2.25.2016

10 Ways to Memorize Scripture



Hello, Readers!
Today, I have some tips for making Scripture memorization easy and fun! It is so important to memorize God's Word, but I know sometimes it can get a little monotonous. You can sit down ready and excited to memorize a verse, and then ten minutes later get up distracted and bored. I hope you can find some ways to make your time a wonderful time with God!

(Note: I am using the word verse, but if you are memorizing more, please adapt as you need to.)


1. Write it.
Yes, really! Sometimes, writing things over and over can help you remember it better. You can write your verse several times just to practice (and tell your mom  you did penmanship :D), or write it out once, really fancy, and use it for #8.

2. Give it a tune.
Do you think you'll ever forget the alphabet song? Seriously, music is a great way to remember things. This works especially well if you're trying to memorize just a verse or two. Just make up a tune, or use one you already know, and make the words fit in. Then sing it to yourself until you have it! :)

3. Teach it to others.
If you have younger siblings, you can offer to teach them a verse (or more!) It's a great way to learn it yourself, and help others learn it! If you don't have any siblings, try a neighbor or friend. Oh, and make sure you teach it in a creative, fun way! :)


4. Challenge Yourself.
I probably use this one the most often. Set goals for yourself, and stick to them! For example, say you want to memorize Psalms chapter 1. Set a time goal for yourself (maybe a week, or two weeks), and work on a little every day. (My example was just a personal one. Use however much time you need, of course!) And if you have a friend (see #6), you're even more motivated!


5. Draw a Picture.
If you're the creative and artsy type, this might be your favorite. Drawing can work the same way as writing it. Think about the passage you're trying to memorize, and just draw it! You can do one big picture, or several small ones, or incorporate it into #9. (And  you artsy people: make sure to comment and add your input!)

6. Grab a Friend.
Ask a  friend if she wants to memorize with you! If you are trying to memorize a large portion (a long chapter, or a whole book),  this will keep you both accountable, and make it fun as well! Plus, having a partner makes you motivated to finish! :)

7. Fill in the Blank.
Write out your Scripture passage, and then go back and erase every third  word (or every key  word, etc.) Then try to fill in the blank parts. If you get it right, make it harder by doing every other word, or removing whole chunks.


8. Look at It-- A Lot! 
Use the neat copy that you wrote of your passage in #1, and hang it up in a place where you will see it a lot, like above your bed. Or write it on your bathroom mirror. Or both!


9. Make Mental Prompts.
You can do this mentally, or literally. If you do it in your head, simply think of a picture or symbol for each key word in your verse. If you make it unusual, it will help you remember better. Or you can actually write the verse down, and draw in your little symbols.


10. Make Reviews Fun 
The key to learning pretty much anything is practice. So reviewing the Scripture you're leaning is very important. Make it fun! For example, you can make a crossword puzzle with the words, make a matching game to play with your siblings, etc.


I hope that you found a helpful tip in one of these! Did one of these ideas help you? And what is your favorite way to memorize Scripture? Comment below!

2.18.2016

Taiwan Cherry Blossoms

Hello, everyone!
Yesterday, I had the chance to do a little photo shoot of some beautiful Taiwan cherry blossoms blooming at a friend's house. It's always nice to see the first signs of spring, even in the south! 
The photos aren't the greatest quality because I didn't stop to properly adjust the settings. (I was about to leave when I noticed the tree, and I just had to get a few pictures. blurry or not!)



















This one is one of my favorites. 




Sunlight is really cool! ;P









Please ignore my hand in there.....I couldn't crop it without it looking even stranger!)













Which one is your favorite? =)







Oh, and one more thing. Lord's Girls is having a writing contest, and it is really neat!

(The picture is hers, not mine!)

 I've entered, and I thought I would help spread the word about it. If you want to check it out, go here.





