Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from a Jacobite and Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Themes: Koodosh E'tho, Who Is (Was) Jesus?
Volume 7 No. 444 November 3, 2017

III. General Weekly Features

Health Tip: 5 Essential Self Checkups That Could Save Your Life

By Lynn Allison

There's nothing like the sense of relief that comes from a trouble-free annual checkup. But experts say that it's important to give your body a quick DIY diagnostic between checkups to ensure that your body is functioning optimally.

"Even if you see your doctor every year for a checkup, we believe that an annual exam is not nearly enough to stay healthy and prevent serious disease," Dr. Max Lebow, an emergency physician from Los Angeles who also serves on the board of the directors of Urgent Care Association of America, tells Newsmax Health.

"Maintaining good health and wellness requires continuous self-examination for potentially life-threatening disease processes that, if found early, can save your life. For example, 40 percent of all breast cancers are found by self-examination before they are picked up by a mammogram or by a physician's exam.

"The American Cancer Society and a number of other professional organizations advocate that we should all be doing self-examination of our own bodies and functions on a regular basis."

Here are some examples:

1. Skin check.

Examine your skin by running your eyes and fingers over the surface to detect any new growths or irregularities. You want to feel an even surface and no changes in your skin's appearance. Pay particular attention to your face, ears, scalp neck, and back.

Ask your spouse or partner to help you check the backside of your body or use a mirror. If the skin appears rough in a small patch, you may have actinic keratosis which needs to examined because it can turn into skin cancer. Likewise, any shiny pink or brown bump with a raised border that suddenly appears could signal basal cell carcinoma, the most common skin cancer.

A growth with uneven borders or color or that is larger than a pencil eraser needs to be looked at by a dermatologist.

2. Eye check.

You want to look yourself in the eye and see firm eyelids, even lashes, and no swelling or redness. If the lower lid appears to be drooping, it can lead to corneal damage and should be treated.

Any irregularities, such as a bump that suddenly appears, should be checked out. Missing lashes could be a sign of a thyroid condition or an allergic reaction.

3. Balance check.

The importance of having good balance cannot be overestimated. It's the key to all functional movement: it helps your postural equilibrium, musculature, joint dynamics and neuromuscular stability.

Unfortunately we tend to lose our ability to balance as we age and this can lead to potentially dangerous falls. Stand on a flat, nonslip surface with your arms folded across your chest. Now raise one leg a few inches off the floor.

Try to hold your balance for 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg. Repeat the test again with your eyes closed. Scientists say that people who can hold their balance on one leg with their eyes closed have lower rates of mortality than those who cannot. If you have a difficult time performing this task, consult with your doctor about improving your overall health and fitness.

Physical therapists can give your balance exercises to practice.

4. Heart check.

Place two fingers on the side of your windpipe. Count the beats for 15 seconds, then multiply by four to get the beats per minutes or bpm. A healthy range is between 60 to 100 beats per minute.

If your heart rate is soaring over 100 beats per minute, consult with your doctor. A rapid heart rate, or tachycardia, may be caused by a number of issues including stress, alcohol abuse, or cardiac issues.

5. Hair check.

Most people start to lose their hair in their 50s, which is normal, and usually due to genetics and hormonal changes rather than poor nutrition or some other factor.

Sometimes certain medications or sudden weight loss can trigger hair loss or hair thinning in individuals. But if you start to see dramatic hair loss in the shower drain or on your hair brush, this may be caused by an underlying condition such as anemia.

"There's perhaps no better investment in preventative health maintenance than the few minutes it takes to perform self-examinations," says Lebow. "The payoff could be many more years of good health and it could save your life."

© 2017 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

Family Special:
10-Day Communication Challenge for Married Couples
Editor's Note:

The 10-Day Communication Challenge is a series of short devotionals to help husbands and wives become more effective in how they communicate with each other. It is a 10 part series.

Day 1, featured in MWJ Issue 437, covered 'Differing Assumptions'.
Day 2, featured in MWJ Issue 438, covered 'The Line of Respect'.
Day 3, featured in MWJ Issue 439, covered 'After the Fight'.
Day 4, featured in MWJ Issue 440, covered 'I Choose to Forgive'.
Day 5, featured in MWJ Issue 441, covered 'A Wife's Countenance'.
Day 6: featured in MWJ Issue 442, covered 'Believe in Him'.
Day 7: featured in MWJ Issue 443, covered 'The World's Most Opposite Couple'.

In this issue, we will cover Day 8 of the series. There is also a bonus article related to the topic.

Day 9 of the series will be covered next week.

