Malankara World Journal
Malankara World Journal

Volume 2 No. 61 March 8, 2012

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Colorful Landscape
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children
(Psalm 103:13-17)
Table of Contents
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1. Editor's Note

2. Bible Readings for This Sunday (March 11)

3. Fourth Sunday of Great Lent (Knanaitho/Canaanite woman)

4. Sermons for This Sunday (March 11)

5. Fourth Sunday of Great Lent (Knanaitho/Canaanite woman)

http://www.Malankaraworld.com/Library/Sermons/Sermon-of-the-week_4th-sunday-in-lent.htm

6. Inspiration for Today

The fruit of the Spirit is love.

7. Featured This Week: Under the Shadow of the Cross

It is very important to take a step back from our highly competitive, fast-paced, over consuming, rat race and take a second look at ourselves and ponder over the meaning of life and where we are headed. Lenten season provides an occasion for that. The cross of Jesus Christ and his life that led up to it provides a frame for a proper perspective on our life and its pre-occupations. ...

8. Book Excerpt: School of Prayer - Lesson 27: Christ the High Priest

In His parting address, Jesus gives His disciples the full revelation of what the New Life was to be, when once the kingdom of God had come in power. In the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, in union with Him the heavenly Vine, in their going forth to witness and to suffer for Him, they were to find their calling and their blessedness. ...

9. Seven Ways to Pray During Lent

Holy Week and Easter are 'big events' in the liturgical year of the Church and in the spiritual life of a Christian. So, as Christians, we prepare spiritually for these through the Lent. This means that, during Lent, we rededicate ourselves to prayer. There are as many ways to pray as there are prayers in this world, but a few prayer methods can help us in particular to spiritually prepare ourselves during Lent. ...

10. Life's Greatest Science

Christians who neglect attendance at the church, or choose to deprive themselves of fellowship with other Christians, miss out on life's greatest science - learning about God. ...

11. How Can You Meditate on God’s Word?

Meditation is a combination of reviewing, repeating, reflecting, thinking, analyzing, feeling and even enjoying. It is a physical, intellectual and emotional activity—it involves our whole being. ...

12. Family: Three Marriage Lies

I know marriage pain and I know marriage redemption. Building a bridge between those two realities isn’t easy but it is possible. .. Having a good marriage is more about being the right partner than having the right partner. ..

13. Comfort, Challenge

Too much comfort is dangerous. Literally.

14. Health: Feeling Traumatized by the World’s Upheaval? Tips for Writing Off Emotional Pain

The unexpected blows experienced by so many Americans during the current economic recession have left many dealing with what psychotherapist Daniela Roher calls "recession stress disorder" – feelings of helplessness, shame and betrayal, headaches, loss of appetite, insomnia, depression. ...

15. Recipe: Chick Pea Coleslaw

A Lenten favorite

16. I Choose To Laugh

Awakened by the phone ringing at 11:35 p.m., I fumble for the receiver beside my bed. Who would be calling at this time of night? "Mom, I'm not in jail." The voice at the other end belongs to my 21-year-old daughter, Rachel. ...

17. Top Ten Signs That Indicate You Might Be An Orthodox Christian

18. About Malankara World

Editor's Note
We are now about to enter the fourth week of Lent. Time flies, isn't it? Next Wednesday (March 14) represents the midpoint of the Holy Lent. After the Holy Qurbana on Wednesday, the "Golgotha" will be erected in the middle of the church. That cross  will be there symbolically in the midst of us through the ascension on May 17. We will have more to say about this in the next week's edition.

This Sunday, the Daylight savings time officially starts in the US. This is when the clocks "spring forward" an hour. We lose that one hour we got when the clocks "fall back" an hour last Fall. Hope that you will all be in time for the Holy Qurbana by waking up an hour earlier than usual till our body clocks get adjusted to the new time.

