Malankara World Journal
Malankara World Journal

Volume 2 No. 59 March 1, 2012

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Kaniamparambil achen

Arch Cor episcopo Malankara Malpan Very Rev Curien Corepisopo Kaniamparambil celebrated his birth centenary on February 27, 2012. He received the St. Ignatius Medal and Certificate from Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, the Prince Patriarch of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church. Kaniamparambil achen is the first Arch Cor episcopo in our Holy Church to get this Medal and Certificate. We congratulate achen for his meritorious service to our church.

Table of Contents
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1. Editor's Note

2. Bible Readings for This Sunday (March 4)

Third Sunday of Great Lent (M'shariyo/ Paralytic-Palsy Sunday)

3. Sermons for This Sunday (March 4)

http://www.Malankaraworld.com/Library/Sermons/Sermon-of-the-week_3rd-sunday-in-lent.htm

4. Inspiration for Today

"I am the Lord who sanctifies you."

5. Featured: America, Keep Rewarding Your Dissidents

This is the greatness of America and why this country leads the world: Disagreements and debates are cherished. Challenging the norms, thinking outside the box, and questioning those in power is encouraged and celebrated. The louder you speak the more prominence and respect you are given. Society's heroes aren't merely revolutionaries or political figures, but opinionated, non-conformist entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. ...

6. Book Excerpt: With Christ In the School of Prayer - Lesson 26: Christ, the Intercessor

The Christian life is no longer the vain struggle to live right, but the resting in Christ and finding strength in Him as our life, to fight the fight and gain the victory of faith. .. It is the sight of Jesus in His intercession that gives us power to pray in His Name: all right and power of prayer is Christ's; He makes us share in His intercession. ...

7. The Key to Effective Prayer

The key to effective prayer is getting our will in alignment with God's will. Nothing lies outside the reach of prayer, except that which lies outside of the will of God. ...

8. St. Paul's Prayer Fellowship

A weekly prayer fellowship via teleconference on Tuesdays at 7 PM (US Eastern time).

9. Pursue God in Life's Quiet Moments

How much do you really know God? You may have accumulated a lot of information about Him, but knowing God personally is different. Getting to know God personally requires spending time with Him often. There's always more to learn about God, and the best way to do that is by pursuing God in life's quiet moments, free of distractions. Here's how you can use quiet moments to get to know God better. ...

10. The Greatest Love

There is no greater love than what Jesus did for us on the cross. He laid down His life so that all would have the opportunity to be clean, pure, and blameless before God the Father.

11. Spicy Tomato Salsa Recipe

This is a spicy salsa recipe more in tune with our taste. Add more spices, if desired, to your taste. For example, add more pepper or chili powder to make it HOT.

12. Family: Talking Sex with Kids - What Dads Wish They Could Tell Their Daughters

While most dads hate to talk to their teenage daughters about sex and relationships, Dr. Kenneth Ryan, father of three girls, never runs away from the talk. As a relationship expert, he seeks to help parents have normal, comfortable conversations about these important life topics. No one feels the pain of a bad boyfriend more than the dad so start talking before she has a boyfriend - before her mind turns to mush.

13. Humor: Who Reads Newspapers?

14. About Malankara World

Editor's Note
About two decades ago, I took my family and my visiting cousin from Kerala for a trip to Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. While there, we went into a store selling unique Native American collectibles. There was a unique vase made by an artist who was recently featured in Wall Street Journal and whose works were in great demand at that time, with price going through the roof. True to a Native American artist, she signed her works with an animal symbol, in this case a frog (She was popularly known as 'Frog Woman.') This store had a one of a kind vase made by this Frog Woman and her daughter, who signed the work as a 'toad' - baby frog.

I bought that piece as it was a one-of-a-kind collectible (my wife thought I was crazy to do so.) and brought it home and stored safely. About 10 years later, we bought a new house and moved all our possessions to the new house. All the collections were carefully packed and moved. One day, my wife came to me and said, " I have some bad news for you. I know how much crazy you are about a piece of art. Unfortunately, it broke on transit. I asked which piece was that. She didn't want to say first. Later said it is the work of the Frog and Toad.

