Tag Archive for: God’s Kingdom


Our biggest disappointments in life are because of our expectations. When an event goes the opposite as we planned, or when a person does an unexpected act, we are disappointed. If you take an inventory of the disappointments in your life, you’ll find that most, if not all, are because of the expectations you have held that things would turn out otherwise.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, in looking at the Christian Church and noting its lackadaisical attitude towards injustice and general apathy towards the struggling, pronounce, “There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.” As a minister of the Gospel, and as a student of Jesus, he had a certain expectation from the Church, that the Church would follow the work of Jesus. When it didn’t, he expressed his disappointment. And he added an additional element of love into the equation.

If we go to a restaurant, our expectation is to be served a decent meal in an efficient manner. When the food arrives cold after an hour’s wait, we are disappointed, and perhaps even angered, but the degree of disappointment is not the same as say, when a friend, child, a parent, a spouse, or a sibling acts against our expectations.

Interestingly enough, the Bible is written with many expectations built into the stories. A casual reading of the Old Testament gives you story after story, of God expecting one thing from His creation, and getting another. And so, often people walk away from religion, in particular Christianity, feeling rejected and hurt thinking that God is disappointed in them. Furthermore, the Bible is filled with the expectation of events. Prophets forecast events. Jesus’ birth was one of those events, so was his resurrection, and then his second coming.

Jesus spoke of a less stressful experience than the back-and-forth between expectations and disappointments. He said that God is in charge and so, let Him be in charge! Trust God, and deal with things that have been charged to you.

Following the Resurrection, the Disciples were excited and living with great expectations. Forty days afterwards they experienced the Ascension. They continued to speak about dates and times that were not in their purview.  In fact, up until the end of the first century, people were living with an expectation of an imminent end. And many sects of Christianity continue to forecast and predict dates and times of future events that Jesus has strictly forbidden.

We end today with a reading from the Sermon on the Mount,

“Therefore, I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is life not more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

“…Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

“… But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:25-34)

The President, Thanksgiving & Just Doing What’s Right

Next Step #286 – November 28, 2013

A couple of Thanksgiving stories that intersect in a special way. President Obama stands across the Armenian Church, which inspires a message of thanksgiving for Fr. Vazken, but not without a jab at the victimization process. The second story is personal, as good deeds from the past are remembered years later: Just do the good, is the Christian message of hope – Setting sights on God’s Kingdom, Jesus says, and all else will follow. Listen in to this special Thanksgiving broadcast.
Song: Anatolian Memories by Al Bardezbanian
Happy Thanksgiving Mr. President
Intro song – Danny Kaye 
In His Shoes: http://inhisshoes.org
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net
Look for The Next Step on blubrry.com
Now on Stitcher Radio! 

Injuries in the Machine

Next Step #244 – February 7, 2013

Vartan & Ghevont – lessons for a priest in turmoil about the mission and the church and his place in a church plagued by challenges. Fr. Vazken gives a personal account of reconciling the tangible with the abstract idea of the Kingdom – are we part of the machine? Have you hugged your priest lately? The “dz” in yoghurt should have made it. Purging the system of toxins during Lent through epostle.net
Pomegranate Seeds by Anush: Looking Inward for Lent 
Song: Wonderous Crowning by Hover Armenian Chamber Choir
Sun Sash – Vartan
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net
Look for The Next Step on blubrry.com
Now on Stitcher Radio! 

Blubrry player!

Strip Away to Faith

Next Step #234 – November 29, 2012

Did you survive Black Friday & Cyber Monday? Now engage in the art of belly-dancing – it’s a strip -tease to uncover faith. The New Israel is not a place, so seek your mind on God’s Kingdom first. Issues of identity and belonging in a pluralistic society are discussed. How to read the Bible: avoid the literal and find God. MLK Retreat and a vending machine that dispenses caviar and snails – all in the mix in this Next Step.
Pomegranate Seeds by Anush: The Nest: Half Empty or Half Full?
Song: Hover Chamber Choir of Armenia – “The sea of life always tosses me about”
Harry Hagopian blogs:
GAZA: http://www.catholicnews.org.uk/israel-hamas-gaza-ceasefire
MENA: http://www.catholicnews.org.uk/mena28
Compass #33 – Belonging Dilemma and the Kingdom
Caviar vending machines in Burbank
Jethro Tull 40th Anniversary TAAB
Engineered by Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net
Look for The Next Step on blubrry.com
Now on Stitcher Radio! 

Blubrry player!

The New Media Lent is Just Beginning

Next Step #94- March 25, 2010

Using the New Media to bring the message of God’s Kingdom to the world. End of Lent reflections about the Ministry – the Lenten Journey podcasts and the ability to create virtual communities of God. Fr. Vazken discusses the thought process in creating the vision for the “epostle’s net.” Networking with the Samaritan Group (after health care debate). An overview of Holy Week in the Armenian Orthodox Church.
Ani’s Bubbles: “Matter of Perspective”;
Song: “Gakavik” by Datevik;
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for ePostle.net

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