Showing posts with label Other Info. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Other Info. Show all posts

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Jesus presented in the temple

This painting  depicts the Presentation of Jesus as a child at the Temple in Jerusalem - by Simon Vouet (1641).

Today we celebrate baby Jesus presented in the temple.

Jesus Presented in the Temple
22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord
23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”),
24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.
26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.
27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required,
28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
    you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.
34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,
35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,
37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.
38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.
40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

Luke 2: 22-40

Saturday, January 11, 2014

New Testament Reading

If you noticed, we started with our New Testament Reading Plan early this week. Tap here to download and read the revised 2 page schedule.

Scroll to the right to see where we started early this week. For your convenience, tap on the links below:

Luke 1
John 1: 1- 14
Matthew 1
Luke 2:1-40
Matthew 2
Luke 2:41-52
Matthew 3
Mark 1

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Journey through Atlanta airport

Atlanta Airport is a world in itself. After passing through it almost every week Mon - Thursday for several years, since 2002 has made it a part of my life.

Over the course of these years, there are numerous things I learned about this airport.

Tap here to see an interactive journey put together by CNN

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Discovery of True Cross

The Discovery of the True Cross and St. Helena, by Giovanni Battista 1745

September 14th - It is believed that on this day, Queen Helena discovered the true cross upon which Jesus Christ was crucified. Many interesting stories are popular, regarding this cross. 

Related Posts:

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Overseas Citizenship of India

Consulate General of India, Atlanta shall start Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) / Person of Indian Origin (PIO) / Renunciation Certificate Support services starting 1st July, 2013.

View the press release here.

More on the topic here

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June has arrived

June 2013 is here.

June is the month of marriages and is named after goddess Juno. Juno was the goddess of marriage and a married couple's household.

This month is a month of relief for many students since they don't have homework - excluding those who have taken summer classes. In a nutshell, it is a month for relaxing.

June weather typically is sunny and bright. It's time to get out and enjoy after being indoors during those winter months. Today my wife and I, we are planning on heading towards Northern Georgia mountains - in and around Helen, GA, for a fishing expedition. Our son Chris, is gone for a mission trip in Dallas and will be back only next week.

Important dates in June:

June 14 - Flag Day
June 16 - Father's Day
June 21 - Summer starts

Along with other events in Atlanta, Bill Cosby is performing at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center on June 28th.

Enjoy June.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sophia & Jacob

Social Security Administration released the annual list of most popular names for 2012. As earlier, Jacob & Sophia top the list.

Jacob has been top on the list since 1999. In 2012, Liam came in top 10, and out went Daniel in boy's names. In girl's section, Elizabeth came in top 10 and replaced Chloe.

Click here to see the top 10 list for 2012.

Monday, December 31, 2012


Last Friday was the festival of Thiruvathira and I tried posting this article earlier. However, due to the amount of reading and learning I had to do, it took me much longer than what I anticipated.

Thiruvathira is performed by women in order to attain everlasting marital bliss. The highlight of this festival is the Thiruvathira dance where dancers move in a circular pattern around an oil lamp (nila-vilakku), wearing white or ivory colored saree woven using cotton threads, bordered with golden brocadeare (kasavu-mundu), and a matching blouse. The women tie their hairs in a bun shaped form and adore fresh jasmine flowers.  They move around the oil lit lamp by rhythmic clapping of the hands, to the tune of the Thiruvathira song. One of the performers, usually the eldest, sings the first line of the song while the rest repeat it in chorus.

Festivities begin a week before commencing from Asterism Aswathi. Ignoring the cold of the winter season, women wake up early in the morning and take bath in the river or family pond. While bathing, women sing songs in worship of Lord Kamadeva on the rhythm produced by splashing of water with their fist. In the end, women stand holding hands in the formation of a circle and sing songs. Ladies on this day worship Lord Shiva and pray for conjugal harmony and marital bliss as well.

The festival commemorates the death of Kamadeva, the god of love. It is believed that on this day, Goddess Parvathi met Lord Shiva.

