Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween poem

As Halloween approaches and before we know
The moon will be casting its golden glow.
The air will be crisp with much cooler days
The leaves full of color to brighten the way.

The fields are all full and ready to glean,
Children laugh at the pumpkins they’ve seen!
Apples are ready to pick from the trees
Then cider will promptly be made from these.

The Lord looks down on our fun Fall days
And watches about as we go on our way.
The harvest is ripe in the fields of the soul
Make sure “to glorify Him” is our goal!

Witches and monsters we close our eyes to
But Lord, open our eyes to those who need You!
Send the workers far out in the fields
Glean from their work what You’d have them yield.

Halloween time can be fun -- it’s a treat!
But do things that honor God on the streets.
Hand out tracts with your goodies this year
You never know what seeds will fall near!

A seed that will sprout and soon grow to be
Lord, another ripe harvest for Thee!
Give us words and deeds on this night
That give others peace, not fear and fright.



©Lucy Cain 8/06

Long term planning


In about 5 years, my son will finish high school and will head out to college. At that time, there is no need for us to live in the area we currently reside in. We will be free birds and can go live someplace else. But where would that 'someplace' be? That needs to be figured out.

After some more time, our health will deteriorate and we may have to go stay in a nursing home. Is nursing home a good choice? Do we have other options?  One of the deciding factor would be the daily cost.  I ran a quick check on the median cost of nursing home at Genworth and found out it was $175 per day per person in the state of GA. This is just the state median - better facilities charge more. To be on the safer side, I should estimate approximately $250 per day per person. Recently, we were looking for a cruise deal and the website had average daily charges which ran much lower than this.

How about living on a cruise ship year round? If we book in advance, we can get a better deal on reservations, and I can probably get a long term discount and senior discount price of $100 per day. That leaves $150 a day for:

1. Daily gratuities on the ship are estimated to be only $15.

2. Food is important and I've heard the cruise ship foods are fabulous - especially when we cannot cook. I can have as many meals a day as I want on a cruise ship, as long as I can waddle to the restaurant, or I can have room service. The best part is that they’re good meals. None of that cardboard stuff we've seen our nursing home folks get.  Breakfast in bed every day of the week - sweet.

3. Staying healthy is a daily task. Cruise ships have as many as three or four swimming pools, a workout room, free washers and dryers, a casino, movies and shows every night. No need to enroll in a health club, pay the laundromat, pay for movie tickets etc.

4. Toiletries and other stuff - they often have free toothpaste, razors, soap and shampoo on board. Saving on the toiletries adds up.

5. How they treat you matters. On board a cruise ship, they treat you like a customer, not a patient. An extra $5 worth of tips should have the entire staff scrambling to help us.

6. People - lots and lots of it. I love meeting new people and will get to meet new people every 7 or 14 days. There will be enough time to sit and chat with them.

7. At home and elsewhere, I have to have my handyman skills honed and the right tools. TV broken? Light bulb need changing? Remote needs batteries? Need to have the mattress replaced? No Problem! They will fix everything and apologize for the inconvenience.

8. Cleanliness matters and I am used to it. Clean sheets and towels every day, and we don’t even have to ask for them on board.

9. If we fall down at the nursing home and break a hip we are on Medicare. If we fall and break a hip on the cruise ship they will likely upgrade us to a suite for the rest of your life - to avoid any legal complications.

10. Travelling - I love it. I will get to see Caribbean Islands, Alaska, Hawaii, South America, the Panama Canal, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe, etc. Not to mention special trips to India to go meet old buddies. People won't have to look for me in a nursing home; just call shore to ship.

According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission: "A traditional funeral, including a casket and vault, costs about $6,000, although 'extras' like flowers, obituary notices, acknowledgment cards or limousines can add thousands of dollars to the bottom line."  I have to estimate it around $10,000. A 'funeral with love' even costs more.  If I die on a cruise ship, they'll just dump me over the side at no charge.

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Handbags - solution


Solution for puzzle - Handbags:

There were only 3 bags when they reached home - coz it was Grandma, mom and daughter who went for shopping.

Two moms =  Grandma & Mom
Two daughters = Mom and Daughter.   

