Volume 1 No. 13 July 8, 2011
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|Table of Contents|
|This week's Gospel reading is a
very familiar miracle performed by Jesus Christ - the
feeding of the multitudes with 5 loaves of bread and 2
fish. This is the only miracle that is covered by all 4
gospels in New Testament. Apart from the miracle of
multiplying the food, typically covered in all sermons,
we have taken a more expansive look. This miracle is an
introduction to the Eucharist that Jesus instituted
during the last supper. Look at the similarities and the
essential elements in anaphora with what Jesus did in
this miracle. Two sermons/gospel analysis we have provided
goes over this in more detail.
Talking of miracles, there was more than just meets the eyes. Having the Orthodox Jews to eat a food whose origin/source was unknown was a big miracle according to Sarah Dylan Breuer. This is a big no no for Jews who insist on eating only Kosher foods and believe in the axiom, "you are what you eat." Also, Jews are very particular as to who they eat with. (You are who you eat with.) In this case, they didn't know. Jesus has inspired them enough to forget all these prohibitions and enabled them to eat together. These are major paradigm shifts for the crowd that followed Jesus. Read the sermon and learn more. We also have the contemporary interpretation of how God can create abundance on the face of scarcity.
We continue the discussion on the Christian virtue of humility. According to Dr. McKeever, "Scripture is filled with teachings, examples, violations, commands, and encouragements regarding humility. Nothing cinches it for believers like knowing that even Jesus Christ was humble and became our example. Try these passages for starters: Matthew 11:29; John 13:14-15; Philippians 2:5-8. Scripture tells believers to put on humility (Colossians 3:12), be clothed with humility (I Peter 5:5), and to walk with humility (Ephesians 4:1-2). The Lord wants His children to be humble so badly that He has given us seven aids to accomplish this and to keep us that way." It is an article that is well worth reading multiple times.
Another theme we were following in the MW Journal in recent weeks was about prayer. In this week's journal, Kathryn J. Hermes, F.S.P discusses "How to Pray When You Are Depressed: 10 spiritual techniques to help Christians find your prayer voice even in your darkest hours." Sr. Hermes says that "When you're depressed, you may discover that the shadows and tempests of that depression alter the way you look at God and the way you believe God looks at you. When you pray, you may be unable to sit still or to keep your mind focused for more than a few moments. Everything may appear to be a huge gaping hole of silence--all so useless. God may seem to be mocking your attempts to pray." She recommends several invaluable tips on how to pray when you experience "loneliness, boredom, frustration, and anger."
Vishal Mangalwadi, a native of India and one of the great Christian worldview thinkers, believes that much of modern India, including its language, educational system, and political freedom, developed not out of Hinduism, but out of Christianity. His newest work, 'The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization' explores the Bibles impact, not only in leading the West to unparalleled liberty and prosperity, but in helping India and other nations to share in the Wests success. Chuck Colson reviews the book.
'Church Life - We Are Connected to One Another' looks at how we, the body of Christ, are to behave with each other. There is lot of truth in the statement, "where one member of the body is prospering or enjoying a special time of blessing, the rest of the body should rejoice together with them. This is many times more difficult to do than grieving with each other, because of our self-centered and covetous nature. Too often we grieve when others are blessed rather than rejoicing with them."
The health tip this week talks about 4 symptoms you should not ignore and requires you to see a doctor. Please read these. It may save your life!
The humor talks about real life bloopers from church newsletters. Enjoy!
|This Sunday in Church|
|Bible Readings for This Sunday|
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Before Holy Qurbana
|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 for the Fourth Sunday After Pentecost - http://www.Malankaraworld.com/Library/Sermons/Sermon-of-the-week_4th-sunday-after-Pentecost.htm|
This Week's Features
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye
steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the
1 Cor. 15: 58.
Say not, 'Twas all in vain,
Did you ever hear of a man who had striven all his life
faithfully and singly toward an object and in no measure
obtained it? If a man constantly aspires, is he not elevated?