Day 8: Too Much Honesty

By Dr. James Dobson

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:6)

Most marriage counselors emphasize communication as a foundation for a healthy relationship: Nothing should be withheld from the marital partner. There is wisdom in that advice, provided it's applied with common sense. It may be honest for a man to tell his wife that he hates her fat legs, her varicose veins, or the way she cooks. It's honest for a woman to dump her anger on her husband and constantly berate him for his shortcomings and failures. But honesty that does not have the best interest of the other person at heart is really a cruel form of selfishness.

Some couples, in their determination to share every thought and opinion, systematically destroy the sweet spark of romance that once drew them together. They've lost any sense of mystique in the relationship.

So how does one express intimate feelings while avoiding too much honesty? Paul's advice to all Christians works especially well for married partners: "Let your conversation be always full of grace."

Just between us...

• Am I sometimes so honest with you that my words are hurtful?
• Do you think there should be exceptions to telling "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" in marriage?
• We know that God honors truthfulness, so how do we apply this to marital communication?
• In what areas could we use more honesty and in what areas, more grace?
• BONUS: Do You Enjoy Teasing Your Spouse? (Not All Fun and Games)

Pray these words together:

Heavenly Father, we know that truthfulness is Your will for our lives–but please give us the wisdom to know when to speak the truth and when to keep it to ourselves. Amen.

Copyright ©2017 Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk All Rights Reserved

Family Special: Do You Enjoy Teasing Your Spouse?
(Not All Fun and Games)

By Dr. James Dobson

Do you enjoy teasing your husband or wife? When you're with friends, do you occasionally reveal an embarrassing secret about him or her?

One key to building trust is to take great care not to hurt or embarrass those we love. Some information is private and should remain so. For one partner to reveal family secrets indiscriminately or to verbalize barely concealed put-downs breaks the couple's bond of loyalty and violates trust.

If you have ever been to a party and watched someone play "Assassinate the Spouse," you know what I mean. The objective is simple: A contestant attempts to punish his mate by ridiculing her in front of their friends. If he wants to be especially vicious, he lets the guests know he thinks she is dumb and ugly. It's a brutal game with no winners. The contest ends when his wife is totally divested of self-respect and dignity; he gets bonus points if he can reduce her to tears.

Sound cruel? It is, even when it's carried out under the guise of joking or teasing. It's never enjoyable to watch someone take out anger against his (or her) mate in this way. We're most sensitive to the comments of our mates in the presence of our peers. This is a word game that should never be played.

Also beware of another type of charade: using your "sharing" with your spouse to create insecurity and gain power over him or her. I know of a handsome young company president who told his wife every day about the single women at the office who flirted with him. His candor was admirable, but by not also stressing his commitment to his wife, he was saying (consciously or not): "You'd better treat me right because there are plenty of women out there just waiting to get their hands on me." His wife began to fret about how she could hang onto her husband.

He should have reflected on his real motives for alarming his wife. Did this kind of sharing nurture or injure his friendship and trust with her? And she could have helped redirect the conversations by pointing out to her husband - in a calm, non-threatening manner - how his words made her feel.

Source: 5 Essentials of Lifelong Intimacy by Dr. James C. Dobson

About The Author:

Dr. Dobson is the Founder and President of Family Talk. He is the author of more than 30 books dedicated to the preservation of the family, including The New Dare to Discipline; Love for a Lifetime; Life on the Edge; Love Must Be Tough; The New Strong-Willed Child; When God Doesn't Make Sense; Bringing Up Boys; Marriage Under Fire; Bringing Up Girls; and, most recently, Head Over Heels. Dr. Dobson served as an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine for 14 years and on the attending staff of Children's Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years. ...

Copyright ©2017 Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk All Rights Reserved

Christian Life: Where Is God?


"Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
-  Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NIV)

I'm asked lots of questions when I meet people at conferences.

Practical questions …

"How did you get started speaking and writing?"

Heart-wrenching questions …

"How did you forgive those who hurt you so much?"

Hard questions …

"Why would God let this happen?"

Honest questions …

"How can I find God, and connect with Him in the midst of my everyday life?"

It's that last question that compels me to do what I do every day. It's what brings me to sit at the computer and tangle with words and truths and vulnerable admissions. It's what compels me to split my heart wide open and let people see the not-so-great stuff about me, mixed with the gracious goodness of God.

Because if I can help a soul find an authentic, honest way to connect with God, all the other questions will settle down a bit. Wait more patiently. Maybe decide it's okay if they go unanswered.