When I read the sermon titled "The Unreality of God," by the Rev. Dr. Robert Dykstra from Princeton, winner of the Alfred P. Klausler Sermon Award, and his narration of the story of the broken Steuben Glass Vase, I knew exactly how the landlady felt when she learned that her beloved, one of a kind, irreplaceable, masterpiece was broken. Please be sure to read that sermon: http://www.malankaraworld.com/Library/Sermons/Sermons_3rd-sunday-in-lent-Dykstra.htm  (It is one of the best in my opinion.)

We will be into the third week of Great lent this weekend. This Sunday, we will reflect on Jesus healing the paralytic. Last week, we talked about the healing of the leper. We learned that leprosy was a dreaded disease because you are thrown out of the community and has to live a segregated life away from the main stream. So, the person suffers severe emotional pain in addition to the physical pain. Jesus showed compassion to the leper and healed the emotional pain too. The same thing happens to us when we sin. We are separated from God when we sin. So, the healing involves both physical healing and spiritual healing too. In today's miracle, Jesus proclaims that he has authority to forgive sin and, thus, heal the whole person.

In the last week's healing of the leper, the healing came as a result of direct prayer to Jesus by the patient. In this week, the patient could not help himself. The initiative was taken by his friends. So, we can say that this is an example of intercessional prayer. (Read more about intercessional prayer in our lesson from the School of Prayer today.)

I am impressed by the persistence and tenacity of the friends of the patient. They just do not give up! They faced many obstacles on the path that would have turned most people back. They had to carry the person for a long distance. They could not enter the house because it was jam packed with people. Most of the people would have given up ('paralyzed'). Not them. They were 'out of the box' thinkers. 'There has to be a way,' they thought. They thought about the roof. But the roof was made like a terrace. Flat roof, made with baked clay reinforced with wood frames. The mud was hardened like concrete so people can walk on it or use it for drying grain. Cutting it is very difficult and would require specialty tools that these people didn't possess. They still were not 'paralyzed.' They managed to find a way to dig a hole big enough on the roof just above where Jesus sat and lowered their paralyzed person in front of Jesus.

There was no need for any further explanation. Action speaks louder than words. Jesus was impressed by 'their faith.' He accepted their intercession.

When Jesus talked of prayer, he said we should pray unceasingly. Pray continuously and do not give up. These people showed the best example of intercessional prayer. They believed and they will not be stopped till they get what they wanted. Jesus answered their prayer.

When we pray, we often get discouraged fast. We think that something is impossible based on our realty. We forget that, 'with God, nothing is impossible.' The broken Steuben Glass Vase can be rebuilt if we search for a way to do it. Like Dr. Dykstra says:

'Our realities are so small, yours and mine. Our realities are, "You can't fix broken crystal," or "Nerve cells don't regenerate," or "You'd better turn back since there's such a crowd around Jesus," or "You can't forgive someone's sins unless they've sinned specifically against you." These realities are true, yes. True, but too small.'

Our focus article talks about the dreamers who built the 'American Dream.' These are the people, like the friend of the paralyzed man, who find a way to do things and not give up the first time they meet an obstacle. Enjoy this week's MW Journal.

This Sunday in Church
Bible Readings for This Sunday (March 4)
Sermons for This Sunday (March 4)
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.

http://www.Malankaraworld.com/Library/Sermons/Sermon-of-the-week_3rd-sunday-in-lent.htm

More Sermons

This Week's Features

Inspiration for Today
"I am the Lord who sanctifies you."

"I am the Lord your God, who have separated you from the peoples. . . . You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine."

Beloved in God the Father.--"Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth."-- Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.--Our . . . Savior Jesus Christ . . . gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.--For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers.--"And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth."--In the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood.

Lev. 20:8; Lev. 20:24, 26; Jude 1; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 13:12; Titus 2:13, 14; Heb. 2:11; John 17:19; 1 Pet. 1:2

Featured: America, Keep Rewarding Your Dissidents

By Vivek Wadhwa

[Editor's Note: You may wonder why we have featured a non-spiritual article this week. This article is very significant to our church and to our community. First, it tells the secret to the success of America. Malayalees are known to be very adaptible. They are one of the most hard working people outside Kerala. Unfortunately, in terms of doing things differently, we are way behind. We tend to copy what someone else doing rather than trying to do something original.  I do not know whether it is from our education that emphasized taking notes and spitting it out rather than encouraging original thinking or not. This thinking extends to our churches too. There is an inner circle in the churches and above. The inner circle mirrors the thinking of the leader. If anyone expresses a different opinion than the leader, he/she is often shunned and branded a 'trouble maker.' If we need to progress as a society, we need to expand our horizon and embrace changes. We should be willing to take calculated risks and think outside the box. Our priests, managing committees and bishops should seek opinions from people from diverse backgrounds; evaluate them and then adopt the best one. Read the article and learn why.]
 

