Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from a Jacobite and Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Themes: Freedom, St. Thomas, Unpardonable Sin, 7th Sunday After Pentecost
Volume 8 No. 488 July 4, 2018

V. General Weekly Features

Health Tip: MD Anderson Doctor Reflects on His Male Breast Cancer Journey

By Dr. Oliver Bogler

He now has a dual role at the hospital: employee and patient.

Oliver Bogler, Ph.D., is senior vice president of Academic Affairs and professor of neurosurgery research at MD Anderson. He was diagnosed with male breast cancer in Sept. 2012. Five years earlier, his wife, Irene Newsham, Ph.D., was diagnosed with breast cancer. This is the second post in an ongoing series.

I'm about halfway through chemotherapy for my male breast cancer. These past few weeks have opened up an entirely new view for me on MD Anderson.

As I mentioned in my last post, my wife and I relocated to Houston to work at MD Anderson about eight years ago. And, although I got a view when Irene was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2007, it's not until I became a patient here that I really got to see how amazing this place is.

Wearing both an employee badge and a patient bracelet gives me a dual perspective. Moving through familiar areas of the institution on my way to a medical appointment, it's easy to forget that I'm not going to a meeting or seminar, but am instead about to change roles entirely by becoming a patient.

And then, of course, being a researcher and administrator, I now see many clinical areas that are new to me as a male breast cancer patient. But the doctors I meet there are, in many instances, familiar colleagues. It's an odd mixture of feeling both at home and a stranger, all at the same time.

Discovering a new appreciation for multi-disciplinary care

On my journey, I've discovered several things.

One is how truly large the clinical team that delivers care is. I wish to thank here those colleagues and co-workers who've been part of this large team that is providing my care, and the many more who will, as I move to surgery and radiation therapy.

We talk about how central multi-disciplinary care is to the ways we treat cancer at MD Anderson, but now that I am experiencing it as a male breast cancer patient, I have a new appreciation for it. Just on a routine chemo day I encounter at least a half-dozen people who book me, take blood, take my vitals and administer and check the chemo.

Then, there are the many physicians whose experience and input shape my male breast cancer care plan. I like looking through the numerous clinical reports on myMDAnderson and reading the names of the doctors who have been involved in my care.

Of course, I have regular checkups with Sharon Giordano, M.D., my oncologist. I also have consulted with Kelly Hunt, M.D., who will do my surgery, and have had the chance to meet with doctors who've taken biopsies, including Dr. Wei Yang and Sanjay Gupta, M.D., Steve Sherman, M.D., helped me with a finding in my thyroid.

Then there are many doctors who I will not meet in the course of my care, as they work behind the scenes, reading imaging, assessing test results and considering the slides of lymph node biopsies or tumor sections. Gregg Staerkel, M.D., has read several of my cytology preps and Fraser Symmans, M.D. , has assessed the tumor biopsies, to name just two of the many doctors I see on my reports.

Of course, even those colleagues not involved in my care are familiar with cancer through their work and know the challenges it poses, and I feel I benefit from this, too.

Experiencing extraordinary support from MD Anderson staff

I've always felt the strong sense of mission wherever I go at MD Anderson, whether it's in the clinics, the labs or the offices of the many support staff.

I can't help but feel that this sense of mission also translates into the support I have felt from so many of them, which has been truly extraordinary. It reaches me in email messages and cards, and in the many brief encounters during a working day, when people ask me how I am doing, with a look or tone that tells me they are not just saying hello. There have also been some wonderfully thoughtful gestures of support from friends, all of them truly appreciated and often coming when they're most needed.

Finding solidarity among my colleagues

But one of the most interesting things about the last few weeks has been learning that it's not that unusual to be wearing both a bracelet and a badge. There are quite a few of us. Of course, when you consider that there are over 19,000 people who work at MD Anderson, statistics suggest that there must be several hundred of us who are also patients and survivors, and many thousands who are family and friends of patients and survivors.

