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, touch 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 too 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.
One of the many reasons why I left Protestantism was because of the prevalent greed, and corruption, of those in leadership. The embracing of worldly values by those in leadership also contributed to my dissatisfaction and need to find a place to land that had more dogma.
DOGMA- a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.
If Protestant leaders had decided to ALL be on the same page instead of purposely misinterpreting scripture to justify their sins, I truly believe the world would be a better place.
Luther called out The Church (the Roman Catholic church) for its corruption and then the Protestants took it as a challenge and tried to out do the Catholicism in the arena of corruption.
Every aspect of Christianity has its corruption because the hearts of people are corrupted by The Fall. It is a constant battle to maintain strong hold on one’s passions and to not embrace the world and all of its temptations.
If Christian were supposed to be like the world there would have been no reason for Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross. think about it. God is the same. It is His people who waffle and change scripture to match their sins instead of changing themselves to match Christ.
There is a reason why I am saying all of this; we need revival in America and I’m not talking about the screaming pastor, big choir, laser light show with a smoke machine kind of revival. I’m talking about revival in the heart, and homes, of every single Christian in America.
We are supposed to become new creations in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
I can’t make anyone clean up their act but I would like to help those who are interested in becoming new creations to tangibly reach that goal.
To that end, I am beginning a book club. Here is the book:
Here is a LINK where you can purchase it if you are interested in participating.
Please decide and buy your book as soon as possible. I am going to try and begin the study soon. If no one signs up I guess I will just do posts on Youtube talking about key points of the book that resonated during the reading for the week.
I chose this book because it is one that I read while still deciding whether or not to become Orthodox.
If you want to participate, please let me know in comments.
There is so much more to being a Christian than being successful in business and having a big, expensive house and/or cars. Material things were never the point of any sermon Jesus gave.
Start today by praying for your family, and your neighbors. ‘Lord have mercy!’ is all that is needed. Lord have mercy on my husband, my mother, my siblings, my sister, my neighbors, etc. Of course you can talk to God more, and specifically but asking God to have mercy is a great place to start.
What is a ‘Homer’ Bucket? It is a 5 gallon, bright orange bucket sold by Home Depot. We are having major plumbing issues and I have had to use it as my toilet the entire weekend. Oh joy.
Perhaps this is God’s way of showing just what to expect should I actually end up living in a RV/van? Yes RV’s have toilets that flush but I am not too keen on dealing with emptying tanks and finding a dump station. I was looking up Mueller State Park on line yesterday and their dump station is only open until the first freeze. Something to think about for future reference when camping and in need of a dump station. Or you could illegally dump it as I have seen while driving around my city. People just park on a steep hill and let Mother Nature, and gravity to the rest. Ew. No thank you.
In 1970 the population in Colorado Springs was 206,000. Today, it is over 700k! I’m writing about this because the city just installed those ‘go’ lights on the on-ramp you typically see in larger cities to regulate entry onto the interstate during rush hour. I am not a fan of living in a big city. I pray my husband and I can find a smaller, more rural town to live in.
Did you know that Vitoria magazine has a book club? The current book being read is, Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls-Wilder.
I purchased in on my Kindle instead of a ‘real’ book. I love the feel of real books but I am trying to downsize and so now books and magazines are digital purchases whenever possible. So much easier to haul around than a physical library.
One last thing… on Wednesday, my husband was Christmated into the Orthodox Christian church! Yay! We fasted prior to taking the eucharist so when we left the church, we treated ourselves to breakfast at one of our favorite fast-food restaurants. When we left, we saw a big truck, like a contractor pickup truck, pulling a trailer on which sat one of those tiny teardrop campers!
One of these… on a trailer bed. I cannot understand why anyone would buy a TearDrop trailer. So much money for so little space AND, I think… IF they were using their TearDrop and not just picking it up or dropping it off, there is a design flaw (one of many I think) that makes it hard, if not impossible to be pulled by larger vehicles. I think this is what was going on with the large truck.
In this photo (above) see how the standard smaller tires have been replaced with larger tired lifting it up and making it easier to tow? What do you think? Do you think a TearDrop trailer is a bit better than living in a vehicle? I dunno. We have big Yukon XL and I think I might like living in it better than a TearDrop. This being said without even trying either one. What do I know? Nothing so far but I’m willing to experiment with both. After all, I have used a 5 gallon bucket as a toilet. I’m feeling pretty invincible right now! Does this mean I can kill my own spiders now? Mmmm… no.
What is the weirdest place you had to, ‘pop a squat’?