Did ever a man try heroism, magnanimity, truth, sincerity, and
find that there was no advantage in them,--that it was a vain
Do right, and God's recompense to you will be the power of doing
more right. Give, and God's reward to you will be the spirit of
giving more: a blessed spirit, for it is the Spirit of God
himself, whose Life is the blessedness of giving. Love, and God
will pay you with the capacity of more love; for love is
Heaven--love is God within you.
by Dr. Joe McKeever
I know precious little about humility. However I know one big thing: God wants it in His people.
Scripture is filled with teachings, examples, violations, commands, and encouragements regarding humility. Nothing cinches it for believers like knowing that even Jesus Christ was humble and became our example. Try these passages for starters: Matthew 11:29; John 13:14-15; Philippians 2:5-8.
Scripture tells believers to put on humility (Colossians 3:12), be clothed with humility (I Peter 5:5), and to walk with humility (Ephesians 4:1-2).
The Lord wants His children to be humble so badly that He has given us seven aids to accomplish this and to keep us that way.
1. Common sense.
Look around at the billions of people. You're just one of them. Look above at the jillions of stars. You're sitting on one small planet circling one humble star. They've been around for eons, while you have only a few more years of life here. If that doesn't humble you, you're not paying attention.
2. The Holy Spirit.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, humility.... (Galatians 5:22-23).
3. Our family.
I heard the wife of a well-known preacher say on television once--and probably shocking some in her audience--"I tell my husband, 'Don't start that big shot thing with me. I saw you in your shorts this morning.'"
The old adage says, "No man is a hero to his valet." Likewise, to the Obama children, Barack is simply "Daddy." To Billy Graham's offsprings, he is "Daddy." None tiptoe into his presence and genuflex.
4. Our friends.
Those who are your closest friends are not in awe of you. They will tell you your breath smells bad, you need to use a hankie, or that you have a stain on your clothing that you had not noticed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy (Proverbs 27:6).
5. Affliction, hardship.
You shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you.... (Deuteronomy 8:2-3)
Scripture cites so many instances of this, it's hard to know where to start. God let Israel fail to conquer the tiny city of Ai to humble them because of sin in their camp. He let Samson fail because of his headstrong ways. Same with Nebuchadnezzar. Time and again, God allowed foreign nations to conquer Israel and dominate them until they humbled themselves and cried out to Him.
A friend in the ministry told me that after his wife left him, thus ending his pastoral ministry that had made him a household name in his part of the world, God truly humbled him. I said, "My guess is you are doing far better work for the Lord now than before." He said, "I was working for myself before. Now I work for Jesus."
Nothing drove Moses to stay close to the Almighty like the constant carping of the Israelite people. Many pastors have had to stand in the pulpit and deliver God's message to people who were looking for flaws and eager to pounce on any mistake he made. It's an awful way to live, but God can use this in his life to build character and deepen his commitment to Christ.
by Chuck Colson
Vishal Mangalwadi, a native of India and one of the great Christian worldview thinkers, believes that much of modern India, including its language, educational system, and political freedom, developed not out of Hinduism, but out of Christianity.
His newest work, The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization explores the Bibles impact, not only in leading the West to unparalleled liberty and prosperity, but in helping India and other nations to share in the Wests success.
Mangalwadi carefully examines the intellectual roots of Western concepts of human dignity, reason, morality, science, liberty, and self-sacrificial heroism, explaining how each of these concepts grew out of Biblical principles. He then contrasts the biblical view of life with alternative worldviews like Secularism, Islam, and Hinduism.
His own extensive experience doing relief work in rural India showed him the dehumanizing consequences of false worldviews.
For instance, he tells how he and his wife tried to take care of a baby girl whose parents refused to provide her with medical care that she needed to digest food. As unbelievable as it sounds, the parents refused to let the Mangalwadis rescue their daughter because their fatalistic, karma-based worldview taught them that their daughter had no hope for a happy, successful life.
The tragic story illuminates the importance of the biblical worldview, which sees all people as valuable because they are made in the image of God. And because we are made in the image of Him who freely chose to create the world, we are free to work to change our lot in life, not bound by fate or karma to a life of misery.