2.13.2016

God's Great Love



Since tomorrow is Valentine's Day, it seems like the perfect time for a little reminder about a big point- God's great love for us. 
Probably the first thing anyone thinks when they hear the word "love" is a "feel-good" feeling about someone or something. That may be what the world says is love, but that's not what God says is love! In John 15:13, it says "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends". 
Lay down your life for someone? Wow, the last time I checked, that's probably the greatest thing you could ever do for anyone! And guess what? Jesus did that for us!  He obeyed His heavenly Father and went to the cross, willingly laying down His life for His enemies. Yes, enemies. Before Jesus takes over our life, we are His enemies! No one likes to think about that much! You might consider giving your life for your best friend, but would you ever think about dying to save your worst enemy? Of course not! But Jesus still did! And He is the one who calls us a friend. 
When I think about that, I am humbled and inspired to have more of Jesus's love, not the world's idea of love. And the way we show love to others is different for different people. Some people show love by giving, others are encouragers. Some may be more shy, but have a talent for serving others willingly. Whatever your gifts are, ask God to show you how you can use them to show others His love. I sure will!
Will you join me as we seek to spread God's great love? 




2.09.2016

The Value of a Minute



Hello! I hope everyone is having a wonderful Tuesday morning! I have to remind myself every day as soon as I get up that each new day is a gift from God, and that it is our responsibility to use it for His glory. Aren't you thankful that every day His mercies are new? I sure am, for as often as I mess up, I surely need it!

I recently read this little poem, and I thought that it was a wonderful reminder that our days are numbered, and that we should use each year, month, week, day, minute, and second for the glory of God. And I need the reminder as much as anyone! 




I have only just a minute,
Only sixty seconds in it.

Forced upon me, can't refuse it.
Didn't seek it, didn't choose it.
But it's up to me
to use it.

I must suffer if I lose it.
Give account if I abuse it.

Just a tiny little minute,
but eternity is in it.

Anonymous





Too often, I sit down to do something trivial  for "just a minute", which turns into "just a few minutes" which can lead to a lot of wasted time!
Often, the things we spend the most time on are not bad or evil, it's just that we spend too much time on them! 
Not every second of our lives has to be spent working, and it shouldn't, because even God rested on Sunday, when He had finished Creating. We just need to make sure that, whatever we're doing,  we're "doing it all for the Glory of God". (1 Corinthians 10:31b). 
So, let's go and use our minutes wisely for Him!




2.06.2016

A Quick "Story-Behind-the-Story"






I thought I should explain a little bit more about my story, "Looking for the Light". It is a true story, but I still did write it! I'll try to explain a little better. =)
I first read the story of Arulai and Amy Carmichael about two years ago. I've always loved the example and story of Amy Carmichael, and when I read the short, brief section  in  a biography about the story of Arulai, I was amazed. The biography of  Amy Carmichael that I was reading was not too detailed or specific about Arulai's story.
 Now, I love reading (and writing!) stories that are full of things that make it sound exciting and real,not just fact-upon-facts. I immediately thought that Arulai's story would be perfect to re-tell, with some life injected into it! 
I got as many books about Amy Carmichael as I could, and even re-read a couple of ones I'd already read. Some told Arulai's story in a chapter, some mentioned her as Amy's helper later in life, and some never mentioned her at all! 
So I pieced together the facts from the different books. As you know, no two biographies are ever alike. One contains details the other doesn't and vice versa, which can be helpful, yet aggravating! 
So I basically made the story flow a little smoother, and added in a few minor details, but I didn't come up with the story on my own! It is a true, amazing story of God's power and love. 
(Example: For instance, the  toward the beginning says that Arulai and her friends were playing with a mud ball, and when it broke apart, Arulai flew into a rage. Nothing I read mentioned them playing with a mud ball, but it did say repeatedly that she had an awful temper, and was looking for a Hindu god to help her cure it. So I made up that little scene to make it seem more real. But other things are true details: her little brother dying, her mother not being angry, the pod falling from the tree, her father allowing her to stay with Amy, and other things.) 
One more thing to mention: I recently found out that Amy Carmichael herself wrote  a book about Arulai, called "Plowed Under: The Story of A Little Lover". I have not been able to get this book yet to read in Miss Carmichael's own words Arulai's story. So, having not read her book, I hope that I have not told this story in a misleading way. As soon as I am able to read the book, I will report back here with what I find!
I hope this made sense to you! If you have any questions about the story, please comment and let me know!


