Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cursive Writing Will Be No More

Yesterday a retired teacher told me that in several years cursive writing will no longer be taught in the school systems,it seems with the advent of computers children now only need to know how to read and write the printed word.
He told me that 7 school systems in this country have already eliminated this form of writing.
This seems very sad.
As he told me this,the thought of the Pharaohs tombs and their hieroglyphics came to mind.
It took hundreds of years for man to relearn to decipher what the Egyptians knew thousands of years ago.
Losing the art of reading cursive writing will not allow our children or grandchildren to have the ability to view and understand beautifully hand penned letters by great people of the past.
So personal is our penmanship that they claim our characteristics can be seen in our letter stroke,swirls and angles.
Like an artistic expression,the world is given glimpses into our dreams and desires.
We will now curse our children of the future with the loss of the beauty of a hand written love letter or poem,from the one dearest to their hearts.
No longer will they know the tactile feeling and smell of ink to paper,sent to them by a distant lover.
Cursive writing is more then just a scribble on a paper its a personal expression of release,not just from the mind but from the heart and soul.
Back in the days of the dark ages only a certain few had the ability to write,these people were called scribes.
The rich felt it beneath them to learn to read and write and the poor could only dream of ever having such an ability,it was beyond their means.
To lose the art of penmanship seems a very sad future,like one more artistic endeavored crushed because of a public school laziness.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Feeling Judas

Every year at Holy Week,before Easter,I am always gifted with some form of personal revelation.
Last year it started out with the Ten Virgins ans led up to Christ Cross nestled above the heavens and the earth,like Moses staff raised above his head.
Two years ago it was the sight of a Jewish prayer shawl,on an Icon Stand,that made me desire to know more about Jesus Jewish background.
This year for the first three days,Sunday,Monday and Tuesday,I was in the position of feeling,what I think,was the emotions of Judas Iscariot.
Now I have always empathised with Judas,feeling he was put the position of betrayal,because of his own failed human nature.
On Sunday evening I began to have intense feelings of anger,disappointment and fear.
Every time I entered the church on those days my mind was plagued with self doubt,unforgiveness,jealousy,envy and negative thoughts.
No matter how I would try to shake these intense feelings,they would follow me around from the time I awoke in the morning,then keep me awake for hours into the night.
Though I tried to turn my attention toward more positive,loving thoughts,these same ideas would not only crop up in my mind but intensify and brew.
Praying multiple time through out my day and night for peace,the ideas would not let me go on with my life.
Everything I heard or saw became a personal affront to me and thoughts of leaving my church and faith,played through my mind like a skip on a record.
Why am I here? What purpose does this all serve? Why them and not me? Why am I not a part of this church and faith? Where else can I go and what else can I do?
By Wednesday morning it became clear that I must submit my mind to God and allow what ever was going on to take its full course,not fight or interfere with it.
The answer became clear,no matter how bad or angry I felt inside I must not allow myself to act out rashly or harshly toward those around me.
Just continue to pray and allow the feelings to come and go but do not outwardly react to them.
While at Service on Wednesday evening,whenever the name Judas was mentioned,a feeling of some sort of evil presence,standing near this Apostle washed over me.
That evening while I haphazardly went to confession,thinking nothing would really be gained from this half hearted attempt,an easing started to come over my soul,I went home to intently write an Ode To Judas.
Though it took me three hours to complete,once done a sense of peace washed over my thought process and for the first time in several nights,I slept in calmness.
After Easter it took me several days to unravel all I had just felt,It became clear that God may have allowed me to feel what Judas did,in his own hours of darkness.
I have come away with an entirely different picture of what this man soul went through,the suffering of both his mind and heart.
The point becomes did Judas ever think of asking to be forgiven?
Just feeling bad and sorry does not cut it,repentance and belief does.
It could be he felt what he had done was unforgivable or maybe he was to wrapped up in self pity he did not understand the bigger story,that no matter what you do God will forgive you and make it right.
He will always show you your way out of hell,if you choose it.
The Devil may keep telling you that you are too bad for God love,but you are not.
The Prodigal Son learned this lesson when he decided to be humble and repentant,going to ask his father to forgive him and expecting nothing out of it but to be treated like a servant,not a son.
We are never so bad that God will turn us away if we are honest with him.
Basically we judge ourselves more harshly then God ever will and unlike Him,we never forgive ourselves as well as he does.
We are our own personal demon of the mind.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ode To Judas

I Judas..

