Catechism of the Coptic Orthodox Church

Discussion of the topics or questions, not necessarily answers yet, about what a newly baptized need to learn about the coptic orthodox church.

Audio of sermon – Do not labor for food that perish.. by Fr. James Soliman

But the food that last forever  ..

The word of God lasts.

Today we live in a foreign land in a battle with the constant enemy.

What does a trumpet do ? It announces! Same is the word of God!

Do not be afraid! Be still!

In the desert, God gave his people water from a rock. He even kept their cloths from deteriorating.

If God is with us, then nobody can be against us.

God transcends.

We are sojourners in this word.

The bible is filled with Hope. The companions of Job were miserable comforters.

St Paul in Prison still had effect on the governor.

The law that we meditate on is a light like the candles we light on both side when we read the Gospel.

Even Christ in his answers during the temptation kept saying “It is written!”

The Lord lives in His words. So carrying the word of God is an armor. The word of God awakens the mind. Gird your waist with the truth, i.e the word of God. In Psalm 1, we pray “Bless is the man..his delight is in the law of the Lord.”. Blessed is he who memorizes and keep the word of God. The word of God reveal evil thoughts. St. Athanasius tells us the word of God cleans, sanctifies, is strength to the mind, awakens the mind. Gird yourself with the word, with the truth. When you consult the bible you can identify short comings. Unless you look in the mirror you cannot see yourself. So is the word of God tells you about yourself.

“When you have desire to hear the word of God then you are healthy!”- St Athanasius

March 2, 2019 Posted by | Catechism, New testament, Prayers | Comments Off on Audio of sermon – Do not labor for food that perish.. by Fr. James Soliman

Social Media: what every parent, educator, or servant should know

In a presentation to the men of St. Mina church in New Jersey, Dr. Eddie Ishak discussed the following questions:

  1. What is social media ?
  2. Is technology good or bad ?
  3. Did technology help spread the Word of God ?
  4. What is the most printed book of all times ?
  5. What is instant gratification ?
  6. What are some benefits and pitfalls of social media ?
  7. When you delete a post or a tweet, is it really gone ?
  8. As a parent or a servant, how to regulate the use of social media ?
  9. Why people get addicted ?
  10. How to deal with addiction ?
  11. Can you be addicted to your phone ?
  12. 1 Corinthians 6:12 ? Is everything lawful good for everyone ?
  13. Does your brain release different chemicals depending on emotions ?
  14. Are Oxitocin, Dopamine, or Endorphins released when you access facebook ?
  15. Which kind of video games were found to cause more violance & aggression ?
  16. Do shooter video games cause aggression ?
  17. Does candy crush video game cause aggression ?
  18. How to avoid or treat addiction ?
  19. Should you encourage education, creation or consumption of games on Internet ?
  20. Do Steps for treating addiction include prayers ?
  21. Is boredom all bad for you ? What to do when bored ?
  22. Should you monitor your children use of the internet ?
  23. Are children bullied online ? If another know your password is that bullying?
  24. snapchat and google docs: should you monitor sharing ?

Here is a link of 45 minutes presentation from St Mina youtube channel:

how to deal with social media

March 2, 2019 Posted by | Prayers | Comments Off on Social Media: what every parent, educator, or servant should know

Fr. James Soliman audio – Seeking God Through Reason

Seeking God Through Reason ?[audio src=”https://copticchurch.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/holy-virgin-mary-2019-fr.-james-soliman-sermons-2_10_19-seeking-god-through-reason-1.mp3″

In a sermon by Fr. James Soliman delivered on February 10, 2019:

The Gospel was about feeding the multitude where God was seeked by the multitude who then were fed. The multitude loved the free food. Free food was a reason the multitude seeked God. People say science proves; but science does not prove, but science presents probabilities. Reason can be a foundation for seeking God. But if we could tell about God through reasons alone then why did God incarnate ? Like those who tried to build the power of babel, they could not complete because God cannot be reached through a tower.

Aristotle says that looking at nature reveals a prime mover. The constellations of stars in space talk about the creator.

Tomas Aquinos relied on philosophical arguments to convert unbelievers.

Gregory of Nissa said God is beyond our conception.

St Afram the Syrian said: How to tell about God ? Just be quiet and feel the presence of God. Pagans can tell about God through dissecting nature. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showed His handy works (Psalm 19:1)

The Genom predicts our propensity toward disease. How could such an intelligent code be a random product. Genom is said to be the language of God.

Orthodoxy preserves and use reason and mystery together to know God.

How we seek Christ ? Reason or Faith ?

May the Lord give strong faith.

February 25, 2019 Posted by | Prayers | Comments Off on Fr. James Soliman audio – Seeking God Through Reason

Seeking God Through Reason ?

In a sermon by Fr. James Soliman delivered on February 10, 2019:

The Gospel was about feeding the multitude where God was seeked by the multitude who then were fed. The multitude loved the free food. Free food was a reason the multitude seeked God. People say science proves; but science does not prove, but science presents probabilities. Reason can be a foundation for seeking God. But if we could tell about God through reasons alone then why did God incarnate ? Like those who tried to build the power of babel, they could not complete because God cannot be reached through a tower.

