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I have to share this, too, to dovetail with OrthoDisco's image of the rush and press of everyday life.  It's a different faith perspective, obviously, and the details of her life might be different, but the sentiment is fairly universal (in my opinion).  I happen to share her role in life, so it really hit home for me.

Faith Issues / Re: Struggling with disbelief/Atheism
« Last post by Rohzek on Today at 11:04:28 AM »
I'm at a point where I wish God was real.  For myself, but mostly for the patients I work with. 

I just feel I can't shake the feeling that God isn't real and religions are just made up nonsense. 

Have you dealt with these feelings?  How do you work through them?

I can't say that I have dealt with the exact same feelings. But I did start from a similar point. There was a time that I vehemently tried to believe that there was no God. However, when I thought about what that meant for everyone else around me, that they would die and have no peace because they would cease to exist, etc. I was disgusted. I was disgusted by such a cruel world. So I chose an alternative to believe. I decided to believe that there was a God, but that for whatever reason he had it out for me. And for about a year or so I kept that belief. Eventually I came to terms with the fact that I was being pretty selfish and that God didn't hate me. I resumed going to church, etc. I think what was helpful about this period was that even if I didn't always receive an answer or that I had a bone to pick with God, I kept talking to him even if was to unleash my anger.

To this day I only believe because I want to believe. I want to believe because for me at least, humanity needs a god-like savior given its track-record in history. I do have my own personal experiences with God, but these are only personal. They can never constitute as proof because they cannot always be communicated. I could be delusional or misinterpreting things. These are all possibilities. However, I choose to believe only because I want to believe.

The best advice I can give you is to believe in God because you want to. Don't stop talking to God, even if it means you vent any anger or whatnot to him in your prayers. Be like Job.
I truly believe this is because of modernity. We are so advanced technologically. We have so many amazing tools to help us do anything and everything, the best education, great entertainment to distract us, brilliant people who invent amazing things, awesome discoveries in science, wonderful advances in all sorts of marvelous things that make our life easier and etc. Ant yet, these are all the things that have made me stumble in my faith.
But when I can get away from the busy life, the concrete, loud cars, lawnmowers, bright lights that block the night sky, boxed dinners wtih artificial flavoring, I truly feel my mind open, and there's a longing to reach out and touch a God who is not like some phantom. There is nothing natural about the way we live today. There is very little healthy about iit. And its hard to really find God in even everyday situations.
I know we always hear about how this is possible, and we must try really hard to BE with God in the midst of all this chaos, and keep up with our prayers, but for some of us this is just way hard. No doubt, i think some of us are just super sensitive to the harms that come from modern living, and theres a deep wanting to live a life surrounded by a more natural way of living, or apart from all the bustle of the rat races. Im definitely one of those people. Some of us don't even realize that is what we crave because we're just kept so busy.  Yeah, I may be a bit of a treehugger, but if it draws me close to my creator God, then Im fine with the jokes.

I agree [with your assessment of modernity].  We so dazzle ourselves with our own accomplishments that we ignore the magnificent works of God.  We know so much and can do so much that we cover and cloud our ignorance and helplessness; we do not often see how little we really know or are actually able to do.  But bustle, cities, suburbs, all our gizmos...these things are amoral.  It is our attitude toward them.  If God is everywhere and filling all things, then He is in the everyday situations, if we're looking.  There's definitely a part of me that would prefer a somewhat lower tech, less retail dependent existence, even more that my own family lives now (no rat race or boxed dinners here...or cable  :o).

As for feeling like God is just a character in a story, that happens to me.  But I can play the "what if nothing is real" game, too.  It's a fruitless line of thought (probably dangerous, too, in certain temperaments).  I think the more a person is willing and able to look at a matter from many sides and perspectives, the more they might struggle with this.  I come back to "God is real" (and so are the rest of us, lol), because it's just Truth to me.  There's no logic, no philosophical argument, it is just something I can't deny.  Nothing else makes existential sense to me.  I wish I could offer a step-by-step process of how that happened or a logical thesis of why it is that way, but I can't, I am sorry.  It is a question that no one can prove to another, in the way we are so used to doing.
Faith Issues / Re: Spiritual growth
« Last post by Velsigne on Today at 10:10:17 AM »
That everything good in me comes from God.  That I am utterly dependent on His grace and mercy. 