This week, we meditate on Jesus Christ Healing the Canaanite woman's daughter. As we recalled last time, the first sign/miracle performed by Jesus was in Cana and it was done at the intercession of St. Mary. The second one was done at the personal request of the leper. So, this was an example of personal prayer. Last week, four friends brings a paralyzed person to Jesus. Although they didn't directly ask Jesus (as they were on the roof), their action spoke louder than any words, and Jesus accepted their intercession and healed the paralyzed person. This can be construed as an example of group intercession - like when we pray in the church for a person in the hospital, etc.

This week's example of intercession by the woman for her daughter is an illustration of a powerful intercession. She cannot be denied. She won't take "no" for an answer! The disciples did everything they could to keep her away; but she refused to go away! She knew what she wanted. She had no hesitation to pray in public humiliating herself. In the end, Jesus relented and grants her prayer. We learn from this that we should be persistent in our prayer. We may not get an answer immediately; but if we stays with it, our prayers will be answered.

The need for persistence in prayer (importunity) was illustrated by Jesus in Luke 11:5-13. Our Lord has said in Luke 11:9-10

"So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."

The Canaanite woman asked and she was rewarded.

This passage is also another illustration that God sometimes can be persuaded to change his plan by our prayer with importunity. We saw an example of this at the Marriage of Cana. Jesus initially told St. Mary that "his time (for signs/miracles) haven't yet come." But he changed his mind later and performed the miracle there. When the Canaanite woman approaches Jesus, he ignored her and told her that his plan is to deliver the gospel to the Jews first and later to the gentiles after his death by the disciples. Canaanite woman convinces Jesus that Gentiles needs his gospel now rather than later. Jesus, after much persuasion, relents and his mission changed immediately. He started preaching directly to the Gentiles. Do we need any more proof for the power of prayer?

This Sunday in Church
Bible Readings for This Sunday (March 11)
Sermons for This Sunday (March 11)

Fourth Sunday of Great Lent (Knanaitho/Canaanite woman)

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_4th-sunday-in-lent.htm

More Sermons

This Week's Features

Inspiration for Today
The fruit of the Spirit is love.

God is love: and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. -- The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. -- Unto you ... which believe he is precious. -- We love him, because he first loved us. -- The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

Ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. -- This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. -- Above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. -- Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

GAL. 5:22. I John 4:16. ‑Rom. 5:5. ‑I Pet. 2:7. ‑I John 4:19.
II Cor. 5:14,15. I Thes. 4:9. ‑John 15:12. -I Pet. 4:8. ‑Eph. 5:2.

Featured This Week: Under the Shadow of the Cross

by Rev. Thomas John M.A., M.Div.

It is very important to take a step back from our highly competitive, fast-paced, over consuming, rat race and take a second look at ourselves and ponder over the meaning of life and where we are headed. Lenten season provides an occasion for that. The cross of Jesus Christ and his life that led up to it provides a frame for a proper perspective on our life and its pre-occupations.

First, during the Lenten season, fasting and abstinence from foods, provide us with an occasion to remind ourselves that life has a meaning beyond eating, drinking and satisfying our basic needs. While it is true that those basic needs are essential for life, we are reminded that 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' (Matt.4:4) This is often referred to as the spiritual dimension of human beings. Human beings have a special calling to live in obedience to God and in responsibility to his fellow humanity and the world of nature to which they are inextricably bound. St Augustine’s prayer exemplifies this very aptly: "Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee." We can smother this longing for an ultimate meaning and purpose in life by being busy with worldly matters and indulging in worldly pleasures, but it continues to burn in us as a smoldering fire and makes us restless.

Jesus reminds the crowd that followed him after the feeding of five thousand: "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you." (John 6: 27). ‘Food that spoils’ alludes to manna which God had given to the people of Israel in their journey through the desert. (Exodus 16: 13-21) They hoarded manna against the command of God. It bread worms and became foul; it was spoiled. ‘Food that endures for eternal life’ is the food in God’s dispensation that God provides equally to all and according to each ones need. There is no hoarding of food in God’s dispensation. There will be caring and sharing and concern for equity. During lent, we are given an occasion to remind ourselves of the vanity of our consumptive life style and what makes for happy life.

