----- "Let your light shine before men" (Matthew 5:16) -----

 
   
 
Internet Edition No. 70 --- July 2009 ---
Cover Page of print edition
Table of contents
Title Author
   Editorial
      Visaala hridayam
Pastor K.A. Mathew
   Resurrection of Jesus Christ:
     A fact or myth? - Part II
Rev. Mathew Philip
   The earnest expectation of the whole creation Pastor C.V. Samuel, Dallas
   Education our children using
   'Biblical models' - Part I
Pastor Shibu Cherian, MS, MBA
   Are we spending enough time with our Lord? Pastor Benny Mathew, Canada
   After death experiences as told by
   Lord Jesus Christ
Wilson Mathew, USA
   Youth forum:
       Hiding behind the baggage!
Evelyn Johnson, New York
   News & Views Johnson K. Samuel
   Personalities encountered by Jesus - 14:
      Jairus' daughter
Selected
   "Children's corner" Shiny Aunty
   Malayalam section:
      Nammey kelkunna Deivam
Pastor Babu Cherian, Piravom, Kerala
   Malayalam section:
      Pimpilullathu naam marakkenam - 2
Pastor Veeyapuram Georgekutty, Dallas
   Malayalam section:
      Bileyaamintey apeksha
Binoy Punnoose, Dahisar
   Malayalam section:
      Bhaavana
Baju Joy, Saki Naka, Mumbai
   Malayalam section:
      Daaveedintey Wilpathram
Pastor Joseph George
   Malayalam section:
      Kavitha: "Soubhaagya chinthakal - I"
Pastor Shibu Joseph, Mumbai
   Malayalam section:
      Abhimukham: Dr. K.G. Jose, Principal,
   Manakkaala Faith Theological Seminary
Suvartha Representatives
   Picture story:
      Queen Esther - 2
P.K. Banage
   Sponsor's page:
      Joseph Kurian and Family



Editorial
Visaala hridayam

Pastor K.A. Mathew

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Resurrection of Jesus Christ: A fact or myth? - Part II
Rev. Mathew Philip, Philadelphia, USA

Rev. Mathew Philip emphasises that the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the central fact of the Christian faith (continuation from previous issue)

The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is very important in our Christian faith and life. Why it is so important? We have already seen in the last issue from 1 Cor. 15:1-34 that it is important because, first of all, our faith is anchored on the fact of resurrection. The following are some other reasons why it is important to us as God's people:

Secondly, our preaching is based on the fact of Resurrection (vv. 12-19):

A. We preach Christ who died, buried and rose again.

There were some in the Corinthian Church who said, 'there is no resurrection of the dead.' He says, "If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised." He gives seven arguments to show that the resurrection of Christ and the resurrection of the believer's body are inseparable truths.

Paul argues that if the believer's body is not to be raised:

(1) Then Christ is not raised;

(2) All preaching is useless, for there is no Gospel apart from the resurrection of Christ;

(3) Paul and all the apostles were false witnesses;

(4) Our faith is in vain;

(5) We are all still in our sins;

(6) The dead in Christ have perished; and

(7) Christians are the most miserable people on earth.

B. Why do we preach the fact of Christ's resurrection?

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest tour de force in the annals of history. Through the resurrection, Jesus demonstrated that He does not stand in a line of peers with Buddha, Mohammed, or any other founder of a world religion. All of them died and are still dead, but Christ is risen and is still alive. The resurrection is the very capstone in the arch of Christianity. If it is removed, all else crumbles. It is the singular doctrine which elevated Christianity above all the pagan religions of the ancient Mediterranean world.

C. Application

Dear people of God, our faith is not in vein and our preaching is not useless. We serve a God who is not dead, but alive. So let's continue to experience and proclaim the power of His resurrection.

Thirdly, our future is confirmed on the fact of Resurrection (vv. 20-28):

A. Resurrection of Christ is a guarantee of the believer's bodily resurrection

Christ who has been raised is the guarantee of the resurrection of all of God's redeemed people (1 Thes. 4:13-18). 2 Tim. 2:11-12 says, "If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him".

