Saturday, October 3, 2009

Clarification on BRS

I got a question from our Alex relating to BRS.  The question is below:

According to Jacob, whose blessing is stronger than the blessings of stable mountains and everlasting hills? To whom Jacob gave that blessing?

Has anybody solved this yet?  If so, can you post a response here?  I am away from my desk and thought of checking with the rest of the class first. Let's discuss in the class tomorrow.

I am curious if anybody else also has the similar question.  Would appreciate any response posted by anyone.  

The lone tree

Here is the story of a person looking for a tree.  There were few typos in the earlier post, and I have corrected them now.

A very nice person went on a hunt for a tree to make them happy. A thought came in their head, where do I find a tree that makes me happy. The forest, how logical, there are so many trees there. That is where I will find my perfect tree.

So the journey began at the forest. As this person went deeper into the trees, a large smile appeared. I have found so many nice trees. Look at them all. Some are tall, some are smaller, some have many leaves, and some do not. There are trees with large branches, some with little branches. Oh look at all the trees.

As the journey continued, and some time passed, a bit of confusion came over this person. How can I tell which tree is really special, from the ones that are not. How can I tell which tree is my tree, from a tree that is just a nice tree. They all have many good qualities; they all have some good points to them. But, they are all together, and so many around, how in the world do I pick the tree that is special, from the tree that is just a tree?

As some more time passed, this person discovered that while many trees were very fine trees, it was impossible to find what the mission was; to find that special tree that would make this person happy. Sure, it was much safer among many trees, see, if one fell, or got sick, or got chopped down, there were other trees to take its place. But then it hit, if a tree can take another trees place, then, how special was the tree that was replaced? What would be the answer? What to do. So, this nice person decided to leave the safety of the forest, and venture out. Maybe the answer would come.

A little down the road, an amazement happened. There stood a tree, by itself, alone, but standing tall and proud, as any other tree in the forest. So this person went to this tree. And under the tree is where he stood. The rain came, and the tree protected him from rain. The tree was providing safety, warmth and dryness from the rain. Then came some wind. The wind was very strong, but this tree sheltered this person from that wind. The storm left, and it was becoming dark. Hunger was setting in, but the tree had fruit, and provided food. The next day, when the sun was very hot, this tree provided some shade. How amazing a tree! Could this be my tree?

It hit this person that the tree he was looking for really could not be found in a crowd. If not for taking the chance to wander away from safety, how would one find out how wonderful a particular tree could be? Only when willing to risk, reward was found. And risk it could be, after all, this tree could have been hit by lightning, could have been chopped down, could have contracted a disease, and could have been overtaken by many things. But, the tree was there, standing tall, and those things didn't happen. Could it in the future? Of course, but this is what finding something that is just for one involves, that risk.

This person found the perfect tree. A risk into the open, and looking for that special one was the turning point. The tree, by the way, found its perfect place to be too. The tree could have been placed in a park, with many people, but then the tree would have been in the same boat. No, the lone tree, by itself, found by a lone individual, that is where the most precious gift was.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Below is an email I received from a friend yesterday. This friend is known for his short temper. 
Dear Friend,

Make sure you Read all the way down to the last sentence. (Most importantly the last sentence)

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all.

He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, 'You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence.

The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out.

But It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound will still be there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.

Remember that friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed.

They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us.'


Please forgive me if I have ever left a 'hole' in your fence.


Day of non-violence

Today is the international day of non-violence - this is observed to remember the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi; the father of nation of India.  The United Nation asks all members to commemorate today in an appropriate manner and to spread the message of non-violence.  I thought it's a good idea to declare today as a day of non-violence at our home as well :-)

Gandhi is one person who came close to practicing Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ.  Gandhi liked the beatitudes and also got motivated towards non-violence by reading the Bible.  One of his famous quotes is: "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

When asked why he did not embrace Christianity, Gandhi has said that he had studied the  scriptures and was tremendously attracted. But eventually he came to the conclusion that there was nothing really special in the scriptures which he had not got in his own, and "to be a good Hindu also meant that I would be a good Christian. There was no need for me to join your creed to be a believer in the beauty of the teachings of Jesus or try to follow His example," he said.

Happy Birthday Gandhiji!!!

A simple and real friend

I have numerous friends that I have gathered over these years.  Imagine the solar system, and you are the Sun, and your friends are like the planets.  Some are distant friends whom I talk once in several years, some are regular friends, few are close friends, fewer best and so on.

The joy it brings to me when I have friends is great; and knowing that I can be a friend to someone else is tremendous as well.  Those two aspects are important while having friends and being a friend.

