Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from a Jacobite and Orthodox Perspective

Malankara World Journal
Penta Centum Souvenir Edition
Volume 8 No. 500 October 14, 2018


Chapter - 27: Inspirational

Her Life's Sacrifice by Paul Ernest

I can only imagine one of a mother's worst fears is discovering she has cancer just months after the happy news she carrying her firstborn child. ..

A Better Way to Run the Race By Sandy Montgomery

Are you driven by what's pursuing you or by what you're pursuing? ..

The Ultimate Sacrifice by Greg Laurie

I heard a true story about a man who operated a drawbridge.

Anything and Everything by Shawn McEvoy

My children, at ages five and three, knew my weakness. They recognized that it's not ice cream, baseball, or their mom's chili... or even a hug or puppy-dog eyes from them. See, none of the above make me cry. Yes, my children have seen their father cry. ...

Paying the Debt by Brennan Manning

A story is told about Fiorello LaGuardia, the beloved mayor of New York City during the worst days of the Great Depression. ...

Last Words

Manohar Parrikar

Inspiring Words from a Cancer Victim...

An Irish Ghost Story

This story happened a while ago in Dublin, and even though it sounds like an Alfred Hitchcock tale, it's true. ...

Chapter - 27: Inspirational

Her Life's Sacrifice

by Paul Ernest

I can only imagine one of a mother's worst fears is discovering she has cancer just months after the happy news she carrying her firstborn child. That is the story of my mother, Karen Ernest Lyons. Shortly after my birth she started her battle, cutting her hair and beginning radiation treatments. When I was six months old on Thanksgiving day she learned that shortly after her husband Paul Lyons Sr. left her parents house to visit his own he was struck by a drunk driver and killed instantly. Just two months later my mother and I would also say our goodbyes as the cancer had spread beyond cure. She went to be with her husband once again.

Karen's parents, my grandparents adopted me, raising me as their own son, giving me the name Paul Lyons Ernest.

DeWitt and Audrey Ernest grew up in the Great Depression and served our country in WWII. I was raised in a home where I learned of the greatest generation this country would ever know. A generation of selflessness and sacrifice… of perseverance and will.

Though I did not know my parents, their spirit is with me. I hear the voice of my mother saying "I love you" that my conscious mind does not remember. I see the smile of my father in my mind that calls me his son. I smell the wood shop of a man whom I would witness create beautiful art to sound of big band music. I felt the healing touch of a mother of whom I shared with my own mother. Four individuals that made me who I am today.

Every May I reflect on my birthday and those that cared for me as a child and adolescent. They are all gone now, leaving me to share their stories and their legacy. I hope I make them proud. I hope their sacrifice was just. This is why I see what I see and create what I create. My images are their images. They are what make Karen, Paul, Audrey and DeWitt live in me daily. When you see my work you see them in spirit.

I made the decision last January that an image residing in my mind would make its way out. Though it was a difficult image to create I wanted to show the depiction of my mother and I shortly after my birth telling her story of sacrifice and love. This image is called "Her Life's Sacrifice".

A Better Way to Run the Race

By Sandy Montgomery

"Leaders are frequently limited by their vision, rather than by their abilities."
- R.T. Bennett

Are you driven by what's pursuing you or by what you're pursuing?

It's an important distinction. When we're motivated by what pursues us, we have fear: of failing, of losing what we've achieved or that someone may take what's ours. It's like running an entire race with your head turned to see who is behind you.

But, my friends, there is a better way to run the race of life.

We're invited to be inspired leaders sprinting forward, fueled by love of what we do, driven by what's possible and motivated by the lives we can impact.

I was reminded of this truth during a recent conversation. Let me explain.

By all measures, Mike Matheny is a successful man. He is happily married, delights in his five children and enjoys an active faith life. He flourished during 19 years as a Major League Baseball player, was an All Star player, won gold gloves and made a financial fortune from baseball.

Mike recently joined me on the Live Inspired podcast to share his story, mistakes made, lessons learned and what they mean for us. He shared that the highlight of his career was the night he was called to the Big Leagues.

After incalculable hours playing catch, practicing, playing for his high school team and then for Michigan, he was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers. After being drafted, Mike spent years playing in the minors, away from home, missing his wife, enduring overnight bus rides, before he got "the call."

The evening he made his Major League debut, Mike walked onto the field and looked into the crowd. Among the tens of thousands of fans, he saw his brothers (who played catch with him even when they didn't want to), parents (who invested countless hours and dollars guiding him) and wife (who believed in him through the months of absence and lean financial years).

And yet, as magnificent as the evening was, there was a voice whispering to Mike that he didn't belong; suggesting he might not be good enough; there might be someone better for the job.

The voice stayed with him that first game, season and several seasons after. It was so powerful that he feels he missed out on the full experience, the real joy of playing baseball out of fear he might lose it.

