Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New Book Wednesdays (and a Podcast!): Listening to the Heartbeat of God


Dear Students and Friends,

Our new book this week is "Listening to the Heartbeat of God" by Hiermonk Peter Preble. The book is about having a conversation with God, a divine and holy experience that all Christians are called to enjoy. Fr. Peter Preble weaves together the Orthodox monastic traditions of spirituality and prayer. This book is a guide to prayer for each person who desires to pray from the heart.

The contents includes:
  • CHAPTER 1 Listening to the Heartbeat of God
  • CHAPTER 2 Divine Reading
  • CHAPTER 3 How Do I Practice Sacred Reading?
  • CHAPTER 4 What Scripture Passages Do I Read?
  • CHAPTER 5 Liturgical Prayer
  • CHAPTER 6 The Jesus Prayer: Prayer of the Heart
  • CHAPTER 7 Three Types of Prayer
  • CHAPTER 8 Using a Prayer Rope
  • CHAPTER 9 Results of the Jesus Prayer
  • CHAPTER 10 How to Begin
  • CHAPTER 11 Getting to the Heart
  • CHAPTER 12 Plunging Into God
  • CHAPTER 13 Spiritual Fatherhood
  • CHAPTER 14 A Spiritual Father's Role
  • CHAPTER 15 How Spiritual Fatherhood Works

There is lots of spiritual fodder here! You can earn 2 credits for reading this book. Simply read, fill out the General Worksheet for Books, and e-mail it back for credit to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

Buy the book at Regina Orthodox Press.

BONUS: listen to a podcast interview of the author at Ancient Faith Radio for an extra credit! Simply listen, fill out the podcast worksheet and  e-mail it back for credit to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

Listening to the Heartbeat of God by Hiermonk Peter Preble, ISBN 9781928653424, 70 pages, Regina Orthodox Press: 2012.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

From Our Students: A Reflection on St Luke


Dear Students and Friends,

On occasion we share student work that can be enjoyed by all. In this category is the reflection below, written by our student, Staci. She talks about the Troparion and Kontakion of St Luke. Enjoy!

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The Troparion and Kontakion of St. Luke are each short hymns to the Saint and the
contributions he has made in the service of God. I looked up troparion and kontakion to see if there was any direction to be gleaned from that, but they each are basically “short hymns,” although the Kontakion actually is part of a much longer and more complex hymn, evidently.

Each of them start with the phrase, “Let us praise” which tells us that they were written by other people about St. Luke. So we see in the first phrase of each the impact that St. Luke had because people are affected by him, remember him, and most importantly, are able to see the works of God through him. Additionally, in the first line of each there is a reference to his “godly” or “holy” nature, of course allowing us to see why Luke is to be praised, but also praising the works of God acting within this person.

We further see this manifestation of God’s works in Luke in the Troparion, where he is referred to as “recorder of the joyous Gospel of Christ”, “scribe of the Acts of the Apostles”, and a “physician.” As a recorder and scribe, Luke writes down what others have done (either Christ or the Apostles) and then as a physician he heals physical suffering, but in both cases Luke helps others live better lives. Additionally, we see this in the Kontakion as Luke is described as a “true preacher” and an “orator of ineffable mysteries” and “the star of the church.” Again, all of these aspects of why the Church remembers and praises St. Luke have to do with interactions with other people.

So, St. Luke is remembered for being a person who helps bring others closer to God, helping us to know God’s word through the Gospel he wrote and by spreading both physical and spiritual healing.

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Thank you, Staci, for allowing us to share your writing!

Lesson 4 of Read-Along Now Available!

Dear Students and Friends,

Lesson 4 of "Words of Fire," our current Read-Along, is now available! Download it from the Read-Along tab at the top of this blog.

Hope you are reading along with us! If you have questions about this Read-Along, please e-mail else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Read-Along: Words of Fire Lesson 3

Dear Students and Friends,

Lesson 3 of "Words of Fire," our current Read-Along, is now available! Download it from the Read-Along tab at the top of this blog.

Also, as an added bonus, teacher Lee has created a table showing the major events in St Paul's life and how they relate to the Epistles he wrote and his missionary journeys. You can also download this from the Read-Along tab.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Book Wednesdays: Defeating Sin by Fr Huneycutt


Dear Students and Friends,

This week's book is not new, but it is new to this blog. As well as read the book, you can also listen to a podcast interview with the author, Fr Joseph Huneycutt. The book is called "Defeating Sin: Overcoming Our Passions and Changing Forever."

Here's a description of the book:

Defeating Sin will help readers to better understand the disease that troubles the human soul. This book will prove an invaluable aid for those engaged in spiritual warfare, helping them make that U-trun from the passions toward the virtues. Christians of all denominational background will benefit from the ancient wisdom of the Church Fathers and the perpetual call to repentance.

Buy the book on Amazon, on Amazon for the Kindle, or from Regina Orthodox Press.

 And here's the podcast description:

On Special Moments in Orthodoxy, we’ll hear a CRTL episode from the OCN vault - Fr. Chris speaks with Fr. Joseph Huneycutt about his book "Defeating Sin: Overcoming Our Passions and Changing Forever." The Fathers describe this essential effort as the path to godliness what we call "Theosis" in the Orthodox faith. You won't want to miss this powerful message!

Listen to the podcast now.

