A Prodigy on Train

A journey on an Indian train is bound to run one into some prodigy of exceptional talent. The circumstances, however, being contrary to the bliz and glitz of media stars, doesn't provoke any fandrum. Yet, these nameless and faceless but vibrant singers, gymnasts, and instrumentalists do ask for a living in an honourable way. They are dejected despite their talents because the world is ashamed of them. I often have marvelled at the dexterity with which a kid's fingers had performed on a single string fastened from the end of any container to a one foot pole attached to it. He or she would play both the rhythm and the melody on that simplistic lyre. I've also often gazed with wonder at little three to five year old kids perform gymnastics, within the train alley, on rings and ropes. These all go unrecognized by the world. We are passers by little glittering gold, as we struggle for passions that we can never hold: while this world does afford us our little space, let's also remember that these prodigies have a face.


"he who refuses to rule is liable to be ruled by one who is worse than himself."

~ Plato (The Republic)


Ibadat Karo by Anil & Reena Kant (Lyrics and Translation)

Hei duniya ke logon oonchi aawaj karon
O people of the world, lift up your voice
Gawon khushi key geet
And sing the songs of joy
Uska gungaan karo
Declare praises of Him
Ibadat karo uski Ibadat karo (x2)
Worship Him, Worship…
(Repeat Chorus)
1. Yaad karo ki vahi ek Khuda hein
Remember that He alone is God
Hum ko ye jeevan useene diya hein
It is He who has given us this life
Us charagah se hum sab hein aaye
We all have come from that (spring)
Humd o sana ke hum geet gaaye
Let’s sing the song of His praise
Rab ka tum shukar karo
Give thanks to the Lord
Oonchi aawaj karo
Lift up your voice
Gawon khushi key geet
And sing the songs of joy
Uska gungaan karo
Declare praises of Him
Ibadat karo uski Ibadat karo (x2)
Worship Him, Worship…
2. Naamey Khudawand kitna mubaarak
How blessed is the Name of the Lord!
Mera Khudawand kitna bhala hein
My God, How good is He!
Rehmat hei uski sadiyon purani
His compassion is from ageless past
Wafa ka azar se yahi silsila hein
(From endless faithfulness this history rolls on)
Uspar eeman dharo, uske ghar aap chalo
Cast your faith on Him, walk yourself to His house!
Gawon khushi key geet
And sing the songs of joy
Uska gungaan karo
Declare praises of Him
Ibadat karo uski Ibadat karo (x2)
Worship Him, Worship…

The Marks of a Covenant Leader (Malachi 2:5-7)

Malachi 2:5-7




The Blessings of His Covenant (Malachi 2:5-7)


The Sift of Faith (Luke 22:31-34)

LUKE 22:31-34
31 And the Lord said,[3] "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren."
33 But he said to Him, "Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death."
34 Then He said, "I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me."

Judas agrees to betray Jesus, The Last Supper is over, Jesus talks about His death and about the coming Kingdom.

The Divine Caution – “That your faith may not fail”

1. The Gift of Faith (is both a fruit and a gift)
The fruit of the Spirit – What the Spirit produces in us, in character, through the Word
The gift of the Spirit – What the Spirit produces in us, in a specific situation, through the Word
Eph. 2:8, in both cases, is essentially, a gift of God.

2. The Sift of Faith (the trial of faith)
“Satan has asked” – Remember how he asked for Job…
The adversary, the enemy, the accuser of brethren seeks permission…
Jesus taught us to pray “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one”

“asked” – Gk. exaiteomai (ex-ai-teh'-om-ai) v. to demand (for trial) (Mickelson’s Dictionary)

The devil may tempt, but it is faith that overcomes by His blood and the Word of His testimony (Rev. 12:11)

Blood is the Ground
Makes us a possession of God (Redeems)
Separates us from the world unto God (Sanctifies)
Covers us from evil….

What the Lord means to us
What the Lord has done for us
What the Lord is doing in us
What the Lord does with us

Sift = through a sieve or just by shaking the wheat to drop on ground in order to drive off the chaff in the air. Let’s use the example of a sieve which is most often used for sifting in fine particles
• Obstacles of Faith – How do you sift through a maze or forest of anti-faith while on your way to Canaan? You need sharp vision, agility, control, that comes from the indwelling Spirit – Walk in the Spirit (Gal.5:25) – You’ll never stumble when you walk in the light (1Jn.1)
• Purging of Faith – What things does this sifting of faith dismantle or rip off you? (Heb.12:1,2)
• Sorting of Faith – Use and exercise of faith enhances the faith faculty to discern between truth and error (Heb. 5: 14)
• Distinguishing of Faith – The faith that has been sifted comes out fine and pure

3. The Lift of Faith (the perseverance of faith)
“I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail”
Divine Interest – He has an interest in us He Wishes our Good (Don’t be like Jonah)
[All heaven is interested in the salvation of the individual]
Divine Intercession – He prays and intercedes for us … He Works for our Good
[All that can be done is done for our salvation]
Divine Injunction – to us – He Wants us to be Good (Strengthen your brothers)
[All that is required from us has been declared to us]

Two Dangers:
• Rifting – When the anchor is dislocated (Heb.2:1)
• Drifting – When we move out of His love and His truth – the result: shipwreck

We will overcome..

© Domenic Marbaniang, February 15, 2010

Word for the Day - Pr.3:6 [Inside His Car]

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart...and he will make straight your paths" (Pr.3:6, ESV). Once you get inside His car, you know it's going to be a smooth and safe ride.

Word for the Day - Ps.39:6 [What things keep you busy?]

"Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: he bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it" (Ps.39:6). What things keep you busy and why? Invest your time and energy discreetly so as to reap eternal benefits (cf. Mat.6:20; Lk.16:9).


