About sarmishtavenkatesh

I'm nobody in this world, yet somebody in Christ. Only in Christ.

The most important preparation for your marriage

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This past week, I was privileged to bring the word of God at a bridal shower in my local church, Second RPC. I must confess, the whole process of preparation was painful. The rod of God’s word was at my back, confronting the indwelling sin within me, yet how quickly did it metamorphose into a kinder staff drawing me ever so close to the graces of my Shepherd. I am sharing my manuscript with the hope that young maidens who are preparing for marriage will do due diligence to the most important, yet neglected aspect of marriage preparation – spiritual readiness for marriage.

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Life at RPTS

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For those of us who love to study the Bible and rave theology, there’s Puritan board, Facebook groups and our own feisty blogs. For a privileged few, there’s something else. An incubated world of intense theological learning and discussion. It’s called seminary. It feeds you all you want: books, books and more books. Classes with debates and lively discussions. Ingenious professors who have encyclopedic knowledge on the topic of your choice. Blogs seem bland in comparison. BBs become child’s-play. There’s no more time to answer questions on pet topics like predestination that run into pages, stretching your scroll bar’s ability to stretch. Enter this wormhole and your whole life-course is forever changed. In 2013, God put us through just that. A year ago, I wrote an article on our church’s blog on life at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary here at Pittsburgh. Venky and I talked about the same at a sponsor’s dinner. It’s a good starting place to help you see where we are currently in our theological journey, compared to where we were 4 years ago.Below is a reproduction of the article from #secondreformedpresbyterianchurch blog. Happy reading!

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Three years ago we knew that God was changing our course. Our home was constantly buzzing with bible studies and theological discussions. Young Christian men were spending days, weeks and sometimes months with us to grow in the new-found graces of the Gospel. Tables were filled with food, fellowship and fiery talks over the weekends  and our living area was truly a glimpse of heavenly brotherhood. God was doing something extraordinary and we were  filled with awe and wonder. That’s when we knew God was calling us to prepare for His pastoral work ahead.  My husband, Venky, was scouring for seminaries online and if you are familiar with the New Reformed world, you would already know the top 3 on his list: Westminster, Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) and perhaps Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (we were presbyterian by then, by the way ). Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (PRTS) was dropped off the list early on as they were a new seminary then and had scant scholarships. The other two were by no means cheap, but we started praying and planning ahead, saving every little penny we had. You must know this, we are Indian.

In another part of the world God was moving an elder from Second Reformed Presbyterian Church who, through a strange turn of events, came to know about us and was praying for us simultaneously. With time we got together and spent two years talking, praying, envisioning and planning for Christ’s Kingdom in India. He encouraged us to seriously consider the denominational seminary –Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary (RPTS). One look at the website told us this was small, quaint and family. By this time we were on board with most of the nagging issues about the denomination’s distinctives. We could still opt to go to Westminster or Reformed Theological Seminary.  After all, who doesn’t want to sit under Horton or Frame? After much thought, we knew what we needed was RPTS. You’ll see why.

Pittsburgh welcomed us with warm and vibrant shades on a cool August noon. We turned by the curb expectantly looking out for an expanse of green dotted with a few 18th century manors  and an archaic archway etched with the words “Welcome to Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary” (home of the bright and bold, truly Scotch fold!) Well, there was nothing more than one antique mansion spread out on a generous piece of grass, right around the corner of a busy side street. My first thoughts? Humbling.

But building is not seminary. A seminary is rated on various parameters: scholarship of faculty and students, their ratio and relationship, alumni & faculty participation/contributions in the larger Christian world, financial aids & scholarships, community life, pastoral stability & growth, etc. So, does RPTS cut it? On every count. Let me unfold this by sharing some of our unique experiences during the first quarter at RPTS.

