Thursday, 25 March 2010

The Bible Is Serious about Humor....

The Bible Is Serious about Humor

"Does the Bible have any humor in it?"
The overall plot of the Bible is a U-shaped comic plot. The action begins with a perfect world inhabited by perfect people. It descends into the misery of fallen history and ends with a new world of total happiness and the conquest of evil.
Driscoll also highlights examples of situational comedy (e.g., the story of Jacob and Laban in Genesis 27-29), scatological humor (e.g., Ezekiel 4:12), sarcasm (e.g., Job 38), name calling (e.g., Proverbs 6:6-9; 19:13). The coup de grâce for Driscoll's (or any theological) argument is, of course, Jesus. He used humorous exaggeration (e.g., the log vs. the speck in the eye, the camel through the eye of the needle), ridicule (e.g., how religious people pray, fast and tithe) and some were offended (Matthew 15:12).
So why should we be humorous. Driscoll concludes by saying because:*
Jesus did it.*
Humor defeats religion.*
People take themselves too seriously, and God too lightly.*
Some things are a joke and if you treat them seriously it gives them credence you don't want to give them.*
Just because they are laughing doesn't mean they aren't grieving (Proverbs 14:13).*
It makes us spiritually strong (Nehemiah 8:10).*
It heightens all our other passions.*
It is missiological (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
Are there any limits then to humor? Driscoll says there are, such as:*
Don't mock God.*
Don't mock everyone.*
Don't mock all the time
Keep looking for the line.* Laugh at yourself.*
Know who to mock.*
Know when to mock.
In general, laughing at ourselves or helping someone laugh at themselves is actually doing them a spiritual service because it nurtures our humility and punctures our arrogance. At the same time it is not always appropriate. But those are exceptions to the rule: Be funny.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Thank You, Friend

Thank you, friend, for all the things
That mean so much to me--
For concern and understanding
You give abundantly.
Thanks for listening with your heart;
For cheering me when I'm blue;
For bringing out the best in me;
And just for being you. 
Thanks for in-depth conversation
That stimulates my brain;
For silly times we laugh out loud;
For things I can't explain.
For looking past my flaws and faults;
For all the time you spend;
For all the kind things that you do,
Thank you; thank you, friend.

Monday, 8 March 2010

The Ancient One

The Ancient One says

As the rain hides the stars,
as the autumn mist
hides the hills,
as the clouds veil
the blue of the sky, so
the dark happenings of my lot
hide the shining of thy face from me.
Yet, if I may hold thy hand in the darkness,
it is enough, since I know,
that though I may stumble in my going,
Thou dost not fall.

traditional - Scottish gaelic

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Celebrating a milestone

It is celebration time for Malayalam novel and the writer Perumpadavam Sreedharan. His masterpiece, Oru Sankeerthanam Pole, has been creating a record in Malayalam literature. This widely read work has found a place in publishing history, with over a lakh copies sold and the 27th edition being brought out.
The novel is about the trauma and compulsions that the Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky had gone through while giving life to his novel The Gambler.
Dostoevsky "suffered from an acute gambling compulsion as well as its consequences." It has also been said that The Gambler was written to fulfil an agreement with a publisher, who threatened to claim the copyrights to all Dostoevsky's writings if the novel is not submitted on time.
"Though Khasakinte Ithihasam, a novel by O.V. Vijayan, and Ramanan, the poem by Changampuzha Krishna Pillai, have sold over one lakh copies, Oru Sankeertanam Pole could cross that mark in just 12 years, which is a record," says Asramam Bhasi, publisher of the novel. The emotional bondage with the novel and novelist also prompted Mr. Bhasi to christen his publishing house and bookstall Sankeertanam Books.
"We are organising a celebration to make the sale of one-lakh copies of the novel in six districts of the State, and the 27th edition of the novel will be released in Kochi," Mr. Bhasi says.


Malayalam alphabet    Malayalam


Malayalam first appeared in writing in the vazhappalli inscription which dates from about 830 AD. In the early thirteenth century the Malayalam script began to develop from a script known as vattezhuthu (round writing), a descendant of the Brahmi script.
As a result of the difficulties of printing Malayalam, a simplified or reformed version of the script was introduced during the 1970s and 1980s. The main change involved writing consonants and diacritics separately rather than as complex characters. These changes are not applied consistently applied so the modern script is often mixture of traditional and simplified characteres
Malayalam is also regularly written with a version of the Arabic script by Muslims in Singapore and Malaysia, and occasionally by Muslims in Kerala.

Notable features

  • This is a syllabic alphabet in which all consonants have an inherent vowel. Diacritics, which can appear above, below, before or after the consonant they belong to, are used to change the inherent vowel.
  • When they appear the the beginning of a syllable, vowels are written as independent letters.
  • When certain consonants occur together, special conjunct symbols are used which combine the essential parts of each letter.

Used to write:

Malayalam, a Dravidian language with about 35 million speakers. It is spoken mainly in the south west of India, particularly in Kerala, the Laccadive Islands and neighboring states, and also in Bahrain, Fiji, Israel, Malaysia, Qatar, Singapore, UAE and the UK.

Malayalam alphabet

Vowels (svaram)

Malayalam vowels

Vowel diacritics with ka

Malayalam vowel diacritics ka


When combined with vowel diacritics some consonants change shape. This doesn't happen in the simplified version of the script (in blue)

Consonants (vyanjanam)

Malayalam consonants

A selection of conjunct consonants

Malayalam conjunct consonants


Malayalam numerals
The simplified versions are shown in blue.

Sample text

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 


Manuṣyarellāvarum tulyāvakāśan̄n̄aḷōṭum antassōṭum svātantryattōtumkūṭi janiccavarāṇ. Anyōnyam bhrātrubāvattoṭe perumāṛuvānāṇa manuṣyannu vivēkabuddhiyum manaṣṣākṣiyum siddhamāyirikkunnat.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Longer sample text (Tower of Babel)


Information Malayalam
Online Malayalam lessons
Online Malayalam dictionaries
Free Malayalam fonts
The Bible in Malayalam (Unicode)
Malayalam Manorama Newspaper
Online Malayalam transliterator