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CSI Good News
(Church of South India Good News)



 

Vol. 6 / Issue 18 / June 10 2004

Contents of this issue

Editorial
God's Plan that does not make Sense at Times
OFFICIAL 18th Annual CSI Family & Youth Conference in New Jersey
KUVBS (Kuwait United Vacation School) - 2004
CSI Congregations list updated

News Items (Common to all issues) :
Through the Valley of Death & other Books
Download Articles in Handheld Computers
Kids Page - Free Tutorials
Hindi / Malayalam/Tamil Bible Online
Your Spam Folder
Your Feedback

Editorial

By Sherly Isaac

Last week Ronald Reagan the 40th president of USA expired. Before that he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease for the last ten years. Because of this disease a person loses his memory. This disease has no known cure. His beloved wife Nancy Reagan who loved him so much said a few years back that they no longer could share the wonderful memories of the past and that she lost her good friend. So she was trying to push for new research so that they could find a solution for this incurable disease.

When the former Cricket captain of Pakistan Imran Khan saw his beloved mother dying of cancer, he promised himself to build a cancer hospital with modern facilities and equipments in Pakistan so that people who are suffering from cancer could get good treatment. It is not easy to watch the painful sufferings of our loved ones. When we see our loved ones suffer we try our best to find a solution to avoid that problem.

When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, when their relationship with God died down, that day, when sin separated them from God, it was not a joyous moment for them but the most painful moment for them as well as for God. On that day Adam and Eve realized that they did a great mistake violating the law of God. So they tried their best to solve the problem by themselves, sewing fig leaves together and to wear it as dress to hide their shame. But the work of their own hand could not save them from their fear, guilt and sin until God stepped in and made skin tunics for them.

Today also many are trying to hide their shame, sin, guilt, violent acts and illegal activites with their good works. But Bible tells us that our heart is caught in the clutches of an incurable disease 'sin' as we read in Jer 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?" Bible also tells us in Isa 64:6, "But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away."

We cannot save ourselves from this incurable sickness which is affecting our hearts. That is the reason why Jesus came down in this world. When Jesus saw that we have sinned and because of our sins we are going to get eternal punishment, He could not see us suffering anymore. He could not see us dying and reaching hell fire. His love for us brought Him down. He gave His precious life for us so that we could no longer suffer but have eternal peace and rest with Him.

Yes, the wonderful eternal life, peace and joy is yours if you only receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. If you want to get forgiveness of your sins, if you want to reconcile with God, please pray this prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I am a sinner. Please forgive and forget all my sins and give me eternal life. You have promised to forgive our sins and to give eternal life. Today I accept you as my Lord and Savior. Please help me to walk in your ways and live a holy life and enter into heaven when I close my eyes in this world. Thank you for listening to my prayers and forgiving all my sins. Thank you for giving me a new life today. I pray this prayer in Jesus name, Amen.

God's Plan that does not make Sense at Times

By Vinod Isaac

Isa 55:8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD.
Isa 55:9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.


We will look into the lives of three persons today to see how God's thoughts and ways are higher.

1. Moses

Israelites were in Egypt as strangers in a foreign land. Pharaoh the emperor of Egypt was afflicting the Israelites and forcing them to work hard for him. He had issued orders that every male child born to an Israelite be killed. It was at this time that a boy named Moses was born.

According to the law of the land he should die. Her mother hid him for 3 months but didn't have resources and ability to hide him any further. She decided to put him in a small ark of bulrushes and to let him float on the waters of river Nile. What a difficult moment for a mother to see that her child's future is being blocked and there she is having no ability to change her child's destiny.

When her capability failed God was there to take care of this little child. He arranged the daughter of Pharaoh to take this child and to return him to his own mother for his nourishment.

