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

   
Internet Edition No. 82 --- July 2011 ---
Cover Page of print edition
Table of contents
Title Author
Editorial (In PDF)
      Karthaavintey prathyaagamana pratheeksha
Pastor Mathew Samuel
Do not store up treasures on earth - Part 1 Dr. C.P. Varghese, Founder/President
Peniel Bible Seminary, Keezhillam
Setting priorities right with our children Pastor Shibu Cherian, Atlanta, USA
Meditation:
      Let us be vigorous
Saju John Mathew
Youth Forum
      Jesus, my Redeemer
Juby Susan Varghese
How to interpret the Bible - Part 1: Context 'The Luther Brothers'
News & Views Johnson K. Samuel
Personalities encountered by Jesus - 26:
      Salome, mother of John
Selected
"Children's corner"
      Let us be truthful
Shiny Aunty
Malayalam section: (In PDF)
      Salomontey sukha lolupathakkayi
      jenathey njerukki - Part 6
Pastor Veeyapuram Georgekutty, Dallas
Malayalam section: (In PDF)
      Yesu Kristhu nisthullian
Pastor John T. Mathew, Ankamali
Malayalam section: (In PDF)
      Poem: Aalasyam vittumaroo
Pastor Shibu Joseph, Mumbai
Malayalam section: (In PDF)
      Thiruvezhuthukaley Anusarikkaathavar
C.L. John, Navi Mumbai
Malayalam section: (In PDF)
      Mattullavarey orthenkilum
Pastor Siby Jacob, Bangalore
Courtesy: "Good News"
Malayalam section: (In PDF)
      Enikku Ishtamilla
      (Proverbs 12:1)
Pastor C.V. Samuel, Dallas, USA
Malayalam section: (In PDF)
      Satvachanangal
Sree Saakshi
Malayalam section: (In PDF)
      Lajjayaayathil maanam thonnunnu
Janet S. Mathew, Gujerat
Courtesy: "Good News"
Malayalam section: (In PDF)
      Sabha vaarthakal



Editorial
Karthaavintey prathyaagamana pratheeksha

Pastor Mathew Samuel

Click here for Editorial (In PDF)


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Do not store up treasures on earth - Part 1
Dr. C.P. Varghese
Founder/President, Peniel Bible Seminary and Missionary Training Center
Keezhillam, Kerala


The writer explains that since God's people are heaven bound, it would be a vey important decision to make some investments in heaven for eternity

God is in heaven. Jesus Christ the only begotten of the Father is in heaven. All those who lived and died in Christ are in heaven. Jesus promised heaven for His followers. He is preparing a place for His people in heaven. The Holy Spirit is preparing you and me for heaven. Since God's people are heaven bound, wouldn't it be a vey important decision to make some investments in heaven for eternity?

What is the meaning of the word, 'TREASURES'?

TREASURES are that which is of great value, highly esteemed worth, high price, importance, significance, extraordinary meaning and value. Everybody has some sort of treasures. Treasures are precious possessions of any kind. Your treasures are what is important to you. In Greek what Jesus said is "Do not treasure up for yourself treasures on earth" using a word play with the word "treasure".

Before Jesus asks His followers to make investments in heaven, He advises where not to make investments. Do not lay up for yourself treasures on earth. Well, what does that mean?

It does not mean that we should not have money in bank, land, house, car and/or other necessities of life while we live for the Lord here on earth.

The Holy Scriptures do not prohibit ownership of possessions. Deuteronomy 8:18 teaches that it is God that gives the power to get wealth to whom He wishes.

God is not against His people enjoying wealth He gives as long as we acknowledges that it is from God and be grateful (1 Timothy 6:17). Bible teaches each one to work and provide for their families. God wants us to be productive citizens.

It does not mean we should not be investing for the future for a greater return. He who does not provide for his family is worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8). Not only that, He wants us to save also (Proverbs 6:6-8). Wise stewardship of every thing God has given to His people is what the scripture teaches. (We will study the false teaching of the unbiblical prosperity theology in another article).

Jesus is teaching against selfish, self centered accumulation of wealth as the primary goal of life.

It does mean that our hearts affections, attractions attachments, priorities, dearness and interests ought not be that which is temporal. -

Do not trust in material possessions.

Do not love the materialistic way of living.

Do not let your material things control your heart.

Do not let material possessions have a grip on you. Remember money is a good and needed servant but a very wicked master.

Our heavenly Father knows we need material things to live in this material world and serve Him with earthly possessions. It is not money that is the root of all evil, but the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10). Jesus taught more about money and possessions than He taught about heaven and hell combined.

