Literature – Resources – Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States An RSS feed of the literature released on the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States website http://www.suscopts.org/resources/literature Has Not Been Emptied From Vessel to Vesselhttp://www.suscopts.org/resources/literature/1129/has-not-been-emptied-from-vessel-to-vesselKeraza Magazine issue 31-32 August 8, 2014 "Moab has been at ease from his youth; He has settled on his dregs, and has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into captivity. Therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent has not changed" (Jeremiah 48:11). This is how Jeremiah, the prophet, prescribed the condition of Moab who represents all those who prefer to remain in "The Comfort Zone"; what psychologists define to be the space one restricts his behaviors within its boundaries. This helps him to feel no stress or anxiety because he is then used to behave in a routine predetermined context. The risk of being confined all the time to the comfort zone is that the routine that characterizes it engenders in the person a mental adaptation that gives him a false feeling of security and at the same time restricts his ability to grow and to be creative. This means that this person refuses change and trends towards the routine to keep a fake sense of security and to avoid a probable anxiety. This, in turn, leads to hinder his growth and development. In fact, the word "dregs" is a ...Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:00:00 -0500 If I Perish, I Perish!http://www.suscopts.org/resources/literature/1127/if-i-perish-i-perishKeraza Magazine issue 29-30 July 18, 2014 When Mordecai sent to Esther, asking her to go in to the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for the Jews, she progressed through two stages. The first stage was dominated by reasonable mind that placed before her all the logical evidences that support the necessity of refraining from the service and being excused from fulfilling the mission. Why not when all the evidences of the mind and its proofs are true realistic arguments that prove the inevitability of perishing in case of going ahead in taking charge of this great responsibility? In the second stage Esther took a decision of faith, not one of logic and said: "I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish" (Esther 4:16). She bypassed all and proceeded to all that is out of faith. In fact, this bypass is a stage of labor pains and delivery that every passenger on the Lord's paths must go through. The first rational stage is very essential as it gives birth to the stage of faith. All proofs of the inevitability of perishing that the ...Sat, 16 Aug 2014 12:00:00 -0500 I Love My Masterhttp://www.suscopts.org/resources/literature/1115/i-love-my-masterKeraza Magazine issue 27-28 July 4, 2014 After God gave Moses the prophet the Ten Commandments, He began to give him lawful judgments to place before His people. The first of those laws was, "If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing... But if the servant plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,' then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever" (Exodus 21:1-6). This means that the servant serves six years forcibly, against his will, and in the seventh year is given a choice between free liberty from this service, or remaining to serve his master, in which case he becomes an ear-pierced servant to his master forever, because he loved him. How does this law apply to us in the New Testament? Christ is our Master, who purchased us to God with His blood: "For You were slain, and have redeemed ...Tue, 08 Jul 2014 12:00:00 -0500 Those Who Are Faithful In Love Will Rest In Himhttp://www.suscopts.org/resources/literature/1111/those-who-are-faithful-in-love-will-rest-in-himKeraza Magazine issue 25-26 June 20, 2014 Faithfulness is a virtue most beloved by people of various denominations and religions, to the extent that faithfulness has become an important gauge to measure the moral behavior of all nations and persons. The measure of the degree of corruption in a country depends on the degree of its citizens' faithfulness. Faithfulness is highly connected with commerce, where the faithful tradesman is described as one not having defective products, uneven scales, or deceptive words. Each person has a different concept of the word faithful. Perhaps first to come to mind when one hears the word faithful is faithfulness in speech, faithfulness in sales, faithfulness in marital relations, faithfulness in judgment, faithfulness in friendship, faithfulness in fulfilling the commandments, faithfulness in service, faithfulness in investing talents, or faithfulness in raising children... In the Holy Bible, in both Testaments (Revised Standard Version), the word faithful was mentioned ninety-seven times, twenty-six of which described God as being faithful, while the word faithfulness appears seventy-seven times including perhaps all the meanings of faithfulness mentioned above. Most amazingly, the Holy Bible in one of books known asDeuterocanonical books, the book of Wisdom, talked for a ...Tue, 01 Jul 2014 12:00:00 -0500 Who Has Begotten These For Mehttp://www.suscopts.org/resources/literature/1107/who-has-begotten-these-for-meKeraza Magazine issue 23-24 June 6, 2014 Infiltration is a term popularized by soccer, yet it is originally a military term related to military strategies and tactics. It is a means of maneuvering inside enemy lines with the intent of surprising the enemy by reaching their perimeter covertly to accomplish a mission or for reconnaissance (gathering information). In the Holy Bible, the foremost personality to use this tactic was Jonathan (Saul's son) who, along with his armor-bearer, secretly infiltrated the Philistine perimeter, taking them by surprise inside their own boundary, causing great fear among them, such that they dissipated and fell away (1 Samuel 14:1-23). Likewise, the nations that swore against Nehemiah, and the builders of the wall, had agreed to infiltrate the midst of Jerusalem and cause damage, "And our adversaries said, "They will neither