Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Theme: Pentecost Special
Volume 6 No. 349 May 13, 2016

IV. General Weekly Features

Health Tip: Five Best Foods to Fight Inflammation

By Missi Holt

Redness, swelling, heat, pain…they may not be fun but they are vital reactions to a healthy inflammatory response.

Ongoing stress, fatigue, pain, suffering and disease on the other hand, are not healthy. They signify chronic inflammation and symptoms of a distressed system.

Unfortunately, they seem to be prominent components of the average American lifestyle…I know, I was once struggling with all of those debilitating issues.

As a Fitness and Nutrition Therapist I knew that I had powerful tools to fight chronic inflammation. I began to explore the healing power of food, which led to the development of my creative and delicious anti-inflammatory recipes! I have a great one for you below.

But first…

Here are 5 of the Best Foods to Fight Inflammation:

Cherries (Along with any other red, purple or blue fruit)

The presence of phytonutrients called anthocyanins, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, can help relieve pain by neutralizing free radicals that contribute to inflammation and also by blocking the enzymes that cause tissue inflammation. Cherries are great for aiding recovery from oxidative stress associated with exercise.


Adding fresh or dried herbs and spices to meals is a delicious and nutrient dense way to boost flavor without adding any calories. Loaded with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins the powerhouse spices and herbs that fight inflammation include Ginger, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme. Studies show that even at normal doses the positive effects of herbs and spices can be seen in quieting the inflammatory response.

Kale: (Along with other dark leafy greens)

Kale (Along with other dark leafy greens) Contain powerful antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids, and Vitamin C - all of which protect against cellular damage. These nutrient dense plants should be a staple in every diet. They are versatile, nutrient dense, hydrating, and low in calories - it's a win-win for fighting inflammation and staying lean.


Shiitake mushrooms, in particular, are among the best sources for immune support, cardiovascular health, and fighting chronic inflammation. Shiitake mushrooms have an adaptogenic effect on the body - meaning they increase or decrease a system's function to achieve homeostasis (balance). For example, shiitake mushrooms will calm an overactive immune response or conversely, will boost an immune response if it is dampened. Polysaccharides in shiitake mushrooms have a wide array of immune-related effects, including aiding recovery from exercise stress, reducing exposure to inflammation-producing toxins, and can help lower total cholesterol levels.

Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon:

Animal-based omega-3 fatty acids - found in wild Alaskan salmon, trout, and sardines - are more efficiently absorbed and utilized since they do not have to be converted into a usable form like plant based fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids effectively reduce inflammation and oxidative stress by suppressing the enzymes that cause inflammation.

Try adding in more anti-inflammatory foods into your daily diet. Here’s one of my favorite recipes to help you get started:

Anti-Inflammatory Power Salad

Yield: makes: 1 serving


1-2 cups Kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced (option to sauté with 1 tsp. coconut oil)
½ cup Red Cherries, pitted and halved (or other dark berry)
1-2 T. Ginger Thyme Vinaigrette (dress to taste)
4-6 oz. Wild Alaskan Salmon, season with sea salt, black pepper and olive oil. Roast at 400° for 10-20 minutes depending on size and thickness of filet.


Assemble first 4 ingredients allowing kale, mushrooms, and cherries to 'marinate' in dressing for 10-20 minutes. Top salad with Roasted Salmon.

Ginger Thyme Vinaigrette


1/3 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon fresh minced thyme
1/4 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)


Place dressing ingredients in blender and purée for 1 minute.


Healing starts on the inside. Begin today to fuel your body with foods that promote healing, energy, and vitality! It doesn't have to be elaborate or difficult.

It just needs to be a simple commitment you make every day to take care of your body and mind. Develop the habit, something you can't imagine not doing, of eating foods that support your health and happiness

Copyright 2001-2019 EARLY TO RISE PUBLISHING, LLC.

Family Special: Five Dangerous Questions to Ask about Your Marriage

by Arlene Pellicane

If you want a better relationship with your spouse, begin by asking better questions. There are obvious questions that are invitations to arguments such as "Do these jeans make me look fat?" and "Do you even know how to cook a decent meal?" Most of us are smart enough to avoid these types of questions. But there are other bad questions that get through our filter.