As child Moses grew up, his mother would have told him lot of things. She might have talked about Abraham. She might have talked about Jacob. She might have talked about Joseph. She might have told little Moses, "Son we are in affliction today but we have a God who is going to take us back to the land from where our forefathers had come. He has promised about it to Abraham." Moses that little boy perhaps would have said, "Yea one day but what about today? We are dying today who knows if we will survive to even see that 'one day'. "

Years passed by and now Moses is 40 years old. Perhaps he was wondering what happened to that 'one day'. One side he had this hope that one day God is going to redeem them and on the other side he is seeing affliction, poverty, troubles for his people Israelites every where. He decided to do something about it. He went out and saw one Egyptian fighting against each other one Israelite and he killed the Egyptian. He went out on another day and saw two Israelites fighting against each other and he tried to do some negotiations between them. Perhaps he was not knowing that he himself the person chosen by God to redeem the Israelotes out of bondage. He was totally unaware that the method he was using was not God's way and God's plan for him.

God took him to Midian, trained him for 40 years and finally Moses was ready to hear God's voice and to follow Him. God asked him to do what the others could not. Had Moses followed his own plan he could not have redeemed the Israelites from Egypt. His success was determined by one word 'obedience'. God had a plan a higher plan and Moses followed that plan step by step. God showed him that God's thoughts and God's ways were much higher than what Moses could even dream of.

At times God's plan didn't make any sense. God's plan seemed to be very slow and unrealistic. But without that plan there was no way how 2.4 Million people could walk out of that iron furnace, Egypt. There was a time when Moses' Mother stood totally helpless and watched her son floating on the waters of Niles not knowing whether he will live or die, and here at the end it was Pharaoh the emperor who was totally helpless watching his son die and there was nothing he could do about it. Let us not forget that when God comes as a loving, merciful God to those who fear Him, He also comes as a consuming fire for those who stand on His way.

2. Joseph

Here is another young man. God talked to him through dreams. God revealed to him through dreams what was about to happen in the future. He saw the dream of his sheaf standing erect while the sheaves of his brothers bowing down to his sheaf. He again saw another dream and this time he saw the sun, moon and 11 stars bowing down to him.

Present day psychology will tell you that this guy is so proud that he was thinking about himself too high and what he thought about himself had been reflected in the dream. Unfortunately these psychologists can't explain how those dreams could come to pass in the future.

Exactly as God had told Abraham before hand that the Israelites were going to come back from Egypt, God had revealed Joseph about what was about to come in the future. Yet Joseph had absolutely no idea that God had planned to exalt him not only in his family but even to raise him as Prime Minister in a foreign land.

God carefully planned his way how he was going to bring Joseph to Egypt and how He was going to give him an opportunity to meet the King's chief butler, how He was going to create circumstances so that Pharaoh had to call him out of prison, how He was going to bring famine in the land of Cannon so that Joseph's brothers could be forced to go to Egypt for grain. And finally to fulfill the dreams Joseph had seen long back.

When everything was unfolding one by one. Joseph was just a happy kid taking bread for his brothers so that they can have their lunch. All of a sudden he finds himself in trouble. Joseph's brothers were planning to kill him. They put Joseph in a pit with the intension that Joseph could not come out of pit and will starve to death. Joseph sitting in that pit totally helpless might have been thinking, "will I be able to have a dinner today?" or perhaps thinking "Will I ever have anything to put in my mouth any more?" At the other end his brothers were enjoying the delicious meal Joseph had brought for them.

Perhaps those dreams were going through Joseph's mind and perhaps a small thought, "did God let me down? The same people who were supposed to bow down before me have prevailed; they have bound me and have put me in this pit." Little did he know that God was unfolding His bigger plan.

He landed in Egypt working as slave and perhaps those dreams could have revisited him again and again and he might have thought, "forget about brothers bowing down before me. Will I ever be able to even see them again? What God is doing does not make any sense"

Time passed by and one day all of a sudden Joseph lands in a prison. Now may be those dreams were beginning to haunt him again. Perhaps he might have been thinking, "My brothers were supposed to bow down before me. I was first separated from them miles apart and now I am in prison and I don't see any way to come out of this prison. Has God failed me once again?"

Time moved by and nothing seemed to make any sense. Nothing seemed to be logical. Nothing seemed to be practical. God's plan seemed to be painfully slow and unrealistic. And one day there came the meeting with the chief butler of Pharaoh with the one and the only hope to see sunlight out side of the prison. Meeting was carefully planned and arranged by God right inside of the prison. Butler and baker of Pharaoh had dreams. Again the psychologists will say that they were little too much over burdened by their trouble and so their thoughts got reflected in the dreams. Joseph listened to their dreams and interpreted the dreams for them. Joseph told them that Interpretation belonged to God and he can help them get that interpretation from God.

