Life of Saint John the Theologian – Chapter 11

5 May 20

The Life and Struggles of the
Holy Apostle and Evangelist
John the Theologian

Chapter 11

Basil and Grace

In the city of Flora there was another wealthy man, named Basil, who was noble and distinguished, but wasa pagan. His wife, Grace, was barren. One day, Basil visited a a nephew of Myron, whose name was Rhodon, and said: ‘What news is there in the house of thy kinsman Myron? Why doth he confine himself to those of his own household and the stranger who sojourneth with him, and does not visit us or speak with us? What exactly is the teaching of the man who dwelleth there? Tell me, if you please.’ Rhodon said to Basil: ‘Many marvel at the an; and I have heard it said that whatever the foreigner saith, it never faileth to come about.’ Basil then said to Rhodon: ‘Is it possible that by his words my wife might conceive?’ Rhodon answered: ‘They say of him that this too he can do.’ When Basil heard this, he went to Myron’s house, saying that he desired to speak with John. When John was told this by Myron, he received Basil gladly, who entered and reverenced the blessed one. John then spake with Basil saying: ‘The Lord fulfil all thine requests, and blessed is that man who doth not tempt God in his heart. Yet, O Basil, the Israelites tempted God, Who was incapable of being tempted; but inasmuch as He is good, He gave them his blessing. Once He split asunder the rock in the wilderness,and gave the disobedient ones to drink, and brought forth waters like rovers; then, another time, He sent to the ungrateful ones bread to eat from out of heaven – for which they did not labor; and yet another time, He sent them meat to satiety. But this stubborn and stiff-necked people did not believe in thee marvellous works of God. Wherefore, do thou not, O Basil, tempt God if thou dost not wish to suffer evil. Believe in Him, and all thy requests will He fulfill.’

Basil understood then that, whatever he had in his heart, John already knew, and said to the apostle of Christ: ‘I believed and believe, O teacher. But, I beseech thee;: entreat thy God that my wife may bear a child.’ John replied: ‘If thou believest, thou wilt see the power of God.’ Then John exhorted Basil concerning many things. Basil then left Myron’s house and went straight home. The following day, he went with his wife, Grace, to Myron’s house, and they reverenced the apostle. John then said to Grace, ‘Rejoice, O Grace; may the grace of God enlighten the hearts of both thee and thy husband, and grant thee godly fruit of the womb.’ After exhorting them sufficiently, the grace of the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they besought John to baptize them. After he had baptized them, they asked him to come and bless their home, which he did, and then returned to Myron’s house. The wife of Basil then conceived and, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, bore a son, naming him John. Basil then took a considerable amount of gold and presented it to the apostle, that he might distribute it among the poor. John said to him: ‘Go, my son, and distribute thy goods wirth thine own hands, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven.

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Life of Saint John the Theologian – Chapter 10

5 May 20

The Life and Struggles of the
Holy Apostle and Evangelist
John the Theologian

Chapter 10

Chrisippida

“Chrisippida, the governor Laurence’s wife and Myron’s daughter, watched in admiration how her parents and her brothers believed in Christ, and she said to her husband: ‘Behold, all my father’s house believes in the Crucified One Whom John doth preach. Let us resolve also to believe, that our house may exult with my father’s.’ Laurence said to Chrisippida: ‘Wife, as long as I am in this office with its authority, I am unable to become a Christian.’ She replied: ‘Now it is better for thee to do this because thou hast authority; for at the same time, thou canst be a guard and elp the faithful.’ The governor responded: ‘Know this, wife, that the religion of the Christians is spurned and condemned by all. If I do as thou sayest, immediately divisions ad schisms will occur. Everyone will be inflamed against us and we shall be denounced before the emperor, which will prove to our detriment. Therefore, I prefer to present the appearance of an idolater and secretly to support and help the believers in Christ. Then when I complete my term as governor, I will openly accept holy baptism and become a Christian. Therefore, take our son and go to thy father’s house, and when thou learnest from John the dogmas of Christianity, become baptised together with our child. However, be careful not to offend anyone by what thou hearest from John. Do not even disclose to me the mysteries thou wilt learn,but keep everything quietly to thyself until the appropriate time.’ Hearing this Chrisippida took her son and went to her father’s house. When she entered, she saluted John first, then her parents, then her brothers. John asked her: ‘Wherefore hast thou come, child?’ She answered: ‘I believe, honorable father, that God will inform hee, Albeit, I also will make it known to thee that it is out of godly zeal that I come to be enlightened by thee, that my house and my father’s may extol God together.’ John replied: ‘Would to God that the Lord enlighten thy hart, thy husband’s and son’s and all thy house!’ John said to her: ‘My child, this must be done with thy husband’s knowledge.’ Chrisippida answered by relating all the conversation she had had with Laurence. When John learned that it was by the governor’s order and permission that his wife sought baptism, all rejoiced. After he had catechized her and exhorted her to conduct her life in accordance with the commandments of Christ, he then baptized her together with her son.