What has been interesting is that many of my colleagues have declared solidarity by simply letting me know that they too are fighting cancer personally. Sometimes in a hallway or an elevator or at a seminar in the few minutes before the talk begins, someone has shared his or her own journey with me, and it has been very comforting to know that we have this in common.

I trade emails with a small number of friends who are also in the early stage of their treatment of their recently diagnosed or recurred cancer. As I travel my own road, it is good to have guides along the way and companions alongside. It's good to be understood and not to be alone.

Copyright 2012 Ragan Communications, Inc.

Recipe: Beef Cutlet

Beef Cutlet
ബീഫ് കട്‌ലറ്റ്

By :Indu Jaison


1. ബീഫ് - 1കപ്പ്
കുരുമുളക്‌പൊടി - അര ടീസ്പൂണ്‍
ഗരം‌മസാല - അര ടീസ്പൂണ്‍
ഉപ്പ് - ആവശ്യത്തിന്
2. എണ്ണ - 1 റ്റീസ്പൂണ്‍
3. സവാള - 1
പച്ചമുളക് - 3
ഇഞ്ചി - 1ടീസ്പൂണ്‍
വെളുത്തുള്ളി - 1ടീസ്പൂണ്‍
4. ഉരുളകിഴങ്ങ്(പുഴുങ്ങി പൊടിച്ചത്) -ഒന്ന് വലുത്
6. എണ്ണ - വറുക്കാന്‍ ആവശ്യത്തിന്
8 കറിവേപ്പില - 1തണ്ട്
9. കോഴിമുട്ട(അടിച്ച് പതപ്പിച്ചത്) - 1
10. കോട്ടിംഗിന് ആവശ്യമായ റെസ്ക്ക്പൊടി

പാകം ചെയ്യുന്ന വിധം

ബീഫ് കുരുമുളക് പൊടി, ഗരം മസാല, ഉപ്പ് എന്നിവ ചേര്ത്ത് വേവിച്ച് മിക്സിയില്‍ അടിച്ചെടുക്കുക. പാന്‍ അടുപ്പില്‍ വെച്ച് ചൂടാകുമ്പോള്‍ 1 റ്റീസ്പൂണ്‍ എണ്ണയൊഴിച്ച്, ചെറുതായി അരിഞ്ഞ സവാള,പച്ചമുളക്,ഇഞ്ചി,വെളുത്തുള്ളി,കറിവേപ്പില എന്നിവ നന്നായി വഴറ്റുക. നന്നായി വഴന്ന് കഴിയുമ്പോള്‍ തയ്യാറാക്കി വെച്ചിരിക്കുന്ന ബീഫും അല്പം ഉപ്പും ചേര്ക്കു ക.നന്നായി ഇളക്കി ഇറച്ചിയിലെ വെള്ളം ഇല്ലാതാകുമ്പോള്‍ വേവിച്ച് വെച്ച ഉരുളക്കിഴങ്ങ് ചേര്ത്ത് എല്ലാം കൂടി നന്നായി മിക്സ് ചെയ്തിട്ട് തീ അണക്കുക.

ഈ കൂട്ട് ചെറിയ ഉരുളകളാക്കി മുട്ടയില്‍ മുക്കി പിന്നെ റെസ്ക് പൊടിയിലും മുക്കി എണ്ണയില്‍ ഇട്ട് വറുത്തെടുക്കാം.

Source: ammachiyude adukkala

Family Special: Six Essentials For Greater Intimacy That Every Husband Needs To Know

By Dr. James Dobson

1. The romantic element is doubly or triply important as a prelude to intercourse. If a husband is too busy to be civil, then he should not expect his wife to exhibit any unusual desire or enjoyment in bed. She may satisfy his needs as an act of love and kindness, but her passion will not steam up their bedroom windows. For the woman represented by the "inhibited" zone on our normal distribution graph, a feeling of being loved and appreciated is usually the only route to excitation. This fact undoubtedly explains the remarkably high correlation on our questionnaire between Sexual Problems and Lack of Romantic Love in Marriage. Almost without exception, when one was rated near the top, the other was ranked similarly.