Friday, October 28, 2011

Movie night


This evening, we are heading out to go watch a mallu movie - 'Indian Rupee.' It's one of those things I enjoy - watching movie at a theater along with many others. Further, there is a moral side to it as well.

These days, numerous pirated copies of recently released mallu movies are available in stores and online. When people like you and I do not watch movies played at the theater, the movie industry suffers (a bit). When we watch pirated movies at home, we are directly contributing to the downfall of the movie industry.  As a result, new movie artists will not be born, and our existing artists will not get encouragement and financial rewards. This will slowly and surely kill our movie industry.

By watching pirated movies (even on you tube), we are encouraging those who carry out illegal activities and we are rewarding them financially. Those movies on you tube count their 'number of hits' and get paid. By watching them, we are conveying the following message to those criminal minds, "Yes, we are with you guys 100%. We enjoy your products and encourage your activities - continue what you are doing."

Moral ethics sometimes may be compromised because “my boss does it” or “the guy at church does it." Too many times, we justify our actions because we are comparing ourselves to the wrong measure. But you and I both know that doesn’t make it right.

Sometimes life requires us to stand up and be counted. Sometimes we must choose between immediate gratification or a denial of self. Sometimes we simply must go against the grain because our goal is to please God, not man or even ourselves. In the long run, we will be a better person and will be blessed for it. Do what’s right.

Yes, we will be spending $27 on tickets - but we are appreciating and encouraging people like Shobhu, who take the pain in playing a mallu movie in this city, those actors, and hundreds of people who made it a reality. We always try to make it to the mallu movies played at the theater for the above reasons.
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Handbags


Two moms and their daughters went to the mall shopping.  Each mom and daughter bought a hand woven sparkling sequin handbag to keep up with the trend of the season, which they found on sale.

When they reached home, they had only 3 handbags. None of them lost or returned their handbag. How is this possible?

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Neighbor's advice


Once there lived a man who had a withered tree standing in his backyard.

"It's unlucky to keep a withered tree," said his next door neighbor. "Cut it down before something unpleasant happens to you and your family."

The man at first did not listen to his neighbor's advice. However his neighbor kept on pestering him day after day, about the ill-luck that could happen to him. The neighbor even volunteered to cut down the weathered tree with the help of his two sons.

After several weeks, the man decided to cut down the tree - to please his neighbor. While he was cutting down the tree, his neighbor came along with his two sons to help him get rid of the branches. The man thought, "how nice of my neighbor to help me remove the branches."

The man noticed that the neighbor and his two sons were taking the branches to their own house. He later learned that they were using it as firewood at their house.

"All he wanted was the wood," thought the owner of the tree, regretfully. "Cutting down the tree did not improve my luck, but it has certainly benefited him."

Moral: Beware of neighbor's advice.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Breath of the Angels


I wish for you soft breezes blowing,
Breath of the angels across your skin flowing.
I'm falling down on my own bended knees,
Praying for things that no one else sees.

No one but you knows the pain that you bury,
The weight of these burdens to heavy to carry.
You've pushed it all down and tried hard to forget,
But you know that this nightmare is not over yet.

You know you have tried the best that you can,
The knives of the wicked have stabbed you again.
Betrayal and lies have been thrown at your feet,
Some days more than others you just feel defeat.

I'd walk in your shoes just to give you some rest,
But I can't so I'll pray that your path will be blessed.
Higher than Heaven to God's ears I'll call,
That your faith will not waver and your enemies fall.

When you stare at the darkness please don't feel alone,
For you're flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone.
I'm your friend on earth and your friend in spirit,
God's answer is coming, just be still and you'll hear it.

Each breath that you take when you can't find the air,
Is the breath of an angel as God answers my prayer.
So keep on believing even when you can't see,
I know for I've been there and God answered me.

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Christian - continued


Join me in carving a pumpkin and let's see how that resembles God carving us.

