1 Kings 19:1-13
Words of Honesty
“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.” (Prov. 12:22)
Last Sunday I spoke about deception and its connection with our financial life.
Do you know people who exaggerate everything?
There are people who are experts in distorting reality. They create lies.
Once you are not honest, you start covering the lie; the cover-up grows larger, and eventually it will become a bigger problem than the original lie.
This last season there was a TV program called 24. The president of the USA covered up the truth. Then in order to cover up the truth she made bad choices, and eventually everything went out of control.
No wonder Jesus said, “…and the truth will make you free.” He is the Truth. We will be freed by Him. But it also means that simply saying the truth, living a true, genuine and honest life will make you free. God wants the best of us. God is truth. God cannot take deception. He created us in His image. He wants us to be truthful and say the words of truth.
Less words is a wise choice:
“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” (Prov. 21:23)
I admire people who know how to say things at the right time, with the right words, and with the right attitude.
Have you ever said, “I wish I did not open my mouth?”
People enjoy emailing each other. OK, it is a way of communication. But somehow it is easy to say whatever one wants to say and send it by just one click!
Personally I am cautious with email responses.
I try not to send my sensitive emails the day I wrote it. I keep in the drafts. Next day I see things differently.
“Guard your speech” also means confidentiality. Do you keep your word and not tell others when someone asks you to keep it to yourself?
Are we trustworthy?
I don’t know why we like to break the confidentiality code.
Either we are immature,
Or we want to be in the spotlight. “I know something that you don’t. I feel myself important by revealing it.”
My Mom often quoted a great verse that she taught me:
“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” (Prov. 10:19)
Words that build:
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” (Prov. 16:24)
The Book of Wisdom encourages us to use words that build, words that encourage, words that heal the soul and the body.
-While I was a school principal, I encouraged my staff to use words that would build the body and the soul of the students. I saw the result; the ones who encouraged students, gave positive result. Today those students are parents and hard working citizens of the country where they reside.
Words of encouragement in marriage lubricate the communication. Parent and child, boss and employee, all need words that feed our soul, nourish our soul.
“The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense.” (Prov. 10:21)
All these examples are words that we speak.
Now we move on to the words that we receive and listen to.
Who do we listen to?
Words have an effect on us. Whom do we listen to? How does that affect your daily life?
Here is the principle: What we say is what we hear or what we read. Your words reflect what you deposit in your head. The simple question is, where do you get your “words”?
“The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.” (Prov. 13:14)
If your words are from the “wise person”, they will nourish you, they will nourish you life. They will keep you away from the “snares of death.”
Therefore all of us need filters. As a computer needs McAfee, or Norton antivirus, we need filters to block words that are not healthy; we need to choose the people we will listen to.
I choose not to listen to some emails, some websites which poison my soul.
I have to close my ears.
How about you? How often are you poisoned by rubbish gossip and talk?
Do we listen to those who challenge us in a right spirit?
“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man's rebuke to a listening ear.” (Prov 25:11-12)
Appropriate spoken words in the right time, with the right attitude are like golden apple in a setting of silver. “Just as a jewelry maker sets a finely wrought apple of gold into its silver setting, wise people know how to bring the right word to a situation” (NIV Commentary on Proverbs p.578). Those words are words that help us to grow and learn. But the verse also indicates that when we hear and listen to a person’s rebuke, that is also a fine golden ornament like a precious earring.
We don’t like people who challenge us. Can we find something useful in their rebuke?
How about listening to God’s Word?
“Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge, for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips. That your trust may be in the Lord, I have made them known to you today, even to you.” (Prov. 22:17-19)
Do we hear the words of God?
Do we hear His voice?
Do we obey Him when we hear Him?
Where is God?
Do you find His presence in your life?
Elijah was afraid after a major victory over Jezebel’s false gods. Jezebel threatened Elijah. Elijah escaped and went to a cave. God’s angel found him and fed him. Then he said go out and listen to God.
Let me read this passage:
“And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 King 19:11-13)
Let me tell you from my experience with God; God talks to us in different ways. Silence is a good discipline in order to listen to God. There was thunder, and earthquake, but God’s voice came in a small whisper.
His Word is the best. His Word is alpha and omega. Watch out from the words you use and the words you hear. Learn the discipline of silence, and the wisdom of talking at the right time with the right attitude.
Today God is talking to you. Be receptive!