Spirit-Ruled Affections

Spirit-Ruled Affections
1 Jn. 2: 14-17

30 March 2007
Domenic Marbaniang

Horace W: ‘The world is a comedy for those who think but a tragedy for those who feel.’
Men are powerfully ruled by their affections.
Antiphanes: ‘Only two things a man cannot hide: that he is drunk and that he’s in love.’

1. AFFECTIONS DEFINE IDENTITY: What we love is what we become like. Our affections mirror our inner self. Who are we?

a. In Pedigree: We are Children of God (1Jn. 4:7; 3:1). You have divine nature.
b. As Possession: We are Sheep of God (Jn. 10: 27-29). You have divine allegiance.
c. In Position: We are Disciples of Xt (Jn. 13:35). You have a divine commission.
How do you look at the world & how does the world look at you?
‘The depth of Christian experience can be measured by the intensity of horror one senses on hearing the word ‘world’.’
Christ described a Christian’s relationship with the world in two ways:
a. He is unattached to the things of the world – Lk. 9: 23-27
b. He is hated by the world – Jn. 15:18,19. i.e., despised and rejected.
‘The world loves its own.’ Affections reflect our identity.
It is not what we were but what we are at present that’s imp. Jewish Prov. ‘man not judged by past but by present.’
To the Ephesian Church: You’ve left ur 1st love: laid aside, yielded up. Given it up for some other love.
Jer. 2:13: forsook me and hewn other cisterns. Those who did so lost their position in the covenant relationship and were designated enemies of God.

2. AFFECTIONS AFFECT DESTINY: What u love is what u’r led by. Three things:
a. Spectacles of Wind: Lust of Eyes
b. Sensations of Sin: Lust of Flesh
c. Subversion of Will: Pride of Life

#1 SPECTACLES OF WIND: Eccl. 2:10, 11; 2:17 – chasing after the wind – Pr. 23:5: Riches take wings: Don’t last.
This extends even to one’s theological constructions or reconstructions.

I don’t criticize the concept of a material heaven; I’m against have a materialistic reason for going to heaven.
Golden streets, Super-star mansions & bungalows, parks of delight and rapturous music. Someone even said, I don’t like going to such a heaven; I’d rather be amidst flowers, streams, mountains, and waterfalls, than in a golden cage of gold. The lust of eyes governs our feelings of where we wish to be. The Kingdom of heaven is beyond this-worldly analogy. The lustrous world is only passing by. We wait for the invisible country which will never fade away.

In any sight desired, at least two things are sought: beauty and intricacy or marvel. These both are desired for they stimulate affections. And this isn’t bad; for instance in the song: How great Thou art: I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power thruout the universe displayed. Then sings my soul my Savior God to thee, How great thou art.

However, it becomes evil when sought for the sake of stimulus alone. In such a case, the eyes suffer the terrible disorder of dissatisfaction. The ancient and modern madness after newer idols, refined imageries, and maga edifices reflect such a predicament of human dissatisfaction. Men desires to produce whatever he is capable of imagining.

It is no wonder that the words ‘images’ and ‘imagination’ are connected and Gen. 6 says ‘the imaginations of the thoughts of man’s heart was evil continually.’ Napoleon Bonaparte said that ‘Men of imagination rule the world.’ The modern situation goes a step beyond that, the world is not ruled by men of imagination, it is men who are ruled by a world of imagination. We have built a kingdom of virtual reality.

The modern era can be rightly termed the AGE OF IMAGES. From pencil wrappers to computer games, from movie theatres to T.V. screens, from billboard ads to a youth’s bedroom wallposters, from metropolitan stadia to the village pan shop, it’s the rule of images. We live in the empire of images.
Under the camouflage of the freedom of expression, behind the shield unrestraint liberty prowls the menacing figure of lust. All that the world has built is only a castle in the wind. Solomon: I did all and found out it’s chasing the wind.

IT’s therefore important to control what we see and how we see. The wise man has eyes on head (Eccl. 2:14).
Publius Syrus: The eyes do not go wrong if the mind rules the eyes. The mind must be suffused with God’s Word.

#2 SENSATIONS OF SIN: Rom. 7:5 – passions of flesh; Jas. 1:15 – lust produces sin.
Freud: Man is ruled by the drive of pleasure
Sartre: Man is a bundle of passions

The truth: Man ruled by passion is worse than the beast; for beasts are governed by instinct and man is to be governed by the truth that he learns. To give in to passion is to go beyond instinct. This is what Paul calls being ‘unnatural’ or being ‘against nature’ or ‘leaving the natural use’ Rom. 1:26,27.
Lawrence J. Crabb Jr.

2 Basic Needs
Significance – Power-drive (megalomania) – violence
Security – Pleasure-drive (erotomania) – immorality

DC Talk:
It took so long for me to see, that I’m a victim of the nature in me;
Left to myself I realize, I am the maker of my own demise.

The ocean of life looks calm on the surface; but there are strong undercurrents of destruction beneath.

A recognition of the monstrous passion within is important. Malcolm Muggeridge tells the story o fhow once on the banks of an Indian river he saw a woman bathing at a distance. His passions enflamed, he began swimming in that direction, all the while imagining the sensationalism of sinful extrusion he was soon to experience, until he got within her proximity only to be shocked and bewildered by what he saw; he was looking at the body of a leper. Muggeridge said: it took some time for him to realize that it wasn’t her body that was leprous as much as was his own heart.

The OT permitted not a bit of leaven in worship. Do we still cherish some secret, hidden sin?
The world is a factory of carnal wish-fulfillment. The modern age of computers makes it possible to experience in virtual reality what is legally forbidden. There is a menu of immoralities from which humans can now choose.

