Sunday, December 30, 2012
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Put away all earthly cares, come hear the voice of angels rejoicing, "Peace, Good will toward men."
Go out and proclaim it by helping those who are needy today. Share your love with those who are lost, for ours is a great promise of Hope, not of gloom. Great joy has been fortold to us as read in (Rev. 11:15),the message of the seventh angel. "And there were loud voices in heaven saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" Further in Rev. 21:4 it is given; "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." It could that the anticipation of Christmas rests differently within each one of us. Why settle for nothingness, more of the same, when you have the ability to look a little deeper. John:7:37 "On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. (38) He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." All scriptural passages have been taken from the Orthodox Study Bible
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Sunday, December 9, 2012
(Scripture passages came from the Orthodox Study Bible)
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Monday, October 15, 2012
Friday, October 12, 2012
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Friday, August 17, 2012
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Monday, August 6, 2012
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Friday, July 13, 2012
Monday, July 9, 2012
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Friday, May 4, 2012
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I agree, if there were anytime that we needed sound prophecy, it would be now, as things are surely a mess, worldwide, (as they always have been). The only creditable source that I know of, is the Bible. The bible, which spans thousands of years of wisdom, and is the Word of God.
One of my favorite prophets was King David. In Psalm 89 (90) taken from the Orthodox Study Bible, we learn that God exists outside of time, that a thousand years are like yesterday. (Verses 14-17) teaches us that we should come to Him each and every morning, looking for His return at the Second Coming. He fills us daily with His mercy, joy and enlightenment, and becoming prosperous daily, we will find our strength and hope. We know success in averting spiritual warfare. For He is our help, shelter and refuge. This is where our victory will come from. We do not live in fear. He upholds us with His right hand. We are safe from all calamity, in a world that has always known nothing but, as it is in a fallen state. We must be at the "ready" at all times, seeing God before our face.
On Pascha (Easter) we learn that all has been provided for those who have put on Christ, through Baptism, and that he has given us the Victory through His Resurrection. Christ our Lord is the promised One to King David. (Luke 1:32) "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."
What does this prophetic king, David, have to say to this generation? We find his words in (ACTS 2:22)
"Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourself also know--Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, and have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it."Today, like David, we can be glad. Having celebrated the Resurrection of Christ, as the many who have rejoiced before us, and those who will after us can say. Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.
In other words, there is no such thing as death, to those who believe in Him, and have put on Christ.
In the words of King David, (Acts 2:25) 'I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is at my right hand that I may not be shaken, therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will dwell in hope."The only question left is this: Are you, prepared like the wise virgins?
(Psalm 119:105) "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."Maybe it's time to stop walking in the darkness and put on Christ, who is the only light in life, our only true HOPE, who gives us the promise of everlasting life in Him through faith.
Christ is Risen, Indeed He has Risen. And because He lives, so shall we live!
Thursday, April 5, 2012
One song was written by Lee Greenwood, and it is a "hit" as far as I'm concerned. I gave this some serious thought, and while my opinion is just that, I read some responses that gave me pause. What are people trying to do? Do they think that they can remove God? Perhaps, it offends them to hear the word, God. I thought everyone knows this but, just in case, you will never remove God, He is everywhere present and He fills all things. It doesn't matter that His name is there or not, He still IS There. I'd like to see someone try it, if it were possible, because it is not.
I am sick of the excuses. It is wrong to change someones music, words to a song, or even creative art. We still have our opinions. Censorship is dangerous, as it places us on a slippery slope.
Commonsense tells you not to believe something just because someone says so, or because it is a "popular belief." Are you strong enough to stand up for your own position? If you don't fight for your rights, you will lose them to a "common voice," one you may not like to hear or agree with. Maybe you like to be swayed by the crowd, it is easier sometimes than making the wrong choice. That way, you do not have to be held responsible, if the choice is different, or unpopular.
I don't believe that the majority of people would agree that God should be taken out of the lyrics of Lee Greenwood's song, but only a small amount of cowardly people, who prey on the likes of innocent victims. Who better, than children who have no choice but to follow your sick propaganda.
I've got news for you. God not only is present, but He hears and sees all that you do. I'm sure somehow, that you do not need reminders about that either. What is it that your so afraid of?
Thursday, March 29, 2012
People need not be spoon fed when they are as adults, able to think and reason for themselves, through the gift of discernment.