Aristotle says that looking at nature reveals a prime mover. The constellations of stars in space talk about the creator.

Tomas Aquinos relied on philosophical arguments to convert unbelievers.

Gregory of Nissa said God is beyond our conception.

St Afram the Syrian said: How to tell about God ? Just be quiet and feel the presence of God. Pagans can tell about God through dissecting nature. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showed His handy works (Psalm 19:1)

The Genom predicts our propensity toward disease. How could such an intelligent code be a random product. Genom is said to be the language of God.

Orthodoxy preserves and use reason and mystery together to know God.

How we seek Christ ? Reason or Faith ?

May the Lord give strong faith.

 

 

February 22, 2019 Posted by | Catechism, New testament | Comments Off on Seeking God Through Reason ?

2019 February celebrations in Coptic Orthodox Church

February 15th = Feast of Presentation of 40 days old baby

Yes Feast of Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. See icon attached

Two 2 things not to be confused:

1. Feast of PRESENTATION may be confused with Catholics Presentation of St Mary event. Note this is Feast of Presentation of Christ, 40 days after birth. I know some went to catholic school of Presentation. The presentation means different.

2. Feast of Presentation of the Lord is 40 days after birth and you see icon attached shows Jesus as baby, scheduled in Coptic church on the 8th of Amshir Coptic month. I have noticed that some may confuse it to be 8 days after birth (which is Feast of Circumcision). Note it is 8 Amshir Coptic month, NOT 8 days after birth.
For a nice article about the Feasts in the Coptic church, please check the following link. As you read it find out answers to the following questions:

A. Why we celebrate a Feast in the Coptic Orthodox Church ?

B. Which feast do we celebrate on February 15th ?

C. When is Jonah’s fast in 2019 ? yes Monday February 18

C. When does the Great Lent start  in 2019? yes Monday March 4th

http://lacopts.org/orthodoxy/coptic-orthodox-church/the-feasts-of-the-church/

presentation-of-lord-in-the-temple
Jesushttps://copticchurch.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/wednesday-february-15th-feast-of-presentation-of-40-days-old-christ/

February 8, 2019 Posted by | Catechism, Feast minor, New testament, Prayers | Comments Off on 2019 February celebrations in Coptic Orthodox Church

Be Anxious for Nothing by HG Bishop Angealos

www.youtube.com/watch

January 30, 2019 Posted by | Prayers | Comments Off on Be Anxious for Nothing by HG Bishop Angealos

Sin of Envy and Jealousy – by HG Bishop Youssef

Gospel of Sunday Jan 27, 2019 –

When Christ started to baptize then others who seek strife went to tell John Baptist.

But John Baptist with humility said, “He should increase and I decrease.”

The sin of jealousy and envy is there when you feel angry because others are more

popular or have more possessions.

What makes it bad is the feeling of unhappiness because the other is more liked and

we start to wish them bad things. Why another got more and not me.

God is very jealous. God does not like that we love anything or anybody more than

Him. A spouse would rightly feel jealous if the other prefers another.

St Paul wrote that when he was in jail that this encouraged others to go preach the

Gospel with more courage. So he was not unhappy to be in jail but was happy that

more people preach the gospel.

When Paul became popular, then others were jealous.

Galatians 5:19,20

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: [d] adultery, [e] fornication,

uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies,

outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [f]murders,

drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also

told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the

kingdom of God.

St Paul said if you envy then you do not inherit Kingdom of Heaven

One origin of envy and jealousy is Insecurity? If you do not feel secure with self, you

become jealous of others. Like the brothers of Joseph were jealous with Joseph the

favorite son of Jacob that they plotted to kill him.

John Baptist and Saint Paul were very secure with self. They were not jealous of

Christ increasing in glory. A father is never jealous with son cause he loves him and

has security that he made his son. If I’m jealous and annoyed it is because I lack

security in self.

Good to be encouraged and motivated by others’ success. But it is not good to wish

them losses when they are successful.

Sin of Envy and Jealousy

January 28, 2019 Posted by | Catechism, New testament, Prayers | Comments Off on Sin of Envy and Jealousy – by HG Bishop Youssef

Lovely to Start New things & Get Rid of Old by ArchBishop Angaelos

watch video on youtube

https://lnkd.in/d-UBG2z

Enjoy successes of last year and make better.

Matt 15:18 what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart.

How do you know the state of your heart ? We find out more about ourselves when we get upset. Look at the product of the heart. How do we speak ? How do we interact with people ? Kind ? Rude ?

Matt 15:18 what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart.

Use example of the sponge. Squeeze it! If soaked in muddy water then you squeeze it you get muddy water. If it soaked in clear water then squeeze and get clear water.

 

January 17, 2019 Posted by | Catechism, Dogma, New testament, Prayers | Comments Off on Lovely to Start New things & Get Rid of Old by ArchBishop Angaelos

Is Christmas just for Children ? yes ?