From Ice-cream cones to Ice-capped mountain trekking, from gizmo-drives to outer-space travel, from video games to the wrestling ring, from bed room TV to theatres, from the dark cell of the heart to the raging rantings of the journalist, if the Nithari killings and the Mumbai blasts are shocking now, they may not be a decade later for the soft skin of human conscience turns into a rough hide with every shock it experiences. James ask: From where do they all come: it is the ravings and rantings of inner passions within that is destroying humanity.

Where do you stand as a burning light of God? Are you ruled by the lusts of the world or by Christ-like love; by the immoral desires of sin or by Christ’s zeal for righteousness. What u love is what will lead you on.

Bible states categorically: pride goes before destruction
Jas 4:6 – God resists the proud
Rom. 1: Unthankful, ungrateful, not glorifying God, willful suppression of Truth

1. Evil Resolution of Will : I will
2. Total Dissolution of Spirit : Death of Conscience

GEHAZI – 2 Kgs. 5:20
Fear of God is the beginning of Wisdom

ISLAM – Submission to God: Religious quest to come back to God: failure

XT in Gathsamane

If Christ is not your Lord He can’t be your Savior’

Let the invisible kingdom of God be before your eyes.
Let the divine passion for righteousness and truth consume your being.
Let your will be yielded up to the Lordship of XT.

Fount of Blessings - James 3

7 Dec 2007
Domenic Marbaniang

Jas 3:11  Does the fountain out of the same hole send forth the sweet and the bitter?

Talking about the tongue. As a fountain sends forth water, so does the tongue send forth words. V. 10 it is not fitting for the tongue to assume a double nature.

We all know what kind of words we should speak and so I’ll not focus chiefly on that: sweet, seasoned, edifying, and God pleasing talk.

Let’s focus on the problem of double-tonguedness. Deacons are commanded not to be double-tongued (1 Tim. 3:8).  God hates double-tonguedness, i.e., saying one thing to one person and the other thing to another. There is neither integrity nor constancy in such speech.

This dual-nature is manifest in both words and actions of a double-minded man.

1.     An inner dichotomy. Lack of Harmony. No correlation between BELIEF AND PRACTICE.
2.     A hidden restlessness. Uncertainty. Stony ground. Not at home with one’s own convictions. G. B. Shaw’s Andronicles & the Lion, Ferrovius. U aren’t sure of what’s gonna happen the next moment. Now u feel the holiest thoughts, the next second gripped with the ugliest ideas.
3.     A harbored bitterness. The remnants of sin. Thorny ground. Seeds of unforgiveness, remnants of lust, unbelief, and undealt sin.
4.     A Hypocritical pleasantness. A forced righteousness

1.     Your actions must conform to your knowledge of truth.
2.     Your words must possess integrity. Martyrs.
3.     Your heart must forgive and forget the past wrongs. 1 Cor. 13- Love keeps no record of evil.
4.     Serve God in spirit and truth.


True Identity

Matt. 26. 6-13
Domenic Marbaniang 
Adapted from Sermon 7 April, 06 Friday Eve. At Rev. V. T. Felix’s Cottage

  1. She would never regret what she did. A great act of honor before His crucifixion.
  2. The disciples derided but Jesus commended. The wrong words we speak can harm or edify.

*What we do establishes our identity
            Our identity before God is more important than before men
            ID Card tells our name and job.
            We were enemies of God by our works – Col 1. 21
            We can glorify God by our works – 1 Pt. 2.12
            # If you are a believer, your faith will be known by your works. Jas. 2. 17
            # If you are a child of God, your works will declare so of you. 1 Jn. 3.10
            A tree will be known by its fruit – Mt. 12. 33

Reputation – what people say you are
Character – what you are

Your reputation before God equals your character demonstrated in works.

“Why this wastage?”

  1. When Social Service Supercedes Divine Worship
Worship – Adoration, Prostration, Self-giving.
Queen of England – “I’ll lay my crown at Christ’s feet if He comes here.”
Ministry to the Lord is important (Acts 13.1)
Service to poor should flow out of an attitude of worship of God, not out of superiority complex or religious rituality.

2. When Familiarity breeds Disrespect
      Remember Who HE is and Who YOU are (1 Cor. 4. 7; Phil. 3. 10)
      Rev. 2. 4 – left first love.
      Every great gift given to someone we love, adore, and regard highly is still too small.

  1. When Lust destroys Love – Jn. 12. 4
Lust dehumanizes, lust excels in flesh and wars against the spirit (Gal. 5. 17; 1 Pt. 2. 11).
Gradual overpowering of lust (Heb. 3. 12-13; 12. 15-17)

  1. When Envy derides Exaltation
They would not have objected if she had spent it on herself or on them all.
Why spend on Christ?

Satanic Pride (Isa. 14)

24 Elders prostrate before Throne of God.
He is worthy of all praise.

She has done a beautiful thing.

1.      Kalos – Aesthetically good. Modesty, Order, Beauty.
2.      Kalos – Ethically good. Motive, Act, End.
3.      Poured – Total Surrender, giving.
4.      Burial – Divine Interpretation. Because in accordance to prompting of Spirit.

  1. Do you stand strong in the first love?
  2. Are your actions modest and beautiful?
  3. What identity do you possess before God?

She hath wrought a good work upon Me?
What can He say about you?

Work As Divine Service

Work as Divine Service
Domenic Marbaniang
PCG, Itarsi 9 April 2005

A.The Prattle About Work – Shopkeepers, Housewives, Office bearers, Teachers, etc.
B.Views About Work – Physics (Energy in transit), Sociology (“the expenditure of effort to supply goods or services, whether by physical, mental, or emotional labour, and for use by either self or others” /Encarta/), Philosophy, Economics, Psychology (Freud - “Will to Pleasure”, Adler- “Will to Power”, Frankl- “Will to Meaning”), Religion.

