Category Archives: Life

Faith is the substance of things hoped for…

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.†

Do we have to see something to have faith in it? There are a great many things in the world we may never see, yet we don’t doubt they are there…why is faith in God such a difficult subject to breach, and why are so many dead set to mock and ridicule anyone who believes?

If you are determined not to see something….you won’t see it. No one can make you. However, if you believe, you can’t escape seeing it everywhere you go, in everything you see.

I have decided to take a step back from social media, and my friends and acquaintances within, and focus on my relationship with God a little more. Kind of my way of saying ‘hey, I see you there and haven’t forgotten you’.

If you try to see God in the people around you, you often will be disappointed….almost always in fact. But if you seek Him when you are faced with a challenge, you’d be surprised just how often, and in what ways, he comes through.

I won’t cite any examples, as it’s something you kind of have to see for yourself. However my biggest place of comfort in the past several years has been my daily readings from http://www.goarch.org , I find them relevant to my life more days than I don’t.

Just my little rant for the night.

Have a good one!

Καληνύχτα

Αικατερίνη

Consecrated

The reading is from St. Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy 2:20-26

Timothy, my son, in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and earthenware, and some for noble use, some for ignoble. If any one purifies himself from what is ignoble, then he will be a vessel for noble use, consecrated and useful to the master of the house, ready for any good work. So shun youthful passions and aim at righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with stupid, senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to every one, an apt teacher, forbearing, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
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you may question my purpose for sharing this particular reading with you in this particular post, however it is one of my 2 readings for this morning as an Orthodox Christian.

I relate a lot to this post this morning as a dear friend of mine has questioned my moral compass, and though I can see opportunities to also question their moral compass, if I ever did approach, it would not be with the harshness he has approached me with this morning.

I think many when they read this post will see the silver and gold vessels as noble vessels and perhaps the wood and earthenware vessels lend themselves to being the ignoble vessels. However I believe that looks can be deceiving when you consider it, and all vessels, if they are cleaned inside and out, can be noble vessels and all vessels, when allowed to go to waste, or sit in filth, can become ignoble vessels.

I believe at times my friend sees himself as a gold or silver vessel, nontarnishable and always clean. I think he doesn’t even recognize that ones moral compass can be skewed at times, no matter how you see yourself.

I am a wooden vessel, and though I work hard to become clean, wooden vessels always lend themselves to looking at least a little bit dirty.  Even on my best days, I am not without fault…but i remain committed to being or becoming a noble vessel.

I don’t write this to shame my friend, but to help myself push past the shame he has tried to push off on me.

also, I write this to give comfort and uplift any others who also may recognize they are a wooden vessel, and never quite feel as clean as other souls around them.

just my rant for the day,

all the best,

amanda (catherine)

Called upon to step up, called upon to speak out

Not me specifically

All Christians

Christianity is increasingly being persecuted in the current state of the world. Media (even social media) sides with Muslims and Athiests 10 to 1 over Christians in our current world.

Why do they get away with it? Because we as a people are so very divided. We have our own denominations and beliefs, and often we are seen tearing one another down, though everything I read in my bible says we should not be looking at what sets us apart, but at our commonality, that is our common core belief, in Christ, in his church, and in The Father and The Holy Spirit.

We are lacking love, compassion, and trust. We are lacking the conviction to stand up for our beliefs when it really matters. We are losing our saltiness and our flavor as Christians. We need to speak up and not back down;

Especially in the face of Challenge and Adversity!!

Study

B2F1EC90-2FAC-4C1F-AF6A-71CCF16BAFBAStudy…I study his words, my words.

I study his for the meaning behind them, try to see how he came to this conclusion or that. Try to understand his stance and try to sift the truth from the lies…

I understand it’s a defense mechanism, designed to keep me as far away as he can. I try to keep that in my head when I read the harsh words. I also try to keep in mind that his broken spots don’t entitle him to break similar spots in me.

His words, most days, say he cares. Lately this has been less so, and this has caused a rift…a break. We agree to be cordial, but the next day is again icy…silent. I understand that to him, perhaps this silence is as close to cordial as he’s able to muster some days.

Our whole friendship has been a bit of a dance, a coming together of souls to realize they may, in fact, be too close (There is no such thing for me, but I can feel when it shifts in him). There is either a quiet pull away, or a hard, hateful shove. He doesn’t recognize when we’re in that place that he came the greater part of the way, almost stumbling into it. I watch it happen and know what is to come. Some days…he doesn’t recognize he’s in that space until the second, maybe third day. Those days, when the recognition comes, its never a silent pulling away, Its a hard, forceful push. Sometimes almost violent and cruel…almost abusive.

I study why I accept this from him, I study my thoughts, my heart, my soul. I study why he matters at all. I can tell you that I fully understand the intricacies of the friendship, the details of my ‘why’…but I cannot show them to you because I can’t show you the wholeness of the friendship, those close to me only see a shred, a shard of what is there.

It’s easy to see what is there and say it’s hopeless. It’s not so easy from where I am. I will always wake and wonder how he is, and hope life is kind to him today…and wonder if we’ll talk today.

My favorite gospel account about Christ himself

2 weeks ago, a statue caught my eye as i took my daughter and her best friend bowling. I didn’t explore further that day, but it stuck in my head, as i wondered if the statue depicted what i thought it depicted from far away, moving at the pace of mid morning traffic.

Today i decided to take a closer look…And it was exactly what I thought it was, it was Christ, washing his disciple, Peter’s feet.

Its one of my favorite passages in the New Testament, it’s something that, for whatever reason, has stuck with me and resonated over the years. He humbled himself to the point of serving his disciples, the world, but the picture of the humility he truly embodied could not be more solidly displayed than in this act.

He gave us the example we are supposed to live by, we should take the time to take care of those around us, and we should never see ourselves above anyone, lest we fail to offer a hand when they need it.

Have a blessed night,

*Adopted*

Ever gone to church and felt like the message was written just for you?

Today was one of those days for me. 

In the past week, maybe longer if I am completely honest about how things felt, I have been made to feel (whether accidentally or purposefully, and I have a feeling it’s more a mix of the two) that perhaps I wasn’t quite the Orthodox Christian as those I knew who were ‘Cradle Orthodox’ (those baptised as infants). 

Today our message pointed out that none of us, other than Christ himself, was born Holy.

So, whether we are adopted as mere infants, before the world has gotten it’s chance to mess us up…or we’re 95 when we come to find the church, (or of course, somewhere in between there) we are all, in essence, adopted heirs to the kingdom. The newer ones to the family could use a little more guidance and compassion, we’re not so sure of ourselves yet, but we sure are excited to be in the family!

A Different Direction, Turning a Corner

It’s the beginning of a new year, a time for renewal;  whether it’s real and deep or short lived and superficial, it’s a recognized turning point for so many in the world.

I haven’t committed myself to writing on this blog.  I haven’t even promised myself any of the cliche promises we all promise for the new year. I have only made one promise to myself this year. I hope it sticks.

This year, I will stop apologizing for being me.

I will find a reason to smile….every day, if i can.

I will write occasionally, possibly boring posts…it’s hard to say how the year will come out until we actually get a little further into it.

Stick around if you care to, if not…I’ll understand.

hope the new year holds some promise

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for you.

all the best,

Amanda