Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Great Lent Week 6, Sin
Volume 6 No. 336 March 11, 2016

V. General Weekly Features

Inspirational: That Someone Is Me
Someone is lighting a candle for you today and holding you in the light of that flame which burns brightly for you.

Someone is feeling your pain today, your grief and your sorrow and transforming it into joy, serenity and love.

Someone is thinking kindly of you today in the deep recesses of their own heart and the depths of their soul. Find peace in that!

Someone is imagining you today surrounded by angels, spirits, healing energies, celestial beings, starlight and deep magic and wonder. Wrap yourself in all of that.

Someone is understanding today, the depths of what you have been going through, and is embracing you with deep compassion and trusting in your own profound inner knowing to see you through it.

Someone is holding your hand today and letting you know that you are never alone and never have been, even though there have been moments, when you lost your way and felt abandoned and afraid. You never were!

Someone truly knows today perhaps at a level that you do not yet, that all is well somehow, even though it may not appear to be so. And that there is great meaning and purpose in your life, just by the very fact that you are here in all your splendor. Without you here nothing would be the same for any of us. Know that and take strength in it.

Someone is praying for you today and their prayers are being heard and answered.

Someone is whispering gently to your soul today to keep going no matter what, one day at a time, one step at a time, one inch at a time. We are all celebrating that you haven't given up and you are making such an immense difference for all of us.

Someone is holding you in the light as things in your world seem to be falling apart and putting them back together for you, in new, miraculous and astonishing ways. Trust and believe in that!

Someone is remembering today, who you really are, and why you came here and reminding you when you begin to close your eyes and surrender, just for a moment, to the truth, to what is right NOW, in this moment, and what can be. Ask for that!

Feel the love, cherish the knowing, drink in the joy, and take comfort and strength in all of it. It is all here for you. Reach for it! Embrace it! It is Divinely Yours!

About Veronica Hay

Veronica Hay is an inspirational writer. She provides inspirational support and resources to help you live a richer life. Visit her website at:

Family Special: That's the Way I Feel About You
A Young Mother Learns About God Through Her Handicapped Child

by Nancy Jo Sullivan

One hot July morning, I awoke to the clicks of a broken fan blowing humid air across my face. The well‐used fan had seen better days. It had only one setting, and its blades were worn and bent. It needed repair. So, I thought, did my life.

Earlier that year Sarah, our Down's syndrome daughter, had undergone heart surgery. That was behind us, but now we faced mounting medical bills that insurance wouldn't cover. On top of that, my husband's job would be eliminated in just weeks, and losing our home seemed inevitable.

As I closed my eyes to try to put together a morning prayer, I felt a small hand nudge my arm. "Mommy," Sarah said, "I g‐g‐got r‐r‐ready for v‐v‐vacation B‐B‐Bible school all by myself!"

Next to the bed stood five‐year‐old Sarah, her eyes twinkling through thick, pink‐framed glasses. Beaming, she turned both palms up and exclaimed, "Ta‐dah!"

Her red‐checked, seersucker shorts were on backward, with the drawstring stuck in the side waistband. A J. C. Penney price tag hung from a new, green polka‐dot top. It was inside out. She had chosen one red and one green winter sock to go with the outfit. Her tennis shoes were on the wrong feet, and she wore a baseball cap with the visor and emblem turned backward.

"I‐I‐I packed a b‐b‐backpack, t‐t‐too!" she stuttered while unzipping her bag so I could see what was inside. Curious, I peered in at the treasures she had so carefully packed: five Lego blocks, an unopened box of paper clips, a fork, a naked Cabbage Patch doll, three jigsaw puzzle pieces, and a crib sheet from the linen closet.

Gently lifting her chin until our eyes met, I said very slowly, "You look beautiful!"

"Thank y‐y‐you." Sarah smiled as she began to twirl around like a ballerina.

Just then the living room clock chimed eight, which meant I had forty‐five minutes to get Sarah, a toddler, and a baby out the door. As I hurried to feed the kids while rocking a crying infant, the morning minutes dissolved into urgent seconds. I knew I was not going to have time to change Sarah's outfit.

Buckling each child into a car seat, I tried to reason with Sarah. "Honey, I don't think you'll be needing your backpack for vacation Bible school. Why don't you let me keep it in the car for you."

