Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal Abstracts

Two Centum Mega Special Issue

Volume 4 No. 200 March 5, 2014

Two Centum Mega Special Edition of Malankara World Journal

It is finally here. This is our Two Centum Mega Special Issue of Malankara World Journal.

With Over 85 articles and 17 themes (chapters), this is something really Special!!

A keepsake souvenir.

Note: We are only sending the Table of Contents and abstracts here. You can read this week's full journal online by clicking the link below:

http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Newsletter/MWJ_200.htm

Individual articles may be read by clicking on the title of the article.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I Foreword

1. Introduction to Two Centum Issue and Mission of Malankara World by Dr. Jacob Mathew

If we want to be a vibrant church, we need to bring in new people to the church and have programs to keep them coming back to church like pastoral counseling, bible studies, Sunday School for children, adult classes and fellowship, etc. etc. Studies have shown that new people bring new blood, new ideas and overall are more excited about the church than the old people, with their ideas and beliefs entrenched. I hope that we can provide leadership in these areas. ...

II Introduction

2. Message from His Eminence Mor Titus Yeldho, Patron

I am indeed proud to introduce the 200th issue of the Malankara World Journal which has already secured the commendation of thousands of people worldwide. I deeply appreciate the efforts of Dr. Jacob Mathew in maintaining a high standard in providing the various information. On the release of the 200th edition, I must say, it is the fruit of the combined labor of a dedicated team who has been working diligently to provide rich spiritual nourishment to the readers of MWJ. ...

3. Felicitations to Malankara World on The Occasion of the Release of Two Centum Issue by Fr. Jose Daniel Paitel

Syriac literature is poetically very rich. We can find the richness of Theology, fragrance of the word of God, and illustration of magnanimity of the divine deity History of Ancient Church, life history and martyrdom of saints, etiquettes for different occasion relevant for every civilized community. ...

4. Two Centum Issue - Congratulations on This Major Milestone by Fr. Paul Thotakat

Malankara World journal is an excellent tool to educate our people about Christianity and its various practices. Each issue shows the dedication of the people behind this project. The journal is of the highest quality. Each issue challenges readers to go further in their spiritual journey; they are motivated to explore in-depth the spirituality of our church. ..

III "I am God..." - I am Statements of Jesus

5. The 'I am' statements of Jesus in John's Gospel - Introduction by Dr. Jacob Mathew

Theologians suggest that when Jesus used the phrase "I AM," He made specific revelations regarding His identity and nature. These revelations made it clear to all that He was claiming to be much more than a rabbi or prophet; Jesus claimed to be the Messiah - God in human form. ...

6. The Seven Signs and Seven 'I Am' Statements in John by Myke Harbuck

In the book of John we find Jesus demanding that we believe He is the Christ, the divine Son of God that was sent from Heaven. He makes these demands by making many comparisons to Himself, and by performing miracles that display not only His presence and power, but the presence and power of God. The comparisons are proclaimed in the seven "I AM" statements of Jesus, and the acts that show Him as the divine Son of God sent from Heaven are shown in the seven signs of Jesus. ...

7. The I AM statements of Jesus - Divinity of Jesus

Christ, who is called the exact image of the invisible Father, is the voice that the people heard. He then says that they search the Scriptures in them you think you have eternal life but they testify of me." The Son is said to be the eternal life with the Father. Scriptural proof in Gospel of John and other OT and NT writings on the Divinity of Jesus. ...

8. I am the Bread of Life

The first 'I am statement of Jesus' is found in John 6:35. Jesus had just fed 5000+ people. The next day, the people went looking for him. They caught up with Jesus and the disciples at Capernaum. Jesus knew why there were really looking for him. They came because Jesus did something for them - he fed them.

In ancient middle east, bread was more than just food; it held life together. Life was dependent on the success of the harvest, which, in turn, was dependent on the rains, which were dependent on God. So, bread was seen as being a gift from God. ...

By suggesting that he is the 'bread of life', Jesus is giving an invitation to move beyond religious activities and to enter into a nurturing and nourishing relationship with himself. What the people were looking for and what Jesus was offering were two very different things.

They were looking for a feed, and Jesus was offering life. Life with depth. Life that is eternal, not just in quantity but also in quality. Life that fulfils the purpose for which our Creator put us on the planet. Life that is transcendentally united with the life of Jesus, the I Am, and therefore a life that is one with God. ...

