Friday, January 20, 2012

Challenges


Wrapping up my extended work week, am (still) faced with scores of challenges at work, keeping me apprehensive and awake at nights - hope they become a little less hard soon. Am cancelling all planned activities for this weekend, but will be there at church for today's evening prayer and tomorrow's Sunday school. 

Wishing you a nice and relaxed weekend.

Video - Hate Religion, Love Jesus.

Below is a youtube video posted on Jan 10th, where 22-year-old Jefferson Bethke is reciting a spoken word poem. In about 10 days, it has over 15 million hits and has travelled all over the web.

Bethke hates religion because it has it started so many wars. Instead, he says, Love Jesus.  He also wrote, "In the scriptures Jesus received the most opposition from the most religious people of his day."



It does not stop here.  Another youtube video has come up in response - Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus - The Muslim Version.



Confused? Don't be.

We are all supposed to be going towards God - regardless of which church we go to every Sunday, or which religious teaching we follow.  The way I look at it is - to go to India during summer holidays, we could be travelling in Emirates - via Dubai, Qatar Airways - via Doha, Kuwait Airways - via Kuwait, or even British Airways - via London.  Our ultimate destination is one and the same - regardless of the path or carrier we choose.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Love instead of judging




One day, a surgeon entered the hospital in hurry after being called in for an urgent surgery. He answered the call asap, changed his clothes and went directly to the surgery block. He found the boy’s father going and coming in the hall waiting for the doctor. Once seeing him, the dad yelled: “Why did you take all this time to come? Don’t you know that my son’s life is in danger? Don’t you have the sense of responsibility?”

The doctor smiled and said: “I am sorry, I wasn’t in the hospital and I came the fastest I could after receiving the call. And now, I wish you’d calm down so that I can do my work”

“Calm down? What if your son was in this room right now, would you calm down? If your own son dies now what will you do?” Said the father angrily.

The christian doctor smiled again and replied, “I will say what Job 1:21 says in the Bible, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. May the name of the LORD be praised. That is the case with everyone. Doctors cannot prolong lives. Go and intercede for your son, we will do our best with God’s grace.”

“Giving advice when we’re not concerned is so easy.” Murmured the father.

The surgery took some hours after which the doctor went out happy, “Thank goodness!, your son is saved!” And without waiting for the father’s reply he carried on his way running. “If you have any question, ask the nurse.” The doctor replied.

“Why is he so arrogant? He couldn’t wait some minutes so that I ask about my son’s state” Commented the father when seeing the nurse minutes after the doctor left.

The nurse answered, tears coming down her face: “His son died yesterday in a road accident and he was attending his son's wake when we called him in for your son’s surgery. And now that he saved your son’s life, he just left running to finish his son’s burial.”

Moral: We should never judge others because we never know how their life is and what is happening or what they’re going through.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Men and Women - Part 2


OFFSPRING
WOMEN: Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and soccer games and romances and best friends and favorite foods and secret fears and hopes and dreams.
MEN are vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

MIRRORS:
MEN are vain; they will check themselves out in the mirror.
Women are ridiculous; they will check out their reflections in any shiny surface–mirrors, spoons, store windows, toasters, Joe Garagiola’s head.

GARAGES
WOMEN use garages to park their cars and to store their lawnmowers.
MEN use garages for many things. They hang license plates in garages, and they watch TV in garages, and they build useless lopsided benches in garages.

MOVIES
WOMEN: For women, their favorite movie scene is when Clark Gable kisses Vivien Leigh for the first time in “Gone With The Wind”.
MEN: For men, it’s when Jimmy Cagney shoves a grapefruit in Mae Clark’s face in “Public Enemy”.

JEWELRY
WOMEN look nice when they wear jewelry.
MEN can get away with wearing one ring, and that’s it. Any more than that, and he will look like a lounge singer named Vic.

MENOPAUSE
WOMEN: When a woman reaches menopause, she goes through a variety of complicated emotional, psychological, and biological changes. The nature and degree of the changes varies with the individual.
MEN: Menopause in a man provokes a uniform reaction–he buys aviator glasses, a snazzy French cap and leather driving gloves, and goes shopping for a Porsche.

TELEPHONE
MEN see the telephone as a communications tool. They use the telephone to send short messages to other people.
WOMEN: A woman can visit her girlfriend for two weeks, and upon returning home, she will call the same friend and they will talk for three hours.

LOW BLOWS
Let’s say a man and a woman are watching a boxing match on television. One of the fighters is felled by a low blow.
WOMEN: “Oh, my, that must hurt.”
MEN: The man doubles over and actually feels pain.

DIRECTIONS
WOMEN: If a woman is out driving and she finds herself in unfamiliar surroundings, she will stop at a gas station and ask for directions.
MEN: Men consider this to be a sign of weakness. Men will never stop and ask for directions. Men will drive in a circle for hours, all the while saying things like, “Looks like I’ve found a new way to get there”, and, “I know I’m in the neighborhood. I recognize that 7-11″.

