Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Blind Side

I absolutely love this movie!!! It has to be on my top 10! I am extremely picky about the movies I watch and even more picky when it comes to rating them high. The screenplay was beautifully written. The artists were brilliant. The mother, Mrs. Leigh Ann Tuohy, was played by the beautiful and talented Miss Sandra Bullock. She's already nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress. The father, Mr. Sean Tuohy, was played by the compelling Mr. Tim McGraw. The Oscar winning, Miss Kathy Bates, also joined the star-studded cast as Michael Oher's private tutor. Quinton Aaron made his debut by playing Michael Oher. Lily Collins plays the Tuohy's daughter, Collins Tuohy, who is Oher's age. One of the most darling characters in this movie is SJ!!!! He is the Tuohy's son and is played by Jae Head. He is cute as a button. But, don't let his charm fool you! He is one of the smartest, most entrepreneurial little guy I have yet to see!

The Tuohy family is one in a million. Who would dare take in a complete stranger and bring them home? Who would have this much compassion towards a kid on the street? From my assessment of this family and of this situation, I believe without a shadow of a doubt that this was all God ordained. God had his eye on Michael Oher. God favored him, just as he favored a little shepherd boy to be one of the greatest kings of Israel. God loves everyone and he protects everyone. His eye is on everyone and everything he has created. But, I believe that his special favor rests on a few, special ones through whom his love and power are manifested. That was Michael Oher. He could have easily been a statistic on the streets. In his own words, in an interview he gave, he said, "zero" make it out or alive from where he was from. I praise God for his divine plan and intervention in this young man's life. I praise God for the compassion and the willingness of the Tuohy family to be open to the riskiest thing they had ever encountered in their lives.

One of the many amazing things in this movie was how Mr. & Mrs. Tuohy were both on board. Even though they were two separate beings with their own separate ideas, at the end, they were on the same team. And the central message of the movie was all about protecting your family. At the end of the day, it's immensely vital to the existance of your spirit and soul, to protect those you love. That entails protecting your loved ones with your words, protecting them through your actions, and protecting their emotions and their hearts. It's so easy to kick someone, especially when they are down and out. It takes courage to lend a hand and to pick someone up and encourage them to be their best. That's exactly what the Tuohys did. They recognized the great talent he had in playing football. He had no idea about the game when he started. He was encouraged and he was trained well. The Tuohys were persistent in bringing his GPA up in order for him to be eligible to play football in college. It's remarkable to me how much effort and time and money the Tuohys spent on Michael. In other words, they never treated him any less than how they treated Collins or SJ. Why would they? He is their son.
One of my favorite parts of the movie is when Leigh Ann Tuohy tries to get to know Michael better and asks him to indulge her with any information about himself. He replies by saying, "I don't like to be called 'Big Mike.'" At that, Leigh Ann responds by saying, "All right then. I will be calling you 'Michael' from now on." You can see the advent of a beautiful relationship forming between them. Another heartbreaking scene is when Michael is given a beautiful room with a custom-ordered bed for his size. As he's surprised by her generosity, he says, "Never had one before." Then, Leigh Ann turns around and asks, "What? A room to yourself?" Then Oher responds by saying, "A bed." I was also blown away by a few teachers who took a special interest in him, especially his hired tutor, Miss Sue. Last but not least, SJ is nothing but adorable!!!! It brings you to tears and eruptive laughter to see the bond that develops between Oher and SJ!!!! It's absolutely hilarious and brilliant how SJ works these legendary coaches pretty hard when they come to convince Michael to be recruited to their respective schools.
I am so excited to see where Michael Oher's life is heading. I've always been crazy about Ohio State football!! (GO BUCKS!!!!). But, recently, over the past 5 years or so, I've gotten into the NFL. I haven't been faithful to my home teams - - the Bengals and the Browns. I love the Manning brothers, though :) Who doesn't? I've been supporting the Colts or the Giants in the past couple of years. I'll be rooting for the Ravens to go all the way to the Super Bowl this year!!! Flacco looks promising! What an exciting ride for Michael Oher and the Tuohy family!!!! It also made me realize of something so precious and fundamental: God is never in debt to those who do great things for him. If you take one step towards God in obedience and humility, he will take a million steps towards you to bless you and to reward you! I just praise God for this family and for the testament of what God has been doing in this family and in this young man's life! I am so blessed by this movie!!!!!!!! I encourage everyone to go and see this movie with your loved ones, if you haven't done so. It's a great movie to see before you enter the new year! It will motivate you and inspire you to do great things in the year ahead! :)

"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me." - Matthew 25: 37-40 (The Message).