Connection with God is such a deeply personal and uniquely individual process. Surely it can't be reduced to three points and a poem. But there are two words that stir me. Move me. Show me. Propel me. Two words I hear Jesus saying over and over: "'Follow Me" (Matthew 4:19a, HCSB).

Tucked within these two words, three syllables, 8 letters is the wild secret of a deep connection with God.

If we want to know God, we have to abide in Him.

How do we abide in Him?

  • Follow His instructions.
  • Follow His heart.
  • Follow His example.

Not just follow along as we mindlessly repeat the words of the Jesus songs and scribble some notes during the pastor's sermon.


Really follow. Follow hard. Follow passionately. Follow fully. Follow with engaged minds and willing hearts and open hands and ready feet.

And where can we start this kind of all-out following?

By asking God to let us see Him.

When we pray, we invite the divine presence of the Almighty God to do life with us that day. Watch for Him. Look for Him. Make the connection of things that happen as direct evidence of His hand at work.

In us. Around us. In spite of us.

Ask Him to help you see His activity as you seek to follow more fully. And He will.

Rest assured God isn't trying to hide from us. He is waiting to be seen by us.

"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me and find me when you seek me with all your heart"
(Jeremiah 29:12-13).

Father God, oh how my heart longs for an ever-deepening connection with You. Thank You that You aren't hiding from me. Thank You that Your heart isn't to frustrate me or confuse me. You respond to my seeking. You draw near to me when I draw near to You. Teach me what it means to follow hard after You. And open my eyes to see You as I've never seen You before. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Psalm 91:15, "He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him." (NIV)

James 4:8a, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." (NKJV)


Part of abiding in God is choosing to actively follow His lead. After you spend some time in God's Word today, ask Him to show you one step you can take to follow His instructions and His example in your everyday life.

Prayerfully ask God to help you see Him at work today. Watch for Him throughout your day and then take time to journal before you go to bed. Documenting God's faithful presence in our lives is always a blessing!

© 2016 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Source: Encouragement for Today - Proverbs 31 Ministries

Christian Life: Living a Fulfilled Life

by Dr. John MacArthur

"Fear God and keep His commandments" (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Living life apart from God is futile.

The Book of Ecclesiastes is greatly misunderstood. It is a difficult book to read simply because it is hard to understand. Everything in it appears wrong and as if it doesn't fit with the rest of Scripture. But it is part of the Old Testament wisdom literature because it is a statement of human wisdom. Ecclesiastes tells us how man perceives his world, God, and the realities of life.

Most scholars believe Ecclesiastes was penned by Solomon. They debate whether he wrote it before he was a true believer or after. He may have written it in retrospect, or he may have penned it sometime before he had a full understanding of the life-changing truth of God.

Ecclesiastes is a fascinating book because it reveals the folly, uselessness, senselessness, and frustration of human wisdom - that which James calls "earthly, natural, demonic" (James 3:15). In Ecclesiastes 1:16 Solomon says to himself, "Behold, I have magnified and increased wisdom more than all who were over Jerusalem before me." That verse shows me that when God initially gave Solomon wisdom, He gave it to him on a human level. He gave Solomon wisdom to make successful decisions and judgments as king. But although divine wisdom was available to him, I believe Solomon opted for human wisdom the greater portion of his life. And that wisdom was never able to answer his ultimate questions.

The sum of Solomon's perspective on human wisdom is in Ecclesiastes 4:23: "I congratulated the dead who are already dead more than the living who are still living. But better off than both of them is the one who has never existed." That's a death wish and is the logical end of worldly wisdom - futility.

Fortunately, Solomon did eventually embrace true wisdom. At the end of his book, he said, "The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person" (12:13). What then can satisfy your heart and make life worth living? The wisdom of God alone.

Suggestions for Prayer

Ask God to help you follow His ways for a blessed and fulfilled life.

For Further Study

Read Proverbs 3:13-26, noting how the benefits of true wisdom are in contrast to what Solomon experienced.

Source: Grace to

God Should Come First
"In his youth Abba John the Eunuch questioned an old man,

'How have you been able to carry out the work of God in peace? For we cannot do it, not even with labor.'

The old man said,

'We were able to do it, because we considered the work of God to be primary, and bodily needs to be subsidiary. But you hold bodily necessities to be primary and the work of God to be secondary. That is why you labor.

That is why the Savior said to the disciples,

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."'
(Matt. 6.33)"

From the Desert Fathers.

"Hear my prayer, O Lord, And give ear to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears; For I am a stranger with You, A sojourner, as all my fathers were."
- Psalm 39:12


Malankara World Journal is published by
Copyright © 2011-2019 Malankara World. All Rights Reserved.