As Mike grew as a player and man, he shifted from looking behind him for who might be taking his place and started looking forward, embracing the joy of being a Major League ballplayer.

It was a critical shift that permitted him to fully enjoy his success and - years later - to not be devastated when it was all taken from him. Upon retirement, Mike invested in real estate and, during the downturn, lost everything. Rather than look back at all he'd lost, he grew in his faith, leaned into his family and remained unwavering in his hope for tomorrow and running the good race today.

Mike's pursuit led him to write on authentic leadership, mentorship and coaching. That opened a door to him becoming a roving instructor for the St. Louis Cardinals, which led to an unlikely interview for the role of manager of the club. Today, he's had one of the most successful five-year runs for any manager beginning their career in the history of baseball.

As head coach and manager for the St. Louis Cardinals, Mike offers encouragement to his young players. He implores them to work tirelessly, believe in themselves and be outstanding teammates. He also reminds them - and each of us - that looking backwards is not an effective way to move forward.

As you take the field today at your office, school or home, remember that leaders are frequently limited by their vision, not their abilities. Pursue your goals with dogged persistence and do so with your eyes, heart and dreams looking forward, celebrating this moment. You'll never again have this view.

This is your day. Live Inspired.

After reading Mike's story, in which area of your life will you focus on looking forward instead of back? What advice do you have for others on pursuing dreams and true significance?

Source: John O'Leary - Live Inspired - Monday Motivational Blog

The Ultimate Sacrifice

by Greg Laurie

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
- John 3:16

I heard a true story about a man who operated a drawbridge. At a certain time every afternoon, he raised the bridge for a ferryboat to go by and then lowered it in time for a passenger train to cross over. He performed this task precisely, according to the clock.

One day he brought his son to work so he could watch. As his father raised the bridge, the boy got excited and wanted to take a closer look. His father realized his son was missing and began looking for him. To his horror, his son had come dangerously close to the bridge's gears. Frantic, he wanted to go rescue him, but if he left the controls, he would not be back in time to lower the bridge for the approaching passenger train.

He faced a dilemma. If he lowered the bridge, his son would be killed. If he left it raised, hundreds of others would die. He knew what he had to do. With tears streaming down his face, he watched the passenger train roll by. On board, two women chatted over tea. Others were reading newspapers. All were totally unaware of what had just transpired. The man cried out, "Don't you realize that I just gave my son for you?" But they just continued on their way.

This story is a picture of what happened at the cross. God gave up His beloved Son so that we might live. But most people don't give it a second thought. How about you? Are you conscious of the ultimate sacrifice God made on your behalf? Will you be sure to thank Him?

Source: Daily Devotion with Greg Laurie

Anything and Everything

by Shawn McEvoy, Managing Editor

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Romans 8:32

My children, at ages five and three, knew my weakness.

They recognized that it's not ice cream, baseball, or their mom's chili... or even a hug or puppy-dog eyes from them.

See, none of the above make me cry (although the chili almost did once). Yes, my children have seen their father cry. It's not something I wanted, or intended. I'm a man, after all. I go to work, show my strength. I coach, help, show, point, and guide. I communicate, discipline, and lead. I pray. I do not cry.

...Except when I read Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree, that is.

And like I said, my children, who are older now, have known this from early on. And oh, have they twisted that knife. We must own a couple hundred children's books, but if it's a night where Daddy is doing the bedtime reading rather than Mommy, what have they invariangly picked through the years? The Giving Tree of course!

I've been reading this book, first published in 1964, since I myself was a child, and no matter how many times I do, I am unable to de-sensitize. I mean, when I watch the movie Field of Dreams and Ray has a catch with his ghost-dad, that gets me. But if I see the scene over and over within a certain time frame? Nah. No sweat, no tears. But this blasted children's book... well... what's going on here?

First of all, you're probably wondering that very thing if you aren't familiar with the story. A tree and a boy are the best of friends during an idyllic childhood for the young man where he eats apples from the tree, climbs her trunk, swings from her branches, and rests in her shade. Then things change, as things do, and we see the boy approach the tree at all the various stages of his life, caught up - understandably, even - more in wanting and needing than in just being. Every time he has a "need," the tree obliges... and is happy for having done so. She doesn't have much, but gives all she has until eventually, she is nothing but a stump. At the end of all things, however, it turns out a stump is just what the old man needs - a quiet place to sit down and rest and reflect. "And the tree was happy. The end."

And I am undone... again.

Is it because I am reading the story to my children, and I know our stories will be very much like that of the tree and the boy, where they are my delight but eventually I must simply become provider as they go out into the world? Yes and no.

