Sunday, 24 May 2020

A Cry For Injustice

A Cry For Injustice

Many of us have come across people around us who are in power or very influential ones who think that they are all powerful, smart and no one can ever get to them. After all they think that they are always right and doing the right thing. This is mostly common among our politicians.

But we, as the public hearing and seeing them do things that we know is wrong and which according to them is absolutely right, have asked or even discussed among ourselves if they really speak righteously or judge people fairly. If they had to speak righteously, they would have done what is right and if they would judge people fairly they would have treated and understood us wisely. The next big question that arises, “when will they ever change?”.  We try our best day and night through all means that we can like, news , social media, discussions etc., to help them realize their carelessness and injustice.  But it’s all in vain and it keeps adding to the fire.

 As a matter of fact, they will never change. Because they are the ones that practice injustice in their hearts and with their hands they weigh out violence in the land. They have gone astray from the womb and are liars from birth. With venom in them they have a deaf ear like the snake and do not listen to the sound of the charmers who skillfully weave spells. As fools they are being led to the flames of hell.

Without being anxious we have one hope and our only hope that is God. As we cry out to Him, not to change them, but to knock the teeth out of their mouths and tear out their fangs. Soon they will vanish from the face of this earth just like water that flows by and like slug that moves along in slime. They will no longer see the sun or feel its rays just like a woman’s miscarried child. Aimlessly trying to use their useless arrows, He will sweep them away like dirt on the streets.

This has happened before but they have been blinded in their own ways with no fear of God. People will rejoice when the see the retribution. There is a reward for the righteous and YES, there is a God who judges the world.

Friday, 8 May 2020

A Midnight Deliverance

A Midnight Deliverance

When a severe persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, all except the apostles were scattered throughout the land of Judea and Samaria. Saul, a Roman soldier was ravaging the church, and he would enter house after house, drag off men and women and put them in prison. Still breathing threats and murder to the disciples of the Lord, he went to the high priest and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way (Jesus),either men or women he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he was travelling to Damascus a bright light shown on him and falling down to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”.  “Who are you, Lord?” he asked. “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting”. After being instructed by the Lord to go to the city, he got up from the ground but even though his eyes were open he could see nothing. His companions stood speechless as to what they had seen and later helped him to the city. After three days the Lord had appeared to him in a vision and after being ministered to, his eyes were opened. From that day on he walked a different path, proclaiming the Messiah. Later changing his name to Paul, he began his missionary journeys.

Now moving through many places, teaching and encouraging the churches he came across Silas (also known as Silvanus). Silas was a member of the early Christian community and was also a prophet himself. Doing the similar works as Paul did, he (Paul) found it appropriate to take along with him this man to continue his missionary works. Together they set sail to many different places including Europe. They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, and when they had come to Mysia, they were led by the Spirit to Troas and then to Macedonia. It was in Philippi, a Roman colony and also a leading city of that district of Macedonia where they stayed there many days.

On a Sabbath day they were teaching outside the city gates near a river, where there was a place of prayer. They sat and spoke to the women gathered there. Now in Jewish s laws, a synagogue could be formed wherever there were ten male heads of households who could be of regular attendance. Failing this, a place of prayer under the open sky and near a river or sea was to be arranged. Paul had already been there a few days and knowing there was no synagogue in Philippi, he and Silas went out of the city for find a place of prayer. A Woman named Lydia from the city of Thyatira who worshiped God was listening to what Paul was saying and her heart was touched by the Lord. Soon she and her household believed and were baptised. Lydia’s home was where the church later met (after Paul had finished his ministry there) and it was the first church in Philippi.

Now it so happened as they were on their way to prayer they met a slave girl who made a large profit for her owners by fortune telling. For many days following Paul and Silas she used to cry out “these men are servants of the Most High God who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation. Paul was greatly aggravated by this and turning to the spirit cast it out in the name of Jesus. And it left her right away. When the men whom she had worked for had seen that their hope of profit had gone they seized and dragged Paul and Silas in the market place to the authorities. They falsely accused them both for disturbing the city and for promoting false customs and practices. Soon the crowd joined in the attack against them and so the magistrate ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. Later being thrown into jail, orders were sent to keep them securely guarded. So the jailer secured them in the inner prison with their feet in the stocks.

