Volume 1 No. 10 June 17, 2011
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Table of Contents
|Editor's Note: This Week in MW Journal|
We are starting two new features with this issue of Malankara World Journal. We have an "inspiration for this week" with prayers, scriptures and notable quotes to keep you inspired.
The "featured this week" will highlight key message that week. This week, it is aptly, "Servant Leadership", something close to our hearts. It comes from the Lectionary for Golden Friday.
The gospel for Sunday is one of Jesus' "I am" statements from St. John - "I am the bread of life." Read the bible studies and the articles and sermons to understand Jesus' message on how we can partake in the Kingdom of God.
Last week, we talked about being the light that shines on the world. We need to preserve the moral values of God but we need to expand the kingdom of God and Christ to all people, and being the light of Christ is part of that expansion.
This week, we expanded this concept with Servant Leadership. And it is further amplified in the article, Letting God’s Light Shine Through You.
This Sunday is the Father's Day. We have a special article explaining the role of Fathers in Christianity. A survey found that the spiritual practice of father has a major role in shaping the belief of children - much more than that of the mother! We intuitively guess that the mother has the predominant role in shaping the belief system of the children; but it is not so. Take a look at the article, Fathers: Key to Their Children's Faith.
Enjoy all the articles in this issue of Malankara World Journal. We strived to provide you with a balanced slate to appeal to different demographics of our readership. We welcome your suggestions and feedback.
This Sunday in Church
|Bible Readings for This Sunday|
Golden Friday (Friday after Pentecost)
First Sunday after Pentecost
|Sermons for This Week|
|We have greatly expanded our Sermon Resources. The sermon collection now includes general and classical sermons. This will give a broader appeal to the Gospel Reading for the week. We also added bible commentaries for the bible reading to facilitate study and meditation. Please check it out.|
|Sermons and Bible Commentaries for Golden Friday|
This Week's Features
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in
trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the
mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.
Psalm 46: 1-2
Though waves and storms go o'er my
Your external circumstances may change, toil may take the place of rest, sickness of health, trials may thicken within and without. Externally, you are the prey of such circumstances; but if your heart is stayed on God, no changes or chances can touch it, and all that may befall you will but draw you closer to Him.
Whatever the present moment may bring, your knowledge
that it is His will, and that your future heavenly life will be influenced by
it, will make all not only tolerable, but welcome to you, while no vicissitudes
can affect you greatly, knowing that He who holds you in His powerful hand
cannot change, but abideth forever.
This Friday is known as Golden
Friday, the first Friday after the Pentecost. To me what is special about
this Friday is the Gospel reading specified in the
Lectionary, viz., Luke 22:24-30. This is where Jesus exhorts us to be "Servant
Leaders." Jesus provided a model to his disciples and us;
it is the ultimate in teamwork and unique. "Whoever want to be the leader must serve others."
This does not mean that no one should lead, it means that
a leader should have the humility and humbleness to be
of service to others. The emphasis here is to serve, not to be served. If we
follow this rule, all the problems in our church will
We have selected three articles from the resources provided in Malankara World that best explain the concept of Servant Leadership. (You can find the full list here: http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/Sermons/Sermon-of-the-week_Golden-Friday.htm )
Key points from 3 articles are given here.
A servant leader is one who has three mottos: I choose to lose; No pride; and I will not quit.
I needed to start saying, "Not my way nor the world’s way but God’s way."
I needed to choose to lose to myself. The "me first" mind set is rampant in society and has led our society to the edge of collapse.
As leaders, we must continue to remember to choose to lose to ourselves. It means examining ourselves when we make decisions.
To be a servant leader means to be genuine and vulnerable to others.
The decision to choose to lose to God, to self and to the image of perfection is essential in becoming a Servant Leader.
This is a great article. Read a few times to allow the principles to sink in. Read the full article here: http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/Sermons/Sermons_Golden-Friday-MM.htm
All are equal. All matter. Lowliest is as important as highest. Young-old. Educated-uneducated. Rich-poor, temporary college student--permanent members, top-bottom, master-servant, teachers-students, elders-members.
Those at the top serve and submit to all the others. When you get to the bottom, you have arrived at the top. Greatest is least, least is greatest. Lowly are exalted, greatest is last. To humble self is beginning of exaltation; to exalt self is to come to nothing. First are last, last are first. Imagine it, "I'm last, I'm last...." Emphasis in this upside down kingdom is on service, ministry. Purpose of leaders, task of leaders. ad-ministry, to move others toward ministry, Eph. 4:11ff.
In the upside down church, everyone serves. All seek a place of service, ministry. May be no more important question than, "Where can I serve?" What can I do? Where can I give my life?
Christians: Use Your Time to Seek Greatness!
Jesus wants us pursuing greatness: his kind of greatness—not a high rank, but rather a greatness of service toward him and toward others. It’s Jesus himself who puts people in positions of leadership—not to lord it over anyone, but rather properly to use their authority in order to serve.
