Friday, April 15, 2011


"So all generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations."  Matthew 1:17
In his homily on this verse, St. Chrysostom succinctly states, "He has divided all the generations into three portions, to indicate that not even when their form of government was changed did they become better, but alike under an aristocracy, and under a king, and under an oligarchy, they were in the same evil ways, and whether popular leaders, or priests, or kings controlled them, it was no advantage to them in the way of virtue"
St. Chrysostom goes on to say that Matthew was showing us this genealogy, "in order that from everything His coming may be shown to be necessary."
Considering these words makes one wonder, "Will a democracy fare any better?"  When Christ does finally return, it will be with but one breath of His mouth that all the kingdoms of the world will perish and that one kingdom that shall last forever will once and for all time be established. O Lord Jesus, come quickly!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Don't turn away from this; it's reality, it's humanity, it's the consequences of our brokenness.  No man is an island; we are all connected and if we think we can turn away, walk on the other side of the street, or be distracted with the evening news, the most recent movie release or another thriller novel; it will only prolong what we need to face right now.  If we avoid suffering, if we cover up the unpleasantness, the pain, the heartache; what good will it do? If will only prolong the inevitable. Jesus didn't turn away and in His strength we needn't turn away either.  Our modern culture hides from death, from deformity, from ugliness and all that is real.  We want the plastic, the sterile, the painted and the digitized for it covers up the sin, the brokenness,  the aching heart and reality of what we as a human race have done to ourselves.  God have mercy on us and O Lord Jesus, come quickly and rescue us!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


As of this writing, it is known that at least 4 out of 150 Orthodox churches in the country have been completely destroyed, some damaged, others severely.   Parishioners are missing but fortunately, no clergymen are yet known to have perished. Once again, the Lord God, through tragedy, provides us with an opportunity to do His work and rush to the aid of the unfortunate. We ask your help in raising funds for the suffering Orthodox Christians in Japan. (From the ROCA website)

The Iversk Icon of the Mother of God

      The Iversk Icon of the Mother of God (which at present is preserved on Athos) was in the IX Century situated with a certain pious widow, living near Nicea. During the time of the emperor Theophilos, the Iconoclasts in their attempts to abolish the veneration of holy icons, came to the house of this Christian, and one of the soldiers struck the image of the Mother of God with a spear. Where it was struck, there immediately flowed out blood. The widow, fearing its destruction, promised the imperial soldiers money and implored them not to touch the icon until morning. When the soldiers departed, the woman together with her son (later to be an Athos monk), sent the holy icon away upon the sea to preserve it. The icon, standing upon the water, floated off to Athos. The Athos monks, having for several days seen a fiery pillar rising up to the heavens upon the sea, came down to the shore and found there the holy image, standing upon the waters. After a molieben of thanksgiving for the monastery having been granted the holy image that thus had appeared, a pious monk of the Iveria monastery had a sleep vision in which the Mother of God appeared to him and gave him orders, and so he went to the water and taking up the holy icon he placed it in the church. On the following day, however, the icon was found not within the church, but on the gates of the monastery. This was repeated several times, until the MostHoly Mother of God revealed to Saint Gabriel Her will, saying, that She did not want the icon as something protected by the monks, but rather She intended to be their Protectress. After this, the image was installed atop the monastery gates. And therefore this icon came to be called "Portal–Keeper" or "Gate-Keeper" 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


 "The content of one of the steps of "The Ladder" (the 22nd) discusses the ascetic deed of the destruction of vainglory. The monk John writes: "Vanity springs out in front of each virtue. When, for example, I keep a fast – I am given over to vanity, and when I in concealing the fasting from others permit myself food, I am again given over to vanity – by my prudence. Dressing up in bright clothing, I am vanquished by love of honour and, having changed over into drab clothing – I am overcome by vanity. If I stand up to speak – I fall under the power of vanity. If I wish to keep silence, I am again given over to it. Wherever this thorn comes up, it everywhere stands with its points upwards. It is vainglorious..., on the surface to honour God, and in deed to strive to please people rather than God... People of lofty spirit bear insult placidly and willingly, but to hear praise and feel nothing of pleasure is possible only for the saints and for the unblameworthy... When thou hearest, that thy neighbour or friend either afront the eyes or behind the eyes slandereth thee, praise and love him... Does this not shew humility, and who can reproach himself, and be intolerant with himself? But who, having been discredited by another, would not diminish in his love for him... Whoever is exalted by natural gifts – a felicitous mind, a fine education, reading, pleasant elocution and other similar qualities, which are readily enough acquired, that person might yet never obtain to supernatural gifts. Wherefore whoever is not faithful in the small things, that one also is not faithful in the large, and is vainglorous. It often happens, that God Himself humbles the vainglorious, sending a sudden misfortune... If prayer does not destroy a proud thought, we bring to mind the leaving of the soul from this life. And if this does not help, we threaten it with the shame of the Last Judgement. "Rising up to humble oneself" even here, before the future age. When praisers, or better – flatterers, start to praise us, immediately we betake ourselves to recollection of all our iniquities and we find, that we are not at all worth that which they impute to us"."

