Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Mammon vs. God, Serving Two Masters
Volume 5 No. 308 October 9, 2015

III. General Weekly Features

Recipe: Pumpkin Bread Swirl

by Dr. Shila Mathew, MD., Food and Living Editor, Malankara World

It is October. Everywhere you look you see pumpkins and decorations for Halloween. And thanksgiving is not too far off. So, here is a great recipe for a Pumpkin bread.


Cream cheese mixture:

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sugar
1 egg


1 ¾ cups flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup margarine, melted
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup water


Combine ingredients for cream cheese mixture until well blended. Set aside.

Combine dry ingredients.

Add pumpkin, margarine, egg and water – mixing just until moistened. Reserve 1 ½ cups pumpkin batter; pour remaining batter into a greased and floured 9 by 5 inch loaf pan.

Pour cream cheese mixture over pumpkin batter; top with reserved pumpkin batter.

Cut through baters with knife several times for a swirl effect.

Bake at 350 F (175 deg C) for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes.

Remove from pan.

Makes one loaf. 

Family: Armchair Critics Lend Insight on Keys to Marriage

By Sharon Randall

In every marriage, there comes a test - a battle of wills, an ultimate impasse that will end with one question: Are we going to get over this, or not?

For some couples, the test happens several times a day. They clash so often they find themselves longing to live in a state where "The fool needed killing" is justifiable homicide.

Others, however, seem to sail through thick and thin, bumping heads on occasion but always finding the grace to "get over it."

Marriage takes a lot of getting over it. They don't teach you that in school. It's something you learn, if you're lucky, on the rocky road between "I do" and "I don't think so."

My husband and I consider ourselves lucky. We met at work. He was my editor. We were just friends for nine years, dated for five, and have been married now a decade.

We've had our share of differences. He can be, well, a bit bull-headed. And he has a tendency to correct me, whether I am wrong or not, which I often am, but still. I'm just saying.

For the record, I am far from perfect. You might not believe it, but it's true. I could recite a long list of my shortcomings, but whatever, let's just move on.

The point I want to make is this: Seldom do we end up, my beloved and I, snarling at each other. Today was an exception.

Two months ago we decided it was time to replace his old, ugly "marshmallow" recliner with two good chairs, one for him and one for me, so I'd no longer need to prop myself up with pillows on the couch like a trauma patient in traction.

The decision, though mutual, raised considerable debate over which chairs, what color and how much to pay for them.

The fact that we reached agreement at all should tell you something about the extent of our compatibility and our willingness to compromise, not to mention, our aching backs.

The chairs we chose had to be ordered. Then the order was delayed because we ordered the wrong ones. Duh. Finally, the right ones arrived, and that morning we began rearranging the family room, trying to make them fit, while at the same time, trying not to kill each other.

What is it about moving furniture that can turn civilized people into foaming-at-the mouth attack dogs?

"It won't look right there!"

"Yes, it will!"

"Move it to the left!"

"It needs to move right!"

"Two inches is all I'm saying!"

"Two inches is too much!"

"Just try it!"

"OK, fine! How's that?"

"Wait, that's too much!"

"#@ percent&#$#*!!"

Funny, isn't it, how you can love someone so much you can't imagine living without him, but sometimes, you'd like to try?

Marriage is a constant give and take, rearranging the pieces of two distinctly separate lives to fit together magically as one.

I once asked a woman happily married for 50 years how she and her husband made it work?

"It's simple," she said. "Twice a week we go out for a romantic dinner at our favorite restaurant and take a long, leisurely walk in the moonlight. It's lovely. He goes Tuesdays, I go Thursdays."

I liked that woman a lot.

My husband and I finally got so tired of moving furniture we each gave an inch and shook hands on a compromise. It wasn't pretty, but it was done.

Then we collapsed in our new chairs to watch an old favorite movie, Christopher Guest's classic, "Best in Show."

If you need a good laugh, I highly recommend it. We laughed so hard we cried.

When it was over, my husband went to the gym to work out. I stayed home to write a column.

But first - OK, you guessed it - I moved the chairs. Just a little. I don't think he will notice. Maybe he will.

Either way, we'll get over it. We're married. It's what we do.

About The Author:

Award-winning essayist Sharon Randall's weekly column has an estimated readership of 6 million nationwide. Born and reared in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North and South Carolina, Randall grew up in Landrum, S.C., and has lived for 35 years in "California of All Places."


