Malankara World Journal
Malankara World Journal

Volume 2 No. 63 March 15, 2012

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Mount St Mary University, Maryland
Mount Mary University Chapel, Maryland.
Venue of the Malankara Archdiocese of SOC-NA Family Conference in 2012.
Table of Contents
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1. Editor's Note

2. Bible Readings for This Sunday (Mar 18)

3. Sermons for This Sunday (Mar 18)

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

4. Inspiration for Today

5. Featured This Week: What Lent Really Means

Lent. It's the preparing the heart for Easter. Like going with Jesus into the wilderness for forty days, that we might come face to ugly face with our enemy. Our sacrificing that we might become more like Christ in His sacrifice.

Lent isn't about forfeiting as much as it's about formation. We renounce to be reborn; we let go to become ‘little Christs'. It's about this: We break away to become. ...

6. Book Excerpt: With Christ In the School of Prayer - Lesson 28: Christ the Sacrifice

For all who would learn to pray in the school of Jesus, this Gethsemane lesson is one of the most sacred and precious. To a superficial scholar it may appear to take away the courage to pray in faith. If even the earnest supplication of the Son was not heard, if even the Beloved had to say, 'NOT WHAT I WILL!' how much more do we need to speak so. And thus it appears impossible that the promises which the Lord had given only a few hours previously, 'WHATSOEVER YE SHALL ASK,' 'WHATSOEVER YE WILL,' could have been meant literally. A deeper insight into the meaning of Gethsemane would teach us that we have just here the sure ground and the open way to the assurance of an answer to our prayer. ...

7. A True Servant

Do you equate success with wealth, acclaim, and power? If we measured by these standards, then Jesus, who was rejected by His community and didn't even have a house of His own, was a failure. But, of course, we know that's not the case. So God must use something other than these worldly goals to define success. ...

8. Malankara Archdiocese NA 27th Annual Family and Youth Conference

This year's conference will be held from July 26-29, 2012 at Mount St. Mary's University, Emmitsburgh, Maryland. ...

9. The Surrendered Life

To become one with Jesus Christ, a person must be willing not only to give up sin, but also to surrender his whole way of looking at things. Being born again by the Spirit of God means that we must first be willing to let go before we can grasp something else. The first thing we must surrender is all of our pretense or deceit. What our Lord wants us to present to Him is not our goodness, honesty, or our efforts to do better, but real solid sin. ...

10. On Loving God & Loving Man

Without God's Grace, our hearts will continue to remain hardened despite our continuing to attend innumerable church services, on the one hand, while the 'Pharisee' within us keeps turning up its ugly head, on the other. And this, in spite of the spiritual depth in our Holy Qurbanas and other prayers! True indeed, thus, is Mother Teresa in saying that the greatest poverty in this world is the Poverty of Love. ...

11. Health: Being Human: Grief is Not a Mental Illness

Grief is our response to loss and to reminders of our finitude. We grieve because on this side of eternity nothing good lasts forever. While neither grief nor loss is good in and of themselves, the experience of them can be beneficial: It can help you gain perspective and can make us more resilient. I'm not denying that real suffering is involved, but even if we just muddle through the experience we can become stronger. ...

12. Recipe: Mung Beans Cooked in Yoghurt

A healthy, pure vegetarian recipe.

13. Seeking the Perfect Man

Seeking the perfect man? A perfect standard exists for the perfect man. Seek a man who fears God and keeps His commandments. Seek a man who desires the same perfection in you. ...

14. In Search of the Perfect Male: The Husband Store

A new, special kind of store just opened up in a Manhattan shopping center. This store sells husbands, yes that’s right - women can browse men from floors of choices. ...

15. Humor: Golden Years

16. About Malankara World

Editor's Note
We have passed the half-way point in the 50-day lent. If you had been observing lent so far, the rest of the time will pass fast as there are less than 16 days to the Passion Week. So, this may be the time to join the lent if you had not been doing so far. Read the featured article about what lent means, in the mean time.

