Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Supreme Spiritual Council Statement on Process to Normalize Armenian-Turkish Relations

Supreme Spiritual Council Statement on Process to Normalize Armenian-Turkish Relations
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Information Services Sep 30, 2009 7:37 AM

On September 30, the Supreme Spiritual Council convened a meeting in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. Following discussion on the process aimed at normalizing Armenian-Turkish relations and the associated ongoing discussions, the Supreme Spiritual Council made the following statement:

The Supreme Spiritual Council welcomes the process to establish diplomatic ties free of preconditions between Armenia and Turkey and the process to normalize Armenian-Turkish relations, for the sake of regional security, preservation of peace and the development of regional cooperation.

The Supreme Spiritual Council positively assesses the pan-Armenian discussions currently taking place surrounding this process.

The Supreme Spiritual Council considers as natural and understandable the concerns of Armenians living in Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora, within the context of the bitter historical experience of our people with Turkey, Turkey’s official policy of denying the Armenian Genocide, Turkey’s intolerant position expressed toward the Republic of Armenia, as well as the formulations contained in the yet to be signed protocols regarding Armenian-Turkish relations that have caused various interpretations, and the unacceptable statements coming from the Turkish side associated with this process. In this regard, the Supreme Spiritual Council reconfirms that the Armenian Genocide is an indisputable fact, as is the right to independence for the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh and the self-determination of the Armenians of Artsakh. Our people and authorities shall never abdicate the pursuit and defense of our just national rights.

The Supreme Spiritual Council exhorts all sons and daughters of our nation to show utmost vigilance and reason to avoid nation-damaging polarization, and united together, to face the challenges before our people.

The Supreme Spiritual Council appeals for the assistance of our Lord Jesus Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit for the authorities of the Republic of Armenia, so that they lead the process of normalizing Armenian-Turkish relations to a successful conclusion, for the sake of our people’s cherished and vital interests.

Met mileage marker for month!!


This week has been chuck full of nuts of highs and lows. I have been vacillating between feeling success and complete disillusionment. My mother-in-law showed up for me to help her out with a Tama. When someone shows up at your door you go. So I walked with her from my house to St. George Church 9+ miles. She took two small breaks and got into the van with our 'support crew' waiting. I ran on ahead with Mia in the stroller to where we met up again further down the road. While walking Paula a friend from the 6th grade called and told me she has stage four cancer. She has a five year old. I have been working on my consulting business diligently but I start to second and third guess myself. That sucks.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Swiped


Today was a fantastic run at the YMCA. I ran a quick 3 miles, quick for me 23:24. Not bad for an old lady. There was so much I wanted to put down and it is all swiped from my conscience. Sorry.

Sermons, Homlies Divine Inspiration


A Clergyman "X" was heard saying that because of his priestly obligations: meetings, funerals, etc. he didn't always find time to prepare his Sunday sermon as we would like. This was echoed by the confirming whines clergy listening on. They were told about Papou (the priest) who would read the scripture read for the Liturgy, the church fathers even briefly and then pray. He would rise from his bed the night before and in the darkness of night write, to his illumination. He brought light into the darkness and the darkness could not over come it. The darkness of his own limitations reflected by the twilight of night. Of course this made Yiayia toss and turn as he clicked away on his manual typewriter. This was how Papou completed his sermons for his flock.

The Clergyman "X" snickered a bit e-x-p-l-a-i-n-i-n-g how divine inspiration doesn't always come with some formula etc. This reminds me of the "God laid upon my heart (this or that) or "God spoke to my heart" or "I was called to the ministry". Upon my hearing this account I was confronted with the upside-down understanding of some clergy and lay.
God doesn't require areminder notice from you and doesn't probably give special 'touches' to anoint you with the sermons for the week. Yes, St. Paul assures us that when the time comes to profess the faith and give account the Spirit of God will move and guide us but this should not be applied in some egotistical 'God touched me".
God's work is completed. "It is finished". It is competed in us. Our work is just beginning and Clergyman "X" is complaining about the work. God is awe inspiring and His overflowing font of Wisdom is imparted to us in knowledge and understanding when we bath ourselves in it. He loved us while we were still yet sinners. He is complete and not waiting on us. We are waiting on ourselves to pray to draw our attention to Him not to call His attention to us. He is Omni-present. God is Omni everything!! The conscious or unconscious belief that God has yet to do is faulty. "God why don't you answer my prayers". We are lacking in our approach God is never lacking never, undone, never late.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Success and Doubt



(me and the inlaws)
Another tremendous day of success and self doubt. What a vicious roller coaster. One minute I'm positive I'm on the right path the next I'm sweating with uncertainly crashing down a mountain of sand. Still I forge ahead, affirming my belief despite myself doubt. I have I pushed through ceilings before and have climbed onto roof tops. Sometimes I think I'm just a big person in my own small mind. It is not about uncertainty but delusion and incompetence. Would someone kindly close the curtain I'm performing here!!!


Today I took Mia and Stavro out for a 3.5 mile run. Most of it was simply great. I felt strong and the air was a cool 85 degrees with only 60% humidity. Awsome

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Put Down Your Attatchments


A close person to me has recently undergone a tremendous epiphany as if a theophany could be a small matter. This person now transfigured individual had practiced for nearly a decade, the art and habit of being in a perpetual state of fear and superstition. A devout, responsible, caring family member and practicing Orthodox Christian; would worry enough for everyone and go to any expense monetary or emotional to save those around her from ill.

The words "God forbid" and "God willing" were precursors and dismissals for every paragraph or thought. When faced with the real possibility of having cancer, almost in what seemed like only moments the scales where removed form her eyes. She has had a real on the road to Damascus experience. She has become ten years younger and despite the concern for her health she is calm and a wealth or font of strength. She has decided to drop her boulder and is now unshackled loosed from obsession. Liberated  she is freed to discuss and plan to care for herself. She can remake herself and love without all strain and drain. "There is no fear in love".

While at a Christian gathering today I had occasion to inquire about a relative of a member. This other woman has a chronic illness which although not life threatening has consumed her to the point of exhaustion. I asked this friend 'what would she be like without her illness?" "Who would she be in Publix if she were well?" There came no answer. She has lost her marriage, her children and soon her job.

We have the propensity to make room for our illnesses and neurosis our limitations. We don't seek to overcome but to compensate and accommodate them. We invite unknowing them to come and abide in our lives and we accommodate them completely. Do not my brothers and sisters conflate your illness or short comings with you. Do not enmesh those into the fabric of your lives.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lucky Thirteen


Today was another glorious thirteen. I ran alone again and much to my chagrin the running group forgot to list my mileage on the group newsletter. Anyway I got a late start because I overslept 20 min. The sun was just about out when I began the run. There were spiders a plenty today like florescent jelly fish riding on their billowing web creations. I spotted two deer eating close to the turnaround point. One was young looking the other a baby for sure. I went out and turned around and they were still eating. I talked to them. I was more excited to see them than they me I'm sure. I wonder if they know English. Then a rabbit ran across the trail at top speed and a large deer about a 10th of a mile further up.


