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VOYAGE:A Quest for God within Orthodox Christian Tradition

VOYAGE:A Quest for God within Orthodox Christian Tradition
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VOYAGE:A Quest for God within Orthodox Christian Tradition by Lynette Smith

…A Quest for God within Orthodox Christian Tradition illumines a remarkable search for deeper spiritual meaning. It chronicles nothing less than the struggle to, “share complete and unreserved communion with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

How can reaching for the goal of salvation be attained practically? “Pain can sharpen the soul’s awareness of its need for God,” answers the author.

How do we turn life’s suffering into love, joy, peace and – above all – beauty? “With every occasion that I choose to ignore some splash of splendor in favor of focusing on the cares of this life, I increasingly lose my sensitivity to the beautiful,” Lynette Smith answers.

As a convert to the Orthodox Church the author shares her path and points to a way to follow Christ in everyday life that is within the reach of every person. With down to earth poignant candor and humor, Lynette weaves her personal experiences together with deep meditations on Orthodox faith that will speak to all seekers of spiritual truth - be they Orthodox or not. Casting inspirational light on the Liturgy, the Scriptures, and wisdom from the Fathers and Mothers of the Church the author helps her fellow travelers to embrace a refreshing relationship with God.

About THE AUTHOR

Lynette Smith is the youngest of five children and the daughter of a small town evangelical pastor. Lynette grew up on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Shiprock, New Mexico, and then as a teen assisted her parents with missionary work in Southeast Asia. In the midst of studies for a Masters in Old Testament theology, Lynette converted to the Orthodox Church. Lynette has taught Bible studies in Protestant and Orthodox churches and currently serves as chanter in St. Columba Orthodox Church.

“Readers will find themselves quietly sitting beside the author pondering their own voyage as she navigates them through a troubled and peaceful journey that is both hers—and theirs.”
Bradley Nassif
Professor of Theological Studies, North Park University, Chicago, Holy Transfiguration Antiochian Church, Warrenville, IL

“Smith’s description of how she came to grips with depression, disillusion, and discouragement is inspiring. Her story of coming into Orthodox Christianity is compelling for its frank and honest examination of what it means to be an Orthodox woman in the twenty-first century.”
The Very Rev. Lester Michael Bundy
Professor Emeritus, Religious Studies, Regis Jesuit University, Denver, CO

"This book of reflections illustrates important lessons about the spiritual life and will inform and encourage every reader who picks it up!"
Bishop BASIL
Bishop of Wichita and the Diocese of Mid-America (Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America)

“Using the metaphor of a voyage, Lynette Smith shares her spiritual autobiography with openness, honesty, and integrity. Those who follow her reflections from her Pentecostal roots to the sacramental life of Orthodoxy will be the better for it. Christians from all traditions will benefit by accompanying Lynette on this formative voyage.”
Dr. Keith Wells, D. Min., M.L.S.
(Professor of Theological Bibliography and Research, Denver Seminary and columnist for Touchstone Journal)

"VOYAGE explores the full coastline of Orthodox Christianity, drawing insight in particular from the perspective of the Western Rite, the ancient worship of the British Isles. This journey is framed in language simultaneously poetic and accurate, which is good evidence of a worthy guide."
Frederica Mathewes-Green
Author of The Illumined Heart: Capture the Vibrant Faith of the Ancient Christians

WHAT I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR

A longing—primal and nearly wordless—that I felt as a young person still stirs me decades later. I believe that the yearning has everything to do with God. So I embark on a voyage of spiritual exploration, hopefully not in aimless wandering, but in hope of a discovery and a destination. Yet what am I looking for and how will I know when I have found “it”? Jesus, in one of his well-known teachings, promises the spiritual explorer, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you…Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

My yearning may have everything to do with God, but since I live in an environment of the “world, flesh, and devil” I face the temptation to lower my sights and choose, what on the surface, seem to be wider, more attractive and immediate gates to spirituality. What God gives in answer to my request may not appear in a neat package, pre-programmed, or easily comprehensible; rather, his gifts may come wrapped up in paradox, hidden behind nature, or slipped into works of art. Most absurd of all, God in his strange love has placed his Kingdom not only among humanity in general, but also within my unfathomable and fractured heart. Mystically, my quest for God means that I travel beyond myself, and yet become more myself in the process.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • INTRODUCTION…………………………………vii
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENTS…………………………xv
  • AUTHOR’S NOTE………………………………xvi
  • WHAT I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR………………1
    • Glory Bypassed
    • Footsteps in the Sea
    • Paradox: The Name of the Game Illustrators of the Holy Beautiful Where is the Kingdom Of God? Inward Expedition
  • SICK AT SEA………………………………………27
    • Case of the Logismoi Virus With All Due Disrespect
    • Miles and Metanoia
    • That Store Lady
    • Turn Over Every Stone
    • Marooned in the Stillest Place on the Planet
  • NO SOLO VOYAGE………………………………53
    • Those Invisible Lights
    • The Company of Angels Creatures at Communion, or Balaam’s Donkey Séance-Free Communion with the Departed
    • Dr. Ephraim
    • Silent Together with God
  • LAND-LOCKED……………………………………77
    • Peaceful Disturbance
    • Consoling Wasteland
    • Mt. Desolation
    • Constant Companion
    • Laugh, O Barren Woman
    • Whiffs of Mercy
  • DYING TO LIVE…………………………………105
    • Which Metaphor is Mine?
    • Therapeutic Tree
    • Living out My Baptism
    • Remember Me
    • Over Everything
    • It’s to Die For
  • ARE WE THERE YET?…………………………………131
    • Tracking Spiritual Progress As it was in the Beginning, is Now… In Newness of Life Come Aside and Rest
    • Seen any Beauty Lately?
    • Fan Club of Saints
  • NOTES…………………………………158
  • RECOMMENDED READING…………………………………169