Tag Archive for: religion


Armodoxy for Today: Order

Chaotic life is difficult life. Chaos is characterized by random or unpredictable behavior. Hence, chaos carries a negative connotation because unpredictability leads to undesired results, disorganization and confusion. As people we opt for organization. The laws of gravity are organization on a large, astronomical scale, but on a human scale, we like things to fit properly and have order to them.

And then there’s life, which can be unpredictable, almost to the point of randomness, but not quite. In gambling casinos, slot machines are very popular, and though they are computerized and have schedule of payouts, we know that they are a very popular attraction as people try to beat the odds of a seemingly random spin of the wheels. In fact, most gambling games are based on certain formulas that include random factors, and yet the popularity of these games is a testament to people trying to beat the odds, or we can say, predict the unpredictable.

A chaotic life is a difficult life. Religion is a means of bringing order to the chaos by explaining the unexplainable. Something as beautiful as childbirth, for instance, is accompanied by excruciating pain. In the Book of Genesis, when God says to the woman, “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children…” (3:16) we find one such example of an explanation. With a curse by God, we receive an answer to the question of why does a lovely and natural event such as childbirth come with massive pain?

Much of life is filled with these puzzles, some are associated with the mundane, while others address issues of war, pain and suffering. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do good things happen to bad people? These twin questions usually stimulate people to seek answers in the spiritual world, in religion. There seems to be a random distribution of goods in the world. Why are some born to poverty and struggle through all of life, while others, of no effort of their own, are born in prosperity and seem to enjoy a life of luxury?

Religion gives, or should attempt to give, answers to these questions. At the end, the object is to bring order from seeming chaos.

In Christianity, the answer is given by Jesus Christ. His answer is pure and asks that we engage with Him in such a way that “Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” That engagement is the gravity that brings order to the chaos of our lives.

Today, by way of prayer, we read the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10) – Jesus’ definition of a life lived with the order of God:

  • “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  •  Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
  •  Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
  •  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
  •  Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
  •  Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
  •  Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
  •  Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Self Elimination

Next Step #768 – March 2, 2023 – Self eliminating jobs, e.g., psychologists, therapists, and comparisons in religious life. Lenten Primer. MLK after the Civil Rights battle and the Vietnam War. Defining moments in our lives and personal history. The boundaries for religion. History: when do we remember and when do we let go? The foundation within religion.
Lenten Primer
Martin Luther King Jr. & Vietnam War
1927 – 95 year after a picnic
Cover: Spy System Tracking in a Crowd, Envato
Armen Chakmakian
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for http://Epostle.net
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Impacting Hope

Next Step with Fr. Vazken #718: “I love God but I feel God doesn’t love me enough,” says a Ukrainian soldier and analysis leads to paralysis: A look at hope, faith, religion in the face of war. Prayers that won’t “stop the bleeding or ease the hate.” Maternity ward bombing: Why would they possibly kill babies? An answer from Rwanda 25 years ago. The rules of war and the end game. TV was to Vietnam what the Internet can be to Ukraine, and War Games gives a solution. This Lent: A different attitude toward prayer: Adding the first lines to the Lord’s Prayer.
Maternity ward bombed in Ukraine
War Games
Jesus at M*A*S*H* 
Eric Burdon and the Animals
Cover Photo: Peace Shadow, Fr. Vazken 2008
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Cellophane Reality

Next Step with Fr. Vazken #715: A check on reality- altered, augmented, synthesized or processed, from radio to ntf’s to the latest Webb telescope images. The groundwork for understanding: religion, belief and disbelief. The endless cycle of war and stepping out of the game via Armodoxy.
Does s/he exist?
Webb telescope
Monster galaxy discovered
Sarky Mouradian/Armenian Classic TV
Moog synthesizer
Wendy Carlos, Switched on Bach
Cover: Cellophane Reality, Fr. Vazken 2022
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Open Cafe

