If a child gazes steadily at an object sans action nor reaction for a long time, the parents begin to worry about the growth of their child. The development of a child is gauged by his/her activities, movements, speech etc. Parents become paranoid if their child prefers to be inactive.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, skipper and wicket keeper of India’s ODI and Twenty20 cricket teams announced that he watched cricket only for a few moments to see his favorite batsmen such as Sachin Tendulkar play. He preferred to rather spend most of his time on the ground practicing and honing his cricketing skills. A cricketer has to be in the field playing instead of just watching others play.
Similarly, the growth of the believers depends upon their active participation in building God’s kingdom. The silent spectators are the greatest threats to God’s ordained global mission. God requires watchmen who are involved actively in His work. He does not need watchers who wonder what is happening. God wants go-er and not a sender. God wants a performer not a talker. God wants an achiever not an assigner. God wants a builder not a dreamer.
Let us glance at some salient points of the dangers of being spectators.
Peter sat in the Wrong Place:
The fiery speech of Peter in Matt 26:3535 (But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same) had ended up in him sitting in the wrong place among the guards at the courtyard and watching Jesus Christ. Though, he did not dare to go near Jesus he wanted watch the proceedings.
Many a time, we prefer to sit at a wrong place and watch wrong doings happening around us. We remain oblivious to the evil and don’t to even raise our voice against it let alone fight against it. In the Roman Colossuem, people loved to watch the Gladiator games which involved two warriors fighting one another to death.
Telemachus, the Monk who created History!
One day when one such fight was going on, a little monk named Telemachus (whom God had lead to Rome) could not bear it and ran down from the back of the gallery shouting “In the name of Jesus, Stop!” He came to the edge of the arena and jumped in and stood in between gladiators repeating “In the name of Jesus, Stop!”
The stronger warrior who was about to kill his rival looked at the Emperor who signaled to kill the monk. Even as the sword pierced him, blood gushed out and he shouted one more time, “In the name of Jesus, Stop!” and he died. That was the last gladiator game which ever took place in Roman history (January 1, 404 AD). Three days later, the Emperor issued a decree to stop gladiator game forever. One man’s action brought to an end a horrendous game.
Telemachus created history that day. Let us think about our life. Are we sitting and watching or actively participating in the enhancement of God’s kingdom? Let us commit our lives to let others know that our Savior lives!
. J. Peter Daniel M.E., 76, Living Spring Avenue, Sanjeevipuram, Bagayam,
Vellore 632 – 002, Phone. 0416 2260066, 09443800395.
Title: Teen Suicide: (India tops the world in suicides among teenagers as exam stress and depression become key factors)
Few Excerpts from the article:
· 82% teens wish to talk about themselves, but 76% parents discuss only career issues
Lookout for warning signs
· 90% teens show extreme reluctance to go to school—a classic symptom.
· Over 70% show depressed, irritable mood, ill-temper, feelings of worthlessness, sadness, or selfhatred; inappropriate guilt and acting-out behaviour (missing curfews and unusual defiance).
· Around 40-50% report headaches, loss of appetite and interest in daily activities and distinct weight change.
· Over 30% have persistent difficulty falling or staying asleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and preoccupation with self.
· About 48% think about suicide, have obsessive fears or worry about death and plan to commit suicide or actually attempt one.
Source: Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic, AIIMS
What tips a troubled teen over the edge
Ø 43% examination fear
Ø 40% sibling rivalry
Ø 36% issues at school
Ø 33% warring parents
Ø 20% fear of punishment
Ø 17% death of a loved one
Ø 17% distressed parents
Source: Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic, AIIMS
Talking to teens
Build up rapport in six stages…
· Start with generic experiences—the last holiday, what they like or don’t like.
· Discuss specific experiences— arguments, exam tension, etc.
· Thrash out the context in which the above occur—home, school and neighbourhood.
· Talk about the institutions within these contexts, say, friendship and marriage.
· Experiences and feelings within these institutions—love, attraction and romance.
· Hammer out issues like sexuality, depression, or even suicidal ideas.
· 90% of depressed teens who respond to treatment have no perception of family discord— parental fights, with other family members or with themselves.
· Those who respond well report two hours of extra attention from parents, compared to those who do not.
· 52% of those who get better have parents encouraging sport, recreation and other cultural activities.
· 46% of depressed teens have pushy and achievement-oriented parents.
· 50% of depressed children have parents who control every aspect of their lives.
Source: Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic, AIIMS
Microchips to help in identifying animals
Press Trust of India
Friday, April 25, 2008 (Itanagar)
An injectible microchip made of chemically treated coils of iron, glass and copper and bearing a unique 15 digit number to determine ownership of mithuns, a kind of bison found in Arunachal Pradesh, is being tried out for the first time in India.
