This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Issue No. 6 Published in Feb 2007 “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth…” – The Bible in Eccl.12:1 The voice of Grabbing the Gadget Generation from Gehenna Mission (G Power 4 Mission) Bible truth for modern youth creatively and crisply wrapped around current events
IF DANIEL WERE IN DELL!
This magazine serves as the voice of Grabbing the Gadget Generation from Gehenna Mission (G Power 4 Mission) – an interdenominational youth organization founded by Duke Jeyaraj in February 2006. Its vision is to crisply and captivatingly connect the world of yahoo Youth with the Word of Yahweh so that young people would remember their creator in the days of their youth. Its burden is to make unchanging Word of God relevant to the fast-changing World of Youth. G Power 4 Mission is funded by the freewill offerings/donations of individual Indians interested in the fulfillment of the above-mentioned vision and goal.
Log onto www.googlegeneration.in/donate.php to view bank details to send an offering/donation and let us know by sms at 8886040605.
Feed back (positive or negative, bouquets or brickbats) about the articles published in this magazine can be sent into the email id: firstname.lastname@example.org or the above-mentioned postal address. This magazine is edited by Duke Jeyaraj, B. Tech., M. Div., M. A. and it is printed by Mr. Nagaraju, Omsai Creatives, ECIL Post, Hyderabad. Duke formerly edited the magazine, “Missionary Kids” which went on to become “Arrows” for Blessing Youth Mission before launching out this magazine. Three more people – Evangelin Duke, Shruti Joy and Steve Jothiraj edited this magazine along with Duke. For private circulation only. Page 3 to 11
IF DANIEL WORKED IN DELL….
Duke Jeyaraj Note about title : If "Daniel" was spelt "Ganiel" then the title of this message would be "If Ganiel worked in Genpact…!" So those of you guys who don’t work for Dell, don’t get cross with me and try and understand what I am trying to get across to you all! Shane Warne was a man who was very good at his job. His job of leg spin bowling. He took over 700 Test wickets. That was a feat unmatched. He is credited with having bowled the “Ball of the century”, one that pitched outside the legstump of Mike Gatting in Old Trafford Ashes Test of 1993 and went on to clip the off-bail. When I saw a video clip of that on www.youtube.com all I could say was “Wow!” Here was a cricketer oozing with skill. But Warne’s character was not worthy of emulation. He hunted for cheap flings with women the same passion he hunted for wickets. First, it was with a British Nurse. Then, it was with a South African House Wife. We ultimately lost count of it all. Here was a man who was very good at his job but the same could not be said about his character. I am sure we all want to be good at our work and equally good in our character. In the Bible, we meet a guy who was both incredible at his profession and
impeccable in his moral fiber. Daniel was his name. There cannot be a better example for corporate employees in the Bible than Daniel. The 14 lakh young people in India would do well to emulate this Daniel who worked in situations quite similar to those they are in. Daniel, though being a Jew who lived in Israel, worked for the Babylonian Government. Many Indian youth, who have good communication skill work for American or British or Australian companies that have their back-end or customer service office in India. In a sense, they are like Daniel. In this message I use the word "D-A-N-I-E-L" to summarize his life and character for us to emulate and copy….
D – Devastated Daniel
When Daniel was happily living in his home town a day came in which the darkness struck at noon. In broad daylight, King Nebuchadnezzar looted Israel. The Babylonian king bulldozed Israel. He robbed Israel of its glorious past by flattening the temple. He robbed Israel of its future by capturing intelligent, sharp-witted youth (the nation’s future leaders) as his prisoners of war and bringing them over to Babylon. Daniel was one of the brilliant youth so captured (II Kings 24:14-15/Dan 1:1-3). I can imagine how devastated Daniel must have felt. "I cannot go back to my home sweet home each evening after attending college anymore. I cannot sit around the same old dining table, pray with my family and have food cooked by loving mommy any longer. I cannot sleep in my same old bed now. I am in a foreign land. Every thing is strange and weird." Yes - Daniel was devastated. Correct – Daniel’s dreams were dashed. Your boyfriend walked out on you, after he met a prettier girl with a better figure who joined your team in that call-centre. And you are devastated. Like Daniel was. When your girlfriend played football with your heart after she met a smart, silver-tongued manager who was only too willing to flirt with her and you felt like ending it all. You were asked to leave your company for no fault of yours and your world came crashing down. Daniel has been where you have been. Yes, like you, he was devastated. How could Daniel handle his devastation? He saw his disasters from God's perspective. He saw his disappointment as appointments from his Maker. That is why, while writing about this event after it actually happened, he wrote, "The LORD delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand…" (Dan 1:1-2). Who delivered the Israelite King, Jehoiakim to the Babylonians? Was it the Devil? No. It was God. That's how Daniel saw it. How he saw his disasters helped him handle them deftly. We would later see how the devastated Daniel rose to dizzying heights in his new place of work. He did not go into a shell. He progressed with all guns blazing in Babylon. I guess Daniel learnt from the life of Joseph who lived several hundred years before him. In a flash, Joseph from being his daddy's pet son became a biggie's slave in a strange land far away from home. Those responsible for this tragic nosedive in his fortunes were his own brothers. But here is how he saw it: "God sent me here". "God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God." (Gen 45:7,8). This is what he told his brothers who were cursing themselves for having been so mean to him. The story of Joseph, which he must have had access to as a Jewish boy, must have inspired and "pepped up" Daniel. I believe Daniel told himself, "I am here because God arranged that I be here. Yes, my heart was broken to see the Temple we cherished being flattened. Surely, tears welled up in my eyes when I got into the chariot of the Babylonian soldiers perfectly knowing I may never see my dear daddy or mommy again. But then God
allowed it. So there must be a good purpose behind the whole thing. Not one hair of mine would fall without his permission. All of these will work together for my ultimate good!" Will you start thinking like Daniel? Then your devastation – no matter how severe it is – can ultimately turn to delight!
A – Alert Daniel
Daniel was alert in the job he was called to do in Babylon. He was on his toes both during his job training period as well as during the time he actually worked. When Daniel and his buddies were presented before the king after the training and when the king talked with them " he found none equal to Daniel and his buddies" (Dan 1:19). They were selected for the king's service! In other words, they cleared their job interview training, with plenty to spare! Or you could see it his way: they cleared their training period in their job with ease and excellence! When Daniel started working, he ascended up the ladder in the "company" he worked for - The Babylonian Government. The "CEO" of his company, King Darius, promoted him as the Assistant CEO! The only person who was above Daniel in the entire “company” was Darius. This made his colleagues, many of whom probably joined the "company" much before Daniel did, go green with envy. They sought to somehow dim and damage his glowing reputation he commanded with their "CEO". But guess what happened? They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent….Finally these men said, "We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel….” (Dan 6:4-5). Yes, Daniel was alert as a worker, even as he was alert during his training. He was head and shoulders above his colleagues when it came to commitment , dedication and excellence in the job given him. Daniel was outstanding when it came to his occupation. To put what Daniel had achieved in the Babylonian Government in Call-centre terms let me use my imagination…. He listened with rapt attention during training. He took home assignments given by his trainer very seriously. I am no Daniel. But I did attempt to be one when I worked in 24/7. I remember my training days. I had to do a live news presentation of what happened in America. I left no page unturned in order to do that assignment awesomely. I pulled out my collection of news magazine. I tore out pictures of American heroes from those magazines. I fished out a poem on an American hero. I logged onto www.google.com. I went to yahoo.com to get a hang of the latest news. And when I finally did my presentation in my training room, the class was spell-bound. And the applause for me was the loudest. I was just attempting to copying Daniel. If Daniel worked in Dell, he would not sleep while taking calls (an area I struggled in). He would put effort and exhibit excellence in every call he took. He would shoo away sloppiness. He will show skill and won't mind the sweat. He would log onto www.dell.com to check the latest updates to give the latest and most relevant information to all of his customers! Am I sounding like your team leader?! Listen to the words inspired by your Team Leader from Above. He speaks to you through the words he inspired Paul to write years ago. Let us tune our ears to it. He says, "Slaves (employees) obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for (me!) the Lord!" ( Col 3:22).
