Guest Blog: Mary’s Points To Ponder

15 08 2008

My friend, Mary, asked if she could write a guest blog.  We both became teenagers in the l960’s.  Mary is particularly fond of those days.  So here is her contribution to my blog!

Growing up in Southern California as a teenager –I became a beach kid.  I loved the Beatles and all the other bands that hailed from England.  We also loved “Mama Cass” yelling out her song California Dreaming. I was so proud to be one of the “chosen few” who actually lived in southern California. 

During high school, I spent time with my friends trying to learn how to surf.  My best friend actually spent a great deal of her time waxing her surf board. I don’t know the reason why she did this except that the Beach Boys sang about it in their song: Surfin USA. We all wore our St. Christopher metals around our necks.  Before going into the ocean we would kiss our metals and ask St. Christopher to pray for our safety. As a young 15 year old I thought that St. Christopher had to be the greatest surfer that ever lived.  Why else would God have made him a saint?  I thank God for Psalm 24 in which is written …”recall not the sins of my youth….”

As a 58 year old woman, I still like to listen to the music of the Beach Boys.  The other evening I was listening to one of my compact discs and singing the song Little Deuce Coupe  with Mike Love.  I then looked over to my icon corner at my icon of Christ and the Theotokos.  Somehow, I felt God’s pleasure that I could enjoy some good clean entertainment. 

Does that surprise me?  Nothing our God can do surprises me anymore.  I now live in the South.  God had to bring me to the “Bible Belt” to discover the Orthodox Christian Faith.  I live in a town with only four other Orthodox Christians that I know of.  However, God is beginning to move in a wonderful way in Western Kentucky and on into Tennessee.  I have seen how the Holy Spirit is raising up converts to the Orthodox faith.  I have witnessed first hand the work at St. Elizabeth the New Martyr Orthodox Christian Church. In fact, I became a catechumen the same Sunday morning,  that my friends Nichole, Jim and Vera were chrismated into the Holy Orthodox faith.  Later, I was chrismated while attending the community of Orthodox believers at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.  Our little community was named Saint John the Evangelist.  The mission of St. Elizabeth  in Murfreesboro is growing so fast that they are now looking for property of their own.  They have been renting a space for almost four years. 

The community of Ft. Campbell has now become an actual parish.  We meet in the old chapel of Grace Lutheran Church in Clarksville, Tennessee.  Our new name is : The Protection Of The Virgin Mary Orthodox Church.  We are part of The Orthodox Church In America.  

There is also an Orthodox mission that has started in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  They are being sponsored by St. Michael’s Orthodox Church in Louisville, Kentucky.  Nichole, Jim and I have visited some of the Orthodox folks in Bowling Green during one of their Tuesday evening fellowship hours.  We pray for them and they pray for us.  Their mission is named: Holy Apostles Orthodox Church.

I have been in Catholic and Protestant churches my entire life.  I was involved with the Jesus Movement in California during the l970’s.  I have experienced many different kinds of prayer groups but I would have to say that by far the Orthodox Christians have the greatest depth to their prayers.  At least that is my opinion.  People who know me– who are not Orthodox– ask why the Orthodox Church prays so much.  I believe it is because we have this constant sense of our communion with the Holy Trinity and the saints.  My saint is Mary of  Egypt.  Although she is not living on this earth–she can still pray for me.  There is not the division between life and death that is taught in other faiths.  I truly take comfort in the communion of the saints. 

Now how did we get from the Beach Boys to the Orthodox faith?  We got there by tracing the steps of my youth towards the path of my becoming an Orthodox Christian.  I’m often referred to as the comedian of our little parish.  I continue to listen to the Beach Boys here and there.  I love to sing along with their music.  Somehow , I think God still smiles at me.  He created me and He knows that I’m still a Californian at heart.  His pleasure towards me is truly the greatest joy of my life.

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2 responses

15 08 2008
Kevin Burt

Yes, we continue to pray for you! Thank you for your prayers for us!
Kevin thomas
Holy Apostles Orthodox Mission
Bowling Green, KY

20 08 2008
nichole3

Kevin,
I’m so surprised you found Mary’s write up so quickly. Yes, we do pray for your mission daily.

Nichole

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