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Showing posts from April, 2012

The Journey 120

Read: Genesis 27 The “ Wall Street Journal” reported a very interesting news this week. One NFL team doing “HomeWork”. Sounds strange!!  Read on…..Every year each team in the NFL signs new players to play for their team and to see to it that by the signing of these players the teams do well in NFL. Millions of dollars are invested by the teams in this signing of the new athletes. This year one NFL team “The Jacksonville Jaguars” decided that the if they are investing on a player they will do some “HomeWork” before investing on a particular player.  The “Wall Street Journal” reported that when the Jaguars were in the process of  signing quarterback Chad Henne and wide receiver Laurent Robinson during the off-season, the Jaguars management  asked the athletes to bring their wives along during the interview process. This is something similar in India when a parent wants to admit their child for the first time in a school. Most of the school has made it mandatory that both the parent and t…

The Journey 118

Read: Acts 2: 30-47                   Mega Church The Digital Church: Every church is going the digital and the electronic way. Today sometimes the number of worshippers that come to a church does not run in hundred but in thousands. These church has a band with the latest  musical instruments, the latest application in recording and sound system. Two mega church caught my attention recently because both of them were in the news. The first one is Christ Fellowship Church, McKinney, Texas. This church has a Facebook page so as to make its  presence in social media. One the unique aspect of this church is that you can download the worship program by scanning their customized-with-a-cross QR code. The worship services are streamed online from their Internet campus — with live chat running so you can share spiritual insights in real time. This church also has an app for donating online and another one for swapping goods and services to help others in the community About 2,100 people attend…

The Journey 117: 95 Years Young, Faithful and Blessed Life

Read: Acts 10:30-45 Philipose Mar Chrysostom Marthoma Valiya Metropolitan– Every church is known by its leaders and the role that they have played not only in the context of their pastoral role, but also in the way they have sharpened the voice of the voiceless and the common people, and also in shaping the direction of a society, a state and a nation. I as a clergy of the Marthoma Church feels happy that I could do my ministry under Valiya Thirumeni under various capacities, and that I have lived at a time of history when Chrysostom thirumeni was leading the church. I am also proud about the fact that my church has some of most illustrious leaders leading our church today. As Chrysostom Thirumeni celebrates his 95th birthday, it is a joyous occasion for the Marthoma Church, a time when the church is thanking God for giving us a leader of the stature of Philipose Mar Chrysostom Valiya Metropolitan.  I believe we should not say that thirumeni is 95 years old on the contrary we should sa…

The Journey 116: Go Deeper, Grow Deeper

Read: Acts 2: 38-47 Community Bible Experiences:   A bible reading experience called as “ Community Bible Experience” is revolutionizing people in this part of the continent. Community Bible experience is all about three things : It all about the Complete Bible, Understanding the  context of the Bible, and Experiencing the truths of the Bible in the community. Church’s that have a small and large membership are using this method, this unique way to help people to connect back with the truths of the Word of God. Recently the news agencies reported that Spring Lake Wesleyan Church in Spring Lake, Michigan, used  this community bible experience in their church. Approximately 900 members of the church studied and read together the entire New Testament in two months. Both the leaders of the church  Rev. Dan Ward, Rev. Paul Yoshonis, lead pastor at Spring Lake, are very happy they had envisioned this programme so that people could study Scripture in a small group setting. According to Rev. W…

The Journey 115: Romney And His Promise

Read: Acts 2: 38-47
Mitt Romney Wins: Finally the primary elections were held yesterday and the results are declared. Mitt Romney has won from Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island primaries, on his way to an expected five-state primary sweep. Thus he leaves behind all his challengers and most probably without any doubt he may be the Republican candidate to face President Obama in the forthcoming presidential election to be held in November. Romney has started working on his theme and his dream “ A Better America” just like President Obama’s dream of “ We need a Change”. History will tell whether dream of change or the dream of better America is going to bear its desired results. As Romney promises a better America there are lot of challenges ahead. He has to deal with a problems in economy, illegal migration issues, issues in the job front and then problems compounded by his various stand on public and religious issues like gay rights, abortion and so on. The list goes …