2. A husband should recognize that some women do not have to experience orgasms in order to enjoy intercourse. Many wives can participate fully in sexual relations and feel satisfied at the conclusion even though there is no convulsing, ecstatic climax to the episode. (Other, more sensual women feel tremendous frustration if the tension and the vascular engorgement are not discharged.) The important thing is that the husband not demand that his wife experience orgasms, and he should certainly not insist that they occur simultaneously with his. To do this is to ask for the impossible, and it puts his wife in an unresolvable conflict. When the husband insists that his wife's orgasms be part of his enjoyment, she has but three choices: (1) She can lose interests in sex altogether, as happens with constant failure in any activity; (2) she can try and try and try--and cry; or (3) she can "fake" it. Once a woman begins to bluff in bed, there is no place to stop. Forever after she must make her husband think she's on a prolonged pleasure trip, when in fact her car is still in the garage.

3. Perhaps the most dramatic contribution a husband can make to marital sexual relationships is to reverse the trend toward pressurized silence. When intercourse has been unenthusiastic, and when anxiety has been steadily accumulating, the tendency is to eliminate all reference to the topic in everyday conversation. Neither partner knows what to do about the problem, and they tacitly agree to ignore it. Even during sexual relations, they do not talk to each other. When conversation is prohibited on the subject of sex, the act of intercourse takes on the atmosphere of a "performance"--each partner feeling that he is being critically evaluated by the other. To remove these communicative barriers, the husband should take the lead in releasing the safety valve for his wife. That is done by getting her to verbalize her feelings, her fears, her aspirations. They should talk about the manners and techniques which stimulate--and those which don't. They should face their problems as mature adults...calmly and confidently. There is something magical to be found in such soothing conversation and anxieties are reduced when they find verbal expression. To the men of the world, I can only say, "Try it."

4. The way husbands can increase the sensuality of their less passionate wives is by paying attention to the geography and techniques of intercourse. Women are more easily distracted than men; they are more affected by the surroundings and noises and smells than are their husbands. The possibility of being heard by the kids bothers women more, and they are more dependent on variety in manner and circumstances. Another rather common inhibitor to women, according to the concerns verbalized in counseling sessions, is the lack of cleanliness by their husbands. A service station operator or a construction worker may become sexually aroused by something he has seen or read during the day, causing him to desire intercourse with his wife as soon as he arrives home from his job. He may be sweaty and grimy from the day's work, smelling of body odor and needing to use some Crest on his teeth. Not only are his fingernails dirty, but his rough calloused hands are irritating to his wife's delicate skin. An interference such as this can paralyze a woman sexually, and make her husband feel rejected and angry.

5. Another sexual "inhibitor" which husbands should understand is fatigue itself. Physical exhaustion plays a significant part in some women's ability (or inability) to respond sexually. By the time a mother has struggles through an eighteen-hour day--especially if she has been chasing an ambitions toddler or two--her internal pilot light may have flickered and gone out. Someone said, "By the time I tuck the kids in, put the cat out, and take the telephone receiver off...who cares?" It's a very valid question.

When she finally falls into bed, sex represents an obligation rather than a pleasure. It is the last item on her "to do" list for that day. Meaningful sexual relations utilize great quantities of body energy and are seriously hampered when those resources have already been expended. Nevertheless, intercourse is usually scheduled as the final event in an evening.

