How an Icon Brought a Calvinist to Orthodoxy – Robert K. Arakaki, Hawaii, USA

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HAWAII OF MY HEART

How an Icon Brought a Calvinist to Orthodoxy

By Robert K. Arakaki, Hawaii, USA

A Journey to Orthodoxy

It was my first week at seminary. Walking down the hallway of the main dorm, I saw an icon of Christ on a student’s door. I thought:

“An icon in an evangelical seminary?! What’s going on here?”

Even more amazing was the fact that Jim’s background was the Assemblies of God, a Pentecostal denomination. When I left Hawaii in 1990 to study at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, I went with the purpose of preparing to become an evangelical seminary professor in a liberal United Church of Christ seminary. The UCC is one of the most liberal denominations, and I wanted to help bring the denomination back to its biblical roots. The last thing I expected was that I would become Orthodox.

Called by an Icon

After my first semester, I flew back to Hawaii for the winter break. While there, I was invited to a Bible study at Ss. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church. At the Bible study I kept looking across the table to the icons that were for sale. My eyes kept going back to this one particular icon of Christ holding the Bible in His hand. For the next several days I could not get that icon out of my mind.

I went back and bought the icon. When I bought it, I wasn’t thinking of Continue reading “How an Icon Brought a Calvinist to Orthodoxy – Robert K. Arakaki, Hawaii, USA”

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My Journey Through Lutheranism and Calvary Chapel to Orthodoxy – Patrick Keenan, North Dakota, USA

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USA OF MY HEART

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My Journey Through Lutheranism and Calvary Chapel to Orthodoxy

by Patrick Keenan, North Dakota, USA

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2017/03/my-journey-through-lutheranism-calvary-chapel-orthodoxy/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

My parents brought me to Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church for Baptism as an infant. Somehow, someway a grace entered my life that has resided as long as I can remember. The quest as to who He is and how I should know him has been a lifelong pursuit.

It was an evening in 1966. Our modest North Dakota apartment housed my Mother, Father and myself. Dad was at the family Drive-In. Mom and I decided to watch NBC’s Saturday Night at the Movies. It was a Rock Hudson Movie called ‘The Spiral Road’. Rock’s character was an Atheist Doctor in a south pacific Island who had fallen in love with a Christian nurse. She asked Rock why he didn’t believe in God, to which he replied something like:

‘because at one point I challenged God to show himself to me. I told God ‘If you are there- strike me down!’ He did nothing and that is why I do not believe.’

Well the next day, of course, was Sunday morning. Our Redeemer’s was a large Church with a huge wooden cross hanging on a rock wall behind the pulpit. As I recall, the Continue reading “My Journey Through Lutheranism and Calvary Chapel to Orthodoxy – Patrick Keenan, North Dakota, USA”

The Impossibility of Aloneness: When Christ Found Me in the Himalayas – Joseph Magnus Frangipani, Alaska, USA

https://conversionstoorthodoxy.wordpress.com

CONVERSIONS TO ORTHODOXY

The Impossibility of Aloneness: When Christ Found Me in the Himalayas

By Joseph Magnus Frangipani, Alaska, USA

Printed in Issue 24 – Death to the World

Source:

http://deathtotheworld.com

http://deathtotheworld.comthe-impossibility-of-aloneness-when-christ-found-me-in-the-himalayas/

DEATH TO THE WORLD

I’m an Orthodox Christian living in Homer, Alaska and experienced Jesus Christ in the Himalayas, in India.

I listen to the heartbeat of rain outside…

Cold, Alaskan fog blowing in off the bay, emerald hills now that autumn is here and summer chased away into the mountains. But a milky white fog spreads over the bay like a silken ghost. I used to visit Trappist monasteries, back when I was Catholic, at the beginning of high school, and searching for a relationship of love. I read plenty of philosophy then to know that knowing isn’t enough, that having a realization in the mind is entirely different from experiencing a revelation of the heart.

I spent two birthdays in the Himalayas…

Traveling along gravel roads that drop deep into icy gulches where the Ganges river rages below not yet packed with the filth and mud and newspapers of villages, not yet carrying remainders of Indians in her current, I found Christ found me. It’s a difficult and strangely compelling atmosphere to confront oneself, – – India, – – sandwiched with black corpses, white snow, pagan fires and virulent animals.

I took a bus north from Delhi. It was crowded, tight and cramped, flies buzzed between my face and the windows smeared with brown slime. It’s so Continue reading “The Impossibility of Aloneness: When Christ Found Me in the Himalayas – Joseph Magnus Frangipani, Alaska, USA”

Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? – Fr. James Bernstein, WA, USA

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USA OF MY HEART

USA WASHINGTON FFFF

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Which Came First: New Testament or the Church?

by Fr. James Bernstein, WA, USA

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2011/05/which-came-first-new-testament-or-the-church/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

A convert to Christianity from Judaism, Fr. James was a teenage chess champion whose dramatic conversion experience at the age of 16 led him to Christianity, and is also one of the founders of Jews For Jesus. His journey led him directly to the Orthodox Christian faith, and his journey is recounted in his book “Surprised By Christ,” the story of a man searching for the truth and unable to rest until he finds it. He is the priest at St. Paul Church in Brier, WA.

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

As a Jewish convert to Christ via evangelical Protestantism, I naturally wanted to know God better through the reading of the Scriptures. In fact, it had been through reading the Gospels in the “forbidden book” called the New Testament, at age sixteen, that I had come to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and our promised Messiah. In my early years as a Christian, much of my religious education came from private Bible reading.

By the time I entered college, I had a pocket-sized version of the whole Bible that was my constant companion. I would commit favorite passages from the Scriptures to memory, and often quote them to myself in times of temptation-or to others as I sought to convince them of Christ. The Bible became for me-as it is to this day-the most important book in print. I can say from my heart with Saint Paul the Apostle,

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

That’s the good news!