So today I thought about my new lecture series and phrase "someone I am is waiting for my courage" and "there comes a day when fear and dreams must collide". These are from the song titled "Let Me Fall". Again there was no watch and no mile markers just out and back. It has been a great experience for me. I have been enjoying the best of both worlds I run alone but on the trail with fellow Striders. I can't wait for it to cool off so I can take xena out on the trail runs. She loves them so much. Some of the most wondrous moments are spent alone running. I don't know if that is a bad thing. Maybe I'm just unfriendly or I get the superficial nature to 'friendship' and niceties. I know this past week putting together 1-2 miles on the treadmill has been a little shy of torture and here today I ticked off thirteen no big deal.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Another Early Morningn Run and Quick Announcement


I am quite surprised with the activity on my blog. It practically runs itself. Sometimes it seems more like an ultimate fighting match then a dialogue among believers.


Tomorrow I head out for another 10-13. It will depend on if I run with some other members of the Strider Group. I have been busy with the regular duties you might associate with a housewife although I wouldn't score very high for achievement. pray for me on that.

I have begun to resume consulting and public speaking. Please feel free to visit and follow my new blog at www.orthopraxisconsulting.blogspot.com/ The website is on its way and I am currently booking engagements. My website will have chat times and daily postings. Membership will begin as soon as I master the technology. The blog will eventually be members only. For now please visit follow and enjoy.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

To Those who woud rather spit fire then hear the truth:READ


Never confuse the earthly empire with the Heavenly Kingdom.

THE FAB FIVE


Words from a righteous man: Fr. Makarios Griniezakis is an Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne;

  1. “…even a cursory study of history shows us that every heresy, schism and ecclesiastical division stemmed from personal ambition and egotism, only later to be robed in the mantle of dogmatic diversity”.
  2. “When we emphasize our vastness and point to statistical demonstrations, it means that we are not shepherds, but rather operatives of power, exploiting the administrative and spiritual authority that springs forth from our position”.
  3. "The pentarchy is comprised of Old Rome, New Rome (Constantinople) and the Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Not only was Moscow never considered a member of the pentarchy, but also there are no ecclesiastical or canonical texts that designate Moscow as the replacement or substitute for Old Rome”.
  4. “It is clear from the discussion that the Ecumenical Patriarchate will certainly not lose the position of primacy that it maintains; the ranking of the Orthodox Churches will not change; and the committee in question--or any other committee that is formed--will not institute rebellious changes in the Orthodox Church”.
  5. “The truth will release us from our parochial attitude and self-love; the truth will liberate us from spitefulness and our egos; the truth will allow us to move beyond feelings that instigate internal quarrels and erect narcissistic partitions. 'The truth shall set us free.’”

The reading is from St. Paul's Second Letter to Timothy 3:12-15



Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus
 will be persecuted,
while evil men and impostors
will go on from bad to worse,
deceivers and deceived.
But as for you,
continue in what you have learned
 and have firmly believed,
knowing from whom you learned it
 and how from childhood
 you have been acquainted
with the sacred writings
which are able to instruct you
 for salvation through faith
 in Christ Jesus.

Archon News:Concerning the Ranks of Churches


(Directly from Archon Website)
Archon News

Concerning the Ranks of Churches
New York, NY
9/22/2009

Editor's Note:
On August 4, 2009, a website posted an article presenting some of the recent developments taking place at the Moscow Patriarchate. Specifically, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Moscow had begun reevaluating the ecclesiastical rank of the Orthodox Churches. According to Archpriest Maxim Kozlof, a member of the committee entrusted with this task, the Patriarchate of Moscow is considered a Church of the pentarchy, that is, of the five Churches of ancient Christendom. He also claims that by virtue of its magnitude, the Patriarchate of Moscow maintains such a status. He also declares that the Patriarchate of Moscow has extended its jurisdiction across numerous countries. After reading these comments, Fr. Makarios Griniezakis, a professor of theology and ethics at the Theological Academy of Heraklion in Crete, responded with a different perspective. In what follows, Fr. Makarios frames the claims made by Fr. Maxim in their proper historical, canonical, and ecclesiological setting.
Fr. Makarios Griniezakis is an Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne; he is also the official preacher of the Archdiocese of Crete, and the director of the Archdiocese's radio station.