“Then Myron produced a great deal of money and presented it to his daughter, saying: ‘Child, here is as much money as thou desirest. My table is laden with food whenever thou and thy son are so disposed to partake; only do not return to the governor, for perhaps, thou wilt be tempted to overlook one of the commandments of Christ.’ Chrisippidis agreed and said to her father: ‘As for the money, let it remain. Only now, once more, I and my son will return to our home that I may bring hither our means of subsistence; then we will remain with thee always.’ The apostle of Christ heard this, and said to Myron: ‘I do not accept, nor can I agree with thy words and thy daughter’s, for christ did not send me to seperate wives from their husbands or husbands from their wives; and especially in this instance, since thy daughter hath come to believe in Christ with the knowledge and consent of her husband. Therefore, let her go in peace to her own home; for I am confident that, by my Lord Jesus Christ, the One Who sent me, her husband will soon become a Christian. As for the money of which thou hast spoken, loan it to Christ, for, as it is written: “He that hath pity on the poor, lendeth to the Lord” [Prov. 19:17]. Therefore, unto those who approach thee for the purpose of alms, give, for our Lord Jesus Christ said: ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” And elsewhere it is said: “Be merciful, so as to receive mercy; give and it will be given.'” Many other things did John utter, and he sent Chrisippida and her son back to her home. The following day, Myron presented to John a great deal of money, and said: ‘Take it, teacher, and distribute it among the poor.’ John said to him: ‘Behold, I accept thy good purpose, because I know it is from God; but into thine own hands I leave these things to give to those in need.’ Indeed, Myron gave to those in need, and God multiplied these god things in his house, making it like an abundant fountain pouring forth the grace of the Lord. All the members of Myron’s household rejoiced in Christ our Lord and bestowed their substance upon those in need.

“After the passage of two years, governor Laurance’s term of office came to an end and his replacement was installed. He then went to his father-in-law Myron’s house and, standing before John,said: ‘O teacher, the vexations of daily living have darkened my mind and hindered until this day my coming to partake of the benefit of thy teachings. But now, I beseech thy holy soul, by the enlightenment of thy God, to cleanse my conscience of my former sins. ‘Therefore, the apostle of Christ catechized and baptized Laurence, dismissing him to his home in the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Life of Saint John the Theologian – Chapter 9

4 May 20

The Life and Struggles of the
Holy Apostle and Evangelist
John the Theologian

Chapter 9

Myron and Apollonides

“In the city of Flora there lived a wealthy man, named Myron, Who was the father-in-law of the governor Laurence. He took us to his home. He had a wife named Phoni, Three sons who were orators, and a married daughter, Chrisippida. The eldest son, Apollonides, What is possessed by a demonic spirit of divination. No sooner had John and I entered the house, that the demon, fearing he would be cast out by John, move the youth to flee far outside the city. Now Myron noticed that his son fled as we entered, and said his wife: ‘This misfortune would not have occurred if these men were good. Perhaps it is as many say, that they are magicians, and have cast a spell upon our home, causing our son to flee. Phoni answered: ‘If these man or as thy sayest, perhaps they will cast out our other sons also.’ But Maren said to her I will not put them out now, but first I will intimidate them and put them through much suffering, thereby enjoining them to bring our son back alive; then I will punish them severely.’ By the grace of the Holy Spirit, John was aware of the conversation between Myron and Phoni, and said to me: ‘Prochorus my child, know that Myron is contemplating evil against us. Therefore, let us endure the temptations, because in this manner we shall increase our reward, and the light of Christ will shine upon these people.’