I.Work is a Dynamic Feature of the Triune God
God is love – Unity in Community within the Trinity. Communication, Conference, Consideration, Cooperation, Co-action.
God is Creator, Sustainer, Savior, and Judge. Heb. 1:3 (Sustains), Ps. 121:4 (Doesn’t Sleep), 2Chr. 16:9
Jesus Christ came to serve, save, and finish the God-given work. He intercedes, will come back to judge.

II.God Created & Authorized Man to Work on Earth In Service of God
Gen. 1: 27, 28; 2:15 – Exploitation of Nature for Selfish Purposes is being unjust stewards. Ps. 115: 16.
Why man & not angels – so that man might reflect God’s praise being created in His image. (Eph. 1:6; Isa. 43:21; Mat. 5:16; Dan. 11:32; 1 Pt. 2:9,12).
A person who doesn’t work should not eat. 2 Thes. 3: 10; I Thes. 4:11, 12; Eccl. 9:10 (Do whatever hand finds). Old (I Tim. 5:8); Poor (Deut. 24:19; Pro. 19:17).

III.Work Must be Divine Service.
•Two Kinds of Services
  a.Work in submission to God
  b.Work in rebellion against God

A.Work in submission to God begins at the Altar; Work in rebellion against God begins at the tree of knowledge and is self-centered.
Altar – Acceptability (Sacrifice of the Lamb)
Acknowledgement of Divine Pre-eminence (First fruits, Tithes)
Neh. 10:37; Mal. 3:10; e.g. Cain & Abel;
Purity of offerings (Isa. 1:11)
Accountability to God (The earth is the Lord’s. Ps. 24:1)

B. Work in submission to God has eternity with God in its perspective.
•Eccl. The vanity, ephemerality, transitoriness of a materialistic worldview.
True Treasures (Mat. 6:19), Doing the Lord’s work (I Cor. 15:58)
Honor God’s servants (1 Thes. 5:12,13) – They care for your spiritual soul, Looking Up (Heb. 12:2; Col. 3:1,2).

C.Work in submission to God is aims to please God.
Gal. 1:10; Col. 3: 17, 22; Eph. 6: 5-9; 1 Cor. 10:31; At House, At Study, At Play, At Workplace.

Three Ministerial Temptations

Three Ministerial Temptations
Matthew 4

M.Div. Class
Feb 7, 2006
Domenic Marbaniang

1.      Focus on Basic Needs rather than on the Ministry of the Word – Serving Belly. Result: Ministry is commercialized.
2.      Desire to Promote Self rather than Christ – Serving the Flesh. Result: Ministry is monopolized and becomes one-man centered.
3.      Compromise with the World – Serving the World. Result: Ministry is secularized.

The Unchanging God

The Unchanging God

Domenic Marbaniang

Feb 5, 2007 


A newly commissioned Navy captain took great pride in his first assignment to be in command of a battleship. One stormy night the captain saw a light moving steadily in their direction. He ordered the signalman to send the following message: "Change your course ten degrees to the south." The reply came back: "Change your course ten degrees to the north."

The captain was determined not to give way to another vessel, and so he sent a counter message. "Alter your direction ten degrees. I am the captain." The answer flashed back promptly: "Alter your direction. I am the lighthouse."

Flux and flicker are characteristic of the world we live in. Kingdoms rise and fall, fashions come and go, facts are proven and unproven, and desires are created and killed.

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus preached that All is Change. His words were “There is nothing permanent except change.”

Genghis Khan, the 13th century Mongol conqueror, asked his philosophers to come up with a truth that would always be unchangeable. Thinking about it for awhile, they came to their leader with this quote: "It too shall pass." Solomon exclaims in Eccl. Everything is a vapor, there is nothing permanent, just a repetitious circle of events leading nowhere.

The experience of an incessantly changing world takes hold of our consciousness to shift our focus from things eternal and unchangeable to things transitory and ephemeral. As a result the man who was supposed to triumph over the world by the strength of reason becomes the slave of his circumstances.

The inter-flow and inter-change of information in the past decades has brought to front several counter-belief systems. This has resulted in a skeptic approach to knowledge claims, to the extent that if anyone claimed to possess knowledge of truth, he is immediately labeled as arrogant, fanatical, or anachronistic. Disbelief in absolute truth is directly connected with disbelief in an Absolute God.

Yet, in the midst of all such conflicting opposites and confusing waves, stands the immutable figure of Almighty God, the Eternal I AM, the Unchanging One, the Alpha and the Omega, the One who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, to whom belongs all glory and honor forever and ever Amen.

·         If there is anything unchanging it must necessarily be founded on the very constant nature of God.

Nothing unchangeable can be founded on something changeable. No solid house can be built on loose soil. All unchangeables, therefore, must be seen as founded in the unchangeable nature of God and in nothing else.

The Bible clearly proclaims that our God is an unchanging God. Metaphors like Rock, Standard, and Shield tell us the eternal and constant nature of our God. He is the sure foundation- the eternal rock against the massive winds, tumultuous waves, and shifting sands of time.

1 Sam 15. 29; Mal. 3.6;

Shadows change and flee being relatively real. God is constant and absolutely real.

1. God is Unchanging in His Being (What He is) (Jas. 1.17)


Extrinsic vs Intrinsic Change

Can God become not-God? Intrinsic Change

Hindu Philosophy: Yes, gnostically, i.e., the deity dreams itself as non-deity. They deny the essential metamorphosis of God. But how can the deity change gnostically without it being imperfect.

