Tag Archive for: Love

Veterans

Armodoxy for Today
Veterans

A veteran is a person who has had long experience in a particular field. Generically, we use the word to refer to military personnel, especially those who actively served in the military. The veteran is someone who loves country much more than his or her life. That is, the veteran is willing to lay down his or her life for the country, for something that is greater than the self.

In the Gospel of John (15), Jesus say, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” He is referring to his own sacrifice, and his words define true love as a function of selflessness. He places value on friendship (harmonious living with one another). That value is measured by life itself – a willingness to sacrifice life for the benefit of the greater good. The sacrifice made by veterans has the greatest value of anything or any action, because the measuring “currency” is more precious than silver, gold and even platinum. That’s why we refer to it as paying the ultimate price: life itself.

Veteran’s Day is celebrated today. It is yet another chance for self-evaluation. There is a simple test to take on this day. Ask yourself, What are the things that are most important to me? What are the things for which I would be willing to give up my life. Now ask yourself, if I’m willing to die for it, am I willing to live for it?

If we are willing to die for Christ, then the more important question we must ask ourselves is, am I willing to live for Christ? Armodoxy is the proof that living out Christian principles is much harder than dying for them.

We pray Psalm 27, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shalI I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after, “That I may dwell in the house of the Lord, that will I seek after; That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.” Amen.

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Humanity

Armodoxy for Today by Fr. Vazken

 

 

Humanity

Cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead, who had studied various and many societies throughout the world, taught and advocated for cultural relativism, as a means by which we as people can better understand one another. With all the differences marked by cultures and society, the main ingredient for humanity is a basic one.

The story is told that one of Margaret Mead’s students asked her what she considered to be the first sign of civilization. The student expected the anthropologist to point to clay pots, tools for hunting or various societal or religious artifacts. Instead, Mead pointed to a healed femur found in an archeological site, dating back 15,000 years. This was the first evidence of civilization, she claimed.

A femur is the longest bone in the body, linking hip to knee. Take away some of the benefits of modern medicine and it takes about six weeks of rest for a fractured femur to heal. This particular bone had been broken and had healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from danger, you cannot drink or hunt for food. In fact, if you were wounded in this manner, you became food for other animals. If you were to stand still for your bone to heal, you’d definitely be the main course on some other animal’s dinner menu. Another animal… that’s right. The question being asked was what separates us – humanity – from other animals? Why was this healed bone the key to understanding when we moved from animal to caring people?

A broken femur that has healed, explained Mead, is evidence that another person took time to stay with the injured person, bound the wound, carried the person to safety and tended to them through recovery. A healed femur indicates that someone has helped a fellow human, rather than abandoning them to save their own life.

“Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts,” explained Margaret Mead.

Armodoxy has roots in untouched Christianity. Christ instructs us, “When you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.  And you will be blessed.” You see, Christ’s invitation is an invitation to humanity.

Let us pray a prayer from St. Ephrem (4th Century)

I gaze upon You, Christ my Lord, and open my heart before You through fervent prayer, O Son of God, for humbling Yourself before Your creatures and taking on the role of a servant. You possess such love for humankind that we may attain divine wisdom. Have mercy on me, O benevolent God.

Lunch Date

Armodoxy for Today
Lunch Date

Several years ago, I was interviewed by one of the local newspapers here in the Southland. One of the questions they asked me was, given the chance to have lunch with anyone, historic or contemporary, dead or alive, who would I choose?

These types of questions come with some expectations, especially of the clergy. The obvious historical character for clergy is Jesus Christ. Even in secular circles, among non-religious people, the influence of Jesus and Christianity on human history and thought is undeniably tremendous. And so, in a sense, it’s a loaded question when asking a clergy person to pick out a person, from all of time, with whom to spend the lunch hour.

I disappointed the interviewer, and perhaps you, the reader or listener, not because I didn’t want to take the bait but because there’s nothing more that needs to be asked of Christ. At the Crucifixion, Jesus is recorded as saying, “It is finished.” (John 19:30) He had come to the world as a gift from God as the ultimate expression of love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (John 3:16) “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) It is finished. He has given us everything we need to know, everything that is necessary to make “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” He has given us nothing less than what is necessary to enjoy life, live it abundantly.

Part of the joy of life is the wonder, the mystery, the search and discovery for ourselves. Jesus has given us the Truth, which applies across generations and civilizations. As Christians, we all come with our own set of circumstances and are touched by the Truth. We search, make mistakes, mark accomplishments, wonder, marvel, cry, laugh and in the end, we live. It is the process of that gives life meaning. Our prayer is for the wisdom, to live in harmony with all that is around us. St. Nersess’ prayer is, “Jesus, [you are] the wisdom of the Father, grant me your wisdom that I may speak, think and do that which is good in your sight. Save me from evil thoughts, words and deeds. Amen.

And, who would I have liked to have lunch with, dead or alive, historic or contemporary? Well, my father, of course. We lost him at an early age. I would love to see him one more time, share with him the wonders of life, the magic, the music, laughs and sorrows that I have discovered… and perhaps compare notes.  