In this chapter reference is made to God as our "Father" twelve times. Thus Jesus gives great importance to our relationship with God, His relationship with us, and our relationship with each other. Jesus teaches that horizontal and vertical relationships are very important.

The heavenly Father gave us His greatest treasures, His dear son, and His holy Word. Jesus poured into us the mighty treasure of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 4:7). God made us in Christ to be His precious treasure (jewels). (Malachi 3:17)

Our heavenly Father is well aware of the necessities of life for His children to live and serve him on this earth. He knows that we need shelter or houses, food and drink, clothes and all other necessities of life. As a matter of fact, He knows our needs better than we do. Some times we get our needs and wants and luxuries all mixed up. Sometimes what we think is a need is really a greed.

A significant concern we see in this passage is the attitude of the heart. What should be the priorities of life? Our relationship with the giver of life and all good gifts ought to be our number one priority. Often times we go after the gifts other than the giver. Then after getting gifts we get preoccupied with the gifts and in reality give a secondary place to the giver even though we talk otherwise.

God always has good reasons for every one of His commands. Sometimes He tells us the reasons and other times He doesn't. In this case, He does give us the reasons. It is not safe and secure, and it will not last for eternity.

Jesus talks about ruin from within and without. Any investment here on earth can be robbed by thieves of one kind or another. Silk and other expensive materials were a sign of wealth. Imagine your valuable garments that you purchased and stored and displayed to your friends being destroyed by a creature as small as a moth that lives inside your closet. Here the word "rust" doesn't only mean rusting of metals, but the destruction of material causing its value to be lost. There is devaluation, depreciation and destruction for anything that is invested here on earth. All of this speaks of lack of security. Nothing is safe and secure on earth, and what is certain on earth is that everything of this world is uncertain.

When material benefits and gains are invested for the kingdom purposes in the kingdom of the Father it becomes a means to impact lives for eternity.

(We will look into investing in Heaven in the next issue of this magazine.)

- To be continued


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Setting priorities right with our children
Pastor Shibu Cherian, Atlanta, USA

Pastor Shibu Cherian is an Ordained Minister with the Church of God, and currently serves as an Associate Pastor of the Atlanta Church of God. He is a certified Chaplain, a Bible Teacher & has a passion for teaching and mentoring. He is currently undergoing the Doctor of Ministry program from the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in Cleveland, TN. He authors a Bible reading-meditation blog called 'United in The WORD' (http://unitedintheword.blogspot.com). He resides in Lilburn, GA, USA with his wife Nissy and three daughters Priscila, Pheba & Persis.

"Now, my son, may the Lord be with you; and may you prosper, and build the house of the Lord your God, as He has said to you. Only may the Lord give you wisdom and understanding, and give you charge concerning Israel, that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will prosper, if you take care to fulfill the statutes and judgments with which the Lord charged Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor be dismayed."

(Words of King David to his son Solomon - 1 Chron. 22:11-13 - NKJV)


Before King David died and completed his earthly duties, one of the most important things that he did was to call his son Solomon to himself and lay out to him the things that were in his heart. He told Solomon that he had desired to build a temple in Jerusalem as God had now given rest to His people so that they may dwell in Jerusalem forever (1 Chron. 22:6-7; 23:25), but God did not allow him to proceed forward in this building venture as he had shed a lot of blood in his lifetime (1 Chron. 22:8). However, God had wanted Solomon to undertake this building project after his death (vs. 9-10), for which David had prepared all the required building materials for this project (vs. 14-16).

David then set out the priorities for his son Solomon in this manner - that God would give Solomon 'wisdom and understanding' to keep the commandments of God completely so that he would fulfill the statutes and judgments that God had previously charged Moses concerning Israel. In doing so, he would prosper in his life. Solomon must have pondered over this final charge of his father, and decided that getting 'wisdom and understanding' from God is the primary thing above everything else in his life. That must be reason that when God appeared to Solomon later and asked him what he desired in his life, Solomon asked for 'wisdom and understanding' above anything else that he could have asked from God (2 Chron. 1:7-12). God truly blessed Solomon with abundant 'wisdom and understanding' that he became the wisest king and the most prosperous ruler of Israel.

This is a wonderful lesson for all parents everywhere about setting priorities for their children. It is good that the children study and achieve greatness on the secular side. But more important is that they desire for 'wisdom and understanding' from God so that they obey the word of God completely all the days of their lives. Then only are they going to be truly prosperous and successful and can influence many people towards God.

