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THE BIG POSER

Who is Biggy?

My blog today is on a little dog, abandoned earlier, who made a BIG impression on many .

He is about 12 years in age; Black in colour and of poodle mix. But his eyes catch my eye .

Annie and Mike, his rescuers, say he is partially blind. I saw him with trimmed fur. He was half his size when they got him . His daily sustenance was from a dump, where he befriended a gang of cats. He was very sick with infection .

However Annie and Mike have doted over him. With care, visits to the vet, and good food , he has recovered .

How could someone abandon him?

He was the star of our evening visit . His survival is a miracle. He stayed at the dump for six months , Now he has three cots . And lives in style . He responded to us so well .

Biggy’s day begins at 6.30am . He will nudge Annie to wake up for his drink of water. He then goes back to sleep and wakes up later at 11.30 am for the rest of his day . Well then, that sounds like quite a retired life .

We did not hear his bark. But let any delivery man appear, and Biggy barks his loudest .

A neighbour always thought that Biggy was a cat from afar. You can imagine his shock to hear Biggy’s bark.

I was so happy when Biggy came to me and posed for a picture . Yes, he is a Poser, and so affectionate.

My memory of him, are his beautiful eyes, when he wished me good bye!

If only he could talk.

Thanks Biggie , you made my day!

BORN FREE

Look around and reflect ,

Who can stop you

From thinking,

speaking and

Doing the right thing ?

Can any law stop

You from loving

Even your enemy

Who may one day

Become a friend !

Yes and my soul ;

Can any man destroy

That which God holds

In his loving arms !

Our Creator who gives life and also sends to hell fire

So am I willing to see that

My soul is meant for an eternal goal,

Eternal joy or eternal slavery

Heaven or hell!

Perfect love casteth out fear

Love always overcomes hate!

Love gives life !

Then you and I are truly FREE!

Artist of myriad dimensions

Suzette Advani

Have you entered a home with 22 dogs barking their welcome to you .

It’s a home on the slope of a hill giving you a distant and picturesque view of Goa with rivers lakes and lush greenery .

We were received by Alcina,into the spacious home, for our meeting with Suzette. My daughter Annalize had been called for the trial of her wedding gown.

“When a client walks in, a human being walks in first, and before I lend them my hands I win their hearts . “

This is the motto of Suzette as Designer. For Annalize , the lace and material for her gown was just right ; the designing and fit most suited for the bride. Suzette works with passion to give her best .

However she is also an artiste, poet, author of short stories and has a non funded NGO for stray and abandoned dogs . But most of all a very compassionate person.

I saw some beautiful paintings, each of which has a meaning. I was surprised to learn that it had taken 2-3 years of deep life experiences , 2 month’s to put down a feature and 2-3 days to paint . In like manner, Suzette writes poetry and short stories .

Her pet project is really the pets she has rescued . When she refers to the universal opinion of the good breed of dogs over stray dogs ….she opines that dogs are just dogs , and love makes a difference in their response . She continues “ But who am I to preach the gospel of universality; idealised I am just an artiste who was designed to create art and not change the policies of the world .”

She has rescued 22 stray and abandoned dogs . The first was named Thomas ; he had fallen off a bridge and fractured his spine. She has nursed him to good health . All 22 pets have been rescued in some way and restored to normalcy… each of them having a name. The most recent pet was named ‘Blue’ as he has blue eyes. He is so affectionate, and kept licking my feet all over.

She also daily feeds 30 stray dogs outside who patiently wait at specific points as she drives on the food trail.

Suzette is a survivor of a serious motor crash , but was at peace even then. She has no regrets of any kind and believes that life is transient . She has a deep sense of spirituality. Her daily discipline includes yoga.

“I am ready for the call when it comes “ says Suzette.

So ended the encounter with a courageous lady of myriad dimensions.

Through the Storms

WALKING WITH MY LORD

My Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has  been a pillar of strength and peace, during the past 6 months of a rollercoaster ride. The storms of life blew over but his presence was enough to see me through this phase.

