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

Theme: Church

Volume 3 No. 173 October 10, 2013

If the Journal is not displayed properly, please click on the link below (or copy and paste) to read from web
http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Newsletter/MWJ_173.htm

Archives: http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Newsletter/Default.htm

Baselios Thomas I Catholicose Praying...

Jesus answered, "There is no way to get rid of this kind of demon except by prayer and fasting." - Mark 9:29

TABLE OF CONTENTS
If you are not receiving your own copy of Malankara World by email, please add your name to our subscription list. It is free. click here.

This Sunday in Church

Bible Readings for This Sunday (October 13)

Bible Readings For the Fifth Sunday After Sleebo Feast

http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/Lectionary/Lec_5th_sunday-after-sleebo.htm

Sermons for This Sunday (October 13)

Sermons for the Fifth Sunday After Sleebo

http://www.Malankaraworld.com/Library/Sermons/Sermon-of-the-week_5th-sunday-after-Sleebo.htm

Thematic Articles

Meekness and Humility by HH Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

Dearly beloved, in these difficult times, our Holy Church is going through a critical juncture which constitutes a dangerous turning point in her modern history. Disorganized immigration has exposed our people to foreign ways, leading them away from their cultural roots and sources of spiritual values inherited from their esteemed fathers. Moreover, the enemies of truth lurk around them to ensnare them in their nets. They have set up evil traps for them both in the homeland and overseas. ...

True Power Is in Serving Others by Pope Francis

In Mark 9:30-37, Jesus speaks of his passion. However his disciples, begin arguing about who is the greatest among them. Commenting on this 'bitter episode', Pope Francis noted: "The struggle for power in the Church is nothing new.  In fact, it began then with Jesus. In the Gospel of Jesus, the struggle for power in the Church must not exist because true power, that which the Lord by his example has taught us, is the power of service." ...

How to Have Unity in the Church

Great harm can come when a group of people, including a church, is divided. We have all experienced quarreling and division before. Division has always been a problem, even among God's people, and almost every New Testament epistle deals with this topic, or mentions it in one way or another. Even the 12 Apostles did not always get along with each other. The problem is common because it is a common problem in all of life. ...

Ten Things About Conflict You Need to Know

Scripture has not misrepresented the Christian life nor the work of those called to spread the Gospel. From one end of the New Testament to the other we are told to expect persecution (see Matthew 5:10 and Revelation 7:14), opposition from both within and without the church (see Acts 20:29-31), and tribulation in all its various manifestations (see Acts 14:22). .. Jesus said, "When you are persecuted, rejoice."

The Causes and Cure of Conflict

Depraved humanity will pay good money to watch a fight, but few of us want to be in a fight. We do not want the stress of conflict, but the blessing of peace. You may be experiencing conflict right now in your life. How can we overcome the problem of conflict in our homes, our churches, and in other groups of people? Well the apostle James gives some insight in our text of Scripture today. ...

How a Church Dies

How does a church die? The same way some people do. It starts with an unusual ache or pain. One thing leads to another, and things get worse with each passing day. Then one day, they find themselves on their deathbed. ...

One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church

It is a beautiful image which tells us that the Church is like a great orchestra in which there is variety; there is variety among the components, but there is no conflict, no opposition. It is a variety that lets itself be founded in the harmony of the Holy Spirit; He is the true "Maestro," He himself is harmony. ...

The Future Destiny of the Universal Church

What is the future destiny of the universal church? One thing it is not: it is not the destiny of the Church to conquer the world with the gospel. For centuries, this was a common misconception: once the world had been conquered with the gospel, then the Kingdom could be set up; once the Kingdom was set up, only then would Yeshua return. ...

What Did Daniel Pray?

I am challenged and inspired by Daniel's response. It makes me ask questions like: where do I run when life presses in on me? Who or what am I really dependent on? Do I have a habit of inviting guilt to join me in my pit? What might happen if I stopped grabbing for comfort and instead embraced the perspective changer of thanksgiving? ...

General Articles

Health: Mental Health - Reclaiming the New Frontier

An analysis of data from the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study - more people are dying or falling ill as a result of addictions and mental illnesses than from HIV, tuberculosis, and diabetes – makes clear the work ahead. Worldwide, between 1990 and 2010, the incidence of mental illness has gone up by 38 percent, and depressive disorders account for 40 percent of worldwide death and disease burden. ...

Recipe: Apple Rum Raisin Bread Pudding

Autumn is here and apple season is upon us! Here is a delicious apple recipe to try this fall. ...

Humor: Retirement Benefits

About Malankara World

This Sunday in Church
Bible Readings for This Sunday (October 13)

Bible Readings For the Fifth Sunday After Sleebo Feast

Sermons for This Sunday (October 13)
This Week's Features

Meekness and Humility

by His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas
Patriarch of Antioch and all the East
Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church

The Lord Jesus says: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (St. Matthew 11:28-30).

Dearly Beloved, humility and meekness are noble and divine virtues which complement each other. For, by our humility, we glorify God, confessing His great benevolence toward us. Because He is our Creator, Who cares for us. Thus, it behooves us to continually offer thanksgiving to His majesty, admitting our weakness and need for His mercy. Furthermore, we ought to be confidently assured that all the gifts we own, be it heavenly or earthly, and whatever grace we enjoy in this life, are but free gifts from Him, glory be to His name. Hence, we have no right to be proud, but ought to give all credit to God, avoiding pride which separates us from Him. For pride causes us to be deaf to God's holy word and leads us to self-adoration and atheism. Henceforth, let humility rule our minds and our hearts be filled with the light of Christ, thus enkindling within us the flame of faith in God, to trust in Him and accept all the tenets of faith He inspired unto us through His Holy Bible, God’s living word. In so doing, we glorify His holy name, just like David who said: "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Your name give glory" (Psalm 115:1).

Humility is the foundation and the culmination of all Christian virtues. Moreover, meekness is the ripe fruit of humility, and its companion in the spiritual struggle. The virtue of humility, when established in the heart and mind of a person, becoming a part of him, directs his behavior and others see it in him through his behavior. As that person acquires meekness, he is given enough spiritual courage to wrestle the cursed devil and overcome hard temptations. God grants him sufficient strength for self-control to overcome raging anger, limit evil thoughts and keep away from hatred, jealousy and enmity, thereby obeying God’s commandments: "Do not resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also." (St. Matthew 5:39-40). Also, "love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you" (St. Matthew 5:44). Only in this manner, meekness becomes our second nature by which we deal with others in kindness and charity.

