Saturday, August 16, 2014

It Transfigures- An Orthodox Comic Strip

My newest endeavor...  It Transfigures... A monthly comic strip about a little altar boy named Yianni who gets into mischief.

Now available:

Friday, August 15, 2014

Today's JAR- Year End Evaluations

Today's JAR     just a reminder

Today is the Dormition of the Virgin Mary and the last major feast of the Orthodox church calendar.  

In birth, you preserved your virginity; in death, you did not abandon the world, O Theotokos.
 As mother of life, you departed to the source of life, delivering our souls from death by your intercessions. 
Apolytikion for the Dormition

The church calendar is cyclical, as any calendar, but ours begins in September with the Nativity (Birth) of the Theotokos and ends with her Dormition.  Tradition teaches that three days after she died her body went into heaven and she didn't have to wait for the Second Coming.
And here we are at the end of summer, waiting to start a new school year, a new church year and new beginning.  It's time for us to take a moment and reflect on our spiritual progress.  Have we been faithful to the teachings of the Orthodox faith?  Have we lived a life that reflects Christ?  Would we be guilty of being Christians if proof were shown?  
Our New Year is coming September 1st.  It's time to start thinking about our New Year Resolutions.  While the earth is preparing for its dormition, let us focus on how we are going to express and reveal the life of Christ in our daily living.  Will we be more devoted to prayer, fasting and almsgiving? 
I hope that you find hope and encouragement in the new year and that it offers you and your family all that your hearts desire. 
On the theme of Dormition, I find it even more interesting that the Church uses the dormant season to celebrate the Virgin's life into the world, when spring would have physically made more sense... but it is in our death to the world that we find life. 

Saturday, August 09, 2014

My Thoughts on Current Events.

I just watched an interview with Sean Hannity and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Interviewed on International Television Networks, including American Fox News, German ZDF and French CANAL+ iTele.  I really wish the Orthodox church (Christians) weren't caught in the middle of all of this... meaning.... we are not the terrorists but we have been caught in their snares.  We don't have missiles but we are now targets.  We aren't aggressive yet we have become a threat.  We don't have boarders to protect but our place was there along side the others in the holy lands where God revealed His Son to humanity. 

We have been caught in the crossfires of this war.  And it isn't the first time. 

I believe what he says about the fanatic Islamists.  Eventually they will want the whole world to be Muslim.  Anyone who has a history intertwined with Constantinople and Greece still hears stories how the Turks took away their land.   The Turks stole their churches.  The saints were martyred and beheaded before and they are again today.

We want to be in peace. We want our holy sites and churches.  The history of Christianity is about to be erased.  2000 years of history will be forgotten and we will be left with our current limitations.  Can you maintain and teach all that Christianity is without the history of the Church?  The Bible is a part of the whole story.  There are still the saints, the relics, the iconography, the sacraments, the teachings... Love?  Love cannot be properly defined without the Church.  (Love is from God and without the Church we can no longer protect how we define God, Love, nor the Scriptures.)

So for me the only comfort I have is prayer.  Nothing else makes sense.  

Friday, August 08, 2014

Allow your children to "suffer" in the pews

It's Friday and I'm sure we all have plans for tonight after a long work week. But it's the season for prayer and fasting for the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos. (The Falling asleep of the Virgin Mary.)

Christians are being persecuted is the Middle East. They are threatened to convert, pay a tax or die. They are taken into slavery. They have been left to starve to death on a mountain.

We have all the freedoms to worship and our churches are empty during this time of crisis. Please consider changing your Friday plans to attend Paraklesis. Allow your children to "suffer" in the pews for an hour as we gather to pray to the Panagia for the children who are truly suffering persecution and genocide in Iraq.

Just tell them, "There are children in the world who need our prayers tonight.  We are going to go to church and ask the Virgin Mary to protect them and guard them against danger.  We have the freedom and therefore the responsibility to do this for them.  When church is over we can go back to doing what we planned.  But for 45 minutes we will pray for the world." 

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Where did the time go?

Did you notice that only a few posts ago I was reflecting on the beginning of summer vacation... and tomorrow I am going to register the boy for school.  The chaos and casual vibe of summer is coming to an end.  Wow the time flew! 

Good thing!  I have a pile of blog posts and recipes waiting to be written.

Until then, the old recipes still work.  Search though my older posts and try one out.  I highly recommend the shrimp and rice or the vegan spanakopita since we are still in the Panagia's Fast (August 1-14.)