"No‐o‐o‐o. I n‐n‐need it!"

I finally surrendered, telling myself her self‐esteem was more important than what people might think of her knapsack full of useless stuff. When we got to church, I attempted to redo Sarah's outfit with one hand while I held my baby in the other. But Sarah pulled away, reminding me of my early morning words, "No‐o‐o‐o… I l‐l‐look beautiful!" Overhearing our conversation, a young teacher joined us. "You do look beautiful!" the woman told Sarah. Then she took Sarah's hand and said to me, "You can pick up Sarah at 11:30. We'll take good care of her."

As I watched them walk away, I knew Sarah was in good hands. While Sarah was in school, I took the other two children and ran errands. As I dropped late payments into the mailbox and shopped with coupons at the grocery store, my thoughts raced with anxiety and disjointed prayer. What did the future hold? How would we provide for our three small children? Would we lose our home? Does God really care about us? I got back to the church a few minutes early. A door to the sun‐filled chapel had been propped open, and I could see the children seated inside in a semicircle listening to a Bible story.

Sarah, sitting with her back to me, was still clutching the canvas straps that secured her backpack. Her baseball cap, shorts, and shirt were still on backwards and inside out.

As I watched her, one simple thought came to mind: "I sure do love her."

As I stood there, I heard that still, comforting voice that I have come to understand is God's: "That's the way I feel about you."

I closed my eyes and imagined my Creator looking at me from a distance: my life so much like Sarah's outfit - backward, unmatched, mixed up.

"Why are you holding that useless 'backpack' full of anxiety, doubt, and fear?" I could imagine God saying to me. "Let Me carry it."

That night as I once again turned on our crippled fan, I felt a renewed sense of hope. Sarah had reminded me that God's presence remains even when life needs repair. I might not have the answers to all my problems - but I would always be able to count on Him to help carry the load.

Looking ahead…

by Dr. James C Dobson

Thanks to her five‐year‐old daughter, Nancy Jo Sullivan rediscovered the reality of God's all‐powerful presence. Many never understand that He is in our midst, ready to love us and pick up our backpacks full of troubles and fears. These people doubt, neglect to ask for His help, or fail to see how the Lord provides in their time of need. But He is there - the Unfailing Presence - always watching, always ready to share in our strife and lovingly guide us, no matter how difficult our circumstances.

When hardship and crises strike, you may be tempted to feel that God has let you down or no longer cares. Resist this thinking! Even when His solution is not the one you seek, be assured that it is just what you need for the trials you face.

We'll spend this week talking about the trustworthiness of the Lord. Sooner or later in every Christian marriage, it's a truth that matters more than life itself!

From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.
"That's the Way I Feel about You" by Nancy Jo Sullivan. Taken from Moments of Grace by Nancy Jo Sullivan. © 2000. Used by permission of Multnomah Publishers, Inc.

8 Small Things That Increase Your Chances of Achieving Your Goals

By Cosette Jarrettm, FamilyShare

Although goals are crucial when it comes to personal and professional growth, broken resolutions are all too common. Past broken resolutions diminish hope that future resolutions will actually be met.

Although it may seem like the achievement of your goals stands miles away from where you are now, it's actually closer than you think when you put the big picture aside and focus on the small things. Whether your resolutions are related to your personal or professional life, the 8 small changes I've listed below can turn your hopes into reality.

1. Your smile

According to Psychology Today, the act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness. It activates the release of neuropeptides that help fight off stress and releases feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. In other words, flashing a smile is a great way to instantly boost your mood and decrease stress levels.

Although it can be difficult to muster up a smile when your anger and/or anxiety levels hit a peak, it's not impossible. At the end of their study report, Psychology Today researchers recommended things like watching a funny movie, chatting with positive friends, listening to your favorite song and taking a visit to your favorite café to inspire a smile.

2. Your inner dialogue

The way you speak to yourself plays a key role in determining your overall sense of well-being and self-worth. Focus on your inner dialogue. What are you saying to yourself when things get hard? How could you correct your automatic negative response to challenges and fears in a way that will increase your ability to overcome difficult situations?

A great tactic for this is to develop a personal mantra. This is a simple sentence you repeat to yourself to increase calm and help eliminate stress and anxiety. Rather than allowing your fears to overtake your abilities, use the mantra to help you clear your mind of negative thoughts and distractions. Use it to regain focus to work on achieving the task at hand to the best of your ability.

