Showing posts from March, 2012

The Journey 90: Transformation in my family life

Read: 1 Samuel 1, 2             CAN YOU BE A MENTEE?. Dr. Anthony Rodriguez, is the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Diversity at Drexel University, College of Medicine. He is a famous doctor who always talks about the importance of becoming a mentee so that one can get guidance in life and humble oneself to learn from others so as to make significant progress in life. Today he has decided to become a mentor so that he can offer guidance for aspiring doctors, something that he received as a mentee. Recalling his childhood life he says that he  grew up with a single mother, and hence the mother was very careful to see that her children does not fall sick as there was nothing known as preventive care in the early 1960's.  So, every August before the start of the school year, he would be taken to the doctors to our shots, so that he was  healthy for school. He says he can still see himself at age 6 standing on the white exam table talking his pediatrician.  From then on his desi

The Journey 89: Transformation in my family life

Read: 1 Samuel 1, 2 Key Bible Verse: “ O Lord almighty if you will look upon your servants misery and remember me and not forget your servant, but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life….”[ 1 Samuel 1: 11] “ Casting Crowns”. They finally came to Philly and performed at the awesome Liacouras centre, in the Temple University Campus. It was a dream come  true for me because all of their songs has been a tremendous influence in my life and these were  the songs that were used for praise and worship sessions even in some of the church’s in India. Each song that the Mathew West, Ross Taylor and Casting Crowns sang were wonderful. The songs like “Jesus Friend of Sinners”, “ Praise you in the Storm”, “Voice of Truth”, “East to the West”, “Just another day”, Glorious day” was all awesome and wonderful to hear and also see the group performing live. But the moment of sheer joy and excitement was when casting crowns sang the song “ Whom Am I”. I don

The Journey 88: Transformation in my family life

Read: 1 Samuel 1   Key Bible Verse : “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk on the road, when you lie down and when you get up”.                  [ Exodus 6:6-8] Inter Generational Faith Transmission : Every parent would want to give the best to their children and hence in most of the families of  Indian origin, the parents still consider that it is their duty to struggle so that they can give the best to their kids, and have a dream that they should be able to leave behind for their children something precious. What are the most important things that a parent normally would want to pass on to their children. A house, financial assets, property are the things that may come on the top the list. But has the family ever thought that in the quest for all these material things can we pass on rich legacy of faith to the next generations?. Faith is always an inter g

The Journey 87: Transformation in my family life

Read: 1 Samuel 1 Emotional Profile: The magazine “Newsweek” dated February 27– March 5, 2012 has an interesting article on the topic that deals with science and psychology. It talks about an “ Emotional Profile” The author says that as each individual is unique, each person also has a unique way of expressing emotions which can be called as the emotional style or the emotional profile of the person. This style or profile is the   constellation of reactions and response, that differ from person to person in kind, intensity and duration. This means that each individual just as he/she is unique will also have a unique emotional profile, a unique way of expressing emotions. Tears is one of the strongest emotions that is expressed by individuals. But  tears are normally misunderstood. In the Indian context, it may be ok if a woman cries but “not ok” if the male sheds tears as it may be viewed as a sign of weakness. On a personal note, being a very sensitive person, tears come automatic

The Journey 85: Transformation in my family life

Read: 1 Samuel 1 Key Bible Verse: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. [ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7]           A woman  appeared before the judge in divorce court. "How old are you?" the judge asked. "Thirty-five," said the woman. The judge noticed her graying hair and wrinkles and said "May I see your birth certificate?" The lady handed him her birth certificate. "Madam," he said, clearly annoyed, "according to this certificate you are not 35 but 50." "Your honor," replied the lady, "I'm not counting the last 15 years I spent with my husband. You call that a life?" . There are lots o of people like this lady who would want to forget the years of marital lif

The Journey 83: Transformation in the life of sick and suffering

Read: Mark 7:24-30 Key Bible Verse: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you”. [1Peter 5:6-7] .                Are You Hurt?. Remember “The Law of the Garbage Truck”.  A story is told of a man who one day  hopped in a taxi and to go to the airport. As they were driving in the right lane, suddenly a car jumped out of a parking space right in front of them . The taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches.  The driver of the other car who was actually at fault, whipped his head around and started yelling at the taxi driver. The taxi driver only  smiled and waved at this guy who was shouting abuses at him. Observing the strange behavior of the taxi driver the man asked “Why did you just do that”? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!' This is when the taxi driver said that he believes in the “The Law of the Garb

