Category Archives: religion

An APPLE a day

I love alternate indices. RAFI which can be invested through PowerShares is probably my favourite investable index. The other index I really like is the Christmas Price Index. I had written a post on the following topics

  1. Religion-based Indices
  2. Condoms and Chocolates
  3. Analysis Test Series England vs. South Africa

I am still in the process of tweaking my cricket index. The common assumption in all this is my strong belief that the methodology used to measure certain indices is not completely accurate and some like the  ICC cricket ranking is completely wrong. One decision I really liked was a recommendation to buy the shares of Apple when the news that Steve Jobs had cancer broke out. Yes, I did feel sad that Steve Jobs had cancer but I absolutely was furious at the people who thought that Apple would collapse because Steve Jobs would no longer be involved and would die. Today I feel the same way about the negative ratings given by analysts about Apple. The good thing though is that the fall in the share price of Apple is a good opportunity to buy it. Apple is an innovative company and will continue to do so. Everyone initially predicted that the cost of the iPhone X would under perform the iPhone 8 and would eat into the profits of Apple. Analysts more often than not get their calls wrong. Does it really matter if a company distributes less dividend than analysts expected? The important thing is that Apple is a good company. I read an interesting astrological article on the numerology analysis of certain tech companies. I am not a great believer in astrology or horoscopes. I do consider that there is a certain amount of science in numbers. It does not matter whether it appears as numerology or the significance of numbers in various religious texts. This post on the thirteen tribes of Israel is extremely good. There is a logic in Shmita. Apple will always be an attractive company to buy into. Buying it when the share price is down is a bigger bonus.

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Filed under Apple, Business, Christianity, Cricket, ETF, Healthcare, Indices, Investments, Islam, Leaders, Market Outlook, Market Timing, religion, Test matches

Religion-based​ Indices

(Originally posted on 27th April 2010)

I wonder if it is a coincidence that I am writing another post related to religion. Any cataclysmic event will have an effect on a person’s psyche. On the surface, I do not think I have become more religious. However, there may have been a subconscious change.
My fascination with indices and especially those that have an alternate view should be apparent by now. So the launch of Europe’s first Christian Equity Index has caught my eye.
First, there must be a legitimate reason for launching an index. The reason for this is that there is an apparent demand by investors for so-called ethical stocks. First, the companies are drawn from the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Second, they should derive their revenues from sources that are not against the values of Christianity as defined by a committee are only included.
Therein lies the first problem. The companies will be based on the interpretation of Christianity as set by people. Companies that have birth control are not included. This is an obvious reflection of the fact that members of the Vatican are present in the committee. Secondly, I refuse to believe that each and every company that will be listed there has not made any profit from non-Christian principled companies.
Thirdly is there a need for such an index? Shariah indices, for the most part, should act similar and contain the same underlying as a Christian index. Off the top of my head, I would say alcohol companies and the way interest is treated would differ.
I have stated earlier that the futures or stock market can reflect how well the country may perform in sports. Going by this philosophy then if this Christian index outperforms the European index and a shariah index then does that mean that Christian values are better than those of a secular world or Islam?
According to me, actions do not mean anything. What matters are your beliefs? In my mind, a Christian company is one that is led by people who have accepted Christ as their personal Saviour.  If Christians are looking to invest in ethical companies then this should be the starting point. Everything else will flow.

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Filed under Christianity, Indices, Investments, Islam, Market Outlook, religion

2018

2017 was a year filled with death and disappointments. I possibly kept two of the resolutions that I had set forth. I am possibly going to approach this year slightly differently. Our vicar mentioned that the Ten Commandments and sermon on the mount can essentially be broken down into the following

1) Relationship with God.

2) Relationship with family.

3) Relationship with society.

I will do my best to be true to these. I do not know how successful I will be. I do hope that if I work on these areas then I will grow as a person. I strongly believe that the only sign of life is change. Last year felt very stagnant. Stagnation is the first sign of death. I do not want to die as yet as I know that I have not fulfilled the purpose why God placed me on the earth. I do have to clean up the dirt of 2017 before it festers into malaria ridden mosquitoes. I do believe I can achieve this through the support of my family and my church. 2017 will probably be a watershed year that will have a lasting impact on my remaining life. I do hope that it will be a nadir where I can rise like a phoenix. The sermon and theme song from Chariots of Fire are running through my head. Isaiah chapter 40 seems to be the passage for me this year just as Acts chapter 2 and Psalms 69 were mine for the last year.

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Filed under church, Isaiah, Psalms, religion, Writing

Psalms 1

I want to start a project of writing Psalms. This is my first attempt. I would love to get some thoughts and comments on this

I bury my head in my hands to quell tears from my eyes.
They flow like a river starting at its very source.
The priests they dress in their mighty finery.
The sadducees mock me aplenty.

When will you hear my cry?
When will my enemies be slain?
Protect me my merciful God.
Save me from those who seek me harm.