9. I am the Light of the World

Jesus was teaching people in the Temple courtyard. Along came a mob of religious big shots interrupting his lesson by dragging in a woman who had been caught in the very act of adultery. Jesus knew the hypocrisy. But he had to deal with the darkness of legalism and the darkness of the woman caught in adultery. This was the backdrop when Jesus pronounced his second "I am" statement in John 8:12 - "I am the light of the world"

Jesus said earlier in Sermon of the mount, "You are the light of the world." How are you and I the light of the world? We become the light of the world when we live in the light that Jesus gives. We become more like the moon than the sun. The sun gives off its own light. The moon reflects the light of the sun into a world still in darkness.

That does not mean you are perfect. What it does mean is that we make it our goal to reflect the light of Jesus right where we are. ...

10. I am the Gate

The third and fourth I am Statements can be found in John 10. It comes after Jesus healed a man born blind. The religious leaders quarreled with Jesus because Jesus healed the man on Sabbath day. After being confronted by angry religious leaders who were more interested in their power than in the plight of people, Jesus told them, “I am the gate and the good shepherd [John 10:9,11].

A door can be used to keep people out or in. The gate Jesus was claiming to be was a very special gate. He said he was the gate for the sheep. The gate to the sheep pen. The sheep-pen of Jesus' day had simply four low walls and a narrow opening. No gate. After all the sheep are inside, the shepherd will lie in the open space, and no sheep ever goes out but across his body, and no wolf comes in unless he crosses the shepherd's body; the shepherd is the door. Just like the shepherd protects his sheep from intruders and thieves, Jesus provides safety and security for the believers. ...

11. I am the Good Shepherd

The fourth "I am" statement follows immediately after the third in John chapter 10. Jesus, as the good shepherd, is a very popular subject for paintings, etc. After the Psalm 23, sheep and shepherd has become very popular.

The sheep and shepherd shares a great bond between themselves. The sheep trust its shepherd; they would respond to the voice of their shepherd. A shepherd would risk his life to protect his sheep. It is a great relationship just like the relationship between Jesus and his bride, the church.

Sheep need a shepherd. As long as you are in the position where you don't think you need a shepherd, you will not be in a position to hear the Shepherd's voice...

12. I am the Resurrection and the Life

The eleventh chapter of John records one of the most moving accounts from the life of Jesus. It is known as the "Raising of Lazarus." The chapter is very rich in theology, imagery and revealing the divine nature and human nature of Jesus. It has the shortest verse in the bible, 'Jesus wept.' It teaches us about intercessory prayer and how to pray. It also gives us the 'I am the Resurrection and the Life' in the backdrop of the cave where Lazarus was buried perhaps 4-6 days ago. ...

13. I am the Way, the Truth and the Life

We are coming close to the end. In John 13, Jesus meets with his disciples for The Last Supper. After washing the legs of the disciples to teach them about servant leadership, Jesus appears to bid them farewell. Peter asks him where he is going. Our guardian apostle of Malankara, St. Thomas, says, "God we have no clue where you are going!" Jesus replies with the I am statement we are discussing here: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." This article is very rich. It gives a good account of St. Thomas. This also talk about "The Mission Statement of Jesus" and how we can be part of that effort. Very informative and moving. ...

14. I am the Vine

We come to the last of the seven I AM statements of Jesus in John's Gospel. We are in chapter 14 of John. The Last Supper is over. Jesus has instituted the Eucharist. Jesus told them that he only has very little time left and tells them, "Come, let us be going." They left the upper room where the Pes'ho was celebrated and are on the way to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus would be arrested, when this discussion took place. They pass through several vineyards on the way and on this backdrop, Jesus tells the disciples the last of the I am statements, "I am the vine. You are the branches." Interestingly, in all the other I am statements Jesus talks about him only; but here he talks about the disciples as well and the expectations for them. Jesus shows the importance of being abiding in him, the necessity for pruning (when we undergo suffering) and the requirement that we produce fruit. .. What a marvelous way to end the series! ...

