Saturday, September 19, 2009

Discovery of the Cross

For tomorrow's class, just come in and take you seat.  We'll be talking about discovery of the cross.  All of you should know this story - it's quite interesting and more importantly, is about the true cross of Jesus Christ.  If you have any questions, I'll try to answer that.

In the event we get additional time, let's go back to our syllabus and cover the section on Love.

One other thing I plan to do is to announce the open house with your parent(s).  I plan to hold it on Sept 27th, during the general session time.  Check with them if they can come in to our class and take your seat at that time.  If your parent(s) cannot make it, do let me know.

We also will celebrate Amal's Birthday tomorrow.  We will do something different this time and still celebrate and enjoy.

We do not have any homeworks for tomorrow.  I believe all of you have read those chapters already.

See you all tomorrow.  Come in with a smiley face, put on your listening ears, sit back, relax and learn the story.

Gospel Reading Sept 20

The Gospel reading for tomorrow is St. Luke Chapter 21: 5-28.

5  Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said,

6  "As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down."

7  "Teacher," they asked, "when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?"

8  He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them.

9  When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away."

10  Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

11  There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

12  "But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.

13  This will result in your being witnesses to them.

14  But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.

15  For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.

16  You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.

17  All men will hate you because of me.

18  But not a hair of your head will perish.

19  By standing firm you will gain life.

20  "When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.

21  Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.

22  For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written.

23  How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people.

24  They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

25  "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.

26  Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.

27  At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

28  When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

The sermon talks about the the time when the great desolation should be. By Christian patience we keep possession of our own souls.  Christ talks about the destruction of Jerusalem, and the dispersion of the Jewish nation. He says that even though heaven and earth shall pass away, the words of Jesus shall not pass away. When He comes to judge the world, he will redeem all that are his from their troubles.

We celebrate the festival of the Holy Cross tomorrow.  In class, we'll talk about how it was discovered, in detail.

Happy Living

Mind your own business; don't interfere in other people's personal matters unless they request you... it keeps you free from extra tension.

Don't be too curious; never try to investigate or inquire about a person's schedule, as these inquiries usually make you and the ones questioned uncomfortable.

Help yourself; always do your work yourself, try not to use help unless you actually need it. It keeps you busy and secondly it saves you the hassle of another's carelessness.

Help other people; you get a lot of pleasure by helping the needy. Always be ready to lend a helpful hand. Thanks and warm wishes will make your journey, life, happy and safe.

Recognize small achievements; don't aim too high as small goals are equally important. Always remember little droplets makeup the ocean. Your small achievements and virtues will also prove your worth.

Give thanks and say sorry; never hesitate to say thank you and sorry. It shows your kind and caring nature. It also compels other to respect you and advise you.

Remember God; always remember God, the Almighty. Pray for success and satisfaction in this life and after death.



Author Unknown

Friday, September 18, 2009

The art of being well

If you don't want to be ill...

…Speak your feelings. 

Emotions and feelings that are hidden, repressed, end in illnesses such as: gastritis, ulcer, lumbar pains and  spinal. With time, the repression of the feelings degenerates to the cancer. Then, we go to a confidante, to share our intimacy, ours "secret", our errors! The dialogue, the speech, the word, is a powerful remedy and an excellent therapy!

If you don't want to be ill...

...Make Decisions. 

The undecided person remains in doubt, in anxiety, in anguish. Indecision accumulates problems, worries and aggressions. Human history is made of decisions. To decide is precisely to know to renounce, to know to lose advantages and values to win others. The undecided people are victims of gastric ailments, nervous pains and problems of the skin.

If you don't want to be ill...

...Find Solutions. 

Negative people do not find solutions and they enlarge problems. They prefer lamentation, gossip, pessimism. It is better to light a match that to regret the darkness. A bee is small, but produces one of the sweetest things that exist. We are what we think. The negative thought generates negative energy that is transformed into illness.

If you don't want to be ill...

...Don't Live By Appearances. 