Concerning the Ranks of Churches
A few days ago your reputable website posted an article that discussed a series of efforts by the Holy Synod of the Church of Russia to formulate the Patriarchate of Moscow's position relative to the ranks of the Orthodox Churches. In a recent interview, the Archpriest Maxim Kozlof, a member of this newly formed committee, provided the details of the committee's work. With regard to these comments, but also in response to various ecclesiological and theological uncertainties often put forth by Russian clergymen and theologians, permit me the following thoughts:
1. The fact that an Orthodox Patriarchate has yet to clarify in its conscience who is the First of Orthodoxy incites sadness. During their Synaxis this past October, the Primates of the Orthodox Church signed an official declaration that reemphasized who has the first place in Orthodoxy. We are troubled, however, that only a few months after this historic moment a committee is formed to reevaluate the ranking amongst Orthodox Churches. We remind the reader that the Primates, including the Patriarch of Russia, stated that they gathered "at the invitation and under the presidency of the First among us, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew." If this statement is not sufficient, then our faithful brothers in Russia should refer to the Patriarchal Tome of 1589, which granted to them the Patriarchal Status. In the pages of this document they will discover exactly who signed the Tome, and thus realize who holds the eminent position in Orthodoxy.
2. To question issues that have been settled by Ecumenical Councils and established for centuries is quite dangerous. We speak in terms of "danger" because even a cursory study of history shows us that every heresy, schism and ecclesiastical division stemmed from personal ambition and egotism, only later to be robed in the mantle of dogmatic diversity. Arius, Dioscorus, Nestorius, Apollinarius, and Marcion, were pious and religious; however, they also were men who had tremendous egos and lacked ecclesiastical ethos. If they truly believed in God, if they were obedient to their bishops, if they respected the canons of the Church, and if they recognized the authenticity of the Holy Synods, then they would not have reached the point where they created division in the unified Body of Christ. Consequently, it is not enough for us to uphold the dogma of the Fathers in isolation--even the "old-calendarists" do this. We must also maintain the ethos of the Fathers, which helps to secure the unity of the Church.
3. When we speak about ecclesiastical ethos, we certainly do not identify with the logic based on size and figures. If we did, we would give the impression that we were economists, sociologists, and politicians. In the life of the Church, and especially in our spiritual lives--which the Church of Russia has much fruit to offer--two plus two does not always equal four. When we emphasize our vastness and point to statistical demonstrations, it means that we are not shepherds, but rather operatives of power, exploiting the administrative and spiritual authority that springs forth from our position. Â This is even more so the case when we put forth such efforts to earn the praise of the world and acquire the primary position in Orthodoxy. Given our current condition, those who participate in the administration of the Church must consider that their role is not to compete on stage with Stalin and Hitler. They are called to enter that sacred space where Church Fathers such as Basil the Great, Saint Gregory of Nyssa, Saint Gregory the Theologian, and Saint John Chrysostom live, and to be inspired by them. This is what we mean when we pronounce, "we who follow the fathers," especially since the patristic era has not ended. Every moment in time has the potential of becoming patristic if it secures and protects the Orthodox ecclesiological criteria for responding to prevalent problems and concerns. This is lost when we follow the philosophy and logic of the world, of arithmetic, of expediency, and of statistics and consequences.
4. It has been noted that, "the place of the Patriarchate of Moscow in the pentarchy of the ancient Patriarchates is very significant." It seems that some have still not realized that which is quite obvious, that is, that the Patriarchate of Moscow has never been a member of the pentarchy of the ancient Patriarchates. The pentarchy is comprised of Old Rome, New Rome (Constantinople) and the Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Not only was Moscow never considered a member of the pentarchy, but also there are no ecclesiastical or canonical texts that designate Moscow as the replacement or substitute for Old Rome. This is made clear when we look at some of the central moments in church history: the schism with Old Rome occurred on 1054 during the reign of Michael Kerularios, while Russia was elevated to the status of a Patriarchate in 1589, under Patriarch Jeremiah II. If there was ever a pressing need to replace Old Rome this would have occurred immediately after the schism (1054), and not five centuries later, when Russia was elevated to a Patriarchate.
5. It is also noted "that after the fall of Rome, the Patriarchate of Moscow acquired a seat amongst the five most significant Churches, and extends its jurisdiction over a series of countries." At this point we must emphasize that the 28th Canon of the Fourth Ecumenical Council grants only to the Church of Constantinople the jurisdictional oversight of the "barbaric lands."
The extension of the Patriarch of Russia's jurisdiction across lands outside its ecclesiastical borders is uncanonical and a violation of Church order. This is the case when other Primates act similarly. Local Churches would have been able to extend into lands beyond their established ecclesiastical border if the canon referred to ethnicities ("barbarians") instead of geographical regions ("barabaric lands"). If this were the case we would have been able to say, for example, that the Romanian Patriarch is the spiritual leader of the Romanian people across the world, or that the Russian Patriarch is the leader of every Russian. However, the 28th Canon is unambiguous and mentions geographical jurisdictions and not ethnicities. Every Orthodox Church has a specific geographical border. Constantinople, however, maintains the license to extend throughout the Ecoumene, except, of course, into those areas under the canonical jurisdiction of other autocephalous or synodal Orthodox Churches.
The present ecclesiological circumstances are accepted through ekonomia. After all, it is not ideal to have five Archbishops of America, or to have multiple ecclesiastical jurisdictions in a single European country. We should not forget, however, that our compliance with the current state of affairs through ekonomia should not become an occasion for boastful arrogance and deviation from canonical tradition. Moreover, the uncanonical extension of a Church's jurisdiction should not be viewed as a strict execution of canon law, nor should it be perceived as an a priori right that every Primate enjoys because of their canonical jurisdiction over a specified ecclesiastical geographic region.
The thoughts that we have shared express a much deeper problem concerning what is often said about primacy in the Orthodox Church, about the idea of a "third Rome," about ecclesiastical rank, etc. These ideas would not be taken seriously had some random laymen or clergymen issued them. It is disturbing, however, when an official Church arbitrarily creates a committee (according to Fr. Maxim's comments) to evaluate matters that have already been resolved; to decide on those issues for which the Church has already decided. We would expect a Church such as Russia, which has undergone trials and tribulations, to have a completely different way of thinking. We would expect to see the Church of Russia rely more on faith than on logic, on miracles rather than facts and figures.
It is clear from the discussion that the Ecumenical Patriarchate will certainly not lose the position of primacy that it maintains; the ranking of the Orthodox Churches will not change; and the committee in question--or any other committee that is formed--will not institute rebellious changes in the Orthodox Church. We owe it to the faithful to always speak the truth so that they may hear a different perspective, and in order to avoid stirring false impressions in them. It is important not to forget that truth abides. The truth will release us from our parochial attitude and self-love; the truth will liberate us from spitefulness and our egos; the truth will allow us to move beyond feelings that instigate internal quarrels and erect narcissistic partitions. 'The truth shall set us free.' Irrespective of who we are, as members of the Church we have a constant and sacred duty to actively defend the truth.

AOI APOSTATES


AOI APOSTATES George Michalopulos, Scott Pennington, Al Green, Chrys, Dean Calvery, Eliot Ryan, Michael Baumanand, Isa I renounce your extremist partisan politicking. You willfully denounce and defame what is holy and sacrificial the Holy Mother Church. I find your stench offensive to my sense. Cowering beneath ominous cloak of Fr. Johannes Jacobse cut off from ventilation you have gone mad over the edge.
You are welcome to disagree and express your irreverence if you wish to clothe yourself in that filth. I however will not engage with your silliness as it has no merit and I give it no credence. Like unruly children you will be ignored. What you wish for is attention and to be some powerful lobby but you are even an embarrassment to those you claim to endorse. Like  emotionally disturbed step children you have been tolerated.
May the loving and living Christ convict you in your conscience to that you may turn from your unorthodox hatred for what is just and good and righteous the Ecumenical See. If not you might one day hear a loud SPLAT as you are swatted away by the faithful masses of the Holy Orthodox Church.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Slumming


Pushing through and forging ahead. I have been in a real slump with my running. I ran twice as much as yesterday but it was difficult and with no reason. I was dragging along. My chest has been tight and my gait way off. I need to get the run out the of the for more pressing obligations. I just can't seem to get the engines going too early though. I am setting up a new blog for new clients of my life directing/coaching services. It will be an membership invite only forum. But I will post here what members could expect. I have written and composed more lectures for my series on committing to a life changing event. More on that another time now I am tired. Thanks to all of you who continue to check in. Tomorrow look for word on Mother Moscow who claims the barbarian lands and how canon28 has applied to them as the third Rome. Interesting now the u.s. is the barbarian lands.

Move While the Spirit is with You


Just the other day I was commenting how I felt like running twenty miles and I was told that normal people don't just do that (to paraphrase). The day following this exchange, on my Saturday run I can remember decidedly conceding that 13 was enough and didn't head out of the park. Even just a mile or two out would have bumped up the final number and gave me a sense of real accomplishment moving beyond the artificial marker. Moving beyond doing more then was planned has a real effect on the entire experience.


Then all day yesterday I planned to run. The plans got changed several times. I didn't want to run in the morning, then it was too hot, then the kids had homework and dinner and before I knew it the run was looming like a dark cloud. Several times during the day I commented to myself how I sabotaged the run and failed to take my own advice. I was a hypocritical screaming eagle.

Then as if I had lead clad sneakers I headed to the treadmill. I wanted to run a bit at least. These are essentially junk miles. They are of little benefit physically but they do stop the inertia. I got on my treadmill and ran 1.004 miles. I didn’t even set up my fan. I unplugged the machine and went to bed.