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Faubulous 80s - Episode Deux

I am SO excited to post on another one of my all-time favorite songs from the 80s.The artist featured in this post needs no introduction, other than his just title, "THE KING OF POP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Even though he grew up with his brothers on stage in the 70s, his fame escalated in the 80s with his highly acclaimed two albums, Thriller and Bad. The songs which he presented to us as a gift through these albums will be passed down in generations to come. The creativity and ingenuity that went into creating these masterpieces, whether it be in the song itself or in music videos that went along with them, blazed a trail for future artists. The choreography that went into these songs are immortalized and pioneered the development of modern dance.

Die hard MJ fans know that there is no way you can pick a "favorite song." That's tantamount to presenting my most cherished niece, who just turned 3, the dilemma of going into a candy store and picking one, single candy to take home with her. Impossible. That being said, I present to you, "The Way You Make Me Feel, which is one of the many magical masterpieces by MJ, which upon hearing, I kid you not, transforms me into a self-proclaimed singing diva, who starts to move her hips without any cognizance or shame. If you notice the intro and outro of this particular video, like many of his videos such as Thriller, it paints a picture for the audience to follow and understand. This ingenious creation of MJ was the first of its kind in the music video industry, which came into popularity in the 80s with the advent of MTV.

I hope you enjoy this very long version of this song!!! And don't worry if you bust out singing & dancing in your dancing shoes....I'll join you! :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Don't take life for granted

By Ruben Navarrette Jr., Special to CNN
December 4, 2009 8:28 a.m. EST
Quinton Aaron plays the role of Michael Oher and Sandra Bullock is Leigh Anne Touhy in "The Blind Side."
Quinton Aaron plays the role of Michael Oher and Sandra Bullock is Leigh Anne Touhy in "The Blind Side."

Editor's note: Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a member of the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board, a nationally syndicated columnist and a regular contributor to Read his column here

San Diego, California (CNN) -- Sometimes, a film is so powerful that it haunts you long after you've left the theater. Usually, it's because of the weight of the message.

The film haunting me is "The Blind Side." And the message? I'll leave that to Leigh Anne Tuohy to explain.

Tuohy and her husband, Sean, are the subjects of the new movie, "The Blind Side." The film is an adaptation of the 2006 book, "The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game" by Michael Lewis.

It tells the incredible story of Michael Oher, who went from being a homeless inner-city high school student whose father was dead and whose mother was a crack addict to a star lineman at the University of Mississippi -- eventually being selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2009 NFL draft. The Ravens recently signed the 6-5, 309-pound Oher to a 5-year, $13.8 million contract.

This American Dream is brought to us not just by Oher's talent, perseverance, and hard work but also by the fact that he was adopted by the Tuohys. The white, wealthy Memphis family not only fed and clothed Michael but also loved him as one of their own along with daughter Collins and son Sean Jr.

The "Blind Side" is the No. 2 film in America, and the role of Leigh Anne Tuohy is played to perfection by Sandra Bullock.

Still, some critics dismissed the film as hokey and condescending, with one calling it the latest chapter in Hollywood's "long, troubled history of well-meaning white paternalism, with poor black athletes finding success through white charity."

They missed the point. Simply put, there's a lot that any one of us can do to improve the life of our fellow man. And the fact that we do it is its own reward.

"He had a much greater impact on our lives than we did on his life," Leigh Anne said in a recent interview. "You have this child, and you bring him in, and you realize how fortunate you are, how you're blessed to have family, you're blessed to have your health. So much in life you take for granted."

There's the message: So much in life you take for granted. We've forgotten how lucky we are, because we're busy cursing fate. We've stopped being grateful for what we have, because we somehow find it more satisfying to complain about what we don't. Until we meet someone who has much less than we do.

So much in life you take for granted.

As Americans, we've become victims of our own success. We've strayed so far from the example of our immigrant parents and grandparents that we bear no resemblance to that model.

