Volume 1 No. 37 November 3, 2011 If the Journal is not displayed properly, please click on the link below (or copy and paste) to read from web
Table of Contents
This Sunday in Church
Hoodhosh Eetho (Dedication) Sunday
The Sunday after Koodhosh Eetho is called Hoodhosh Eetho (Dedication of Church) Sunday.
Sunday, November 6, 2011 is called Hoodosh Eetho. This is the second Sunday of the Church liturgical year. Hoodhosh denotes Dedication and Eetho means church. Thus, it is the Sunday for the Dedication/Renewal of the Holy Church. Last week, if you recall, we had sanctified the church (Koodhosh Eetho).
The Gospel Reading specified for this week is from St. Luke 19:47-20:8. The chief priests and the scribes and others sought to destroy Jesus: and they could not find what they might do; for all the people hung upon him, listening. The Pharisees also questioned Jesus' authority (Luke 20:1-8). There are parallel accounts in the gospels of Matthew and Mark. (Matthew 21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33). We have provided sermons, bible analyses and commentaries on both Luke and Matthew versions of the story in Malankara World as well as articles covering the Dedication of Church. You can find them at:
This Week's Features
|Teaching Spiritual Truths|
"Parents believe that they are primarily responsible for the spiritual development of their children, but few parents spend time during a typical week interacting with their children on spiritual matters," states a report by the Barna Research Group of Ventura, CA. The report "underscores the need for churches to help parents address the spiritual needs of their children more intentionally and effectively."
The Barna study reports that 85 percent of parents of children under age 13 "believe they have the primary responsibility for teaching their children about religious beliefs and spiritual matters. Just 11 percent said their church is primarily responsible, and 1 percent said it is mostly the domain of their child's school. Few parents assigned such responsibility to friends, society or the media. Nearly all parents of children under the age of 13 - 96 percent - contend that they have the primary responsibility for teaching their children values. Just 1 percent said their church has that task and 1 percent assigned that role to the child's school.
"Related research, however, revealed that a majority of parents do not spend any time during a typical week discussing religious matters or studying religious materials with their children. However, about two out of three parents of children 12 or younger attend religious services at least once a month and generally take their children with them. Most of those parents are willing to let their church or religious center provide all of the direct religious teaching and related religious experiences that their children receive."
by Dennis Rainey
If you've ever purchased a car, you've seen the owner's manual. It's the book that tells you about the "non-negotiables" for maintaining the car. These are things like changing the oil, filling the tank with gasoline, topping off the transmission fluid, and having tires with adequate tread. We spend a lot of time making sure these non-negotiables are done so that when we get in the car, it runs properly.
The same principle is true for the life of a believer. We must spend time on the non-negotiables so that our lives may glorify God. But what are the non-negotiables? They must be defined in order to maintain and fulfill them. In seeking the Lord, I have discovered what I believe to be seven non-negotiables for life. Each principle is centered on the Lord, bringing the glory to Him alone, and the fulfillment of each is essential to the healthy Christian life.
#1: Seek God, not sin.
For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel, "Seek Me that you may live." —Amos 5:4
God is the life-giver. We will find life in no other. But as sinful creatures, our hearts are naturally prone to wander from our Creator. Our souls were made to pursue God, know God, and walk with God—nothing else. It's only as we pursue Him that we live. In the book of Amos, God tries over and over again to get the attention of His people. He allows them to experience famine, drought, and pestilence and yet, as God says in Amos 4:11, "you have not returned to me." But Amos 5:4 reminds us of where life is found. God says, "Seek me that you may live." These words should get our attention. We will only find life in seeking Him.
#2: Fear God, not men.
The fear of the Lord leads to life, so that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil. —Proverbs 19:23.
Our God is holy and is the Lord God Almighty. When I think of the power He holds, I can't help but fear Him and hold Him in reverential awe. Do you care more about what men think of you than God? Then learn to fear God, and you will be preoccupied in walking in His presence, not wondering what other people think of you. You will begin to live your life in light of eternity, and the temporal views of men won't matter anymore.
The fear of the Lord also keeps us from evil and sin. A.W. Tozer writes, "It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate." When we lose the fear of God and don't respect Him and His commandments, we are going to live our lives without accountability to God and one another, which is the cause of a number of sins.
#3: Love God, not the world.
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. — John 2:15-17
What is the object of your affections? Power? Recognition? Hobbies? Not too long ago, I visited an unbelievable house, and as I walked around it, for just a moment my thought was, "I could have had a house like this." But I was reminded that a house is not what life is all about. The world is seeking to seduce us into a love affair, but we must love God and be preoccupied with pleasing Him alone.