Is it because our family copy of the book - the one I read to the kids - carries an inscription from my wife on our first Christmas as husband and wife that says, "With God's help, may I love you like this"? Yes and no.

Is it because as my father lay dying I told him of the story (he wasn't familiar with it), and how he had been that tree for me? That's definitely part of it. My mother, I remember, commented that she didn't recall it being a "Christian" book. I didn't really have an answer to that, only to what I saw in it. Which is...

Complete love to the point of emptying. Unquestioning sacrifice, even for someone who isn't appreciating or understanding what they've been given. A desire only to have communion. An entering into final rest. In other words, a perfect example of the immensity of what Jesus did for me, desired from me, provides for me, and will carry me to.

That is why I always cry.

So every time I finish the story, eyes full of tears, my kids look at me as if to say, "Are you okay?" My youngest used to ask, "Why you cry, Dad?" And every time I've explained, I think she has understood just the tiniest bit more. These are tears of being overwhelmed by the enormity of the Giver and the immensity of a gift to a person consumed with self-interest who has forgotten innocence. This past summer, my prayers were answered as these children opened their hearts to receive that gift. Now I pray that they won't miss the other lesson from the book: all our Giver really wants in return is our time, for us to come to Him as we did as children.

Intersecting Faith & Life: But can any of us actually hope to become more like the tree in the story? Parents know what it means to give every last ounce of everything they are to the betterment of their children. We have reason for doing so. Do you know anyone who empties themselves this way for those they don't have a familial reason to love? What steps can you take to emulate their Christ-like, unconditional love?

Further Reading

Giving is What Living is All About
2 Corinthians 8:3-12
© 2013 Salem Web Network. All rights reserved.

Source: Crosswalk the Devotional

Paying the Debt

by Brennan Manning (from The Ragmuffin Gospel)

A story is told about Fiorello LaGuardia, the beloved mayor of New York City during the worst days of the Great Depression.

One bitterly cold night in January of 1935, the mayor turned up at a night court that served the poorest ward of the city. LaGuardia dismissed the judge for the evening and took over the bench himself. Within a few minutes, a tattered old woman was brought before him, charged with stealing a loaf of bread.

She told LaGuardia that her daughter's husband had deserted her, her daughter was sick, and her two grandchildren were starving. But the shopkeeper, from whom the bread was stolen, refused to drop the charges. "It's a real bad neighborhood, your Honor," the man told the mayor. "She's got to be punished to teach other people around here a lesson."

LaGuardia sighed. He turned to the woman and said "I've got to punish you. The law makes no exceptions -- ten dollars or ten days in jail."

But even as he pronounced sentence, the mayor was already reaching into his pocket. He extracted a bill and tossed it into his famous sombrero, saying: "Here is the ten dollar fine which I now remit; and furthermore I am going to fine everyone in this courtroom fifty cents for living in a town where a person has to steal bread so that her grandchildren can eat. ‘Mr. Baliff, collect the fines and give them to the defendant.'"

So the following day the New York City newspapers reported that $47.50 was turned over to a bewildered old lady who had stolen a loaf of bread to feed her starving grandchildren, fifty cents of that amount being contributed by the red-faced grocery store owner, while some seventy petty criminals, people with traffic violations, and New York City policemen, each of whom had just paid fifty cents for the privilege of doing so, gave the mayor a standing ovation.

Last Words
Last Words
Manohar Parrikar
Inspiring words from a Cancer Victim
An Irish Ghost Story
This story happened a while ago in Dublin, and even though it sounds like an Alfred Hitchcock tale, it's true.

John Bradford, a Dublin University student, was on the side of the road hitchhiking on a very dark night and in the midst of a big storm.
The night was rolling on and no car went by. The storm was so strong he could hardly see a few feet ahead of him.

Suddenly, he saw a car slowly coming towards him and stopped.

John, desperate for shelter and without thinking about it, got into the car and closed the door.... Only to realize there was nobody behind the wheel and the engine wasn't on.

The car started moving slowly. John looked at the road ahead and saw a curve approaching. Scared, he started to pray, begging for his life. Then, just before the car hit the curve, a hand appeared out of nowhere through the window, and turned the wheel. John, paralyzed with terror, watched as the hand came through the window, but never touched or harmed him.

Shortly thereafter, John saw the lights of a pub appear down the road, so, gathering strength; he jumped out of the car and ran to it. Wet and out of breath, he rushed inside and started telling everybody about the horrible experience he had just had.
A silence enveloped the pub when everybody realized he was crying... And wasn't drunk.

Suddenly, the door opened, and two other people walked in from the dark and stormy night. They, like John, were also soaked and out of breath. Looking around, and seeing John Bradford sobbing at the bar, one said to the other....

Look Paddy....there's that freaking idiot that got in the car while we were pushing it!!!!'

Source: Manju Punnoose, whatsap


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