Lesson learned. As Metropolitan Alexios stated at a banquet dinner for a church groundbreaking ‘move while the Spirit is with you”. When you are in the flow of motion and feeling like accomplishing; do it. Don't assume it will be done at a later time. This is the ridiculous part running 13 was far easier then the mile I did just last night. AND fifteen was must closer on Sat then it is today. I’m still glad I took that victory lap, one for the team, as it were. Even one is better than none.

What keeps us from prayer is not lack of skill but commitment and more importantly desire. Running is my extension of prayer it is where I pray most easily when not in church of course. I converse with God all the time and in our household we talk God, Theology and ethics like some people talk about the latest movie release. Everything is filtered and examined beneath this filter on our electron microscope.

Just to piggy pack this idea I have noticed that women used to sit around the kitchen table chatting with their friends about the current events in their lives. Now they meet in parking lot and parks throughout the nation hitting the pavement.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Just Me and My Shadow


I failed to mention yesterday that while I was running amidst all the wildlife and occasional  cycle screaming by I was really thinking contemplating in a way new to me. I tossed the clock/watch and only let the path lead the way to the end and back. Like a labyrinth put before me I ran with my shadow and as the run progressed and the direction changed so too the position or placement of my shadow. I think I may have even said these words out loud "come run with me". It is a mystical time to step outside one's self by going deeper. There were intruding thoughts at times like the cross country meet occurring a few miles off within the park. They served as distractions and allowed for mental breaks for time outs. There was no fatigue physically, mentally or spiritually. What was important was each time I was brought back to the task at hand not just the run, it is never really just about the run but unity and purpose the run gives me. The connection and the opening of the lines of communication between my selves and the focus on my Creator. Not having a watch and not being able to tell how well I really did is a peculiar thing. I did great what does the time matter? I stopped for water, two potty breaks and as the trail meandered, naturally I kept moving. It was not daunting or burdensome. I wanted to run twently but my husband explained that "normal people don't run twenty if they are not training for something". I wanted him to understand that I wanted to because I am able. Anyone can accomplish incredible tasks when done at the right pace. I always want to be race ready. The Strider Group keep track of their upcomming races and they seem puzzled to learn that I am not registered for one. All the world is not a stage, but a roadrace.
P.S. Why does there have to be some judgment cast on my performance? What is all this measuring up and comparing times and distances and athletic builds?  And yet even as I write this a secretly wish I knew my time. I have a long, long way to go.

*Today I heard Mitlon died yesterday. Memory eternal. He was a gentle man he loved his wife that was obvious.

Two Fish Five Loaves

There were two fish and five loaves. Is Jesus the fish two natures? Are the five main churches the loaves (Constantinople, Rome, Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria)?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

This Call to Prayer or Introduction to Jesus Deserves Another Look

The Gospel According to Luke

Please note there is some profanity

I had to pass this along

narrative about Elder Paisios


for a translation please see theorthodoxchurch.blogspot.com

Running into the Sunrise


Today was another successful run of 13 miles. This one was particularly important because I ran it alone. This is the first extended run I have run alone in a long time. It was great. I didn't take a watch so I have no idea what my time and that is unnerving a bit but I have no idea why. Within the first mile a wild bore ran across the trail. It had to be 50 pounds at least. They I saw two small rabbits beside the trail who stopped eating long enough to give me a quick glance. I was surprised they stuck around. Then there was the buzzard who was hopping about an odd little fellow. There also was this beautiful spider web about three feet across very cool. I saw two more spiders with very different webs later on. The trail was full of the usual cyclists and runners. Today the cross country meet was there and hundreds of high schoolers pounded the pavement. Theophani ran JV for her school "Way to go Theophani"!! Running 13 miles is much easier then the lung bursting 3.1. I have been doing a lot of reconsidering about my faith and my religion it is amazing how sidetracked I had become with the dos and don’ts instead of understanding the journey. My belief is somewhat transformed I think. Cool.

Friday, September 18, 2009

orthodox-taliban see link below

http://theorthodoxchurch.blogspot.com/2009/09/orthodox-taliban-tactics.html

Friday, September 18, 2009
Orthodox-Taliban Tactics

I dare you to type a blog about:

Pro Ecumenical Patriarchate views
Homosexuality in the Orthodox community
Woman Deaconate
American Orthodox Unity under our Mother Churches
Concerts on Holidays
Or simple post a You-tube video for laughs which makes fun of poor sermons though could be an indictment of the modern priesthood and you begin to feel the sanctimonious tirades coupled with false piety ooze from the salivating mouths of the phobic few who do not posses the intellectual capacity of chipmunks. This is when they begin to:

Make wild accusations about you faithfulness
Pull Canon Law out of the air
attack your character and commitment to the church
attempt to minimize your character because of grammatical errors
call you anti-traditionalist
threaten you physically
Christians, Orthodox Christians! threatening to physically hurt you
Of course these latent cowards do all this in the anonymity of the internet. They can see a few simple facts about somebody on any profile and begin employing scare tactics and threats.

You are no better than the Taliban, the Communists or the Turks! The modern day iconoclasts at the AOI or other "Orthodox Christian" websites which purport to present Orthodox teaching but are nothing more than incubators of fear and hate.

This is one website or better blogger which doesn't fear your pathetic pompous vitriol nor do i care that you even can type.

Their presence on the web is like a virus... something to be avoided.




Posted by The Orthodox Church at 9:44 AM
Reactions:

2 comments:
elgreca262 said...
It is the modern-day 'end-times' tribulations. It is how we are martyred slowly... imperceptibly

September 18, 2009 12:51 PM
+JN1034 said...
Many Orthodox today perpetrate what our ancestors learned under the Tourkokratia ... to enforce violent Christian versions of the Islamic fatwa (similar to a Papal Bull) as was done to Salman Rushdie in 1988 and Galileo in the 17th century.

September 18, 2009 3:41 PM

Turkish Court's Dicta Chokes Off Ecumenical Patriarchate


The Turkish Government with the implicit acceptance of its people have planned for years and are following through to eradicate the Phanar in Constantinople. This ethnic cleansing has gone largely unfettered because of its insidious nature. They wish to obliterate the presence of the Ecumenical Throne which predates the modern Turkish State by over a thousand years. It seeks to underhandedly in the name of peaceful edicts to use legislation and the Court's dicta to "ultimately to force the closure of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in a manner not yet attempted" (The Archons HDIM.NGO/331/087 October 2008). The Turkish government systematically confiscates properties, harasses and intimidates Christians all in a very covert way without bullets or batons (o.k. renades occasionally). Simply by enforcing current legislation they are choking the life blood from the Ecumenical See. Such oppression has created a diminishing presence in the population of Orthodox Christians. There will come a time, unless the laws are themselves abolished based on human rights violations: of freedom of religion and basic human liberties, when we no longer have a pool of qualified applicants or servants to hold the holy office of patriarch. Their continued effort to keep Hailki Theological school closed is to shrink the think tanks and dummy up the population further reducing the fortitude and strength of future successor. We are told that restrictions on Hailki are in place to protect Christians and moderate Muslims from the infiltration of Islamic extremism: hogwash.