Xtn Theology: God is perfect and cannot change in His very essence.

Incarnation: How can the Creator become the Created, the eternal become temporal? How can the transcendent enter the spatial? The Word became flesh ≠ the divine became human, it means the divine took on, came in a human form, essence; the word ginomai has been translated as came or come c. 142 xms. Thus, the human nature is added to in a way that the divine and the human remain distinct and unmixed in Christ. There is no intrinsic change whatsoever in the divine Godhead.)

St. Athanasius: The sun’s rays are not made impure by contact with the dust of the earth. Why? Because He is intrinsically pure and unchangeable.

2. God is Unchanging in His Purpose

The Teleological Argument doesn’t tell us the purpose.

It can only be known by revelation.

2 Kinds of Purposes

            (a) Eternal Purpose (Eph. 3.11, Hb. 6. 17)

Eph 1.9-12:    (i) The Praise of His Glory (v. 12; Rev. 4: 11)

(ii) The Consummation of all things in Christ, the Alpha and Omega (v.10).

Predestination is in accordance to the purpose, not the purpose

(b) Temporal Purpose (Isa 14.24-27; 46.8-11)

Even Moses could not stop the hand of God against the Israelites.

Not all the strategies of the world could keep Joseph from being blessed.

3. God is Unchanging in His Promises

            God cannot lie. Because He is truth. He hates lying (Prov. 6. 17)

            His word is unchangeable (Isa 55. 10, 11)

(a)    Promise of Eternal Life (1 Jn. 2. 25; Titus 1.2)

(b)   Promise of Eternal Inheritance (Hb. 9. 15)


  1. When God becomes the foundation of our lives, we stand unshaken. (His Words, Right relationship with Him).

  2. The Purpose and Promises of God are only available to us in Christ as we abide in Him. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end (2 Cor 1.20). Our abiding is crucial to our bearing fruit.

  3. Our lives must be governed by His unchanging absolutes that He revealed to us. Like the captain had to obey the signal of the lighthouse, we must obey the voice of our God.


Hearing God’s Voice

Itarsi: October 17, 2004
Dr. Matthew K. Thomas
(Senior Pastor, Pentecostal Church, Itarsi)


-          Gen.3: 8a – the voice of God.
-          In our age, we are bombarded with different voices all the time.
-          We need to choose what to hear and whom to hear.
-          Our God is not a distant deity; we need to recognize God’s voice.
-          God is speaking, but our minds are cluttered and clouded with trendy voices.

I. How God Speaks. - Through
A.    His Word
B.     Holy Spirit
C.     Church
D.    Circumstances
E.     People

II. Six Reasons Why God Speaks
A.    Because He loves us. Love always communicates.
B.     To have intimate relationship with us.
C.     To give us guidance and direction.
D.    To give us comfort.
E.     To give us assurance so that we’ll be strong.
F.      So that we can know Him.

III. How To Recognize God’s Voice
A.    Be in range. A radio needs to be placed in range of the waves, moving it from one corner of the room to another till it comes into range. The range is God’s presence.
B.     Tune to the right channel. Even if we fast and pray for God to get Vishwani beam on 85 MHz it won’t. We need to be in tune with God’s will.
C.     Make a minor adjustment. When the needle comes near the right channel and still there seems to be an overlapping of stations, a minor adjustment is needed. If we don’t make the minor adjustments to stay close to His love all the time, we will be hearing two stations.

If you spend time with your Father, you’ll recognize His voice.

IV. What Happens If We Fail To Listen To God’s Voice?
            Genesis 3
A.    We end up listening to wrong and unfamiliar voice (v1).
B.     We are easily deceived (v4).
C.     Pride and independence enters our lives and we become rebellious.
D.    We make decisions that please our flesh, desire, and appetite. Appetite, Beauty, and Knowledge and a life controlled by lust (v6).
E.     We excuse ourselves and blame others (v12).
F.      We’ll suffer. (Vv. 14-19).
G.    We miss the best.

Word for the Day - Ps.37:37 [Peace of Mind]

"Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; for the future of that man is peace" (Psalm 37:37 - that's ready mnemonic). The man of integrity is never anxious of his future, for he knows his God.

Word for the Day - Ps.37:8 [Cease from anger]

"Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret--it only causes harm" (Ps.37:8, NKJV). 

ANGER is one letter short of DANGER, someone astutely noted.


Hillsong -You Hold Me (Hindi Lyrics)

On that day when I see
All that You have for me
When I see You face to face
There surrounded by Your grace

All my fear is swept away
In the light of your embrace
When Your love is all I need
And forever I am free

Where the streets are made of gold
In Your presence healed and whole
Let the songs of heaven rise to you alone

No weeping, no hurt or pain
No suffering You hold me now
You hold me now
No darkness no sick or lame
No hiding You hold me now,
You hold me now

In this life I will stand
Through my joy and my pain
Knowing there's a greater day
There's a hope that never fails

When Your name is lifted high
And forever praises rise
For the glory of Your Name
I'm believing for the day

When the wars and violence cease
All creation lives in peace
Let the songs of heaven rise to you alone

No weeping, no hurt or pain
No suffering You hold me now
You hold me now
No darkness, no sick or lame
No hiding You hold me now,
You hold me now

For eternity
All my heart will give
All the glory to Your name

© Hillsong, Faith+Hope+Love.
Us din jab dekhunga
Tujhme sab jo hein mera
Pavunga darshan Tera
Tere Anugrah se ghira

Sare dar mere mitey
Tere pyaar ke kiranon mein
Jab Tera hi pyaar bas
Mere liye kafi hein

Jaha marg sunaharey
Tujh mein huwen changey
Swarg key geet ab Tujh tak pahunchajai