When I first fell in love with Barbara, no one doubted that I loved her; I was preoccupied with pleasing her. We must also love His people and be concerned about their eternal destiny. We must look at them with compassion, like Jesus, and be moved with action to do something for them. Those who love God will do what He wants and be concerned about His mission and His will, and they will fulfill His calling.
#4: Believe God, not the deceiver.
You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. —John 8:44
In 1938 a man in Long Island ordered a very expensive weather barometer. He unwrapped it and realized that the arrow that was supposed to reflect the weather he was experiencing was stuck at the bottom, pointing at "Hurricane." So he slammed it down a few times, and when it didn't respond, he wrote a hot letter to the manufacturer and mailed it off on the way to work. When he came home, he found that a hurricane had hit, and everything was gone.
As believers, sometimes we don't want to believe the truth. When life and Scripture collide, which one do you believe and trust? The deceiver wants us to believe the lie. Will you believe God? The Scriptures tell us that without faith it is impossible to please God, but our nature is to move toward unbelief. Never forget that your adversary is the father of lies. He wants to destroy you, so he works to make us doubt the promises and to accuse the brethren.
#5: Obey God, not your appetites.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one
receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who
competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They
then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a
way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my
slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not
Our appetites are the passions that we have within our flesh, contrary to the spirit, craving and battling to be satisfied. If you give in even the slightest to these desires, the enemy can use that to launch an attack in your life. At the same time, the same trivial act in obedience to God may be used to launch a powerful life-changing ministry. Our passions must be subordinated to the cross.
Obedience to God demands two main things. It demands courage to say no to self, no to appetites, no to lusts of the flesh, no to what's easy, and yes to carrying the cross. It also demands faithfulness—the plodding endurance to God, to his call, and to that which He calls you to suffer. Only by yielding to the cross can you obey God, not your appetites.
#6: Serve God, not self.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!" —Isaiah 6:8
The concept of becoming a "bond slave" in the Scriptures means that we are the slaves, and He is the master. That means that we must surrender completely, without reservation. Many would see this type of service as lowly, and it is humbling, but it should be seen as a privilege to serve such a loving Lord. In 1972, in the first year of our marriage, Barbara and I decided that before we would give anything to each other we would surrender our lives in writing to Jesus Christ, giving Him everything we ever dreamed of having. We gave it up and gave Him the contract and title to our lives. Looking back at that day, I see now we gave Him nothing, but I am amazed to see that He has given us everything in return.
#7: Worship God, not comfort.
Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. —Habakkuk 3:17-18
I don't know anyone who enjoys suffering, but I do know many who have benefited from the growth that occurs as a result. Are you celebrating God and worshiping Him in the midst of your pain or do you seek comfort by escaping it? When suffering comes, you must move through the pain to the God who allowed it to come to fruition. When you escape, you miss the comfort God gives in the midst of that pain.
Barbara and I have given thanks for short paychecks, for the deep waters of misunderstandings and unmet expectations, for a teenage boy with muscular dystrophy, for the loss of friendships due to the call of God—the list goes on and on. Pain has pressed us against our Savior and reminded us that we are not in control. Pain results in growth and greater fruitfulness for Him. We worship God through music, prayer, God's Word, and baptism. But we should also worship God in the midst of suffering and pain.
These seven non-negotiables are the basics for the solid Christian life, and if any of them are neglected, we will be the ones to pay, not God. Now that you know what the non-negotiables are, why don't you sit down in a quiet place and meditate on the areas where you are taking good care of your spiritual life and then ask the Lord to show you the areas where you need help. And then choose a close friend or accountability partner and share with him or her the areas where you need help and prayer. Soon, you will begin to experience a healthier life—mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
[Editor's Note: Dennis Rainey is the president of FamilyLife Today. He and his wife, Barbara, co-authored the best-selling books Building Your Mate's Self-Esteem and Moments Together for Couples. Dennis hosts the nationally syndicated "FamilyLife Today" radio program and has spoken at conferences around the country.]
Copyright ©FamilyLife. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Lesson 11: The Faith that Takes
|[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.]|
Lesson 11: "Believe that ye have received" or Or, The Faith that Takes
"Therefore I say unto you, All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye have received them, and ye shall have them." - Mark 11:24
...where there is true faith, it is impossible but the answer must come.
What a promise! so large, so Divine, that our little hearts cannot take it in, and in every possible way seek to limit it to what we think safe or probable; instead of allowing it, in its quickening power and energy, just as He gave it, to enter in, and to enlarge our hearts to the measure of what His love and power are really ready to do for us.
Faith is very far from being a mere conviction of the truth of God's word, or a conclusion drawn from certain premises. It is the ear which has heard God say what He will do, the eye which has seen Him doing it, and, therefore, where there is true faith, it is impossible but the answer must come. If we only see to it that we do the one thing that He asks of us as we pray: "Believe" that ye have received; He will see to it that He does the thing He has promised: Ye shall have them.
