Strong Willed for God’s Work and War


IttaiToday (March 20, 2016) our second born son, Ittai Aidan Paul, turned four years old and we penned a poem for him that we’d like to share. Our prayer is that you read this and be blessed and edified.

Ittai, our beloved second born, today you turned four;
a testament of God’s goodness and the blessings He does pour
as we traverse through life’s journey on this side of the shore
seeing in you, God’s inexplicable love, which leads us to Him adore.

A strong willed child, like the patriarch Jacob, you are
refusing to let go until you are blessed, staying in the fight to spar
Our prayer is that you will channelize that obstinacy to be God’s star
submitting your self to His will, and for God go far.

A loving brother and a wonderful son in you, we see
not readily accepting things but questioning all things curiously;
such quest for rationale, we pray you will use to search the Scripture (Bible) daily
and see God’s Son, Jesus, revealed in his word, is our earnest plea.

Your prayers are simple, yet profound in its content
asking God to care for the orphan and those in lament;
seeking His face, we hear your plea fervent
and ask God to make you his worker, his warrior, his servant.

Ittai, our beloved second born, today you turned four
and we pray that like Jesus grew, you also do, more
growing in wisdom, in stature, and in God and man’s favor
You are much loved for the blessing you are – we just can’t ask for more!

Psalm 127:3 (KJV)
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

 

 

 

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The firstborn – ours and His


A decade ago, on this day, the 20th of January, 2006, we were blessed with our firstborn son, Reuben Abishai Paul. Sangeetha and I are grateful to God for Reuben – a wonderful gift of a son to us and a loving brother to Ittai. Reuben means “behold, a son” and Abishai means “gift of God the Father” and true to that name, as I reminisce on these past 10 years, I am filled with a deep sense of thankfulness to God our Father for his gift to us – our firstborn. But as I pondered more on how wonderful, our life has been since the addition of Reuben in our lives, I realized that, I should not only be thankful for our firstborn, but with an even greater sense gratefulness and worship, I must be thankful to God the Father, for giving us the gift of his firstborn – his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is The firstborn, meaning not, that he was created for he is the Creator and by and through and for him were all things created (Colossians 1:15-18), but that he is the first – the preeminent one.

Our prayer for Reuben, our firstborn, as he turns ten years old today, is that he will always remember as a firstborn, that The firstborn is not him, but Jesus Christ – God’s firstborn and give unto Jesus, the preeminence and priority that is rightfully due him.

Points to ponder:
Is Jesus Christ preeminent (The Firstborn) in your life?

Colossians 1:12-23 (KJV)
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Desperately Searching for and Seeking God


The morning of August 23rd, 2015 (Sunday), my wife, Sangeetha, and I were in the washroom upstairs, getting ready for the day and had the door shut, so that it would not disturb our 3 and a half year old son, Ittai who was sleeping in the adjoining bedroom. Ittai was not aware that we were in the washroom and when he woke up, he went downstairs looking for us. Unaware that we were upstairs, he starting calling for his mom, me and his brother, Reuben, who had stayed overnight at the Gymnastic team camp. Not finding any of us, he started to cry (possibly out of fear and worry). Hearing his cry, my wife and I ran downstairs and found him vehemently weeping. Sangeetha immediately reached out to him and gave him a hug and it took both us quite an effort to console and comfort Ittai, who kept weeping in our arms. We assured him that we will never leave him alone and even if something was to happen to us, Jesus will never ever leave him alone. After much talk he finally stop crying and was comforted.

Come to think of that incident, later in the day, during our family prayer time, Sangeetha shared with Reuben, how thankful we need to be to God, for family, as there are many children in the world (in war zones, etc.) who have lost their parents and orphaned, with no one to console them when they are crying. This is what came to her mind when she saw Ittai crying. On the other hand, as I pondered over the incident, I realized that we ought to be like Ittai, when it came to our heavenly Father God. We must desperately search for him and seek him while he may be found (Isaiah 55:6). We can also be assured that, Jesus, promised that he will be with us even unto to ends of the age, never leaving us nor forsaking us, no matter how fearful and worrisome the situation is.

Points to ponder:
Until one finds Father God, they must desperately search for him and seek him. The good news is that God the Father is eagerly waiting and looking for all the prodigal sons and daughters to return to him. God would never leave us alone. We will never be orphans in God’s family. Seek and ye shall find (God). In him, you will find true consolation and comfort. Are you desperately searching and seeking God?

Isaiah 55:6 (KJV)
Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

Proverbs 8:17 (JKV)
17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early (diligently) shall find me.

Easter Eggstra Special


This past, Thursday, when our 3 year old beloved son, Ittai, came home from school, he had with him a beautifully painted egg and I asked him what it was. He said it was an Easter egg. So I asked him, do you know the meaning of Easter? His response was “Eggs and Baskets.” Well, I tried explaining to Ittai, what Easter truly meant – that it was a celebration of Jesus’ victory over sin and death and how he rose from the grave – but I felt extremely inadequate in explaining resurrection to a three year old. I was also a little disappointed and mad at the world system that tries to take out the true meaning of a celebration, replacing it with something that is politically correct (case in point, Happy holidays for Merry Christmas, XMas for Christmas and Easter eggs/bunnies for the Resurrection).

