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Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Paul Ciniraj, May 25, 2002.

  1. Paul Ciniraj

    Paul Ciniraj New Member

    May 21, 2002
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    SALEM VOICE (Internet Weekly-3)
    Matchless Pearl
    Amazing Verse John 3:16
    Cracked Pot
    The Empty Chair
    Hinduppara Baptist Assembly Hall
    God has graciously given me 47 years. 25th of May is my 48th Birthday. Pray that our Lord may make use of me as a good and fruitful branch of the True Vine as long as He gives me life according His will. (Bro. Paul Ciniraj).
    Heavy splash was followed by many ripples and then the water below the pier was still. An American missionary crouched on the low Indian pier, his eyes riveted on the place where a stream of little bubbles rose to the surface from deep under the water. Suddenly a black head appeared and a pair of bright eyes looked up. Then the old Indian pearl diver was clambering onto the dock, grinning and shaking the water from his shining oiled body.

    "As nice a dive as I've ever seen, Rambhau!" cried David Morse, the missionary.

    "Look at this one, Sahib," said Rambhau, taking a big oyster from between his teeth. "I think it'll be good."

    Morse took it and while he was trying it open with his pocket knife Rambhau was pulling other small oysters from his loincloth. "Rambhau! Look!" exclaimed Morse, "Why, it's a treasure!"

    "Yes, a good one," shrugged the diver.

    "Good! Have you ever seen a better pearl? It's perfect, isn't it!" Morse had been turning the big pearl over and over and then handed it to the Indian.

    "Oh, yes, there are better pearls, much better. Why, I have one-" his voice trailed off. "See this one-the imperfections-the black specks here, this tiny dent; even in shape it is a bit oblong, but good as pearls go. It is just as you say of your God. To themselves people look perfect, but God sees them as they actually are." The two men started up the dusty road to town.

    "You're right, Rambhau. And God offers a perfect righteousness to all who will simply believe and accept His free offer of salvation through His Beloved Son."

    "But, Sahib, as so many times before I have told you, it's too easy. I cannot accept that. Perhaps I am too proud. I must work for my place in heaven."

    "Oh, Rambhau! Don't you see, you'll never get to heaven that way. There's only one way to heaven. And see, Rambhau, you are getting older now. Perhaps this is your last season of diving for pearls.

    If you ever want to see heaven's gates of pearl, you must accept the new life God offers you in His Son."

    "My last season! Yes, you are right. Today was my last day of diving. This is the last month of the year; and I have preparations to make."

    "You should prepare for the life to come."

    "That's just what I'm going to do. Do you see that man over there? He is a pilgrim, perhaps to the temples in Mumbai or Kolkotha. He walks barefooted and picks the sharpest stones and see-every few rods he kneels down and kisses the road. That is good. The first day of the New Year I begin my pilgrimage. All my life I have planned it I shall make sure of heaven this time. I am going to the temples in and around Delhi on my knees."

    "Man! You're crazy! It's more than fourteen hundred miles to Delhi! The skin will break on your knees, and you'll have blood poisoning or leprosy before you get to Mumbai."

    "No, I must get to Kashy and Delhi. And then the immortals will reward me. The suffering will be sweet, for it will purchase heaven for me."

    "Rambhau! My friend! You can't! How can I let you do this when Jesus Christ has died to purchase heaven for you?" But the old man could not be moved.

    "You are my dearest friend on earth, Sahib Morse. Through all these years you have stood beside me. In sickness and want you have been sometimes my only friend. But even you cannot turn me from this great desire to purchase eternal bliss. I must go to Delhi."

    It was useless. The old pearl diver could not understand, could not accept the free salvation of Christ.

    One afternoon Morse answered a knock at the door to find Rambhau there. "My good friend!" cried Morse.

    "Come in, Rambhau."

    "No," said the pearl diver, "I want you to come with me to my house, Sahib, for a short time. I have something to show you. Please do not say, 'No.' "

    The heart of the missionary leaped. Perhaps God was answering prayer at last. "Of course, I'll come," he said.

