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Author Topic: What to read? and an introduction!  (Read 368 times) Average Rating: 0
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IsmiLiora
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« on: March 06, 2011, 07:35:57 PM »

Hi everyone, my name is Liora (well, my Hebrew one anyway  Grin).

My husband and I are...shall I say 'in the process' of converting to Orthodoxy.

We come from drastically different backgrounds. I was raised Roman Catholic (went to Catholic high school, the works!) but was seduced by the charismatic evangelical church in my college years. After my born again experience, I remained in non-denominational churches for several years. Over the past two years, I started discovering that I had serious issues with many of the works published by evangelical authors. Eventually, I stopped reading any other perspectives and I only read the Bible for about a year.

"There's something wrong with that," one of my charismatic acquaintances told me. "You might be blocked because of some spiritual dark forces." Yes, I realized, there was something wrong with that. But it wasn't that the Devil was tainting my view of the writers. I no longer believed what the church was selling.

Enter my fiance (now husband). He was raised Pentecostal, but he LOVED the Roman Catholic church. We met at one of the non-denominational churches and realized that we had very similar views. Right after our engagement, he told me that we needed to really start searching for our spiritual home and pray about finding a church that we felt was doctrinally correct and spiritually uplifting.

After some research, I told him that I would attend a Baptist and Lutheran church. Even though I rejected mainline evangelical Christianity, I did not want to go back to the Catholic church (for several reasons). I casually mentioned Eastern Orthodoxy, which he was intrigued by, but I warned him that it would probably resemble Catholicism too much, and I would most likely not want to attend that church.

Over the next year or so, I secretly began reading more and more about the Orthodox church. My heart wasn't there yet, but I kept returning to certain articles over and over. We attended a Baptist church and I knew that things didn't feel right. My husband agreed, but he wanted to give it a chance. One day, after a pastor spent the entire sermon talking about how many people he saved, we got into the car and I said, "We're done. I never want to go to that church again."

"Okay," he said. "That sermon WAS ridiculous. But where do you want to go?"

I told him that I had been reading about the Orthodox church for several months, and I believed that it was time for us to go there and at least talk to the priest. He had only read a little bit at this point, so he asked me to tell him more about it. We were excited but also nervous, since we only had Orthodox acquaintances. We have no family members or ties to any of the national churches.

Eventually I called up our local Greek Orthodox priest, and as they say, God worked on our hearts and we were drawn to the church immediately. Walking around the building itself - I couldn't breathe. It was an amazing experience. During my time in the charismatic church, I couldn't stand the concept of statues and paintings in the church, and I was afraid about seeing so many icons. To say the least, it was strangely comforting. I felt at peace.

Now we're in the learning stage...nothing is set in stone yet, but we are feeling more and more drawn to the church each day. We feel blessed that this journey is beginning during the Lenten season. Our priest has given us several books, but I wanted to ask if any of you had any recommendations for us to read during this time.

I look forward to learning more and interacting with all of you!

Liora
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2011, 07:50:01 PM »

I'm sure this open is already on your list, but The Orthodox Way by Bishop Kallistos Ware is a spectacular read for a newbie (like me!) IMHO.

May our journeys this Great  Lent both be fruitful!

In Christ,
Jim
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2011, 08:06:46 PM »

Liora, I really enjoyed reading your story.  My husband and I (and our children) started the journey into Orthodoxy two years ago during Lent (and were baptized a year ago or so), so I have a tender spot for beginning to attend services at this time of year.  With that in mind, I'd really recommend just going to as many services as you can since there is going to be a lot of them, and real Orthodoxy will be right there going for the taking.  The best way to learn Orthodoxy is through going to church and praying -- so what an opportunity you have!  Not to say "don't read" (and Jim's is a good suggestion; another one I'd make is Matthew Gallatin's Thirsting for God in a Land of Shallow Wells), but I know that going to services during the week two years ago, and more naturally on the weekends, did oh, so much to introduce us to the Orthodox faith lifestyle. 

Welcome to the forum!  We love, love, love the gift God has given us in the Orthodox faith, after 25 and more years in Protestantism. 
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IsmiLiora
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2011, 08:21:12 PM »

Thank you for the recs so far!

Yes, Thankful, we are trying to make room in our schedule to attend as many services as possible. I actually look forward to every Sunday and I'm interested in experiencing the vespers and the other services during Lent.
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She's touring the facility/and picking up slack.
--
"For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow." Ecclesiastes 1:18
--
I once believed in causes too, I had my pointless point of view --
Life went on no matter who was wrong or right
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