B. The empty tomb

One of the major facts supporting the resurrection of Christ is the empty tomb. Jesus' tomb was empty because he was resurrected. Various theories have emerged against this fact: one is wrong tomb theory - The tomb was empty because the disciples went to the wrong tomb. Another one is called fraud theory - the disciples stole Jesus' body and led the whole world to believe that Jesus was risen. All our evidence goes to show that there was no thought of resurrection in the minds of the disciples, and they were men without any hope. They were hiding somewhere out of fear of the Jews on the evening of the first Good Friday. Moreover Matthew tells us that a guard was set over the tomb of Jesus. Even the enemies of Christ admitted that the tomb was empty. The record shows that they even attempted to bribe the guards to say the body had been stolen (Matt. 28:11-15). If the Jewish leaders had stolen the body, they could have later openly displayed it to prove that Jesus had not risen from the dead. Although many flawed theories have been formulated over the years, the fact of the empty tomb has never been refuted.

C. Christ has risen from the dead as the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Death came through a man, that is, Adam. The resurrection of the dead comes also through a man, the second Adam, "the last Adam", that is, Jesus Christ. All who are in Adam suffer death, but all who are in Christ will be made alive at the resurrection. Christ, the first fruit, was raised in His own time in history, and those who are identified with Him by faith will be raised at His second coming. His resurrection is the pledge that ours will follow. At the end Jesus will hand over the Kingdom to God after destroying all dominion, authority and power. Finally Christ will destroy the last enemy - death. We all will be resurrected and there is no more death.

D. Application

Dear people of God, our future hope of resurrection is sure because Jesus has already been resurrected from the dead.

We will have a resurrected body - a glorified body. The resurrected bodies will be visible and tangible, but not subject to the laws of nature like our present bodies. Rather, they will be subject to the laws of the Spirit. It will be like that of Christ's body after the resurrection (Luke 24:39). The resurrection reminds us of our position in Christ, and refreshes our prospect of being with H im and like Him.

Fourthly, our present life is rooted on the fact of Resurrection (29-34):

A. Life finds its meaning in the fact of resurrection.

People will be able to live in the light of their future resurrection. Paul asks, what is the use of baptism if there is no resurrection? It is because we were baptized in anticipation of the resurrection of the dead. If there is no resurrection, people will not be able to plan for their life. They will be like people who say, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." If there is no resurrection, why should we suffer persecution and hardship for Christ every day? Doubting or denying the resurrection of Christ is a sin which has a negative effect on the lives of people.

B. Resurrection brings transformation in the lives of people.

Look at Jesus' disciples before His crucifixion- their hopes were shattered and broken. They expected Jesus to establish His earthly kingdom. They never expected their Messiah to suffer and die. They were disappointed and discouraged.

Look at them after Jesus' resurrection - They became different in their lives. There was confidence and certainty in them about their Messiah. Immediately they were sure Jesus was no longer dead. Something happened that convinced them that Jesus was alive. In spite of intense persecution and even cruel deaths they testified to the truth of the resurrection.

Not only did the resurrection of Christ transform the disciples from cowards to lions of the faith, but also His resurrection continues to transform lives today. Apostle Paul, in Phil. 3:10, invites us to share the power of His resurrection. He says, "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection". Because Christ lives, the Scripture says, we will also live.

Conclusion

Dear people of God, the gospel that we received is: Christ died, buried, and rose from the dead. We take our stand with God on this same gospel. We are dead in our sins, raised with the Lord, and hope for our bodily resurrection. As we live here on earth, let's continue to experience the power of Christ's resurrection. Let's pray that the transforming power of Christ's resurrection may continue to transform many lives today!


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The earnest expectation of the whole creation
Pastor C.V. Samuel, Dallas

The writer explains that the whole creation is eagerly waiting for its release from corruption at the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ

"The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time" (Rom. 8:19-22)

The whole creation is expectantly waiting for the manifestation of the freedom of sons of God. The creation suffers and struggles for deliverance from corruption. Creation refers to everything under man, animals, plants and minerals also. All creation is pictured as living and waiting expectantly for the day when the sons of God shall be glorified. The expectation does not diminish but keeps on looking up until the event happens. Creation is subject to corruption, this can be seen by all. What men see is confirmed by such authorities like the botanist, zoologist, geologist and astronomers of the world. All of creation whether animal, plant, or minerals, suffers just as men do. All creation suffers hurt, damage, loss, death and decay, all creations struggle for life.

