Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Non-Dogmatic Dogma

I was thinking…

“Most Americans have a non-dogmatic approach when it comes to interpreting the tenets of their own religion,” noted a national poll (June 23, 2008).

That’s a great statement on people’s dogmatism but not a commentary on religious claims. If a religion claims to serve the only way to salvation, it doesn’t matter if followers hold to that claim dogmatically or non-dogmatically. It just shows that the believers are inconsistent with their religion.


Blinded by truth, originally uploaded by lorrainemd.

And the matter of believer’s dogmatism does not change, even if a religion does not claim to be the only way to salvation. For even this religious claim can be held dogmatically—“I firmly believe there is no one way to salvation,” or non-dogmatically, “I do not firmly believe there is no one way to salvation.”

If the former is right, then that very conviction contradicts itself: a One-Way belief that there is no one way to salvation. If the latter, this agnostic believer is simply affirming what he was originally against: the firm belief there is one way to salvation.


So you may be kind of stuck in your non-dogmatic dogma, even while you are against bull-dogmatic dogma. It’s better all round, philosophically and relationally, to hold on to truth in humble love.

What do you think?

Warm Regards

RAMESH RICHARD

Thursday, October 2, 2008

From Curse to Cure

Spiritual Truths from Contemporary Life to Build You Up

I was thinking…

A storied hero of my youth died at nearly 100 years of age. Dr. Michael Debakey—the father of modern cardiovascular surgery, pioneered medical techniques that possibly earned him “the greatest surgeon ever” title. His legacy comes from 60,000 operations, award winning research, and even establishing an entire hospital system!


A most interesting turn in his life added to his legendary status. At 97, he submitted to heart surgery—his own expertise—to other specialists so they could repair a torn aorta in his heart by using one of his own innovations! His life was preserved. His own heart cure, cured his heart. Soon recovering he returned to active medical work.1 Wow!

Only one other storyline runs deeper than that. Our spiritually defective hearts brought on God’s curse of human sin with the resulting punishment of death. And yet God submits to his own curse by sending his one and only Son to become a human being. This unique Son of God undergoes the curse of our death and raises himself from the dead, so we can be cured from God’s very own curse. God takes on His own curse, so we can be cured, in instant recovery for ever.

Let me know if you’d like to hear more details of this deeper storyline.



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Ramesh Richard

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Global Financial Crisis: Theology for History

I was thinking

Whole nations, at least the entire world of finance and investment, are presently watching the unraveling of money—the “only critical ingredient of life!” No one knows what to do. Politicians are acting without integrity—but that is not new. Large banks are having to assert their liquidity, and the louder the assertions, the harder it is to believe them!


No one wants to acknowledge that we have reached the limits of intellectual ability. We constantly run to history to guide us. And yet, the valuable lessons of history seem to be irrelevant to an entirely new hyper-global reality.

While history can give counsel for the present, the past was never adequate to control present decisions. Earlier circumstances were unique, just like today’s conditions are unusual.

God places socio-political-economic history at His feet. Nations and leaders (the best and most powerful) seek to shed His authority (Psalm 2:2), but that’s a bad move that invites quick judgment. “We should have seen it coming, only I didn’t think it would come so fast,” expressed an investment banking expert. Certainly, like that Psalm notes, “the nations are in tumultuous rage.” Yesterday, a rumor caused panicked hundreds to run to their banks in order to withdraw their money. “Imaginary vanity” consumes the finest financial minds of the world as they deal with a pace of change and depth of complexity never before experienced.

What can humanity do then? They can run to the bank; and the bankers can run to history. Instead, the Psalmist challenges us to run to the Maker of all reality—past, present and future; peoples, times, and places; and throw themselves at His feet in need. If we are wise, we will immediately give homage to the Son; we will “kiss His feet” so that God’s just wrath will be quenched. Indeed there is hope, as the Psalm continues, “Happy will be all who take refuge in Him” (v. 12).

What do you think?

If you are willing to sincerely do homage to God’s Son today, would you contact us? Even if you do not know who God’s Son is, we may just be able to point you to Him.



