Saturday, April 21, 2012

Dress Rehearsal - update


Update at 10:15 AM: I am available all day, starting 11:00 AM for you - call me @ home anytime when you are ready with your activity.
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Our next rehearsal one is on Saturday at 8:00 PM EST.  I call this a 'Dress Rehearsal' - because we'll be rehearsing with the actual dress we'll be wearing on Sunday. If anyone cannot attend, you need to inform me ahead of time by dropping an email.

Alan, Liju, and Shawn - wear a white full sleeve shirt and a tie for the cometition.  If you need help with the tie, pls let me know.  You can wear any color pants.  Make sure you wear the matching color socks to go with it. The judges will be viewing your appearance. I want all of you to pack your white shirt separately. Bring this along with you Sunday morning to church - pack it along with your tie the previous night.

Judy, Kripa, Preethi and Serin - wear a churidar which is most colorful and fashionable. Remember to wear a shawl along with that.  I do not want to see anyone showing up wearing a saree* - your attention could be focused on it and we cannot take any chances on Sunday. About jewelry, wear the best chain/maala you have.  Focus on matching bangles to go with your churidar color. Do not pick those huge ear-rings for Sunday; instead pick something of reasonable size. With rings, just limit to one on each hand. Remember to comb your hair before stepping into the sanctuary. Consult with your mom, if you have questions/doubts.

I've asked Jaysee to share the list of programs so that we know in advance who is called in which order. As soon as I receive this, I'll share it with you all.

There is food served in the fellowship hall this Sunday - eat lightly.  Boys, you are packing your white shirt in a separate plastic cover, so that no food is spilled on it by accident.  Girls - you have to be careful not to spill anything on your clothes.  In case of any spill, let me know at the earliest.  When the bell rings, we'll assemble in our class, go over any last minute changes so that everyone is aware and well informed. Boys can use the restroom next to 10th grade class to get dressed, comb your hair and put on your tie. Then we go to the sanctuary together.

Here are some pointers for your event:

Group Song:
Judy, Serin and Jebin - let Jebin stand in the middle.  All of you have memorized the song - good.  All three of you should the microphone in your right hand. Jebin needs to wear a white full sleeve shirt as well.  Since Judy and Serin will be on both sides wearing churidar, it'll be fine. If you have long hair, it'll be a good idea to put it to your front, while singing.

Solo Song:
Preethi - you've memorized the song.  Hold the microphone as close as you can, while you sing. Now that you've lost your long hair, there's nothing much we can do about it.  Let your facial expressions go with the music flow. Closing your eyes occasionally for about 20 - 30 seconds will give the impression that you are enjoying your own song as well.

Elocution:
We'll be using the podium.  When your name is called, walk towards the podium (without any papers) and start talking in a slow pace.  The first 30 seconds are important to catch the attention of the audience.

Let's meet at 8:00 PM EST using the same conf call id:
Conf Call Number:             209 647 1000    
Participant Access Code: 1027182#

My Skype Id: sapjacob





*There will be numerous occasions for you to wear pretty & colorful sarees according to your very own taste, color and choice, without anyone's suggestion or help!

Dress rehearsal - sequence

Here's how we'll conduct our dress rehearsal:

At first, we'll give a chance to those singing songs, starting with Preethi and followed by Judy, Serin & Jebin.

Then, we'll get into the speech part.  Preethi we'll be timing your speech, to stay within our allocated time of 5 minutes.  The order we'll go will be Liju, Kripa, Shawn and Alan.

Just one more day - stay focused and let's do our best. 

Dress Rehearsal

Our next rehearsal one is on Saturday at 8:00 PM EST.  I call this a 'Dress Rehearsal' - because we'll be rehearsing with the actual dress we'll be wearing on Sunday. If anyone cannot attend, you need to inform me ahead of time by dropping an email.

Alan, Liju, and Shawn - wear a white full sleeve shirt and a tie for the cometition.  If you need help with the tie, pls let me know.  You can wear any color pants.  Make sure you wear the matching color socks to go with it. The judges will be viewing your appearance. I want all of you to pack your white shirt separately. Bring this along with you Sunday morning to church - pack it along with your tie the previous night.

