Hopes and Dreams

Girl Scouts of the USA.svgDo you ever daydream? I do. Many of my daydreams are possible now and some are possible later. Girl scouts is a dream possible now, and becoming a doctor can wait for later.

Girl scouts is one activity I enjoy doing now. In girl scouts, there are 6 levels: Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador. In all these levels, there are different badges. A scout can do different things for these badges by making goals. One of my goals is to make 400 refugee and school kits. Since my friend, my sister and I enjoy traveling, we want to travel around the world as a troop. Continue reading

The Universe is My Parish

Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy
February 25, 2018

sunday_of_orthodoxy“A time is coming when people will go mad.” St. Anthony said, “And when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, ‘You are mad because you are not like us.”

This sounds quite prophetic for our day, especially when so many people try to make everything relative, denying the existence of absolute truth. We Orthodox Christians, however, believe in absolute truth because Truth incarnate is Jesus Christ Himself. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and His truth is unchangeable.

Truth is truth, and falsehood is false, no matter what the majority say, and no matter how one tries to dress up falsehood. The Bible describes God as “the Alpha and the Omega, the One who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty” (Rev 1:8). Our Lord God is eternal and unchanging, and therefore His Word and His teachings are unchanging. In every age and in every culture, the Gospel has to be presented in a refreshing and understandable way, but the truth itself is unchanging.

Today on this first Sunday of Lent, we celebrate the Sunday of Orthodoxy, which is often called the Triumph of Orthodoxy. Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh noted, however, that “The Triumph of Orthodoxy is not the Triumph of the Orthodox over other people. It is the Triumph of Divine Truth in the hearts of those who belong to the Orthodox Church and who proclaim this Truth revealed by God in its integrity and directness.”

The triumph of divine truth. I could choose to focus on many different aspects of truth, but one I will focus on today is the universal nature of our faith. St. John Chrysostom once said, “There are two kinds of bishops (or we could say Christians). One who says, ‘My parish is my universe.’ While the other says, ‘The universe is my parish.’” Continue reading

Smoke? Or not?

dreamstime_xs_58648955-399x350Some people might tell you not to smoke, but is there any reason that they tell you that? Yes, there is, and the people who tell you this information might not even know these facts. Smoking can lead to a very bad habit that can lead to death. When you breath in your nose hairs trap large dust, but not all of the bad stuff that can get in your nose. Tiny hairs in your nose passages trap the rest of the dirt and lead it away from your lungs. Most people know that smoking can lead to lung cancer, but what they do not know is that when you smoke regularly for even 2 weeks the tiny hairs start to disappear. Continue reading

On the Brink of Salvation

33866143862_a610ba3812_kFebruary 5/18, 2018
Sunday of Forgiveness
Beginning of Great Lent

Romans 13:11-14:4
Matthew 6:14-21

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Beloved in the Lord, This sermon was not an easy one for me to write this week. This always happens to me as we approach the Doors of Repentance, Holy and Great Lent. I am filled with so many lofty ideas about what it would take to fix the world, but that isn’t the point, is it? Lent is an invitation to fix what’s inside of me, and I don’t know about you, but I would far rather be doing something else. But this morning’s Gospel insists that our hearts can be found wherever we find the things we most desire or treasure. And when those desires are fixed on worldly things and not on eternity, our hearts will be restless until they find their rest in God. Continue reading

The Smallest Gesture of Repentance

Sunday, January 8/21, 2018
33rd Sunday After Pentecost

1 Timothy 4:9-15
Ephesians 4:7-13
Matthew 4:12-17
Luke 19:1-10
Sunday after the Baptism of Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

2167592729_a5fe59317bIn the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Beloved in the Lord, “One Lord, one faith, and one Baptism,” has led us all to the, “… unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God,” as it says in this morning’s epistle proscribed for the Sunday after Theophany, the Feast of Our Lord’s Baptism which we celebrated last Friday. Look around yourself this morning to behold the evidence of this unexpected unity. Because of Our Lord’s Baptism, He sanctifies human nature and makes possible a community of people from so many unexpected places. As St. Paul says in his first epistle to the Corinthians, “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” (I Cor. 1:26-29) Which of these despised categories did we once belong before Baptism, separate from one another by the caste system of worldliness, and now look and behold, “How good and pleasant it is for brothers and sisters to dwell together in unity.” (Psalm 133:1) Continue reading

Best of the Best in 2017

survey-resultsDrum roll please… The results are in for the 2017 Best of the Best in all the respective media categories. Please see below and also the archives for previous years. Happy viewing and reading everyone, and as always, we would love to know what you think in the comment section below. And for those that follow the first release of this list in our printed Christmas Family newsletter, know that this list includes several titles forgotten on the initial run. Enjoy! Continue reading

Disney Princess Martyred for Christ

Sunday, December 4/17, 2017
28th Sunday After Pentecost

Colossians 1:12-18
Luke 17:12-19
Great-martyr Barbara and Martyr Juliana at Heliapolis in Syria (306)
Venerable John Damascene (760)

agia-barbaraIn the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever. What can a young child really do? What is a young boy or girl good for besides growing up into adulthood? Aren’t we adults the ones who run the church and isn’t their place merely to respect and obey instruction until the time comes when they are old enough to run things themselves? While I would agree with at least this assessment of the role of children in the church, I challenge us to see a deeper dimension of these to whom our Lord promised that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs. These same youths that the Apostle Paul enjoined in his letter to Timothy not to despise because of their youthfulness. Continue reading