Thursday, February 27, 2014

Today's JAR- Just a Reminder. Jesus Came to Heal the Sick.

Yesterday I saw a post shared on facebook from Humans of New York.  The page shares candid pictures of New Yorkers and then shares a mini interview of a few questions.  The post I saw was of a man sitting on a bench, maybe a subway or outside a building.  He was reading a nook or mini pad and seemed very comfortable with where he was. 
the Q&A
"Who do you love most in this world?"
"When did you find it most difficult to love God?"
"Why during childhood?"
"Because I always wondered why things happened to me."
"How long did you wonder why?"
"Until I found God, then I knew why."
"Because people aren't bad, they're sick. And sick people do bad things."
The Blogger continued to add in the comments.... "There was about thirty seconds of silence after each question." 
Today's JAR- Jesus came to heal the sick.

We all want to be loved. We talk about how much God loves us and how love is the key to Christianity.
Love is the antidote. 
It is the medication the heals us. 
Love is the cure.

If God is the Doctor, the Physician of our souls and bodies as we pray during the Liturgy,
 He holds the prescription pad...

Be the pharmacist today and give love. Heal those around you with love.  

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I don't usually like to tell people what to do... Who am I kidding?  I love it!  It's my worst habit...
I was just thinking that you might like this blog but are on facebook more.  Or maybe you want my updates sooner, now that Lent is practically here and I usually post a ton of Lenten recipes to help with the fast. 
Either way, I was wondering...
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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Are You Getting Ready for Lent? 


As the days pass and we find Lent quickly approaching, there are several things we can be getting in order to have productive Lent.  Have you found your Lenten Cookbooks? Do you have the service books for the special services:  Akathist, Presactified Liturgy, Compline?  Do you have a plan for any extra charitable works or donations?   This is the time to lay out a plan.  Easter will be here in a few short weeks.  Are your Peeps in a row?  (giggle.) 

The card of the Prayer of St. Ephraim is available on my website,   Click on the ONLINE STORE, to order your card today. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Pantry Essentials II

Pantry Essentials and Menu Planning.

The fast is coming for Orthodox Christians.  In case you are looking for a place to start, I thought I'd write a list of what will I have on hand.  I've also already added suggestions from friends.  It may seem like a lot of food, but the trick to a successful fast is to keep a good variety so you don't get burned out on a particular food and lose your enthusiasm. 

Tomato Sauce
Vegetable Broth
Clam in Sauce
Garbanzo Beans
Crushed Pineapple
Progresso Lentil Soup (in case I can't make dinner.)

Nuts roasted and raw
Herbal Teas
Various Pastas (so I don't get bored with spaghetti)
Cincinnati Style Chili Spice Pack
Tortilla Chips
Peanut Butter
Dry Beans
Old Fashioned Pretzels

BOCA Burgers
Soft Pretzels
chopped spinach

Fruit and Salad Stuff

Almond, Soy and Coconut Milk (rotate)
Tarama Salata

Sugar Wafers
Pop Tarts
Thin Mints- If they are still around
Lorna Doones shortbread cookies

Feel free to add a comment if I am missing anything you normally have on hand.  I'd like to know.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Saturday of Souls, Why We Remember the Dead Before Lent

I find it interesting that we have three weekends, one before and two during Great Lent as we prepare for Christ's Resurrection, where we remember the dead.   I am curious if this is scheduled in this manner for their sake or for ours.  It's always good to remember the dead... The Orthodox church teaches that our time on earth is for repentance.  After our death, until the Second Coming, we experience a taste of the benefits or consequences of how we lived our life.  There is hope, if we missed the mark, that the prayers of others will offer us comfort as we wait for eternity.  But after the Second Coming, we are stuck, for lack of a better word, in the bed we made. 