That under the hard calloused shell of human ego there is a utterly beautiful tender fragile nearly weightless spirit in every person, no matter how damaged or wrong thinking they are on the outside.

What an amazing gift life is, how utterly miraculous.

Grow in faith recently you ask? 

He must increase, but I must decrease.

John 3.30

First published Fri Sep 11, 2015

Relativism, roughly put, is the view that truth and falsity, right and wrong, standards of reasoning, and procedures of justification are products of differing conventions and frameworks of assessment and that their authority is confined to the context giving rise to them. More precisely, “relativism” covers views which maintain that—at a high level of abstraction—at least some class of things have the properties they have (e.g., beautiful, morally good, epistemically justified) not simpliciter, but only relative to a given framework of assessment (e.g., local cultural norms, individual standards), and correspondingly, that the truth of claims attributing these properties holds only once the relevant framework of assessment is specified or supplied. Relativists characteristically insist, furthermore, that if something is only relatively so, then there can be no framework-independent vantage point from which the matter of whether the thing in question is so can be established.

Relativism has been, in its various guises, both one of the most popular and most reviled philosophical doctrines of our time. Defenders see it as a harbinger of tolerance and the only ethical and epistemic stance worthy of the open-minded and tolerant. Detractors dismiss it for its alleged incoherence and uncritical intellectual permissiveness. Debates about relativism permeate the whole spectrum of philosophical sub-disciplines....

May God bless you.
Liturgy / Re: Links for Byzantine Music
« Last post by Apostolos on Today at 07:31:16 AM »
Τhe First Antiphon of the Typika in Mode Pl. of 4th (according to the Athonite tradition), chanted by "The Tropos Choir" (live recording, Moscow, Russia, 2011):

Εὐλόγει, ἡ ψυχή μου τόν Κύριον, Εὐλογητός εἶ Κύριε.
Εὐλόγει, ἡ ψυχή μου τὸν Κύριον καί πάντα τὰ ἐντός μου, τὸ ὄνομα τὸ ἅγιον αὐτοῦ.
Εὐλόγει, ἡ ψυχή μου, τὸν Κύριον καὶ μὴ ἐπιλανθάνου πάσας τὰς ἀνταποδόσεις αὐτοῦ· τὸν εὐιλατεύοντα πάσας τὰς ἀνομίας σου, τὸν ἰώμενον πάσας τὰς νόσους σου· τὸν λυτρούμενον ἐκ φθορᾶς τὴν ζωήν σου, τὸν στεφανοῦντά σε ἐν ἐλέει καὶ οἰκτιρμοῖς· τὸν ἐμπιπλῶντα ἐν ἀγαθοῖς τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν σου, ἀνακαινισθήσεται ὡς ἀετοῦ ἡ νεότης σου.
Ποιῶν ἐλεημοσύνας ὁ Κύριος καὶ κρῖμα πᾶσι τοῖς ἀδικουμένοις.
Ἐγνώρισε τὰς ὁδοὺς αὐτοῦ τῷ Μωυσῇ, τοῖς υἱοῖς ᾿Ισραὴλ τὰ θελήματα αὐτοῦ.
Οἰκτίρμων καὶ ἐλεήμων ὁ Κύριος, μακρόθυμος καὶ πολυέλεος· οὐκ εἰς τέλος ὀργισθήσεται, οὐδὲ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα μηνιεῖ· οὐ κατὰ τὰς ἀνομίας ἡμῶν ἐποίησεν ἡμῖν, οὐδὲ κατὰ τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν ἀνταπέδωκεν ἡμῖν ὅτι κατὰ τὸ ὕψος τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς ἐκραταίωσε Κύριος τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τοὺς φοβουμένους αὐτόν· καθόσον ἀπέχουσιν ἀνατολαὶ ἀπὸ δυσμῶν, ἐμάκρυνεν ἀφ᾿ ἡμῶν τὰς ἀνομίας ἡμῶν.
Καθὼς οἰκτείρει πατὴρ υἱούς, ᾠκτείρησε Κύριος τοὺς φοβουμένους αὐτόν, ὅτι αὐτὸς ἔγνω τὸ πλάσμα ἡμῶν, ἐμνήσθη ὅτι χοῦς ἐσμεν.
Ἄνθρωπος, ὡσεὶ χόρτος αἱ ἡμέραι αὐτοῦ· ὡσεὶ ἄνθος τοῦ ἀγροῦ, οὕτως ἐξανθήσει· ὅτι πνεῦμα διῆλθεν ἐν αὐτῷ, καὶ οὐχ ὑπάρξει καὶ οὐκ ἐπιγνώσεται ἔτι τὸν τόπον αὐτοῦ.
Τὸ δὲ ἔλεος τοῦ Κυρίου ἀπὸ τοῦ αἰῶνος καὶ ἕως τοῦ αἰῶνος ἐπὶ τοὺς φοβουμένους αὐτόν καὶ ἡ δικαιοσύνη αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ υἱοῖς υἱῶν τοῖς φυλάσσουσι τὴν διαθήκην αὐτοῦ καὶ μεμνημένοις τῶν ἐντολῶν αὐτοῦ τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτάς.
Κύριος ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ ἡτοίμασε τὸν θρόνον αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἡ βασιλεία αὐτοῦ πάντων δεσπόζει.
Εὐλογεῖτε τὸν Κύριον, πάντες οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ, δυνατοὶ ἰσχύϊ ποιοῦντες τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ τοῦ ἀκοῦσαι τῆς φωνῆς τῶν λόγων αὐτοῦ.
Εὐλογεῖτε τὸν Κύριον, πᾶσαι αἱ δυνάμεις αὐτοῦ, λειτουργοὶ αὐτοῦ ποιοῦντες τὸ θέλημα αὐτοῦ.
Eὐλογεῖτε τὸν Κύριον, πάντα τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ, ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ τῆς δεσποτείας αὐτοῦ.
Eὐλόγει, ἡ ψυχή μου, τὸν Κύριον.
Δόξα Πατρί καὶ Υἱῷ καὶ Ἁγίῳ Πνεύματι.
Καὶ Νῦν καὶ ἀεί καί εἰς τούς αἰώνας τῶν αἰώνων Ἀμήν.
Εὐλόγει, ἡ ψυχή μου τὸν Κύριον καί πάντα τὰ ἐντός μου, τὸ ὄνομα τὸ ἅγιον αὐτοῦ.
Εὐλογητός εἶ Κύριε.