Rev. Nerses Balabanian,
Calvary Armenian Congregational Church, San Francisco
- Christian Social Network
Monday, October 31, 2011
1 Kings 19:1-13
Voice of Van Interview with Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian on the Occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Independence of Armenia and the Status of the Armenian Evangelical Church in Armenia
Rev. Paul Haidostian
President of Haigazian University
Voice of Van
Subject: 20th Anniversary of the Independence of Armenia and the Status of the Armenian Evangelical Church in Armenia
Thursday, September 29
You can listen to the interview by going to: http://www.divshare.com/flash/playlist?myId=15914106-2e9
On Sunday, September 18 - the tenth worship service, for the summer of year 2011, was held in Mrouj Church. The Chanitz youth of the Emmanuel Church participated in the service. Mr. Serop Ohanian, chairman of the Emmanuel Chanitz, gave the sermon. Ms. Ani Baboghlanian, a member of Elders' Committee of the Emmanuel Church, led the worship. After the service, the church had fellowship and reception.
The youth then went to have lunch in a nearby restaurant.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Click on the image to read the article
Welcome to the second issue of the Bashde Newsletter.
Click on the image to view the newsletter.
On Sunday, October 9, it was “Harvest Day”, in Anjar, in the Armenian Evangelical Church.
Badveli Sebouh Terzian, gave the sermon, about sharing with those less fortunate and needy.
Afterwards “KAHL” senior citizens had lunch in the Chanitz Room.
On Friday, 16 September 2011, in Haigazian University, in the media center, the Lebanese Education Council of the Armenian Evangelical Schools organized a workshop about work etiquette led by Ms. Sonia Sabbah.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
1 Samuel 20:35-43
An Archery lesson: David becomes a man (35-43)
David and Jonathan agreed previously about a secret sign for communication. The sign had to do with archery. The narrator describes it best:
“I will shoot three arrows to the side, as though I shot at a target. And behold, I will send the youth, saying, 'Go, find the arrows.' If I specifically say to the youth, 'Behold, the arrows are on this side of you, get them,' then come; for there is safety for you and no harm, as the LORD lives. But if I say to the youth, 'Behold, the arrows are beyond you,' go, for the LORD has sent you away…” (18-23)
In Hebrew the verb to shoot and the verb to teach are the same (yara). The noun form of it is the famous word Torah, (the first five books of the bible). For the Hebrews, teaching is not just a random act; it is “shooting” the arrows to the target, penetrating deep inside. Teaching should have direction. Jonathan plays a major role to help David to learn and grow and become a man.
Jonathan did exactly what it was agreed upon (35-43)
Jonathan shot the arrows as David was hiding and listening. Then Jonathan talked to the youth (in reality to David) and said,
“Is not the arrow beyond you?” And Jonathan called after the boy, “Hurry! Be quick! Do not stay!” (37b-38)
How difficult was it for Jonathan to say to his best friend “Hurry up, go, go quickly. Do not come back. Go to the wilderness. Go and hide. I am shooting the arrows, I am teaching you, telling you, guiding you…go, go do not look back.”
He appeared to be shouting to the young boy, but he is actually talking to David. He is saying farewell to David and welcoming the arrival of maturity, of manhood.(both are maturing)
Let the Lord be with both of us. They cried and kissed each other. And they departed from each other in God’s peace and presence.
What can we learn?
1. Maturity demands loyalty
Both David and Jonathan did not compromise their faith in God and their commitment to each other. This is maturity.
• Christ taught us to be loyal to the Christ who was crucified for our sins.
• Each of us should carry the cross and follow Him.
• Our faith is tested daily. Temptations are surrounding us. Only when we have faith in Christ we can face them. Only when Christ is our Lord and King we can learn to be loyal to each other and to God.
-This last week I found in you maturity in facing crises. Yes we went through the crisis of fighting against cancer. Some of you were prayer warriors. Some of you reached out to the practical needs of the family. Some of you called me and said they were available. This is loyalty to Christ and to each other. Some think that our church is not spiritual enough. They leave us and go to other churches. I hope they make a commitment to Christ and also show loyalty to the “church family” wherever they are.
Attending church is not just receiving teachings, it is becoming part of the body of Christ. I believe in loyalty in our relationships. Jonathan and David taught us that.
2. Maturity means truth before peace.
Jonathan stood up for the truth even against his own father.
David stood up for the truth and did not compromise in choosing the easy way out. He did quit nor became a slave of Saul.
Of course peaceful relationships are commendable. Yet, when truth is sacrificed and not revealed, the “peaceful” relationships are not reliable; they are fake.
James says: “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable.” (James 3:17)
In Armenian it says: Holy, Honest, true, pure…..
First truth then peace; we like the other way around.