Enjoy the sermon collections we have provided and the articles in this journal.

This Sunday in Church
Bible Readings for This Sunday (Mar 18)
Sermons for This Sunday (Mar 18)
We have greatly expanded our Sermon Resources. The sermon collection now includes general and classical sermons. This will give a broader appeal to the Gospel Reading for the week. We also added bible commentaries for the bible reading to facilitate study and meditation. Please check it out.

Sermons, Bible Commentaries and Bible Analyses for 5th Sunday in Great Lent Kfiphtho / Crippled Woman)
http://www.Malankaraworld.com/Library/Sermons/Sermon-of-the-week_5th-sunday-in-lent.htm

More Sermons

This Week's Features

Inspiration for Today
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

Psalm 46:1-3, 10 (NKJV)

Things in life often fall apart all at once. Name your crisis du jour. You have a bitter fight with your husband or boyfriend-and it seems as if a piece of your secure life falls at your feet. Layoffs threaten your job-another chunk drops. Your single mom breaks her hip-yet another piece falls.

When life is crashing down around you, do you work even harder to hold it together? Try a different approach: Be still. Find comfort and strength in God, and stop trying so hard to fix everything. No matter how many pieces fall, you will have God's inner peace.

Source: Bible Gateway - NIV Devotions for Women

Featured This Week: What Lent Really Means

by Ann Voskamp

I can't seem to follow through in giving up for Lent.
Which makes me want to just give up Lent.
Which makes me question Who I am following.
Which may precisely be the point of Lent.

Last week, I'm standing on a table, snapping the shutter on a bouquet of roses, when by brother calls.

Levi picks it up, his eyes twinkling, stars risen early.

I can only hope Levi doesn't mention he's answering because his Mama's standing smack dab center in the middle of the table, her all happy over a bunch of God glory found in flowers.

"Hello? … Oh, hi Uncle John."

I smile. Levi's a miniature mirror image of my brother, smattering of freckles bridging across the nose and the thirty years that span between them.

"What am I doing? But you know already –talking to you." I can imagine the chuckling on the other end of the line. I set the camera aside, hop off the table.

Levi mouths it large, one hand over the receiver. "ARE YOU AVAILABLE, MOM?"

Oh, but wouldn't I stop being Mom if I stopped being available? Levi grins and hands over my brother.

"Hey. So tell me. Lent. Fill me in, sister."

Our faith community doesn't practice Lent.
My brother doesn't do Google.
When he's got a question, he calls me on his cell.
If need be, he waits for me to Google.

My brother's a welder. I can hear the rumble of the diesel engine of his pick-up. He can hear the low roar of my kids.

"Okay… Lent. It's the preparing the heart for Easter. Like going with Jesus into the wilderness for forty days, that we might come face to ugly face with our enemy. Our sacrificing that we might become more like Christ in His sacrifice."

The other end of the line is silent. I don't know if this is good.

I keep talking.

"Lent isn't about forfeiting as much as it's about formation.

We renounce to be reborn; we let go to become ‘little Christs'. It's about this: We break away to become."

Still silence. I have one last swing at it.

"Don't think of lent as about working your way to salvation. Think of it as working out your salvation."

I wait.

And he speaks slow.

"Yes…. Yes…. I get it. I'm doing it. I'm doing Lent. God's been speaking things into my life and I think this is how He wants to meet me right now." Like brother, like sister.

I stack clean dishes and we talk about some dark corners.

We confess. We pray.
We live the week.
I forsake and I fast and I forget and I flounder, I fall… I fail.

I've made soup. I've lit the candle. We bow.

I serve bowls, I pass out bread, I pour cups. They're talking and I am listening and I blithely sit down and I eat.

I have bread in the mouth, the bowl half empty, when I drop the spoon. I shake the head hard. I taste disgust. I absentmindedly eat in the evening, a meal I vowed to fast from. What was I thinking? I can't scrub my lips clean.