Bless the Lord, o my soul; blessed art Thou, O Lord. 
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name. 
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all that He hath done for thee. Who is gracious unto all thine iniquities, Who healeth all thine infirmities. Who redeemeth thy life from corruption, Who crowneth thee with mercy and compassion. Who fulfilleth thy desire with good things; thy youth shall be renewed as the eagle's.
The Lord performeth deeds of mercy, and executeth judgment for all them that are wronged.
He hath made His ways known unto Moses, unto the sons of Israel the things that He hath willed.
Compassionate and merciful is the Lord, long-suffering and plenteous in mercy. Not unto the end will He be angered, neither unto eternity will He be wroth. Not according to our iniquities hath He dealt with us, neither according to our sins hath He rewarded us. For according to the height of heaven from the earth, the Lord hath made His mercy to prevail over them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our iniquities from us.
Like as a father hath compassion upon his sons, so hath the Lord had compassion upon them that fear Him; for He knoweth whereof we are made, He hath remembered that we are dust.
As for man, his days are as the grass; as a flower of the field, so shall he blossom forth. For when the wind is passed over it, then it shall be gone, and no longer will it know the place thereof.
But the mercy of the Lord is from eternity, even unto eternity, upon them that fear Him. And His righteousness is upon sons of sons, upon them that keep His testament and remember His commandments to do them.
The Lord in heaven hath prepared His throne, and His kingdom ruleth over all.
Bless the Lord, all ye His angels, mighty in strength, that perform His word, to hear the voice of His words.
Bless the Lord, all ye His hosts, His ministers that do His will. 
Bless the Lord, all ye His works, in every place of His dominion.
Bless the Lord, o my soul.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.  Amen.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name.
Blessed art Thou, O Lord.

