Archive for November, 2015

Nov 09 2015

Sanjib From Calcutta

Published by under India

Sanjib.

Sanjib.

I learn so much about people on these trips.

Sanjib. I’ve known him four years – since he was a little boy. He often has a hesitant smile and you can see that in the top picture. He can be very shy and unsure. We had just gotten off a rollercoaster in that picture.

In the bottom photo, we had been playing swords with our plastic water bottles and he destroyed my bottle, my hand, and my pride. His smile here is full and complete. This is the power of play. Whatever it is that typically keeps Sanjib from fully smiling went away when we played a made-up game.

All games have rules. And one rule universal to all games is that kids will smile while playing games. There is no language barrier to joy. May God keep us young enough to play games until the day we die!

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Nov 09 2015

Martha From Calcutta

Published by under India

Martha.

Martha.

After spending all day at an amusement park here in Calcutta, Martha became so sad on the final ride. She didn’t want to go home.

Martha lives at a boarding school because her home situation is very complicated. And even though life is sometimes difficult for her, I’m reminded it is in the hard places where God really becomes our friend. Today’s sadness is tomorrow’s strength. May God comfort us all in the places we feel weak. And may he bless Martha with every good thing in the kingdom.

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Nov 05 2015

The Best Way To Skip School

Published by under India

piyas

Piyas

“Here’s what we used to do,” my buddy Piyas began. “When we were younger and in school, there would be some days when we didn’t want to study. All of the students usually arrived to the classroom before the teacher. So one of us, usually me, would take the blackboard off the wall – it looked very much like this blackboard here” [and he pointed to the blackboard pictured over his shoulder in this photo].

He continued, “We would take the blackboard and smash it on the ground and – BAM – we had a holiday from school. The teacher would come in and scold the entire class and demand to know who did it, but we had such unity that no one ever told. Unable to teach, she would send us home and we would play cricket or football the rest of the day. These are not good things, of course, but what to do? Kids are kids!”

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Nov 05 2015

Opening Our Door to Light

Published by under Life

kolkata

Do you know what the first picture is (upper left)?

How about the second one upper-middle (hint: it’s the same object as the first)?

How about the third one (upper-right)?

If you don’t have a good guess, let me tell you… It’s one of the engines for a 737 jet. See how much clearer it becomes from left to right?

Light illuminates the objects it shines on. It brings them to life and makes hidden things clear.

I’ve never really stood in the pitch black and said, “Oh, how beautiful!” But I HAVE stood in the dark and commented on the stars or the moon. It is light that makes darkness good.

And the same is true of our own lives. Most of us live in some kind of darkness. And we may be stuck there. We continue to sin and there’s nothing beautiful about it.

It’s only when God shines into our lives and casts his rays of light into our life that we can see what exists. The sin is like darkness – not beautiful on its own. It is light that drives out darkness and allows us to see beauty.

This is part of what it means to walk with God – to continually be beautified as more and more and more light is shone into our life.

Eventually, full light will illuminate our souls to be what he has always intended. If we saw a 737 engine in clear daylight, we would have no trouble identifying it. But the dimmer the light, the more confusion as to what an object is.

I’m in Calcutta this week, and the Victoria Memorial is just a stack of stone blocks without light. But with light, it is a masterpiece!

The more we yield to God, the more light gets inside us. And the more light inside us means the more our souls will shine love and kindness and beauty – the way God intended us to be. May we ask God to light us up so we can live the lives he wants! Jesus came to set us free from darkness so we could shine light!

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