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Kombucha - A Makers Experience

Kombucha, which is sometimes referred to as Kombucha Tea is a fermented tea drink that is thought to have originated thousands of years ago in China, Russia, and Eastern Europe. You may read more about Kombucha here
My wife and family have been consuming Kombucha for four or five years now and while I don't have scientific data to present here, I can personally attest to some of the touted benefits of this fermented tea. Better gut health equals better overall health and this is precisely why we as a family drink this wonderful beverage.
It would be inauthentic of me to claim that I made our first batch of Kombucha as I was not the one who created our SCOBY. This beautiful experiment was the doing of my lovely wife. I drink a fair amount of sweet tea (black tea sweetened with agave) and during the cooler spring months, we leave a glass container full out on the counter. As the weather warms, we move the container to the fridge, otherwise, we get a natural fermented black tea after…
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For What Does the World Have to do With the Church?

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God, Amen +
Many Orthodox Christians around the world, some of whom I know personally, whether on social media or in-person have decided they want to use science and rationale when it comes to the Holy Tradition of the Church. They insist that we should embrace what civil and scientific authorities are telling us; I.e. Social Distancing, mask-wearing, etc. in the Church (while inside the Church building). 
I’ll say it and own it. Science and rationale have no place in the Ethos and Dogma of our Faith. 
After two thousand years of Holy Tradition, do you think you’ve discovered some reason, scientifically, that the Ethos and Dogma of the Church need to change for “the safety of others”? Do you think your opinion of “what” the Church “should” or “should not” do somehow nullifies the teaching of the Holy Fathers and Mothers who spoke out, defended, and died for our faith? This is almost certainly a product of the sexual revolution …

To Our Beloved Hierarchs and Clergy of the Orthodox Churches of America and Everywhere

May 31, 2020 – Sunday of the Holy Fathers
To our beloved Hierarchs and Clergy of the Orthodox Churches of America and everywhere:
In May of 1848, The Eastern Patriarchs wrote a profound encyclical to the Pope in response to his flawed papal primacy claims. Toward the end of this most significant and profound work, the holy Patriarchs relayed to the Pope that, unlike the totalitarian mode of governance in his church, in Orthodoxy “, neither Patriarchs nor Councils could then have introduced novelties amongst us, because the protector of religion is the very body of the Church, even the people themselves, who desire their religious worship to be ever unchanged and of the same kind as that of their fathers.”
Holy Fathers, we are faithful Orthodox Christians who desire to do just that, being ever cognizant of the Lord’s admonition, “Because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:16). Thus, we feel compelled to respond to the proposed changes that …

The Orthodox Christian Ethos and Modernity

For it is not with presumption that I approach thee, O Christ God, but I come trusting in Thine indescribable goodness, lest that through long absence from communion with Thee I may become the prey of the invisible wolf. - exerpt from a prayer of St. John Chrysostom (pre-communion prayers)In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Standing on the precipice of the door of my heart and staring out into the abyss of the world I clearly see the devil in his darkened array calling out to those who influence men for evil. There are no new tricks, only new tools by which to temp men and pull them down into the dreary slumber of sin. We are no different from the men who came before us, though we think ourselves more enlightened and more civilized. Lord have mercy +
Orthodox Christians for thousands of years have endured suffering, whether by the hands of others or by our own hands. The one, by martyring righteous and right-believing Orthodox Christians and the other through contem…

What does it mean to ascend the cross?

“You must not be greatly troubled about many things, but you should care for the main thing,  preparing yourself for death.”
+ St. Ambrose of Optina
St. Ambros, just as other holy Saints of the Church knew what it meant to ascend the cross. They knew that the entirety of our existence should be dedicated to repentance; not merely avoiding evil and sin, but embracing the divine love of God expressed in the God-man Jesus Christ. That is, Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and it is through Him that we ascend our cross.
May God grant us a good beginning at this very moment to struggle and embrace His love and mercy +