Video: My Heart Began to Soften – St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Pennsylvania, USA

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

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My Heart Began to Soften

St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

Pennsylvania, USA

John and Michelle weren’t sure about coming to seminary. But visiting St. Tikhon’s began a period of discernment that has transformed their lives.

To find out more, visit:

http://stots.edu/

ABOUT ST. TIKHON’S

St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary is an institution of professional Orthodox Christian theological education, chartered by the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and affiliated with the Orthodox Church in America. In a rural environment conducive to spiritual growth and academic study, the Seminary nurtures the theological vocations of its students and faculty, who share the unique opportunity of learning and teaching Orthodox theology in the framework of their daily experience of a rich heritage of Russian Orthodox spiritual and liturgical tradition.

The primary mission of the Seminary lies in providing the necessary theological, liturgical, spiritual and moral foundations for Orthodox men to become, as God so wills, good shepherds of His Holy Orthodox Church. At the same time, however, the Seminary also recognizes that many individuals choose to enroll in a professional theological training program for the fulfillment of needs other than those of ordained ministry. Among these are: preparation for general religious leadership responsibilities in parishes and other settings; advanced theological study; specialized ministry as religious educators or choir directors; personal spiritual enrichment. Therefore, St. Tikhon’s Seminary continues to support all honorable reasons for matriculation at the Seminary and participation in class.

Read more here:

http://stots.edu/history.html

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Video: WWII Evacuation Memorial – St. Paul Island, Alaska, USA

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ALASKA OF MY HEART

USA OF MY HEART

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WWII Evacuation Memorial – St. Paul Island, Alaska, USA

Arrowhead Springs To Antioch – Odyssey To Orthodoxy ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Fr. Peter Gillquist & Fr. Gordon Thomas Walker, USA

http://multilingual-christianity-orthodoxy.blogspot.com

MULTILINGUAL CHRISTIANITY – ORTHODOXY

Arrowhead Springs To Antioch

***

Odyssey To Orthodoxy

by

Fr. Peter Gillquist

& Fr. Gordon Thomas Walker,

USA

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/05/arrowhead-springs-to-antioch-odyssey-to-orthodoxy/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

By the summer of 1966, our bubble was starting to burst. As staff members of Campus Crusade for Christ (headquartered at Arrowhead Springs in California) and men in key roles of leadership, we were intent on bringing America’s college students to faith in Christ. And we were further committed to Christ’s Great Commission: bringing the Gospel to the whole world. But that summer, we realized we would have to change our strategy. For we had become convinced from the Scriptures that the Church was the means to fulfilling that Great Commission.

The question was, of course, what is the Church?

By 1968, our National Field Coordinator — Jon Braun, Canadian Director — Ken Berven, African Director — Gordon Walker, Asian Director — Ray Nethery, Regional Directors — Richard Ballew and Peter Gillquist — and a host of others — resigned from Campus Crusade to pursue evangelism through the Church.

We did not want to build and maintain another new organization, at least not right away. Most of us struck out on our own, building house-churches in different parts of the country fashioned after what we saw as the New Testament model. We kept in touch with each other and exchanged ideas and encouragement from our successes and failures. Many of us had taken outside jobs to support ourselves and our families.

By 1973 all of us were expressing a desire to labor more closely together again. Working on our own was frustrating, and we sensed a need for mutual support and accountability. Consequently we decided to meet together in Dallas, Texas in July, 1973. Out of that meeting of about 70 people came a Continue reading “Arrowhead Springs To Antioch – Odyssey To Orthodoxy ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Fr. Peter Gillquist & Fr. Gordon Thomas Walker, USA”

The Lure of the Mystical Path – Alice Tallmadge, Oregon, USA

http://conversionstoorthodoxy.wordpress.com

CONVERSIONS TO ORTHODOXY

The Lure of the Mystical Path

By

Alice Tallmadge, Correspondent

Originally published in The Oregonian, Sunday, April 9, 2000

From Ashland to Portland, the Orthodox tradition is drawing Oregonians to its ancient depths

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/04/the-lure-of-the-mystical-path/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

EUGENE — The Saturday night buzz is revving outside the doors of St. Eugene Orthodox Church in the Whiteaker neighborhood. Motors race. Doors slam. Nearby taverns begin to fill with eager revelers. But inside the walls of the humble, dome-topped church, an otherworldly peace reigns. Pungent incense hangs in the air. Gold-flecked icons, lit by flickering tapers, line the dark red walls. Women, their long hair covered with scarves, stand on one side of the small nave, men on the other.

They take turns filling the room with plaintive, old-world chants. Other worshippers stand quietly, hands to their sides, heads bowed.

“This is how we worship, to stay concentrated in prayer,” said St. Eugene member Sarah Cowie.

“We believe that, during the service, God pours himself out. If you get quiet enough in your mind, you can feel, palpably, his presence.”

The 70 or so members of St. Eugene aren’t immigrants from Russia, Eastern Europe or Greece. They are Eugene-area residents, most of them converts from Protestant sects, who have found solace and sustenance in a tradition that dates back 2,000 years to the early Christian church. Cowie and other St. Eugene members are among the growing numbers of Oregonians who are converting to Orthodoxy.