RPTS is communal

The seminary is small, and that means good. We got a warm and personal welcome from each professor on the first day followed by a  formal dinner  during which time we sat with the seminary President Jerry O’Neill and his wife who were so involved in getting to know us. Dr. O’Neill is more a father than a professor, for there is not a time when he sees us and doesn’t stoop down to give Venky and me a warm hug. When I thought his name was too wordy to pronounce, specially with his title attached, he nonchalantly replied, “Call me Dad.” Not to forget, he also had us home for dinner the first weekend of our arrival. Now, that is definitely not something we could dream of doing with a Robert Godfrey or Ligon Duncan. Most of us live around the seminary property and that gives us access to both professors and students all day. We own no car, but that has not immobilized us as some sisters take me shopping almost every week. Seminary women gather every month to fellowship and discuss a subject of interest, and wives of seminarians informally meet to pray and fellowship every other week. Often Venky looks out of the window, and mentions those who make their way in and out of the seminary, and the pleasant sight of friends walking to and fro makes us feel more at home where we are. Well, that’s our little entertainment.

RPTS is pastoral

Everyday,  professors share their lunch hours with students getting to know them and helping them with their school work, and this brings me to the second point: the professors here are firstly pastors. Rev. Paul Martin takes care of the student housing, and once when he came to our home, he was fixing our sink and feeding us with the Word. Dr. Williams, our OT professor, has a gentle and patient disposition in answering the questions of even the most argumentative students.  Dr. Scip would decimate a flawed thesis in class, but would come around and spends hours counseling weary souls without expecting anything in return. Prof. York who teaches pastoral theology drove us seven  hours to Indy, listening to us and sharing pastoral insights the whole time. It is no wonder that the seminary’s punch line is Study under pastors.

RPTS is missional

One of the first things that struck us early on was the sheer diversity of our school. Nearly 50% of students are internationals, another 20% are from the ethnic Afro-American community.  Hardly three students in our batch are formally part of the RPCNA, with the majority of our students from Presbyterian Church of North America, Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Free Church, Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Baptist and even Pentecostal backgrounds. Although the seminary is formally under the RPCNA, the adjunct professors are from varying denominations. The seminary actively reaches out to the surrounding Afro-American community by opening up their quarters to a specialized leadership program. But that’s not it. The whole denomination has been deliberately  praying and preparing to equip  internationals for pastoral training. As recently as last month, we witnessed a team spearheaded by our President traveling to South America and working with the Reformed brethren there, to help equip them with pastoral resources. Pastors are being equipped in our seminary to be sent out to countries that are hostile to the Gospel. All our classes are now available free on the Internet to give access to brothers far and wide to sound Reformed doctrine. With the burgeoning number of churches abroad, we desperately need seminaries that are missional, and RPTS is definitely one of them.

RPTS is historical and accountable

It’s nice to be in a seminary where everyone holds hands and sings Kumbaya. But a seminary means serious business. They are preparing warriors for the battle, mustering armies for the Armageddon. You don’t pick a seminary which is going to define your life, casually. You study it, sift through it’s history and beliefs to see if it’s been stable and tenacious through the years. Believe me when I say this: RPTS is perhaps the only Christian seminary that has held its roots in the last 200 years! All it’s counterparts such as Harvard, Princeton and Yale fell away owing to rampant liberalism. RPTS continues to hold on to the tenets of the Historic Christian faith articulated in the 1647 Westminster Confession, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, Westminster Directory of Publick Worship and the RP Testimony – all part of the Constitution of its mother church, the RPCNA. All professors are ministers teaching in local RP churches and are appointed directly by the highest governing body -the Synod -of the denomination. The seminary raises up pastors to fill up the pulpits, and these very men who grow in grace and experience keep the seminary’s doctrine and life in check. This, and this alone was our prime reason in opting for RPTS over the top three Reformed seminaries in the US. We also noticed a healthy tension between their professed orthodoxy and their present orthopraxy. Let me give you a sobering example. One professor who had to deal with higher criticism with Mosaic texts gave us a good overview of their positions but also refuted them point by point though rational, cogent and biblical arguments. However, his interest did not lie in expounding further such futile research. Rather, he turned our attention to Christ and His sovereign act in preserving these texts. Each professor had the uncanny knack of making every intellectually stimulating class also deeply devotional. My husband and I have always come away from the classes enlightened and excited about our faith. Some of these professors could spend their lives in ivory towers writing books, but they have rather become humble shepherds walking alongside ignorant sheep like us.