Many have watched what has transpired on television recently concerning the death of a young man. Some, have rushed to judgement, at the suggestion of wrong-doing coming from an emotional voice, exciting the crowd. People now, "react" right or wrong. Discernment is called for here. What needs to happen is a careful analysis of the facts. Where did the information come from, and who is this person that said it. Misinformation can be deadly, as we learned recently in our own town, as someone thought a comment was intended for a loved one, and was not. A lethal head injury was the result. There will be no resolve, just pain.
Sometimes we get emotional and without thinking, take things too far. Justice requires a quieted and calm soul, and much evaluation, given the evidence. The situation in the case of the young boy shot dead, can become violent beyond nasty, if justice is not upheld, and people react, sometimes out of fear.
Who do you listen to? Those who say "Your not smart enough to think for yourself, and therefore you must be "spoon fed." Maybe it's someone of influence, who does not allow you the choice of making your own decisions, given the facts. Maybe it is a person of power, a bully. Questions mean that we "care" to find out. Freedom requires "choice." Being spoon-fed requires "trust." All response must be measured, carefully, not to injure anyone, at anytime.
People respond well to eating at their own pace, in the proportions that they choose, not being coerced when full, and not forced to eat what they do not like. They certainly would rather not be spoon-fed. Force feeding and the like, usually does not sit well, and you know what can happen after that.
While all that is pretty bad, especially the spitting up part, it doesn't top the refusal to eat. It's better to keep the peace at any age.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
City life allows the lone person the social atmosphere to spend time at bars, or clubs, interacting with friends or neighbors. That number is said to consist of 40%. Small towns do not offer the same small housing units needed, nor in some cases, transportation, allowing them to connect with other people. Some are totally cut-off from society, and are sad and lonely.
What has caused this unnamed social change, which now includes one out of every seven, where living alone, does not necessarily mean being alone? Yet, in some cases there is an appeal of going alone. Sometimes it is a case of not settling for living with the wrong person, as in the past. It means not having to share with anyone else, and to keep what is mine. Not having to answer to anyone but yourself could be another reason. Doing what you want and when you want, could be another reason. All good enough for some but that could suggest other social factors not being addressed. Would they want to be with someone if that person were to be made known to them, somehow?
This lifestyle is sharply on the increase, for whatever reason, it has it's appeal.
Life is constantly changing here in America. Years ago, people were so community minded, and the more the merrier, is not the case now.
I for one, do not find these statistics healthy. It means to me once again, that sadly we are losing something rich and essential.
Our parish offers a community meal three times a month, with a growing need for many reasons. Feeding lone people is one of the reasons that it has become such a success. People tell us that sometimes, it is the only meal that they get to eat out with someone else all week. It is good to be with others, as there is nothing else going on in a non-city atmosphere most of the time, which is affordable. And for some singletons, it is an answer to prayer.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
We have been studying the subject of life after death. The teaching of the Church will help to answer some questions on how mediums receive answers, as well as reveal the teaching of the church regarding after death experiences.
Answering this question, the church strongly presents it's tradition that St. John the Baptist, who was beheaded, went rejoicing to declare to those in hell, the good tidings of God having appeared "in the Flesh," (Troparion for the feast of his Beheading), while Christ was in the tomb. The gospel tells us what the three eye-witnesses saw on the Mount of Transfiguration, as they beheld Moses,(whose body was buried in the grave) and Elias, having never died, yet dwells in heaven. Yet, both were present at Christ's Transfiguration. There is no need to try to understand what the Church presents to us.Clearly, our spirit does not "sleep," just our body. Sleeping is a condition of inactivity in which it does not function, hear, speak or see. Clearly all of creation is in the care of a just and loving God.