Creation was condemned to vanity by God. Creation did not willingly choose to be condemned to corruption. The earth was made to be the home of man, the place where he lived. When man sinned, his world was doomed to suffer the consequences of sin along with him. (Jer. 12:4). Man's world was cursed together with him. (Gen. 3:17). Just picture the hurt, damage, and decay that take place in our world. The hurt and decay that happens on the planet, earth. Destruction and deterioration that take place in the mineral world. The earthquakes, tornadoes, storms, tsunamis, diseases, starvation, attacks and struggle for survival that take place everywhere. These all show the corruption of the world.

Creation has the hope of redemption and renovation of the earth that was made for man. Therefore all the creation shall be delivered from the corruption just as man shall be delivered from corruption. This is the wonderful news of the gospel. Whatever happens to man is bound to happen to his world as man is God's creation. Therefore everything on earth is interrelated to him. Man and his world are one and the same. They are dependent upon each other. Therefore the world will experience whatever man experiences. When man fell, his world was bound to fall with him. When man is liberated from corruption, his world will be liberated as well. The creation will experience the glorious hope of living for ever with man being completely and perfectly renovated. (Psa. 96:11, Isa. 11:6-9, Heb. 12:26-27, Rev. 5:13).

Creation awaits a renovated earth. Now it fights for survival, it struggles against bondage. It awaits the day of redemption, anxiously, longingly and eagerly, it waits for its deliverance. Creation mourns and groans and cries for the appearance of the Son of God. (Rom. 8:21, 2 Pet. 3:13). Our Lord is coming soon. Amen.


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Education of our children using 'Biblical models' - Part I
Pastor Shibu Cherian, USA

Pastor Shibu Cherian, MS, MBA, discusses the main 'Biblical methods' of education and stresses the fact that parents have the primary responsibility for educating their children in discipline and order. Education methods from the Old Testament are covered in this part of the article. The second part will be published in the next issue.

Being a parent of three girls (two of them being teenagers now) and living in a very promiscuous and liberal US society, we find that it is a real challenge to give a proper 'education' to our children. Like so many other Indian parents who have immigrated to the United States hoping to provide a better 'education' to our children, my wife Nissy and I have been dismayed to find ourselves battling a tidal wave of cultural and social differences in the likes that we have never seen before. Our parents and grandparents ('in my opinion') lived in a more simplistic society where parental and church influences were the norm and there were boundaries that no child would dare to cross, especially the children from Christian families who were raised in good Christian homes. Pastors, Elders, Sunday school teachers and parents were respected, and their words were taken to heart and followed.

We have now come to a time, when all these influences are diminished in an alarming way, and children have become seemingly 'out of control' as they go about in 'doing their own thing'. The parents and even the church leadership can only stand back, and wonder what has happened. What has gone wrong in 'educating' our children? I wish to draw upon some of the Biblical models, which we can use as standards for educating our children.

Education models from the Old Testament

In the Old Testament, the purpose of educating a Jewish child was "to lead and train the child to know Jehovah God ('Yahweh') intimately so that the child grows up to be an obedient member of the covenant people". This education was grounded to build upon a solid relationship with God, and also preserve and cultivate the Abrahamic covenant.

In Gen. 18:19, God speaks about Abraham with these words, "For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him" (NKJV).

Thus the Abrahamic covenant was to train his children to obey God, adhere to the instructions that God gave Abraham, and do righteousness and justice all the days of their lives.

When we come to the time of Moses, God enters into a covenant with Israel at Mount Sinai, where God instructs the children of Israel (through Moses) to obey the commandments and laws, and keep the ordinances, practices and responsibilities of the covenant relationship. Just before entering the 'Promised Land', Moses reiterates these regulations so that the 'new' generation does not forget to keep God's commandments. In Deut. 4:1-2, Moses says, "Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you. You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you" (NKJV). Again, in Deut. 6:1, Moses declares, "Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess..." (NKJV).