We have barely begun our journey here, but already feel like we’ve crossed considerable milestones with the kind of pastoral and professional care that we’ve been receiving. Our professor Barry York recently penned an inspiring post from his perspective about the seminary. Alumni from RPTS also share a similar story as ours. We can’t all be biased. But we are all deeply thankful for this opportunity to study and serve here. Soli Deo Gloria!

A time to listen and a time to speak.

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If you have been visiting, reading or following my blog, you know I’m sluggish. I haven’t kept up my blog in the past 2 years and its rusting and catching dust. If there is one thing that keeps my blog alive, its you. So, thank you for spending your precious time on my site! But silence doesn’t imply inaction. Over the past 2 years, the Lord has been changing our tracks and moving us through significant milestones in our life. My husband and I moved to the US in 2013 to commence theological studies at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary (Pittsburgh), where we currently reside. We are now full-fledged members of the RPCNA, which, over the years, has greatly inspired and encouraged our zeal for the local church. Currently God is preparing our heads, hearts and hands for a similar work in India. Psalmsang – a home-based Psalm singing school – ran its brief course and is now on pause mode (remember, pause mode). My husband and I have been writing for an Indian magazine called ReformationNow. Last year, I began a workshop on sacred hermeneutics for women which I hope to continue in spurts in the coming years. Alongside formal seminary training, we have been discipling, feeding, reaching out to and connecting with the flock of Christ in different contexts. As you can see, we have been crazy busy!

So, what happened to homeschooling?, you may begin to wonder. None of our convictions have changed, if anything, they have been tempered by the Spirit and the wise counsel of many elders from our Church. Until we have children of our own to homeschool, my husband and I are devoting our time and energy to equip Indian homeschooling families with much needed and relevant curriculum on Indian history and theology. Much of our work is underway, but you will begin to see some rudiments through this blog. I will continue to write, albeit sparingly, on important issues concerning Christian women, children and family life in India. However, the bulk of my writing will focus on history and theology. God willing, in time you will see this blog metamorphose into a larger website with more offerings for your family. Until then, your love, prayer, and encouragement would keep us plodding faithfully in His service.

The tale of the anomalous home-maker who went to publish.

homemaker publisher, homemaker india, careerism, working outside biblical

It’s true. I write now and then, but mostly, I care for the home. It’s unpalatable to some, and plain disgusting to the rest. To a whole generation that has seen women working outside of the home, earning quick money, a name and a fame, and not to forget, a decent brand image, I sound like a terrible loser. ‘Well, she must be the cloud nine mom types who has a newborn to care for.‘ Nope. I have no children. Atleast, not yet. So, why am I home?

You’ll find the answer to that question as I narrate an interesting episode that happened in my life. A couple of weeks ago, the National Book Trust (NBT)of India selected me for a crash course on Publishing taught by eminent Entrepreneurs and publishing wizards in India. I didn’t hope to get much out of the course as it was being organized by the Indian government ( remember those dusty classrooms, ho-hum teachers and long lecture hours? ) However, the ad on the newspaper did seem inviting. So I decided to give it a shot. Fortunately for me, I was proven dead wrong. The inauguration began on the dot, they surprised us with free lunch everyday and the classes were thoroughly professional.

intellectual garbage, ideologies in indian schools, do ideologies matter in schoolsBut you see, the devil is in the details. What appalled me during the course of two weeks was the plethora of ideological gibberish that was spewed at us, unchallenged by anyone from the audience. Take for example the inaugural speech given by a professor of English at a public school, who was also an author turned publisher. While narrating his success story he unashamedly shared about a secret affair that he had with a Jewish woman back in the US, whom he had to leave behind as he considered her a ‘wandering gypsy’ who shared his home and life for want of space. This shocking tidbit was sandwiched between other good things he said about his career that I doubt anyone even questioned the sanctity of it.

