Volume 1 No. 12 July 1, 2011
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|Table of Contents|
|This Sunday is the Third Sunday
after Pentecost. The Gospel Reading is from St. John
6:35-46. We have given sermons with the themes, "I am
the Bread of Life", "Eternal Life", "Discipleship", etc.
covering the themes possible from this passage. Read the
full list here:
Sermons from 3rd Sunday after Pentecost.
This week's meditation is very special. It is titled, "Today I will make a difference." Our mission in this world is to make a difference using the talents given by God. I suggest that you read this passage everyday in the morning. You will see a big difference in your life shortly.
Our focus topic is on the Dominican Outreach Mission organized by Rev. Fr. Johnson and the St. Ephrem's mission, a jewel of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church. Several members from North America, including a member of the Malankara World Board, will be experiencing Dominican Republic first hand this week. They will see sufferings from poverty, illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, earthquake devastation etc. We will be updating on the trip frequently in MW.
Humility is a quality that is highly preferred by God. We have a short article about Humility. Read it over and over. It is a life changer.
Talking of eternity, Dr. Graham tells us how to make big impact on our eternal life during our short life. We think we have a long life to live. The fact is, no one knows how much time we have here. It can end in the next moment. It is important that we take advantage of our time in this world to accumulate spiritual treasures that are valued in our eternal life.
This week's Journal also has articles on career change, very useful in the uncertain economic conditions of today. The health feature talks about the dangers of commercial sun screen products. Next two months are the peak summer season in North America; we hope that you will read and pay attention to what is given there before going to beach. You will be glad you did.
For our North American readers, we wish you all a Happy July Fourth Holiday. Enjoy the picnics, fireworks, and backyard barbecues. We are already past the half way point in this summer season.
|This Sunday in Church|
|Bible Readings for This Sunday|
Third Sunday after Pentecost
|Sermons for This Sunday|
|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 the Third Sunday After Pentecost|
This Week's Features
Today I Will Make A Difference
by Max Lucado
Today I will make a difference. I will begin by controlling my thoughts. A person is the product of his thoughts. I want to be happy and hopeful. Therefore, I will have thoughts that are happy and hopeful. I refuse to be victimized by my circumstances. I will not let petty inconveniences such as stoplights, long lines, and traffic jams be my masters. I will avoid negativism and gossip. Optimism will be my companion, and victory will be my hallmark. Today I will make a difference.
I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. I will drink each minute as though it is my last. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I will make a difference.
I will not let past failures haunt me. Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on. Victoriously. No failure is fatal. It's OK to stumble...I will get up. It's OK to fail...I will rise again. Today I will make a difference.
I will spend time with those I love. My spouse, my children, my family. A man can own the world but be poor for the lack of love. A man can own nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships. Today I will spend at least five minutes with the significant people in my world. Five quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening. Five undiluted minutes with my mate, children, and friends.
Today I will make a difference.
From "On The Anvil", Copyright (Tyndale Publishing, 1985) Max Lucado, Used with Permission
This week (July 3-9) 7 youth members from Malankara Archdiocese of Syriac Orthodox Church
in North America will be spending a week in Dominican Republic and Neighboring
Earthquake ravished Haiti to experience a Christian Mission work personally.
They are all members of the MGSOSA (Mor Gregorios Syriac Orthodox Student
Association) - North America.
Rev. Dn. Dr. Zach Varghese, MD is one of the organizers of the MGSOSA - Dominican Outreach. Rev. Zach is also a member of the Malankara World Board. He will be sending frequent field reports. So, you will get an opportunity to experience firsthand what is going on in this mission as well as get a rare glimpse into what happens in the background. A separate portal will be built within Malankara World describing the mission along with the updates.
MGSOSA comprises of all the Malankara Syriac Orthodox youth leagues across the North American archdiocese. Its task is to enhance the spiritual growth and developing a Christian character among the youth. This organization will also enable interaction among the parishes and provide a voice that represents the youth in the diocese. Youth members are given the opportunity to actively participate in diocesan, regional, and local ministries. MGSOSA strives to contribute new ideas in order to incorporate activities that will reinforce the faith of the ancient Syriac Orthodox Church and instill a close relationship with God. MGSOSA enthusiastically embraces spirituality, fellowship, and unity, creating the foundation to guide this association into the future.