6. Finally, we should spend a moment or two discussing the relationship between self-esteem and sexual enjoyment. I said in the beginning that every item on the Sources of Depression list is related to every other issue. That fact is certainly evident in the connection between self-worth and the ability to respond to sexual stimuli. A woman who feels ugly, for example, is often too ashamed of her imperfect body to participate in sex without embarrassment. She knows it is impossible to disguise forty-year-old thighs, and her flaws interfere with her sensuality. Sex for human beings is inseparably connected with our psychological nature. Hence, the person who feels shy and timid and inferior will usually express his sexuality in similar terms, or on the other hand, the self-confident, emotionally healthy individual is more likely to have a fulfilling sex life. Therefore, a husband should recognize that anything which reduces his wife's self-esteem will probably be translated into bedroom problems. His ridicule of her small breasts or varicose veins or large buttocks, even in fun, may make her self-conscious and uncomfortable during future sexual encounters. Any disrespect which he reveals for her as a person is almost certain to crop up in their physical relationship, as well. In this regard, our sexual behavior differs radically from the mechanistic responses of lower animals. The emotional concomitants simply cannot be denied or suppressed in human beings.

From Dr. Dobson's book: What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women

About The Author:

Dr. James Dobson 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. He has been active in governmental affairs and has advised three U.S. presidents on family matters. ...

The Family is The Great Blessing, The Great Gift of God

by Pope Francis

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Dear Families,

First of all, I want to thank the families who were willing to share their life stories with us. Thank you for your witness! It is always a gift to listen to families share their life experiences; it touches our hearts. We feel that they speak to us about things that are very personal and unique, which in some way involve all of us. In listening to their experiences, we can feel ourselves drawn in, challenged as married couples and parents, as children, brothers and sisters, and grandparents.

As I was listening, I was thinking how important it is for us to share our home life and to help one another in this marvelous and challenging task of "being a family".

Being with you makes me think of one of the most beautiful mysteries of our Christian faith. God did not want to come into the world other than through a family. God did not want to draw near to humanity other than through a home. God did not want any other name for himself than Emmanuel (cf. Mt 1:23). He is "God with us". This was his desire from the beginning, his purpose, his constant effort: to say to us: "I am God with you, I am God for you". He is the God who from the very beginning of creation said: "It is not good for man to be alone" (Gen 2:18). We can add: it is not good for woman to be alone, it is not good for children, the elderly or the young to be alone. It is not good. That is why a man leaves his father and mother, and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one flesh (cf. Gen 2:24). The two are meant to be a home, a family.

From time immemorial, in the depths of our heart, we have heard those powerful words: it is not good for you to be alone. The family is the great blessing, the great gift of this "God with us", who did not want to abandon us to the solitude of a life without others, without challenges, without a home.

God does not dream by himself, he tries to do everything "with us". His dream constantly comes true in the dreams of many couples who work to make their life that of a family.

That is why the family is the living symbol of the loving plan of which the Father once dreamed. To want to form a family is to resolve to be a part of God’s dream, to choose to dream with him, to want to build with him, to join him in this saga of building a world where no one will feel alone, unwanted or homeless.

As Christians, we appreciate the beauty of the family and of family life as the place where we come to learn the meaning and value of human relationships. We learn that "to love someone is not just a strong feeling – it is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise" (Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving). We learn to stake everything on another person, and we learn that it is worth it.

Jesus was not a confirmed bachelor, far from it! He took the Church as his bride, and made her a people of his own. He laid down his life for those he loved, so that his bride, the Church, could always know that he is God with us, his people, his family. We cannot understand Christ without his Church, just as we cannot understand the Church without her spouse, Christ Jesus, who gave his life out of love, and who makes us see that it is worth the price.

Laying down one’s life out of love is not easy. As with the Master, "staking everything" can sometimes involve the cross. Times when everything seems uphill. I think of all those parents, all those families who lack employment or workers’ rights, and how this is a true cross. How many sacrifices they make to earn their daily bread! It is understandable that, when these parents return home, they are so weary that they cannot give their best to their children.

I think of all those families which lack housing or live in overcrowded conditions. Families which lack the basics to be able to build bonds of closeness, security and protection from troubles of any kind.

I think of all those families which lack access to basic health services. Families which, when faced with medical problems, especially those of their younger or older members, are dependent on a system which fails to meet their needs, is insensitive to their pain, and forces them to make great sacrifices to receive adequate treatment.

