my latest blog post @ sixth visit to an Orthodox church and How I freaked out!

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Please take a look at my latest blog post.....I love your guys comments....keep them coming!
http://orthodoxyorbust.blogspot.com/2010/08/sixth-visit-prostrations-galore.html
 

Irish Melkite

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Jim,

I'm an off and on poster here, so I wasn't familiar with your background. I did catch one of your earlier posts but hadn't looked at your blog - suspecting that it was not going to be much different than that of any inquirer. Just read this latest entry and I have to comment on both the respectfulness with which you express your curiousity and understanding and the great analogies that you've drawn.

If you aren't already familiar with it, you might find very interesting a series of blog entries by a Protestant minister (Southern Baptist, if I remember correctly) on his visits to an Orthodox temple. Unlike you, he was not an inquirer but went from a sense of curiousity and self-education while on sabbatical from his church. However, some of the same wonderment and understanding are apparent in both blogs. I don't have the link at hand - though I know it was discussed both here and at the ByzCath forum and I suspect someone might be able to come up with it. If not, I'll dig around a bit.

My prayers for you on your spiritual journey.

Many years,

Neil (hey, my 400th post - how many years has that taken?)
 

Robert W

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Thank you for posting this Jim Dude. It's quite... powerful.

When I made my first visits to an Orthodox Church I also did not cross myself even though I knew how to do it. I sort of wanted to stand out as a visitor/enquirer. Later, after some parishioners had kindly shown me how to do it, I started to feel I would insult my "teachers" if I didn't cross myself. :D
 
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thank you for your prayers! The blog you mentioned sounds very interesting...I am always interested in an "Outsiders" view on any given topic. It helps those on the inside know how they are percived...Does anyone know the blog that Niel mentions?...Congrats on your 400th post!  :laugh:
Irish Melkite said:
Jim,

I'm an off and on poster here, so I wasn't familiar with your background. I did catch one of your earlier posts but hadn't looked at your blog - suspecting that it was not going to be much different than that of any inquirer. Just read this latest entry and I have to comment on both the respectfulness with which you express your curiousity and understanding and the great analogies that you've drawn.

If you aren't already familiar with it, you might find very interesting a series of blog entries by a Protestant minister (Southern Baptist, if I remember correctly) on his visits to an Orthodox temple. Unlike you, he was not an inquirer but went from a sense of curiousity and self-education while on sabbatical from his church. However, some of the same wonderment and understanding are apparent in both blogs. I don't have the link at hand - though I know it was discussed both here and at the ByzCath forum and I suspect someone might be able to come up with it. If not, I'll dig around a bit.

My prayers for you on your spiritual journey.

Many years,

Neil (hey, my 400th post - how many years has that taken?)
 
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Robert,
I am glad you liked my blog post...Crossing myself is relativley easy...now, about kissing icons...that scares me a bit....
Robert W said:
Thank you for posting this Jim Dude. It's quite... powerful.

When I made my first visits to an Orthodox Church I also did not cross myself even though I knew how to do it. I sort of wanted to stand out as a visitor/enquirer. Later, after some parishioners had kindly shown me how to do it, I started to feel I would insult my "teachers" if I didn't cross myself. :D
 

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Irish Melkite said:
If you aren't already familiar with it, you might find very interesting a series of blog entries by a Protestant minister (Southern Baptist, if I remember correctly) on his visits to an Orthodox temple. Unlike you, he was not an inquirer but went from a sense of curiousity and self-education while on sabbatical from his church. However, some of the same wonderment and understanding are apparent in both blogs. I don't have the link at hand - though I know it was discussed both here and at the ByzCath forum and I suspect someone might be able to come up with it. If not, I'll dig around a bit.
I think this is what you're looking for:

http://reallivepreacher.com/node/1422
http://reallivepreacher.com/node/1426
 

rakovsky

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Mister Jim Dude said:
Robert,
I am glad you liked my blog post...Crossing myself is relativley easy...now, about kissing icons...that scares me a bit...
Nonromantic kissing is more common in eastern culture, but in USA kids and parents kiss eachother sometimes. It's considered a little kid cute thing. Also I've seen photos of movie stars with lipstick kisses on them.

It's like how the eastern custom was to bow before emperors, and the Lord is our Lord. Same general idea goes from eastern customs to an eastern church. It might be confusing for some westerners unfamiliar with use of bowing in their culture.
 
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wynd said:
Irish Melkite said:
If you aren't already familiar with it, you might find very interesting a series of blog entries by a Protestant minister (Southern Baptist, if I remember correctly) on his visits to an Orthodox temple. Unlike you, he was not an inquirer but went from a sense of curiousity and self-education while on sabbatical from his church. However, some of the same wonderment and understanding are apparent in both blogs. I don't have the link at hand - though I know it was discussed both here and at the ByzCath forum and I suspect someone might be able to come up with it. If not, I'll dig around a bit.
I think this is what you're looking for:

http://reallivepreacher.com/node/1422
http://reallivepreacher.com/node/1426
Yes, this is an excellent read! The baptist minister who writes about his visit to an Orthodox Church writes with Respect and Clarity! Well, done!
 
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rakovsky said:
Mister Jim Dude said:
Robert,
I am glad you liked my blog post...Crossing myself is relativley easy...now, about kissing icons...that scares me a bit...
Nonromantic kissing is more common in eastern culture, but in USA kids and parents kiss eachother sometimes. It's considered a little kid cute thing. Also I've seen photos of movie stars with lipstick kisses on them.

