Heady, the Peacock

Posted: November 6, 2011 in story

Once upon a time, there lived Heady the peacock in the forests of Arem Min. Heady, was quite famous among the animals. He had a distinct greenish blue colour, a very special eye-spotted tail and a crest atop his head. Heady was also the best dancer in Arem Min. In most celebrations at Arem Min, Heady’s dance was much sought after special feature. Heady would gracefully fan his eye spotted tail and dance all night long. His rain dance was quite popular. All the other animals loved to watch Heady dance. All the animals liked to be friends with Heady. But, Heady did not have any friends at all. He mostly kept to himself. All the animals wondered why he had no friends.

One day, there was a big celebration at Arem Min. Lolu, the lion was hosting a big party. Lolu and Lolo were celebrating the birth of their daughter. Every one was invited. All the animals gathered at the jungle grounds for the party. There was plenty of food and drink. The animals ate, drank and enjoyed themselves. Golu, the monkey stood up and said, ” Come! let us dance. What is a party without a dance’. All the animals agreed. There was no party in Arem Min without a dance. The jungle band got started and began to play the jungle music. Lolu was first to dance. All the animals started to dance. Even Toto, the frog, Gogo, the elephant and Dodo the donkey who were not known to dance joined in.

“Where’s Heady the peacock?” asked Lalu, the lion. All the animals looked around for Heady. Heady was sitting and sipping his favourite guava juice at the juice counter far removed from the crowd. “Heady, come and join us, please…please…”, pleaded Lolo, the lioness. Heady wanted to dance but then he did not want to dance with all the other animals. He wanted to do it solo performance. But, all the animals pulled him to the centre and he was forced to dance. Heady did not like this one bit.

When Heady was dancing with all the other animals, Toto, the frog came near Heady and said, “You dance very well…you must find a partner”. Heady pretended that he did not listen. He found an opportunity to slowly move away to another place. He managed to find an empty seat at the juice counter. He sat down and with his favourite guava juice. Toto felt a bit sad when Heady ignored him. ” Perhaps, the music is too loud”, he thought. He went close to Heady again and said, ” Hi! Again. I am toto. You seem to be alone. Can we be friends?”. Heady did not like this at all. ” You! want to be my friend. This sounds very funny”, he told Toto on his face. Toto did not expect this at all. ” Why can’t I be friends with you”, he asked Heady. ” Look at you. You are so ugly… and dirty… and you don’t know how to dance. How can I be friends with you”, Heady replied. ” Go! away,” said Heady as he want back to the dance floor. Toto felt deeply hurt and sad.

As Heady was dancing, Jojo the elephant came near Heady and started dancing . He desperately tried to get Heady’s attention. Heady knew that Jojo was interested to talk to him. Heady tried to avoid jojo but he couldn’t. ” Hi! Heady. I’ve been wanting to talk to you for a long time”, said jojo. “For what?” said Heady. Jojo did not mind Heady’s curt response. He was so excited that he got an opportunity to talk to Heady. ” I’ve been your secret fan. I love you groovy moves and the way you sway your eye-spotted tail. I don’t like dancing but after I saw you gosh! I want to let my hair down and dance all night”, said jojo. ” No! way! How I can you expect me to be your friend you fatso”, sneered Heady. Jojo felt very sad.

He did not expect Heady to say things like this. Heady turned around and walked the other way. He met dodo the donkey. ” Hi dodo, lets dance”, said Heady as he pulled Dodo along. Dodo could not believe his ears. He never expected Heady to talk to him, let alone dance with him. He did not know that Heady was dancing with her just to to make Toto and Jojo feel bad. Dodo was so happy that he began to sing. Hee! Haw! Hee! Haw! Hee! Haw! When Heady heard this he stopped to dance. He felt embarrassed to be anywhere near dodo. ” Can you please stop it!”, he yelled. dodo was completely shocked to hear Heady yell at him. After all it was Heady who invited her to dance with him. ” err… I thought we were friends” said dodo. ” what made you think we were friends you stupid donkey?! Don’t you know that I am Heady- the most famous guy in Sunderban? Go away…get rid of your dreams”, he chided. Dodo left the dance floor immediately.

