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Showing posts from June, 2012

The Journey 181: Colarado Burns; Does That matter To You?

Read: Joshua 7:1-26            A massive  disaster both  in terms of natural and human has occurred in Colorado.  Colorado has been in a grip of wild fire known as the Waldo Canyon Fire. According to the preliminary report from the news agencies, nearly  347 residences on about 35 streets have been destroyed. It is presumed that the fire was triggered by lightning on June 9. The fire has sent huge billowing cloud of smoke into the air over the Colorado Springs thus covering up the Pikes peak whose beautiful naturescape helped to inspire the famous patriotic song " America the Beautiful".  Pikes peak is now closed  leaving the tourism industry also in a slump. An estimated 4,300 people remain evacuated from their homes due to the effect of the Waldo Canyon Fire. But what made me write about this tragedy is a news item that I heard as I was listening to the radio station K-Love. K Love was asking people to help the people suffering from the wild fire tragedy. A  pastor in the l…

The Journey 180: Insure People Not Profits

Read: Joshua 7:1-26
         A landmark decision was made by The Supreme Court of the United States yesterday. It upheld the President Obama's policy of  needing total reform on the health care sector. The court yesterday ruled as constitutional,  the so-called individual mandate requiring most Americans to obtain health insurance starting in 2014. This ruling is considered as a significant  victory for the President,  as the presidential election is drawing near. But there are lot of questions that people are eager to know. The main concern that most the people has it that how will the health reform affect the American economy  especially at a time when it slowly regaining ground. The other concern is that whether all Americans will be guaranteed coverage  irrespective of ones' health condition and will they be forced to buy insurance?. A big question also looms large on business houses as to whether they will be able to recruit,  without taking into consideration the cost tha…

The Journey 179: When Hand Shakes History Is Created

Read: Joshua 24:1-15
          The CNN news channel yesterday brought out an interesting  and a historical news item titled "When a handshake is not just a handshake". These were a collection of handshakes that  made history, and handshakes that changed the course and history of the world. This was because yesterday i.e.  Wednesday, June 27th, was a landmark day as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II shook hands with former IRA commander Martin McGuinness. This is termed as a historic gesture  to mark  the  advance of the peace process around British rule of Northern Ireland. The news channel reports that the handshake comes 14 years  later,  after the end of a conflict that claimed almost  3,500 lives. It is this gesture which is termed as an action where a handshake is more than just a handshake. The news channel also brings to one's memory some of the famous handshakes that were more than handshakes.  Some of the handshakes that CNN quoted were the following. When  U.S. P…

The Journey 178: School At Home

Read: Joshua 24:1-15 Home Schooling. This is the new trend that is making huge mark in the lives of kids. The growth of home schooling in the last few years has been phenomenal. The number of parents and children opting for home schooling are climbing steadily according to the research done in the last five years here in the United States. It is believed that there were about 1.5 million kids doing home schooling in 2007, and this number will have jumped at least three times according to the National Center for Education Statistics. According to the survey that was conducted, there were different reasons as to why the parents selected home schooling for their kids.  Some parents wanted home schooling so that they could spend more time with the kids and also save some finances.  While  for some other parents, they  were not satisfied with the traditional approach of teaching and hence they wanted to do nontraditional approach with regards to educating their kids. But  more than all thes…

The Journey 177: "MY Dad"

My Dad: It was all about his dad. Tim Tebow the New York Jets quarter back was the main attraction as he spoke on Father's day on how his father Bob, had influenced him in his life, in his faith and in his sports. Around 26,000 people flocked to San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium to hear Tim as he recalled the role of his father in his life. He was a special guest for a ceremony titled, "Father's Day 2012: Encouraging Men To Live, Love & Lead,". Tim in his speech stressed the need for role models for the next generation, and shared to the people how his dad was one for him. According to Tebow, "It was something very special watching my dad,  how he acted, how he treated my mom, how he treated my four siblings, and that's where I learned the most from my dad is because it wasn't about what he said, it was about what he did. For Tim remembering his dad, the  model and the faith that he has passed on him and to his siblings is something that he will alway…

The Journey 176: No School Prayer

Read; Joshua 24:1-15               The June 25, 1962: It was this day fifty years ago, that , the Supreme Court of the United States declared that  having prayers in  school as  unconstitutional.  Justice Hugo Black in the ruling stated that "a union of government and religion tends to destroy government and to degrade religion." Hence the banning of the public prayer in schools. The statement of the ruling is a very apt. But on the contrary Justice Potter Stewart, who was the lone dissenter, said that "To deny the wish of the school children to join in reciting a prayer is to deny them the opportunity of sharing in the spiritual heritage of our Nation." This decision soon brought another decision. Next year, the high court ruled that you can't read the Bible in the schools – for devotional purposes – but they explicitly said that objective "study of the Bible or of religion" is to be allowed in schools. But ultimately many schools eventually threw the…

