Amazing Grace — the story behind the lyrics

In the year 1725 was John Newton born
Nurtured in the Word by his devout Mom
But she left for her eternal Home one new morn
Ere the young Newton was all but seven

His father was a mariner at sea
And found no time to stop and see
The growing need of the young Newton
Who by eleven was broken, wild and full of sin

To keep the growing teen from the snares
His father coaxed him to join him at sea
But young Newton was more reckless than when onshore
And tried in vain to break loose and free

Enslaved body and soul, Newton found no reprieve
When left to toil on West African soil
And grew more depraved, ruthless and in despair
Till he set sail again homeward bound

A raging storm at sea cast fear all around
And Newton called out to his once dear Lord
Who calmed the sea and saved the bound
And steered them safe to solid ground

God then set to restore and heal
And helped young Newton grow in zeal
To break the chains of those in need
And calm the soul with the Word to feed

And one night as Newton mused on the love of Jesus
His spirit swelled and birthed the lines of Amazing Grace
Echoing Newton’s testimony that he was a great sinner
Saved, restored,healed, and forgiven by God’s Amazing Grace.

Facing toward Christ’s eternity

When I tried to open a box file
It was like moving a mountain by a mile
I dived into frustration, a foolish distraction
When I tried to steer steering wheel of car
I couldn’t see what lay on the road ahead
With much dread I was, snow blanketing overhead.

It is a walking journey
If I keep my eyes way too close near me
I don’t see people , I’d be too self absorbed
If I keep my eyes way above me
I don’t see here I walk, I stumble and be floored

I have to keep moving on
For if blood doesn’t flow through its vessels
Nice and steady
An abrasion awaits , an attack of coronary

Lot’s wife looked back
Stuck in the past, a future vision she lacked
So was Balaam and Achan
Whose greed got them stuck like the waters, not like that of sea of Galilee—
But the waters which are of the Dead sea
Too much salinity and toxicity and inflammation and stagnancy
Not fit for life in such continuing impurity

This is why Paul looks forward
To Christ and eternity
Our vision set fixed on someone so trustworthy
This is why seven maidens waited with oil
Looking forward to the arrival of bridegroom

Now I try to open a box file
I don’t get too paranoid, I hear His voice
Follow Christ’s lead
Now I try to steer he driving wheel
Snow steadily removed with windshield
My eyes don’t leave my road to
The ultimate kingdom of heaven and eternity.

  • Angel Anto

Spiritual Poverty

Once upon a time there were 2 friends, Simon and Jabez . Both of them were best of friends and helped each other out in assignments tests etc.

They both like to spend their break time hearing people’s talks , sometimes it would be people’s opinions on teachers or subjects or school rules and other things like it.

On one fine day, they heard a bespectacled classmate talk about Christianity which they usually make jokes about. But today, they heard things really different and that caught their interest. They heard about the beatitudes.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn , blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are the pure in their hearts…’’

“Hey u there, glassy, what does poor in spirit mean?”,  asked Simon.

The boy whose nickname was glassy, otherwise known as Emil, was surprised that they asked a serious question and weren’t making jokes of it.

“It’s like beggars begging for alms,”

“Begging for alms? What? Do you expect us to become lazy and beg for readymade answers for home work from you? “ Jabez asked, causing both Simon and him to chortle.

“No –“ the boy’s nose reddened in embarrassment. They never changed after all, Emil thought to himself. “I mean just like beggars aren’t feeling enough with their alms and keep begging, Jesus tells us to have this wanting to grow more in him and not be satisfied”

‘Isn’t that same as being greedy? “ Simon asked Jabez.

“Yeah I thought gluttony was one of the seven deadly sins!” Jabez asserted.

“Look I might not be able to explain well but I’m sure if you repent your sins and accept Jesus as lord and savior you’ll get to know bit by bit on this journey with Jesus’’ Emil said, giving them a brochure including of repentance, salvation and baptism.

“We already know this stuff don’t we?” Jabez asked Simon, reading through the brochure.

Simon nodded and said, “Yeah!  We were baptized when we were kids!’’

“But do y’all know what is the purpose of baptism?” Emil asked.

Blank faces greeted Emil.