The Journey 114

Read: Acts 8: 8-25 A Church has launched a fight against gambling and lottery. Kate Shellnutt in Chron. Com reports that a  community of Baptists Christians has began waging a fight  against the Texas Lottery Commission, arguing that the lotto has proved unsuccessful in raising funds for state education and wrongly exploits the poor. The Christian Life Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas has lobbied against the expansion of the lottery and specific parts of the system, but this is the first time they’ve proposed the abolition of the lottery entirely, according to Suzii Paynter, the group’s director. “Having a deceptive product that is supported by the state is morally wrong,” she said. “From a Christian perspective, that is wrong. We have a moral aversion to exploiting poor populations.”There is already a controversy with the current winner in the much touted mega million of 2012, wherein suddenly one person in the group that owned the ticket has claimed that the tick…

The Journey 113: Transformed Living

Read: Acts 2: 38-47 Chuck Colson, the founder of Prison Fellowship International died on Saturday at Virginia at the age of 80. According to James Dobson“ The world has lost one of the most brilliant Christian leaders and articulators of the faith. He was a scholar, a constitutional lawyer, and a compassionate humanitarian who befriended lost and lonely prisoners for nearly 40 years. He wrote and sold millions of copies of his much-loved books, while giving most of the royalties to support Prison Fellowship. Instead of basking in wealth, he and his precious wife Patty chose to live humbly and frugally. He defended principles of righteousness in the culture without compromise or equivocation”. But Colson had a bitter past because of his involvement in the in the famous Watergate scandal which resulted him serving a seven month prison term. He was described as hatchet man for President Nixon. But it is this prison term that brought about dramatic changes in his life including living tran…

The Journey 111: Broken Become Blessed If God Does The Blending

Read: John 9:1-12 Life without Limbs: Who has not heard, read and seen videos of Nick Vujicic, limbless Australian motivational speaker. A few months back he married Kanae Miyahara in California. In one of the sermon that he gave few years ago, when asked whether he wants to marry, Nick said that he hopes to find a wife whom  God has prepared for him and with the marriage to Miyahara, one can proudly say “Jehovah Jireh”.Born with Tetra-Amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs, Vujicic has learnt to handle this brokenness by his trust and perseverance on God’s goodness and grace. He lives like a normal human being  having learned how to write, use the computer, play tennis, drive, swim and also had the courage to start his own nonprofit foundation.  Nick has addressed over three million people in 25 countries, including Australia, United States, Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, South Africa, Columbia, India, and others. At every sermon …

The Jouney 110

Read: John 9:1-12 April 19 was Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah), the day that the world sets aside, to honor  more than six million Jews, who went through torture, suffering and death at the hands of Adolf Hitler, during World War II. This year in US, this week [April 15-22[, has been set apart as the nation's annual commemoration of the Holocaust. We need to remember the countless people who suffered only because they belonged to a particular race. Listen to story of the twins, Eva and Miriam. Both Eva and her sister Miriam were part of the medical experiments conducted on them by the infamous Nazi Dr. Joseph Mengele. One twin would be used as a scientific "control" while the other was experimented on. Though she nearly died from infection as a result of one of the experiments, Eva said she was determined that both she and Miriam would survive and see freedom once again. Over nine months, both the sisters clung to life with very little food, filthy living conditio…

The Journey 109: We Died So That You May Live

Read: John 9: 1-12 As the 100 the anniversary of the commemoration of the victims of the Titanic disaster is observed this week, it is interesting to note that three Catholic priests, including one hailed by Pope Saint Pius X as a martyr for the faith, are also being remembered this week. They were among the victims of the Titanic disaster, but all three of them placed themselves on the highest pedestal of Christian witness and service. The names of the three priests are the following– Father Juozas Montvila of Lithuania, Father Josef Peruschitz,  of Bavaria, and English Rector Father Thomas Byles. All these three priest are said to have declined lifeboats in order to offer prayer and spiritual support to travelers who perished in the shipwreck. Fr. Byles and Fr. Peruschitz had celebrated communion on the morning of Sunday, April 14, only hours before the supposedly “unsinkable” ship struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic. Just before the disaster, both the priests had preached sermon…

The Journey 108: Transformation In The Life Of Sick and Suffering

Read: John 9:1-12
One of the most famous star in Hollywood is John Travolta. He came into the news a few years back because of a tragedy where his son died due to seizures. The news channel reported that his son who had autism, was never treated for autism because John Travolta belonged at that time to a church named “ Church of Scientology” that does not believe in the disorders like autism.  The doctrine of the church taught that psychiatric diagnoses are fake ailments invented by Nazi psychiatrist, so that they could give people drugs to keep them from realizing their true potential of controlling the physical world with their minds. Hence when Travolta’s son had seizures,  it is presumed that medicines were not administered. There are lot of church other than the church of scientology who has such beliefs, where the person or the church decides whether it is lawful to use medicines or not and how healing has to take place. One of the fundamental principles and belief that every bel…