IV Prayer

15. Father, I Give Thee Thanks - Tutorial on Prayer from St. John by Fr. Mark

Saint John's Gospel is the divine and mystic Gospel. its every page shines with the brightness of the Face of Christ, revealing the glory of the Father. Its every page burns the fire of the Heart of Jesus revealing the Father's merciful love. Saint John's Gospel is alive with the prayer of Jesus to the Father. We can learn a lot about intercessory prayer from John 11, the Story of raising Lazarus. ...

16. On the Priestly Prayer of Jesus (John 17:1-26) by Pope Benedict XVI

We now turn to the priestly prayer which Jesus offered at the Last Supper (cf. Jn 17:1-26). Against the backdrop of the Jewish feast of expiation Yom Kippur, Jesus, Priest and Victim, prays that the Father will glorify Him in this, the hour of His sacrifice of reconciliation. He asks the Father to consecrate His disciples, setting them apart and sending them forth to continue His mission in the world. Christ also implores the gift of unity for all those who will believe in Him through the preaching of the apostles. His priestly prayer can thus be seen as instituting the Church, the community of the disciples who, through faith in Him, are made one and share in His saving mission. ...

17. Our Savior's Intercessory Prayer by Ralph Bouma

Our Savior's intercessory prayer in John 17:1 begins with "Father," which is a word of confidence and intimate love. Even as our Saviour prepares to appease His Father's just wrath upon the sins of His church by His humble obedience unto death, even the death of the cross (PHI 2:8) He demonstrates the sweet parent-son relationship between His Father and Himself. ...

18. Our Savior's Intercessory Prayer (John 17) by Ralph Bouma

Our Savior's intercessory prayer begins with "Father," which is a word of confidence that is unmovable. The word Father instills confidence in the heart of a child. A child has no concern of who is paying the taxes, the rent or the utility bills. He is confident that his father will provide for him. It demonstrates the sweet parental relationship of Him whom He addresses. ...

19. The Greatest Prayer Ever Prayed (John 17:1-26) by Mark A. Copeland

Jesus' prayer in John 17:1-26 is considered to be one of the greatest prayer ever prayed. What makes this prayer so great? At least four reasons can be given. First, the person who prayed. Second, the occasion of the prayer, Third, the contents of the prayer, and lastly the victory that is revealed in the prayer. After revealing himself to his disciples and to everyone else, who he is via his "I am statements", and telling the disciples that he is getting ready to face the passion, Jesus prays for the disciples as he winds down his public ministry. It is a moving prayer; we can learn a lot from it. It is truly amazing and awe-inspiring. ..

20. Our Prayer Life - Taught by Christ's Example by Ralph Bouma

John 17 is called the greatest prayer recorded in the Bible. We have analyzed it in the articles above and why it is a great model intercessory prayer. In this article, we examine what we can learn from this prayer about how to pray - not only the words, but the postures etc. When Jesus taught the disciples how to pray (The Lord's Prayer), he gave the words, not the posture. In John 17, we get both - the words as well as the posture. While reading this, think about the postures in our liturgy. ..

21. Lenten Reconciliation Pastoral Prayer [Sedro] Syriac Orthodox Church

Experience the beauty of the Syriac Orthodox Liturgy.

V For Reflection/Meditation

22. This is the Way, Walk In It

Sometimes, one word is all it takes to assure us the journey ahead is worth taking. Sometimes, the one word that's hardest to believe is that we are beloved. As is. ...

23. Hold Him in Your Endearing Thought

Cover Him in the evening; evenings turn eternal dawns;
Offer Him the mantle; the mantle of your heart shall adorn His altar. ..

24. Step Forward. Come.

There's nothing quite so beautiful as hydrangeas at rest near twilight. There are so many dreams we carry, songs we have yet to sing. It's never too late. .. A reflection based on the healing of the man with the withered hand. (Mark 3:1-7)

25. Plant. And Let Me Be Your Shade.

Jesus longs to show you He understands how you feel and all you're thinking through - by bringing you back to a time He could have spoken with you face to face...

26. Thirsty For God...A Sunday Meditation

A meditation on Psalm 42. What a way to depict our thirst for the love and presence of God.

What happened to the Psalmist? How did he get to this place of desperation? It could be unconfessed sin, but the text doesn't say anything like that. Perhaps he had gotten sick, or was tired or discouraged. We are more than Spiritual beings, sometimes the physical can be a huge factor in our wellbeing. ...

