Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Clarifying the New Year Resolution by Melvyn Brown

NEW YEAR resolutions have always been a part of the fabric of Christian life. “ Trust the Lord and sincerely worship him ; think of all the tremendous things he has done for you. “ 1 Sam . 12: 24. We all have dreams , talk about hope and how tough things are. At the same time we try to prevent the worst from happening by trying to take control. There are no rules for complicated situations which might arise. But, there is evidence in how ,by asserting oneself to face the full realism can make a perceptible change through resolutions. Fear often keeps the faithful in doubt about their resolves.
                                     Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid. Just trust me.” Mk. 5:36.

A simple new year resolution without the phobia , but cautiously taken can lead to a measure of success in solving a crisis. In Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations , the lawyer Jaggers tells Pip , “Take nothing on its looks ; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule. “
 It makes sense that even the most delicate and difficult situation one encounters can be a good new year resolution to bring about change , provided we are not afraid , or in doubt. A person can eloquently defend , protect, preserve and even prevent the forces of good from being demonized.  Resolve this new year to forgive an enemy , to clarify hope in trust , to prevent evil, promote goodwill, understand problems on the domestic front, make sharp distinctions between opposing values among friends, to abandon bad habits, and to be a better person.

 It’s worth noting that whatever resolution you make may not germinate instantly , it will first take root, sprout as some beans do after gentle watering and fearless attention to growth. The grim reality is that making a resolution is nerve-shattering and the fear of failing even worse. No one says it will be easy. It was not meant to be.

In his letter to the Romans, Saint Paul said, “ For the magistrate does not frighten people who are doing right ; but those doing evil will always fear him. So, if you don’t want to be afraid, keep the laws and you will get along well. “ Rom. 13:3. So,clarify your resolution and do not be resoluophobic !

The Unsolved Mystery in Miracles By Melvyn Brown

The Oxford Dictionary states that a “Miracle” is an extraordinary and welcome event believed to be the work of God , a saint, etc. A miracle could be a question of faith above reason. In the holy Puranas, there are various stories of miracles involving several Gods and Goddesses Among them the favourite has always been those of Lord Krishna’s. In Hindu society and other faiths these stories of miracles have the power to strengthen ,reaffirm beliefs and even change the lives of people.
The “ Circle of Life “ was the miracle vision which Buddha had in the process of his meditation in achieving enlightenment. Sociologists would refer to the Lord Buddha’s miracle as most welcome to the rejuvenation it introduced in Hindu society in a breakaway bid to tone down the often tough way of life-style in certain areas of their religious laws and customs.

 The Christian Bible, however, is documented and authenticated with miracles. The Sacred Book is divided in two parts : the Old Testament and the New Testament. Miracles in the first book are many, with prophets making statements of a coming Messiah , which would all come true after hundreds of years in the second book.

The miracle of creation , the ark built by Noah , the burning bush, the dividing of the Red Sea etc. are events in the history of the Old Testament. In the holy books of the New Testament we have the Virgin birth , the coming of the Messiah , His ministry and miracles – the greatest miracle of all time, His resurrection.

 C.S.Lewis, the theologian (1898-1963) said, a miracle was an “interference of nature by supernatural power.” Saint Thomas Aquinas in his writing , Summa Theologica seven hundred years ago stated , that a miracle consists in whatever God does outside or beyond the order commonly determined or observed in nature. With miracles , in essence, we are confronted with faith versus reason , or as one might interpret an incompatible world-view with belief systems. All this leaves society with two groups of people : those who believe and those who don’t.

Stigmatism , a bizarre phenomena is a miracle. Walking on red hot coals is a miracle. A faith-healer , or a clay figure of a cow drinking milk , a bleeding icon etc. are miracles. Every religion has their own miracle : the Hindu, the Sikh, the Jews, the Christians, the Chinese and so on.

Miracles often permeates the physical world. They are even generated by the spiritual realm. Miracles are a phenomena, often beyond human explanations or the attributes of science. Miracles , from Lazarus to Lourdes are keeping on happening. ESP (Extra Sensory Perception) , NDE ( Near Death Experience) , UFO ( Unidentified Flying Objects) Visions of the Virgin Mary etc.
are miracles.

 Recently, in Colorado Springs a mother Tracy Hermanstorfer, 34, went into cardiac arrest at the moment when she was to give birth at the Memorial Hospital on Christmas Eve. With prompt attention and speed the Doctors did a Cesarean Section and delivered a boy-child who came through lifeless, said Mike ,the boy’s father. Tracy Hermanstorfer’s heart had stopped beating. The doctors revived the newborn child. Seconds later Tracy ’s pulse returned inexplicably – a sign that she might regain her life. For four minutes she had been without a pulse. And then, the Doctor said both mother and child were safe and healthy. There was no medical explanation.

 “That’s why,” said Hermanstorfer, “ I mark this up as a miracle.”  Yet, another miracle took place after 23 years when a woman Delia Knox, 46 was hit by a car on Christmas Day 1987, by a drunk driver. She became paralysed in her legs and lost all hope of ever walking.  In 2010 Delia attended a healing service at an evangelistic meeting in Mobile , Alabama . The preacher was Nathan Morris. After Nathan prayed for Delia, she felt the Holy Spirit saying to her ‘ Get up’, and she did, feeling life return to her legs after 23 years. She walked. There was no medical answer from the side of science. It was a miracle.