As Mangalwadi documents so well, the Bible and the biblical worldview also spurred remarkable technological development. Monks created labor-saving technologies (like the watermill and the flywheel) because while they saw work as valuable Christian service, they saw repetitive toil as a result of sin. They sought to minimize toil so that they could have more time to pray. These and other technologies spread in order to liberate others made in Gods image.
Mangalwadi also shows how translating the Bible into vernacular languages brought about a social revolution in literacy even among the poorest peasants, who had as much right to study the word of God as priests and nobles. Bible translation also helped to create writing systems and unite various dialects into national languages, such as modern Hindi.
In one especially interesting chapter, Mangalwadi shows how the biblical view of marriage and family lifewhich emphasized the equal dignity of womenhelped lead to Western prosperity.
Mangalwadi credits the Bible for everything we value in Western civilization, but also warns that by abandoning biblical beliefs and practices, the West has lost its soul and begun to degenerate. But there is hope. Gods Word still has the power to transform individuals and resurrect entire cultures.
I recommend a lot of books on BreakPoint, but this is a must-read. If Western civilization and our way of life are to survive, we must understand and re-embrace the biblical principles and values they were built on.
Source: BreakPoint commentary, July 1, 2011
10 spiritual techniques to help Christians find your prayer voice even in your darkest hours.
By Kathryn J. Hermes, F.S.P
When you're depressed, you may discover that the shadows and tempests of that depression alter the way you look at God and the way you believe God looks at you. When you pray, you may be unable to sit still or to keep your mind focused for more than a few moments. Everything may appear to be a huge gaping hole of silence--all so useless. God may seem to be mocking your attempts to pray.
I know people who have gone three, five, ten years without "praying," though they were faithful to setting time aside for prayer regardless of its seeming uselessness. In the haunting darkness where all communication had gone silent, they found loneliness, boredom, frustration, anger. Were they praying? Yes.
If this is happening to you, try these forms of prayer and contemplative love.
Find a Quiet Place
Put on some soothing music. Keep it soft and gentle. Take a few deep breaths, holding each one for a few seconds and then slowly exhaling. Relax. Feel the chair you're sitting on, your feet on the floor. Smell the scents in the room. Imagine Jesus coming toward you with a smile on his face. Tell him how you are feeling right now-anxious, uncomfortable, fidgety, distracted, wanting to focus. Tell him what things are like for you today. Open your heart to him. Feel his presence very close to you. Let his love into your heart. Thank him for this gift.
Go for a Walk
Take some pleasant music with you. As you go, notice the sky, feel the season. Recognize what is around you. Feel at home right now. Offer your heart to Jesus, even if your pain is deep. Though you may be alone on your walk, Jesus is in your heart. Tell him what you see...the beauty around you. Tell him how you feel...even if it is dark. Remember he wants you to tell him everything in your life...joys and pains.
Remember Others Who Are Hurting
Call to mind someone else you know who is hurting or sick. Focus for a few minutes on what that person may be feeling, and on what you would like to say to him or her. Lift this person up by name to Jesus and ask his blessing on them.
Hold On to the Cross
Hold a crucifix in your hands. Close your eyes and think of Jesus in agony. Join your sufferings to his in his act of redemption.
Hold On to God's Word
If you're feeling low, go to a quiet place and hold your Bible. Read Psalm 130 or focus on a phrase of it. Embrace how you feel, even if it's uncomfortable. Know that God is loving you through these moments of darkness.
Open Yourself to God
When you are unable to focus because your mind is racing, try to remember and pray the words, "My God, I love you." Open yourself to God's love.
Reflect on Jesus' Cry
Turn on soft music. Read this Bible verse over and over while thinking about it: "My God, my God, why have you forgotten me?" (cf. Mk 15:34). This is Jesus' own prayer of emptiness and abandonment.
Stop by Your Church
When you pass by your local church, stop in for a few minutes. Pause and connect with the One who loves you.
Repeat the Name of Jesus
If you can't get up, lie still and repeat the name of Jesus over, and over, and over. His love catches these words and he embraces you with love.