The Journey 174:

Read: Amos 8 A  68-year-old  lady, a grandmother  named Karen Klein  is getting nationwide attention  and people from all corners of life and from every state is supporting her. Who is Karen Klein and why is she getting this support?. Karen Klein is a school bus monitor and this week as she travelled on Bus 784, through the streets of Greece, New York, on Monday afternoon, a group of seventh graders started abusing her and mercilessly taunting her. The verbal abuse was captured in a 10-minute cell phone video recorded by a student of Athena Middle School in suburban Rochester and later posted to YouTube. The video shows Klein trying her best to ignore the stream of profanity, insults and outright threats directed at her. The video logged more than 2 million views by Thursday evening, breaking hearts and raising passions of people who recalled bullying in their own pasts. A Toronto man set up a fund raiser for this grandmother of eight and one cannot believe that till today they could r…

The Journey 173: Live The Truth

Read: Amos 5: 18-27
                   The movie "Courageous” was a  movie that made a  mark in the Christian circles last year. It was a movie that helped many people to take their responsibility of fatherhood seriously. The movie  tells the story of four law enforcement officers who passionately does their job by bravely facing the worst that the streets have to offer. Bu then there is a contradiction in their life. They are passionate about their responsibility as law enforcement officers but at home, they are failing in their duty as dad's. One of the officer nags his son and brushes off his daughter; another officer  is divorced and hardly sees his child; while the third officer is guilty of fathering  a daughter when he was young and then walked away. It takes a personal tragedy, and more, to help these men recognize and accept their responsibilities as Christian fathers. One of the stars of this movie was  Robert Amaya. This week he was one of the speakers for the Hispa…

The Journey 172: In Some Fights It Is The Loser Who Is the Ultimate Winner

Read; Amos 5:1-24
Anyone heard of Manny Pacquiao?. I presume that only a handful may know Pacquiao. He comes from Sarangani in Philippines and he was the person who fought with Timothy Bradley, who became the winner at the WBO welterweight title on Saturday, June 9, 2012, in Las Vegas. Though Timothy Bradley was out boxed and out powered by Manny Pacquiao, yet  he was awarded the title on a split decision by the judges which shocked the boxing world. It was a verdict that disgusted many of the experts who came to watch the boxing fight.  But for Manny Pacquiao he did not loose heart.  On the contrary he became a champion in a different arena. While holidaying in California after the boxing fight, he came to know that flash floods had destroyed his home town in Philippines. Pacquiao immediately responded to this crisis by donating the money he made from the boxing bout with Bradley a few weeks back, to help people rebuild their homes. The boxer also cut short his Californian vacation wi…

The Journey 171: Positive Disciplining

Read: Amos 2:6-16
          The famous television evangelist Creflo Dollar was in the news last week.  The founder pastor of the World Changers Church International was arrested and later released on a personal bail of $5000, on charges of abusing his daughter. The issue it seems arose when the daughter wanted to go for a party, for which Dollar did not allow. This followed into an argument and according to his daughter, Dollar choked her, threw her to the ground, punched her and hit her with the shoes. That is when the daughter called the police and according to Creflo Dollar he only tried to restrain his daughter when she became disrespectful after he told her that she could not go to the party. Dollar admitted of spanking his daughter and wrestling with her, but that happened because she began hitting him. This event has brought about a huge discussion in the country whether this country is destroying its moral fabric by not having any sorts of rules and discipline. Questions have a…

The Journey 170

Read: Amos 2
            The CBS News from Charlotte, North Carolina  reported   a thrilling news last week. An elderly couple was having their family prayer in the night when suddenly a burglar invaded their home. Though the elderly couple was taken aback and shocked at the intrusion into their house, the woman regained her wits and started shouting at the robber to read Bible rather stealing. According to the local police who are investigating this home invasion case in Lincolnton, North Carolina,  reported that that the man who broke into the elderly couple's house was armed and wore a mask and  was dressed in ski gear.  He  pointed a gun at the elderly man, who was reading his Bible. After obtaining some prescription medication[ drugs], the suspect escaped through the backyard into a wooded area. And as the man was running, the elderly woman of the home started shouting at the suspect, telling him that he “should be reading the Bible instead of committing crimes,”. The man stop…