I choke it out in a whisper, "Do I not think enough of You to remember?"
I close the eyes tight and the heart cries the words silent. "Do I love You so little?"

It is an irrefutable law: one needs to be dispossessed of the possessions that possess — before one can be possessed of God.

Let the things of this world fall away so the soul can fall in love with God. God only comes to fill the empty places and kenosis is necessary – to empty the soul to know the filling of God.

But the flesh is corrupt. I can't do it.

When my brother calls late in the week to talk Lent, I am honest and it hurts and he listens. He unwraps his week haltingly. Like brother, like sister.

"But Lent is teaching me." My throat stings. "I see how depraved I am. How incapable I am in the flesh, how in bondage I am. That I can't keep any law perfectly. Worse – oh, this cuts deep — at times…"

I struggle to keep composure, to grip the words and hand them over. Can I even say these words?

"Worse… at times… I don't even want to keep the law. Lent's revealing my depravity, my impotence. The utter death of my flesh. I can do nothing. My Lent convicts: I am a lawbreaker. "

Does the emptying come only when we know how empty we are?

I feel wild, desperate. My brother honors my struggle with witness. I am grateful.

I turn towards our Lenten wreath, the path our oldest son made out of oak, the path we mark each of the forty days with a moving forward of the candle, of the symbol of the cross.

Forty days, I am reflecting on my cross, my sins.
My lent has me hard after the light…
Looking hard for release from this wretched body of death.

And there is Jesus.

Jesus with a crown of thorns. Jesus bent low, God carrying my rotting mess, Grace doing what I cannot do, and I cannot ascend to God but He will descend to me.

I whisper goodbye to my brother because I can't speak.

I kneel down by my symbolic journey.
I finger the wood of the cross. I trace the back bowed. Jesus will have to do everything.
He will have to accomplish it all. I am ashes and I am dust and there is no good in me and I am in dire need and lent has given me clear eyes to see my sin and I am the one broken under all this skin.

I can feel the grain of the tree under my fingertips.

He is the one going to Calvary.

I love Him because His love is the only thing that can save me. This wrestle has made me know it full well.

A failing lent? It is a good Lent because this Lenten Lament of my sin — it is preparing me for the Easter Joy of my Savior.

Lent gives me this gift: the deeper I know the pit of my sin, the deeper I'll drink from the draughts of joy.

Grief is what cultivates the soil for the seeds of joy.

She who knows her sins much, loves much, and the road to heaven is paved with the realization that I deserve hell. His rising will be all my joy, because I know it in the marrow of the bones: He is all my hope.

The candle wavers.
I know that frailty.
I sit in a dark lent.
And I feel the warming flame of Grace on my face.

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast."
-Ephesians 2:8,9

Source: http://www.aholyexperience.com/

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

Lesson 28: Christ the Sacrifice
[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.]

'And He said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto Thee; remove this cup from me: howbeit not what I will, but what Thou wilt.'
Mark 14:36.

What a contrast within the space of a few hours! What a transition from the quiet elevation of that, He lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, FATHER I WILL,' to that falling on the ground and crying in agony. 'My Father! Not what I will.' In the one we see the High Priest within the veil in His all-prevailing intercession; in the other, the sacrifice on the altar opening the way through the rent veil. The high-priestly 'Father! I will,' in order of time precedes the sacrificial 'Father! Not what I will;' but this was only by anticipation, to show what the intercession would be when once the sacrifice was brought. In reality it was that prayer at the altar, 'Father! Not what I will,' in which the prayer before the throne, 'Father! I will,' had its origin and its power. It is from the entire surrender of His will in Gethsemane that the
High Priest on the throne has the power to ask what He will, has the right to make His people share in that power too, and ask what they will.

