The world is facing a worst economic crisis witnessed never before. This generation has learnt the word ‘retrenchment’, ‘recession’, ‘Global melt down’ related to the field of economics. People are not able to recover from this shock. Economists predict that the economy will still surge this year and may follow next year also. The economy hump has reduced the speed of the developments of many ‘i’ related fields like ‘iway’, ‘inet’, ‘ipod’ ‘itower’ etc. Now, the government has to try hard to bring back the economy to the level of ‘ieconomy’.
The slowdown of economy has gripped the expatriates who have come from other countries for their livelihood. It has become a mirage in the desert. The fear of future has gripped each and everyone. Many people want to give up their life due to the diminishing hope of the future.
Bible refers to the world as a temporary place. God came to this temporary and uncertain world to rescue us and take us to His permanent house that He has made for us (Jn. 14:2). God has called us to live as expatriates in this world. He has also given us a set of principles to adhere to live in this world.
A. Live as expatriates of the world:
John gave the definition for the world as lust of the flesh, lust of eyes and the pride of life. The world has immersed itself within this category. The people of this world are thinking that they are doing fine in all the fields. But the fall has come just like the tower of Babel. The present generation is confused about the whereabouts of the money just like the ancient times when people got confused when God scattered them by different languages. The reason for the economic slowdown is lust and pride of the people. This two brought down the economy.
The problem has made us to rethink about the consequence of putting the trust on lust, pride and the world. John urges us to anchor our faith in God by doing His will in this earth that abides forever.
B. Live as a citizen of heaven:
The passport is essential for any citizen to roam in a foreign country. As a Christian, we need the passport of salvation to roam in this temporary world. In addition, the passport reveals that we are all citizens of heaven (Phl. 2:20). Many a time we forget that we are God’s children and belong to God’s kingdom.
We forget this main principle and behave as though we have no hope in this world. It is not a good habit for the believers. Let us hold on to God’s promise. He promised that one day we will be transformed to the heavenly body to attain the incorruptible, undefiled, inheritance that will not fade away that has been reserved in heaven for us.
C. Live as a witnesses of heaven:
The believers have to live in this world as the witnesses citizens of the heaven. It means that our life has to reflect the God’s kingdom, God’s value, God’s image on this earth. For that, Jesus said that we have to live as light and salt to this world.
Let ask God to keep us by His power and His faith that has won the world, to live as an expatriate and witness in this temporary world.
J. Peter Daniel M.E.
Glocal Youth Vision
Villa 0432, R, 2210, Barbar 0522
Kingdom of Bahrain
8-yr-old girl married off to a frog in TN
VILLUPURAM: The annual ritual of getting a girl married to a frog organised in Pallu Puthupattu village on the Tamil Nadu- Puducherry border is a interesting meeting of fairy tale and real life.
On the first Friday of Thai (Tamil month) every year, a girl of Pallu Puthupattu village is married off to a frog that is fished out from a temple tank.
On Friday 8-year-old R Vigneswari of the village was married to a frog that was fished out from a Sri Muthu Mariyamman temple.
At the wedding the residents adopted all the rituals that are followed during a normal wedding. The people residing at western side of Sri Muthu Mariyamman temple were considered as relatives of frog. They visited the residence of the bride, Vigneswari and obtained permission of her parents for the marriage.
The girl decked up with bridal make up and saree was taken out on a rally on Friday evening. The procession culminated at pond in Vannankulam.
After three-hour long ordeal they have caught a frog from the tank. Amidst chanting of devotional hymns and beating of drums, temple priest, on behalf of the amphibian, tied nuptial knot to Vigneswari in a pandal set up at near a school.
Residents greeted the ‘newly married couple’ and offered moi (cash) to them. Dinner was served to all the invitees in pandal. After performing pujas the frog was released into the temple pond.
The local residents believe that performing such marriages will protect them from evil forces and ailments. An elder Pachaiyammal said: “People were conducting such marriages for many centuries now. We believe that Sri Mariyamman would protect us from evil forces if such marriages were conducted annually.” Villagers said that according to legend, the people here had suffered from various hardships and a large number of children and others died following outbreak of cholera and other ailments in the village.
When they offered prayer to Sri Mariyamman, the goddess appeared in their dream and suggested them to conduct ‘divine marriage’ every year.
In the dream the goddess said, the marriage must be conducted between Lord Shiva, who would be a reincarnation as a frog and live in the temple tank, and herself, as she would reincarnate herself as a girl child.
100 new HIV and Aids cases in Oman every year
Muscat: Oman’s Ministry of Health (MoH) is launching a two-year National Aids Community Awareness Campaign on Wednesday to address the issue of HIV/Aids in the community.
“Almost 100 new cases HIV infection are diagnosed annually,” said Dr Ali Ahmad Salim Baomer, Head of Aids Section at the MoH. He said the new campaign, called Let’s Talk about Aids, was aimed at reducing discrimination to people living with HIV/Aids in the country.
He said that 1,119 Omanis are living with HIV/Aids infection. “More than 50 per cent of people living with HIV/Aids in the country are youth between 15-35 years of age and 25 per cent of the figure are women,” he said.
He points to “unsafe sexual behaviour” as the major cause for the spread of the disease
BBC presenter says talking faith in Britain difficult
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones and Richard Eden, the Telegraph Group Limited, London 2009
Published: January 18, 2009, 23:15
London: Jeremy Vine, the BBC radio presenter, has claimed that it is becoming “socially unacceptable” to be a Christian in Britain. The Radio 2 host said that he felt unable to talk about his faith on his show because he feared how people would react.
He argued that society had become increasingly intolerant of the freedom to express religious views. “You can’t express views that were common currency 30 or 40 years ago,” he said. “Arguably, the parameters of what you might call ‘right thinking’ are probably closing.”
His comments follow the claim from Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, that Britain was an “unfriendly” place for religious people to live.
The cardinal said that the rise of secularism has led to a liberal society, hostile to Christian morals and values, in which religious belief was viewed as “a private eccentricity” and the voice of faith groups was marginalised.
Vine, 43, is a practising Anglican, but said he would be compromised by being more open about his faith on air. “Just blurting it out would be destructive,” he said. “Just because something’s true doesn’t mean you can say it. That’s quite an important principle.”
Two Hindu activists held in Tamil Nadu
Chennai: Two Hindu activists were arrested in Thiruvannamalai town of Tamil Nadu yesterday for attacking foreigners following a dispute over rituals performed at a marriage, a police official said.
“Trouble arose after Hans, a German, and Julie, an American, married yesterday according to Hindu rites in a small temple but exchanged rings in the sanctum sanctorum as a sign of their matrimony. Volunteers of the Hindu Munnani [Hindu Front] objected to this and a scuffle ensued,” Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan said on phone.
“Later, the miscreants stoned Shanti Malai Ashram, where the foreigners reside. They damaged furniture and a three-wheeler. To prevent further trouble, the temple has been closed, two suspects S. Babu and K. Murugan have been detained and the foreigners have been given police protection,” Balakrishnan said.
Similar trouble had arisen two years ago. The cause for the ire against foreigners was that the couple exchanged rings inside the temple in the Christian manner instead of tying a Taali [chain] around the bride’s neck as per Hindu rites, police sources added.
Thiruvannamalai is a temple town, 190km south of Chennai. It attracts over 300,000 Indian and foreign visitors every year. Over 800 people from the US, Europe, Australia, and other countries live in this town.