Saturday, August 22, 2009

Gospel Reading Aug 23

Tomorrow, Aug 23rd, is the second Sunday after Ascension of St. Mary. Gospel reading for tomorrow is St. Luke Chapter 11 verses 9 - 20. This is the very chapter wherein the disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray, and the Lord's Prayer (Our Father...) is narrated. However, we tend to use the Lord's prayer that is narrated in St. Matthew Chapter 6, which is bit more elaborate.

St. Luke Chapter 11 verses 9 - 20

9 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[a] a fish, will give him a snake instead?

12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?

13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

14 Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed.

15 But some of them said, "By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons."

16 Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.

17 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: "Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.

18 If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebub.

19 Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.

20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.


The earlier part ( verses 9 - 13) talks talking about perseverance in Prayer. There, Jesus tells us that if one of us need 3 loaves of bread and go to a friend in the middle of the night, he may not give us when we ask him at first. However, if we keep on asking, asking, asking, and asking he will give us whatever we asked for, due to our persistence. Similarly, we need to keep asking, asking, asking and asking to God - and He will answer our prayers.

Verses 14 onwards talks about Jesus and Beelzebub.

Source: The Holy Bible (New International Version)

Indiafest


Hope all of you had a wonderful time at Indiafest today. I happened to swing by this evening and met some of you happily wandering around. Looks like most of you spent your entire day there. Did anyone go for the medical camp or participate in any cultural events? I am also curious if anyone from our class won any raffle/prize.

I stopped by our class and arranged everything back to normal. Everything is ok, except my chair is missing. We have a spare folding chair which I have tucked behind the door - the one which Ajoey used last week. Since I am standing most of the time during the class, I can manage until it's back. Guess someone would have taken it and will return it once the program gets over.

On my way back, I picked up the ice cream for tomorrow. Could not find the tri-color one in the store freezer; instead, I picked up a one gallon bucket with the closest match. We can expect few guests arriving for the party as well - the more the merrier.

See you all tomorrow.


Choice

Once in a small Russian village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to the village money lender. The money lender, who was old and horrible, The money lender fancied the farmer's beautiful daughter. So he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the farmer's debt if he could marry his daughter.

Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal. The cunning money lender suggested that they decide the matter this way: He told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty money bag. Then the girl would have to pick one pebble from the bag.

If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her father's debt would be forgiven.

If she picked the white pebble, she need not marry him and her father's debt would still be forgiven.

If she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.

With no choice left, the farmer and his daughter had to agree to the condition set forth.

Standing on a pebble-strewn path in the farmer's field, the money lender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and putting them into the bag. The girl did not utter a word or protest. He then asked the girl to pick a pebble from the bag.

She put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles "Oh how clumsy of me," she said. "But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked."

Since the remaining pebble was black, they had to assume that she had picked the white one. The moneylender dared not admit his dishonesty, and walked away. The girl had changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely advantageous one.

Moral: View every obstacle as an opportunity and capitalize on them. Do not let others take advantage of your innocence and helpful nature.


Puzzle Aug 22

Look at the dot in the center, and move your head towards the screen and backwards (wear your reading glasses if required). What do you see, and what is this called?

Prayer answered

The story takes place at an elementary school.

A nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk and all of a sudden there is a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants is wet.

He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened. It's never happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it. When the girls find out, they'll never speak to him again as long as he lives.

The boy believes his heart is going to stop, he puts his head down and prays this prayer, "Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I'm dead meat."

He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered.

As the teacher is walking toward him, a classmate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy's lap.

The boy pretends to be angry and upset, but all the while is saying to himself, "Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!"

Now all of a sudden, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the object of sympathy. The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on, while his pants dry out.

All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk. The children blame Susie, "Look what you've done. You spoiled his day".

Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers, "You did that on purpose, didn't you?"

Susie whispers back, "Yes, that was no accident. I wet my pants once too."

Moral: Sometimes in life, we get blamed by others for the good deeds we do. But if you know the truth, and if are convinced what you did was right, then you are answerable to nobody.


Credits: Andy Gettisburg

Idea of a friend


In kindergarten your idea of a good friend was the person who let you have the red crayon when all that was left was the ugly black one.

In first grade your idea of a good friend was the person who went to the bathroom with you and held your hand as you walked through the scary halls.

