Tuesday, March 10, 2015
...Because all Orthodox believers should see this... from a Monday, June 09, 2014 JTO Post...
"Do we get so caught up in church battles that we forget that our battle is for the souls of men? Are we more concerned with pleasing a personality rather than presenting the person of Christ to a lost world? I am still amazed when I find Orthodox people who are so consumed with the rudiments of the faith, their own personal "holiness" that they ignore Christ's commission to us to GO into the world and preach the gospel... Our churches/missions should certainly welcome local Orthodox Christians who find us - and those who leave the World Churches - but we, like Christ, must be about our Father's business- as the Apostles and saints before us- to take the gospel of Christ to a perishing world- to the unbeliever, the Protestant, the cultists. In the West we have a unique tool. Why do we not make use of radio? Why do we not make use of T.V.? Is it too Western? Not Orthodoxish enough? Smacks of Protestantism? Do we refuse to acknowledge the effectiveness of a form of communication just because someone else got there first or because that's not how they do it in the East? The media is today's street corner, today's marketplace. "How will they hear without a preacher?" People must know that the original church exists, before they can even consider stepping into a liturgy, where we all know that the purest evangelism occurs- in the life of worship. It seems all we do is talk to each other. We must change from an inward people to an outward people. The One, Holy. Catholic and Apostolic Church is not an elitist club. Our message should not be "prove yourself worthy or sincere before approaching the Holy Church." Our message should be "Come unto me ALL you who are weary and I will give you rest."
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
"We are the Church of the living God. We are to gather at his Holy Altar and not at our preferred ethnic flagpole. It is indeed true that "There can be no Jew nor Greek, there can be no slave nor freeman, there can be neither male nor female-for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Our heart of compassion in the current crisis in the Middle East should be for ALL who are victims and our criticism of ALL who are guilty regardless of nationality or race. Let us all agree with Shakespeare that, if warranted, "All are punished! All are punished!"
More relevant today than ever. Read the full article HERE.http://journeytoorthodoxy.blogspot.com/2007/06/do-orthodox-have-dirty-laundry-ask.html
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
“Recently, as I've been speaking at conferences and events around the world, I've been urging Christians to stop looking at Hollywood as the enemy, and
start looking at Hollywood as a mission field,”
Cooke wrote.” After all, what if Christians stopped just criticizing, and actually started praying for the most influential industry in the world? Something amazing might happen.” [Phil Cooke is a media consultant focused mainly on the Christian market, as well as a vocal critic of contemporary American and American-influenced Christian }
Read full article here.
JTO NOTE: Pray in particular for Orthodox Christians in the film industry.
Sunday, February 08, 2015
"I, a sinful soul, confess to our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, all of my evil acts which I have done, said or thought from baptism even unto this present day.
I have not kept the vows of my baptism, but have made myself unwanted before the face of God.
I have sinned before the Lord by lack of faith and by doubts concerning the Orthodox Faith and the Holy Church; by ungratefulness for all of God's great and unceasing gifts; His long-suffering and His providence for me, a sinner; by lack of love for the Lord, as well as fear, through not fulfilling the Holy Commandments of God and the canons and rules of the Church.
I have not preserved a love for God and for my neighbor nor have I made enough efforts, because of laziness and lack of care, to learn the Commandments of God and the precepts of the Holy Fathers.
I have sinned: by not praying in the morning and in the evening and in the course of the day; by not attending the services or by coming to Church only half-heartedly, lazily and carelessly; by conversing during the services, by not paying attention, letting my mind wander and by departure from the Church before the dismissal and blessing.
I have sinned by judging members of the clergy.
I have sinned by not respecting the Feasts, breaking the Fasts, and by immoderation in food and drink.
I have sinned by self-importance, disobedience, willfulness, self-righteousness, and the seeking of approval and praise.
I have sinned by unbelief, lack of faith, doubts, despair, despondency, abusive thoughts, blasphemy and swearing.
I have sinned by pride, a high opinion of my self, narcissism, vanity, conceit, envy, love of praise, love of honors, and by putting on airs.
I have sinned: by judging, malicious gossip, anger, remembering of offenses done to me, hatred and returning evil for evil; by slander, reproaches, lies, slyness, deception and hypocrisy; by prejudices, arguments, stubbornness, and an unwillingness to give way to my neighbor; by gloating, spitefulness, taunting, insults and mocking; by gossip, by speaking too much and by empty speech.
I have sinned by unnecessary and excessive laughter, by reviling and dwelling upon my previous sins, by arrogant behavior, insolence and lack of respect.
I have sinned by not keeping my physical and spiritual passions in check, by my enjoyment of impure thoughts, licentiousness and unchastity in thoughts, words and deeds.
I have sinned by lack of endurance towards my illnesses and sorrows, a devotion to the comforts of life and by being too attached to my parents, children, relatives and friends.
I have sinned by hardening my heart, having a weak will and by not forcing myself to do good.
I have sinned by miserliness, a love of money, the acquisition of unnecessary things and immoderate attachment to things.
I have sinned by self-justification, a disregard for the admonitions of my conscience and failing to confess my sins through negligence or false pride.
I have sinned many times by my Confession: belittling, justifying and keeping silent about sins.
I have sinned against the Most-holy and Life-creating Mysteries of the Body and Blood of our Lord by coming to Holy Communion without humility or the fear of God.
I have sinned in deed, word and thought, knowingly and unknowingly, willingly and unwillingly, thoughtfully and thoughtlessly, and it is impossible to enumerate all of my sins because of their multitude. But I truly repent of these and all others not mentioned by me because of my forgetfulness and I ask that they be forgiven through the abundance of the Mercy of God." Prayer of Saint John of Kronstadt