Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Blog

This blog will no longer be maintained or updated. My wife and I have a new blog at . Please visit our new blog.

- Wes

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Wes-Barb Wedding Video

This is the video that was captured by the cameras mounted on the Church ceiling and streamed live on the internet. The quality may not be so good. We will try to upload the video taken from a hand-held camera later.

Video clips hosted by Ustream

Friday, May 23, 2008

Wes-Barb Wedding Live Stream

This isthe live webstream of my wedding to Miss. Barbara Joy Spurling. This is the first time we're trying this out and so we can't really guarantee anything for the quality of the video and the audio. The wedding is on 24th May 2008 at 11:00 am EDT at the Maranatha Bible Chapel, in Horseheads, NY.

Web TV provided by Ustream

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Can I get a guitar, please – with no strings attached??


The phrase “No strings attached” is a widely-used and well-accepted catch-phrase that is commonly used in advertisement slogans or by salesmen as they try to convince their customers to buy their deals or products. As cautious consumers we do tend to circumspectly look for any hidden string that might be attached to any deal and stay away from any such string.

Whereas it is wise to stay away from “strings” in the marketing sphere, there are several things in life in which the strings come attached and are not meant to be separated. A guitar is a silly example, but there are several real-life situations that qualify for this. Just as the woodwork and the strings make a guitar, Rights and Responsibilities are two inseparable components of real-life situations. It is a tragedy that we humans often tend to look at some important real-life situations with a consumer’s mentality and try to do away with the string of Responsibilities but hold on to and even intensely fight for the woodwork of Rights. We find it very simple to recognize that a guitar with no strings is no good but we often don’t seem to recognize the dire consequences of neglecting the responsibilities of our actions.

Some pregnant women want to claim complete rights over their own bodies but conveniently choose to neglect the responsibility for the life they carry within. Some adults claim their right to do whatever they want together, but when the morning comes, they choose to kill their responsibility with the “morning after” pill. Some homosexual partners claim their right for parenthood but neglect the responsibility of providing the child with real parents – a mom and a dad. Some young people claim their right to wear whatever they want, conveniently neglecting to think about their responsibility to not be a moral stumbling block or a source of temptation to a passer-by. And there are many such examples. Has not this “Rights-only” mentality led to the rampant decadence of our society wherein the degree of moral corruption has reached a point that it requires the Senate to look for answers to fundamental questions of life such as the definition of marriage – and the Senate too offers no hope??

The above are just a few examples of the “Rights-only” approach on a bigger scale. Whereas it seems convenient to cite these weighty examples to beat the point, the simple fact is that every human being, including myself, tends to fall into this “Rights-only” approach in little as well as big things in our everyday life. The issue at hand could be the matter of how we spend our leisure time, or how we feed our stomach, or what words we let out of our mouth, or how we entertain ourselves, or how we respond to someone standing on the street and holding a “Help” sign, or something else. It is essential to bear in mind that the God who lets us exercise our rights also charges us with a responsibility for our actions.

Adam and Eve exercised their right to eat of the forbidden tree. And Oh! Boy, were they (or the whole humanity for that matter) ever able to bear the responsibility for that?? Christ bore the responsibility for that. May we be wise enough to think of our responsibilities before we rush to exercise our rights!

– Wes

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Too much of the "God" thing??


On quite a few occasions, in the middle of a discussion, have I had people interject me, saying, “Don’t bring in God here”. What they tacitly say is, “We are talking about an issue concerning humans as it’s actually played out in reality, so don’t talk about God here”. The supposition is that the introduction of “God” chips away at the quotient of realism involved in human issues and that these issues can be best addressed only if the ameliorative measures are targeted from just within the scope of the human realm. The latest European Union Constitution was framed with deliberate care to not have any reference to God, and it seems that the notion of “Remove God from the public square” is gaining increasing popularity.

So, who or what is God?? Is He an entity so separate from the human sphere that He’s not really needed when human issues are addressed?? If He isn’t that separate, do we have a choice to pick when and where we want to use Him and His principles?? If we have that choice, then is the implication that God isn’t really in power over all the humans true (for if He is, we would then not have the power to pick and choose Him!)??

