Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Inspiration and Sorrow

This little girl reminds me of what Christianity can be and what we lost when Mosul was destroyed.  All the nuances of the faith must have been absorbed into the culture.  How else can a young girl so naturally proclaim "God provides,"   with the same ease as Southern children say, "Yes, Ma'am." 

And now I can't help but think of how much more we are missing from the many hundreds of years where we were under persecution.  Signs of praise, thanksgiving, prayer... second nature to Christians who lived in Christian communities. 

But we are watered down in our Orthodox Culture.  We forget to be generous, thankful, merciful.  And worse, we live in fear and anger.  Little Myriam is my glimpse of what a true authentic Christian is.  And I am convinced that she was nurtured to be this way. 

Oh what we lost when Mosul fell.  Oh what we lost. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Lady Lent Is Back!

Yes!  It's that time again!  Time to rededicate our lives to Christ and commit ourselves to the spiritual struggles and cares that will prepare us for the Kingdom of Heaven.  It's time for Great and Holy Lent to begin. 
Here is a picture of Lady Lent, Kyria Sarakosti.  She has a foot for every week of lent.  A countdown calendar from long ago.  Print this image or draw your own and cross or cut off her feet as the weeks pass.   I personally don't care for the image of chopping off her feet, poor thing.  :) 

We pray you have a successful Lenten Journey this year.  May our Lord give you the strength you need to endure and complete the fast triumphant.

go to the Tab at the top of this page for fasting recipes.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Treat for Cheesefare, Brie in a pastry

We found a great way to celebrate Cheesefare Sunday. 
Heat oven to 350.

You need

Slice off the top of the brie. 

Scoop two tablespoons of the delicious Nicoletta's marmalade or jam.  over four crescent triangles.  Pinch the edges of the triangles to seal the dough.  

Place the brie, sliced side down, on the jam.

Add two more tablespoons of jam on the bottom.

Fold edges over and pinch edges.

Brush egg wash over the brie and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool for a few minutes and enjoy!

Nicoletta's marmalade or jam.   wants to give back... they have teamed up with Progress Place, a shelter in Silver Spring, MD and are hoping to host an event to transform the dining area of Progress Place into a 5-Star restaurant; table linens, flatware, decorations, waiters, a Maitre d', music and, most importantly, a chef willing to donate their time in preparing a 3 or 4 course meal.

If you'd like to help, go to
GoFundMe to raise money to cover the expenses associated with an event like this.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Eastern Orthodox Church is Southern at Heart

"I don't believe I know your daddy." is a cunning Southern insult. 

It means you aren't from around here and so they don't care what you think about anything. You haven't proven yourself through lineage nor family values.  You have no shared history and you are not known.

Owe!   So much for hospitality.  I guess Southern hospitality is more of a "Be seen and not heard" concept. 

Up North, I was raised with, "A man is known by the company he keeps."  This is more individualized.  It offers the implication that you are self made.  You determine your destiny.  You can even reinvent yourself if you want.  You are the "master of your own destiny."  It gives you freedom from your past.   

As Orthodox Christians, we really are living in a sub-culture where it is important to know who your daddy is.  But in our case it's our bishop.  What we believe, how we worship and what we practice is all authenticated through our bishop.  He is the core of "being in communion." This is how we know we are still connected to the original Christian church. 

Did you know the Greek Orthodox Church in America is connected to the authentic Christian church through His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew.  Patriarch Bartholomew is the 270th Archbishop of the 2000-year-old Church founded by St. Andrew, serving as Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch. 

Consider this scenario, if you wanted to start an Orthodox Church near you, you would need the blessing of a canonical bishop. You can't just go out in the middle Tennessee, build a church, hire any priest and call yourself an Orthodox Church.  "Who's you daddy?"  What is your lineage?  What does your faith teach?  Who are you accountable to? Who is going to give you credentials? 

You can't be Orthodox just because you agree with the teachings of the Orthodox Faith... and you can't be Orthodox without a canonical bishop.

So I suppose "I don't believe I know your daddy." is an Orthodox saying as well.