The microchips, imported from Germany, are injected on the left side between the neck and shoulder of the prized mithuns under a programme sponsored by the deputy chief wildlife warden, Naharlagun and have no side effects, a government veterinary doctor Jikom Panor told PTI.
The mithuns, which cost Rs 40,000 each, are offered as bride price in the tribal state and are sacrified at feasts during festivals.
Owners of mithuns keep track of the beasts by branding them or marking their ears, which is not a foolproof method and sometimes led to disputes, Panor said.
”Over 50 mithuns have been injected with the microchips in the past few days and another 50 would be injected on Sunday, the concluding day of the programme when Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu would be present,” he said.
He said that the microchips, being provided by the central government’s wildlife department, could be implanted in elephants, domestic animals and also in dogs if their owners agreed to pay for the shots.
But the cost of implants in smaller animals animals such as dogs was more costly as the microchips had to be smaller and were more expensive.
The cost of implanting an elephant would be Rs 600, but it would be higher in case of a dog, he said.
Three types of chips were available with the largest for heavyweight animals like elephants. ”For mithuns, which weigh between 200 kg to 300 kg, we are using medium microchips.”
Asked how the numbers on the implants could be read, Panor said it could be done with the help of an electronic computerised reader available in his office.
Asked if such implants could be made in humans also, Panor replied it was feasible.
”But unlike animals, man is ingenious enough to tamper with the chip encoded with information about him,” he said.
Research was on for making tamperproof chips which could one day replace the need for identity cards, he added.
Gay minister off hook on lesbian weddings
The Presbyterian Church says she did not violate its constitution
TIBURON, California – The highest court of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has found that a Northern California minister did not violate denominational law when she officiated at the weddings of two lesbian couples.
The ruling announced Tuesday by the Louisville, Kentucky-based court overturns a decision against the Rev. Jane Spahr last year. A regional judicial committee had found Spahr guilty of misconduct and gave her a rebuke — the lightest possible punishment.
The church’s high court found that Spahr did not violate the church’s constitution because the ceremonies she performed were not marriages, even though that is what the veteran minister, herself a lesbian, called them. The constitution defines marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman.
The ceremonies that are the subject of this case were not marriages. … These were ceremonies between women, not between a man and a woman,” the 12-person court said, adding that the midlevel court “found Spahr guilty of doing that which by definition cannot be done.”
Spahr, 65, was the first minister of her faith to be tried for officiating the weddings of gay couples and one of several Presbyterian ministers facing disciplinary action for similar offenses.
Ministers may perform blessings
The court majority stressed that the church’s position since 1991 has been to allow ministers to bless same-sex unions as long as they don’t mimic traditional marriages, suggesting that pastors who follow in Spahr’s footsteps could be subject to future discipline.
“In holding that Spahr was not guilty as charged, this Commission does not hold that there are no differences between same-sex ceremonies and marriage ceremonies,” the majority wrote. “Officers of the PCUSA authorized to perform marriages shall not state, imply or represent a same-sex ceremony is a marriage.”
That finding drew a dissent from five members of the tribunal.
“Because a same-sex ceremony cannot be a marriage … it should not be necessary to say more,” the dissenters wrote. “It is not the place of this Commission to go any farther and step into the legislative realm.”
Spahr’s lawyer, Sara Taylor, called the court majority’s attempt to prevent pastors from presiding at same-sex weddings an illogical act of “judicial activism.”
“It’s saying, ‘There is not a prohibition, but don’t do it again,'” Taylor said.
Kerala church in row over inviting Advani
Friday, April 25, 2008 (Thiruvananthapuram)
A Kerala church has triggered a controversy by inviting BJP senior leader LK Advani to be the chief guest at a function.
The Marthoma Church, known for its secular views, feels that the party Advani represents is far from secular and he is not the right man to be invited as a chief guest for a function.
Ten thousand of churchgoers have signed a memorandum that they will not allow saffron leader LK Advani into their place of worship.
”To invite Advani for a function like this, of the church sends wrong signals. Wrong signals in the sense that Advani represents BJP and is a very committed RSS person. The RSS has an ideological position, which is definitely against the interests of the minorities,” said Prof Ninan Koshy, Theologian and Social Analyst.
But the church leaders are sticking to their plan. ”He will be coming there and inaugurating the meeting and handing over away the keys of houses built for the poor. We are inviting him not as a political leader but as the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha,” said Rev K M Mammen, Secretary, Marthoma Church.
The Marthoma Church in Kerala is known for its progressive and secular views and that’s why many feel that inviting Advani could send wrong signals.