In second grade your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you stand up to the class bully.

In third grade your idea of a good friend was the person who shared their lunch with you when you forgot yours on the bus.

In fourth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who was willing to switch square dancing partners in gym so you wouldn't have to be stuck do-si-do-ing with Nasty Nick or Smelly Susan.

In fifth grade your idea of a friend was the person who saved a seat on the back of the bus for you.

In sixth grade your idea of a friend was the person who went up to Nick or Susan, your new crush, and asked them to dance with you, so that if they said no you wouldn't have to be embarrassed.

In seventh grade your idea of a friend was the person who let you copy the social studies homework from the night before that you had.

In eighth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you pack up your stuffed animals and old baseball but didn't laugh at you when you finished and broke out into tears.

In ninth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who would go to a party thrown by a senior so you wouldn't wind up being the only freshman there.

In tenth grade your idea of a good friend is the person who changed their schedule so you would have someone to sit with at lunch.

In eleventh grade your idea of a good friend will be the person who gave you rides in their new car, convinced your parents that you shouldn't be grounded, consoled you when you broke up with Nick or Susan, and found you a date to the prom.

In twelfth grade your idea of a good friend will be the person who helped you pick out a college/university, assured you that you would get into that college/university, helped you deal with your parents who were having a hard time adjusting to the idea of letting you go...

At graduation your idea of a good friend will be the person who was crying on the inside but manage the biggest smile one could give as they congratulate you.

The summer after twelfth grade your idea of a good friend will be the person who helped you clean up the bottles from that party, helped you sneak out of the house when you just couldn't deal with your parents, assured you that now that you and Nick or you and Susan were back together, you could make it through anything, helped you pack up for university and just silently hugged you as you looked through blurry eyes at 18 years of memories you were leaving behind, and finally on those last days of childhood, went out of their way to give you reassurance that you would make it in college as well as you had these past 18 years, and most importantly sent you off to college knowing you were loved.

When you are an adult, your idea of a good friend will still be the person who gives you the better of the two choices, holds your hand when you're scared, helps you fight off those who try to take advantage of you, thinks of you at times when you are not there, reminds you of what you have forgotten, helps you put the past behind you but understands when you need to hold on to it a little longer, stays with you so that you have confidence, goes out of their way to make time for you, helps you clear up your mistakes, helps you deal with pressure from others, smiles for you when they are sad, helps you become a better person, and most importantly loves you!


Credits: Dolly

Meeting God



Once upon a time, a small boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived. So he packed his suitcase with cookies and a six-pack of root beer and he started his journey. When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old man. He was sitting in the park just staring at some pigeons.

The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old man looked hungry, so he offered him a cookie.

He gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. His smile was so pleasant that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him another root beer. Again, he smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old man and gave him a hug. He gave him his biggest smile ever.

When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy? "He replied, "I had lunch with God." But before his mother could respond, he added, "You know what? He's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!"

Meanwhile, the old man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His daughter was stunned by the look of peace on his face and she asked, "Dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?" He replied, "I ate cookies in the park with God." However, before his daughter responded, the old man added, "You know, He's much younger than I expected."

Moral: Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring - all of which have the potential to turn a life around. People come into our lives for a reason, for a season, or for a lifetime. Embrace everyone equally!

Credits: Flickr, Vicki

Friday, August 21, 2009

Answers Aug 20

Answers for Puzzle Aug 20

1. What is black when you buy it, red when you use it, and gray when you throw it away?

Answer: Charcoal

2. There are two plastic jugs filled with water. How could you put all of this water into a barrel, without using the jugs or any dividers, and still tell which water came from which jug?

Answer: Freeze both the jugs containing water first. Take the frozen ice out of the jugs and put the ice in the barrel. You will be able to tell which water came from which jug.

3. A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires, the second is full of assassins with loaded guns, and the third is full of lions that haven't eaten in 3 years. Which room is relatively safest for the new inmate?

Answer: Room 3. If the lions haven't eaten in 3 years, they are dead already.

4. A woman shoots her husband. Then she holds him under water for over 5 minutes. Finally, she hangs him. But 5 minutes later they both go out together and enjoy a wonderful dinner together. How can this be?

