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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

1It has been some time since I have posted on my blog.  I have been trying to respond faithfully to the changes life has brought upon me.  In doing to I have had to prioritize and make decisions about what is really important.  So I have taken an absence to my blog.  I am currently working on some content, and should be posting on a more regularly basis.  Until then please enjoy this reflection from St. Clement of Alexandria

The perfect person does not only try to avoid evil.


Nor does he do good for fear of punishment, still less in order to qualify for the hope of a promised reward.

The perfect person does good through love.

His actions are not motivated by desire for personal benefit, so he does not have personal advantage as his aim. 

But as soon as he has realized the beauty of doing good, he does it with all his energies and in all that he does.

He is not interested in fame, or a good reputation, or a human or divine reward.

The rule of life for a perfect person is to be in the image and likeness of God.

St. Clement of Alexandria

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0413-450x600It has been cold here.  The whole city is covered under a thick blanket of ice.  For many the ice and cold is a nightmare.  For me I see it as therapy.  Much needed at that.   I love this weather.  I find the cold calming.  I long for the brutal cold wind of the North.  I long to hear it whip around my house.  The rattle of the windows.  The sting on my face as I work outside.   The cold and ice is gone now.  Still in my heart it remains

The Nativity of our Lord is just around the corner.  I am looking forward to it, and dreading it at the same time.  Physically I am not ready.  My house is not prepared.  Emotionally I am all over the place.  Spiritually I am anxious.  I guess this is a good way to be.

I once was the one with answers.  I was the one people went to for direction.  A pillar in the church.  Now I am none of these things.  Just a shadow.  A phantom of my past.  I hope Nativity will a new beginning.  The start of something beautiful.  At the same time I am ok if this is as good as it gets.

I am no longer the hopeless optimist.  I am not a pessimist either. Whatever is will be.  I am not looking for some sort of false reality.  Or living on hope of something better.  I am trying to live in the present.  To accept it and grow in it.

Lord have mercy on me.  I came into this new place in life very arrogant.   I didn’t see it at the time.  Who am I?  What exactly did I expect? I don’t know if I have any answer.  What I do know is that I am so done.  I am over worrying about what family might think of me.  I am over preconceived ideas of who I am suppose to be.  I just want to live.  Truly live.

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1219860-bigthumbnailSo it’s cold out.  Winter weather in the forecast.  I cannot say I am sad about it.  In fact I am very excited.  I hope that it turns out to be snow and not ice.  I look forward to watching the wet weather come in tomorrow afternoon.

Today my inlaws arrived for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Smack in the middle of Nativity fast.  We are flexible with fasting.  Planing of being strict about fasting on Fridays until they leave.  Looking forward to the all the fun times going to be had the next few weeks.

So for sometime I have been trying to make knotted chotkis.  I have had no luck with making these knots.  No such luck yet.  If I have any downtime the next few days I will spend some time trying to make a 33 knot chotki.  So wish me luck!

So everyone have a great Thanksgiving!

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candleSo finally I have found what I just want to do with this blog.  I am going back to my original idea.  This blog will mainly be thoughts, reflections, and possibly some humor.

So much has happened in my life over the past few years.  I have ran the the gambit of churches.  I have had dreams of being a missionary, pastor, and a slew of professional carriers.  The only thing that has been consistent since I was 18 is my wife.   Through the bad times, and the good she has stood beside me.  We have survived maturing and growing into adulthood.  She still loves me, and I look forward to growing old with her.

Work has been interesting.  I have worked for the same company for 13 years.  Mainly in the same department the whole time.  Last year I was transferred to a new job.  To keep it short.  It is a good move, and I enjoy it very much.  It has been challenging, but I think that is a good thing.

This year at Christmas my family and I will be received into the Orthodox church.  Finally we are home.  I am finally in the place I always wanted to be.  No more playing around.  I have looked hard at myself, and asked what am I truly looking for.  I always thought it was the Roman Catholic Church.  After much prayer, and visiting many parishes.  I found that in fact this is not the place for me.  I decided to take a long hard look at Eastern Orthodoxy.  In this church I found what it is I was looking for within the Catholic Church, but I also found the monastic / prayer aspect that I was longing for in regular catholic circles.

I am sure I will talk more on all of these things in greater detail in the future.

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I am an Episcopalian. Proud of my Anglican heritage. I believe in the Anglican ideals. I love the Book of Common Prayer. I love our rich liturgy. I love the freedom and love that flows out the doors of our parishes.

What I do not love is the fighting. I do not love the hate within the church. I do not love the moral apathy. One can argue that the Episcopal church is not alone in these problems. That might be true, but the problems within my own church are the ones that directly affect me.

From the get go I have struggled to make sense with many things that seemed so senseless. I found peace in my prayer book. The Book of Common Prayer was my anchor. It was the banks that the living waters of the Episcopal church flows.

Years now I have been serving, praying, and working alongside some of the best Christians I have ever had the pleasure to be in contact with. I love them with my whole heart. I see the gospel being brought forth with truth and love.

