Author Topic: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...  (Read 2923 times)

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Offline Justin Kissel

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If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« on: October 31, 2010, 02:35:56 AM »
For the converts on the board...

If you could go back and tell your pre-conversion self something that would have benefited you, or if you could tell potential converts now something that might make their experience more productive, what would you say?

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2010, 04:42:12 AM »
More praxis, less theoria.

Offline biro

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2010, 12:32:56 PM »
Every time you go to church, make sure your shoes are on the correct feet.

Every time.
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Offline FormerReformer

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2010, 01:13:21 PM »
Don't waste time with the Episcopalians, the Orthodox Church has exactly what you're looking for.

I could have saved myself thirteen years of ecclesial uncertainty.
"Funny," said Lancelot, "how the people who can't pray say that prayers are not answered, however much the people who can pray say they are."  TH White

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Offline Thankful

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2010, 07:30:27 PM »
Stop settling for a church that doesn't manifest "the fullness of him who fills everything in every way."
« Last Edit: October 31, 2010, 07:31:17 PM by Thankful »

Offline Iconodule

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2010, 07:34:28 PM »
"Worldly politics and ideologies are a dead end and leave one spiritually stunted..."

Offline orthonorm

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2010, 08:04:27 PM »
For the converts on the board...

If you could go back and tell your pre-conversion self something that would have benefited you . . . what would you say?

I am actually doing that exact thing right now.

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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2010, 08:22:33 PM »
For the converts on the board...

If you could go back and tell your pre-conversion self something that would have benefited you . . . what would you say?

I am actually doing that exact thing right now.

Quote from: Future Me
Stop Reading OC.net

Sounds like a plan. Good luck!

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2010, 08:24:22 PM »
If I could go back, I'd tell myself to not get wrapped up in all sorts of intellectualized problems

Offline KBN1

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2010, 09:56:18 PM »
Pray.

Offline Quinault

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2010, 09:57:24 PM »
I am a fairly new convert, but we were interested long before we made the jump. I would tell my Orthodox curious self before the jump that there is no need to wait on account of the kids. I waited and waited to try an Orthodox service with kids because I assumed there would be nothing for them in the Orthodox church. The truth is that they took to it like a fish takes to water. Waiting like we did seems so pointless in retrospect. There was some resistance at first, but now they cry when they can't attend church because they love it so much.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2010, 09:58:11 PM by Quinault »

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2010, 11:44:05 AM »
For the converts on the board...

If you could go back and tell your pre-conversion self something that would have benefited you, or if you could tell potential converts now something that might make their experience more productive, what would you say?

Don't take yourself so seriously.
You don't know half as much as you think you do. Deal with it.
It's not about you.
Relax.

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom

Offline tuesdayschild

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2010, 11:48:13 AM »
For the converts on the board...

If you could go back and tell your pre-conversion self something that would have benefited you . . . what would you say?

I am actually doing that exact thing right now.

Quote from: Future Me
Stop Reading OC.net

 :D

Offline brittrossiter

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2010, 11:50:13 AM »
If I could go back, I'd tell myself to not get wrapped up in all sorts of intellectualized problems

Exactly.  Same here.  Pray, pray, and pray again.  Then go back and pray some more. 

Offline stavros_388

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2010, 11:51:47 AM »
If I could go back, I'd tell myself to not get wrapped up in all sorts of intellectualized problems

Same here.

I'd also tell myself to slow down and be a catechumen under instruction for a year or so before diving in, so I could better understand what living and being Orthodox would really entail.
"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai

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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2010, 11:54:03 AM »
The Church is not about oppression, dogmatism and authoritarianism. Don't believe what its enemies say about it.
Many energies, three persons, two natures, one God, one Church, one Baptism.

Offline quietmorning

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2010, 07:59:23 PM »
- Give yourself a GOOD year to experience and know absolutely nothing during that year. . . it's not a quick jump in thing. . . it's a true relationship that requires patience and development.  (By the time a year is past, you'll realize that you'll be in this ever learning, ever growing more and more in love for the rest of your life.)