Do you release calls that are tough to handle when your team leader is in a meeting with his manager? Do you transfer calls invalidly because your Quality Analyst did not show up that particular day? If Daniel worked in Dell he would not do it. Neither should you. One practical thing you need to do to in order to show "excellence" in your work is to sleep sufficiently. In fact, even the same Lord Jesus who said, "As long as it is day I must do the work of the Father who sent me - for night is coming when no man can work" (John 9:4) He advised rest for his overworked disciples. Read that for yourselves from the Gospel narratives: Then apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught (Here is a ‘callcentre’ version of the same verse: The callcentre employees gathered around their Team Leader Jesus and reported to him all the calls they taken and how they resolved customer complaints, to put it in our terms). Then, because so many people were coming and going they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them. "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some REST" (Mk 6:30-31). In fact, Jesus loved to hit the deck and sleep after a hard day's work. He was exactly doing that when he was riding on a boat on the Galilee Sea with his buddies. The storm could not lower the volume of his snores! The disciples had to vigorously shake him up with the plaintive cry, "Save us Lord! We are perishing!" (Math 8:25). If the One who created sleep needed sleep after a hard day's work, how much more we need it! It is true; it is not easy to sleep for 6 to 7 hours at a stretch during day when the sun is blazing and your room is bright. But you have to do it, if you want save your health. But you have to do it, if you have to excel in your work like Daniel. So go ahead and darken the room. And let your head hit the pillow after "the cab fellow" drops you at home! I hope you are with me in this rather longish essay. Let us revise: D for the Devastated Daniel, A for the Alert Daniel and....
N – "N0" – compromise Daniel
During his job training Daniel had an opportunity to compromise. He probably was told, "Daniel! Daniel! You are being invited for a feast where you have the best of Babylonian foods. Lipsmacking beef, scrumptious pork, rosy-red wine. You name it - you can eat it there. It is a feast held in the honor of the Babylonian Gods! Let's go!" This is how Daniel responded: "I am not coming!" Why did Daniel refuse the "royal food and wine" as the Scripture declares? Did it have something to do with his faith? I looked up The Spirit of Reformation Study Bible to grasp that. This is what I found: "It may also have involved partaking of food that had been offered to Babylonian idols" (p. 1376). I guess it involved something more. I believe Daniel and his friends were asked to be part of a worship service held in honor of Babylonian Gods where a fellowship meal was served at the end. And by participating in that meal they would, in-effect, be worshipping the Babylonian gods. But Daniel would have none of it. But Daniel would not do that. He could not do that. His God, Yahweh, was unique, he knew. Yahweh would not share his glory with idols or other gods, Daniel knew. So Daniel did not compromise. He could be aptly nicknamed "no-compromise" Daniel. When he started working for the Babylonian Government did the calls for compromise stop? No. They continued. Here is what he probably heard one day even when he was about to "log out" from his office: "Danny let us go to the prayer meeting. A prayer meeting where we’ve got to pray to the King Nebuchadnezzar. Let's us imagine that King Nebu is Yahweh just for these 30
days and we'll go ahead pray to him! It is no big deal after it is important to keep our boss happy!" (Dan 6:12). This is how, Daniel replied: "You can count me out of this!" Do we respond to calls for compromise in our work spot like Daniel did? "Come on! Why not get drunk, only today, in this party, pro? I am not asking you to get drunk in every weekend party, am I?" "Be a sport! Why not have one look at this awesome website? It is just mind-blowing! Just give me company yaar. We are not spending money on this - this is our company's internet connection!" "Make me feel like a woman just for tonight! My husband’s out of town! Come on! Be a man! Why don't you drop into my flat after your shift?" When you hear such compelling compromise calls how do you respond? Will you dare to be Daniel? Remember the primary way by which we can witness for the Lord in our work spot is by our "No Compromise" life. From where did Daniel get the inspiration not to compromise? There are basically two sources of inspiration for Daniel I believe. The edict of God's Laws: Daniel, I am sure, read Leviticus 11 which lists foods that were forbidden for the people of God. Daniel also read Exodus 20, the Ten Commandments, which clearly says he must not bow down before any image or worship it. The example of God's people Daniel saw the example of people before him who had refused to compromise. He saw a Joseph who refused the seductive invitation of Mrs. Portiphar (Gen 39). He saw a Moses refuse the comforts of the Egyptian Palace in order to obey God's call upon his life (Heb 11:24 -25). They were examples which Daniel could rightly identify with. Both Joseph and Moses, like Daniel, lived outside of Israel, when they were tempted. And both refused to compromise! And Daniel wanted to join royal company by refusing to compromise. I would say that Daniel's daring nocompromise stand made him a stirring example for people who followed him in similar situations at a later point in time. I am referring to Esther, Mordecai and Nehemiah. I would say that Daniel got the inspiration never to compromise by even some of his predictions. He predicts in his book how an elderly priest named Matthias refused to obey Antiochus IV (a picture of the Anti-Christ) who cleverly called all Jews to flout the laws of Moses using his silver tongue, without actually naming him. His five sons - John, Simon, Judas, Eleazer and Jonathan – supported him in his courageous struggle while most people preferred to comply with Antiochus' atrocious ways. His sons carried on after their daring dad died in 166 B.C. and became known as the Meccabeans (Dan 11:34). "The people who know their God will firmly resist him," Daniel wrote predicting the no-compromise revolt of the Meccabeans (Dan 11:32). I believe Daniel told himself, "What is the use of me predicting that a people who will not compromise will crop up in later history when I myself will compromise?! So I will not compromise, come what may!" The edict of God's Laws and the example of God's people can inspire us not compromise in our call-centers, work spot…. We are tempted to booze, use profanity, badmouth others, watch porn, have sex before marriage,
indulge in intimate touching of the opposite sex, flirt and do a lot of other things that do not please God in our call-centers. So it helps to know what the Bible has got to say about these issues in order to respond to compromise the same way, Daniel did: What does the Bible says about Boozing? It is not for kings, O Lemuel (meaning, "belonging to God" or "dedicated to God") to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer (Prov 31:4). So, if you "belong to God" or if you are a believer, in other words, you will not booze. What does the Bible say about Smoking? "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred and you are that temple!" (I Cor 3:16,17). Since, your body is the very temple of the Holy Spirit, it is not right to defile it with cigarettes, each of which, can reduce your lifespan by 5 minutes. Judas killed himself. And he was "doomed to destruction". Do you think the punishment is any different for those who kill themselves slowly by smoking? What does the Bible have to say about Profanity, Backbiting, Slander, Tale carrying? "You must rid yourselves of all such things such as these:…filthy language…slander..malice…. ( Col 3:7). "Tell it not in Gath…Proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon . Lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice" (II Sam 2:20 ). (This verse indicates we should not proactively pass on reputation-damaging information about the fallen, the same way, David, the man who spoke these words, did not want the news of Saul's suicide, something severely damaging to the reputation of Saul and to Israel. David did this even though Saul was his enemy!) What does the Bible say about Porn watching? "But the thing David had done displeased the Lord" (II Sam 31:27). The first thing David did in this chapter: "From the roof he saw a woman bathing" (vs. 2). Watching nudity deliberately which is what porn watching basically involves - does not please God. What does the Bible say about having sex before marriage? And after a time his master's wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, "Lie with me." But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He has none greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?" (Gen 39:7-9). Even consensual sex between two adults is a sin. This is the view of the One who Created Sex – God. The Creator knows best. Extra or Pre marital sex is "great wickedness" in the sight of God, as Joseph put it! What does the Bible have to say about the issue of intimate touching done between people belonging to the opposite gender before marriage? The word of the Lord came to me: "Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother. They played the whore in Egypt ; they played the whore in their youth; there their breasts were pressed and their virgin bosoms handled. Oholah was the name of the elder and Oholibah