Then there was this young and renowned entrepreneur in an upbeat publishing niche, who jokingly mentioned that no author who requests a prospective publishing house’s annual performance statement ever gets a genuine balance sheet. That’s the norm of the industry, and the authors should know it before they ask for it, was her curt observation. On the contrary, if a self publisher tries to get her next book published by one of the publishing houses, she is nearly anathematized because of her previous independent effort. Again, none questioned which was right and which was wrong. Throughout the course, I heard design managers bare their backs on stealing expensive software and marketing gurus loathe the political mafias showing their muscle in the text-book industry, who had to be appeased with bribes. “I was asked to teach you clean publishing. The rest you’ll learn when you play the game…“, mentioned a top-notch marketer of books. So what’s my problem with all this?

Well, this is it : If an adult like myself had to sift through the tons of nonsense I was bombarded with in less than for 2 weeks, and in doing so, found my mind boggled and challenged from the excessive processing that I was performing with my brain, what would become of my naive child who’s going to be learning everything from apples to aliens from these same pagans for more than 12,600 hours¹ of his growing life? For this reason alone, I would stay at home and  school my child. But there is more.

homemakerblack sheep, homemaker not normal, homemaker ugly duckMost of them who attended the course had a fat resume. They were either published authors, aspiring authors, educationists, journalists or entrepreneurs. I was the black sheep there. Not that I didn’t have an envious history to decorate my resume with, but I was just a plain jane home-maker in their eyes. Everyone there loved to talk about what they were doing and were often quizzed by the presenters on why they came to attend the course. Whenever my turn came to share a little about myself, I would say “I’m a home-builder” and not a question more was asked. I thought I was alone there, but I wasn’t. There was another lady who was taking care of the home. When I asked her about what she does, she sheepishly replied, “Oh, I’m unemployed!” which meant, she really didn’t value her contribution to her home as a worthy ‘work’. To me, this is reflective of a generation that has outcast the mother, the wife – the quintessential woman -and embraced the plastic mannequin of the 21st century career woman. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not implying that this is true of all women who work outside the home. However, a majority of today’s women work outside to carve out a niche for themselves in a big man’s world, and careerism is their ladder to get there.

family worship, busy family, family time india, both parents working out cultureLet me give you a reality bite of what’s happening to our country and culture. Since 2005 our country’s family time has come down from 45% to merely 28% owing to a both-parents-working-out culture². So where is all the rest of the time going? Working, traveling, internet, hobbies and even movies seem to have eaten into family time². The same is true for our children. A majority of kids spend 8 to 10 hours in school, 2 hours attending to home work, over an hour travelling to and from school, 2 to 3 hours in extra tuition and about 8 hours, sleeping³. And then there is TV, internet and friends. So, where is the time for family? Proverbs 14:1 says ‘The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.’ I wonder what you would call this state of affairs but folly? For such a strong Biblical and cultural warning I would rather stay home and strive to build it.

Soch ka bhoj

devil wears prada, working women wrong, working woman biblical, prov 31 working women In the movie, The Devil wears Prada, the intelligent and warm-hearted Andy Sachs is forced to trade her modest clothing, her family, her fiancée and her friends for fashion goodies, one-night stands and flamboyant friends because of the devil-woman Miranda Priestly who wants her to be on top of her job. As much as she tries to balance the act of being a woman with a family and a career, she is simply overpowered by the pressures of a wanting world. Like her fiancée puts it, “...the person whose calls you always take? That’s the relationship you’re in. I hope you two are very happy together.

Having been part of the corporate world for sometime, I know this to be awfully true. You simply can’t have the cake and eat it too. When a woman steps out of the home, she loses something in the bargain. The world gives her the money, the name and fame but she pledges her family in the process. The same is true even for men. I’ve known a young man who used to work nearly 14 hours in the same firm that I worked in, and he nearly wept every time he heard raghupati raghava rajaram on his official reliance mobile phone. This is the world we’re called to live in. Sadly, many of us have plunged into it headlong. It’s time we take our callings to be mothers, wives and women of God seriously. Does that mean a woman can’t do anything but mop the house, bake cakes and change diapers? Nonsense. Then why would I go for a publishing course?