The various mandates put in place defy all dignity and human civility which deludes and deceives the faithful abroad who can't believe or accept the reality. They are too insulated within their walls of liberty and freedom, political correctness and unwillingness to accept that atrocities happen often times quietly.

 

.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Holy Wisdom Agia Sophia Divine Liturgy Sept.17, 2010?

(photo from Cathedral of St. George for Divine Liturgy return of the relics of St. John Chrysostom and St. Gregory the Theologian) Miracle of Light Directly into the Chalice
Original Story

The decision to organize the September 17, 2010 Holy Mass in the church of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, said the Greek-American Chris Spirou, Chairman of "World Parish of St. Sophia, at a press conference today at the European Parliament building in Athens.

The pilgrimage, in addition to members of the "World Parish of St. Sophia, involving representatives from the U.S. and the European Council for the Restoration of the historic church.

Chris Spirou, published the letter sent to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, to inform him about this move and invited him to participate in this "historic" as the manifest, "worldwide pilgrimage and prayer in the Bible Sofia after 556 years.

"We believe, Prime Minister, that the global pilgrimage and service in the church of Hagia Sophia will be the trigger for a global summit on peace and coexistence," states, inter alia, the letter from Mr Spyros .

On his letter to the Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr. Spiro has notified the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, Foreign Minister of the United States, Hillary Clinton, President of European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, President of Committee of Ministers of the European Council, Samuel Bogkar and the ambassadors of Turkey in Washington and Athens."



Elias Commentary

Such optimism is rare. Maybe Mr. Chris Spirou knows something the rest of the world doesn't. I really pray for his success.

However Erdogan, Ki-Moon, Clinton, Barrosso, Bogkar and a bunch of ambassadors couldn't give a hoot whether or not the museum of Sancta Sofia was ever used again as anything other than a tourist attraction. This is the sad truth about the world. Religion and in particular Christianity and specifically Orthodoxy to these people is nothing more than a means to an end.

Pray for the restoration of Holy Wisdom Church. Pray for our Holy Patriarchs. And pray for the peace of the world.

Help the efforts which are showing results visit: www.archons.org and offer support for causes here at home. What good is a church building if there's nobody to pray in them? Support the Ecumenical Patriarchate and help ensure its survival!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tombs Desecrated Nursing Home of Baloukli, Turkey

The Turks are up to their old tricks again. Maybe they want the marble from our tombs to build another mosque. I love the peace loving muslims with their high regard for human dignity and brotherly love.
theorthodoxchurch.blogspot.com reporting Archon News

Ninety Tombs Desecrated In Historical Orthodox Christian Cemetery


Istanbul, Turkey
9/16/2009

An overturned, shattered tombstone in the Baloukli Greek Orthodox cemetery. (Photos by N. Manginas)

Ninety tombs were desecrated by vandals in the beginning of September, at Baloukli cemetery, bringing to mind the tragic pogrom of the Greek community in September 1955. The vandalisms were ascertained in the morning of September 2nd by the guards of the nearby historical Monastery of the Life-giving Spring of Baloukli. The unknown individuals, who committed the sacrilege act, entered by the stone fence of the cemetery that faces the road.
After viewing the destroyed tombstones, the Board of Trustees of Baloukli Hospital, began construction of a higher fence so that access to the cemetery may be prevented. In most of the graves, are buried ethnic Greeks who lived the last years of their lives in the Nursing Home of Baloukli.
Greek Orthodox Christians who lived their lives in the Nursing Home of Baloukli are buried in most of the graves.
The vandals broke in pieces the tombstones that were bearing the cross, the names and dates of birth and death of those who died. The authorities are looking into the case. This incident, which has not yet been widely known, has created great concern among the Greek minority in Istanbul. It should be noted that on many other occasions in the past, the government has tracked down desecrations of smaller scale but this is the first time that so many burial plots have been vandalized. The destroyed tombstones will be restored when the work for building the outside fence is completed so that a new "invasion" of vandals will be prevented.

Jn 1034 Comment Review

Several weeks ago before the shutting down of you blog you made some comments on my blog to another "contributor". If your comments were authentically put forth as I believe they were then "Le blog "JN1034" est fermé pour la reconsidération". Should be obviously decided necessarily. I hope that your site was not merely an experiment to explore the depth of human confusion or bigotry that would be a morbid entrapment. Respectfully think about the implications of what I have written.

For your review I posted your pastoral comment:
"Your heart must be quite heavy, extremely distraught, and so disconnected from any semblance of empathy or human intimacy. This is quite sad, that you've fallen to a vacuous state away from grace and mercy - neither receiving, and never dispensing.



You've not learned the sacred mystery of ἡσυχασμός, of hesychasm, of an all-pervading holy silence rendered as a gift of the Holy Spirit. You waste minutes and hours and precious breaths screaming to the world as if you alone have access to the Word.


St Anthony, seeing the world covered with sinful and evil traps, asked God: "Who can escape these snares?" And a Voice replied: "Humility."

You entrap Elgreca (and, no doubt, scores of others) with your verbose (and ever-inaccurate), prideful comments set as snares. "

Digging Deeper for the Joy of It--Go kids!!

This morning the kids and I headed out for our regular training sessions. It is a real blessing for me as parent to see how thye have intergrated labor into their activity. They choose to be active. I know that some of it is the commeraderie found amongst athletes but they are also internally driven to dig deep and push their limits and work in concert with their bodies to acheive something. The synergy between their body mind and spirit is something we all strive for. I am grateful that with all my shortcomings as a parent this I have been able to pass to them. It would certainly be easier not to get out of bed at six am to be on a field or in a pool by 6.30 before a full day of school and then homework with karate class at night. They have learned how to stress the body have become comfortable with it and are strengthed by it. This is good. Those are Biblical lessons put concretely in ways they can assimilate into their character. Raising them in the way they should go in action not just rudimentary lessons. This is one instance where I have lead by example not because I am the fastest or the best but simply determined and dedicated.

Euphemia the Great Martyr

Happy Nameday Euphemia!!!!!

Euphemia the Great Martyr

Reading from the Synaxarion:

Saint Euphemia was from Chalcedon and lived in virginity.
According to some, she suffered martyrdom during the reign of Diocletian,
in 303; according to others, in 307. Her sacred relics are
preserved in the Patriarchate in Constantinople.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
O Lord Jesus, unto Thee Thy lamb doth cry with a great voice: O my
Bridegroom, Thee I love; and seeking Thee, I now contest, and with Thy
baptism am crucified and buried. I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign
with Thee; for Thy sake I die, that I may live in Thee: accept me
offered out of longing to Thee as a spotless sacrifice. Lord, save our
souls through her intercessions, since Thou art great in mercy.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Thou strovest valiantly in thy sacred contest; and even after death,
thou makest us holy with streams of healings, O all-famed Euphemia.
For this cause we venerate thy most holy dormition and with faith we
stand before thine all-ven'rable relics, that we be freed from illness
of the soul and also draw forth the grace of thy miracles.

