Bursting Bubbles- A Post By Michael From Auz

Bursting bubbles.

 My car boiled over on the way to work and I had to leave it whilst I wondered what to do. Later that day I called a mobile mechanic who was able to fix it the following day, but very sadly he told me that the part that broke is made of plastic when it should be metal.

Apparently there are many more parts in the heating system that are plastic and sure enough, two weeks later another one broke and I had to get him back again to replace it.

 The car is a VW Golf, 9 years old, a car and brand that I thought was high quality. I had forgiven many of its failures in the past but this is the final straw; my bubble burst. The perceived quality of my Golf is due to design and inside the soft touch materials used compared with other makes of similar price. However to remain competitive it seems that VW have cut costs in areas I don’t see, areas that will last under warranty but not much longer. (For example, we’ve replaced the gearbox twice, both times outside warranty).

I know this seems very petty; its just a car after all so let me explain; I thought I knew better. I was a car nut, I have read car magazines ever since I could read. I know (almost) all there is to know about cars, and almost every make and model on sale today. I’m not sure what my fascination has been, but certainly I know quite a lot and had considered myself an enthusiast. Also, the first car I purchased was the first Golf that VW ever made, and I loved it to pieces, so years later when the time came to get a car for our daughter and son the choice seemed obvious.

Now I feel that I’ve been hoodwinked. I believed the hype. Maybe my first Golf was well engineered and high quality but now they only look that way – I’ve been fooled by appearances. What I believed about VW has now changed in light of new information. I thought that they made beautifully designed and engineered cars built to last. Now I think they make well designed cars built to win the beauty contest in the showroom. I had created my beliefs based around facts, but also I realise that I had focused only on good news and had glossed over the bad.

The reason I am making such a big deal of this is that I had a strongly held belief that has turned out to be incorrect. And therefore I question other strongly held beliefs and wonder how many others are also incorrect?

I have strongly held beliefs about God and Jesus Christ. Are they correct? The Golf is just a car I drive and one day I’ll discard, God is my life and I am committed forever. In reality there are many more people in the world who don’t believe what I believe. so based on the weight of numbers I could be wrong. I want t o know the truth – if God is real he will stand up to scrutiny. I am certain that I can question God and question what I believe about God without fear.

 I want to know God as he really is, not just as I imagine him to be and not some made up bunch of ideas of my own. I believe God is in heaven and that those who love him and obey his commands will join him there. I believe I understand His commands and I try to obey them.

I don’t want to have my heaven bubble burst when its too late to do anything about it!

Sometimes The Greatest Joy Comes In Smallest Packages

Since January 2011, my son has been working at a fast pace to successfully complete his 4 years Honours program at the university, complete an international volunteering project, while working parttime at his university and volunteering at a local hospital on weekends. He was working his way towards the requirements of the ever-demanding medical schools. One day in frustration he burst out that he wished he had a dog. Being the practical but nurturing mom that I am, ahem, ahem I gave him a look that spoke volumes and left the room.

But I’ve been consulting other colleagues, friends and bus mates on various options. Owning a puppy was not feasible as no one is at home for well over 12 hours on weekdays. And just when I was checking into maybe fostering a puppy for few months during this summer vacation, CoCo walked into our lives.

She belongs to a friend of my son and as the whole family had to leave to Trinidad to arrange/attend their grandmother’s funeral, my son offered to help out with CoCo. She is a year old Yorkshire-terrier who is lavishing my son with so much love and devotion. Since she came in there is so much laughter and joy in our house and I am so very thankful for her and for life’s surprise and special treat for our family!

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Hurdles? What Hurdles?

“Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory.”- Mohandas Gandhi



“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” – Michael Jordan

Should I Or Shouldn’t I? – Query By Michael

Note from Michael:  I have been writing these for many years now and some of you have received lots of my ramblings. It has always been my desire to publish my writings – I now have 6 books ready but cant break through. A thought is self publishing.
 
Attached is my personal favourite book. Would you mind reading at least a few pages and commenting? Should I persist? Is it rubbish? I’d rather know that I cant write than spend thousands of dollars to self publish and find out then!

At noon the golden sun is directly overhead punishing the desert with relentless fire, scorching everything that lives. That’s one reason Samantha was always alone as she climbed from Sychar to the foot of Mt Gerizem to fill her jar from Jacob’s well.

Her solitude allowed her to pray to the God of the Patriachs, the God of Jacob. She always felt different, better; filled after her prayers.

Samantha was restless. Something drove her to want more and no matter what she did that urge could not be satisfied. Her adventures had caused the women of town to cast her from their presence, the men were no longer allowed to be seen with her. She had become sad and lonely, resigned to her status as a recluse.

For her many sins she did feel sorry and repentant but nevertheless the uneasiness was never satisfied. And so she prayed for help as she drew her daily water from the well.

