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Author Topic: This is a thread to introduce yourself....  (Read 2602 times) Average Rating: 0
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Matthew777
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« on: August 15, 2006, 05:10:32 PM »

I've noticed that there are a few new people to the forum, and I think it would be nice if we introduced ourselves to each other, and perhaps gave a short biography of our spiritual lives.

My name is Matthew. I am the grandson of Greek immigrants and, as an infant, was baptised and chrismated into the Greek Orthodox Church. My father, however, later converted to the Catholic faith of my mother, and I was raised in the Roman Church. In my junior year of high school, I renounced Catholicism, dabbled in Evangelical Protestantism, and eventually found a home in a local congregation of the Indian Orthodox Church.
For four years, I have learned more and more of my chosen faith, constantly reading works of theology, discussing with members of the clergy, and searching the Scriptures.

I am a journalism student and, rather than working for the mainstream media, would like to be part of a religious or political publication. Any political view that I have, or any position that I take as a journalist, is inspired by my faith in the Gospel and its egalitarian principles. 
 
If I am not married by the age of 35, I intend on joining the monastic life, and would hope to visit this monastery in the near future:
www.vashonmonks.com
 
Whether you are Orthodox, a religious seeker, or someone deeply devoted to your faith tradition while thirsting for a sense of fellowship beyond your own Church, I humbly welcome you to the best forum of all time.
 
Peace.
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2006, 07:37:39 PM »

Dude. Christian Forums and Catholic Answers Forums have threads for people to introduce themselves... Can't we start a new tradition?
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2006, 08:50:16 PM »

I am confused by your reply post to your original thread here.

Are you talking to yourself? Who is dude in this case?
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2006, 08:52:17 PM »

Are you talking to yourself? Who is dude in this case?
Matthew, meet Matthew!  Cheesy
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2006, 09:00:58 PM »

If I am not married by the age of 35, I intend on joining the monastic life
Nothing like giving God second place.  Not to criticize you, but I doubt that any decent abbot of a monastery would accept the reason "Well, I'm 35, not married, so I want to become a monk" as admittance to the monastic life.
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Zastupnice christianov nepostydnaja, chodatajice ko Tvorcu nepreložnaja, ne prezri hr’išnych molenij hlasy, popredvari jako blahaja na pomošč nas, virno vopijuščich ti: Uskori na molitvu, i potščisja na umolenije, zastupajušči prisno Bohorodice, čtuščich t’a.
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2006, 07:24:22 AM »

I must be dude!.    Here is my abbreviated story.  I am like 5th generation German/Irish on my Mom's side and second generation Polish on my Dad's side.  Obviously being of Polish and Irish descent, I was brought up in a Roman Catholic household.  A pretty devout Catholic household; not the couch Catholics or whatever other stereotype names people may use.    I was given the name of a Catholic saint at birth.  By Name, I mean first and last name of a saint. (and yes.  If you go back 400 years he is related.  The story goes..)  My intent growing up was to become a Catholic priest.  I was enrolled in a Catholic seminary, but then converted to Orthodoxy instead.

Contrary to the thread entitled "downside to being a convert", I actually did the opposite.   I converted at the Holy Transfig monastery in Boston and resided there several years; not as monk or novice, just resided there for a while. Once I realized the world wasn't ending, I left both HTM and the HOCNA.  Upon leaving, I took one of the Fathers advice and joined up with a ROCOR parish.  I didn't remain at the ROCOR long.  I loved the church but had no intentions of learning Slavonic.  (100% Slavonic where I live.)  Per the advice of the priest there, I shifted to the local OCA parish and have been there since.

Thats it in a nutshell..
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2006, 07:59:55 AM »

My name is Dan. I am the grandson of Serbian (Father) & Italian (Mother) immigrants and, as an infant, was baptised into the Roamn Catholic faith of my mother, and I was raised in the Roman Church. In college I renounced Catholicism and actively joined Evangelical Protestantism. Upon having a personal crises I found evangelicalism to lack any answers. Like the prodigal I returned home to the Orthodox Church, not seeking answers just to worship and serve God.

For five years now, I have learned more and more of my chosen faith, constantly reading works of theology, discussing with members of the clergy, and searching the Scriptures.

I am a commercial real estate appraiser with my own business, married and father of a daughter. She is the answer to my prayers and the resolution of the crises. She is baptised Orthodox. Any political view that I have is filterd through m upbringing in a mixed Orthodox/Catholic working class family, ergo, I lean Democrat, but will often vote Republican. It depends many times on the person running for office.   
 
