Saturday, February 27, 2010

Feb 28

We shall cover the following topics in class tomorrow:

1.  The Road Ahead - let's look at how we can utilize the remainder of the Sunday school classes.
2.  Project CARS - look at where we are, and what's remaining.
3.  Discuss about grading - final grades for the class, attendance, BRS etc.

There is going to be a Symposium to be held on Mar 21 at church.  Our class is supposed to give names of those interested.  Anybody willing and interested, do let me know and I shall direct you to the right person.

Remember, we talked about discussing the 'Shroud of Turin'.  I have another interesting topic to squeeze in as well - its about the 'Dead Sea Scrolls'. I am thinking about a short movie on that day (no popcorns please).

Toyota Lownmover

They call this the toyota lawnmover.

God's Touch

During this time of lent, it is the time for our spirit to touch the spirit of God. The feeling of our spirit touching the spirit of God is far more sensational than all those touches we can ever experience in this material world.  

Ideally, during these days, one must seek a silence of spirit touching with God. Just a moment's contact and all the fever of life leaves us.  Then we are well, whole, calm, and able to rise for others.

God's touch is a potent healer. My prayer is to feel that touch and to sense God's presence.

Another 36 days till Easter.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The fisherman

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist, Tony, complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them. 'Not very long,' answered Gener, the fisherman.

'Then why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?' asked Tony. Gener explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

Tony inquired, 'But what do you do with the rest of your time?'

'I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings I go into the village to see my friends, dance a little, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life.'

Tony interrupted rather rudely, 'I have a Business Studies degree and I can help you. You should start by fishing longer every day. You can sell the extra fish you catch. With the revenue, you can buy a bigger boat, catch even more fish. With the extra money you will soon be able to buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Cancun, Acapulco, Los Angeles, or even New York City. From there you can direct your huge enterprise.'

'How long would that take?' wondered Gener, the Mexican fisherman.  'Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,' replied Tony condescendingly.  'And after that?' Gener asked.

'After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the sea, sleep late, fish a little, play with your grandchildren, take a siesta with your wife, and spend your evenings in the village, dancing, playing the guitar, and singing with your friends.'

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The only difference

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, 'Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.'

The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water.

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful. But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

The Lord said, 'You have seen Hell.'

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one.

There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The holy man said, 'I don't understand.'

'It is simple,' said the Lord. 'It requires but one skill. You see they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves.'

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The temple bell


Once upon a time, there lived a robber in a village. One day, he stole a temple bell and ran towards the forest. A Tiger heard the jingle of the bell and became curious to locate the sound. As soon as, he saw the robber, he jumped upon him and killed him at once. The bell fell on the ground. After a few days, a group of monkeys passed through that way. They spotted the bell and carried it to their home.

They found the jingle of the bell very interesting. Subsequently every one of them became very fond of the bell and started playing with it. After every tiring day, in the night monkeys would sit on the top of the hill in the forest and enjoy the melodious sound of the bell. The people of the village were afraid of the noise. Soon afterwards, the people from the village found the body of the robber and proclaimed, “Certainly there is an evil spirit around here that kills human beings and then rings the bell to celebrate”.

When the people heard this, they thought that some demon was haunting their village. Without giving any second thought, People started leaving the city in terror. There was an intelligent and bold woman in that village. She thought to herself, “I don’t believe that some demon is haunting this village. I will find out that who is ringing the bell”. At late night, she went into the forest bravely and found that a group of monkeys were playing about and ringing the bell.

Now as the woman knew the secret about the bell, she went to the King and said, “Your Majesty! I'm sure this evil spirit can be conquered by worshipping the Gods. But this will cost money. If you can grant me some money, I will kill the demon and bring happiness to the village”. The King, who was too afraid to get rid of the demon, granted the request of the woman.

On receiving the money, the woman bought some peas, groundnuts and fruits. She arranged a worship of the Gods. She made a circle on the ground, placed all the eatables and started worshipping the Gods. After the ritual, she picked up all the eatables and went into the forest. She placed the fruits and other things under a tree near the hill. She kept a watch of the monkeys from a distance.

As and when the monkeys saw the eatables, they dropped the bell just as the old woman had expected out of them. They ran to pick the eatables. The woman picked up the bell quickly and rushed towards the village. She gave the bell in the court of the King. The King was happy with the brave woman and everyone in the village admired her bravery. The pleased King rewarded the woman for her bravery. Since that day, there was no noise and people lived happily ever after.

Moral: Intelligence and courage succeed against all odds.

Nothing to fear

There's nothing to fear -you're as good as the best,
As strong as the mightiest, too.
You can win in every battle or test;
For there's no one just like you.
There's only one you in the world today;
So nobody else, you see,
Can do your work in as fine a way:
You're the only you there'll be!

So face the world, and all life is yours
To conquer and love and live:
And you'll find the happiness that endures
In just the measure you give;
There's nothing too good for you to possess,
Nor heights where you cannot go:
Your power is more than belief or guess -
It is something you have to know.

There is nothing to fear - you can and you will.
For you are the invincible you.
Set your foot on the highest hill -
There's nothing you cannot do.

Author unknown

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Outer space

Here is a short movie about the universe known to mankind. After watching this one, I felt how small we are, in this mighty universe. Also, that's when you will appreciate the wisdom of God, who created and controls all these.