So, do use your time to pursue greatness: Jesus’ kind of greatness. Children, pursue greatness: by being alert to the needs in your family and offering to help your parents with them. Students, pursue greatness: by trying to contribute to the learning environment of your classroom. Young people, pursue greatness: by looking for an occupation less to make a comfortable living and more for the service to people and to God which you can render. Workers, pursue greatness: by contributing to the legitimate goals of your company. Husbands and wives, pursue greatness: by helping your spouse to be the best Christian person they can possibly be. Parents, pursue greatness: by never tiring of instructing your children in Christ, in what’s right and what’s wrong, and never tiring of loving them. Retirees, pursue greatness: if you’re healthy enough, take your time to contribute to the lives of your grandchildren or great-grandchildren, or to become an indispensable volunteer in some worthwhile endeavor.
by Dr. Jack Graham
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Several years ago, some West Point cadets were sitting in their dorm room discussing all kinds of issues. It was one of those late night sessions where they were talking about anything and everything.
So the subject of Christianity came up and they asked the question, “What is a Christian?” And as they began to bat around the idea a bit, one after another gave his opinion on what a Christian is.
After a few hours of not really getting anywhere, one young cadet stopped the conversation dead when he said, “A Christian is Charles Jones.” Now, Charles Jones was a fellow cadet who was known for his kindness and willingness to go the extra mile for others because of his faith in Christ.
I wonder how that conversation would go if your friends were having a discussion over coffee and asked, “What is a Christian?” Would anybody mention your name? Are you so identified with Jesus Christ that people know who you are and what you believe?
Being a Christian is more than just lip service. It’s living your life in such a way that others see a difference in you. So as you go throughout your life, let others see God’s grace and love in you!
LET GOD’S LIGHT SHINE THROUGH YOU BY LIVING YOUR LIFE SO THAT OTHERS SEE HIS GRACE AND LOVE IN YOU.
by Michael Craven
I am afraid that our culture in general has reduced the role of fatherhood (along with marriage itself) to something nonessential or unnecessary. Even many men today regard parenting as being primarily the mother's role and somehow no longer associated with masculinity or "real" manhood.
Instead, many have succumbed to modern cultural caricatures—encouraged by feminist psychology—and the primitive label of hunter-gatherer, and thus assume that this is the man's main contribution to the family. As a result too many men, including professing Christian men, express their role as father exclusively in terms of financial provider. The fact is children are not looking for financial provision; they are looking for love, guidance, and a role model for what it means to be a man.
During the colonial period in America men defined themselves by their level of community involvement and fatherhood. Marriage and fatherhood were seen as being among the highest aspirations in a man's life. Today the highest aspirations of men seem to be career success and personal leisure; and against these they seek to balance marriage and family.
The lack of actively involved fathers has produced societal conditions necessary for the intervention of government. It is a sobering fact when the government is compelled to respond to the failure of such a fundamental institution as family! In 2001 the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services under President Bush launched its Fatherhood Initiative with this statement:
The President is determined to make committed, responsible fatherhood a national priority ... [T]he presence of two committed, involved parents contributes directly to better school performance, reduced substance abuse, less crime and delinquency, fewer emotional and other behavioral problems, less risk of abuse or neglect, and lower risk of teen suicide. The research is clear: fathers factor significantly in the lives of their children. There is simply no substitute for the love, involvement, and commitment of a responsible father.
While the research confirms that paternal absence (whether it is physical or emotional) is a significant contributing factor in almost every category of societal ill, my concern is the spiritual consequence.
A rather obscure but large and important study conducted by the Swiss government in 1994 and published in 2000 revealed some astonishing facts with regard to the generational transmission of faith and religious values.
In short, the study reveals: "It is the religious practice of the father of the family that, above all, determines the future attendance at or absence from church of the children".
A chemistry professor decided to teach his students a different
lesson one day. Holding a glass of water in his hand, he asked the
students, "How much do you think this glass of water weighs?"
"500 grams!" came a voice from the back.
"600," said another student.
"I don’t really know!" said the professor, holding the glass up to make sure everyone could see it. "And unless we weigh it, we won’t know."
With the glass still in his outstretched hand, the professor continued, "What will happen if I hold it like this for a few minutes?"
"Nothing!" came the reply.
"Right, and if I hold it for an hour like this, what might happen?"
"Your hand will begin to hurt," said a student.
"Indeed. And what would happen if I held the glass in my hand like this for 24 hours?"
"You would be in tremendous pain," said one student.
"Your hand will probably go numb," said another.
"Your arm will be paralyzed and we’ll need to rush you to the hospital!" said a student on the last bench.
"True," said the professor. "But notice that through all this, the weight of the glass did not change. What then causes the pain?"
The class went quiet. The students seemed puzzled.
"What should I do to avoid the pain?" asked the professor.
"Put the glass down!" said a student.