Thus, the principal model was teaching and learning God's commandments, so that a Jewish child learns to know God more intimately, and become an obedient member of the covenant people of God.

Now, where did the Jewish children receive their education? When we examine the Old Testament Scriptures, education was imparted in four locations (or, environments): the home, the community, the synagogue, and the school.

1. The Home:

The home was the core and the primary center of the education of a Jewish child. The parents had the primary responsibility of educating their children. In Deut. 6:6-9; 11:18-19 and Prov. 6:20-24, parents were given specific instructions to teach their children. Prov. 22:6 says "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it."

We see that the teaching/training process was informal and intentional (Deut. 6:20-25), and the parents served as a role model for their children. Psa. 101:2b describes about doing this with these words, "I will walk within my house with a perfect heart." The education was imparted by responding to questions from children with giving specific details like tradition, story or mighty acts that explains or interprets the present practice.

We find specific examples from the Old Testament of godly mothers like Jochebed who nursed and raised up her youngest son Moses in Pharaoh's palace - as the son of Pharaoh's daughter (Exo. 2:8-10), or, Hannah who stayed at her home and nursed Samuel until she had weaned him before handing him over to Eli the priest (1 Sam. 1:21-28) as part of her vow to the Lord (1 Sam. 1:11). We can also see godly fathers like Job, who would sanctify his children, as well as rise up early in the morning and offer burnt offerings for all his children as part of his role as the High Priest of his family (Job 1:5).

2. The Community:

Community played a strong influence in the educative process of a Jewish child. The everyday life of the community served as an educative experience. In particular, the feasts, festivals (holidays), the Temple worship in Jerusalem, and the various laws served the educational needs of the Jewish children on a specific basis. Apart from this, it was the participation in the experiences of sowing and harvesting in agriculture that has proved educational to the Jewish children. They saw God at work in the blessings and curses that were imparted on the people of Israel. (Deut. 11:13-17). The celebration of various festivals and feasts provided powerful action dramas that recalled and renewed different aspects of covenant relationship with God.


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Are we spending enough time with our Lord?
Pastor Benny Mathew, Canada

The writer brings out the present day situation that our generation lacks quality time with our Lord to sit in His presence to get the right direction

"Abraham still stood before the Lord" (Gen.18:22)


1. Abraham knew why the other two, who were with the Lord, have gone to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. But he stayed with the Lord.

2. He could have gone with them to get a better testimony about these cities to change God's mind in order to save his nephew and family. But he stayed with Lord

3. He did not seek a third person's opinion about these cities; because he knew the right testimony comes from the Lord. So he stayed with the Lord.

4. He, himself, could have gone to Sodom to ask Lot to leave the city. But he stayed with the Lord

Just think about ourselves, are we seeking the advice from the right place for what we are looking for in His ministry? Are we staying enough in the presence of God to know the following?

1. About His plans for the cities around our places,

2. About His plans for our family members,

3. About His plans for ourselves to get into the right ministry,

4. About the will of God in our life.

Our generation lacks quality time with our Lord to sit in His presence to get the right direction. David said, search me and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. How many of us sincerely pray this prayer and willing to do the correction as per His advice. Bible does not help us in any manner until we apply the principles in it in our life.

We may have so many different sources to get different advises but the important thing is to know what God wants to speak to us, direct us, and use us in His ministry by showing us His plan. But he can only do that with the person who is willing to spare the time with Him. Let us make ourselves a commitment.


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After death experiences as told by Lord Jesus Christ
Wilson Mathew, USA
The writer lists the conclusions which can be drawn from the story of the 'rich man and Lazarus'

The story of the rich man and Lazarus should not be taken lightly as a parable, instead as one that the Lord Jesus Christ used, to relate what would happen after the death of a person and what experiences he would encounter in an after life, whether it be in hell or heaven. Lord Jesus Christ has no reason to lie about things, because His saints will ask about these things once they see Him again. So it would be wise to accept that fact and act accordingly, preparing to meet our God when our sojourn in this world comes to an end.