the name of her sister. They became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem (Ezek 23:1-4). Yes, God views the dirty acts involving intimate touching done between people belonging to the opposite gender as "whoredom". The world may think it is no big deal. Our movie stars and starlets may do that, without second thought, before the camera. But that doesn’t become right just because it is done so frequently and so openly. God looks at it as prostitution. As adultery. He certainly does not wink at it. What does the Bible have to say about flirting? "Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm for love is strong as death" (Song of Songs 8:6). Romantic love – the kind of love which the Bible endorses – must be for keeps. It is not to be seen as a pass-time. You can't change romantic partners as often as you change channels. Romantic love, according to the Bible, must be as strong as "death". That means you only say, "I love you," in the romantic sense to the person with whom you will live with, the rest of your life, "until death do you part". Otherwise – forgive me for being blunt – you shut up. Yes. Daniel learnt from the edict of God's Law that he should not compromise, come what may. Will you sink in these scriptures (pieces of God's Law) so that you will not sin against the Lord in your work spot? Another thing we must note here is Daniel's promptness in taking the decision not to compromise. Daniel and his pals were trained for three years (Dan 1:5). But the decision not to compromise came promptly - within the first ten days of his stay in Babylon (Dan 1:12 ). If we do not take the decision, not to compromise, immediately, we may never do it. Once you start compromising, you find that you can't stop. Peer pressure takes over. But if you look your friend who is calling to compromise in the eye, the first time he calls you to compromise on some issue and say that you will not be able to compromise, guess what will happen? Chances are, after he gets to know your stance on that particular issue, he will not ask you to compromise again! I have found this to be true. When I was in college, my friends used to rent porn movies and watch them. The first time they did it they invited me over. I explained to them from the Bible why I would not do that. After having heard that, they stopped inviting me to watch filth. What was more, some folks who were touched by my answers stayed away from those sort of shows! When we live the Gospel in our place of work or study we become powerful and irrefutable witnesses for Jesus there. When Daniel started reflecting Yahweh's holy character in his place of work this is what happened: even Pagan kings started making startling statements like these "Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery." (Dan 2:47) "In every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel for he is the living God" (Dan 6:26). If God attached His name to yours…. Notice the phrase used here: "The God of Daniel". If God attached his name to yours in your place of work, will God's reputation in your workplace get better or will it get worse? I ask myself this question often: If Jesus walked into HSBC (where I presently work) and introduces himself as "The God of Duke" will his reputation in HSBC be damaged? Jesus wants to walk into your call-centre or corporate company attaching his name with yours. He wants to be able to say, "The God of Rakesh", "The God of Priya", "The God of Rahul". And he is hoping that his name
in your office will be honored as a result. Will your current lifestyle at your place of work dash his hopes? I hope not. If it does, repent! Take a U-turn! We are using the word "Daniel" to do a study of Daniel life and times. Next we bump into the "I" in letters used to spell his name which reminds me of his prayer life. Here’s how:
I – Interceding Daniel
Daniel was a man of prayer. Intercession. This is what his colleagues testified about him: "He still prays three times a day!" (Dan 6:13). Read Daniel 6:10. This is how it reads: "When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously." From that verse I learn three things about prayer: The posture of prayer should be a posture which reflects my reverence for God. And kneeling does. Though we may not kneel pray each time we pray, we can be inspired by Daniel’s life to pray in the kneeling posture, atleast once a day. The bloke could do it three times. Some callcentre believers say, "Well! I have my prayer times during the times I drive in my cab!" Well, it is good to pray while you are in the cab. Nehemiah prayed even as he stood before his king, did you know? But that doesn't mean you do away with your exclusive personal prayer time. Jesus had such times of prayer. He got alone with His Father and went up the hills and did nothing else but pray (Luke 6:12). Abraham Lincoln, a man who once occupied one of most coveted offices in the entire planet, The Office of the President of the United States, began his day with prayer. He knelt by his bedside and prayed, eyewitnesses tell us. One main content of prayer should be thanksgiving as we observe from Daniel’s life. Daniel gave thanks to God. He had lots to complain about. He was forcefully removed from his home country by a merciless, marching army. Yet, he found plenty of reasons to praise God for, every day. When Bible Commentator Mathew Henry was robbed, he found the following reasons to praise God for: "I was the one who was robbed - I was not the robber! I did not carry much money in my purse today!" We must show the consistency in our prayer life. Daniel did. He prayed daily, three times a day. Prayer was his habit, just as it was Jesus' habit. "But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed" (Luke 5:11). After Daniel understood from the Scriptures that Israel would be in Babylonian captivity for 70 years, he interceded for his people. Daniel 9 records his intercession. From that prayer, you can learn several lessons. Let me outline them for you. When we pray we must adore God. Daniel did. He began his intercession by saying, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments (Dan 9:3). When we pray we must admit our sins to God. Daniel Did. He prayed, "We have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land" (Dan 9:5-6). When Daniel says "we" in his prayers this is what he was doing: he identifies himself with his people and prays on behalf of them. He stood on their behalf. He was an intercessor. When we pray we must attach Scripture
verses with our prayer relevantly. Daniel did. He effectively attached Leviticus 10 with his prayer when he prayed thus: As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favor of the Lord our God, turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by your truth (Dan 9:13). When we pray we must not arrogantly ask or arm-twist God. Daniel did not command God in prayer, as some preachers tell us to do. Notice how Daniel prays: For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy (Dan 6:18). Do you know, God cannot even be compelled to save us from our sins (Check out Zeph 3:2)? If he does something for us, it is because of his grace. Daniel understood that. We can pray for fellow-folks in call-centers. We can intercede for them. I constantly looked forward to doing that in during my break-times in 24/7 where I worked. If I spotted a fellow believer even during a break as short as fifteen minutes I would put my arm around his shoulders and move to a corner in the cafeteria or move out to the smoking zone and start praying with him. This is how we would pray: "Lord, There are 14 lakh call-center employees alone in India. We pray for these ultra modern youth. We pray for these youth - the google generation, the yahoo youth. Lord, let the google generation be grabbed from Gehenna! Lord, we want to see the yahoo youth yearn for you. Yearn for Yahweh! Lord, we want to see hell plundered in Dell! Let the young people working in Satyam see the true Sathyam – Jesus! Let the believers in Genpact understand that you have placed them there to create an impact for the Gospel's sake there! Lord, there are many in HSBC living in the BC period of their life. Before Christ period. They live as if you never came and died for them. Please save them! Lord let the call-centre youth of today listen to your call from Golgotha – "Come to me all you, who are weary and heavy-laden with sin! I will give you rest!" Those times were powerful even though it lasted for just a few minutes. What was more, those times served as times of sweet fellowship - something we needed to survive as believers in the sin-toxic call-centre atmosphere! The Interceding Daniel was also an Interacting Daniel! Don't stop with just prayer. Acknowledge publicly that it was God who answers your prayers. Daniel did that. Here is the Biblical record: Daniel answered the king and said, "No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these..." (2:27,28). Daniel was saying this in-short to his king: "No wise man can do what you are requesting for - narrate the dream you had without you disclosing it to us and go on to explain its meaning. But there is a God in Heaven who can. And guess what - I serve that God". The Interceding Daniel was also the Interacting Daniel! Whenever I got a compliment from my Team Leader in my call-centre I would immediately say, "By God's grace!" By doing that I was witnessing! There is a place for direct preaching in our corporate offices and call-centers. Daniel told the king
he served to "break off from his sins" ( 4:27). That was being daring. Once, during a coffee break, my Team Leader in 24/7 suggested that Jesus was one of the ways to God. To Heaven. I quickly quoted John 14:6 and Acts 4:12 to him and told him, "You can call Jesus the biggest liar who ever lived or call him the Truth - the only Truth with capital "T"! When I examine his sinless life, the prophecies he fulfilled at will, I have enough reason to believe that he is the only Truth!" In HSBC, during the break-time, an Osho Rajnish follower tried to suggest that morals and truth are only relative. I was quick to quote the claims of Christ to absoluteness. During the training in HSBC we had to do a presentation of any famous personality who lived in the American State we were assigned to. We had to go through this exercise to understand American culture, after all our job was to provide customer service to American customers of HSBC over phone from India. Guess which personality I chose out of an eagerness to somehow present the Gospel to my buddies there? T. D. Jakes – that awesome communicator who is also the Pastor of “The Potter’s House”, a church with over 28,000 people in attendance located in Texas! Naturally, my audiences were curiously as to what message T. D. Jakes communicated. So I went ahead and talked about T. D. Jakes’ message: The Gospel! Oh! There are ample opportunities to directly preach the Gospel in the place of work if only we are willing to do it!