This is how we may imitate Christ, our Lord, Who bids us to learn from Him, for He is meek and humble of heart. These two virtues were evident in all His dealings during His divine dispensation in the flesh. He loved children and they, in return, loved Him and were comfortable in His company. He had compassion towards women and had pity on sinners, opening the way for them to return to God through sincere repentance. He also forgave His enemies and those who hated Him. Indeed, He taught us these two virtues through His words, deeds and parables. Therefore, if we imitate and follow Him, we attain peace with God through complete surrender to His divine will, during bad and good times. We will also find peace with ourselves, which leads to a clear conscience, enabling us to love God Who loved us first, obey His laws, avoid what He forbids and to fulfill our religious duties. We should also be at peace with our neighbor, showing him love by countering his bad behavior with forgiveness and by praying for him, as St. Paul commanded Timothy his disciple, saying: "A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth" (2 Timothy 2:24-25).

By His meekness and humility, our Lord Jesus corrected the world’s understanding of heavenly virtues and noble values. Before the birth of the Lord Jesus, meekness was regarded a weakness; however, in Christianity it is considered a great spiritual strength. Similarly, in the past, humility was regarded a weakness, while in Christianity it is considered rising above iniquity and triumphing over the devil and his boastful followers, and condemnation of their pride which caused them to fall into disobedience, making them enemies of God and man. Pride also led mankind to fall into the sin of rebellion against the Creator, meriting the punishment of death. Consequently, in order to save mankind from rebellion, and to bring them back to life, the Lord Jesus treated them with humility and commanded them to be meek, saying to His disciples: "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves" (St. Matthew 10:16).

Indeed, the Lord’s disciples did comprehend the majesty of their divine Teacher. They also understood the weakness of their condition and realized their constant need for the Lord. This became evident when the Lord explained, saying: "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing" (St. John 15:4-5).

Dearly beloved, in these difficult times, our Holy Church is going through a critical juncture which constitutes a dangerous turning point in her modern history. Disorganized immigration has exposed our people to foreign ways, leading them away from their cultural roots and sources of spiritual values inherited from their esteemed fathers. Moreover, the enemies of truth lurk around them to ensnare them in their nets. They have set up evil traps for them both in the homeland and overseas. There are those who follow old heresies and those who follow new sects who claim to be Christians, though they are not. They come like ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing to snatch Christ’s sheep. Then there are those lay persons, who through their evil pride, have formed false ideas trying to control the Church in order to meddle with her administration system, which is divinely instituted. For the Church is a spiritual institution and the mystical Body of Christ. Christ is the head of the Church Who appointed His holy apostles and gave them the authority to serve the children of the Church. They are put in charge of her administration, the management of her affairs and to provide care for her members. They are also her legal representatives and defenders of her religious tenets, name, heritage, language, traditions, culture, attributes, aspects and definitions granted from heaven and confirmed by history throughout the generations.

The Church will not be shaken because Christ is with her, and has promised her, saying: "and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it" (St. Matthew 16:18). Whoever rises against her shall be defeated, because the Church’s authority comes from above. In the spirit of humility and meekness, it is our duty to offer instruction and advice to those who have gone astray. If they return to obey the Church, heaven will rejoice over one sinner who repents, and we will welcome them back into the Church. However, if they insist on opposing the Church and causing division among her ranks, in order to divide her followers, and disobeying the true shepherds, then it becomes our duty to use our spiritual authority to defend the noble faith and honorable tradition, and to chastise those who rebel against the Church system, in order to fulfill what St. Paul has urged us to do in such conditions, saying: "Therefore, put away from yourselves the evil person" (1 Corinthians 5:13).

Dearly Beloved, The coming of the holy Lenten season is a golden opportunity for us to spiritually strive to emulate the Lord Jesus in His humility and meekness. Moreover, it provides us the opportunity practice noble virtues and join our faith with good deeds and especially with works of mercy such as the distribution of alms, helping the poor and caring for the orphans and widows. Let us also show our love to our Holy Syriac Orthodox Church, to her administrative structures, her Syriac language, liturgical traditions and the teachings of her Holy Fathers.

May God accept your fasting and prayers, and may He make you worthy to celebrate the feast of His Holy Resurrection from the dead with joy and happiness. May His grace abide with you forever.

Our Father Who art in heaven, ...

Issued at our Patriarchal Headquarters.
Damascus, Syria.
January 20, 2007

True Power Is in Serving Others

by Pope Francis

For a Christian, true progress lies in humbling ourselves as Jesus did. True power is in service and that there is no room for power struggles within the Church. This was the focus of Pope Francis' homily at the Casa Santa Marta on May 21, 2013.

In Mark 9:30-37, the source of the Pope's reflections, Jesus speaks of his passion. However his disciples, begin arguing about who is the greatest among them. Commenting on this 'bitter episode', the Pope noted: "The struggle for power in the Church is nothing new.  In fact, it began then with Jesus. In the Gospel of Jesus, the struggle for power in the Church must not exist because true power, that which the Lord by his example has taught us, is the power of service."

"Real power is service. As He did, He who came not to be served but to serve, and His service was the service of the Cross. He humbled Himself unto death, even death on a cross for us, to serve us, to save us. And there is no other way in the Church to move forward. For the Christian, getting ahead, progress, means humbling oneself. If we do not learn this Christian rule, we will never, ever be able to understand Jesus' true message on power. "

The Pope said that progress "means humbling ourselves", it means "always being of service" to others. In the Church, he added, "the greatest is the one who serves most, the one who is at the service of others." "This is the rule." Yet, noted Pope Francis, from the beginning until now there have been "power struggles in the Church," even "in our manner of speech":

"When a person is given a job, one that the eyes of the world is a superior role, they say: 'Ah, this woman has been promoted to president of that association, or this man was promoted ...'. This verb, to promote: yes, it is a nice verb and one we must use in the Church. Yes, He was promoted to the Cross, He was promoted to humiliation. That is true promotion [advancement], that which makes us seem more like Jesus! "

The Pope then recalled that St. Ignatius of Loyola who, in his Spiritual Exercises, asked the Crucified Lord for "the grace of humiliation." This, he reiterated, is "the true power of the service of the Church." This is the true path of Jesus, true and not worldly advancement:

"The path of the Lord is being in His service. As He carried out His service, we must follow Him, on the path of service. That is the real power in the Church. I would like today to pray for all of us, so that the Lord give us the grace to understand that: that real power in the Church is service. And also to understand the golden rule that He taught us by His example: for a Christian, progress, advancement, means being humble. We ask for this grace. "

Source: Radio Vaticana

How to Have Unity in the Church

by Stephen Felker, Swift Creek Baptist Church, Colonial Heights, VA

Scripture: I Corinthians 1:10-17a

Introduction.