Answer: The woman is a photographer. She shot her husband's picture, held it under water for developing, and then hung it for drying. She later went out for dinner with her husband.

5. Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday?

Answer: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.

Puzzle Aug 21

How fast can you solve the puzzle below?

Two Angels


Two angels, one older and another younger, were traveling together through a countryside.

In the evening, the angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion's guest room. Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement.

As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. In the morning, they continued their journey.

The younger angel, after traveling for a while, asked,

"Why did you repair the hole in the wall?".

The older angel replied,

"Things aren't always what they seem."

The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife.

After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night's rest. When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.

The angels continued their journey, and as soon as they began their journey, the younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel,

"How could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him. The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die", she accused.

The older angel replied,

"Things aren't always what they seem."

The younger angel was not satisfied with the answer. She asked for an explanation.

After a brief pause, the older angel said,

"When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was a large amount of gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn't find it."

"Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead."

"Things aren't always what they seem."

Moral: Things are not always what they appear to be on the surface. The closer we get to something/someone, the more we learn about the truth.


Credits: Vicki, Wikimedia

Putpocketing



We are all aware of pickpocketers - the ones who pick our pockets and handbags in a crowded area. All of us have been warned about it. If you are a victim, it almost spoils your day.

About 20 pickpocketers in London, who have been picking pockets for years, have now changed their ways and instead are putting cash into strangers' pockets during the economic crisis. This is called 'putpocketing'. They are putting in anywhere between 5 to 20 UK pounds into unguarded pockets or open handbags in Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and other busy streets.

They are giving away about 100,000 UK pounds ($164,900) to strangers up until end of August. The London police knows about this initiative and is being rolled out across the UK. The putpocketers say that they feel happy giving that money out.

Just imagine someone getting caught while putpocketing. "Excuse me, I am putting money into your bag." That would be funny.

Don't get excited about this news and plan a trip to London to make some easy cash. There are still many pickpocketers out there in London. If you are hoping someone to deposit cash into your pockets, you may be at the wrong end and find your passport and travel documents missing. Losing such documents during international travel is the worst nightmare.

Few steps to avoid pickpocketing:

1. Don't look like an easy target

2. Carry a dummy wallet with fake currency, and conceal your true wallet.

3. Guys - avoid using your back pocket; it's easy for someone to pick your back pocket. Front pockets are safer.

4. Gals - distribute your cash and valuables around in your handbag; avoid using the outermost compartments of your handbag. Carry some emergency cash in your pockets as well (just in case you lose your handbag).


Credits: Wallet pop, How stuff works

Checklist for Aug 23


We are almost getting into the second week of our class. From now on, you'll observe that we are slowly accelerating our pace. Below are the items due on your side, by next Sunday, Aug 23.

1. Notify me your gmail id. I have spoken to all of your parents and convinced them that you need to have a gmail account.

2. Confirm that you have all the required supplies. If you have trouble getting any of those items listed, give me a heads up, and I can help you out in that area. Most of you had this taken care of, in our previous class.

3. Download chapters 1 - 4 using the link provided on this website, and read them prior to coming to the class. For an average reader, it should take around 20 minutes to finish the entire task.

4. Catch up on all postings under the label, 'Announcement' and be informed.

I expect to have a full house next Sunday. If, for some reason you need to get a hold of me, send me an email. I am reachable on phone anytime as well. Note that my phone number listed in our church directory is outdated. Your parents should have my phone number. Leave me a voice mail, and yes, I check it quite regularly.

In our last class, we talked about having a mini party to celebrate Rony's birthday. I was able to get a hold of Sherine & Sherlyne Sam. They are going to be regular to our class from now on. Their B'day falls on next Sunday as well. So, let's combine their B'day along with Rony's. Amal will get the balloons and the ice cream is on me. You folks are responsible of decorating the class as well as cleaning it up in the end.

There is a medical camp scheduled to be held this Saturday at our church. Our classroom is going to be used for this purpose as well. They are bringing in few medical instruments and similar items. Since I am not planning on being there this Saturday I would not know how our class will look like, after the camp, until Sunday morning. So I expect a little bit of arrangement prior to the class, which should be easy.

As you observed in the last class, there are name tags placed on each chair. Those are your designated seats for this year.

