Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Mystery Doctor Who Did What Was Right - An Inspirational Story byRobert Schuller

This story is excerpted from the book, "Be an Extraordinary Person in an Ordinary World".
It is entitled "Saved by the Mystery Doctor" in the book.


A dear friend of mine, Algetha Brown, is a beautiful singer.... Algetha is married to an air force career man. Right after the Second World War, they were assigned to Germany.

The Nuremberg trials were happening. As Algetha said, 'At that time there were many scared German citizens, because the word was out that if you were a Nazi or if you were a close friend of the gestapo or if you were a good friend of a Nazi, the odds were that you might be called in for questioning. You might be arrested....'

She said, 'Dr. Schuller, my husband and I met so many good, beautiful, wonderful German people who weren't Nazis, but they knew the wrong people so they were in hiding.'

At the time, Colonel Brown, his wife, Algetha, and their two sons were living on the fourth floor of an apartment building. One day, her oldest son came down with the mumps. Algetha kept him in his room. Since it was a warm day, his window was open. Soon the little boy got restless, walked over to the window, sat on the sill, and watched the changing scenes on the street below.

Suddenly, a gust of wind came and slammed the shutter, throwing the boy off balance. He fell four floors, ripping through a balcony iron railing two floors below, and landing on a cobblestone street. In a matter of minutes, the ambulance picked up the unconscious boy and brought him to the nearest civilian hospital.

Because he was a military officer's son the military doctors came and examined the boy, finding multiple compound fractures on the right arm....they said that the arm would have to be amputated. There was no way it could be saved.

When the doctors left the room Algetha cried at her little boy's side and looked at the arm that would be coming off in twenty-four hours. The nurse, a German woman, walked up to Algetha, put her arm around her, looked at the beautiful little boy, unconscious on the bed, and said, 'I probably shouldn't say this, but I know a German doctor who might be able to save that arm. I don't know if he'll come. He's in hiding. He had the wrong friends during the war. I do know where he's hiding.'

Algetha said, 'Would you ask him?'

Late that night Algetha was almost asleep at the bedside of her little boy, praying for his surgery in the morning, when a stranger in shabby clothes entered the room, looking furtively around. Seeing no one other than Algetha, he walked up to the bedside. Algetha looked up and asked, 'Who are you?'

Whispering, he said, 'I am the doctor the nurse talked to you about.'

'Oh, thank you for coming!'

The doctor said, 'I'm just going to check him. I must leave quickly before people find out I'm here.' He checked the arm and said, 'Mrs. Brown, that arm could be saved. I could save it.'

The distraught young mother said, 'Oh, would you, please?'

To her dismay, he said, 'I can't. I'm awfully sorry.'

She said, 'Is it because I'm black?' He didn't even answer her. He merely turned and left the room.

The next morning, as the boy was being prepared for surgery, the nurse came in and said, 'Mrs. Brown, I just got a call from the doctor. He said that he can't let them take the boy's arm. He said he would come out of hiding to do it, but we must keep it a secret.'

An hour later he was scrubbing up. Two hours later, with the military surgeons standing back, the German doctor went to work. It was the first of seven operations that took out every little piece of stray splintered bone. The arm was saved.

But the news got out about the miracle surgery. Headlines read, 'Black American Boy's Amputation Saved by Mystery Doctor.'

Investigators read it. They said, 'There's only one doctor who could have pulled that off. It's the one we've been looking for.' They found him, of course. They arrested him and brought him to trial. He received a sentence of five years in prison.

As he was being led away, handcuffed, Algetha said, 'Why did you do it?'

He answered simply, 'You always have to do the right thing, no matter what the risk is, don't you?'

Be an Extraordinary Person in an Ordinary World

Thursday, September 20, 2012

David's 5 Smooth Stones - How much do we put into it? - Devotion

"Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine." (1Sam 17:40).


There are many lessons for life that can be learnt from this episode of David. However, one of the most fascinating lessons is the lesson of knowing what it means to have a balanced faith.

Why did David choose 5 stones when he had to use only one?

I've heard sermons that talked about the rest of the stones reserved for the other giants. One can find lessons for his own life from a story; a lesson that speaks to him in his own situation.