Walking through the jungle, a hunter found a dead ferocious-looking rhinoceros with a Pygmy standing proudly beside it.

Amazed, the hunter asked, "Did you kill that rhino?"
"Why, yes," said the Pygmy.
"How could a little fella like you kill a beast like that?"
"I killed it with my club," explained the Pygmy.
The astonished hunter exclaimed, "Wow! How big is your club?"
The Pygmy replied, "There are about 90 of us." (1)

It's amazing what can be accomplished when a group of people are unified, working for the same goal.

On the other hand, great harm can come when a group of people, including a church, is divided. We have all experienced quarreling and division before. Division has always been a problem, even among God's people, and almost every New Testament epistle deals with this topic, or mentions it in one way or another. Even the 12 Apostles did not always get along with each other. The problem is common because it is a common problem in all of life. As little children we would cry, fight, and throw tantrums when we did not get our way. As we grow up, we become more sophisticated in our quarreling, but the problem is still there. Friends fight, husbands and wives fight, nations fight. It just seems that quarreling and fighting is a part of life.

The Corinthian church clearly had a serious problem with strife and division. Paul says in v.11 "that there are contentions among you." The word translated "contentions" (eris) refers to "strife, wordy wrangling, or quarreling." This word is translated "debate" in Romans 1:29. It is translated the same way in 2 Cor. 12:20, in the same context as "backbitings and whisperings." Problems may begin with disagreements, but they are made worse by the wordy quarreling and arguments that we engage in.

The question is, How can we overcome the problem of strife and divisiveness, and achieve and maintain unity?

First, the problem should not be ignored in hopes that it will go away on its own. It needs to be dealt with, or it will spread and get worse. As we see in v.11, "those of Chloe's household" did not ignore the problem, but reported it to Paul so that it might be dealt with. (2)

Secondly, problem should be dealt with directly, honestly, and carefully through the Word of God. The Holy Spirit saw fit to inspire Paul to deal with this subject, so that we can find the answers from this text of Scripture.

Before I share with you the solutions to the problem, I want to share first of all:

I. THE SERIOUSNESS OF THIS PROBLEM OF STRIFE

In any group of people, we cannot avoid disagreement. It's been said that when you have 3 Baptists, you have at least 3 opinions! So I'm not talking today about the times when you realize you have a disagreement, and you calmly go through a process of seeking God's will, and working through that disagreement with a common goal of reaching a decision. I'm talking about engaging is strife, word battles, choosing sides, and engaging in political strategy to see to it that your wishes prevail in the church. Why should we avoid strife and word battles in the church, and in our other relationships? I want you to understand the seriousness of this problem so that you will be motivated to avoid it, and seek to implement the solution that I will share later in the message.

A. Strife Can Divide and Split the Church

In v.10 Paul made an appeal "that there be no divisions among you…." The word for "divisions" is schisma; lit. a tear; fig. a division, dissension, split [illustrating by tearing something]. Whenever we engage in strife and debate to achieve a selfish goal, we run the risk of creating a division or fracturing of the church. The subjunctive implies that the problem had not reached the point of a split in the fellowship, but if they did not heed his appeal, it could develop into a complete split in the church.

In v.12 Paul gives an example of how the church had become divided. "Now I say this, that each of you says, 'I am of Paul,' or 'I am of Apollos,' or 'I am of Cephas,' or 'I am of Christ.'" Paul founded the church. Many were saved under Paul's ministry as founder of the church. Some liked his intellectualism. Apollos followed Paul (Acts 18:24-28) and had an effective ministry. He was an eloquent preacher. They loved the way he could preach the stars down. We do not know if Peter had any direct ministry there. People probably expressed allegiance to him because he was the leader of the apostles. Or perhaps some Jews had moved to Corinth who were loyal to Peter.

Some Gentiles may have liked the way Peter was bold and tough; they liked the way he pounded the pulpit when he preached! The last group thought they were the most spiritual. They saw what was happening, and they claimed Christ as the head of their party, or faction. I'm sure they were very proud of their head. In Gal. 5:20 we read of heresies (hairesis) as a work of the sin nature, which refers to taking sides in a fight or dispute and forming a separate party or clique. And there was certainly a party spirit developing in Corinth around personalities. They formed cliques around certain men. Instead of a two party system, they had a "four party system!" It is natural to have special affection for the person who led us to Christ, or for a pastor who has fed us the Word of God for years. But when you somehow feel superior to other believers because of your attachment to a leader, that is a work of the flesh. Spiritual pride is not of God.

Some people are like the man who decided he was the only one who was right and kept looking for the true church. He moved from church to church and just couldn't find a church that suited him. Finally, he started a church himself and called it "The True Church." One afternoon, someone asked him, "Well, how many members do you have in your true church?" He replied, "There are just two of us, my wife and I, and sometimes I'm not so sure about her."

So strife can lead to division and splinter groups. There is another reason why strife is a serious problem:

Read the rest of this enlightening article in Malankara World.
http://www.Malankaraworld.com/Library/Reading/Essays_how-to-have-unity-in-church.htm

Ten Things About Conflict You Need to Know

by Dr. Joe McKeever

"It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes."
Psalm 119:71.

In USA Today for Thursday, May 9, 2013, Jeffrey Katzenberg talks about movie-making lessons he learned from Walt Disney.

"Walt believed that an animated movie was only as good as its villain. I never forgot that."

Think about that for a second. Villains make movies work. Villains turn ordinary people into heroes. Villains rivet our attention on the story. Villains keep us fixated on the plot until justice is served.

The greatest drama of the Twentieth Century was the Second World War. Think about its villains - Hitler, Mussolini, Hirohito, and then Joseph Stalin, too. Now, consider that without that war and those villains, we would never have heard of heroes such as Generals Eisenhower, Patton, MacArthur, Montgomery, etc. That war made Winston Churchill arguably into the man of the century.

Now, as the leader of a church, you have encountered your own set of villains. You’ve noticed that they fall into two camps. One is the devil himself and all his cohorts. The other are people who are supposed to be on your side but instead of helping the program, they seem to spend their days and nights scheming and searching for ways to bring it down.

No matter. You will get on with your assignment and let the Lord sort out who among your membership are the wheat and who are the tares (cf., the parable of Matthew 13). Whichever they are, as the leader (pastor, staffer, elected leader) of the church you have to deal with them and want to do so from a position of faith and strength.