Heady once again found an empty chair near the juice corner. He tried to avoid looking at toto, jojo and dodo. Suddenly, he saw a lovely fox dancing in the middle. The Fox’s dance moves were graceful and she was causing a lot of heads to turn. Heady’s heart skipped a beat. Qsitting near the juke box counter. He could’nt stop admiring her. He decided to walk unto the juke box. ” Hi! The name is Heady. What’s yours?”, heady introduced himself. ” Hi! heady. My name is Mojo. I keep reading about you in the Sunderban Times. I never thought I’ ll be able to meet you”‘ said Mojo. Heady was quick to see Mojo blush. “Can I get you guava juice, it’s my favourite?”, asked Heady. ” but why would you buy me a guava juice”, asked Mojo in return. ” because…because… I want to be your friend”, said Heady. ” Ok! Then…” said Mojo.

Mojo asked heady if he could dance with her. Heady readily agreed. “hmm… are a great pair”, said mojo. ” we sure are mojo”‘ replied Heady. Heady and mojo passed by toto, jojo and dodo as they danced. Heady made sure they saw him. Mojo was a trophy partner that he could be proud of. After all, as the jungle saying goes, you don’t find a bull among the common herd. Toto, jojo and dodo felt sad. They also felt sad for Heady. They knew who Mojo was. They knew that Heady was in a grave danger. They tried to talk to Heady but he avoided them completely. The dance ended. So did the celebrations. All the animals left to their homes.

Heady became friends with Mojo. Toto found an opportunity to meet Heady and talk to him in private. ” Heady, Mojo is dangerous. You must be careful”, she warned. ” Go away! You’re just being jealous about the two of us”, replied Heady. Jojo met Heady and said,” you’re blind. Watch out”. “Thank you fatso”, Heady snubbed jojo. Dodo told Heady not to get carried away by the way Mojo danced. ” listen! I have finally found someone to match my looks, skills and style. I will appreciate if you guys will leave me alone. I’m off to the dance with the foxes tonight, replied Heady.

It was 10 pm. Heady was impatiently waiting at the place where Mojo said she would pick him up. Heady could see a car speeding towards him. That must be Mojo, he thought. It was indeed Mojo. Mojo had brought with her a gang. Heady felt a bit uneasy by the look of Mojo’s friends. But…Mojo’s smile did the trick. He hoped along in the back of the car. ” “what this dance party all about”‘ he asked inquisitively. Mojo replied, ” it’s something we foxes do once in a while. It’s an exclusive party and we don’t allow just anybody in there. We sing songs… dance in a circle.. Heady you’ll get to know about it today”. The other foxes laughed sheepishly.

They reached the place where the dance was scheduled. It was a dark corner in the middle of nowhere. Heady had never been to this part of the forest. ” Am I in Arem Min?”, he thought. A number of foxes had already gathered there. They were all wearing strange clothes and a strange hat. As soon as Heady arrived, the foxes greeted Heady with a wide array of different sounds that never sounded together as a chorus. Heady was given a white cloak and a red mask. Anyways, Heady felt a bit elated. The foxes began to dance in a circle. They invited Heady to the centre. Heady loved all the attention. He spread out his fan tail and started to sway to the music. Heady forgot all about himself and got fully involved in the dance. Suddenly he heard a strange noise. He looked around. All the foxes were ‘gekkering’ aggressively. Fear gripped Heady. He looked around for Mojo. She was no where to be found.

