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Study Tips Pt.1

ENVIRONMENT

We all sat in class with eagerness and anxiousness building up inside of us. We were waiting for the teacher to walk in with the results from the previous test. When she walked in, the loud noise turned to whispers.

I felt pretty good as I did well on my test. As the teacher gave out our answer papers there were smiles that came on people’s faces and some heads went down. I was part of those whose head went down. After a few such happenings I started to wonder what went wrong and why it kept going wrong.  

A few things that we should take care of while studying is our environmentnote taking and study method.

In this post I’m going to talk about our studying environment.

1) Adjust the Lighting and Ventilation

These two factors give a sense of refreshment to our brain and helps us to think effectively.

2) Cool the Colours

Colours play a very big role in the active functioning of our brain. Studies show that colours like green or blue will keep you inspired and focused. Bright colours like yellow orange, etc can easily irritate you.

3) Organize the Room

This actually saves you a lot of time because you wouldn’t have to spend time finding the books you need for studying. Keeping your room organized will help to keep your mind alert.

 4) Cut the Disturbance

It’s good if you can study in an environment where there is not much disturbance (by disturbance I mean music, texting, etc.) because no matter how much you try, at some point our attention will switch to what is happening in your surroundings. And if the things around you is much more pleasing than the book in front of you, then you will have a hard time bringing your attention back.

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Forget Being Fake

Have you noticed when others try to trick you by hiding their true self?  Or may be you have tried to fake others for acceptance.  What if someone already knows your true color  and behaves as if they are ignorant of that or be still accepting of you?

Jews in the first century considered tax collectors as their enemies.  They were known for their unfair practices. Levi was a tax collector, but still Jesus asked Levi to follow Him. While Jesus was dining at Levi’s house, people criticized him.

Jesus knew who Levi was and his practices.  And he knew that the community hated him, but still he told Levi to follow Him.  Knowing who Levi was why did Jesus dine with him?

The answer is in Jesus words, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.”  Or in other words the reason why Jesus came is to save the sinners.

We might try to put our best self forward with others, but we don’t have to fake it with Jesus. Actually there is no use trying to fake it,  Jesus knows us inside out! The good news is the same Jesus extends His invitation to us,  “Follow me.”


Exploring Loneliness!

Not everything goes smooth in our life. At times we wonder ‘Is God even alive?’. When I came to Bangalore for college, I was homesick. Most of the time when I sit down to study or to read a book or anything else, half way through I’ll realize that I am crying. This lasted for quite some time. When ever I shared it with my friends they used to say “Don’t worry, you will feel better in due time”.  And for me this ” due time” never seemed to come around.  I tried doing different thing to distract myself. But still when I came back to my room I would start crying. This went on for three weeks. When people prayed for me they said “This happens, God wants to build up something new in you, that is why you have trouble now”.

I did have good moments in those first three weeks. Like, three girls I met in college ended up buying me a cake for my birthday. I was surprised because I only knew them for 5 days and they bought a birthday cake for me. God continued giving me friends in college and in my dorm, but still the sadness that I felt when I entered my room seemed to be permanent.

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As time went by, I stopped crying, but I always had this empty place in me.  Few weeks ago, sitting in church I was asking God “Why lord? Why is this empty feeling still haunting me? Why can’t I be happy? Why do I feel alone all the time? Are you even there?”. These questions rushed in my mind and I couldn’t listen to the message. During alter call, I wanted to go up front but I couldn’t my legs felt heavy. And again I started questioning God. When I opened my eye I saw my aunt walking to me. She came close to me hugged me and asked “Do you feel alone? Like you are all alone with none around?” I couldn’t speak. I just nodded my head and started crying.  Finally after a long time I felt like someone understood how I felt. She prayed for quite some time and she said ” God knows how you feel. He is keeping this gap in your life to mould you and to make sure you never turn away from Him even if you have everything you need.” Suddenly everything started making sense for me. I felt so light at heart and I smiled wholeheartedly after a long time.

Most of the time in our life we feel the same way like we are alone and that there is no one who understand how you feel. But that’s not true. Jesus knows how you feel, he felt the same way when he was in this world his own people treated him badly. We even see that in Joseph’s life, his brothers betrayed him, he was sold to foreigners for money. God was with him through his life. Every where God took him he made sure that Joseph learned to trust God even more. Even when Joseph was tempted to do wrong, he didn’t because of his love for God.

So even if we feel alone we’re actually not alone. God is with us. He leads us through different situations to make sure that we learn to turn to God, and to keep our trust in him. I know it is hard to understand all this when we are going through hard times. And all we could do is to ask God to help us to understand and know that he knows how we feel and that he holding us in his arms.


ABILITY OVER INABILITY

  Nick Vujicic, the man with no hands and legs has been an inspiration to many. Look at his life. Isn’t it amazing how he does different things? He looks happy and he’s there to encourage people, but there might be some time in a day when he wishes he was like others. He can swim, when he looks at us we have hands and legs. Still we are independent in many aspects. We can run, walk freely and write with ease, but that’s not his case. He could have just sat home and have people do different things for him. He could let his inability to do many things rule over his abilities. But where is he in life? The best thing about him is that he does not allow his physical inability to stop him from doing many things we do. Besides, he travels to different places to encourage others.

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We are all made with weaknesses. I think we need it. But the problem with most of us is that we let that rule over us and we start to say “oh look at me, I can’t do that,” “I’m not good at this,” or “look at my friend, he is good at this.” As if that is not enough we have people around us to say similar words.

