SPURIOUS

Hi, follow that fire engine. Maybe we can get some real case!

Must be biggie. There’s another one coming from the other side!

Look at the crowds. I can see the smoke.

Stop here. Stop here. Let me out. There’s barricade up front. Let go through this alley. I know this area!

Careful. Don’t get into trouble. Come back with good shots!

You bet I will!

You are back! Why so soon? It is not over yet!

It’s nothing.

What’s up? Talk to me! Why are you banging your head? You’re scaring me!

Shut up. It’s just a film shoot!

*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc., expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s beautiful photo prompt © J Hardy Carroll

WATCHTOWER WITNESS

I watch the news and I look around,
I cry aloud and fall to the ground.
Don't You know what I see,
Or comprehend what I perceive!

Murder and mayhem in rampant rape,
Violence and vice in rage.
Justice is often just a joke,
While law seems often a hoax!

Who can know what You do,
When you use the wicked and redo!
Don't know why You employ an evil band,
Or use them as your cleansing Hand!

Yet I will truly trust in You as I stand,
Keeping watch over this my land.
I'll not fear loss from henceforth
For the just shall ever live by faith!

God's stringent judgments are ne'er in vain,
They often begin among those of His train.
God will still work among us as of old,
Ever conscious of His mercy as before!

So let's not therefore cry in despair
For we know the power of this our God.
Let's be people who stand and watch,
Hearts filled with joyful hope and holy desire!

Let's walk with feet like hinds on high places
Tho' harvest be lost and flock doth fail!
Our God is Sovereign over us all,
He'll put a song and we just won't fall!
                                       Sabina Tagore Immanuel
*Poetic form of Sunday Sermon by Ps Manoah Joshi (@manoahj)
© NLAG CHURCH, LITTLE MT, CHENNAI, INDIA

ALONE OR WITH MY OWN

I walked alone, I often fell down.
I walked with my own, they didn’t let me down!

I stood alone, I cried on my own,
I stood with my own, they didn’t let me go it alone!

I sat alone, I brooded within my home.
I sat among my own, they didn’t let me moan!

I battled alone, I got many a wound.
I battled along my own, they were with me when I groaned!

I ate alone, I could only phone.
I ate with my own, they saw to it I was known!

I studied alone, I failed to know.
I studied with my own, they saw to it I was honed!

I prayed alone, I struggled to the bone.
I prayed with my own, they helped me reach the throne!

I loved myself alone, I just got blown.
I loved each one of my own, they only condoned!

Why would ever I be on my own, when I know I”ll only be alone!
Why wouldn’t I be with my own, when I know they’ll always come through!

We weren’t meant to be alone, but be with our own!
God Himself is three in one, so let’s seek to be as one!

                                                                                                       © SABINA TAGORE IMMANUEL

BLESSED INSURANCE, ROYAL ASSURANCE

Blessings, O Lord, is what I constantly seek,
Consistently as I come to You every week.
Commonly as the times are so very weak,
Consciously I need to see everything upbeat!

Look, my child, to your ways and earn,
Watch over my Word and discern.
My desire for you is to really learn ,
My ways so you can rest in downturn!

Seek not your own but just build my home
Prioritizing always what heaven’s zone.
Who can prevent when I close your loans,
And establish you as I did David’s throne!

Seek to ever hear my still small voice,
Obeying My Word with willing choice.
What’ll you lack when My Presence you enjoy,
And dwell with you as Israel in regal poise!

Seek to return to My gentle fold,
Consecrating to be in My holy mold.
Where will you go from My loving hold
And run like Jonah to places untold!

Seek my glory to fill my house,
Praying for you to be covered as my spouse.
Why will you not reject this world as mad house,
And live like Jesus as shekinah house!

Seek truthfully to be My loyal ensign,
Being the signet ring of My royal design.
Where is the one that can resist your battle line,
And stand against you in My Sovereign reign!                                                                               SABINA TAGORE IMMANUEL

*Poetic form of Sunday Sermon by Rev Dr Chadwick Samuel Mohan (@chadwicksamuel)
© NLAG CHURCH, LITTLE MT, CHENNAI, INDIA

THE WAIT

The promises of God are yea and amen in Christ,
Yet they go through demise, not decay,
For the resurrection power will restore,
The lost with power and might.

The promises of God are yea and amen in Christ,
Yet they go through gestation and wait,
For the blessing of that promised,
Is for a time that has still to come.

The promises of God are yea and amen in Christ,
Yet they need the salting of the fire,
To be endowed with holy fervor,
That cleanses and blesses all.