Spend Time in God's Presence
Go to Eucharistic adoration and spend some time in God's presence.
Reprinted from 'Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach' with permission of Pauline Books and Media.
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
The church of Jesus Christ is often described by Paul as being the body of Christ. This imagery is meant, we are told, to remind us of how closely we are connected to one another.
If you accidentally smash your thumb with a hammer, the rest of the body is not unconcerned as though the effected area does not concern the rest. The injured thumb will be pulled away from the place of injury by the arm, perhaps cradled by the other hand, or brought to the mouth for comforts sake.
Similarly, any member of the body of Christ should have their pain felt, and ministered to, by every other member of the body. The sorrow of one should be a grief for all.
On the other hand, where one member of the body is prospering or enjoying a special time of blessing, the rest of the body should rejoice together with them. This is many times more difficult to do than grieving with each other, because of our self-centered and covetous nature. Too often we grieve when others are blessed rather than rejoicing with them.
But the church that is functioning as it ought to will see each member in its midst being comforted, cleansed, encouraged, and enjoyed by every other member of the body. Therefore, look for someone today in your church to grieve, or rejoice, with; bear their burden, or share their happiness, with them.
Source: A Good Thing Devotional, June 18, 2011
by Robin Westen
Doctors say there are at least four crucial signs that shouldnt be ignored under any circumstance. When you know what they are, and you react appropriately, you could save your life -- or the life of someone you know.
Most of us dont want to make a big deal about minor health problems since as we get older, aches and pains are a daily part of our lives. The problem is when we ignore certain symptoms we could be putting ourselves in jeopardy for what might be life-threatening conditions. Doctors say there are at least four crucial signs that shouldnt be ignored under any circumstance. When you know what they are, and you react appropriately, you could save your life -- or the life of someone you know.
It could be acid reflux or a peptic ulcer, so a little discomfort in your chest area may not be a big deal, right? Wrong. Chest pain can be one of the primary signs of a heart attack and studies show women often ignore the symptoms of a heart attack. Other signs include: fatigue, shortness of breath, upper-back pressure, nausea, and/or feeling faint. What should you do? Dont delay. If youre feeling pain in your chest, go to a hospital emergency room.
Gasping For Breath
Sure, there are times when youre running for a bus, or have asthma or allergies, when you get a little breathless. But if you find yourself suddenly having difficulty breathing when youre doing everyday things like vacuuming, or making a bed, or climbing stairs, its time to pay attention because it could be a symptom of congestive heart failure, lung cancer, emphysema, or pulmonary embolism (PE), a potentially life-threatening blood clot in the leg that breaks loose and travels to the lung, blocking oxygen and blood flow. PE is more common in women over sixty years of age.
Feeling faint or actually fainting is most often due to a temporary drop in blood pressure that prevents an adequate amount of blood from reaching your brain. It can happen when youre run down, scared, havent eaten or are stressed out. But if you faint after heavy lifting, exercising, or the spell lasts more than a minute before you regain consciousness, it could be the sign or a stroke or a heart problem. A physician should do a thorough examination as soon as possible.
Lower Back Pain
Of course, more often than not, a pain in this area of the back is the result of a pulled muscle, but it can be much more serious and should be checked out. If the pain is worse at night and you also experience weight loss, fever, bloating, or pain radiating down your leg, it could be serious. Some aggressive forms of lung or breast cancer can spread to the bones and cause back pain. See your doctor now.
Source: ThirdAge. Robin Westen is ThirdAges medical reporter.
Real entries from Church Bulletins.
The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals..
The sermon this morning: Jesus Walks on the Water.
Ladies, dont forget the rummage sale. Its a chance to get rid of
those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your
Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at
someone who is hard to love. Say Hell to someone who doesnt care
much about you .
Dont let worry kill you off - let the Church help .
Miss Charlene Mason sang I will not pass this way again, giving
obvious pleasure to the congregation.
For those of you who have children and dont know it, we have a
nursery downstairs .
Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the
help they can get.
Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be
recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment
and gracious hostility.
Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.
The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They
may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across
from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM . Please use the back door.
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