E – Exploring Daniel
Daniel explored the Scriptures. When he was in Babylon , a question that never went away from his mind bothered him. That question was, "How long would Israel have to be in exile at Babylon?" To find the answer for this gnawing question he started exploring the Scriptures. In those days, there were no chapter and verse divisions or even page numbers in the Bible Daniel read. Locating a particular passage wasn't easy in the lengthy leather scrolls on which the Scripture was recorded. But Daniel was determined to locate a passage that would tell him about the length of the Babylonian captivity. I imagine that he searched meticulously. He pored over the 'pages'. Finally he bumped into Jeremiah 25:11-12 and Jeremiah 29:10 which gave him a clue about how long they had to stay as prisoners of war in Babylon. He "understood from the Scriptures" that their captivity time frame would be for seventy sapping years (Dan 9:2). We also read that he fasted for three long weeks to understand the meaning of a vision which the Lord gave him (Dan 10:1-2). "I must take time to grasp what the Almighty is trying to tell me" – that is his conviction. This is a question worth pondering over: when was the last time you refused physical food to create more time to consume spiritual food (Job labeled the words from God's mouth as his daily bread, Job 23:12)? Unfortunately, fasting to feast on God's Word is a lost art among those who work in Corporate companies and call centers. One reason is that in some companies the food is offered free. There are companies like Google where chocolates, chips, non-vegetarian food, fresh juices, all sort of soft drinks are free. So, one must have a determined, dogged mind to fast in such circumstances. Daniel's prayer was rooted in the Scriptures as we discovered in the previous point. Read Daniel 9:4-19 and you will discover how he refers/alludes to Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26 in that prayer. That heart-broken intercession of Daniel was interspersed with oft-repeated references to Scriptures. The biggest causality when a believer joins a call-centre… Unfortunately, it has been my observation, that Bible reading becomes the biggest causality when a believer joins a call-centre or a corporate setup. Some work in a nine-hour shift. Another three hours may be swallowed up while they commute to the office in the cab. So half the day is gone.
A normal person needs at least upto six continuous hours of rest. So what you are left with is only six hours. Sometimes some young people rationalize their neglect of Bible Reading after having joined a call-centre this way: "When there is no time for me to even catch some sleep where is the time for Bible meditation?" But no excuse is a valid excuse when it comes to neglect of Bible meditation. As an officer with the Babylonian Government, Daniel was naturally loaded with responsibilities. His rank was only next to the king. Here is how Eugene Peterson's down-to-earth version of the Bible narrates the administrative set up Daniel was part of : "Darius (the king) reorganized his kingdom. He appointed one hundred twenty governors to administer all the parts of his realm. Over them were three vice-regents, one of whom was Daniel. The governors reported to viceregents, who made sure everything was in order for the king. But Daniel, brimming with spirit and intelligence, so completely outclassed the other vice-regents and governors that the king decided to put him in charge of the whole kingdom" (Daniel 6:1-3). Those lines tell me that Daniel was effectively the Chief Executive Officer of the Babylonian empire. But this CEO still found time to read the Scriptures. And mind you, he not just read the Scriptures – he explored it. Please note, Daniel did not merely scan the Scriptures – he studied them. After I joined a call-centre to support the ministry we launched, I too struggled in this area. I found out that I had no time to read the Bible after I got up since I preferred to sleep just before the time the cab picked me up for night duty. So I decided to do Bible meditations after I logged out from work. I moved to the computers that were set aside for personal internet browsing. There were no chairs in front of those computers for us to sit comfortably on and browse away to glory. We had to stand and browse. But I did not mind that. I logged to some online Bible sites and did my meditations. Www.esv.org and www.biblegateway. com were two of my favorite sites in this regard. Once, my believer colleague and I took turns softly read a Proverb using esv.org after our logout! I recollect how I prepared messages and wrote articles for "The Days Of Your Youth" magazine standing right there. I was "standing on the promises of God"! We will take our Bible meditations seriously and do it diligently if we understand that to read the Bible daily is God's expectation of us. How did I arrive at such a conclusion? Check out Deuteronomy 17:18-19. "The first thing" a king of Israel must do is "to make himself a copy" of the Law of Moses – which was basically the Bible of those times. "That Scroll is to remain at his side at all the times; he (was) to study it every day so that he may learn what it means to fear his God, living in reverent obedience before these rules and regulations by following them" (Eugene Peterson Version). The command to read the Scriptures daily would not just apply to the kings of Israel. According to the New Testament we believers are part of a "royal" priesthood (I Peter 2:910). God looks at us as kings! God expects us to study his rule book for us "daily"!
L – Lauded/Lifted Daniel
God's messenger lauded Daniel saying, "you are highly esteemed" (Dan 9:23). The king Nebuchadnezzar praised him saying, "you are able, for the Spirit of the Holy Gods is in you!" (Dan 2:18). King Belshazzar commended Daniel this way: "I have heard of you…light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you!" (Dan 5:14). Yes! There is certainly a reward for living a life pleasing to the Lord in our place of work. We will be lifted up! If not on this side of eternity, it will certainly happen in the next. The same Daniel wrote, "Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like
stars for ever and ever!" (Dan 12:1-3). If we like Daniel, through our life and lip, lead many to the "Sun of righteousness who rises with healing in His Wings" – the Lord Jesus Christ – we too will one day shine like stars for ever and ever! There is no doubt about it! The Daniel Pearl of the Bible After having read this essay you may say, "I want to live like Daniel did in the place of my work – but I am not able to". My friend, you and I can live like Daniel only if we have a daily relationship with the Daniel Pearl of the Bible. Did not catch that? I am referring to the Lord Jesus here. Like The Wall Street Journal Reporter Daniel Pearl lost his life while reporting the truth about Al Queda activities Jesus lost his life for you and me while he preached "the truth". Remember Jesus' words to Pilate? Here they are: "For this reason I was born, and for this I came to the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me" (John 18:37). Daniel Pearl was beheaded brutally. Jesus was crucified crudely. In fact, Daniel predicted even the exact day Jesus would enter Jerusalem to be butchered for you and me, 483 years before the event happened, Bible Scholars tell us. Here is Daniel's version of the Gospel of the Cross: "The Anointed One will be cut off" (Dan 9:26). "The Anointed One is Christ for that is what his name actually means and 'cut off' is another word for crucifixion." If you will surrender your life to Jesus, he will forgive you of your sins and give you the power to be a Daniel! Don't delay your commitment to Christ. One of Daniel's messages was this in-effect: "If you fall before this Rock (Christ) and surrender your life to him, your life will be saved. But if you delay this decision indefinitely a day will come when this Rock will return to crush the stubborn and the stiff-necked. On that terrible day there will no escape! So surrender your life to the Rock now!" (Daniel 2:45). (The article printed above is one of the chapters of Duke latest book for youth called, “Youth Whens”. This book describes different situations young people encounter and talks about how they should respond to those situations in a God-pleasing way. One situation the book talks about: “When caught in a crisis”. Another situation: “When called to compromise”. Yet another situation: “When confused about the future of the planet”. You can have this book couriered to your place for just Rs. 80/-. See page two to find out how to send money). Page 12-16
DASHING TO GRAB CASH?
Part II of an article by Duke Jeyaraj on what the Bible says about money Note: Please checkout Issue No. 5 of this magazine published in December 2006 to see the first part of this article. If you do not have access to it, please send an email to email@example.com to ask for it specifically. When you subscribe for this magazine annually you will get that issue as well, if you request for it specifically.
4. MONEY CAN BE SPENT!
The temptation, we all have is to spend money on the wrong kind of things. There was a young man. He took from his mother 200 pieces of silver and gave it to a silversmith, who made it into a carved metal image (Jug 17:4). Do we use the money God has given us to buy "idols" like that
young man? "Idols" could be anything that takes us away from the Lord. Today's idols are generally kept in the shelf. They are the one kept for one's self (at the displeasure of God). For example, you can buy a mobile phone with the money given you by God. As the days go by you give more time to your mobile than the time you give for your maker. Effectively like the young chap we get to meet in Judges 17 you have gotten yourself an "idol" with the money you have! Tipping the TEE during Train Journeys With money we have we can bribe people. This is wrong. This is clearly not the way as to how we must spend our money. The Pharisees were money-lovers (Luke 16:14). When in trouble they used money to get ahead and solve problems. They bribed the soldiers to tell a lie that Jesus' disciples stole his body while they were asleep (Math 28:12-14). The chief priests who hesitated to take "blood money" now have no qualms about bribe (Math 27:6). Bribing has become commonplace that we do not think of it as a "sin". But it is. Do not bribe the Train Ticket Examiner to get a sleeper berth in your train journeys. Sleep on the floor, if you must! I have been able to do that, by God's sheer grace in my train journeys. In a hurry to get dowry Using mountains of money (called as "dowry") and the prevalent pharisee-like secret love of money found in some men, parents of girls hook up boys for their daughters. Without any consideration to life-or-death, heaven-or-hell factors like checking to see if their partner is a believer they go ahead choose partners on the basis of the bucks they receive. God would be pretty peeved at this. Banking is Biblical The Bible also teaches that saving money for the rainy day is a wise thing to do. In one of his stories, the Master (who typifies Jesus) tells his servant (who typifies us), "Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest" (Math 25:27). So there is nothing unbiblical about having a savings bank account or a recurring deposit bank account. "Until money grows on trees, think of investments!" - so goes the ad line for Kotak Mahindra Bank. You have to agree with them here! Something better than borrowing…. On the other hand the Bible clearly tells us it is a "blessing" that we do not borrow. "For the Lord your God will bless you, as he promised you, and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow" (Duet 15:6)."The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow." (Duet 28:12). Don't say, "That is Old Testament so I do not need to follow it". Here is a New Testament verse which basically means the same: "Owe no one anything, except to love each other" (Rom 13:8). Based on these Scriptures, my wife and I decided never to get ourselves a Credit Card. Some multi-national banks were after me to give me "free for life" credit card after I started working for a call centre to support our writing ministry. But I steadfastly refused their lucrative offers. We also refused to go the "Equal Monthly Instalments" way to buy things. We would systematically (each month) save money till the saved money swelled up to the amount needed to buy whatever we wanted to buy (a sofa, for example) and then went ahead and bought it. Well, doing this meant we had to wait till we had the money to buy what we needed. But that wait was worth it! And that wait meant we never got onto "debt".