VI Christian Life

27. Slave to Christ, Free in the Spirit by William G. Carter

Human animals fall into some kind of slavery or another. Something or someone is always yanking at our chains. The season of Lent is a good time to survey our own slavery. What are the bad habits that shackle us? That prevent us from joy and grace? And where are the injustices where somebody holds unnecessary power over somebody else? Where are people exploited by the forces of destructiveness? These are important questions for the apostle Paul. Christ comes to make us free. Whatever that means, wherever it matters most, Jesus is our liberation. ...

28. A Love So Great It Seems Like Hate? by Carl E. Olson

I recently read a column by a young Christian who expressed frustration with the saying, "Love the sinner, hate the sin." She wrote that this seemed to make sense initially but, she added, "I started to wonder why we need to hate at all. Certainly, Jesus didn't teach that. Jesus was all about love." She went a step further, saying, "When we start hating, whether it is a person or an action, we stop recognizing the dignity in the other person, which makes it easy to oppress them." ...

29. American Poor, the Gospel, and Social Justice by Greg Stier

I know American poverty. I was raised in it and reared by it. To me poverty is not a theoretical subject for the seminary classroom, but the shaper of many of my childhood memories. Yes, we had people that helped us along the way, including my grandparents. But mom paid back every loan she ever got from them and the stress of it all took a huge toll on her.

But in the midst of all this, Jesus came walking in and changed everything. Through a variety of crazy circumstances my entire family ended up coming to Christ over a few short years. ...

30. Three Excuses Keeping You from Making a Difference by Paul Tripp

Apart from an active faith in God's sovereignty and grace, it's easy to throw up our hands and adopt a "What's the use?" mentality. If it's going to be so hard to make really significant improvements, what does it matter if things deteriorate a little further?

We could all come up with lots of good reasons to remain passive. The problems seem too numerous, and many seem too large. You see yourself as one little person, in one little place, at one little moment in time, and it just doesn't seem logical that you could make any difference at all. ...

31. Care Free Christianity by Thabiti Anyabwile

We may live an anxiety-free Christian life. That is not to say we may live a life with no suffering or hardship. The people Peter wrote to were experiencing great suffering and struggling to understand it all. This word of comfort comes to the suffering and the worried, people with reason (humanly speaking) to be anxious. And it says simply, "Cast all your anxieties upon Him because He cares for you." Trade your worries for God's care through Christ. ...

VII Love

32. To Be Loved by God by Fr. Michael Nasser

Can one sermon change your life? I did not think so, but then it happened to me. The day I heard that sermon was the day I saw everything differently. The difference between what I knew before and what I came to know was huge. At the same time, the difference was also very subtle and seemingly small. ...

33. I Love, Therefore I Am by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware

Who am I? The answer is not at all obvious. My personhood as a human being ranges widely over space and time. And indeed it reaches out beyond space into infinity, and beyond time into eternity. Our human personhood is created, but it transcends the created order. I am called to be a "partaker of the divine nature," as Peter said in his second letter. I am called to share, that is to say, in the uncreated energies of the living God. Our human vocation is theosis deification, divinization. As St. Basil the Great says, "The human being is a creature that is called to become God." ...

34. The Extraordinary Love of God by Very Rev. Father Antony Hughes

Neuroscience has shown how spiritual practice can literally effect positive change on the levels of the tiniest cells and neurons in the brain. New neural pathways are opened through the practice of meditation and prayer that alter the brain in amazing ways. St. Paul’s admonition to think only on beautiful things intuits what modern science has discovered. It is healthy to dwell on good things and unhealthy to dwell on ugly things. Fear produces fear. Anger produces anger. Prejudice produces more prejudice. Violence begets violence. War produces more war. Who doesn't know this at least in theory? ...

35. What does it really mean to say that 'God is Love' by Fr. Robert Barron

God does not love us as we are accustomed to love each other. God does not love us because we deserve it or because we have earned it or because we have something that God needs that he lacks in his own nature. Instead, God is love. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is trying to make this point visually as its verbal expression seems at times harder to understand. Understanding all this is one thing. Accepting it is another. ..