MGSOSA and Dominican Outreach
The best way to deepen our common faith in Jesus Christ is to display it. To strengthen our spirit, our Archbishop, His Eminence Mor Titus Yeldho, authorized a group of clergy and laity to put together a transformative spiritual exercise. Having come across the work of Dominican Outreach, we have arranged to go “off the grid” for a few days to labor among some of the world’s most materially poor. However, we have a feeling we shall find some of the world’s most spiritually rich.
The mission has several programs that directly benefit the locals of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and the eastern border area of Haiti. Most initiatives are work oriented, designed to give recipients tools necessary to lift themselves out of poverty.
The Haitian earthquake of 2010 caused tremendous strain on those already impoverished. Dominican Outreach stepped into action, building a school and medical clinic to serve inhabitants of whatever stripe on the Haitian side of the border. The clinic is designed to especially serve HIV/AIDS patients.
God Gives the Increase
Dominican Outreach programs have helped many find their way in Christ. Short term missionaries find fulfillment. Contributors share in the blessings. Very importantly, locals respond to the message, turning from darkness and toward the Light. We hope to share in this experience, not only casting our nets wide, but lending a hand in producing sweet fruit of a pleasant vintage. We expect a roller coaster of emotions and challenges. The conditions will be rough. The support of our families, parishes, and clergy will be required. Fortunately, we may thank God for His presence!
About Dominican Outreach
Fr. Dale Johnson, a Syriac Orthodox priest, founded St. Ephrem’s Mission in the Dominican Republic in the 1990s. In accord with his welcoming heart, he also called it “Dominican Outreach.” Over time, the schools, orphanages, refugee centers, clinics, and economic projects supported by Fr. Dale have helped countless thousands.
An area of work that has risen to prominence has been the documentation of human trafficking. Unfortunately, a modern “slave trade” still exists throughout much of the world, and the islands of the Caribbean are no exception. The mission gives voice to those abused in trafficking schemes, gaining the attention of media such as CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
The mission is active on both sides of the Haitian border. Especially after the devastating earthquake of 2010, the needs in Haiti have been tremendous. Mor Polycarpus Augin, Archbishop of the Netherlands, generously made a donation large enough to open a school along the Haitian border. This school also houses an HIV/AIDS clinic which combats the devastating disease.
While Fr. Dale believes in social action, he does not encourage a dependent mentality among those he serves. A hallmark of Dominican Outreach is the development of self-reliance and entrepreneurship. To this end, the mission has devised micro-credit loan facilities and agricultural initiatives designed to lift recipients out of poverty and become productive members of society.
Fr. Dale has many interests, from history to biodiversity. He has published numerous treatises and partnered in various scientific endeavors, recently being awarded a National Science Grant in conjunction with Lewis & Clark University (Portland, Oregon). Photographers from National Geographic have included him in a publication on spiders.
Ordained a priest by H.E. Mor Athanasius Y. Samuel, the first archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church in North America (and possessor of the first of the “Dead Sea Scrolls”), Fr. Dale has spent considerable time teaching Syriac and performing mission work in various places. Many illustrious church dignitaries have received instruction from him.
Look for frequent updates in Malankara World. Pray for the Mission from July 3rd - 9th 2011
by Chriss and Michele Groff
Few things are more effective in undermining our walk with God than pride. Many of us claim to be dependent on Him, but live our lives depending on ourselves. The way we respond to both our achievements and our disappointments is a powerful testimony to our children.
When your sense of worth soars with success, you are taking credit for positive results. Results, however, ultimately depend on God, not us. In His sovereign wisdom, He uses both good and bad experiences to bring about His plan. When we understand this, we have a better perspective on success and failure. Our talents are gifts from God and, while He calls us to use them for His glory, the outcome belongs to Him.
Model humility in both your successes and your failures.
Source: Parenting by Design
by Dr. Jack Graham
I have some good friends who, years ago, were on their way home from church. And as they came to an intersection, another driver ran a red light and they were hit by a truck in the front of their car. To make matters worse, the driver sped away instantly to avoid taking responsibility. Now, if my friends had left church just a split second earlier, they most likely would’ve died that day.
If you and I ever believe that we’re guaranteed one more day, one more breath on this earth, we’re dead wrong. These may be the last words you ever read. These may, in fact, be the last words I ever write. All flesh is, without a doubt, like grass.
That’s why James says, “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14). In the scope of eternity, even if you live to be 115 years old, your time here is nothing but a quick blip on the radar of eternity.
Now I realize you may be thinking, “Pastor, that’s harsh!” Yes it is, but it’s also reality. So the question is this: What are you going to do with your blip on the radar screen? Well, the only thing you can do that will have eternal significance is live your life for God. Lead others to him; serve him in everything you do. When you do that, you can turn your blip into a powerful marker of an eternal impact!