    "I leave for Delhi just one week from today, you know," said Rambhau as they neared his house ten minutes later. The missionary's heart sank. Morse was seated on the chair his friend had built especially for him, where many times he had sat explaining to the diver God's way to heaven.

    Rambhau left the room to return soon with a small but heavy English strong box. "I have had this box for years," he said. "I keep only one thing in it. Now I will tell you about it. Sahib Morse, I once had a son."

    "A son! Why, Rambhau, you had never said a word about him!"

    "No, Sahib, I couldn't." Even as he spoke the diver's eyes were moistened. "Now, I must tell you, for soon I will leave, and who knows whether I shall ever return? My son was a diver, too. He was the best pearl diver on the coast of India. He had the swiftest dive, the keenest eye, the strongest arm, the longest breath of any man who sought for pearls. What joy he brought me! He always dreamed of finding a pearl beyond all that had ever been found. One day he found it. But when he found it, he had already been underwater too long. He lost his life soon after." The old pearl diver bowed his head and for a moment his whole body shook. "All these years I have kept the pearl," he continued, "but now I am going, not to return... and to you, my best friend, I am giving my pearl."

    The old man worked the combination on the strong box and drew from it a carefully wrapped package. Gently opening the cotton, he picked tip a mammoth pearl and placed it in the hand of the missionary. It was one of the largest pearls ever found off the coast of India, and it glowed with a luster and brilliance never seen in cultured pearls. It would have brought a fabulous sum in any market.

    For a moment the missionary was speechless and gazed with awe.

    "Rambhau," he said, "this is a wonderful pearl, an amazing pearl. Let me buy it. I would give ten thousand Rupees for it."

    "Sahib," said Rambhau, stiffening his whole body, "this pearl is beyond all price. No man in all the world has money enough to pay what this pearl is worth to me. On the market a million rupees could not buy it.

    "I will not sell it. You may only have it as a gift."

    "No, Rambhau, I cannot accept that. As much as I want the pearl, I cannot accept it that way. Perhaps I am proud, but that is too easy. I must pay for it, or work for it."

    The old pearl diver was stunned. "You don't understand at all, Sahib. Don't you see? My only son gave his life to get this pearl, and I wouldn't sell it for any money. Its worth is in the lifeblood of my son. I cannot sell this, but do permit me to give it to you. Just accept it in token of the love I bear for you."

    The missionary was choked and for a moment could not speak. Then he gripped the hand of the old man.
    "Rambhau," he said in a low voice, "don't you see? That is just what you have been saying to God." The diver looked long and searchingly at the missionary and slowly he began to understand. "God is offering to you eternal life as a free gift. It is so great and priceless that no man on earth could buy it. No man on earth could earn it. No man is good enough to deserve it. It cost God the lifeblood of His only Son to make entrance for you into heaven. In a hundred pilgrimages, you could not earn that entrance. All you can do is accept it as a token of God's love for you, a sinner.

    Rambhau, of course, I will accept the pearl in deep humility, praying God I may be worthy of your love. Rambhau, won't you too accept God's great gift of eternal life, in deep humility, knowing it cost Him the death of His Son to offer it to you?" "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 6:23).

    Great tears were rolling down the cheeks of the old man. The veil was lifting. He understood at last. "Sahib, I see it now. I believe Jesus gave Himself for me. I accept Him."

    "Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift." (2 Cor. 9:15).

    "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16).
    One cold, dark night in one of the cities of India, a cyclone was setting in. A little hindu boy was selling newspapers on the corner, the people were in and out of the storm and cold. The little boy was so scared that he wasn't trying to sell many papers.

    He walked up to a policeman and said, "Sir, could you say where a poor boy find a secure warm place to sleep tonight? You see, I sleep in a box up around the corner there and down the alley and it's awful cold storm in there for tonight. Sure would be nice to have a comfortable place to stay."