The Journey 107: Transformation In The Life Of Sick & Suffering

Read: John 9:1-12 As the world remembered the sinking Titanic this week, the news channel yesterday brought about some interesting aspects with regards to the two contradictory role played by two ships who got the distress calls from Titanic as it the iceberg and was beginning to sink. The first ship was Californian who was the closest to Titanic and had even conveyed the news to the wireless operator of the Titanic that icebergs were spotted on their journey and that they had to be careful. But when Titanic hit the iceberg and began sending the distress signals by firing rockets in the air and morse signals to the Californian, the captain of the Californian ship, Stanley Lord failed to acknowledge nor did he do anything to help the sinking Titanic. On the contrary he moved his ship farther away from the Titanic. All the rescuers of Titanic was picked up from the icy waters by another ship Carpathian who was much farther away from Californian, but yet rushed to the rescue of Titanic se…

The Journey 106: Transformation In The Life Of Sick And Suffering

Read: John 9:1-12 Titanic Sinks: This was the shocking news that people all over the world heard exactly 100 years back on this day. 100 years later,  the city of Southampton from where the ill-fated journey of Titanic,  began is holding commemoration services across the city, remembering more than 1500 people who lost their lives as Titanic sank. The sinking of Titanic is still for many a shock in their psyche but for many like the film maker James Cameroon, has used sinking of the Titanic into making of an big budget  film raking in huge profits and today it is also being re released in 3D image. There are also about 1300 people who have paid 9000 dollars to sail on the ship MS Balmoral to the site of the disaster where a ceremony of remembrance is being held this week. But the history behind this colossal disaster is very compelling. It is a confluence of number of factors like the over confidence of the crew, and also the dubious decision of the captain of ship Edward Smith to run …

The Journey 103: Transformation In My Community

Read:  Mark 10:46-52
Image building exercise. From a well known sports person in NBA to a  Hollywood star , or to an ordinary individual in the world, everyone is concerned on building up  a new image. Thus most of the people are wanting to go in for a new look. The look may be through a new haircut, or loosing up of ones weight, or going for the latest in plastic surgery to shed their extra weight, go in for a diet so that they look slim, remove the unwanted fat on the cheek and also on the bottom, the list may go endless and some of the demand may sound so crazy. This is what the world is—It is all about ones image and creating the right image. But this image building exercise is always done normally to hide a deficiency and to highlight something that is external in ones personality. Hence what is unreal is made real and what is real is  banished away from reality. Let us remember the words in the book of Proverbs- “ Beauty is fleeing, charm is deceptive”. Thus in an age of beauty a…

The Journey 102: Transformation In My Community

Read: Mark 10:46-52
                 Last week on April 6th, thirty-nine young women recently completed  a 21-day march for life.  These thirty nine young woman started their journey on March 17th, culminated their walk on the courthouse steps in Dallas, calling themselves “ Back to Life”, walking so that their voices could be heard. Voices of several woman which has been stiffiled, voices of pain that have come out of the agony that woman go through when they are forced to do abortion. These  young women were strong and courageous who came from the length and breadth of the nation.  Some were post-abortive patients while  some survivors of abortion, others were stirred by this national calamity and hence decide to walk for life, to raise an awareness and also to make others feel that it is time that the voice of these woman be heard.  Together, these women represent the stand for life in the midst of a culture of death . Each day as the team walked they had a different prayer focus re…

The Journey 101

Read: Luke 7:1-10 LinkedIn– Everyone is getting hooked up on LinkedIn. There is not a single day when I don't get a request from my friends or may be from the LinkedIn programme that there is a friend waiting for me to connect through LinkedIn. I have consciously tried  not to get into another chat programme basically because of two reasons. Firstly I think I have many other chat programmes that comes with Goggle, Facebook and also Skype that helps me to chat with my friends if I want and hence I did not feel the need to have another chat programme. Moreover I think I don't have that much of a time whereby I need to be glued to a computer and then chat in single sentences or sometimes multiple with my friends. But the most important reason is that all these types of chat are impersonal, and does not go a long way to build relationship except for some momentary joyous experience of having talked with a friend.  For me as a person, I believe I need to take my relationship serious…