- Ask questions. Ask lots of questions. 

- Be humble. 

- If you read a book, and that book recommends a book - ask your priest if it's appropriate for you to read at this time.  If he says yes, go for it, if he says no, trust him and wait until you've received more instruction so that you understand how to apply the book you want to read.

- Be in the mindset to grow like you've never grown before as a Christian.  Know that you will be stretched, honed, challenged an then challenge some more. 
In His Mercy,
BethAnna

Offline orthonorm

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2010, 08:12:49 PM »
For the converts on the board...

If you could go back and tell your pre-conversion self something that would have benefited you . . . what would you say?

I am actually doing that exact thing right now.

Quote from: Future Me
Stop Reading OC.net

Sounds like a plan. Good luck!

Like I am known to take advice, especially from some jerk who claims to be me from the future. If he were me, he would know that and not waste his time traveling abilities with such pointless acts.

At least that is the advice I would give future me.

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Offline nrse

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2010, 08:42:45 PM »
as an inquirer- nearly into the "full year" of asking lots and lots of questions...(my poor dear priest has been so patient)....i am going to read and re-read this thread....do what it says then come back and read it again....thank you!! (except the stop reading OC net of course ;))

Offline biro

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2010, 08:44:41 PM »
Don't be afraid to ask questions, or to meet people. It may take time, but it'll happen.  :)

If you are concerned about language issues, look for a service book, or pamphlets they may have with copies of the briefer services as well. I picked up a lot by reading the Orthros booklets. Also, ask the parish staff for help. If you can't get a guidebook at the parish, there may be some online. Don't think that you have to let yourself be confused- relax, enjoy the services, ask around and someone should be able to help you. The newness may seem daunting at first, but it will be much better with time.  :)

Try to take in a parish event from time to time, whether the coffee hour after church or something else. It will help break the ice, and you can find some new friends.

Read at home, if you have time. Your church may have a lending library. If not, there's the public library, and so on. If you're ready for the catechumenate, your priest may ask you to read some things. There are some excellent materials out there about the lives of the saints, the councils, etc. These will help to open up what you know about the Church, and strengthen your faith.

Don't give up.   :)  :angel:
He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will have no end.

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Offline Punch

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2010, 10:14:14 PM »
I would have studied the different jurisdictions much more instead of assuming that all Orthodox Christians believed the same things.  I should have spent more time on some of the forums.  It would have saved a lot of hurt, and possibly been better for my family.
I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.

Offline LBK

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2010, 12:44:53 AM »
Quote
I would have studied the different jurisdictions much more instead of assuming that all Orthodox Christians believed the same things.


Individual people whop happen to be Orthodox might vary in what they believe in, but every Orthodox church (Greek, Russian, Sebian, Romanian, etc), irrespective of jurisdiction, believes and proclaims the same things. Please, please pay attention to Orthodox hymnography and iconography by keeping eyes and ears open! these are truly the most accessible sources of Orthodox theology and doctrine, yet, all too often ignored.
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Offline Punch

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2010, 07:05:29 PM »
Quote
I would have studied the different jurisdictions much more instead of assuming that all Orthodox Christians believed the same things.


Individual people whop happen to be Orthodox might vary in what they believe in, but every Orthodox church (Greek, Russian, Sebian, Romanian, etc), irrespective of jurisdiction, believes and proclaims the same things. Please, please pay attention to Orthodox hymnography and iconography by keeping eyes and ears open! these are truly the most accessible sources of Orthodox theology and doctrine, yet, all too often ignored.

And too often left out of the services in some jurisdictions.
I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.

Offline herbalgirl

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2010, 02:41:24 PM »
- Give yourself a GOOD year to experience and know absolutely nothing during that year. . . it's not a quick jump in thing. . . it's a true relationship that requires patience and development.  (By the time a year is past, you'll realize that you'll be in this ever learning, ever growing more and more in love for the rest of your life.)