“If y’all are free this weekend, I would like to invite you to this youth meeting I’m going to. The address is in the brochure.  Y’all could clarify more with pastor”

Simon and Jabez looked at each other and shrugged. “Sounds really boring though, we’ll see’’, Jabez said.

Emil’s shoulder deflated and shrunk back into his seat. He thought to himself, ‘it was at least worth a try’

On the day of the youth meeting, Emil thought he was hallucinating when he saw two familiar heads in the group.  “Simon? Jabez? Is that you?” Emil faintly called out.

“Nope we are the Xerox clones, we come from another universe.” Simon quipped making a namaste greeting.

“Soo glad that both of you could come. Means so much to me!” Emil couldn’t resist his elated grin.

“Who said we still don’t think this is dumb?” Simon snickered.

“We thought it would be impolite to refuse an invitation, is all” Jabez uttered with a stiff lip.

Emil grin slightly turned to a frown , paused for a while before saying, ‘’Still glad y’all could come’’

The meeting started and Emil was excited to hear the thought as usual. He wondered if his classmates fell asleep but to his surprise they heard with rapt attention more than they listened in a classroom!

Soon enough the meeting ended and Emil went with his class mates who peppered the youth pastor with questions.

Emil didn’t expect them to continue coming the next week and the week after next and it soon grew into months.

At the start, during their discussions they were saying this like, “this sounds way impossible! Who could even do all this?” “It’s easier to turn into hypocrites and follow this stuff”

Emil slightly chuckled to himself, thinking of how he did things that Christ wanted even when he didn’t exactly like it. Oh the number of times he was ignored in class or was the butt of jokes, it all sounded possible rather than impossible. They’re really beginners aren’t they, he thought to himself.

Soon as the time passed, during their discussions they were saying things like, “what does overflow in Holy Spirit do? “ Why do we got to pray?” “Why is there a need to be prepared any time when Jesus comes?”
They also asked really adult deep questions even Emil didn’t bother to think of! Eh they might be asking extra questions to show off or something. Emil consoled himself with such words.

Months passed into years and now it was time for board exams. Emil thought he would skip a few youth meetings, his parents were ok with it and so was his pastor when he told them the reason. He was sure Jabez and Simon would follow his suit and he thought to himself with an inner smugness, ‘I bet I would be taking the least number of skips of meetings compared to them’

Later during the class time, he asked them how their study sessions were going. Both of them gave their signature shrug. “Oh yeah that reminds me, we don’t see you anymore in meetings!’’ , Jabez said with eyebrow raised.

“Wait—y’all go to meetings and also find time to study?!?!?” Emil was flabbergasted.

Simon and Jabez shared a knowing look.

Jabez said, “Do you remember what you said on that day. Something about being poor in spirit?”

“Yeah, so?” Emil couldn’t get what they were trying to imply for some minutes.

Suddenly like a huge load of bricks Emil came to understand… That his thirst for Christ was nowhere to be seen but theirs is clear as daylight.

“Thank you both of you so much for making me realize that!” Emil said with eyes slightly watered and rushed to find the next class.

“Nah we ought to thank you glassy’’ Simon grinned, catching up with Emil.

“Simon! You better call him Emil, now that he’s our friend!” Jabez playfully slapped on Simon’s shoulders. Looking at Emil, Jabez shook his hand to thank. “We decided to take baptism, we’d be looking forward to meet you”

Emil’s happiness knew no bounds as he accepted their invitation.

Angel Antony

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and let Him act

As I begin to pen this down, I thank God for his grace and providence he has showered on me in all things specially to have the chance to learn His word.

What I have received from the Lord, I would like to share with you my dear ones.

Proverbs 3:5-6 reads;

“5Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths.”

Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived! Solomon with the wisdom and understanding that is many folds above ordinary men, here in verse 5, asks two questions;

1.“Why do we lean on our understanding during important situations in our life?”

2.“Why is it, that we don’t turn to God in those moments?”

Is it our pride? our self-confidence? or more specifically our overconfidence with our knowledge, or as Solomon says, “Our Understanding”?

The Lord’s council will lead you to a greater and permanent victory and this is a fact, as His ways are always and surely better than our ways and His understanding, infinitely better than our human comprehension.

The other day when at church, I thought to myself; ‘one way or another, I have always found a way to keep in touch or talk with my friends.
Why is it that I hardly ever find a way to equally keep in touch with God?’

