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17 posts from April 2007

April 10, 2007

African Care Point

How do you help orphans whose communities have been ravaged by AIDS? Answer: Whatever you can. Here's another picture of what a care point looks like in Africa. A very primitive shack used to feed and help children. This is Mrs. Ruby, one of the widows we are now working with to provide food, medicine, and education to the 80 kids she helps. She's also quite resourceful! Inside of this care point, you can see the ashes from the fire used to cook the maize for the kids and the sewing machines given to her so she can make purses we purchase to help support her work. If you would like to support her and purchase a purse, send me an email.
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April 08, 2007

Spring in Colorado

It's springtime at home here in Colorado. That means budding flowers and trees, green grass, hummingbirds, and warm temperatures - right? Wrong! Take a look at our front yard this afternoon. Wish you were here to cross country ski in our neighborhood!

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But the girls were warm inside after church in their Easter dresses. Aren't they cute?

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April 07, 2007

Easter Sunday

The Resurrection of our Lord and Savior!!! Christ Is Risen!

About the Icon: The Resurrection of our Lord

Christ - the central figure; He is robed in white to denote His Divinity. In some icons you will see the aureole (elongated halo) encompasses Him, this also symbolizes this brilliant Light; at His feet are the brass gates of Hades which He has demol-ished. Also visible are the keys and broken locks to these gates at His feet.

Adam our Forefather - being pulled from his tomb by Christ; he is portrayed as an old man with white hair and beard; the hymns of the Church speak of Adam being "recalled" to his primordial innocence by the Incarnation.

Eve our Forbearer - being raised from her tomb immediately behind the figure of Adam; she is portrayed as an old woman; the hymns of our Church speak of Eve being "set free" from her sin in Eden by the Incarnation.

The Righteous of the Old Testament - the group of figures on the ex-treme left represents those righteous individuals who lived and died before the Incarnation; the two figures are the Holy Kings, Saint David the Psalmist and his son, Saint Solomon the Wise.

The Righteous of the New Testament - the group of figures on the ex-treme right represents those righteous individuals who died after the Incar-nation but before Christ's death and resurrection. Saint John the Baptist and Forerunner is inf ront of this group.


Scriptural References
Epistle: Acts 1: 1-8
Gospel: John 1: 1 - 17

From The Theology of the Church

The Church teaches that while the body of Christ rested in the tomb on the Sabbath (the day after the Crucifixion), His soul descended into Hades. Prior to the Incarnation the gates of paradise were closed to mankind. Therefore, Hades, not to be confused with Hell, was the place where the souls of all went upon death. It was neither a place of reward nor a place of punishment. It had been likened to Death's "prison" where the souls of both the just and the sinners were confined. Since Christ actually died upon the Cross, Death claimed His soul for Hades. However, Hades re-ceived more than it expected ... it received the Giver of Life, who destroyed the power of Hades. This icon of the Resurrection portrays this concept and we have New Life and a Hope to live in this world!

Great Saturday

On Great Saturday our focus is on the Tomb of Christ. This is no ordinary grave. It is not a place of corruption, decay and defeat. It is life-giving a source of power, victory and liberation.

O happy tomb! It received within itself the Creator, as one asleep, and it was made a divine treasury of life, for our salvation who sing: O God our Deliverer, blessed art Thou.
The Life of all submits to be laid in the tomb, according to the law of the dead, and He makes it a source of awakening, for our salvation who sing: O God our Deliverer, blessed art Thou.
(Hymns of the 7th Ode)

Great Saturday is the day between Jesus’ death and His resurrection. It is the day of watchful expectation, in which mourning is being transformed into joy. The day embodies in the fullest possible sense a joyful-sadness, which has dominated the celebrations of Great Week.

Great Saturday is the day of the pre-eminent rest. Christ observes a Sabbath rest in the tomb. His rest, however, is not inactivity but the fulfillment of the divine will and plan for the salvation of humankind and the cosmos. He who brought all things into being, makes all things new. The recreation of the world has been accomplished once and for all. Through His incarnation, life and death Christ has filled all things with Himself. He has opened a path for all flesh to the resurrection from the dead, since it was not possible that the author of life would be dominated by corruption.

Moses the great mystically prefigured this present day, saying: "And God blessed the seventh day." For this is the blessed Sabbath, this is the day of rest, on which the only-begotten Son of God rested from all His works. Suffering death in accordance with the plan of salvation, He kept the Sabbath in the flesh; and returning once again to what He was, through His Resurrection He has granted us eternal life, for He alone is good and loves mankind.
(Hymn of the Ainoi)

April 06, 2007

Good Friday Evening

Continuing the journey on this Special Christian holiday...

The Following Explanation of the Good Friday Evening Service is written by Rev. Alkiviadis Calivas, and can be found in his book entitled, "Great Week and Pascha in the Greek Orthodox Church."

On Good Friday evening Church celebrates the Orthros Service for Holy and Great Saturday.

On Great Saturday the Church contemplates the mystery of the Lord’s descent into Hades, the place of the dead. Death, our ultimate enemy, is defeated from within. “He (Christ) gave Himself as a ransom to death in which we were held captive, sold under sin. Descending into Hades through the Cross . . . He loosed the bonds of death” (Liturgy of Saint Basil). The hymnographer of the Church describes the mystery with these words:

Come, let us see our Life lying in the tomb, that He may give life to those that in their tombs lie dead. Come, let us look today on the Son of Judah as He sleeps, and with the prophet let us cry aloud to Him: Thou hast lain down, Thou hast slept as a lion; who shall awaken Thee, O King? But of Thine own free will do Thou rise up, who willingly dost give Thyself for us. O Lord, glory to Thee.
Today a tomb holds Him who holds the creation in the hollow of His hand; a stone covers Him who covered the heavens with glory. Life sleeps and hell trembles, and Adam is set free from his bonds. Glory to Thy dispensation, whereby Thou hast accomplished all things, granting us an eternal Sabbath, Thy most holy Resurrection from the dead.
(Hymns of the Ainoi)

Good Friday

I love celebrating the events of Holy Week and today is Good Friday. Christians observe Good Friday (for English-speaking Eastern Orthodox Christians, “Great and Holy Friday”) as the day Jesus was crucified and died. It is the most somber day on the Christian calendar. On Good Friday, some Christians abstain from meat or refrain from food altogether. They may also attend special church services that might include readings from the gospel stories of Jesus' Passion, Jesus' last words, and other Bible passages.
Takingdownfromcross_2
Take some time today to focus on the sacrifice Christ made for us on the cross. Here are some scriptures to guide you:

Old Testament: Exodus 33:11-23; Job 42:12-17; Isaiah 52:13-54:1
Epistle: Corinthians 1: 18-2:2
Gospel: Matthew 27:1-38; Luke 23:39-43; Matthew 27:39-54;
John 19:31-37; Matthew 27:55-61

April 04, 2007

Travelin' Man

I've been on the road the last five days. Great meetings with folks from DATA, Bono's organization which stands for Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa and The One Campaign. Children's HopeChest is now the newest member and we are honored to join them in the fight against AIDS and extreme poverty. Also, I spent the weekend with my good friends Steve and Karen Anderson. Karen has a book coming out soon - please check out her website here.