Τhe Second Antiphon of the Typika in Mode Legetos (according to the Athonite tradition), chanted by the choir of the Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi, Mount Athos:

Δόξα τῷ Πατρὶ καὶ τῷ Υἱῷ καὶ τῷ Ἁγίῳ Πνεύματι.
Αἴνει ἡ ψυχή μου, τὸν Κύριον· αἰνέσω Κύριον ἐν τῇ ζωῇ μου, ψαλῶ τῷ Θεῷ μου ἕως ὑπάρχω. Μὴ πεποίθατε ἐπ᾿ ἄρχοντας, ἐπὶ υἱοὺς ἀνθρώπων, οἷς οὐκ ἔστι σωτηρία. Ἐξελεύσεται τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐπιστρέψει εἰς τὴν γῆν αὐτοῦ· ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἀπολοῦνται πάντες οἱ διαλογισμοὶ αὐτοῦ. Μακάριος οὗ ὁ Θεὸς ᾿Ιακὼβ βοηθὸς αὐτοῦ, ἡ ἐλπὶς αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ Κύριον τὸν Θεὸν αὐτοῦ. Τὸν ποιήσαντα τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν, τὴν θάλασσαν καὶ πάντα τὰ ἐν αὐτοῖς· τὸν φυλάσσοντα ἀλήθειαν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, ποιοῦντα κρῖμα τοῖς ἀδικουμένοις, διδόντα τροφὴν τοῖς πεινῶσι. Κύριος λύει πεπεδημένους, Κύριος σοφοῖ τυφλούς, Κύριος ἀνορθοῖ κατεῤῥαγμένους, Κύριος ἀγαπᾷ δικαίους, Κύριος φυλάσσει τοὺς προσηλύτους· ὀρφανὸν καὶ χήραν ἀναλήψεται καὶ ὁδὸν ἁμαρτωλῶν ἀφανιεῖ. Βασιλεύσει Κύριος εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, ὁ Θεός σου, Σιών, εἰς γενεὰν καὶ γενεάν.
Καὶ νῦν καὶ ἀεὶ καὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνα τῶν αἰώνων, Ἀμήν.
Ὁ μονογενὴς Υἱὸς καὶ Λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἀθάνατος ὑπάρχων καὶ καταδεξάμενος διὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν σωτηρίαν, σαρκωθῆναι ἐκ τῆς ἁγίας Θεοτόκου καὶ ἀειπαρθένου Μαρίας, ἀτρέπτως ἐνανθρωπήσας σταυρωθείς τε, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας, εἷς ὢν τῆς ἁγίας Τριάδος, συνδοξαζόμενος τῷ Πατρὶ καὶ τῷ Ἁγίῳ Πνεύματι, σῶσον ἡμᾶς.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Praise the Lord, O my soul.  I will praise the Lord in my life, I will chant unto my God for as long as I have my being. Trust ye not in princes, in the sons of men, in whom there is no salvation. His spirit shall go forth, and he shall return unto his earth.  In that day all his thoughts shall perish. Blessed is he of whom the God of Jacob is his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who hath made heaven and the earth, the sea and all that is therein. Who keepeth truth unto eternity, Who executeth judgment for the wronged, Who giveth food unto the hungry. The Lord looseth the fettered; the Lord maketh wise the blind; the Lord setteth aright the fallen; the Lord loveth the righteous; the Lord preserveth the proselytes. He shall adopt for His own the orphan and widow, and the way of sinners shall He destroy. The Lord shall be king unto eternity; thy God, O Zion, unto generation and generation.
Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages, Amen. 
O only-begotten Son and Word of God, Who art immortal, yet didst deign for our salvation to be incarnate of the Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, and without change didst become man, and was crucified, O Christ God, trampling down death by death. Thou Who art one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us.

The Third Antiphon of the Typika (Beatitudes) in Mode 1st (according to the Athonite tradition), chanted by "The Romeiko Ensemble":

Ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ σου μνήσθητι ἡμῶν Κύριε, ὅταν ἔλθης ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ σου.
 In Thy kingdom remember us, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy kingdom.
Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοί τῷ πνεύματι, ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Μακάριοι οἱ πενθοῦντες, ὅτι αὐτοί παρακληθήσονται.
Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Μακάριοι οἱ πραεῖς, ὁτι αὐτοί κληρονομήσουσι τὴν γῆν.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Μακάριοι οἱ πεινῶντες καὶ διψῶντες τὴν δικαιοσύνην, ὅτι αὐτοί χορτασθήσονται.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Μακάριοι οἱ ἐλεήμονες, ὅτι αὐτοί ἐλεηθήσονται.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Διά βρώσεως ἐξήγαγε, τοῦ Παραδείσου ὁ ἐχθρός τόν Ἀδάμ, διά Σταυροῦ δέ τόν Ληστήν, ἀντεισήγαγε Χριστός ἐν αὐτῷ. Μνήσθητί μου κράζοντα, ὅταν ἔλθης ἐν τῇ Βασιλείᾳ σου.
Through food the foe led Adam out of Paradise; but through the Cross Christ led back in the Thief as he cried: Remember me when you come in your Kingdom.
-Μακάριοι οἱ καθαροί τῇ καρδίᾳ ὅτι αὐτοί τὸν Θεόν ὄψονται/Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Προσκυνῶ σου τὰ παθήματα, δοξολογῶ καί τὴν Ἀνάστασιν, σύν τῷ Ἀδάμ καὶ τῷ Ληστῇ, μετὰ φωνῆς ἀναβοῶ σοι λαμπρᾶς, Μνήσθητί μου Κύριε, ὅταν ἔλθης ἐν τῇ Βασιλείᾳ σου.
I venerate your sufferings and I glorify your Resurrection; with Adam and the Thief I cry aloud with radiant voice: Remember me, Lord, when you come in your Kingdom.
-Μακάριοι οἱ εἰρηνοποιοί, ὅτι αὐτοί υἱοί Θεοῦ κληθήσονται/Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.
Ἐσταυρώθης ἀναμάρτητε, καὶ ἐν μνημείῳ κατετέθης ἐκῶν, ἀλλ' ἐξανέστης ὡς Θεός, συνεγείρας ἑαυτῷ τὸν Ἀδάμ. Μνήσθητί μου κράζοντα, ὅταν ἔλθης ἐν τῇ Βασιλείᾳ σου.
You were crucified, O sinless one, and willingly laid in a grave, but you arose as God; raised Adam with yourself as he cried: Remember me when you come in your Kingdom.
-Μακάριοι οἱ δεδιωγμένοι ἔνεκεν δικαιοσύνης, ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν/Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Τόν Ναόν σου τόν τοῦ σώματος, τῇ τριημέρῳ ἀναστήσας ταφῇ, σύν τῷ Ἀδάμ τούς ἐξ Ἀδάμ, ἐξανέστησας Χριστέ ὁ Θεός, Μνήσθητί μου κράζοντα, ὅταν ἔλθης ἐν τῇ Βασιλείᾳ σου.
Raising the temple of your body by your burial for three days, Christ God, you raised with Adam those who came from Adam as they cried: Remember me when you come in your Kingdom.
-Μακάριοί ἐστε ὅταν ὀνειδίσωσιν ὑμᾶς, καὶ διώξωσι, καὶ εἴπωσι πᾶν πονηρόν ρῆμα καθ' ὑμῶν ψευδόμενοι ἔνεκεν ἐμοῦ/Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Μυροφόροι ἦλθον κλαίουσαι, ἐπί τὸ μνῆμά σου Χριστέ ὁ Θεός, λίαν πρωΐ καὶ ἐν λευκοῖς, εὗρον Ἄγγελον καθήμενον. Τί ζητεῖτε; κράζοντα, ἐξανέστη Χριστός, μή θρηνεῖτε λοιπόν.
Myrrhbearers came weeping to your grave, Christ God, very early in the morning, and found an Angel sitting clothed in white, who cried: What do you seek? Christ has risen, mourn no longer.
-Χαίρετε καί ἀγαλλιᾶσθε, ὅτι ὁ μισθός ὑμῶν πολύς ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς/Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in the heavens.
Οἱ Ἀπόστολοί σου Κύριε, ἐπὶ τὸ ὄρος, οὗ ἐτάξω αὐτοῖς, παραγενόμενοι Σωτήρ, σὲ ἰδόντες προσεκύνησαν, οὕς καὶ ἐξαπέστειλας, εἰς τὰ ἔθνη διδάσκειν, καὶ βαπτίζειν αὐτούς.
Your Apostles, Lord, coming to the mountain that you, O Saviour, had appointed for them, saw you and worshipped you. And you sent them out to teach the nations and baptise them.

