Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gospel Reading Nov 14


This Sunday, our church remembers the Annunciation to Zachariah, about the birth of 'John the Baptist.'  The passage is St.Luke1:5-25.

When angel Gabriel announced the birth, Zechariah can’t believe it. He’s in disbelief, and asks, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”

Here we see Zachariah, a priest, standing inside the temple of God and disbelieving God's own angel.

Let's ask ourselves, "Aren't we a little like Zechariah at times?" As Christians, we have trouble believing what the Lord is telling us. We don’t trust God as we ought to, and we have to take matters into our own hands. We want to walk our own way.  We find the message of God boring and not worthy of much attention. How like Zechariah we are!

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Women against alcohol

Women were against liquor back in early 1900's.  Here are few campaign posters they came up with:
Lips That Touch Liquor Won’t Touch Ours

A blessing and a curse
Good for the Engine, but not for the Engineer.

Causes

We make people poor.

Drunkard
Prohibition Failed

Non-Essential

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Forgiven


Not far from New York, there is a cemetery where there is a grave which has inscribed upon its headstone just one word: "Forgiven." There is no name, no date of birth or death. The stone is unembellished by the sculptor's art. There is no epitaph, no eulogy, just that one word: "Forgiven." But that is the greatest thing that can be said of any man or written upon his grave, "Forgiven."

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Friday, November 12, 2010

The last drop

The strongman at a circus side-show demonstrated his power before a large audience. Towards the end, he squeezed the juice from a lemon between his hands. He then said to the audience, "I will offer $1,000 to anyone in the audience who can squeeze another drop from this lemon.

A thin scholarly looking man came forward, picked up the lemon, strained hard and managed to get a drop. The strongman was amazed. He paid the man and asked, "What is the secret of your strength?"

"Practice," the man answered. "I was the treasurer of an Orthodox Church for five years!"

You're the only way

Sometimes, I get lost upon a cloud of tears
And blinding fog, to my eye would pierce;
But I know I only have to pause and pray,
Because Lord, You're the Only Way.

When the waves of sorrow engulf my soul
And worry keeps me inside this gaunt hole;
I know that to You, everything I would lay
Because Lord, You're the Only Way.

Sometimes the knife of rage would stab my heart
And my head feels like falling apart.
I canot find a way to mend them back but pray,
Because Lord, You're the Only Way.

You're the Only Road, I know; the Only Way,
Even if among a billion stars I'll go astray,
You will still be there, ever near,
I will always remember that, as I whisper an earnest prayer.



Credits: Crislyn Olayvar

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Appreciation


One young academically excellent person went to apply for a managerial position at a large company. He passed the first interview; and to make a decision, the director called for a final interview.  The director discovered from the resume, that the youth's academic result was excellent all the way, from the secondary school until the postgraduate research.  This young person always scored well.

The director asked, "Did you obtain any scholarship at school?"

The youth answered, "No".

The director asked, “Did your father pay your school fees?".

The youth answered, ”My father passed away when I was one year old and  it was my mother who paid  my school fees".

The director asked, “Where did your mother work?"

The youth answered, "My mother worked as cloth cleaner."

The director requested the youth to show his hands and the youth showed a pair of hands that was smooth and perfect to the director.

The director asked, “Did you ever help your mother wash clothes before?"

The youth answered, "Never. My mother always wanted me to study and read more books, furthermore, my mother could wash clothes faster than I could."

The director said, "I have a request, when you go home today, go and help to clean your mother's hand, and then meet me here tomorrow morning."

The youth felt that the chance of landing the job was high and when he went back, he happily wanted to clean his mother's hands. His mother felt strange. With happiness mixed with fear, she showed her hands to the kid. The youth cleaned his mother's hands slowly and his tears fell as he did that.  It was the first time he noticed that his mother's hands were so wrinkled, and that there were so many bruises in her hands. Some bruises were so painful  that she shuddered when his mother's hands were cleaned with water. This was the first time that the youth realized and experienced that it is this pair of hands that washed the clothes everyday to earn him the school fees and that the bruises in the mother's hand were the price that his mother paid for his graduation, academic excellence and probably his future.

After finishing the cleaning of his mother's hands, the youth quietly washed all the remaining clothes for his mother. That night, the mother and son talked for a very long time.