Na aansu, na dard na gum
Na dukh hei, Tere hathon mein
Tere hathon mein
Na andhakar, na koyi beemar
Na lajja, Tere hathon mein
Tere hathon mein

Is jeevan mein mei khada
Mere aanand aur mera dard
Jankar ki hei vo din
Aur ye aasha nahi taley

Tera Naam ho uncha
Aur hamesha stuti uthey
Mahima ho tera hi aaj
Mera yahi hein vishwas

Jab sab yudh aur himsa rukey
Sara jag jiye chain mein
Swarg key geet ab Tujh tak pahunchajai

Na aansu, na dard na gum
Na dukh hei, Tere hathon mein
Tere hathon mein
Na andhakar, na koyi beemar
Na lajja, Tere hathon mein
Tere hathon mein

Hamesha key liye
Sara dil mera
Tujhe mahima dey

Translated by Domenic Marbaniang, Feb 6, 2010.

The Chariot Returns on Another Round

The chariot returns on another round,
The Charioteer marks the rounds to go;
The dust grows thicker hurting vision and air,
The spectators shout with fixed stare;
The wheels clank, screech, and shiver,
The horses gasp, gallop, and whine;
The muscles tweak, strain, and quiver,
As the race rages harder on each round --
The horses do tire but they run the race,
They keep moving faster at the pull of the reins,
They see no future, but they know that their place
In the dream of their Master is to win the race.

© Domenic Marbaniang, Feb 6, 2010.

Word for the Day - Ps.36:7 [How priceless is Your love!]

"How priceless is Your unfailing love!" (Ps.36:7, NIV). He who has known God's love has renounced the world - it absolutely holds no attraction.


Struggle for Separate States

Nationalism and patriotism have been admirable concepts. There must now be a new term to describe "zeal for separate state"; perhaps, it should be "State Nationalism," for the term "Cultural Nationalism" has weak political bearings. The independence struggle symbolized a unity against foreign rule. The modern freedom fighter seeks independence from his own brother. Well, we do have much talks about brotherhood, though in practicality "brother" is nowhere, while hoods are everywhere. The Gorkhas of Darjeeling dream of a Gorkha Land; the Bodos, of a Bodo Land; the Karbis of a separate Karbi state; in Andhra, it's been a 40 year old struggle for Telangana; in Assam, again, for Dimaraji state; in Jammu and Kashmir, for Ladakh; in Uttar Pradesh, for Harit Pradesh and Purvanchal; in Bihar, for Mithilanchal; in Madhya Pradesh, for Vindhya Pradesh and Bundelkhand; and in Maharashtra, for Konkan, Marathwada, and Vidarbha [For a full list click here]

There are various reasons advanced for separate states. Whether such bifurcation of states is commendable or not is a matter of administrative judgment. Even the human cells bifurcate (mitosis) while the human body grows. Well, that doesn't mean that such divisions should regularly occur in the nation; for that would leave the whole as composed of city states. Yet, where the rationale is proper administration and healthy supply in the system, one must always remember that the soundness of the State is the goal, and such soundness can only be a reality when each member of this massive organism has the means and opportunity to exercise his or her fullest potential. This also means, accepting our differences; yet, preserving the feelings of love and unselfish generosity towards our neighbors. What about the migrants? Don't they serve as the blood vessels that link the whole nation through interspersing of cultural values and riches of our heritage? What about the wicked and corrupt, the pests of society, some of whom also serve in the administrative system? I believe that if the cells, molecules, and organs in the body preserve their integrity and immunity, the whole system will automatically be disease free. It first starts with spiritual renewal and faith in God, who gives the transcendental meaning in the life of each individual.

Did you know that: Maxims - Necessity & Invention

Did you know that the saying "Necessity is the mother of invention" actually comes from Plato? Yes, it does. Here is an excerpt from The Republic in which Plato presents this idea:
Then, I said, let us begin and create in idea a State; and yet the true creator is necessity, who is the mother of our invention.[1]
1. Plato, The Republic and Other Works, Trans. Benjamit Jowett (New York: Anchor Books, 1989), p.53.

Word for the Day - Mt.28:20 [He's gone nowhere]


"Lo, I am with you always" (Mt.28:20). When, all of a sudden, everything looks negative, cold, dark, and confused, do not get alarmed; it's just a power failure: get reconnected to the Lord, for He's gone nowhere, He's always here. Check your fuses.


Emperor Ashoka and His Humanitarian Approach to Religion

From the book Secularism in India: A Historical Outline (2005)

Samrat Chakravartin Ashoka
As far as secularism is concerned, Buddhism is best remembered in India for its dearest adherent, the Emperor Ashoka, whose religious policies are some of the closest to the modern principles of humanism. Chandragupta Maurya died in 300 B.C. Bindusara succeeded him and, after his death in between 273-272 B.C, Ashoka ascended the throne in 269-268 B.C.[1] After his painful experience in the Kalinga war, he converted to Buddhism and, having united the whole of the sub-continent under his rule, gave India one of its rarest times of peaceful governance. Ashoka gave great importance to the ideal of tolerance towards different ideologies and religions. According to Romila Thapar, Ashoka’s definition of social ethics is based on a respect for all religious teachers, and on a harmonious relationship between parents and children, teachers and pupils, and employers and employees.[2]

The religious policies of Ashoka grew out of his concept of religion and its role in human society. Ashoka’s practice of the principle of non-violence, after becoming a Buddhist, led him to ban animal sacrifices to the great chagrin of the Brahmins. The principle of universality and inclusivism kept Ashoka from all forms of communalism that the caste-Hindus were so fond of. Ashoka’s religion contained gleanings from all religions.[3] Ashoka followed the policy of religious tolerance and made a law that prohibited anyone from any act or word against any religion.