I am contemplating becoming a sub-deacon.
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2006, 08:54:39 AM »

My name is David Bryan.

Grew up mostly with mom, a devout evangelical Protestant, in whose footsteps I followed throughout childhood.  Went on mission trips during high school, led the high school Bible Study for a year, during which times I was exposed to the charismatic movement within Protestantism (so I was sort of a "Bapticostal," you might say).  Because of this influence, I enrolled in, attended and graduated from Oral Roberts University (a charismatic mecca of sorts for college-age charismatics), where I met the love of my life, Audra.  It was during my time at Oral Roberts U that the questions which had been planted during my years in high school came to fruition and, long story short, after about two years of searching, I was chrismated into the Orthodox Church on Holy Saturday, 2001 in the Antiochian parish in Tulsa, OK.  My then-fiancée, Audra, was chrismated the following December, and we were married the following June.

We now live in Texas (where I was born) and I'm now a tonsured reader in our local OCA parish.  No contemplations at this time of becoming anything else; happy as a reader, a Spanish teacher, and a daddy to the most ornery, gorgeous, thirteen-month old girl in Creation.  She's the answer to prayer, that's for sure--kids are that, right Dan?--and we're so thankful for her.
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2006, 10:00:59 AM »

I'm Justin. I was baptized Roman Catholic as an infant, but was never confirmed and was raised in mostly nominally Protestant homes. I became an Evangelical/fundamentalist at the age of eighteen, and started to devote most of my free time to Bible study/debate. I was "on fire for God," as they say. At the age of twenty I began attending one of my denomination's colleges as a Bible studies major, but as I studied the things like sola scriptura, sola fidei, and Church history, I realised by the end of the first year that I had to move on. After searching for an alternative, I became an Orthodox Christian at the age of twenty-two. So I switched from Bible study/debate to mostly Church History and Patristics study/debate.

Unfortunately, though life (or God) gave me a lot of bad qualities that makes me a louse as a father and husband, for some reason I was given a good memory when it comes to abstract arguments and ideas. And so, as the years passed, I had been collecting difficulties with Christianity in the back of my mind. Many times I would openly try to rationalise or justify the difficulties, when other people would bring them up for discussion. After about eight years of excusing and justifying, I began asking questions. I asked priests, I asked discussion boards, I read, I prayed. And, I could not find answers that were helpful. But at the same time, I had not been dissuaded from my belief that Orthodoxy was the best manifestation of Christianity, and the most faithful to the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles.

So for the first time since I had become a Christian, I had to think about whether I should be a Christian at all. In the previous eight years, no matter what the trouble, I always just took for granted a priori that I was supposed to be a Christian. Even when I had first become a Christian I just assumed that that was what I was supposed to be, and hadn't really looked into whether that assumption was correct (though I wouldn't have been intellectually mature enough to come to a proper conclusion at eighteen anyway). I had read many defenses of Christianity over the years, many arguments about why it is true, why it is unique, etc. But upon reexamination of why I should be a Christian at all, I did not find answers that were helpful.

So I stopped calling myself a Christian, and at the age of twenty-six started calling myself an agnostic. The truth is, in actual conduct (prayer, fasting, church attendance, etc.) I had not been a Christian for some time before that. I suppose in some ways I never fully was a Christian, though that would be another thread (having to do with what effect genetics, life experience, etc. has on our spirituality, and whether that effect is permanent or somewhat reversible). I stick around this forum because I'm a friendly gadfly, and I have to do what friendly gadflies do somewhere. Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2006, 10:48:06 AM »

My name is Anastasios. I was raised Lutheran, and at age 18 converted to the Byzantine Catholic Church.ÂÂ  About a year later I began to realize we came from the Orthodox and wanted to know why. I ended up going to St Vladimir's Seminary to study Orthodoxy there.ÂÂ  I founded this site with Robert and Phil in part as a way to explore Orthodoxy as well for myself and others, and it quickly through God's grace became the largest Orthodox discussion board in existence.  While at St Vladimir's, I became concerned about ecumenism and ended up attending the Greek Old Calendarist Church of St Markella's in Astoria, NY, where I was baptized with my wife after a long catechumenate.ÂÂ  Now I just try to focus on being a better Orthodox Christian. There is a lot of joy, and it is hard work. But I love the Orthodox Church.

