Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Mysterious Ticking Noise

Okay...Sorry to seem Harry Potter obsessed but this youtube video makes me laugh everytime I see it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Harry Potter - The Last Book

Don't worry! I'm not going to give away the ending. I won't talk about the ending online for another year or two.

My friends and I went to Barnes and Noble on July 20th around 9 pm to get in line for the release. Once we bought the book we went back into the car and read aloud until we reached my friend's apartment.

We all stayed up until the wee hours of the morning reading. I got a couple hours of sleep and then read again. I then proceeded to read the entirety of Saturday and Sunday finishing the 770 something page book late Sunday afternoon.

My opinion is: it is the best book of them all. The themes are Christian, Rowling definitely shows us that there is hope after death, repentence is mentioned and encouraged several times, humility is a prized and shared virtue, and martyrdom is a key element of the story.

Defintely read it. Even if you haven't enjoyed any of the other stories, it's worth it to understand this book.

Friday, July 20, 2007

St. Elijah's Day

Every year I visit St. Paul's in Irvine to celebrate St. Elijah commemoration. Arguably my favorite saint.

July 20th
Troparion (Tone 4)
O angelic of body, pillar of the prophets, and their cornerstone, the forerunner of the Second Coming of Christ, the venerable and glorious Elijah, you sent grace from on high to Elisha to dispel sicknesses and purify lepers. Wherefore, he overflows with healing to those who honor him.

Elijah was a hero of faithfulness to God in Israel and a courageous prophet. He was an ascetic, clad in skins and a leather girdle, dwelling in mountain caves. He appeared abruptly when King Achad executed many priests of God, and announced to him God's vengeance. On Mt. Carmel, he overcame the priests of Baal by calling down fire from Heaven. He was persecuted by Jezebel and fled to Mt. Horeb where God consoled him, fed him with bread brought by ravens, and told him to appoint Elisha as his successor. St. Elijah was carried into heaven in a fiery chariot, while his mantle fell on Elisha. He appeared along with Moses at Jesus' Transfiguration. This icon shows both St. Elijah's stay on Mt. Horeb in a cave and his ascension into heaven in a chariot.

My favorite part of St. Elijah's story was the rather famous moment of finding God in the smallness of a whisper. "Be still and know that I am God." Psalms 46:10

Friday, July 13, 2007

Somebody to Look Up To

I think role-models or even just someone who has one quality that you appreciate are important in the Christian life. Every Christian looks to the Saints with honor, as do I. And I would argue that it is vital to the life of a Christian to go through life without somebody who challenges you, even be it unknowingly to that other person.

I know a few people who I admire. One word from them, positive or negative will definitely affect me. There is one girl that I know whose friendship means a lot to me. She definitely is a phenomenal example of how the Orthodox life is led. Her life is quiet but she lives it with nobleness and honor. She is one of those people who when you interact with them leave you excited to follow Christ. Now, one trait that I most esteem in her is that you see that it is God who is doing the good in her. She chooses to follow Christ every day and as a result she has become real and beautiful. Her whole life is about not giving the glory to herself but to God.

What a blessing to have these people in our lives. I thought I'd share.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

...Even to the Close of the Age

Lately, I have been disheartened by regular prayer. Sure, I've said sporadic prayers when the mood struck me and have had no trouble. It's the consistent prayer that I've been dreading. I was bummed and disappointed in myself for not feeling inspired enough to make that extra effort. As a Christian songwriter once wrote, "I'm uninspired and much too tired to bleed for the Word today though I want, I need to walk that narrow way."

As I sat there feeling sorry for myself wondering what I should do to find inspiration, I realized something: Maybe inspiration is a blessing but keeping a relationship with God isn't about feeling inspired. It's about putting yourself out there and trying every day no matter how you feel. It's not about me it's about worshipping my Saviour. And when I'm not feeling the "Spirit" move me, it's not God who is doing me wrong, it's me who is turning away. Christ told us, "Lo, I am with you always, even to the close of the age." So, if He's here all of the time, it must be me who is turning away.

Suddenly, it's much harder to feel sorry for myself.