Even Jesus said:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword….Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,” (Matthew 10:34)
Your relationships will not always be smooth. Jonathan’s relationship with his father did not go in peace. Truth was more important than unreliable peace.
Watch out here, we should be careful how we speak truth:
“speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him …” (Eph 4:15)
Let me add here, for me the ultimate truth is Jesus Christ, when we have him in our lives, peace that God can give only through Him will be in us.
Both David and Jonathan learned to be mature and they faced truth with courage.
3. Maturity means you allow the “beloved” to go
How tough was it for Jonathan to allow his best friend to go.
How tough was it for David to say good bye to his friend. He wept.
I have been in the ministry for 25 years. I have many pictures of brothers and sisters from different places of the world. It was very difficult to say good bye to them. We learned to be men when we allowed each other go to different ministries.
4. Maturity means finding God in our lives
What were their final words to each other?
“Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.’”(42)
“Finding God, seeking His face, seeking His presence, dwelling in His house” those were the words David learned and wrote. He went to the wilderness. What is in wilderness?
Nothing, it is desert. But right there the Lord was with him.
Rev. Nerses Balabanian,
Calvary Armenian Congregational Church, San Francisco
Human Development can be measured in economic terms but this raises important questions – who provided the data and what is being measured? More significantly, what is not being measured?
Dean Fadi Asrawi of Haigazian University’s Faculty of Business Administration and Cyra and Donald Goertzen of HU’s Center for Economic Justice (formal launching set for later this academic year) attended the annual conference of the Human Development and Capabilities Association in the Hague, the Netherland, September 5-9.
One of the characteristics of the Capabilities Approach (CA) to human development is that it measures the “freedoms” that people may exercise in any given society while recognizing that the freedoms that might be valued will vary from one individual to another.
“Considered radical or even eccentric a few decades ago, CA has become one of the dominant approaches to measuring human development,” says Donald Goertzen of the Center for Economic Justice. “It is favored by most development nongovernmental organizations and is one of the categories that even very powerful institutions such as the World Bank will use to determine the impact of the projects it funds. There is a general consensus that Gross Domestic Product and other more traditional indices simply don’t provide a very accurate picture of what is going on in a particular community or society.”
Two of the recognized pioneers of the CA approach are Martha Nussbaum and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen. The latter received the Nobel Prize Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998 for his contributions to Welfare Economics and Social Choice Theory. Nussbaum was one of the conference speakers and Sen was the official respondent to keynote speaker Tony Atkinson who spoke at the conference opening the evening of September 5.
The trio from Haigazian attended numerous presentations and panel discussions during the three-day event, taking in some together and some separately, depending on individual interest.
Notable presentations included one by a panel from the United Nations Development Program on the occasion of the release of its annual Human Development Report. A respondent noted from the report that there continues to be widespread lack of awareness about the challenges posed by climate change and governments – which generally are aware of the climate change threat – are painfully slow to act.
Somewhat unusual was a report at the end of the conference by a panel of World Bank researchers on the “middle class.” While “the poor” have been the subjects of millions of reports since the U.N.’s founding sixty years ago, the middle class has rarely been the subjects of research. It was suggested that the push for democratization and social change most typically comes from the middle class.
Most of the presentations were given by graduate students in development studies and other fields, while some were made by development practitioners and representatives of multilateral agencies.
“This was a unique opportunity to meet people who are really giants in their fields,” Dean Asrawi noted. “We should consider presenting at next year’s meeting.” The conference meets annually and next year it is set for Jakarta, Indonesia.
Another aspect of Capabilities Approach is that it is not a justice theory and it eschews any grand theory of justice. Rather, it emphasizes incremental approaches to increasing human freedom. Sen noted in his response to Atkinson that if a person is assured by his or her government of basic health care, he or she will be free to make a different set of life choices.
In this respect, a CA approach might be particularly appropriate to a discussion of economic justice in a country such as Lebanon where people’s expectation of government is not high, Goertzen suggests. Rather than fretting too much about what government fails to do, we can consider the smaller approaches that might make government and other stakeholders more responsive.
Funding for Asrawi and the Goertzens to attend the conference was provided by the Mennonite Central Committee’s small grant facility. The MCC is a partner with Haigazian University in the development of the Center for Economic Justice.
Հայկազեան Համալսարան Դասախօսութիւն “ Հայաստանի Նոր Ծրագիր Վառելանիւթի Աղբիւրներու, ի դեմ Ապագայ Լուրջ Իրադարձութիւններու”
Դասախօս՝ Դոկտ. Քնել Դուրեան
Ուրբաթ, 21 Հոկտեմբեր, 2011 Երեկոյեան ժամը 7-ին
Հայկազեան Համալսարանի հանդիսասրահ
During the Summer, we had the joy to meet and have fellowship with friends who gave the Armenian Evangelical Emmanuel Church a visit.