"Well said!" exclaimed the professor. "And that’s a lesson I want you to remember. The problems and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. But think about it a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything. It’s important to remember to let go of your problems. Remember to put the glass down!"
We may not have been in that classroom that day, but it’s a lesson we would all do well to remember. Put the glass down! Always.
It’s not just problems and worries. Sometimes, we feel hurt and betrayed by a friend. And we carry that grudge through our lives. It grows and causes us anguish and pain. Learning to forgive – and forget – is not just good for the other people, it’s great for you.
1. If you drop a whole egg on the floor, pour salt all over the egg, let it sit for awhile, then use dustpan, the egg will come right up, without all that mess.
2. Soak stained hankies in salt water before washing.
3. Sprinkle salt on your shelves to keep ants away.
4. Soak fish in salt water before descaling; the scales will come off easier.
5. Put a few grains of rice in your salt-shaker for easier pouring.
6. Add salt to green salads to prevent wilting.
7. Test the freshness of eggs in a cup of salt water; fresh eggs sink; bad ones float.
8. Add a little salt to your boiling water when cooking eggs; a cracked egg will stay in its shell this way.
9. A tiny pinch of salt with egg whites makes them beat up fluffier.
10. Soak wrinkled apples in a mildly salted water solution to perk them up.
12. Soak toothbrushes in salt water before you first use them; they will last longer.
13. Use salt to clean your discolored coffee pot.
14. Mix salt with turpentine to whiten you bathtub and toilet bowl.
15. Soak your nuts in salt brine overnight and they will crack out of their shells whole. Just tap the end of the shell with a hammer to break it open easily.
Real Ginger Ale Recipe
by Dr. Ben Kim
1-inch piece of ginger root, peeled
Push ginger root, tangerine, grapes, and watermelon through a juicer.
Add mineral water to juice and stir well.
If you use a strong blender in place of the juicer, use some of the sparkling mineral water to get the ingredients going and add the remaining water once the ingredients are blended together. Depending on the strength of your blender, you may need to use a strainer if you prefer a clear ginger ale.
Alternate Recipe for Diabetic Patients:
Because this recipe for natural ginger ale calls for quite a bit of fruit juice, it's best to have it only occasionally. If you have trouble maintaining a healthy blood sugar level, you can juice a 1/4 slice of fresh ginger root with six leaves of romaine lettuce, 3 ribs of celery, and 2 carrots for a ginger-flavored green vegetable drink.
WASHINGTON – Praying about health issues dramatically increased
among American adults over the past three decades, rising 36 percent
between 1999 and 2007, according to a study published in 2011 by the
American Psychological Association.
Researchers analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 1999, 2002 and 2007 National Health Interview Surveys for an article in the May issue of the APA journal Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. The study primarily focused on comparisons of results between the 2002 and 2007 surveys, which included, respectively, 30,080 adults (over 18 years old) from 44,540 households and 23,393 adults from 40,377 households.
"The United States did have an increase in worship attendance across multiple religious faiths immediately after the 9/11 attack, but that has not stayed elevated. However, people continued to use informal and private spiritual practices such as prayer," said lead author Amy Wachholtz, PhD, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. "There is also a greater public awareness of Buddhist-based mindfulness practices that can include prayerful meditation, which individuals may also be using to address a variety of health concerns."
People who had a decline in health as well as those with improved health reported more prayer, suggesting that individuals who experience a progressive disease or an acute health change are more likely to use prayer to cope with the changing circumstances, the article states.
While prayer about health issues increased across all groups, from 43 percent in 2002 to 49 percent in 2007, the data indicated that people with the highest incomes were 15 percent less likely to pray than those with the lowest incomes, and people who exercised regularly were 25 percent less likely to pray those who didn't exercise. Women, African-Americans and the well-educated were most likely to pray about their health.
"We're seeing a wide variety of prayer use among people with good income and access to medical care," Wachholtz said. "People are not exchanging health insurance for prayer."
A significantly greater proportion of women prayed compared to men, with 51 percent of women reporting prayer in 2002 and 56 percent in 2007, in contrast with 34 percent and 40 percent, respectively, among men. African-Americans were more likely to pray for their health than Caucasians, with 61 percent of African-Americans reporting having done so in 2002 and 67 percent in 2007, compared to 40 percent and 45 percent for Caucasians during the same periods. People who were married, educated beyond high school or had experienced a change in health for better or worse within the last 12 months were also more likely to pray about health concerns, the study found.
The study did not reveal the type of prayer people used, or which occurred first – prayer or the health issue.
Malankara World has over 3000 articles and hundreds of links to outside resources covering all aspects of Syriac Orthodoxy that are of interest to Family. In addition to articles on spirituality, faith, sacraments, sermons, devotionals, etc., Malankara World also has many general interest articles, health tips, Food and Cooking, Virtual Travel, and Family Specific articles. Please visit Malankara World by clicking here or cut and paste the link on your browser: http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/default.htm
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