Friday, September 3, 2010

About St. Mary - 3


Part 1
Part 2
Today is the 3rd day of our 8 day lent.  let's review the vision of Joachim today.

The Vision of Joachim
Joachim did not go home after his bitter experience at the temple and instead chose to stay in the pastures along with the shepherds. His wife Anna was worried, since she had not seen him for many days.

One day, when Joachim was in the pasture, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a vision, and said, "Fear not, Joachim, don't be disturbed by my appearance; for I am the angel of the Lord, sent by Him to you to tell you that your prayers have been heard, and that your charitable deeds have gone up into His presence. He has seen your shame, and has heard the reproach of unfruitfulness which has been unjustly brought against you. For God is the avenger of sin, not of nature: and, therefore, when He shuts up the womb of any one, He does so that He may miraculously open it again."

The angel continued by pointed out few historical facts,
"Sarah, the first mother of your nation, was barren up to her eightieth year and in extreme old age she brought forth Isaac.

Rachel, so favored of the Lord, and so beloved by holy Jacob, was long barren; and yet she brought forth Joseph, who was not only the lord of Egypt, but the deliverer of many nations who were ready to perish of hunger.

Who among the judges was either stronger than Samson, or more holy than Samuel? And yet the mothers of both were barren.

If, therefore, the reasonableness of my words does not persuade you, believe in fact that conceptions very late in life, and births in the case of women that have been barren, are usually attended with something wonderful."

Then the angel said the most wonderful thing, "Accordingly your wife Anna will bring forth a daughter to you, and you shall call her name Mary: she shall be, as you have vowed, consecrated to the Lord from her infancy, and she shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from her mother's womb. She shall neither eat nor drink any unclean thing, nor shall she spend her life among the crowds of the people without, but in the temple of the Lord, that it may not be possible either to say, or so much as to suspect, any evil concerning her. Therefore, when she has grown up, just as she herself shall be miraculously born of a barren woman, so in an incomparable manner she, a virgin, shall bring forth the Son of the Most High, who shall be called Jesus, and who, according to the etymology of His name, shall be the Saviour of all nations."

The angel also gave Joachim a sign, "And this shall be the sign to you of those things which I announce: When you shall come to the Golden gate in Jerusalem, you shall there meet Anna your wife, who, lately anxious from the delay of your return, will then rejoice at the sight of you."

Having spoken these words to Joachim, the angel departed from him.

--------
Joachim must have felt so happy and light at heart after hearing these words. Whenever we hear a great news, we want to share that immediately with our dear ones - we rush to them to share that joy; for joy shared multiplies by itself.  I bet, Joachim wanted to run home and share this news with Anna.

Encounter with an angel is a blessing.  The positive energy filled by an angel is so powerful, that one has to experience it.  Joachim must have experienced new energy flowing through him, after his vision.

(To be continued...)


Credits: About.com

Thursday, September 2, 2010

About St. Mary - 2

Image - Joachim & Anna

Today is the second day of the 8-day lent.  Let's continues with our story of St. Mary. 
-----------
Part 1

It came to pass that the festival of the dedication was coming up, where Joachim went up to Jerusalem with some men of his own tribe.

Now at that time Issachar was high priest at Jerusalem.  When he saw Joachim with his offering among his other fellow citizens, he despised him, and spurned his gifts.  He asked why Joachim, who had no offspring, presumed to stand among those who had offspring. Issachar also said that Joachim's gifts could not by any means be acceptable to God, since He had deemed him unworthy of off-spring: According to Issachar, the Scripture said, "Cursed is every one who has not begot a male or a female in Israel."

He said, therefore, that Joachim should first be freed from this curse by the begetting of children; and then, and then only, he should come into the presence of the Lord with his offerings. And Joachim, covered with shame from this reproach that was thrown in his teeth, retired to the shepherds, who were in their pastures with their flocks; nor would he return home, lest perchance he might be branded with the same reproach by those of his own tribe, who were there at the time, and had heard this from the priest.

What an insult Joachim suffered at the hands of Issachar.

(To be continued...)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Today

We had Holy Qurbana at church today at 7:00 PM.  I left home around 5:45, but due to traffic jam I reached there only by 7:05 PM.  There were many people who came for the service - especially those living near our church.  I was counting that almost all who observe this lent would attend today's, as well as the service on Sept 8th. If you observe this lent, and are attending the service, I recommend you pay attention to the picture of St. Mary that's inside our church, and try to talk to St. Mary.  When you start a conversation, you'll be surprised to notice something - St. Mary wants to talk to you as well. Could it be due to the the feminine nature of St. Mary?  Ponder that question yourself :-)

I have a long night in front of me tonight.  Tomorrow at 8:00 AM, I'm about to do a tough negotiation at work, and there's lot of preparation involved.  The task at hand is to sell my 'recipe for success' to the management.  It means they have to make few major changes in the organization.  I also am brushing up on couple of books, 'How to deal with difficult people', and the 'Art of Negotiation'.  Let's see how that goes :-)

Of course, I talked to St. Mary, and asked for help during tomorrow's negotiation.  I also prayed for all my dear ones.