Even though Paul and Silas were badly wounded, bound in chains and in a dark prison with absolutely no chance of escape, at about midnight, they continued praying and singing hymns to God. Then suddenly there was a violent earthquake that shook the foundations of the jail and all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loose. The Roman jailers back then were assassinated especially if special ordered prisoners’ had escaped under their guard. On seeing this the jailer drew a sword to kill himself thinking they had escaped. But just then Paul called out in a loud voice “Don’t harm yourself we are all here”. Trembling with fear the jailer called for lights rushed in and fell down before Paul and Silas asking them “what must I do to be saved?”.  For he now knew that they really belonged to the God Most High. They said “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. You and your household”.

Taking them to his place at that very hour and washing their wounds and fed them. They spoke the message of the Lord to him and everyone in his house and right away he and all his family were baptised. Coming to know God, the jailer was overjoyed and he let them stay the night at his place. It was one hard day and a long night for Paul and Silas but it was all counted worthy for the Lord.
At daylight, orders had come from the magistrate to release Paul and Silas. Immediately the jailer reported it to Paul telling him that they could now go in peace. After all they had seen what had happened and Paul refusing to go said “they beat us in public without a trial, and although we are roman citizens, threw us in Jail. And they are going to let us out quietly? Certainly not! On the contrary let them escort us out!”. The magistrates did not know that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. So when they heard of this they were all afraid, filled with fear they came and apologised to them and escorted them out and urged them to leave the town. Their work in Philippe was accomplished as to what the Lord had led them to do. It was to deliver the people so as to start a church in Philippe.

Lydia’s home became the first church there with its members being herself and her household, the delivered slave girl who was demon possessed and the jailer with his household. The Gospel was to reach all levels of society, even today. But people aren’t very different today than bible times.

If you belong to the Most High, you are certainly under his care and protection. No matter how many turn against you, He is a just God and is true to his Word when he says “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. Just as he was with Paul and Silas through their discomfort, he will do the same for you and I also delivering all those who believe in His Name. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Based on the Holy Book of Acts

Friday, 1 May 2020

Developing India

Developing India 

India is a land of culture, languages, history and lifestyle. Sports like chess, hockey, football and world champions in cricket, miss world, miss universe, entertainment, music, and the list goes on. India is good at it all. Most of the smartest people in technology are originally from India. For a matter of fact even science. Some of the richest people are again Indians.
So when we speak of development what exactly or which areas, does India really need to be developed. Infrastructure? Well, we do need better infrastructure but actually it's not that very important if you look at it from a different perspective. In a country like India with people from different religions, beliefs, cultures, lifestyles, etc. It would be very important to educate people in mainly etiquettes, manners, respect for others and hygiene.
Most of us are always right in our own cultural or religious ways. But is this enough in an open and wide world out there. A few highlights that really stood out are, firstly, It took our prime minister a visit to a foreign country to persuit a cleaner India. But I must ask, has it worked? Are people really aiming to keep up the prime ministers mission 'swatch bharat'? Sadly no. It has become more of a slogan then anything else. How can you expect someone to cleanup if he doesn't know how untidy and unhygienic it is to him and everyone living around him. Even the building of toilets hasn't been a success. Why? Because people haven't been educated on proper hygiene and a better community living. If the government enforces education on proper hygiene, cleanliness of surroundings, then may be things will be different. People will then build their own toilets after knowing for what and why their used for, and even keep their surroundings and neighborhood clean. There should be a strict law that if anyone found littering be fined. Don't think it's possible? Why not? Look at all the Indians living in other foreign countries. They don't behave the same as in India.? They comply and live by the rules of that country.
In India everyone says, our women never dress up like the western because they have respect. Really? Is that true? The women in other western countries show more skin that the women in India. But yet India has the highest molestation and rape percentage in the world. It is rated as the most unsafe country for women.
Only less than a quarter of India has really developed than compared to the majority who really don't care and are ignorant.
Will India still be developing? Will our government still fight among themselves just to rule and make money for themselves? Will they ever think of making this country a better place to live in than just showing how they have lived while in power? Will criminals still be permitted to contest for elections?
With all these questions India will still be the most corrupt and developing country.