For all who would learn to pray in the school of Jesus, this Gethsemane lesson is one of the most sacred and precious. To a superficial scholar it may appear to take away the courage to pray in faith. If even the earnest supplication of the Son was not heard, if even the Beloved had to say, 'NOT WHAT I WILL!' how much more do we need to speak so. And thus it appears impossible that the promises which the Lord had given only a few hours previously, 'WHATSOEVER YE SHALL ASK,' 'WHATSOEVER YE WILL,' could have been meant literally. A deeper insight into the meaning of Gethsemane would teach us that we have just here the sure ground and the open way to the assurance of an answer to our prayer. Let us draw nigh in reverent and adoring wonder, to gaze on this great sight—God's Son thus offering up prayer and supplications with strong crying and tears, and not obtaining what He asks. He Himself is our Teacher, and will open up to us the mystery of His holy sacrifice, as revealed in this wondrous prayer.

To understand the prayer, let us note the infinite difference between what our Lord prayed a little ago as a Royal High Priest, and what He here supplicates in His weakness. There it was for the glorifying of the Father He prayed, and the glorifying of Himself and His people as the fulfilment of distinct promises that had been given Him. He asked what He knew to be according to the word and the will of the Father; He might boldly say, 'FATHER! I WILL.'

Here He prays for something in regard to which the Father's will is not yet clear to Him. As far as He knows, it is the Father's will that He should drink the cup. He had told His disciples of the cup He must drink: a little later He would again say, 'The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?' It was for this He had come to this earth.

But when, in the unutterable agony of soul that burst upon him as the power of darkness came upon Him, and He began to taste the first drops of death as the wrath of God against sin, His human nature, as it shuddered in presence of the awful reality of being made a curse, gave utterance in this cry of anguish, to its desire that, if God's purpose could be accomplished without it, He might be spared the awful cup: 'Let this cup pass from me.' That desire was the evidence of the intense reality of His humanity. The 'Not as I will' kept that desire from being sinful: as He pleadingly cries, 'All things are possible with Thee,' and returns again to still more earnest prayer that the cup may be removed, it is His thrice-repeated 'NOT WHAT I WILL' that constitutes the very essence and worth of His sacrifice.

He had asked for something of which He could not say: I know it is Thy will. He had pleaded God's power and love, and had then withdrawn it in His final, 'THY WILL BE DONE.' The prayer that the cup should pass away could not be answered; the prayer of submission that God's will be done was heard, and gloriously answered in His victory first over the fear, and then over the power of death. .. Read the full lesson in Malankara World http://www.Malankaraworld.com/Library/Prayers/Murray/Murray_28.htm

Previous Lessons (Archive)
http://www.Malankaraworld.com/Library/Prayers/Murray/Default.htm

A True Servant

by Dr. Charles Stanley

John 13:1-15

Do you equate success with wealth, acclaim, and power? If we measured by these standards, then Jesus, who was rejected by His community and didn't even have a house of His own, was a failure. But, of course, we know that's not the case. So God must use something other than these worldly goals to define success. In fact, Scripture is clear that Jesus Christ is our example--we should strive to be like Him.

So, what exactly was our Savior's mission? In today's passage, we see the answer through His actions: He came to serve. The disciples, wanting recognition and reward, were arguing about who'd be the greatest in heaven. In contrast, Jesus took off His outer garment and performed the task of the lowliest servant: He washed the dirty feet of His followers. The next day, Almighty God was crucified by His own creation. In allowing this, He offered salvation to all--even those who nailed Him to a cross.

Jesus deserved glory but chose sacrifice and pain. And He asks that we follow His example of service. With the exception of Judas, His disciples obeyed. In fact, they all faced great difficulty and most died brutal deaths because of their faith. But they willingly walked the path of humility because of what Jesus had taught them: "The last shall be first, and the first last" (Matt. 20:16).

How do you spend your resources and time? And which topics dominate your thoughts and conversation? These are a few indicators of the driving goals in your life. You may long for worldly recognition, but God has a higher calling for His children. Ask Him to foster a servant's attitude in your heart.

Source: In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley

Malankara Archdiocese 27th Annual Family and Youth Conference

July 26-29, 2012
Mount St. Mary's University
Emmitsburgh, Maryland

The 27th Annual Family and Youth Conference of the Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian orthodox church in North America will be held in the scenic mountains of Western Maryland during July 26-29, 2012.