The Journey 169

Read: Jonah              Everyone loves to work for a great company. To work for a great company is both a prestige and also the returns for one life and living is also sometime fabulous. While in India, I still remember my friends proudly telling me that they work for companies like Infosys, Wipro, IBM, Samsung and so on. There was a spark and a glitter in their eyes as they talked about their work and the company that they worked for. Here in United States I read the list of  100 best companies that one can work in the year 2012, released by Fortune, a list which is co authored by Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz.  Number 1 as the top employer list in US is Google. Google has about 18,391 employees. The attraction to work for Google is because it has a  great campus, tons of perks and you become a part of a highly skilled co-workers, and more that that there is a feeling of prestige among Google employees. Second on the list the Boston Consulting group based in Massachusetts. Thi…

The Journey 166

Read: John 8:1-11 Another news items needs to be seriously taken into consideration. According to Tom Strode who writes in the Baptist Press has reported that the British newspaper, "The Telegraph"  has brought out a startling news about a new blood test. What is unique about this new blood test which has been developed is that,  it will help doctors to screen unborn children for more than 3,000 genetic disorders.  This is a research published on June 6, by a  team from the University of Washington. The team has reported it was able to map the entire genetic code of an unborn baby using a blood sample from the mother, who was 18 weeks into her pregnancy, and saliva from the father. The researchers has predicted that this noninvasive test could be widely used in the coming years, would enable screening of thousands of genetic conditions. The scientist as well as pro life group activist, acknowledges that the  research  raises lot of ethical and moral  questions since a common …

The Journey 165: Life Not Self Examined Not Worth Living

Read: John 8:1-11 One of the most wonderful book that had a powerful impact on people was the book "The Purpose Driven Life" written by Pastor Rick Warren. According to a documented estimate that was done five years ago 30 million copies were sold. This  book was also named as one of the top 100 Christian books that  changed the 20th century. Now  Pastor Rick Warren is publishing the 10th anniversary edition of this book and for that he has teamed up with his book publisher and a crowd-sourced graphic design company to create a new cover for his bestseller book. It seems that the anniversary edition will have a rearranged title in hopes of attracting readers from the millennial generation, according to Zondervan, the book publishing company. This is the book that became famous for its quote and question " What one earth am I here for ?". I think if every individual tries to find an answer to this probing question, on ones vision and mission in life, each of our life…

The Journey 164: Want to be a follower of Christ?

Read: John 8:1-11
New York Times reported last week of an interesting news item. It was about two Christian missionaries from North Carolina, who fought with robber with a gun in hand, risking their life. The two young missionaries belonged to the Southern Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. They had come to New York to do a mission work. What happened that fateful day was that, a woman well dressed with designer sunglasses was walking on the 37th Road, off Broadway, at Jackson Heights, when she was spotted by the robber. He felt that the woman would be an easy prey and since the crowd was also thin, he thought that the chance of a getaway was also bright. With this intention in mind, he snatched the purse and ran. But then he did not foresee the events that were to follow. A fire fighter who was standing nearby confronted the robber, who fell of his balance and that is when one of the missionary, Andre Aganbi, a student at Duke University, was sharing the gospel among the peopl…

The Journey 162

Read: John 12: 20-23 The First Church for the Deaf  or the Deaf Church This was the news that caught my attention, a news that I read over and over again. A deaf church? A church for the deaf? How can that happen. How can one have a church exclusively for the deaf people. How can the deaf people know Christ? Or how does a deaf person acknowledge Christ?. These were the questions that was raging in  my mind. But the truth was as broad as the daylight. The first church of the deaf has now been founded in Sudan. In this church you have a few believers who are deaf but are baptized Christians. How did this happen. One of the deaf believers was an orphan who used to steal and also lived on drugs. Finally he learned the sign language and then one day he learned about the greatest sign in his life– JESUS, and that changed his life. Once he experienced Jesus he learned about baptism and soon through sign language learned that one had to get baptized to be a part of the body of Christ.  Thus …

The Journey 159

Read: Acts 18 Never call a man a dog- It’s a shame to the dog. This was one of the funny quotes that I found on the net. Your comments on this statement may vary. But give an ear to this news brought out by Yahoo news. They  have  reported that a  dog is now a hero in Ghana. The reason for this the dog had protected a new born baby by keeping the baby snuggled against him. I am thankful to Prince John of Christos Marthoma Church, Philadelphia for bringing to my attention this news item which is published on Yahoo News. It was actually  Madam Rosemary Azure, Director of Health for the Talensi-Nabdam District, in Ghana that shared the remarkable story with Ghana News Agency at a ceremony for a different occasion entirely – the launch of two vaccines that will help prevent diarrhea and pneumonia. What happened was that a  search party had been convened to look for the dog and not the baby, when the dog’s worried owner got concerned that her pet hadn't returned home in the evening. Sea…