We cannot call any society healthy when it does not leave real room for family life. We cannot think that a society has a future when it fails to pass laws capable of protecting families and ensuring their basic needs, especially those of families just starting out. How many problems would be solved if our societies protected families and provided households, especially those of recently married couples, with the possibility of dignified work, housing and healthcare services to accompany them throughout life.

God’s dream does not change; it remains intact and it invites us to work for a society which supports families. A society where bread, "fruit of the earth and the work of human hands" continues to be put on the table of every home, to nourish the hope of its children.

Let us help one another to make it possible to "stake everything on love". Let us help one another at times of difficulty and lighten each other’s burdens. Let us support one another. Let us be families which are a support for other families.

Perfect families do not exist. This must not discourage us. Quite the opposite. Love is something we learn; love is something we live; love grows as it is "forged" by the concrete situations which each particular family experiences. Love is born and constantly develops amid lights and shadows. Love can flourish in men and women who try not to make conflict the last word, but rather a new opportunity. An opportunity to seek help, an opportunity to question how we need to improve, an opportunity to discover the God who is with us and never abandons us. This is a great legacy that we can give to our children, a very good lesson: we make mistakes, yes; we have problems, yes. But we know that that is not really what counts. We know that mistakes, problems and conflicts are an opportunity to draw closer to others, to draw closer to God.

This evening we have come together to pray, to pray as a family, to make our homes the joyful face of the Church. To meet that God who did not want to come into our world in any other way than through a family. To meet "God with us", the God who is always in our midst.

Source: From a Vatican translation of the text that Pope Francis had prepared for the Festival of Families at the World Meeting of Families. He left aside this text and spoke off-the-cuff.

5 Questions Leaders Ask Themselves

by John O'Leary

"The questions we ask ourselves determine the type of people we will become."
- Leo Bebauta

Have you ever had an ordinary experience that resulted in extraordinary insight on life?

Perhaps while you were sitting in traffic, cleaning the kitchen or grocery shopping, wisdom shined through and opened your eyes in some amazing way.

I enjoyed that type of experience recently in the basement of JFK airport. After an overnight flight from Dubai, I groggily approached the customs officer. I smiled at the attendant and asked him how he was. He must not have heard me because he responded, "passport and declaration."

Handing him these documents, I waited anxiously. Even though I have nothing to hide, I always get nervous when I see a police officer in my rear mirror, get mail from the IRS and when speaking to border agents! He scanned the documents, looked me in the eye and asked me five questions to learn about me, why I'd been travelling and to allow me back into the country.

In answering - I realized the value in answering these questions each day. Not as travellers, but as leaders, business owners, employees, teachers, parents, and neighbors. I think these five questions give such clarity to our walk as leaders, that I built my LAUNCH Leadership conference around them.

1. Who are you?

He looked me in the eyes and asked: Name? I responded John O'Leary. I got it right of course, but before we so quickly move on, think for a moment about the great value of this question in your life. Who are you, really? What are your roles and responsibilities? What are your skills and talents? What are your fears and regrets? What's your story? What are the experiences from your past that shape you perfectly into who you are today? What's your personal brand and differentiator? It is impossible to live up to the fullness of our potential individually and organizationally unless we embrace who we are.

2. Where are you going?

Next, the agent wanted to know the destination of my travel. Related to our journey in life, it is critically important that we know where we are going in life. What are your goals financially? Where are you striving for relationally, spiritually, physically and professionally? As an organization, what is your big goal and how will your team know they achieved it? Individuals and organizations that have written goals are significantly more successful than those who don't…so don't just share with "the agent," write your goals down.