Friends can make a difference in a person's life.  They can be a light as well as a light for you - lighting the way when you cannot see the way with love, warmth, caring and a special hand.

There are simple friends and real friends.  How can you tell whether a friend is a simple friend, or a real one?

A simple friend has never seen you cry.
A real friend has shoulders soggy from your tears.

A simple friend doesn't know your parents' first names.
A real friend has their phone numbers in his address book.

A simple friend brings a bottle of wine to your party.
A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to help you clean.

A simple friend hates it when you call after he has gone to bed.
A real friend asks you why you took so long to call.

A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems.
A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.

A simple friend wonders about your romantic history.
A real friend could blackmail you with it - but will never do.

A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest.
A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps himself.

A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument.
A real friend knows that it's not a friendship until after you've had a fight.

A simple friend expects you to always be there for them.
A real friend expects to always be there for you!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Swine flu or regular flu

Above is a chart that can tell you if your symptoms are that of a regular flu, or swine flu (H1N1).  Did you know that more people contract and even die from “regular flu” than the new H1N1 strain? Here’s how it breaks down:

· 5% to 20% of the population gets the “flu” every year. More than 200,000 people become hospitalized and about 36,000 die from flu-related complications every year.

· As of July, there were approximately 34,000 confirmed and probable cases of the H1N1 flu and 170 deaths in 53 states and territories.

· As for colds, the number of people that contract a cold is more than the flu and H1N1 combined, but it is extremely rare that anyone dies from a cold.

Now that you know a little more about colds, flu and their symptoms, let’s look at how to prevent them.

1. One of the simplest ways to prevent colds and flu is to wash your hands often. Germs can live for a while -- on doors, phones, computer keyboards, grocery carts, so the best thing to do is wash hands often. After washing hands, you can help remove remaining germs by drying with a paper towel.

2. It also helps to avoid close contact with anyone with a cold or flu. Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth so try not to touch your face and cough in your arm.

3. The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get a flu vaccination each year. There are two types of flu vaccines:

a. The flu shot - an inactivated vaccine, containing killed virus that is given with a needle (approved for people six months and older)

b. The nasal-spray flu vaccine - A vaccine made with live, weakend flu viruses that DO NOT cause the flu (approved for use in healthy people ages 2-49 who are not pregnant)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Something the Lord Made

We've been talking about love, heart, and related feelings for the past few weeks.  We even heard from the world class expert who fixes 'broken hearts'.

If you are interested in watching a movie that changed the way Heart Surgeries were performed, watch 'Something the Lord Made'.  It is a true story that took place at the John Hopkins Hospital.  A breakthrough that changed the face of medicine. A unique partnership that broke the rules.  The plot is about the relationship between heart surgery pioneers Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas.  I have watched this movie more than couple of times, and encourage you to watch it when time permits.

If you like my taste, you will just love it and add it to your favorite list of the most pleasurable, educational, and inspirational films you have seen. It is truly, an unforgettable film!  Check out your local Blockbuster or Hollywood store for a copy.

Reason, Season and Lifetime

People always come into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, or to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or even spiritually. They may seem like a godsend to you, and they are. They are there for a reason, you need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die, Sometimes they just walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season. And like Spring turns to Summer and Summer to Fall, the season eventually ends.

LIFETIME, relationships teach you a lifetime of lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway), and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas in your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant. 

Credits: Brian Chalker

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Background Color

I received a comment about the background color change, from our Anabella.  I thought I would post it here so that everybody knows the reason behind it.

I try out different backgrounds for the blog - typically once every month.  Since the fall season started last week, and Halloween soon approaching, I thought fall colors would be appropriate.  Just like how we wear different clothes each Sunday to Church - to appear cheerful.  Ideally, I would have liked to keep the same color pattern from the 1st of the month till the end of that month.  Sometimes I get busy on those days and do not get to change it.  During those times, I change it either during the last week of a month or beginning of the next month.  I already know about my busy schedule for next week and thought of changing it when I had little 'free time'.

The number 565 in the background actually has no significance.  The people who created it called 'template number 565'.  I used this template it as a starting point, and added my own colors to make it 'look pretty' with little imagination I had :-)

Anabella, I am glad u asked what was on your inquisitive mind. It reminds me of what Albert Einstien once said, "I have no particular talent.  I am merely inquisitive".


In life there are many things that depart,
The ones that have the most pain and grief are dearest to the heart.
The world is filled with curved and winding paths,
The ones that are straight and narrow will never last.

You are God's child, virtuous and true,
The greatest tribute he will ever give is you.
His lessons are taught in different ways,
Your ability to learn and overcome will brighten your following days.