The story goes like this:

Lord Indra and the gods were suffering at the hands of the demon Tarakasur, who could not be defeated except by Shiva's offspring. Lord Brahma advised Parvati to woo Shiva and their offspring, a fighter, will be able to defeat Tarakasur. Lord Indra appoints Kamadeva to break Shiva's meditation.

The appointed Kamadeva is regarded as the son of Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi, and is always at service of Lord Indira. In Indian mythology, Kamdeva refers to the Hindu god of love and desire - an Indian version of Cupid (son of goddess Venus).

Kamadeva, the most handsome gods of all, carries a bow similar to cupid made of sugarcane with honeybees sitting on it. His arrows are beautifully decorated with sweet and fragrant flowers. The string of his bow is made of a chain of honeybees. His companions are a cuckoo, a parrot, humming bees, the season of spring (March 21 thru June 20), and the gentle breeze. He shoots with his bow the five flower-tipped shafts of desire. Those five flowers at the tip are Ashoka tree flowers, white lotus flowers, blue lotus flowers, jasmine flowers and Mango tree flowers. He is accompanied by his wife Rati (the goddess of beauty and passion) and his friend Vasanta (spring), wherever he goes. Rati and Vasanta helps him select the shaft to be used on the current victim. Kamadeva likes to travel all around especially during spring time, on his vehicle - the parrot.

Rig-Veda describes Kamadeva's actions as first movement that arose in the one after it has come into life through the powers of abstraction. In one hymn of Rig-Veda, Kama is worshiped and is unequal of all gods. According to another hymn he is god of sexual love. Intermingling with the sexual tones of cupid and Eros in one hymn Kama is addressed as,” May Kama having well directed the arrow, which is winged with pain, barbed with longing, and has desire for its shaft, pierce thee in the heart.

In Atharva Veda, Kamadeva or desire is not of sexual enjoyment but of good in general - it is celebrated as great power superior to all the gods. Click here to read a glorification of Kamadeva as god of desire of all good.

To create a congenial atmosphere, Kamadeva creates an untimely spring and evades Shiva's guard, Nandi, by taking the form of the fragrant southern breeze, and enters Shiva's abode - Mount Kailash.

After Shiva was awakened by Kamadeva's flower arrow, Shiva became furious of being disturbed his meditation. Shiva could immediately manage his feelings and knew he was tricked. Without hesitation, he opened his third eye which instantaneously reduced Kamadeva into ashes.

Shiva ignored Parvati and carried on with his meditation. That story goes like this:

Parvati returned home and announced to her parents that she wanted to retire to a life of prayer and abstinence. If Lord Shiva didn’t appreciate her for her beauty and her lovely care, surely he would have appreciated the value of her sacrifice. So she left everything and dressed in poor clothes and retired into the forest. She dedicated all her time to prayer and penances - sleeping on bare floor, bathing in cold water and eating just few berries. As years passed by, her faith grew more and more.

One day, while Parvati was performing the usual rituals, a young hermit approached her and she humbly bowed to Him. The hermit asked, "How can your tender frame bear such a huge spiritual burden?”

He continued, “You proved to the world that beauty and purity do not nullify one another. Your action had crowned your father with a glory much grater than what he already had. Noble maiden, why did you undertake such severe penances? It is common for a lonely and anguished person living a hermit life? How is possible that you, so pure, loved and admired by everyone are doing this? Ah! Maybe it is for an un-returned love. No, this should be truly impossible! Such a priceless gem like you should not be searching, instead searched."

Shri Parvati asked for her friend’s help, who answered to the hermit, "Parvati offered her heart to win the love of Lord Shiva. She failed in conquering him with her beauty and dedication, so she decided to lead a life of penances and austerity. She often meditates him, but Lord Shiva remains deaf to her pleas.”

The hermit replied, turning to Parvati, "Is it true? Or is your friend joking?”