Weighed down by own bloated sense of entitlement and self-importance, we've lost our appetite for competition and we prefer to talk instead about what we think we "deserve." At the first sign of adversity, we play the victim, give up, or fall apart. With all the blessings that come with living in the world's most remarkable country, still we complain. We retreat. We whine.

Here in the Golden State, thousands of students at the University of California turned out to protest a 32 percent fee increase. I wrote a column, expressing disappointment that these "brats" consider a publicized subsidized college education an entitlement and telling them to go get jobs if their education is that important to them. I heard back from many of their parents who, angrily rising to their children's defense, informed me -- in incompatible narratives -- that either there were no jobs or their kids already had two of them.

How about that? Bratty parents. Apparently, in California, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

After a few days of that noise, I was ready for a movie where, in one of the more poignant scenes, a young man is given his own bedroom and remarks that he's "never had one before." Not a room but a bed.

In another scene, Michael is so grateful to be at Thanksgiving dinner that he respectfully sits at the dining room table while the rest of the family plops down in front of the television. In another scene, he requests a driver's license just so he can have something with his name on it.

So much in life we take for granted.

I saw the movie in a well-to-do suburb north of San Diego. The crowd cheered, laughed, and cried. When it was over, there were smiles all around. I wondered: For all we've acquired, what have we lost -- and look to movies like this to replenish?

The scene about the bed made me want to run home and gather up every one of my kids' toys and give them to Goodwill. And, I tell you, the next time they ask for something they don't need, they're getting a paper route. Or at least they would if they weren't a preschooler and a toddler.

In one scene, Leigh Anne interrupts football practice to give Michael a helpful tip for a lineman -- treat the team like your family and protect the family. She tells the startled football coach: "You can thank me later."

Treat yourself to a nice present this holiday season. See this movie. You can thank me later.

The opinions expressed by this commentary are solely those of Ruben Navarrette Jr.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Fabulous 80s :)

This post is dedicated to everything 80s! :) I love it that the 80s are back!! This was an electrifying decade where decadent clothing and outlandish accessories went beautifully together. A decade where big hair and even bigger makeup were appreciated. :) I'll post 3 of my favorite songs, among many, in the upcoming posts.

I'm SOOO excited about this post!!!!!! I'm posting on one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE SONGS EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is none other than "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey! Have you ever loved a song so much that no matter when or where you hear it or how many times you have heard it, you just end up loving it even more? Well, such a song is "Don't Stop Beliving" for me!!!! It's such an exciting time for Journey now as well. With the band re-united with an INCREDIBLE new, lead singer, Arnel Pineda, the band is at its peak in popularity. While Journey was becoming hotter than ever again, my sister introduced me to an incredible new show, The Glee Club, on Fox. They did a cover on this song a few weeks ago and I almost fell off my chair!!!!!!!!!!!! It was hotter than ever and I couldn't have imagined a better performance! Just as pink lipstick and broad shoulders are in again, what a fitting time for Journey to come back and for their songs to be popular with the current generation!!! :)

I love this song SOOOOOOOOOO much that I'll be posting two versions of it.
">This version is performed with Arnel Pineda, who I think has one of the most unbelievable stories to tell!!!! He's talented beyond belief and SOOOO humble! Enjoy this amazing performance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last but not least, here's the "Glee Club" performing "Don't Stop Believing." I hope you guys are convinced about how much I love this song.. hahaha..:) ENJOYYYY! xoxo.

Glee - Don't Stop Believe
Uploaded by Bugabookas. - Check out other Film & TV videos.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Favorite Worship Song Right Now...

From now on, I'll periodically post my favorite worship song of the moment. I want to thank my sister for introducing me to this very transparent song, From the Inside Out, by the Hillsong from their album, Mighty to Save. I think this song is a prayer that all Christians offer up to God at one time or another in their lives. The older I get, the more I realize that there is absolutely nothing that I can do to live "right" on my own. I don't have what it takes to fix my wrongs. I can't pull myself up on my own when I fall. I need his grace and his mercy more and more as each second passes in my life. And how incredible is it that for everlasting, his light will shine in my life when I can't fix things on my own. THANK YOU JESUS!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Learning to Love Our Enemy

This is an interview between Sami Awad, a Palestinian Christian, and Rich Nathan, a Jewish Christian, who is also the Senior Pastor of my church, the Vineyard in Columbus, Ohio. I pray watching this interview will be life-changing for you as it was for me.