2.04.2016

Looking for the Light, Part 3


Here is the final part of "Looking for the Light". I hope you have enjoyed this amazing true story! 








~~~~~~~ Part Three ~~~~~~~



After this amazing encounter with her father, Arulai's faith grew rapidly. She now lived with Amma, and was thankful everyday for her answer to prayer.
But she had but one more request. Ever since she had become a Christian the year before, she had wanted to be baptized. But she was underage, and she still belonged to her family's caste, even though they had abandoned her.
Arulai knew her father would never give his permission for her to be baptized.
She had not seen any of her family for nearly six months now. She often thought of her younger sister, Mimosa, and prayed that she too, could one day live with them. But every day, Arulai prayed that she could become baptized with her father's consent. Days, weeks, then months passed.
One day, Amma came to Arulai with a look of joyful surprise on her face. "Arulai!", she cried. "A message has just come from your father. He gives his permission for you to be baptized! And he gave no reason at all for doing it!"
Arulai, overcome with joy, knelt down to give thanks to the Lord with Amma. They knew it was a miracle straight from God.
Nearly three years had passed since Arulai had first seen the foreigners in her village and had set down her water jug to listen. She could still clearly recall those words she had heard; "I was a lion, and He turned me into a lamb!" Now she was about to be baptized.
Through her happiness, Arulai was barely aware of the fact that her father agreeing for her to be baptized was a point  from which she could never return.
To a Hindu, having someone in your family who read the Bible was a disgrace. And having someone in your family who prayed to the Christian's God was even worse. But baptism was the stopping point. A person from a Hindu family who was baptized into Christianity had broken caste forever. But Arulai was so happy that she did not realize all this.
After her baptism, Arulai heard nothing from her family for several months, except form her cousin.
Arul  Dasan, Arulai's cousin, had wanted to learn about God too. But when he tried to, his family reacted worse than Arulai's family had. They tortured him for many days to make him give up the idea. But by a miracle, he had found out about God anyway from the ammal and her helpers.
But Arul Dasan could not stay with them, for there was no place for boys, only for young girls.
Thirteen-year-old Arulai was content to stay with Amma and help her with her group of ever-growing young girls just like herself, that Amma had taken in.
But one day, one of Amma's friends decided that if it was at all possible, Arulai and Arul Dasan should see their family one more time.
Arrangements were made, and a week later, Arulai, Arul Dasan, and several of Amma's friends traveled back to Arulai's village.
But when they arrived, things were not good. The whole village had become very hostile to Christians and outsiders, and worse still, Arulai's father reused to see her. It would be breaking caste for him to acknowledge that he had a Christian daughter.
Despite this disappointment, Arulai wasn't swayed.
She had a home now, and a place where she could always live in the light.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~+++~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Amy Carmichael carefully ascended the rough stone steps and entered the newly-built nursery, carrying a basket of clean blankets in one hand and baby Amethyst in the other.
Her closest helper, Ponnammal, followed with more clean blankets and a pail of hot water for scrubbing the floor.
As Amy walked to Amethyst's crib, another lively toddler made her way quickly to the open door. Another one of Amy's special helpers, a young woman in her early twenties, saw the girl and headed over to her.
"Come here, Lulla", she said, picking the girl up and carrying her outside where most of the other toddlers were playing in the courtyard.
Ponnammal smiled as they left. "Arulai is certainly good with the babies, isn't she?", Ponnammal asked Amy.
"The Lord knew just what he was doing", Amy replied, as her mind drifted back to fourteen   years ago when the little Indian girl had first seen her, and learned of God's love.
From the moment Arulai had first learned there was a Living God, she had strived to "live in the light", rather than in the darkness of Hinduism. And that's what she had done for the eleven  years she had lived at Dohnavur Fellowship, the name of the Christian compound. Arulai was now one of Amy's most trusted helpers and friends.
Amy was pulled back into reality by baby Amethyst's wail. She gently laid the baby in the crib, and walked to the door.
Fifty toddler girls were grouped under the huge tamarind tree in the courtyard, listening to Ponnammal. She was sitting on a large boulder, narrating a Bible story to the girls.
Arulai and three other older girls were waiting behind the tree for their turn to act out the story while Ponnammal narrated.
Arulai was hidden from view from the toddlers behind tree trunk, but from the doorway, Amy could clearly see her.
As she stood next to the tree, sunlight filtered down through the thick leaves and fell on her and the ground around her in a soft gentle light.
Amy smiled. "Living in the Light", she said. "Living in the Light".

THE END