Let's say we pick up a pumpkin and compare it to us. We aren't a pumpkin, but all of us are something like one - Oh no, I am not referring to some of us being overweight and round in shape (like me). I am referring to us being like a fruit. At the pumpkin patch, there are numerous pumpkins. Some pumpkins want to just stay at the patch along with others. Few pumpkins realize the existence of God and look towards Him. God picks some of us (not all of us - just some of us) from the patch, brings us in, and washes all the dirt off us we may have gotten from other pumpkins and the dirt we may have gathered while being out there in the patch. The pumpkin like us, has an outside and an inside. The outside is what people see. The inside is like our soul or our heart. A pumpkin left to itself will soon rot and die. We will die some day too.

Then we carve out eyes and a small "o" shaped mouth.  As we make holes and pull out the pieces of rind or the guts, we see the yucky stuff inside. This is how most of us are inside - filled with yucky stuff.  This is what we are inside when our hearts are not changed.  Ecclesiastes 9:3 quotes, "The hearts of men are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live." We should think how to get rid of this yucky stuff from our hearts.

God is the only one who can change our heart. But in order for God to change our heart we must become available and open to him. Now, let's say, we are carving an opening on top of the pumpkin big enough to put our hand through. Yes, if we are willing to open our hearts to God, He will come into us. Revelation 3:20 quotes, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."

We now put our hand in and pull out the pumpkin gut and seeds. God scoops out all the yucky stuff inside of us. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, impurity, and greed. Jesus became messy for us, so that all of us would be clean. Ezekiel 36:25-27 quotes, "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."

Once we clean out the pumpkin, it looks just hollow.  For us to use it for Halloween, we need to have some light inside our pumpkin - candle, electric, neon, etc. We too need to have a light inside ourselves that will truly make us alive. Let's shop for the best light available.  John 8:12 quotes, "“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Now we add a light inside our pumpkin - the best we can afford and available. Jesus is the best light to live within us - it will never fade or switch off.  When Jesus lives inside us, we will glow. We will want to be kind and honest. We will want to please God, help others, and share the new joy we have found in Jesus. We will certainly share the good news of this wonderful new feeling about Jesus within us, with our friends.

Now, let's carve the mouth of the pumpkin into a smile and put it outside for everyone to see. God carves a new smiling face for us and puts His light inside us to shine for all the world to see.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Christian


During the Halloween season, a man asked his cowerker, “What is it like to be a Christian?”

The coworker replied, “It is like being a pumpkin. God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. Then he cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you for the entire world to see.”

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How to repay


Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
- Romans 12: 17 - 21
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Once upon a time, there was a monastery in Egypt.  Anastasius was the abbot of the monastery. The monastery had a large collection of books, one among them being a rare volume, worth a fortune.

One day a visiting monk chanced upon the book and succumbing to temptation walked away with it. The theft was discovered the same day and it was not hard to guess who the culprit was. But Anastasius refused to send anyone after the monk for fear that he might say he had not taken it and add the sin of perjury to that of theft.

The monk meanwhile was trying to sell the book and eventually found a buyer, a rich man who asked him to leave the book with him for a day so that he could get it evaluated. When the monk had gone, the man hastened to the monastery and showed the book to Anastasius. The abbot recognized it instantly but did not say anything.

“A monk wants to sell it to me,” said his visitor. “He’s asking for a gold sovereign. You are knowledgeable about books. Is this book worth that much?”

“It’s worth much much more than a sovereign,” said the abbot. “It’s a valuable book.”

The man thanked the abbot and left. The next day when the monk came, he informed him that he would like to buy the book and was prepared to pay the price he had mentioned. The monk was overjoyed.

“Whom did you show it to?” he asked.

“Anastasius, the abbot.”

His visitor turned pale. “And what did he say?”

“He said the book was worth a sovereign.”

“And what else?”

“Nothing.”

The monk was both amazed and touched. He realized that the abbot had refused to reclaim his lost treasure so that he, the thief would not get into trouble. Nobody had ever shown him such love; nobody had ever behaved so nobly towards him.

“I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want to sell it,” he said and took the book from the man.

“I’ll give you two sovereigns,” said the customer.

The monk walked away without answering. He went directly to the monastery and handed the book to the abbot, tears brimming in his eyes.

“Keep it,” said Anastasius. “When I learnt you had borrowed it I decided to give it to you.”

“Please take it back,” pleaded the monk, “but let me stay here and learn wisdom from you.”

His wish was granted. He spent the rest of his years in the monastery modelling his life after that of the saintly Anastasius.