“Conversing with one another, a letter arrived for Myron from Apollonides. Written inside, said: ‘To my lord and father Myron; from Apollonides, the rhetor: Know, my father, that John the sorcerer whom thou hast received into thy home performeth evil magic, and, contrary to thy godly hospitality, the wretch hath deprived thee of thy child. The unclean spirit he hath brought upon me doth greatly agitate me, to the point where it hath driven me out of the city. I met Coenops [revered by the inhabitants as a god for his magic]and told him of my misfortune. He told me that it would be impossible for me to return home and assume my inheritance, or to enjoy the love of my brothers, if I did not first surrender John the exile, magician, and teacher of the Christians, to the beasts, that he be prey for them. Hasten therefore, my father, and put John to death. Show thy love and care for thy child. I salute thee!’

As soon as Myron read this, he locked us up securely in his house. He went directly to the governor, his son-in-law, and put the letter in his hands. When the governor read it, he was greatly incensed and wrath against us, principally because the letter mentioned the name of Coenops. Were, the governor was convinced and ordered us cast to the wild beasts. He sent soldiers, who removed us from Myron’s house and placed us in prison. After three days, we were brought to the tribunal of the governor, who addressed John: “Though thou art guilty and deserving of condemnation, our great and glorious emperor hath exercised extreme philanthropy in thy case by vanishing thee here, for thy rehabilitation, that thou mightest exchange thy evil ways. However, I see now a most insidious in that thou hast been treacherous with thy benefactors. What craft didst thou employ to drive my wife’s brother from his home? Confess, lest I torture thee! Tell us: what is thy religion?’ John answered him: ‘I hail from Jerusalem, and am a servant of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified for the sins of men, and rose on the third day. He hath sent me to preach the glad glorious tidings and the light of His knowledge everywhere.’ The governor asked: ‘Because of thy silly speech thou hast been sent into exile, and dost thou yet persist in thy delusion? Cease, vile one, thy senseless teachings! Learn of the immortal gods, and not deify a man Who was slain on account of the confusion He created. Therefore, prate not, but return my brother-in-law to his home immediately.’ John answered the governor: ‘For me, to cease preaching is not possible, for mine every hope dependeth upon it. As pertains to the rhetor Apollonides, while he continued saying: ‘And if he hath anything to say against me, let him so say.’

“The governor then consented, though John was to be returned to prison in chains. But John said to him: ‘I beseech thee, permit me first to write a letter to Apollonides, , and then bind me with chains.’ Assuming that John would release Apollonides from the spell through the letter, the governor gave his permission. John wrote the following: ‘John, the apostle of Christ, to the spirit of divination who dwelleth in Apollonides the rhetor: I command thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, to come out of the image of God and never again to enter into any other man. Depart from this island and remain ever in the wilderness.’ I received the letter from John and immediately set out ot the place where Apollonides was, a distance of about six miles. I found him, and as I approached, straightway the unclean spirit came out of him. Apollonides then said to me: Why hast thou troubled thyself to come hither, O disciple of thy beloved teacher?’ I replied: ‘I came in search of thee, O learned one, that thou mayest return healthy and well to thy parents and kinfolk.’ Since the demon left Apollonides, he was calm and joy filled his soul. He commanded that a mule be prepared for me and a horse for him, and we returned to Flora. As soon as we arrived in the city, Apollonides asked me, ‘Where is the teacher?’ I told him: ‘He is in prison, bound with chains by the governor on account of thy flight and absence.’ When he heard this, he hastened to follow me to the prison. When the jailer saw him, he rendered homage to him and opened the prison. Apollonides beheld John in chains, prostrate on the ground, and he fell down and reverenced him. He the arose, loosed John from his fetters, and led him out of his cell saying to the jailer: ‘If anyone would ask ought of thee say that Apollonides released this man.’ So we returned to his house, where his parents and brothers were weeping, grief-stricken over his absence. The moment they caught sight of him, they were exceedingly glad and embraced him with tears.

“His father, Myron, then asked him: ‘For what reason didst thou depart and sadden us?’ Apollonides then began to relate everything in detail. ‘Many years have passed since I fell into a deep sleep on my bed. A certain man, standing on the left side of my bed, shook me and woke me from my sleep – and I perceived that he was blacker than a burnt and decaying stump; he had eyes which glowed like lamps and I trembled in fear. He said unto me: “Open thy mouth!” I opened and he entered into my mouth and filled my stomach. From that hour good and evil became known to me, and all that took place in the house as well. But when the Apostle of Christ entered our house, he tha t sat within me said: “Flee this place Apollonides, that thou mayest not die in torment, for this man is a sorcerer and wishest to slay thee..” I straightway fled to another city. But when I wished to return, he would not permit me, saying: “If John doth not die, thou canst not live in thy house!” When Prochorus arrived at that city in which I was staying, I saw him, and the unclean spirit straightway left me in the same way he had before entered into my stomach , and I felt the lifting of a great weight; my mind hath returned to its sese, and all is well with me.’