Here are ten statements concerning conflict (and villains) in the church about which you might need reminding….

1) Conflict is normal.

2) Conflict is mostly good. When you want to build a muscle, you put stress on it.

3) Conflict drives you to discover your resources, rally your troops, and summons your reserves. It sends you to your knees in prayer, to your study in panic, and to your counselor for guidance. All of this is good.

4) The person who lives without conflict (stress, problems, challenges, opposition, even persecution) grows flabby and lazy and self-satisfied. Soon they become critical of others and attain know-it-all status concerning life. Thereafter, the news is all bad. They could have benefited from a little conflict along the way. If nothing else, it makes people humble.

"All sunshine makes a desert" is an old saying that works here.

5) Dealing with conflict is often hard, frustrating, and disappointing. That’s why people are not rushing to enter the ministry but have to be "called" by God into this work. If you have found the ministry to be demanding, the workers frustrating, and the obstacles sizeable, then you are seeing clearly. This is how it has been from the beginning. Nothing has changed.

6) The great spiritual leaders of any generation had to overcome great opposition, sizeable barriers, strong villains. Leaders with no problems you never heard of.

7) The best memories of the rest of your life - the greatest lessons learned, the finest strengths developed in you, and the best stories - will involve the problems you faced, the negative people you dealt with, and the troubles you endured. In time, you will find yourself thanking God for that deacon who drove you up the wall, the old man who criticized every proposal you ever brought before the church, the group that fought you on every innovation and change, and the biggest gossip in the congregation. God used them to make you something special, to hone off the rough edges, to soft and sweeten you.

You owe your enemies a great debt of gratitude.

8) When you read a book, what makes it fascinating are the obstacles and problems. A novelist says in plotting her stories, she keeps an index card on the wall above her computer. On it, she has written three words to guide her: "Things get worse."

Perhaps you can recall books you began reading but laid aside and never finished because they were all sweetness and light with no problems, no negatives, no darkness. Memoirs telling how the author went from success to success we find boring. Show me one where the writer failed again and again, was repeatedly knocked down in life, but each time rose a little stronger and eventually won the victory, and that’s a book I want to read.)

9) Scripture has not misrepresented the Christian life nor the work of those called to spread the Gospel. From one end of the New Testament to the other we are told to expect persecution (see Matthew 5:10 and Revelation 7:14), opposition from both within and without the church (see Acts 20:29-31), and tribulation in all its various manifestations (see Acts 14:22). To listen to some of us in the ministry belly-aching, one would get the impression the Lord has been unfaithful and that opposition blind-sided us.

We should be ashamed of ourselves. Jesus said, "When you are persecuted, rejoice."

10) Ministers and others who find themselves in a lovely congregation where no conflict exists may want to start cranking up the machinery and see if they can start more ministries in the community, take the gospel to those who have never heard, and involve more believers in the work. Do that, and I can promise you the devil will pay attention and will no longer leave you alone.

I’m not saying you should encourage opposition, but that if you are faithful in spreading the Word, it will find you (in one form or the other, to one degree or the other).

John Wesley wrote a pastor, "I hear you have a thriving Sunday School work in your area. I am surprised the enemy has not already raised up a champion against it."

That’s the process, friend.

It’s the highest compliment hell can pay.

The Causes and Cure of Conflict

by Dr. Stephen Felker

Scripture: James 4:1-3

Introduction.

One problem that has plagued humanity from the beginning is conflict. In fact, in v.2 of our text, James talks about murder, (1) fighting, & war. (2) Shortly after Adam & Eve sinned, their son Cain killed his brother Abel out of jealousy. As humanity multiplied and divided into nations, wars have erupted. A Norwegian statistician computed that out of 185 generations of recorded history, there have only been 10 generations that have experienced world peace. Not only are there wars between nations, but there are wars of one kind or another on almost every level of life. Different classes of society fight and struggle against the other, the rich & the poor, management & labor. There has been racial conflict in our country & elsewhere. In many cases conflict is common even among family members that are supposed to love each other. We see conflict between husbands and wives, and between children & parents. Someone said that they ate at a real nice family restaurant the other night. Every table had an argument going.

The problem of conflict is even true among professing Christians, in spite of the fact that Jesus prayed for unity among His people. In v.1 James asked, "Where do wars and fights come from among you?" He's talking to Christians. Then in the last of v.1 he talks about "war in your members." This could refer to war among church members (Robertson), rather than an internal war in the members of your body. So evidently conflict was a serious problem in some sections of the early church at that time. For example, the apostle Paul rebuked the members of the Corinthian church for their conflict. Some members were even suing each other in court (1 Cor. 6:1-8). The Galatian believers were "biting and devouring" one another (Gal. 5:15). At Philippi, two women could not get along with each other (Phil. 4:1-3). Today, it is not uncommon for churches to have wars where members take sides, cast verbal bombs at one another, and eventually split into two groups. Such conflict harms the cause of Christ.

Depraved humanity will pay good money to watch a fight, but few of us want to be in a fight. We do not want the stress of conflict, but the blessing of peace. You may be experiencing conflict right now in your life. How can we overcome the problem of conflict in our homes, our churches, and in other groups of people? Well the apostle James gives some insight in our text of Scripture today.

Now if you are going to solve a problem, you must first identify the cause. Deal with the underlying cause of a problem, and you are well on your way to solving the problem. For example, when I go to a doctor, I do not want a medicine that will merely control the symptoms.

I want something that will cure the disease itself. Even so, if we are going to solve the problem of conflict, this is what we must do. First:

I. RECOGNIZE THE CAUSE OF CONFLICT

In our text today James asks a provocative question in v.1, "Where do wars and fights come from among you?" I do not believe that the main cause would be our environment, or even the influence of TV. Instead, James quickly answers his own question by saying, "Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?" He points the accusing finger at our own desires for such things as pleasure.

Notice how desire can lead to conflict. First you need to realize what a strong, driving force desire can be within us. The word translated "lust" (epithumeo) in v.2 literally means "upon heat" & refers to a strong, passionate desire. Likewise, the word translated "covet" (zeloo) in v.2 probably means "to desire earnestly." It is based on a verb (zeo) that means "to boil with heat, be hot." So we are talking about passionate desire. Desire is just like raw energy. It can be beneficial, but it can also do great damage, as a fire that is out of control.

A famous man was found guilty of willful murder. At his execution, addressing about ten thousand spectators, he said, "Young people, all take warning by me; it was passion that brought me here" [Zodiates, p.223]. Uncontrolled passion led to conflict, murder, and the man's own death by execution.

