To Be Of A Christian Heart

In Bucharest, Romania.

There are so many Christian denominations, it may be difficult to count or name them.

At the heart of all the Christian Churches, is the reverence, and love of God, His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and an undeniable faith undoubtably blessed by the Holy Spirit.

However, the first Christian Church, The Easter Orthodox Church, is the ancient one from which the Catholics broke  in 1054.

The Lutherans broke from the Catholic in 1522, The Anglican Church of England was founded by King Henry the VIII in 1534, the Congregational Church was founded by Robert Brown in Holland in 1582,  and 1606, the Baptist Church was Founded in Amsterdam by John Smith, the Dutch Reformed Church was founded in New York by Michelis Jones, the Protestant Episcopal Church was an offshoot of the Church of England, founded by Samuel Seabury, in the American Colonies in the 18th Century, John and Charles Wesley founded the Methodist Church in England in 1774.  and that same year , in London, Theophilus Lindley, founded the Unitarian Church, and the Latter Day Saints, The Mormon Church, was founded by Joseph Smith in 1829.  In 18888, the Salvation Army was founded by William Booth in London.

In the Protestant tradition, hundreds of other religions have started in the last 100 years: Church of the Nazarenth, Pentecostal Church, Holiness Church, Assemblies of God, and many Bible and Evangelical and non-denominational Churches, as well as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The Bible has served to bring the word of God.  All of these Churches worship differently yet they unite in our Lord.  I have been to most and know the good intended for all through the teachings of Jesus.  I love so many hymns…

The Orthodox Church, was founded in Jerusalem on the day of the Holy Pentecost, 50 days after the Holy Resurrection of Jesus Christ our true God, in 33AD.  Being the ancient Church, it has preserved the original teachings of Jesus Christ and His Apostles in “form” from then until the present.  The service is long and the prayers reflect the spirit of the ages.

The first major Bishops of the Church were called the Patriarchs and that remains the same in the Orthodox Church.  They are from Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople.  I mention this to clarify that the Patriarchs were also eventually established in Russia, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Albania to serve the same faith in the language of the people.  I hope this explains the reason for mentioning the countries of origin.

Icon painted by my mother. Saint Basil, Saint John Chrysostom, and Saint Gregory.

I respect the faith of every person, and know it to be given by the grace of God by those who will to receive it.

” If salvation is by grace, someone will say, ‘ Why is that we are all saved?’  Because you did not will it.  For grace, even though it be grace, saves (only) the willing, not those who are not willing and turn away from it and constantly fight against it and oppose themselves to it.” __ St. John Chrysostom (+ 407)

Call it luck, call it fate, I was born in a home of faithful parents who placed their lives in the hands of God through daily prayer even though the Bible was not discussed or studied as it is in the Protestant denominations.  I find value and a great deal of comfort from both ways of exercising one’s faith.

The ancient church is the Eastern Orthodox Church.  My father was ordained an Orthodox priest when I was five years old.  He had graduated from Seminary School in Romania.  The Romanian community in Brazil urged him to do so as they missed their services delivered in their native tongue.  A room in our home became the church and after the service, we broke bread, and ate a hearty lunch prepared by my Mom and the other ladies.

My father blessing a Coliva, a sweet dish of barley, nut, sugar, and cinnamon prepared at the service for a deceased person.

They spoke Romanian and they taught each other how to say this or that in Portuguese.  It was festive though I remember sadness when one deceased, or a new person arrived and told stories.

I had a box filled with buttons and played, either under the table or in a corner.  Each button represented a person, and I usually had a classroom going.  The smaller buttons were students.  Some of the larger ones were parents, and the largest were the teachers.

I walked to take a bus to go to the Catholic School, Nossa Señora D’Assuncao, in Niteroi.  The nuns were great teachers, and I attended Catechism Class.  I did not know the difference and it was all good.  It was about praying.  The Catholic priests do not marry as the Orthodox priests do only before becoming ordained.  In retrospect, I have so much more I would love to say, but cannot.