In order to get started in obtaining wisdom from God, they should develop a godly fear and reverence for God (Prov. 1:7) and a love for reading and meditating on God's word (Joshua 1:8) while they are still young. This is the training that parents are supposed to give to their children as per Proverbs 22:6. If they lack wisdom, they can also ask in faith to God: "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind" (James 1:5-6).

I hope that every parent can learn from what King David counseled his son Solomon, and would take time to counsel and train their children in godly ways. My God bless you in these efforts!


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Meditation:
Let us be vigorous

Saju John Mathew


Reading passage: Exodus 1 :1-20

"Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive" (Exodus 1:19)

Israel went to Egypt ''few in number" (Deuteronomy 26:5), but now they are "increased greatly" (Exodus 1 :7).

The enemy was in dread! (Exodus 1:12). So they thought of acting shrewdly (v. 10).

The enemy oppressed them to reduce their number. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied! Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, asked the midwives to kill every male child born to Israelites at birth. (He feared the males would fight against him in the future). However, the midwives feared God! (The Pharaoh feared Israel, but the midwives feared God! God gave them family (v. 21). Pharaoh did not fear God and God took his family - the first born).

The enemy is not looking for a straight battle. He acts shrewdly (v. 10). Satan is cunning. Beware of his wiles (Ephesians 6:11). The enemy doesn't want to see a new birth taking place among the children of God. He will take up all his wiles to desolate a newborn. However, the women of Israel were vigorous and gave birth even without the help of midwives! (v. 19).

Old Israel is a symbol of the new church. The enemy doesn't want to see any new birth taking place in the kingdom of God. However, God wants His church to be vigorous in childbearing. He expects strong children, who would pull down the strongholds of Satan, to come up. But what do we see in the present day church? We are groaning in travail, but no childbirth. We have labour pain, but deliver stillborns. Many a times the midwives - not Egyptian but Israelite, kill the male child! We have lost our vigour! We have even lost our desire for offspring. Many think that a birth control is needed in church. We are satisfied with our number. To many, newborns are a source of botheration! We forget the fact that we are in warfare. Many of us see the world not as an enemy, but as a misunderstood friend! Instead of fighting, we look for compromise -----

Remember, the enemy is not afraid of a compromising church. But he trembles at the sight of a vigorous church giving birth to strong children!

Prayer: Lord let me and my church be vigorous in producing spiritual offspring. Help us to tear away the gates of hell. Amen.

For further reading: Acts 8:1-8, Rev. 7:9-17


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Youth Forum:
Jesus, my Redeemer

Juby Susan Varghese


The writer eplains the work of redemption by our Lord Jesus Christ

"Son of man came to give his life as a ransome for many" (Mat. 20:28)
"The LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel" (Isa 41:14)


Redemption means recovering something by paying the debt or ransom. The theme of the Bible is redemption and the Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Man, the crown of God's creation, violated God's commandment and so was kept for eternal condemnation. But Jesus Christ saved us by shedding His blood on the cross. Redemption was God's plan to reinstate man to his original status.

But why was there a need for redemption? The primary reason is that our God is a just God. Psalms 97:2 says that righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. We were sinners and had fallen short of the glory of God. According to God's justice sin demanded punishment from God. Simply forgiving sinners will undermine justice, something which God cannot do because justice is His foundation. Thus we were all bound to be put into hell with satan who also sinned against God!

Remember, justice of God does not allow guilt without condemnation nor condemnation without guilt. But Jesus as we all know did not deserve death as He was a sinless man (1 Peter 2:22). Jesus died on the cross as a sinless man and God accepted the work of redemption accomplished by Jesus. "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:9-11).

Thus through the redemption work of Jesus on the cross we are freed from the bondage of sin. Our Lord's redemptive work is three fold:

a) Forgiveness of sins: "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Ephesians 1:7)

b) Justification: "... justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24).

c) Final deliverance at the second coming of the Lord: "... we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies" (Romans 8:23).

Dear friends, we need not live a life of sin because Jesus has paid the price. Let us accept Jesus as our Savior and be called the children of God.




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How to interpret the Bible - Part 1: Context
'The Luther Brothers'


The writers explain in this article how the Scriptures are misinterpreted by taking individual verses out of context. The usually helpful chapter and verse divisions in our Bibles are thus misused.