PS: I can’t believe WordPress thinks there’s only one possible meaning for a home-builder: a construction worker? Seriously.

References:-

  1. An average 900 instructional hours are spent by a child very year at an Indian school.  A child spends 14 years of his life learning at a school. Statistics taken from the the US Center for Public Education, Dec 2011. 
  2. Of Time Share, Wallet Share & Market Share: Survey by Teknopak Advisors and Economic Times, India, April 24, 2011 
  3. Children spend more hours in school than adults do in office: Assocham

Wherein lieth the Inscription of Caesar?

what is caesar's?, what is god's?, indian freedom movement biblical?, what is the inscription of caesar?, inscription of caesarSometime ago I was talking to an American friend about a Christian homeschooling curriculum for history. We talked about Church history, influences of Rome and Greece, and finally hit upon a pertinent question that could have perhaps, stirred up a hornet’s nest. Continue reading

Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.

cnnibn rajdeep sardesai, cnnibn tamaasha, cnnibn talking pointWhen Venky comes home weary after a hard-day’s labor he has a way of unwinding. Tune into CNN IBN at 9:00 p.m on any given day and you’ll know what I’m talking about. If it’s not an IPL cricket match, then it must be the Indian Politician’s Lambasting sessions. Every showcase has a few small goondas and a mastermind villain. Our beloved press-mate Rajdeep Sardesai bashes up these villains and plays the Messiah each episode. And We the People, Continue reading

Want to learn to sing the Psalms?

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 For the last couple of months I’ve met quite a few people who have been thrilled at the idea of singing the Psalms. Some of them asked for copies of psalters, some just wanted to learn a few tunes. There were others who, through our weekly gathering for bible studies, experienced psalm-singing, yet couldn’t fully understand the mechanics and motions involved in singing them.  I like what Michael Lefebvre says in his book Singing the Songs of Jesus , 

Nails are efficiently designed for what they do. With the forceful swing of a hammer, your nail will sink through one board and secure it to the board behind.

Screws, likewise, are well-designed for their purpose. Although similar to the nail in many ways, the screw has the added feature of spiraled thread running up its shaft, and a notched head. But the screw’s distinct design requires a distinct action. It must be turned into the surface with a screwdriver, not pounded like a nail. For the screw to function at its best, it must be used according to its design.

The same is true of the Psalms. The ancient hymns of Israel (the Psalms) are as different from modern hymns as screws are from nails. Not only do the Psalms lead us in praise in the train of our Mediatorial King, but they also lead us in a very different ‘method’ of praise than modern church songs. Although the Psalms serve in generally the same capacity as modern hymns (to praise God), they are different in how they function within the heart as they stir that praise of God.

Heart-motion. That’s the word. The Psalms strum our hearts in ways that words fail to explain. But for that work to happen, we need to see the underside of this beautiful tapestry by careful study of its Purpose, the Person spoken of and the Promises it holds for the covenant children. And that’s one more reason for starting this Psalmsang ( pronounced psalm-sunglike a Satsang).

satsang, psalm sing india, psalmsang, singing psalms in india, learning psalm singing india

courtesy: Aditya Pandya

When I began singing the Psalms more than a year ago, I was fraught with discomfort. The Psalms were often mournful, doubtful and sometimes imprecatory. Such emotions seldom accompany any modern-day singing. But as I went on, day after day, psalm after psalm, a wonderful work began in both mine and my husband’s heart. We wondered at the words, trying to understand this God we worshiped.  I was amazed at how dim a view  the modern church had of our most Holy God with our self-composed songs and efforts. We need the Spirit-inspired Psalmist to prophesy to us about the wonder and person who is God. My world-view about God fixed by pieces of Scripture I read here and there was becoming more a solid grid through which I beheld the beauty and the glory of God. Truly, blessed is the man who meditates on this law day and night! (Ps 1:2). O what sorrow would befall me if I kept a treasure so supreme as this, hidden and locked within me, delighting in it in secret, supping at the King’s table each day and savoring His wonder-working words, yet making it no more than a lamp under a bowl. It is with this interest and intention that I begin this initiative of Psalmsang, which is really about learning to sing the Psalms together as one.

