Video – Riverside, California, USA: Fisher of men – Winning converts to the Orthodox Faith

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HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY

Riverside, California, USA: Fisher of men

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Winning converts to the Orthodox Faith

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Convertirea în masă a unui grup de protestanți din Coasta de Fildeș (Africa), și minunea ce s-a petrecut cu apa botezului ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Romanian

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ORTHODOX HEART SITES

ROMANIA OF MY HEART

Convertirea în masă a

unui grup de protestanți din Coasta de Fildeș (Africa),

și minunea ce s-a petrecut cu apa botezului

Am ajuns pe Coasta de Fildeș, povestește episcopul Ghanei, Pantelimon, după optsprezece ore de călătorie. Și ne gândeam:  “Acum ce vom face?”. Când nu mai aveam nicio nădejde omenească și am hotărât să ne întoarcem în Ghana, a sunat telefonul. Era un grup de protestanți din zonă, care de șase ani de zile căutau rădăcinile creștinismului. După ce au studiat fenomenul, au descoperit Ortodoxia!!! Oameni curați la suflet! Am hotărât să îi botez, dar mergând să vedem râul, am descoperit că era plin pe toată suprafața de gunoaie. Unde să săvârșim Taina Botezului? Cum să verși acolo Sfântul Mir? Era nevoie de câteva luni pentru a-l curăța… Seara s-a iscat o furtună grozavă și prin dumnezeiască minune, în dimineața următoare nu se mai afla niciun gunoi în apă. După terminarea botezului m-au cuprins niște dureri cumplite și a trebuit să merg la spital. Cu ajutorul lui Dumnezeu am continuat lucrarea… Aceștia erau primii ortodocși!

Sursă:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ΑδελφήΑγάθη

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AFRICA OF MY HEART

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”

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”

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.

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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”

Deep Roots In Fresh Soil – Orthodox Christianity Comes To Erie, Colorado, USA

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USA OF MY HEART

Deep Roots In Fresh Soil

Orthodox Christianity comes to Erie, Colorado, USA

250-member St. Luke grew from tiny Lafayette church established nearly two decades ago

By John Aguilar

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2011/02/deep-roots-in-fresh-soil/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

The building is brand-new, the land never before scraped, but the site in Erie where St. Luke Orthodox Christian Church now sits has roots going back nearly two millennia.

A vivid, larger than life-size image of the Virgin Mary, accompanied by a young Jesus, stretches her arms out above the altar. The Messiah — surrounded by painted prophets — gazes down from the dome inside the church’s temple, which is adorned with Byzantine arches and columns.

There’s no organ here — all music is chanted or sung a cappella. There are no statues — warm-hued iconography is the rule.

Standing inside St. Luke evokes a different time, a different era.

”It’s the one that was established by the Lord and the apostles,” said the Rev. David Mustian, pastor at St. Luke. ”When people look at the Orthodox Church, it feels new to them, but when they start digging, they see it has old Continue reading “Deep Roots In Fresh Soil – Orthodox Christianity Comes To Erie, Colorado, USA”

A letter to a new convert by Mother Thekla, Abbess of Orthodox Monastery of the Assumpion in North Yorkshire, England

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GREAT BRITAIN OF MY HEART

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A letter to a new convert by Mother Thekla,

Abbess of  Orthodox Monastery of the Assumpion

in North Yorkshire, England

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2013/01/mother-theklas-letter-to-a-new-convert/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Mother Thekla, who died on Aug. 7, 2011 at aged 93, was the last surviving nun to have occupied the enclosed Orthodox Monastery of the Assumption in North Yorkshire, but became better known to the wider world as the spiritual muse of the composer Sir John Tavener. Mother Thekla wrote the following letter in 2009, when she was 91 years old. You can read more about her here.

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Dear “John”,

I understand that you are on the way to becoming Orthodox. I know nothing about you, beyond the fact that you are English.

Before we go any further, there is one point I should make clear. I have not been told why you are about to convert, but I assure you there is no point whatsoever if it is for negative reasons. You will find as much “wrong” (if not more) in Orthodoxy as in the Anglican or Roman Churches.

So – the first point is, are you prepared to face lies, hypocrisy, evil and all the rest, just as much in Orthodoxy as in any other religion or denomination?

Are you expecting a kind of earthly paradise with plenty of incense and the right kind of music?

Do you expect to go straight to heaven if you cross yourself slowly, pompously and in the correct form from the right side?

Have you a cookery book with all the authentic Russian recipes for Easter festivities?

Are you an expert in kissing three times on every possible or improper occasion?

Can you prostrate elegantly without dropping a variety of stationery out of your pockets?

OR…..

Have you read the Gospels?

Have you faced Christ crucified? In the spirit have you attended the Last Supper – the meaning of Holy Communion?

AND….

Are you prepared, in all humility, to understand that you will never, in this life, know beyond Faith; that Faith means accepting the Truth without proof. Faith and knowledge are the ultimate contradiction –and the ultimate absorption into each other.

Living Orthodoxy is based on paradox, which is carried on into worship – private or public.

We know because we believe and we believe because we know.

Above all, are you prepared to accept all things as from God?

If we are meant, always, to be “happy”, why the Crucifixion? Are you prepared, whatever happens, to believe that somewhere, somehow, it must make sense? That does not mean passive endurance, but it means constant vigilance, listening, for what is demanded; and above all, Love.

Poor, old, sick, to our last breath, we can love. Not sentimental nonsense so often confused with love, but the love of sacrifice – inner crucifixion of greed, envy, pride.

And never confuse love with sentimentality.

And never confuse worship with affectation.

Be humble – love, even when it is difficult. Not sentimental so called love – And do not treat church worship as a theatrical performance!

I hope that some of this makes sense,

With my best wishes,
Mother Thekla
(sometime Abbess of the Monastery of the Assumption, Normanby)