In attending and observing several Malayalee Pentecostal churches in both India and America, we have become aware of and deeply troubled by a contaminant that has seeped into the water of the Word. It has ever so subtly altered the nature of the Word as to dilute its efficacy and pollute its goodness, truth and beauty. (Of course, this pollution of the Word is of an extrinsic, not intrinsic, nature.) This contaminant did not come from outside the church; rather, it germinated from within the church itself. The pollutant that we are speaking of is the misuse and abuse of the Bible from the pulpit on Sunday morning, from the desk in the Sunday School classroom, and during the weekly cottage meetings.

It is the Bible that tells us who God is, that he created all things and holds them together, that we are fallen and He is holy, that He emptied Himself and took on flesh to dwell with us, die for us and declare us righteous and reconciled before Himself. It is the Bible that teaches us the truths we ought to believe and live by as followers of the Way. The Bible is the believer's ultimate and final authority. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we as believers guard its sanctity and adhere to it with the fullness of our beings and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

However, we as the Malayalee Pentecostal church have not done this. We have allowed the purity of the Scriptures to be polluted in our misuse and abuse of it, and sternly demand adherence to the concoction we have created, rather than adhering to the pure, unadulterated text of the Bible.

The way we have improperly dealt with the Scripture is in our misinterpretation of it. We have set up doctrines and practices using verses that were not intended to sanction or enforce such things. In doing this we drift away from the true teaching of Scripture and demonstrate an incorrect method of biblical interpretation for the congregation as well.

One of the primary ways in which we misinterpret Scripture is by taking individual verses out of context. This means that we detach and isolate verses from their surrounding texts and create an entire teaching out of the few words we've selected. This is not how the Scriptures ought to be read and interpreted. Chapter and verse numbers were not inspired by the Holy Spirit. In fact, chapter and verse numbers were not even placed there by the original authors.

"Ironically, the usually helpful chapter and verse divisions in our Bibles constitute one of the biggest hurdles to the process of Bible interpretation. We must remember that they were not in the original documents - The Geneva Bible (1560) was the first English version to incorporate both the modern chapter and verse divisions - The chapter and verse references do help us identify and locate passages quickly, but unfortunately they have also contributed to the widespread practice of elevating individual verses to the status of independent units of thought. Each verse is treated like a complete expression of truth that, like a number in a phone book, has no connection to what precedes or follows. . .There is simply no justification for routinely treating individual verses as independent thought units that contain autonomous expressions of truth." (Klein, Blomberg and Hubbard. Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. Thomas Nelson, 2004. Page 216-217)

It has not even been 500 years since chapter and verse numbers have been incorporated into the Scripture, yet we treat them as though the Apostle Paul himself placed them there. If we take just a few minutes to look carefully at these chapter and verse divisions we can see that they are often inserted in somewhat odd places. Very often one sentence will be divided into several verses. So to read only one verse would be to only read a fragment of that sentence. In other cases, new chapters start in the middle of the sentence. So to stop reading at the end of the chapter would be to not finish reading the sentence. Imagine if we were to read other pieces of literature this way, such as a doctor's instructions to a patient, a student's textbook, or a letter or e-mail. At best this would cause much confusion for the reader, and at worst even death.

Most of the New Testament is made of up of letters that Paul wrote to groups or individuals. The Gospels are narratives and historical accounts. Much of the Old Testament consists of narratives as well. When we receive a letter we read it from beginning to end. Would any rational person read one sentence from one paragraph then read three words on the last page and claim to understand the message the writer of the letter wanted to send? Would any rational student open a textbook and read one sentence on page 50, then read half of a sentence on page 300 and claim to understand the material and even teach it to others? Certainly not. Sadly, this is precisely what we do with the Bible. At best it brings confusion and at worst even death.

This does not mean that whenever we sit down to read the Bible we must read an entire book to understand it properly. However, while attributing meaning to specific verses we must be mindful of their context. This means we ought to look at the surrounding verses, paragraphs and often even the surrounding chapters in order to grasp the author's flow of thought.

The danger here is that we are easily lured into using the Bible as our footstool from which we preach, teach and demand adherence to our personal ideas and agendas rather than allowing ourselves to be the footstool from which the Holy Spirit can move and speak. The former is a position of arrogance and pride, the latter is a position of humility.

To give an example, I Timothy 4:11 says "Prescribe and teach these things" (NASB). The author of I Timothy goes on to give a very clear list of things to prescribe and teach in the rest of the chapter and the rest of the book. We need not conjure up lists or agendas of our own. However, this is the very thing that often takes place in several Malayalee Pentecostal churches today. This verse is not an independent unit of thought, nor is it a free-standing title in need of a supporting text. The author, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, has stated what we ought to prescribe and teach, and to use verses like this one out of context as a platform for another agenda would be improper and foolish. Whether it be intentionally or simply from ignorance, this is clearly ignoring the context and isolating verses. Though this may seem like a bold remark, fragmented teachings quickly and easily become distorted versions of the Gospel, which is really no Gospel at all.