The dictionary defines dangerous as "involving possible injury, harm, or death." If you regularly ask your spouse dangerous questions like the following two, it's likely you will cause harm and pain to your marriage.

Dangerous Question #1: Why don't you…?

Fill in the blank with an insult such as "Why don't you ever listen to me? Why don't you make more money? Why don't you do a better job cleaning up the house? Why don't you help more with the kids?" These dangerous questions communicate contempt for your spouse. They quickly put your spouse on the defensive. Instead of affirming the marriage, these questions tear down.

Researcher Dr. John Gottman has discovered the four horsemen that predict early divorce: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. You don't want to ask critical, contemptuous questions that push your spouse to stonewall and become defensive.

Dangerous Question #2: Should we stop fighting for our marriage?

I received a sad email from a woman a few weeks ago. It simply said, "I wish I had found your books sooner, but it's too late. I can't fight for my marriage anymore." The truth is every marriage is worth fighting for (except for cases such as adultery although even then, I believe it is worth the battle if your spouse is repentant). Unfortunately, many couples go into marriage with an escape clause buried in the fine print. Yet Jesus said in Matthew 19:6 that the husband and wife are no longer two, but one flesh. Whatever God has joined together, let no one separate. Married is designed by God to be a forever covenant between two people until death.

So instead of asking "Should we stop fighting for our marriage?" ask "How can we fight for our marriage?" Don't allow your mind to give up when things get tough. The Apostle Paul addressed this in 1 Corinthians 7:28, "Those who marry will face many troubles in this life." Just because you're facing trouble doesn't mean your marriage is destined for failure.

These first two questions have been examples of what not to ask. However, there are good questions that are dangerous because the answers may be painful and uncomfortable to hear. These questions aren't meant to put down your spouse. They are meant to help you improve your marriage. These are dangerous questions I encourage you to ask if you dare:

Dangerous Question #3: How can I become more attractive to you?

I know it's a loaded question that can trigger many sensitive subjects. When my husband James grew a goatee, the answer to that question would have been very easy for me. Please shave it off. Looks are especially important to men as they are more visually oriented than women. In my book 31 Days to a Happy Husband, I quote Willard Harley about a husband's fundamental need for an attractive spouse:

By calling for a wife to be attractive, I mean she should take pains to look something like the woman her husband married. After all, that was the woman he fell in love with, not a movie star or some other fantasy. Does this mean a woman must stay eternally young? Of course not, but getting older provides no excuse for letting weight creep up and up, not fixing your hair, and dressing like a bag lady.

A wife may not worry about her husband's appearance as much, but it may be very attractive to her when he showers her with sincere compliments and listens to her heart.

Dangerous Question #4: What's it like to be married to me?

Is it a joy? Is it a chore? Author Linda Dillow asks this question in her book What's It Like to Be Married to Me? Although she's writing to wives, this advice from Linda applies to both men and women:

Too often we focus on all the things about our husbands that we don't like and wish we could change. You know what it is like to be married to your mate, but how often do you think about what it is like for him to be married to you? If you woke up tomorrow and discovered you were married to you, would you be delighted? Or would you be devastated?

Here's an idea for your next coffee date. Swap drinks and see life from your spouse's perspective for a few minutes. Ask the dangerous question, "What's it like to be married to me?"

Dangerous Question #5: What's one thing I can do this week to improve our marriage?

This is a dangerous question because if your spouse gives you something to do, you've pretty much committed yourself to try. It's easier not to ask for the feedback. My husband James read a menu once that had a fitting quote, "We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."

There are many dangerous questions in marriage. Some you must avoid; others you must embrace. What questions do you need to quit asking? What questions would bring you and your spouse closer together?

About The Author:

Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of 'Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World' and '31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife'. She has been a guest on the Today Show, Family Life Today, The 700 Club and Turning Point with David Jeremiah. Visit Arlene's website at

Source: Daily Update

Shaping the Next Generation
"He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?"
- Micah 6:8 ESV

"I will walk with integrity of heart within my house."
- Psalm 101:2b ESV

It was an innocent word, expressing anger and frustration - not really a cuss word, but inappropriate coming out of the mouth of my six year old. It was a word that adults use. Where did my child hear it? Of course, she learned it from me. That's when I realized that the word is inappropriate in my conversation, as well. Children learn from their parents and any other adult with whom they come into contact.