Moreover, it reminds us of our responsibility to earth and nature. God created us in his image so that we may image God to the rest of creation; in other words, we are expected to act as God’s representatives and stewards to the rest of creation. As Mahatma Gandhi said: "There is enough for everybody's need, but not enough for anybody's greed." Lenten season gives us an occasion to reflect on and repent of our exploitative attitude and over consumptive life style and our failure to be good stewards of the resources of this earth. It is in this responsibility to the other - our fellow human beings and nature - that we become spiritual. The Russian thinker and theologian, Nicolas Berdyaev, has succinctly put it: "Bread for myself is a material concern, but bread for my neighbor is a spiritual concern." We have a responsibility to ensure that everybody else in the world has enough to satisfy their hunger. Our responsibility and concern should go beyond our self and our immediate relations to encompass all people in need and this beautiful earth, including the flora and fauna.

Fasting and abstaining from foods will not have any meaning unless we make a determined effort to reverse all exploitative, unjust, dominating and oppressive relationships. Isaiah 58: 6-9 describes the fast that is acceptable to God in the following words:

"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
To loose the chains of injustice
And untie the chords of the yoke,
To set the oppressed free
And break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
And to provide the poor wanderer with shelter –
When you see the naked, to clothe them,
And not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
And your healing will quickly appear.
"

We find Jesus Christ as the one who has taken responsibility for his fellow human beings and the rest of creation and paid the cost for it with his life. On his cross we find love in action. On his cross we also find reflected the terrible consequences of our sin; what it had done to one who came to give us life and life abundant; how we have forfeited our great inheritance as God’s own Children. But, on the cross we also find the out stretched arms that are always ready to embrace a ‘wretch like me’. And on his resurrection, we are given the hope and promise of a new life, a new creation, and a ‘new heaven and earth’.

Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Let us make this Lenten season an occasion for awakening the "spirit" within us and set it aflame so that from our life there would flow greater light and life to the world around. May we, thus, experience the power of his resurrection in our life and be agents of that power to a world subjected to decay under the power of sin.

Prayer

O God of our Lord, Jesus Christ, help us during this Lenten season to remember that we are mere dust and yet you have created us and shaped us in your image and breathed your life giving breath into our nostrils that we should image God’s love and care to the rest of Creation. We thank you for this election and calling of us to be your children and representatives. But we ask your forgiveness that we have often led our lives in forgetfulness of our election and calling; that your abundant life has been poured into earthen vessels. We pray for your grace to recommit ourselves to the path of the cross and thus dead to sin, we may rise to eternal life with you.

From the Editor:

Rev. Thomas John is the Retired Head of the Department of Psychology and Dean at Union Christian College, Aluva. He is an ordained priest and is very active with the SCM and Presbyterian Church outreach program in India. I have the privilege of being associated with Rev. Thomas John and family for over three decades.

Copyright © Rev Thomas John; Source: http://thomas-john.blogspot.in/ Used with permission.

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

Lesson 27: Christ the High Priest
[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.]

'Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. '
- John 17:24 (NKJV).

In His parting address, Jesus gives His disciples the full revelation of what the New Life was to be, when once the kingdom of God had come in power. In the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, in union with Him the heavenly Vine, in their going forth to witness and to suffer for Him, they were to find their calling and their blessedness. In between His setting forth of their future new life, the Lord had repeatedly given the most unlimited promises as to the power their prayers might have. And now in closing, He Himself proceeds to pray. To let His disciples have the joy of knowing what His intercession for them in heaven as their High Priest will be, He gives this precious legacy of His prayer to the Father. He does this at the same time because they as priests are to share in His work of intercession, that they and we might know how to perform this holy work.

In the teaching of our Lord on this last night, we have learned to understand that these astonishing prayer-promises have not been given in our own behalf, but in the interest of the Lord and His kingdom: it is from the Lord Himself alone that we can learn what the prayer in His Name is to be and to obtain. We have understood that to pray in His Name is to pray in perfect unity with Himself: the high-priestly prayer will teach all that the prayer in the Name of Jesus may ask and expect.

