Words of wisdom from Elder Arsenie Papacioc

Elder Arsenie Papacioc of Romania, blessed memory, was part of the great generation of confessors for Christ that had suffered much while imprisoned for their faith under the atheist communist regime of the east.

I invite you to watch this video in which he shared some words of wisdom about various topics.

On the Church: Salvation exists only in Christ and His Orthodox Church. If you are Orthodox, you ought to hold tight to its teachings, if not you’ll fall into heresy. We cannot renounce even an iota from the Orthodox truth. This is a great matter that concerns God. Such it was with the fall of Catholicism! Personally, I no longer consider it a church, but a government body with a clerical name.

Miscellaneous: Intelligence and education have no value, if they are not in the service of love. The Mother of God represents the human race. Peace is greater than justice. We must refute immediately all [evil] thoughts that come to mind, and they will come until our last breath. Believe in God, love the church and follow the [spiritual] fathers of the church. Walk your life on the road of humility. Acquire a good name near Christ. Insist more in prayer. You’ll be free only when you walk with love towards those who hate you! Stay still in Christ for eternity…

On Salvation: God does more for our salvation than Satan for our destruction. Outside the Church, there is no salvation! Hell exists only outside the Church. He who can do good but does not do it, commits sin. Only the devil cannot be saved. Without God’s grace, it is impossible to be saved only by your actions, no matter how great of an ascetic you may be. It is the Cross that saved mankind! Not God’s justice or His miracles, but His Cross! When Jesus was crucified, Satan was defeated. Heaven is full of repentant sinners. And those from hell, He also loves. But they are whipped by His love, by His justice. And what Christ did not do to save us from hell? Fear of death is not caused by death but by life. If you want not to fear death, live as a Christian! Only those who don’t live in Christ, fear death! There is no sense or purpose, if there is no God. Nothing is lost, as long as our faith is alive!

On Marriage and Family: Love joins everything in the two. This is the symbol of the wedding ring. A marriage done just for pleasure has no meaning. Marriage means reaching together into eternity. On Prayer God is very rich! And He’s awaiting us!… He waits for us to ask! Wherever you are, and whenever you’re tempted, pray and do not be discouraged! Anyone who wants to acquire the gift of prayer, must keep silent and pray. We speak so much about prayer. That’s one thing that it cannot be discussed but practiced.

About Satan: To the devil, we don’t need to give explanations! We cannot talk about the devil without speaking about God. In God’ creation, the devil is a tolerated. Do you believe that the devil is free? No! He’s the most bounded for he is not in Christ… So do not be afraid of him. He is a tolerated, not a power. There is no relationship between good and evil. Our Savior says, “Give Me your whole heart!” But the devil says, “I only need one of your finger.” But through it, soon he’ll take over your whole being. The whole you. If you wound know how much zeal Satan puts to interrupt our prayer! It is a great mistake to enter into conversation with the devil. We ought to converse only with God. If you want to drive him away, say: “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me”, and speak to God. The power of His Name will rid him. It suits the devil to enter into a dialogue for it means that you acknowledge him. Thus through prayer, we ignore him. If we first address the issue of hell, then we ignore heaven! Walking on a wrong path, sinning means hell. Pride is a devilish state, an absolutely diabolical one. No other passion brings man closer to devil’ resemblance, as does pride. If you do not listen to those whom God had appointed for you, it is easily understood that you rather obey Satan. Lucifer fell hopelessly. The greatest fall and only two words: “I am”… Indirectly, the devil confesses God through temptations.

Christ Tempted

I want to share this short movie I stumbled upon on YouTube. It’s called “Christ Tempted” and it depicts the forty days in the wilderness where Jesus Christ, prior to beginning His earthly ministry, was tempted by Satan,… but never sinned.

The movie was directed by David Helling, whose social media accounts are written in the movie description box.

Christ tempted – short movie

Please, check out and subscribe to David Helling’s YouTube channel, and show him some support (like, share and leave him a positive comment).

Let me know what you thought about this short movie. God bless you!

Helpful Bible chapters for various occasions

In our walk with God, us Christians live complex lives. We have successes and failures, we feel all sort of emotions and we have to face various obstacles. In this article, I want to share with you a list of ten fragments from Scripture that will come in handy in various situations.

If you are worrying, read Matthew 6:19-34. Remember: God takes care of everything when you put your faith in Him. Besides, as Jesus points out, worrying doesn’t prolong anyone’s life.

If you are lonely or fearful, read Psalm 23. Remember: When The Lord is your shepherd, you lack nothing and should fear nothing. Trust in His goodness and His love, which follow His children forever.

If you are in sorrow, read John 14:1-6. Remember: Jesus is The Way, The Truth and The Life. You shouldn’t let your hearts be troubled if you trust that Jesus will show you the way to Paradise (His Father’s house).

If you are grateful, read Psalm 103. Remember to praise God for all He has done, is doing and will do for you. King David gave us great examples of how to praise The Lord in prayer.

If you are disappointed with other people, read Psalm 27. Remember: Seek The Lord, seek His Name, seek His Face, seek His beauty, and He will grant you confidence and help you face whatever enemies may come against you.

If God seems far away, read Psalm 139. Remember: God is everywhere and, even though we might not feel His presence sometimes, He is close. Like the psalmist, we should marvel at the omnipresence of God even in the most secret of places, and praise God for His vast knowledge of the future.

If you need courage, read Joshua 1. Remember: Joshua needed courage when he was installed leader, after Moses’ death. When we feel scared or uncertain about whether we can overcome certain challenges, we should read the words of encouragement that God gave to Joshua.