For years, St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Portland, established in 1895, was Continue reading “The Lure of the Mystical Path – Alice Tallmadge, Oregon, USA”

Video – Joseph Olivares, USA: What is Eastern Orthodoxy and why did I decide to become Orthodox?

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USA OF MY HEART

Joseph Olivares, USA:

What is Eastern Orthodoxy and why did I decide to become Orthodox?

On Spiritual Deception – Fr. Dcn. Charles Joiner, South Carolina, USA

http://orthodox-heart-sites.blogspot.com

ORTHODOX HEART SITES

On Spiritual Deception

by Fr. Dcn. Charles Joiner

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

Deacon at Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral,

Greenville, South Carolina Area, USA

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/10/on-spiritual-deception/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

The author of the Orthodox Way of Life blog, Fr. Dcn. Charles tells it like it is.

Having recently discovered that throughout much of my Christian life I was involved with “spiritual deception,” I find it necessary now to seek ways to fully understand and totally reject this error.

My deception began with a well meaning pastor at the United Methodist Church where I grew up. I asked him,

“Why are there so many different religions? How can we say that the Christian way the the best way?”

His answer was,

“There are many paths to God. Ours is the most direct and easiest path.”

He did not know how to answer this question from a true Christian perspective and advise me of the struggle that I would necessarily face. I now know that what he taught me was a serious deception. It is very clear now that the other paths will not lead to a God-oriented spiritual life and union with God. They only lead one to a life of self-satisfaction and greater pride.

Jesus Christ came after these early attempts to reach God which were inadequate and showed all mankind how to gain union with God. He showed us the need for extreme humility in our relationship with God. He showed us a path that involves purifying ourselves and continually struggling against many things, yet relying on God’s will. I discovered that the path He opened for us is not an easy path.

It is a difficult one along which we are easily deceived by seeking pleasures though various forms of meditation, yoga and others activities, taught by well meaning teachers from other eastern religions who have not discovered for themselves the way of Jesus Christ.

I now know this from experience, having experimented with Vedanta, a Hindu religion, Buddhism, and Eastern forms of meditation. Regrettably, I even led an effort to find the “universal principles” of all religions and then set up a organization (formally organized as a church under IRS rules, no less) to teach this to others. Oh, how easily we are deceived by psychic level religious experiences which only serve to boost our pride and our sense of self-sufficiency.

Through this experience, I learned that it is essential to recognize that we are engaged in spiritual warfare as Saint Paul so clearly tells us. In my youth I was never prepared for this battle by being properly instructed in the spiritual disciplines.

I didn’t appreciate the power of the Sacraments that Christ initiated for us to help us in this battle. Growing up Methodist, communion was symbolic. It was grape juice and a wafer symbolizing the blood and body of Jesus Christ. Powerless when compared to the actual Blood an Body of Jesus Christ that is offered in the Orthodox Church for remission of sins and eternal life in union with Him. I faced many such deceptions along the path. Fortunately, I have a very strong guardian angel that kept me on a path seeking God and who taught me the Jesus Prayer in the midst of these deceptions.

It was this prayer that protected me and led me back to Orthodoxy.

Seraphim Rose saw this attitude I experienced as one that permeates much of Christianity today. He wrote on this sad condition of “Christians” in his book, Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future. Here is an excerpt.

“The life of self-centeredness and self-satisfaction lived by most of today’s “Christians” is so all-pervading that it effectively seals them off from any understanding at all of spiritual life; and when such people do undertake “spiritual life,” it is only as another form of self-satisfaction. This can be seen quite clearly in the totally false religious ideal both of the “charismatic” movement and the various forms of “Christian meditation”: all of them promise (and give very quickly) an experience of “contentment” and “peace.” But this is not the Christian ideal at all, which if anything may be summed up as a fierce battle and struggle. The “contentment” and “peace” described in these contemporary “spiritual” movements are quite manifestly the product of spiritual deception, of spiritual self-satisfaction––which is the absolute death of the God-oriented spiritual life. All these forms of “Christian meditation” operate solely on the psychic level and have nothing whatever in common with Christian spirituality. Christian spirituality is formed in the arduous struggle to acquire the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, which fully begins only with the dissolution of this temporal world, and the true Christian struggler never finds repose even in the foretastes of eternal blessedness which might be vouchsafed to him in this life; but the Eastern religions, to which the Kingdom of Heaven has not been revealed, strive only to acquire psychic states which begin and end in this life” (From Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future by Seraphim Rose, pp 187-188).

Some of my friends will think this is a bit harsh and it is not my intent to condemn those who sincerely seek union with Jesus Christ no matter what their form of Christianity is. But I can say without a doubt, that we can be deceived as I know I was.

For me, I found the fulness of the Truth in the Orthodox Church where the sacramental life is emphasized and practiced with regularity. It was in the context of the Orthodox Church that I found I could surrender and then seek, not my own way, but instead follow the way the Church sets out for all of us.

Video – From Glory to Glory: The Journey of Fr. Anthony Salzman, GA, USA

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http://orthodox-heart-sites.blogspot.com

ORTHODOX HEART SITES

USA OF MY HEART

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From Glory to Glory:

The Journey of Fr. Anthony Salzman, GA, USA