This prayer is ordinarily divided into three parts. Our Lord first prays for Himself (v. 1-5), then for His disciples (6-19), and last for all the believing people through all ages (20-26). The follower of Jesus, who gives himself to the work of intercession, and would fain try how much of blessing he can pray down upon his circle in the Name of Jesus, will in all humility let himself be led of the Spirit to study this wonderful prayer as one of the most important lessons of the school of prayer.

First of all, Jesus prays for Himself, for His being glorified, that so He may glorify the Father. 'Father! Glorify Thy Son. And now, Father, glorify me.' And He brings forward the grounds on which He thus prays. A holy covenant had been concluded between the Father and the Son in heaven. The Father had promised Him power over all flesh as the reward of His work: He had done the work, He had glorified the Father, and His one purpose is now still further to glorify Him. With the utmost boldness He asks that the Father may glorify Him, that He may now be and do for His people all He has undertaken. ...
Read the rest of the lesson in Malankara World.
http://www.Malankaraworld.com/Library/Prayers/Murray/Murray_27.htm

Previous Lessons (Archive)

http://www.Malankaraworld.com/Library/Prayers/Murray/Default.htm
Seven Ways to Pray During Lent
What do we do when we're facing an upcoming big event, celebration, or special occasion in our lives? We prepare for it. Holy Week and Easter are "big events" in the liturgical year of the Church and in the spiritual life of a Christian. So, as Christians, we prepare spiritually for these through the forty days of Lent. This means that, during Lent, we rededicate ourselves to prayer.

There are as many ways to pray as there are prayers in this world, but a few prayer methods can help us in particular to spiritually prepare ourselves during Lent:

1. Make your abstinence a prayer-in-action.

As Catholics we are called to give up something for Lent. Chocolate, coffee, that extra helping of dinner, one less hour of video games or watching DVDs—whatever it is, you can make what you're giving up for Lent a prayer as well: a prayer-in-action. Whenever you encounter the thing you are abstaining from or the time of day that you would normally enjoy it, take a moment to say a prayer in recognition of your wholeness in God even without the thing you have given up. Thank God for the freedom to be wholly yourself without this and, at the same time, acknowledge the gift of its existence in the world.

2. Renew yourself through personal reflective prayer.

Lent is a time of spiritual renewal. One easy step you can take is to use the many free online resources to jump-start or reinvigorate your prayer life. A few such resources are Loyola Press's popular 3-Minute Retreats and Seven Last Words of Christ guided meditation, or try the prayer reflections offered by the Irish Jesuit site Sacred Space. If you're seeking more traditional support for your personal reflective prayer, consider a book specially designed to nourish you during Lent, such as Seven Weeks for the Soul or Praying Lent.

3. Meditate on Holy Scripture with Lectio Divina.

Perhaps the oldest method of scriptural prayer known to Christians is lectio divina or "holy reading." This method of prayer is characterized by the slow reading and consideration of a text from Scripture, with repetition and meditation on key words or phrases. Lectio divina is rooted in the belief that the scriptural word speaks in the human heart as the word of God and can reveal the thoughts of our hearts in response to God. In this way, lectio divina leads to a deeper communion with the Divine.

4. Reflect deeper on your liturgical prayer.

When you attend Mass during Lent, be conscious of and meditate on the words you pray in the liturgy. For example, the Eucharistic Prayer, the highlight of each Mass, has special significance during Lent. After receiving communion, you may want to sit and reflect more deeply on this great prayer of the Church.

5. Join or start a prayer group.

There are many benefits to praying with others. In group prayer you're able to offer and experience a positive example, needed support and encouragement, different perspectives, and the inspiration to grow in the Christian life. A simple way to get started is to invite your spouse, a family member, or close friend to pray with you on a regular basis throughout Lent. You can also contact your local parish and inquire about prayer groups or prayer circles being sponsored. Or start your own communal prayer group. For example, the Meeting Christ In Prayer kit offers step-by-step instructions, guides, and all the necessary resources so even a beginner can start praying with others.