Between September and November 2018 , I drove to Goa several times with Anjean, to prepare for our daughter Annalize’s wedding, Goa being  the venue.

However in November I began to have a throat problem , which did not get cured with antibiotics . As the problem persisted , I consulted a specialist who observed a small mass on the tonsil during the oral examination. Subsequently , he advised that a biopsy be done, which led to the early diagnosis of Non Hodgekins Lymphoma.  Dr Jaquie was very helpful at  the Hinduja Hospital, from  that first instance as well as during my regular hospital visits for the chemotherapy later.

In November I also got a shock to know that my investments with our trusted broker were in jeopordy , as his business had failed. His promise to repay everything , would remain a promise until he hoped to recover,  by merging his company with a bigger firm, in the near future.

I was diagnosed on 13th December 2018 , and  Annalize’s wedding was scheduled for 27th December 2018. The doctor calmed  us ,  specially Anjean and Annalize,  and mentioned that the early diagnosis was very helpful and the cancer could be treated and cured ( a blessing indeed).  He advised us to celebrate the wedding and commence my treatment soon after.

However due to the urgency and financial duress, I was constrained to take loans to meet with these challenges.

My son Ralph , was a big help at this stage. He had  come down from London for the wedding. All my family  proceeded to Goa which was the venue . He stayed back to help me with my visits to  the hospitals and so much more. I admired his steadfast approach , not knowing that he was quite upset himself.

Our celebrations in Goa went off very well.  The Lord had given me a total acceptance of my health condition. I took part wholeheartedly in the celebrations. My family too got over the initial shock and all went well .

We returned  to Mumbai on 1st January 2019 and my treatment commenced on 2nd January 2019.

For every  session , I was admitted to the hospital , to be administered the drugs. The specialist doctor and his team, and the nursing care, was excellent. The after effects of the chemotherapy, were at times very painful. Surprisingly  during  3 specific  occasions Romeo Fernando, leader of  the Community of the Good Shepherd,  telephoned me.  He  prayed  fervently with me , pleading of the  Lord for my healing ;  and with God’s grace  I was relieved from pain. His intercessory group prayed regularly for my healing. I cannot forget  my mentor Ken Knoecker ( Elder of the Servants of the Word) , for all the  prayer and support extended to me, during this time.   I also discovered , the aspect of sharing my suffering with the Lord, and interceding for others.

Members from my Community (Community of Jesus: Light of the World)  and the local Church and Communities ( Sword of the Spirit Communities)  from far and near  prayed for me. There was an outpouring of love as members regularly telephoned or visited me,  and also prayed with me.  People who I hardly knew as well as old friends,  assured me that they were praying for my healing and visited me.

My eldest daughter Karen with her family  from UK, specially changed their flight schedule, ( which involved a fresh ticket) to be with us for the first session. Subsequently my son Ralph took time off , for one month from his job in London ( while working from home) to be with us in Mumbai for the next sessions. Annalize too spent more than a month later and finally Larissa was with us in May.

I was administered 6 cycles of chemotherapy from January to April, and after the 4th cycle , the petscan showed that I was clear of cancer. Praise and thanks to God!

This was a time of great restoration and renewal. I had plenty of time to pray and read scripture. Importantly  , Ambrose  our community member brought Holy Communion for me daily, which was a source of healing and kept me positive and courageous.

Aroon willingly took up responsibility to lead the Community of Jesus: Light of the World , in my absence during these months. His numerous visits were an indication of a brotherly tie, which I deeply cherish.

I also saw bonds of brotherhood within my extended family being renewed. My two elder brothers, Allwyn and Gerald who are doctors, and my niece Joanne (also a doctor) , reached out to me in significant ways.

Anjean cared for me so well .  Diet and medicines were constantly monitored. So I came through these months peacefully.  Dane, a young man from the Youth group , was kind enough to drive us to the hospital on several occasions . Some of my community members also took time off to be with me at the hospital. But Anjean was my constant companion.