When we take a loan and promise we will pay in 10 years or 20 years time in EMIs aren't we making assumptions that are not clearly biblical? The Bible teaches that our lives are in the hands of God. "My times are in your hands," wrote the Psalmist (Psa 31:15). We don't determine our life's length. God does. And when we go about reckless loan-taking we cockily assume we'd be alive long enough to pay back our loans which might not be the case. Our lives are like a fading shadow (Job 14:2). They are like an evaporating mist (Jas 4:14). Even if you have to go for a long term loan, it would be better to have an insurance cover for the same. That insurance can cover for the loan amount in case we die before we are able to pay the loan. The worse thing about borrowing is that it makes us the slave of the lender (Prov 22:7). And we are not to be slaves of anyone expect Jesus Christ (Eph 6:6). Oh how many have mindlessly borrowed money only to struggle and gasp in their attempts to pay the loan back! Did not Jesus teach us that we must "count the cost" before we set our foot into anything? Otherwise, what awaits us is mockery. People will say, " 'This man began to build and was not able to finish!’ " (Luke 14:28-30). To put it in the context of what we are discussing, people will chuckle at us saying, "He borrowed money but is not able to repay it back!" Don't make mistakes here - borrowing or taking loans does not make one a "sinner". If that were the case would Christ have preached, "Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you"? (Math 5:42). So while loan-taking can't be branded as "sin" it certainly is not "smart"! So while borrowing cannot be labeled an "iniquity" it can be labeled an "indiscretion"! Before you swipe…. Swiping with a Debit or Credit Card has become a popular way to shop among modern youth. There are so many attractive offers luring us to spend money using our flashy cards. “Get upto 100% cash back of the amount you swiped and shopped with!” announces one ad. “Get a return flight ticket free if you keep swiping and scoring points with our credit card!” announces another. Don’t get carried away by these advertisements! There is something mysterious about counting the notes in your hand and paying for what you’ve just selected to buy. The feel of cash in your hands can make you think, “Oh! I have spent so much on this Silk Saree….this Gold Chain….this Diamond Ring…This LCD TV….This Branded Trousers….This Lipstick…This Star Hotel Meal….This KFC Burger! And I must be a little more careful in the way I spend!” But when you swipe, you effectively rob yourself of the flow of such break-applying thoughts on your reckless spending habits!
5. MONEY CAN BE SOWN!
What does a leech, teach? The money that God gives us must be used to sow into God's kingdom. Even a pagan king gave for God's work from the Heart. I am referring to the Persian king Artaxerxes. He gave money to
God's servant Ezra saying, " With this money, then, you shall with all diligence buy bulls, rams, and lambs, with their grain offerings and their drink offerings, and you shall offer them on the altar of the house of your God that is in Jerusalem" (Ezra 7:17). When a pagan can give we the "magans" ("Magan" in Tamil means son) should give all the more! Let us ask ourselves the question, "What does a leech teach?" Scratching your head for the answer? Look up the book of Proverbs. The Proverbs penman gives us an eloquent reply: The leech has two daughters; "Give" and "Give," they cry. (Prov 30:15). Are you blood-sucker or a blood-donor? Are you a Generous Giver or a Grudging Grabber? Money can be sown in a variety of ways. It is sown by our tithing. "You shall tithe all the yield," is God's dictum (Duet 14:22). "All your yield" means "all". Many of us tithe from our salaries. But do we tithe when it comes to our shirts?! Confused? If you get 10 new shirts would you be happy to give one shirt to a person who may not be able to afford a good shirt? Jesus appreciated the tithing habit of the Pharisees. He only chided them for "neglecting the weightier matters of the law – justice, mercy and faithfulness" while they stuck like a bubblegum to the legalistic matters of the law! (Math 23:23). So if our tithing is coupled with tenderness, Jesus would love it! It has pleased the Lord to bless our ministry with offerings and tithes from willing contributors. From that amount we give at least 10 percent to needy ministers and ministries as the Lord leads us to. Giving a "tithe" of the "tithe" is part of God's law for the Levites (Numbers 18:26). Not giving at least 10 per cent of our income to God amounts our robbing him, prophet Malachi pointed out (Mal 3:8). The target of our tithes To whom should we give our tithes? The Bible gives us the answer." And the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers of the storehouse" (Neh 10:28). "The House of the Lord" - when this phrase is studied in the entire context of the whole Bible, it means "the unseen body of Christ". It means more than one particular local church or one person's ministry. We must see that we contribute atleast in some way with our tithe to bless the entire body of Christ. Our tithes must go to diverse ministries such as Bible Translation, Interior Village Outreaches, Muslim Evangelism, etc. Our tithes, of course, must also go to our local church, which is one of the places from where we get spiritual nourishment on a regular basis. The principle is that we must not forget to support those whom God uses to bless our spiritual lives. From whom did I learn this? From Jesus. This is how: When Jesus' disciples were sent out for ministry they were told not to carry their "money-bags" (Luke 22:35). Want to know why they were told to do this by the Lord? Their ministry needs would be met by the "money-bags" of others who were benefited and blessed by their ministry! This was the Lord’s desire and plan. Deuteronomy 26:12 also gives us a clue as to how we must distribute our tithes. It must be shared between "the Levite" (preachers of God's Word), "the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow" (the poor and needy). Wow - what a widow! Our giving must cross tithing. Jesus' eyes were transfixed on the offering box. The rich let it rip they threw in large sums. Jesus wasn't impressed. A poor widow showed up. Jesus knew women like her had to be taken care of by tithes and offerings of believers. But guess what happened? The one who was supposed to be supported by the offerings of the others gave an offering! Her offering of two small copper coins came a cropper when compared the stash of notes the rich tossed in the offering box in the world's eyes. But in the eyes of the Master, she had given the maximum. He could not hold back his comments. He mouthed, " For they all contributed out
of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on" (Mark 12:44). By doing this Jesus taught this principle of giving: it is not how much we give, but what is left behind after we've given that God notices! The poor widow did not carefully calculate out a tithe and put it in the offering box. She gave "total"! What an example! Reverse Tithing! When we learn from Scripture that our "sowing" should get past the 10% mark we cannot forget the living example of Pastor Rick Warren. Rick Warren, a pastor in the United States became known world over for his book, "The Purpose Driven Life". He talks about what is called "reverse tithing". "Reverse tithing"? Let him explain that to you using his own life example: "Kay (his wife) and I became reverse tithers. When we got married 30 years ago, we began tithing 10%. Each year we would raise our tithe 1% to stretch our faith: 11% the first year, 12% the second year, 13% the third year. Every time I give, it breaks the grip of materialism in my life. Every time I give, it makes me more like Jesus. Every time I give, my heart grows bigger. And so now, we give away 90% and we live on 10%. That was actually the easy part, what to do with the money--just give it away, because I'm storing up treasures in heaven" ( Information source: www.beliefnet.com). Buying blessings with bucks! A word of warning here would be relevant. We must not give to God just to get blessings from him. Even getting spiritual blessings is included here! Simon, the repented magician, saw people being filled with the Holy Spirit when the apostles laid hands on them and prayed he was impressed. He wanted that gift himself. He opened his purse and made an offer to them. "How much for this spiritual gift?" Here what Simon the preacher mouthed to Simon the sorcerer: "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!" (Acts 8:20). Why do we give to God? We give because we are grateful to him. That's it. Any other motivation other than gratefulness, when it comes to giving, is obnoxious to Him. After the collection... How should the money given for ministry be handled? The Scriptural examples are crystal clear: It should be accounted. We learn that from Bible History. The money "collected" for the repair of the temple under King Jehoash was "counted" after which a record was made (II Kings 12:10). The same was true for the money collected under the leadership of King Josiah (II Kings 22:4). We write in a small notebook the details of all the offerings we receive. We retain all the bills of our ministry related expenses. It helps to write in a notebook all the details of your income and expenses however trivial they may be. I have seen my dad do that. It is this trait in him that made him a successful and faithful Treasurer/Finance Coordinator of a large Indian Missionary Organization for over three decades. Tata to "silver" sins! Have you displeased the Lord in the area of money? If so, repent. Nehemiah called the people of Israel who had committed "money-sins" to do just that. He appealed to them saying, "Let us abandon this exacting of interest. Return to your poor brothers this very day their fields, their vineyards, their olive orchards, and their houses, and the percentage of money, grain, wine, and oil that you have been exacting from them." In response they said, "We will restore these and require nothing from them. We will do as you say." And he called the priests and made them swear to do as they had promised (Neh 5:6-10). Shall we follow their positive example "this very
day"? Zacchaeus did not hear Jesus preach about money. Yet he pulled the curtains on his money sins. His life took a dramatic U-turn. He confessed "if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold." And it was to that sinner who repented from sins including "financial frauds" that Jesus said, "Today salvation has come to this house " (Luke 19:1-10). If you - who by now have read a brief synopsis of what the Bible has to say about money – will repent of your "silver" sins, Jesus would also embrace you with those very same words! (This article is a part of Duke’s much-loved and much-bought books for youth titled, “Youth Hows” and appears in it in full. This book in the photocopy-spiral-bound copy format answers 20-commonly asked “How” questions of youth like, “How can I overcome sexual temptation?”, “How far is too far when it comes to intimacy with opposite gender?”, “How can I get hooked to Bible the book?”, etc. Price – Rs. 100/- including forwarding charges. Check out page 2 to get information on how to send cash).
