Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

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This time of year is so beautiful and meaningful for us.  Our lives are so intertwined with the, almost 10% of the year, involved with the “holidays”.  So, it is so important to remember the entire reason for this festive, and yes, hectic time.

The celebration of the special relationship that we have with God.  We, who were created by a Creator, were joined by that very Creator, in a manner that is indescribable.  He became one us,  his own creations!

Wow!  Amazing.  Beautiful. Special beyond words and measure.

I find this translated into Arabic especially poignant.  I hope that you do as well.

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Saint Philip the Apostle

St Philip

The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Philip’s feast day on 14 November.

Reading from the Synaxarion:

This Apostle, one of the Twelve, was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and was a compatriot of Andrew and Peter. He was instructed in the teachings of the Law, and devoted himself to the study of the prophetic books. Therefore, when the Lord Jesus called him to the dignity of apostleship, he immediately sought out and found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of Whom Moses in the Law and the Prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1.45). Having preached Jesus the God-man throughout many parts of Asia Minor, and having suffered many things for His Name’s sake, he was finally crucified upside down in Hierapolis of Phrygia.

Apolytikion of Apostle Philip in the Third Tone

O Holy Apostle Philip, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

Kontakion of Apostle Philip in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

Your disciple and friend, emulator of Your passion, the divinely eloquent Philip, proclaimed You to the world as God. By his entreaties, and through the Theotokos, keep Your Church from lawless enemies, O most merciful.

Najran, Saudi Arabia

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Having visited this site, it is very difficult to remind yourself that this country, Saudi Arabia, was a predominantly Christian country up through the 7th Century.  Now, there is a complete intolerance to any form of religion except Islam.  It is completely forbidden.

The western, Christian world, with the exception of Orthodox Christians from the middle east, seems completely unaware of this fact.  And, it is increasingly becoming hostile to what little remnant of Christianity remains in the middle east.

Here, from the Synaxarion is the commemoration of todays Holy Saints, from the city of Najran, in present day Saudi Arabia:

“These Martyrs contested for piety’s sake in the year 524 in Najran, a city of Arabia Felix (present-day Yemen). When Dhu Nuwas, ruler of the Himyarite tribe in south Arabia, and a Judaizer, took power, he sought to blot out Christianity, especially at Najran, a Christian city. Against the counsels of Arethas, chief man of Najran, the city surrendered to Dhu Nuwas, who immediately broke the word he had given and sought to compel the city to renounce Christ. Led by Saint Arethas, hundreds of martyrs, including women, children, and babes, valiantly withstood his threats, and were beheaded and burned. After the men had been slain, all the free-born Christian women of Najran were brought before the tyrant and commanded to abjure Christ or die; yet they rebuked the persecutor with such boldness that he said even the men had not insulted him so contemptuously. So great was their faith that not one woman was found to deny Christ in all Najran, although some of them suffered tormen ts more bitter than most of the men. In alliance with Byzantium, the Ethiopian King Elesbaan liberated Najran from Dhu Nuwas soon after and raised up churches in honour of the Martyrs. Najran became a place of pilgrimage until the rise of Islam a century later. At the end of his life King Elesbaan, who was also called Caleb, retired into solitude as a hermit; he sent his crown to Jerusalem as an offering to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. He also is commemorated on this day as a saint. Saint Arethas’ name in Arabic, Harith, means “plowman, tiller,” much the same as “George” does in Greek.”

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Happiness

A very easy way to avoid disappointment and retain peace, especially with close relationships, is to follow this simple little formula:

“Demand only faithfulness.  Expect nothing else and all the blessings that follow are pure joy.”
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Creative Signs

Sometimes, we just need to smile, or even laugh out loud.  Here are some signs and slogans from the past that might lighten your day:

On a plumber’s truck “We repair what your husband fixed.”

Pizza shop: “7 days without pizza makes one weak.”

On a muffler repair shop: “No appointment necessary.  We hear you coming.”

In a Veterinarians waiting area: “Be back in 5 minutes.  Sit.  Stay!”

Plastic surgeon’s office:  “We can help you pick your nose.”

Electrician’s truck panel: “Let us remove your shorts.”

Maternity waiting room door:  “Push, Push, Push!”

Optometrist office: “If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.”

If you enjoyed these, check out the little history book: Changes. Free on Amazon.

Changes Cover copy

Independence Day

“To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.”    – Calvin Coolidge  born July 4, 1872, 30th President of USA…