Thank you, Texas for your tireless efforts to stop and stem the killing of unborn children. Abortion is murder. Just because men have made it legal does not mean it is not moral reprehensible.
That said pray for God to have mercy on women who have had abortions. God forgives every sin even abortion if the person who committed it repents.
Please do not condemn anyone to hell for their past. why do you think Jesus came? To forgive our sins.
Genesis 7:16 And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in. Emphasis mine. This scripture shows that God is the ONLY one Who says who is in and who is not IN. In heaven… get it? We have no business saying someone will go to heaven or hell because we are not God.
Pray for God to have mercy on women who have had abortions. Pray… do not condemn.
Have you ever been in a church that had a cross on the wall? Would think it was odd, or wrong, if you saw one suddenly hanging in your church? If you answered, ‘yes’? Why?
Growing up, every church I went to had at least one cross on an interior wall. Usually it was hung behind the pastor at the front of the church so everyone could see it. Why have so many of today’s ‘churches’ removed the cross from their walls?
Some people believe, erroneously, that the cross is a graven image. Technically, the BIBLE is a graven image bu that doesn’t seem to stop some people from praying to it every service; ‘this is my bible. I can do what it says I can do, etc.’.
When I used to do deliverance ministry, we would plead the blood and the cross between an individual and the adversary. There is power in the cross. I think it’s not only a misunderstanding of scripture that has lead to crosses being removed from churches but because the devil hates the cross since that is where he was defeated. If your church refuses to place a cross on the wall what are they protecting? What are they really teaching?
Some Christians believe that it was ONLY Christ’s resurrection that lead to the defeat of the enemy,however, that was not all that had to happen in order for us to gain victory over sin and death.
Jesus had to die on the cross first. There is no resurrection without first the crucifixion. Do not allow anyone, not even your ‘church’ leaders to take from you the power of the cross! Venerating the cross is not idolatry. Wearing a cross is not gross, nor is it idolatry. There is protective power in the cross and the most powerful symbol of protect IS the Orthodox cross.
Want to enliven Thanksgiving dinner this year? Make the sign of the cross before eating.
Things are getting confusing, and very much off track for the non-Orthodox Christians. They are straining gnats and swallowing camels.
That is what happens when you do not understand, have, or reject Holy Tradition. Holy Tradition teaches why these things that are now seen by heterodox as wrong are really the way early Christians worshiped. Will prayer one day be rejected because witches, Buddhists and all other religions pray?
The Puritans and Amish both believe that what some call ‘the trappings’ of ancient church worship are wrong. I have found the opposite to be true. These ‘trappings’ are actually right and true and part of the original style of worship within the ancient church. It is ‘ok’ to burn incense, light a candle and have icons and crosses and even a prayer altar in your home. Take your prayers out of the closet/’war room’, set up a home altar and rock that prayer!
When you’re done with that, go ask your pastor why your church does not have a cross hanging on the wall. If he says it’s a graven image, ask him if he knows that the bible is also a graven image, and will he be burning everyone’s bible in the church parking lot later?
WHY YOU NEED A CRUCIFIX ON YOUR WALL Please do not be a bigot and dismiss this article because it is written by a Roman Catholic. It has good information beneficial to your edification.
Part 2. Now if you have made this far and have figured out that having a cross in your home is not a bad thing… you know, that you know, that you know, you will not go to hell for it, take the next step.
Put that cross on your wall and pray in front of it. You’re not praying to it, you’re praying in front of it. Even better than an empty cross is a crucifix. It reminds you of why and how you are saved, by the blood, DEATH, and resurrection of Christ.
Every single Orthodox Christian church (unless it’s a mission church in a non-dox built building) has a cross in the roofs.
You have the free will to reject these ancient beliefs. Beliefs that were part of the early (original Christian churches). But you also have the right to embrace them. Most people only know what they have been told. Few go out and do research. Still fewer people do research in a way that gives them all the information and not just supports the idea they are trying to justify.
Look into the Cross. do a study if you need to but don’t dismiss it just because someone else told you it was a bad thing. It’s THE CROSS. It’s not to be feared by Christians. It’s good. It’s protection. It should be hanging in every place that calls itself a Christian ministry or church.