About St. Mary


St. Mary sprung from the royal stock and family of David, born in the city of Nazareth, was brought up at Jerusalem in the temple of the Lord. Her father was named Joachim, and her mother Anna. Her father's house was from Galilee and the city of Nazareth, but her mother's family from Bethlehem. Their life was guileless and right before the Lord, and irreproachable and pious before men. For they divided all their substance into three parts.

One part they spent upon the temple and the temple servants; another they distributed to strangers and the poor; the third they reserved, for themselves and the necessities of their family. Thus, dear to God, kind to men, for about twenty years they lived in their own house, a chaste married life, without having any children. Nevertheless they vowed that, should the Lord happen to give them offspring, they would deliver it to the service of the Lord; on which account also they used to visit the temple of the Lord at each of the feasts during the year.

(To be continued...)


Credits: About.com

One Liners

1. Give God what’s right — not what’s left.

2. Man’s way leads to a hopeless end — God’s way leads to an endless hope.

3. A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.

4. He who kneels before God can stand before anyone.

5. In the sentence of life, the devil may be a comma–but never let him be the period.

6. Don’t put a question mark where God puts a period.

7. Are you wrinkled with burden? Come to GOD for a face-lift.

8. When praying, don’t give God instructions-just report for duty.

9. Don’t wait for six strong men to take you to church.

10. We don’t change God’s message–His message changes us.

11. The church is prayer-conditioned.

12. When God ordains, He sustains.

13. WARNING: Exposure to the Son may prevent burning.

14. Plan ahead–It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.

15. Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory position.

16. Suffering from truth decay? Brush up on your book.

17. Exercise daily–walk with the Lord.

18. Never give the devil a ride–he will always want to drive.

19. Nothing else ruins the truth like stretching it.

20. Compassion is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.

21. He who angers you controls you.

22. Worry is the darkroom in which negatives can develop.

23. Give Satan an inch & he’ll be a ruler.

24. Be fishers of men–you catch them & He’ll clean them.

25. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The origin of smiley


There are few symbols which so fully represent the American spirit of friendship, happiness and peace as the smiley face. Harvey Ball, co-owner of an advertising and public relations firm in Worcester, Massachusetts designed the Smiley Face in 1964 to help ease the acrimonious aftermath following the merger of two insurance companies.

In the early 60s State Mutual Life Assurance of Worcester, MA initiated a merger that had bad effects on company morale. In 1964, State Mutual cooked up a “friendship campaign” to get employees to smile whenever they answered the phone, paid a claim, or typed a report. The company turned to Harvey Ball for graphic support. Ball reported that he spent about 10 minutes designing the smiley face, and he was paid $45 for it. This was the only profit that Ball ever made from his most famous creation. Neither Ball or the insurance company trademarked or copyrighted the smiley face. In the early 1970s, the smiley face image became a symbol for an entire generation of Americans, emerging as one of the most well-known images in the country.

The smiley face craze, was the work of two brothers in Philadelphia, Bernard and Murray Spain, who were in the business of making would-be fad items. In September of 1970 they drew up a smiley face added the words "Have a nice day," and copyrighted the image and words. Soon they and their many imitators were cranking out buttons, posters, greeting cards, shirts, bumper stickers, cookie jars, earrings, bracelets, key chains, and many other items.

I don't have to say how many times we use smiley in our daily communication.
:-)

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Story of the Rainbow




Once upon a time, all the colors in the world started to quarrel; each claimed that she was the best, the most important, the most useful, the favourite...

Green said: “Clearly I am the most important. I am the sign of life and of hope. I was chosen for grass, trees, leaves — without me all the animals would die. Look out over the countryside and you will see that I am in the majority.”

Blue interrupted: “You only think about the earth, but consider the sky and the sea. It is water that is the basis of life and this is drawn up by the clouds from the blue sea. The sky gives space and peace and serenity. Without my peace you would all be nothing but busybodies.”

Yellow chuckled: “You are all so serious. I bring laughter, gaiety and warmth into the world. The sun is yellow, the moon is yellow, the stars are yellow. Every time you look at a sunflower the whole world starts to smile. Without me there would be no fun.”

Orange started next to blow her own trumpet: “I am the color of health and strength. I may be scarce, but I am precious for I serve the inner needs of human life. I carry all the most important vitamins. Think of carrots and pumpkins, oranges, mangoes and pawpaws. I don’t hang around all the time, but when I fill the sky at sunrise or sunset, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another thought to any of you.”

Red could stand it no longer. He shouted out: “I’m the ruler of you all, blood, life’s blood. I am the color of danger and of bravery. I am willing to fight of a cause. I bring fire in the blood. without me the earth would be empty as the moon. I am the color of passion and love; the red rose, poinsettia and poppy.”