The conference offers a great opportunity to renew fellowship among the families of different Parishes, far and wide within the Archdiocese, promoting our spiritual growth.

Conference program includes Keynote and spiritual sessions, cultural and entertainment programs, sports and games activities, and Vacation Bible School for kids. A greater emphasis will be placed on Youth participation this year.

For more information and for online registration please visit:
http://www.MalankaraConvention.org/

The Surrendered Life

by Oswald Chambers

"I have been crucified with Christ . . ." - Galatians 2:20

To become one with Jesus Christ, a person must be willing not only to give up sin, but also to surrender his whole way of looking at things. Being born again by the Spirit of God means that we must first be willing to let go before we can grasp something else. The first thing we must surrender is all of our pretense or deceit. What our Lord wants us to present to Him is not our goodness, honesty, or our efforts to do better, but real solid sin. Actually, that is all He can take from us. And what He gives us in exchange for our sin is real solid righteousness. But we must surrender all pretense that we are anything, and give up all our claims of even being worthy of God’s consideration.

Once we have done that, the Spirit of God will show us what we need to surrender next. Along each step of this process, we will have to give up our claims to our rights to ourselves. Are we willing to surrender our grasp on all that we possess, our desires, and everything else in our lives? Are we ready to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?

We will suffer a sharp painful disillusionment before we fully surrender. When people really see themselves as the Lord sees them, it is not the terribly offensive sins of the flesh that shock them, but the awful nature of the pride of their own hearts opposing Jesus Christ. When they see themselves in the light of the Lord, the shame, horror, and desperate conviction hit home for them.

If you are faced with the question of whether or not to surrender, make a determination to go on through the crisis, surrendering all that you have and all that you are to Him. And God will then equip you to do all that He requires of you.

On Loving God & Loving Man

by John Jacob, Pune

St. Mark 12: 28 – 34:

28. One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

29. "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.
30. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'
31. The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these."

32. "Well said, teacher," the man replied. You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him.
33. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."

34. When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God." And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

While the above commandments are beyond any doubt two of the most important ones, a cursory look at the modernized world today will suffice one to acknowledge that much of its activities are in clear dissonance to these very commandments. Quite often spirituality also gets confused with religiosity to the extent that modernity has almost personified spirituality to the Pharisee (in the parable of the Pharisee & the Tax Collector). And yet we all know that when it comes to spiritual quality, it is the humility of the Tax Collector which finds better justification before the Lord as against the cold calculative one-upmanship put on display by the Pharisee. If modern man's behavior were to be any yardstick for measurement, it is abundantly clear that the moral of such stories have only managed to sink into our brains, but not our hearts!

To have a heart that values the morals imparted in such parables would primarily require nothing less than the Grace of God. For, without God's Grace, our hearts will continue to remain hardened despite our continuing to attend innumerable church services, on the one hand, while the 'Pharisee' within us keeps turning up its ugly head, on the other. And this, in spite of the spiritual depth in our Holy Qurbanas and other prayers! True indeed, thus, is Mother Teresa in saying that the greatest poverty in this world is the Poverty of Love.

Armed with a softer heart however, we begin to better understand, and imbibe within us, the depth of God's Love for us as we seek God's help for imbibing in our hearts love for Him and our fellow brethren. When the weightier matters arrive, the lesser important ones get sidelined. And there can be no more weightier matters on this planet than Love for God and Love for Man! As such, we need to consistently pray to the Father to remove the hardness of our hearts and put His Love within us to better enable us to Love Him and Mankind at large!

On the practical side, in a world where divisive forces are working overtime in our churches, work-places and, society at large, Jesus needs more and more loving hearts to work overtime on His behalf among us! In fact, if there were to be only a single day left for us on this planet, with it we could have done no better thing than utilizing it for loving God and loving man! The question is - are we ready yet (or, does it still remain impractical)?