The foxes did not seem friendly at all. Just then, Mojo appeared. Heady was much relieved. But much to his surprise Mojo had lost her smile. She completely ignored Heady. She told the foxes, ” friends, tonight is the benjong mong and we have a special Tenla”. “Tenla – what’s that?”, asked Heady. “Thatssssss you”‘, the foxes wailed in a chorus. Heady felt terribly let down. There was nothing he could do about it. The foxes broke out into a frenzied dance and pounced on Heady. Within minutes nothing of Heady was left except the bones and the beautiful eye-spotted feathers. Mojo picked some up to keep it as a souvenir. She perhaps added a few feathers to her cap.

Lesson Preparation (Part 1)

Posted: September 15, 2011 in Podcast, U17
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(This skit was written specifically to aid my sermon titled: Leadership lifestyle)

Narrator: David was God’s kind of King

David: God does not look at outward appearance

Narrator: Saul was Man’s kind of king

Saul: (Action)

Narrator: David was a man after God’s own heart

David: As a deer longs for water so my soul longs after you

Narrator: Saul was a man after people’s praise

Saul: Why? Aren’t people praising me?

Narrator: David was kind and benevolent

David:  (Action)

Narrator: Saul was cruel

Saul:  I will kill David (Action)

Narrator: David was forgiving

David: We shouldn’t kill the Lord’s anointed

Narrator: Saul was unforgiving

Saul: That fellow… David must die

Narrator: David repented

David: I know my transgressions and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only have I sinned and done evil in your sight

Narrator: When confronted Saul lied

Saul: Did I….? No!

Narrator: David was courageous.

David: Let no man’s heart fail. I will go and fight the Philistine

Narrator: Saul was fearful

Saul:  Sorry…. I can’t fight Goliath.

Narrator: David was at peace with God

David: (Action)

Narrator: Saul was separated from God.

Saul:  (Action)

Narrator: David’s kingship was eternal

David:  (Action)

Narrator: Saul’s kingship was rejected.

Saul:  (Action)

(Adapted from Life Application Bible, Zondervan)

– Samuel Thambusamy

This skit was specifically written for my sermon titled: Jesus Against Corruption in Indian

Anna Hazare keeps waving the Indian flag as four people walk around the stage.The first one is blindfolded. The second one is gagged. The third one is deaf. The fourth one’s hands are tied.

Narrator: During the time of Jesus, corruption was rampant. Very few spoke against it Even fewer did something about it. John wore freaky clothes, funny food and spoke fiery words. But…he got the crowd to listen.

John the Baptist: You brood of Vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Narrator: Some corrupt Tax collectors came to listen to his fiery sermons.
John the Baptist: Don’t collect any more than you are required to…
Narrator: Some soldiers who were posted there asked him,” And what should we do?”
John the Baptist: Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely – be content with your pay.
Narrator: John the Baptist also had strong words for the government of the day.
John the Baptist: What Herod the tetrarch is doing is wrong. He is morally corrupt and we condemn all other evil things he has done. This is why we need a strong Lokpal and he must come under the ambit of the Lokpal.
Narrator: Not surprisingly, John the Baptist was arrested and put behind bars. No television channel covered the story. NDTV, Times Now and CNN IBN were all surprisingly silent. The local HerodiasTV blacked out this news.
Jesus lived at a time when people were corrupt. Most soldiers, tax collectors, religious leaders were corrupt.
He preached against corruption. He was against corruption in any form. Sometimes, he got REALLY angry.
Once Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves and others sitting at the tables exchanging money. He made a whip out of cords
People: Oh! No!
Jesus drove the money changers from the Temple area. He scattered the coins and over turned their tables.
Jesus: Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market?
Narrator: Jesus fought corruption through personal example.
People: Is it right to pay taxes?
Jesus: Get me a coin. Whose portrait is this?
People: Caesar’s!
Jesus: Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.
Narrator: Sometimes he initiated a silent revolution.
The collective angst against corruption was directed against Tax collectors. Zacchaeus was notorious. The word in the street was that he was a cheat. Nothing more! Nothing less! The JBI was even pressing for corruption charges against Zacchaeus. But, Jesus was willing to go his house for tea. Zacchaeus welcomed him.
People: He has gone to be a guest of a sinner
People: I paid him extra.
People: He made me buy a TV as a gift!
People: Swindler!
People: Cheat!
Zacchaeus: Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.
People: You must be joking!
People: Oh! No!
People: Corruption cannot be wiped out.
Zacchaeus: But, Jesus! This is for real!
Jesus: Today Salvation has come to this house. The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.
Narrator: He called Matthew who was sitting at the Tax collector’s booth
Jesus: Follow me
Narrator: He became their friend and influenced them.
People: Oh! No! Jesus must have nothing to do with him.
Narrator: Jesus fought against corruption – and brought about social transformation.
Jesus stood at the Ram Lila grounds and continued his fight against corruption. He understands what it is and what it does to people.
There are voices:
Anna is India and India is Anna!
Anna Hazare is not India
Anna Hazare is a gandhian but his method is definitely not Gandhian
We’ve become Anna’s PR Agency!
I do not support Anna! What will happen if people start similar agitations?
This movement is running on Media Power
Television cannot make you bigger than you are!
Television can bring people; it cannot force them to sit there for hours!
Narrator: The battle against corruption was fought in the Ram Lila grounds.
Some saw Jesus. Some didn’t and probably won’t.
Did you see Jesus? Were you alongside him?
The fight against corruption is on…
Lord, let your will be done in India as it is in heaven.