Purple rose up to his full height. He was very tall and he spoke with great pomp: “I am the color of royalty and power. Kings, chiefs and bishops have always chosen me for I am a sign of authority and wisdom. People do not question me — they listen and obey.”

Indigo spoke much more quietly than all the others, but just as determinedly: “Think of me, you all become superficial. I represent thought and reflection, twilight and deep waters. You need me for balance and contrast, for prayer and inner peace.”

*    *    *

And so the colors went on boasting, each convinced that they were the best. Their quarrelling became louder and louder. Suddenly there was a startling flash of brilliant white lightning; thunder rolled and boomed. Rain started to pour down relentlessly. The colors all crouched down in fear, drawing close to one another for comfort.

Then Rain spoke:

“You foolish colors, fighting among yourselves, each trying to dominate the rest. Do you not know that God made you all? Each for a special purpose, unique and different. He loves you all. He wants you all. Join hands with one another and come with me. He will stretch you across the sky in a great bow of color, as a reminder that he loves you all, that you can live together in peace

— a promise that He is with you,
— a sign of hope for tomorrow.”

And so whenever God has used a good rain to wash the world, He puts the rainbow in the sky, and when we see it, let us remember to appreciate one another.

.

Free at last

The past few days and past week, I've been extremely busy, and hence the posting on this blog suffered.  Sorry.

After working hard, day and night, and with the help of my dear ones, I have been successful in delivering what I am supposed to do. I was able to deliver lot more that what was expected.  Lesson learned: if you surround yourself with the right people, every challenge will disappear (It's all in the head).  Now as a result of the goodwill, blessings, prayers etc., suddenly, I am completely free - to be precise, I am completely free at 11:00 tomorrow (no kidding - certainly); that's when all my workload will be over (for now).

I told myself in my mind - no matter what, I should not get myself so busy, and should post something here everyday, without disappointing my readers.

The Lord's Prayer

Once, a young lawyer became aggravated with one of his fellow lawyers who kept winning his cases by quoting the Bible. He would preface his remarks by saying, "As the Bible says," or "As the word of God declares", and then, he would come out with a statement that would exactly prove his point. The young lawyer was jealous because this attorney kept winning all his cases, and so he decided to challenge him.

One day, as they were standing in the courtroom, this young lawyer challenge the attorney, "You are always quoting the Bible to prove your point. You pretend to know the Bible so well, but I don't believe you do. In fact I bet you five dollars that you can't quote The Lord's Prayer."

The attorney was put on the spot, and without cracking a smile, bowed his head and looking very sanctimonious began to pray,
"Now I lay me down to sleep, 
I pray the Lord my soul to keep. 
If I should die before I wake, 
I pray the Lord my soul to take."

Then, the most remarkable thing happened.

The young lawyer said, "Well, you sure fooled me - you really know the Bible."

.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Answers - Fun questions

Here are the answers to the Fun questions posted earlier.  How many did you get right? If you got all right (and if you were in my team), you would have qualified for an ipod.  Compare your answers to this list. 

How many ridges does the edge of a dime have? 118

How long does a dragonfly live? 24 Hours

How long is a “jiffy”? 1/100th of a second

What is the only month in recorded history with no full moon? Feb. 1865

Who invented scissors? Leonardo Da Vinci

When did Niagara Falls completely freeze? Winter 1932

How many ways are there to make change for a dollar? 293

Where was Winston Churchill born? In a ladies room during a dance

Who was the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence? Edward Rutledge - 26

How much does a Koala sleep? 22 hours per day

Who was the first American to have plumbing installed? Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
.

Sept 1

The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated on September 8.  The lent begins on Sept 1 and concludes on Sept 8. Mary's parents, Joachim and Anna, were childless until an angel appeared to Anna and told her that she would conceive.

If you have observed this lent, then you know how powerful this particular lent is.  It's widely popular among the women.  This year, we have prayers at our chuch on Sept 1, and Sept 8th at 7:00 PM, and I plan to attend that.

.

Prayer request

Dear Readers,

One of my team members has asked for a prayer request.  She and her husband are married for several years now, and have been wanting to have a child.  They both are very eager to have a kid of their own.  Few months ago, she was excited when she was told that she was pregnant, but it turned out to be a miscarriage - which broke the hearts of everyone in her family.

Now, they are going through numerous expensive treatments and have asked me to pray for them.  Please remember them in your prayers as well.  

Never give up

Whenever stress builds up, I remind myself of this small article:
---------------------

In 1832, he was a 22-year old business failure.

That same year he ran for the State Legislature and was defeated.

In 1833, he was a business failure once again.

In 1836, he suffered a nervous breakdown.

In 1838, he lost in an effort to become Speaker of the House in the State Legislature.

Five years later, he ran for US Congress – again it was in vain.

In 1846, he ran for Congress and won – only to lose his re-election bid in 1848.

He ran for the Senate in 1854, and lost.

He ran for the Vice-presidential nomination in 1856, and lost that too.

But In 1860, Abraham Lincoln became the 16th President of the United States.
--------------------
Finally, I tell myself - Never give up.