Learning to Love Our Enemy: An Interview With Sami Awad and Rich Nathan from Vineyard Columbus on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

You Will Forever Be Missed & Loved by the World....

In Our Darkest Hour
In My Deepest Despair
Will You Still Care?
Will You Be There?
In My Trials
And My Tribulations
Through Our Doubts
And Frustrations
In My Violence
In My Turbulence
Through My Fear
And My Confessions
In My Anguish And My Pain
Through My Joy And My Sorrow
In The Promise Of Another Tomorrow
I'll Never Let You Part
For You're Always In My Heart.

-by Michael Jackson

Monday, June 29, 2009

Childhood by Michael Jackson

**This post is dedicated to my sisters**

"I love them (his fans) very much. They (his fans) have learned about me and know about me from a distance. If you really want to know about me, there is a song I wrote - - which is the most honest song I've ever written. It's the most autobiographical song I've ever written. It's called childhood. They should listen to it. That's the one. They really should listen to it."
- by Michael Jackson.

Have you seen my Childhood?
by Michael Jackson

I'm searching for the world that I come from
'Cause I've been looking around

In the lost and found of my heart...
No one understands me

They view it as such strange eccentricities...

'Cause I keep kidding around
Like a child, but pardon me...

People say I'm not okay
'Cause I love such elementary things...
It's been my fate to compensate,
for the Childhood I've never known...

Have you seen my Childhood?
I'm searching for that wonder in my youth
Like pirates in adventurous dreams,
Of conquest and kings on the throne...

Before you judge me, try hard to love me,
Look within your heart then ask,
Have you seen my Childhood?
People say I'm strange that way
'Cause I love such elementary things,

It's been my fate to compensate, for the Childhood (Childhood) I've never known...

Have you seen my Childhood?
I'm searching for that wonder in my youth

Like fantastical stories to share

But the dreams I would dare, watch me fly...

Before you judge me, try hard to love me.
The painful youth I've had

Have you seen my Childhood....

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Another Brick in the Wall

I'll occasionally post articles that I find to be extraordinarily informative and well written. This particular piece below is by a colleague and friend of mine, Pranab Chatterjee, who is a final year Medical Student. His article is thought provoking to say the least and convicting. Enjoy this ingenious piece of writing by a gifted man who draws from his personal experiences to shine light onto a very despondent matter.

Another Brick in the Wall

Another brick in the wall, then, that’s what we are, aren’t we?


Suicide: Edouard Monet: 1877

So, just another brick has fallen out of the wall. Another snapshot in the family album has become a matter of the past, another roll number marked off the scrolls and the rosters, another family torn asunder. Another set of parents, whose lives are forever devastated. But what does it matter to us, the ones who survived? We need to go on. Move on with the stream of life and forget about the lesser beings that buckled under the pressure. We are the selected ones in the battle of existence, the chosen ones of fate, the desired ones of destiny. We should not let the ripples in life’s stream disturb our great and mighty ships of their purpose in life. We should move on within the sterile safety of the stereotyped monotony of our regimented and regularized life.

Well, they say that Anupam Datta committed suicide a couple of days ago, I say, we murdered him. I say we murdered Pritam before him and Ghanashyam even before that. And well, we won’t of course stop at that, the dark sarcasm of life is too funny for us to avoid. Our sanguinivorous appetites are yet to be sated. The hunger for more flesh, the thirst for fresh blood lies within… satisfied for the time being until the time comes for the next strike. When another brick falls off the wall, another snapshot gets its moment of glory, another life is nipped in the bud, NAY another worthless entity is wiped off the face of this earth relieving us of the burden of carrying about the weaker and we move on ahead, walk along indefatigably along the path to excellence. And the ones that fall by the wayside, why, we should kick them out and pave the path ahead with their bones, LIFE HATES LOSERS!!!!