Reading courtesy of Holy Transfiguration Monastery
Apolytikion courtesy of Holy Transfiguration Monastery
Kontakion courtesy of Holy Transfiguration Monastery

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gathering for Common Purpose Ecumenism: Bad Ecomonics

There needs to be the distinction made between uniting for charitable works: feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, housing the homeless essentially loving those who have no one to love them or care for them and conducting prayers services and vigils with heterodox. Setting aside time for the unevenly yoked faithful to gather for intentional wakefulness through a prayer service or conference is destructive. The willful action to be attentive to religious contemplation, prayer, and other devotional activities must be tempered and understood within the structure of Orthodox teaching. As Orthodox Christians engaging in prayers with the faithful automatically implies fellow Orthodox Christians and those who have designated themselves to seeking the One True Faith. However this popularized philosophy of unity under one over generalized umbrella of 'faithful or believers' is destructive to the heretic and Orthodox brethren.


It is misleading to simplify belief and dogmatic understanding to the place where it becomes anemic and of little to no benefit to anyone. In fact, it can lead to false assurances for those not of the fold and an unguarded casual attitude for the practicing Orthodox. Even if we don't consciously affirm that "All roads lead to Roman" mentality we acknowledge the possibility of religion or spirituality as a guiding principle, for right living; as if any 'way' is the way. By engaging ourselves in these in ecumenical sympathies we are distracted and comprimised. There is one Truth there is one Way and the bending and extending the open door policy to all who enter runs contrary to the Faith.

Those without wedding garments are expelled from the grand banquet. Those who do not seek to shake themselves of false beliefs and heresy are bounced from the gathering. It is true that the bridegroom opens the invitation to those for whom the banquette was not prepared because invited guests give way to the care of this life (a caution for the Orthodox) but the newly welcomed, the eleventh hours guests, are transformed by their acceptance of the invitation, as the thief to the right of our Lord. We have been contaminated by the affirmative action belief that all faiths have equal validity and contain the Truth. Even contrary beliefs are given full credence ruled by the premise that yof ou simply believe in something is acceptable; a lie from the devil himself.

If religious belief is not totally restricted to home and private life then it is stripped of its discernment and good judgment. Through the limits of their ecumenical understanding they assert premises which seem justifiable to their unillumined world view and mindset. They talk in circles with faulty logic seeking to make acceptable what is unreasonable and improper. Their world view is one which publically affirms a market place philosophy where all are welcome to bring their wares to the agora. Spiritual matters which are of the gravest of importance cannot be peddled like produce. These progressive thinkers who believe something,  like the atheist or unbelieving scientists fail to acknowledge the metaphysical world of Orthodox Christianity  seeks to explain immaterial. We approach questions and answers of origin something science and heresy can not lay claim to.

Insecure Orthodox Christians or those who have had to make concessions in their own life experience either through inter-faith marriage themselves or their children, etc lack the spiritual maturity and depth to accept their shortcomings. Rather they seek to feel good about themselves and share their 'concern for brotherhood' with these ecumenical missions. These 'can't we all just get along 'pow wows are destructive and feed the egos of the hosts but undermine the good sense and faithfulness to the commandment to 'have no other gods before me".

In a weak attempt to expose the masses to Orthodoxy they "cast pearls before swine". This unity confuses matters edifying no one. The reaction is far reaching and causes further division within Orthodoxy for those faithful who feel the need to push against such liberalism ;they make rash and hasty judgements which are less then prudent. They inadverantly cause division in an attempt to serpate themselves from the ecumencial designs of their brothers. This 'well intentioned' tolerance for all and brotherly love is bad for the economia of the Orthodox Church scandalizing the those who are pious and now confused.
Those heterodox who come as sheep in wolves clothing to convert and pluck away the weaker minded and unsure listen with the intent to steal and warp the belief. They take and feed their own flocks bits and pieces of the truth but in a way that fortifies their fallen belief and heresy. They present it as a prototype for their flock. Benny Hinn an evangelical preacher, a Palestian formerly Orthodox ,baptized by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, has refashioned and marketed Orthodox truisms for years to the born-again Christians. Like the devil himself he has established parody of the faith and has preached another Gospel. There are some compounds when ingested without the proper modification kill. In one state it can save and another destroy. This practice by the heretic and poisons and chokes all it touches.

Monday, September 14, 2009

the greatest kids

I have the greatest kids. No really I do. Theophani got up for her cross country training (which i drive her to before dawn). Stavro-nikitas also got up to do laps at the Y's pool. I never would have run this morning if they weren't training themselves. They were a real inspiration for me. Getting the training out of the way sets the tone for the rest of the day. I never regret running in the morning only not getting the run done. Happy named Stavro.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Archimandrite Hierotheos Vlachos The Jesus Prayer

I finally found text that is the "How To" for the Jesus Prayer. Even books like The Way of the Pilgrim though edifying, to lead the reader round and round without ever really telling plainly "Do this".

Contemplative Prayer in Five Stages
The Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Be Merciful"
Each stage has its own grace and an interplay and interdependance one with and upon the other.

(If I can humbly interject a thought here: very often we do not pray the Jesus prayer not because we are unable but because we are corrupt wishing to think other thoughts and do other things).
+ Firstly. The reciting of the Jesus Prayer VOCALLY. We repeat the Jesus Prayer with our lips while trying at the same time to focus our attention on the words of the prayer.

+ Secondly. Then the nous takes the Jesus Prayer and says it noetically [WITHIN, MENTALLY OR SPIRITUALLY]. Our whole attention is found again in the words but it is concentrated on the nous [the soul's attention, the Eye of the soul]. When the nous gets tired then we start again to vocalize the prayer with the lips. After the nous has been rested we start again to concentrate our attention there.

St. Neilos advises: Always remember God and your nous will become heaven.

+ Thirdly. The Jesus Prayer then comes down into THE HEART. Nous and heart are now united and combined with each other. Attention is centered in the heart and it is immersed again into the words of the Jesus Prayer which has an invisible depth.

+ Fourthly. The Prayer becomes now self-activating [PRAYER WITHOUT CEASING]. It is done while the ascetic is working or eating or discussing or while he is in church or even while he is sleeping. "I sleep but by heart waketh" is said in the Holy Scriptures (Song of Songs 5:2).

+ Fifthly. Then one feels a divine soft flame within his soul burning it and making it joyful [LOVE, DEVOTION, WARMTH AND VISIONS OF DIVINE LIGHT]. The grace of Christ lives in the heart. The Holy Trinity is established. "We become the habitation of God, when He lives within us, established in the memory. Thus we become the temple of God when Remembrance of His is not disturbed by earthly cares, and mind is not distracted by unexpected thoughts. Fleeing all that, the Friend of God withdraws into Him, chasing away the passions which invite intemperate thoughts, and occupying himself in a way which leads to virtue." (Saint Basil the Great) Thus he feels the Divine Presence within himself and this grace passes through the body which becomes dead to the world and is crucified [THE NOUS RISES ABOVE BODY-CONSCIOUSNESS DURING CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICE]. And this is the extremist stage which is sometimes connected with the Vision of the Uncreated Light of the Holy Trinity.