Thursday, 30 April 2020

A Crew Member's Life At Sea

A Crew member's Life At Sea 

Okay, okay, the pay is great and so are the travel opportunities but what is it really like living onboard a cruise ship?
Life onboard a cruise ship, or ship of any kind is different than any living experience you’re likely to have had on land. Because of maritime laws, regulations and a history of powerful traditions, life at sea has regulations and routines that must be followed. Positions and hierarchy onboard a cruise ship are taken seriously, which typically translates into a social and living environment ruled by protocols and fairly strict rules. The captain, naturally, is the highest-ranking officer onboard and persons in more subordinate roles usually are well aware of the higher-ranking officers to whom they report. It isn’t all regime and military like administrations, but ship employees usually account work environments different from those they’ve experienced on land and report it as one that closely mirrors a naval model. As it turns out, many people enjoy the structure and organization of life on a cruise ship and while in the beginning it takes some getting used to, it often translates into a work environment where people thrive.

Perhaps the biggest and most obvious difference is that you are living at sea, instead of on land. This lends to a myriad of lifestyle differences, including differences in weather. Even in calm environments, the ocean can be unpredictable. Storms at sea are somewhat legendary and high winds and rough waters come with the territory. Passengers onboard (staff included) are always safe onboard the ship, but for some people, storms at sea and other oceanic factors go unconsidered. For others, salty air in their face, open seas, even in rough weather, sounds like an adventurer’s dream come true and are part of the positives they look forward to when considering life on a cruise ship. Needless to say, it can be an exciting and exhilarating way of life.

It’s true, the living conditions for employees on a cruise ship, especially smaller or older ships, can be cramped. Most often employees share a small room with one or two other people. On large cruise ships these living spaces are similar to a standard passenger cabin but again, these spaces are shared and particularly small. Some higher-ranking officers have single cabins and married couples can apply to live together, however these circumstances are few and far between. Potential employees must also consider the length of time they will be living in a room such as this, which can often be for several months at a time. Cruise line employees usually room in areas away from the passenger cabins. They are typically grouped together, by department and in some cases, even nationality. This creates friendships and tight nit relationships among employees of the same department and ‘team’ atmospheres are often used to describe the social nature among employees.

Perhaps the largest factor when it comes to being comfortable with the living environment on a cruise ship is simply adjusting. As is anything new, it can be difficult at first, but most people are able to acclimate to these living environments fairly quickly and don’t consider them an area of stress or discontent.

The schedule of a cruise ship employee is another area that requires some adjusting. Because you live at your place of work and because of the nature of the work, most employees are required to perform some work responsibilities each day. Some days require more work than others (sea days and turn over or embarkation days) and each schedule varies depending on the position. For Cruise Staff employees, and other positions that interact with guests, it can begin to feel like they are on staff 24-hours a day. This is because most companies require their staff to wear company shirts or uniforms and name tags even when they are off duty. This means being stopped to answer questions, give directions and most certainly means having an approachable and sunny disposition at all times whether it be on or off shift.

People who want to avoid the feeling of always being “on”, usually find themselves avoiding public places during their hours off and can typically find a niche onboard where they can escape the demands of work for a few hours and enjoy some time alone. All of this usually just takes time to adjust to the difference. Because the ship provides all the laundry, cooking and cleaning, employees don’t have to worry about mundane daily tasks during their time off, and can use those hours for personal or social time. Most ships have employee-only dining halls, lounges and bars, so there are venues specifically designed for employees where they can enjoy being around their peers. Also, while a ship is at port there are usually lots of fun activities to take part in, off the ship. All of these factors help with the feeling of cabin fever, demanding work schedules and other difficult aspects of life onboard.