Ever since I became an academic six years ago, I have been one of the biggest critics of U.S. competitiveness policies. I documented, for example, that we had our data wrong when it came to India and China's advantages in engineering education and R&D, that we didn't understand how to build innovation centers, and that our assumptions about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship were wrong.

I have been particularly vocal about America's flawed immigration policies. I quantified the amazing contribution that skilled immigrants make in the technology industry and raised the alarm about the reverse brain drain that is in progress. I testified, assertively, to Congress, and have been badgering our political leaders to act on these important issues.

My father, a retired Indian diplomat, called me on several occasions to plead that I tone down my criticism. He worried that I would anger U.S. government officials and they would find some way to have me deported. Indeed, this would have been the case in many countries, where I could have ended up in a Gulag - or worse.

But what happens in America?

The Government gives me an official recognition - Outstanding American by Choice - for my "commitment to this country and to the common civic values that unite us as Americans." When I received the call from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director, Alejandro Mayorkas, I had tears in my eyes. He told me that the government appreciated all of my efforts to make the country more competitive and that my criticisms of his department had motivated his team to work harder to improve the system.

This is the greatness of America and why this country leads the world: Disagreements and debates are cherished. Challenging the norms, thinking outside the box, and questioning those in power is encouraged and celebrated. The louder you speak the more prominence and respect you are given. Society's heroes aren't merely revolutionaries or political figures, but opinionated, non-conformist entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg.

This is what distinguishes American children from others and why they grow up to be innovators. From childhood, they are encouraged to pursue their dreams and to challenge authority. So they challenge their parents, then their teachers, and then their government. And they learn to work with each other and compete. There are no barriers to success. If you work hard, think smart, and persevere, you achieve success. And this success is celebrated.

Reaping fortunes through entrepreneurial success even has a special label: it's called the American Dream.

America's unique strength is that it also welcomes foreigners. Yes there is some discrimination and there are a few hurdles to leap over. But once you surmount these, you are treated like everyone else. You are given the same respect and have the same opportunities. You can compete in any field.

And this is what has been happening through American history: wave after wave of immigrants has landed on American shores, embodied its values, and helped birthright citizens to work harder and think smarter.

Today, America is in a slump. The ups and downs of the economy and rise of new global competitors are discouraging and often cause Americans to lose hope. But, as someone who came to the U.S. by choice, and who has studied the warts of this country and its competitors, I have no doubt that the U.S. will continue to prosper and lead the world. It has to - no other country has the ingredients for long-term success.

Book: 'With Christ In the School of Prayer' by Andrew Murray

Lesson 26: Christ, the Intercessor
[Editor's Note: Here is this week's lesson from the book, 'With Christ in the School of Prayer' by Andrew Murray. This book is a very important reference book on intercessional prayer, something Orthodox Church believes in greatly. Murray skillfully describes the role of the Holy Spirit within the church and exhorts Christians to use the blessings God has given us. This book is a guide to living a life as a temple of the Holy Spirit. If you have missed the earlier lessons, please read them in Malankara World.]

'But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.'—Luke x22:32.

'I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you.'—John 16:26.

'He ever liveth to make intercession.'—Heb. 7:25.

All growth in the spiritual life is connected with the clearer insight into what Jesus is to us. The more I realize that Christ must be all to me and in me, that all in Christ is indeed for me, the more I learn to live the real life of faith, which, dying to self, lives wholly in Christ. The Christian life is no longer the vain struggle to live right, but the resting in Christ and finding strength in Him as our life, to fight the fight and gain the victory of faith.

This is specially true of the life of prayer. As it too comes under the law of faith alone, and is seen in the light of the fullness and completeness there is in Jesus, the believer understands that it need no longer be a matter of strain or anxious care, but an experience of what Christ will do for him and in him—a participation in that life of Christ which, as on earth, so in heaven, ever ascends to the Father as prayer. And he begins to pray, not only trusting in the merits of Jesus, or in the intercession by which our unworthy prayers are made acceptable, but in that near and close union in virtue of which He prays in us and we in Him.