~~~~~~~ PROLOGUE ~~~~~~~

This is a true story from the life of Amy Carmichael, who was a missionary to India for over fifty years in the early 1900's. She rescued countless children from the evils of Hinduism and poverty in India. She was the "ammal" and "Amma" in the story to Arulai.
Arulai stayed at Dohnavur Fellowship for forty more years, serving the Living God who had rescued her from darkness.
She contracted a fatal sickness when she had been at Dohnavur for about twenty years. She was at death's door. Even as her coffin was being prepared, Amy prayed for Arulai. The Lord miraculously gave His child of Light back to them, and she served the Lord for over ten more years.
Arulai was surprised and shocked one day, when her sister Mimosa showed up at the gates of Dohnavur with her three youngest sons, aged seven, four, and one. She wanted to leave her two middle sons with Amy,because her husband was not a good man.
Mimsosa had had a hard life. Like Arulai, her family had shunned her when she continued to believe in God.
Arulai had not seen Mimosa for  thirty years, but every time she had seen her, Mimosa was encouraged.
She had been forced to marry a very lazy and useless man, and Mimosa desperately wanted her sons to have a better life. She wanted them to learn to read so they could read the Bible.
Amy and Arulai  gladly welcomed all of them, but Mimosa insisted on returning home to fetch her oldest son, Rajappan. So Amy took in two more children to care for. In this way, the Lord used Arulai to bring her sister to Him, as well as her cousin Arul Dasan, who was now the grown-up and much-needed boy's house leader at Dohnavur.
Sadly, Arulai died of smallpox when she was fifty-two, in May of 1939.She had been through typhoid and fevers many times, and her body was very weak. She was buried in "God's Garden", the name of the cemetery at Dohnavur.
Amy herself was too sick to attend her beloved Arulai's funereal, but Rajappan, Arulai's nephew, stayed with her to comfort her.

Ever since arriving at Amy's doorstep forty years ago at age twelve, Arulai had been committed to serving God in her homeland.