BethAnna,

When you say the above quoted, do you mean being a catechumen, or just attending services, reading, asking questions? 

Thanks,

Michelle

Offline herbalgirl

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2010, 02:42:09 PM »
I forgot to mention- Great thread!  Thank you for starting this.  I'll be taking notes.  :)

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2010, 02:54:41 PM »
Don't let others discourage you by their words or actions, whether they mean to do it or not.

Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2010, 03:03:59 PM »
hm.....  I would have told myself not to spend so much time thinking about excuses on why not to go, and just go with my friend to liturgy!

Offline quietmorning

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2010, 03:58:43 PM »
- Give yourself a GOOD year to experience and know absolutely nothing during that year. . . it's not a quick jump in thing. . . it's a true relationship that requires patience and development.  (By the time a year is past, you'll realize that you'll be in this ever learning, ever growing more and more in love for the rest of your life.)

BethAnna,

When you say the above quoted, do you mean being a catechumen, or just attending services, reading, asking questions? 

Thanks,

Michelle

Michelle, I was an inquirer for a year before I became a catechumen - but I didn't stop with this idea of knowing nothing when I became a catechumen.  It is a true conversion. . .I'm learning everything, and I mean EVERYTHING . .. NEW.  I found at first that the things I thought I knew were largely incorrect or very very inept and incomplete.  So if you go in with an open mind deciding that you are there to learn, you will be at the advantage.   There is so MUCH . . .that I'll go with this attitude for the rest of my life, me thinks.  :)  But then, even St. Paul resolved to know nothing except Christ crucified. 

It seriously took me a good year to 'live' fully in the change of it all.  I'm so glad I didn't rush. . . I wanted this to be a life changing experience with a full commitment - not a flash in the pan kind of thing.
In His Mercy,
BethAnna

Offline Sleepyhead

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2010, 08:39:01 AM »

1) Spend time in prayer. Don't be too hard on yourself if you miss the mark.
Catechumens are often too hard on themselves. God isn't a rule book; the Orthodox faith is neither choking, suffocating dogmas (in the negative sense of the word, mind you!) nor a trip to hippie la-la-land. Oh, and if you come across Orthodox parishes or communities which smell of any of the two things I just mentioned, you should listen to the little voice that tells you to head for the door and go find another (Orthodox) parish.

2) Forgive. Takes a lifetime, yes, but you might as well get started.

3) Someone else already mentioned this, but: visit (more) parishes under different jurisdictions and in different places, if possible. I did this, but wish I would've done it more. The parish where I was baptised and chrismated was a healthy one, but one should be aware that this is not always the case: it hit me like a ton of bricks later. This doesn't mean that the Orthodox faith isn't true or that healthy parishes are 'perfect' and sinless (no such thing); it just means that reality isn't always rosy, even within the Church.















Offline recent convert

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2010, 09:56:41 AM »
Keep the focus on Jesus Christ as our savior always of course, His commands that form the basics of faith like the 2 great commands on love, the golden rule, the 10 commandments, the Beatitudes, to pray, fast (keep counsel with a priest here), alms giving, the Lord's prayer, the need for confession and the Eucharist, know & study the Nicene creed,  and hopefully find a congenial parish within resonable commuting distance. Always read the New Testament and I would recommend reading the Didache for a snapshot of the ancient basic faith. Avoid complexities. Hope this seems reasonable.
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #30 on: November 04, 2010, 10:56:45 AM »
Other note to self: Don't read scripture on your own without guidance. Read the daily scripture readings with commentary provided by your parish. The temptation to interpret your own meanings and draw your own conclusions from scripture is too great.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 10:57:44 AM by Ortho_cat »

Offline arnI

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #31 on: November 04, 2010, 06:04:11 PM »
After reading the basics about Orthodoxy, do not delay attending Divine Liturgy. Gradually you will learn the fullness of the Liturgy and Orthodoxy. Take your time and be patient. Remember it is not a sprint to the finish line, but a long strenuous journey requiring much energy. Pray often, read the Daily Readings, attend Liturgy for strength. 
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Offline chrevbel

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #32 on: November 04, 2010, 07:37:42 PM »
I am actually doing that exact thing right now.
Quote from: Future Me
Stop Reading OC.net
Sounds like a plan. Good luck!
At least that is the advice I would give future me.
Wait a minute.  The future you advises not to read OC.net but will still post to OC.net?