See the difference between having Christ as an Advocate or Intercessor who stands outside of us, and having Him within us, we abiding in Him and He in us through the Holy Spirit perfecting our union with Him, so that we ourselves can come directly to the Father in His Name,—the note above from Beck of Tubingen.

The whole of salvation is Christ Himself: He has given HIMSELF to us; He Himself lives in us. Because He prays, we pray too. As the disciples, when they saw Jesus pray, asked Him to make them partakers of what He knew of prayer, so we, now we see Him as intercessor on the throne, know that He makes us participate with Himself in the life of prayer.

How clearly this comes out in the last night of His life. In His high-priestly prayer (John 17.), He shows us how and what He has to pray to the Father, and will pray when once ascended to heaven. And yet He had in His parting address so repeatedly also connected His going to the Father with their new life of prayer. The two would be ultimately connected: His entrance on the work of His eternal intercession would be the commencement and the power of their new prayer-life in His Name. It is the sight of Jesus in His intercession that gives us
power to pray in His Name: all right and power of prayer is Christ's; He makes us share in His intercession.

To understand this, think first of His intercession: He ever liveth to make intercession. The work of Christ on earth as Priest was but a beginning. It was as Aaron He shed His blood; it is as Melchizedek that He now lives within the veil to continue His work, after the power of the eternal life. As Melchizedek is more glorious than Aaron, so it is in the work of intercession that the atonement has its true power and glory. 'It is Christ that died: yea more, who is even at the right hand of God, who maketh intercession for us.' That intercession is an intense reality, a work that is absolutely necessary, and without which the continued application of redemption cannot take place. In the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus the wondrous reconciliation took place, by which man became partaker of the Divine life and blessedness. But the real personal appropriation of this reconciliation in each of His members here below cannot take place without the unceasing exercise of His Divine power by the head in heaven.

In all conversion and sanctification, in every victory over sin and the world, there is a real forth-putting of the power of Him who is mighty to save. And this exercise of His power only takes place through His prayer: He asks of the Father, and receives from the Father. 'He is able to save to the uttermost, because He ever liveth to make intercession.' There is not a need of His people but He receives in intercession what the Godhead has to give: His mediation on the throne is as real and indispensable as on the cross. Nothing takes place without His intercession: it engages all His time and powers, is His unceasing occupation at the right hand of the Father.

And we participate not only in the benefits of this His work, but in the work itself. This because we are His body. Body and members are one: 'The head cannot say to the feet, I have no need of thee.' We share with Jesus in all He is and has: 'The glory which Thou gavest me, I have given them.' We are partakers of His life, His righteousness, His work: we share with Him in His intercession too; it is not a work He does without us. ... Continue reading in Malankara World

Previous Lessons (Archive)

http://www.Malankaraworld.com/Library/Prayers/Murray/Default.htm
The Key to Effective Prayer

by Greg Laurie

"Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us." (1 John 5:14 NKJV)

In a broad sense, we should pray about everything. But there are certain things that we don't need to pray about.

For example, if someone were to say, "Greg, I'm praying about robbing a bank. Would you pray with me?" I will pray for that person, but I won't pray that God will bless their efforts.

Why? Because the Bible says, "You shall not steal." We don't need to pray about that.

Yet, there are certain things God tells us we can pray for.

He tells us we can pray for wisdom. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him" (James 1:5 NKJV).

We can pray for His provision. Philippians 4:19 says, "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (NKJV)."

We can pray for protection. Psalm 91:5-7 says, "You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you (NKJV)."

We can pray for power to meet the challenges of life. Ephesians 1:18-19 tells us: "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe (NIV)."

The key to effective prayer is getting our will in alignment with God's will, as the verse at the top of today's post explains. Nothing lies outside the reach of prayer, except that which lies outside of the will of God.

Copyright ©2012 by Harvest Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

St. Paul's Prayer Fellowship

Every Tuesday at 7 PM Eastern (US) Time St. Paul Fellowship conducts a prayer fellowship via teleconference. Rev. Fr. Jose Daniel Paitel is the organizer behind this noble venture. Varkki achen from NY and Punnoose achen from Philadelphia are the other achens who participates every week. The objective of the prayer fellowship is to familiarize our people with our evening prayers. At present they follow the Pampakkuda Prayer Book for the Great Lent. (p. 117)The services are in Malayalam.