The Journey 159

Read: Acts 18 Never call a man a dog- It’s a shame to the dog. This was one of the funny quotes that I found on the net. Your comments on this statement may vary. But give an ear to this news brought out by Yahoo news. They  have  reported that a  dog is now a hero in Ghana. The reason for this the dog had protected a new born baby by keeping the baby snuggled against him. I am thankful to Prince John of Christos Marthoma Church, Philadelphia for bringing to my attention this news item which is published on Yahoo News. It was actually  Madam Rosemary Azure, Director of Health for the Talensi-Nabdam District, in Ghana that shared the remarkable story with Ghana News Agency at a ceremony for a different occasion entirely – the launch of two vaccines that will help prevent diarrhea and pneumonia. What happened was that a  search party had been convened to look for the dog and not the baby, when the dog’s worried owner got concerned that her pet hadn't returned home in the evening. Sea…

The Journey 158: Robert Raikes and Sunday School

Read: Deuteronomy : 6:6-9 Robert Raikes: While ministering as the general secretary of the Marthoma Sunday School Samajam, I  might have used the life history of Robert Raikes a  number of times both in the sermon and also while addressing youths and Sunday school children in camps and retreats. His life story had challenged so many children including myself, and I always felt thrilled to tell others the life of history of the founder of the modern Sunday school movement. Even while teaching,  Christian education in the Marthoma seminary, the life and times of Robert Raikes, was one of the topics for study. It was thrilling to study and teach about a man who during the industrial revolution decided to work among the children who were left alone by the parents,  because both the parents had to work to make a living during those times. With no proper care from the parents, the children lived wayward lives and started getting into a lot of vices. It was this sight that made Robert Raikes …

The Journey 157

Read: Acts 18:1-23              Yesterday was a memorable for all the people in England. The  Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Queen Elizabeth, was telecast live and millions of people through out the world viewed it live.  The Queen described  the diamond jubilee celebrations as an experience that was humbling.. The President of United States, Barack Obama praised the Queen  and said that she stood as a witness to the power of the alliance between the UK and US.  What was one of the significant aspect of the celebrations was the thanksgiving service that was held at the St Paul's Cathedral. This thanksgiving service was attended by around  2,000-strong congregation, where one of the highlights was the sermon by out-going Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. Some of the excerpts of his  sermon is worthy to be quoted and to be given a second thought because of its high note of thinking and the fresh light that the Archbishop sheds on some common biblical concepts. While praisi…

The Journey 156

Read: Mathew 19:1-6What is the foundation of a nation?. I believe it rest on a strong family. Laura Kay S. Hymowitz, has written a wonderful article, which I believe is an eye opener in the Los Angeles Times dated 3rd June, titled “ The single-mom catastrophe "and how the demise of two parent families is creating  an economic disaster for the United States.  The single-mother concept started way back in the 1960s when Americans started to break the historical connection between marriage and childbearing, and in the process  turning the family concept as single motherhood and the fatherless family  as a  viable, and an alternative and also even welcome arrangement for children and for society. The reasons for this  shift were many factors that included the sexual revolution, a powerful strain of anti-marriage feminism and the sense of individualism that crept into every area of  the American life. Some of the western countries also came to conclusion, that it  is fine for the unma…

The Journey 155

Read: Mathew 19:1-6 The Daily Mail in London, UK, has reported an incident last week, about a news that an  Indian Telugu woman has filed for divorce within two months of marriage, on the ground that her husband had not changed his relationship status from being single to married in his Facebook page. The 28-year-old woman, told the family court that she cannot trust him anymore, since he did not announce on Facebook, the news about their marriage and hence the reason for separation. Meanwhile her husband has told the court that he had forgotten to update his status as he was busy with his work. Looking at the merits of the case, the family court judge has asked both the partners to undergo  six months of counseling.  There are lots of news floating around stating that some of the social networking sites like Facebook are some of the main reasons for one third of the divorce last year in United Sates.  Some of the reasons people associate Facebook causing issues in marital relationship…

The Journey 153

Read: 2 Kings 5:1-27    A horrific incident was reported  by Yahoo,  Washington Post and host of other news channel about the death of Pastor who died of rattlesnake bite last week as he conducted the worship service. The name of the Pastor is Mack Wolford, who is from West Virginia, and who was famous for serpent-handling, a talent that he exhibits during  worship service. He had planned for a praise and worship service where he proposed that all the believers would have  a great time, by speaking in tongues, while he would show case his talent of handling dangerous rattle snake as a part of his test of faith and faith living. But on the contrary that Sunday was day horrifically going wrong when he was bitten  by the rattlesnake he owned for years. After about half an hour into the praise and worship session, Wolford passed a yellow timber rattlesnake and laid it on the ground and sat next to the snake which bit him on the thigh. The worship service came to a halt thereafter  and Wolf…