So don't underestimate the power of passionate desire. Few are able to exercise selfcontrol over such strong desires.

Now let's see how passionate desire can drive people into conflict. For example, when two or more individuals have passionate desire for the same thing, you can imagine how passionate the conflict can become. Suppose two guys are both passionately desiring to have the same girl. Let's suppose she likes both of them. You can imagine what conflict that could produce between the two guys! Or suppose she spurns the advances of one of them. When Cheryl dropped one of her boyfriends, he egged her house!

Now I think the real problem is not with desire in and of itself, but self-centered, selfish desire. In fact, James has already said back in 3:16, "For where envy and self–seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there." That's the real problem that leads to conflict. You can't live to please yourself and not put yourself in conflict with other people. If you are going to please yourself, that means that you are going to displease other people. You are going to have fights and wars.

Usually when a couple gets married, it will not be long before conflict erupts. That because you have two competing monarchies. You have King James and Queen Mary. King James has been used to doing what he wants to do. Queen Mary has been used to doing what she wants to do. So, when they get married, sooner or later there will be war.

Now I believe that in our text James talks about different kinds of selfish desires that can cause conflict. In fact, Titus 3:3 says that before we were saved, we were "serving various lusts and pleasures." So let's consider the different types of desires that cause conflict. The first that James mentions is:

A. Lust for Pleasure

The word translated "pleasure" (hedone) in vv.1 & 3 probably refers to the desire for pleasure. The desire for pleasure is a normal desire, & is not wrong in and off itself. For example, there is nothing wrong with a desire to enjoy the pleasure of food when you are hungry. God put that desire in you for a good reason. But here he is talking here about a self-centered desire for pleasure. In fact, we get our word "hedonism" from the Greek word found here, which refers to the philosophy of making pleasure the top priority in life. It primarily refers to sensual pleasure. This is a powerful form of desire that people have. In fact, Paul said in 2 Tim. 3:4 that in the last days, men would be "lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God." In the early 80's an article appeared in the U.S. News and World Report entitled, "Our Endless Pursuit of Happiness." The article said that the American people were spending more money on leisure and entertainment than we were spending on national defense.

You can imagine how desire for pleasure can cause conflict. For example, the lust for pleasure has caused many a person to commit adultery. That will always cause conflict! The lust for pleasure had cause many to become drunk, or get high on drugs. That can lead to conflict between husband & wife, or between parent & child. The lust for pleasure has caused many to lie & call in sick when actually they are pursuing some form of pleasure. So the lust of pleasure can cause conflict between employer & employee.

When was the last time the selfish lust for pleasure created conflict in your life?

There's another type of lustful desire that can cause conflict:

B. Lust for Power & Position

In the context of chapter 3 we see that there was evidently conflict among James' readers over who should be teachers in the church (3:1). Others fought over leadership in the church. In 3 John 9 John warned of Diotrephes, "who loves to have the pre-eminence among them." That do doubt resulted in conflict.

This was nothing new. King Saul engaged in a war against David & his men, because he feared that David would take his throne. On several occasions there was even conflict among the disciples when they argued over who was the greatest in the kingdom (Luke 9:46-48). Today, lust for power certainly is a major cause of the political conflicts that we see in government. Are you involved in conflict over position & power? We should not seek a better position for ourselves by trampling upon others.

Finally, there's yet another type of lustful desire that can cause conflict:

C. Lust for Possessions

This is brought out especially in v.2, "You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. (3) You fight and war." The word "covet" (zeloo) refers to envious desire. It means "to desire hotly to possess." (4) It is when we burn with desire to have what we see others have. Just watch what happens on Christmas morning when one child gets something, and the other child wants what they have. There will be conflict! It is not necessarily bad to want the good things other people have. But when you realize that you cannot obtain those things in a legitimate way, then it is wrong to start tearing others down, and wishing that they did not have those nice things. These carnal Christians to whom James is writing were apparently jealous of fellow Christians who had more & better things than they, and such envy led to conflict.

We have political conflict today over whether the government should take more of what the rich have, and redistribute that wealth to those who have less. Wars have even been fought as one nation attacked another in their lust to take their land, possessions, & resources. So these different kinds of lust, lust for pleasure, lust for position, and lust for possessions are the underlying causes of so much conflict in the world & church today. The next time you find yourself in the midst of conflict, stop and determine what selfish desire is causing the problem. That is the first step to solving it. Then the second step is this:

II. REPENT OF SUCH SELF-CENTERED DESIRES

James calls for repentance of such self-centered desires in the last of v.8, where he says, "Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double–minded." They were double-minded because on the one hand, they wanted to serve God. But on the other hand, they were pursuing worldly pleasures, positions, and possessions. So we need to recognize selfish desires, and repent of such desires, and keep them under control.

I'm going to give you several reasons why you should repent of such selfish desire. In addition to the fact that self-centered desires lead to conflict, there are two other reasons why we should repent of our self-centered desires:

Read the rest of the article in Malankara World

http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/Reading/Essays_causes-and-cure-of-conflict.htm

How a Church Dies

by Greg Laurie

"I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things." - Revelation 2:19

Ruth Graham once said, "The definition of a bore is someone who, when asked how they are feeling, will actually tell you."

Some people love to talk about their latest aches and pains and what is wrong with them. I am not one of those people. I am the kind of person who doesn't want to go to the doctor. I don't want to admit that I am sick. But sometimes, when the symptoms become too strong, I need to go. I need to find out what is wrong.

In Revelation 2, Jesus addressed a very spiritually sick church in a place called Thyatira. What is amazing about this church is they started well, but then they went into decline. But before correcting them, the Lord commended them: "I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things" (verse 19).

What was impressive about this church is they were growing, and there was more growth than there was in the beginning. That was good. But our best days should not be behind us, they should be in front of us. The problem is that some people live in the past.

A lapse was taking place in the church at Thyatira. Compromise had set in. And the moment you begin to neglect your growth, you will contribute to your decline.

How does a church die? The same way some people do. It starts with an unusual ache or pain. One thing leads to another, and things get worse with each passing day. Then one day, they find themselves on their deathbed.

A church dies through the process of getting sicker and sicker spiritually. And spiritual sickness, untreated, can lead to spiritual death.

Copyright ©2012 by Harvest Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church

Pope Francis Reflects on the Creed.

"I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church …"

Today we pause to reflect on this Note of the Church: her catholicity. What does Catholic mean? It comes from the Greek "kath'olon," which means "according to all," the totality. In what sense is this totality applied to the Church? In what sense do we say that the Church is Catholic? I would say in three significant fundamentals.