Let me settle down, my thoughts are in a turmoil, as they have been ever since I saw the mangled remains of what was Anupam Datta… let me go back in time… not two days, but two years…

After the long and arduous struggle through high school, I made it to the best medical school of the state with another 153 fellows, few of whom, were already close friends with me. I was to come to know most of the rest of them over time, befriend them, befoe them, love them, hate them, help them, hinder them… in short, make them a part of my life… one of these fellows was a certain chubby, cheerful bloke, Ghanashyam, a long standing friend, with whom I has battled through the tough days leading into the admission into the haloed circle of Medical College, Kolkata. We carried forward the friendship even in to the medical school. Tuitions, classes, bunked classes, idle hours in library, speculations on which girl was better looking, speculations on how good, bad or ugly the subjects were… life seemed to have changed nothing even as my friend and I trod across the threshold of school and into college. As we got integrated into the intoxicating and enthralling life of Medical College, Kolkata, we became a part of each others’ life as well. And then came the first hurdle. The First Professional Exams. As I excelled and soared across the hurdle with flying colors, my friend, though not as good, managed a decent result. So blinded was I with my new-found status and position of pride and pelf, that I failed to see that my long-time friend was slipping inexorably into the dark chasms of depression. Our occasional talks reeked of gloominess and sepulchral melancholy, but I was, even then, too blind to recognize the symptoms. I dismissed them as the usual “medical student blues”, the routine rumblings of the ravaged mind stressed out under the pressure of medical school. Never ever did I dream that there was a sinister storm lurking under the apparent lull on the surface. Somewhere along the line, the chubby cheeky guy had given way to a gloomier, silent and moody fellow. We yet stayed blissfully unaware. Until, one day, when disaster struck… what followed was a three month long tug-of-war with death, which death won in the end. What was left of my chubby friend after it all was an empty shell. The wan smile that creased the corners of his lips even in death reminded me of the ghost of his self that he had become in the days preceding his lethal leap in front of a speeding train. And even as I stood in the morgue, where his post mortem was done, looking on at his disfigured body, his icteric organs, his congested lungs, his enlarged and infarcted liver and kidneys as he was disemboweled with little grace or respect by the attendants, I could not comprehend the entirety of the tragedy, a realization that was to strike me two years later, in another time and place, but eerily similar in its sinister nature.

Two years passed after that. Life was back to normal. We had assumed our own lives as though he had never existed amongst us. Except for the occasional twinge that arose when his roll number, mistakenly, got called out. Or those times when his trademark jokes or comments would pop up disconcertingly, making the atmosphere gloomier than ever. But even these distractions got to become few and far between. We were, in short, back in our struggle for existence with aplomb. But then again, life gave me another rude jolt, another shock, another reality check.

Day before yesterday, as I was sitting around doing particularly nothing constructive in the canteen besides killing very essential final year time, a call came to one of my friends’ mobile informing of the attempted suicide of one of their classmates. As one, we rushed to the head injury room in the casualty block to find a mangled and mutilated body of someone whom I hazily recognized to have advised about the usefulness of doing an ICMR project in the summer. I was not really shocked until I saw the extent of damage that his body had undergone. Having jumped in front of the Metro, he had not only sustained massive mechanical injuries but also terrible electric burns. Like a burnt piece of toast, one of his sides had been peppered and charred and one could actually smell the acrid burnt smell of clothes and flesh even over the sterile smell of the hospital that seems to benumb every other olfactory stimulus. But, death, in all its glory, mocked at the impunity of man and his weak endeavors to deny His presence. The overpowering stench of death, or should I say aroma, because it would have been unimaginably painful to live through what he had suffered, pervaded every bit of the room. The whirring air conditioners tried best, but in vain, to cleanse the air. Even as the last ditch efforts to rouse him from his final slumber were abandoned, it hit us like a bolt of thunder—we actually saw him pass off right in front of us, mocking at the uselessness of the science or art or whatever of medicine that we so religiously practice, making a joke of an entire profession, considered to be the incarnation of God on earth.

Another series of distressing activities, meeting devastated parents, arranging for yet another post mortem to be done post haste, another compellingly similar set of events as I forgot where I was—in the Medical College-Kolkata Police Morgue or the Peerless Hospital—Kaantapukur Morgue… the present indelibly merged with the past as I moved through the well-rehearsed steps of asking the officialties to be closed with perfunctory perfection. It didn’t matter a jot to me that the bloke whose mangled body was being disemboweled inside was hardly known to me, it mattered not that the guy who would become a potful of ashes had ever hardly talked to me, or that there was no better alternative than death for someone who was as badly injured as him. What mattered was he was DEAD. He had died for reasons so absolutely balderdash that one would seem to ridicule the idea had the mutilated body not been present in front of them, twisted into a shape that a human body was never meant to have assumed. What mattered was that he was one of those who fell by the wayside and we NEVER stopped in our rush towards excellence to put forward a helping hand and pull them up. What mattered was that we were as much responsible for his death as probably he was, maybe more. What mattered was that he had killed himself, solved all his transient problems with a permanent solution, but made us stand face-to-face with a number of questions. A number of doubts. And even as the unctuous and placating tones of the powers-to-be spoke to the student body present at the site, about the beauty of life and the uselessness of killing oneself, I could feel the unreal hilarity of the situation. The lip service. The promised mourning next day. The apparent show of grief. The oh-so-familiar official response to the mishap. And then, the forgetting.