Interpretations were so accurate that within 3 days they got fulfilled. Baker's head was cut off and Butler was restored to his office. Again psychologists are left with no explanation how those dreams got fulfilled in real life.

Perhaps it might have left one thought in Joseph's mind as well, "I saw two dreams long back. I understood that God was going to make my brothers bow down to me. What happened to that dream? Right now if I just get out of this prison that's enough." Who knows if he ever prayed? "Lord just bring me out of this prison and forget about those dreams. I just want to have a simple, peaceful life. I don't want to get into trouble any more".

Two years passed by and still nothing made sense. Suddenly one day Pharaoh saw dreams and he needed an interpreter. Joseph interprets the dream. He becomes the Prime Minister of Egypt in a day. Joseph would have never imagined that he could become the prime minister of a country that was not his. But again the question was how his brothers were going to bow down before him. Wait a minute Joseph has now become prime minister of a country and he could just forget about those dreams. It didn't get fulfilled? it's fine why bother when life is so wonderful now. When God speaks something He is not a God to forget even the trivial matters of it. God sends famine. Brings Joseph's brother before him.

Once Joseph was in the pit thinking, "from where will I get my next meal." His brothers were enjoying the meal and now here they are in the reversed setting. Joseph is having plenty and his brothers don't know from where they are going to get their future meals. They are here to beg before Joseph so that they and their family can eat. He is a God who crafts even the minute details of His plans. He reversed the setting for Moses and He reversed the setting for Joseph.

3. Daniel

Dan 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

Daniel is another young man. He kept himself away from filthy things and guarded his ways in righteousness. He had opportunity to drink wine and eat delicious royal food. Today's modern world demands drinking of wine and doing everything that is abominable in the sight of God. But here is an young man who is a slave in a foreign land. If he does not obey king's order his head can be cut off but he takes a stand that he will not touch the filthy things.

I heard that he refused the delicious food because every time royal meal was served it was offered to the idols of Babylon and then only it was served. For Daniel it was abominable to eat anything that was offered before idols. Eating that food was equivalent to Idolatry and witchcraft. He took a stand and refused to eat.

Daniel was such a pious man who always walked in the ways of God and still he ended up in slavery in Babylon and it didn't make any sense. Little did he know that God was preparing something big for him.

According to history Nebuchadnezzar invaded the land of Judah in the year around 605 BC and in September 605 BC Nabopolassar his father who was king of Babylon died. So Nebuchadnezzar became king of Babylon. And just a little more than a year had passed and he saw a dream. No body could tell the dream with it's interpretation. So the king ordered that all the wise men be killed. Daniel who ended up in slavery that was already heavy and now just after a year and probably few months been scheduled to die. Nothing made sense. Didn't look as if God was around there. God intervenes and shows Daniel the same dream which the king had seen and gives him also the interpretation. Daniel's interpretations of the dream are coming to pass even today as I am writing this article.

Daniel who was scheduled to die just moments earlier had, suddenly become the prime minister of Babylon. His enemies were trying to get him but he excelled day after day because God's plan was unfolding. Daniel's enemies could succeed in getting a decree passed that whoever prayed or worshiped any god other than king Darius will be thrown into the lion's den. Daniel knew that decree had been passed but again he took a stand for God disobeying the decree and prayed as usual to the God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob. It looked as if his enemies have succeeded. They complained to the king and the king had to put Daniel in Lion's den.

Daniel was in the lion's den totally helpless. He did not know whether lions are going to eat him up. Those who complained were rejoicing outside. Next day morning Darius goes and calls Daniel and to the surprise found Daniel still alive and well.

Daniel was brought out of the lion's den and the very people who complained about him were thrown into the lion's den. Again God was reversing the settings and fulfilling His plans in Daniel's life.

His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways are higher than our ways.