It's like how the eastern custom was to bow before emperors, and the Lord is our Lord. Same general idea goes from eastern customs to an eastern church. It might be confusing for some westerners unfamiliar with use of bowing in their culture.
I guess it's a Russian thing kissing on the cheek three times...At least that is what Father Gary told me as he greeted me last Saturday. It is a lot to get used to...I am used to a good, solid evangelical handshake!...and some Pentacostal hugging but this kissing takes some getting used to!
 

Alveus Lacuna

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Is that picture you posted one that you took? If so, I'd love to get it in the full resolution, if you wouldn't mind emailing it to me:

 

Second Chance

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Mister Jim Dude said:
Robert,
I am glad you liked my blog post...Crossing myself is relativley easy...now, about kissing icons...that scares me a bit....
Robert W said:
Thank you for posting this Jim Dude. It's quite... powerful.

When I made my first visits to an Orthodox Church I also did not cross myself even though I knew how to do it. I sort of wanted to stand out as a visitor/enquirer. Later, after some parishioners had kindly shown me how to do it, I started to feel I would insult my "teachers" if I didn't cross myself. :D
First, it was another outstanding blog entry. I think that you are well on the way to becoming a catechumen. I am sure that I, along with many others on this forum, are looking forward to give you a long-distance hug and a kiss on the cheek when that time comes.

Regarding kissing icons, don't worry about it. It will suffice for you to to say a short prayer to the person represented by the icon. It could be as short as the Jesus Prayer before the icon of the Lord. Before the icon of the Theotokos, I sometimes thank her for being the Mother of God and ask her to intercede for me. Before the icon of a saint, I express admiration for for whatever outstanding feat that he (or shoe) had done (or for being an exemplary disciple of the Lord) also ask for intercession. I then kiss the icon (usually the hand or feet of the person). My kiss represents my love and respect for the the Theotokos or the saint/s. With the Lord's icon, I am praying to Him directly as God so my kiss, while no less loving or respectful, also has an overwhelming element of awe and worship. For me the kiss and the sign of the cross represent a way of sealing my prayer. Again, don't worry about it; when the time comes you will do it as naturally as breathing air.
 

Irish Melkite

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wynd said:
Irish Melkite said:
If you aren't already familiar with it, you might find very interesting a series of blog entries by a Protestant minister (Southern Baptist, if I remember correctly) on his visits to an Orthodox temple. Unlike you, he was not an inquirer but went from a sense of curiousity and self-education while on sabbatical from his church. However, some of the same wonderment and understanding are apparent in both blogs. I don't have the link at hand - though I know it was discussed both here and at the ByzCath forum and I suspect someone might be able to come up with it. If not, I'll dig around a bit.
I think this is what you're looking for:

http://reallivepreacher.com/node/1422
http://reallivepreacher.com/node/1426
That is indeed the one to which I was referring. Thanks for finding it, Wynd.

Many years,

Neil
 

Irish Hermit

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Irish Melkite said:
If you aren't already familiar with it, you might find very interesting a series of blog entries by a Protestant minister (Southern Baptist, if I remember correctly) on his visits to an Orthodox temple.
We once found a Baptist minister sound asleep in the temple yard.  The boy cutting the temple lawn took him inside and showed him the icons, which was NOT something he wanted to see.  :)
 
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Since you guys are offering such great comments...here is a link to my latest post, it's about how Orthodoxy is spilling over into my Protestant life...
http://orthodoxyorbust.blogspot.com/2010/08/orthodoxy-is-spilling-over-into-my.html
thanks for all the encourgement! 8)
 

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[quote author=Mister Jim Dude (on Orthodoxy or Bust!)]
Now, if I continue the way I am going, the next time I pray, I might accidentally call upon the Theotokos to intercede on our behalf and, at that point, I will never be asked to pray again! [/quote]
;D ;D ;D I can imagine the wide eyed looks on everyones face if you did.

While there is nothing wrong in coming up with the words in mid-prayer, it simply cannot beat the depth of the prayers of the Church.

Off topic note: Angryface  :mad: at spellchecker for being heretical and not recognising "Theotokos"
 
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Robert W said:
[quote author=Mister Jim Dude (on Orthodoxy or Bust!)]
Now, if I continue the way I am going, the next time I pray, I might accidentally call upon the Theotokos to intercede on our behalf and, at that point, I will never be asked to pray again!
;D ;D ;D I can imagine the wide eyed looks on everyones face if you did.

While there is nothing wrong in coming up with the words in mid-prayer, it simply cannot beat the depth of the prayers of the Church.

Off topic note: Angryface  :mad: at spellchecker for being heretical and not recognising "Theotokos"
[/quote]

One of the things Protestants complain about is repeating written prayers, as if that cannot come from the heart. Well that is just nonsense! I have to stop myself, while praying Orthodox prayers from the inner dialogue of, "Man, this is good stuff!!...
 

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Mister Jim Dude said:
Robert W said:
[quote author=Mister Jim Dude (on Orthodoxy or Bust!)]
Now, if I continue the way I am going, the next time I pray, I might accidentally call upon the Theotokos to intercede on our behalf and, at that point, I will never be asked to pray again!
;D ;D ;D I can imagine the wide eyed looks on everyones face if you did.

While there is nothing wrong in coming up with the words in mid-prayer, it simply cannot beat the depth of the prayers of the Church.

Off topic note: Angryface  :mad: at spellchecker for being heretical and not recognising "Theotokos"
One of the things Protestants complain about is repeating written prayers, as if that cannot come from the heart. Well that is just nonsense! I have to stop myself, while praying Orthodox prayers from the inner dialogue of, "Man, this is good stuff!!...
[/quote]

My objection to written prayers was overcome when it was pointed out to me that I should then stop singing written songs and just "do it from the heart" instead. Once that objection was overcome, I was able to appreciate the greater depth of the words of both Orthodox prayers and songs.
 
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