Health: Being Human: Grief is Not a Mental Illness

by Chuck Colson

Last year, Dr. Marcia Angell began a two-part series in the New York Review of Books by writing, "It seems that Americans are in the midst of a raging epidemic of mental illness, at least as judged by the increase in the numbers being treated for it."

Her use of the word "seems" told readers that Angell, who teaches at Harvard Medical School, was skeptical.

That's putting it mildly. Obviously, Angell doesn't doubt the reality of mental illness or the toll it takes on people. Her concern is that it is becoming "harder and harder to be normal."

Case in point: A National Institutes of Mental Health survey of random adults found that 46 percent met the American Psychiatric Association's criteria for mental illness at some point in their lives.

Angell calls this finding "astonishing" and asks the obvious question: "Why?"

One answer is the ever-expanding definition of "mental illness." As Angell pointed out, back in 1968, within most Americans' lifetimes, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the so-called "bible of psychiatry," contained 185 diagnoses.

By 1980, it had risen to 265. The 2000 edition reported 365 and the next edition, to be published in 2013, will undoubtedly have more. Among possible new entries is something called "grieving disorder."

When you think about it, the idea of grief as mental illness is absurd. As the British medical journal The Lancet put it, "Grief is not an illness; it is more usefully thought of as part of being human and a normal response to the death of a loved one."

Grief is our response to loss and to reminders of our finitude. We grieve because on this side of eternity nothing good lasts forever.

While neither grief nor loss is good in and of themselves, the experience of them can be beneficial: It can help you gain perspective and can make us more resilient. I'm not denying that real suffering is involved, but even if we just muddle through the experience we can become stronger. I've given to many friends who are grieving a wonderful book by C.S. Lewis, 'A Grief Observed.'

Of course, there are people for whom grief turns into a debilitating downward spiral. They need and should get professional help. Some people may need medication, but The Lancet is right when it says that, in most cases, "doctors would do better to offer time, compassion, remembrance and empathy" instead of pills.

The journal is also correct when it says that classifying grief as mental illness is part of a larger pattern of "medicalizing" everyday experiences. Instead of being shy, people suffer from "social phobia;" people who were once called "jerks" are now described as having "antisocial personality disorder."

This is, as Angell tells us, partly driven by our infatuation with pharmaceuticals. A psychiatric label means that there may be a pill that will make it better, and TV ads regularly promote it.

The real problem is that we increasingly see ourselves as biochemical machines with brains instead of souls. What we think and feel is the product of brain chemistry and correcting what ails us is a matter of tinkering with that chemistry.

This worldview has no place for compassion, remembrance, or empathy because, ultimately, it has no room for being human, especially a normal one.

Source: BreakPoint Commentary, March 14, 2012

Read more health tips in Malankara World Health Section

Cafe - Recipe: Mung Beans Cooked in Yoghurt
Yoghurt is often served with hot foods to help soften the impact of the spices on the taste buds and the digestive system.

Ingredients

4 oz (1/2 cup) mung beans, soaked and drained
1/2 pt (1-1/4 cups) water
1 lb (3-1/4 cups) new potatoes, cooked
1/2 lb (1 cup) tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 pt (1-1/4 cups) natural yoghurt
4 tablespoons raisins
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion
1 inch fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 fresh green chilli
1/4 teaspoon ground mace

Garnish: 1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, chopped

Directions:

Cook the beans until tender. Drain.

Heat the butter in a large frying pan and saute the finely chopped onion and ginger until soft and golden.
Stir in the ground coriander, turmeric, cumin and chopped chilli and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and yoghurt and simmer gently until the sauce begins to thicken.
Mix with the potatoes, beans, mace and raisins and heat through.
Sprinkle the fresh coriander over the top and serve with chapatties and a sweet chutney.

Note: Adjust the amount of spices stated in the recipe to your taste.