Then Parvati said, “Yes, it is true! I adore Lord Shiva. I am sure that I will win his love with penances and devotion!”

The hermit replied, "O my lady, I know Lord Shiva. He is covered with ashes and his body is decorated by numerous snakes and he wears those smelly hides. How can your sweet and tender self become his wife? He is rough and poor. His ancestors are unknown. He is not good for you. Let him go and look for someone more worthy.”

“Stop it. That’s enough,” said Parvati, truly furious, interrupted Him. "You need to be a great soul to comprehend a great soul!” She spoke with full of devotion and honor about her beloved Lord Shiva. All at once, the young hermit revealed himself - he was none other than Lord Shiva himself. At that point there was not doubt: Parvati succeeded in winning the heart of Lord Shiva.

Shri Parvati's penances
Despite Shiva's earlier protests, the shaft of Kamadeva did its work - the way it was supposed to be, and Shiva was unable to obtain peace until he married Parvati.

Parvati requested Shiva to revive Kamadeva and Shiva agrees to let Kamadeva live but in a disembodied form. Hence, Kamadeva is also called bodiless. During the period of Kamadeva's absence, it is said that the world was such a barren place without the seasons changing and no love to be found anywhere. On the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Parvati, Kamadeva was revived, and the spirit of love embodied by Kamadeva disseminated across the cosmos and affected everyone including Shiva and Parvati.  Their son Kartikeya later went on to defeat the demon Tarakasur (which is another story).

Apart from Thiruvathira dance, swinging on the swing, eating beetle leaves (upto 108 numbers) to make the lips red, keeping vigil for Shiva at night, are common.

Moral: An earnest desire to reach someone/somewhere with dedication and sacrifice will bring results.
Few links to Thiruvathira Songs:
Thiruvathira Pattukal
Joel Antony Paul's Blog
Boom MP3

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thank You

For you,
For all your inspiration
For showing me the way
For staying close
For your time
For those wonderful memories
I humbly say,
Thank You.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

God Bless America

Congratulations President Obama and those who worked hard alongside him.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Movember is here

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. Movember is a portmanteau of the slang word "Mo" for moustache and "November". It is an annual, month-long event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of prostate cancer and other male cancer initiatives.

The Movember Foundation runs the Movember charity event, and their goal is to "change the face of men's health."

By encouraging men to get involved, Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths. Besides getting an annual check-up, the Movember Foundation encourages men to be aware of any family history of cancer, and to adopt a more healthy lifestyle.

Happy Movember & November.

Source: Wiki

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Birth of a book

Books - we live and breathe in the midst of them, but hardly ever ponder how it came to existence, from the moment that idea was conceived. Every book has a story to tell. This short video tells the long story about the birth of a book at a printing press. 

Credits: Birth of a Book from Glen Milner on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sequential Date

Today is a special day for many - numerically, today is 10-11-12. It is not as popular as last year's 11-11-11, but Dec 12th will be, because it is 12-12-12.

Many set up there alarm clocks to ring at 07:08:09, on 10-11-12. If you missed it this morning, you have another shot in the evening.

For those who love numbers, this is sort of amusing to them. This kind of sequence started occurring every year since 2003, when we had 01-02-03. It will end for a while in 2014, with 12-13-14. Then we'll have to wait until 2103.

Happy Sequential Date.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Who killed Goliath - 3

Continuing on our earlier post, last Sunday I checked the Orthodox Bible about the verse we discussed and it is misprinted there as well.  I was surprised and still am. It is the same way in the Malayalam Bible too. The orthodox version went into print as recently as 2008 and I cannot believe no scholar in the orthodox community pointed this out.

It is a simple misprint and who really cares - right? Why should I make such a fuss about a simple typo in the Bible? That too, about an historical account that took place few thousand years ago!!

It could be me trying to be perfect and expect the Biblical manuscript to be 'bug free'* It could be because I cannot tolerate the fact that there is an error in a Holy Book which I consider sacred. It is not within my capacity to go around correcting all those versions out there. Nor do I intent to consult about this error with my priest or church authorities - they have larger problems to deal with.

