Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Books Updated with essay on Parable of Talents and leading a life pleasing to God

I arranged some books in a corner of our living room. I love books a lot. I grew up in a house almost overflowing with books because my dad adores books. My grandfather also loved books. My grandfather used to give books as gifts to people. I love reading a lot too. If I get a good book I can forget all my chores and get lost in the pages of a book. It is easy for me to loose track of time just because I am so immersed in the book.
My absolute favorite book is the Bible. I cannot live without my Bible nor can I go anywhere without it. I always keep my Bible with me in my hand bag. My second most absolute favorite book is the novels of Jane Austen. I have read Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Emma, Mansfield Park and Persuasion many many times. My personal favorites are Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park. I also like Northanger Abbey and Emma. I have also watched the BBC movies based off on those novels and also two Hollywood versions.
When my kids were in elementary school I used to take them to the library every Saturday and come back with a huge pile of books which they would read through the week. Also, we would buy for our kids lots of books when the Scholastic Book Fair took place in their school. Every time we took them to Barnes and Noble we told them they could pick a book of their choice, approved by us. And my kids participated and diligently completed all activities in the Iowa City Public Library's Summer reading program every single year when they were in elementary school. Today both of them love to read. According to my dad books are a benediction. What do you think? I think a well read person can have a good conversation with you. According to Jane Austen, "My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company." May God bless you! And I hope you have a wonderful day! The Parable of Talents and leading a life pleasing to God One of the stories in the Bible that I really like is the parable of Talents. Here is the story from the Gospel of Matthew. "For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 25: 14-30 Jesus said this parable to His disciples. Jesus likens our heavenly Father to the man going on a journey and compares us to the servants who are entrusted with talents. If we are servants of Jesus we each have a talent. It could be the talent to draw, bake, do computer programming, sing or play a sport. Maybe it is a concern for eating healthy and exercising well. Our talents are also our responsibilities. So if we have a job that we are good at, it is our talent and our responsibility. I think being a homemaker and taking care of a family is a talent and a responsibility because doing this job well requires many talents such as baking, cooking, sewing, budgeting, organizing and decorating. Without 100% focus and dedication we cannot do a good job with what has been entrusted to us. No matter what our talents are Our heavenly Father expects us to excel in it, by growing and developing it. We will be considered faithful only if we focus our talents and energies and time on trying to become excellent at our talent. It requires focus and determination and a willingness to walk away from things that do not help us develop our talent in the purest possible way. For example we can spend our time on watching a worthless TV show or practice a talent God has given us. We can spend time on the phone gossiping about another person instead of making a gourmet meal for our family. When I was a child, my dad strictly monitored the amount of TV I could watch, although my dad is very loving and kind toward myself and my brothers. My dad enforced the discipline of working hard at my academics and on whatever I expressed interest in. Once I won a running contest in my school in fourth grade. I was selected to participate in a district training program for running for girls by the government of Kerala. I had to participate in the training every morning by reaching the field at 6 or 6.30. My dad faithfully took me there every morning and watched me run. If I expressed an interest in painting my Dad would encourage me in that area. Every Friday my dad would take me to the club called Toastmasters club where I would be asked a question about what was happening in my country or in the world and asked to stand up and speak in front of people in that room for a few minutes. That meant that I had to read the newspaper and understand the issues facing my country and the world. When I was a kid, I truly disliked this because I did not enjoy reading the newspaper or standing in front of people and speaking. But today when I look back, on these incidents in my life, I feel that because my dad forced me not to follow frivolous things and helped me focus on pure things such as developing my talents during a period of time in my life when I felt the world was caving in on me, I could just focus on developing my talents in the purest possible way and grow and develop it. The Bible tells us that if we train our children in the way they should go, when they are grown they will not depart from it. When I was a kid I was raised to focus on being excellent at my talents. I did not depart from my dad's teaching of pure focus on my talents. My dad told me the importance of dedication and focus. We cannot be focused on becoming excellent unless we have good friends who are also focused on noble things. My dad closely monitored my friendships and made sure my friends had good character and good and pure goals in life. I could not just hang out with friends and watch movies or shop all day. This is also very biblical because the Bible does say that evil company corrupts good character. I love this parable of talents. I think there is much to learn from this parable both in parenting and in leading a life that pleases God.

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