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I Choose Joy

Episode date: October 24, 2012
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I spent the weekend in Portland, Oregon where I was treated ever so kindly by the warm and hospitable ladies of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church. Have you ever been to Portland before? I hadn’t. If you’re into awesomeness, you’d love it. I felt healthier just looking at all the bike trails, walking trails, vegetarian restaurants and organic grocery stores lining its scenic landscape. I’d like to go back someday and take my time exploring more of Portland’s fascinating regional treasures.

This particular trip was a whirlwind. I arrived on a Friday afternoon and flew back home early Sunday morning. Those brief…

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A Voice From The Isles

A Voice From The Isles
Spot Changes for a Leopard

Episode date: October 26, 2012
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“Can a leopard change its spots?” This saying originally comes from the Bible and has passed into English proverbial lore as surely as many other things from the Bible have. It comes from the prophecy of Jeremiah and it bears witness to the sombre realism of much of that book. It is perhaps but a short step from honest realism to weary cynicism. I suspect that most people today in our culture truly believe that a leopard cannot change its spots. Of course, they are right in one sense. Just as any animal cannot change its markings by its own will, (even the chameleon has no control over its colour changes), so, perhaps, most humans cannot…

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A Voice From The Isles

A Voice From The Isles
Draw Near With Faith And Love

Episode date: November 08, 2012
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Let us consider the case of the woman recorded in today’s Gospel.  The incident occurs whilst Christ is on His way to see Jairus’s daughter.  The fact is not unimportant as we shall see in a moment.  The woman had been bleeding for 12 years, and quite apart from the illness that underlay her symptoms, she would have suffered tremendous social consequences. She was ritually unclean and so could not participate in any religious activity. This was made worse by the rule that to come into contact with a woman who was bleeding was to become ritually unclean. As a result she would have been shunned. This is why she came…

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A Voice From The Isles

A Voice From The Isles
Angels in Action

Episode date: November 08, 2012
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On Thursday there is an important feast celebrating the Archangel Michael and the angel Gabriel and six other angels. The word for “archangel” in Greek is “archangelos”, meaning “chief messenger”; and the word for “angel” is “angelos” meaning “messenger”. So angels are essentially messengers of God, messengers who are trying to bring us some important gift that is relevant to our lives. The feast in the Church calendar later this week is called the “Synaxsis of the Archangel Michael and the Other Bodiless Powers,” that is “the Gathering” of these angels, a gathering in which we are invited to participate. How…

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A Voice From The Isles

A Voice From The Isles
Making An Entry

Episode date: November 27, 2012
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In 603 A.D. St Augustine of Canterbury, who had landed in Kent some six years earlier on a mission from the Pope to convert the East Saxons, arrived in Wales to meet with the Welsh bishops. What happened is recorded in St. Bede’s “Ecclesiastical History of the English people.” St Augustine sat on his throne in the church waiting for the arrival of his brothers. These men reverently entered church with great expectations and stood before the Archbishop. St Augustine, sadly, remained firmly seated in his chair and refused to stand to greet these holy men. This was as we say today a public relations disaster and soured the relationship between…

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