If we have children and we teach them this custom of praying memorial services, we might have one or two generations praying for us after we die.  And then we will most likely be forgotten unless we have a building in our name or were infamous for our stupidity.  Otherwise there will be no memory of us and who will pray for us once we are gone and for the ages until the Second Coming...  (Consider the generations you pray for... Parents, grandparents... probably no further down the ancestry tree.)

Hence, Memorial Services.  Three of them. 


And here we are, about to begin our Lenten Journey with death before us, which makes me think that the memorials are so aptly placed for our benefit as well.  Nothing puts fire under a person's spiritual search and practice like reminding them they are going to die one day, like the family members generations before.  With our own mortality in mind, worldly things are less important and we can look to preparing for the life after this one. 

If you are interested in making the boiled wheat, Koliva, that is blessed during the Memorial Service, follow this link to an earlier post. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Today's JAR- Who Defines Love?

Let today's Valentine's Day celebration be of a Godly love, not a bodily love. Be loving to your family, friends and strangers. Go one step more and say a prayer for your enemies and those who have hurt you.

Don't let the world define love, live by the definition of the One who established love. Let today be a Christian holiday.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Moveable Feasts and Fasts

It's that time of year again and we are fixin' to get ready for Lent.   As we enter into this Movable Fast/Feast Period of the Orthodox calendar let me give you the quick rundown:


Feb 9-15:  The Triodion- "Three" weeks before Lent.  No Fasting

Feb 16-22:  Meatfare- Regular Fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays

Feb 23-March 2:  Cheesefare- Fast Week (Dairy, Eggs, and Fish Allowed)

March 3- April 11: Great and Holy Lent- Strict Fast (No Eggs, Dairy or Meat) ((not even lamb.))  (((Big Fat Greek Wedding)))

April 12: Saturday of Lazarus (Wine and Oil Allowed)

April 13: Palm Sunday (Fish, Wine and Oil Allowed) ((Big Fish day to give you strength for the upcoming week))

April 14-19: Holy Week, Strict Fast

April 20: Great and Holy PASCHA, Easter. Fast Free (But you already knew that)

April 21-27: Bright Week, Fast Free

April 28-June 8: Back to our regularly scheduled fasting schedule…. Wednesdays and Fridays.

May 29: Holy Ascension

June 8: Pentecost

June 9-14: No Fasting

June 15: Sunday of All Saints, No Fasting

June 16-June 29: Apostles Fast, (fish allowed) ((One of the "lesser" fasts that is often overlooked))

June 30: Holy Apostles

This concludes our moveable feast portion of the calendar.  You may now return back to our regularly scheduled fasting schedule…. Wednesdays and Fridays. 
Remember: fasting is not a diet but a spiritual exercise.  Use it with prayer and almsgiving. 


Saturday, February 08, 2014

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Today's JAR, Just a Reminder- The Math of Pain, It Just Adds Up.

I bet I could write an entire blog just on my dad and his parenting skills.   He had the best way to teach us about life.  He thought it was really important for us to think for ourselves.  We weren't taught to be proud of ourselves, but we were expected to be smart or get smart. 

For example, when we were kids, if one of us got hurt, bumped our head or had a tooth ache, he'd say, "Come here so I can step on your toe." 

You might think that sounds cruel, and to whiney kids, it wasn't the response we were looking for.  But I think back and I can't miss the lesson he was teaching us, beside the obvious, "Don't be a whiner."  If it even takes one time for him to step on toes, most kids know one pain doesn't make another pain go away.  You just end up with two pains. 

And there are times I look back at the choices I've made and the situations I've been in and I can honestly say, it's better to sit with one pain than to end up with two. 

So, thanks, Dad! You had your moments of brilliance. 

Oh, and I have been enjoying teaching this lesson to my son.  Luckily he catches on quickly.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Save the Date!

I just confirmed that I will be speaking at a retreat for the St. Photios Shrine in St. Augustine, FL on March 29, 2014.  If you are in the area, I'd love to meet you.  

I will be talking about what I always talk about... living the church calendar... celebrating the feasts and fasting the fasts... sanctifying time.