Did God call you and give you a promise? Do you have circumstances that don't make sense? Nothing seems to be logical for you? Do the same people, above whom God has promised to place you, are troubling you? Be of good cheer for God is unfolding his plan. I know I am speaking to somebody who is going through tough times. God's promises don't seem to make any sense in your life. God's plan seems to be too slow and unrealistic. Just hold on there and walk in righteousness for God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways are higher than our ways.

May God bless you.

OFFICIAL 18th Annual CSI Family & Youth Conference in New Jersey

Official 18th Annual CSI Family & Youth Conference of North America will be conducted from July 1 to 4, 2004 in New Jersey under the direction of the Council of CSI Congregations in North America.

From: July 1-4, 2004
Theme: "That they all may be one" John 17:22
Place: Dolce Hamilton Park Executive Conference Center
Morristown, New Jersey
Leaders: Moderator, Church of South India
The Rev. Dr. Martin Alphonse
The Rev. Dr. Valson Thampu
The Rev. Eric Bryant
Mr. Prabhu Singh

For more information please visit:
http://csinewsletter.com/18th-conference.htm

Conference Convener:
Rev. Dr. Jacob David
(201) 935-2011 - JacobDavid@juno.com

And to register online

visit: http://www.csiconference.com
Email inquires to: info@csiconference.com

KUVBS (Kuwait United Vacation School) - 2004

(C.S.I & Mar Thoma )

Theme : "YOU ARE MY FRIENDS " (John(15:14) )

The C.S.I and Mar Thoma parishes in Kuwait, have decided to conduct jointly this year’s KUVBS(Kuwait United Vacation School) – 2004. All children between the age group of 5 – 17 years (Beginners to Senior II) are eligible to attend.

Venue : National Evangelical Church, Kuwait

Date : June 11th – 25th, 2004 (except Sundays)
Final Day on July 02nd, ž2004
Time : 3:30pm – 6:30pm

Director : Rev. Biju George
(Trivandrum)

CSI Congregations list updated

We have updated the information of various churches at:
http://csinewsletter.com/congregations.asp

Please take a look and see if we have missed anything. Any new links need to be added/updated.

Through the Valley of Death & other Books

As many of you know that in the year 2005, our dad was very sick even unto death. God miraculously healed him. We have compiled it in a book form. I sure believe that it will inspire you and encourage you greatly.

This book is available for purchase at JasmineCorp Store

Also read these two books by Sherly Isaac "Allah and Elohim - Are they the same God" Available at JasmineCorp Store, and "Is Jesus God?" Available at JasmineCorp Store,

Both books compares the Bible and the Quran and read eye opening facts about Jesus, God of the Bible, Allah and Islamic faith. I am sure that you want to read this.

Download Articles in Handheld Computers

You can now download articles in Palm Doc format for your palm handheld computer. It will work with any devise that has Palm OS and Palm Doc Reader installed. To download click on the link named "Palm Doc Format" i.e. at the top of this page by the side of each articles.

Kids Page - Free Tutorials

Now you can learn Graphics and web designing online at Kid's page. These tutorials are free for kids who subscribe for CSI Kids Newsletter. Currently tutorials for Paint Shop Pro, HTML and Dreamweaver are available.

So please enroll your kids by going to http://kids.csinewsletter.org/member/join.asp

And visit CSI Kid's page at http://kids.csinewsletter.org

Hindi / Malayalam/Tamil Bible Online

Now you can read Bible in Hindi online at http://www.hindibible.org
in Malayalam online at http://www.malayalambible.org
in Tamil online at http://www.hindibible.org?ver=tamil

Your Spam Folder

If you are getting this newsletter in your bulk/junk/Spam folder please hit the "not junk" or "not spam" button so that you could receive it in your mailbox. Also adding news@csinewsletter.com email address into your contact list can avoid this email from ending up in your bulk folder.

Your Feedback

Your feedback and comments are Welcome. Please send your Parish news & articles to Editor (Sherly N. Isaac) at this address News@csinewsletter.comThe messages submitted will be checked whether they are correct according to the word of God. Editor reserves the right to accept, reject or edit the messages. The writers are responsible for the contents of their writings.



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