For the most part, cruise ship employees are happy to have a job which affords them such great benefits, travel and earning potential. While the living quarters and schedules are typically seen as draw backs to the job, they are simply adjustments that need to be made. Most employees will tell you these small drawbacks are worth the positives of working onboard a cruise ship.

Cruise Ship Eaters

Cruise Ship Eaters

Ever wondered if people eat to live or live to eat? It's natural that we need to eat to live. But what about those who live to eat?try spending a few days with such people and you wouldn't believe what you see. One of the best places to experience this is on a cruise ship. People start in the morning and go on untill after midnight.

After having breakfast 2 times finishing at 11am they are ready for lunch at 11.30 am. You will see them having plates after plates. Soups, salads, roasts and cuts, seafood, fruits desserts, ice-cream everything. They can have it all.

Unbelievable but it's true. Then soon its tea time at 3.30pm to 5.00pm which is never missed. Dinner was served from 5.00 to 10.00pm which is the main course of the day. How could one digest or even be able to eat so much is really hard to understand . Food zombies is what I call them.
I used to think that after the first 2or 3days of the cruise that they would go easy on the food, but no. It gets even worse. It's also funny when they start to complain about the food. The food is too salty, too rich, spicy, oily, are some of the most common complaints. What's more amusing is that when they have eaten everything from their plate they say that the food wasn't good at all.

Are people really that hungry? Do they never get to eat enough in everyday life? Is it that they eat for the later days to come? Or is it just a mission that needs to be accomplished? Food is good. It taste good when it's cooked, boiled, grilled, baked, steamed, or sometimes just raw. My conclusion enjoy it sensibly.

The Lady At The Well

     The Lady At The Well 

We may have come across many man of God in the Bible, but women of God not that many. This is a story of a woman who was not know for her past good deeds or choices, but the circumstances that she faced during her life didn't stop her from living a life filled with love for God.

This is a fascinating story and in fact one of the longest conversations ever recorded that Jesus had with a woman. (JN: 4). The gospel of John gives a brief discription about her past and present life. But in this, questions arise, weather she was really a sinner? Or Why did she have so many divorces (if she really did) or why did she have more than one husband.

Back in the days Samaritans had a levirate marriage law, so it might have been possible that her husbands did not survive long enough. Also Samaritan women were betrothed in infancy which makes it another possibility that she might have married older men and outlived them. And for her to live and be supported in her everyday life she would have had to have a man to be looked after considering the fact if she had no one else. With a life like this, in society, she would definitely be looked down upon. It is highly unlikely that she had so many divorces because divorces back then were not encouraged and that too five times. But she did live a sinful life.

On her daily routine to get water from a well she meets a complete stranger. Being asked for water by him she surprisingly asked 'how is it that you being a jew ask a Samaritan for a drink.'. Little did she know that she was going to draw living water (salvation) from this man Jesus.

Jesus, knowing her current situation uses it to build a conversation with her. He wanted to use this same woman who was not looked up in society to be His messenger. As soon as she learns who Jesus was, leaves everything and runs to her town telling everyone who Jesus really was knowing everything about her life. Without a doubt people believed her and her testimony. Jesus uses her as a key to enter her town so as to many could believed in Him.

No matter what your life's situation was or even is at the moment, Jesus sees you differently and if you humbly accept Him just like the Samaritan woman things will change drastically for you.
The woman's name nor her life soon after that was not really known. But early records state, the Orthodox believe that she was baptized by the apostles during the Pentecost and took the name Photini meaning the "enlightened one" and also being equal-to-the apostles. She is believed to have converted many people including her five sisters and two sons and journeyed as a missionary to Carthage in North Africa. She later proclaimed of having a vision of Jesus telling her to go to Rome and minister to the emperor.
Nero was emperor of Rome and the most cruel of a person to Christians. Having heard of Photini, he had her arrested and tortured. Including her family and followers. The tortures were too horrifying and graphic. Nero ordered to be brought to him and asked her to bow down to his idols. Refusing give up Christ and obey him, Photini was then martyred by her being thrown into a dry well after her skin was flayed.

