Saturday, September 15, 2012

Being Good Stewards
The recently restored Saint John the Wonderworker Chapel
On Being Responsible Stewards of 
That Which God has Given Us

I once knew a man who would destroy anything he no longer wanted, rather than give it to another person, or turn it over to a charity. Thinking he might regret parting with something, he'd rather destroy it completely than regret having given it away. He was a neighbor of mine back when I was in my early thirties, and I had traded an old electric mantel clock for a manually wounded clock that was a bit larger, older, and had a nice set of chimes. Within the week I had regretted it, since the smaller electric mantel clock had belonged to one of my grandmothers, and although it did not work on my mantel because of the cord (not outlet), I'd not felt right about parting with something that had a family connection. When I approached Bill with an offer to buy it back, I was shocked to find he'd decided he didn't like it and had broken it into little pieces and thrown it in the garbage.

Although most people wouldn't think of doing something like Bill, we've nevertheless become a disposable society. Most of the products we purchase are not designed to last very long, and rather than taking them to a repair shop, we simply dispose of them, and buy a new version. If a shoe gets a little worn, we don't take it to a cobbler to be mended, but throw it away and buy a new pair of shoes. We continually buy electronic devices that we know will be outdated within the year, and we'll be out shopping for a newer version. Many items we purchase are more expensive to repair, than to replace, so our landfills become overflowing with junk that should have been in service for many years to come.

We fail to realize that these products require a great deal of energy to produce, which means we are using gas, oil, water and electricity in a lame pursuit of goods that we will be throwing away within a few years. Much of the energy we've expended will not be retrievable, and we will have wasted God given natural resources that are not renewable.

An estimated 39,090 gallons of water is used to manufacture a car, with another 518 gallons to make each tire. That pair of jeans you wear required 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton. It requires 400 gallons of water to grow the cotton for one shirt! Beer requires 1,500 gallons of water for one single barrel. That latte takes 53 gallons of water, as well as lots of oil, since we must grow the sugar cane, produce the plastic lid, manufacture the sleeve and cup, and then transport them hundreds of miles, all that me might enjoy that all important latte. Perhaps the greatest irony is that it takes 1.85 gallons of water to manufacture the plastic for the bottle in the average commercial bottle of water.

As a coffee lover, I am not suggesting we all stop drinking lattes. I am suggesting we need to be aware how we misuse the resources God has given us. The Lord has placed us as stewards of these resources, and if we'd been hired by a company for this job, we'd have been fired by now. Just as we teach our children to take care of their toys, so too must we act in a responsible way with all the resources of God has given us. We must think before we purchase products that will be outmoded within the year. We must take care of the automobile we drive, so that it can serve our transportation needs for a good many years. The clothing we wear should be cared for in a way that assures we can wear it for many years, and will be in good enough condition that it can be given to the Goodwill when we've finished with it.

Many of the world's present conflicts can be tied to our need, as Americans, for the oil we need to continue our reckless and wasteful misuse of the resources God has given us. The present drought that has gripped much of the United States will only be exacerbated by our continued wasteful misuse of the valuable water we do have. We can not continue to live as though we were the spoiled children of rich parents. 

Love and blessings,
Abbot Tryphon

click on photo to enlarge

Saturday September 15, 2012 / September 2, 2012
15th Week after Pentecost. Tone five.

Martyr Mamas of Caesarea in Cappadocia (275), and his parents, Martyrs Theodotus and Rufina (3rd c.).
Venerable John the Faster, patriarch of Constantinople (595).
Venerables Anthony (1073) and Theodosius (1074) of the Kiev Caves.
New Martyrs Barsunuphius, bishop of Kyrilov, priest John, Abbess Seraphima of Therapontov Convent, and Anatole, Nicholas, Michael and Philip (1918).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1920).
New Hieromartyrs Damascene, bishop of Starodub, priests Ephimius, John, John, Vladimir, Victor, Basil, Theodore, Peter, Stephen and Virgin-martyr Ksenia(1937).
Herman, bishop of Vyaznikov, priest Stephen and martyr Paul (1937).
Translation of the relicts (1796) of Venerable Theodosius, abbot, of Totma.
3,618 Martyrs who suffered at Nicomedia (3rd-4th c.).
"Kaluga" Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (1771).
Righteous Eleazar, son of Aaron, and Righteous Phineas.
Martyrs Aeithalas and Ammon of Thrace (Greek).
Hieu, abbess of Tadcaster (7th c.) (Celtic & British).

You can read the life of the saint in green, by click on the name.

THANK YOU, to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,  
Abbot Tryphon

Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

1 Corinthians 4:17-5:5

17 For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.
18 Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. 20 For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power. 21 What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?

Immorality Defiles the Church

5 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Matthew 24:1-13

Jesus Predicts the Destruction of the Temple

24 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

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