2.03.2016

Looking For the Light, Part 2

Here is the second part of my 2-part story. I hope you're enjoying it! 








~~~~~~~ Part Two ~~~~~~~


But while Arulai was happy in her new found faith, her family was not.
Every day, Arulai prayed to her Living God. She never prayed to Siva again.
And every day, she prayed "Jesus Lord,please, bring the ammal in the white sari to me soon. I want to know more about You from her."
Arulai didn't have any idea where the ammal lived, or how far away, but it didn't bother her. She now knew nothing was too hard for her Living God. She didn't even worry that she had never been out of her tiny village in all her eleven years.
But her family was not pleased. "What shall we do with that child?", Arulai's father complained."She never worships Siva like she should, because she is bewitched by those foreigners and by that Jesus Lord she talks of! It must stop".
Arulai's mother looked thoughtful. "My brother, you know, is a Christian", she said. "And yet he does not let that get in the way of his way of life, and his worships and practices. Let us send Arulai to live with him for a while. He only lives a day's walk away. That should make her rethink all her Jesus Lord talk."
So Arulai was sent on the day's journey to her uncle's village.
Indeed, her uncle claimed to be a Christian, but Arulai was puzzled. Her uncle still fit in with the Hindu life, and she never saw him praying to the Living God.
She tried not to let his Hindu practices bother her, as she went along as best she
could.
She had been with her uncle for several months, when one day, he told her that her father was going to marry her off in a year, to be sure she gave up her new ways. Arulai was devastated.
"O God!", she cried that night, "Living God, I do not want to be a Hindu and I do not want to marry a Hindu! I want to go to the ammal in the sari. Please God, take me to her before my father comes for me! I do not want to live in the darkness anymore!"
A week passed, but nothing happened. Arulai began to think perhaps she had heard wrong about the Living God.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~+++~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


One morning, Arulai was sitting outside her uncle's house when an older girl she didn't know came up to her.
"Do you want to know more about the true God?", she asked abruptly. "Yes", Arulai said. "Very much".
"Do you love Him?", the girl asked.
:Oh yes", Arulai said.
"Where did you first hear about Him?", the girl asked.
"In my village", Arulai replied. "Some Indian women and a man and some foreigners were telling about Him, and having meetings".
"One of those Indian women is my mother", the older girl replied. "And I know the others too. They have been gone, but they will come back in two days. They live in the next village, right next to the Christian temple."
Arulai was so excited she could hardly speak. In the next village! The living God had heard her, and the women would be back in two days! She could hardly wait.
Early on Sunday morning, Arulai set out for the next village, eager to meet the ammal in the white sari.
But as she walked along the dusty, sandy path, a thought came to her, and not a very happy one either. "Jesus Lord, I have no offering to give to You. I should never go into your temple without any offerings, but I have nothing to give. I gave offerings to Siva and those dead gods, so it must be more important to give one to You! But I have nothing."
As she prayed, she realized she had stepped on something round and hard. She bent down and picked it up. It was a copper coin!
Arulai wasn't surprised. She knew the living God could do anything."Thank You", she whispered. "Now I can enter Your temple".
When Arulai entered the church, she quietly sat down at the back where some children and some older people were.
She listened as a man preached about love and sin, about God and forgiveness, about salvation and hope.
The young Indian girl did not understand most of what was being said, but she listened to every word. When the offering plate was passed, she gratefully dropped in the copper coin.
After the sermon, she was delighted to find the ammal in the sari. She eagerly listened while the ammal explained the story of Jesus. Arulai listened for a long time. When she had heard the whole story of Jesus, she accepted Him as her Savior with great joy.
She thanked the ammal for telling her about Jesus, and hurried back to her uncle's village.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~+++~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