What can we do? As I searched around for an answer, waking up in the middle of sweaty nightmares over the last two nights, I felt so weak, so impotent. So useless. Even as I sat on my bed, wiping sweat off my forehead after another particularly nasty nightmare, I wondered what could we do? There had to be a way out. How long do we abandon our fellow feelings, shirk our responsibilities and let people who fall down get stampeded to death by the oncoming hordes of life’s problems. What if, tomorrow, I am the one who has fallen down and desperately seeks a way out? If not for “them” I should at least do it for “us” or even maybe “me”, for if each of us could ensure that we take care of the “me”, the “us”, then the “they” could be taken care of. If we could all chip in with the small things, the bigger things, I am sure, could take care of themselves. I hit upon an idea of a support group, consisting of teachers and more so, students. Students who knew what the hardships were, who knew the value of empathy, who could be approached freely, without doubt, suspicion or fear for a little support. But where do we find such people? Where do we train them to such expertise that they may handle the situation with care and precaution? How do we motivate the behemoth of the Governmental health system into devising such a thing? How? How? How?

The questions harry me, but I have decided the course. I will approach the Principal and Dean personally and try to make them see reason and hope for the best, but whilst the serpentine lanes of governmental regimentation are satisfied, and the red tapes are cut and tied, I will try to move for making a body consisting of interested students and teachers in order to spread AWARENESS regarding this matter at large. If any of you who are reading this feel the same way I do, please do get back at me with suggestions as to what I can do to ameliorate the present situation at:


And I believe we don’t need that education which pushes us towards death and destruction and makes excellent but absolutely un-empathic practitioners of medicine (they should not be accorded the honor of being addressed as doctors) out of us.

And even as I end, the questions asked by T.S.Eliot still reverberates in my ears:

“The endless cycle of idea and action,

Endless invention, endless experiment,

Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;

Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;

Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.

All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,

All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,

But nearness to death no nearer to GOD.

Where is the Life we have lost in living?

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?

Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries

Bring us farther from GOD and nearer to the Dust.”

T. S. Eliot, The Rock, 1934

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hope for a New Day

I think it's imperative to start each day and each week with a positive attitude. It is in my hands and in your hands to choose how we will live out this day today. I was inspired by the historic opening of the new Yankee Stadium by none other than Pastor Joel Osteen. The Yankee Organization invited a man of God to inaugurate the new stadium. God is great!! In his message, he stressed that we are fully loaded and equipped as we are to face the day ahead of us. He said that God has already given us what we need for today.

It's a simple choice that's ahead of us today: choose to live your day truly believing who you are or live your life today with a defeated mentality.
Now the question arises as to who you really are.
I believe the truth shall set you free. In this world that we live in, truth is very relative. I'm not talking about that kind of "truth." I'm talking about the truth which God testifies to about you. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior, the Bible says that you are "more than a conqueror." So it's up to me and you to live our day today knowing the truth that you and I are indeed more than a conqueror. The Bible says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." This is a word of truth from the one who created you.

I just want to speak a word of hope and encouragement to those who haven't known Jesus Christ as your friend and as your Lord.
You were beautifully and wonderfully created by Him.
He has the most incredible plans for your life.
He gave up absolutely everything and became absolutely nothing in obedience to his Father, so that you and I may have life.
He died, he rose up, and he conquered the grave so that we may have life through him.
He did all this so that we may have access to the Father and to a life of purpose down here on earth and to an eternity that is far beyond our most creative imaginations.
He loves you so much.
If you invite Jesus into your heart and into your life, your life will have meaning and purpose and your life will change for the better.