ADMITTING MISTAKES
WOMEN will sometimes admit making a mistake.
MEN: The last man who admitted that he was wrong was Gen. George Custer.


Inspire Others


Today let me share an article I read, that was written by Michael Angier on how to inspire others, while building up your own life.

We all know people who are inspiring. But just how does one inspire others? Here are ten simple ways you can inspire people to be their best:

Be a good example.
People watch what you do more than they listen to what you say. Be someone worth emulating.

Care about others. 
People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care. Ask questions. Take a genuine interest in people.

Encouragement. 
Everyone goes through tough times. When you support people and encourage them through these times, you’ll be inspiring them to see the best in themselves and in the situation.

Be inspired yourself. 
Look for people, ideas, environments and knowledge that you find inspiring and motivating.

Share from your own experience. 
You have more to share than you realize. Mine the rich experiences of your life and share your wisdom from your unique point of view. You may be the only one who can touch someone with your inspiring message.

Be vulnerable. 
Be willing to share your failures as well as your successes. Others will relate to you. They’ll understand that they’re not the only ones with challenges.

Tell stories. 
Facts tell and stories sell. They inspire, too. We learn best from parables and we all need to develop our own inspiring stories.

Be a good communicator. 
Increasing your ability to communicate effectively is a critical element for you to inspire others. Watch how you speak and what you say. Invest in your communication skills.

Challenge people.
Many of us have had teachers who at times seemed more like tormentors than mentors. They challenged us to do our best, and we were better for it. Practice "carefrontation"—the careful and caring confrontation of others.

Read. 
It may not follow that all readers are leaders, but certainly all leaders are readers. Stay informed. Share what you read with others. Tell people about books that have inspired you. Share the knowledge.


Credits: Michael Angier
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Men and Women


Men and women are far more similar than we think. I happened to read the differences below, thought for a moment and said, "Hmmmm... I have to agree - some of it is true."

PLANTS
WOMEN: A woman asks a man to water her plants while she is on vacation.
MEN: The man waters the plants. The woman comes home five days later, to an apartment full of dead plants. No one knows why this happens.

DRESSING UP
WOMEN: A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage answer the phone, read a book, get the mail.
MEN: A man will dress up for: weddings, funerals.

DAVID LETTERMAN
MEN think David Letterman is the funniest man on the face of the Earth.
WOMEN think he is a mean, semi-dorky guy who always has a bad haircut.

CAMERAS
MEN take photography very seriously. They’ll shell out $4,000 for state-of-the-art equipment, and build darkrooms, and take photography classes.
WOMEN will purchase a $19 1mb 1992 quality digital. Of course, women always end up taking better pictures.

POLITICS
MEN love to talk politics, but often they forget to do political things such as voting.
WOMEN are very happy that another generation of Kennedys is growing up and getting into politics, because they will be able to campaign for them and cry on election night.

LAUNDRY
MEN: A man will wear every article of clothing he owns, including his surgical pants that were hip about eight years ago, before he will do the laundry. When he is finally out of clothes, he will wear a dirty sweatshirt inside out, rent a U-Haul and take his mountain of clothes to the laundromat. Men always expect to meet beautiful women at the laundromat. – This is a myth.
WOMEN do laundry every couple of days.

WEDDINGS
WOMEN: When reminiscing about weddings, women talk about “the ceremony”.
MEN talk about “the bachelor party”.

SOCKS
MEN wear sensible socks. They wear standard white sweat socks.
WOMEN wear strange socks. They are cut way below the ankles, have pictures of clouds on them, and have a big fuzzy ball on the back.

TOYS
WOMEN: Little girls love to play with toys. Then, when they reach the age of 11 or 12, they lose interest.
MEN never grow out of their obsession with toys. As they older, their toys simply become more expensive and impractical. Examples of men’s toys: little miniature TV’s, car phones, complicated juicers and blenders, graphic equalizers, small robots that serve cocktails on command, video games, TiVo, Xbox and anything that blinks, beeps, and requires at least six “D” batteries to operate.

MOUSTACHES
MEN look good with mustaches. That is, TWO MEN – Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds.
WOMEN: Won’t even go there.


  

Old docs

While going through some old documents, I came across some very old files I had.

Back in 2005 until Dec 2006, my wife and I, we used to prepare, format, publish and distribute church newsletters for our church members.  It was a monthly publication to be delivered on the first Sunday of every month. This task used to take up my entire Saturday and Sunday morning - I had to wake up at 4:00 AM on the first Sunday to go get them printed (to include any last minute news as well). One of the most challenging task was to get the editorial done by our then vicar - he would ask me to write the editorial and publish it. On the other hand, the other article authored by our then kochamma arrived on time. The rest of the material was my responsibility including any special write ups, humor, B'days, Sunday School related etc.