YOUR TIME ON EARTH IS A BLIP IN THE SCOPE OF ETERNITY. SO MAKE AN ETERNAL IMPACT BY SERVING GOD AND LEADING OTHERS TO HIM EACH DAY!
Source: Powerpoint Devotional
By Peter Fogel
I don't know how to say this any clearer: Most people are lazy. (Not you, of course. I am talking about other people.) Being lazy is part of human nature. A body at rest, stays at rest... A body in motion, yada, yada, yada...
Anyway, the reason I am bringing this up is that I want to know what you are doing today toward reinventing your career.
I know, you have family commitments... work commitments... people tugging at you. And sometimes you think you don't have enough time to work on your personal goals.
But you know what? It's not true. It's just a matter of making better use of your time.
First off, you have to be clear about what you really want. Are you thinking of venturing out into a completely new career? Or are you thinking of reinventing yourself at your present job and getting more out of what you do?
Once you know what you want to accomplish, you can determine the actions you need to take to make it happen. Nothing will happen unless you take ACTION. But, of course, you have to prioritize those actions. What has to be done immediately... tomorrow... the day after?
Today, for instance, I have to finish work for a client and then work on promotional materials for my new book. The weather is gorgeous. And I'd love to go to the beach. But nnnnnnnnnnnnnno. I will NOT. Going to the beach is not a priority. Getting the work done is.
Prioritizing allows you to get the biggest ROI from your time and resources. In marketing, for example, if I do X and it does not bring me Y or Z (leads or income), I have to change X.
The same applies to your reinvention. If an action you take doesn't pay off the way you expect it to, you have to redirect your efforts to get the results you want.
Whether you are reinventing yourself into a brand-new career or at your present job, the main thing to keep in mind is that you are in charge of your own time and resources. If your reinvention isn't working, you have to re-examine your priorities.
Yes, you will have to make sacrifices in order to move forward with your reinvention. Reinvention takes time. There are steps you have to take. You will have to retool, repackage yourself, and perhaps learn new skills. But if you take small steps each day, you will not get overwhelmed. And you will soon see measurable results.
[Ed. Note: Peter "The Reinvention Guy" Fogel has worked on many TV shows, including Married With Children, Hope and Faith, and Whoopi. He's the author of several critically acclaimed books including Stories and Strategies of People Over 40 Who Have Successfully Reinvented Themselves.]
Researchers have found that the chemicals and/or minerals in the vast majority of commercially available sunscreens can cause health problems just from ordinary use; inhaling the spray magnifies the risks.
And just what are the risks? According to the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG), there are two major types of sunscreens available in the U.S. “Chemical” sunscreens, the more common kind, penetrate the skin and may disrupt the body’s endocrine system, as their active ingredients (e.g., octylmethylcinnamate, oxybenzone, avobenzone, benzophone, mexoryl, PABA or PARSOL 1789) mimic the body’s natural hormones and as such can essentially confuse the body’s systems. Quite a risk to take, considering that the chemical varieties don’t even work for very long once applied.
Meanwhile, “mineral” sunscreens are considered somewhat safer, as their active ingredients are natural elements such as zinc or titanium. But “micronized” or “nano-scale” particles of these minerals can get below the skin surface and cause allergic reactions and other problems for some people. EWG recommends sticking with “mineral” sunscreens whenever possible but, more important, taking other precautions to avoid prolonged sun exposure altogether. “At EWG we use sunscreens, but we look for shade, wear protective clothing, and avoid the noontime sun before we smear on the cream,” the group reports.
As for spray varieties, EWG recommends avoiding them entirely: “These ingredients are not meant to be inhaled into the lungs.” With so little known about the effects of sunscreen chemicals on the body when rubbed into the skin, we may never know how much worse the effects may be when they are inhaled.
EWG only considers a small percentage of the sunscreens on the market—none of which come packaged in spray cans—safe for human use. Some of the top rated varieties come from manufacturers including All Terrain, Aubrey Organics, Badger, Blue Lizard, California Baby, La Roche-Posay, Purple Prairie Botanicals, thinksport, and UV Natural. None of the mainstream drug store variety brands appear on EWG’s recommended list. The full list is available on the sunscreens section of EWG’s Skin Deep website. With summer now upon us, stock up on good sunscreen before it’s too late.
CONTACT: Skin Deep, www.ewg.org/skindeep.
Source: EarthTalk® EarthTalk® is a registered trademark of E - The Environmental Magazine
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