Then on Easter morning after the service at the Austin Christian Fellowship of India, in which Pastor Samuel Madhavaraj preached about how the tomb of Christ was not only open but empty as well, one of the church members pointed Ittai to an Easter egg that was under his chair. Excitedly Ittai ran and picked up the egg, but when he opened it, it was empty. It was probably the remnant of an Easter egg hunt that may have taken place earlier that weekend. I saw the look of disappointment on Ittai’s face and as a father, I melted. Then it struck me. I took the empty egg, picked Ittai up, sat him on my lap and explained – “Ittai, you know how I asked you what Easter is all about?”. He nodded. “See, Easter is like this empty egg. The candy that was within is not there anymore. It has probably been taken out and eaten by someone who must have tasted and experienced how good it was. They must have enjoyed it. As long as the candy was in the egg, nobody could enjoy it. Now that the egg shell is empty and the candy is out, it can be enjoyed.” I continued, “in the same manner, Easter is like an empty egg. The tomb when Jesus was buried is empty. If he remained in the tomb, no one could have enjoyed his sweetness. The Bible says, O taste and see that the Lord is good. We must take Jesus (like candy) and accept him and take him into our lives so that he comes into us and becomes one with us. We can then truly enjoy his presence as a child would enjoy candy. Infact, Easter eggs that are empty is a poignant picture of the empty tomb. This is what Easter is.” I couldn’t tell if he fully understood what I was trying to say, but atleast, I hope that he recognizes, Easter is not about eggs and basket … but about an empty tomb, because Jesus, who was placed in the tomb, is risen – He is risen indeed. Death could not hold him; the grave could not keep him – He is alive.

Points to ponder:
Have you tasted the sweetness of the grace of God? In other words, have you received and believed in Christ Jesus, taking him into your lives so that you can truly relish and enjoy his presence, or, are you leaving Christ in the tomb as a child would leave candy within and Easter egg.

1 Corinthians 15:12-14 (KJV)
12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

On bended knee, your heart guard


Ittai Aidan PaulOur beloved second son, Ittai turned 3 years old today and here is a poem we wrote for him.

Ittai Aidan Paul, today you turn three
and may you this year be, always, on bended knee
before God, your Creator, who loaned you, to us, as a gift
‘As you grow, may Only His Name, we pray, you lift.’

‘Children are a heritage of the LORD’
and our mission is to teach you to perpetually, your heart guard
against the vices and wiles of this world, and its god.
‘May you always, always, always – Love the LORD’

And his creatures, as you would love yourself.
Running to those in need, we pray you compassionately help
and show that Christ Jesus is Lord of your life, as it should be.
‘You are much loved and appreciated, and will always be.’

We love you Ittai (boo). Happy happy birthday.
Mama, Dada and your brother Reuben wish you a blessed birthday and we seek God’s guidance and wisdom in raising you up in the fear of the Lord. Tons of hugs and tons of kisses. 🙂 God bless you richly! You are a heritage of the LORD (his favor to us).

Psalm 127:3-5 (KJV)
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

The Lord is with me (and I with the Lord)


Our beloved second born son, Ittai Aidan Paul, turns two on March 20, 2014 (today) and as I pondered over God’s goodness in our lives, here are a few words that came to mind, which was penned …

Ittai_SuitedUpIttai Aidan, our beloved second born son, turns two
and we praise God, for his  faithfulness and mercies, afresh, anew
Named after the Gittite who epitomized loyalty
We pray that you shall be always be the son of the Almighty Royalty.

As a son and a brother, you are loaned from above,
and we pray for heavenly wisdom to raise you in faith, hope and love.
In Hebrew, your first name means, ‘The Lord is with me’
And ‘you with the Lord’ we pray that you will always be.

Named secondly after the Apostle of the English, a missionary of Lindisfarne
We pray that like a little fire, you will be God’s light, his alarm
And be kept from all evil and all harm,
As you grow in God’s favor and man’s, in wisdom and in charm.

Ittai Aidan, our beloved second born son, you turn two
and for you, a gift from above, we praise God, who is Faithful and True
Be a follower of Christ, always, imputing solely his piety
So that you will not just be known as our son, but as one of the Almighty.

Happy Birthday, Ittai
We love you dearly.

Points to ponder:
Ittai in Hebrew means, “The Lord is with me” and Jeremiah 20:11 states the the Lord is with us as a mighty warrior.
Jesus promised to be with us, even unto the end of the world.
The question that remains then is “Are you with the Lord?” (John 15:4-5)

2 Samuel 15:19-21 (KJV)
19 Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile.
20 Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee.
21 And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the Lord liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be.

Jeremiah 20:11 (NIV)
11 But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten.

John 15:4-5 (KJV)
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

After God’s kind


Ittai A. PaulOur second born much loved Son, Ittai A. Paul, turned one today (March 20, 2013) and as we ponder on God’s goodness and faithfulness to us, my beloved wife Sangeetha and I, are ever so grateful to God for having loaned us two precious boys to cherish while we pilgrim on earth.

The Bible records that on the fifth and sixth day, God created the animals that live in the water, the birds that fly in the air, living creatures that live on the earth, every creeping thing, every cattle, and every beast of the earth, each after their own kind (Genesis 1:21, Genesis 1:25). Then on the sixth day, the Triune God in one decided to make man in his image, after the likeness of God the Father, his Holy Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit of God. (Genesis 1:26). So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

In other words, while every other creature that has life was created after their own kind, only us (man) is not made after our own kind, but created after God’s kind. When man took his first breath,  he became a living soul (Genesis 2:7) to live according to the Spirit of God (and not according to the flesh) for God is Spirit (John 4:24). The world glorifies celebrities with physical beauty and charming bodies, and seldom are most celebrities who do not know Jesus Christ celebrated for their soul (living soul).

Points to ponder:
Are you living by the flesh or by God’s Spirit? What are you and I celebrated for?

Our precious second son Ittai, our firstborn Reuben, You and I are all fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God (Psalm 139:4). We are made after God’s own kind and are wonderful – and that gives us every reason to praise God.

Genesis 1:20-27 (KJV)
20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Psalm 139:14 (KJV)
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.