On hearing this, all fell at John’s feet, John then said to him: ‘Child, doth thou wish to behold the power of the Crucified? Know that, by His power, we are not only able to censure unclean spirits, but to cast them out by letter.’ And opening his lips, he taught them to believe in Our Lord Jesus Christ. Myron came to believe, and his wife and children; and all were baptized. Then there was great joy in the house of Myron. When the governor, Laurance, learned from Apollonides how he had been delivered from the evil spirit, he marvelled and rendered great homage to John, and set him at liberty.

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When Life Reflects Lent

4 April 20

Live life. Love life. Live Lent. Love Everyone – Me, April 2020


20 Years Later

31 December 19

January 2019 – I finally graduated college with a degree in Communication from Ottawa University 20 years later, it is finished. Finally, finished.


Home is Where…

4 June 16

You know the old saying, “Home is where the heart is.”? Well, it has been co-opted and rewritten for many other concepts and ideas, and after everything that has happened over the past… 4 years… I never thought I would be saying this, but we ARE home. I’ve struggled in the previous months to understand everything that has happened and in truth I am not closed to an answer than i was on day one, but what i have come to know, realize, and accept, is that this is home. Arizona is home for myself and my family. I won’t go into any go the “Should we have left?” or “What would have happened if we had not left?” Those are irrelevant at this point. We have family here. We have friends here. We have support here.

The interesting thing about all of this is, we lived in Oregon for two years. We went to work, the kids went to school, we went to church, all for varying degrees of time while we were there, but the reality that has hit me the hardest in all of this is, THAT was not home. And, really, not for lack of trying… It may have been an extended visit. A temporary residence. Even a “learning adventure.” And in all truth it was not ALL bad. I learned a lot about who i am, Rach learned about herself and those are good things. We learned a lot about ourselves together, and all of this may not have happened if we had not made the transition to Oregon. But tonight, as I put the kids to bed and said goodnight, it became abundantly clear to me that “We are home.” This apartment that we have been in for a week or so, feels more like home than a house we lived in for 2 years… And I am glad for this, proud of this, proud of us for this, mores than I think I have been in a long time.


2 Year Turnaround

24 April 16

Well, after everything that has happened over the past few months, add to that work and other issues and struggles we have decided to go back home. We feel that this is the best thing for us and we have made our peace with the decision. The house is up for sale and we have buyers. We will see how this all goes, but the hope is for us to be home the last week in May. Until then, prayers are all we ask for.


A Double Dab of Clarity

5 February 16

The past twenty four hours have been interesting to say the least. No explanation is needed for those who understand, but after everything is said and done it has left me with a rather interesting sense of clarity. This clarity has enveloped several different aspects of my life. Below I shall endeavor to explain things as well as I can..

  1. Here/There: The more I look at the different facets of this situation I realize that this is  the right decision to make. Nothing more needs to be said here other than the clarity I have not this topic is a lot clearer after the events that occurred.
  2. Us: I had a realization today that there is a rather specific reason that wet ave gone through “rollercoasters” overt the past 10 years. The fact of the matter is that over that period of time I personally have gone through stages where I tried very much, fought for much, attempted to make things better, and then there were times where I lost hope and struggled with the idea of whether or not we could make things work with all of the dysfunction we seemed to have.

    After everything that has happened ver the past six months it has become abundantly clear to me that this is where we were meant to be. No matter the troubles or the struggles, the end result has always been the same. Call it destiny or fate, of the idea that we “match”, no matter our struggles and our fallings and failings here we are. Add to that the sense of clarity and “acceptance” of all of this last night. We have talked about this all before, but I think after the events that occurred it just sort of cemented it in my head.

    We are in a place now where we have come through all of the storms and we can see the sunrise and the sunset and be at peace with past and present while planning and preparing for the future. The fact of the matter is that everything we do has to be a choice. The realization I came to is that theosis and marriage require the same struggle and purposeful work. It is a choice every day. Look for the good, look for the positive, make changes and make the effort for things to be and look like what you want. We have done this at times, but we always manage to stop doing it for some reason. We get comfortable and we think that there is no more reason to try or to work. The truth of the matter is that we need to make it a daily thing.