The bad news is that often I would decide for myself what the Scriptures meant. For example, I became so enthusiastic about knowing Jesus as my close and personal friend that I thought my own awareness of Him was all I needed. So I would mark verses about Continue reading “Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? – Fr. James Bernstein, WA, USA”

Vietnam, 2017: The Mother of God appears to Vietnamese woman in coma, who then converts to Orthodoxy

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HOLY VIRGIN MARY

CONVERSIONS TO ORTHODOXY

VIETNAM OF MY HEART

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The newly-baptized Anna is seated in the picture

vietnamese-woman

Vietnam, 2017:

The Mother of God appears to Vietnamese woman in coma,

who then converts to Orthodoxy

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2017/09/mother-god-appears-vietnamese-woman-coma-converts-orthodoxy/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Fr. George Maximov, a Moscow priest who often serves on missionary trips throughout Asia, has posted on his Facebook page the words of a Vietnamese woman who converted to Orthodoxy after the Mother of God appeared to her.

The woman, Nguyen Thi Mai Anh, a former Buddhist living and working in Vũng Tàu, Vietnam, was baptized into Holy Orthodoxy on Holy Saturday this year [2017].

She writes of “something incredible” happening in her life about a year ago: “I was lying in a coma in the hospital. During this time I saw a radiance, a bright light, and directly in front of me appeared the Virgin Mary Theotokos. She handed me a bottle of water and gave me to drink. As soon as I drank the water, the light and the Theotokos disappeared.”

“In the morning the next day,” she continues, “I suddenly came out of the coma after being unconscious for so long.” Nguyen survived, and she began to pray to the Lord Jesus Christ and His Mother for a speedy recovery, and decided she would become a Christian when she returned home.

“A few days later, another vision appeared to me in a dream, that there would be a man who would lead me to the Church, and that I would eat Bread there and drink Holy Water together with everyone, and walk around the church,” she continues.

After she was released and returned home, a friend came to her, bearing an icon of the Mother of God with the Savior. “I was incredibly happy, because it was the same image I had seen in my dream. I was very happy, and I told my friend about what I had seen in the dream, and he took me to an Orthodox Church where Russians pray in the 5th district of the city of Vũng Tàu, to meet the Lord and the Theotokos there,” Nguyen recalls.

The woman was later baptized in the same church and “born again under the protection of the Most-Holy Theotokos and by the grace of the Lord.”

“I am infinitely happy!” she exclaims, continuing, “Thanks to Thee, O Lord and to thee, O Theotokos, for my ‘second birth’ and the gift of the Fountain of Life!”

Fr. George notes that she broke her leg just before her Baptism, but this did not deter her. She was baptized with the name of Anna, and now reads prayers in the Vietnamese language during the services.

Chinese Man Travels Thousands of Miles to be Baptized

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TAIWAN & HONG KONG OF MY HEART

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baptism

Chinese Man Travels Thousands of Miles to be Baptized

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2017/09/chinese-man-travels-thousands-miles-baptized/

Another adult Baptism recently took place on the banks of the Haliacmon River, the longest river contained entirely in Greece, flowing 185 miles through the Greek regions of West Macedonia and Central Macedonia, reports Romfea.

This time the new convert traveled thousands of miles from far away China to be baptized at the humble Monastery of the Virgin Kallipetras, in Veria, in northern Greece. The monastery is a male coenobium, dating back to at least 1100 AD. The name of the monastery is connected with a huge rocky column nearby, known as “Kallipetra.” St. Gregory Palamas is among the many saints who have lived and struggled there.

The former Su, now Constantine, received the gifts of the Holy Spirit with exemplary devotion, fasting, and prayer, on Saturday, September 2, 2017. The Baptism was celebrated by the abbot of the monastery, Archimandrite Palamas, reports inveria.gr.

Three members of his family traveled to Greece together with him.

The Mane Man – An Interview with Troy Polamalu of Pittsburg Steelers Team, Samoa & USA – Journey to Orthodoxy

An Interview with Troy Polamalu

The Mane Man

By

Gina Mazza

Pittsburgh Magazine, August 2009

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/08/24/wild-interview-with-troy-polamalu/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Football is a given: How was this year’s Super Bowl experience versus XL? Tomlin versus Cowher? Goals for the coming season?

Fatherhood is new in Polamalu’s life since the birth of his son, Paisios, named after a beloved contemporary Greek Orthodox monastic, Elder Paisios, on Oct. 31, 2008. Has daddy-dom been life-changing? Will he encourage his son to play professional sports? How’s that
beautiful new mom doing?

And last but not least: Faith. In order to properly meet Polamalu where he lives, this is the requisite, the grounding force that gives meaning to everything he does, every play he makes. Polamalu’s evident gratitude to the one who made him is marbled throughout our talk – from his training regime to his travels to Mount Athos, a monastic site in Greece, a place he calls “heaven on earth.”

While he has a reputation for being one of the NFL’s fiercest players, Polamalu would prefer “Tasmanian angel” over “Tasmanian devil” because his ball game is about glorifying God. “Football is part of my life but not life itself,” he says. “Football doesn’t define me. It’s what I do [and] how I carry out my faith.”

Whether shooting a Coke Zero commercial or running up the sand hills on Manhattan Beach to train – which he’s probably off to do after this interview – Polamalu, 27, is refreshingly modest and introspective, choosing his words as precisely as he picks his spots on the gridiron. He’s intense when the Continue reading “The Mane Man – An Interview with Troy Polamalu of Pittsburg Steelers Team, Samoa & USA – Journey to Orthodoxy”