A-B-Cs OF WRITING EXCELLENT EXAMS
Duke Jeyaraj Attempt all questions Beating about the bush while answering will never help you. Concentrate during the exam. No day dreaming Divide time to answer all the questions. An Extra Pen will be use when you write exams. First impression is the best impression. Guess answers if you do not know them (This is the least you can do). Honest is the best policy. Don’t copy. When you copy, you steal ‘knowledge’ from others. Stealing is sin. Immediately write out the difficult formulas you need to use on the rough sheet. Jumble up the answering order if you must (attempt the questions you know the answers for the best, first). Keep the question paper after the exam (Your juniors and you will benefit later for examiners repeat themselves) A Lengthy answer is not equal to a correct answer. Mark the questions you have answered. A Neat handwriting will impress the examiners. Offer a prayer before you start. Point-wise answering will help. Question numbers should be written carefully especially when you jumble up questions and answer them. Read the Question paper fully. Short forms will help you when you prepare for examinations. Tie up your answer sheets in order when you surrender your answer sheets. Underline the words you want to highlight in your answers. Verify if you have written all what you know by reading your answers once again. Walk out of the exam hall after you have finished – don’t help others who are still inside. “X tra” questions can be answered, in case you have choice. Yesterday’s exam – forget it. Concentrate on the exam you have today! Zip your mouth in the exam hall. Page 17
Bible Truths Wrapped Around Contemporary Events by Duke Jeyaraj
When Sin’s Consequences Chase You
Shibu Soren, a former Union Minister, was sentenced to life on December 5, 2006 for the murder of his personal assistant 12 years ago. Navjot Singh Sidhu, ace Cricket commentator and BJP MP, was sentenced to three years in jail. His crime? He lost his cool and took the law into his own hands to deal with someone who picked a quarrel with him over the parking of vehicles in downtown Patiala, way back in 1988 (Frontline, December 29, 2006). These events reminded me that our sins from which we have not truly repented of can chase us long after we have done them. A realization of this gripped the brothers of Joseph. Many years had passed after that horrific event in which they threw their own brother into a pit and later sold him to merchants who were passing by. He pleaded with them for his life. But they would not listen. They hit the rewind button on that event when the going got tough for them in Egypt trying to buy grain (Gen 42:21). When Prime Minister Joseph was accusing them of stealing his chalice, Judah his elder brother made a statement that spoke volumes about how guilty he still felt about what happened years ago: “God is behind this, exposing how bad we are. We stand guilty…” (Gen 44:16, Peterson Version). Have you done something you are not proud of acknowledging in public? Go to Jesus. Confess it to him. His blood will cover your sins.
LIFE LESSONS FROM SHANE WARNE
Shane Warne ended with over 700-Test Wickets by the time he retired. But do you know what how his first bowling spell read when he started out? This is how: 1 wicket for 228 runs. That was far from impressive. “Too fat!” they said. “Leg Spin won’t work these days. Try fastbowling instead,” they scornfully suggested. But Warne never gave up. What about you? Do you give up easily when what you started out to do, ends in failure? Don’t! It is better to start with failure and end up successfully than to start with success and end up in failure. Saul was a huge success at the start of his life. He was “the most handsome man in Israel – head and shoulders taller than anyone else in the land” (I Sam 9:2 NLT). That is how the Bible describes him when he started out. But as the years rolled by he became shorter. “Shorter?” you say?! That’s right. Shorter in character. Ego, jealously, disobedience, and pride shortened the character of Saul which once was quite tall even in term of character when he began. At the end of his life he became a pigmy in spirit: he committed suicide (I Sam 31:4). “Shane Warne finished his incomparable 145-Test career with 563 wickets, the most in Test cricket, and Glenn McGrath ended his 124 Tests with 563 wickets, the most by a fast bowler. They clocked up 1001 wickets between them in the 104 Tests they played together.” (Deccan Chronicle, 5 January 2007). Those pieces of statistics reminds me of the importance of team work. The importance of doing things together. Teamwork can reduce your workload by half and double your effectiveness, I read somewhere. The Bible is full of teams – especially teams of two! We read of people who hunted in pairs for God like Moses-Joshua, Elijah-Elisha, JeremiahZephaniah, Mordecai-Esther, Paul-Silas, Paul-Timothy, etc. Have you found your hunting partner? Shane Warne’s coach, Terry Jenner probably paid the most eloquent tribute to Warne when he announced his retirement from Test Cricket. This is how he did it: “He is the greatest, a genius, an original, an icon; you can pick your word. No one has ever had his success and he has deserved every bit of it. We won’t see his like again. Unique, like Bradman, and we will miss
him.” (The Hindu, December 21, 2006). One word from that glowing tribute caught my attention. The word – unique. That word reminded me about the Lord Jesus. He too is unique. Warne was a unique leg spinner. Jesus is the unique savior of the World. He claimed to be “the way” to heaven (John 14:6). Have you believed on Him? Do you try to defend his uniqueness when someone suggests he is only one of the ways to reach God?
A BOOK THAT WAS CARRIED TO THE GALLOWS
“It was dawn in the Iraqi capital, and the 69-year-old Butcher of Baghdad wore no blindfold. He carried a Qur’an for the last few steps before his death, looking uncertain, even afraid, according one of the witnesses close to him, but mouthing words of defiance….” So wrote Christopher Dickey in the Newsweek magazine describing the hanging of Sadaam Hussein (January 8, 2007). Those lines kept me engrossed for a while. Sadaam Hussein wanted to carry the Koran till he was dead, I learnt from those lines. I thought to myself: “Would I want to carry God’s word – the Bible – till the day of my death wherever I went? Would I hide it in my heart, day-in and dayout so that I overcome temptations?” Paul did something similar to Sadaam. He was awaiting death in dreary prison when he scripted his second letter to his young ward Timothy. He hoped to see Timothy one final time before he died. “The time of my death is near,” he wrote (II Tim 4:6 NLT). Guess what he asked Timothy to bring along when he would come to meet him? The Bible. When Paul asked Timothy to bring the “parchments” he was probably referring to books made from animal skins which contained the script of the Old Testament – the Bible Paul read (II Tim 4:12). Do you love your Bible that much? Are God’s words to you in the written format – which is what the Bible basically is – so precious to you?
AGGRESSIVE OR DOCILE?