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Warm Regards

Ramesh Richard

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Other Half

I was thinking…

Technology entrepreneurs, firms, and investors are banding together to bring internet access to 3 billion people—the other half of the world not presently able to connect to this basic and fast source of information. Called the O3B (“Other 3 billion”), the project will make fast fiber internet access networks available where it does not exist or is simply too expensive.

Satellite%2008, originally uploaded by john_dulaney.

An incredible space-placed undertaking drawn from 16 low-earth orbit satellites, the O3B will cover all points, places, and people, from 45 degrees north of the equator to 45 degrees south of it.

Though this project of high-speed, low-cost internet connectivity is not completely altruistic—investors are attracted by technological sophistication and pent-up demand –it is still a worthwhile project.

To me the grand project seems like a classic confluence of “doing well while doing good”—i.e, doing economically well while at the same time doing social good.

I was wondering if an unwritten urge, an unarticulated impulse, an unstated wish stimulates this human project. Perhaps, in this world of human dignity and depravity, there is still a compelling desire to meet people’s rights to access any information even more than an investor’s economic need to turn a large profit.

In fact, humans urgently need and possess a right to some information about God. Your human need and right to information about divine initiatives to eternally rescue you, compels me to send you this message. All, free of cost, without economically profiting from this gesture. For unless you hear, you can’t believe, and unless I share the good news with you, you can’t know. Want to know? Freely and Quickly? You may be in the O3B in a spiritual manner of speaking. Contact me.

What do you think?



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Ramesh Richard

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fear --> A New Headline for Today’s News

Three newspapers I regularly read seem to have copied headlines from each other this last week of September 2008. Key repeated words include: crisis, panic, turmoil, woes, and fears. Recurring phrases in editorials include “day of reckoning,” “uncertain fate,” and “runaway greed.”

Disappointed, originally uploaded by K├Ânrad.

There has not been a global financial crisis like this one in recent memory, especially since the whole world became financially integrated. Some experts are terming the crisis a “financial tsunami,” or a “financial 9/11,” though no losses of life have (yet) been reported with the crunch, squeeze, and downturn. Yes, there have been losses of job, confidence, and pride, but we don’t want to equate them with the huge losses of life, even one life, that physical disasters bring on the human race.

Decisive, quick action by those in responsible authority is needed to assure global human well-feeling. During hard times like these humans don’t feel well. They feel unsafe, uncertain, and unstable. They have to redefine what they believe provides stability in the present and security for the future.

In God’s Word, stabilizing the present and securing the future comes from rightly relating to the only One who stands above all earthly circumstance, across history, geography, and economics. I go to an all-time favorite of God’s people to provide us a new headline.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1) should be super-imposed on disturbing news headlines. God is our shelter and strength, our stability and security in every form of trouble. He is our very present help in peril, and as the future becomes present continues as our present help in tribulation.

If you are not assured of a right relationship with God, please contact us. If you are assured of a right relationship with God, please let us know too. Perhaps, we can connect our readers with each other. We look forward to showing you how you can find hope from a new headline that is just as real as today’s news.



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Ramesh Richard

Monday, September 8, 2008

Pride-Driven

Spiritual Truths from Contemporary Life to Build You Up

I was thinking…

While in Jordan, my articulate, handsome guide pointed to the world’s tallest flagpole adorned with the national flag, one that “could be seen from any point in Amman.” We visitors sensed the pride that this giant flag would evoked among patriots.


Amman, originally uploaded by Trek the World.

In a flurry of flag-pole building activity, several national capitals across the Middle East and Central Asia are presently competing for the world’s tallest flag-pole claim. Indeed, the best-known super-tall, flag-pole builder is busy with clients from all over the region. They are soliciting his services while begging him not to build a taller one for at least one year after a nation breaks the record! 1 Those governments who are willing to hold the record for only a few weeks get a cost discount! And yet all of them try to “keep the record as long as they can…it’s a pride thingAH.”

Here’s what I think about pride-driven projects. Pride is the original and native problem of human existence. Pride is the great anti-God state of mind in sufficiency of the self over God; and an anti-people way of life in superiority of self over others. Pride gets us into great trouble with God and others.