My father was friends with all the priests.  He loved our Orthodox service and had a beautiful voice.  My parents observed  the lents throughout the year, and they were fond of their congregations.  They loved people from everywhere, and I think I learned that from them.

Despite the fact humans find fault with people that go to church, or even among themselves disagree, or have bad experiences with the priests or pastors, I know the good Christianity does.  Aside from the simple act of learning to pray, Christianity has inspired greatness in art, music, and literature.  Christians uphold the Ten Commandments as guideposts.  It doesn’t mean they don’t break them.  It means they are not ashamed to address the sins that need to be avoided.

Sinners we are all.  To deny the awesome right and privilege to worship our Lord is tragic, and strips the faithful of spiritual nourishment.  Therefore, I pray for those who don’t know “they don’t know” the life of the divine.

”  Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion–it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.” _ Rev. Billy Graham

If we can unite to live our lives doing the best we can for one and all, we can say we have a Christian heart.  I believe I have met them in many denominations.  Americans have thoughtful, generous hearts and the churches serve communities with love.

I have heard terrible things said about Christians, Jews, and others.  The ignorance is shameful at this point and time in our history.  Education ought to have made a difference in all that continues to transpire in our nation. Too many have missed the mark of a proper understanding of who we are as Christians, and the disrespect reflects negligence of appreciation for all the good we have.   The force against loving hearts breaks mine.

Education has been denied due to fads taken to bash religion, traditions, and cultures.  Only the ignorant can take offense or attack people.

To say that certain people coming from certain countries have harmed our people is not wrong when indeed that happened to be true, and families lost their loved ones; too many in fact have their devastating stories shunned.

By pointing out the harm done by some immigrants coming across the Mexican border as Mr. Trump commented once did not offend all the people from that country.  The facts were mentioned and the attacks have been ridiculous.  It is an opportunity to create an unnecessary division.  Humans ought to know better.  Mr. Trump spoke the truth.  The libraries hold a wealth of information about history as it unfolded through the ages.

These are matters concerning human beings and we need to stand with the truth, not the political agenda to dismantle our nation’s Republic.  The truth is our focus has been misguided.

No one has a right to lie, yet we do.

No one has a right to kill an unborn child, yet we have and we do.  The disgraced who had abortions before they had the facts, remain silent and responsible.  The ones who continue to perpetuate abortions as a means of birth control are wrong to do so.

Wrong choices in life don’t become right by joining on a band wagon to have company.  Wrong choices burden the soul.

No one ought to abuse, control, oppress, enslave, or break another’s spirit, yet it continues to be done.  What a difference Hollywood could have made had they produced movies depicting the good.  The violence, the foul language, the horrors, the sexual perversions, have all blotched our culture.

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly is here on the planet.  I think for the most part, we recognize the difference.

Monastery of the Transfiguration Chapel in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania.

I love beauty and truth.  I think of the substance in the movie With Honors, and I’m also glad for The American Tale… as I am for the untainted girly movies.  There were not enough of them.

The marijuana issue is simply wrong to even be on the table for consideration.  It is a disgrace.  It is shameful.  It will damage the brain sensors that go limp as they relax.  Nicotine clumps the  filters of the lungs and cause obstruction. The delusions caused by marijuana are not healthy.  The glazed eyes, the slurred speech, the accentuated colors and even risk of schizophrenia are all reasons to stay away from it.

Why and how can anyone be okay with losing their senses, and becoming g slaves to this weed?  The states who have chosen to legalize its use will suffer because these lives will not function at their natural best.

Our nation will be weakened from within. The drug rehabs are full.  The youngsters break from their families while others overcome the trials.  However, who would wish that on their children?  The horror stories are there.

We live in an imperfect world with perfectly beautiful people who have mastered skills to help one another, and we need the communities of so called angels.  In fact, we can grow our wings.  We can be star shine daily by nurturing good hearts with thoughts that matter; to be of a Christian heart means to see the light of God in all persons, no matter how wounded.

“Let all that you do be done with love.” _ 1 Corinthians 16:14

I wish you understanding.

 


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