Archimandrite Hierotheos Vlachos
"A Night in the Desert of the Holy Mountain"
Birth of Theotokos Monastery, Levadia, ISBN: 960-7070-04-6

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos "like civilized human beings"

"We do not want to exist in a state of competition or conflict. We want friendship and to be able to sit at the same table like civilized human beings. The union will come with God’s will. Nobody knows this, but we as human beings — regardless of religion — have to lay the groundwork of mutual respect, love, and collaboration on issues like ecology, war, peace, sickness, and all these matters that do not need dogmatic unity. These are social issues that we can collaborate on even without religious unity".



His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Race Day Comeback

Running Inward from angela damianakis on Vimeo.

Pantocrator, Second Coming

A Pantocratora Icon from Elias Damianakis on Vimeo.

I Believe In One God the Father Almighty Maker of Heaven and Earth

Ti Ipermaho, O Victorious Lady

Elias Damianakis Start from Scratch Recipe for Icons

Running Through the Rain


Today's fifteen miler turned out to be 13.5 because the two women I was running with left earlier and cut their run shorter. I started with faster runners and then caught up to the girls. Their pace is slow and easy. It was a bit too slow and aside from the fact I have not run 13 miles in about 9 months it was perhaps too easy. I am giving my body a break and taking it easy. The problem is running such a long time. It should be run in well under two hours and it was over two. They are training for their first marathon so I definately appreciate where they are comming from. I am very grateful that they let me tag along otherwise I would be in a group moving too quickly for this first long run. In three weeks it will be a whole different story but I don't want to cause any strain. In all honesty the run was a lot of fun at no time did it feel like work or did my muscles feel tired or worked. This is encouraging because eventually I'd like to get into ultras and going slow is the key to saving muscles. On a funny note I never even turned my IPOD on. Did I mention it was pouring I was like a wet dog throughout the run. I will run in rain so long as there is no lightening and it's not too cold. When else can grown women move in the rain without much thought given to it. It was clildlike play. Just to be moving within the rain was well fun. No heat and I was grateful for that. There was one alligator and several birds.

Friday, September 11, 2009

No Run Today Saving Legs for Tommorrows FIFTEEN

I am still all dressed to run but between the torrential down pours, Elias day trip for a museum showing and anticipation for tomorrows 15 I never made the run. I hope the weather holds out in the morning because I hope to meet the girls for a 15 miler. I need to find my IPOD I have all my liquid carbs ready and I'll hydrate on the trail itself. I haven't run so far since the marathon and I am all excited about doing it. I have to mention here that for runners this is no great or tremendous feat. It is only for the non runner or the occasional jogger that it may seem daughnting or do I dare say impressive. Fifteen miles travels on foot in one trip definitely demands respect I mean for the road and the run (not the runner). It is after all still fifteen. I'm thinking good thoughts.

Israeli Ministry issued Deportation of Seminarians Could Become a Precedent

Armenian monks and seminarians at St. James Armenian Cathedral, Jerusalem (file photo).


Armenian Orthodox Decry Seminarians Deportation Order

by Edward Pentin
Jerusalem - September 11, 2009

A brawl in Jerusalem between two seminarians of the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate and a Jewish extremist over the weekend has drawn further attention to the offensive practice of spitting at Christians in the Holy Land, and questions over the authorities' response.
On Sunday evening, as a group of Armenian seminarians returned to the Convent of St James after their weekly procession in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a Jewish youth wearing a kipa spat on them, according to a Palestine News Service report.
One of the seminarians then accosted the youth who responded by spitting again. The scuffle led to a brawl which police stopped by arresting two of the Armenian seminarians, both aged 18, and holding them for 24 hours. But on release, the Israeli Ministry of Interior issued a deportation order on them - a move met with strong protests from the Armenian Patriarchate.
"We are currently dealing with the situation, writing letters to all the parties involved," patriarchate spokesman Fr. Pakrad Bourjekian told Terrasanta.net by phone from Jerusalem Sept. 10. "This is the first time a deportation has ever been ordered." The Patriarchate sent an urgent message to Israeli President Shimon Peres and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, urging them to nullify the expulsion decision.
Fr. Bourjekian said his church was concerned that such deportations could become a precedent, and escalate to include monks, priests and bishops. "If authorities are not happy with any kind particular problem, it gives them an opportunity to use this kind sanction," he said.
He would also like to see the police doing more to protect them from the attacks, and to make such incidents an offense. In contrast to the deportation orders, the Jewish youths who provoked last weekend's attack were only detained for 10-15 minutes and released without charge.
"These attacks have a long history of several years," Fr. Bourjekian said, adding that the only cause of such incidents is the clothing and crosses the priests and religious wear. "This is the provocation that has caused these young extremist Jews to attack them," he said.
But although the incidents happen relatively frequently, they are only carried out by a small minority, according to American Franciscan Father Athanasius Macora, who, on behalf of the Custody, monitors the Status Quo agreement [a 19th century accord establishing territorial division among Christian communities in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem]. "It's deplorable and happens all the time - it happened to me today this morning as I was going to Mass," he said, adding that they don't usually "spit at you, they spit at the ground."
But he added that the Armenians are more often targeted because of their location. "The spitting against the Armenians happens frequently, and very often they have to have a police escort because of it," explained Fr. Macora. "That's because to get to the Jewish Quarter you have to go through the Armenian Quarter, so you have all these people going down to the Western Wall or wherever, and a small group of them from time to time spit."
Some sources say the perpetrators are not necessarily extremists, nor are they usually ultra-Orthodox Jews, but tend to be Jewish male youths belonging to settler or nationalist religious groups, sometimes no more than 12 or 13 years old.
Some perpetrators are occasionally banned from parts of the Old City as a punishment, but this is unlikely to resolve the problem. "The only way is through education," said Fr. Macora. "Jewish religious leadership must get up and speak out against these things - it must come from them and not from us. They need to say it's not acceptable, and address their own problems on their doorstep. If you have extremists, they need to be called back to sanity by their own people."
Fr. Bourjekian would like to see Christians coming together to address these kinds of problems and conflicts, especially to deal with what he believes is a more pressing matter: ongoing restrictions on visa renewals for priests and bishops.
Fr. Macora didn't think spitting incidents were increasing, but stressed it is nevertheless "very offensive." "I don't like it at all and I don't think anyone likes to be spat at," he said. "Also it's not against us, it's against Christ."

911 Rembered Memory Eternal

Memory Eternal.  Alleluia.
Luke 9:11
 "οι δε οχλοι γνοντες ηκολουθησαν αυτω και δεξαμενος αυτους ελαλει αυτοις περι της βασιλειας του θεου και τους χρειαν εχοντας θεραπειας ιατο"
"And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing".