Pride-taken after a project is accomplished is more justifiable than a pride-driven project from its startAH.

What do you think?

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Ramesh Richard


Monday, August 18, 2008

The Olympic Will to Win

Spiritual Truths from Contemporary Life to Build You Up

I was thinking….

Every time the Olympic Games come around, the human heart leaps with ineffable happiness. History and geography coalesce around faster, higher, stronger human beings. We cheer when our own countries do well. We admire those who win from other nations. We marvel at human agility and ability. We sit glued in front of televisions to take it all in—human beings at their finest physical prowess, performing in near mechanical perfection.

On the other hand, we are disappointed when the will to win occasionally overrides a person’s, team’s or nation’s sensibility. Athletes may be encouraged by coach, team-members and even athletic committees to artificially enhance their performance.

If athletes didn’t possess a will to win, they wouldn’t be worth watching. It’s more than a mere wish to win. It’s their will to win that generated the hard work to win over years of training. The will to win must be matched by their work to win, in preparation to win.

However, the will to win at all costs—especially relational and ethical costs—reduces a person to physicalism, even to being regarded as a mechanism.

Aren’t the finest athletes, who get and keep our attention during a record breaking 100 meter dash or 8 gold medals, more than physique or machine? They are really human. But we shall not consider them, and they shall not consider themselves, as gods to be worshipped. Indeed, they are merely human.

What do you think?

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Ramesh Richard


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

SleepWorking

I was thinking…

You’ve heard about sleep-walking, an often harmless medical condition. I recently heard two stories of sleep-working—a very harmful vocational condition. Actually, it was not working very well.

Sleeping Chinese, originally uploaded by baraka meek.

A surgeon fell asleep while performing surgery and was fired by his hospital for this rather inappropriate behavior! The state has also since suspended his medical license. (Article Here)

The US Air Force released reports about three officers who fell asleep while guarding a classified nuclear launch codes device. The Air Force is taking punitive action. (Article Here)

In the former case, the patient is at risk. In the latter case, the public is endangered.



As far as I know, no one is paid to sleep on his job, though the night watchman at our gated apartment in New Delhi was regularly caught napping at night. He too was let go.

The premise for punishing those who go to sleep when they should be awake and at work is simple. The greater your responsibility (especially for other people), the more alert you ought to be in your job. In fact, staying awake is a moral obligation! Sleepwalking may be permissible; sleepworking is unacceptable.

Are you sleepworking? sleeping when you should be alert? Alert about your self? Aware of others? Are you morally awake? Watching over people? Working to help them? Or, has moral sleep gotten the better of you? I think you should awake from your slumbers or fire yourself from your obligations.



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RAMESH RICHARD

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Useful Garbage

Spiritual Truths from Contemporary Life to Build You Up


I was thinking…


Can garbage become useful? Can waste turn a profit? Can what we don’t need generate what do we do need?

It’s happening, with new technology. Much garbage, collected and compressed over the years is slowly turning to fuel that can heat homes and cook meals.

Bio-technology turns a trash burial project into a huge plus for their community. They lay pipes into the garbage which pump in landfill liquid to saturate the trash and make a better food source for naturally occurring organisms. As the organisms feed on the on the organic material in the trash, gas is produced. A second series of pipes extract the gas, send it to a processing plant, where carbon dioxide is separated from methane. Methane gas is the main component of natural gas. Thus, waste becomes useful.

You and I have “wasted-sides” of our lives. Wasted years, wasted work, even wasted sorrows. Some times we have actually thrown away what we thought was not useful to us—especially times of stresses and experiences of suffering.

And yet, God is able to turns waste into power; worthlessness into usefulness; pain into gain. If you’d like to know that God can really perform this miraculous change, you have no recourse than to entrust yourself to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who runs this incredible plan of transformation—changing weakness to strength, scars to stars, life-waste to life power.

What do you think?