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away" (Matt. 24:35).

Luke 16: 20-24: "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell where he was in torment, looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, "Father Abraham have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool his tongue".

a) The spirit of man after death is conscious of the absence or presence of other people.

b) The Spirit of man after death can recognize people and have feelings.

c) The Spirit of man is tormented and is in agony with the realization about his miserable future for all eternity.

Luke 16 : 27-30: "Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment. Abraham replied, they have Moses and the prophets, let them listen to them. No father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them they will repent".

d) The spirit of man after death can remember the past as the rich man remembers that he has five brothers.

e) The spirit of man after death has his mental faculties about him as he argues with Father Abraham and suggests that something else might work.

Our Lord Jesus Christ's coming is at hand and let us encourage each other to be faithful and waiting to meet him. Our Lord wants all those who have known him to correct their faults and get right with him. If we are waiting for someone from the dead to come and warn us it is not going to happen, so let us listen to the prophets and messengers that the Lord has been sending for our good. The Lord Jesus Christ mentions Lazarus's name while the rich man's name is not, because for God only those names that are written in the book of life are important so we cannot fool God. God bless us all.


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Youth Forum
Hiding behind the baggage!

Evelyn Johnson, New York

Evelyn Johnson challenges the youth to hear the call from God and not hide behind the baggage.

"Then He brought forward the tribe of Benjamin clan by clan and Matri's clan was chosen. Finally Saul son of Kish was chosen. But when they looked for him, he was not to be found. So they inquired further of the LORD, "Has the man come here yet? And the LORD said, "Yes, he has hidden himself among the baggage" (1 Samuel 10:21-23).


The chapter begins with the prophet Samuel anointing Saul with oil, positioning him to be the leader of God's inheritance, His precious Israel. He goes on to tell Saul that on his way home to Gibeah, the Spirit of the LORD would come upon him in power and he will be changed into a different person. This is exactly what happens. The power of God comes upon Saul and he being filled with the Spirit of God begins to prophesy and is changed into a different man. Then for some reason, when he arrives home to Gibeah he chooses to keep his calling a secret.

We then see Samuel drawing the tribes of Israel together and preparing for the announcement of the new king. He calls forward the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan. Finally, Saul son of Kish was called. However, when they looked for Saul he could not be found, but he could not hide from God. Chapter 10 vs 23: "So they inquired further of the LORD, 'Has the man come here yet?' And the LORD said, 'Yes, he has hidden himself among the baggage'" (1 Sam. 10:23).

Has there been a time when you heard God's calling, but were too afraid to answer Him?

Has he already revealed His chosen place for you in His army? Remember that God's army is not just made up of ministers. As children of God, we are all in His army, armed with different skills and unique tasks to undertake. So why have you hidden yourself behind the baggage of your past and list of inadequacies? Has not God, who knows you through and through, chosen you for such a time as this?

The truth is, like Saul, even after hearing the Word of God, and being filled with the power of His Spirit, we can still feel scared, unworthy and unprepared. Call to remembrance that the mighty in God's army are not the skillful, but the obedient.

He gives us the heavenly manna of His Word and then, He waits.

What baggage are you hiding behind today? If God has spoken to you, then you have a WORD that will not return unto the Father void until it has accomplished its purpose. We miss our calling not because God says we are unqualified, but because we forfeit ourselves from the race.

Remember that with a calling comes the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. God then orchestrates divine appointments and interventions. We see God moving on Saul's behalf in chapter 10 vs 26 which says, "Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched." God begins by planting mentors who are partners in your destiny. He will not let you walk alone. There is often a time gap from the moment you understand your calling to the time you actually walk in it. God knows that the transition period is hard and that you will make mistakes. So He will plant mature and wise believers in your life to give you the counsel and correction you need to succeed.