The increasingly popular thinking is, “We humans know well enough to make laws for ourselves; God has no place here”. Who among us would feel comfortable with a machine that functions not by taking commands from the designer (or from an operator who gives commands consistent with the intentions of the designer) but by internally choosing to do whatever it wants?? Such a machine will not only be chaotic in its function but also very dangerous to approach because it no longer takes commands from its designer. Isn’t it what humanity would head towards if it doesn’t recognize its Designer and acknowledge as well as submit itself to His authority??

Now, am I implying that the Constitutions all over the world should be transformed into theological documents or that every page of it should be replete with “God”?? Never! That would be dangerous as well as disastrous. However, if the human laws are framed by deliberately keeping God and His principles out and by shaking our fists at His commands, then the resulting system will be one of moral chaos. The emphasis is not on the word "God" but on Godliness.

Do we pick and choose the areas where we want God, depending upon how comfortable we feel in having Him there?? Doesn't He deserve a complete submission from our end in every area - not just in a select few issues??

Thanks to everyone who commented on my previous blog entry. Even as I am looking forward to the comments to this one, you are welcome to continue the discussion on the previous one too.

- Wes

Friday, March 10, 2006

The apparent "sinlessness" of sin

Hello everyone,

We all would probably agree that sin is a bad thing and it needs to be avoided. What we often do not agree on is, “what is sin and what is not”. Often, of the same thing, we hear some say, “I don’t think it’s a sin; it’s just something different”, some others say, “It’s such an obvious sin”, while the rest do not care if it’s a sin or not. When we have one same God who will judge the whole world by His one same standard of judgment, no one thing can be simultaneously sin and also not a sin.

Whereas it’s true that some of us sometimes construct a too narrow view on some portions of God’s words by making a very literal reading of His word, forgetting the spirit of the Word and the liberty with which we are to live, thereby, often having a pharisaical outlook on many things in life, the more striking fact to me is how the devil is able to cunningly top sins with his creamy layers that make us oblivious of the core sinful content of his designs and cause us to have a twisted, lenient, and naive approach to his baits.

I was stunned to read some of the reviews made by the so-called “Progressive Christian” writers on the movie Brokeback, which glorifies homosexual relationship. The reviewers praised the cinematic art and choreography of the movie and even encouraged people to watch the movie simply because of its artistic value. The devil is not as naive as we often consider him to be. Doesn’t he know very well that he can’t market his sins unless he wraps them around with innocent-looking glossy, flashy peripherals??

It’s the attractive power of sin and not so much its wickedness that makes it hard to resist and easy to fall into. Let us not be naive but rather be diligent and wise to identify the sinful traps of the devil and follow God faithfully and radically.

- Wes

Monday, February 13, 2006

Our True Love

I initially thought of having the title as “My True Love”, for that might have served to pump up your coefficient of excitement as you read these first few lines, perhaps making you wonder if I’m choosing this day to announce some special news from my side. Well, I’m not heading in that direction here.

I do not intend to opportunistically “spiritualize” the special occasion at this time of the year by overly giving theological overtones to this wonderful “....” called love (I find it very difficult to put a qualifying noun there, for the best I could think of still falls short in its descriptive role). But I do want to make my point that as we think about love, how imperative it is for us to think about the One who alone has displayed the truest expression of love! When we look to buy a special product for ourselves, how assured we feel if we could get it from its original manufacturer!! The product becomes trustworthy and the quality is guaranteed beyond any doubt. Assuredness, trust, and guarantee (read “commitment”) are three important elements that often concern people who are “in love” with each other. But when we have a direct relationship with love’s manufacturer (God), understand how He manufactured it and has been distributing it, and agree to His terms and conditions (which are nothing but whole-heartedly accepting His love and yielding our hearts to Him), we would then not only receive for ourselves the purest and most genuine love, but would also be able to pass on to others the love that is modeled on God’s love for us. When we so model the expression of love (in all its kinds) in the human realm, then assuredness, trust, and guarantee shall never be in deficiency.

The Bible says, “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another (I John: 4.9-11)”. How well we truly understand these profound verses determines our grasp of the true meaning of love.

Let us all remember the original Lover!

- Wes