Judy, Kripa, Preethi and Serin - wear a churidar which is most colorful and fashionable. Remember to wear a shawl along with that.  I do not want to see anyone showing up wearing a saree* - your attention could be focused on it and we cannot take any chances on Sunday. About jewelry, wear the best chain/maala you have.  Focus on matching bangles to go with your churidar color. Do not pick those huge ear-rings for Sunday; instead pick something of reasonable size. With rings, just limit to one on each hand. Remember to comb your hair before stepping into the sanctuary. Consult with your mom, if you have questions/doubts.

I've asked Jaysee to share the list of programs so that we know in advance who is called in which order. As soon as I receive this, I'll share it with you all.

There is food served in the fellowship hall this Sunday - eat lightly.  Boys, you are packing your white shirt in a separate plastic cover, so that no food is spilled on it by accident.  Girls - you have to be careful not to spill anything on your clothes.  In case of any spill, let me know at the earliest.  When the bell rings, we'll assemble in our class, go over any last minute changes so that everyone is aware and well informed. Boys can use the restroom next to 10th grade class to get dressed, comb your hair and put on your tie. Then we go to the sanctuary together.

Here are some pointers for your event:

Group Song:
Judy, Serin and Jebin - let Jebin stand in the middle.  All of you have memorized the song - good.  All three of you should the microphone in your right hand. Jebin needs to wear a white full sleeve shirt as well.  Since Judy and Serin will be on both sides wearing churidar, it'll be fine. If you have long hair, it'll be a good idea to put it to your front, while singing.

Solo Song:
Preethi - you've memorized the song.  Hold the microphone as close as you can, while you sing. Now that you've lost your long hair, there's nothing much we can do about it.  Let your facial expressions go with the music flow. Closing your eyes occasionally for about 20 - 30 seconds will give the impression that you are enjoying your own song as well.

Elocution:
We'll be using the podium.  When your name is called, walk towards the podium (without any papers) and start talking in a slow pace.  The first 30 seconds are important to catch the attention of the audience.

Let's meet at 8:00 PM EST using the same conf call id:
Conf Call Number: 209 647 1000
Participant Access Code: 1027182#

My Skype Id: sapjacob






*There will be numerous occasions for you to wear pretty & colorful sarees according to your very own taste, color and choice, without anyone's suggestion or help!


.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Driving hymns



The below 'driving hymns' are for all of us who drive - especially for those who push speed limits. Keep these hymns in mind & sing along while driving, watching your speedometer.

55 mph – Pass Me Not
65 mph – God Will Take Care of You
75 mph – Nearer My God To Thee
85 mph – This World Is Not My Home
95 mph – Lord, I’m Coming Home
105 mph – Precious Memories


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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thumb and it's condition

My little report about my injured thumb.

I met with the surgeon today, arriving at the reception on time.  The lady at the reception asked me to sign a bunch of papers and I told her that due to my injury on right thumb I cannot sign anything until it heals and that's why I am here. I got away by marking smiley faces with my left hand at the places I was supposed to sign/initial.

By second trip, I was friendly with Melissa, the medical assistant and she connected me with Angela, the radiologist who x-rayed me today.  Soon, I met with Dr. Frank Joseph.  We went over the finger, x-rays etc.., and looking at the current condition, he ruled out surgery.  I asked him a question about the piece that's chipped off - whether it will get into the bloodstream and make it's way to the heart.  He said that a tissue will grow from the bone to this chipped piece and keep it intact. He asked me to drink lots of milk, consume dairy products like yogurt, and also prescribed calcium vitamins.

When asked about my sport, I told fishing and he said I could go fishing now - but I'm supposed to wear the splint for another 2 weeks until May 4th, and  no more appts after that.  Below is how my hand looks from the outside and inside.





Now is the time I realize the value of my thumb. Am slow in doing many things (including typing) and cannot function at the pace I used to.  The bright side is that it's healing.