Anastasios
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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2006, 03:45:56 PM »

Quote
She's the answer to prayer, that's for sure--kids are that, right Dan?--and we're so thankful for her.

Amen to that brother!
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« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2006, 03:49:23 PM »

Quote
There is a lot of joy, and it is hard work. But I love the Orthodox Church.

Amen to that brother.

Gee,t his is becoming the Amen Corner.

Oh well back to the topic at hand brothers and sisters.
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« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2006, 05:49:00 PM »

Nothing like giving God second place.ÂÂ

If I were married, I'd serve as a deacon or priest. Marriage is a vocation in itself, and raising children in the faith is a service to God. I'm sure the parents of this board could vouch for that.
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« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2006, 07:57:45 PM »

If I were married, I'd serve as a deacon or priest. Marriage is a vocation in itself, and raising children in the faith is a service to God. I'm sure the parents of this board could vouch for that.

Um, In the RCC marriage is considered a vocation.

But what Carpathio was saying is that you should give thought to your calling. Is your calling marriage, or is it something else?
Carpathio - if I understood correctly was merely asking you to give another look at your heart and your motivation.
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« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2006, 08:59:56 PM »

Carpathio - if I understood correctly was merely asking you to give another look at your heart and your motivation.
Exactly, especially the motivation.  Entering the monastic life because one couldn't find a wife is the wrong reason for becoming a monk.  It's almost like running away from a problem (lack of finding a suitable mate).  Any real monastic will tell you that the problems that you think you are leaving behind when you enter a monastery follow you and present themselves in bigger and more serious ways.
Dismus,
FYI... it's Carpatho (Russian).  This is my ethnic background.  The Carpatho Russians (Rusyns) come from the Carpathian Mountains in what is now southeastern Poland, Slovakia, and western Ukraine.  Our people believe that they received their Orthodox Christianity from the "Apostles to the Slavs" Saints Cyril and Methodius in the ninth century.  Although originally Orthodox, during the 1500-1600's due to pressure from the Polish and Hungarian empires they were living in (and for political reasons) they united themselves with the Pope of Rome but were allowed to follow the Eastern Rite.  My grandparents, when they came to America re-united with the Orthodox Church along with many others from that region (due in part for being treated as 2nd rate Catholics by the RC bishops and clergy in America).
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« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2006, 09:44:11 PM »