But, looking directly at the very stage of the incident, I find one thing very instructive about faith:

Faith is not an excuse for not putting the best of all we can gather into our bag. Faith is not an excuse to say, for instance, that I don't need to learn this or I don't need to concentrate on polishing my skills, or I don't need theology or philosophy or history or geography.... It's unlike a rustic Christian who told to a young man aspiring to get into ministry: "Why do you need to get school education anymore; you're going to be a preacher after all!" You never know which of things that God brings in your path to put into your bag is the thing which God wishes to use to fell the giant ahead of you. David chose the best of the stones that could aim best and he chose as many as he could put in his bag. Thereafter, I think, he left to God the alternative to choose from whichever stone he had filled his bag with.

I think he applied this principle to every facet of his life. He was not just a warrior. He was a musician. He was a writer. He was a statesman. He was a prophet. He was a theologian. He never was ashamed to dance before His Lord though he was a king. It didn't matter to him what the thing at hand was. He gave his best to the Lord. Isn't it reasonable why then he was called a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22).

Give your best to the Lord; that's the essence of true worship. Then, see what God will do with the small things we've been faithful in.


Prayer: Lord, we thank you for all the things that you bring in our path daily. We thank you for the opportunities you give us to learn and to increase in wisdom and in favor with God and man. We pray Lord that you'll give us strength to excel in the things that we're entrusted with, whether it be studies, job, or housekeeping. And, we pray that the excellency of your power will be manifested in every passing moment of our lives. Amen!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I Didn't Sleep (Crocodile Fear)

Lady: What time did you sleep?
Maid: Didn't sleep! Feeling very tired and sleepy now.
Lady: Why? Any problem?
Maid: No, the pandit (priest) told us that if we sleep in the night in this festival season, we'll become a crocodile in the next birth.
Lady: What!?
Maid: Yes, he also told us that if we drink milk, we'll become a cat; if we eat meat, we'll become a tiger; and, if we drink water,... umm can't remember what he said... But, we are to keep awake through the night and keep listening to the katha (tales in songs)....
Lady: Gee!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Drishti-sristivada, Srishtidrishtivada, and the Hermeneutics of Theatre

An interesting example of contradictory interpretations is borrowed by G.P. Deshpande [1] from Indian philosophy to evaluate the ambiguous nature of the play and its production.

"There are two texts by Shankaracharya: one is called Sarirakabhasya while the other bhasya is a commentary on Gaudapadakarika. There is a basic contradiction in both....drishti-srishtivada and sristidrishtivada.... These two terms represent the schools within which the Vedantins are divided. The problem is whether what you see defines reality (drishtisrishtivada) or whether what exists defines your vision (srishtidrishtivada).


"It is a typical theatre problem.... Suppose you take that text to be a srishti. Then the director looks at it in a particular way, and the actor looks at it in a particular way. When happens next is the case of drishtisrishtivada. The vision or the way the text is looked at ultimately decides its character. And that is why you have different productions of the same play, productions apparently using the same text but so different that they appear to be based on different texts."


Deshpande, from the Indian viewpoint, is exploring what Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900-2002) had philosophically deeply examined, the issue of pre-understanding and the fusion of horizons. Recent hermeneutics has strongly focused on trying to get at the author's intent and limit the text to just that. However, getting to the author's intent is a horizonal problem. Our understandings only fuse where our pre-understandings intersect. Yet, in a way, the text does have the ability to change one's pre-understanding as well; and so vice-versa.

Deshpande continues:

"But is it really the case of drishtisrishtivada? That, after all, it is the drishti that determines the srishti? Perhaps not quite. The srishti also made that drishti possible. There is always enough room in a given text to make it so..... The interrelationship between the text and play I am talking about can be related to the contradiction in Shankaracharya's to bhasyas, and the contradiction between the two vadas. Vendantins also could not come to terms with them. Drishti or srishti taking prominence remained an unresolved question."


To note is the fact that both the schools of interpretation look to the Vedas and Upanisads as their source of authority and, yet their interpretations are contradictory. Does this mean that the text itself is contradictory in nature? Or does it mean that one or both of the interpretations may be wrong? The aim of hermeneutics should be chiefly that: to guarantee the right interpretation of the text in its syntactical-grammatical-historical originality.