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It is not at all easy to practice what's said in Romans 12: 17-21. Looking at the positive side, few people have been able to do it. By doing so, we are activating and displaying the godly character within ourselves and we are behaving like the children of God.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Drawings

Take a look at the picture below, and guess who it is.


If you guessed Angelina Jolie, you are right.

If I told you this is a pencil portrait of Angelina Jolie, would you take a second look at it?  Ok, go ahead and take a closer look.

The portrait was sketched using pencil by a young 18 year self taught artist Rajacenna, from Netherlands.  She draws the most realistic portraits.  Here are some of her works.



Taylor Swift


Lady Gaga


Captain Jack Sparrow.  

And finally, here is our artist, holding a miniature drawing of Johnny Depp - the drawing is the same size of a postage stamp.  Click here to go to her website 


Talk about people being gifted!!

----- Additional Info-------

Here is how the Angelina Jolie drawing came to life.


The minature drawing of Johnny Depp.


Drawing Lady Gaga



When you believe

A song about the power of hope and faith in this world.

If there are ever any times when you’re losing hope, hang in there. The miracles you want to create in life comes from first believing in yourself .... and others. 


Many nights we've prayed
With no proof anyone could hear
In our hearts a hopeful song
We barely understood

Now we are not afraid
Although we know there's much to fear
We were moving mountains long
Before we knew we could

There can be miracles, when you believe
Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill
Who knows what miracles you can achieve
When you believe, somehow you will
You will when you believe

In this time of fear
When prayers so often prove(s) in vain
Hope seems like the summer birds
Too swiftly flown away

Yet now I'm standing here
My heart's so full I can't explain
Seeking faith and speaking words
I never thought I'd say

There can be miracles, when you believe
Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill
Who knows what miracles you can achieve
When you believe, somehow you will
You will when you believe


They don't (always happen) when you ask
(Oh)
And it's easy to give in to your fears
(Oh...Ohhhh)
But when you're blinded by your pain
Can't see your way straight throught the rain
(A small but )still resilient voice
Says (hope is very near)
(Ohhh)

There can be miracles
(Miracles)
When you believe
(Lord, when you believe)
Though hope is frail
(Though hope is frail)
It's hard to kill
(Hard to kill, Ohhh)
Who knows what miracles,you can achieve
When you believe, somehow you will(somehow,somehow, somehow)
somehow you will
You will when you believe

You will when you
You will when you believe
Just believe...in your heart
Just believe
You will when you believe~

The cost of a good wife


God said: “What’s the matter, Adam? You look so miserable all the time.”

Adam said: “I’m bored having nobody to talk to.”

“Right,” said God, “I’m going to give you a companion. She will be called a woman. This person will gather food for you, cook for you, and when you discover clothing, she’ll wash it for you. She will always agree with whatever you say. She will bear your children and never ask you to get up in the middle of the night to take care of them. She will not nag you and will always be the first to admit she was wrong when you’ve had a disagreement. She will never have a headache and will love you unconditionally.”

“She sounds great,” said Adam. “But what will a woman like this cost?”

“An arm and a leg,” said God.

Adam thought for a moment. “What can I get for a rib?”

The rest is history…

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Christian Alphabets


Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without His love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of ‘Camp Complaining’
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To ‘thank’ is a command
Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We’ll run the race with gratitude
Xaulting God most high
Yes, there’ll be good times and yes some will be bad, but…
Zion waits in glory - where no one is ever sad!

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Forms of hugs


Hug is a universal form of physical intimacy that involves closing (or holding) the arms around the neck or waist or another person or group of persons which indicate familiarity, love, affection, or friendship. A hug, sometimes in association with a kiss, eye contact or other gestures, is a form of nonverbal communication.
Here are some of the types of hugs and their meanings:

‘I Love You’ Hug
A close cheek-to-cheek hug that says “I Love You” even more with an added kiss on the lips.

‘I Want You Now’ Hug
A close hug with a bit of rubbing and grinding.

Big Bear Hug
Pull your partner in really, really, really close, put your arms completely around them, and squeeze tight.

Run and Jump Hug
Run at your partner and jump into their arms with excitement!