During the hour-long time of learning, fun and fellowship we will :-

  • Grasp the height, depth, breadth and width of the Psalms through a careful study of its history, it’s Christology and it’s use for us today
  • Learn more than a hundred exciting, vibrant and new tunes, complete with the four-part harmony from the Crown and Covenant Psalter: The Book of Psalms for Worship
  • Learn to sing heartily and corporately, lifting our voices as a pleasing sacrifice to our Maker.
  • Prepare to perform the Psalms in our local churches to help them grow in awareness and awe of them.

The good news is this: you owe me nothing to learn these Psalms. There will be NO FEE for this school, except for sharing the stationary and printing costs. However if you wish to invest in a Psalter from day 1, please mention it in the form shared below and I will make arrangements for procurement. That will, of course, cost you :). The starting dates and the address will be sent to you through mail once I get a confirmation from all those interested. If you are one of them, the last day for signing up is 20th July, 2012 and batch timings will be reserved on first -cum-first-serve basis.

I’m raring to begin these classes with you and I hope you share in my excitement of singing the Psalms together!

Location: Bangalore only

Batch size: 20 (max)

Psalm 1 – The Man of Righteousness

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salms online, free psalm tunes online, free psalter online, book of psalms for worship free, psalm 1a tune, ps 1a songToday we begin our journey into psalm-singing. If you recollect, I had promised in an earlier post that I would start teaching you to sing the psalms that would greatly enrich your personal devotions and times of family worship. This series is a deliberate effort to offer you what has been a great source of blessing in our family.

We’ve often heard the psalms being read during responsive reading in our local church. We’ve been told psalms are wonderful to quietly meditate on, or use in personal prayer and devotion. Some contemporary bands have also put to tune certain portions of psalms, but singing whole psalms has never been done in India, atleast as far as my knowledge goes. A friend once exclaimed, when I told her I sing the psalms everyday “Can they even be sung?!”  This brings to memory a peculiar habit we have in India, Continue reading

Are you Courageous?

courageous movie review, courageous christian movie, christian movies family, courageous 2011

If I asked you to name a courageous man in India, what would be your answer? “William Carey!”, someone might say reading about his pioneering missionary work in India. Maybe Gandhi, given his non-deterrent and determinant spirit in his struggle for Indian freedom. Or even Anna Hazare for his single-handed manhandling of the UPA government. Some might even argue with me for my gender insensitivity when calling out for the “courageous”. Often we look up to towering heroes who’ve moved mountains economically, politically or socially and call them courageous, but little do we think of men who faithfully lead their families in the way of righteousness as courageous. Don’t get the idea? Then you need to watch the movie CourageousContinue reading

Family worship Part 3: How to conduct Family Worship

no time for worship, family worship, is it practical to do family worshipSome of you may be wondering after reading my previous post, “Fine, it all sounds quite biblical, but I’m not sure we can pull this together given our haphazard schedules!“. I understand this predicament. But think about it for a moment: aren’t misplaced priorities the culprits for our chaos? And should not sound family worship be the fulcrum on which all else is laid and balanced? My firm belief is that if we get this right, every other disorder will settle in it’s place with time (Matt 6:33), and I’ll show you in a minute that family worship can be less an ordeal and more a tie that binds your family together. Continue reading

What constitutes Family Worship?

Family worship, family devotions, family time, home church, family bible time, quiet time with familyBefore we take a plunge into the practice of Family Worship, it’s important to understand the necessary intersections and differences between corporate worship in the common assembly of God and in the family. Many have sought to replace one with another calling a Sunday morning worship at the breakfast table as “church” or making sunday school a replacement for sound teaching that should begin at home.