More Recipes/ Cooking Tips at Malankara World Cafe

Seeking the Perfect Man

by Travis Main

A great number of women wonder if the perfect man exists. They have scanned the horizon and often come back thinking they must train a man to make him perfect. That leads them to the question, "Can a man learn to be perfect?" Certainly, a great number of women attempt to find out! In the long run, the realization of perfection depends upon the standard used and whether or not a man adheres to it. Many women believe their man reaches near perfection when they can get him to stop leaving his underwear on the floor and he begins putting the dishes in the dishwasher. Seeking the perfect man is no joke! A higher standard of perfection exists. A perfect man can be had!

In the pages of the Bible, Jesus stands as a sinless model of perfection. However, the Bible lists two other men as being perfect. Genesis 6:9 notes, "Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations and Noah walked with God." Job 1:1, 1:8, and 2:3 declare Job "perfect and upright, one that feareth God, and turned away from evil". The characteristics that went with perfection: being just, walking with God, being upright, fearing God, and turning away from evil. Truthfully, these can be reduced to two: Fearing God and keeping His commandments. Fearing God means to be reverent toward Him. Not surprisingly, the concept of these two characteristics of perfection can be found elsewhere in scripture. God declared these characteristics ought to represent the Israelites whom He delivered from Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:29, 6:2, 8:6, 13:4. The judge Samuel also voiced it to Israel: "Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you" (I Samuel 12:24).

King Solomon given great wisdom from God declared: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecclesiastes 12:13). King Hezekiah declared as much when he said: "I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart" (Isaiah 38:3). Though other Old Testament references exist, consider one last mention of the characteristics that go with perfection spoken from the perfect man Jesus: "God is a spirit and those that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and Truth" (John 4:24). If a woman wants to find a perfect man, the true standard involves these characteristics.

Is perfection too much to expect from a man? No! So Ladies, do not give up! Not only Jesus, Noah, and Job meet the standard. David proclaimed God made his way perfect (2 Samuel 22:33). Jesus called upon man to be perfect in Matthew 5:48, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Paul wrote, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:16-17) The words of Paul explain the Word of God directs man to perfection. Again, Paul declares in Ephesians 4:13: "it is the knowledge of the Son of God coming from the gospel which will perfect a man." He further writes in Romans 12:2 that man is to transform from his worldly ways proving the Will of God. This is action! This comes from fearing God and keeping God's commandments as established long ago stretching even to the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:17).

Understand this, perfection does not mean a man will not sin (I John 1:8). Though perfect men may sin, they realize through the advocate Jesus Christ, their sin will be forgiven (I John 2:1-2). In the garden, Jesus prayed fervently for himself, his disciples, and those that would believe on Him in the world. Part of the words he uttered there are as follows: "And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:19-23) Jesus expresses that when man unites with Him, He unites with them. By the glory of God in Christ, man becomes perfect. Though God's grace exists, man does not let sin continue to reign over him, but walks in a life for Christ (Romans 6).

As Christ prayed for the perfection of men, ladies pray for your perfect man. This is a courageous work that God will aid you in. Consider Colossians 4:12: "Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God." Epaphras worked to pray for the perfection of the saints. The author of Hebrews also prayed for the perfection of the saints in Hebrews 13:20-21. James the brother of Jesus wrote: "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16) Do not let a day go by that you do not pray for your perfect man. Let God continue to strengthen him through your prayers.

Finally, as iron sharpens iron, ladies if you want a perfect man, perfect yourselves. Psalms 18:32 – "It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect". Micah 6:8 – "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" God does not just desire that the male demonstrate the characteristics of perfection, but the female as well. The words of the mother of King Lemuel which she taught him (Proverbs 31:30) "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised." Such a woman represents perfection in the eyes of a man and most importantly God. When a woman cleaves to a man she must remember she stands as his helpmeet. She aids him in perfection to such a degree that she need not even say a word when he struggles with perfection knowing that her example of perfection appeals to him (I Peter 3:1-2).