Δόξα Πατρὶ καὶ Υἱῷ καὶ Ἁγίῳ Πνεύματι.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Τόν Πατέρα προσκυνήσωμεν, καὶ τόν Υἱόν δοξολογήσωμεν, καὶ τό Πανάγιον ὁμοῦ, πᾶντες Πνεῦμα ἀνυμνήσωμεν, κράζοντες καὶ λέγοντες Παναγία Τριάς, σῶσον πάντας ἡμᾶς.
Let us all worship the Father and glorify the Son, and with them praise the all-holy Spirit, as we cry and say: All-holy Trinity, save us all.
Καί νῦν καὶ ἀεὶ καὶ εἰς τούς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων, Ἀμήν
Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages,  Amen.
Τήν Μητέρα σου προσάγει σοι, εἰς ἰκεσίαν ὁ λαός σου Χριστέ, ταῖς παρακλήσεσιν αὐτῆς, τούς οἰκτιρμούς σου δός ἡμῖν Ἀγαθέ, ἵνα σέ δοξάζωμεν, τὸν ἐκ τάφου ἡμῖν ἀνατείλαντα.
Your people, O Christ, brings you your Mother to intercede; at her entreaties, O Good One, grant us your compassion, that we may glorify you, who dawned for us from the tomb.
Reviews / Re: MY BOOKS (Shameless Self-Promotion)
« Last post by Gebre Menfes Kidus on Today at 06:25:43 AM »
While we have books ... You need the actual hands-on experience.

Not sure I understand your comment. Would you mind explaining?


For example, learning a trade or learning how to complete a tasked skill means having the means to support yourself.

OK, thanks for explaining. Although I don't necessarily agree with you. I know many very skilled people who struggle to earn a living, and I know many very unskilled people who are quite rich. Which is why we Orthodox Christian artisans, artists, musicians, and writers need to support one another.

Faith Issues / Re: Spiritual growth
« Last post by OrthoDisco on Today at 06:10:27 AM »
Whew. This is such a deep question.

Well I also came from an evangelical tradition since a young adult.  I guess you would like to know about our relationship with God? Or how we feel we are being lead by God?

Well, At the moment the Lord is showing me how to remember Him first. Currently Im going around saying "It is the Lord" or "the Lord is here" whenever something bad happens or when I feel myself start to slip into negative thinking. (I was listening to this podcast which prompted me to start doing this:
I deal a lot with depression and some other mental health issues, and God has shown me that these challenges, which i had little spiritual comfort over in my previous tradition, are given me for my own salvation. This has actually been a difficult thing for me to accept. In my previous tradition i saw my struggles as a sign of weakness and shame, that something was wrong with me because I couldnt conquer them, or that my faith was weak because I was continually dealing with it. In Orthodoxy, the Lord has shown me that He is right there with me in the midst of all the turmoil that I experience. What's more, the traditions and rituals and prayers of the church are like a medicine and therapy for me. While God might not need those things from me, I totally need those things from Him.  God has not left me without tools to help me, and therefore he has not left me to fend for myself. This has been an amazing gift from Him.

I could go on and on on about this current journey of mine. Suffice to say that it is always difficult to explain the nuances to people who are outside the church. Let alone in a forum post. Orthodoxy really does have to be experienced. I will say that I now understand how much wisdom and theology has been lost since the western churches have thrown out all the early church's traditions or "primitive theology". As i started to understand Orthodoxy and what the church's understanding is of who God is, I began to feel angry as someone who felt they had been lied to for most of their life. (This was my feeling at the time.) I felt like I had been brainwashed to be made afraid of things that looked Roman Catholic. etc.  But then the Lord showed me that I should not be angry, but that I needed to be thankful for the things that I was given - a chance to come to know Christ and His love. Perhaps it was not the Lord's will that I should find the Orthodox church until God knew I was ready.  The Lord has been so faithful to me throughout my life, and it was an answer to some very desperate prayers. Glory to God.

Good luck on your journey, Daniel.
Reviews / Re: MY BOOKS (Shameless Self-Promotion)
« Last post by WPM on Today at 05:47:52 AM »
While we have books ... You need the actual hands-on experience.

Not sure I understand your comment. Would you mind explaining?


For example, learning a trade or learning how to complete a tasked skill means having the means to support yourself.

Reviews / Re: MY BOOKS (Shameless Self-Promotion)
« Last post by Gebre Menfes Kidus on Today at 04:48:33 AM »
While we have books ... You need the actual hands-on experience.

Not sure I understand your comment. Would you mind explaining?

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