There will always be people who question your abilities just as there were for Saul. Chapter 10 vs 27 says, "Some troublemakers said, 'How can this fellow save us?' They despised him and brought him no gifts. But Saul kept silent." In the next chapter, we see God giving Saul victory in battle and rescuing Israel. You see, as long as God is your director, you don't have to live for the applause of men; only fear God and walk obediently beside Him. Saul failed, not because God left him, but because he stopped moving with God. Like the Bible says, "How can two walk together, unless they agree?"

So today, get in agreement with what has already been established in heaven. May God give you iron feet and power to say "Yes!" to His will and enter into the greatest adventure of your life!


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News & Views
Johnson K. Samuel

Ancient handle with Hebrew text found in Jerusalem

According to an Associated Press report, archaeologists digging on Jerusalem's Mount of Olives have discovered a nearly 3,000 year old jar handle bearing ancient Hebrew script. The object is significantly older than most inscribed artifacts unearthed in the ancient city. The Iron Age handle is inscribed with the Hebrew name Menachem, which was the name of an Israelite king. The name and similar variants have been found on Egyptian pottery dating back 3,500 years, and the Bible lists Menachem Ben Gadi as an ancient king of Israel. But this is the first time an artifact bearing the name has been unearthed in Jerusalem, Ron Beeri who directed the excavation for the Israel Antiquities Authority, said. Based on the style of the inscription, he dated the handle to around 900 B.C., the time of the first Jewish Temple in Jerusalem as recorded in the Bible. The vessel to which the handle was attached did not survive, so it is impossible to tell what it was used for, Beeri said. Similar vessels were known to have held products like oil or wheat.

The archaeological site was discovered by construction workers while digging the foundation for a girl's school in the area. The Mount of Olives is just outside Jerusalem's Old City. The hill is important to Jews because of its proximity to the destroyed Temple and to Christians, because it is the site where Jesus ascended to heaven.

We have been quoting from press reports about archeological discoveries from time to time. They prove conclusively the historical authenticity of Biblical records. Bible tells us how the Creator God dealt with man at different periods of history.

'Jesus in jeans'

It's 21st century after all. So why Jesus Christ should be left behind! A Catholic church in UK has unveiled a new seven foot high statue of a modern day Jesus wearing jeans and a shirt. In the statue (costing 35,000 pounds) Christ can be seen wearing jeans and a shirt billowing in the wind while his hair and beard are neatly and fashionably trimmed. According to a report in The Telegraph, the sculpture was funded by money left by a member of the congregation who passed away last year. The sculptor, Marcus Cornish said: "The sculpture is simple and direct and I hope it sums up the feeling that Christ is always with us and we are not to be afraid. His clothing is being blown vigorously to add sense of him being alive and his strength in defying earthly cares. The clothing is contemporary in order to connect Christ to his people now as much as to his past. I hope this sculpture will inspire and communicate in human terms, reaching out and being relevant to both the congregation and local community".

People of God experience His real presence with them at all times. They do not need an immovable statue with loose clothes flying in the wind to remind them of His companionship. David sang: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psa. 46:1). Dead stones cannot make Jesus alive to dead people.

A gun-loving pastor!

An Assemblies of God pastor in Kentucky, USA proposes to celebrate US independence day (Fourth of July) with guns! (This piece is being written before July 4). The pastor is inviting his church members to bring guns to church as part of the celebration according to a report by an Associated Press writer. The pastor is a former Marine and handgun instructor and said he expects some criticism of the gun event. He declares that there was a strong belief in God and firearms in the birth of this nation!

On hearing this news, another pastor who was shot twice while leading a service at his former church in 1986, said a house of worship is no place for firearms. He said: "A church is designated as a safe haven, it's a place of worship. It is unconscionable to me to think that a church would be a place that you would even want to bring a weapon". Marian Taylor, executive director of the Kentucky Council of Churches, said Christian churches are promoters of peace.

It is our experience and also we learn from the Scriptures that the gospel changes people. We know that cannibals have become human beings and Christians. A born again person is a new creation."If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Cor. 5:17). So we believe that even a former gun lover can change!

'Worldwide Church of God' changes its name!