Psalm 23
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name' sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.
-- KJV


 

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Or an angel from heaven.....any other gospel....

(Stavronikitas @ Divani Hotel Acropolis 'thinker')
Running again this evening with Mia in tow was a roller coaster ride. There were moments of elation almost and then an instance when I had to walk. The fatigue was mental for sure. I have been shuffling all these thoughts and bantering my beliefs about the order of things. It seems as if my perspective has been tweaked. Then I thought about about Galatians "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed". Briefly I digressed and thought about Mohammad who claimed the Archangel spoke to him regarding Islam. Then I got back on task and gave serious pause about what I was learning or being taught. [At that time I began walking]. My 'moral' compass was thrown way out of whack. Had I been indoctrinated by Paulinization of Christianity and  misinterpretations: too much Augustine and Thomas Moore? Or was I being tempted to walk down a crooked path? All this contemplation was and is good because I believe that it will lead me home to God. I wonder if God is dumbfounded (not that it's possible) by our disbelief. He created all of us and everything that is and still there is some small measure of disbelief. 

Ben Stein: On Finding God

I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late ! !



The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:
I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.
It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.
Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Hurricane Katrina).. Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'
In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay.
Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Are you laughing yet?
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
Pass it on if you think it has merit.
If not, then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,
Ben Stein

The Labyrinth: Lives In Motion

Preoccupied and brooding

A childhood plundered; sacked
Its essence purged time and again.

Bondage to the shadow perched in dark places.

Boring those who would listen
Unable to expel self loathing and pity.

Mistreatment and neglect is sobering,
Sedation a commonplace occurrence.

A killing field for playfulness and incubating dreams,
lost in remembrance and horror of unspeakable torment.

Peering from behind the coattails I endured.

The potentialities and riches of that life lay waste,
hostage to perversion, neglect and desertion.

Bereaved in the moment
yet before me, Grace bestowed with immeasurable blessings.

While still dwelling in my own fashion of bitterness and wanting,
He bestowed My Love.

One grafted to me
with all that I am and ever could be.

My Love an unfading comforter, friend
and protector of my soul and body.

In love he vowed to spend his years in my service.
Being devout his actions speak of his supplication.

My Love bears my relentless demands
Fearing he strives in vain to mend wounds which lay beyond.

So this new Adam bore the Scarlet Letter I bequeath
Boldly as his Jezebel, his Delilah, his Eve.

Though I love, treasure and grieve; I trampled him.

Whirled from the momentum of my frenzy
I am earnestly summoned to the present.

*All poetry is copywrited. In these pieces you will find glimpses into the lives of real people I encountered in my professional work as a clinical social worker. These are their stories.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ironmommy, Ironbaby, Ironbrother




This evening was the first time in many months that Stavronikitas and Euphemia both came along for the run. Stavro rode his bike while the baby was in her ironman stroller. There was just the slightest hint of coolness in the breeze. The last few days there has been a slight break in the extreme heat. The baby figured out that she can move the canonpy and see me. Peek a boo was a lot of fun for her. Stavro rode on ahead with his neon vest lost in his own imaginings. I thought a lot about the traffic on this blog and others. The veracity of the arguments put forth and the tenor of the dialogue has been on the surface unfortunate but I have grown in my faith tremendously I have had the opportunity to come to actualize that judgment and condemnation get conflated all the time. That in my haste to walk the straight and narrow I walked right off the path into some other place entirely. I have found myself freed from hate. I was captive by my own fear to be somehow contaminated by someone else’s shortcomings as if my own sin is not sufficient to seriously jeopardize my salvation. Insecurity breeds contempt. Cling to what is Holy, True and Just. Love above all else.

The Great Plague: Condemnation



Condemnation of our brothers and sisters should be avoided. It is a great plague.

debased conversations

I can't believe the debased conversations that are occupying the hearts and minds of people. The conversation has been reduced to the proclivity of individuals who cross dress? How is this relevant? It appears that hiding beneath the vanear of disapproving verbage I read here the thoughts of the morbidly curious. It is a sad state. Emerging and continuous issues of gender identity cannot be understated. Gender is the single most defining attribute of the person. The first proclamation made by midwives and doctors are "It's a ...(boy or girl). When confusion about ones gender identity or homoetrotic tendencies become apparent there is quite enough blame and shame to go around. I think we should be more diligent in broadening our acceptance of those seeking the Truth to include sinners. Imagine that, and by sinners I mean all sinners. Let's not hide gossip beneath the veil of intellectual discourse. Truth paired with leniency for all. Obscenity is not deligated only to the sexual arena. I think this topic is exhausted let's move on to more substantive matters. I find bullying more offense and detrimental to the church then affection.

Remain Steadfast Do Not Lose Heart

"Be of good cheer I have overcome the world"

Archbishop Ioakovos of Blessed Memory

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

the world organization called Constantinople Ecumenical Patriarchate, The Spiritual Leader of 250 million


In Turkey, the Ecumenical Patriarchate official, the world organization called Constantinople Ecumenical Patriarchate, the spiritual leader of 250 million with position in the Orthodox world is an institution. Patriarchate, the Orthodox world history from within the hierarchical structure. These institutions in our country, and that at the very beginning of man to have a dialogue, such as Patriarch Bartolomeos many respects is a paramount importance.

Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute National Study Highlights

(sketch by the hand Elias Damianakis)
www.orthodoxinstitute.org.

2311 Hearst Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709
Tel. 510-649-3450
E-mail: paoi@gtu.edu

The “Orthodox Church Today” study released by the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute (Graduate
Theological Union) disproves many stereotypes and provides groundbreaking insights into the life of one of the least known American faith traditions – Orthodox Christianity.
Here some suprising and not so suprising facts:
  • More than half of OCA clergy and laity are converts to Orthodoxy.
  • The laity expressed only very modest support for women in the ministry.
  • Most clergy and laity agree that priests should have final authority in a parish.
  • Clergy and laity have a different vision for the process of selection of parish priests.
  • The vast majority of both clergy and laity identify their approach to Church life as either “conservative” or “traditional.”
  • Most of GOA and OCA laity prefer parishes where all members hold the same views.
  • The laity speak out on the urgent issues facing the Orthodox Church:  Youth leaving the Church is seen as the most important issue by both the GOA and the OCA members
     Religiously mixed marriages are a much more urgent problem among GOA than among OCA members
     Very few wanted open discussion on the ordination of women
  • The GOA and OCA members describe the strength of the ethnic heritage of their parishes in a very different ways.
  • The need for “more money,” “more volunteers and enthusiastic people,” “clearer vision of the parish future” and “more youth involvement” are seen as the most urgent issues by both GOA and OCA laity.
  • The members of both the GOA and the OCA are divided among themselves over issues of the “future for the Orthodox Church in the US” and “Orthodox Unity in America.”
  • Most clergy and laity agree that Orthodox priests in the USA need to be more socially involved than they are now.
  • Only a small proportion of both clergy and laity support the separation of religion and public education