In this true story we see that after that day when she met Jesus at the well her life changed. She became devoted to God and served His purpose. In the world's eyes she might not have had an happy ending but she counted it all joy to live for Christ for a heavy reward awaits her in Haven.
Jesus said (Mathew 10:39) "whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it."

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary

Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is located in northeastern Goa, India in Ponda taluka. The total area of the park is 8 km². It is a popular destination for both tourists and schoolchildren. Although it is the smallest of all the wildlife sanctuaries in Goa, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is also the most popular with children, families and eco-tourist. 

The Bondla Wildlife park is open to visitors every day except Monday throughout the year from 9.00am to 5.00pm. The cost of admission for adults is Rs 5 and children Rs 2. Extra charges include Parking (Rs 10 for a two wheeler and Rs 50 for a four wheeler), Cameras (Rs 25) and video cameras (Rs 100).

There are a few number of animals that make their home in this place. They include the Gaur, Goa’s state animal, Sambhar deer,  jungle cat, leopard, toddy cat, wild boar, porcupine, scaly anteater, and the Malabar giant squirrel. There are watchtowers set up at strategic locations where one can observe the animals in their natural habitats.

The park also houses a number of birds. The most common amongst these include Ruby throated yellow bulbul, which is the state bird, the common grey hornbill and golden backed woodpecker. 

Besides the plant and animal life that abounds within the safety of the sanctuary, there also a number of other popular activities that one can indulge in during a visit to the natural park.

Just a Waiter...?

To many a Waiter may seem like a not so skilled kind of a job. Taking food and drink orders and serving is all that it is. 

Well let me tell you that it's a lot more than that or what it seems to be. Being in the job on a cruise ship for more than a decade I'm proud and happy to be a Waiter. One of the most important things is organizing and discipline. The way you carry and present yourself makes a huge difference at the restaurant you work and even for the guests at your table. I personally wouldn't like a sloppy Waiter to serve me in whichever restaurant I'm in. Being a Waiter is basically being a salesperson  and besides food, a good knowledge on drinks(all beverages) is whats needed. 

Talking about food knowledge, it's a huge topic. Most importantly knowing the ingredients in the dishes and how each dish is prepared really helps in assisting many guests with different types of  diets and allergies. Comparing and suggesting drinks with food is where your beverage knowledge comes in. Especially wines. In fine dining every course would accompany a perfect wine. 

The real challenge is on those busy days when the restaurant is full with large number reservations and sometimes even a long line by the doors. With 5 to 6 tables (22 to 24 guest) alloted to each Waiter it does get crazy.  At these times organizing your self is the key.  You might ask how do you organize yourself. Well let me tell you that not all guests dine the same. Some eat fast, some slow, some want speedy service , some special diets etc.   You must be able to make quick decisions, be consistent and swift. Being a Waiter on a cruise ship, I have experienced and encountered every situation. 

This is only a glimpse of what happens front of the house. Back of the house is a whole different story. Working with colleagues from different nationalities is not easy.  There is a lot of stress in dealing with all of this especially when trying to get the food out on time. With all of this you need to have a smiling body language and dazzle your guest making them feel special. (I guess everyone of us would want to be treated well in a restaurant). 

Being a Waiter is no easy task. You up on your feet for as long as 6hrs just for dinner only. It's not a regular 9 to 5 job. You work on mostly and nearly all holidays and celebrations with many hours of overtime. These are just a few major cons like any other jobs would have their own.  It may seem sad or a turn down, but it definitely pays off with the tips, smiles and experience you deliver to every guest. One thing the Waiter would lie about is when you ask him how was his day. The answer, always good. 

At the end of the day you are with a job that makes you happy. Well as for me it has been an exciting journey and I love it. I guess every professional Waiter would do too. 

A Cry For Injustice

A Cry For Injustice Many of us have come across people around us who are in power or very influential ones who think that th...