Monday, April 11, 2011


The Church Fathers have a way of grounding us, keeping us centered, focused and balanced regarding how to think, how to live, how to worship and how to understand the world we live in and even though their homilies were delivered in the early years of the church they have as much significance for us in these modern times as they did when they were delivered.  This series of homilies delivered by the blessed St. Chrysostom, the Golden Mouth are quite unnerving, unsettling and brutally scathing yet the message is quite clear and understandable if read with an attentive and dispassionate spirit that remains open to the Holy Spirit to enlighten.  They are not easy reading! If you are an Orthodox Christian, these sermons will most likely do one of two things;  humble, enlighten and equip, providing the discernment needed to face the end times that are unfolding before us or else they will embarrass the reader resulting in dismissal and ignorance.  Note: These sermons are only for the bride of Christ. 


"..."The days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days (Luke 5:35)." This is very significant for Orthodox Christians. For it is here that Christ makes a direct connection, a direct relationship between the discipline of fasting and His promised return.

Fasting, therefore, is not only for one's self-discipline and preparation for receiving higher spiritual benefits, it is also basically a preparation for the return of Christ, as the five wise virgins prepared themselves in the Parable of the Ten Virgins...."

click on the title for the rest of the story

Saturday, April 9, 2011


"Born in Alexandria in Egypt in the middle of the fifth century, as a young girl Mary fell into the vice of prostitution. For seventeen years, from the age of 12 until the age of 29, she lived the life of a harlot. However, once finding herself in Jerusalem, out of curiosity, she went to see the Precious Cross of Christ. She found that she was unable to enter the church where St Helen had placed the Cross, for some invisible force prevented her from entering in. So frightened was she at this that she asked the Mother of God through an icon at the entrance to the church, why this was. The Mother of God replied to her that Mary first needed to repent and obey her. Only after promising to do this was Mary allowed to enter the church in Jerusalem. After then entering and venerating the Cross, Mary heard the Mother of God telling her: 'If you cross the Jordan, you will find true peace'.
So shaken was Mary by these events that she did indeed forsake all her old life and, having taken communion, she crossed the Jordan, and went to live there in the desert. We do not know the exact details of her day-to-day life, but we do know that she dwelt there as a hermitess, eating plants, living in torments and struggle with passionate thoughts, and eventually obtaining the grace to work miracles, crossing the Jordan as if on dry land. She lived naked and became withered and emaciated, as we can see in the icon of her, but nevertheless she survived there for some forty-eight years. Then she was discovered by a pious monk, Zosimas, who is portrayed in the icon together with her. It was to him that she related her life which we have today."...