And for those of you who have lost that closeness with him, please know that he is closer than you think.
He never left your side.
He is ready and willing to embrace you and hold you in his arms.
You and I know that any time we have lived disconnected from God, no matter how thrilling the ride was, it wasn't worth it. It was just eating us alive. We lived with no hope or no joy or any sort of fulfillment. Each day we lived separated from Christ, we were becoming more dead inside.
It is time to come back into his loving arms, where life makes sense again. He will forgive all your sins and take you back just as you are and love you unconditionally.

We need hope more than anything else today.
Hope to dream.. hope to live.. hope to be....
So, let's live this day and this week with a renewed sense of hope and faith.
Let's not forget the truth about us.
Wake up each day and say, "I will have an incredible day today.Great things are going to happen to me today. I am in the palm of God's hands. I will see the Lord's favor in my life today."

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Significance of Good Friday in My Life..

On Good Friday, April 10, 2009, I'm reflecting on many thoughts that are racing through my mind.

What does the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ really mean to me? Has it made a substantial impact on my life? Has it changed me for the better? Am I bearing fruit because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior?

I was reading from the book of Habakkuk the other day, when I came across his statement to the Lord in Habakkuk 2:13, "Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong." So that literally means that Father God cannot even bear to see the evil in me. It's not even possible for him to do it, because he is so pure and holy. So there was only one way to look past my sins - - through the death of Jesus Christ. When I try to come to some kind of a very, limited grasp on this mystery, knowing very well that I won't even scratch the surface to understanding it, I try to picture just myself in the eye of the storm. I try to picture just my sins and just the evil that I am capable of doing and being. I guess it's more tangible to do that than to think of the world's crimes. So just keeping in mind the debt that I have piled up, I'm blown away by the enormity of it! Where does it start? Where does it end?
So just imagining my sins alone on his back, I'm forced to wonder how he endured it? Now take that and multiply it by the sins of all of the earth's inhabitants in the past, present, and future.

I still remember to this day when I was 6 years old, sitting on my daddy's knee, on Good Friday. My dad had my baby sister on his other knee. He was telling us a story; not just any story, but about the most controversial and heartbreaking story of all time. He was trying to explain to his girls the significance of Good Friday and Easter.
I absorbed everything my dad said like a sponge. I was eagerly anticipating his every word. I remember my cheeks being burnt by hot tears rolling down, while I tried to make sense of it all. I was infuriated over the injustice my Jesus had to suffer. How dare they spit at him! How dare they humiliate him! How dare they put a velvet robe on him to showcase him as a clown! How dare they flog him and tear his body to shreds! How dare they put a crown of thorns on his head! How dare they soak a sponge with wine vinegar for him to drink, when he complained of thirst! How dare they bleed him to death on a cross! I was inconsolably outraged. But all the while, humbled and thankful for what he was willing to do and what he had done in obedience to his Father. Little did I know that my dad was sowing seeds in my life then, which would later take root and grow into a loving relationship with my heavenly Father today. I thank God every day for that moment of truth I had with my earthly Father and with my heavenly Father.

I've a personal relationship with this Christ who once hung on a cross. I talk with him every day. He meets with me every day. He talks back to me through the Bible. We have conversations every day about everything in my life from how to be a better student to how much I miss my husband to how to stop being anxious all the time to why my hair has lost all its thickness. In response to my latter concern, he repeats to me what he said in Luke 12:7, "Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered." That is a reminder to me on how involved he is with every detail of my life.

Albeit, I am convicted by the Holy Spirit to ask one poignant question on this Good Friday. How much of an impact does Good Friday or Easter have on me and my life today? Or the question I really should ask is what kind of an impact does he want me to have. That definitely brings me to my knees and to a place of increasing self-reflection.
  • Where am I failing him?
  • In which areas of my life am I disappointing him?
  • What in my life breaks his heart?
  • Am I living out his best for me or am I settling for second best?
  • Am I being his light in this very dark world?
  • Am I using my time efficiently?
  • Am I really loving my neighbor as myself?
  • Is my love sincere or is it mostly fake?
  • Am I doing the job I'm entrusted with faithfully?
  • Am I a forgiving person ?
  • Am I praising God in all circumstances: the good, the bad, and the ugly?
  • Do I gossip?
  • Do I trust him with everything in my life or do I pick and choose?
  • Do I bend the truth, when it's convenient for me?
  • Am I a person of utmost integrity?
  • Am I trustworthy?
  • Do I live a life of transparency?
  • Am I increasing in my talents?
In all of this, the biggest question I have to ask myself is if I'm bringing fame or shame to the cross and to the name of Jesus Christ. The only answer I am getting from the Holy Spirit as I blog is that the race is not over yet. I am a work in progress and as it says in Philipians 1:6, "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

I am a child of God because of the cross and not because of anything good I have in me or through me or by me. In Ephesians 2:4, Apostle Paul says, "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved."
There is no way I can ever do anything to deserve this gift. Then in Ephesians 2:8, Paul drives it home by emphasizing, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast."

