2010 in review

5 01 2011

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2010. That’s about 24 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 29 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 90 posts. There were 2 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 341kb.

The busiest day of the year was August 17th with 120 views. The most popular post that day was Dr. Srinivasa Bhattacharya.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were en.wikipedia.org, mail.yahoo.com, feeds.feedburner.com, en.wordpress.com, and google.co.in.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for rakhi sawant christian, srinivasa bhattacharya, agni ministries, sister padma mudaliar, and bengali christians.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Dr. Srinivasa Bhattacharya November 2008
28 comments

2

Raman Kutty November 2008
14 comments

3

Rakhi Sawant February 2010
8 comments

4

Narayan Waman Tilak February 2010
3 comments

5

Share Your Story October 2008
6 comments





Indu Shanmugam

5 11 2010

This is a real story of God literally saving me from death. I almost died at the age of seventeen and I met Jesus through a near death experience. In my past I’ve been a hardcore atheist, a Hindu, an agnostic with Unitarian Universalism ideas, and even a Wiccan (a new-age cult that practices witchcraft) when Jesus found me.

Let me start with my background. My Tamil father came from a Hindu background and my Malayalee mother came from a nominal Catholic background. Both of them were essentially atheists and were against following any type of religion. Growing up I was told not to believe in a God and that religion was a waste of time. Our family lived in Dubai for the first eleven years of my life and then we moved to the United States.

I faced many struggles. I had problems with my parents. They had issues of their own and were always angry. I could never please them or meet their expectations. When I was eight, I was despoiled and sexually abused several times by a neighbor. I was too young to understand sexual abuse. Scared, confused and humiliated I internalized my deep emotional pain. When I was about fourteen, I started suffering from severe depression and became suicidal. I started cutting my wrists. I hated myself. I felt empty inside and knew my life was a mess.

I often wondered “Is there more to life than this? What is the point of studying hard, getting a high paying job, kids and achievements – in the end what matters?”

I had a desire to find the meaning of life and deeper purpose. Religion fascinated me. I wanted to follow something. I thought all religions are just different ways and I need to come to self-realization. I explored Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and other ideas. My depression got worse; I started thinking about suicide, cutting my wrists and became bulimic. I continued to search for God and started getting curious about Christianity. Why on earth would anyone willingly die on a cross? I heard that “Jesus died for your sins and the sins of the world.” That made no sense to me. I got fed up and gave up on religion and turned into a sour, bitter atheist.

At seventeen years of age, I had had enough and I tried to hang myself. It’s a miracle that I am alive today in perfect health because the doctors estimated I was hanging for about eight to twelve minutes before a friend found me. I had no pulse. The doctors told my parents that I’m most likely to die and if I make it, I would very likely be paralyzed, in a vegetative state or mentally retarded or worse. I was in a coma for eleven days. During the time I was unconscious, I can boldly say I met Jesus. I know it sounds a little out of the ordinary, but this only means we don’t serve an ordinary God. I remember waking up and being shocked that there is life after death. I feared the worst. Will He send me to hell? I’ve always pictured Jesus as a cold, distant and strict God.

The surroundings amazed me. I saw angels of all shapes and forms. I heard music so beautiful, the sound of which cannot be reproduced on earth. I noticed that the sense of time had disappeared. I reflected upon my life, seeing it had been empty and with regrets. Why didn’t I ever listen to those Christians who witnessed to me? I’ve said obnoxious things about Jesus and laughed at Him. I have focused on philosophies and other empty religions. What’s the use now?

Two angels informed me that the Lord wanted to see me. I freaked out! I thought that Jesus would scold me and then punish me. I decided to tell Jesus that I was sorry for not believing and for not living the way I should have been and then take whatever punishment I deserve. I was taken to a vast field and surrounded by mountains. The angels departed. Far away, I see a huge bright golden thing—a sun which must be about six hundred times my size glows. The huge thing moves towards me and takes form. He calls me and I recognize the voice belonging to Jesus. I am overwhelmed by His presence and I feel faint. I fall down crying. Breathlessly I tell God, “I’m so sorry …”

He picks me up and doesn’t look angry at all. He looked concerned and caring. He started speaking to me and I thought to myself, “So, does this mean I am dead?”