But now that she was a Christian, Arulai had more questions than ever, questions about being a Christian. At every chance she got, she journeyed to the next village to ask her questions or to hear more Bible stories.
But one day, she came to the ammal with news. "My father is coming to get me. My family wants me home for four days", Arulai told her."I will be back in four days. And I will tell my family all about Jesus! I want them to know they can live in the Light too.".
Arulai was eager to tell her family about her faith, but her family was far from interested, all except her younger sister, Mimosa.
Mimosa wanted to hear more about God, but their father refused to let Arulai talk to Mimosa at all!
When Arulai arrived back home to her village, her family did not let her go back to her uncle's village.They forced her to return to the Hindu practices she hated. And they planned for her to be married to a Hindu very soon!
Arulai was grieved. She prayed often, asking God to help her through this time. She knew He would.
One day, Arulai was pounding corn in front of her family's hut, when a breathless woman hurried up. Arulai dimly recognized her as one of the women who had been with the ammal.
"Why are you here?", she asked. the woman told Arulai that the ammal had a message for her father. "She wants Arulai to come back and see her", the woman said.
When Arulai's father heard the message, he angrily refused. But her mother had different ideas.
"That woman put a spell on Arulai", she said."Maybe if we let her go back, the ammal will take it off".
To Arulai's surprise, her father agreed that she could go see the ammal that day. But just for a day.
Mimosa pleaded to go too, but her father refused.
Arulai excitedly set off for the ammal's village. She reached the village the next morning.
As she approached the ammal's house, Arulai became aware that she had a terrible headache. By the time she reached the house, it was worse.
The ammal opened the door to find a dazed young girl standing there, sweating and moaning.
Arulai was very sick. She had a very high fever and could not stand up. She had become sick while being mistreated in her village.
For a week, Arulai hung between life and death. Her family allowed her to stay at the Christian's house while she was ill, only because she was too sick to come home.
For three weeks, the Christians nursed Arulai back to health.
When Arulali's parents found out, they allowed her to live in her uncle's village until she was completely well, so she could be close to help if she got sick again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~+++~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Oh, Amma!", Arulai cried. "I am so happy I can live nearby and come and talk to you every day!"
Arulai now called the ammal in the sari "Amma", which means mother in the Indian language Tamil.
And indeed, Arulai considered her Amma to be her mother in her new faith.
Arulai, now twelve, was excited to learn as much as she could from her Amma.
But one day, soon after her recovery, Arulai was inside her uncle's house, getting ready to go see the ammal again.
She suddenly heard voices outside. Voices of two men, arguing loudly. She peeked through the window and saw her father and her uncle outside!
Arulai ran to the back of the house and fell on her knees.
"Oh Lord", she prayed, "Please do not let him take me away! I am living in the light, and I do not want to go back to the darkness!"
Suddenly, Arulai seemed to hear a voice, saying "I will never leave you, nor forsake you".
"Thank You, God", she prayed.
A great peace settled over her as she calmly walked outside to greet her father.
She kissed her father, and greeted him kindly.
Her father was shocked. He was very angry, and tried to grab Arulai's arm. But his arm fell at his side! He turned to run, but it was as if he was forced to turn around and speak. "I cannot do anything against your powerful God. Read to me from your Book" he said stiffly, surprised at his own words.
Arulai joyfully read to her father from the Bible, and prayed for him.
Then her father said weakly, "I will never take you away again if you do not want to go. I fear your powerful God. You may stay with the ammal."

Then he walked away, leaving a stunned but joyful Arulai behind.







2.02.2016

Looking For the Light, Part 1 (A True Story)


 Today, I decided to post my favorite story that I have ever  written. (I'll tell you why at the end!) I wrote it about a year and a half ago, and a few months ago, my friend Anna Callison  put it on her blog. I was very honored, and now that I have a blog, I think it should be on mine too. :)
It is a 3-part story, so I will be posting them in three separate posts.  I hope you enjoy it!





Looking for the Light