Not only Christians, but all parents have the crucial responsibility of shaping the next generation. And not only parents but all adults are examples that children are observing and imitating.

The words I use, the television programs I watch, interactions with friends and neighbors, my daily attitude – all of these things represent my character. This is the character that is shaping how my child sees life.

  • Am I secure in the care God has promised? Am I grateful for the blessings I have? Am I continually searching for material objects to improve my circumstances? (Matthew 6:25-34)
  • Do I truly love my neighbors? Do I go out of my way to be kind? What have I done recently, that helped someone else, even when it was not my responsibility? (Luke 10:27-37)
  • Am I forgiving? Do I forgive, even when there is no apparent remorse? (Colossians 4:13)
  • Do I believe that God's word is true? When discussing current affairs, do I search God's word for answers and defer to it even when I don't understand? (Proverbs 30:5, Colossians 2:8)

Are you a mother, father, grandmother or grandfather? Are you an aunt or uncle? Are you a friend or a neighbor? You have more impact on the future of the next generation than you know.

Being a constant example and bearing the responsibility for shaping a young life, is a tough road.

God knows that we are unable to walk the perfect Christian walk. We only have strength through Christ. We need prayer to keep in constant touch with the one who can guide our actions. We will falter. That's when we are able to show humility and honesty by asking for forgiveness and by admitting our mistakes to those children.

Begin each day with God's word. What can be learned from it and what changes might God want you to make.

Pray for God's guidance and strength in making changes.

Let's spur one another on toward love and good deeds. (Hebrews 10:23-25) Remember, little eyes are watching.

Source: MOSC

Career: Functions of A Leader - Encouragement
Read Acts 9:27.

Few functions a leader performs are more important than that of keeping hope alive. During those times in which others are lost in a dark and seemingly endless maze of despair, effective leaders will drive away the darkness with positive projections for the future. They'll infuse those around them with optimism regarding themselves, others and the future of the organization. They know when to draw alongside of someone. They sense whether a team member needs a quick admonition or a shoulder on which to cry.

No other New Testament character illustrates the ability to encourage more strongly than Barnabas, whose name means "Son of Encouragement." The disciples in Jerusalem were understandably afraid of Saul. Based upon his reputation for zealotry and cruelty, it's no wonder that they questioned the validity of his profession of faith in Christ. As a devout Pharisee, Saul had doggedly hunted down and persecuted followers of Jesus.

Due to this suspicion, it seemed that Saul's ministry would flounder before it ever got started. And that might have happened had not Barnabas stood in the gap beside Saul, leading him to the apostles and testifying concerning his conversion and subsequent ministry. Barnabas encouraged the apostles to bless Saul's ministry, and they responded favorably. Barnabas provided the timely support that Saul needed to launch his ministry.

Effective leaders, like Barnabas, sustain hope by offering words of support. Suppose for a moment that Barnabas had said nothing on Saul's behalf. What might have happened? In what ways did his actions demonstrate both love and courage? Think for a moment about how you can follow his example, whether with a family member, a coworker or a peer. A little bit of encouragement can go a long way toward motivating those around you.

Encouragement and Who God Is

Because God loves us, he is pleased to encourage us. And he does this more frequently than we might suppose. Encouragement was a key theme in the divinely inspired revelations of the prophets, since God lovingly sought to inspire his people to confidence and hope in him. Turn to Zechariah 2:6-13 for a classic example of a prophetic word of encouragement.

Encouragement and Who I Am

In the rough-and-tumble circumstances of life, we sometimes receive blows that leave us bleeding and gasping for breath. During such times we need reassurance from God and others so that we may remain faithful in "the good fight" of faith, fix our eyes on Jesus and finish the race. Turn to 1 Samuel 18:1-4 to consider the relationship of mutual encouragement between Jonathan and David.

Encouragement and How It Works

Paul's life in general, and his farewell address to the Ephesian elders in particular, give us some good insight into the mechanics of encouragement. Turn to Acts 20:13-38 and notice the genuine care and concern Paul manifests for the people whom he is addressing.