The Lord knew my thoughts and replied, “ No, you are not dead and I’m not going to let you die.”

“Why? Lord.”

We spent a significant amount of time together. The Lord explained to me about life and death and purpose in a simple conversational way. During this time, I saw the greatness of God and that God is a person not a mystical force or someone that is far away beyond reach. Through Jesus I can have a personal relationship with God. He told me about purpose. Everyone he created on earth has a purpose including me. This is what Jesus told me:

Purpose can be found through Me. Life is like a book with a beginning and an end and divided with chapters. When you read a book, sometimes you’ll see a chapter that doesn’t make sense. You’d question why does it have to be there and question the writer. The next two chapters do not make sense either. As you continue reading, it starts to make sense. At the end of the book, everything comes together and makes sense. Do you see this? My dear, I am the writer of lives and I haven’t even started on your book yet. There is a lot yet to come. You are still young, only seventeen years of age. There is a lot you haven’t experienced. Your struggles discourage you, through Me there’s life. This is not the way to die. The right way to die is finding your purpose through me and living accordingly and then when it’s the end of your life, you’ll die with a peace, knowing that you did it and with assurance.

We had a long talk. I saw hope and a reason to live life to the fullest with a deep sense of purpose. He explained things to me in a simple, comprehensible way and showed me how to live. When God spoke to me, He was approachable and spoke at my level. His words and philosophy were not too complicated and distant that I was confused and find hard to relate to. He knew me all along. I almost forgot to mention, I nearly died five times and He brought that up during our meeting. It was He who stopped me from dying. Throughout my life He sent people to witness to me. He’s been trying to catch my attention for a long time. Then, it was time for me to get back. I remember not wanting to back into my body. I had too much of a good time with God and wanted to stay. The two angels had to convince me to go back. I was sent back and went through a tunnel and when I reached the end of the tunnel I was awake in the hospital.

It took me three months to recover fully. The miraculous thing was that the doctors found nothing wrong with me such as brain damage. A nurse told me, “You have no idea how lucky you are. Rarely, people in your situation would make it.” I remembered the near-death experience clearly and shaken at first. Of all the people in the world, why would Jesus want to talk to me? This was too real to be a dream. When I spent time with Jesus, I remember it like remembering something I did yesterday. I started questioning and thinking about what He told me. The mercy of God really got me. I didn’t deserve to be saved. Why did He give me the second chance and what does He want me to do? If all paths lead to the same road, why didn’t Ganapathy, Krishna, Hanuman or any of the Hindu gods or any of the Wiccan gods help me? None of the other gods (or manifestations of god) came to my rescue or gave me a revelation about my life at a critical time.

I decide to follow Jesus. Confined in the hospital, I closed my eyes and prayed, “Jesus, God. I don’t how to pray but this is what I want to say. I am tired of living my life the way I used to and don’t want to anymore. I want to live the way You showed me; a life with a higher meaning and purpose. I don’t know where to start but I know You’ll show me the way. I believe in You alone. Help me. I want to be a Christian.” I felt fulfilled and peaceful. That prayer sounds simple and innocent but it was genuine and came from my heart. I never felt this way before. In the past, when I have prayed to other gods, I have felt nothing.

