Friday, July 29, 2011

Strange Dream...!

the strangest dream
I didn't quite dream about unicorns but it was strange enough....

First of all, I went to Vespers last Saturday night and I will blog about it tomorrow but I have had a tough week at work so I have been very tired....

My wife has been wanting to learn a new language for a while now. We even started learning German with the Roseta Stone program but that sort of petered out.... (It was hard with my work schedule to take time to "study.")

So last night I dreamed that my wife asked me to learn a language with her again.
I said, "Sure, honey, how about Church Slavonic?"

I woke up before I could hear my wife's reaction. I guess by waking up I prevented my strange dream into turning into a nightmare . :)

Dreaming about Church Slavonic? I guess it's time to convert.

(Photo by Valentina Kendel, used under the creative commons license.
check out this photographer's work at:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New book worth reading!

Hello, loyal readers! Fr Andrew Stephen Damick has written a book called Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy and I highly recommend it! But, wait, you haven't read it yet! How can you recommend it? Well, Fr Andrew did a series on Ancient Faith Radio with the same title and I thoroughly enjoyed it. In it, he explained different groups and sects and explains what they believe and how it relates to Orthodox teaching. An excellent and fascinating handling of the subject. So this book is well worth reading. Not only will it strengthen your faith but it will make you knowledgeable of other belief systems allowing you to always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; as St. Peter advises in his First epistle.

So go here and get it!

(Disclosure: Yes I posted this so I could be in the running for a free autographed copy of the book but everything I said is true...BUY THE BOOK. I am, unless, of course, if I win it)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sitting in the wrong place in Visit #32?

checking in again (mp3)Listen to the audioboo first, before you read, if you like...! or click on link if the player doesn't work..
reserved seat

So I go to Vespers after a long absence and I arrive a few minutes early. I venerate the Icons and, when done, I decide to sit close to the front. There is a few minutes before we start and others are making their "rounds" with icons, including Presbytera Mary- that's Father Gary's wife - and after she finishes venerating the final Icon, she sits down next to me as if to talk - which she does.

"You know," she says, "This row is reserved for Priests, Priest's wives or deacons."

"Really," I say embarrassed, "I guess I better move then" Great! Orthodoxy has 2000 years of traditions - I am NEVER going to learn them all!

As I grab my hat and am about to leave, she touches my arm and say, "I'm just kidding."

Presbytera Mary leaves to join the choir and my ears redden in embarrassment. I am not embarrassed because I am sitting in the wrong place; I am embarrassed because I am so gullible! I couldn't help but chuckle to myself as doors opened and Father Gary began Vespers. Ah, such a jokester, she is! Orthodox might take worship very seriously, but they certainly are not stoic.

Sitting in the front before Vespers started, I got a chance to observe people as they made their venerations. (Maybe I am not supposed to do that but I guess it's the blogger in me that likes to make observations). One lady was very nicely dressed. It was a very stylish dress which was still modest. That made me think about how people dress for Vespers. I guess I can talk about that best by comparing to some things that are the worst.

I have been to "informal" worship services where not only did people look like they just came from a day at the park, they brought their coffee with them into what the protestant's would call the "sanctuary" (I am not sure what Orthodox call the place where the people sit.) Yes, very informal! Now, I know that God looks at the heart but some protestants have forgotten they are seeking an audience with a King. We would want to dress up to visit the President, why not look your best to visit with the Ruler of the Universe?

What I like about what I have seen so far in Orthodoxy is how people dress up is not cult like in conformity. I visited a friend's church (He's from work) and he is a preacher in that denomination. Very formal. Everyone was dressed in suits and the ladies had long dresses. But it seemed to me that everyone looked the same. The suits were all black and the shirts were all white. It was almost like being a Mormon Convention. Now I am not saying that my friend is involved in a cult (although in the Orthodox sense, isn't anything outside Orthodoxy some variation of a cult? I don't know. Dear reader, set me straight on this one) but it seems that there was no room for individual expression. In Orthodoxy, I saw people dressing up in styles that reflected their personality. God has made us all different so why not express ourselves differently!. Ah, the diversity in the unity of the Body of Christ! How, Glorious!

(I won't mention my friend's church's name but if you want to know, email me and I'll tell you more).

I still have to contact Fr Gary to make an appointment. I had to rush out right after Vespers because I promised my son we would watch the Original BATMAN movie with Michael Keaton and Jack Nickolsen. And I get sleepy late at night so I rushed home.

Also, I had to get up early to plan Sunday's "Jr NYI All Glorious Water Balloon and Wetness Extravaganza" JR NYI is the youth group I run. Does that name sound Orthodox inspiried? I got tired of saying "water balloon fight"...:)