The Journey 82: Transformation in the life of sick and suffering

Read: Mark 7:24-30 “ Conversations”. Who does not like conversations. I think the majority of people enjoy doing this– conversing, especially with friends and family. But do you know that there is healing, and the power to change through the gift of conversation?. In March 2005, after allegedly killing four people in Atlanta, Brian Nichols took Ashley Smith hostage in her apartment. For seven hours, Smith, a widowed single mom, in the midst of her ordeal, conversed and talked to Nichols about her faith, her addictions, and the pain that she was going through for regaining the custody of her young daughter. She also began reading to Nichols passages from the well known book "The Purpose-Driven Life." by Rick Warren. As the hours rolled by, Nichols calmed down. Through her conversation she convinced him that his life had a purpose, given to him by God. Smith suggested to him that God's vision for her life,  was to help Nichols see his own purpose in life and that she wou

The Journey 81: Transforming the life of sick and suffering

Read: Mark 7:24-30 Key Bible Verse: “And their prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up…..The prayer of righteous man is powerful and effective” [ James 5:15-16]                  The Girls who silenced the world for five minutes: This is a another video that is a huge hit on You Tube. It is about a twelve year old Canadian girl, Severn Cullis- Suzuki, who spoke at the  United Nations Earth Summit at Rio De Janeiro two decades back, and in the process left the everyone in the summit and the world completely silent and speechless for five minutes. Speaking about the hole in the ozone layer, pollution, the devastation of the forests and extinction of so many species, Severn charged that the adults have no idea how to fix these things, in fact if they can’t fix them, she said that the adults must change their ways. “If you don’t know how to fix it, stop breaking it,” she pleaded. Severn continued by saying that “I am here to speak for all ge

The Journey 80: Transofrming the life of sick and suffering

Read: Mark 7:24-30 Key Bible Verse: “ Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard” [ Isaiah 58:8].               Rev. Larry Deitch and Dayton Beach Drive  Church, Florida. Who is Rev. Larry Deitch? Larry Deitch is a pastor of a unique and an uncommon church in Florida named as the Dayton Beach Drive-In Church. The uniqueness of this church is that this church is by the seashore in Florida and here the worshippers park their cars, which becomes their personal pews, in front of a balcony of the church which becomes the "altar". The worshippers then tune their radios to a special FM frequency to listen to singing and a sermon that happens every week in the church. The whole concept of worship in an informal setting was something Deitch conceived. This outdoor church, which has more than 800 members, belongs to the Disciples of Chris

The Journey 79: Tranformation in the life of sick and suffering

Read: Mark 7:24-30 Key Bible Verse: “ Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His loving kindness to a thousand generation with those who love him and keep His commandments”. [ Deuteronomy 7:9]                         The Late Rev. C. P. Wilson . Who can forget this former vicar of the Philadelphia Marthoma Church. An unassuming person, gentle and kind, an individual with deep thinking and very down to earth person. We were contemporaries in the seminary and later also became close family friends. The death of Wilson achen has been a terrible blow to all those who knew him. But it was his family members, especially his wife Praisy who had to bear this huge personal loss as she suddenly had to grapple with her world and dreams shattered and her two daughters, to be nurtured all alone. Four years has gone down the lane since Wilson achen has gone to be with our Lord. But last month, as people reminiscenced achen,  there was a

The Journey 78: Transformation in the life of suffering and sick

Read:  Mark 7:24-30 Key Bible Verse: “ Show  me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me for you are God my saviour, and my hope is in you all day long.  [ Psalms 24:4-5] Ready to Wait– In a Line : Finally Apple die hard fans could lay their hands on The I Pad 3. The I Pad 3 for the first time went on sale on Friday, March 16th, at 8 a.m. local time in the U.S. and nine other countries. There were thousand of  Apple fans who started lining outside from the previous night itself, in front of the apple stores all over the country, but what caught my attention in the news was the picture of one man waiting in the line to get his hands on I Pad 3. This man was Steve Wozniak, who was waiting in line at the Century City in California. But who is Steve Wozniak?.  Wozniak along with Steve Jobs were the co founders of Apple industry but then Wozniak  left Apple in 1987. When asked by the news reporters as to why he was waiting in the line all the  night