Most of the time when we get good at something, some people get jealous. If anything we does go wrong, they just step on us and trample us with their words. As humans we do value others’ words. So when we hear someone say something so cruel, it just pierces into our hearts like a real sharp sword. In 1 Corinthians 1:26-28, it says about the kind of people God uses. He uses the lowly, rejected, weak, and the foolish. Sometimes I think I’m glad God takes us through tough times. It helps me grow close to him and to love him more. I’m glad he didn’t make me a too good a person. Because I would have been like Lucifer. Sometimes its good to hear about our weaknesses from others. It may hurt at first, but we would be able to trust in God and ask for his help.


Destruction for Construction

Last year our dog Amigo got his vaccination shots. But before to that we had to tie him up. Those shots were painful for him. Even though he couldn’t say it, we knew it because he was howling and barking too much. After he got those shots he was limping while he walked, so he didn’t walk much. He might have thought “Why did these people do this to me? I didn’t hurt them. Don’t they love me? Don’t they care about me?” Well he sure doesn’t know why he got those shots or what those are for. We take care of him, so we know that he needs it to live a healthier life.

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This is kind of what happens in our case. When God sees something in us which is not working right, he gives us our “vaccination shots.” We don’t know why God is giving us these shots. But we know that whenever God leads us through something, he has a great plan for us. When we go through trials this concept is really hard to understand and to grasp.

The difference with what happened to our dog was that he could see us standing close to him during and after he got those shots, so it was easier for him to believe the concept that we still love him. But in our case we can’t see God standing next to us holding our hand through those tough times. This makes it hard for us to believe God loves us or that God is near us, which also makes it easier for us to question God and to complain or doubt about his love and care for us. Even though we don’t want to doubt it, it just happens as a normal process.

We can’t work alone and find a way through these trials. We need God to help us. If God sent us through these trials, I believe He is faithful enough to hold us through the whole time. There is no one in this world who never faced a trial, even Jesus did. This is a part of our life. We need to go through these trials to become the person God wants us to be. While we’re going through trials we might feel that everything around us is in such a great destruction. It may look like a destruction which can not be reconstructed. But know this, you are not the one who is going to reconstruct it, God is. And as we all know there is nothing impossible for God. Remember that all the destructions that happen to us is to construct us into a better person.

Photo by Sarah G


Generosity and the Few Coins

One day, while Jesus was sitting in the temple, he saw many people who were putting in large amount of money into the temple treasury. After some time this poor widow came and dropped two small copper coins as her donation. After seeing this, Jesus said that the poor widow gave more than all the others

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Once when I read this story, I thought, may be the person who wrote down this incident wrote it wrong. But as time passed I realized that, its not. But the story that I said above doesn’t stop there, and Jesus goes on to say “… . All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Who else other than Jesus would explain this incident in this way? Would you? I’m sure I wouldn’t! Not even if I knew she was a poor widow. Let’s leave the “explaining” part now. And focus on the way we give to God. Do we give out of our wealth or out of our poverty? Actually in the story it refers to money, but I think we can consider it in different ways, like giving God an hour of a day when we are off of work or school, would be like giving out of our wealth; and giving a minute to God when we are busy would be like giving out of our poverty

By this story we can learn some things
1. God looks at the willingness of our hearts to give even in our poverty.
2. The way the world judges us, will not be the same as how God judges you when he sees what you do.
3. God never looks at the outward appearance but he looks at our hearts. Like what he says in 2Cor 9:7 “… God loves a cheerful giver.”


Do you want great things to happen in your life?

Have you ever achieved something? What do you think helped you to achieve it? Is it only because of your work or does God have anything to do with your achievement? In my life, every time I worked hard and trusted in God, He did great things. And what He did was unbelievable.

Till my 7th grade I was an above average student and sometimes a below average student too. I didn’t care much about studies. It was like I went to school to have fun and not to study. By the end of my 7th grade I got a bunch of friends who were really good in studies and even in some bad habits. I really thank God for giving me those friends. Now you might think “Why in the world is Sharon happy to have friends like these?” Well my answer is “I did not learn any bad habits from them.” Have you heard that friends can easily influence you to do good and also to do bad. I’m thankful because somehow they couldn’t influence me with their bad habits and they could only influence me to study well.

By 8th grade my marks started increasing but I never got an A or A+. The truth is I was not at all sad about that. For my 9th grade I changed schools, this new school had a completely new environment. What irritated me the most was that out of 28 students in my class, mostly all got straight A’s for all subject. However in this school God got a hold of my life and started teaching me that I have to start trusting in him and that I have to allow God to take full control of my life. Till then at some situations I used to push out God, have fun and then ask for forgiveness. As soon as I started to trust in God and allow him to take full control of my life, I started getting straight A’s for all subjects.

Sometimes when I sit to study something would go wrong, sometimes I couldn’t understand what the teacher told or I couldn’t remember what I studied. There where nights when I used to open my book and sit and cry because it just wasn’t working out for me. I used to complain to my Mom that she never helps me in my studies. One day she came to me and told me, “Sharon even if I teach you, you wont get good grades because there is a limit to how much I can help you. Ask God to teach you, He is the best teacher you could ever get in this whole world. ” From the next time I sat to study I used to say this out as a prayer and then study. I could really feel, hear and see God sitting next to me and explaining everything to me. I am very thankful to God for being my teacher and teaching me. On 21st April my 10th grade results were published, I got A+ for all subjects. Something that I would say is that I didn’t get A+ for all subjects only because of my hard work, it’s also a miracle that God did for me.

If you work hard and trust in God, he will do great things for you.”