1. The first. The Church is Catholic because it is the area, the house in which the whole faith is proclaimed, in which the salvation Christ brought us is offered to all.

The Church makes us encounter God's mercy which transforms us, because Jesus Christ is present in it, who gives it the true confession of faith, the fullness of the sacramental life, the authenticity of the ordained ministry. Each one of us finds in the Church what is necessary to believe, to live as Christians, to become holy, to walk in every place and in every time.

To give an example, we can say that it is as in the life of a family. In the family, each one of us is given all that enables us to grow, to mature, to live. We cannot grow on our own, we cannot walk on our own, isolating ourselves, but we walk and grow in a community, in a family. We can listen to the Word of God in the Church, certain that it is the message that the Lord has given us. In the Church we can encounter the Lord in the Sacraments, which are open windows through which we are given the light of God, streams from which we draw the very life of God. In the Church we learn to live in communion, in the love that comes from God. Each one of us can ask him/herself today: how do I live in the Church? How do I receive the gifts she offers me, to grow, to mature as a Christian? Do I take part in community life or do a shut myself in my problems?

2. A second meaning: the Church is Catholic because she is universal; she is spread throughout the world and proclaims the Gospel to every man and every woman.

The Church isn't an elite group; she is not concerned only with a few. The Church is not closed; she is sent to the totality of persons and of the human race. And the one Church is present also in her smallest parts. Everyone can say: the Catholic Church is present in my parish, because the latter is part of the universal Church, it is also the fullness of the gifts of Christ, faith, the Sacraments, the ministry. It is in communion with the Bishop, with the Pope and is open to all, without distinctions.

The Church isn't only the shadow of our bell tower, but embraces a vastness of people, of peoples who profess the same faith, who are nourished by the same Eucharist, who are served by the same Pastors. We feel in communion with all the Churches, with all the small and large Catholic communities of the world! And then we feel that we are all on mission, small and large communities, we must all open our doors and go out for the Gospel.

Let us ask ourselves: what do I do to communicate to others the joy of encountering the Lord, the joy of belonging to the Church? To proclaim and witness the faith is not the concern of a few, it also concerns me, you, each one of us!

3. A third and last thought: the Church is Catholic because it is the "House of harmony" where unity and diversity are able to be combined to be a richness.

We think of the image of a symphony, which means accord and harmony, different instruments sound together; each one maintains its unmistakable timbre and its characteristics of sound are in accord with something in common. Then there is the one who leads,, the director, and in the symphony that is performed all together have a "harmony," but the timbre of each instrument, the peculiarity of each isn't cancelled, rather, it is valued to the utmost!

It is a beautiful image which tells us that the Church is like a great orchestra in which there is variety; there is variety among the components, but there is no conflict, no opposition. It is a variety that lets itself be founded in the harmony of the Holy Spirit; He is the true "Maestro," He himself is harmony. And here we ask ourselves: do we live harmony in our communities? Do we accept the other, do we accept that there is a just variety or do we tend to make everything uniform? Let us pray to the Holy Spirit to make us ever more "Catholics"!

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters: In the Creed, we profess that the Church is "Catholic"; in other words, she is universal. We can understand this catholicity in three ways. First, the Church is catholic because she proclaims the apostolic faith in its entirety; she is the place where we meet Christ in his sacraments and receive the spiritual gifts needed to grow in holiness together with our brothers and sisters. The Church is also catholic because her communion embraces the whole human race, and she is sent to bring to the entire world the joy of salvation and the truth of the Gospel. Finally, the Church is catholic because she reconciles the wonderful diversity of God's gifts to build up his People in unity and harmony. Let us ask the Lord to make us more catholic – to enable us, like a great family, to grow together in faith and love, to draw others to Jesus in the communion of the Church, and to welcome the gifts and contributions of everyone, in order to create a joyful symphony of praise to God for his goodness, his grace, and his redemptive love.

Source: Zenit

The Future Destiny of the Universal Church

by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum

[Editor's Note: Interpretation of the bible prophesies about the future are open to question. Orthodox Church does not subscribe to the concept of rapture. So, read this article as one person's opinion and interpretation. It may provide you with more insight.]

What is the future destiny of the universal church? One thing it is not: it is not the destiny of the Church to conquer the world with the gospel. For centuries, this was a common misconception: once the world had been conquered with the gospel, then the Kingdom could be set up; once the Kingdom was set up, only then would Yeshua return.

This view ignored the passages of Scripture, which taught that the Church will lose ground in the last days and become more and more apostate. The Church was not destined to conquer the world with the gospel. In fact, no point in Scripture ever teaches that the Church is to rule in this age. In fact, the opposite is taught by the Bible: the function of the Church is to be subservient to “Caesar,” the government, not rule over Caesar. Believers are to obey Caesar as long as the government does not ask them to do something that is clearly against the teachings of Scripture. So whatever the destiny of the Church is, one thing it will not do is conquer the world with the gospel. The future destiny of the Church involves five things.

Raptured

The first thing involved in the future destiny of the Church is that it will be raptured (I Thess. 4:13-18). One of the purposes of the universal church is to take out from among the Gentiles a people for his name. This process will continue until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in, until the set number of believers that God has ordained to be in the Body, then the Body will be complete. Once the fullness of the Gentiles comes in, the Church is going to be raptured. The ones who are going to be raptured are those in Christ. This term used by Paul is a technical term referring only to those in the Body of the Messiah. The Church does not include Old Testament saints, Tribulation saints, or Millennial saints; the Church includes only those who have been saved between Acts 2 and the Rapture. Therefore, the Rapture will include only the Church.

Rewarded

The second thing involved in the future destiny of the Church is that it will be rewarded according to II Corinthians 5:10:

For we must all be made manifest before the judgment-seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether it be good or bad.

The judgment in which the rewards will come is the Judgment Seat of the Messiah. The basis of the judgment will be works. The judgment is not to determine whether one is saved or not, because that is determined once a person believes. But those who have believed will then be judged on the basis of how they conducted their spiritual lives.

A more extended passage that deals with the aspect of the Church's rewards is I Corinthians 3:10-15. Verses 10-11 state:

According to the grace of God which was given unto me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation; and another builds thereon. But let each man take heed how he builds thereon. For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Believers are going to be judged on how they build on the foundation, which is Jesus Christ; He is the foundation of spiritual life.