Family Special - The Role of the Wife: Helper

by Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

My husband and I attended the third session of the Biblical Portrait of Marriage. The topic for the night was : Helper- The Role of the Wife. Helper means as in the one who assists, encourages and supports her husband. Not katulong (the literal translation of helper in Tagalog)

To our amazement, there were 2 biblical principles that we re-discovered that night. We only learned this after Pastor Larry finished his lecture.

Surprise! Surprise!

Me first!

The key priority of the wife is her husband, not her work, ministry or child. Somewhere along the way, I thought the children were the first priority because of their young age and innocence. Hubby can easily fend for himself, I thought. I was so wrong. Maybe I didn't know how to balance my act. Only when the kids left for college did I re-focus energies on my husband. Well, it's never too late. It's precisely the reason that husbands are the first priority because children leave some day and we are left with each other . We're even experiencing the semi-empty nest syndrome these days. The mere fact we're attending a bible study on marriage means we continue to strengthen our relationship as husband and wife.

And my husband's discovery…

The wife is to actively "manage the house" under her husband's authority. Remember how I mentioned that he is my co-homemaker. Hah, now he knows that managing the household is my duty. I think he grew up with the notion that a husband's duty include management of the household. No wonder he takes on my job to do the grocery, plan the menu or what not. I let him be that way because he loves doing it. Lately, he's been buying these home improvement magazines like "Real Homes" to plan on the interiors of our new home . I believe some men are gifted with home maker roles. We learned that in a healthy marriage, the wife should actively manage the house. Maybe after this session, he will give me free reign of my kitchen. hehe. I don't mind.

Behind every great man there's a great woman… and a
surprised mother-in-law (another entry some day) *wink*

Speaking of husband, I received this email forward "Spouse from God" which might be interesting read for you:

Years ago, I asked God to give me a spouse, "You don't own because you didn't ask" God said. Not only I asked for a spouse but also explained what kind of spouse I wanted. I want a nice, tender, forgiving, passionate, honest, peaceful, generous, understanding, pleasant, warm, intelligent, humorous, attentive, compassionate and truthful. I even mentioned the physical characteristics I dreamt about.

As time went by I added the required list of my wanted spouse. One night, in my prayer, God talked to my heart: "My servant, I cannot give you what you want."

I asked, "Why God?" and God said "Because I am God and I am fair. God is the truth and all I do are true and right."

I asked "God, I don't understand why I cannot have what I ask from you?"

God answered, "I will explain. It is not fair and right for Me to fulfill your demand because I cannot give something that is not your own self. It is not fair to give someone who is full of love to you if sometimes you are still hostile, or to give you someone generous but sometimes you can be cruel, or someone forgiving; however, you still hide revenge, someone sensitive; however, you are very insensitive."

He then said to me: "It is better for Me to give you someone who I know could grow to have all qualities you are searching rather than to make you waste your time to find someone who already have the qualities you want. Your spouse would be bone from your bone and flesh from your flesh and you will see yourself in her and both of you will be one. Marriage is like a school. It is a life-long span education. It is where you and your partner make adjustment and aim not merely to please each other, but to be better human beings and to make a solid teamwork. I do not give you a perfect partner, because you are not perfect either. I give you a partner with whom you would grow together"

This is for all: the recently married, the ones who have been married, the soon to get married, and the ones who are still looking.


Self Improvement: Luck's Got Nothing To Do With It

by Wes Hopper

"There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original shape, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the Universe. A thought in this substance produces the thing that is imaged by the thought."
- Wallace Wattles

When Wallace Wattles wrote those words in the quote above, he was way out in front of the science of his day. Today, thanks to the advanced research on consciousness and how a powerful field of consciousness ties together our thoughts and our thinking across space and time, we know what the "thinking stuff" is and what it can do.

We think thoughts, we put emotional energy into the thoughts, we think with emotional energy about those thoughts, and with that we create our life! If you think that the major pathways of your life happened by accident or by luck, think again! In some way, shape or form, you thought it into your future.

The one important thing that we can't do is to clearly visualize a future that we DON'T want and then by focusing on that future, make it not happen. Nope, if you're visualizing it, you're requesting it, no matter what you think you're doing.

We can go 3,000 years back in time to the book of Job in the Hebrew scriptures and hear him crying, "That which I feared has come upon me!" Of course it did, that's the law. What you think about, comes about. And yet people still moan and groan about "bad luck" and how they never get any breaks. As you wish!

Try monitoring your thoughts consciously for one day, and see how often they charge off into negativity and worry. Practice catching your thinking and switching to something positive. It will change your life!

Source: Daily Gratitude

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