Glossary
bhasya. Commentary
Drishti. Sight
Srishti. Creation
Vada. Argument. Theory.
Gaudapadakarika. The statement of doctrine in verse form by Gaudapada, the teacher of Sankaracharya.




[1] G.P. Deshpande (b.1939), retired Professor of Chinese Studies at JNU.
Cit. Dialectics of Defeat, Calcutta: Seagull, 2006.

Pastor, I want to start a church - Simple Living

Doctor: Pastor, I want to start a church. I feel that I should get into ministry.
Pastor: I see. I also was thinking to start a clinic.
Doctor: But, pastor, you aren't trained yet; just an idea of some diseases and antibiotics doesn't make you a doctor.
Pastor: That was what I was thinking.

-Simple Living-

Friday, September 14, 2012

BGEA: A Conversation with Ruth Bell Graham

BGEA: A Conversation with Ruth Bell Graham.

May 1, 2002 - Ruth Bell Graham has played an integral part in the ministry of Billy Graham throughout the years. Well known as a poet and an author, she has insight into life and following Christ. "Decision" recently had the privilege of talking with Mrs. Graham about her life.



Q/ You are known to be a joyful person. What things bring you joy?

A/ Most important is my personal walk and relationship with the Lord Jesus. I can’t imagine life without Him.

My family brings me joy—I get so excited when family members are coming home. Sometimes I wonder if God feels that way when one of His children is about to come home..... READ MORE>>

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Essence of Beauty - Thought

"He has made everything beautiful in its time." (Eccl.3:11)

The essence of beauty lies in perfect timeliness; for instance, (students & jobholders) when you do your assignment in time, (businessmen) when you deliver goods to your customers in time, (consumers) when you pay your bills in time, & (preachers) when you finish your sermon in time.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I don't want a Facebook account - Simple Living

Pastor A: I don't want a Facebook account because I heard that many families and marriages were broken because of Facebook; you know, people spending too much time on it, neglecting family, and flirting with others.
Pastor B: Only a house that is not strong falls to the ground. A house built on solid foundation will never fall.

-Simple Living-




May 31, 2013 Addition
Please Check this link for New Life's Guidelines on Using Facebook:
WARNING: FACEBOOK COULD DESTROY YOUR MARRIAGE


Quote: Without realizing it, we can soon be spending more time “Facebooking” with an old flame than we’re doing face-time with our spouse. And the longer we reminisce about those old feelings the more we find they become current feelings.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Unique Christ - III (Poem) - The Song of the Disciple


III
The Song of the Disciple

His eyes glistened with innocence, with mercy, and with love;
They sparkled with the fire of God's truth from above.
His lips uttered oracles that pierced us to the core;
They kindled our desire to listen to Him all the more.
His words were not concocted by human will;
Neither were they hosted by some sugary quill.
His thoughts were not such as would have pleased a man;
Yet, they were such that even a child would understand.
He fed us when we were hungry,
He clothed us in our shame,
He loved us though unworthy
We were of His name.
He called us to learn by being with Him,
Our lives were changed by just watching Him.
His breast was one's pillow,
His hand, one's rescue at sea;
His fingers, when they wrote on the ground,
Tore veils from eyes and caused the blind to see.
He chose not the highest places,
He taught us to seek of such none;
He was the meekest and the lowliest,
And by His humility has all worlds won.
He gave us no degrees or titles dear to men;
He cleansed our hearts and showed us what's real
When He stooped to our feet with a bowl and a towel.
"Those who live by the sword will perish with it," He said;
And, with that He put an end to the politics of power and violence.
And yet, it was not over;
We deserted Him in His weakness as into cruel hands He fell,
We covered our eyes in fear as He bore our agony of hell;
Yet, when He rose in His power vanquishing pain and death,
He never once mentioned our desertion of Him and how we fled.
He came to us in our weakness and strengthened our hearts;
He came to bind us together when we were falling apart.
Is there such union of meekness and power anywhere?
None except in the One who is both the Lion and the Lamb.
To this only True Teacher I dedicate this song,
The song of the disciple who still for the Master does long.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