Let us refrain from polluting and diluting the water of the Word with our own agendas, and in humility allow ourselves to be the Holy Spirit's footstool from which He may work His marvelous will.

- To be continued




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News & Views
Johnson K. Samuel


The dooms day forecaster fails again!

Harold Camping, an 89-year old TV broadcaster from California had predicted that the second coming of Jesus Christ will happen on May 21, 2011 when 200 million true believers will be raptured and everyone else will suffer and eventually die as a series of earthquakes and famine destroyed the Earth. Camping's followers posted 2,000 billboards around the country warning of the rapture. Although nothing happened on May 21, he remains unrepentant. He has made October 21 as the new date of rapture and the end of the world. He had previously predicted judgment days on May 21, 1988, and September 7, 1994 which had also passed off without anything happening. It is reported that Family Radio spent over US$100 million on the information campaign!

Some of Camping's followers spent all of their life's savings in anticipation of the rapture. Keith Bauer, a 38-year-old tractor trailer driver, took a road trip with his family to see the Grand Canyon before the world ended. Robert Fitzpatrick spent $140,000 of his life savings to advertise the rapture in New York. Eileen Heuwetter's aunt was an avid listener of Family Radio, but she died before May 21 and could not witness the failure of his prediction. But before her death, she had made a will leaving all her property to Camping. So Camping stands to gain $300,000 from the will as the rapture did not occur! Eileen feels so angry and helpless because she cannot prevent this crazy man from getting all her aunt's money!

Jesus Christ taught that no man knows the day or the hour of the Lord's return. Such crazy predictions merely provide a handle to atheists and non-believers to make fun of Christians! But the Lord's coming is imminent. Let us be prepared to meet Him when he comes! (Read the Editorial in this issue by Pastor Mathew Samuel).

Noah's Ark Theme Park in Kentucky, USA

A biblical theme park called 'Ark Encounter' costing $150 million is being developed in Kentucky. Its main attraction will be a life-sized Noah's Ark. The full-size, all-wood ark will be built using donations and will cost $24.5 million. Upon its completion, the structure modeled after biblical measurements of Noah's Ark will be 500 ft. long, 75 ft. wide and 45 ft. high. The popular 'Creation Museum' based on the creation story of Genesis is already functioning in that state.

A visual presentation of Bible stories will certainly go a long way in strengtheing the faith of believers in the reality of biblical accounts.

Archaeological discovery in a Jordanian Cave

Archaeologists recently announced a finding that they believe may be as important as the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is reported that a collection of 70 texts was discovered in a Jordanian cave. If authenticated, the books may be the earliest known Christian writings, dating back to the first decades after the life of Jesus. Ziad al-Saad of Jordan's Department of Antiquities says: "It seems that we are looking at a very important and significant discovery, maybe the most important discovery in the history of archaeology".

Discovery of earlier scrolls will, naturally, lead to further checking of authenticity of the known scriptural writings that we now possess.

House church network growing in Iran

Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei declared the house church network "enemies of Iran" in a recent speech. According to observers, this statement is a rare public acknowledgement of the growth of churches in that country inspite of widespread persecution. At least 202 Christians in 24 cities across Iran were arrested between June 2010 and January 2011, compared to just 80 arrests in 2008 and 2009 combined as reported by 'Christianity Today'. The government always used to deny that Iranians became Christians. Apparently, the church now has become too strong to ignore.

It is a fact that the church grows more when persecution increases. Jesus said: "I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18)

World's Longest-Serving Church Organist

Guinness World Records has issued a certificate on May 11 stating that Ida Mae Cumbest holds the record of the world's longest-serving church organist. Ida Cumbest has been the pianist and organist at Caswell Springs United Methodist Church in Mississipi, USA for the past 69 years. The Guinness recognition has come as an honour on her 90th birthday when her son, Mark, contacted the London-based Guinness World Records with the required documentation. Mark calculates that his mother has played in more than 10,000 services. Ida Mae Cumbest has some advice on being good at what she does: "I enjoy it. Do not get sold on yourself, do it for the Lord".

Do diligently everything that you do for the Lord and enjoy it. Amen.