If thou canst believe, All Things are possible to him that believeth; If ye have faith, Nothing shall be impossible to you.
The key-note of Solomon's prayer (2 Chronicles 6:4), Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who hath with His hands fulfilled that which He spake with His mouth to my father David, is the key-note of all true prayer: the joyful adoration of a God whose hand always secures the fulfilment of what His mouth hath spoken. Let us in this spirit listen to the promise Jesus gives; each part of it has its Divine message.
All things whatsoever. At this first word our human wisdom at once begins to doubt and ask: This surely cannot be literally true? But if it be not, why did the Master speak it, using the very strongest expression He could find: All things whatsoever. And it is not as if this were the only time He spoke thus; is it not He who also said, If thou canst believe, All Things are possible to him that believeth; If ye have faith, Nothing shall be impossible to you.
The tendency of human reason is to interpose here, and with certain qualifying clauses; if expedient, if according to God's will; to break the force of a statement which appears dangerous.
Faith is so wholly the work of God's Spirit through His word in the prepared heart of the believing disciple, that it is impossible that the fulfillment should not come; faith is the pledge and forerunner of the coming answer. Yes, All Things Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer believing, ye receive.
The tendency of human reason is to interpose here, and with certain qualifying clauses; if expedient, if according to God's will; to break the force of a statement which appears dangerous. O let us beware of dealing thus with the Master s words. His promise is most literally true.
...how wholly our Father places His power at the disposal of the child that wholly trusts Him.
He wants His oft repeated All Things to enter into our hearts, and reveal to us how mighty the power of faith is, how truly the Head calls the members to share with Him in His power, how wholly our Father places His power at the disposal of the child that wholly trusts Him. In this all things faith is to have its food and strength: as we weaken it we weaken faith.
The Whatsoever is unconditional: the only condition is what is implied in the believing. Ere we can believe we must find out and know what God's will is; believing is the exercise of a soul surrendered and given up to the influence of the Word and the Spirit; but when once we do believe nothing shall be impossible.
In one aspect there must be faith before there can be prayer; in another the faith is the outcome and the growth of prayer.
God forbid that we should try and bring down His All Things to the level of what we think possible. Let us now simply take Christ's Whatsoever as the measure and the hope of our faith: it is a seed-word which, if taken just as He gives it, and kept in the heart, will unfold itself and strike root, fill our life with its fullness, and bring forth fruit abundantly.
All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for. It is in prayer that these all things are to be brought to God, to be asked and received of Him. The faith that receives them is the fruit of the prayer. In one aspect there must be faith before there can be prayer; in another the faith is the outcome and the growth of prayer. It is in the personal presence of the Saviour, in intercourse with Him, that faith rises to grasp what at first appeared too high.
It is in prayer that Jesus teaches and inspires faith.
It is in prayer that we hold up our desire to the light of God's Holy Will, that our motives are tested, and proof given whether we ask indeed in the name of Jesus, and only for the glory of God. It is in prayer that we wait for the leading of the Spirit to show us whether we are asking the right thing and in the right spirit. It is in prayer that we become conscious of our want of faith, that we are led on to say to the Father that we do believe, and that we prove the reality of our faith by the confidence with which we persevere.
It is in prayer that Jesus teaches and inspires faith. He that waits to pray, or loses heart in prayer, because he does not yet feel the faith needed to get the answer, will never learn to believe. He who begins to pray and ask will find the Spirit of faith is given nowhere so surely as at the foot of the Throne.Previous Lessons (Archive) http://www.Malankaraworld.com/Library/Prayers/Murray/Default.htm
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
My second story is about love and loss.
I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
My third story is about death.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.
This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thank you all very much.
by Dr. Jack Graham
I read that several years ago, a man wrote to the Rolls Royce Company because he wanted to know the horsepower of his Rolls Royce automobile. But after many letters, nobody would answer him because it was their policy at that time not to reveal the horsepower in their cars.
So he finally got the guts to send a letter to the president of the company. And in it, he wrote, "I am an owner of one of your cars and I demand to know the horsepower of my Rolls Royce."
The president responded and said, "Sir, I'm glad to give you the answer to your question. The horsepower of a Rolls Royce is sufficient."
That's a lot like the power of God, isn't it? It's incomprehensible, but sufficient! It's unmeasured, but adequate and available to you.
What kind of power is it that you and I have in Christ? It is resurrection power! It's the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. So don't insult God by saying, "I'm too weak to serve you," or, "I don't have the power to live the Christian life." You have God's sufficient resurrection power in you and have more than you need to make your impact for Christ!