36. How to Leave a Legacy by Glynnis Whitwer

Quietly and consistently, they showed their grandson love. Their never-wavering faith was an anchor. Their unconditional love was like water to a thirsty child. Their integrity was a light on a hill to a lost boy. Amel and Elise Whitwer gave hope to a young boy; hope that there was more to God and to this life than what he knew. Moreover, Tod learned that Christianity was something you lived out every day, not just on Sundays.

Through the faith of two humble people, my husband and I learned that God's most effective influence often comes in quiet ways. God can change a life, and a generation of lives, using gentle, consistent, sincere people who love and serve Him. ...

VIII Faith/Sacraments

37. What is Repentance and Confession in Orthodoxy? By Monk Moses of Holy Mountain

Repentance is a freely-willed, internally cultivated process of contrition and sorrow for having distanced ourselves from God through sin. True repentance has nothing to do with intolerable pain, excessive sorrow and relentless guilty feelings. That would not be sincere repentance, but a secret egotism, a feeling of our "ego" being trampled on; an anger that is directed at our self, which then wreaks revenge because it is exposing itself and is put to shame - a thing that it cannot tolerate.

Repentance means a change in our thoughts, our mentality; it is an about-face; it is a grafting of morality and an abhorrence of sin. Repentance also means a love of virtue, benevolence, and a desire, a willingness and a strong disposition to be re-joined to Christ through the Grace of the almighty Holy Spirit. ...

38. The Feasts and the Eucharist in Orthodox Church By Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk

St. Gregory teaches that every church feast should be for a believer a new step on the way to perfection, a new insight into the life and redemptive feat of Jesus. In the same oration, the saint stresses that a Christian feast does not consist in arranging banquets, eating plenty of sumptuous food and drinking costly wines. For a believer, a feast is to come to church and enjoy the word of God in it. ..

The Eucharist is not just a remembrance of the Golgotha sacrifice but its continued reproduction, as evidenced by the texts of the Eucharistic prayers. These prayers are filled with the theme of sacrifice which is offered 'for each and all', which again brings the Eucharist together with the old temple worship centered on sacrifice. ...

39. The Eucharist by Sebastian R. Fama

Jesus is the sacrificial lamb of the New Covenant. The Old Covenant sacrifice prefigured the New Covenant sacrifice. Both include a partaking of the sacrifice to signify participation in its effects. ...

40. Going to Mass Should be a Life-Changing Event by Pope Francis

Going to Mass and receiving the Eucharist should make a difference in the way Catholics live, Pope Francis said; they should be more accepting of others and more aware of their sinfulness.

"If we don't feel in need of God's mercy and don't think we are sinners, it's better not to go to Mass," Pope Francis said Wednesday at his weekly general audience. The Eucharist is a celebration of Christ's gift of himself for the salvation of sinners, which is why the Mass begins with people confessing they are sinners and begging for the Lord's mercy. ...

IX Christian Persecution

41. Abduction of Two Orthodox Bishops in Syria and the Global Persecution of Christians by Dr. Jacob Mathew

This is the time for all of us to come forward and pray for the abducted bishops and clergy in Middle East and for the Christians undergoing persecution throughout the world.

During our lenten prayers, please remember to light a candle to go along with your supplication for the Metropolitans' safe, dignified and speedy release.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer famously said: "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act." ...

42. Pope Francis: There are Christians Nowadays Condemned for Having a Bible

Pope Francis warned that the Cross is always present on the road of a Christian!" We will have many brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers in the Church, in the Christian community, but we also will have persecutions.

"This is because the world does not tolerate the divinity of Christ. It doesn't tolerate the preaching of the Gospel. It does not tolerate the Beatitudes. And so we have persecutions: with words, with insults, the things that they said about Christians in the early centuries, the condemnations, imprisonment….

43. We Must Stand up for Middle East's Persecuted Christians by Johnnie Moore

Christianity began in the East, not the West, yet today Christians in the East are enduring an all-out-assault by Islamic terrorists, while Christians in the West live their lives largely oblivious to it all. This has to change.

This is no imaginary persecution; in Syria alone there have been reports of kidnappings, Christian communities intentionally displaced by militants and, worst of all, shootings and beheadings of Christians who refused to convert to Islam.

In Egypt radicals have recently destroyed dozens of churches, and the once vibrant Christian population in Iraq has been decimated. ...