Encouragement and What I Do

Encouragement is to a team what wind is to a sail--it moves people forward. Like the ancient Hebrew Christians, we all need words of support. The former baseball great Dave Dravecky provides some guidance concerning how we can offer the best kind of encouragement. Turn to Hebrews 3:13 for today's reading.

This Week's Verse to Memorize: 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

Source: Bible-Inspired Leader

Inspiration: Tell Someone They're Valued
The students at Sandy's high school were badly shaken by the news that a classmate had killed himself. The suicide note said, "It's hard to live when nobody cares if you die."

Glen, a teacher, realized this was a teachable moment about the importance of making people feel valued. He asked the class to imagine they were about to die and to write a note "telling someone how and why you appreciate them."

Sandy, who had a rocky relationship with her mother, decided to write her mom. Her letter said,

"We've had some rough times and I haven't always been a very good daughter, but I know I'm lucky to have you in my life. You are the best person I've ever known. And even when I disagree with you, I never doubt you love me and want what's best for me. Thanks for not giving up on me."

When her mom read the note, she cried and hugged Sandy tightly but said little.

The next morning, Sandy found a note on her mirror.

"Dearest Sandy, I want you to know being your mother is, by far, the most important thing in my life. Until I got your note, I thought I had lost your love and respect. I felt like such a failure. I intended to end it all last night. Your note saved my life."

Be careful not to underestimate the power of expressed appreciation. It won't always save a life, but it will always make someone's life better.

Michael Josephson

A Modern Shepherd - What a 'Good Shepherd' Would Look Like Today
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."
- John 10:10

Some of the Bible's rural illustrations simply do not transfer easily into modern life. What is a good shepherd like? What did Jesus mean by the term?

A small drama that took place on the slopes of Washington's Mount Rainier may shed light on the waning of the "good shepherd." One Memorial Day weekend a Christian dentist named James Reddick was teaching his 12-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son the joy of mountain hiking. A sudden storm came up, battering them with hurricane-force winds and thick, wet sheets of snow. A riding "whiteout" made it impossible to see or move on the steep slopes.

Preparing to Die

Reddick laboriously dug an oblong trench with an aluminum mess kit, then tucked his children on sleeping bags away from the entrance. He covered the opening with a tarp, but it kept blowing away, exposing the trench to the swirling snow outside. Reddick found he had to lie directly across the opening, using his own weight to hold down the edges of the tarp. His body protected his son and daughter from the howling wind.

Two days passed before searchers finally noticed the corner of a backpack protruding from deep snow. They rushed to the site, hoping the snow-covered mound would contain the three missing hikers. Inside, they found Sharon and David Reddick, very much alive. But the stiff body of their father lay against one wall of the snow cave. He had "taken the cold spot," in one searcher's words, using his own back as the outer wall, an image something like that must have filled the minds of Jesus' listeners as he described a shepherd who "lays down his life" for his sheep (John 10:11). Nothing - not ravaging cold, thieves, wolves - would come between the good shepherd and his sheep. He would die for their protection.

As Jesus headed toward final tragedy in Jerusalem, the theme of death, his death, kept surfacing in his parables and direct statements. Ironically, his followers were growing in numbers. His popularity had reached a peak with the feeding of 5,000 people on a handful of morsels, a miracle mentioned by all four Gospel writers.

The ground swell of support to make Jesus king deeply impressed his followers. Jesus, however, escaped into the hills (John 6:15). He would not be a king on the crowd's terms. He continued on his real mission, stirring up controversy and hatred by healing people on the Sabbath and by proclaiming himself equal with God.

Aftermath of an Impressive Miracle

Many Jews came over to Jesus after one of his most impressive signs: bringing Lazarus back to life. But, simultaneously, religious leaders concluded callously that it was best for one man (Jesus) to die rather than upset the whole world (John 11:50). Four separate times they tried to seize him. Jesus came to offer "life" - one of those one-syllable words, swollen with meaning, that John described through his narrative. Lazarus received that life in an astonishingly literal way, providing another sign of Jesus' ultimate power. Jesus, though, made preparations to give up his own life, the ultimate sacrifice of the good shepherd.

Question: What have you sacrificed for the sake of another person?

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