He who hides reality, pretends, poses and always wants to give the impression of being well. He wants to be seen as perfect, easy-going, etc. but is accumulating tons of weight. There is nothing worse for the health than to live on appearances and facades. These are people with a lot of varnish and little root. Their destiny is the pharmacy, the hospital and pain.

If you don't want to be ill...

...Accept.

The refusal of acceptance and the absence of self-esteem, make us alienate ourselves. Being at one with ourselves is the core of a healthy life. They who do not accept this, become envious, jealous, imitators, ultra-competitive, destructive. Be accepted, accept that you are accepted, accept the criticisms. It is wisdom, good sense and therapy.

If you don't want to be ill...

...Trust. 

Who does not trust, does not communicate, is not opened, is not related, does not create deep and stable relations, does not know to do true friendships. Without confidence, there is not relationship. Distrust is a lack of faith in you and in faith itself.

If you don't want to be ill...

...Do Not Live Life Sad.

Good humor. Laughter. Rest. Happiness. These replenish health and bring long life. The happy person has the gift to improve the environment wherever they live. "Good humor saves us from the hands of the doctor". Happiness is health and therapy.

Credits: Dr. Dráuzio Varella 

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Be Strong

Here is some inspirational message to make you strong, from Vicki Muller:

All of us have challenges and difficulties in our life. Granted, some seem much bigger than others.

I believe these challenges are sent so we can learn how to get back up. They are to show us how much courage we do already have within us.

Some people have huge stumbling blocks or traumas at a young age, some in later years. If you look back in your life and see darkness, I implore you to look more closely.

You are able to look back - aren't you?
You are still here, living, breathing PROOF that you were ABLE to Get Back Up.

Bless the dark areas and thank them for the strength that you now have within you to face the next one. Without darkness we cannot recognize the light. Walk in the light and bless the darkness. This way the new light will touch everything past and everything yet to come…

Burdens can weigh you down if you let them engulf you - so don't.

Always remember you Are Still Here.  So YOU are Able to Get Back Up.

Be strong!


Credits: Vicki Muller

Grocery Store


Here is a poem about 'Heaven's Grocery Store'. 


I was walking down life's highway a long time ago.
One day I saw a sign that read, "Heaven's Grocery Store".
As I got a little closer the door came open wide,
And when I came to myself I was standing inside.
I saw a host of Angels, they were standing everywhere.
One handed me a basket and said "My Child shop with care."
Everything a Christian needs is in that grocery store,
And all you can't carry, come back the next day for more.

First, I got some Patience, Love was in the same row.
Further down was Understanding, needed everywhere you go.
I got a box or two of Wisdom, a bag or two of Faith,
I just couldn't miss the Holy Ghost, it was all over the place.
I stopped to get some Strength and Courage to help me run this race,
But then my blanket was getting full, and I remembered I needed Grace.

I didn't forget Salvation, which like the others was free,
So I tried to get enough of that to save both you and me.
Then I started to the counter to pay my grocery bill,
For I thought I had everything to do my Master's will.
As I went up the aisle, I saw Prayer and had to put it in,
For I knew when I stepped outside, I would run right into sin.
Peace and Joy were plentiful, they were on the last shelf.
Song and Praises were hanging near, so I just helped myself.

Then I said to the Angel, "How much do I owe"?
The Angel smiled and said, "Just take them everywhere you go."
Again, I politely asked "How much do I really owe?"
The Angel smiled again and said,
"My Child, Jesus Paid Your Bill A Long Time Ago."


 Credits: Ron DeMarco

Making of a teacher

The story below is dedicated to all teachers, including the ones at our Sunday school.  


The Good Lord was creating teachers. It was his 6th day of 'overtime' and He knew that this was a tremendous responsibility for teachers would touch the lives of so many impressionable young children. An angel appeared to Him and said, "You are taking a long time to figure this one out".

"Yes," said the Lord, "but have you read the specs on this order?"

Teacher

  • Must stand above all students, yet be on their level

  • Must be able to do 180 things not connected with the subjects being taught

  • Must run on coffee and leftovers

  • Must communicate vital knowledge to all students daily and be right most of the time

  • Must have more time for others than for themselves

  • Must have a smile that can endure pay cuts, problematic children and worried parents

  • Must go on teaching when parents question every move and others aren't supportive

  • Must have 6 pairs of hands
"Six pairs of hands," said the angel, "that's impossible".