Here's my homegrown terrorist story. In the summer of 2009, while temporarily living in the country on a ranch outside of Bonners Ferry, Idaho only a few miles from where the Randy Weaver incident took place, I was visited by a well groomed older gentleman in western dress who knocked on my apartment door, introducing himself as an out-of-towner from Nevada, explaining that he was visiting the area and considering investing his money into a building in town that he would like to use as a meeting place for a church and low and behold he wanted me to be the pastor! (I am not making this up). Now there was a time in my life many years ago (1982-1995) while living in another Idaho community that I had embraced many idealistic American christian concepts, speaking out against "community evils", being involved in social justice issues and even going so far as to establish an independant christian church which I actually did pastor for thirteen years.  Now mind you, I left all this behind me fifteen years ago and yet this man somehow knew about my past (why else would he be seeking me out?) and he was innovative enough to actually hunt me down and find me in the middle of nowhere in an obscure little town in the northern woods of Idaho!  Now what's wrong with this story?  I will tell you.  In 2007, I started the blog you are now reading and in this blog I occasionally wrote scathing articles about the great evil American empire (uh, oh, did I say that?).  Now, this gentleman didn't mention my blog and he didn't mention my past but somehow he was motivated enough to seek me out to involve me in what I to this day believe was an effort to establish a church that would draw in all the malcontented 'home grown terrorists' for the purpose of either corralling us or/and manipulating us to become implicated in some false flag operation that would serve in the best interests of the political, governmental and corporate neo-nazis (oh, bad word!) that control our country.  After having spent perhaps forty five minutes with this gentleman, quizzing him about his past and turning down his multiple efforts to woo me with money and prestige, he finally gave up and excused himself telling me I was missing out on a great opportunity. After he left, I sat stunned, contemplating how bizarre this incident was and what do you know but that the next day, I recieved an email from this man seeking to convince me yet again to become a part of his plan.  Of course, I turned him down and again (I'm not making this up), the very next day I received an email in broken english from a Muslim terrorist who was supposedly the master mind behind the Bali nightclub bombing (another false flag operation) and he was bragging that he was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List and he was going to kill me if I didn't stop writing inflammatory articles.  That in itself was over the top bizarre and what was even odder is that my writings were more against Zionists and American fascists (dang, forgive me) than they were against Muslims.  It has been years since that incident and this is the first time I have shared it publicly.  Now that my memory has been jogged, I think I will do a email search to see if I saved that flattering murder threat from such a famous and dangerous Ten Most Wanted Listed terrorist!  What a joke! What this country has become is so sick and so sad. sigh....Oh, Lord, forgive us and do come quickly! 

*The icon of Blessed St. Stephan the Martyr is displayed to remind us that sometimes speaking the truth has dire or  perhaps I should say, blessed consequences. 

Friday, April 8, 2011


     "The Archangel Gabriel was chosen by the Lord to make the blest-announcement to the Virgin Mary about the Incarnation of the Son of God from Her, to the great rejoicing of all mankind. Therefore on the day after the feast of the Annunciation – the day itself on which the All-Pure Virgin Herself is glorified, we give thanks to the Lord and we venerate His messenger Gabriel, who contributed to the mystery of our salvation.

      The holy Archistrategos (Leader of the Heavenly Hosts) Gabriel acted in service to the Almighty God. He announced to Old Testament mankind about the future Incarnation of the Son of God; he inspired the Prophet Moses during the writing of the Pentateuch books of the Bible, he announced to the Prophet Daniel about the coming tribulations of the Hebrew People (Dan. 8: 16, 9: 21-24); he appeared to Righteous Anna with the news of the birth from her of the Ever-Blessed Virgin Mary. The holy Archangel Gabriel stayed constantly with the Holy Virgin Mary when She was a child in the Jerusalem Temple and afterwards watched over Her throughout all Her earthly life. He appeared to the Priest Zachariah, foretelling the birth of the Forerunner of the Lord – John the Baptist. The Lord dispatched him to Saint Joseph the Betrothed: he appeared to him in a dream, to reveal to him the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God from the All-Pure Virgin Mary, and warned him of the wicked intentions of Herod, ordering him to flee into Egypt with the Divine-Infant and the Mother of God. When the Lord before His Passion prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane to the extent of sweating blood, according to Church tradition, to strengthen Him there was sent from Heaven the Archangel Gabriel, whose very name signifies "Strength of God" (Lk. 22: 43).
      The Myrh-Bearing Women heard from the Archangel the joyous news about the Resurrection of Christ. 
      Mindful this day of the manifold appearances of the holy Archangel Gabriel and of his zealous fulfilling of the Divine Will, and confessing his intercession before the Lord for Christians, the Orthodox Church calls upon its children with faith and with fervour to have recourse in prayer to the great Angel."