If you are going to be at Church on Saturday, have fun with all those delicious food, interesting games and various stalls.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Scholar $ breakdown

Below is the breakdown of the scholar $ I came up, for our class this year.

Talking about the income part, there is over $1.2 Million to be earned. Items flagged as mandatory are required by everyone. You don't have to pay taxes for the income (that's a privilage, say, for non-profit organizations).

Attendance (MANDATORY) +$250,000
Reading Assignment (MANDATORY) +$50,000
Exams (MANDATORY) +$500,000
Participating in Bala Balika Samajam +$50,000
Doing BRS (if its there this year) +$50,000
Christmas Program Participation +$50,000
Talent Competition Participation +$50,000
MGOCSM/Youth Activities +$10,000
Attending General Session +$50,000
Extra Effort (all extra nice deeds) +$100,000
Group Discussions +$50,000
Total $1,210,000

Expenses:
Missing a class -$10,000/each incident
Did not read a chapter - $2,000/each incident
Not participating in BBS - $10,000/each incident
Not participating in General Session -$2,500/each incident

On the Expenses side, you pay taxes (DeKalb county currently charges 3% local tax plus 4% state tax - totalling to a 7%). The tax amount will be credited into my account.

You'll notice $50,000 allocated towards BRS activities. If, for some reason, the current year Sunday school officers decide not to have BRS this year, the entire amount will be credited into your account by the end of this year. Or, if there is another program, the budget could be transferred for that purpose.

Due to your presence in last class, you will have $10,000 each. There will be no loan amount available for your usage. If an act is not credited into your account, you need to bring it into my attention immediately - hopefully within one week you finding the error. Balance your income and expenses going forward.

I'll entertain all your comments and suggestions on this topic up until the end of this month. Send them in, if your idea bulb lightens up. From the first week of September, we'll keep track of who earned/lost how much.




Puzzle Aug 20

Here is a puzzle for you guys.

1. What is black when you buy it, red when you use it, and gray when you throw it away?

2. There are two plastic jugs filled with water. How could you put all of this water into a barrel, without using the jugs or any dividers, and still tell which water came from which jug?

3. A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires, the second is full of assassins with loaded guns, and the third is full of lions that haven't eaten in 3 years. Which room is relatively safest for the new inmate?

4. A woman shoots her husband. Then she holds him under water for over 5 minutes. Finally, she hangs him. But 5 minutes later they both go out together and enjoy a wonderful dinner together. How can this be?

5. Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday?

Answers will be posted tomorrow.

Translation

People watch football games a lot. Therefore, some churches have considered translating their unfamiliar terminology into familiar football phrases:

Blitz: People rushing out for the restaurants right after the church service is over.

Blocking: Talking endlessly to the pastor at the church door and keeping everyone else from exiting.

Coach: The children's Christmas program director.

Assistant coach: Every mother who has a kid in the children's Christmas program.

Commercial: Church announcements.

Instant replay: The preacher loses his notes and falls back on last week's illustrations.

Draft choice: The decision to sit close to an air conditioning vent.

Draw play: What many children do with their dollar bills during the service.

End zone: The pews.

Extra point: The lecture you receive when you tell the preacher their sermon was too short.

First quarter: What most people put into the offering so it looks like they are giving.

Fourth quarter: The amount that makes up the $1 most people put into the offering when under peer pressure to give more.

Hail Mary: Desperate move made by the priest in a last-ditch attempt to get people to put something in the offertory.

Halftime: The period between Sunday school and worship when many choose to leave.

Holding: Passing by the offertory without putting in a cent.

Illegal motion: Leaving church before the benediction.

Interference: Talking while the choir is in full swing.

Offsides: When people who typically sit at one place inside the sanctuary, switches to another location for some reason.

Backfield-in-motion: Making a trip to the back (restroom or water fountain) during the service.

Pass interference: A parent moving between two kids at the front pew to halt the circus they perform during the sermon.

Quarterback sneak: Sunday school teachers entering the building five minutes after classes began.

Rain delay: Baptism

Sudden death: The penalty to the pastor who preaches more than twenty minutes.

Tackle: Asking that "new couple" to sing in the choir, work in the nursery, serve on a committee, join a bible study, and teach the Sunday school before they get away.

Pass: When the new couple says no.