Some days it feels as if I’ve pitched a tent in ‘The Valley’ and have made it my home. Changes in our family dynamic, the evil leadership our nation is now under, ill health all around, etc., etc., etc. I hate trite Christian sayings, ‘Let go and let God’ does nothing to heal or help someone going through a rough path. That saying could easily be changed slightly to, ‘Let go of God and run away!’.
The above icon is of Mary speaking with the angel Gabriel. Gabriel is telling her of the plans God has for her life. Plans that could easily have ended up with her being stoned to death had not God been guarding her during her entire life.
Here is a scripture to accompany this icon:
Luke 1:38 Mary’s response to what she has been told is to declare, ‘38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
Complete submission to God no matter what came at her in her life. I would love to be able to say I have an obedient and humble heart like, Mary… but I cannot.
The sad truth is that I cry and yell and demand God show up and answer my prayers how I want them to be answered. My husband and I will celebrate?/commemorate 17 years of marriage this December. While I have grown during this time I need a break from the ‘lessons’. I’m worn out.
I was reminded today, as I watched the testimony of Caralynn Collar whose blog is; beautybeyondbones, about her struggle with, and ultimate recovery from, anorexia. She celebrates her 14th year of freedom this week.
Her attitude is amazing. I find her writing to be encouraging.
Are you struggling as a Christian with all that is going on around you? It seems as if the world has lost its mind beginning with the current administration. The speed of the leader it the speed of the gang. As our government goes so will the country.
Exactly how many people are needed for this to happen? How many people need to repent (humble themselves), pray and seek God? ONE… YOU. One… me. It is easy to forget what we need to do when the world is pulling at us for attention.
Prayers for Repentance God, my good and loving Lord, I acknowledge all the sins which I have committed every day in my life, whether in thought, word or deed. I ask for forgiveness from the depths of my heart for offending You and others and repent of my old ways. Help me by Your grace to change, to sin no more and to walk in the way of righteousness and to praise and glorify Your Name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
O Lord my God, I confess that I have sinned against You in thought, word and deed. I have also omitted to do what Your holy law requires of me. But now with repentance and contrition I turn again to Your love and mercy. I entreat You to forgive me all my transgressions and to cleanse me from all my sins. Lord, fill my heart with the light of Your truth. Strengthen my will by Your grace. Teach me both to desire and to do only what pleases You. Amen.
After you have repented, here are some other ideas for prayer:
Prayer Against Demonic Influence Almighty God, Who delivered Your people from the bondage of the adversary, and through Your Son cast down Satan like lightning, deliver me also from every influence of unclean spirits. Command Satan to depart far from me by the power of Your only begotten Son. Rescue me from demonic imaginings and darkness. Fill me with the light of the Holy Spirit that I may be guarded against all snares of crafty demons. Grant that an angel will always go before me and lead me to the path of righteousness all the days of my life, to the honor of Your glorious Name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
Prayer for Peace Almighty God and Creator, You are the Father of all people on the earth. Guide, I pray, all the nations and their leaders in the ways of justice and peace. Protect us from the evils of injustice, prejudice, exploitation, conflict and war. Help us to put away mistrust, bitterness and hatred. Teach us to cease the storing and using of implements of war. Lead us to find peace, respect and freedom. Unite us in the making and sharing of tools of peace against ignorance, poverty, disease and oppression. Grant that we may grow in harmony and friendship as brothers and sisters created in Your image, to Your honor and praise. Amen.
Thanksgiving After Trouble Almighty and merciful God, I most humbly and heartily thank Your divine majesty for Your loving kindness and tender mercies, that You have heard my humble prayer, and graciously granted me deliverance from my trouble and misery. I pray to you to continue granting Your helping grace, that I may lead a life pleasing to You, that I may continually offer to You a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Prayer Toward the Unknown O Lord, You who steadied the hand of Peter as he began to sink on the stormy sea, if you are with me, no one is against me. Grant to me the shield of faith and the mighty armor of the Holy Spirit to protect me and guide me to do Your will. The future I put into Your hands, O Lord, and I follow You to a life in Christ. Amen
Prayer Before Studying the Bible Master who loves us, shine Your eternal light in our hearts that we may better know you. Help us to fully understand Your gospel message. Instill in us respect for Your holy commandments, that by overcoming our worldly desires we might live a spiritual life of thoughts and deeds which pleases You. We ask this of You, O Christ our god, for You are the light of our souls and bodies and You we glorify with Your eternal Father and Your all-holy good and life-giving Spirit now and forever. Amen.
