Friday, January 25, 2008


Watching the barrage of coverage for the presidential candidates is leaving me with a bit of a stomachache. Kind of like when I eat too much of something and I start to feel sick. You know the feeling.

What has interested me though, is the amount of applause that is being offered up to the candidates. Each setting is different, but the clapping and cheering are still the same.

Applause is a two-edged sword. On the one hand (no pun intended), it encourages the receiver to go forward, press on and work harder. But on the other hand (still no pun), it can become like a drug that causes people to do things so they can receive more.

Ah, which brings me to the questions that I am so fond of asking not only to myself, but to others: Why do you do what you do? Is it because you have a deep-seated need to express yourself in the area that you have been gifted (profession, arts, sports, etc.)? Or do you simply do it for the applause?

Each and every one of us were created with gifts, talents and abilities. Are we using those gifts, talents and abilities to receive applause (it can come in other forms than just clapping), or are we exercising those gifts, talents and abilities to make life better for others? Which brings me to another one of those questions: Are we living for ourselves or for others?

When the applause are over, how do you feel? Empty? Fulfilled? Wanting more?

Think about it. I applaud your consideration.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

India Revisited (Or Rather Visiting Me)

Pastor Sami, one of the host pastors on my trip to India last year, came to visit me today! He has been in the states for the past month raising support for the many ministries he oversees in Mamallapuram, a fishing and resort town on the Indian Ocean in southern India.

Pastor Sami is a true visionary. He has started five churches, installing pastors in four of them while he pastors the "mother church". One of the churches he has started and installed a pastor in is in a Sri Lankan refugee camp in Chennai, where over 3000 people live crowded together on a three acre parcel of land in the center of the city.

He has an orphanage which currently provides a home for 44 children. He hosts 45 regional pastors every month to encourage, pray for, and teach the Bible to. He always gives them a meal and provides bus fare for those who needed it to travel to the monthly meeting.

He has plans for a Bible school, and is in the middle of a building project for the mother church, having razed the original church building in the center of town. The church building is also his home, so he and his family are temporarily living at the orphanage while construction continues (although it has come to a halt as funding has become scarce).

Pastor Sami and his wife have adopted two of the girls from the orphanage (he is pictured above with one of the girls, Lilly). He not only preaches locally, but regularly travels over ten hours by train to minister in the northern part of India. Needless to say, Pastor Sami is a busy man with a passion for ministry.

You can read more about Pastor Sami and my trip to India by going to the February, 2007 Blog Archive to the right.

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