Depending upon how believers conduct their spiritual lives, these rewards will be given or withheld according to verses 12-13:

But if any man builds on the foundation gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble; each man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself shall prove each man's work of what sort it is.

Every believer's work is going to be evaluated and tested to see if it can withstand the fires of purification. Wood, hay, and stubble will not withstand the fires of purification and will be totally burned away. Gold, silver, and precious stones will withstand the fire, and any impurities in the gold, silver, and precious stones will be burned away.

The results are given in verses 14-15:

If any man's work shall abide which he built thereon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as through fire.

Those who build wisely on this foundation will be rewarded; those who do not will suffer loss. They will not suffer the loss of salvation, but they will suffer the loss of rewards.

Married

The third thing involved in the future destiny of the Church is that it will be married to Yeshua the Messiah according to Revelation 19:6-9:

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunders, saying, Hallelujah: for the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us rejoice and be exceeding glad, and let us give the glory unto him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready. And it was given unto her that she should array herself in fine linen, bright and pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. And he said unto me, Write, Blessed are they that are bidden to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said unto me, These are true words of God.

After the Church has been purified at the Judgment Seat of the Messiah and has been cleansed, she will then be married. By comparing the first part of chapter 19 with the second part, it is obvious that this marriage of the Lamb to the Church will take place in Heaven before the Second Coming. The Second Coming is in verses 11-16. This is one of the evidences that the Second Coming and the Rapture are not the same thing, because the Church, the Bride of the Messiah, is already in Heaven before the Second Coming takes place. She was brought into Heaven by means of the Rapture. Also according to this passage, at the time the Church is married to the Messiah she is wearing fine linen, bright and pure, symbolizing the righteous acts of the saints. Obviously, the marriage takes place after the Church has undergone the purification of the Judgment Seat of the Messiah and has been duly rewarded.

All of these events follow a logical progression: the Church is rapture into Heaven; once in Heaven, she undergoes the Judgment Seat of the Messiah and is purified; then she is married.

Co-reigning with the Messiah

The fourth thing involved in the future destiny of the Church is that it will co-reign with the Messiah in the Kingdom according to Revelation 20:4-6:

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as worshipped not the beast, neither his image, and received not the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they lived, and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead lived not until the thousand years should be finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: over such the second death has no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Both the Church saints and the Tribulation saints will reign with the Messiah. After the marriage takes place between the Messiah and the Church in Heaven, the Messiah will return and set up His Kingdom. The Church is destined to co-reign with the Messiah in the Kingdom. The degree of authority that each individual Church saint will have will be based upon the rewards he received at the Judgment Seat of the Messiah. This co-reigning goes on for only a thousand years, so this cannot be the final destiny of the Church.

Abiding in the New Jerusalem

The fifth and final thing involved in the future destiny of the Church is that it will abide with the whole Triune God in the eternal New Jerusalem. This is brought out in detail in Revelation 21:1-22:5.

Source: www.bibleprophecyblog.com

What Did Daniel Pray?

by Lysa TerKeurst

"Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before." Daniel 6:10b (NIV)

Have you ever been in a pit? Recently, I was. And you know what pits make me feel besides frustrated and down? Hungry.

Usually my pit comes when circumstances roll into my life that I can't control.

Circumstances that affect me, but that are beyond my control, make me want to find comfort in things I can control. And eating sure does feel like an easy way to get comfort.

But in these situations, what feels comforting going in my mouth doesn't settle well in my heart.

Overindulging in junk food makes me feel guilty. And once guilty joins me in my pit, it only compounds my issues. So, if we can't eat our way out of a pit with junk food, what can we do?

If I'm truly hungry, I can grab a healthy option. Then, I intentionally look for something for which to be thankful and get my mouth busy praising God.

Even though I may not feel like praising God in the midst of my pit, something starts to shift in my heart and in my attitude when I see blessings in the midst of burdens. Each thing for which I verbalize my thankfulness is like a stepping stone out of the pit.

And this isn't just my idea. It's biblical. Look what happened when Daniel took this approach to the pit he found himself in.

In Daniel 6:10, Daniel had just learned that if anyone was caught praying to anyone else besides King Darius, they would be thrown into the lion's den. That's a serious pit! But Daniel's reaction is amazing.

He went home, threw his windows open, and prayed anyway. I'm not thinking he did this because he felt good. I'm imagining he felt like anyone would feel in overwhelming circumstances. But he rose above his feelings to make a choice.

And do you know what he chose to pray?

  • "God, save me!"
  • "God, it's not fair!"
  • "God, this is too much!"
  • "God, smite my enemies and wipe them out!"
  • "God, You know I can't handle this without extreme doses of chocolate!"

No. None of the above.

What Daniel prayed is a powerful lesson for me.

Daniel 6:10b tells us that Daniel spoke prayers of gratitude. "Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before."

Since Daniel's response is so opposite of the way most of us would react, it makes me stop and ponder. Our initial responses are usually a by-product of the rituals we've established in our life. Daniel had made it his habit to be thankful.

Since Daniel was a thankful man, God's nature and how He provides was front and center in Daniel's heart-even in the midst of uncontrollable circumstances.

I am challenged and inspired by Daniel's response. It makes me ask questions like: where do I run when life presses in on me? Who or what am I really dependent on? Do I have a habit of inviting guilt to join me in my pit? What might happen if I stopped grabbing for comfort and instead embraced the perspective changer of thanksgiving?

Life will be full of pits. But, that doesn't mean I have to be a pit dweller. Or a pit eater.

Dear Lord, I know I will sometimes find myself in a pit. But I don't have to stay there and I don't have to try to eat my way out. Thank You for providing Your timeless Word to point to the way, the truth and the life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Reflect and Respond:

Ask yourself these 3 questions:

Where do I run when life presses in on me?
Who or what am I really dependent on?
Do I have a habit of inviting guilt to join me in my pit?

Power Verses:

Hebrews 12:28, "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe." (NIV)

Colossians 3:15, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." (NIV)

© 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

Source: Encouragement for Today Devotional

Health Tip: Mental Health - Reclaiming the New Frontier

by Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO, National Council for Behavioral Health

As a young college graduate I went to work in a state psychiatric hospital. I saw adults struggling to retain their dignity while they were marched into a communal bathroom to be counted at the change of every shift. I saw men and women restrained because they dared to question staff. And I met families of patients afraid to complain for fear of retribution. I vowed then that I would join the pioneers working to remake treatment for people with serious mental illness.

Today, 50 years after President John F. Kennedy signed the Community Mental Health Act of 1963, we remember his call for a bold new approach to mental health and developmental disabilities, one in which the "cold mercy of custodial care would be replaced by the open warmth of community."