A few years ago, there was a church called 'Worldwide Church of God' founded by Herbert W. Armstrong. Armstrong did not believe in the doctrine of Trinity and took Old Testament law to heart, encouraged works of righteousness to earn salvation and also indulged in what was known as "prophetic speculation". After his death in 1986, the church reviewed his teachings and discarded them. Religion News Service reports that the church has now officially changed its name to 'Grace Communion International'. The current president, Joseph W. Tkach, declares: "We are a church that God radically transformed. Our new name is consistent with the transformation and aptly describes what God has made of our fellowship".

Thus ends another cult! But false prophets ans teachers are in plentiful supply!

New Arabic Bible

Mission News Network reports that World Bible Translation Center (WBTC) has just released a new version of the Bible in updated Arabic language. Although the Bible has been available in Arabic since 1860, this Easy-to-Read Arabic Bible replaces the outdated vocabulary and grammar of the previous translation. The project required almost 10 years of work. After a recent trip to the Middle East, Eric Fellman from WBTC thinks that there is a tremendous opportunity for the spread of the Gospel and more doors are bound to open.

We must commend the great work that is being done by such dedicated Bible translators. How much we should be thankful to God for being so blessed by the easy availability of Scriptures in our own languages! "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path" (Psa. 119:105)


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Personalities encountered by Jesus - 14:
Jairus' daughter

"Selected"

"He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum!" which means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!" (Mark 5:41)

Luke tells us that this girl, daughter of Jairus, was about 12 years old (Luke 8:40-55). Jairus, the governor of a synagogue, sought Jesus out, asking Him to heal his only daughter. But even as he was asking for help, a messenger arrived from his house telling him that the girl was already dead.

Jesus, however, told the anxious father that he need not fear: "Don't be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed."

When He came to the house with Jairus, funeral ceremonies were already in progress. But again Jesus reassured the grieving parent, "She is not dead but asleep". Jesus took her by the hand and told her to arise. Luke says: "Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up".

Her parents were naturally astonished because, although they had faith that Jesus might heal her of her sickness, they had little hope that He could bring her back from the dead.

Jesus cautioned them that they should tell no man what was done. Some Bible scholars say that He enjoyed secrecy because the time of His suffering and death had not yet come and He did not want to provide any pretext for the rulers to conspire against Him.

As a matter of fact, when the chief priests did demand His death, they based their condemnation partly on His miracles: "Here is this man performing many miraculous signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation".

- selected

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Children's corner:
Let us be generous

"Uncle"


Vinita and Nidhi were friends and they went to school together When they walked down to school they passed a slum where poor people lived. They observed that the kids in the slum were so poor that they did not have good food or clothes. They were moved with compassion for those kids. Hence they decided to share some of their clothes and food. As they went to school, they carried with them food to be given to the kids. Whenever they celebrated their birthday they even called the poor kids for the party.

Dear children, God's word tells us to be kind to our fellow human beings. We should help people who are in need. God's word tells us in Prov.11:25 "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed". Again in Prov. 22:9 "A generous man will be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor" There are many people in this world who do not have the things that we enjoy. We should be willing to share the things that God has given us. We should not be selfish and self-centred. God is pleased with us when we help others in their need. God has blessed us with all that we need. Let us share with others what God has given us in his goodness. May God help us for the same.

- Shiny Aunty


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Malayalam section:
Nammey kelkunna Deivam

Pastor Babu Cherian, Piravom, Kerala

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Malayalam section:
Pimpilullathu naam marakkenam - 2

Pastor Veeyapuram Georgekutty, Dallas, USA

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Malayalam section:
Bileyaamintey apeksha

Binoy Punnoose, Dahisar, Mumbai

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Malayalam section:
Bhaavana

Baju Joy, Saki Naka, Mumbai

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Malayalam section:
Daaveedintey Wilpathram

Pastor Joseph George, Mumbai

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Malayalam section:
Kavitha: "Soubhaagya chinthakal - I"

Pastor Shibu Joseph, Mumbai

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Malayalam section:
Abhimukham: Dr. K.G. Jose, Principal,
Manakkaala Faith Theological Seminary

Suvartha Representatives

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Picture story:
Queen Esther - 2

P.K. Banage

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