"Well," said the Lord, "it's not the hands that are the problem. It's the three pairs of eyes that are presenting the most difficulty!"


The angel looked incredulous, "Three pairs of eyes… on a standard model?"


The Lord nodded his head, "One pair can see a student for what he is and not what others have labeled him as. Another pair of eyes is in the back of the teacher's head to see what shouldn't be seen, but what must be known. The eyes in the front are only to look at the child as he/she 'acts out' in order to reflect, "I understand and believe I still believe in you", without so much as saying a word to the child."


"Lord," said the angel, "this is a very large project and I think you should work on it tomorrow".


"I can't", said the Lord, "for I have come very close to creating something much like Myself. I have one that comes to work when he/she is sick… teaches a class of students that don't want to learn… has a special place in his/her heart for children who aren't their own… understands the struggles of those who have difficulty… never takes the students for granted… "


The angel looked closely at the model the Lord was creating. "It's too soft-hearted," said the angel.


"Yes", said the Lord, "but also tough. You can't imagine what this teacher can endure or do, if necessary".


"Can this teacher think?" asked the angel.


"Not only think," said the Lord, "but reason and compromise".


The angel came closer to have a better look at the model and ran his finger over the teacher's cheek. "Well Lord," said the angel, "your job looks fine, but there's a leak. I told you that you were putting too much into this model. You can't imagine the stress that will be placed upon the teacher."


The Lord moved closer and lifted the drop of moisture from the teacher's cheek. It shone and glistened in the light. "It's not a leak," He said, "It's a tear".


"A tear? What's that?" asked the angel, "What is a tear for?"


The Lord replied with great thought, "It's for the joy and pride of seeing a child accomplish even the smallest task. It's for the loneliness of children who have a hard time to fit in and it's for the compassion for the feelings of their parents. It comes from the pain of not being able to reach some children and the disappointment those children feels in themselves. It comes often when a teacher has been with a class for a year and must say goodbye to those students and get ready to welcome a new class."


"My," said the angel, "the tear is a great idea… you're a genius!!"


The Lord looked somber, "I didn't put it there…"


Author unknown

I said a prayer for you

I said a prayer for you today
and know God must have heard.
I felt the answer in my heart
although He spoke not a word.

I didn't ask for wealth or fame
I knew you wouldn't mind.
I asked for priceless treasure rare
of a more lasting kind.

I prayed that He'd be near you
at the start of each new day
to grant you health and blessings fair
and friends to share your way.

I asked for happiness for you,
in all things great and small,
but that you'd know his loving care
I prayed for most of all.

This poem was written by Frank J Zamboni.  He is better known as the inventor of ice resurfacing machine - a machine used to create ice skating rinks.  In 1940 he built an ice skating rink large enough for 800 skaters.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Let's run through the rain

It's been raining outside since today evening, and I remember reading the story below. 

She had been shopping with her Mom in Wal-Mart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence.  It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Wal-Mart.

We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. 

Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child come pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

Her voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in.

"Mom, let's run through the rain," she said.

"What?" Mom asked. 

"Let's run through the rain!" She repeated.

"No, honey.  We'll wait until it slows down a bit," Mom replied.

This young child waited about another minute and repeated:

"Mom, let's run through the rain."

"We'll get soaked if we do," Mom said.

"No, we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this morning," the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm.

"This morning?  When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?"

"Don't you remember? 

When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!"

The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes.

Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

"Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If GOD let's us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing," Mom said. Then off they ran.

We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.

And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing. 

Moral: Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories...So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday.

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.  

Hope you will take the time to run in the rain and still enjoy it.  


Author unknown

Miraculous pic of Pope



Take a look at the above picture. You can see Mother Mary holding John Paul II in Her arms when he was shot in 1981.