Seeking the perfect man? A perfect standard exists for the perfect man. Seek a man who fears God and keeps His commandments. Seek a man who desires the same perfection in you. Perfect men exist. Through His Word, Jesus sacrificed Himself to perfect those who would abide in Him (John 8:31-32). Man on his own cannot achieve perfection, he will sin. Pray for his perfection. Show him your perfection in the way you live your life for Christ. You can be the perfect woman for the perfect man.

Source: thatchristianwebsite.com

[Editor's Note: This article has generated a healthy debate as to whether it is a good idea to compare mortal human beings as "perfect" and what "perfection is." A few comments are given below as they are very illuminating:

Why are we seeking perfection in everything anyway? Sometimes flaws make people beautiful. Sometimes the imperfect is seen as perfection. I'm not a perfect man by any stretch, but I love and fear my God, eschew evil, and I treat my lady as a partner in life. Why we should seek perfection is to ask why we should seek any impossibility.

Most women fail to ask themselves the appropriate follow-up question, which is "If the perfect man did exist, why would he be interested in me?"

Nobody is perfect. I'm not perfect and neither is my husband of 20 years. We are still happy today because we are perfect for each other.

My lovely co-worker lost her beloved husband a few months ago to cancer. It was painful to watch. Who the heck cares if he left his underwear on the floor?

I've never understood why you would want to change a man you fell in love with? Didn't you fall in love with him the way he is?
There is an old joke: Women marry hoping to change the man; Men marry hoping the woman won't change - both are disappointed.

Read the following story too.]

In Search of the Perfect Male: The Husband Store

A new, special kind of store just opened up in a Manhattan shopping center. This store sells husbands, yes that’s right - women can browse men from floors of choices.

Actually, there are 6 floors of men, and with an increase in the floor level bringing an positive attributes... a nifty setup - with a catch. As you open the door to any floor, you may choose a man from that floor but if you go up, you cannot go back down except to exit the building. Interesting, right?

So a young woman goes to the shopping center to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads: Floor 1 - These men have jobs. The woman reads the sign and says to herself, “Well, that’s better than my last boyfriend, but I wonder what’s further up?” So up she goes.

The second floor sign reads: Floor 2 - These men have jobs and love kids. The woman remarks to herself, “That’s great, but I wonder what’s further up?” And up she goes again.

The third floor sign reads: Floor 3 - These men have jobs, love kids and are extremely good looking. “Hmmm, better” she says. “But I wonder what’s upstairs?”

The fourth floor sign reads: Floor 4 - These men have jobs, love kids, are extremely good looking and help with the housework. “Wow!” exclaims the woman, “very tempting. BUT, there must be more further up!” And again she heads up another flight.

The fifth floor sign reads: Floor 5 - These men have jobs, love kids, are extremely good looking, help with the housework and have a strong romantic streak. “Oh, mercy me! But just think... what must be awaiting me further on?” So up to the sixth floor she goes.

The sixth floor sign reads: Floor 6 - You are visitor 7,548,652 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor only exists as proof that women are impossible to please.

Humor: Golden Years

The older I get, the Better I was.

Several days ago as I left a meeting at the club., I desperately gave myself a personal TSA pat down. I was looking for my keys. They were not in my pockets. A quick search in the meeting room revealed nothing.

Suddenly I realized, I must have left them in the car. Frantically, I headed for the parking lot. My wife has scolded me many times for leaving the keys in the ignition. My theory is the ignition is the best place not to lose them. Her theory is that the car will be stolen.

As I burst through the doors, I came to a terrifying conclusion. Her theory was right. The parking lot was empty.

I immediately called the police. I gave them my location, confessed that I had left my keys in the car, and that it had been stolen.

Then I made the most difficult call of all, "Honey," I stammered. I always call her "honey" in times like these. "I left my keys in the car, and it has been stolen."

There was a period of silence. I thought the call had been dropped, but then I heard her voice. "Idiot", she barked, "I dropped you off!"

Now it was my time to be silent. Embarrassed, I said, "Well, come and get me."

She retorted, "I will, as soon as I convince this policeman I have not stolen your car."

Yep it's getting like that. The golden years !!!!

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