Blessed Nativity of the Theotokos!

St Maria Great-Grandmother of Jesus Orthodox Icon - BlessedMart
From top to bottom we have: St. Mary, Mary’s great-grandmother, St. Anna Mary’s mother, St. Mary the Mother of God, and Jesus in Mary’s lap. A righteous family lineage is a wondrous thing to behold!

Purity has its own magic!

That was the message of the dream I had last night. A man, not my husband, was trying to seduce me. In my dream I was a widow. he was wanting what was not his to take and when he challenged me about it, the Lord gave me that reply… “Purity has its own magic.”.

There is so much in the world that we have gotten used to that would shock and appall people from just a few decades ago. Remember when Criminal Minds aired after 9:00p.m. because the content was so gross and disturbing? It now airs on Sunday DURING THE DAY.

On Sunday. The local paper used to not even print the comics in color on Sundays because it might distract children from going to church.

Purity has its own magic.

In a world where feminism is reduced to shaking your mostly naked behind in a camera and calling it empowerment, the woman who protects her reputation is often seen as an oddity. There is SO much degradation freely available of free or on the Internet, brothels in Amsterdam have closed. Amsterdam one of the most liberal, anything-goes, cities in the world cannot compete with the filth that now flows freely.

The Orthodox Church just commemorated the Dormition of the Theotokos on august 15th.

The Dormition of the Mother of God is a Great Feast of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches which celebrates the “falling asleep” of Mary the Theotokos, and her being taken up into heaven. It is celebrated on 15 August as the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God.

Greek orthodox icon of the Dormition of Theotokos (SSC) –  orthodoxmonasteryicons.com

The purity of Mary is something worthy of study.

When Anna and Joachim prayed to God to give them a child, they promised to dedicate said child to God upon their third birthday. However, preparing Mary to spend time in the temple serving God did not begin at age three. It began the moment she was born.

From the time, Mary was born until she turned three, her feet never touched the ground. Her mother placed pillows and thick carpets around the room so that Mary’s feet never touched the floor of the house.

Growing up, she lived in the temple and was fed by angels. She never said an unclean word, never committed an unclean act. She was kind and obedient, a hard worker. Too many times today I see/hear parents giving up, people giving up on themselves insisting that keeping discipline in their lives is too hard. The consequences of impurity are far worse than, FOMO (fear of missing out).

Mary’s discipline was its own reward but it was more than that, it is what enabled her to be the Mother of God.

My husband and I used to go round and round about Mary.

‘Any girl could have been chosen to be The Mother of God.”. He would say.

“No!” I would reply. “Only Mary was pure enough to be the vessel for our Lord and Savior!”. Aside from prophecy and blood line, there is a reason why Mary was chosen as the God bearer (Theotokos)… her purity.

Is there a place in your life that needs spiritual decluttering? Have you allowed your soul to be compromised? Only you can answer that but ask Holy Spirit to guide you. Your purity carriers so much weight in the spiritual realm. There is SO MUCH written in the bible about purity. Don’t let the world drag you away from your purity.

https://www.openbible.info/topics/purity


Dormition of Mary Fast

Feast of the Dormition | The Monastery of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

Yesterday was the beginning of the Dormition of Mary fast. Orthodox Christians fast for the 15 days leading up to the miracle event of, Mary passing away into the next life and her son, The Living Christ, taking her soul directly to heaven. In the image above, that is not an infant Christ is holding, but rather the soul of His mother.

I love how our souls are imagined as little children.

What is YOUR favorite Fast during the Liturgical Year?


The valley of the shadow of death

The Valley of the Shadow of Death / OrthoChristian.Com

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.

If MY PEOPLE WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME SHALL HUMBLE THEMSELVES & PRAY &  SEEK MY FACE & TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS THEN I WILL HEAR FROM HEAVEN & I

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.

Prayers from the website: Other Orthodox Prayers

And now, as my husband has recommended; I am pulling up the tent pegs, packing away my tent and moving on.


Scripture and saints

Scripture Readings

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Today’s commemorated feasts and saints

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).

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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.

Three Bar Wall Cross Russian Silk Orthodox Icon » Brass & Orthodox Icon  Wall Crosses | Crucifix art, Wall crosses, Orthodox icons
See the itty bitty skull at the foot of the cross? That is Adam’s skull and the blood of Christ is redeeming us all. It is a powerful symbol and I just can’t have a cross now that does not show this very important reminder.
Icons of the Mother of God - November - Orthodox Church in America
Theotokos (Mary) holding Christ in her lap.

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.

TOP 22 ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES | A-Z Quotes

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’.

1 Peter 3:15 | Scripture quotes, Bible quotes, Scripture verses

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.

Orthodox quotes about peace 25 pope john paul ii quotes to make you fight  for what you believe in | Dogtrainingobedienceschool.com

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.


Two videos for you

I think you will like these. the first video is of the temple of Solomon. This is the temple where, Zachariah, Elizabeth’s husband, served. It is also the temple where, Mary lived growing up. The place where she was fed by angels. The place where she was working wool to make the temple veil (that later would be torn in half by, Jesus while He was on the cross), when she was greeted by the angel Gabriel.

CORRECTION: I’m not sure what’s going on on the video. First he says she went into Solomon’s temple then says no, it was rebuilt several times and the actual temple was one built by Herod? Either way, Zachariah was the priest serving, Solomon’s temple is amazing and worth taking the time to view in the video. Sorry for any confusion!

https://www.metmuseum.org/metmedia/video/collections/esda/solomons-temple

The second video is a talk on Mary, the Animated Ark. The vessel of Christ.

Feel free to leave a comment on your thoughts.