In the meantime , help poured in from various sources. I am truly overwhelmed at this support.

God showed me His love , through these brothers and sisters.

He also assured me that His provision is enough

A few days ago , when again  I experienced a setback, I was assured by the following words from scripture:

‘Give  us this day our daily bread ‘( Matthew 6:11)

( on further reflection and study, I was led to believe that daily  bread is for daily sustenance and not to accumulate wealth. Bread also signifies the Eucharist ,which is life giving.)

A little further :

‘ No one can be slave of two masters; he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.’ ( Matthew 6: 24)

Matthew 6:25-34

‘ Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,  what you are to eat and what you are to drink, (Matthew 6:25a)………..‘But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.’ ( Matthew 6: 33)

Isaiah 55: 1-3

‘ Oh, come to the water all you who are thirsty;

Though you have no money , come!

Buy corn without money, and eat,

and, at no cost , wine and milk.

Why spend money on what is not bread,

your wages on what fails to satisfy?

Listen, listen to me, and you will have good things to eat

and rich food to enjoy.

Pay attention , come to me;

listen, and your soul will live.

listen , and your soul will live.’ (Isaiah 55: 1-3)

The Lord has revealed his love and care so much more during these days. He is truly my Saviour  and Healer and I can trust in his provision daily.

For this I say “Thank you Lord”

And “ thank you” to every person who has reached out to me.

Anjean was my constant support
Taking Annalize to the altar on her wedding day
With Ralph

THE PRESENT

 

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The blur of the past

Sustains the present

So I presume,

A storehouse of

good memories

And junked failures

 

Pray

Are these stepping stones

To a bright future ?

Can we bask

only in success;

And dismiss failures ?

 

Who can fathom the future

Except the One who is Timeless

His Presence sustains

Past, Present and future

A Gift to be cherished

Forever

 

He is the Alpha and  the Omega

The beginning and the end

Who holds us in the palm

Of His Hands;

Do  I trust Him?

Now ?

 

Combat or surrender

 

‘For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of  power and love and self control.’ ( 2 Timothy 1:7)

‘In Him we live and move and have our being.’ ( Acts 17:28)trekking

 

Times of change,

Challenges abound;

Do I fear?

 

At any age,

I hear of

Courage with a C

 

But there is a C

Cancer which oft

may counter Courage

 

 

How do I face it?

Fight or flight ;

Combat or surrender

 

The only way I see it,

Trust in His Spirit

Of power , love and self control!

 

He is ever near,

Holds us in his loving arms,

As a Father to a son

 

Am I willing to share this pain

With him on the cross

As  grace in abundance  flows

 

Accept with courage

And when unbearable

Surrender

‘into your hands, Lord’

 

And take each day as a gift

Not forgetting

‘To live is Christ and

To die is gain ‘

 

I am assured that its better to  surrender into His loving arms at all times, as

‘In him we live and move and have our being’ (Acts 17:28)

 

Sounds at Sunrise

img_0503-3Listen,
Can you see, or hear, or imagine?
The majestic morn ,
As sunshine streams across ,
And every creature ,
Sounds present .

The sparrow flits through,
In search of the tasty morsel.
Parrots screech away…… I am hungry.
Crows caw lazily….before their day begins .

I also hear the sweep of a broom,
Does not persistence pay..
Imagine the day when the sweeper
Is away.

The sun rises ,
more seriously.
People plan their day
Pray , can we forget the
Beauty of creation?
In the midst of making ends meet?

An Artist – an encounter

 

You see a painting and then wonder at its meaning.

So I was privileged to meet Jamie Treadwell, and he shared how he works through process to reach a finish.

I asked him “ Do you have the end in mind while working through the process?”

“Not always”  was his reply.

He happens to be a Business/Life Coach.  He applies the Process to this aspect of his work too..

One example is using Music in his work as a coach, particularly a workshop with a live Orchestra as a metaphor for business.