Recently some things were voted on at general convention. I was aware of them, and for the most part was unmoved by them. It was not until the passing of these ideas that I started to really struggle. Now mind you I don’t think my problem rests in these decisions alone. It is something much larger.

I started look look at the world we live in. Looking honestly at my church and the church as a whole. I find myself less and less happy with how things are going. More often then not my family feels out of touch. My children especially are feeling this. They struggle to make friends. Between the minimal amount of children at our parish, and the type of children in our neighborhood. They are limited on having quality friendships. My oldest who is a teenager feels this the most I think. She longs for other friends.

So what is one to do? We could find a larger Episcopal church. Maybe one that is more conservative. We could stay at our parish, and try to find outlets for our kids to make friends. In the end I am still stuck struggling with my overall moral differences. I will leave my struggle with the governance of the ECUSA out of this.

I do not know what we are going to do. I have talked to my Abbot and my Priest. They have encouraged me, and bless whatever decision we decide to make. So if you read this please keep us in your prayers. We have never thought about leaving a parish and it be a bitter sweat deal.

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Last Sunday my family visited Mater Dei. Most of you who know me know that I love liturgy. I absolutely love to experience different forms and Rites. I even enjoy experiencing worship practices of non liturgical churches.

Mater Dei offers 3 services on Sunday. Two are low Mass, and one sung Mass. Which is the middle one. The plan was to visit the sung Mass. Due to time and circumstance we were unable to make the earlier Mass time.

We arrived about thirty minutes early. Just to make sure we were situated and familiar with bathroom locations. The church was busy with a pancake breakfast being offered. Lots of people everywhere. We slipped in, and I am sure looked out of place. We made our way around and found the bathroom in the building next to the chapel. Everyone seemed warm and friendly.

So back to the the chapel. We entered opened the door and entered the nave. We slowly made our way to one of the back pews on the Epistle side. We get situated and look at the missal. Prepared my hear and self for Mass.

The nave is packed, and Mass is about to begin. I was taken back a bit by just the number of children and young families. This is not something I am use to seeing. Not even in the larger Episcopal parishes I have visited. The priest comes out and Mass begins.

Initially I tried to keep up using the missal, but being as far back as I was hearing the priest was next to impossible. I am familiar with the traditional Latin Mass, and the structure of a low Mass. No music except a hymn at the end. A few prayers were offered by all who were in participation. The rest was said by the priest with the responses by the server.

I expected this with attending a low Mass, but my family was not. Honestly I initially had mixed feelings about it. As Anglicans we frown of such liturgical practices. It is a reminder of a darker time of English Christianity.

Mary-Grace did really well for the first 20 or so minutes. She started to squirm as many 2 year olds do. Part way through the homily Kari took her out of the chapel and made her way to banishment. Yes the crying room. For some time I kept looking for their return.

As the priest continued with the liturgy I found myself in a prayerful state. It seemed so natural. I began to pray and offer various prayers. I entered into a very beautiful place of worship. Something I had not intended to happen.

Kari also found the whole experience favorable. While in the cry room she saw others in various states of prayer. All were being respectful to what was going on at the altar. A little one made friends straight away with Kari. She and him whispered to each other. As usual her charitable and tender nature came out.

We slipped out after the Mass was over. Not really taking a moment to talk to greet anyone. Neither of us are good with new settings. The talk in the car was very positive. We discussed fathers homily and the Fatima apparition. I was very convicted by the message the priest gave.

I am still reflecting and reading on the TLM. In time I will share more thoughts regarding the practice, and liturgy. I am sure this will not be our one and only visit to Mater Dei.

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Tomorrow the Bishop is coming to my parish. We have I believe 15 people being confirmed, one re-affirmation, and one baptism. I am so very excited for everyone. Especially those being confirmed. Some of them I know it has been a struggle coming to this point. I am excited to see them grow, and to see them find their place in ministry in the church.

For me tomorrow is a special day. It is a day that for so long was elusive. It will be a day that I find some sort of belonging. I will be on the receiving end of a sacrament that has been given to so many for centuries. Public declarations of my faith will be heard. Then the Bishop will lay hands on me. Filling me with the Holy Spirit. I will be transformed. Forever will I be a child of God. A servant to his Church.

Although externally nothing really is going to change. My duties at the parish will continue as they are. Most likely the Monday after will be very much like the Saturday before. Yet they will be different. Only because I will be different. My journey to find Christ does not end at this point. I have not attained holiness or some form of perfection.

I will continue on a path that so many have traveled before me, and will continue when I am dead and gone. This “yes” on my part will publicly unite me to a faith that I have so desperately sought after for many years. Uniting me to Christs church.

I have no idea what the future holds for me. Maybe I will discern to be a priest. Look into various forms of mission work. Kari and I have a strong passion and desire to work in missions either in the US or abroad. Or to be part of the faithful doing the work of the Lord in my parish. In time all things in this life are revealed. I joyfully welcome the pursuit.

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