    The policeman looked down at the little boy and said, "You go down the street to the House of Salem and you knock on the door. When they hear the voice and come out the door you just wish them Salem and say 'John 3:16', and they will let you in." So he did. He walked up the steps and knocked on the door, and a woman answered.

    He looked up and said, "Salem Ma'am! John 3:16." The woman said, "Salem! Come on in, Son." She took him in and she sat him down in a split bottom rocker in front of a great big old fireplace, and she went off. The boy sat there for a while and thought to himself: John 3:16....I don't understand it, but it sure makes a cold boy warm.

    Later she came back and asked him "Are you hungry?" He said, "Well, just a little. I haven't eaten in a couple of days, and I guess I could stand a little bit of food." The woman took him in the kitchen and sat him down to a table full of wonderful food. He ate and ate until he couldn't eat any more. Then he thought to himself: John 3:16... Boy, I sure don't understand it but it sure makes a hungry boy full.

    She took him upstairs to a bathroom to a huge bathtub filled with warm water, and he sat there and soaked for a while. As he soaked, he thought to himself: John 3:16... I sure don't understand it, but it sure makes a dirty boy clean. You know, I've not had a bath, a real bath, in my whole life. The only bath I ever had was when I stood in front of that big old fire hydrant as they flushed it out.

    The woman came in and got him. She took him to a room, tucked him into a big old feather bed, pulled the covers up around his neck, kissed him goodnight and turned out the lights. As he lay in the darkness and looked out the window at the whirlwind moving around on that cold night, he thought to himself: John 3:16... I don't understand it but it sure makes a tired boy rested.

    The next morning the woman came back up and took him down again to that same big table full of food. After he ate, she took him back to that same big old split bottom rocker in front of the fireplace and picked up a big old Bible. She sat down in front of him and looked into his young face.

    "Do you understand John 3:16?" she asked gently. He replied, "No, Mother, I don't. The first time I ever heard it was last night when the policeman told me to use it." She opened the Bible to John 3:16 and began to explain to him about Jesus. Right there, in front of that big old fireplace, he gave his heart and life to Jesus. He sat there and thought: John 3:16. .. ... I don't understand it, but it sure makes a lost boy feel safe and gives peace.

    You know, I have to confess I don't understand it either, how God was willing to send His Son to die for me, and how Jesus would agree to do such a thing. I don't understand the agony of the Father and every angel in heaven as they watched Jesus suffer and die. I don't understand the intense love for ME that kept Jesus on the cross till the end. I don't understand it, but it sure does make life worth living.

    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

    "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:17-18).

    If you aren't ashamed to do this, please follow the directions. Jesus said, "If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you before my Father." Pass this on only if you mean it. I do Love God. He is my source of existence and Saviour. He keeps me functioning each and every day. Without Him, I would be nothing. Without Him, I am nothing. But with Him I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me (Phil 4:13).

    "For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace" (Hebrews 7:1-2).
    Chackochan was a water bearer,lived in a highrange village of South India, who had two large pots to carry the water. They hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck, but one of the pots had a crack in it. While the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots of water to his master's house.

    Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

    After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to Chackochan one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."

    "Why?" asked Chackochan. "What are you ashamed of?"

    "I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

    In his compassion, the water bearer said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."

    Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized Chackochan for its failure.

    Chackochan said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I
    planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."

    It is an amazing thing (but true) that God is able to accomplish some wonderful things through our efforts, in spite of our imperfections. Paul said of his role as a preacher of the gospel:

    "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us." (2 Cor. 4:7). Though we may often feel inadequate and useless, if we will continue about the task that God has given us, we'll produce fruit and influence lives in ways we may not even be aware of.

    "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." (I Cor. 15:58).

    May your life "abound" this day in the work of the Lord! Though you may feel like a "cracked pot", your efforts are not in vain.
    A man's daughter had asked the local minister to come and pray with her father. When the minister arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows. An empty chair sat beside his bed.
    The minister assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit. "I guess you were expecting me," he said. "No, who are you?" said the father. The minister told him his name and then remarked, "I see the empty chair; I figured you knew I was going to show up."