He explains so well how creating harmony with instruments can be used as a process to study human behaviour in a team.

When the musicians play in harmony, what is our observation?

Naturally the entire reception of music is a wholesome one signifying Good organisation and team work.

As an example, anyone playing out of tune will display disharmony.

Also if all play aggressively then there is total disarray and is not conducive to

quiet and soothing environ and unity.

He was working on a cover for a music  album . Naturally the lyrics of the song needed to match , and he brought out this aspect with a boat moving towards its destination.

The Painting of Jesus on The cross, struck me with the passion of Jesus coming out so well. This was done during a live session with swift movements of his hand , in a matter of a few minutes

The suffering so real and intense.

Many paintings have a poem or lyric Jamie writes before it is painted. This comes with contemplation.

Abstract paintings with intense colours gives birth to more processes leading to the subsequent painting .

I saw mountains and rivers, and a raft going upstream.

Jamie shared that as an Artist one gets quite vulnerable.; just like an author, whose writing reveals his innermost thoughts.

Jamie is a Lifelong Brother with the Servants of the Word , which is a committed religious Christian order, who help in pastoring covenant communities around the world.

For this reason he also serves as business Coach… and all his paintings help in fundraising for various causes., especially for  youth outreaches.

With a tug of heart, (I loved the painting of JESUS), so the best I could get as a souvenir, was a photograph of the artist with his painting of Our Redeemer!

image                                                           DSC_0287 (2)

 

Fare thee well Jamie!

Who are you?

for poem -who are you

Who are you

Is the question today;

Which region, country, or culture?

Is there a difference?

I meet men and women,

Rich and poor,

Of different race, religion, nationalities.

 

Who are your parents ?

Where is your family?

What binds or separates you

From others?

Can you understand?

I don’t !

 

I struggle to know,

Why?

If we belong to the human race,

Is there a difference in

Being human or just  a human being!

What is more powerful?

Love or hatred!

 

Have you considered :

To be strong is to be resilient,

That love overcomes fear ,

Behind every face ,

There is a story to tell.

We belong to one big family.

 

So I ask again.

Who are you?

Do you understand?

 

The Trees Passer

 

The little fellow Tim the sparrow flitted about searching for tasty morsels from the plants ; alongside was  Tiny his partner also foraging.  Most of  the gang of crows led by Doug unofficially claim the area of the huge Mayflower tree as their own.

Then far above we have a visitor McMoran. He is of medium size and has a tinge of green on his wings and head. He has an awkward squark and darts from one branch to another. Do I know his breed? He looks good and is very rarely seen in the vicinity.

What can you expect then? Lets count Doug and his gang. ..about a dozen, and getting into a frenzy.

“ Is that how you guys welcome me , a tourist ? “ questions McMoran

“ Says who? Are  you are a  tourist? “ caws Doug. “ You look like a trespasser.”

An upset McMoran squawks back “ And who decides who am I”

“ The May flower tree  has existed since the past 60 years; my great-grandparents nested here.” Replied Doug.

A nonchalant McMoran continued moving among the topmost branches . Who can stop him?

The chorus of caws increases, and strangely….subsides . The gang of crows realized that , numbers do not matter.    Courageous McMoran did not get blown away  by the aggressive crows.

What about Tim and Tiny. They finished their search for tasty  morsels and have enjoyed their time in the sun. Did they get overawed by the number of crows and their size?

Each is gifted differently. The ability to  use their gifts will decide their  future.  Every weakness is compensated by a strength.  What about the crow?  Does his appearance deceive you?

The crow is one of the most intelligent and sturdy birds. No wonder , beauty in this case does not matter. They care for their young and mourn for those who die.

Sparrows though small, send their young out early and they begin to fend for themselves.

Who was the visitor ? Dear reader, you need to help me as I can only describe this quiet tourist.

Lets hope he comes again with more of his kind. And may he be welcomed by all the natives of the good ole May Flower tree.