The Journey 100: Transformation In My Community

Read: Luke 7:1-10
Thomas Kinkade, the “ Painter of Light”,  the famous artist died  last Friday in California at the age of 54. Here was a man who The Associated Press reported that he was the nation's most collected living artist, his paintings and other products seemed to heave fetched around $100 million a year. Another uniqueness of this man is that his paintings seems to adorn at least in about 10 million homes in the United States. For others who are not able to buy these paintings, they have adorned these paintings on the desktop of the computer. His paintings which generally depict tranquil scenes with lush landscaping and streams running nearby, can be found displayed in buildings and malls at prominent places.  Many of his images have a Christian perspective and  the images are from Bible history or incidents. Kinkade,  was a devout Christian, who described his art on his own website, by saying that his mission as an artist was to capture all the special moments in life a…

The Journey 99: Transformation In My Community

Read: Luke 7:1-10 Tebow-ing or Tebow-hating? There is another phenomena that has come up in the NFL league and that is Tebow-ing and Tebow-hating. It is all connected to one of the star attraction, a quarterback  in NFL-Tim Tebow. Yesterday he drew a crowd of about 15,000 to an outdoor Easter church service where he told the gathering that it's important to be outspoken about ones faith. This created huge controversy across the country as Fox news and other new channel held panel discussion yesterday on Tim Tebow and whether he has the freedom to express his faith and his convictions publicly. But Tebow is least bothered. In fact he told the gathering that he welcomed the attention on his convictions as well as the "Tebow-ing" prayer pose he often strikes on the field because it puts his faith and prayer in the public conversation. But while his open confession of his faith has been an inspiration to many, it also has brought about  “Tebow-hating,” a conscious effort to d…

The Journey 96: Transformation In My Personal Life

Read: Mathew 27:45-55 Ramblings of a Roman Soldier by Alan G. Smith Do you hear it? What you ask? "Tetelestai" I can hear it even now. It beckons to me through the wind. I can tell you are looking at me strangely. Let me go back and explain why this word is so pregnant with meaning for me. I had never seen anything remotely like that day. In my time spent with the Legion in Jerusalem; I had helped perform many executions, but this one was different. This day there were three young men condemned to die. The sentence proclaimed on each of them had been death by crucifixion. At the palace, we tied the large crossbeams of rough hewn wood across the backs of each of the condemned. Their arms were outstretched on the wood demonstrating to everyone throughout the city what was going to happen to them. We took "the parade route" through town. We wound down every street to warn the people that the Roman Empire was serious about crime. Everyone knew where we were headed. There…

The Journey 95: Transformation In My Personal Life

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Read: Mathew 22 
Yesterday, was the day when people in this country remembered Martin Luther King. It was on April 4th, 1968 that he was assassinated in Memphis. There was lot of programmes in Philadelphia, commemorating the life and the role that Martin Luther King played in this  country,  to  bring an end to “Racism”. But as the events were being unfolded, there was a lot of simmering and anger going on in another part of the country, in Sanford, Florida, over a killing of a teenage named Travyon Martin,  which is now taking racist undertones.  It was on February 26 that Travyon Martin, aged 17, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman,  a neighborhood watch captain. The cops did not arrest Zimmerman because they accepted his version that he shot in self defense. This is being vehemently opposed by the family members of the slain teenager claiming racist undertones since Travyon was black while Zimmerman was a white and Hispanic. This has led to  lot of demonstration and also putti…

The Journey 94: Transformation In My Personal Life

Read: Mathew 24: 1-28 Mega Millions: Will  I win Half a billion dollar? This was one question that united the atheist, the agnostics, people with no faith or little faith and even some of the so called believers into  one common event– The Mega Million. It was a lottery event which almost caused a  national uproar, here in United Sates because the prize money exceeded $600 million. Every one was talking a bout Mega Million and it was strange to find people putting prayer request even in Facebook seeking God’s grace so that they could win a billion dollars. People were lining up to buy lottery tickets in droves as the nationwide Mega Millions craze hits all the 40 states that were participating in the lottery jackpot. But a strange thing has happened which was reported by the news agencies and the news was that, though the winning numbers had been announced last week, and the winning tickets sold, no one till day has come forward to claim the prize. Here was an event which brought to li…