19 January 2010

Early Morning Leads to Little Sleep

Early Morning

I woke up super early this morning due to a meowing cat, soar throat and a to-do list longer than I'd like. After I woke up, I couldn't fall back to sleep. I stay up thinking about all the things I'd like to accomplish, have to complete and don't really want to do.

Needless to say. I just love my cat. Even though he was the cause of my unrest at first, he is also the reason why I think my blood pressure is lower. It is so much fun having him in our family!

New Year (Res)Solutions are underway. I wanted to read more to improve my spiritual life or in greek "Zoe".

Side-bar: In greek there are two words that mean life. "Bios" is life of the flesh (hence it is the root word of biology, etc.) Bios is the life of the physical that be taken from you and that is designed to decay and wither away. "Zoe" is life of the spirit. It is life lived abundantly and given to us to either accept or refuse. It is the life that can not be taken from you, that is designed to never decay and to have everlasting.

So I started 3 books.

Orthodox Saints Vol 1

Orthodox Saints Volume 1 by Fr. George Poulos. Buy it here. I only know of a few saints and their lives. But recently this idea that so many before me could offer examples how to face the most of difficulties and do it without fear, made me want to know more.

The book is divided by days of the year with each day touching on a few saints. There are 4 volumes total (4 quarters in the year). I just started this weekend so I have some days to catch up on. So far these people I'm reading about have felt so distant in time yet so close in spirit. (That sound strange but I'm not sure how else to put it.) Very inspiring right now. Each one is so different and they all have such different backgrounds but all lived with their whole being for the love and closeness of God.

The Great I Came's of Jesus

Most of you have heard of the "Great I am's" of Christ in the bible, but what about the reason why he came. Fr. Anthony Coniaris (my teacher at St. Mary's GOC in MPLS), has put together a great short read on this topic. I've just started this book. He makes it tangible to today's examples while making great parallels to the bible's gospel passages. I think this will be a book I cherish for years to come. I'm sure I will read it again and again. Buy it here.

Study Bible
My mom gave this to me back in 2005. I've used it only for daily meditation until now. In the back there is a study guide on how to read the new testament in one year. I'm a few chapters ahead of schedule. Lately for me, once I start reading it is hard to stop. I'm currently in Matthew 14. So far my favorite take away is Matthew 5 and all the beatitudes. All so powerful but my favorite of the moment is: Blessed are those who are peacemakers for they will be sons of God.

In the old testament it was an eye for an eye, who begot who. That is why you hear some people say "my god is an angry god". But Christ came to correct this idea. Through his sermon on the mount (also Matthew 5), his instruction is to turn the other cheek. To forgive and not have revenge. To love and not have hate.

Or what Joel Olsteen says... be the thermostat not the temperature. This is super hard to do and takes humility and prayer to give forgiveness and to ask it those who you feel have done you wrong. Even some of my own family members have not embraced this idea. I catch myself at times. I think that is why it is my favorite take away right now.

Daily Meditations for Christmas Season

I also picked up this book late in the Christmas season, but I plan on using it every year. It gives a reading, epital and then a mediation for the day. It only takes a few minutes out of each day and it really helped bring the meaning of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany back to the season.

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