Exactly, especially the motivation.  Entering the monastic life because one couldn't find a wife is the wrong reason for becoming a monk.  It's almost like running away from a problem (lack of finding a suitable mate).  Any real monastic will tell you that the problems that you think you are leaving behind when you enter a monastery follow you and present themselves in bigger and more serious ways.
Dismus,
FYI... it's Carpatho (Russian).  This is my ethnic background.  The Carpatho Russians (Rusyns) come from the Carpathian Mountains in what is now southeastern Poland, Slovakia, and western Ukraine.  Our people believe that they received their Orthodox Christianity from the "Apostles to the Slavs" Saints Cyril and Methodius in the ninth century.  Although originally Orthodox, during the 1500-1600's due to pressure from the Polish and Hungarian empires they were living in (and for political reasons) they united themselves with the Pope of Rome but were allowed to follow the Eastern Rite.  My grandparents, when they came to America re-united with the Orthodox Church along with many others from that region (due in part for being treated as 2nd rate Catholics by the RC bishops and clergy in America).

~~~~ Rome again and again for the arrogance! Sorry, but IMHO that sucks! 2nd rate Catholics?
Gimme a break.. they allow Charismatic (*&^ and they are treating certain ethnic backround Catholics like a redheaded stepchild?? This post makes my blood boil. Where is that Catholioc know it all poster now? Universal ~~~~~!!

Sorry for the offense - none intended- anyone here can vouch my spelling sucks. I try- but when I post here I don't feel like I need to be on my toes. I felt comfortable here being my own stupid but honest self.
Your story bothers me very much, but I am so happy for you that you found the loving arms of the Orthodox to help you heal that unforgivable pain. I am mad.  Angry

But that does not get Matthew off the hook does it??
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« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2006, 11:12:29 PM »

Exactly, especially the motivation.ÂÂ  Entering the monastic life because one couldn't find a wife is the wrong reason for becoming a monk.ÂÂ  It's almost like running away from a problem (lack of finding a suitable mate).ÂÂ  

What I am basically saying is that I am too young and irresponsible to make any significant life decision, whether it be marriage or monasticism. The fact of the matter is that I want to belong to the clergy, if that is what God calls me to do. The question is where, whether it be in a monastery, a church congregation, or serving the poor in a distant nation. Whenever the time comes, it will hopefully be God, not me, having the final word.

Now, back to introductions... Smiley

Peace.
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« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2006, 11:45:57 PM »

What I am basically saying is that I am too young and irresponsible to make any significant life decision, whether it be marriage or monasticism.

Or, since you said you're too immature to know for sure, you could be a celibate bank teller or a celibate department store manager.  Setting up a "whether it be this or that" option is not leaving yourself open to God's will.  You may never be called to the clergy, Matthew, nor the monastic life.  You might be called to get married, you might stay single.  Don't make any plans.
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« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2006, 11:47:14 PM »

Don't make any plans.

Exactly. 
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« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2006, 12:11:08 AM »

Mat ....shut up about yourself already....Sheeeshh Roll Eyes

  Hey mods....lets start a folder in the free for all section called " Matthews Life and drivel"....it would save us all a lot of time.
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« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2006, 12:26:04 AM »

Mat ....shut up about yourself already....Sheeeshh Roll Eyes

Good idea. Talking about myself makes me feel uncomfortable. But saying that, of course, would be talking about myself.

Why don't you give an introduction of yourself and your spiritual life?

Peace.
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« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2006, 01:33:47 AM »

Well....I was baptized Episcopalian and did all that Episcopalian stuff for a while, then kind of more or less quit for a while like most kids do.  When I was 15 I went on  a mission trip to Mexico and that was when I started to take God seriously and wanted to follow Him.  I started reading more about Christianity(Episcopalians do such a crappy job of teaching basic Christian ideas....I seriously didn't know Jesus was God and thought we were polytheists!), and then the Church.  I got interested in Roman Catholicism for a while, then eventually found out about Orthodoxy via several things coinciding: reading about theosis in the Catholic Catechism, reading a book about Greeks in Detroit(Middlesex), and reading an article on fasting by Frederica Matthews-Green.  I went to my first Divine Liturgy last July(you can read about it on this forum if you check my post history!), and then I became a catechumen in the OCA in October, and after many bumps along the way that we don't need to get into here I was baptized on Holy Saturday of this year at the age of 17.....so ya....that's pretty much it...
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« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2006, 02:02:52 PM »

Any ex-Jews, ex-muslims, ex-buddhists on this forum?  Make it interesting!  Ex-satanists or wickkans - yes, I met one at an Orthodox get together last year in Baghdad.
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« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2006, 02:35:45 PM »

Dismus

I do not know how old you are but study some history. Eastern Rite Catholics, and this is factual, were treated like second rate peole by the Irish dominated clery heirarchy of the Roman Catholic church in the USA in the first half of the 20th century. As a result many eastern rite Catholics split in the 1930's from the Roman Catholic church and united with the Orthodox Church under the Oecumenical Patriarch. Carptho-Russian is, I assume, a cradle Orthodox and never was raised Roman Catholic.  So don't confuse him with the whiny liberalism of the modern Catholic church
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« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2006, 05:06:10 PM »

I've noticed that there are a few new people to the forum, and I think it would be nice if we introduced ourselves to each other, and perhaps gave a short biography of our spiritual lives.

Middle aged, working, family, man and live in Essex, England.

Background (mother's obituary - I was her youngest son): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fnews%2F2003%2F03%2F22%2Fdb2201.xml

Converted to Orthodoxy 20 years ago.

Member of the St Helen's Antiochian parish in Colchester.

My spiritual father is an Athonite monk who has just started a hermitage near Ipswich.

Sometimes attend St John's monastery at Tiptree on feast days.

Consider myself incredibly lucky to have all that at hand.

Being received into the Orthodox church is the best thing to happen to me.

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« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2006, 05:23:41 PM »

Being received into the Orthodox church is the best thing to happen to me.

That is a good outlook on the faith.
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« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2006, 05:43:16 PM »

Middle aged, working, family, man and live in Essex, England.

Background (mother's obituary - I was her youngest son): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fnews%2F2003%2F03%2F22%2Fdb2201.xml

Converted to Orthodoxy 20 years ago.

Member of the St Helen's Antiochian parish in Colchester.

My spiritual father is an Athonite monk who has just started a hermitage near Ipswich.

Sometimes attend St John's monastery at Tiptree on feast days.

Consider myself incredibly lucky to have all that at hand.

Being received into the Orthodox church is the best thing to happen to me.



I am really amazed by your mother! I will re-read this over and over again. I am really happy for you and your thankfulness for your faith.
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« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2006, 06:11:12 PM »