Time-out: Refreshment time in the fellowship hall.

Two-minute warning: The pastor's spouse looking at their watch in full view of the pastor. Also, the point at which you realize the sermon is almost over and begin to gather up your children and belongings.

Unsportsmanlike conduct: Usually takes place at a committee meeting to decide on the color of carpet or some other thing.


What would Jesus drive

In order to make Americans guitly of driving those gas guzzling SUV's, the auto executives decided to get together with a religous group and launched a campaign. Jim Ball, a Baptist pastor who runs the Pennsylvania-based Evangelical Environmental Network called the campaign "What would Jesus Drive?".

The argument was simple. Jesus taught us to love and honor our neighbors. Since SUVs pollute more than other cars and pollution is bad for all of us, it is sinful to drive one unless you absolutely need to.

Theologians have been scratching their head over the question, "What would Jesus drive?".

The traditional answer is "a donkey." But what if Jesus had been born in modern times? Would He choose public transit or a private car? Stick shift or automatic? A sport-utility vehicle roomy enough for all 12 apostles or an economy model?

Ball argues that God would choose an environmentally friendly vehicle, such as a Toyota Prius, which has a hybrid gasoline-electric motor. But other "theologians" disagree.

San Francisco Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler theorized that Jesus would tool around in a vintage Plymouth because "the Bible says God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden in a Fury."

A research department uncovered several other divinely approved autos. For example, in Psalm 83, the Almighty apparently owned a Pontiac and a Geo. The passage urges the Lord to "pursue your enemies with your Tempest and terrify them with your Storm," Psalms 83: 15. Although theologians aren't sure how a Geo Storm could be considered terrifying, unless it had those scary shooting flames painted on the sides.

Another scripture indicates that Yahweh favored Dodge pickup trucks. Moses' followers are warned not to go up a mountain until "the Ram's horn sounds a long blast." Exodus 19: 13.

God also owned an AMC vehicle. In the book of Exodus, he promised to "send the Hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way." Exodus 23:28.

Some scholars insist that Jesus drove a Honda but preferred not to discuss it. As proof, they cite a verse in St. John's gospel in which Christ tells a crowd, "For I did not speak of my own Accord." John 12:49. Also, in Acts 5:12 it says that, "The apostles were in one Accord".

Debate continues over whether the Lord's Honda Accord had bumper stickers that said, "My other car is a flaming chariot," "Honk if you love me" or "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well-pleased because he was an honor student at Galilee Elementary."



Cost of a miracle


Tess was eight years old when she heard her Mom and Dad talking about her little brother, Andrew. All she knew was that he was very sick and they were completely out of money. They were moving to an apartment complex next month because Daddy didn't have the money for the doctor bills and their house. Only a very costly surgery could save him now and it was looking like there was no one to loan them the money.

She heard Daddy say to her tearful mother with whispered desperation, "Only a miracle can save him now." Tess went to her bedroom and pulled a small box from its hiding place in the closet. She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the box, she slipped out the back door and made her way six blocks to the drug store.

She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was busy talking to another man and couldn't be bothered by an eight year old at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her box and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!

"And what do you want?" the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. "I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages." he said, without waiting for a reply to his question. "Well, I want to talk to you about my brother." Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. "He's really, really sick and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?" "We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you." the pharmacist said, softening a little.

"Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs."

The pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, "What kind of a miracle does your brother need?"

"I don't know." Tess replied with eyes filled with tears. "I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money."

"How much do you have?" asked the man from Chicago.

"One dollar and eleven cents." Tess answered. "And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to."

"Well, what a coincidence." smiled the man. "A dollar and eleven cents - the exact price of a miracle for little brothers." He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her hand and said , "Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the kind of miracle you need."

That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstong, a surgeon, specializing in neurosurgery. The surgery was completed without charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

"That surgery", her Mom whispered, "was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?" Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost ... one dollar and eleven cents, plus the faith of a little child.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Loan application

Below is a true story that took place in New Orleans in the year 1997.

A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA (Federal Housing Association) loan for a client. He was told the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered as collateral.

The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the lawyer 3 months to track down. After sending the information to the FHA, he received the following reply: (actual letter):

"Upon review of your letter adjoining your client's loan application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented an application, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear title back to its origin."

Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows (actual letter):

"Your letter regarding title in Case 189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 194 years covered by the present application. I was unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased by the U.S. from France in 1803, the year of origin identified in our application.

For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France, which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by then reigning monarch, Isabella. The good queen, being a pious woman and careful about titles, almost as much as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to fund Columbus' expedition.

Now the Pope, as I'm sure you know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. And God, it is commonly accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that He also made that part of the world called Louisiana. He, therefore, would be the owner of origin.

I hope to hell you find His original claim to be satisfactory. Now, may we have our damn loan?"

They got it.

--

Moral: Whenever you have done your part of the work, and you know you've been 100% truthful, you do not have to fear nobody. Just stand there like a solid rock until justice is served. If you are absolutely right, there is no reason to give up. You may have noticed the tough language at the end. Sometimes, as elders, it is necessary while dealing with the government officials, when they drive you nuts.

I shall publish another similar incident with a bank later on.

Lil Angel


There Is A Little Angel


There is a little Angel,
She's watching over you.
Because you're really special,
And God loves you too.
He trained her with his love,
And then commanded her,
To leave heaven above,
To stay with you forever.
She's there when you're happy,
And when you're feeling blue.
So you never have to worry,
She'll take care of you.
When you've lost your way.
She'll guide you with her light
Little Angels never stray,
They're with you day and night.

Credits: Sharon Cutshall

Psalm 23

A Sunday School teacher asked her children if anyone could quote the entire 23rd Psalm.

A four-and-a-half-year-old girl was among those who raised their hands. A bit skeptical, the teacher asked if she could really quote the entire psalm.

The little girl came to the front of the room, faced the class, made a perky little bow, and said,

"The Lord is my shepherd, that's all I want."

She bowed again and went and sat down.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Divine Test

Jesus and Satan were having an on-going argument about who was better on the computer. They had been going at it for days and, frankly, God was tired of hearing all the bickering.

Finally fed up, God said, "THAT'S IT! I have had enough. I am going to set up a test that will run for two hours and, from those results, I will judge who does the better job."

So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away.

They moused.

They faxed.

They e-mailed.

They e-mailed with attachments.

They downloaded.

They did spreadsheets.

They wrote reports.

They created labels and cards.

They created charts and graphs.

They did genealogy reports.

They did every job known to man.

Jesus worked with heavenly efficiency and Satan was faster than hell.

Ten minutes before their time was up lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, rain poured, and the power went off. Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in the underworld.

Jesus just sighed. Finally the electricity came back on and each of them restarted their computers. Satan started searching frantically, screaming, "It's gone! It's all GONE! I lost everything when the power went out!"

Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours of work.

Satan observed this and became irate. "Wait!" he screamed. "That's not fair! He cheated! How come he has all his work and I don't have any?"

God just shrugged and said, "JESUS SAVES."


Moral: As 10th graders, follow what Jesus did - save your work, while at the computer.


Credits: J Meyerett.

Double check (again)

Do you guys and gals double check your answers, re-read your email messages, and tripple check when you are addressing a larger audience?

Real life examples of goof-ups on the job.

A romantic weekend get away at a four star Italian hotel in Venice costs $214.00 per night. Due to an error in the reservation system, the price was instead posted as 1 cent. Within few hours, about 1,400 nights were booked at the rate of 1 cent per night. The Crowne Plaza Quarto officials came to know about this and immediately corrected the error, costing them a lot of euros. If you ask me, somebody who entered the price was not paying closer attention. The hotel spokeswoman has not contacted the media yet about the error, and we don't know if they will honor those reservations. But we can tell, whoever is responsible for this has certainly put his/her job in danger.

A similar incident happened last week on Best buy's website. Due to an error, a Samsung 52 inch plasma TV was advertised for $9.99. Hundreds of customers went ahead and placed orders online. Some of them found it too good to be true, and orderded not just one TV, several of them considering this offer the best buy' of their lifetime (yeah, let's replace our's with 52 inch, then install one in every room, plus give out few remaining ones to our friends as gifts and impress them). When Best buy came to know about this goof-up, they immediately changed the price, and announced that they would not honor the $9.99 price that were published (bummer). A large number of irrate customers are fighting against Best Buy's non compliance of advertised price.

Moral: As students, you should make it a habit to double check the work you do, and avoid looking sheepish.