The promises of God are yea and amen in Christ
Yet they seem so distant and lost,
For the ways of man and the thoughts of all,
Don’t often align to the divine call.

The promises of God are yea and amen in Christ,
Yet they may often seem distant across the hill,
We have to but trust in them and chill,
Taking care to be in rest and thrill!
                                     

                                                                                                    © Sabina Tagore Immanuel

QUIETING STILLNESS

“Be still and know that I am God”
Though the storms may rage
And the winds may blow
Know that He is truly God.

God of all the Earth
God of all creation
God of all the heavens
God of all the seas.

In tides, the stable anchor
In storms, the protecting lee.
In winds, the safe shelter
In everything, He’s the key.

In famine, the living bread
In thirst, the refreshing stream.
In heat the cooling shade
In all, the calming dream.

In springtime, the restoring newness
In summer, the renewing fruitfulness.
In autumn, the changing colors
In winter, the covering sleep.

God of all the seasons, God of all the times
God of all the beginnings, God of all the end.
God of all my desires, God of all my dreams
God who is the hope of all that is truly me.

Be it unto me as You will
For you are my source and till.
Be my stay in all of life’s mill
So that I rest secure and still!
© Sabina Tagore Immanuel

BEST FOR THE LAST

wedding table.jpgThe ways of God and the values of His Kingdom are so diametrically opposite to the ways of men in this world in this age. They are extremely puzzling and incomprehensible to this world. They seem to be mindless and impractical, a true enigma to those who have achieved much with their mathematically precise calculations.

Take, for example, the matter of water-changed-into-wine in the wedding reception in Cana of Galilee. In itself the production of wine from water in the time interval between the pouring of it into the vessel and the pouring out a sample of it for the event manager who declares it as wine, is stupendous. Add to it that it was better than the first served one, by a person who is clueless as to its origin. Top it up with the fact that the best wine is normally served first and the inferior one later usually when guests are too intoxicated to discern the change. What do you have – a total unconventional happening that shatters human concepts and experience. You learn that God’s ways are very different from our carefully planned and well-executed machinations!

Consider another incident, that of 5 loaves and 2 fishes being stretched and multiplied to fit a crowd of not less than 15k people (men alone 5k, so assuming 1 woman per guy and adding 1 child per). Compare it with a similar one in another place and time wherein 7k people were fed with 7 loaves and few fishes. What do you have but a mathematic puzzle have of how a lesser number can feed a larger number and vice versa. It doesn’t add up and that’s the miraculous beauty of God’s ways and means – that He cannot be confined or limited. After all, if He created it all, including the natural laws, doesn’t it make sense that He can transcend them if He wants to!

Or let’s ponder the fact of the deep sea fishing incident. Jesus instructs veteran fishermen, experts in their field of work and arena of operation, the Sea of Galilee, to fish in broad daylight when they have had total loss in their prime workplace timing. No wonder that Peter fell to his knees and declared Jesus Lord of all when he garnered in the best catch of his life, a catch that needed help from colleagues and friends to haul all in. Wonder if these latter were standing around watching and waiting to ridicule Peter’s mistake in following the advice of an unqualified consultant and were astonished at the result!

As illustrated and explained in the Bible, that’s how God thinks and works His will, demonstrating the immense and immutable omnipotence of Who He is! He cannot be fathomed or analysed for He is infinite and we are finite beings in finite time setting in finite physical framework. He cannot be understood for He is outside time, inhabiting and in control of eternity past and eternity future. He cannot be seen or touched or felt for He is Spirit who has chosen to interact with concrete confined and limited beings and world. He can only be acknowledged, accepted and paid allegiance to, not by sight or feeling or thinking but by faith.

If God Himself is so, how much more different, unintelligible & indecipherable will His thoughts and ways be. As pointed out in the Bible, God thinks very differently from us and works very dis-similarly from the way we do. The only way to understand Him is to flow in His Spirit for as it says in I Cor 2: 10-16 “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

I have seen this happen over and over again in my life. When I think something is impossible based on circumstances or when my well-thought out planning fails. I find that He is not limited by my scant resources nor boxed in by expectations. All I can do is follow and flow in His Spirit, trusting His supreme love that works all things together only for my good.

Bottom line is: God is Sovereign and He will do all that He purposes to do at all times, while at the same time not trampling over the sovereignty of my freewill and the ensuing choices. God often works contrariwise to human intentions and human manipulations!

In the words of the coordinator of the wedding feast to the man of the hour, the bridegroom, in the first incident I mentioned above (John 2:1-10) “EVERYONE brings out the choice wine FIRST and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but YOU have saved the BEST till now.