The Journey 76: Transformation in my parish

Read: Nehemiah 5 Key Bible Verse: “ You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things “. [ Romans 2:1] St. Patrick's Day .  Today is St. Patrick's Day. This day was established as a way to recognize Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. According to Stanley J Ward, he was a practical theologian and also a social activist. This was originally a religious holiday, but today many people throughout the world has converted this holiday as a celebration with food, drink and all things green. My background for this devotional unknowingly is also green today. But who is St. Patrick?. Most sources agree that St. Patrick's actual name was Maewyn Succat. It is also agreed  that Patrick was kidnapped and sold into slavery at age 16. It was under these harsh conditions that Patrick learned to pray constantly.  Six years after his captiv

The Journey 75: Transformation in my parish

Read; Nehemiah 5 Key Bible Verse; Love is patient, Love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs”. [ 1 Corinthians 13:5] CRYSTAL CATHEDRAL CHURCH :  Almost all the news journal like Wall street, CBS News, Washington Post carried a significant news yesterday. The news was about how the famous Crystal Cathedral Church, founded by Robert Schuller has gone bankrupt. The church was earlier sold to the Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of Orange for $ 57 Million. What a tragedy. Dr. Schuller, his wife Arviella, and his children who were part of Crystal Cathedral Ministries have all split from the church.  The reason for the split began with the public feud with the church's board over matters both theological and financial and later it became a family issue too. It's the "end of an era," proclaimed a headline in Los Angeles Times . Robert Schuller had retired in 2006, passing the  leadership of the church

The Journey 74:Transformation in my parish

Read: Nehemiah 4,5 Key Bible Verse: “ I am sending you out like sheep among wolves, therefore be as shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves” [Mathew 10:16] ARAB SPRING .  This is the watch word spoken in the Arab world,  as every day people all over the world get to see the disturbing going on that is happening presently in Syria. Acts of violence and injustice going on as pro democracy protesters rage a battle to overthrow President Assad. This is the latest chain of protest by the pro democracy group and this is what is called as“ Arab Spring”.  Syria joins nations like Tunisia, Liberia, Libya and Egypt where people have come together as one nation to overthrow unjust rulers who fleeced the people. But the  man who unknowingly brought about this phenomena called Arab Spring is from Tunisia,  a young, unemployed Tunisian by the name Mohamed Bouazizi who on December 17th, 2010, set fire to himself after officials had blocked his attempts to make a living selling vegetables withou

The Journey 73: Transformation in my parish

Read: Nehemiah 4, 5 Key Bible Verse: “ By the grace God has given me, I laid the foundation as an expert builder, and someone else building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds” [ 1 Cor 3: 10]. March 11, 2011– Tsunami Hits Japan . It has been one year, as the world remembers  one of the worst natural disasters—Tsunami, that devastated the northeast coast of Japan. : A 9.0 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami led to the deaths of more than 15,000 people. It also damaged the Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant, thus unleashing a nuclear crisis that was somewhat similar to the one created in 1986 by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in  Ukraine.  To mark this painful event in the history of the country the people across Japan, people paused at 2:46 p.m, the moment the magnitude-9.0 quake struck a year ago, for moments of silence, prayer and reflection about the enormous losses suffered and monumental tasks ahead. These are enormous burdens on this  country which

The Journey 72: Transformation in my parish

Read: Nehemiah 4 Key Bible Verse: “ Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” [ Psalms 50:15]           IHOP : Ask any one in United States what        IHOP stands for, they will say it without blinking an eyelid, that it is the well known restaurant that offers delicious pancakes and the 7x7 dollar menu items,  and  the restaurant where a majority of people go or have gone,  to either have their breakfast or brunch. IHOP is a household name here in in the United Sates. But in Kansas City, Missouri, IHOP does not just stand for International House of Pancakes. It is also an acronym for International House of Prayer. What is unique about this church is that this church started a prayer chain on  Sept. 19, 1999, and I believe it still has not stopped. This was reported by Los Angeles Times. Through out the day, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, there is a live music  being played. You can find the church packed sometimes even in the

The Journey 71: Transformation in my parish

Read; Nehemiah 4 Key Bible Verse: “ I appeal to you brothers in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another, so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought” [ 1 Corinthians 1:10] The 57 Cent Church :A little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was 'too crowded.' 'I can't go to Sunday School,' she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by. Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class. The child was so happy that they found room for her, and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus. Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings. Her parents called for the kindhearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements. As