Shine within my heart, loving Master, the pure light of Your divine knowledge, and open the eyes of my mind that I may understand Your teachings. Instill in me also reverence for Your blessed commandments, so that having conquered sinful desires I may pursue a spiritual way of life, thinking and doing all those things that are pleasing to You. For You, Christ my God, are my light, and to You I give glory together with Your Father and Your Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
Published in Apr 11, 2007… it’s a devotional! An Orthodox Christian devotional. As rare, and elusive as unicorns of myth and legend.
In Protestantism, one only has to throw a stone to find a devotional. Not so with Orthodoxy. Yes, we have books. Books about the ancient fathers, nuns, abbesses, abbots, angels, monks, prayer, psalms, etc., but books you open everyday to read from and pray with are rare.
Orthodoxy is intense. We read hard, pray hard and feast with joy in Orthodoxy. Mostly books written by and written about ancient fathers as an example of righteousness, but I really wanted a daily devotional. So, I bought the devotional pictured above. I have no idea if I will like it. There are no photos of what’s inside. (I bought it off of ebay for a fraction of what it would have cost on Amazon.). Pretty much everything I have encountered with Orthodoxy is like an advanced university course. Be-that-as-it-may, you can still build a relationship with Christ through; prayer, reading your bible, reading books written by the ancients, prayer, fasting, giving alms, etc.
Will this devotional automatically make me feel closer to Christ? I doubt it. But it will, hopefully, provide welcomed insights into our ancient faith.
For now, say your prayers, give alms, be kind to one another as God is kind to us!
A noble lady fell on hard times: her husband was exiled, her estate was taken, and her son was made a captive. She prayed to Mary, and then dreamed she heard a voice telling her to find the icon of the Holy Family and to pray before it. The woman searched through Moscow churches, and eventually found the icon hanging in the porch of the Church of the Life-giving Trinity. She prayed before it, and then her husband was returned, her estate was restored, and her son was freed. Because of these “three joys,” the icon received its name.
Prayers in Time of Need Almighty God, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, come to my help and deliver me from this difficulty that besets me. I believe Lord, that all trials of life are under Your care and that all things work for the good of those who love You. Take away from me fear, anxiety and distress. Help me to face and endure my difficulty with faith, courage and wisdom. Grant that this trial may bring me closer to You for You are my rock and refuge, my comfort and hope, my delight and joy. I trust in Your love and compassion. Blessed is Your name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
O God, our help in time of need, Who are just and merciful, and Who inclines to the supplications of His people. Look down upon me and have mercy on me and deliver me from the trouble that now besets me. Deal with us not according to our iniquities, but according to Your manifold mercies, for we are the works of Your hands, and You know our weaknesses. I pray to you to grant me Your divine helping grace, and endow me with patience and strength to endure my hardships with complete submission to Your Will. Only You know our misery and sufferings, and to You, our only hope and refuge, I flee for relief and comfort, trusting in Your infinite love and compassion, that in due time, when You know best, You will deliver me from this trouble, and turn my distress into comfort. We then shall rejoice in Your mercy, and exalt and praise Your Holy Name, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit, both now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen
We had some door-to-door exterminators come by yesterday. They all had these cute, mini-Segways you steer with your knees. I thought that was clever albeit not very good for a workout but since our neighborhood is at such a high altitude, I will give them a pass this time…
The man who sold the treatment plan to us told me a little bit about what is going on at other people’s homes in the neighborhood; ‘You have a very, buggy neighborhood, and your neighbor around the corner has large rats we’re getting rid of for him.’