Rev. Hrag Karagoezian and his wife Fabia had fellowship with the youth and members of the church, who have been Chanitz members with each other.
Mr. Paul Siwajian also visited the church and participated in the Chanitz Summer Camp that took place in Kchag, the Summer Camp Center. Mr. Paul also shared his testimony with the church.
Youth and members of the Emmanuel Church in a group photo with Rev. Hrag and Fabia Karagoezian, Mr. Paul Siwajian, and Mr. Hovhanness Hovsepian (a NEST student from Armenia), who preached, as well as members from sister churches.
Sunday, October 09, 2011
Click on the image to read the sermon
ՎԵՐ. ՅՈՎՀԱՆՆԷՍ ՍՎԱՃԵԱՆ
Official Launch of the Haigazian University Press
Booksigning Ceremony of “Towards Golgotha”, The Memoirs of Hagop Arsenian, a Genocide Survivor, by Dr. Arda Arsenian Ekmekji
On Friday Sept 9, 2011, in the beautiful courtyard of its New Heritage Building, Haigazian University launched its newly established Haigazian University Press, amongst the presence of religious leaders, members of parliament, government officials, University Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, and a very big crowd of audience. On this special occasion, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Arda Arsenian Ekmekji signed her book “Towards Golgotha”, the first book published under Haigazian University Press.
The ceremony opened with the welcoming words of the University’s Public Relations Director, Mira Yardemian, who considered this event as a proud culmination of the University’s 55th Anniversary events and series of conferences.
Keynote speaker, former Minister of Information and Culture, Dr. Tarek Mitri brought forward his reflections on the book. Mitri considered “Towards Golgotha” a journey into a century of memoirs of a genocide survivor, and the collective memoirs of a whole nation. He said that the book is more than a simple visit to a museum, as it is rich in memories, feelings and emotions. “It instills pride, strength and challenge in the psyche of the new Armenian generation,” Mitri noted.
After a short musical interlude, “Hoy Nazan” by Gomidas, beautifully played by the string trio, with Shushan Artinian on the cello and Garin Haidostian and Meghry Baghdoyan on violins, next to speak was University President, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian.
In his congratulatory speech, Haidostian considered that “Life is a story …, story of families, such as in today’s case, the story of the Arsenian family.” He noted that all memoirs of genocide survivors or stories of the Armenian genocide are considered as resurrection, in the Armenian collective conscience. He considered that “Towards Golgotha”, is an additional book of history, tackling universal issues such as resurrection, truth, justice and search for life.
In her address, Editor of the book, Dr. Arda Arsenian Ekmekji, the granddaughter of Hagop Arsenian, warmly thanked all those who helped her make this book become a reality, and dedicated the work to the fourth generation of the Arsenain family. After reading some moving excerpts from the book, and listening to the voice recording of Noubar Arsenian, Ekmekji then proceeded to give her audience a brief glimpse into the content of the book; The first part narrates the early life of Hagop Arsenian in the suburbs of Constantinople and then the eventual deportation of his whole family all the way to Aleppo, Syria.The second part describes the Arsenian’s family life in Palestine from 1919 until 1940 especially in Jerusalem and Gaza, where Hagop Arsenian practices as a pharmacist. It is worth noting that Dr. Ekmekji has translated the whole manuscript of her grandfather into English with historical annotations and references.
The program ended with a book signing and reception in the Mehaguian courtyard.
Public Relations Director
On September 17 the RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan met with the delegation of the Armenian Missionary Association of America, headed by the Executive Director Levon Filian.
The delegation also consisted of the association's representative of Armenia and the representative of Armenia in the Armenian Evangelical Worldwide Council, Rev. Rene Levonian, the Association representative and the deputy manager Harout Nersessian, UAF (United Armenian fund) - Vice President Joseph Stein and others.
During the meeting, Minister Hakobyan, reinstating the tasks and goals of the ministry, especially highlighted the realization of the preservation of the Diaspora in full capacity and purpose.
In his part, Mr. Filian presented the future plans of the association and expressed willingness to cooperate for the development and empowerment of the motherland.
On Friday, August 12 - the Chanitz committee of the Armenian Evangelical Emmanuel Church organized a sujukh night. The committee had planned to invite the veterans of Chanitz to play basketball and then have fellowship with each other.
After the event, some of the youth went to Eco Juice and continued their fellowship there.