Angry toward all,blinded by sickness of the heart.
A darkness engulfs me,for what is to be my new part.

The other apostles lean in toward the King,trying to grasp even one little thing.

Never again to hear the Shepard's heart.
No glory,no closeness,we are like two roads which depart.

"These goods are for others", the demons continue to pound,like a mallet to an anvil the sparks of hatred and envy abound.

The poison pulsing through the blood stream,shows me no glorious home.
The thickness of the murk like,quick sand enveloping the soul.

It is finished,it is done.
No glory for me the race will never be won.

A tree and a rope is all I have left,I see no other way out of this unbridled mess.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Christian Check Out Line

"Christ is Risen"
That is what was told to me at the check out line this morning by a kind cashier,after he said Happy Easter.
At that moment I replied "indeed he has risen."
"Amen"he said and "Amen" I replied back.
With a feeling of tingling and happiness radiating over my whole being,because I knew how difficult this must have been for this poor cashier to say,in his quite whisper,and how shocked he was when I replied back.
Back in the early days of Christendom,when one christian met another,they made the sign of the cross to each as a silent ritual saying I believe as you do that
Jesus Christ is the resurrected son of God.
We who live in this free country are once again beginning to feel our roots by testing the waters and trying to connect,one Christian to another.
Jesus did not come to this earth to found a religion,he came to bring the hurt and lost sheep back into the fold.
People in this country build great monuments to themselves,sometimes even churches meant to house God.
True no building is good enough to house the Master of the universe,but in our feeble attempt to pay tribute we feel bricks and mortar come close.
But could it be our greatest monument to Him should be our unity with each other,in words and deeds.
Last monday at Bible study Fr. Peter said church is like a big family but when someone does not show up its like having a great Sunday Dinner with one relative missing.
True the meal is still wonderful,but the feeling of that person not being present is felt by everyone.
We are a universe of mankind,we do not have to belong to the same Churches to be united with each other but we do have to reach out and touch each other to strengthen our faith.
We as Christians need to step up to the plate and say the words to each other that do not come easy in places we may feel uncomfortable.
Words of praise and glory to God are easy when were standing in a church but how easy are they when we are standing in the check out line with a total stranger.
We are to be different then the rest of the world,the change we want around us sometimes has to start with us.
Be it one or two words at a time.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Questional Beliefs And Understandings

Last night at Bible study we discussed the 5 books of Moses or what the Jews call The Torah.
The interesting fact about most of these works is that up until you get to Abraham, its hard to figure out exactly where these stories come from and are they true or just allegory.
Being an Orthodox Christian,our study bible tells us of the symbolism which will become reality in the New Testament.
Jesus in the tomb for three days,is like Jonah in the whale.
It's very hard to sort what is truth and fact based history,form what is unsubstantiated like the Garden of Eden or Noah's Ark.
Moses is attributed with the works of the Torah and is considered even in the Orthodox Christian Church to be a prophet.
No one can prove the stories in the first five books of the Old Testaments,but there seems to be connections with events that are told in the writings of other ancient societies that coincide with the Torah.
We live in a world of prove to me and I will believe,but religion is not a physical force in terms of its writings,its more a spiritual force of belief.
The Bible was written by men of faith not men of science.
Do we have to believe everything we are told in order to be good Christians?
No we do not.
There is nothing wrong with questioning repeatedly until we find the answer we are looking for,or at least believe is possible,maybe even agree to disagree til our situations change.
In the Jewish faith it is very customary to question everything,in the end it makes you a better believer.
In our Christian society we should think that asking questions and searching for answers,makes us more knowledgeable and less likely to be lead astray by a preachers pretty face and smooth words,but no foundation.
Jesus spoke several times in the Bible about teachers in wolf clothing pretending to lead people into heaven when all they want is selfish personal gain.
Cults happen when people blindly follow like sheep going to their own slaughter.
Many times I have thought about martyrs believing in their faith so much they are willing to be led to an ugly death.
What would lead people to such an action,when denial would be so much easier?
Conviction! Knowing that what your beliefs are unquestionable through your entire being,right to the very core.
All answers are not always clear,but as we mature in our beliefs we are given revelation and slowly begin to understand what we need to know and why.
Many religious scholars spend their whole lives on a quest for truth and knowledge,but in the end they learn only what is given to them in this life and at this time.