The Family, as we saw in my earlier post, is not an independent, cocooned institution. The family is Continue reading

Family worship

Some problems are unique to our age. I once heard about an Indo-American youth who was busy rattling off on his computer at home, when his mom told him about his aunt’s ill health. The bug never bothered him, and he continued without missing a keystroke and nonchalantly replied, “Oh, that’s ol’ news. Gran’ma shared it with me a week ago”. You see, Gran’ma was 8000 miles away in India, but the lad was “deeply connected” with his sassy-savvy Gran’ma through Facebook. Pity the mom, she was too late to catch up with her next room son. family worship, busy familyOften times, in our virtually connected world with ironically compartmentalized homes, each one of us have become private bees having enormous public lives in our workplace and in the online space, such that we are too busy for our family. Some of us catch up with Scripture reading while running to catch a bus and fast our family meal times for fast-food times. It would be surprising in our day and age to witness a family sitting together peacefully at the breakfast table and sharing a meal together. It’s simply unthinkable. Given this context, talking about Family worship would be such a taboo. However, Continue reading

Revisiting the story of Christmas – Part 2

Regulative principle of worship, RPWIn my previous post, I had addressed some common issues with Christmas as a festival from the historical viewpoint. Most of you may have already heard some of these arguments and still feel that today’s context lends very little for us to believe that Christmas could be pagan. Personally for our family, the conviction came not from history, but from a proper understanding of what is commonly known today as Regulative Principle of Worship (RPW), which patterns out clearly from the whole tapestry of Scripture. In order to understand this principle, one has to first believe and affirm Tota Scriptura (All of Scripture is sufficient for life and godliness – 2Tim 3:16,17 ) as well as Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone is sufficient for life and godliness – 2Pet 1:3 ).  Continue reading

Revisiting the story of Christmas

santa and reindeers, is christmas christianLast year, a cousin of mine, who is a Hindu, wrote to me just about this time, mentioning the coincidence of his date of travel with Christmas. He assumed the day was important to me and I politely shocked him otherwise. For a minute, he was confused. “You are a Christian right? Isn’t 25th of December Christmas? Have you nothing to say on that note”? He’s right. I’m Christian. 25th of December is celebrated as Christmas. And I do have something to say on why we, as a family, don’t celebrate Christmas. Continue reading

The Sanctifying Sink

housework, indian housework, india homemaker, indian housewife, gender roles in india  Housework is every  woman’s dreaded disease. I’ve never come across a woman who told me, “I just love my work at home – cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning – is what I was made for!” Seriously, if you stack that up against a brawn, slick, smart woman of the 21st century working her way through the world, it does make a homemaker look like a wimp.

I wish I could set that record straight, right now and make every homemaker feel there’s more to the home than dish-washing and cleaning, but Continue reading

The Way Home: Beyond Feminism back to reality by Mary Pride

the way home, mary pride the way home

At the onset, let me inform you that this is not a book on homeschooling, and if you’re delving into this book hoping to receive some advice on how to plan a home based curriculum, toggling home duties with education, etc. then you’re in for disappointment.  However this is a book for those who are confused, lost and are seriously evaluating what God wants of a woman, and as the author rightly titled the book, it shows you the way Home. As it did to me.

Continue reading

Why is everyone running?

lessons from sewing, sewing lessons, stitching lessonsRecently I enrolled myself for sewing classes in order to make my home an economic profit center. I was delighted to learn something new an d started imagining colorful tapestry and designs which I would someday create. I wanted to re-live my high school days when I first learnt how to take up needle and thread and hand-stitch little girls’ frocks. In my ecstatic envisioning, I forgot one thing: the needle pricks. And so it came to be, but in an unexpected fashion. Continue reading

Plato’s world is here.

Kay Ness, a noted neurodevelopmental therapist, made an interesting observation on the paradigm shifts in the culture of a home in the last 200 years.

Home alone

‎ In the 1800’s the ‘industrial revolution’ took the fathers out of the home. In the same time period thru 1900’s, compulsory education took the children out of the home. World War II and feminism took the mothers out of the home. Now no one is home.

We’re on Sep 26,2011. Extending the same trajectory as shown above, what would an average Indian home look like in 2111?  Let’s play this prediction game for a moment and see where this would possibly take us. Continue reading