School holidays.

1595. Hearing the roar of my husband’s motorbike after 2+ years.

1596. The slow progress towards a regular routine.

1597. Good Christian fiction.

1598. Just enough strength to make it through the day.

1599. Catching up on lost sleep.

1600. Knowing Jesus.

Are you in the habit of counting your blessings? I mean, literally counting them 1, 2, 3… Would you consider joining me on this journey? Would you dare to live fully, right where you are?

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He Never Lets Go

He Never Lets Go

A few years back, we were visiting my in-laws and decided to take a sight-seeing trip. One of our stops was the Mathur overhead canal. There is a very narrow bridge constructed beside the canal that we could walk on. The only issue was that it was over 100 feet off the ground!

I had visited this place a decade ago with my college buddies – then it was an adventure. This time with 3 toddlers in tow, I wasn’t so sure. My husband was excited, and so were the kids… So, off we went across the bridge.

I was so nervous that the kids would look over the edge or slip, that I grasped Jason’s hand as if his life depended on it. And perhaps it did. The other two sons were with my husband, so I knew they were safe. But with Jason, I was the overprotective mother – determined that nothing would happen to him while we crossed the bridge.

It wasn’t until we were entirely across the bridge, and on our way back down the steps that I relaxed my hold on him. I’m pretty sure his wrists must have turned a light shade of red from my firm grip :).

If I, a human mother could be so protective over her son, making sure no harm came to him… I wonder how much more our heavenly Father will hold on to us when we walk across trying times in our own lives.

It’s comforting to know that when we’re walking through sickness, grieving a loss, experiencing physical, emotional or financial stress… God never lets go.

Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.”

(Isaiah 41:10,13)

He will hold on to you while you cross the rocky bridge.

He will protect you in the valley of darkness.

His hand will never let you go.

And at the end of the journey, when you’re safely across, you will look at your pink wrists and thank God that He never let go!

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