According to Jawaid Quddus, during the reign of Ashoka, diverse religious sects, such as the Brahamas, Sramanas, Nirganthas, Ajivakas, etc., bore great hostility and sectarian rancor against one another. Quddus quotes from the ' Studies in Ancient India' by Provatansu Maiti, (1969 edition) following of the directives of Ashoka that aimed at religious tolerance and mutual respect among the various sects:
1.All sects must dwell at all places so that they could know one another and develop tolerance for each other.
2.All sects must observe restraint of speech and purification of heart when they deal with each other.
3.The exaltation of one's own religion and condemnation of others' creed is not permitted.
4.Different sects should study of the scripture of other sects and develop concord among themselves.
5.All people must practice Ahimsa (non- violence) towards each other and towards animals.
6.Ashoka renounced the policy of conquest by sword and urged people to adopt the policy of conquest by law.[4]
Although Ashoka’s policy of religious tolerance seems quite conforming to the principles of secularism, his declaration of Buddhism as the state-religion doesn’t apparently do so. Ashoka considered religion as the foundation of a stable state. By religion, Ashoka meant Dhamma, the principle of right duty and obligation. Though this Dhamma was much influence by Buddhism, it was not separated from reason but based on reason.[5]

Ashoka sent Buddhist missionaries to foreign kingdoms and he also undertook religious journeys to inspire his people towards religiosity. He established a department of religion that was responsible for measuring the religious level of the people and also teaching them the principles of Dhamma. He used to organize religious discourses and shows for the education of the masses.[6] The various pillars and inscriptions dating from the time of Ashoka point to the seriousness with which he understood the inter-relationship between religion and the state. The goal was to instil in the people the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong and awake and motivate them towards right thinking and right action. No doubt, Ashoka succeeded in doing so.
Thus, though Ashoka’s religious policies cannot be called as purely secular-oriented, they do resemble secularism in practice in their laws of religious freedom, religious tolerance, and respect for all religions. To be sure, Ashoka’s religious policies were oriented to the well being of all people in the present, despite race, colour, language, creed, or gender.

[1] As cited by Ratibhanu Singh Nahar, Prachin Bharat Ka Rajnitik Aur Sanskritik Itihaas (Allahabad: Kitab Mahal, 1956), p. 238.
[2] Romila Thapar, ‘Ashoka’, Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia (Microsoft Corporation: 2001).
[3] Ratibhanu Singh Nahar, Prachin Bharat Ka Rajnitik Aur Sanskritik Itihaas (Allahabad: Kitab Mahal, 1956), p.245.
[4] http://www.truthindia.com
[5] Ibid, pp. 244-246.
[6] Ibid, p. 247.

© Domenic Marbaniang, 2005, 2010

 Related Article


Sab Kuch Badal Gaya with lyrics and English captions

This one is one of my favorites.

Mujh mein koyi khoobi na thi
There was nothing great in me
Mujh mein koyi soorat na tha
Neither was there any form me
Kaun tha kaha tha mein
What was I and who was I
Zindagi se hara huwa
Defeated by life

Phir bhi toone mujhe chun liya
Still, You chose me
Apna bana liya
And made me Your own
Prem se toone mujhe beta kaha
In Love You called me as son
Sab kuch badal gaya ho ho ho ho
Everything's changed ho ho ho ho
Sab kuch badal gaya
Everything's changed

Manjil se mein bhatka tha
I was lost from destiny
Aashayen bhi bikhri huwi
All hopes scattered as well
Koyi raah na dikhta tha
No road could I see ahead
Bekabu thi ye zindagi
And life was out of hold

Phir bhi toone mujhe chun liya
Still, You chose me
Apna bana liya
And made me Your own
Prem se toone mujhe beta kaha
In Love You called me as son
Sab kuch badal gaya ho ho ho ho
Everything's changed ho ho ho ho
Sab kuch badal gaya
Everything's changed

Ashishen mere jeevan mein Tere pyaar ke baras pade
Blessings of Your love keep pouring on my life
Khwayishen mere tan man ke Tere pyaar mein poore huwe
Desires of my flesh and heart are fulfilled in Your love
Ab zindagi mein chahun aur kya
Now, what should I desire more in life?
Kuch na chahun Tere siwa
Nothing but You

Kyun ki too hi ne mujhe chun liya
For, it was You who chose me
Apna bana liya
And made me Your own
Prem se toone mujhe beta kaha
In Love You called me as son
Sab kuch badal gaya ho ho ho ho
Everything's changed ho ho ho ho
Sab kuch badal gaya
Everything's changed

Phir bhi toone mujhe chun liya
Still, You chose me
Apna bana liya
And made me Your own
Prem se toone mujhe beta kaha
In Love You called me as son
Sab kuch badal gaya ho ho ho ho
Everything's changed ho ho ho ho
Sab kuch badal gaya
Everything's changed

© Domenic Marbaniang, 2005, 2008, 2010

Public Speaking: 2 Notes and 5 Principles

1. PERSUASION. Public speaking or rhetoric is an art of persuasion. One must keep in mind that it is more important to win a person than to win the argument; therefore, humility, gentleness, and meekness count a lot. Jesus, when giving the call to discipleship, said “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29). He made the learning situation easy and bereft of all egotistic tensions. How we treat the audience determines how they take us. An Indian maxim avers “Do not cut someone’s nose [i.e. insult him/her] and then give a rose to smell.” The speaker’s attitude speaks louder than his words.