Outward Love

Armodoxy for Today

Outward Love

Yesterday we made a bold proclamation by saying there was something greater than God, and Jesus pointed to it when he instructed the people to approach God only after reconciling with their brothers and sisters. St. John the Evangelist, in his letter, focuses on the reasoning behind this pronouncement.

“No one has seen God at any time,” says St. John and continues, “If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. … We have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. … If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.” (I John 4)

Love, for the Christian, is not a conceptual idea, nor is an abstract thought. Love is expressed and understood in our relationships with one other. Loving is caring. Loving is embracing. Love is real. It is God given and demanded back in return by loving and caring for others here in this lifetime.

Let us pray a prayer from the Armenian Church’s Book of Hours (Jamakirk), “Lord our God, we give thanks to You, for You have granted us to pass the day in peace. Grant us, Lord, to pass the evening and the night without sin and stumbling, and to stand firm and abide steadfastly in faith, in hope and in love, and in the observance of Your commandments. Give peace to the entire world and stability to Your holy Church and salvation to our souls. For to You is befitting glory, dominion and honor, now and forever and ever. Amen.

Changing the Program

Next Step #745: Armenia is under attack. Einstein’s theory of insanity is tested again as the same program is followed: GIGO once again. Archimedes – his lever and fulcrum – here is the plank to use. Gandhi and MLK tapped into the Power which Armodoxy has had all along. Mutual annihilation: It’s a check and not checkmate. Listen in for a renewal of the “Leveraging Love” plan. Reconciling Khrimian’s admonition to “bring guns” and Gandhi’s demand for non-violence.
Leveraging Love
In His Shoes Promo (Famine)
Khrimyan Hayrik’s “Paper Ladle” 
Divesting from the Sudan – Burbank Leader
Ian Anderson – “Two Short Planks” www.jethrotull.com
Cover: Envato Elements
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org and Epostle.net
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Tsundoku

Next Step with Fr. Vazken #724: Books you can’t read, words that don’t exist and stories you can’t tell, all in this post-Easter, pre-GenComm episode. We’ll spell out the answer: Archimedes and Leveraging Love. Also: Missing pages from the William Saroyan play-book.
Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago
Coachella Festival
Tsundoku
Prison Library Project
Leveraging Love
Archimedes and Levers
Folk Dances of Abaran
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Twenty Too?

Next Step #708: At the threshold of the new year, an assessment according to the Creed of the Church. Cremation issues – burn or not to burn? Desmond Tutu passes away. Playing Jeopardy. Zvartnots explained. A primer on 3 to 1 love. “Butterfly” wish for the New Year: Twenty won too.
Nicene Creed
Jeopardy (Minute 14) “Creed”
Desmond Tutu and forgiveness
Naregatsi Orchestra – Beethoven’s 5th Symphony with Armenian folk instruments
Two Short Planks
Cover: Two Short Planks, Fr. Vazken, 2021
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
Listen via Stitcher Radio on demand!
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Dalmatic Ease

Next Step #682: Finding a shirt inside the dalmatic: simple steps toward relevance. Altering the altar area: how we went from dinner table to ornate altar and now searching for simplicity. Advice to a younger self: The Buddha on the road. The priesthood: Caring and loving from cradle to grave. Challenged to share advice with a younger self.
If you meet the Buddha on the Road
Diving Liturgy and Thanksgiving – AC101 Video
Declaration of Independence
Fr. Vazken’s Sermon – Church & State – 27 June 2021
Time Travel Grandfather Paradox
Dalmatic
Ray Charles, America
Joni Mitchell, Blue
Cover: Dalmaticx with Annunciation to Magi 1593, public domain
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Starting 14 Challenged

Next Step #680: Beginning our 14th Year of broadcasting the Next Step. Sorting the files, reflecting and reminiscing – from the early days in an old Victorian in Hollywood. Elections in Armenia. Peace with bullies in the neighborhood: Leveraging Love. Challenging William Saroyan: New Mexico and the problem of finding peace in a most obvious place.
45 Days: Fight for a Nation
Archimedes’ Lever
WD168 this week
Sermon on Purpose (6/13/21)
Leveraging Love
Crystal Diode Radio – no batteries necessary
Ruminant
Listen to the Mockingbird
Cover: Victorian in Hollywood, 1989 Fr. Vazken
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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And now an Example

Next Step #634: Remembering Congressman John Lewis, disciple of Martin Luther King Jr. and a disciple of Jesus Christ. Non-violent resistance and the lever of love. Invoking St. James’ challenge: Obama eulogizes Lewis. Dealing with difficult people, communities and countries, Armodoxy and In His Shoes.
Toxicity Medieval Style – Algal the Bard
John Lewis Funeral
President Obama’s Eulogy
Leveraging Love
Cover: Lewis lays in state
Technical Director: Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
Look for The Next Step on blubrry.com
Listen via Stitcher Radio on demand!