The Soul After Death, Written by: Fr. Seraphim Rose, says the following:
'"For some sixteen centuries the Fathers of the Church have spoken of the toll-houses as a part of the Orthodox ascetic teaching, the final and decisive stage of the "unseen warfare" which each Christian wages upon earth. For the same period of time numerous Lives of Saints and other Orthodox texts have described the actual experiences of Orthodox Christians, both saints and sinner, who have encountered these toll-houses after death (and sometimes before). It is obvious to all but the youngest children that the name of "toll-house" is not to be taken literally; it is a metaphor which the Eastern Fathers have thought appropriate for describing the reality which the soul encounters after death." '
' "It is also obvious to all that some of the elements in the descriptions of these toll-houses are metaphorical or figurative. The accounts themselves, however, are neither "allegories" nor "fables," but straightforward accounts of personal experiences in the most adequate language at the disposal of the teller." '
The writer then goes on to tell us that in life we are unaware of the actual nature of the unseen warfare waged during our life until the eye's of our soul are open. We then can see "the actual beings who have been attacking us during our lifetime. There is no paganism, no occultism, no "oriental astrology," no "purgatory" whatever to be found in the Orthodox accounts of the toll-houses. These toll-houses teach us, rather, of the accountability of each man for his own sins, of the fact that at death there is a summing up of his success or failure in battling against sin (the Particular Judgment), and that the demons who have tempted him throughout life make their final assault upon him at the end of his life, but have power only over those who have not sufficiently fought the unseen warfare in this lifetime." '
' "The teaching of the toll-houses in Orthodox sources has never been defined as a "dogma," belonging rather to the tradition of Orthodox piety; but this does not mean that it is something "unimportant" or something that is a matter of "personal opinion." It has been taught everywhere and at all times in the Church wherever the Orthodox ascetic tradition has been handed down."
Saint Macarius the Great, one of the basic works of Orthodox ascetic literature (A. J Mason translation, Eastern Orthodox Books, Willitis , CA, 1974): "When the soul of a man departs out of the body, a great mystery is there accomplished. If it is under the guilt of sins there come bands of devils, and angles of the left hand, and powers of darkness take over that soul, and hold it fast on their side. No one ought to be surprised at this. If while alive and in this world, the man was subject and compliant to them, and made himself their bondman, how much more, when he departs out of this world, is he kept down and held fast by them (Homily 22, p. 171). But if whilst they are yet in the flesh, they shall with much labor and effort obtain from the Lord the grace from on high, assuredly these, together with those who through virtuous living are at rest, shall go the Lord, as He promised....(Homily 43, p. 274)."
Taken from "On Spiritual Knowledge" by St. Diadochos of Photike:
There are many sources that verify the demonic testing at death, even if one thinks the toll-houses imaginary. The teaching of the toll-houses is given us to help us overcome our lifetime struggles in order to avoid meeting with them after death, repelling the assaults of the dark spirits of the air. Orthodox Christians seldom hear such things nowadays, and owe much to the representatives who hold the Orthodox ascetic tradition, from the earliest centuries.
We are accountable to a "loving God" and must understand the judgment that death brings to us all. We must be spiritually awake, and put off the "old man" and ways that lead to death, knowing that we cannot be assured of salvation without the mercy that only Christ can give. We therefore, with the fear of God, struggle for the Kingdom of Heaven against all the unseen enemies who oppose our path. Orthodox tradition remains the same, no matter how few may follow it. Who do you believe? Not some mystic, I hope, with clearly an unknown source. It seems that the evil spirits are very aware of all that goes on here on earth and in the air while they remain hidden.
We are in the end, called to be the children of God, to put on Christ, our only
Savior. We are to be obedient to His commandments and do His will, loving our God, neighbor, and, to pray for those who have gone before us, especially on those special days assigned by the Church for that purpose, because of our love for them and to help them to a place of blessed peace, which is also our hope.
Monday, March 26, 2012
They are the first to utter the breath of Spring. It is a "feeling" you get in the midst of the advent of life. That is, birds are busying themselves building nests, gathering. I've also seen snakes, and many ants, as well as other insects, and bees. I hear the distinct sound that cats make on the prowl, and have observed the pussy willows, now in full bloom.
Life is precious, all life. The changing weather, sunny days, and the coolness of the evenings, make the preparation for planting a priority, that is, if your to have a garden, or perhaps you will wait until the danger of frost has passed before setting plants into the ground. Whatever you decide, it begins now.
Each year, we still do spring cleaning, inside as well as outdoors, to rid the home of unnecessary accumulations that stifle our existence to some degree. If we allow our lives to be cluttered-in in any way, we will miss the opportunity of "newness" and "freshness" of life. It is a time for renewal. A time to break the habits of seclusion that comes with the darkness of winter, and breathe in life. Get rid of the clutter, both spiritually and physically, and you may discover as I have, that Love that is in the air.
Love is a many splendid thing, it puts a skip in your walk, a smile to your face, and a reason to live. Love springs "eternal." It is the song of life.