Credits: News Agencies

Monday, August 17, 2009

A wonder


A man in Kansas City was severely injured in an explosion. The victim’s face was badly disfigured, and he lost his eyesight as well as both hands. He was just a new Christian, and one of his greatest disappointments was that he could no longer read the Bible.

Then he heard about a lady in England who read Braille* with her lips. Hoping to do the same, he sent for some books of the Bible in Braille. Much to his dismay, however, he discovered that the nerve endings in his lips had been destroyed by the explosion.

One day, as he brought one of the Braille pages to his lips, his tongue happened to touch a few of the raised characters and he could feel them. Like a flash he thought, I can read the Bible using my tongue. The man had “read” through the entire Bible four times.



*Braille is a technique for enabling blind and visually-impaired people to read and write.

Next time you are inside an elevator, take a closer look at the those dotted characters next to the floor buttons. Those are braille characters for the blind.


Credits: The Wonders of the Word of God, by Robert L. Sumner.

Double check

In several churches, there are pamplets circulated every Sunday, detailing weekly activities. Below is a compiled list of announcements that appeared at various churches. We have to pay close attention to what we print, double check and spell check before we publish; else it'll send the wrong message across. Read below, and you'll know what I am talking about.

“The blessing of the pets will be followed by a hot dog lunch.”

“For next week’s men’s clothing drive we are requesting you drop your pants in the church basement.”

“Anyone who has lost their job recently is invited to attend a special service on Monday evening to join together and pray to a hire power.”

“We need one more player on the church soccer team this fall. Ask yourself: ‘Am I my brother’s goalkeeper?’”

“This week’s focus in our church collection of needed items will be kitchen matches and school textbooks.”

“After the Women’s Missionary Society potluck luncheon, we will take time to pray for the sick.”

“Barbara remains in the hospital and needs blood donations. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Bob’s sermons.”

“The pastor will discuss the health risks of obesity, and then the choir will sing ‘There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy’.”

Finally:

“The lecture on the religious history of circumcision has been cut from tonight’s program.”

Credits: Bob

Mom's advice

Here is a list of things your mother will probably NEVER say to you, kids -


“Just leave all the lights on. It makes the house look more cheery”

“How on earth can you see the TV sitting so far back?”

“Well, if Kevin’s mom says it’s okay, that’s good enough for me.”

“Don’t bother wearing a jacket. The wind chill is bound to improve”

“I don’t have a tissue with me - just use your sleeve”



Chapters 1 - 4

Below are the links to the electronic version of our text book. You can click on the link and download them. These are compressed files (.zip format). If you are unable to open them, do let me know.





All these are from Unit 1. Essentially, this unit talks about Love. I'll be covering this in the next class. Do read these chapters before next Sunday. I have some powerpoint slides on the topic which I can gmail you once I get your addresses.

Just know that this digital version is readily available at your finger tips as a result of someone meticulously scanning each page with patience. Hence, our class is not affected by shortage of textbooks, does not jeopardize losing them, and further enables distance learning.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Scholar dollar


Today in class, we discussed about having a Scholar Dollar system.

Instead of giving points to you for each good deed you do, you'll earn some scholar dollars. For every poor performance, you'll have to pay for it. In essence, there will be credits and withdrawals.

I can set it up in such a way that there will be possibility of becoming a millionaire by the end of this class. For instance, let's say, if you show up for a class, you'll earn some Scholar $. For putting in extra effort, you'll earn additional Scholar $. Amal volunteering for brining in balloons for next sunday is a classic example. If you do not show up for a class, you'll loose some scholar $. For an incomplete assignment, not reading the chapter, etc., you'll have to pay for it.

The detail of the million dollar break down has to be worked out - which I'll come up during my free time.

Further, there could be more than one millionaire in our class by the end of this year. If you become a millionaire, you have the choice of an early retirement. In other words, once you become a millionaire, you do not have to attend any more 10th grade classes, no more exams etc., from that point on. Pretty good deal eh?

If you have any ideas, do let me know. If you are too shy to email me, just post an anonymous comment. I'll factor in all your ideas.


Credit for the 'Scholar dollar' idea goes to Chris Cherian. He suggested a slightly sophosticated system, but it is too complex to implement in our class.