Anglicans tighten rules to prevent fake marriages

Reports say that some vicars conspire to hold fake weddings between British nationals and illegal immigrants as a means toward gaining legal residency in Britain. Such cases have been detected and a few arrests have been made recently. In one case, one vicar was sentenced to four years in prison for his involvement in a sham marriage ring that helped hundreds of illegal immigrants remain in Britain. Church of England has now issued guidelines to stop sham marriages. Couples will be required to meet strict identity checks and face greater scrutiny before they can be married.

What a shame that marriage, a sacred institution established by God, Himself, is being misused by man for illegal gains!

China cracks down on churches

A long "blacklist" of church leaders and influential believers reportedly has been drawn up, as the operation narrowly focuses on the church network. Human rights groups report that Chinese officials have begun calling the unregistered church network a "cult". The Chinese Communist Party launched "Operation Deterrence" against Christian activities from Dec. 1 till March 2011. Influential house church leaders are being officially harassed. Cyber attacks brought down the Chinese and English news websites of ChinaAid, a human rights group.

Chinese government has recently ordained a Catholic bishop, Father Joseph Shen, in defiance of the Vatican's wishes. One church observer said: "Episcopal ordination is strictly a matter for the Catholic Church and not a political issue for any government in the world". The government is trying to create a division among Catholic communities by forcing an ordination.

Christians are facing great persecutions in various ways in many countries of the world. The Lord's coming is at hand. Let us hold to our faith.



Just think about it!!

A court sets atheist holiday!

An atheist filed a case against Easter and Passover holidays before a judge. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians and Jews. The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized holidays.

After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring, "Case dismissed!"

The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, "Your honor, How can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, yet my client and all other atheists have no such holidays..."

The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, "But you have your holiday. Your client is woefully ignorant".

The lawyer said, "Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists".

The judge said, "Psalm 14:1 states, 'The fool says in his heart, there is no God'. Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that, if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day! Court is adjourned".

You got to love a Judge who knows his scripture!


A little girl's interpretation of Psalm 23

A Sunday school teacher asked her class if anyone could quote the entire 23rd Psalm.

A golden-haired, four-and-a-half-year-old girl was among those who raised their hands. A bit skeptical, the teacher asked if she could really quote the entire psalm.

The little girl came to the front of the room, faced the class, made a little bow, and said,

"The Lord is my shepherd, that's all I want"

She bowed again and went and sat down.

That may well be the greatest interpretation of the 23rd Psalm ever heard.


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Personalities encountered by Jesus - 26:
Salome, mother of John

"Selected"

"Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. Among them were ----- the mother of Zebedee's sons" (Matthew 27:55-56)

Bible scholars agree that the name of the Beloved Disciple's mother was probably Salome.

They base .this belief on the fact that the passage in Mark 15:40, parallel to that quoted above, refers to her by that name. It is further conjectured on reliable grounds that she was probably the sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

From the scanty account given to her in the Gospel narrative, it is evident that she, like her sons John and James, was a devoted follower of Jesus, who was present at the Crucifixion and assisted at His entombment.

Matthew, in his Gospel (20:20-23) relates that on one occasion she came to Jesus with her two sons, "asked a favor of him".

"What is it you want?" He asked. She said, "Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom".

"You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said to them. "Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?"

Both John and James, says Matthew, assured Jesus that they were able to drink of His bitter cup. And Jesus agreed: "You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father"

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Children's corner:
Let us be truthful

Shiny Aunty


Lini and Litty were teenage sisters. One day they were arranging the art pieces in their showcase. In the process Lini happened to drop a porcelain art piece and it broke into pieces. Lini was frightened that her mother would be angry with her. She pleaded with her sister Litty not to tell their parents. Litty agreed but every time mother would give her some work she made Lini to do her work. And if Lini was not willing, Litty threatened to tell mother about the broken art piece. Thus Lini had to do both the works assigned to her and her sister. This went on for long. One day as Lini read Psalm 15 which says "who shall dwell in your sanctuary ---- he whose walk is blameless and who is righteous and who speaks the truth from his heart ----", she felt she should confess the wrong that she did to her mother, so she would be blameless and truthful before God. Moreover she was burdened with a guilty conscience and extra work she had to do at home. She went to her mother and confessed about the broken art piece. Her mother not only forgave her but appreciated her for obeying God's word.

Dear children, we have to be truthful and blameless before God. Even if we have to pay a price we have to remain truthful before God. Rev. 21:8 says "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, ---- and all liars -their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." God bless you.


[drawings]

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