Walking through life with a smile on your face and a song in your heart is the best way to keep your mind and heart in a good place. Life has many turns and many trials, but when you keep centered on all the good that is in your life, the trials are short lived. Smiles are contagious. Ever notice how a room brightens up when someone walks in who is always smiling, always happy, always extending a warm greeting to others? What better gift can you give another, than a sincere smile.
I remember finding a young man sitting on a log, deep in an Oregon forest, many years ago, while hiking on a trail. The trail head was some four miles from that spot, and I was somewhat surprised to find another person, alone, that far into the forest (I'd thought I was the only one who loved to hike alone). He was deep in thought, so I apologized for startling him. I commented on the beauty of God's creation and asked if he'd like to share a sandwich and some coffee. Sitting down on the log next to him, I opened my backpack, and handed him half of my lunch.
A few moments passed when he turned to me, showed me a revolver, and told me he'd come to this remote spot with the intent of killing himself. When he saw me appear with a long beard, long hair, and dressed in my long black robe, he'd first thought I might be an angel, sent by God. He'd been praying that God would forgive him for what he was about to do. I assured him that I was indeed flesh and blood, and no angel. But I also told him that I was sent by God with a message. The message from God was that he was loved, and that God had a plan for his life, and this period of despair would soon pass.
He handed me his revolver, which I placed in my backpack, and we had a long conversation about his life. Eventually we walked together back to our vehicles. With the promise that he would return the revolver to his father's desk drawer, I handed him the gun, and we parted ways.
I've long wondered about the direction his life must have taken after that encounter in the forest, so very many years ago. I've also wondered what may have happened if I'd continued on that trail without stopping to greet him, without offering a smile and a shared sandwich.
To this day I feel blessed that God allowed me to be His messenger on that lonely trail, and I try to be available each and every day as His messenger. When we make a concerted effort to be centered in Christ, each and every day, each and every hour, we make way for a heart and mind that is always in a good place, and we allow the love of Christ to be seen and experienced by others. When we put aside ourselves and put on Christ, we become God's messengers.
Love in Christ,
Photo: Abbot Tryphon and Bishop Theodosius (and Hammi, of course).
Saturday June 21, 2014 / June 8, 2014
2nd Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.
Apostles' (Peter & Paul) Fast. Fish Allowed
Translation of the relics of Great-martyr Theodore Stratelates (319).
St. Theodore, bishop of Rostov and Suzdal (1023).
Finding of the relics (1501) of Sts. Basil (1249) and Constantine (1257), princes of Yaroslavl.
Venerable Ephraim, patriarch of Antioch (546).
Venerable Zosimas, monk, of Phoenicia (Syria) (6th c.).
"Yaroslavl" (13th c.) and "Uriupinsk" (1827) Icons of the Mother of God.
New Martyr Theophanes at Constantinople (1559) (Greek).
Venerable Atre (Athre) of Nitria (Egypt).
Venerable Naucratius, abbot of the Studion (848).
Venerable Theophilus of Luga and Omutch (1412), disciple of St. Arsenius of Konevits (Valaam).
Martyrs Nicander and Marcian at Dorostulum in Moesia (303) (Romania).
St. Medardus, bishop of Noyon (560) (Neth.).
Translation of the relicts of Hieromartyr Alphege, abbot of Canterbury.
Martyr Callopia (Greek).
Venerable Melania the Elder, of Palladius' Lausiac History (Greek).
Martyr Nicander (Greek).
Martyr Mark (Greek).
New Hieromartyrs Barlaam (1942) and his brother Herman (1937) (Riaschentsov) (1937).
St. Paul the Confessor, of Kaiuma in Constantinople (766).
Holy Hieromartyr Tevdore of Kvelta (1609) (Georgia).
Synaxis of the Church of the Cross at Mtskheta, Georgia (Georgia).
Venerable Naucratius, brother of St. Basil the Great (4th c.).
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.
"Blogs and social networks give us new opportunities for the Christian mission...Not to be present there means to display our helplessness and lack of care for the salvation of our brothers." His Holiness Patriarch Kirill
The Scripture Readings for the Day
God’s Righteousness Through Faith21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Do Not Judge7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
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