Archive for the ‘BIO’ Category

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Prayer of Saint Ephraim

January 27, 2008

The Prayer of Saint Ephraim was the first orthodox prayer in
my daily prayers to gel with me. I found a refreshing view
point that I am a sinner that was lacking the last several years from
my spiritual life. It modern PC Christianinty we hear that God is not
mad at us which of course is true, but we need accountability in our
lives. We are always in need of where to turn next to develop a holier
life. There was no understanding of what to do after the prayer to ask
Jesus into our lives. I keep thinking of the story of the rich young
ruler. What must I do to be saved? When we ask Christ this question, we
also get answers, and like the rich young ruler we have to count the
cost. We are made to grow in the image of God. This prayer helps keep
me centered. Although traditionally it is a lenten prayer, it was
incorporated into the evening prayers of my first Orthodox Prayerbook.
It hits me everytime when I read and pray it. It gives me areas to work
on and virtues to strive for. I hope you enjoy.

Prayer of Saint Ephraim


O Lord and Master of my life,
Grant not unto me a spirit of idleness,
of discouragement,
of lust for power,
and of vain speaking.

But bestow upon me, Thy servant,
the spirit of chastity,
of meekness,
of patience,
and of love.

Yea, O Lord and King,
grant that I may perceive
my own transgressions,
and judge not my brother,
for blessed art Thou
unto ages of ages.
Amen.


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From Charismatic to Orthodoxy Part 3

January 21, 2008

So now that I have given a basic description of Theosis, let me explain Fr. Trader’s Second interpretation of the Gift of Tongues. It is simple but profound. It is the fulfillment of the command to pray without ceasing. Not in a prayer language uninterpretable, but in our own native languages. Internalizing the Jesus Prayer would be a example of this.

Where one who is in the stages of repentance and purification has on his lips, those beautiful words, Lord Jesus Christ Son of God have mercy on me a sinner. Remember, fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. the closer one gets to God to more this will be on his lips. He desires mercy and he receives it. He becomes humble and acknowledges God as the center of everything. He roots out more of that which separates him from the Father and he grows more dependent on Him. Closer intimacy brings fuller revelation of the Truth. Unceasing Prayer from one who is full of Humility and is willing to understand the ways of God, leads to illumination of those around him. He begins to draw all men to Christ. This is how Theosis is used to develop and prepare oneself to receive the Gifts of the Spirit.

Fr. Trader goes through each passage of Holy Scripture for the Gift of Tongues and explains them according to these two interpretations. The outward gift exhibited on Pentecost to preach the Gospel and the internal Gift of Unceasing Prayer. It is a powerful book for any who are coming into the Orthodox Faith from a Charismatic Background.

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From Charismatic to Orthodoxy Part 2

January 17, 2008

Fr. Trader’s Book dealt primarily with two views from Church History that stood in contrast to the view held by evangelical charismatics.The first view I had known from growing up in a traditional evangelical protestant church. Chiefly that tongues, the chief sign for most Charismatics, was a the miraculous ability to transmit the Gospel in a human language that the speaker was untrained in. The second view was different and really spoke volumes to me as to the application of tongues and how the gift was to be obtained.

Before I explain this second view I have to delve a little into the Orthodox understanding of deification (Theosis) and synergy. At baptism, Orthodox believe that the image of God which has endowed to all humanity, is repaired and potential for growing in the image of God becomes possible to those who choose to do so.

While no man is perfect, he can become blameless. This comes through repentance, sanctification (purification), and illumination. There is a belief that God meets us where we are if we but accept it. That He is not surprised when we fall into error or sin, but that He is there to restore us again and again if we but accept it. This is the repentance. The accepting of our wills to His Grace. Now after repentance comes sanctification. Where we are tested and must try to the best of our ability to correct our lives. The Holy Spirit joins with our efforts if we but avail ourselves of His help, to help us uncover new areas in our lives that need attention. Through falling down and getting up over and over and learning in the process, we sin less. Through learning disciplines of self denial (fasting) and dedicating our selves to selflessness (good works) we learn to guard our hearts and become a capable of growing in the illumination of God.
This process will continue for all eternity as we are transformed glory to glory into His image.

To Be Continued

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From Charismatic to Orthodoxy Part 1

January 16, 2008

Before leaving the CEC and starting to look into Orthodoxy, I met with my CEC Bishop to kind of close out that chapter in my life. I told him the Jurisdiction I was looking at and so on. Having been a student of the Early Church his main concern was the role the Charismatic Gifts have within Holy Orthodoxy. I said I would take that into consideration as I went through the evaluation process.

The fact is. By the time I came in to Orthodoxy the Charismatic Doctrine and its importance had lessened in my life.
The Charismatic Doctrine I had been taught seemed tarnished and flakey. Years of seeing vague, fortune cookie, self help, predictable "prophecies" or "Words" just left a sickening feeling in my soul.

To question such things is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, right? Well, I just put the issue to the backburner, not out of my mind, because when one comes into a new environment, one has many options of what to look at first.
I came across a bookstore order form from the Arch Diocese and was perusing it and noticed a book by Alexis Trader. "In Peace Let Us Pray to the Lord: An Orthodox Interpretation of the Gifts of the Spirit" This book really gave me a lot of perspective about the gifts and their life within Holy Orthodoxy.

To Be Continued …

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BIO

January 14, 2008

I was born and baptized into a Bible (Baptist without the franchise fee) church where I spent life until the age of 13-17? I was there but …. From there I managed to screw life up whenever and however I could. After being all over the map for a couple of years I followed a girl I was dating into a Assembly of God Church. Was there a year and a half. Got serious about Christ, and went into the Charismatic Episcopal Church (Hereafter CEC).  Read the rest of this entry ?