6. Pray with children or as a family.

Being a parent, guardian, or teacher is a holy ministry and a sacred promise. Share your faith with children by letting them see and hear you pray, and by praying together. Guided Reflections for Children: Praying My Faith, Praying with Scriptures, and 52 Simple Ways to Talk with Your Kids about Faith are all practical, realistic resources to help you make the most of your prayer time with children. And don't forget about family dinners. Dinnertime is a great opportunity to start or enliven a tradition of family prayer during Lent.

7. Start a practice of daily prayer that will last after Lent.

Perhaps the best prayer advice is to use Lent as a time to instill prayer habits that will last long after Lent has concluded.

So enjoy your Lenten prayer. And don't think you have to do all the above. Perhaps choose one or two of these prayer methods to concentrate on—and then you can more fully experience the pilgrim journey toward Easter that is Lent.

Source: LoyolaPress.com (edited)

Life's Greatest Science
For reading & meditation: Ephesians 3:14-21

" that you... may be able to comprehend with all the saints."
(
Ephesians 3:17-18, NKJ)

We are seeing that once we enter the sanctuary of God our perspective changes. This can happen to us when we are alone, of course, but the chances are it will happen more swiftly in the act of corporate worship. It is a command of God that we meet together, not only that we might come to know each other better, but that we might also come to know Him better. And here's the interesting thing - the more effectively we relate to one another, the more effectively we relate to Him. We come to know God better through the act of corporate worship than when we worship on our own. That is not to say that the shut-ins, or those who for various reasons are unable to meet together in worship, cannot know God intimately, but something special flows out of the act of corporate worship.

Listen to how C.S. Lewis put it: "God can show Himself as He really is only to real men. And that means not simply men who are individually good but to men who are united together in a body, loving one another, helping one another, showing Him to one another. For that is what God meant humanity to be like; like players in one band, or organs in one body. Consequently the only real adequate instrument for learning about God is the whole Christian community, waiting for Him together. Christian brotherhood is, so to speak, the technical equipment for this science - the laboratory outfit."

Christians who neglect attendance at the church, or choose to deprive themselves of fellowship with other Christians, miss out on life's greatest science - learning about God.

Prayer:

My Father and my God, I am so thankful that, although I can know You when I am alone, I can know You even better through the fellowship of the Church. Help me to learn about You in every way I can. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.

For Further Study:

Ephesians 2:1-19; Romans 8:15; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Galatians 4:5
1. How does Paul describe the Church?
2. What does it mean to be adopted?

Source: Every Day Light Feb 22, 2012

How Can You Meditate on God’s Word?
Psalm 119:15 instructs believers to “meditate on [God's] precepts and consider [God's] ways.” During the Lenten season of reflection and meditation, it seems appropriate to ask what exactly it means to “meditate on God’s Word.” Here’s how the Questions Answered newsletter answers that question.

Meditation is a combination of reviewing, repeating, reflecting, thinking, analyzing, feeling and even enjoying. It is a physical, intellectual and emotional activity—it involves our whole being.

In some ways, meditation doesn’t easily fit into Western culture. We value action and busyness more than stopping and considering. The author of this psalm was from another time and culture, one with a tradition that valued meditation. As a result, meditation came more naturally for him and others with his Middle Eastern background. We have to overcome some cultural obstacles to learn to meditate.

There are many ways to meditate on God’s Word. Some possibilities include:

1. Take time to read a verse or passage over and over.

2. Begin to memorize all or part of it.

3. Listen—quiet your heart to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you through God’s Word.

4. Consider how it fits with the rest of the Bible and life in general.

5. Become emotionally involved—allow yourself to feel what God feels, his desires expressed through his words.

6. Move from meditation to application—connect your thoughts to action. Consider how the truth and power of the Word of God should affect your behavior.