Merry Christmas!  Joyeux Noël! Blessed Nativity Feast!
Is Christmas for children only ? why yes ? how yes ?
Christ said :- Become like children! What do children have that pleases the Lord ?
1. Children have the capacity for innocent joy, while adults fall into cynicism.
2. Children trust those who care for them, and
3. Children possess the virtue of humility.
No wonder then, Christ asks us to become like children.
Notes regarding the pre-Incarnate Christ.
At this time of the year we celebrate the birth of Christ. However, often we are asked the question if Christ existed before His incarnation which we celebrate at Christmas. I’ll tell you a few thoughts I heard from our beloved Fr. James Soliman from a sermon given 1/17/16 titled the Pre-Incarnate Christ. A link is added below to a downloadable sound file. You may still find the sound file in link below. But if the link below expired then search  google or just ask me.
1.  Genesis chapter 18 – One of the 3 men speaks to Abraham as the Lord and promises him a big nation.
2.  Exodus chapter 3 –  in the account of the burning bush. The angel of the Lord called on Moses and the Lord Spoke to Moses.
3. John chapter one – In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

December 20, 2018 Posted by | Catechism, Feasts major, New testament, Old Testament, Prayers | Comments Off on Is Christmas just for Children ? yes ?

When Life Does’nt Cooperate by Fr. Anthony Messeh

Below is a blog post that I originally wrote almost five years ago.  I wrote it at a time when it seemed like a lot of people were going through “a hard time” and I found myself struggling with what to say and how to guide them.  Below is what I came up with.

I feel that we might be in another one of those seasons now – where many are going through difficult times and struggling with questions like “what do I do now?” and “where do I go from here?”

Because of that, I am reposting my three-step strategy of what to do when there’s nothing you can do… and where to go when you’ve got nowhere to go.  

If you are going through a hard time, or you know someone else who is, below is my advice to you as to how you should approach this season of trial.  And if you think that you don’t need to hear/read this right now because everything is fine for you, I’ll just say this: don’t get too comfortable.  While of course I don’t wish any tribulation or adversity upon anyone, the reality is that trials are part of this life – as our teacher St. Peter reminds us:

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (1 Peter 4:12)

So with all of that said, here is my advice…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Doesn’t it stink when you do everything right and it seems like everything goes wrong?  And worse, it seems like God Himself is the one putting you in those tough situations – or at least, He doesn’t seem to be in a rush to get me out.

Going along with the continued theme of “Getting Out of the Pit”, I was reading earlier this week about the time when the Lord Jesus Himself found Himself in a sort of “pit” of His own.  The story appears in Luke 4:1-13 – the story of when Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness.  That story touches me so much because it shows that Jesus really did go through everything we go through as well.

Think about it – He was doing everything right.  He was 100% obedient to His Father.  He agreed to come down from heaven and live on this horrible sin-infested planet called Earth.  He agreed to be born in a filthy manger in the middle of smelly animals and their disgustingly unsanitary environment.  When we had our first child, we paid $400 out of pocket to ensure that we wouldn’t have to share a room with another person.  Imagine sharing it with the cast from Old MacDonald’s farm!

Jesus did everything right.  He fasted.  He prayed.  He obeyed His parents.  He loved everyone.  He did everything right!!!  So why does God put Him in this situation – “being tempted for forty days by the devil”?

I don’t have an answer for you.  The Bible doesn’t tell us WHY, but it does tell us WHAT.  It tells us WHAT we should do in that situation when we feel that way.  Three things:

1.  DON’T LOOK AT YOUR NEED; LOOK AT HIS SUPPLY.

Jesus had every right to complain about what is happening and to look for a shortcut out.  But instead, He focused His thoughts on what God had given Him.  “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:4).  In other words, I know I am lacking food, but I have something even better – the Word of God.

2.  DON’T SEEK ANSWERS; SEEK GOD.

Again, the easy thing to do would be to complain about the situation at hand.  But Jesus didn’t.  He turned His complaint to worship.  “You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve” (Luke 4:8).  In other words, I know that my life isn’t perfect right now, but that was my never my goal.  My goal is to worship God and serve Him – not live a happy, comfortable life.

3.  DON’T TAKE THAT STEP UNTIL GOD TELLS YOU.

When times are tough, it’s easy to convince yourself that God wants you to get out.  Quit…leave…save yourself.  That’s the easy way out.  Jesus could have done that.  Satan told Him to throw Himself down and God will catch you.  But Jesus knew better.  “You shall not tempt the LORD your God” (Luke 4:12).  Of course God will take care of us, but He expects us to trust Him enough NOT to jump – sometimes that takes more trust than jumping.

Jesus had a three tiered approach of how to respond when times are tough and we find ourselves in the pit:  Word of God, worship/prayer, and trust.  And that’s our formula for success as well.

December 19, 2018 Posted by | Catechism, Prayers, questions | Comments Off on When Life Does’nt Cooperate by Fr. Anthony Messeh