44. Karnataka, Maharashtra Top Attacks on Christians

Maharashtra has witnessed among the largest number of communal attacks on Christians in 2013, second only to Karnataka, says a recently-released report by the Catholic Secular Forum (CSF). Across the country, the report points at 4,000-odd offenses aimed at Christians, with 400 clergy and 100 churches attacked in a year. ...

45. Briton's Minister Warns That Persecution of Christians in Middle East Has Become a 'Global Crisis' by Hannah Roberts

The bitterest irony of this persecution - ostracism, discrimination, abuse, forced conversion, torture and even murder - is that it is taking place in a region where Christianity has its roots.

Sometimes these cases are examples of collective punishment: people lashing out at Christian minorities in response to events happening many miles away. Other times, a Christian is just a convenient 'other' - a scapegoat. The threat to religious freedom has become a global crisis. ...

X Suffering

46. Jesus Wept by Ryan Duncan

What really struck me the first time I heard this story was that God really did understand the pain of losing someone. I realized that for a long time I'd had a false view of Jesus. I'd always pictured him as this tall, soft-spoken man who was completely serene no matter what the world threw at him. I didn't understand that when God became a man he embraced all human sensation, even the ones that hurt...

47. Why God Makes It Hard When It Ought to be Easy by Dr. Ray Pritchard

I submit that David's life is a pattern of how God deals with his children. It helps us understand why God makes it hard when it ought to be easy. Why do godly men get passed over for promotions? Why do some people reel from one catastrophe to another? Why do some women struggle for years to overcome the memories of their past? Why do so many people have to wait so long for something really good to happen in their lives? And why do some churches seem to take three steps forward and two steps back?

The episodes in David's life we have just discussed demonstrate four steps God is taking when he makes it hard when it ought to be easy. ..

48. The Value Of Suffering by Mother M. Angelica

God does not will that I suffer, just as He did not will that Adam and Eve sin. But since they sinned and I inherit the weaknesses that are a result of that sin, I do and always will have something to endure. Christ's Redemption merited for me a participation in His Divine Nature as God through grace, and a participation in His sufferings as Man, through the Cross. ...

49. The Discipline of Darkness by Adrian Rogers

There are times in a Christian's life when the lights just seem to go out and we enter a season of darkness. When faced with calamity and nothing makes sense, the first question we ask is, "Why did God let this happen?" We feel we can bear just about anything if we only knew why. But what we need to ask is HOW. How are we going to respond?

We might as well admit it - Christians are often left in the dark. As you read this, you may be at the deathbed of a child. You may be going through financial distress. You may be enduring misrepresentation and disgrace or have a broken heart because of a broken home. The question haunts you - why? ....

50. How to Conquer Discouragement by Felicia Alvarez

In our fallen world, we're constantly bombarded with situations that tempt us to complain about how tough our lives are. Sometimes our troubles are miniscule (like traffic or a cranky boss), but other times they are genuinely difficult and can be quite discouraging (like an abusive spouse or a dying loved one). Our worries can weigh us down and cloud our perspective, causing us to forget ...

51. Why Suffering? by Jill Carattini

Again and again Luke points out the necessity of Jesus' suffering, long before he is approaching the cross. I was nonetheless left with a plaguing question for God - or Jesus along the road to Emmaus. Why was it necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into glory, as he tells the men as they walk toward Emmaus? Why was Christ's suffering a matter of "divine necessity"? ...

XI Discipleship - Servant Leadership

52. Selfless Service - The Highest Accolade by Dr. Joe McKeever

... I thought of Paul's words about young Pastor Timothy: "I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare." All the others, Paul said, are looking out for number one. The example of an ENT surgeon is used to explain what selfless service means. ..

53. Greatness in God's Sight by Dr. Stephen Felker

Do you aspire to greatness, or a great heavenly reward? Would you like to be on top? It is characteristic of human nature to seek position, authority, power, and praise. We want to be served and tell others what to do. Most all of us want to be king of our own little kingdom, whether it is a family, or circle of friends, or business, or even our church. Well, Jesus has much to say about that attitude. ...

Don't you want to be great in the Kingdom of God? Instead of reckoning greatness by how many servants you have, Christ reckons greatness by how many you serve. Are you a servant? Do you have a servant's heart? Let us serve to meet the needs of others, to help them bear burdens, or to ease suffering. ...