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Ramesh Richard

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Majority Religious Belief

Spiritual Truths from Contemporary Life to Build You Up

I was thinking…

“Most Americans agree with the statement that many religions – not just their own – can lead to eternal life. Among those who are affiliated with a religious tradition, seven-in-ten say many religions can lead to eternal life.”

This national poll (released June 23, 2008) on what America believes comforts us in terms of social relationships. Social relationships can easily fray when they are driven by ideologies and demagogues. We must treat each other humbly, and view all religions respectfully. All people are precious. And religions are precious to their followers.

What we must avoid, however, is translating majority opinion to confirm, verify, and substantiate truth, especially salvation truth.

It’s a simple thought: “just because the majority believes so, is it so?” And a good question, since the only person whose opinion really counts in this regard is the One who provides the road to eternal life. And I don’t believe He was consulted in this opinion poll.

And if He wasn’t consulted on the matter of eternal life, should the poll make news headlines? Or take valuable headspace?

What do you think?




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Ramesh Richard

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mountaintop or Valley?

Spiritual Truths from Contemporary Life to Build You Up

I was thinking…

Recently I met Bedouin tribesmen in the arid deserts of the Middle East. Nomadic, they move from location to location with one focus—to find water. Water keeps them alive and going.

He asked me to take a panoramic look at the landscape and asked, “where do you find greenery?”

“In the valleys,” I noted.

“Ah,” he said, “a spiritual lesson.” We are often against God taking us into the valleys. Except in this setting, valleys are the place to find and grow life.

Think about it. If we begin to consider valleys positively, and mountain-tops negatively, then it is better for life to go from valley-to-valley, than from mountain-top to mountain-top. After all, in God’s view of things, valleys are the where the vegetation is found. Do we still only want to stay on the mountain-top to dry up and die?

What do you think?


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Ramesh Richard

Wasted Power

I was thinking…

“Scientists across the world are seeking ways to turn waste heat from motor vehicles into power, to achieve lower carbon dioxide emissions and lower fuel consumption.”

All the best scientists! We are waiting for this and other answers to the huge energy crisis overwhelming our world at the moment. Hopefully, this and other crises will be solved before long, making this dated news.

I’ve got spiritual good news for you. Even though your full spiritual capacity is being wasted at this very moment, God has provided for a spiritual thermoelectric converter to take your wasting life and turn it into a powerful, purposeful life. All your spiritual electrical needs can be met by His Spirit who first converts you to generate His life in you. Then your sinful, polluting carbon dioxide emissions will be lowered. It will take less of your own resources to live your life, because God’s spiritual resources will compensate for your life’s lacks.

What do you think?


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Ramesh Richard

Fighting Spouses

Truths to Build Your Life

Fighting Spouses

I was thinking…

I heard recently of a fist-fight that broke out at a wedding, between newly wed spouses! I am told that they had to sleep in separate rooms on their wedding night.

Indeed, a troubled way to start a wedding. And certainly a terrible way to continue a marriage.

You’ve noticed that the ones closest to us can cause us the greatest pain. We have to find ways to overlook light offenses, the fender-benders of life. However, deeper offenses demand a strategic solution—forgiveness.

We can overlook stuff, but forgiveness ends stuff.

How can we go from being fighting spouses to becoming forgiving spouses? Here’s a hint: it is impossible to give horizontal forgiveness, unless we have received vertical forgiveness.

What do you think?


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Ramesh Richard

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mortality Inequality

I was thinking…

“Mortality inequality” is the phrase used to describe higher rates of death among genders (women and girls compared to men and boys) or socio-economic strata (poorer compared to richer countries), or other longevity factors (medical care, food, and social services).

I recall going to an impoverished country in West Africa, filled with beautiful people, whose male life-span at that time was a meager 29, and female life span at 32. By their standards, I was already living in my bonus years! Fortunately, that country has made significant strides toward lengthening life.


What the phrase is really addressing is “life-span inequality” or “quality of life inequality”. We must do all we can to provide equity of life-span and quality-of life.

However, mortality has never been unequal. The fact of death is always one-to-one. We are all equal at death. Can any liberate us from the curse, the sting, the reality of physical death?

What do you think?



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RAMESH RICHARD