Here's how a ride in a spyplane taking off into outer space would feel like.

You are not a monk

A man is driving down the road and breaks down near a monastery. He goes to the monastery, knocks on the door, and says, "My car broke down. Do you think I could stay the night?" The monks graciously accept him, feed him dinner, even fix his car.

As the man tries to fall asleep, he hears a strange sound.  The next morning, he asks the monks what the sound was, but they say, "We can`t tell you. You`re not a monk." The man is disappointed but thanks them anyway and goes about His merry way. Some years later, the same man breaks down in front of the same monastery. The monks accept him, feed him, even fix his car. That night, he hears the same strange noise that he had heard years earlier.

The next morning, he asks what it is, but the monks reply, "We can`t tell you. You`re not a monk." The man says, "All right, all right. I`m *dying* to know.  If the only way I can find out what that sound was is to become a monk, how do I become a monk?" The monks reply, "You must travel the Earth and tell us how many blades of grass there are and the exact number of sand pebbles. When you find these numbers, you will become a monk."

The man sets about His task. Forty-five years later, he returns and knocks on the door of the monastery. He says, "I have traveled the Earth and have found what you have asked for. There are 145,236,284,232 blades of grass and 281,219,999,129,382 sand pebbles on the Earth." The monks reply, "Congratulations! You are now a monk. We shall now show you the way to the sound." The monks lead the man to a wooden door, where the head monk says, "The sound is right behind that door."

The man reaches for the knob, but the door is locked. He says, "Real funny. may I have the key?" The monks give him the key, and he opens the door. Behind the wooden door is another door made of stone. The man requests the key to the stone door. The monks give him the key, and he opens it, only to find a door made of ruby. He asks for yet another key from the monks, who provide it. Behind that door is *another* door, this one made of sapphire. So it went until the man had gone through doors of emerald, silver, topaz, amethyst. . .

Finally, the monks say, "This is the last key to the last door." The man is relieved to no end. He unlocks the door, turns the knob, and behind that door he is amazed to find the source of that strange sound.

But I can`t tell you what it is because. .. you`re not a monk!

How Great Minds Work

We all have great minds. What makes a difference is whether or not we use the full capability of our mind.

Washington Irving once said, "Great minds have purposes, others have wishes."

Those who have a "purpose" are active in setting goals and constantly working towards them.

Those who simply "wish", have no specific goals for themselves; they just go day to day allowing someone else to set their direction. Wishing for something occupies the mind but leaves the bank empty.

Use your "great mind", and set goals to achieve your purpose.

Wishing is just as ineffective as worrying - neither accomplishes anything.

Next time you find yourself wishing for something, remind yourself that wishing won't move you forward, but setting goals and taking action will.

Credits: Catherine Pulsifer 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Stairs vs escalator

"Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator and feel better” is something we often hear or read in the Sunday papers. Few people actually follow that advice. Can we get more people to take the stairs over the escalator by making it fun to do?

See the results here.



If you liked this video, check out similar videos including, 'bottle bank arcade machine', 'make your boyfriend clean your apartment', 'fighting germs with fun' etc. by clicking here.

Success in a nutshell

Success is ninety-nine percent mental attitude. It calls for love, joy, optimism, confidence, serenity, poise, faith, courage, cheerfulness, imagination, initiative, tolerance, honesty, humility, patience, and enthusiasm.

Success is having the courage to meet failure without being defeated. It is refusing to let present loss interfere with your long-range goal.

Success is relative and individual and personal. It is your answer to the problem of making your minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years add up to a great life.

Credits: Wilfred Peterson

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thoughts

I came across this poem that describes how you think.  Reminds me of a good friend of mine, who always tells me, "It's all in your head."

---Thoughts---

If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't!
If you'd like to win, but you think you can't,
It's almost certain you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you're lost;
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will;
It's all in the state of mind!

If you think you're outclassed, you are;
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself
Before you'll ever win the prize.

Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the person who thinks he can!

Author Unknown 

Two ingredients for happiness

A true story describing those two essential ingredients for happiness.
-----

Jerry is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant.

The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?" Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.

I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested. "Yes, it is," Jerry said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live life."

I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gun point by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.

I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?" I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. “The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry replied. "Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live."

"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked. Jerry continued, "...the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man.'

I knew I needed to take action." " What did you do?" I asked. "Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Jerry. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Bullets!' Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.'"

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.
----

Positive thinking the the first step towards a happy life.

Attitude is everything.

If we apply just these two ingredients, we will live each day of our lives in happiness.

Two links

I consciously did not mention anything nor remind you about Project CARS in class today. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see the following students' email in my mailbox.  This clearly demonstrates your dedication, diligence, interest and readiness about the project.  So far, I received links from these students below.

Alina Thomas
Amal Punnoose
Merlyn Thomas
Sherine Sam 

Thank you, Alina, Amal, Merlyn and Sherine - I shall get back to you at the earliest with my remarks.  I am really glad to see your enthusiasm.

Others - I look forward to receiving your two links about your character.

Feb21

Today in class we discussed about the Christian philosophy towards money.  Another topic we discussed was the 40 day lent.

We have another 4 more classes.  Apart from completing your syllabus, looks like we will be able to cover an additional topic on 'the shroud of Turin' as well.

There was a teachers' meeting today after class. I have not received all the details yet, shall let you know once I hear more.

Have a nice week.