Remember this if not anything else;

“God is only as far as you keep Him”.

It says Adam and Eve closely interacted with God and even physically felt his presence while in the garden of Eden. However, when Adam did that which was not pleasing to the Lord, he hid from the Lord.
….. He wished to be far from the Lord!!…

Proverbs 5:6 says ‘in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths

It says ‘in ALL your ways’!!
Let go to the basic of your ways…. when you’re eating, when you’re drinking, when you’re walking, when you’re talking… Basically wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, do it with the firm belief that the Lord is the only reason for your being and the only reason you are able to do anything you do.

This firm dependence in the Lord is what He expects from us and what it truly means to acknowledge HIM.

Let me conclude with

Psalms 37:5
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.

Thank you.

May the Lord bless you all.


Fragrance of Christ

Once upon a time in Nolan house, the two sisters were giddy with excitement since the school just got over!

“Time to say goodbye to books!” , the younger one, Beth cried out.

“And to exam pressures!”, the elder one, Grace sighed out .

Both of them started making chits on what they could do together. This was what they used to do every vacation and they would get their parents to vote as well.

As they were deep in cutting pieces of papers, they heard their mother.

“Girls! here, take these empty boxes and throw them out!” Their mother was spring cleaning and decluttering the boxes.

“Yes, mama!”, they replied in unison. Both of them took a look at the rather large gift box. A sudden scent hit them.

Beth took a long whiff contently as Grace figured out its name. “Frankincense.”

“What if we keep our clothes in this box? So they could smell the same?” Beth asked but didn’t wait for her big sister’s reply; rather she ran with the box to their room. Grace went along with her sister’s musings.

And so both of them took some clothes and packed it into the box. The box stayed on their bed and they soon went to continue making chits.

Soon their mother saw the box and grew surprised. “Girls, why is this still here? Wasn’t this also included in the other boxes I gave you to throw?’’

“Mama, the box had this awesome smell so I thought sister and I could put our clothes in so they also will have this amazing scent!” Beth couldn’t contain her glee as she almost rapped.

Beth really love the frankincense mama, “ Grace tried to explain, to their mother didn’t seem to understand what Beth was trying to say.

Their mother couldn’t help but chuckle. “Alright then girls, we shall see what happens in a few days”

A week passed by all too fast.

The clothes which were in the box were put on, and washed and dried and put back into the box more then once.
And all of a sudden there was a wailing sob.
“What has happened? What’s wrong?” their mother came into their room hearing the call of distress.

“Mama! The frankincense is no more on the clothes! Its all gone!” , Beth, the eight year old girl, didn’t expect this to happen. She wished it could stay much longer.

“My dear child, even you too spend you Sunday school classes and church meetings… does the fragrance of Jesus stay with you after you leave the church? Obeying His commandments and abiding in Jesus even in the smallest things you do?”
Beth’s mother asked.

“But- mama”, Beth tried to make a sentence but she faltered. She realized how true what mother said.

So that’s what our memory verse was, oh! , exclaimed Grace

2 Corinth 2 :15
For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

The Only Hope

In the midst of trouble,
You give me comfort.
You are greater than tall peaks,
And the tall trees.
In my sadness and my happiness,
Never will you leave me to be.
Every step I take, giving me strength,
To keep going no matter what it takes.
You guide me, and I follow,
Blinded by the dark, into the hallow,
I am grateful that you are with me,
Now that I am sharing your wonders in this poem.

An Eternal Friendship

Throughout our lives we make relationships starting with family all the way to friends. We learn to trust and love and care for people. However, while we spend whole lives perfecting and exploring our relationships with people, we neglect the one that was created with sacrifice, unconditional love and solely for our benefit.

The Google definition for prayer is as follows – a solemn request for help or expression of thanks.Gratitude and thankfulness are the most deeply felt emotions. Gratitude for the things you have and for knowing God can change one’s perspective on life. We convey our gratitude, love, worries and sorrows through prayer. Prayer is often mistaken for a ritual or a ceremonial monotone activity that one must complete in order to appease God, when in reality it is a manner by which we vent our feelings and worries and happiness. Every emotion under the sun can be communicated to God through prayer, for he is the one who created all things and no other could fully grasp the extent of them like he would.