:-)



Two directions


There are two directions to face in life - East and the West. One of these directions we choose to face will determine to a large extent the happiness or lack of happiness in our lives.

If we face westward we face the sunset. This means facing the fading light. This means the passing away of things. It means the coming of darkness. This is a changing world; life is ever changing. Many of the things that are dear to us pass away. If we face these things as we face the sunset, darkness and gloom will settle upon us. We shall look upon fading hopes; we shall see the places of missing friends; of blessings passed away.

It is better to face the sunrise. Even in the darkness we may face the east with the assurance that dawn will presently come. There shall be new friends for the old friends that are gone. There shall be new hopes for the perished hopes. There shall be new opportunities instead of the vanished ones. Let us look away from the sunset to where the dawn shall break again and the glorious light shine anew upon us.


Rehearsal tonight

Tonight at 9:00 PM EST, we'll have our first round of rehearsal. Below are the events you've enrolled, for our talent competition.  We'll have a conference call number for you to dial in, and I'll share my skype id as well.  Preethi Thomas will be my assistant during the rehearsal and talent competition. Please contact Preethi if you run into any difficulty.

Alan Thomas - Elocution
Alen Zacharias - Unavailable
Shawn Thomas - Elocution
Liju Mathew - Elocution

Alveena Jacks - Unavailable
Judy Varghese - Group Song
Kripa Varghese - Elocution
Preethi Thomas - Solo Song
Serin Thomas - Group Song

Conf call details:
Conf Call Number: (209) 647-1000  
Participant Access Code: 1027182#

My Skype Id: sapjacob

Something I discovered is that per our current guidelines, narrating Bible story is not an event for Seniors (unfortunately). Let's have a story narrative in our class, after the talent competition - in a relaxed environment.

Today's rehearsal will be our first round, followed by the second round on Saturday at 7:00 PM EST.

Serin's B'day

Happy Birthday Serin.  We'll have a virtual Birthday party when we meet tonight.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Holy Wisdom


Holy Wisdom, called Hagia Sophia in Greek is a sacred destination in Istanbul, Turkey.  From 360 AD till 1453 AD, it was the largest cathedral in the world. It was also the religious focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly one thousand years.

After reading about it's architecture, and history, I've added this as one of the places to visit.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Arguement


Today, afternoon during a meeting, I was at the verge of loosing my patience while dealing with someone from the tri-city area.  I controlled myself and remembered the proverb.  

I feel good that I did not.

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Number change

Today I dropped my phone and the touchscreen broke off - here is how it looks now.



What worries me the most is that I used to have few hundred contacts in this device, and have to go through a process to get all of them migrated over - a painstaking effort.

Meanwhile, I switched over to another phone and a new number - 408 833 9426.




The deadline to file taxes is running out in few hours. This year, the last minute tax filers got 3 extra days to sit on their taxwork - Feb 29th, Apr 15th and Apr 16th.  Regardless, they'll finish it on April 17th - that's the way it works.

I know some folks who have a very bad week after filling out their tax forms.  They have 1040 different reasons to cry, thinking why they've to pay such a huge sum to Uncle Sam.

Tax jokes are more to cry about, than laugh. Still, let me try to tickle you:

How is a mugger different from the Internal Revenue Service?
Both take your money, but the mugger doesn't make you fill out forms.

More than ever before, Americans are suffering from back problems — back taxes, back rent, back auto payments.

People who complain about taxes can be divided into two classes: men and women.

This year, we did our taxes early.  I was the one who used to do our taxes when we arrived into this country and learned that, to file for an extension I have to do about 95% of my taxwork - better complete it and be done with it. There are better things in the world than spending time with taxwork!


Thought & Reflection





Here's the Wisdom Empowering Thought & Reflection…

Every time I have a conversation with another person, I am at that moment having a conversation with myself. I therefore gain from this interaction by learning about myself. Hence, everyone becomes my teacher.




