Friday, May 2, 2014

Humans are not computers

Weekend is almost here. For those of us who work hard, here is a quote that caught my attention:

Human beings are not designed to run like computers, at high speeds, continuously, for long periods of time. When we try to mimic the machines we're meant to run, they end up running us. In fact, we're designed to pulse. Our most basic survival need is to spend and renew energy. We're hardwired to make waves - to be alert during the day and to sleep at night, but also to work at high intensity for limited periods of time and then rest and refuel. Instead (most of us) lead increasingly linear lives, forever spending down our energy without fully or effectively renewing it. ~ Tony Schwartz.

Tony Schwartz was a columnist for The New York Post, Associate Editor at Newsweek, reporter for The New York Times, and staff writer at New York Magazine and Esquire. In 1988, Schwartz co-authored the No. 1 worldwide best-seller The Art of the Deal with Donald Trump. In 1995, Schwartz wrote What Really Matters: Searching for Wisdom in America.

Tap here to read a small article by Tony in Harvard Business Review

Additional Info:
Shakuntala Devi was dubbed the 'Human Computer' who made her way into the Guinness book of records. She passed away last year in Bangalore, India.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Reading Proverbs

Today is May 1st and hopefully some of you are starting to read Proverbs for the first time. The journey of a thousand mile begins with a single step, and one has to start somewhere.

Of all those Biblical books, Proverbs compiles a list of short practical instructions for living wisely on earth. It accounts for the myriad circumstances encountered in a person's life and suggests principles specific for those situations. Lady Wisdom encourages us to make wise choices than foolish mistakes.

One theme which is echoed numerous times is “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” King Solomon encourages us to live righteously under the authority and direction of God.

The Purpose of Proverbs: To be Wise (Proverbs 1:1-7)
As a virtue, Wisdom is the spiritual ability to use everything for the glory of God.

Wisdom is a virtue but it is also a Person. We cannot have the virtue without the Person

To Be Wise These Are Necessary:

The basic tool needed to be wise (Proverbs 1:4, Proverbs 1:6-7)

The gift needed to use that knowledge (Proverbs 1:2, Proverbs 1:5-6)

The means of obtaining knowledge (Proverbs 1:2-3, Proverbs 1:5, Proverbs 1:7)

The means of enforcing instruction (Proverbs 1:7)

The source of knowledge (Proverbs 1:1-2, Proverbs 1:6)

The spiritual foundation of it all (Proverbs 1:7)

Proverbs are pithy statements brimming over with imagery from the real world.

Read the Proverbs!
Live the Proverbs!

Credits: Ronald Hanko

Our dependency in Him

May, the month of flowers, is here reminding us of Mothers Day on May 11, and a holiday on Monday, May 26th, for Memorial Day.

Whenever we need something basic - health, wealth, time, etc., we look heavenward with dependence. Anytime we start our day with inadequate resources, we depend on Him - we keep Him in mind till we get through that day. God wants us to do that. After all, heath, wealth and time can disappear in an instant.

We are not self sufficient and totally depend on Him. The earlier we realize this fact, the better for us individuals. This is where Beatitudes come into play.

The eight Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3–12 during the Sermon on the Mount each begins with:

Blessed are..

....the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. (5:3)
....those who mourn: for they will be comforted. (5:4)
....the meek: for they will inherit the earth. (5:5)
....those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled. (5:6)
....the merciful: for they will be shown mercy. (5:7)
....the pure in heart: for they will see God. (5:8)
....the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God. (5:9)
....those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (5:10)

Additional Info
There are parallels between the Sermon on the Mount and Buddhist teachings. However, there are no historical evidence of contacts between Jesus and Buddhism during his life.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Date with Jesus

Today we live in a technological era that admires fast lives - instant gratification, instant messaging, fast cars, fast food, fast connections and fast music, increasing the pace of our lives. Now has become the new yesterday. Finally, we are told to keep pace with our ubiquitous neighbors. We tend to be so busy in this world, seldom noticing our surroundings.

On the other end of the spectrum is the slow and quiet life - taking one thing at a time, moving along at a slow pace. It is in this quietness of life we are able to find the presence of God. Early mornings tend to be the best time, as our body clock is ticking at a steady pace. Though all of us have heard story of the turtle and the hare, we tend a lot to be like the hare - running fast. Remember: in the long run, it is the turtle that wins - who has his eyes set on that winning trophy.

Let me recommend something for you - try a date night with Jesus. Just you and Him. Invite Him over. Dress up for Him by putting on one of your best clothes. Play a soft music in the background. Sit by the candle lit table - one that has a Bible. Decorate it according to your imagination. Try reading your Bible by the candlelight. Praise Him, thank Him, and worship Him. Remember - it is just you and Jesus in that quiet environment. You will notice the song being so true - What a friend we have in Jesus!

Additional Info
The average lifespan of a turtle is over one hundred and twenty years, while that of a hare is ten to twelve years.

We have heard about those searching God heading out to the Himalayas - such surroundings presents them with a a quiet place for meditation and to mingle with God.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Making a choice

Every day presents us with a myriad of possibilities and opportunities. Having too many choices can often confuse us - just like stepping into a clothing store, and not knowing which one to pick.

Here is how to deal with such instances:
Involve Jesus in the decision making process (He is the very best, one can consult with)
Make one choice at a time,
Every decision that follows is contingent upon the first,
Trust in the decision (after all, you made it with the best Consul)
Move on.

Further, He will supply us with whatever our needs are. He will also equip us and strengthen us to pursue our journey in that chosen direction.

Additional Info:
When choosing between myriad possibilities and a myriad of possibilities, which phrase is correct?

Myriad of is older than myriad with the noun. Myriad comes into English in the 16th century when the word originally means 10,000, a specific number. The word changed from referring to 10,000 of something, to meaning a countless number of something.

When myriad first appeared in English, it was always plural and followed by of, such as many myriads of men. Then, in 1609, the singular form of myriad was first used, followed again by of. This allowed for phrases like a myriad of bubbles. Finally, in the 18th century, the noun was first dropped from the phrase. At that time, the saying myriad beauties was then considered correct.

Today, both phrases are used. Although myriad of is a bit more common than myriad followed by a noun, either expression can be used.

How about plethora, another word that means a lot? When plethora was introduced to the English language, it meant an overabundance of things. First plethora referred to an overabundance of the humors or of blood, then it signified a dangerous or unwanted excess.

Today, plethora is not only used negatively. If you are happy to have options, you may say you have a plethora of choices. Although this may be ahistorical, it is not necessarily incorrect.

The word 'Ton' is similar. Ton technically specifies 2,000 pounds, but it is now used as another synonym for a lot.

May Lord grant you myriad of blessings, so that you may convert those plethora of opportunities into tons of fruits, for your family and friends.

Credits: Michiganradio

Monday, April 28, 2014