Typically, the service begins with a Malayalam devotional song followed by Old testament and New Testament readings. Then the Evening Prayer, Soothora prayer, Dhoopa prarthana (Prayer with incense) and Intercession to St. Mary (p. 298-299). Special intercessional prayers for those requesting ahead of time is made and then a short sermon based on the week's gospel reading. The service is usually over in an hour.

We strongly recommend this fellowship. You can access it by dialing 1-605-781-1000 and then entering the access code 362788#. If you experience any problems, please contact Paitel achen at 1-215-464-9112. Achen told me that, if there is sufficient interest, he would be willing to have this fellowship on more days.

Pursue God in Life's Quiet Moments

by Karol Ladd

How much do you really know God? You may have accumulated a lot of information about Him, but knowing God personally is different. Getting to know God personally requires spending time with Him often.

There's always more to learn about God, and the best way to do that is by pursuing God in life's quiet moments, free of distractions. Here's how you can use quiet moments to get to know God better:

Know more about God as the Creator.

Spend some time reflecting on the beauty of God's designs for the natural world – from sunsets and mountains to flowers and animals. Take a nature walk to appreciate how God has made what you see around you. Look into a mirror and study how magnificently God has put together your own body. Look into the faces of the people around you and remind yourself that God has made them – and you – in His image. As you consider how God created everything simply by speaking, realize how powerful His voice is and listen carefully for what He has to say to you each day.

Know more about God's presence with you.

God has promised to be with you constantly, no matter what. He made you with a desire to seek Him, and he invites you to turn toward Him so you can notice and enjoy His presence more. God is heartbroken when you sin, both because sin hurts you and because it allows evil to interfere with the close relationship God wants to have with you. But since God is merciful is always willing to help you overcome temptation to sin, and to forgive you when you confess and repent of sinful mistakes. So let your love for God motivate you to deal with the sin in your life regularly so you can keep growing closer to the God who wants to be close to you.

Know more about how God provides for you.

Since God knows you even better than you know yourself, He knows exactly what you need and when you need it. You can rely on God to provide for your needs and consider the desires that you express to Him in prayer – sometimes in unexpected ways. God loves to give blessings. Keep in mind that when God blesses you, though, He always does so with a good purpose in mind: so that you carry that love forward and bless others. Use each blessing God gives you to serve others as He leads you. Make it a habit to thank God for your blessings regularly, as well.

Know more about how God can help you deal with fear.

You never need to be afraid, even in this fallen world, because God is still in ultimate control of the circumstances that everyone goes through. Nothing happens without God's permission, and when He does allow suffering, He makes sure that it accomplishes good purposes in the lives of those who trust Him. Not only that, but God has promised to reward you for choosing faithfulness over fear.

Know more about how God can help you deal with pain.

God sees the pain you go through in our fallen world, and He cares. Feel free to pour out your deepest feelings and thoughts to God in prayer, with the confidence that He will answer each of your prayers with what's best for you. Keep in mind that nothing is impossible for God, so even when you can't see a solution to a problem, He does, and He can do something about it. God can open your eyes, as well, so you can see painful situations from His perspective.

Know more about God's holiness.

God is self-existent; He doesn't depend on anyone. Yet God invites you to depend on Him, and when you do, you can discover the ultimate love and wisdom. God's holiness stands in stark contrast to people's sins. The more you learn about God's holiness, the more aware you'll become of your own sins and need for redemption. But since God came to Earth in the form of Jesus and traded His righteousness for human sin on the cross, you can be sanctified as holy yourself when you place your trust in Jesus.

Know more about God's power to right wrongs.

God loves justice. He grieves when He sees the injustice that sin causes in our fallen world, and He redeems even the worst wrongs when people trust Him to work in those situations. God is a strong and compassionate defender who is able to rescue people from injustice and empower them to overcome it. No circumstance is beyond God's ability to change; all things are possible with God. When you're caught in an unjust situation, pray for the deliverance you need. When you're troubled by injustice that you see other people suffering, ask God to show you the best way to help them, and rely on God's power working through you as you reach out to help.

Know more about how God can guide you.

