The Marg Goa Trip – 2016

Goa, India Bike Week 2016, Arambol, Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary, Amboli Ghat, Sawantwadi, Benaulim, Dinah's, Marg Goa Trip, 2016, Train, Madgaon, Vasco da Gama, Road Trip, Arambol beach, Arambol lake, Agonda beach, Palolem beach, Firefly, Menezes Braganza Mansion, Arpora, Royal Palms, rest, recreation, celebration, God's undeserved small blessings

Why Do Our Churches Go on Vacation?

Sheetal and I have been reading this book ‘Sensing Jesus’, in which the author Zack Eswine writes about a pastor’s insights on the value system he had been noting in his church. The culture involved professionalism to an extreme where hardly any grace was shown when mistakes were made. Something the pastor said struck me as oddly familiar:

We tried recently to invite folks for dinner and then spend time together with no agenda other than to get to know each other. 85% of the folks left immediately after dinner. Many… told us that, as pastors, we were wasting their time because we gave them nothing to do but sit with people.

Eswine was pointing to our tendency to embrace what is popular and Jesus’ disdain towards living the celebrity life. But I realized that the same tendency which the pastor saw in his people in that church ran deep in my spiritual veins.

Why should we do holidays and (sinfully?) enjoy long fun trips?

Isn’t that all wrong?

I tend to go there often.

The devil is the prince of extremes. He will teach us that the absence of enjoyment and celebration is a holy life. Then, anyone who appears pious should go to Heaven. Why does God command His people to celebrate His goodness in various festivals in the Old Testament which were practiced even in the New Testament? Why does then Jesus gladly participate in a wedding in Cana (John 2:1-3)? Jesus never stopped worshipping God, the Father. Can celebration be worship?

Goa, India Bike Week 2016, Arambol, Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary, Amboli Ghat, Sawantwadi, Benaulim, Dinah's, Marg Goa Trip, 2016, Train, Madgaon, Vasco da Gama, Road Trip, Arambol beach, Arambol lake,  Agonda beach, Palolem beach, Firefly, Menezes Braganza Mansion, Arpora, Royal Palms, rest, recreation, celebration, God's undeserved small blessings
Arey kaha le ja rahe ho, let me celebrate!”

It’s the presence of God’s Holy Spirit in a person and His fruit that is indicative of His holiness in Christians. Along with this goes the growing hatred against and absence of sin. And God sees through fake appearances all the time. As the Marg membership handbook reminds me, it’s what or who we celebrate that matters. More than mere actions, the motives matter. Continue reading “The Marg Goa Trip – 2016”

Sadness – A Critical Ingredient in Conversion

Happiness, Joy, Sadness, Sadness can be good, God brings joy out of sadness, dont manufacture happiness please, Godly sorrow, the cross, sadness leading to joy., no regrets, low cost discipleship, hardening of souls, conversion, repentance, John MacArthur, Martin Lloyd-Jones, John Wesley, Paris Reidhead

A lot of us have been trained to be happy and to keep others happy. Athithi devo bhava (the guest is equivalent to god), so goes the popular adage from our national culture. It’s a good thing, as long as we assume that doing anything to maintain happiness is right.

So then, is it wrong if parents always try to shield children from pain?

Is it wrong if teachers always try to keep students happy?

Is it wrong if Christians don’t allow others to experience sorrow? Continue reading “Sadness – A Critical Ingredient in Conversion”

Why Your Church Should Select Sad Christian Songs

Happiness, Pharell Williams, Happy Song, Joy, Sadness, Sadness can be good, Christian worship, christian songs, Inside Out, beauty out of ashes, God brings joy out of sadness, dont manufacture happiness please, Godly sorrow, the cross, sadness leading to joy., no regrets

Pharell Williams’ hit “Happy” reached a record total audience of 3.3 billion in just the first six months of 2014. It went on to become the most successful song of that year with 13.9 million sales and equivalent streams worldwide!

Happiness, Pharell Williams, Happy Song, Joy, Sadness, Sadness can be good, Christian worship, christian songs, Inside Out, beauty out of ashes, God brings joy out of sadness, dont manufacture happiness please, Godly sorrow, the cross, sadness leading to joy., no regrets

Happy Raho!

Between Williams’ runaway success, urban India’s frequent job switches for “job satisfaction” and the World Happiness Report (yes, your country has a global happiness ranking!), we can pretty much conclude that most of us believe happiness is important for a healthy life.

It’s almost like we have told ourselves we have a human right to get whatever it takes to stay happy. Continue reading “Why Your Church Should Select Sad Christian Songs”