Wednesday, August 24, 2016


“The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; 
blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

     The righteous (or just) have no fear except the fear of God, and they are aware that no matter whatever happens all will change and again go well with them. Here are a few excerpts from the Book of Job the forbearing and enduring one.

     Job, a and righteous man worshiped God faithfully and abstained from all evil and God’s many blessings made him quite prosperous. He had seven sons and three daughters. He also had 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, a very great household and a huge husbandry and was ranked among the most noble of men. His sons visited one another preparing banquets frequently bringing along with them their sisters. Job frequently offered up purifying sacrifices for his children in case any of them had sinned or done anything improper or thought evil in their minds. 

     The devil appeared before God, and God told about the beauty of Job. The devil attempted to attribute God’s gifts as the reason for Job’s pure and holy lifestyle. God gave the devil permission to use his wiles to pursue and change Job piety and began the  attack which God gave him against Job. Through the devil’s work messengers came to Job one after the other, telling of very many losses including his servants who had been slain.  While one servant was still reporting, additional servants came with even worse news; they came one after the other. They told of fire coming down from heaven which burnt up his many sheep. This continued until  he lost everything. All his children were killed when a great wind came from the desert and blew their house down upon them all.  

     But Job never hesitated his faithful worship of God, saying about the many evils that came upon him: “I came forth naked from my mother’s womb and naked shall I return. The Lord gives the Lord takes away; as it seemed good to the Lord, so it has happened; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Then the devil went after Job’s body; he inflicted sore boils from his feet to his head and Job sat on a dung heap and scraped them. In all the events that fell upon him “Job did not sin before the Lord, nor did he impute foolishness to the Lord.” The Lord God blessed Job again even more than at the beginning. Then after he had suffered affliction for a total of 170 years, he died peacefully fully restored at 240 years.  Job never neglected his frequent and faithful loving prayers to the Lord even under the most difficult circumstances, His love for the Lord was His life, and by this he set the example for all of us at all times.
     The very moving story of Job in its entirety is well known and is especially taken to heart by those who are faithful to God in all their works. It is the Lord who we should love with all our hearts, and not just love the material possessions which He has bestowed upon us. Although they deserve our continuous gratitude and thankfulness. God loves us completely even if we oppose or deny Him, for His love is directed toward each one of us. Job prayerful and most faithful life which stemmed from his wonderful patience, endurance, and with great confidence and love for the Lord. He loved the Lord for Himself and there was nothing that could alter his great love. We must all love God for  everything we have is God’s free gift, but the greatest gift of all is that  He gives us our life and existence, our intellect and our love and good feelings, and the noble and joyous goal of being His own image, and there is nothing more He could have done than making us like God like himself, truly a noble destination!

   We must remember that the Lord gives us everything enthusiastically and generously regardless and He continues this whether or not we return His love, and He helps everyone who seeks truth rejecting no one. He gives freely to all for He is good and the only Lover of man. The goodness of God and His many beautiful attributes are beyond our ability to even try to understand and describe..

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away; blessed is His holy name.


     During the reign of Patriarch Menas (536-600) an extraordinary miracle occurred. A young Jewish boy, the son of a glassworker, went with some of his Orthodox companions and received Holy Communion with them. When he went home he told his father, who in a fury and great indignation he placed the boy in the furnace which he used for molding glass.

     The boy’s mother had no knowledge of what the father had done to the boy. She unsuccessively searched seeking her missing child for three days as she went throughout the city weeping and wailing for her son. On the third day by the door of her husband’s workshop, she was crying out her son’s name. Recognizing his mother’s voice he answered her from within the coals and showed her that he was totally untouched by the fire. When asked how he remained unharmed, he told her. A woman in a purple robe had frequently come and visited me. She offered me water and supplied food the coals nearest me kept him cool.

     The Emperor Justinian when hearing of this occurrence, placed the boy and his mother in the orders of the church and they were illumined and baptized, and the Emperor sentenced the glassblower to death for the murder of his son.

Monday, August 22, 2016


“In the beginning God created heaven and earth . . .”
(Gen 1:1)

     Before the beginning there existed only eternity for that which exists outside of eternity exists in time and all that exists in time has both a beginning and an ending. Outside of time in eternity there is God the Creator who alone is the eternal one.  “In the beginning” refers to the beginning of creation. God, alone is eternal, all-knowing,  all-powerful and is a perfect Mind. A man has to choose between believing this only possibility or the impossibility that the world created itself, because the world is a creation not a creator. If we accept creation as being existent we must also recognize the Creator who in the beginning created heaven and earth.

     The world could not create itself, is not the creation of many creators and was not created by evil powers. The world comes from God therefore we should rejoice and be gladdened, because we know that God is good and the Lover of man. The world is divine in its origin and for this reason its end will be in God. This realization causes us to realize that God is a great intelligence possessing all knowledge, this we know because He endowed each of us with such a supreme  intellect and memory.

     We know that God called forth the existence of the heavens and the earth with the land and sea, lakes and rivers, the sun, moon and stars, and so many other things that he formed for our sake.     It is astounding to our minds knowing that all that exists in heaven and earth were called forth by God/ But when He created man, He did call Him but He personally form man in His own image. So the greatest creature of God which is man was created above all being as the highest of creatures. Even higher than this is man’s unique destination, which is to become the image and likeness of God. With this in mind, we must act accordingly and struggle to become God’s image and likeness and thus be found worthy to live with Him in eternal life.  Failing to understand our destination to become His image and likeness can be detrimental to our souls.                   

     “In the beginning . . .”  This establishes the starting point and there is a necessary ending point. We all have a starting point of infancy, unable to speak or to walk. and we slowly grow into toddlers and eventually into full grown men and woman. If we are not at this present time living a double life then its time to awaken and start living a genuine spiritual life. Usually our lives last for about fifty to a hundred years generallywithout foreknowledge of the day of our final demise, where we will face judgment. 

     I believe that there are only a small number of people who realize what we are writing here and that they have the most important thing there is to live for, to become the image and likeness of God. This is the highest of all calling that exists. There is no one greater and higher than God, and the highest calling of mankind is to become His image and likeness. As for those who have not yet begun, today is always a good time to start and when you do your whole life will change for the better.

     The Orthodox Church is the central point of the means of our reaching our destination. The Church’s most important book, the New Testament,called also the Bible, is the source of much teaching that we need, the Gospels and Epistles contained therin ought to be read and re-read over and over for they are rich in content of necessary things.

     God is good, kind, sweet, full of compassion, merciful and greatly forbearing. He abounds with great love for all mankind. How much he loves us can be seen by creation. His love for us is far beyond the brilliance of the sun. His kindness is brighter tha the brightest moon. His compassions are more munerous than the stars of the heavens. How much He loves us is also seen by the wonderful fact, that He bestowed the greatest honor possible on the human race – forming man in His own image!