Encouraging Hug
Pull your partner close and give them a gentle squeeze with a light pat on the back.

Friendly Hug
Put your arms lightly around your partner’s shoulders and give a gentle squeeze.

Group Hug
A hug involving multiple people - family or friends - where you all put your arms around one another.

Half Hug
A quick wrap, lightly touching your partner where your arms only go halfway around (hence, half a hug).

Man-to-Man Hug
Wide open arms, tilt head, embrace with a pat on the back and then move apart. 

Hello & Goodbye Hug
A quick, semi-close hug paired with a kiss on the cheek.

Hug of Joy
A semi-close hug with excitement and movement that often times includes a bit of excitement jumping.

Passionate Squeeze Hug
Pull your partner in closely and give them a passionate squeeze as you gently kiss along their neck.



Credits: MYS МИКА

Grey hair



On their 25th wedding anniversary, a woman turned to her husband and asked, “Darling, will you still love me when my hair turns grey?”

“Why shouldn’t I?” he replied. “I stayed with you through the other six shades.”

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Partiality at church

"Suppose a man comes into your meeting (church) wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?" - James 2:2-4

Yes, these are the words right out the Holy Bible. James wrote these to an audience who displayed partiality - to people filled with prejudice and hatred based on class and background.  In ancient world people were routinely and permanently categorized because they were Jew or Gentile, slave or free, rich or poor. Sadly, this differentiation is prevalent in our churches even today and encouraged by many.  Therefore, the words of James are very relevant and worth our consideration. Now let's look at the passage more closely.

If there should come into your meeting - in ancient Greek, the work meeting/assembly or the meeting place literally meant a synagogue, or in our language a church.

A man with gold rings - he represents a rich man. In Roman society the wealthy wore rings on their left hand to display their riches. Rings were a sign of wealth and were worn with great ostentation. There were even shops in Rome where rings could be rented for special occasions - like how we rent tuxedos for weddings.

The poor man does not need any description - all of us we very familiar with this concept.

To favor the rich man over the poor man in the way James describes in Chapter 2 shows a deep carnality among Christians.

We see partiality being practiced in a church based on rich and poor - those churches and leaders care more for the outward appearance than upon the heart.

We often misunderstand who is important and blessed in the sight of God. When we assume that the rich man is more important to God, or more blessed by God, we put too much value in material riches.

Pariality towards the rich shows a selfish streak within us. Usually we favor the rich man over the poor man because we believe we can get more from the rich man. People tend to believe that a rich man can do favors to them that the poor man can't.

Some of us, we tend to accompany and encourage those who create these social differentiation at church. We then tend to believe this is the right christian approach. Then along with the fellow members, we are exercising prejudice for the rich (or against the poor) by giving preferencial treatment to certain members at the church based on certain people's social outlook, by showing hospitality towards our rich friends while ignoring those who are financially inferior, by showing partiality between friends and visitors to our churches.

Temporarily, we may gain prosperity, social acceptance, power or prestige for a while but in the end we will loose so much more. Sadly enough partiality is usually accompanied by other sin such as envy, jealously, pride just to name a few. In effect we are saying one person is better than someone else because of ....... (I will let you fill the blank).

Fortunately, the Lord does not see as man sees. "People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" - 1 Samuel 16:7. How many of us look at the hearts, and not at the outward appearance? Our Lord shows no partiality whatsoever to anyone - isn't that a wonderful thing?  The sun shines equally above the rich and the poor.

Jesus displayed similar trait during His lifetime by being considerate to the poor. He spent His entire life with the average and poor. As followers of Jesus, the minimum we can do is, not to show partiality between the rich and the poor to create and promote a social & elite circle  - instead look into people's heart.

During my numerous posts, I have always been sharing with you and writing about looking for that inner beauty or looking for a sincere heart. Whatever we see outside is not the real thing - it's the inner heart that matters. Look at people's heart.





----- additional info --------------
There are other references in the Bible where favoritism is mentioned

For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. - Deuteronomy 10:17

Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly. - Leviticus 19:15

Who shows no partiality to princes and does not favor the rich over the poor, for they are all the work of his hands? - Job 34:19

Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism. - Acts 10:34

What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! - Romans 9:14

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