After the young Indian Fastbowler Sreesanth hit pacer Andre Nel for a six he celebrated by showing an unbridled expression of emotions. The bat-whirling dance he did the Wanderers Test remains green in the minds of Indian fans even now. The TV channels showed pictures of Sreesanth whirling his bat alongside images of Saurav Ganguly’s twirling his shirt on the Lord’s balcony following India’s successful 300-plus run chase in July 2002. Andre Nel after beating Sreesanth in the delivery previous to that had said, “You don’t have the fire, man…You are like a bunny to me. I will get you out in the next ball.” And Sreesanth by hitting him for a sizzling six was just returning fire with fire. “It is almost unthinkable – a fast-medium bowler from the South of the Vindhyas wearing aggression on his sleeve” (Outlook, January 1, 2007). As I kept mulling over those well-written lines some thoughts flowed into my system. “Am I an aggressive follower of Jesus? Or am I too docile and too dull?” Paul was an aggressive follower of Christ. Here is one statement he made that speaks much about his aggression. When warned about the belt-beating he would receive if he went to Jerusalem to preach about Jesus, by his teary-eyed prophet pals, he shot back saying, “Why all this weeping? You are breaking my heart! For I am ready not only to be jailed at Jerusalem but also to die for the sake of the Lord Jesus!” (Acts 21:13).
The Google Generation – How we reached them in 2006
I turn back. Then I look up. I say, "Thank you". When I look back at the year 2006, I am a grateful man. It was a year in which my wife and I spread our roots in the city of Hyderabad - the most centrally located metro city in India. When we first moved here in October 2005 we never imagined the Lord would open so many doors for pulpit ministry in this city. And when we hit the rewind button on 2006 that is exactly what the Lord has graciously done and we praise him for it. The start 2006 was the year when my wife and I launched the G Power 4 Mission - Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission after the Lord lead us to. After a while we swapped the word "Gadget" for "Google" following an advice from one of our young friends that brand names are best avoided in any organization’s name for obvious reason. Every generation, modern youth come to be associated with a gadget. The Radio, the Television, the Walkman, the Mobile Phone, the Ipod, the Laptop. So "Gadget" seemed to be an apt replacement. And for those of you who do not know, "Gahenna" means "hell" in Greek. It was the word which Jesus used to depict hell. The aim of the organization was simple: somehow "grab" the modern youth who experience hell despite having everything - on earth and are actually going to eternal hell from destruction. The strategy Mission G 4 would be done in a small way by preparing and printing original literature written in the Indian context for modern youth. In keeping with this stratergy, "The Days of your Youth" magazine was begun in March 2006. It set out to wrap Bible Truth for modern youth around current events in the same way Jesus wrapped life truths around current events of his time in Luke 13:1-5 and identical to the way in which Paul preached in Athens as recorded in Acts 17. We have been able to bring out five issues of this magazine in 2006 by God’s grace. It was sent to about 200 subscribers and the rest was sent to different metros to volunteers who would give it to interested folk in their corporate offices, churches, city colleges and colonies. Meanwhile, I consciously started preaching messages in line with the goal of grabbing the gadget generation from Gahenna. Some of these talks were recorded - some in the VCD and some in the MP3 format - and sold to interested young people. Buyers included employees of Wipro, IBM, Dell, Nipuna, Pastors, Youth Leaders etc. My pre-Valentine Day talk to 700 youth who gathered at the New Life AG Church in Hyderabad from Song of Songs was one of the new video messages released this year (2006). I also collected all my Gospel presentations for youth in one MP3 CD and all my character study messages in another one. At the end of 2006 I handed over my book for youth which answers their "how" questions, "Youth Hows," to Operation Mobilisation for possibly printing it as their own book. This book was sold in photocopy format along with "Youth Whys" to several youth this year. We see an unmistakable hunger among modern youth to read/hear God's Word put in their context. And that is what each of these magazines, CDs and books are trying to do in an imperfect and small way. The silver
No one promised to underwrite the expenses of doing all of this. Our confession was the same as Peter’s when he stood outside the Jerusalem temple one day: “Silver and Gold have I none!” We trusted God. And I desired to use my salary for the same (On January 5, 2006 I had picked up a job in a callcentre in Hyderabad as the Lord lead me to; rubbing shoulders with modern youth, our ministry’s target group, which our callcentres are so full of, was one main intention). God has been faithful. All the magazine printing bills, CD creation bills, tracts printing and photocopy bills, postage and courier bills have – a bill touching Rs. 1.2 lakhs taking the whole year in question – have been paid. "We are amply supplied!" - we can say like Paul. And I did not have to shell out much of my salary to do all of this, with about 100 Indians generously blessing this ministry with their money. Some sent in Rs. 50/- money orders. We received Rs. 35,000 in cash from one individual to buy a brand new computer. Interestingly no non-Indian gave us a single paise! "God's work, done in God's Way will not lack God's support!" All we can say is "Amen"! The square To start a new ministry you need a place. A square to pitch tents on. That was when Aunty Sreekumari gave us her son's independent house in Dr. A. S. Rao Nagar, easily one of the bestdeveloped localities in Secunderabad in recent times dotted with ATMs and superstores, for us to use as office cum residence. We were only too happy to pay a nominal rent of Rs.2,500/- for this facility. "You need a permanent address to run a magazine ministry. You can stay in this home as long as you desire!" she told us with a genuine concern. We hardly could believe what we heard. What God had done through her was incredible. From that address - LIG 316 - we strive each day to make John 3:16, the Gospel, relevant for yahoo youth thro a print and itinerant preaching ministry. Speaking Even within the city of Hyderabad itself there were so many opportunities for sowing God’s Word this year. The pastors/leaders of churches as diverse as the Methodist church, the Assemblies of God, the Church of South India, Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG), Grace Full Gospel Church, New India Church of God, Praise the Lord fellowship etc invited us over and asked us to share the Word with their young people and their pals (in some cases in their Sunday General Service as well). We also could work with other organizations that labor among youth in some way such as Youth for Christ, Compassion International, Word and Deed ministries and the Evangelical Union in the sense they had us over to preach in meetings organized by them. Though I do not want to sound like a person chasing titles, I must say when I call myself a "youth evangelist" a great sense of fulfillment sweeps over my soul. By making myself available to churches and organization for youth ministry, in a tiny way, I have fulfilled the call that God has placed on my life to be a youth evangelist. I am NOT called by God to be church pastor (though many young people address me as ‘Pastor’). And I do NOT have an intention to start a church in a city already so full of churches. We continue to maintain an interchurch and inter-organizational stand. I always remind myself that I am a fellow soldier in God's army doing my bit to wrest thousands of young people racing towards eternal hell without Christ. Silence! The last two meetings of 2006 turned out to be very special. Let me talk about them in detail. I was asked to speak on "Night Life" to a group of modern young people who worked in Callcentres and corporates in the AG Winter Youth Camp at OM Auditorium. The day was December 27. God moved my heart to speak to them from the life of Daniel. My message was
titled, "If Daniel Worked for Dell!" The Lord blessed the character study I brought from the life of DANIEL using the acronym, D-A-N-I-E-L. I was ably supported by Priyanka Chouhan, a young computer wizard, who created a PowerPoint presentation using a word file I had given her with that message and played it when I preached it. There was a stunned silence when I laid bare the sins that are committed with impunity in call centres and what God’s word had to say about those sins. At the end of that talk I gave an invitation to young people who wanted to surrender their life to Jesus - the only person who could make them a Daniel in a "foreign" workspot. Several hands went up and a powerful time of prayer and commitment followed. Having had the experience of working in a call centre for a year, the experience helped me use terms and typical situations young people working there are familiar with, in my talk. And when I did, their eyes widened and their hearts were more open to listen to God's word. Earlier on the 24th of December, I preached to a gathering of youth from the P. G. College in Warangal – a town that is two hours drive away from Hyderabad. Pastor Joel Onesimus, a leading pastor in the town, invited me over. My former colleague in Blessing Youth Mission, Ramana, served as a bridge between us. The principal of the post graduate college was also present. I preached on what all Joseph had given up for the Lord Jesus for the first Christmas to take place. I called young people to commit their lives to Jesus who "gave up" his life for them. And they did. Sanctuary-free Very often we observe there is a tendency for Christian ministry to be confined to the church walls. However, this year, the Lord gave us opportunities to move beyond the church walls and minister to people in need. The girls of St. Ann’s College at Hyderabad heard forthright talks on what the