Source: The NIV Quest Study Bible, as presented in the Questions Answered newsletter.

Family: Three Marriage Lies

by Lysa TerKeurst

I know the heart-ripping hopelessness of a relationship unraveling. The coexisting. The silent tension. The tears.

The first five years of my marriage were really hard. Two sinners coming together with loads of baggage, unrealistic expectations, and extremely strong wills.

There was yelling. There was the silent treatment. There were doors slammed. There was bitterness. There was a contemplation of calling it quits. There was this sinking feeling that things would never, could never get better. That’s when I first started hearing the 3 lies:

  • I married the wrong person.
  • He should make me feel loved.
  • There is someone else better out there.

I believed those lies. They started to weave a tangled web of confusion in my heart. All I could see was all that was wrong with him. I became so blind to his good. I became so blind to my not so good.

And I wasn’t shy about sharing my frustrations about the whole situation with my friends.

Many nodded their head in agreement with me, making me feel ever so justified. But one didn’t. She said, “I know what you think. But what does the Bible say?”

Ugghhhh. The Bible? I didn’t think her “religious suggestion” would help me. But over the next couple of days, I kept hearing her question about looking into the Bible replaying over and over in my mind.

Reluctantly and with great skepticism, I tried it one afternoon. I turned to a couple of verses she suggested including 1 Corinthians 13. As I read the list of everything love is supposed to be, I got discouraged. My love didn’t feel kind, patient, or persevering. The love in my marriage felt broken.

I closed the Bible. It didn’t seem to do anything but make me feel worse. So much for that.

Then a few days later I heard an interview on a Christian radio station where a couple was talking about these same verses. I wanted to gag and turn the station. What do they know about how hard love can be? That’s when they said a statement that grabbed me, “Love isn’t a feeling, it’s a decision.

Wow.

I went home and flipped to 1 Corinthians 13 again. This time, instead of reading it like a list of what love should make me feel, I read it as if I could decide to make my love fit these qualities. My love will be kind. My love will be patient. My love will persevere. Not because I feel it — but because I choose it.

At the same time, God was working on my husband’s heart as well. We decided to make some 1 Corinthians 13 love decisions. Slowly, the cold stone wall between us started to come down.

It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t overnight. But slowly our attitudes and our actions toward one another changed. And I stopped believing the marriage lies and replaced them with 3 marriage truths:

  • Having a good marriage is more about being the right partner than having the right partner.
  • Love is a decision.
  • The grass isn’t greener on the other side. It’s greener where you water and fertilize it.

Maybe you’ve heard the marriage lies before. My heart aches for you if you are in a hard place in your marriage. And believe me, I know tough relationships are stinkin’ complicated and way beyond what a simple blog post can possibly untangle. But maybe something I’ve said today can help loosen one knot… or at least breathe a little hope into your life today.

I know marriage pain and I know marriage redemption. Building a bridge between those two realities isn’t easy but it is possible.

Our bridge was the culmination of a lot of little love decisions. Like the one I saw my husband make yesterday when I left my workout clothes in a pile on the floor in my bathroom.

This used to be such an aggravation to my man… me and my messes.

But look what I found when I got home… a love decision.

Note from Art

© 2012 Lysa TerKeurst All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission. To learn more visit Lysa's website at:
http://lysaterkeurst.com/?cm_mmc=ExactTarget-_--_--_-http%3a%2f%2flysaterkeurst.com%2f

Comfort, Challenge

Too much comfort is dangerous. Literally.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, did an experiment some time ago that involved introducing an amoeba into a perfectly stress-free environment: ideal temperature, optimal concentration of moisture, constant food supply. The amoeba had an environment to which it had to make no adjustment whatsoever.

So you would guess this was one happy little amoeba. Whatever it is that gives amoebas ulcers and high blood pressure was gone.

Yet, oddly enough, it died.