You and you alone are the key to grace,
Although your heart is heavy the answers are in it's place.
Times of failure and disappointment you shall wish to hide,
But never silence the beauty you have inside.

Trust the majesty of the essence within yourself,
For all your dreams and aspirations will come in wealth.
You are the Lord's gift to the Earth,
With gentle power and a strong self-worth.

Passion and wisdom as pure as gold,
Sheer and unbounded strength which you will eternity hold.
Always have love be your guide,
For it is the root of all and shall never leave your side.

Embrace life and the elegance of who you want to be,
Let the splendor of it shine for all to see.

Credits: Paul David

Monday, September 28, 2009

Teacher's meeting

A Sunday school teacher's meeting was held on Sept 12th, 2009.  Below are few items that were discussed, which pertain to you all:

General Session
Students from each grade should line up and sit together.
Students should go in a group to the class along with the teachers.

Students should be present in the general session by second bell (First bell rings 10 minutes prior to second bell).
Students should be present in both general session and the class, only then attendance is given for them.
Exceptions - Attendance is given to the students when they take part in Church activities like Family Conference / MGOCSM.
Student should have 80% attendance to appear in the final exam.

Bible Read & Study
BRS worksheet will be distributed to the students on alternate Sundays. Students need to return to the teachers within 2 weeks.

Mid-term Exam
All students will have to take the mid-year Exam.
Mid-term exam will have the same format as final exam.

No Food or Drink in the Sunday school building.

BRS # 2

Click here to download the electronic version of BRS # 2.  

It's due on Sunday, Oct 11th.  

Happy BRS-ing.  

You are worth it

Here is an inspirational poem called 'You are worth it'. 

Do not undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others.
It is because we are different that each of us is special.

Do not set your goals by what other people deem important.
Only you know what is best for you.

Do not take for granted the things closest to your heart.
Cling to them as you would your life,
For without them, life is meaningless.

Do not let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past
Nor in the future.

By living your life one day at a time,
You live all the days of your life.

Do not give up when you still have something to give.
Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

It is a fragile thread that binds us to each other.

Do not be afraid to encounter risks.
It is by taking chances; that we learn how to be brave.

Do not shut love out of your life by saying it is impossible to find.
The quickest way to receive love is to give love;
The fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly.

Do not dismiss your dreams.
To be without dreams is to be without hope;
To be without hope is to be without purpose.

Do not run through life so fast
That you forget not only where you have been,
But also where you are going.

Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

Author Unknown

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sept 27

We had a full house today. All of you attended the General Session today - good job.  Dr. K.M Cherian joined our class, as a special guest.

We talked about BRS for a while and all of you are co-operating, and it makes me happy.  I shall post the electronic version of next question by tomorrow.  You can download it, fill in the answers and email me.  Few of you took the printed questions today.  Shall provide you the BRS grades next Sunday.

We watched part of the movie 'The passion of the Christ' today.  About mid way through my lecture I thought that instead of Dr. K.M Cherian listening to my lecture, I should let him speak and listen to him instead.  He addressed our class about how to start your career as a doctor, how to be successful, and taught us about those qualities that make each of us succeed in our profession.  It was good to see all of you taking notes down from his lecture.  It was impressive watching he giving personal autograph to each one of you.

We had to wind up our class early, since I had to leave with him. We did not miss much, instead we heard one of the most successful cardiac surgeon on this planet speak to us.

Next Sunday, there is a General Body being held at our church.  We'll continue our discussion on 'The passion of the Christ' next Sunday.

Fall season started last week, on Sept 21st. Time to tuck away your summer clothes and pull out those winter   clothes.

Have a safe week.

Gospel Reading Sept 27

The second Sunday after the discovery of the Holy Cross.

St. Matthew 16:5-12

5  When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread.

6  "Be careful," Jesus said to them. "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."

7  They discussed this among themselves and said, "It is because we didn't bring any bread."

8  Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, "You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread?

9  Do you still not understand? Don't you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered?

10  Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered?

11  How is it you don't understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."

12  Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

The reading above takes place right after Jesus miraculously fed over 5,000 people.  Here we also see that the disciples are not able to fully comprehend what their master is saying.  Most of the times, they were thinking about material things, and forgetting Jesus is the son of God, and the miracles he performed.

Leaven, that ferments wheat to make bread, according to the Jews was a sign or symbol of evil influence. Leaven signified anything which rots and corrupts, not just physically but spiritually and morally as well.

Jesus warned his disciples to avoid the way of the Pharisees and Sadducees who sought their own counsels rather than the mind of God. They were blinded by their own arrogance and were unable to recognize the truth and wisdom which Jesus spoke in the name of his Father in heaven.