Bible teaches on hot topics such as flirting, falling in love, intimacy with opposite gender. The students of David Memorial College at Hyderabad heard an uncompromising Gospel presentation wrapped around current events they could relate with. I had the opportunity to preach the unadulterated gospel in places as unlikely as Cafe Coffee House this year in the city. This was a year where I served food twice in an AG church that met at a Chinese restaurant! If you are still scratching your head – I meant I served spiritual food, that is preached, there! It was the year in which I walked into the prison built by the British in the town of Kavali in coastal AP to preach the Gospel to the prisoners. I had the joy of hearing them pray the sinners' prayer after they heard the Gospel presentation that began with Venkatesh’s (popular Telugu actor) confession of alarming emptiness despite having almost everything. Shining At the place where I worked till recently, that is 24/7, I was able to shine with the Light of the Gospel. Once, one of my teammates at 24/7 shot me a question. He asked, 'Duke, are you like this from the start or did you change in the middle?' He was referring to my no-abusive language, teetotaler lifestyle in office. It was a God-given opportunity for me to tell him about how I met Jesus and how he changed my life. A Team Leader I worked under (His name was Imran!) would stop and ask me, "Is the next issue of your magazine, The Days of Your Youth, ready? Do give me a copy when its out!" I was glad that what we wrote was being lapped up by people who needed to hear of our Lord. The occasions I have prayed with fellow believer during breaks lingers in my mind. Having cleared the relevant interviews by God's sheer grace, I moved to HSBC's Global Resourcing Centre in Hyderabad on 28 December after almost a year with 24/7. There are folks in HSBC who live as if they are still in the BC era! They need the Gospel. They may never read the Gospel of Luke. But they sure will read the life of Duke. Duke’s life will be the Gospel they read. At the "World's Local Bank" (as HSBC calls itself) I would strive to be a
vocal witness for the Master as and when the opportunity arises. On my fourth day at work, I sang a chorus on the love of the Lord when there was a need for it (No - I am no singer! People have invited me over to hear me preach, but not to sing! Ha! Ha!). I grabbed the chance to tell one of colleagues in HSBC that Jesus was the most important possession of mine! Soaring! From Hyderabad, this year, I was able to fly out with the Word of God and preach in cities like Kolkota and Mumbai and quickly get back. Yes, it is a privilege to “soar” like an eagle for the Lord (with some help from Jet Airways, Indian Airlines and Spicejet!). One big advantage there is, for an itinerant youth evangelist like me in Hyderabad, are the superb facilities available to reach any place in India by air in a matter of just three hours! The youth of the Assemblies of God (in Kolkota with a host of their pals who had never heard of Jesus), the Methodist Church and the ECI were blessed by the talks which I gave in the camps in these cities this year. I will never forget the tears of repentance which marked the prayer time following the messages in Kolkota (See the snap attached to relive those awesome moments). The fifteen who marched forward after the ministry call in Mumbai make me want to jump for joy! I also could take breaks to escape to smaller towns like Kavali, Warangal, Yercaud Hills and Kakinada this year to preach the word. In Kavali, the pastor of the Bethlehem church opened his church pulpit for three full days and invited his church to listen to the Word being preached by yours truly for hours together during the Passion week. Though there were invitations from Chennai, Rameswaram and Bangalore, at various times this year, I was not able to go because of date clashes and other inconveniences. Soulmate! Sehwag! There were times my soulmate (my dear wife) and I preached simultaneously or one after the other like it happened at the Compasssion International Youth Camp at Yercaud and the One Day Youth Retreat at Sainikpuri, Secunderabad. With her beside me I feel I have an in-form Sehwag as an opening partner while batting for the Lord! Scripting! It was a year when magazines, loved by Christians such as, "Light of Life", "The Sowing Circle" and "Indian Missions" carried articles by this writer. Christian websites such as www.2miles.org, www.mahalife.com and www.christian-bloggers.com requested me to give permission to host my Current events wrapped Bible Teaching articles. I gave an instant green signal. Somehow the Word of God should spread among the google generation of the entire planet! During Christmas time I brushed up a Gospel presentation that wrapped around current events for youth and forwarded it believers who in turn would forward it to others who needed Jesus. I heard testimonies from people living in the US, Hubli, Bangalore and Cuttack who forwarded this Contemporary Gospel presentation with traditional theological bearings. I myself sent it to several of my pals who did not know the Lord. When I began writing during my School Days (I studied in Ida Scudder School), little did I imagine that it would be an activity that God would use to bring glory to his name and build up his people. It was a year in which I kept shooting emails to editors of popular magazines, especially, Sportstar. Atleast 15 such letters were published! This recreation helps me hone my God-given writing skills. I have plans for a couple of more new books for contemporary youth. One would be a collection of character studies from the Bible for modern youth titled, "Youth like you!" Schooling, succession!
One of the burdens the Lord placed in my heart is to train potential young leaders to reach modern youth. I may be only 31. This may be only the first year of our ministry’s existence. Yet I want to create a situation where other young people would carry on with greater efficiency and excellence what I have started in a little way after I am gone or even when I am still around! That is why I included articles written by some of our friends in our magazine, The Days of Your Youth. That is why this year we constantly sought to share the ministry responsibilities with volunteers. The website, www.TheDaysofYourYouth.blogspot.com is currently maintained by Florressel Satya, a young mass communication student with an extraordinary knack of fishing out-of-the-world photographs. We have had young people come forward to offer help in our ministry after they have heard us preach. We thank God for them. Sowing! On special days such as Valentine's Day, September 11, World Aids Day, etc we created special tracts where the Gospel was creatively presented in the context of those days to interested youth and “sowed” them on all “soils”! For example the Valentine Day tract had an article about God's amazing love as we discover it from the book of Hosea. On other days - atleast once or twice a month - we distributed tracts in the youth hubs of the city like Hyderabad Central and Fifth Avenue Bakery, Sainikpuri. For other regular tract distribution outreaches, we used the tract, "Aishwariya Felt It: The Vacuum in the Heart", which is nothing but a gospel presentation for modern youth written by yours truly (it is available online on www.dukejeyaraj.blogspot.com). A group of young people from the Assemblies of God distributed about 500 of this “Ash” tract following their Christmas program in CyberGateway - a hot hub of corporates in Hitec City. In this year alone about 4800 copies of this tract were distributed to people all over India by our friends in various Indian cities and ourselves. A pastor’s wife and her friend distributed this Ash tract in a hip girls college in Chennai. A young couple distributes these to the people who visit their home in Bangalore. I plan to reprint the same in 2007 with necessary revisions. When the "Aim" magazine of Evangelical Fellowship of India published this tract in their magazine, in the year 2004 it was an indication that the Bible-believing community was comfortable with its content. Solutions! A few young people were offered Biblical solutions by my wife and me this year when they approached us with their complex questions. Some walked in to our home in A S Rao Nagar. Others sent in emails to the id which I created just for counseling (firstname.lastname@example.org) to which I responded with the limited knowledge I had. Some young folks waited outside my old office to get guidance after my cab dropped me in the office premises. Snapshots! I leave with some lingering images seen at the altar at the AG church, Kolkota, the Compassion Camp, Yelagiri Hills and the Youth Retreat at Grace Full Gospel church, Secunderabad. Personally the five messages I preached at the Kolkota AG using 10 words starting with "S" to describe what Jesus endured for us and the powerful time of commitment still lingers in my mind. Yes, the yahoo youth must yearn for Yahweh. Yes, the google generation must go gaga over God's Word. We are doing all we can, in that direction. So sweet!
We praise God for each one of you. Some of you invited us to preach in a meeting. Others sent us an offering. Others sent us encouraging SMSs and E-mails. Others passed our magazine to your pals and contacts. Some of you volunteered to help sell our CDs and Books following our messages in meetings thereby playing a role in the spread of God's word among modern youth. Still others prayed for us or did all of the above. So sweet of all of you! We are not lonely in this mission of reaching modern youth thro print and pulpit ministry, we surely know. Till all of the Google Generation hears, Duke and Evan Jeyaraj The Days Of Your Youth Magazine / The G 4 Mission 1-30-93/3 Padmavathi Colony Kanajiguda Tirumalgiri Hyderabad 500 015 Phone: 8886040605 India A Ton For One Thousand One set of biblical yet bubbly youth books (3 of them in quality photo-copy spiral bound format), message CDs (10 of them, including 8 VCDs), a five-year subscription to this fabulous magazine written/preached/edited just for contemporary youth by Duke Jeyaraj is available for just Rs. 1000/- See page 2 to figure out an easy way to pay.