Although I am saved by the cross of Christ, I want to be compelled by the love that was shown on the cross for me to live in such a way that I make him smile when he looks at me. I don't want to be misunderstood here. I am not by any means alluding that I can win God's favor or grace or mercy by being "good" vs. "bad." The Holy Spirit has been working on me for a long time to help me realize that there is actually nothing that I can possibly do to make him stop loving me. This is confirmed in Romans 8:38,39, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus." That being said, I don't want him to grieve over me. I don't want his heart being hurt over me in any way. Moreover, I don't want to miss out on God's best for my life. For example, I'm sure I can maximize my energy and my time and thus increase productivity in my studying, if I get the right amount of sleep and if I eat the right kinds of food and if I organize the hours of the day better. I correlate those positive changes with God's best for me. Another example could be to free myself of anxiety. I'm the kind of person who worries about not having something to worry about. Well, it's about high time I change from being that kind of a person to the kind of person God wants me to be. In Philipians 4:6,7, it says, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Now that sounds like a panacea to all problems!

This is just like a love relationship between a husband and a wife or a parent and a child. When you love someone so much, it won't hurt you to obey them or to respect them or to love them back. Jesus said while he was on the earth in John 14:15, "If you love me, obey my commandments." His words are curtailed by its simplicity and its immensity.

I want to live in such a way that I remember the cross of Christ not just on Good Friday or on Easter of every year, but in every waking moment. I want it to resonate through my being and through my life. On this day, I am convicted by the Holy Spirit to not be complacent in my walk with the Lord. The significance of this day can't be written about or blogged about or spoken about in any manner to contain it to a mere, few words or emotions. Its significance is of life and death. Because of the cross, I have life. Because of the cross, you have life. I want to remember his words, "If you love me, obey my commandments," and more importantly, put it into practice.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Favorite Song Right Now...

Music is a very important integral part of my life. I have a very eclectic taste in music. I fancy artists such as Yesudas and A.R. Rahman (Indian composers) to Matt Redman & Hillsongs (Christian artists) to Madonna and Abba to Coldplay and Andrea Bocelli. I can write for eons on how much of an impact music has made in my life. And rightfully so, I plan on writing a whole lot on it. So, stay tuned. Each time I get excited about a certain song or artist, I'll try to blog on here about it. I will also periodically blog on my favorite artists and songs from the past.

I'm very excited about Kelly Clarkson's new album, "All I Ever Wanted." She just exudes confidence in the most fun, attractive way! She is an all-around-American-girl you would want to hang out with. Not to mention the incredible talent she possesses!! I have enjoyed pretty much every one of her top-hits. I especially enjoy her first single, "My life would suck without you," from her most recent album. It's fun, jovial, and definitely has a tendency to make you want to jam to it!! In short, it's my new favorite song right now :). I will also try to post a video of the song/artist on here as well. ENJOY! :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hi Bloggers!!! :)

Hi Blogger Community!!! :)
This is my first blog!! :) I'm so excited to start blogging and sad that I wasn't more keen on checking this site out sooner! Geesh! What was I thinking? Everyone, their mothers, and their dogs blog! What was I thinking!!!?!!

I just wanted to say hi to y'all! I have a good feeling about this - - I LOVE WRITING! I think I express myself at my utmost, optimal level through my writing. So, I'm already convinced that this will be a great experience and an adventurous one as well!

I invite all of your friendly, constructive, and helpful suggestions/comments on my blog! :)

Just wanted to give you a heads up on one thing: I can get pretty darn opionated on a lot of issues. That just makes me, "ME!" But at the same time, I would like to be increasingly more understanding and tolerant of every person, issue, and situation around me.

I hope through my writing and blogging I can be a blessing to all you bloggers out there! :)

With that I bid you a good night.
See y'all soon! :)