A restriction was the number of pages - articles had to fit in a set number of pages; else the cost would go up and I had to fit in accordingly. After several edits of authoring news and other articles, organizing and printing them, I had to come home and sort all the pages while inserting the inside sheet - the idea was to save few pennies at the copy center.  After doing all these, I had to be at church at 7:30 AM when the service starts.

Looking back I am happy that we were able to deliver a task we undertook without a single break during the entire season - even though there were numerous challenges in between. Once I took up an officer task (in Jan 2007), I had to stop it and could not find anyone to delegate this task to.

Here is a sample from Nov 2005 containing cover page and inside sheets.


English version of Wiki goes dark



Another reason to do your homework early.  If you are researching something using Wiki tomorrow in English, you'll not find any result. So will Reddit and Boing Boing.

On January 18, 2012, the Wikipedia community has chosen to blackout the English version of Wikipedia for 24 hours, in protest against proposed legislation in the United States — the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and PROTECTIP (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate.

Wiki officials say, "If passed, this legislation will harm the free and open Internet and bring about new tools for censorship of international websites inside the United States."

Click here to read more. Or never mind reading further - just stay focused on your homework and complete it at the earliest.



Credits: Wiki, ABC News

Exchange of words




"God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God." - Matthew 5:9

Once a king of a certain country sent a message to the ruler of a neighbouring country. The message read: "Send me a blue diamond as large as a pigeon's egg or else..."

The king on getting the message wrote back: "We don't have such a diamond and if we had..."

The first king got very angry and declared war on his neighbour. The fighting went on for several months till a third king arranged a meeting between the two warring rulers. So they met and the first king said to the other: "What did you mean when you said, 'Send me a blue diamond as large as a pigeon's egg or else...'?"

"Why," he replied, "I meant  send me a blue diamond as large as a pigeon's egg or else.. some other diamond. I love diamonds. But what did you mean when you said, 'We don't have such a diamond and if we had-'?"

"It is easy to guess my meaning," said the other man. "What I wanted to say was, We don't have such a diamond and if we had... we would have gladly sent it to you."

The Kings pledged to communicate more clearly in the future, embraced each other and made peace.

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Moral: When two fighting individuals communicate openly with each other, one on one, they can settle their differences and hence bring peace, love and happiness.

Monday, January 16, 2012

MLK Humor

MLK was a very serious person.  If you try to google about MLK's humor, you'll pretty much get 0 results - makes you wonder this person never actually said a joke.  I was lucky to get one on YouTube.  Here is it - turn on your speakers to make it more audible.


Also, here is an MLK quote I liked while doing my research:

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

Happy MLK day.




Few Antimetaboles



Antimetabole (an-ti-mə-tab-ə-lee) is the repetition of words in successive clauses, but in transposed grammatical order

Example: "I know what I like, and I like what I know."

Here are few more, for your reading pleasure:

From the inaugural address of John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961 “…ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

From a speech by Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Republican National Committee January 1958, “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

In ‘A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy’, Karl Marx wrote: “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness”.

Line spoken by Mae West in ‘I’m No Angel’ (1933), “Well, it’s not the men in your life that counts, it’s the life in your men.”

James Boswell on ‘The Life of Johnson’ wrote “This man I thought had been a Lord among wits; but, I find, he is only a wit among Lords.”

At the Lord Mayor’s Luncheon in November 1942, Winston Churchill said of World War II, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Even Malcolm X stated in 1964 of the difference between black and white: “We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, the rock was landed on us.”

From the StarKist tuna advertisements of the 1980s, “Sorry, Charlie. StarKist doesn’t want tunas with good taste – StarKist wants tunas that taste good.”

Dr. Seuss’ Horton remarked, “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent!”

From Ambrose Redmoon, “To be kissed by a fool is stupid; to be fooled by a kiss is worse.”

From Croesus, 6th century BC, and still appropriate today: “In peace sons bury their fathers, but in war fathers bury their sons.”

And one from Bible:

Genesis 9:6, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed.”

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Good Morning


I am travelling to work in few minutes, and want to wish you a great day ahead.  

Since schools are closed today, wish you a happy MLK day too.  

Enjoy the happy moments you have. 

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Be at Peace



Here is little encouragement I want to share with you, that was written by St. Francis de Sales.

Do not look forward in fear to the changes of life;

Rather look to them with full hope that as they arise,
God, whose very own you are, will lead you safely through all things;

And when you cannot stand it, God will carry you in His arms.

Do not fear what may happen tomorrow;

The same everlasting Father who cares for you today
will take care of you today and every day.

He will either shield you from suffering
or will give you unfailing strength to bear it.

Be at peace and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.



Credits: St. Francis de Sales