I do like it that they sweep the cobwebs off of the house and clean up the dead bodies (mice, mice, baby). Our neighborhood is older and we live in the mountains. I’m surprised people have not yet been carried off by some of the smaller wild life let alone the bigger wild life although one woman in our area was supposedly bitten on her bottom by a bear one day when she was in her backyard. I can neither confirm nor deny this information but it did make it into the local news.
We do see bears from time to time in our neighborhood. A tech is coming by next week with bait traps for the voles. If I were to plant a garden now, I think it would be eaten up from the bottom due to all of the wild life in our yard. It has gotten very bad out there with vole holes.
I am a bit excited to have a critter free home and yard! We’ll see.
How are all of you doing? Who needs prayer?
I am paraphrasing but today’s reading in the book; Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives by Elder Thaddeus was about not allowing ourselves to become to wrapped up in the cares of the world. How can you detach more from the cares of the world? Are you a news junkie? do you visit conspiracy theory websites? Even the MSM can get too carried away (pretty much all of the time!!) so I avoid it all.
It can be frustrating to watch the news especially when it is so obviously biased about what is going on in Israel, and still focused on blaming Mr. Trump for everything.
Detach. Tell your family not to bother you with news updates, and avoid reading or watching the news for a few days and see if you feel better. It can be difficult. Everyone wants to tell me about the news. I think they think I am missing out but it is my choice not to watch or read the news so I must keep reminding them not to tell me anything about it. People do tend to get too wrapped up in it. It’s not as if knowing what is going on will change the world.
You can pray for the world without watching the news everyday. There will always be; war, famine, violence, protests, etc. Solomon said, ‘There is nothing new under the sun.’. He was right.
Say your prayers, give alms, go to church and avoid the world!
I discovered some timeline issues within the story from the book chapters I had been posting. yeah, I know. therefore, no book chapters until I get this ball of yarn untangled! If ever.
Reading Orthodox stuff is hard. Like… super hard. Even when you’re just reading someone’s biography you can run into some meaty things you need to chew 100 times before moving along. What does this mean for you who are blessedly reading Elder Thaddeus with me? It means that there is going to be a slight delay in getting started. HOWEVER; some of the points we will see repeated in his book are: acquiring a spirit of; peace, prayer, and love towards one another. These are a good head start/sneak peak at what you can expect from his book.
I want a dog. (Not at all blog related up I’m putting it out there anyway.) I have never owned my own dog. Cat? yes. But not a dog. Sigh. Maybe when I get to heaven?
I’m not dieting or working out right now and it shows. If someone were to ask me what my favorite food is right now it would be…
5. I made cream soda vanilla ice cream floats this afternoon for dessert. I regret nothing.
I think this is all for now. I hope you are all well. Let me know if you need prayer. All comments must be cleared and approved for posting. This means that no comment that contains a prayer request will be seen by eyes other than mine… and our guardians angels, Jesus, Holy Spirit, God, saints, you know… the usual crowd.
Virgin Martyr Glyceria at Heraclea, and with her, Martyr Laodicius, Keeper of the Prison (ca. 177). Righteous Virgin Glykéria of Novgorod (1522). Translation of the Relics of Ven. Makáry, Archimandrite of Obruch (or Kanev—1678). Martyr Alexander of Rome (284-305). St. Pausicacus, Bishop of Synnada (606). St George the Confessor, with his wife, Irene, and their children, of Constantinople (9th c.). St. Euthymius the New (1028), founder of Ivḗron Monastery, and his fellow Georgian Saints of Mt. Athos: his father, John, his cousin, George, and Gabriel. Monastic Martyrs of Ivḗron (Mt. Athos).
First of all, Orthodox Christians do not worship saints or the Theotokos (virgin Mary to others). When I brought this up he steadfastly kept trying to convince me being Orthodox was wrong without coming out and saying it is wrong. He brought up how ‘wrong’ it is for Jesus to be depicted on the cross. It is not.
The entire visit was an attack against Orthodoxy from asking the saints to pray for me, to icons, to… you get the picture. By the time I left I was exhausted.
I made the mistake of trying to defend myself and Orthodoxy. Some how along the way in Christianity the scripture that tells us to provide an answer for our hope has turned into, ‘argue with everyone’.