In these last 50 years, we've seen what open warmth can do to transform the lives of people in the deepest despair. We've learned that people with mental illnesses and addictions can recover and live fulfilled lives in their communities. We've seen what hope and care can accomplish.

We've seen it in the lives of thousands like the 50 individuals who chose to share their stories in this special issue of National Council Magazine: 50 years, 50 Stories.

We applaud and appreciate these 50 individuals - for sharing their struggles and accomplishments, for having the courage of their dreams, and for reminding us that people don't recover in isolation, they recover in a community.

As Oprah Winfrey reminds us, "Every one of us gets through the tough times because somebody is there, standing in the gap to close it for us." We thank all those who stand in the gap - policy makers, organizational leaders, peers, and staff who go above and beyond to support recovery. Their dedication is evidenced in the stories spanning the pages of, "50 years, 50 Stories."

The people profiled in the magazine represent the legacy that JFK called for when he said, "The new frontier is here, whether we seek it or not. Beyond that frontier are the uncharted areas of science and space, unconquered pockets of ignorance and prejudice, unanswered questions of poverty and surplus." JFK believed the times demanded new invention, innovation, imagination, and decision and he asked each of us to pioneer his vision.

In the past 50 years, the pioneers on the new frontier have achieved significant progress in treating mental illnesses and addictions. Science brought us new knowledge - new medications, psychotherapies, peer support, and technologies that expanded our ability to treat and support a range of conditions. Individuals won new rights - to be free from coercive treatment, to live in the least restrictive setting, and to work and play alongside their neighbors.

Yet, as JFK warned us, "The problems are not all solved and the battles are not all won." We have not yet realized the full potential of community-based care. We continue to struggle with inadequate and misaligned financing arrangements, salaries, clinical training, and systems of accountability.

An analysis of data from the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study - more people are dying or falling ill as a result of addictions and mental illnesses than from HIV, tuberculosis, and diabetes – makes clear the work ahead. Worldwide, between 1990 and 2010, the incidence of mental illness has gone up by 38 percent, and depressive disorders account for 40 percent of worldwide death and disease burden.

Professor Harvey Whiteford from Australia, who led the data analysis that revealed these shocking statistics notes, "Cost-effective interventions are available for most disorders but adequate financial and human resources are needed to deliver these interventions."

We must reclaim the new frontier, revitalizing the original intent of community behavioral health - where community resources address and build on community needs. We must embrace scientific advances that promise new discoveries in brain research and advocate for public policies that emphasize prevention and early identification as well as treatment.


We have pockets of innovation and excellence in every community, but we need policies that take these practices to scale. We have three decisive opportunities -three current bills in Congress - that advance our mission to reduce the burden of disease and death caused by mental illness and addictions:

The Mental Health First Aid Act offers education and training to teachers, health workers, firefighters, police officers, emergency services personnel, and other community members.

The Excellence in Mental Health Act creates Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers to better meet the needs of people currently being served, and those who will seek care as a result of coverage expansion and parity.

The Behavioral Health IT Act provides financial incentives for the adoption and "meaningful use" of health information technology - the bedrock of improved care and coordination among practitioners- for mental health and addiction treatment providers and facilities.


The challenges of the new frontier do not seem as daunting after reading about those profiled in our magazine. Their bittersweet stories of hope, recovery, and in many cases, redemption, counter desperate battles with mental illness and addiction. They inspire us to march forward.

Source: National Council Magazine, September 25, 2013

Recipe: Apple Rum Raisin Bread Pudding

by Dr. Shila Mathew, MD., Food and Living Editor, Malankara World

Autumn is here and apple season is upon us! Here is a delicious apple recipe to try this fall. Enjoy!

Apple Rum Raisin Bread Pudding

by Jennifer Segal

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

⅔ cup raisins
2 tablespoons dark or spiced rum
2 cups whole milk
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
4 cups packed Challah or Brioche pieces (cut loaf into slices, remove crusts, then cut into cubes...you'll need one loaf but you won't use all of it)
1 large tart baking apple such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, cut into ⅛-inch slices and cut in half

For Serving

Vanilla Ice Cream

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175 deg C) and spray 11x7-inch glass (or equivalent 2-quart) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Place raisins and rum in a shallow bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Let raisins soak in rum while you prepare other ingredients.

3. Whisk milk, eggs, sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, salt and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Add challah cubes, sliced apples and raisins with rum and fold together with a large spatula. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish, flatten with spatula and make sure apples and raisins are evenly distributed. Let stand 15 minutes.

4. Bake bread pudding until top is golden and center is set, about 55-65 minutes. Spoon into bowls, top with vanilla ice cream and serve.

Copyright © Once Upon A Chef - Jennifer Segal

Humor: Retirement Benefits
At the root of every gray hair, there is a dead brain cell.

Someone had to remind me,
So I'm reminding you, too.
Don't laugh.... It is all true!

Perks of reaching 50
Or being over 60
And heading towards
70 or beyond!

1. Kidnappers are not very interested in you.

2. In a hostage situation, you are likely to be released first.

3. No one expects you to run -- anywhere.

4. People call at 9 PM (or 9 AM) and ask, 'Did I wake you?'

5. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

6. There is nothing left to learn the hard way.

7. Things you buy now will never wear out.

8. You can eat supper at 4 PM.

9. You can live without sex; but not your glasses.

10. You get into heated arguments about pension plans.

11. You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.

12. You quit trying to hold your stomach in no matter who walks into the room.

13. You sing along with elevator music.

14. Your eyes won't get much worse.

15. Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.

16. Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the national weather service.

17. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.

18. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size.

AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING:

Never, NEVER, NEVER,
Under any circumstances,
Take a sleeping pill, and a laxative on
The same night!

About Malankara World
With over 6000 articles and hundreds of links to outside resources covering all aspects of Syriac Orthodoxy that are of interest to Family, Malankara World is the premier source for information for Malankara Diaspora. 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

Malankara World Journal Subscription

If you are not receiving Malankara World Journal directly, you may sign up to receive it via email free of cost. Please click here: http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/Register/news_regn.asp

You can contact us via email at mail@malankaraworld.com

Malankara World Journal Archives

Previous Issues of Malankara World Journal can be read from the archives here.

You can contact us via email at mail@malankaraworld.com

Thank you for your help and support.

Malankara World Team

Malankara World Journal is published by MalankaraWorld.com http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/
Copyright © 2011-2013 Malankara World. All Rights Reserved.