I don't get it.

Offline myrrhbear

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2010, 09:02:44 PM »
It would be, "Listen to your husband! You've trusted his judgement in everything else, why should this be different?"
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

Offline Agia Marina

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #34 on: November 27, 2010, 10:20:44 PM »
...I would have converted years ago and raised my son in the Church.  This is my only regret.  :-[
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Offline lizzyd

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #35 on: November 27, 2010, 10:33:37 PM »
I'm a relatively new Orthodox Christian and I don't have too many "shoulda woulda coulda" thoughts. I am so thankful for the way that my husband and I came to Orthodoxy in a very simultaneous, united way. We were previously lapsed Protestants/borderline agnostic.

Anyway the one thing that I might do differently would be to change the manner in which we introduced Orthodoxy to our family/friends. While we didn't do or say anything wrong, we were just so overeager and perhaps a little bit overwhelming, I am afraid.

Offline GiC

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2010, 02:23:03 AM »
For the converts on the board...

If you could go back and tell your pre-conversion self something that would have benefited you, or if you could tell potential converts now something that might make their experience more productive, what would you say?

The next few weeks' winning lottery numbers, companies to buy stock in, business ideas that sounded insane (and still do) but were irrationally successful (e.g. facebook).
« Last Edit: November 28, 2010, 02:24:58 AM by GiC »
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Offline Azul

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #37 on: March 12, 2012, 03:19:31 PM »
For the converts on the board...

If you could go back and tell your pre-conversion self something that would have benefited you . . . what would you say?

I am actually doing that exact thing right now.

Quote from: Future Me
Stop Reading OC.net

We need our priests back , esspecially Irish Hermit and iamlsry .. May God bless them and keep them always!
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Offline JamesR

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #38 on: March 12, 2012, 04:54:32 PM »
'Look, I know that you are struggling with your spiritual life; distancing yourself from silly Protestant Christian teachings, feeling tempted by the atheists and Buddhists. And, your dissatisfaction with Christianity is entirely correct, however, it is ONLY correct with the type of Christianity you have been exposed to. Protestantism is not Christianity. Join the Eastern Orthodox Church and study the history, believe me, it is correct. And it has apostolic foundations, the history you've always wanted.'
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
In the infinite wisdom of God, James can be all three.

Offline Orthodox11

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #39 on: March 12, 2012, 05:08:18 PM »
Orthodoxy as described on forums - particularly the stereotypes about different ethnic churches - bears little or no resemblance to the real thing. The real thing, thank God, is much better.

Offline LBK

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #40 on: March 12, 2012, 05:19:08 PM »
We need our priests back , esspecially Irish Hermit and iamlsry .. May God bless them and keep them always!

ialmisry is not a priest, but is still here. Irish Hermit has been banned from the forum.  >:( :'( :'( The only way he can return is if the moderators reverse the ban on him.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 05:19:37 PM by LBK »
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Offline Alpo

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #41 on: March 12, 2012, 05:21:31 PM »
Stop reading books and spending too much time on internet and get to know people.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 05:22:43 PM by Alpo »

Offline Thomas

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Re: If You Only Knew Then What You Know Now...
« Reply #42 on: March 12, 2012, 07:59:49 PM »
This Convert Issues topic has been HIJACKED and is closed as imappropriate for the Convert Issues forum and at odds with the public purpose of the Convert Issues Forum.

Thomas
Convert Issues Forum Moderator
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