    "Oh yeah, the chair," said the bedridden man. "Would you mind closing the door?" Puzzled, the minister shut the door. "I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter," said the man. "But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it went right ! over my head."

    "I abandoned any attempt at prayer," the old man continued, "until one day four years ago my best friend said to me, "Johnny, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest." "Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair. It's not spooky because he promised, 'I'll be with you always '. "Then just speak to him in the same way you're doing with me right now."

    "So, I tried it and I've liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I'm careful though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she'd either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm."

    The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old man to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him, anointed him with oil, and returned to the church. Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her daddy had died that afternoon.

    "Did he die in peace?" he asked.

    "Yes, when I left the house about two o'clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me he loved me and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead. But there was something strange about his death. Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?"

    The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, "I wish we could all go like that."
    Hinduppara Colony is situated on the border of two states in India. More than 300 Hindu consisting of approximately 60 families live in this colony. It is not a slum; but almost the same.

    All are very, very poor. They earn daily for their life. Usually, they are jobless or without income for more than 15 days of a month. Most are illiterate. The living conditions are not hygienic. There is no electricity, no telephone and not even purified water to drink - their drinking water comes from a local well. They use tin bottle lamps and lanterns with Kerosene oil for their lighting.

    There is not even a single Christian within 20 kilometers of the colony. Transporting facilities are very rare to travel. By the grace of God, the Salem Voice reached that interior remote area about three years ago. We started a Bible class as well as adult education. Many were interested and are attending the classes. We provide medicine, clothes, and children's education.

    When Pastor Paul Ciniraj and family were tortured by terrorists (read his testimony of conversion into Christianity from Islamic background along with the experiences of torturing because of our Lord's ministry in the website of: http://www.salem-voice.com), they were hidden in this colony for few days. During those days we conducted a fasting prayer. Almost everybody participated and accepted Jesus as their Saviour.

    We prayed together for a Gospel Assembly Hall. Praise the Lord! One handicapped poor Hindu woman of the same colony named Indira contributed a plot to build an assembly hall. A few children of God contributed small amounts, so we were able to start building an assembly hall. By God's grace, we have almost finished the basement.

    God willing, we'd like to build a Bible School and a residence wing for the local minister in addition to the Assembly Hall. It will be an Independant Baptist Assembly Hall. We expect that it will cost approximately $65,000 (US Dollars) to finish this task. We don't know where the funds will come from. But we are quiet sure that our Lord is faithful. Please pray and support that God may enable us to finish this project.

    We hereby furnish the account of our Bank details, so that you may send your contributions direct to the bank:-
    ACCOUNT No: 051010100012032.
    BANK ADDRESS: "UTI Bank Ltd., Century Towers, Near YWCA, Kottayam, Kerala-686001, INDIA".
    SWIFT CODE: UTIBINBBXXX (0001-1-407376 with Chasemanhattan Bank, New York, CHIPS UID No. 340191

    Or you may send donations or offerings for the account of "SALEM VOICE" and post it to the address of:
    Published by Rev. Paul Ciniraj, Director of SALEM VOICE
    (web: www.salem-voice.com); (mailto: [email protected])
  2. MissAbbyIFBaptist

    MissAbbyIFBaptist <img src=/3374.jpg>

    May 3, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Thanks for posting these! I read them this morning in my e-mail,and I just wanted to tell you again,how much I enjoyed reading these.
  3. susanpet

    susanpet New Member

    Dec 26, 2001
    Likes Received:
    WOW! What a story. I am going to save them and print them off for future use. Thank you.

    In Christ, Susan
  4. Robert J Hutton

    Robert J Hutton New Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Warm Christian greetings!

    Dear brother, thank you for those stories; they moved me very deeply - may God richly bless you.

    Kind regards

    Robert J Hutton