(This skit was specifically written for and performed at morning chapel service in SIBS, Bangarapet)

We are going to look at the very same passage of Scripture that we looked yesterday – 1 Samuel 18:6ff. Yesterday, we dwelt on the theme of professional jealousy. We saw how King Saul grew jealous of David’s rising popularity. We saw how this professional jealousy was due to deep seated insecurity, spiritual deficiency and crisis of purpose. We also saw how professional jealousy usually expresses itself in bouts of anger, indiscriminate violence and even lifelong animosity. King Saul was greatly displeased when the crowds went gaga over David’s victory over Goliath. He was furious (v8) when he heard the women sing, “Saul has slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands”. He kept a close watch on David (v9), physically attacked him (at least twice), wished his death in the battle field at the hands of the enemies, publicly humiliated him and even tried hard to ensnare him so as to finish him off. Worse, King Saul remained an enemy throughout his life (v29).

Today, we will continue to look at the same theme – professional jealousy – albeit with a slightly different focus. Our focus this morning will be to learn how to face the heat and more importantly learn how not to be consumed by it. It must have been extremely difficult, if not suffocating for David to face such rabid personal vendetta. I am sure you’d agree with me that it is not easy to face such open animosity. Such an experience is not all that uncommon. It happens all the time. People with skills, gifts and talents are often perceived as threats and therefore are to be sidelined or eliminated.

How do we as young people face such a situation? This morning we are going to draw principles from David’s response to rabid professional jealousy. How did David respond to King Saul’s displeasure, anger and violence? To me it looks like there were at least five different options available to him. But, I wonder why David did not opt for any one of them.