3. Your outer dialogue

Positive inner dialogue will set the stage to put you in a better mood and boost your confidence. From there, it will be important to focus on your outer dialogue or the way you talk to others. Constantly apologizing for your work or downplaying your successes not only makes you feel as though your performance is lacking but also negatively influences the way your coworkers and superiors perceive what you've done.

One of the tools I've used to break the nasty habit of using dialogue that downgrades my message at work is the Just Not Sorry Gmail extension. Once you've downloaded and set up the extension, you'll notice corrections when you overuse words and terms like "just," "sorry," "I think," and "I'm no expert."

4. Your hobbies

It's important to take time for things that build the person you are outside of your professional life. Creative hobbies not only help you find release from your day-to-day routine but also help you increase your creative abilities when you get back to work.

Look for ways to enjoy your favorite hobbies in your free time. If you don't have free time, make some! Understand the important role hobbies play in determining your overall success. Once you've made time to enjoy your hobbies, you'll notice how they help you decompress and restart your creative engine after a long day on the job.

5. Your posture

The benefits of good posture have been praised for years. Some of these benefits include improved breathing, decreased joint pain and overall improvement in appearance and confidence.

Although individuals know their ability to stand and sit upright positively impacts how they look and feel, finding a good starting point for postural correction can be tough.

Common treatments for poor posture include exercises, braces, chiropractic adjustments and orthotics. Orthotics serve as a fantastic starting point.

Many physicians recommend you start with an over-the-counter orthotic to gauge your initial reaction to the treatment, then move to a custom option to maintain ongoing progress.

6. Your ability to disconnect

Taking a moment to disconnect from your favorite electronics at the end of the day can improve both your relationships with others and your relationship with yourself.

In 2015 plastic surgeons saw more requests for procedures as a result of patients becoming more self-critical due to an increase in sharing photos on social media platforms, according to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Clearly, our obsession with our social apps is more damaging to our self-esteem than many of us think.

On top of the negative impact excessive device use can have on your relationship with yourself, it can also affect how you connect with others. According to a recent study, nearly 1/3 of US Internet users polled said they would give up physical intimacy with their partners for 6 months to keep the Internet.

Focusing on the people in front of you and taking a break from what's going on in the online world at the end of each day has the potential to help you strengthen the most critical relationships in your life.

7. Your water consumption

Water is one of the biggest catalysts of positive change in our bodies. According to WebMD, drinking a sufficient amount of water each day can help control calories, energize muscles, cleanse and moisturize skin and stabilize bowel function.

Healthy adult men should drink about 9 cups of water per day. For women, around 9 cups of water daily is sufficient.

8. Your acknowledgment of your successes

Last but not least, acknowledging the things you've already accomplished can help inspire and motivate you to put more effort into accomplishing the goals you've set for the future.

Start by making a list of some of your top accomplishments from the past year. From here, write down how you made each happen, what specific steps were required and what personal qualities you utilized to achieve your goal like discipline, drive, etc. Once you've done this, take a cue from tip 2 in this article, and create a mantra specific to success.

Working on each of these smaller goals is an effective way to increase your chances of achieving your larger goals.

If you have a suggestion for the list, I'd love to hear it!

Source: JWR, © 2016 FamilyShare

I am a Seenager (Senior Teenager)
I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 50 years later.

I don't have to go to school or work.
I get an allowance every month.
I have my own pad.

I don't have a curfew.
I have a driver's license and my own car.
I have ID that gets me into bars and the whisky store.
The people I hang around with are not scared of getting pregnant.
And I don't have acne.

Life is great.

Also, you will feel much more intelligent after reading this.

Brains of older people are slow because they know so much. People do not decline mentally with age, it just takes them longer to recall facts because they have more information in their brains, scientists believe.

Much like a computer struggles as the hard drive gets full, so too, do humans take longer to access information when their brains are full.

Researchers say this slowing down process is not the same as cognitive decline. The human brain works slower in old age, said Dr. Michael Ramscar, but only because we have stored more information over time. The brains of older people do not get weak. On the contrary, they simply know more.

Also, older people often go to another room to get something and when they get there, they stand there wondering what they came for. It is NOT a memory problem, it is nature's way of making older people do more exercise.

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