Let's move on - I corrected mine and hope you do the same too.

*bug free - a term used in the software world to indicate it is free of any wrong lines of code. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Who killed Goliath - 2

Based on some queries I received regarding an earlier post, about other Bibles that have incorrectly documented 2 Samuel 21:19, here is what I am aware of.  I need to check the Orthodox Bible - which I don't have a copy at home (there's one at church) and shall update next week.

New International Version (©1984)
In another battle with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver's rod.

English Standard Version (©2001)
And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, struck down Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
There was war with the Philistines again at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam.

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
When more fighting broke out with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan, son of Jaare Oregim from Bethlehem, killed Goliath of Gath. (The shaft of Goliath's spear was like a beam used by weavers.)

American Standard Version
And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob; and Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim the Beth-lehemite slew Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And there was a third battle in Gob against the Philistines, in which Adeodatus the son of the Forrest an embroiderer of Bethlehem slew Goliath the Gethite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam.

Darby Bible Translation
And there was again a battle at Gob with the Philistines; and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, a Bethlehemite, smote Goliath the Gittite; now the shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam.

English Revised Version
And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob; and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim the Beth-lehemite slew Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam.


Who killed Goliath

What does your bible say about who killed Goliath?

Any Sunday school kid would say - David.  

When you get some free time, check your Bible - 2 Samuel 21:19. 

Most translations say below:

New International Version (©1984)
In another battle with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver's rod.

Puzzled - wondering what's going on?

The correct text is, "During another battle at Gob, Elhanan son of Jair from Bethlehem killed the brother of Goliath of Gath. The handle of his spear was as thick as a weaver's beam!

It was not Goliath, it was Goliath's brother who was killed by Elhanan. This is the part that was missed out.

According to John 10:35, Jesus said that Scripture cannot be broken. Peter vouched that the scripture is true and as good as God's word.  And we all believe so.

Also, note that the acutal story of David and Goliath is in 1 Samuel 17, and not in 2 Samuel.

Not all translations are incorrect - some are accurate; the King James version is correct. If your Bible is broken, please take time to correct it today itself.



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Towards 5th year

Dear Readers,

Early this week, we counted 4 years since we started posting on this corner of the World Wide Web. Several people have contributed towards the contents of this page - thank you. While I have not been punctual and regular in posting daily, it is somehow staying alive despite the ups and downs and inching towards 5th year.

For the next few days, I am going to post few poems from Judith Johnson Kypta. Last week she published the Abby Ding Glove series.  Click here to find a list of her books at Amazon. Good luck on your new book Judi.

Thank you


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Smiley turns 30

The smiley emoticon turned 30 years today.

Professor Scott Fahlman, of Carnegie Mellon University. Fahlman is credited with creating the common :-) hieroglyphic when he included it in an email on September 19th, 1982, but he never imagined that it would become a universal standard.

To me, I love it and use it whenever I can.



Friday, September 14, 2012

Sept 14 - Discovery of the Holy Cross

We celebrate the discovery of the Holy Cross on Sept 14th. Our church held Holy Qurbana on the eve of 13th, and I was able to attend it - going directly from work.

Several stories circulate about the origin of the wood. One account of the this cross says that it came from a tree that grew from part of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, - the tree that Adam ate of, that Seth (3rd son of Adam & Eve) planted on Adam's grave where it endured until the time of King Solomon - the great biologist.

The tree was cut down and the wood was used to build a bridge over which the Queen of Sheba passed, during her journey to meet King Solomon. She was so struck by the portent contained in the timber of the bridge that she fell on her knees and reverenced it. She told him that a piece of wood from the bridge would bring about the replacement of God's Covenant with the Jewish people, by a new order.

Some believe that after fourteen generations, the wood taken from the bridge was fashioned into the Cross used to crucify Christ.

Regardless of these stories, what joy Queen Helena must have experienced when she discovered such a priceless treasure!!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012