  • Firstly, he could have easily retaliated to Saul’s open animosity. After all, sometimes offence is the best defence. Probably, it was easiest thing to do. King Saul was not that invincible. David had personally seen King Saul knock his knees in the battle field. King Saul was no match for David. In any case, David, having won the champion of Gath, had the psychological advantage. Some of us don’t understand why David had to go through all of this particularly when he was strong enough to give it back and get even! I wonder why David did not retaliate!
  • Secondly, David could have packed his bags and gone home. It’s so easy to give up. Pack your bags and leave, particularly when you are caught in the crossfire of power-politics, when you are put down, insulted and repeatedly targeted. It is probably the best thing to do. David could have easily packed his bags and gone home to tend his sheep. David did not need King Saul, as much as King Saul and the entire nation of Israel needed David. But, interestingly David stays put and does what the Lord requires him to do. I wonder why he did not pack his bags and go home!
  •  Thirdly, David could have chosen to be a silent killer. Well…even if you assume that David was powerless against the King/system, David could still have taken revenge. He could have simply refused to play the lyre and made life a little difficult of King Saul. Most people resort to such passive aggressiveness even if they don’t have the resolve to fight openly. Interestingly, we find David playing the lyre and helping King Saul escape the occasional bouts of torment. I wonder why David did not make Saul’s life a little difficult.
  • Fourthly, David could have turned the entire army against King Saul. After all, he enjoyed the support of all the high ranking officials. And more importantly, he enjoyed the support of all Israel and Judah (v16). Most people would have garnered support and tried to pull the rug under King Saul’s feet. I wonder why David didn’t!
  •  Fifthly, David could have manipulated Michal’s affection towards him to redraw the power equations. Michal – King Saul’s daughter – had fallen head over heels for David. David could have easily used and misused Michal to rein in Saul. Interestingly, even Saul wanted to use Michal as a trump card. But, I wonder why David didn’t?

It is not that David was naive, clueless and stupid. David could have engaged in a fight-back or at least in some kind of shadow boxing. But, he doesn’t do that? Why? It is here that we can draw precious lessons. Agreed, that there is professional jealousy and worst kind of partisan politics in the Church that the Church has become a graveyard of talent. But, what we can learn from David is that we don’t have to fight evil with evil. We can still overcome evil with good. How does David respond to professional jealousy, hatred and personal vendetta?

  • Firstly, he remained faithful. David was playing the lyre as he usually did (1Sam 18:10), leading the army into battle and winning victories. David was being himself and being faithful to what God has called him to do despite the odds. He knew God was with him and those around him also recognized that God was with him. Even King Saul recognized that God was with David. There was nothing King Saul could do about it. If God be for us no one can stand against us. David remained faithful and never got distracted from God’s plans and purposes for his life. David remained faithful for he knew God was with him. We don’t have to be really worried about who’s pulling us down, pushing us out, trashing our ideas, dampening our zeal and puncturing our resolve to make a difference. God is with us and all we need to do is to remain faithful even in little things – the mundane everyday things we are asked to do.
  • Secondly, he stayed available. David knew God was going to use him – at the right time. David knew he was anointed by Prophet Samuel. He didn’t have to rush things. There was no clamouring to be at the centre stage. He continued to be available to God as he usually did – just like how he was available to God when he was tending the sheep, available to God when he fought against Goliath, available to God as he was playing the lyre, available to God as he was King Saul’s armour bearer and available to God as he fought the many battles of the Lord on Saul’s command. We don’t have to do anything extraordinary. We just need to be available to God – even in the midst of personal vendetta and power-politics.
  • Thirdly, he believed in God’s promise – that God will fulfil His plans and purposes. God’s plans and purposes are eternal. They can never be thwarted. Prophet Samuel had anointed him as King (1 Samuel 16:13) and David knew that God will bring this to pass. It took a while for Saul to realize this. But eventually, he tells David, “I know that you will surely be king and that the Kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands” (1 Sam. 24:20). We don’t really have to worry about the evil schemes that are done to harm us. We must believe in God’s promises. He who has called us his faithful and he will fulfil His plans and purposes for our lives.

I am not condoning King Saul’s jealously, personal vendetta and use of violence against David. They are definitely wrong and need to be condemned. They do not rightfully belong to those who profess to follow Christ, let alone serve Him. I am just drawing lessons from the experience of David in dealing with professional jealousy.

Let us not be sidetracked and distracted from the plans and purposes that God has in store for us all because of the jealousy, anger and vengeful attitude of some people who are hurt by what God is doing in and through us. Let them do whatever – pull us down, push us out, trash our ideas, dampen our zeal and puncture our resolve to make a difference. But, we will remain faithful (For God continues to be with us), stay available (For God is going to use us) and believe His promises (for he will fulfil His plans and purposes).