    We said we wanted to do night prayers and make it a part of our daily life. It has taken us a long time to actually make the effort consistently to do this and to add it to our already hectic lives, but it has been a great growth for us to do this. Our marriage as a whole is the same thing. We need to start small. Find something we want to try and change. Something small. Something we can add in and schedule. A weekly date night where we have a babysitter planned rather than last-minute looking for someone. Decide we want to go to a munch or a slosh on a monthly basis and actually do it. After that we can add other things. One thing, one event, one change at a time to strengthen the work we have started. I like where we are and I do not want this to be a honeymoon phase type of thing where we are good for a month or a few and then t all sort of disintegrates because we do not make the consistent, constant effort. A lot of this is going to take consistent, constant communication on both of our parts to understand the wants and needs of the other person, but with the other aspects of our relationship that we have recently added we should be doing that anyways. I want stability and roots and consistency and structure, and i think that through everything, through the last almost 10 years, in all that time, this is the best time for this to happen and I look forward to the future we have started to create. I think once we are home again we will finally have things in a place where we can learn and grow and have things better than we could have ever thought possible.

  3. Everything Else: Last night was nuts. That all there is to that. Holy hell. However, in the end I am glad for the clarity.

Roundabouts Are Fun

30 January 16

The last few months.. alright, the last few years, have been a rollercoaster of good and bad, positive and negative, joy and sadness. Through all of this junk I’ve wondered if we made the right decision two years ago. In the beginning there was nothing anyone could say to me that could ever prove to me that he decision we made to move here was not the right one. People tried, believe me, but i was convinced that thesis where we were meant to be and thats all there was to it. And the truth of the matter is, for all I know this is exactly where we needed to be for the time we we re here, but the truth of the matter is that that time is over and we need to realize that the hopes and dreams that we had for this place are no longer viable and it is time to move forward and move on.

Back.

It’s been two years since we left AZ and i swore I would never return to the desert. Maybe there is a reason i never deleted this blog. I promised anyone who said that we would be back that there was no way in hell that i was going to live in AZ again, that I had come and gone one too many times and that we  were done with this state and everything we had been through here. Maybe there is a reason that i never changed any of the subpages of this blog when we moved. Because the truth of the matter is i realize now that the place i swore we would never return to, the place i thought I hated and loathed so much is exactly the place where we need to be for many reasons.

If you read the last few blog posts here you will see the pattern emerging and as much as i want to say that they were situational and that they are not endemic of a pattern of repeated behavior at the hands of my bosses and coworkers i would be lying to myself. I’ve watched things occur repeatedly and after so many times and so many situation  where you can see the pattern, recognize it before it happens and call the results you are only able to be acutely aware that this entire enterprise has a shelf life and its time for ou to make choices for the rest of your family and ensure their safety and security as being more important than anything else.

That’s where we are now. I could go into more detail regarding the last 6 months and all the nasty, dirty struggles we have been through as a family, but in the end it is all over and we were saved (yet again), by the prayers and support of so many people, most of whom, if not all, reside in that place i said we would never go back to. After all of this we realized that these people, this place, the desert, is exactly where we need to be and so we have begin making provisions and plans for a transition back to AZ at the end of the school year in June. Thesis the only place I have written anything, but i felt it was a safe place to write this down seeing as how no-one ever reads this blog. There are other things, as i have said that i could share, and maybe i will, but for now this is where things stand and i will keep this journey’s events updated as i feel they need to be.

In the end all i/we ask for are prayers. They’ve helped more than anyone knows.


A New School Year: Forwards, Backwards and Forwards

5 August 15

Another school year is a month away. Along with that comes a whole host of new opportunities and options. One of these opportunities are a chance to finish things that I started a long time ago. I am very excited at what this means for myself as well as my family and their future.

Anyone who knows me knows I operate in a very logical manner and am always “planning.” This is how we got the house well lived in in Arizona, this is how we found the job in Oregon and got things rolling here as well. It’s just the way that I work. This new opportunity I have found myself in is no different. This opportunity opens a whole host of new doors for us and I plan to take full advantage of them when the time is right.

I am being purposely vague in this post because a very few select people even know what I am talking about and there are reasons for that. At the same time, I need a place where I can write things out and let them sit and stay. As things progress I will  add more to explain and explore the possibilities. 🙂 Be patient.