Friday, March 23, 2012
Lately it was announced that the slime was being put into some meat sources. One more thing I am going to have to watch out for. Where did it all begin, better yet, when will this all end. We do not care to have any color slime placed in our meats. Years ago, we are appalled to learn what was in the hot dogs that we consumed, unless they were "all beef."
I'm glad that my grandchildren bring their lunch to school. Some schools are feeding this gunk to kids who eat in the cafeteria.
Just got through eating a nice homemade bowl of cabbage/bean soup, chunky style meaning everything but the kitchen sink, and pink slime, are in it.I could stay on the fast forever. No need for anything "pink." Maybe I'll become a vegetarian.
And, for a side note, I wonder how this affects the cost of the product. Maybe this filler is weighty and your paying the price in more than one way.
I hope to see "Pink Slime Exiting" in all the stores that I frequent. When it comes to one's health, there are more important considerations, than the cost.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Today we learn that processing takes away some of the beneficial nutrients and that leaves us full but empty. We ate but did we get the full benefit of the product?
It seemed in our haste, it didn't matter, as long as we were out the door, able to juggle everything for everyone, in our busy lifestyle.
The end result of not eating properly is premature aging. That is, taxing the body to obtain what it needs to provide cells with adequate vitamins, minerals, proteins and healthy fats.
You become what you eat, pure and simple. Today I used steel-cut oats, which are the better product, however, timely in preparation. They are better than the old-fashioned oats that I am accustomed to using, and far better than the quick oats.
I used to hear the expression, "time is money" meaning it costs you to waste valuable time, especially, if someone is paying you to do something. Or, if your sitting around, what a waste of time, if you could be doing something else.
There is another way to look at time... If it takes you additional time to have a better product such as in your food preparation, that results in better health, isn't it worth the effort, when it means that you'll spend less time and money at the doctor's office? Can you afford to lose the benefit of good nutrition? Just think of what it'll "cost you" in the end.
Can you really have it both ways? Better nutrition is worth it's weight in gold in the long run. And just wait until you taste the difference...
Friday, March 9, 2012
Today, I learned how to test for an egg that has gone bad. This happens when hens lay eggs apart from a nesting area, all over the place, and sometimes it is overlooked for a period of time. I read that eggs can be as old as two years in the marketplace. I sure hope that is not the case. The test for a fresh egg is so simple that it should not be overlooked.
Beside the checking for a good egg, normally an egg is cracked open and placed in a small bowl for examination before consumption, especially if you have a rooster who resides with the hens. Blood spots found within an egg, called meat spots are okay to use.
So how do you spot a bad egg? You lower an egg, one at a time into a deep bowl. It should sink to the bottom and lye flat on its side. That usually denotes a very fresh egg. If the egg begins an upward trend, it is still good as long as the bottom still touches the bottom of the bowl, pointing to the surface. This egg is about three weeks old. Should the egg float to the top of the bowl, it is not good. Throw it out.
A bad egg will be light in weight and give off an offensive odor.
I will take the time to examine my eggs more carefully now that I have learned why my grandmother dipped the eggs in a deep bowl before consuming them. I thought she was just washing them. Little did I know. These processes, now almost never done or heard of, can save your life, and much unpleasantness. The fact is that there is nothing better than a fresh egg from your own coop, which is starting to gain popularity once again.
Usually, eggs are washed for purchase in the store. I never knew that they should not be washed, as they have a protective coating. Store bought, are washed and I believe, oiled. It is important to be mindful of the freshness dates stamped on the carton.
The only way that chicks could be determined years prior, was by weight. There is a story told that after cooking a boiled egg, and cracking it open, a chick was discovered. Who knew!
My dad believed like many, that "the cure all" was an eggnog made from a fresh and uncooked egg, with a little sweetening, vanilla and fresh milk. So much is said today, that cooking food kills all the best nutrients in foods. We had many of his special shakes growing up. Today, it is unwise to eat a raw egg unless you know it was freshly picked from the hen that day.
Even those who suffer from heart conditions are allowed to consume four eggs a week. Soon we will not be fasting from eggs. It is tradition to color the eggs (red) in preparation for Pascha, or Easter, recalling the great miracle of Christ's Resurrection from the tomb, (colored on Thursday,) and delivered to church on Holy Friday.
As each person comes up to venerate the Holy Cross on Pascha, (Easter), they will be given a red egg, which has been blessed by the priest. This egg is a symbol of life and every good thing.