~~~~ Rome again and again for the arrogance! Sorry, but IMHO that sucks! 2nd rate Catholics?
Gimme a break.. they allow Charismatic (*&^ and they are treating certain ethnic backround Catholics like a redheaded stepchild?? This post makes my blood boil. Where is that Catholioc know it all poster now? Universal ~~~~~!!
Dismus,
As aserb stated in a previous post, the treatment of Eastern Rite Catholics as 2nd rate by the Irish clergy in this country occured in the late 1800's and early 1900's.  Due to many different reasons (the treatment by local RC bishops and clergy, abuse of their married clergy, removal of their "beloved" iconostas to make the churches look more "Roman", etc.) many of the immigrants from the Carpathian Mountains re-united at first with the Russian Orthodox Church in America and a later wave re-united with the Ecumenical Patriarch.  A good percentage of churches of "Russian" heritage in this country, founded during this time, were founded by former Eastern Rite Catholics.  So, thanks to the ignorance of the Irish RC bishops, the Orthodox Church in this country grew by leaps and bounds during this time.  Just so you don't get the idea that everything was rosy for the Carpatho Russians under the Russian Orthodox in this country, it wasn't.  Due to the russophile tendencies of the Russian hierarchs and clergy (who in their ignorance -  just like the Irish RC - thought any difference between Carpatho Russian traditions and "Moscovite" traditions were due to the Latinization of the Carpatho Russians), many of the unique Carpatho Russian traditions were lost, differences in the performance of the Divine Services and minor variations in the Slavonic texts were changed to conform to "Russian" practice, and the ancient Carpatho Russian Chant (Prostopinije) was all but replaced by the newer Russian Obikhod Chant.  Recently however, we are seeing a revival of Carpatho Russian Chant in the Orthodox Church in America.
Sorry for the offense - none intended- anyone here can vouch my spelling sucks. I try- but when I post here I don't feel like I need to be on my toes. I felt comfortable here being my own stupid but honest self.
Your story bothers me very much, but I am so happy for you that you found the loving arms of the Orthodox to help you heal that unforgivable pain. I am mad.  Angry
As far as finding the loving arms of the Orthodox Church, I was born Orthodox, as were my parents.  It was my grandparents that re-united with the Orthodox Church, although they never really considered themselves anything but Orthodox (or as they would say, Pravoslavni).  Even in Europe, they considered themselves as always being Orthodox Christians.  As my grandmother would say, the "ignorant" peasants of the villages in the "old country" just thought that the Pope was Orthodox!  As for being ignorant, my grandparents could read Slavonic as evidenced by the well used and worn prayerbooks they carried with them from the "old country".
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Zastupnice christianov nepostydnaja, chodatajice ko Tvorcu nepreložnaja, ne prezri hr’išnych molenij hlasy, popredvari jako blahaja na pomošč nas, virno vopijuščich ti: Uskori na molitvu, i potščisja na umolenije, zastupajušči prisno Bohorodice, čtuščich t’a.
Cekulevich
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« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2006, 04:07:25 PM »

Greetings and salutations,

My name is Michael.  I am the Godfather of my beloved Godson Aserb.  He's turning out to be a good Orthodox Christian - better than me.
I have been a computer programmer(mainframe) for almost 30 years and have recently been downsized due to outsourcing, offshoring, and H1B visas.  Thus, the market for mainframe programmers is shrinking.

I am an American of Serbian ancestry, raised in the SOC, but later spent time in the Evangelical system.  I returned to Orthodoxy back in 2001 through the Antiochian Orthodox Church.
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In God we trust. All others must pay cash!
Αριστοκλής
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« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2006, 04:32:02 PM »

Welcome, "Omar"  Grin
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"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides
calligraphqueen
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« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2006, 05:15:22 PM »

I am a sahm to 7 children. I homeschool all of them that are school age, except my special needs daughter Heather.
 I come from a distinctly baptist background, grew up in Jerry Falwell land thanks to my father entering the seminary there.  I never did fall into the correct mold for a baptist protestant, and questioned the ever failing logic of the whole ministry on more than one occasion.  that started in middle school.  I still bear the scars of standing out against the flow there...

My searching ended suddenly in 2004 when my dh and I were chrismated, then wed Orthodox.  All my children save my teen are also now Orthodox-and she has too many leanings away from protestantism as it is. 
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