Fr. Joseph David Huneycutt, best selling author of ONE FLEW OVER THE ONION DOME – American Orthodox Converts, Retreads and Reverts, has led retreats on the Passions, Virtues, and Confession around the country. He is the Associate Pastor of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Houston TX.

Defeating Sin: Overcoming Our Passions and Changing Forever by Fr Joseph Huneycutt. ISBN 978-1928653318, 210 pages, Regina Orthodox Press: 2007.

Monday, October 15, 2012

St Luke the Evangelist


Dear Students and Friends:

Thursday this week marks the feast day of St Luke the Evangelist, the patron saint of St Luke Church, the host of this website. To celebrate, here are some credit activities all with St Luke as the subject.
  • Read the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament and fill out the New Testament Worksheet (1 credit)
  • Read the Life of the Saint on OCA.org and read this online bio and fill out the General Worksheet (1 credit)
  • Search online for 4 different icons of St Luke, paste them into a Word document, explain their significance in a few sentences for each, and email them back for 1 credit
  • Write a short reflection (2-3 paragraphs) on the Troparion and Kontakion and email it back for 1 credit
  • Read these wiki bios (here and here) and fill out the General Worksheet (1 credit)
 Please email all your homework to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com. God bless you all this week!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Read-Along Lesson 2

Dear Students and Friends,

Lesson 2 in our new Read-Along, Words of Fire, is now up.

Download the lesson here.

Please join us in reading this book and completing the lessons for credit. You can earn 1 credit for each lesson completed. Simply complete the lesson packet and email it to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com for credit.

New Book Wednesdays: The Scent of Holiness


Dear Students and Friends,

Here's a brand new book from Conciliar Press that will appeal to women and to Mount Athos "fans"-- The Scent of Holiness: Lessons from a Women's Monastery by Constantina Palmer.

Conciliar describes the book thus:

Every monastery exudes the scent of holiness, but women's monasteries have their own special flavor. Join Constantina Palmer as she makes frequent pilgrimages to a women's monastery in Greece and absorbs the nuns' particular approach to their spiritual life. If you're a woman who's read of Mount Athos and longed to partake of its grace-filled atmosphere, this book is for you. Men who wish to understand how women's spirituality differs from their own will find it a fascinating read as well.

You can earn 2 credits for reading this book. Simply read, fill out the General Worksheet for Books (available from the lessons tab, above) and email it to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com, and your credits will be awarded.

Order the book from Conciliar Press.

The Scent of Holiness by Constantina Parker. ISBN 978-1-936270-42-2, 288 pages, Conciliar Press: 2012.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Podcast: Faith in the Public Sphere


Dear Students and Friends,

With debates and elections much on our minds, this timely podcast on the Orthodox Christian Network might be of interest: Faith in the Public Sphere.

About this podcast: Representative Bill Hinkle from Washington State is back on the program to talk with us about faith in the public sphere, the conflicting messages we receive about the meaning of life, and how he connects his understanding of the purpose of life with his daily routine.

Listen now.

You can earn 1 credit for listening to this podcast. Simply listen, fill out the podcast worksheet (available from the Lessons tab, above) and email it to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com. Your credit will then be awarded.

God bless you all this weekend!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

New Book Wednesdays: Seven Days on the Roads of France by Vladimir Lossky


Dear Students and Friends,

Often, we can be encouraged in our Christian walk by contemporary saints who have struggled with the issues of the modern world. Here is an interesting biographical book by Vladimir Lossky:

Seven Days on the Roads of France follows Vladimir Lossky's attempt to enlist in the French army after the Nazi invasion of France in 1940. It records his reflections on suffering; the true nature of Christian or Western civilization; the rightness or otherwise of war; the problematic relationship between Church and State; what we mean by a "nation"; and secularization. Such issues are mulled over, not as arid abstractions, by someone who, as he walks across an increasingly war-torn landscape, quite literally has his feet on the ground. A revelation to those who know only Lossky's more scholarly works - here one discovers his rounded personality, his warm humanity, and his love not only of Christian France but of the West in general.

You can receive 2 credits for reading this book and completing the homework. Simply read, fill out the General Worksheet for Books (available from the Lessons tab above) and email it to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

You can purchase the book here.

Seven Days on the Roads of France by Vladimir Lossky. ISBN 978-0-88141-418-9. 114 pages. St Vladimir Press: 2012.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Read-Along: Words of Fire Lesson 1

Dear Students and Friends,

Lesson 1 in our new Read-Along, Words of Fire, is now up.

Download the lesson here.

Please join us in reading this book and completing the lessons for credit. You can earn 1 credit for each lesson completed. Simply complete the lesson packet and email it to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com for credit.

Podcast: Lay Piety in the Early Church


Dear Students and Friends,

Here is another podcast on the subject of theosis.

On Come Receive the Light, Nicholas Marinides, a PhD student in theology at Princeton University, shares some thoughts from the early church on lay piety and theosis. Then, we hear from Fr. Sitaras is the Director of St Basil’s Academy, which is a home for children of chronically ill or destitute parents and children from broken homes.  He shares some amazing stories of young lives changed through the efforts of this ministry.

Listen now.

You can earn one credit for listening to this podcast and doing the homework. Simply listen, fill out the Podcast Worksheet (available from the Lessons tab, above) and email it back to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.