Friday, May 30, 2014

Some Books

These are books that I have got hold of recently. The district human development reports were given by the planning department to study. A new State Human Development Report is being planned.  What is unique about the State Human Development Report 2004 and the district reports is that they were written by locals in their respective fields. It is usually outsourced to some organization to write, but not so in the case of Nagaland.And the layout designs done by Merimvu Doulo of Artworks Kohima is really good. Various government reports being published in recent years are nice. We are very good at that. The content of such reports is a different matter :-). The District Human Development Reports are too costly. Three district reports published in 2009 are priced at ₹ 1200 (or 1300?) and 8 district reports published in 2013 are priced at ₹1000 each. This is too costly and will discourage people to buy. The content also does not justify the price, for it is not a picture book. 

There are five thematic reports on Livelihood and Employment, Traditional Agriculture, Communitization and Health, The Role of Women, and Rural-Urban Migration.

The other books that I bought online are:


These six books were bought at a total price of just ₹1212. They were bought at which were much cheaper than flipkart, amazon, infibeam, etc. And therefore the price of the book influenced the book selection. I won't have bought NT Wright's book even if I wanted to, if it is too costly. And I bought I bought Ichabod although the title is not attractive to me at the moment, because it is cheap and it is by Brueggemann. I have heard of him and have wanted to read his work.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Darling Dear

Darling dear,
You are a fine accessory
An important sub-component 
A beneficial add-on
You make life a little less beastly

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Alto Maniac

pic from

There was a village girl who loves to sing alto. When her sister sings as they do the household chores, she would join in by singing the alto part. She did the same with her parents and brother. Only her brother was not too happy with this habit. He didn’t like her disturbing him with her alto, to each and every song he sings or hums. He knew that she doesn’t know any ‘do’ ‘re’ ‘mi’. But he’d admit that there is at least some sense of an alto part in her singings. He would get more irritated when she’s singing a song alone and instead of soprano, her good-for-nothing sister is singing the alto part to herself. ‘For goodness’ sake, can there be an alto solo song?’ He’d yell at her. 
Her habit continued when she went to the college in town. She loved going for worship service on Saturday nights, Sunday mornings, and Sunday evenings because she gets the opportunity to sing alto. The weekday prayer meetings were also opportunities for singing alto. She was happy that there are people to sing soprano and other parts for her, so that she can try alto on them.

Not only hymns and worship songs, as friends listened to pop songs on their laptops, she started trying alto on them. Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, you name it, she was trying alto on all of their songs. Some friends took her habit in good humor while some were having their patience tested. The word had spread to everyone in campus.

It went wrong one day when some guys were playing some music in a college social program. She was caught trying to sing alto to an Eminem song! They have had enough. With whatever things they could find to throw at her; broom sticks, dustbins, buckets, paper plates, etc; they chased her. Who in the world would try alto on a rap song?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Church Donation Receipt

"Be  careful  not  to  do  your  'acts  of righteousness'  before  men,  to  be  seen by  them.  If  you  do,  you  will  have  no reward from your Father in heaven.  "So when you give to the needy, do not announce   it   with   trumpets,   as   the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they  have  received  their reward in full.  But when you give to the needy, do not let  your  left  hand  know  what  your  right hand is doing,  so  that  your  giving  may  be  in  secret. Then your Father, who  sees  what  is done in secret, will reward you. 
Matthew 6: 1-4

In the Chakhesang Mission Society (CMS), we discuss how we can coordinate the work between the individuals, local churches, and the Society; particularly in financially supporting mission projects and cross-cultural missionaries. And in the course of interactions with people, we often come across this understanding of mission work. This is not a onetime experience but there seems to be a pattern or an accepted body of knowledge :-). When people give money to mission work, they are fussy about their name and the amount they donate being acknowledged and printed in a report card (Annual tithe report, yearly local mission contribution name list with amount, acknowledgement slip, etc). I attended a meeting yesterday where we are planning to mobilize people to become involved in mission work and to extend financial support. There is need of money. It popped out again as some good old church people grumbled about where this money is going to be printed/acknowledged and reported, through the CMS or local churches? 

They already have ‘their’ local church mission projects. Their church is contributing to the CMS. Now about this fund drive, they want to know whether this money will go directly to the Society or through the local churches. Some people said that the Society should have consulted the local churches before going for ‘another’ fund drive. It is true that there are too many taxes and collections from all sections of the society. It is going to become an additional burden. ‘We already have our hands full’, they were indirectly saying.

But looking at the state of our economic positions, the amount that we give to mission work is still meager. And when we say ‘our project’, ‘our missionary’, ‘our mission’, we still hold claim to the amount that we have given to God. We want to share the credit. We want people to know what a good work we are doing. We can feel encouraged if we see that the amount we give is benefitting people in need. Therefore, some people would like to know where their money is going. But if we claim the credit and donate with the motive to receive accolade from people, such people have received their reward and there is none left in heaven for them.

I wonder if churches in other parts of the world report to their members half yearly, how much tithe and mission fund each family/individual had contributed every month. Sadly, the annual report becomes a big issue. It is a moment of pride for some who have contributed much. Some people complain to the treasurer that their contribution is entered wrongly. What is our motive in giving? It doesn’t matter if your name is printed or not. Does it? We should respect our churches' decision to come up with an annual report. But that is not why we should give.