54. Developing Nobodies in a Celebrity Culture by Stephen Miller

Discipleship is hard work. It's inconvenient. And often, it involves giving up platform opportunities. But it's what we have been called to do by the great Disciple-Maker who called out a bunch of nobodies and poured into them so that He could use them to change the world for his glorious name's sake.

The leaders of tomorrow are in our churches today and Jesus cares about them. We should, too. ...

55. Jesus Gives It to Us Straight - Discipleship won't Be Easy by James MacDonald

Following Christ is not easy. Our Lord never hid that fact. But following Him is best. We're not sugarcoating anything here. The Christian life is not always smooth going, but it is exactly what we were designed to do and be. It's the real life. It's the best life you can possibly have: giving your life to Jesus Christ, living for Him, obeying His Word, fellowshipping with His people, and serving in His kingdom. ..

56. The Strange Math of Jesus: Emptying Himself by Adding Human Nature by Bruce Ware

Whereas the eternal Son of the Father, the second person of the Trinity, had no beginning and will have no end, the incarnate Son - the son of David, the son of Mary, the Messiah - had a beginning in time and space. This Son, (1) Jesus the Christ, was brought into being through the power of the Holy Spirit, as the divine nature of the eternal Son was miraculously joined together with a created human nature in the womb of the Virgin Mary. ...

57. A Suffering Servant: The Letters of Mother Teresa by Chuck Colson

What do the letters of Mother Teresa reveal? For one, they reveal the true cost of discipleship. To follow Christ is to embrace suffering and the Cross. And, at times, to say with Jesus, "My God, my God, why did you abandon me?" ...

Certainly Mother Teresa took on the suffering of the world just as her Lord had done. And she demonstrated a kind of faith that few ever experience. But hers is a faith that will be a lasting witness to the world. ...

58. Mother Teresa's Letters Show Heroic Spiritual Struggle - Vatican

The spiritual struggles of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, powerfully conveyed in a forthcoming book, are not evidence of any lack of faith, but an indication of her heroic struggle, a prominent Vatican cardinal has argued. ...

Cardinal Herranz noted that leading mystics such as St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross wrote extensively about the "dark night of the soul." Their spiritual trials reflect the agony of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, he said. They should be recognized, the Spanish cardinal added, as "a test of greatness of faith." ...

XII Poems

59. Lord, I need you by George and Ira Gershwin

60. A Thought of Comfort by Dr. Mercy Abraham

61. In Search of Light by Sunitha Jijo Flowerhill

62. Praise him! Praise him! Jesus, our blessed redeemer!

63. Spurgeon's Prayer

XIII Inspirational

64. What I Have Learned in Life by Andy Rooney

Andy Rooney had the gift of saying so much with so few words. ...

65. Take A Look In The Mirror by Wes Hopper

The body, like everything else, is a mirror of our thoughts and beliefs.

66. Azim Premji's Lessons in Life

Nine lessons.

67. Seven Steps to Achieving Your Dream!

Can achievement be broken down into steps? Well, it isn't always that clean and easy, but I do know that those who achieve great things usually go through much of the same process, with many of the items listed below as part of that process. So if you have been struggling with achievement, look through the following and internalize the thoughts presented. Then begin to apply them. You will be on the road to achieving your dream! ...

XIV Career/Business

68. What Makes Your Business/Service So Special? by Bedros Keuilian

Your reputation and the service that you provide are the only things that separate you from your competitors.

I hear a LOT of talk about setting yourself apart and creating differentiation in your business, but I don't see enough business owners doing what needs to be done in order to truly set themselves apart. ...

69. The Success Code by Saju Skaria

If you want to become a winner you were born to be, you need to change your daily actions until they become a habit. The fact that you created a vision and understand the true value and purpose of that vision will energize you and give you personal motivation you need to finish well and achieve exceptional results....

70. The Right Way to Learn from Your Mistakes By Bonnie Tsui

To err may be human, but "we're still afraid to admit when we've been wrong - it feels like an indictment of our self-worth," says Kristin Neff, PhD, associate professor of human development and culture at the University of Texas at Austin. This is unfortunate, because according to recent research, acknowledging our slipups is critical to recovering from them. ...