May they perish into darkness,
May their souls wander between worlds.
May their children know no peace,
May their childrens children walk baren in the desert.

Save me my Lord.
Save your humble servant.
I prostrate myself before thee.
For only you are holy.

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Filed under Christianity, Poetry, Prayer, Psalms, religion

Intercession

Lately I have been trying to reconcile various aspects of my faith. I have been following two different daily readings and prayers. I have found that one focuses more on the personal and the other on the community of Christians. We had a prayer 24+ in our church. We had 30 hours of continuous prayer. That provided a nice impetus for me to start praying daily. I have come to realise the benefits of prayer. It calms me. The more I pray the more I realise that I end up praying for others more than I do for myself.

I have come to realise that it is better to be a good Christian than a good follower of a denomination. To become a Christian you have to believe that you have sinned and Christ died to save you from your sins. You also should be baptised at some point in your life based on your conviction. Everything else is doctrinal or theological beliefs.

In this world there are only four people that I would ask to pray. I believe that they pray in sincerity. They pray faithfully. They have the gift of prayer. I believe that through their prayers God will do what is best for me even if it means that my prayers are not answered in the way that I hoped. They are special people. I have learnt a lot from their life. Each one of them have a different method and style of praying.

I have found myself asking them to pray for me. The more I contemplated and the more I prayed the more I found that I felt comfortable in praying Novenas. The basis of my faith is rock solid. Anything above that is doctrinal and theological. To me there is no difference in asking a friend of mine to pray for me and going to him and giving him a gift and saying a Novena and then going to a church dedicated to that saint and giving an offertory. The only sign of life is change. I like examining my beliefs from time to time. It is only then that I can know where I stand in my faith.

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Filed under Christianity, church, Jesus Christ, Prayer, religion

Masks

I acted in a play when I was in university. One of the props I used was a copper metal sheet which was shaped into a face. My director told me that my character used it to defend himself when he felt vulnerable. He used it to assert his authority. Most importantly the mask was to be a natural extension of his hand. The movement always had to be fluid like a stream of clean water no matter if the action I had to do was sudden or slow.
What are the masks that we wear to hide what is really going on? Is it a stoic face or a beautiful smile? We musicians love to hide behind our instruments and our microphones. Is it work or volunteering time whether at church or at a charity. Pastor Simon mentioned in his sermon that Paul said that the mind is the most important organ for it is by the transformation of our minds that our lives will change. If the mind is the most important part of the body and the face as well as the eyes are windows to the mind then what would happen if we use masks to hide them. We do not allow anyone a glimpse into our beautiful unique minds. We do not allow people to truly look at our lives. We all our members of one body. If we cover our face then how will the other parts of the body know that something is wrong? How will they be able to help you improve yourself? At the same time how can you see clearly if you wear a mask?
Why do we need masks when we are given the full armour of God. Most importantly we have been given the helmet of salvation. In all probability the coolus helmet was used when Ephesians was written. The coolus was simple but effective. It protected the head, the back of the neck and had protection for the ears. The soldier did not have anything that would obstruct his view. His face could clearly be seen by anyone who saw him. If there was something wrong with the armour of the soldier then you had a minimum of 80 people who could help him. There were 80 people from whom you could learn things. Are we ready to drop our masks so that we can help ourselves by allowing others to help us? Are we ready to wear the whole armour of God? If we are not then why so? Getting rid of masks that we have plastered all over our face will not be easy. I strongly believe that God will give us the right tools to get rid of it. Once we do that we will be better off.

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Hope

One of the most important skills to have is separating the music from the noise. There is no such thing as too much information. However it is extremely important to sieve the chaff. For the past few years I have been fascinated by the concept of shemitah.  In Investment we have generally seen cycles about every eight years. The possibility that the probability that the cycle being every seven years with a Jubilee the year after seven cycles of seven is very high.

There was a man preaching near a tube station. I do not doubt his intention in preaching the gospel. I did question his message though. He was preaching a message of fear. Essentially he was saying that people should accept Christ and become Christians because something huge and possibly bad will happen because it is the year of the Jubilee. Christianity is not a religion of fear. It is a religion of love. To quote The Most Reverend Justin Welby; “Let’s get together in calling out to God, in prayer, in whatever way we like, wherever we are that our often lukewarm or cold hearts are set on fire with love for Jesus, that He is the answer to the fears, the despairs of all around.”  I strongly believe that a clear vision such as this is what made the “Thy Kingdom Come” a successful event.

The fear of losing money does not make a successful portfolio. Having a clear vision and being steadfast no matter what happens is very important. It has to be nurtured and loved. The reward of seeing a young sapling rise to become a beautiful tree is very satisfying.

I do not know when the next market crash will occur. I do not know whether there will be a significant event in the world that is caused by the Shemitah. However this I do know. We are living in the present and must plan for the future. If this is done with discipline then we will be successful.

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Filed under church, Investments, religion