Next morning, the youth went to the director's office. The director noticed the tear in the youth's eye and asked, "Can you tell me what you did and learnt yesterday at your house?"

The youth answered, "I cleaned my mother's hands and also finished washing all the remaining clothes."

The director asked, "Please tell me what you felt."

The youth said, "Number 1, I know what appreciation is now. Without my mother, I would not be successful today. Number 2, Now I know how to work together with my mother.  Only now do I realize how difficult and tough it is to get something done.  Number 3, I know the importance and value of family relationship.

The director said,  “This is what I am looking for, and I want to recruit a person that can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the suffering of others to get things done, and a person that would not put money as his only goal in life to be my manager. You are hired.

Later on, this young person worked very hard, received the respect of his subordinates, every employee worked diligently and as a team, and the company improved tremendously.


Credits: Bindhu Koshy

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Portrait


When we think about women of the Bible, Mary, mother of Jesus comes to our mind as a role model.

The Bible gives the wonderful description about a virtuous woman.  This is not just any woman, but an ideal woman.  Even though it was written few thousand years ago, it's so true today and will be for centuries to come.

Here is the portrait (from NIV)

Proverbs 31:

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
   She is worth far more than rubies.

11 Her husband has full confidence in her
   and lacks nothing of value.

12 She brings him good, not harm,
   all the days of her life.

13 She selects wool and flax
   and works with eager hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships,
   bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still night;
   she provides food for her family
   and portions for her female servants.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
   out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;
   her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
   and her lamp does not go out at night.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff
   and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20 She opens her arms to the poor
   and extends her hands to the needy.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
   for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for her bed;
   she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
   where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
   and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
   she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom,
   and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
   and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
   her husband also, and he praises her:

29 “Many women do noble things,
   but you surpass them all.”

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
   and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.


This is an extremely meaningful passage, and I shall share some of my thoughts in the next few days.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Better friendship

Once there were two friends who used to be close together. One day, one of them decided to end their friendship.  Since she was an honest and extremely nice person, she let the other one know about her decision.

The second friend was certainly upset to hear such a news.  However, with all good intentions, and to see only good things happen to his friend, he said, "Now that I am out of your mind, please consider Jesus Christ as your best friend."

He then sang the following song:

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Letter

I am writing to say,
How much I care for you.
And to say how much,
I want you to know me better.

When you awoke this morning,
I exploded a brilliant sunrise through your window,
Hoping to get your attention,
But you rushed off without even noticing.

Later, I noticed you were walking with some friends,
So I bathed you in warm sunshine,
And perfumed the air with nature's sweet scent,
And still you didn't notice me.

As you passed by,
I shouted to you in a thunderstorm
And painted a beautiful rainbow in the sky,
And you didn't even look.

In the evening,
I spilled moonlight,
Onto your face,
and sent a cool breeze to rest you.

As you slept,
I watched over you and shared your thoughts,
But you were unaware,
That I was so near.

I have chosen you,
And hope you will talk to me soon.
Until then, I remain near.
I am your friend and love you very much.

- Your Friend

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New look for fall

Last week, my laptop got infected with virus and I struggled for about 20 hours to fix it.  To my surprise, I did not have a restore point to revert back to.  Finally, I reformatted my laptop to factory settings on Saturday, and in that process, I had to abandon several settings, bookmarks, web templates etc.

Temporarily, we had put up a simple template for the meantime (while I was loading various softwares and bringing my laptop back to life).

So, here we are, with the new template for fall.  Also, our visitor counter now has to restart from the begining.

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Inference

A Sunday school teacher thought that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to her class.

Four worms were placed into four separate jars.

The first worm was put into a container of alcohol.
The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke.
The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup.
The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of the demonstration, the teacher reported the following results:

The first worm in alcohol- Dead
The second worm in cigarette smoke – Dead
Third worm in chocolate syrup – Dead
Fourth worm in good clean soil – Alive.

So the teacher asked the students, "What did you learn from this demonstration?"

A young student quickly raised her hand and said, "As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won’t have worms!"

Without saying another word, the teacher dismissed her class.

Lesson learned: Never infer things too quickly.    


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