Lord have mercy

Orthodox Christianity for Absolute Beginners

Someone near and dear to me has been diagnosed with a very invasive and aggressive cancer. They go to their first chemo appointment on Thursday.

It’s been a theological as well as physical struggle for them due to the false teachings of many modern churches that what Jesus did on the cross canceled out sickness, poverty, suffering and death. This is NOT biblical and yet these theological lies continue to permeate Christianity destroying people when they come against hard times because they have not learned the truth about such things.

For now, there is a great deal of hand holding, prayer, and tears in my life. It’s all ok because even better than all of that is the comfort and joy we receive through the Spirit of God. God walks us through the valley of the shadow of death, and we fear no evil for He is with us. Amen.

Lord have mercy.

That we should no longer be children


Ephesians 4:14-19 (Epistle)

that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,

Wow, has my view of the Orthodox Church changed in the last few weeks since I have been reading upon it, listening to podcasts, and attending catechism classes as well as the various services offered by my church. The more I learn the more I realize how far off track modern church has gone from the original model of church. I feel as though I have gone from darkness into the Light… the Light of Christ. I’ve had so many, ‘ah-ha’ moments.

I went to vespers last night. I never thought I’d ever venerate an icon of, Mary and yet… there I was with tears in my eyes lighting a candle for my sister at our Icon of Mary. Now, when I do go to church and greet the icons, it’s as if I am saying  ‘hello’ to family members. I get so emotional. Every time I walk into church, it’s like a family reunion. I’ve missed them, missed being in church.

Last night, a 9 month old baby was a bit fussy. I don’t know what was going on, maybe he was teething. He was crying half heartedly and sounded as if he was in pain. When his mother carried him over to the icon of, Jesus that sits in the Narthex, he start bouncing up and down in her arms and making happy noises at it. I get it buddy… I get it.

Lord have mercy.

Doing what you THINK is right

Whenever I read, or hear, people say the ‘just do what you think is right and I’ll respect you’ routine I cringe. Judges 21:25 is a cautionary tale about NOT doing whatever we think is right. The ways of people are wicked. Only God’s ways are just.
Matthew Henry Commentary- Judges
17:7-13 Micah thought it was a sign of God’s favor to him and his images, (pagan idols/gods-added by me) that a Levite should come to his door. Thus those who please themselves with their own delusions, if Providence unexpectedly bring any thing to their hands that further them in their evil way, are apt from thence to think that God is pleased with them.
Look around you. The world is in terrible shape from people doing what they think is right instead of following the examples put forth to them from God. No one is good. Only God can claim that. Jesus didn’t even claim that for himself. If Jesus didn’t think He was good, what makes you think you are so good? Our ways are not God’s ways. Many Christians claim that God cannot use, Trump. Really? Who are they to put boundaries on The One Who Created EVERYTHING?? This is a classic example of the clay telling the potter how things are going to be instead of listening to the potter.
Isaiah 45:9
Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?
Matthew Henry Commentary
45:5-10 There is no God beside Jehovah. There is nothing done without him. He makes peace, put here for all good; and creates evil, not the evil of sin, but the evil of punishment. He is the Author of all that is true, holy, good, or happy; and evil, error, and misery, came into the world by his permission, through the wilful apostacy of his creatures, but are restrained and overruled to his righteous purpose. This doctrine is applied, for the comfort of those that earnestly longed, yet quietly waited, for the redemption of Israel. The redemption of sinners by the Son of God, and the pouring out the Spirit, to give success to the gospel, are chiefly here intended. We must not expect salvation without righteousness; together the Lord hath created them. Let not oppressors oppose God’s designs for his people. Let not the poor oppressed murmur, as if God dealt unkindly with them. Men are but earthen pots; they are broken potsherds, and are very much made so by mutual contentions. To contend with Him is as senseless as for clay to find fault with the potter. Let us turn God’s promises into prayers, beseeching him that salvation may abound among us, and let us rest assured that the Judge of all the earth will do right.
So I beseech you brothers and sister not to do what you think is right, but to do what you see in scripture. Do not just settle for being familiar with God, but rather develop a deep intimacy with Him and discover His true character.
Lord have mercy.

Are you called to be a shepherdess?

2 John 1The elder,To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth—and not I only, but also all who know the truth— 2because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:3Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.4It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.   (This woman was a pastor of a church.)

Isaiah 54:1 “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord.  (This describes a woman in ministry having more children -not just daughters- than a woman who can get pregnant and have children physically.)

Song of Solomon 1:8 If you do not know, most beautiful of women, follow the tracks of the sheep and graze your young goats by the tents of the shepherds.  (This woman is the typology of the bride of Christ (the church) and she has a flock which she tends.)

Romans 16: 1I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea; 2that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well.  3Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles; 5also greet the church that is in their house. (These are people whom, Paul acknowledges as being leaders in churches. Note there are women in this acknowledgment.)

 Jesus lead by example. He did things that upset the Pharisees who Jesus called ‘white washed tombs’. Clean on the outside but filthy inside. Why? Because they loved the law more than people. Jesus healed on the Sabbath to set the example that people matter more than law. Women not speaking in church isn’t even a biblical ‘law’ yet it is misused by many to keep women from fulfilling their calling. To what end? The gospel is no less powerful, or true,when taught from a woman than a man.

Ladies, if you know the Lord has called you to ministry, now is the time to walk in your calling. Leave behind the chains of this world- the people saying, ‘no’… and follow the One saying, ‘yes!’. Jesus Christ our Lord and savior.