Credits: Adam Sicinski


A Teacher's Love



If I teach with the best educational techniques,
and provide stimulating and motivational lessons,
but have not love,
I am but a time-wasting information processor.

If I spend hours preparing my lesson plans
with the clearest instructional objectives,
but have not love,
I am just an over-organized ideologue.

If I utilize the most eye-catching visual aids
and the latest classroom technology,
but have not love,
I am just a high-tech visionary.

A loving teacher is kind and patient with every student,
regards each student as an important individual,
and treats their personal problems with confidence.

A loving teacher does not merely talk at, but relates to, the students,
and provides a exemplary model of life to those in the classroom.

A teacher's love is not condescending,
does not play favorites,
does not gossip,
does not publicly humiliate,
is not easily agitated or discouraged,
and does not blow-up or give-up on misbehaving students.

A teacher's love bears the responsibility of instruction,
Believes that student's minds should not be wasted,
Hopes that every student will achieve their potential,
and endures all distrubances in the process.

The latest text-books will soon be out-of-date.
Contemporary teaching methods will become outmoded.
Educational technology is obsolete before we know it,
but a loving teacher can affect a student's life forever.

Now abideth preparation, instruction, and love,
But the greatest of these is a teacher's love
that seeks the highest good of the students.

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Entry List

Class,

Here are the items you've signed up for the talent competition.

Alan Thomas - Elocution and Story
Alen Zacharias - Unavailable
Shawn Thomas - Elocution
Liju Mathew - Elocution

Alveena Jacks - Unavailable
Judy Varghese - Song
Kripa Varghese - Elocution and Story
Preethi Thomas - Song and Story
Serin Thomas - Song

If I have missed out on any event, for anyone, let me know so that I can update my records.

Note: Our class will not be reading or singing with the aid of any material. 



Monday, April 16, 2012

Objective of a Church


Eastern Airlines Flight 401 was bound from New York to Miami with a load of holiday passengers on December 29, 1972. As the huge aircraft approached the Miami Airport for its landing, a light that indicates proper deployment of the landing gear failed to come on. The plane flew in a large, looping circle over the swamps of the Everglades while the cockpit crew checked out the light failure. Their question was this, had the landing gear actually not deployed or was it just the light bulb that was defective?

To begin with, the flight engineer fiddled with the bulb. He tried to remove it, but it wouldn't budge. Another member of the crew tried to help out, and then another. By and by, if you can believe it, all eyes were on the little light bulb that refused to be dislodged from its socket. No one noticed that the plane was losing altitude. Finally, it dropped right into a swamp. Many were killed in that plane crash. While an experienced crew of high-priced and seasoned pilots messed around with a seventy-five-cent light bulb, an entire airplane and many of its passengers were lost. It was the first crash of a wide-body aircraft and at the time, the deadliest in the United States.The crew momentarily forgot the most basic of all rules of the air - "Don't forget to fly the airplane!"

The same thing can happen to our church. The preacher and elders can be so busy fighting petty fires and focusing so much of their attention on insignificant issues that they lose sight of what church is all about. The church can have so many activities, programs, projects, committee meetings, fund-raisers, and community involvements - so many activities without really accomplishing anything of eternal significance, that the congregation forgets its primary objective.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Easter story


Four year old Johnny was explaining his mommy about what he just learned at Sunday School.

This week it was the Easter story.

When mommy asked what he learned, little Johnny explained,

“Jesus died on the cross to take away all our sins...”

Mommy was happy that Johnny was doing well... until she heard Jonny continue:

“...and on the third day, he gave them back.”

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The best and the worst


Today, April 15th, we commemorate the 100th anniversary of Titanic sinking to the bottom of the Atlantic.

On that dreadful night, when lifeboats were being loaded, the rule was "women and children first." A few men acted cowardly, but most did not - they let the women and children board first. Story after stories are told of men putting their wives and/or children into the lifeboats, then calmly walking away rather than insisting on getting in themselves.

Tragedy is the time when the worst in some people comes out. But it is also the time when the best in other people comes out.