71. Sand - Fighting Over Trivial Things by Kindra Hall

On more than one occasion I have found myself entirely wrapped up, fighting and frustrated, stomping around barefoot trying to stake my claim on a tiny, insignificant pile of sand - the sand of relationships, the sand of social status or money, the sand of a career… whatever. I have been deeply consumed in games of King of the Mini Mound that leave me oblivious to the beautiful beaches around me. Beaches with unlimited sand, possibility, and happiness. We've all been there. Investing our energy in small things while the big ones lay untouched on the other side of the sidewalk. ...

XV Family

72. The Story of the Dysfunctional Family by William G. Carter

If you read the Bible, you won't find a lot of healthy families there.

And one message that it repeats is that the human family is a great big mess. A sloppy, disastrous mess. That's why the nations rise and fall. That's why no king or queen has permanent tenure. That's why greedy people devour the weak and needy. We are a mess. And this gets played out in our families.

Whatever else we say about this famous story of Jesus (Prodigal Son), it's a story about a messed-up family. ...

73. A Father's Influence Extends to Generations By Rev. Mark H. Creech

There's no escaping it. Dads either build a place of blessing for their children, or they build a prison. They either grow weeds - or roses. Whatever the case, their influence extends to generations. ...

74. 40 Lessons We Sought to Teach Our Children by Dennis and Barbara Rainey

I will never forget that incredible moment when our daughter Ashley was born. The doctor cleaned her up and handed her to us. I (Dennis) wanted to blurt out, "Thanks for the gift, but where are the instructions?" When we started out, we had a few ideas of what it meant to be a parent and raise children. Two years later we added a son and we realized that we had better become intentional about what we wanted to do as parents and teach our children. ...

75. Ten Principles to Keep Christ at the Center of Your Home by Mary May Larmoyeux

Jesus Christ came to earth to fulfill a purpose. During our marriage my husband and I have grown in our relationship with the Lord and with one another. If we will practice the following principles, Christ - and His purposes for our lives - will truly be at the center of our home. ...

76. Anger and Relationships by John UpChurch

In marriage, the status quo is always safer. We get into routines, and we like how comfortable the ordinary feels. When something disrupts the normal flow, guys especially want to just move it out of the way and get back to flowing again. Meanwhile, our wives are still upset, and nothing has been dealt with. ...

XVI Health

77. Mediterranean Diet Lowers Type 2 Diabetes

Even without weight loss, adhering to a diet rich in fresh produce, chicken, fish and olive oil is 40 percent more effective in heading off the development of Type 2 diabetes than following a low-fat diet, a new study has found.

The research suggests that for the nation's 78 million obese adults, a diet that minimizes red meat and sweets but incorporates plant-based fats may be a sustainable way to improve health - even if permanent weight reduction proves elusive. ..

78. Mental Illness: A Real and Authentic Social Health Care Emergency by Pope Benedict XVI

Mental disturbance now afflicts one-fifth of mankind and constitutes a real and authentic social health care emergency.

On the World Day of the Sick, I would like to pause to reflect on the situation of the mentally ill in the world and to call for the commitment of the Church communities to bear witness to the tender mercy of God towards them. ..

79. Three Weapons against Anxiety

Paul uses three words to describe the way we're to fight anxiety - prayer, petition, and thanksgiving. ...

80. Vitamin D Helps to Regulate Three Genes Involved in Autism by John Cannell, MD

Using the University of California-Santa Cruz's genome browser, the authors identified three genes that are abnormally expressed in autism. They report that all three genes are directly regulated by vitamin D. That is, the three genes have a vitamin D response element on the gene. This means that vitamin D is one of the hormones that controls expression of that gene. ...

81. Better Sleep Without Pills by Harvard Health Letters

If you often have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you might have thought about trying sleeping pills. Although these medicines can help you drift off to sleep, they also can have side effects, including an increased risk for falls and morning drowsiness that can make next-day driving dangerous. That's why in January, the U.S Food and Drug Administration began requiring manufacturers to lower the recommended dosage of hypnotic sleep aids containing zolpidem (such as Ambien).  ...

XVII Cooking -- Recipes

82. Recipe: Greek Yogurt

83. Recipe: Egg Curry

84. Recipe: Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread Pudding

85. Recipe: Vegetable Kichadi

XVIII About Malankara World

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