If we want to draw near to God and build a normal relationship with God, the most crucial step is to quiet ourselves before God and pray to Him with a concentrated heart. Because we will encounter all kinds of people outside, matters and things every day that often disturb and occupy our hearts, and quite often our prayers just cling to rules and are just spoken as a formality without really meaning any of it.

We could be talking to God all the time, not just before bed and in the morning. When we drive to work or go to school, when we’re cooking in the kitchen and we’re taking a shower. All the time is as good a time as any to be talking to our father and creator. Just as we would tell a close friend about the details and the minor things in our life, and maybe even more, we can always talk to God.

Just as prayer is how we communicate with God, the word of God – the Bible – is how God talks to us. The Bible truly has all the answers if we only read and listen with patience and an open heart. We may not always like things in the bible but the truth does not alter itself to our liking, it is eternal and never changing. Meditating and understanding his word and viewing it from different perspectives is always the way to go when listening for God’s advice to us.

Sometimes when we feel the most burdened is when a certain verse speaks to us, a miracle, a comforting and uplifting hand from God. It’s also good to know that the burden and the weight we feel from the pressures of life is not always a bad thing. It’s important to sharpen the burden, the pain and worry, it keeps us grounded and closer to God. In comfort is where sin thrives.

John 15 verses 15 to 17 say: No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.

Just as we would share good news with our friends and partake in their joys, we can share the joy we have found in Christ and the friendship we have with him. It is certainly possible to be respectful about other people’s beliefs while sharing our own. Nevertheless, even then we may be rejected and treated outcasts because of our friendship with God. In John 15:18 – 20 it says, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecute Me, they will also persecute you. If they keep My word,
they will keep yours also.”

Like any friendship or relationship, there may be hurdles and obstacles. There may be times of doubt when your faith in God is tested. That is when you will taste the true goodness of God, because while worldly friendships may fail you, God never will, even when you don’t see the purpose he has for you. God will never give up on you or reject you, he will always await your companionship and love while showering you with his. It’s up to us to receive it.

Perseverance & Determination

It is all about Perseverance & Determination – Boy with 5 loaves and 2 fishes was aware of his humble situation, and so he preserved it till the end. He must have thought how small and worthless possession he had in that multitude of many prominent personalities and famous preachers… still he never hesistated to throw his gift or conceal it on call…

He stood up with what he had upon the call of His master and that made the difference… Heaven’s maths worked !! 5 loaves of bread + 2 fishes = 5000+ meals !!

Be ready to stand-up with your gifts upon call of your master!! And the rest will be a marvel miracle!!


A Basketball player repeatedly dribbles the ball before he scores… As the ball hits the floor repeatedly, neither does it depress itself nor does it give away…the ball knows for sure that it is well controlled and directed by the player and that it will be used by its master to score !!

In our life we may be hit down or even re-directed from our own plans… But as long as our Master controls us, we need not quit or give up… Our Master is sure to destine us to hit the eternal score…

Joel Shaji Mathew – Young lad with a great zeal for God’s Kingdom

Joel Shaji Mathew

Born as the third child of Mr. Shaji Mathew & Mrs Sheela Mathew, Joel was a member of IPC Philadelphia Church Dubai since his birth in 1998. He grew up in Dubai and did his schooling at Our Own English High School.

He was trained in the Word of God at home and in Sunday School which he attended regularly. Even from a young age, Joel exhibited a talent and passion for music and trained himself on a variety of musical instruments like the keyboard, violin, guitar, cello etc. He was part of the Church music team and never shied away from giving assistance with all preparations well ahead of the commencement of service.

From a tender age of 10 years, Joel started writing songs, composing the tune and singing them. During PYPA sessions, he displayed his talent and dexterity at playing instruments. His violin renditions had a touch of genius. He had a great zeal of God’s kingdom and aspired to be Christ like in all his dealings with people.

A soft-spoken young lad with a face ever resplendent with a heart-warming smile, Joel touched many lives with his affable manners and compassion. God in His infinite wisdom chose a better place for Joel and called him to his Eternal Home on 12 th March 2020.

we have included some excerpts from Joel’s collection and you can watch it under our video page and you can read few songs written by him under our “poems” Page …… cherish and treasure …….