know nor see anything till we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease" (Nehemiah 4:11). The Holy Bible also masterfully describes the enemy's use of infiltration war maneuvers in the Tares of the field parable: "But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way" (Matthew13:25). The enemy ...Thu, 26 Jun 2014 12:00:00 -0500 Serving Others with Humilityhttp://www.suscopts.org/resources/literature/1108/serving-others-with-humility"Bondservants be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, sincerity of heart, as to Christ. Not with eye service, as men pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men" (Ephesians 6:5-7). Sincere heart and humility can go hand in hand when it comes to serving others. God will bless that service and allow it to affect so many lives. Serving others can be the most blessing time that we give from ourselves to help others. But if serving others has alterative motive, it can run us into the most dangerous outcome. Our job as a servant is to follow God's plan and to proceed with caution, hence we fall into pride. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came on earth to serve, not to be served. Thus a true servant must be led by His example. We have to learn to deny ourselves and preach the knowledge that we learned through the Holy Bible. We must also ask the Holy Spirit to lead us to what is most profitable to ...Thu, 26 Jun 2014 12:00:00 -0500 Son, have you sinned? You should not add further sinshttp://www.suscopts.org/resources/literature/1102/son-have-you-sinned-you-should-not-add-further-sinKeraza Magazine issue 21-22 May 23, 2014 The human conscience sets many barriers to sin. The size and strength of these barriers varies depending on one’s conscience-based sensitivity towards each type of sin. The lower one’s sensitivity towards a specific sin, the more it becomes a doorkeeper’s befriended sin that enters and exits without monitoring or prohibition whenever it pleases. The higher one’s sensitivity towards a specific sin, the more the enemy concentrates all his efforts to puncture an aperture by which to breach that barrier. Thus, the enemy works from both right and left sides that he may, by all means, capture one. All sins connected with self-love are examples of doorkeeper’s befriended sins that do not set off the alarms. Bodily sins, on the other hand, are most detectable by the human conscience radar, announcing emergency conditions. Many are mistaken in assuming that sin is just falling. Truth is: inside the fall is a fall then another fall, like the evening shadow which gradually progress from one watch of the night to the next one, from dark to intensely dark, meaning that, sin is like an endless spiral. Once the barriers of the conscience are ...Wed, 11 Jun 2014 12:00:00 -0500 Remember God's Work in Youhttp://www.suscopts.org/resources/literature/1100/remember-gods-work-in-you"Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish" (Deuteronomy 8:19). God works miracles all the time during the duration of our lives. Yet most of it we forget because we treat it as part of our everyday living. We neglect to realize this is the amazing work of God that covers us every single day. In our daily life we tend to get busy with daily matters and find ourselves absorbed with solving many little and big problems, work pressure, and rushing between different tasks. We need to remind ourselves that despite of our busy schedule and life's demand that God is and should be number one in anything we do, in any decision we make, and in any step we take. Why we need to remember God's work? He is the one who gives us unconditional love. He is the one who redeems our lives from death. He is the one who showers us with His blessings. He is the one who forgives us our sins. He is ...Mon, 02 Jun 2014 12:00:00 -0500 That You May Be A New Lumphttp://www.suscopts.org/resources/literature/1093/that-you-may-be-a-new-lumpKeraza Magazine issue 19-20 May 9, 2014 The Holy Spirit ordained, through the adept church fathers, for the memory of the Resurrection to remain before our eyes at all times. We celebrate it daily in the Prime prayer, weekly on Sunday, monthly on the twenty-ninth of each Coptic month, and yearly on the Resurrection Feast and throughout the Holy Fifty Days. The Holy Spirit’s amazing persistence on this commemoration is not without Economy, rather, it is befitting the Resurrection’s glorious impact on our lives. Whenever we remember the Lord’s Resurrection, we celebrate our new man who was born in us during baptism. As a person is born a babe and gradually grows until maturity, likewise our new man who is born in us in baptism is like a seed buried inside us, hidden in our hearts, needing care to grow gradually until it attains to "a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians4:13). Although our new birth occurred once during baptism, the revealing of our new man is renewed every day, rather each moment: "...And have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge" (Colossians3:10). The maturing process ...Thu, 29 May 2014 12:00:00 -0500 God's Intervention in Our Liveshttp://www.suscopts.org/resources/literature/1099/gods-intervention-in-our-lives"'Man shall not live by bread alone, but every word proceeds from the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4:4). It is amazing to listen to many preachers on the radio or the television with false teachings such as speak believing in our Lord Jesus Christ means God will grant you wealth and prosperity in your life and protect you from diseases and tribulation but not believe or having doubt will result in a great curse following you. In that they pick and choose verses from the Holy Bible that are agreeable with their teachings and misuse them for their own purpose. And they greatly emphasize the idea of prosperity that may be attracting many people who are desperate in their needs, looking for a survival plan, or looking to win the lottery. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matthew 6:33-34). Unfortunately, that is not the God we know and we love. Our God does not say follow me and I will ...Thu, 29 May 2014 12:00:00 -0500