~~~~~~~ Part One ~~~~~~~



The blazing sun shone down on a little clearing in the middle of a remote Indian village, were three little Indian girls were playing. Ten-year-old Arulai threw the small ball, a wad of dried mud and grass, to her friend Marial. Marial caught it, and tossed it to Setta.
As Setta caught the ball, it slipped out of her hands and started to roll down the slight incline. Arulai ran after it, but before she could grab it, it hit a big boulder lying in the way, and the rock-hard dried mud ball cracked open.
Arulai turned to Setta in fury. "Setta!", she screamed. She swung her arm around towards Setta, but Setta and Marial were already running away.
Arulai turned around, and slowly walked to the shade of a big tamarind tree nearby, and sat down.
She knew she had a terrible temper, and so did her friends. They all knew not to be too close to Arulai if something didn't go her way.
Every day, Arulai begged one or another of the many Hindu gods her family worshiped to cure her of her mean temper. But she had prayed to them all, from Siva, the greatest of the Hindu gods, to the least insignificant ones, and nothing had changed.
She had to find the greatest God of the gods who could help her with her temper.
Arulai sighed. She knew Marial and Setta would not want to play with her for a while, so she headed toward her family's hut.
The next afternoon, Arulai was returning from drawing water from the village well for her mother. She was alarmed when she approached her hut, for someone was sobbing from inside. Arulai set down her water jar and ran inside. Her mother was sobbing, and on her lap was Arulai's baby brother.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~+++~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Arulai wandered aimlessly about in the overgrown field just outside the village. She was heartbroken. Her baby brother, whom she had loved and often cared for, had died. And worst of all, she didn't know where he was. Her mother said he was in the Land of the Spirits of the Dead.. Her father said the same thing, and added that no one could really know where it was until they got there. Arulai could hardly imagine her dear brother in such a place. The God of the gods must be great, she was sure, but who was he? And why would he do such a thing to her baby brother?
Arulai threw herself down in the tall grass.
"Oh greatest of the gods!", she cried. "Hear me! I don't know who you are, but please hear me! Who are you?"
She looked up at the sky, then down at the ground, expecting something to happen. But nothing did.
Finally, Arulai got up, brushed the grass off her sari, and went home.
For the next few months, Arulai continued to search for the Greatest of the gods, but she never knew any more than she did.
And in the meantime, she continued to ask the Hindu gods for help. She did not ask her father which god would help her. His answer was always the same: "I know of no such god, child. You must overcome it yourself".
Arulai, now eleven, knew she could not cure her mean temper. She needed the Greatest of all gods to help her.
One day, Arulai was making her daily trip to the village well to get water.
As she approached the well, she saw a group of people standing nearby. As she lowered her clay jug into the well, she glanced at the people. An Indian man and some foreign people were talking, and a few more people had gathered to listen. She balanced her jug on her head and turned to go.But the Indian man was talking loudly now, and Arulai couldn't help overhearing. And what she heard pierced her heart: "There is a Living God! There is a Living God! I was a lion, and he turned me into a lamb!"
Arulai froze. Could she really be hearing this? She had been waiting months to hear this! Oh, how she desperately wanted to stay and hear this God's name!
But she didn't dare, for she knew her mother would be very angry if she were late.Very slowly, Arulai started to walk away very slowly, hoping she could overhear a little more.  But the man had lowered his voice, and she heard no more.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~+++~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That night, Arulai lay awake on her sleeping mat, long after her family had gone to sleep.
She kept thinking of the words she had heard: "I was a lion, and He turned me into a lamb".
"There is nothing sweeter than a lamb", Arulai mused. And nothing fiercer than a lion. My temper is like a lion sometimes".
If this Living God could turn a lion into a lamb, surely He could help her mean temper!
The next day, when her mother sent her to the well as usual, instead of grumbling, Arulai grabbed the jug and ran all the way to the well. She hoped the people would be there again so she could listen. And she was not disappointed, for indeed, the foreigners were there again.
This time, Arulai went a little closer.
There was an Indian woman ,and older couple, and a younger ammal, or woman, in a plain white sari.
"Why do they look so happy?", Arulai wondered. People devoted to the gods never looked so happy. But these people had to be devoted to their God, and  they were so joyful.
"But I wonder who the ammal with the sari is?", Arulai asked herself. "I think I will go to her. She can tell me about the Living God!"
Suddenly another thought struck her. "My family will not like me worshiping another god than Siva as the greatest. I will surely be in trouble".
Then she had another thought. "But if this Living God is the greatest, then he can bring the ammal in the sari to me, I know he can!"
Happily, Arulai drew her water and hurried home, hoping she would not be in trouble.
Early that afternoon, Arulai was outside, thinking about how she could be able to see the ammal, when Marial ran up.
"Arulai!", she cried. "The foreigners are having a meeting for children! Do you want to come?'
Arulai was overjoyed. She didn't even think about the punishment she would get for going to see low-caste and foreign people. She went, and listened eagerly at the meeting.
But on the way home, Arulai started to doubt. Was there a Living God? Or had she just imagined it?
She was almost home when she decided on a test. "I will ask three things of this Living God. If he answers  two of them, I will believe he is real”, she said to herself.
But at that moment her thoughts were interrupted by her mother, who ran out holding her broom. She grabbed Arulai's arm and dragged her inside.
You have been listening to those low-caste, foreign people!". she cried. "You have disgraced our family, so you must be punished!
Arulai was kept inside for the rest of the day, away from the rest of her family.
But the next day, she slipped out. There was another meeting that day, and she had to go find out more. She sat amid the group of children near Marial and Setta, who had come too.
At the end of the meeting, the ammal asked, "Have any of you been punished for coming to hear about Jesus?"
Arulai was too embarrassed to answer, but Setta pointed to her.
"If you are punished", the ammal said, "call upon the name of Jesus, the Lord, and he will help you face your trouble".
As Arulai left the meeting, she murmured the name over and over to herself: "Jesus Lord, Jesus Lord". That was the name of the Living God!
Suddenly, she remembered her test. Arulai looked around. There beside the road was a tamarind tree, heavy with ripe, sweet fruit.
Arulai knew the law in India- it was illegal to pick the fruit off the tree, but if it fell off, you could take it. She  looked under the tree.Not one pod had fallen. Arulai closed her eyes.
"Jesus Lord, please make a pod fall by my feet for me".
She looked up just in time to see a perfectly ripe, but not rotten, tamarind pod fall at her feet.
Arulai picked it up with a feeling of awe. She knew the Living God had made it fall for her.
But her heart beat very fast now, for there was only one more test. And it was the hardest. Glancing up, Arulai saw that she was almost at her hut now.
As she walked, she prayed again, "Jesus Lord, please do not let my mother be angry with me. Show me you are real."
She looked up. She was at her doorstep, and there was her mother. But she did not have her broom.
"Arulai!", she cried. "I thought you were lost. Come in child".
Arulai  went in with feeling like she'd never  had before. It was all settled.
Jesus Lord was the Living God!



 
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