2. IMPACT. “There are three kinds of speakers,” says Indian Christian Leader and International Speaker Dr. Matthew Thomas, “the first are those who speak from their intellect – they reach the intellect, the second are those who speak from their heart – they touch the heart, the third are those who speak from their life – they touch and impact lives.” There must be a consistency between what we profess and what we possess, what we preach and what we practice, what we say and what we are – this builds respect and respect is the backbone of authority and credibility. The doom of Hitlerian philosophy is witnessed by history: Hitler said, “Speak a lie, speak it loud, repeat it often, and the majority will believe you.” The fact is that when lie leaks, the container is promptly thrown away. If your conclusions are not livable (or say, applicable), then don’t preach them. You have no right to waste your audience’ time.

1. CONFIDENCE. Confidence in the speaker is a clear sign that he/she knows and believes what he/she is speaking. It also demonstrates the conviction regarding the truth that the speaker wishes to share. Be positive in outlook and reaction. Negativity, cynicism, despair, and hopelessness are not the virtues of rhetoric.
2. CLARITY. Be clear in your thought, speech, purpose, focus, and motive. Clarity also means simplicity or understandability. You will need illustrations at times to clarify the points that you make. Analogical reasoning makes understanding quite easier by helping people understand something new on the basis of what they already know very well. We beat in air when we speak over the heads of people.
3. COGENCY. Cogency is the quality of sound argument. Speak facts, relate them properly, be logical, and drive a consistent conclusion. The pieces of information in a speech must be neatly tied together in the form of a sound argument. There can never be cogency without proper content. You give what you have, or else it is all an aerobic exercise.
4. CONTROL. Bear control over yourself, your voice, pace or speed, gestures, emotions, mannerisms, posture, eye control, and attention. They must be consistent with the essence and spirit of your message.
5. CONCLUSION. The fact is that the conclusion begins before the speech, though it is only stated at the end. It is the focal point and end of the speech. The conclusion must be able to prove the thesis of the speech. It must also have an application that answers the question: “So what is the bearing of all this talk for me, or what must I do now to benefit from this truth?” In other words, the conclusion must possess applicability, relevance, and significance.

© Domenic Marbaniang, 2010.

Watch & Pray

He struggled whole night until at Peniel He changed his name....
He watched 40 nights as the Infinite Lord revealed His ways....

He prayed, He prayed, He cried with groans of agony as He wrestled and battled on in prayer....

One day just passes, another arrives,
"My son, did you watch and pray?"

How Many Grains Make A Heap? - The Sorites Paradox

Have you ever wondered what a heap really is? Well, I don't think so. But, let's look at this. Suppose you removed a grain of sand from a heap a sand, will it still remain a heap? Of course, it will. Now, you go on removing each grain of sand until you think you have removed that grain by which the heap stops to be a heap anymore. Oh, you say that is impossible. So how many grains does it actually take to make a heap?

This is a kind of paradox of vagueness and is commonly referred to as the Sorites paradox.

For more information check Sorites Paradox at SEP.

My Lines Have Fallen In Pleasant Places

A candle lights the distant horizon,
It silhoettes sharp my contours of day;
Its fire engulfs all solar traces,
And forces my wish to espouse its way -
My lines have fallen in pleasant places.
(2Pet.1:19; Ps.16:6)

The colors of the rainbow witness the story
Of ignited anger and torrential rains;
The skies couldn't also withhold His fury,
Except He stopped for He knew my days -
My lines have fallen in pleasant places.
(Gen. 7:11; 8:1; 9:13; Eph.1:4; Ps.16:6)

One stooped in honor of truth and love,
To heal my wounds and bear my pains;
He plunged beneath this temporal surface
To save my soul, to blot my stains -
My lines have fallen in pleasant places.
(Phil.2:6-8; Isa.53:2-5; Ps.16:6)

Before my mother could hold me in arms,
Your love had touched my innermost parts;
I've trekked the mountains and walked through valleys;
But Lord, it's You who holds my paths -
My lines have fallen in pleasant places.
(Ps.139:1-3, 13-17; Heb.13:5; Ps.16:6).

You poured Your precious oil of unction
And set me apart by Your own holy will;
Before I could ever use my senses,
You appointed me to hold this quill -
My lines have fallen in pleasant places.
(Gal.1:15; Jer.1:5; Ps.16:6).

I'll run the fullest course of life
And fight the finest fights of faith;
The world now all its force releases,
The Lord keeps pouring out His grace -
My lines have fallen in pleasant places,
My lines have fallen in pleasant places....
(2Tim.4:7; Rev.12:15;  1Cor.15:10; Jn.1:16; Ps.16:6)

© Domenic Marbaniang, Feb. 2010.

Studies in Ezekiel: God's Watchman (3:16-18)

Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, "You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. (Ezekiel 3:16-18)

God appoints Ezekiel as a watchman for the house of Israel (3:17).

The Nature of His Position is:
1. Sacred. He is appointed by God. “I have made you a watchman” (v.17).
2. Specific. It relates to the people of Israel. “for the house of Israel” (v.17).
3. Serious. It concerns life or death. His faithfulness in watchfulness and warning will mean life or death to the ones he’s called to minister. “I will hold you accountable for his blood” (v.18).
4. Solitary. He can’t depend on anyone or anyone’s compliance or support. He is called alone and must be a witness alone. “but you will have saved yourself” (v.19).

The Duties of Ezekiel as God’s Watchman for Israel are:
1. Watchfulness – Hearing God and being aware of thing around – “Hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.” (v.17)
2. Warning the Sinner. (v.18-21).
The Warning Must be:
a. Clear and Loud – “speak out” (v.18).
b. Conversion-Oriented – “to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life.” (v.18).
c. Cogent – It should be persuasive - “to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life.” (v.18).
d. Concerned – It is moved by passion for souls – “to save his life” (v.18).

© Domenic Marbaniang, Feb, 2010.


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