Apparently there is something about all living creatures, even amoebas, that demands challenge. We require change, adaptation and challenge the way we require food and air. Comfort alone will kill us.

Source: John Ortberg, If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat

To learn more about Overcoming Trials and Tribulations in life please visit Malankara World Supplement on Spirituality of Suffering

Health Tip: Feeling Traumatized by the World’s Upheaval? Tips for Writing Off Emotional Pain
The unexpected blows experienced by so many Americans during the current economic recession have left many dealing with what psychotherapist Daniela Roher calls "recession stress disorder" – feelings of helplessness, shame and betrayal, headaches, loss of appetite, insomnia, depression.

Add to that the emotional turmoil endured by tens of thousands of families directly affected by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are a nation traumatized.

George Molho (www.georgemolho.com), author of Scarred, a memoir recounting his kidnapping as a 7-year-old in 1978, knows well the crippling effects of emotional trauma. He also knows what it takes to recover and move your life forward.

"Whether you are a ‘writer’ or not, writing has a cathartic and healing effect," says Molho, who wrote his memoir as http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Newsletter/a way to move past the pain inflicted by his father during his year in captivity.

Whether your emotional pain is the result of losing a job or divorcing a spouse, experiencing the trauma of war or a criminal assault, Molho offers several suggestions for beginning the healing process by putting your feelings on paper:

• Keep a journal or jot your thoughts on a Post-It, either way you’re getting them out of your head and putting them into the world. Writing comes from the subconscious, which sucks in all kinds of data that the conscious mind isn’t aware of. Much of writing comes from the subconscious mind, so when you write down your feelings, you release them. It helps cleanse you of the pain, anger and fear lodged in your subconscious.

• If someone has hurt you and you don’t have the opportunity or courage to confront them face to face, write them a letter. You don’t ever have to send it; you can write it and then burn it up. But sit down and write down everything you would say if you could in that letter. This is especially helpful for people struggling with a breakup that had no closure – one person up and left the other. Empty every thought, good, bad, vengeful, whatever, then have a little bonfire. Light it up!

• Buy a $10 mailbox at the hardware store and put it in the backyard. Then write letters to God, or whoever your creator is, and "mail" them. It will help you feel less isolated and alone in dealing with your pain, and more connected with the world. It helps you see a bigger picture, one that involves faith.

• Look back at your victories, no matter how small or insignificant they might seem, and count up all the things you’ve overcome. Whether it was getting through the grief of losing a beloved pet when you were a child or executing a challenging task on the job, when you start adding up these victories, you begin to see you’re much stronger and more capable than you might have realized. Write them down and save them somewhere, so you can pull them out when you need to be reminded that "I can do this."

• This one doesn’t involve writing but is too valuable to exclude, Molho says. Help yourself by being a shoulder for someone else. By listening to other people share their problems and trying to help them, you actually are healing yourself. When you offer them advice, sympathy and encouragement, you’re talking to yourself at the same time. Connecting with others who are in pain can help you deal with your pain.

About George Molho

George Molho worked as a health-care consultant for 15 years before becoming a writer and public speaker, addressing domestic abuse, child abduction, and recovering from trauma through self-reflection. He lives in Houston, where he has volunteered as a board member for several Texas charities and agencies that assist children and the elderly.

Read more health tips in Malankara World Health Section

Recipe: Chick Pea Coleslaw
Great for Lenten days. A very healthy food that can be enjoyed throughout the year. Add your favorite spices to make it to your liking.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chick peas, soaked and drained
2.5 cups water

1/2 small white cabbage, shredded
2 cups carrot, grated
1 cup mild onions, sliced

For Dressing:

5 tablespoons mayonnaise
seasoning

Directions:

Cook the beans in the water until tender. Drain.

Mix the vegetables and the bens together and toss in the mayonnaise. Season to taste

Serve with whole wheat rolls and a green salad.

More Recipes/ Cooking Tips at Malankara World Cafe

I Choose To Laugh

by Janet Seever

Awakened by the phone ringing at 11:35 p.m., I fumble for the receiver beside my bed. Who would be calling at this time of night?