IN CHRIST, GOD GIVES YOU SUFFICIENT POWER TO DO ALL THINGS. SO ATTEMPT GREAT THINGS FOR GOD KNOWING THAT HE'S GIVEN YOU EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO MAKE AN IMPACT FOR HIM!
Source: Powerpoint Devotional, October 28, 2011
by Chuck Colson
It should be an open-and-shut case. Study after study shows the beneficial effects of marriage and the self-inflicted harm that people experience when they ignore this evidence. Marriage is good for us in so many ways.
Here is a tiny sampling: People who have been continuously married have 75 percent more wealth at retirement than those who have divorced or were never married. Children in married, two-parent families experience two to three times more positive life outcomes than those who do not. Married people even enjoy better and more frequent sex!
Yet the statistics also show our culture heading in the opposite direction. In 1970, 89 percent of all births were to married parents. Today, unfortunately, it is only 60 percent. In 1960, 72 percent of adults in America were married. Care to guess the number in 2008? Fifty percent. How did we get here, when it makes no logical sense?
My friend Tim Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York and his wife, Kathy, have written a brilliant new book that explains why marriage is in such dire straits, and how to rescue it. Their book, 'The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God.'
The Kellers diagnose this cultural disconnect. It's the natural fruit of the West's slow redefinition of marriage: From an institution where duty and mutual sacrifice are expected for the good of children and the larger society to one in which the marital partners primarily ask, "What's in it for me?"
"In short," Keller writes, "the Enlightenment privatized marriage, taking it out of the public sphere, and redefined its purpose as individual gratification, not any ‘broader good' such as reflecting God's nature, producing character, or raising children."
As a consequence, this new understanding, which is supposed to be so liberating, he says, "actually puts a crushing burden of expectation on marriage and on spouses that more traditional understandings never did."
Because marriage is now all about me, no one is ever good enough, so we hang back, afraid to commit, waiting for the non-existent perfectly "compatible" person — meaning he or she is well-adjusted, beautiful, and can help us find sexual and emotional fulfillment. Or we drop the person we married when someone "better" comes along.
So how can we get out of this?
Well, their book, The Meaning of Marriage, lays out the solution in great and encouraging detail. It is written for singles, those in successful and stable marriages, and for those in the midst of marital crisis. The book is too rich to encapsulate in this brief commentary, but suffice it to say that the secret of marriage is grounded in the self-giving example of Jesus laying down His life for the church.
If more of us in the church understood this and lived it out in our marriages, perhaps we could stop the decline and rebuild a culture of marriage in our country.
This is a book Christians need to read. It's a great resource to equip you to speak with your secular friends; to show them why the Christian understanding of marriage is not only a tremendous blessing, it's the only one that works.
Editor's Note: Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media and print. Tim Keller's book Meaning of Marriage is available at BreakPoint.org.
We were all shocked this week from the news of the departure of the
favorite son of our Holy Church, Commander T. M. Jacob who was
serving as a minister in Kerala Government. Malankara World
expresses condolences to the family of Minister T. M. Jacob. Here is
a message from Fr. Babu Peringol,
Secretary General, St. Ephrem Universal Syrian Orthodox Medical
Condolences on the death of Minister T.M. Jacob
by Father Babu Peringol
It is with deep regret and sympothy I learned about the sudden death of our Minister Sri T.M. Jacob today. During the time of Achutha Menon ministry Sri T.M. Jacob, then President of the Kerala Students Congress and myself as Chairman of the Socialist Students Union were among student members of the State Education Advisory Board under the chairmanship of Education Minister Sri. C.H. Mohammed Koya and later Chakeeri Ahmmedkutty.
Sri. Jacob was an eminent young leader who has had innovative ideas for the betterment of the educational system to educate the future generations of our state to uplift the life of the society. He was talented, respective and friendly to treat others. His vast experience during his young age helped him to be an ideal Minister to mold together to bring up changes in the system of education in Kerala.
We will miss a great leader of our politics due to the demise of him. Sri Jacob as the Education Minister attended my reception of my consecration as a Priest at Tiruvalla on January 28, 1983. I offer hearty condolences and prayers to the bereaved family of him as well as to the Chief Minister.
What do you expect from such simple creatures?
Your last name stays put.
You can never be pregnant.
You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.
You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.
You know stuff about tanks.
If someone forgets to invite you, He or she can still be your friend.
Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
Everything on your face stays its original color.
One wallet and one pair of shoes -- one color for all seasons.
You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives On December 24 in 25 minutes.
No wonder men are happier.
· If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah.
· If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Bubba and Wildman .
· When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
· When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.
· A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
· A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale.
· A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel.
· The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.
· A woman has the last word in any argument.
· Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
· A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
· A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
· A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
· A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, but she does.
· A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
· A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.
· Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
· Women somehow deteriorate during the night.
· Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
· A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
A married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing!
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