If you are in danger, read Psalm 91. Remember: God will deliver you from any troubles if you put your faith in Him. Psalm 91 is a reminder of the fact that God always helps those who obey Him and seek Him.

If you have sinned, read Psalm 51. Remember: it is important to confess our sins to God and to ask for His forgiveness. We should also ask Him to change our hearts and our souls according to His Will.

If you want to be more like Jesus, read John 15. Remember: it is important to be in Him in order to bear fruit. This chapter will also teach you about how to face the adversities of the world.

Let me know if these have helped you. Feel free to share, in the comments section below, your favorite verses or fragments from The Bible.

Feast Day of Prophet Elijah, 2019

Saint Elijah The Prophet Orthodox Church Liturgy

Every year, on the 20th of July, the Orthodox Church commemorates Prophet Elijah (Elias).

The Holy Prophet Elijah was born in Tishba of Gilead into the Levite tribe 900 years before the Incarnation of the Word of God. Elijah is one of the greatest of the prophets, and the first dedicated to virginity in the Old Testament.

Saint Epiphanius of Cyprus gives the following account about the birth of the Prophet Elijah: “When Elijah was born, his father Sobach saw in a vision angels of God around him. They swaddled him with fire and fed him with flames”.

The name Elijah (“Yahweh is my God”) given to the infant defined his whole life. Having dedicated himself to The One God, Elijah settled in the wilderness and spent his whole life in strict fasting, meditation, and prayer. Called to prophetic service, which put him in conflict with the Israelite king Ahab, the prophet became a fiery zealot of true faith and piety.

Read more about the Holy Prophet Elijah in The Bible, and in this article.

Don’t give up – motivational speech – Bishop T. D. Jakes

In this post I’d like to share one of the most inspiring motivational speeches I’ve ever listened to. It’s part of a sermon held by the Bishop T. D. Jakes.

If you’ve been feeling down lately, if you’re dealing with hardships in your life and are thinking about quitting, I hope this video will encourage you to see things differently. Remember: never give up! You do make a difference.

The Chosen – TV series

Directed and co-written by American filmmaker Dallas Jenkins, The Chosen is the first original TV series about the life of Jesus Christ.

Backed by over $11 million dollars raised through crowdfunding, the groundbreaking multi-season series, that dramatizes the Gospel narrative and presents the ministry and miracles of Jesus Christ, launched this week for viewers to stream on-demand.

The writer and director behind The Chosen says they aim to change the rules for how to cinematically approach the biblical text.

“I’ve seen pretty much every Jesus movie or miniseries ever made,” says Dallas Jenkins, a filmmaker for the past two decades. “But I’ve had the hardest time connecting with most of them, even the ones I’ve enjoyed as a believer, because they make the journey safe and clean.

“There’s no way to portray redemption — from depravity and oppression, to joy and freedom — unless it’s desperate and authentic.”

On Tuesday, in advance of Easter weekend, a full trailer for The Chosen released along with the series premiere (currently free). Three further episodes are available for purchase. Producers announced the complete first season will release in November on the VidAngel streaming video platform.

Check out the official trailer below:

The Chosen trailer – a TV series about the life of Jesus Christ

Saint Stephen The Great (Ştefan Cel Mare) of Moldavia

I know that this article is late, and I apologize for posting it now, but I just recently came across a video of the celebration of Saint Stephen The Great’s feast day on YouTube and wanted to inform my readers about this very interesting Romanian ruler who was glorified by the Orthodox Church.

Eleven days ago, on the 2nd of July, was the feast day of a rather controversial Orthodox saint — Saint Stephen The Great of Moldova. Stephen (“Ştefan” in his native language, Romanian) was one of the most important rulers of Moldova (a large region of modern-day Romania).

He ruled from 1457 to 1504 and gained his fame due to his great statesmanship. A remarkable military tactician, as well as a devout Orthodox Christian, he was responsible for defending Moldova against the Ottoman invasion, and went down in history not only for his victories, but also for having built a church or monastery in thanks to God after each victory.

Stephen the Great was glorified, along with his spiritual father St. Daniel the Hermit of Voroneţ (“Sfântul Daniil Sihastru de la Voroneţ”) and many other Romanian saints, by the Synod of the Church of Romania in 1992. His feast day is July 2.

Read more about his life in the Orthodox Wiki: https://orthodoxwiki.org/Stephen_the_Great

Let me know in the comments section if you have heard about Saint Stephen The Great and, if you haven’t, what your opinion about him is after having read the article I recommended above.

Writing prompt 17

You’ve decided to pray, pray, and pray some more, until God grants you that one wish that’s been in your heart for years. As time passes, you begin to see things differently and realize how foolish said wish was.

Health benefits of eating vegetables

Here is a list of health benefits that you can experience if you include vegetables in your daily diet. Vegetables, along with fruits, contribute to healing various illnesses and to improving one’s health.

Happy Independence Day, 2019, America!

4th of July is, as some of you might know, the day on which America celebrates its Independence Day.

This year marks the 243rd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, which declared that the 13 American colonies were not under British rule any longer, but rather were free, independent states.

Across the US, parades, parties and firework displays are held in celebration. It is customary for Americans to spend the day with friends and family, sharing food and decorating homes and clothes with the US flag.

At the first celebration in 1777, fireworks lit up the sky in celebration, despite the US still in the midst of the Revolutionary War. Ever since, on the 4th of July, firework displays have been held across the country.

Here is an article about the best fourth of July firework shows across the USA: https://people.com/travel/happy-birthday-america-here-are-the-best-fourth-of-july-fireworks-shows-across-the-u-s-a/

If you want to find out more about how the tradition started, click here.