J. Peter Daniel
The world is going through a tremendous economic recession. Highly qualified person has started working in low paid and low level job to sustain his family. Many families have sold their houses and moved into units. In Education sectors too, many schools have been closed and asked their parents to move their children to some other schools. The children also affected by the change of circumstances, situation, low level comfort and some are missing their old friends. This shows that the repercussion of the economic recession.
The people are aware of the economic recession in their life. In industries, it is evident that the employees are interested to see their boss to bring new job to the company which has not happened in the past. Some times, the boss brings very low margin order and squeezes the workers to make huge profit.
In spiritual era, believers are not able to understand their spiritual recession in their life. It is better to see what some of the indications of spiritual recession from the disciple’s life before and after crucification.
1. Recession in Prayer Life:
Jesus has gone to Gethsemane to pour out His life to God before undergoing the pain, persecution on the cross. He pleaded to God for doing His will in His life. At that time, He requested disciples to pray for Him(Lk. 22:40). But they have slept. He pleaded them for three times (Math 26:40-43) but their eyes were swollen and red Lk. 22:45).
The recession of prayer life is immediately evident in the forth coming event.
a. Fear of soldiers (Math 26:56) Betrayal Judas entered into the garden with the soldiers to capture Jesus Christ. While, they asked about Jesus Christ, all the disciples engulfed in the fear. They all vanished within micro seconds.
b. Fear of servant girl: “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” (Math 26:33) – Challenger Peter has denied Jesus Christ three times before the servant girl (Lk. 22:56). It is a pathetic situation of Peter because of lack of prayer, fear engulfs him.
Do you have fear in your life? Are you not able to stand for the Lord? Are you not able to witness and tell about the Christ to Others? Do you have of fear of yourself? Answer for this is… you have to increase your prayer time.
2. Recession in Fellowship with Him:
Jesus was taken to Pilate to question and enquire him. At that time, Peter was following Him from the distance (Lk. 22:54). He didn’t like to follow Him closely. He became a spectator of court activities. He was not able to acknowledge Him before others. It has become a trap for him to deny Christ Jesus for three times. Peter cried and repented for his backsliding life.
Coming back from the backsliding life is a difficult one. Let us see what he was doing after Jesus’ resurrection. He is the person who has gone inside the empty tomb to verify and certify His resurrection. Recession in following him, made him to do two things which affected him as well as others.
a. Revert back to old life: If you are not following Him whole heartedly then you are following your old life. In Luke 5:11, Peter had left his own profession (net, boat), his family, friends, colleagues and followed the source of blessing Jesus Christ. He bought his own brother and other disciples to God. In Jh. 21:3, after resurrection of Jesus Christ, he has gone back to his old profession.
The pulling of old life will be there in our life due to the sinful nature. But we should not allow the things to happen in our life. For that we always have to follow Him – 24X7 calling.
b. Revert back others to old life. Peter was an attractive leader. When he came to the Lord he bought others to Him. But in his backsliding life, He pulled others for old previous life.
Christian spiritual life should be a growing one. It should not have recession at all. If you have recession then you have to check your life and correct it then and there. Otherwise you will fall and you will become a person for others to follow their old life.
3. Recession in obeying His mission:
Peter and his disciples have gone back to their profession. So, Jesus Christ has done the same miracles again to restore him back to His fold. After the miracles, Jesus asked exactly three times equivalent to three times denial of Jesus Christ about his love towards Him. In response to peter’s answer Jesus repeated three times about his responsibilities of tending the sheep in this earth.
a. Forget His love: Peter loved Jesus Christ more than the other disciples. His reaction and his temperament show when he answered to Jesus Christ’s questions. He rebuked Jesus Christ when He revealed about His death. But here his love is in the recession stage.
Let us think about ourselves and evaluate how our love is when we accepted him as a Saviour and the present stage. Is there difference then the spiritual recession has started in your life.
Let us come to the Lord and tell, Yes you know Lord that I loved you.
b. Forget His call: Jesus called peter as Cephas, it means stone (Jh. 1:42). In Matt 16:17-20, Jesus commissioned Peter after revealing who He is – “I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
But, Peter forgot His calling and went back to do his old mission.
God has called us to do His great work. Let us think about ourself, why are we not doing His mission. It may be due to the materialistic blessings, comfort life, busy life or lazy to follow him, no time to set apart for His work, married so no need to his work for one year, no concern for the dying soul, fear of people, ashamed to do, it is a work of Pastors – excuses.
During the Easter, let us take a decision that we will follow Him at any cost, Obey His Mission and pray for the nations know that Jesus is the Saviour and Lord.
J. Peter Daniel
Glocal youth vision
A while ago, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.
As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger…he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies. If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn’t seem to mind.
Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to
Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home… Not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush. My Dad didn’t permit the liberal use of alcohol. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.
I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked… And NEVER asked to leave.
More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents’ den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.
We just call him ‘TV.’
(Note: This should be required reading for every household!) He has a wife now….We call her ‘Computer.’
Their first child is “Cell Phone”.
Second child is “I Pod”
Free slumber classes for teenagers
Parents have struggled for years to encourage children to go to bed on time. In Scotland, however, all the family should be enjoying sweet dreams in the future, as pupils are to be given lessons in how to sleep. The charity Sleep Scotland is providing classes free of charge in a pilot scheme at three schools in Glasgow in an attempt to tackle problems caused by a lack of sleep.
Glasgow city council estimates that as many as one in four teenagers are not getting the appropriate nine hours of slumber a night, and said there was “increasing evidence” suggesting a link between lack of sleep and obesity, lower academic achievement and depression. Jane Anstell, the director and founder of Sleep Scotland, said lack of sleep among U.K. teenagers was a “huge problem”.
“We started off working with kids with special needs with sleep problems,” she said. “And basically in my teenage clinic I felt I’d got a lot of kids who maybe didn’t have ADHD or Asperger’s — they had total sleep deprivation.” Ansell said the classes could help improve teenagers’ behaviour. Nikki Cameron, a sleep counsellor at Sleep Scotland, put together an outline for the lessons and offered them to the council using funding from Children in Need. Here are Sleep Scotland’s top tips for better sleep:
— Make sure you have a substantial main meal at a regular teatime.
— Restrict homework, exercise and computer games to the early evening.
— The hour before bedtime should be for relaxing and bathing, and should include no stimulating activities.
— Switch off the computer, mobile and television before having a bath. Try listening to music, radio, or read a book.
— Avoid chocolate, caffeine, additives, alcohol and nicotine before bedtime. Have have a warm milky drink instead.
— Your bedroom should be quiet and dark; make sure it is a media—free zone.
— Keep to a regular bedtime.
— In order to have a good sleeping pattern it is important to be consistent. This also includes having a set waking time. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2010
http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/16/stories/2010031655821100.htm accessed on 16 March 2010