This does not mean argue with everyone, pick fights, and be unpleasant. People do not convert to Christianity because you were a better debater than they. It’s not as if I joined a cult for heaven’s sake! I went and converted to the original Christian church. The church that was started at Pentecost. This person thinks we are roman Catholic, we are not and no matter how many times I remind him I am not a Roman Catholic he still uses RC references.
While I was not hostile, I certainly was not at peace and I took the bait. I began to debate with him. What I really should have done was just shrug my shoulders and say, ‘I don’t know.’.
These sorts of ‘debates’ really do not accomplish anything beyond hurt feelings and bruised egos.
Lord forgive me. Help me to acquire a spirit of peace and not one of conflict. Help me to consider those around me better than I and to be quiet & humble. Amen.
The book club begins soon. Have you purchased your book?
Read through the beginning of the book regarding his life.
RSV Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves.
NKJV Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
I was watching an episode of The Andy Griffith Show the other day and I was stunned at the compassion and humanity they showed to one of the characters instead of crushing his soul into dust.
In this episode, Barney brags about his ‘pioneer skills’. Barney, Andy, and Gomer Pyle took the cub scouts camping. Barney being Barney he bragged about his great survival skills; tracking, trapping, making a fire, etc.
It soon became evident that he had none of these skills. He and, Gomer became; lost, hungry, and cold.
Some of the kids found out as well as one of the men from town who had driven his truck up to camp to deliver food cooked by, Aunt Bea. They all started talking about how they were really going to ‘give it to, Barney!’. They are gleeful at how they were going to confront him and tear him a part for bragging about skills he didn’t have. It was heart breaking. It would have crushed him and humiliated him. The whole town would have laughed at him.
Andy to the rescue.
Andy put a stop to all of that. He told the kids they were not to say anything to Barney about any of it. he then grabbed two chickens and ran off into the woods to find Gomer and Barney. He found Gomer first and filled him in on the plan. Instead of tearing down Barney, he wanted to affirm him!
Through a series of events they made it look like; the trap had worked, the fire started (with a little unseen help from Gomer) and they eventually found their way back to camp with Barney leading them in victory.
When Gomer and Barney returned to camp, Andy and the children were waiting for them with big smiles and back slaps. ‘congratulations, Barney you really DO have pioneering skills!’.
Andy made a choice to not crush Barney (i.e. call him out and humiliate him in front of everyone).
What can we learn from this episode that would help us to be better Christians?
The church is a hospital not a courtroom, therefore, we are not judges. People these days (and I have done my fair share of it) feel as if they must call out other people in a spirit of ‘authenticity’ or ‘telling the truth in love’. The things I have seen people do to one another in the name of ‘love’ has been shocking. If you tear down another person for any reason you are not acting in any kind of love but perhaps self love. It is pride that makes us think we have the right to ‘call someone out’ for their behavior. I fall into this sin on a regular basis. It’s pride, folks… plain and simple. Andy could have destroyed, Barney to ‘teach him a lesson’ about lying and bragging. Andy could have given him some, tough love’. There’s no such things as tough love. ‘Tough love’ is a phrase invented by mentally unstable people as an excuse for being jerks to anyone them deem worthy of their, special kind of ‘love’.
Matt 7:3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? NKJV We do this because we are full of pride and think we are above reproach. We are not.
We are sadistic. We have become like the Pharisees. White washed tombs. This is going to happen more and more. people will report their neighbors to the authorities just to see them get carted off. The days of this are coming.
We can turn back from the abyss if we do what is painful and treat others as better than ourselves as we are taught in our bibles. Our bibles are not there to show us how to get rich but how to course correct ourselves to prepare us for an eternity in the presence of God.
Find someone who you have done this to and go apologize. Seriously. Whether on social media or in real life, go humble yourself and apologize. We are to humble OURSELVES, not other people.
As the last days approach, things are going to get worse. People will turn on family members. We have been told this in the bible.
It seems right to fight back and to be vengeful against those who have wronged us. Is this not the premise of every movie in the past several decades? Whether it is a tall tale told to us by someone or an out right attack against our character we must fight the temptation to retaliate.