I read this story many times and had always assumed that Jesus accidentally stumbled upon the woman by the well, it was a revelation to see that this meeting was intentional, that Jesus was there to answer her prayers. In doing so Jesus loves her and his example of love is unique and this is one of the reasons I have come to regard the story so much.

Jesus love causes a change in Samantha, a radical change that impacts the whole town.

Anyone interested in Jesus Christ can find out more about him and his actions and impact on people through this story. We see what Jesus did in Samantha’s life and we can see what Jesus can do in our own life, depending upon our response to him.

Jesus is alive and at work in our lives now, God is not only an idea or a moral code or a worthy intellectual study, we can experience God changing us and as a result changing those around us, the a similar way to how Samantha changed those around her.

 

Sacrifice-To What Extent Can You Go? – Post By KR (part 2)

To catch up with part 1, do click here

Rani Padmini of Chittor. The stories of the bravery and sacrifice of these Rajput women are many. The one which we have read about is when Chittor’s imminent fight against Alaaudin Khilji (who it is said wanted to annex Chittor to secure Padmini for himself after seeing her beauty in the mirror) Padmini along with other women in Chittor lit a huge pier and immolated themselves in what is called “Jauhar” in local language. Their intent being that with the women no longer around to be protected the men would fight had with the enemy and that is what happened. Sacrificing own life for the larger interest of the community. Wow. The other story I heard at Udaipur doing the tourist rounds is about how the women cut and gave their long beautiful hair to form bow strings as Chittor was under long siege by Alaaudin Khilji and they could not get supplies from outside. New one. Yet a sacrifice given that Indian women have always loved and cared for their long plaited tresses.

Man Singh – Rana’s General. The story goes that when the Rana was injured at Haldigati, Man Singh asked the Rana to leave the battle field after giving him his Crown / head gear so that the Rana would live another day to continue the struggle for the defense of Mewar. Looking very similar to the Rana in build he was able to deceive the Mughals to chase him taking him to be the Rana while Rana himself could escape. Man Singh was killed at Haldigati. A sacrifice that shows respect for the leader and the love for the community. True Rajput.

Maharana Pratap Singh – Have read a whole chapter about him and the battle at Haldighati. The story says that on Chetak’s death the Rana took a vow not sleep on a bed, not eat from silver vessels till he was able to defeat Akbar. He did that. He sacrificed his normal kingly life, showed a great amount of valor, and was the only Rajput king in those days who refused to accept signing a treaty with Akbar and on his death bed asked his son not to accede to any request of Akbar or other Rajputs who signed treaties with Akbar. There are books written about this and I don’t need to talk more of his sacrifices.

Panna Dhai – Dhai translated is Nanny. Panna Dhai was appointed the nanny of Vikramaditya and Udai Singh. Her own son Chandan was about the same age as Udai Singh. Udai Singh’s maternal uncle Banvir was invited by the nobles of Mewar to be the guardian of Vikramaditya. Banvir wanted to become the king. He assassinated Vikramaditya and was going towards where Udai Singh was. A maid spotted him with his blood stained sword in hand and informed Panna Dhai. Panna Dhai immediately hid Udai Singh in a basket, filled it with fruits and had it smuggled out of the fort. Panna then put Udai Singh’s clothes on the Chandan and put him into Udai Singh’s bed. Banvir killed Chandan taking him to be Udai Singh. Panna it is said had to leave the fort without even being able to mourn the death of her child. She brought up Udai Singh who then went on to build Udaipur and is talked of as one of most able rulers of the Mewar. Sacrificing her own child for the sake of Mewar . What a sacrifice! What a sacrifice!

In front of these sacrifices my own claim of having sacrificed some many things in life paled out. All my claims of sacrifice were so worldly in nature compared to these sacrifices. It is so easy to say that we have sacrificed so much in life and yet when we look back and deal with the reasons for the sacrifice our reasons are so selfish. Out of these sacrifices we have gained personally. We have made sacrifices or what we think are sacrifices to win the hearts of people around us, to get some peace in life, quite often to just satisfy our own ego and at most times because we had little options.

SACRIFICE IS ONLY WHEN IT IS DONE WITH SELF LESS MOTIVES.
SACRIFICE IS WHEN WHAT YOU DO IS FOR THE LARGER BENEFIT OF THE COMMUNITY.
SACRIFICE IS WHEN WHAT YOUR ACT IS MEANT FOR THE INHERENT BETTERMENT OF HUMANITY.

KR’s note: – As I reviewed my long note I realized. What the heck! Same effort in school would have fetched me far higher grades. But all the same the fact that I could recollect so much of this even as the trip started off and could appreciate the stories doing the rounds in Udaipur I bow to my teachers who put up with my pranks and behavior and ensured that I learned something.

 

New Grad In The House

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   It makes little difference how many university courses or degrees a person may own. If he cannot use words to move an idea from one point to another, his education is incomplete.- Norman Cousins

Go boldly into the world dear son and find your purpose: The universe is for you!

Very, very proud of you!!