3. Why are you going there?

After telling him that I was going to St. Louis, MO, he wanted to know why I was going there. Friends, in life we should slow down and ask ourselves this question frequently: in our race from one thing to the next, how often do we stop to ask ourselves WHY we are moving there? Must we keep up this insane pace? We have grades we are striving for, projects to do at work, friends to see on weekends, obligations to accomplish from church, scouts and in our neighborhoods…but it's incredibly important to take time to stop and ask the question: WHY? Improve sales by 11% in '14: Why? Wash our hands after every patient visit: Why? Pass on the deep-fried Twinkees at lunch: Why? 97% Customer satisfaction: Why? Great marriage: Why? Healthy, well-adjusted kids: Why? Lose 25 pounds: Why? Don't just set goals, deepen them by asking "Why?"

4. Who is traveling with you?

The man who knew no joy continued to stare menacingly at me. He seemed completely unimpressed and angry he'd not yet stumped me when he came to his fourth question: Who is traveling with you? Were there family members, business acquaintances, spouses or children? On the document, there was actually a place to write them down. Although no one was with me for that trip, the value in reflecting on this questions is that we realize we can't do life in a vacuum. To be truly successful and to sustain it in every aspect of life, we need others to share life with. Our work teams, customers, families, neighbors and chance encounters with strangers help make up the real stuff of life. Who are you journeying through life with?

5. How are you going to get there?

He managed the hint of a smile handing me back my paperwork, told me to get my bags at luggage claim and asked his final question: Do you know how to get there? He pointed at the sign with the arrow and then yelled "Next!"

In life, we often need more than a simple sign with an arrow on it. Do you have the strategy, the bandwidth, the know-how, the network and the commitment to get to where you want to go? Do you have an accountability partner to assist when you make a wrong turn (and we all make wrong turns)? Do you have a daily commitment to stretch yourself to be better today than yesterday? The other questions are vital, but this final one is how we actually take our life from the basement of JFK and take flight into the possibility of life.

This time of year, many people are planning their summer trips. I encourage you to invest the worthy time not just selecting where you want to spend 6 days in July, but to consider the questions that frees you not only to come back into the country, but to launch you toward the possibility of your life.

What do you think about these five questions? How will they shape you into who you become? Share in the comments on my blog.

The best is yet to come,

John O'Leary

Copyright © 2014 Rising Above, All rights reserved.

God-Centered Teamwork

by John MacArthur

"He who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow-workers"
(1 Corinthians 3:8-9).

Humble teamwork in ministry gives God all the glory and promotes humility.

Paul's agricultural illustration of planting and watering makes it clear that the ministry works best in a team concept and that all credit for results must go to God. Paul (the one planting) and Apollos (the one watering) had done their God-appointed work faithfully and well, but they had to wait on the Lord for whatever was accomplished.

Paul mentions just two kinds of ministry in today's passage: planting the seed of the gospel by evangelism and watering it by further teaching. However, the apostle's point applies to every kind of ministry you might engage in. You might be tempted to think that your ministry is glamorous or significant and that everything revolves around your efforts. Or you could be envious of another believer who has a more public ministry than you. But all God's work is important, and Paul is reminding us that whatever work He has called us to is the most important ministry we can have.

First Corinthians 3 also reminds us that all believers who minister are one in the Body of Christ. If you recognize and accept this fact, it is a sure guarantee that humility will be present as you serve God. Humility simply leaves no place for fleshly competitiveness or selfish jealousy toward other Christians.

God will be certain to recognize your individual, faithful work - "according to [your] own labor" - in His day of rewards. But Jesus also taught His disciples and us the parable of the laborers in the vineyard (Matt. 20:1-16) to keep our perspectives balanced regarding the corporate nature of ministry in God's kingdom. None of us should look with pride at our own service and see ourselves as deserving more reward than someone who worked less time or in a less prominent position. It is not our ministry, any more than it was Paul's or Apollo's. It is God's, and all the glory goes to Him, not us.

Suggestions for Prayer

Pray that God would give you a greater sense of humble gratitude for whatever type of ministry opportunity you have.

For Further Study

Compare Matthew 19:27-30 with 20:1-16.

Why could the disciples have been tempted to feel superior? What does the landowner's behavior in the parable suggest about the character of God?

Source: Grace to


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