Next Step with Fr. Vazken #711: Ordering and consuming exactly what you want and need – whether a meal, a matter of faith, a hamburger, a bowl of soup. Vantage points, geography and life circumstances in defining our religious understandings. The scorecard on chosenness.
Samaritan Woman and Jesus
Jesus beyond the three years
Joni Mitchell
Cover: Clifton’s Cafeteria
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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The Searching Game

Next Step with Fr. Vazken #704: Pyramid scheme and math explained for beginners of hypothetical religion. Searching for answers, from myth, to science fiction, the religion, to science and then to the search: An Armodox approach to some of the big searches.
The Hunt for Planet b – CNN
Einstein on God and religion
Center of Attention: FLY
Pyramid Scheme
Chicago Christmas Album
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Able to Remark

Next Step #653: Remarkable are the things that leave us in awe and remarking on the possibility vs. probability of an event. Connecting the dots from Ohio to Yerevan: Extending the “Small World Theory” to humanitarian aid. Rejecting the ego to see clearly our place in the universe. Dangers of religion: Self-justification with no questions. Exercise: Viewing the Christmas Tree.
Jim Lovell’s “Earth Rise
Christmas Star – Jupiter & Saturn align
Small World Problem
Operation Hope – “Ohio to Yerevan
Jack in the Green, Jethro Tull
WD168 for this Week
Armenian American Medical Society
Peace Now & Forever T-Shirts
Toy Drive – for domestic violence kids and for Armenia
Cathia Hamparian Children’s Memorial
Arpi Alto
Cover – Owl, 2014
Engineered by Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Plastic: Molding Faith

Next Step #638: As the political atmosphere heats up with elections two months away, religion, particularly Christianity, comes into question as politicians justify actions and policy with a wide variety of departures on theology. Fr. Vazken offers a primer on politics and the use of religion, finding the grey matter between the black and white, conservative and liberal. Qualifying politicians by the Christian scale: the plasticity of the faith to conform to the world and an Armodoxy look.
Those Were the Days by Mary Hopkin
Billy Graham’s granddaughter on Evangelicals today
WD168 this week
Armodoxy Blogspot
In His Shoes
Plastic Man Wiki
Cover: PM/No.1 Fr. Vazken 1966
Technical Director: Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Box Cars

Next Step #628: Twelve years to the date of our first WEEKLY podcast: Recommitting to the ministry that brought us here. Cautions against the new fanaticism in the guise of religion – justifying hatred in the name of God. Warning: May induce vomiting. The usual scapegoats and how they’re being used this time to deflect personal responsibility. Coining the phrase “Happy Harry Syndrome” and simply expressed: iPhone+FB= The Electronic Fallacy. Reflections on celebrating anniversaries in the middle of world crisis and the pandemic. A tapestry that has been woven.
Vay Mayrik
Consecration of Dome Cross at Etchmiadzin
Flashback: Next Step #8a (China Olympics 2008)
Armodoxy YouTube Channel
Reflections, Etchmiadzin, The Archbishop’s Anniversary and a Carpet
Aunt Jemima brand is out 
Father’s Day Reflection (Joseph & Mary’s Son)
Thoughts on White Privilege
LGBTQ & DACA Supreme Court Decisions
Cover: Tempe Diner, 2012 Fr. Vazken
Technical Director: Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Another Corner Conversation

Next Step #600: Standing on the corner of Jerusalem and Pasadena, a conversation between two priests opens a conversation about relevancy in time and space. Religion or Entertainment? XM Radio makes a profound decision for us all. Cannibalizing the past: Reflections at the #600 mark of the Next Step. A BIG Thank You to all our listeners and supporters!
Jethro Tull‘s “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”
Black Friday: John Lennon on TV’s and Peace
Jerusalem Old City
Abp Hovnan Derderian, Stories from Life
Children’s Memorial
Toy Drive Wish List : http://tiny.cc/IHS-wishlist
Engineered by Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for http://InHisShoes.org
Look for The Next Step on blubrry.com
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