If you approach God with humility, an open mind, and a willingness trust Him, He will guide you with any decision you need to make. God may send you guidance in a variety of ways, such as through the Bible, through thoughts that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind, and wise counsel from other Christians. When you're facing a perplexing situation, ask God to help you see it from His perspective. When you're too distracted to notice the messages God may be trying to communicate to you, spend some time in solitude and silence so you can more listen more carefully for God's voice speaking. Keep in mind that God's voice is always loving, even when what He has to say is challenging. Be willing to act whenever God guides you to take action on something, trusting that God (who knows everything) knows what's truly best for you.

Know more about how God can give you peace.

No matter what kind of stress you're facing, God promises to give you the peace you need to deal with it without worrying. Pray about your concerns and ask Jesus to give you His peace, which will empower you to remain peaceful even in the worst situations. The peace that Jesus gives you will overflow from your soul into your relationships with others, healing and strengthening them. God's peace can also bring order into the chaotic situations you face, aligning them with God's will so they work out for the best.

[Excerpted by Whitney Hopler  from 'Pursuing God in the Quiet Places,' copyright 2012 by Karol Ladd. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Or., www.harvesthousepublishers.com.

Karol Ladd is a Bible teacher and a bestselling author. Her more than 20 releases include 'A Woman's Passionate Pursuit of God', 'A Woman's Secret for Confident Living', 'Pursuing God in the Quiet Places,' and 'The Power of a Positive Woman.']

The Greatest Love

by Kelly McFadden

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
- John 15:12-13

Here are a few great things some children had to say about love:

• Love is that first feeling you feel before all the bad stuff gets in the way.

• When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.

• Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.

• Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.

• Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.

• Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.

• I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.

• There are two kinds of love: Our love & God's love. But God makes both kinds of them. Love is important to God.

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

There is no greater love than what Jesus did for us on the cross. He laid down His life so that all would have the opportunity to be clean, pure, and blameless before God the Father. He died, shamed on the cross, so that we can spend eternity with Him. These kids are right in many ways regarding how we show love to each other, but there is no greater or more perfect love than God sending His Son to die for us.

GOING DEEPER:

1. Take some time to thank God, who loves you more than anyone, for His great gift and for showing His love to you.

2. How can you show God your love for Him?

FURTHER READING:

Mark 12:28-34; 1 Corinthians 13:1-12

Source: Homeword Devotional

Cafe - Spicy Tomato Salsa Recipe
This is a spicy salsa recipe more in tune with our taste. Add more spices, if desired, to your taste. For example, add more pepper or chili powder to make it HOT.

Ingredients:

1 28-ounce can of tomatoes *
1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
1 ¼ cup onions, diced
¾ cup green peppers, diced
½ cup jalapeno peppers, diced (about 2 peppers)
¼ cup sugar
3 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. pepper

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together in a 2-quart saucepan, and bring to a slow boil. Remove from heat and let cool before transferring to containers.

Store in refrigerator for about a month or in the freezer for longer periods of time.

Note:

* Use diced tomatoes if you want it a little chunkier or crushed tomatoes if you want a smoother salsa. Both are tasty. If you use diced tomatoes, drain some of the water from the can first, so that your sauce doesn't get too runny. Later, you can always add some back in to get to the consistency you like.

Copyright (c) Life Blessons; lifeblessons.blogspot.com Used with Permission

More Recipes/ Cooking Tips at Malankara World Cafe

Family: Talking Sex with Kids
What Dads Wish They Could Tell Their Daughters

While most dads would rather watch a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants marathon than talk to their teenage daughters about sex and relationships, Dr. Kenneth Ryan, father of three girls, never runs away from the talk. As a relationship expert, Dr. Ryan seeks to help parents have normal, comfortable conversations about these important life topics. No one feels the pain of a bad boyfriend more than the dad so start talking before she has a boyfriend - before her mind turns to mush.

According to Dr. Ryan, one of the most common mistakes parents tend to make is lecturing instead of conversing. Since parents often feel strongly about the issues, we sometimes try to hammer home our point without really listening and understanding what our daughter is thinking. Ask open ended questions that begin with what, why and tell me.

Another common problem is awkward conversations. Nobody wants awkward conversations, but what can you do? Discussing touchy topics can be less threatening if you talk about a celebrity or a person you both know rather than yourselves. Honesty and humor are essential. Teens can smell BS from a mile away so give it to them straight. She wants and needs the truth. Don't take yourselves too seriously. A light touch makes conversations more fun and encouraging. She must know, without a doubt, that you are on her side.