After this experience, I started growing in Christ and changing as a person. From an angry, bitter, confused teenager I became a confident and better person. I have an inner peace and happiness that I have never imagined. I experienced inner healing from childhood trauma. I remember my childhood abuse but free from the hurts, so that I can help other girls who’ve gone through the same hurts. I am healed from wrist-cutting and bulimia because I learned that God loves and accepts me and I am beautiful girl in His eyes. I accept myself for who God created me to be. I realize this experience is a little strange and some people will raise their eyebrows while reading this. I did nothing to deserve second chances – its God’s mercy. God continues to speak to me just like how He does to all believers. He continues to guide me to a better life. We can argue several things such as I didn’t have a near-death experience but there was no oxygen in my brain.

To those who may say to me “you didn’t meet Jesus, it was just a dream.”

I can say, if that was the case- how did I find a reason to live, healing from past hurt, childhood sexual abuse, bulimia, depression? Wouldn’t I live the same way? These struggles don’t just go away by coincidence. I am no longer suicidal and completely set free. My friends and family notice significant changes in my life. That’s the power of God. Well, I hope my story encouraged you and from my experience I can say that Jesus is real.

N.B:

Indu Shanmugam is a 20-something, college student from Oregon, USA. She is majoring in English literature and language. She also studied Theology for a short period. She wants to be a teacher. As a literature enthusiast, she enjoys literature of all types and from writers of various backgrounds from the classics, French realists, Christian writings like C.S Lewis and South Asian literature. As for her own writings, "I am still trying to find and develop my own voice." She sees the art of the written word as a way to speak about Christ and explore truth. Before she met Jesus Christ, she has been searching for the meaning of life through experimentation of other religions, philosophies and ideas. At the age of 17, she accepted Christ after a powerful encounter with God through a miracle. God’s presence and deep truths in the Bible fuel her creativity. She is involved in church activities and has a love for the church and would like to see every believer grow, become closer to God and live fruitfully. She loves traveling, sipping bubble teas, theatre, music, films and hanging out with friends and has a weakness for cheesecake.

Source: http://www.southasianconnection.com/articles/98/1/Encounter-with-Jesus-that-Changed-My-Life/
Accessed on 05th November 2010





Frederick Antony Ravi Kumar Zacharias

4 11 2010

Ravi Zacharias (full name Frederick Antony Ravi Kumar Zacharias, born 1946) is an Indian-born, Canadian-American evangelical Christian philosopher, apologist and evangelist. Zacharias is a descendant of two rich religious traditions, first Hindu priests (of the Nambudiri Brahmin caste), and later as Christian ministers. In one of his lectures, Zacharias asserts that a Swiss-German priest spoke to one of his ancestors about Christianity, and thereafter that branch of the family was converted and the family name was changed from Nambudiri to Zacharias. The biography Zacharias offers about himself is that he grew up in a nominally Anglican household, and was an atheist until the age of 17, when he unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide by swallowing poison. According to one of his books (Cries of the Heart), someone instructed his mother to read out the Gospel of John to him as he lay on a hospital bed in Delhi. Following that, he made the decision to become a Christian. He began preaching while still in his teens, and in 1974, shortly before the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia, he was sent there to minister to the people in the country. He was also sent to Vietnam during the Vietnam War to minister to U.S. soldiers.

Zacharias was born near Madras, India and grew up in Delhi. In 1966, he and his family emigrated to Toronto; he is currently based outside Atlanta, Georgia. He holds dual U.S. and Canadian citizenship.

He briefly attended the University of Delhi as a pre-med student before transferring to the Institute of Hotel Management in Delhi. After moving to Canada, he worked in the hotel management business before enrolling in the Ontario Bible College in Toronto. Following that, he completed his Master of Divinity degree at the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School near Chicago. He was a visiting scholar at Cambridge University when he wrote his first book, A Shattered Visage: the Real Face of Atheism. Zacharias received honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from Houghton College, NY, and from Tyndale University College and Seminary (the renamed Ontario Bible College). He also received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Asbury College in Kentucky. He is presently a Visiting Professor at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University in Oxford, England (see also: The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics.

Source: http://www.last.fm/music/Ravi%20Zacharias

Accessed on 04 November 2010








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