"Hello," I mumble, my brain barely functioning.

"Mom, I'm not in jail." The voice at the other end belongs to my 21-year-old daughter, Rachel.

"What?" My heart is beginning to race and my imagination is running away with me. It's amazing how quickly those words fully awaken me.

"I'm not actually in jail," my daughter continues. "I'm fine. It's my car."

"What's the matter?" I ask, trying to make sense of what I am hearing.

"My car was impounded. I found out that since it's registered in your name, you have to be the one to get it out." There is a sense of urgency in her voice.

"At this hour of the night?"

I knew earlier in the day that her car had been missing. She assumed it had been towed and was trying to locate it. Now she is calling from the city impoundment lot that closed at midnight, (or so I thought.) It's located in the industrial area of a city of 900,000 people. I'm not at all familiar with that part of the city and I avoid it even in daylight. Travel there alone at night? Certainly not.

I awaken my husband, explaining the situation. Fortunately his concern for our daughter wins out over his anger at being awakened.

After driving down the freeway, we wind our way down the darkened streets in the industrial area of the city. The world is eerily silent except for an occasional passing car.

"I hope some day that she will believe the signs she reads," I say wistfully. "She parked in the half-empty parking lot of an apartment building to visit a friend this morning and ended up staying for three hours. She ignored the sign that said 'unauthorized vehicles will be towed at the owner's expense.'"

A university student, Rachel had a penchant for parking in unauthorized places in the cramped lots at school, and had already collected her share of parking tickets. However, this is her first towing experience.

When we arrive at the impoundment lot, Rachel and her room-mate are waiting for us and are in a good mood. In fact, she gets me laughing too. The woman at the desk stares at us in disbelief. No doubt she had seen a good many confrontations between angry parents and children in similar situations - or has dealt with angry car owners coming to claim their cars. No doubt laughter in her office is an extremely rare thing.

"Why are you laughing?" I ask.

"It was a choice between crying and laughing," Rachel says. "I choose to laugh."

"And why did you wait until 11:30 to pick up your car?" I ask.

She explains that although she had gotten off work at 8 p.m., she had chosen to watch her favorite T.V. program at 10 p.m. as a way to "de-stress" before she and her friend left to pick up her car.

All it takes is my husband's driver's license for identification, and she is free to take her 1991 Chevy Sprint rust bucket home. She still has a hefty fee to pay, but that's now her problem.

As my husband and I drive home, a little short of sleep, I think of other parents who get phone calls in the night from their children - who really are in jail, or from police reporting that their child was in an accident, or worse. I silently breathe a prayer of "thanks" to the Lord that our daughter is safe.

A "jailed" car is trivial in comparison to other things that could have happened. So many things in life are irritating, annoying, and inconvenient at the time, but are of no lasting consequences. I think my daughter's philosophy is a good one. I, too, choose to laugh.

Copyright © 2004

About the Author:

The mother of two adult children, Janet Seever lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She writes for Word Alive magazine, a publication of Wycliffe Canada, and has had articles published previously in magazines and on the Web. You can read more of her writing at: www.inscribe.org/janetseever

Top Ten Signs That Indicate You Might Be An Orthodox Christian

You might be Orthodox if…

10. You are still in church more than ten minutes after the priest says, “Let us depart in peace.”

9. You forget to change your clock in the spring at Daylight Savings Time, show up an hour late, but the service is still going on…

8. …but there are people in your community who still can't get to church on time when the clock gets set back an hour in the fall.

7. You consider an hour long church service to be “short.”

6. You buy chocolate bunnies on sale (after Western Easter).

5. When someone says, “Let us pray…” you reflexively stand up.

4. You went to church four or more times in a week.

3. Your priest is married…

2. …and your vocabulary includes at least three words that describe the wife of a priest.

And the number one sign you might be Orthodox is…

1. You say a prayer before you pray.

Source: Fr. George C Mathew

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