The third mistake dads make is assuming their daughters will not listen to them. Unless your relationship has gone seriously toxic, most children really do care what their parents think. However, sometimes it takes them a while to process challenging ideas. We don't want our daughters to go out and make big mistakes because we didn't have the courage to tell them the hard truths. Your own mistakes in life do not disqualify you from sharing your wisdom and insight.

To get the conversation started, share one of these concepts with your daughter and ask what she thinks of it. Does she agree or disagree? Why? What examples has she seen in people around her?

1. Lips are your secret weapon

Learning to converse easily with guys is one of the most important skills you can learn. Guys like being with girls who make conversation easy and interesting. Conversation is a skill you can learn just like playing the piano. If you practice, you can get good at it.

2. Fateful Attraction

Attraction cannot be forced or faked but it can be influenced. Physical attraction will fade if you do not have an attraction based on character and personality.

3. Dump the guy Humanely

Men want to know the truth so if it's not going to work, tell him so he can deal with it and move on. He would rather know where he really stands than get dragged along. Sandwich the bad news between a couple of compliments. Be gentle but direct.

4. You can't put a condom on your heart

Contrary to popular opinion, your heart is at just as much risk as your reproductive system. Since you can't put a condom on your heart, safe sex is a myth. A girl's heart is at much greater risk than the guy's.

5. Sex is like Duct Tape

Sex is meant to help one couple bond together permanently for life. Each time it is used outside of marriage, it loses some of its stickiness.

6. Guys say "love" to get sex. Girls give sex to get love.

Sorry girls, sex won't buy you genuine love. It is very easy for men to have sex without love or commitment but women violate their own inner voice of sanity and femininity when they have sex without commitment. His self esteem may go up but yours will go down. Perhaps it's not fair but that's how it is.

7. Sex causes blindness

Sex helps married people overlook each other's faults. Unfortunately, it has the same effect on single people, often causing them overlook critical flaws and make a poor choice of who they marry. Does he truly love you or does he love having sex with you? That's the million dollar question and sex can give both of you fuzzy vision and confusion. "Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half shut afterward" - Ben Franklin.

8. Intended for pleasure

Sex is part of the superglue of marriage. Surfaces must be clean and dry for good adhesion. Marriage is tough and you need as much going in your favor as possible. If you ruin the magic of sex by treating it like a meaningless toy, you are heading into marriage with one strike against you. Sex is a big deal in marriage and you need the magic.

9. Never buy a swimsuit at a Hardware store

Your shopping instinct easily steers you away from the hardware store when you need a new suit but your man instinct is letting you down if it takes you to bars and clubs with the hope of finding good husband prospects. It's a needle in a haystack if you are hoping for a quality hubby. Flashy moves and smooth talk won't mean a thing when your kid is throwing up in the middle of the night.

10. Lifestyles of the Rich, famous and confused

Famous people are no smarter than you when in comes to relationships. In fact, they are more likely to have a warped perspective of reality. They are not necessarily a reliable role model and they won't tell the interviewer the real problems in their life. Smiling celebrity photos today, divorce tomorrow.

So...Don't run away from the conversation, get one started.

About Dr. Kenneth Ryan

Dr. Ryan is a relationship expert and author of 'Finding Your Prince in a Sea of Toads: How to Find a Quality Guy Without Getting Your Heart Shredded.' He and his wife have counseled engaged couples about sex for over 10 years. (www.FindingYourPrince.com)

Humor: Who Reads Newspapers?

Here's an EZ guide to your news and crossword puzzle delivery!

1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.

3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country, and who are very good at crossword puzzles.

4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don't really understand The New York Times. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie charts.

5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running the country, if they could find the time -- and if they didn't have to leave Southern California to do it.

6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and did a poor job of it, thank you very much.

7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who's running the country and don't really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.

8. The New York Post is read by people who don't care who is running the country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.

9. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country, but need the baseball scores.

10. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure if there is a country or that anyone is running it; but if so, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped, minority, feminist, atheist dwarfs who also happen to be illegal aliens from any other country or galaxy, provided of course, that they are not Republicans.

11. The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.

12. The Seattle Times is read by people who have recently caught a fish and need something to wrap it in.

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