This is My Father's World - Hymn Lyrics (w/ Hindi Translation)


ENGLISH
This is my father's world
And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheresThis is my father's world
The birds their carols raise
The morning light, the lily white
Declare their maker's praise

This is my father's world
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas
His hand the wonders wrought

This is my father's world
Oh, let me never forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong
God is the ruler yet

This is my father's world
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is king, let the heavens ring
God reigns, let the earth be glad

This is my father's world
He shines in all that's fair
In the rustling grass, I hear him pass
He speaks to me everywhere

In the rustling grass, I hear him pass
He speaks to me everywhere
HINDI
ये मेरा पिता का जहां
और मेरे सुनते कानों में
सारी कुदरत गाती झूमती है
सरगम वो रचना कीये मेरा पिता का जहां
पक्षियां भी गाती है
सुबह का तेज, और सोसन श्‍वेत
उसकी महिमा सुनाते है

ये मेरा पिता का जहां
मेरा मन अब चैन में है
की चट्टानें, पेड, समुद्र और गगन
उसके हाथों की अचरज है

ये मेरा पिता का जहां
मै कभी नही भूलूं ये
की चाहे दुष्‍ट अकसर लगते वीर
परमेश्‍वर शासक है

ये मेरा पिता का जहां
मेरा दिल क्‍यूं हो उदास
प्रभु राजा है, स्‍वर्ग गाती है
पृथ्‍वी मगन हो जाए

ये मेरा पिता का जहां
उसकी चमक हर भलाई में है
सरसराहट घास में गुजरते हुए
वह हर जगह मुझसे बोलता है

सरसराहट घास में गुजरते हुए
वह हर जगह मुझसे बोलता है


(Hindi Translation by Domenic M.)

This is My Father's World - Hymn (w/ Hindi Translation)



ENGLISH
This is my father's world
And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres

This is my father's world
The birds their carols raise
The morning light, the lily white
Declare their maker's praise

This is my father's world
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas
His hand the wonders wrought

This is my father's world
Oh, let me never forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong
God is the ruler yet

This is my father's world
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is king, let the heavens ring
God reigns, let the earth be glad

This is my father's world
He shines in all that's fair
In the rustling grass, I hear him pass
He speaks to me everywhere

In the rustling grass, I hear him pass
He speaks to me everywhere



HINDI
ये मेरा पिता का जहां
और मेरे सुनते कानों में
सारी कुदरत गाती झूमती है
सरगम वो रचना की

ये मेरा पिता का जहां
पक्षियां भी गाती है
सुबह का तेज, और सोसन श्‍वेत
उसकी महिमा सुनाते है

ये मेरा पिता का जहां
मेरा मन अब चैन में है
की चट्टानें, पेड, समुद्र और गगन
उसके हाथों की अचरज है

ये मेरा पिता का जहां
मै कभी नही भूलूं ये
की चाहे दुष्‍ट अकसर लगते वीर
परमेश्‍वर शासक है

ये मेरा पिता का जहां
मेरा दिल क्‍यूं हो उदास
प्रभु राजा है, स्‍वर्ग गाती है
पृथ्‍वी मगन हो जाए

ये मेरा पिता का जहां
उसकी चमक हर भलाई में है
सरसराहट घास में गुजरते हुए
वह हर जगह मुझसे बोलता है

सरसराहट घास में गुजरते हुए
वह हर जगह मुझसे बोलता है


(Translation by Domenic M.)

Monday, September 3, 2012

To those who love this country and pray for its salvation, here's my plea:

To those who love this country and pray for its salvation, here's my plea: Add this line to your prayer wherever you are; when you're in a restaurant, pray "Lord I pray that all here may be saved"; when you reach your company, pray "Lord I pray that all here may be saved"; when at school, "Lord I pray that all here may be saved"; so, at college, while waiting for a cab or bus, while walking through the mall, while traveling in train, wherever you are just speak these words and may the Lord make the difference. Let's fill the land with the sweet-smelling fragrance of our prayers. Pl re-post this if you can; let's see this nation reborn!
"born not...of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:13)