*Written in time of discussion of the wedding preparations of a mentee!

STATUS QUO

NOV10TH

“I don’t what it is about men that makes them treat their woman colleagues well, but not their wives.”

“Even if they marry one of their colleagues, they are the same. That’s my case. Does a woman change into a vassal once she reaches home?”

“Its worse for me. He is my boss at work and so the same thing happens there too!”

“For me, its all about the disrespect. Just because I am a stay-at-home Mom and can’t speak English well, doesn’t mean I am nothing? I cried when I watched English Vinglish movie!

*Gender discrimination and domestic abuse (not physical) is a stark reality in India. The movie English Vinglish is worth seeing to watch the way a woman takes an opportunity to transform herself. While in NY for her niece’s wedding, she uses her savings from her small catering business for taking a 4-week English Course. She astonishes her family with her expertise and earns their respect. Its worth a watch!
English Vinglish poster.jpeg
*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc., expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s beautiful photo prompt © Marie Gail Stratford

A MULIEBROUS ROGATION

Lord, help me always be,
A simple woman of God,
A true child of the Most High,
The trusting apple of His eye,
The quiet joy of His heart.

Lord, help me ever be
The wife of my husband’s core,
The desire of his abundant love,
The enrichment of his pious state,
The treasured crown of his entire worth.

Lord, help me always be
A strong mother of stable faith
The right citation of their lofty hopes
The standing anchor of their thoughts
The ardent blessing of their willing words.

Lord, help me ever be
The supportive pillar of my home
The vigilant guardian of its base
The prayer covering of its place
The essence of its grace

Lord, help me always be
A woman of your word
The channel of your wisdom
The reflector of your light
The wonder of your works!

                                                                                       © Sabina Tagore Immanuel

E’EN THOUGH IT BE A CROSS!

NEARERMYGOD

Seated in a church, I watched as the earthly remains of my friend’s husband was brought in. I scanned her face, looking past her composed demeanor to her aching heart, sensing the vacuum left there by the loss of her companion of many years. I bowed my head in sorrow, as the Pastor prayed the opening prayer, crying out to the One who created her and joined them together to be one flesh.

The pastor announced the opening song number and we stood to sing that timeless hymn by Sarah F. Adams. As the organ led, the violin accompanied and we sang the song of comfort, the first few lines caught my attention:

Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.
Refrain:
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

My heart, heavy with sympathy for my friend, thrummed and resonated with the line “E’en though it be a cross and woke to realization.

Yes, indeed, I thought to myself, its a CROSS that lifts me. Though it seems quite strange and paradoxical too, the crux of the Christian faith and life, is not a crown but a cross that raises!

The cross stands at the heart of the Christian belief, the epitome of its essence and the embodiment of its existence. The cross stands at the crossroads of time, dividing it into two eras – Before and After it. It rings the death knell of man’s efforts to reach God and the morning bells of God’s triumph in reaching out to him. It signals the culmination of mankind’s bondage to sin, sickness & satan and the dawn of liberation to new life, purpose and future for all human beings, eternally!

Its astonishing to note that the symbol of the worst ignominy in the then cultured Roman world of conquest has today become the insignia of the greatest victory on earth and in heaven. The cross it is that signifies the end of man’s alienation from God and the beginning of renewed relationship with Him as His beloved sons and daughters. Therefore, in the words of Apostle Paul, that in spite of the fact that the it is both a stumbling block to the religious and a wonder to the ingenuous, the cross is strength and salvation to all who are called by Him!

The cross is an incongruity, being both a defense and an offense – defense of mankind’s salvation and eternal life and offense again sin & worldliness. It is both the means of God’s grace and mode of God’s judgement – God’s judgement meant that Jesus had to be crucified and because Jesus paid the price of God’s judgement, those who believe in Him become the beneficiaries of God’s grace!

Pastor Timothy Keller, American theologian and apologist, recent tweet rightly points out, “Unless you point to the good news of God’s grace people will not be able to bear the bad news of God’s judgement”. The cross, associated as it is with pain, torture, judgement, punishment, death etc., is actually the means of gain, comfort, absolution, liberation and life to all those that follow the One Who died on it in weakness but rose again in victory and power!

This is then is the message of hope and succor for my friend: Even though she has the cross of loneliness and singleness to bear at this point in her life, yet it is that same cross that is providing and will provide her comfort and solace in that it has provided for and ensured abundant life her loved one. Indeed, this will be her source of strength, enabling her to live her life of triumphant assurance and joy!

© Sabina Tagore Immanuel