Thursday, April 7, 2011


"If 'love is long-suffering and kind' (1 Cor. 13:4), a man who is fainthearted in the face of his afflictions and who therefore behaves wickedly towards those who have offended him, and stops loving them, surely lapses from the purpose of divine providence.
Watch yourself, lest the vice which separates you from your brother lies not in him but in yourself.  Be reconciled with him without delay, so that you do not lapse from the commandment of love.
Do not hold the commandment of love in contempt, for through it you will become a son of God. But if you transgress it, you will become a son of Gehenna.
What separates us from the love of friends is envying or being envied, causing or receiving harm, insulting or being insulted, and suspicious thoughts. Would that you had never done or experienced anything of this sort and in this way separated yourself from the love of a friend.
Has a brother been the occasion of some trial for you and has your resentment led you to hatred? Do not let yourself be overcome by this hatred, but conquer it with love. You will succeed in this by praying to God sincerely for your brother and by accepting his apology or else by conciliating him with an apology yourself, by regarding yourself as responsible for the trial and by patiently waiting until the cloud has passed."

Philokalia II pg 102

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


"Resentment is linked with rancour. When the intellect forms the image of a brother's face with a feeling of resentment, it is clear that it harbors rancour against him. 'The way of the rancourous leads to death' (Proverbs 12:28), because 'whoever harbors rancour is a transgressor' (Proverbs 21:24).  

If you harbor rancour against anybody, pray for him and you will prevent the passion from being aroused; for by means of prayer you will separate your resentment from the thought of the wrong he has done you. When you have become loving and compassionate towards him, you will wipe the passion completely from your soul.  If somebody regards you with rancour, be pleasant to him, be humble and agreeable in his company, and you will deliver him from his passion."

Philokalia II pg 97

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


"Self-indulgence, self esteem and lack of faith all produce love for material wealth.  The self-indulgent person loves wealth because it enables him to live comfortably; the person full of self-esteem loves it because through it he can gain the esteem of others; the person who lacks faith loves it because, fearful of starvation, old age, disease, or exile, he can save it and hoard it. He puts his trust in wealth rather than in God, the Creator who provides for all creation, down to the least of living things.  

There are three kinds of men who hoard wealth: the three already mentioned and the treasurer. Clearly, it is only the last who conserves it for a good purpose - namely, so as always to have the means of supplying each person's basic needs."

Philokalia II pg 86

Self-indulgence, self esteem and a lack of faith are all enemies of salvation.  Salvation can be lost by neglecting the poor.  The riches of this world will pass away and their possessors will become the paupers of heaven while the poor suffer momentarily awaiting heavenly treasures and eternal riches.

Monday, April 4, 2011


"It is the narrow way and the strait gate which lead to life eternal, and few there be who find it. Thus, according to His love for us, seeing the possible benefit of sorrows to those who are worthy, the Lord moves many off the broad road and puts them on the narrow, sorrowful path, so that in their patient endurance of sickness and sorrow, He might effect their salvation and grant them life eternal."

Counsels of Venerable St. Makary (Ivanov)  


"There are said to be five reasons why God allows us to be assailed by demons. 
1.  By attacking and counter-attacking, we should learn to discriminate between virtue and vice.
2.  Having acquired virtue through conflict and toil, we should keep it secure and immutable.  
3.  Having made progress in virtue, we should not become haughty but learn humility. 
4.  Having gained some experience of evil, we should 'hate it with perfect hatred' (Ps 139:22). 
5.  And most importantly is so that, having achieved dispassion, we should forget neither our own weakness nor the power of Him who has helped us."

"The demons fight against us either through things themselves or through our impassioned conceptual images of these things. They fight through things against those who are occupied with things and through conceptual images against those who are not attached to things."

"Just as it is easier to sin in the mind than in action, so warfare through our impassioned conceptual images of things is harder than warfare through the things themselves."

"If a man doesn't sin in mind, he will never sin in action."

St. Maximos The Confessor - Philokalia II pgs 76 - 77

Saturday, April 2, 2011


"He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (Prov. 13:24). Never mind the children—let us work on ourselves. For each of us this means the following: do not spare yourself, chasten yourself earnestly. Self-pity is the root of all our crawling into sin. He who does not indulge himself is always steadfast in good. Most of all you must keep your flesh, that slow-witted slave, in the strictest discipline. When you tire the flesh, it is humble; but give it only a small privilege, and already it begins to show its claws and to rage with passion-loving eyes. But what is amazing is that no matter what is said, everyone stands up for the flesh, and invents all sorts of pleasing things for it. Even science, it seems, would not move forward without this. What sort of science is this?"  St. Theophan the Recluse