This happened on May 13, 1981. Pope John Paul II was shot as he arrived in St. Peters Square to speak to the people who had gathered there. When he was shot, he was holding the rosary, which he always carried. When he fell to the ground, out of nowhere, a woman rushed to his side and embraced him. That pic is shown above. The picture is said to have been taken by one of the gathered people who was busy taking Popes pics with his camera. The woman vanished as quickly as she appeared.

The gunman was apprehended in the square and sentenced to life in prison. The pope was critically wounded but survived after surgery and a long recovery. The surprising fact is that all the bullets passed just past his vital internal organs. When he recovered finally, the first thing Pope asked for was his rosary. When he got it in his hands, he said that he felt Mother Mary directing the bullets path through him.Sure, John Paul II was always in the habit of praying the rosary regularly. He had once said The best prayer I like is the Rosary.

Joaquin Navarro Valls, who is the one spokesman from The Vatican, said that they made a lot of studies for years of this incredible picture and of course about the quality of the developing of the picture because when it was developed nobody could see very well because the image was not clear. Finally, and after so many controls and being looking and checking by all the experts in ph otogra ph y (around the world), they decided that there were no tricks in it and today they give us this beautiful gift from our Mother of God. You can see the Mother of God holding John Paul II in her arms. Beautiful right?

This info was forwarded to me by Merlyn Thomas, of our class. 

Credits: Merlyn Thomas

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Signal


The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Everyday he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.


One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger He cried out, “God! How could you do this to me?”


Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island. It had come to rescue him! “How did you know I was here?” asked the weary man of his rescuers. “We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.


Moral: It’s easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn’t lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering, grief or anxiety. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground. It could very well be a smoke signal that summons the Grace and Love of God.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Recall



The Maker of all human beings, God, is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart.

This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units' code names Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been technically termed "Sub-sequential Internal Non-Morality" or as it is more commonly known and primarily expressed, "S.I.N".

Some other symptoms include:
1. Loss of direction
2. Foul vocal emissions
3. Amnesia of origin
4. Lack of peace and joy
5. Selfish or violent behavior
6. Depression or confusion in the mental component
7. Fearfulness
8. Idolatry
9. Rebellion

The Manufacturer, Who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this SIN defect.

The Repair Technician, Jesus, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required!

The toll free 24/7 number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R. Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure.

Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component.

No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:
1. Love
2. Joy
3. Peace
4. Patience
5. Kindness
6. Goodness
7. Faithfulness
8. Gentleness
9. Self control

Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of these fixes.

WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction, voids any Manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and, will result in the human unit being permanently impounded.

For free emergency service, call on Jesus.

DANGER: The human being units NOT responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace.

The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter The Maker's facility, Heaven, so as to prevent contamination of that facility.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sept 13

We had a full class today; there were 10 students from our 10th grade class plus four guest students from the 11th grade class, who were eager to sit in our class.  We continued our lesson on Love.

You must have noticed many wearing traditional dresses today to Church.  It was part of the Onam celebration. Also, today's food was called 'Onam Feast'.  Onam is the Kerala version of 'Thanksgiving' in a certain sense.  Also, there is the story of the legend, Mahabali, which I posted earlier.

Sept 14th is the day we remember the discovery of the Holy Cross.  It is about the discovery of the cross of Jesus Christ itself.  Next Sunday, the Gospel reading is going to be about that, and at Sunday school, we'll dedicate one entire class to talk about that story.  It is an interesting story that took place during the time of King Constantine.  It is not recorded in the Bible, though.

After Sept 14th, our church follows a different set of morning prayers.  It's called the Sleeba Namaskaram (Prayer of the cross).  In the 'Service book of Holy Qurbana', it starts from page 123.  For those of you who come early for the morning prayers, page 123 should be easy to remember.

Today, there was a recap of yesterday's teacher's meeting.  I was unable to go yesterday.  From that meeting, I learned that BRS is back.  They talked about attendance, general session, final exams, etc.  Once I get those details, I'll post it here for you to learn more.

There is no homework for next Sunday.

Amal's B'day falls on Sept 14th.  We'll do something next Sunday.

Have a nice week.