Friday, May 19, 2017

Lovely Gifts from Nika

The porcelain icon of the Romanov Family. The family was canonized in 2000 by the Russian
Orthodox Church. So they are royal saints and martyrs of the Church.

This year has been difficult for me. I have faced many troubles and hardships in my life. Briefly, I've been like in the Wilderness tempted by the Devil... But I still believe in God, and I think that one day I will understand the meaning of this all. And thank God, I have one good intercessor who is always praying for me: my good Russian angel Nika!

About two weeks ago, she delighted me by sending parcel full of lovely little gifts (see the pictures). Especially I love the porcelain icon of the Romanov Family and Yuri Gagarin postcards. Wow! Thank you very much, Nikushka. Once again, you really made my day. You are Heaven's gift to me – an angel sent by God. You are always in my heart and in my prayers. Большое спасибо, мой ангел! ^^

It's like the Bible says: "Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him" (Luke 22:43), and: "It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters" (Matthew 10:25). It means, the same is happening to us...

Teisuka

Yuri Gagarin postcards – collectors treasure!

Lovely souvenirs from Moscow.

Russian Slavianka chocolate. Slavianka means "Slavic woman". Very tasty! ^^

Saturday, February 4, 2017

A Parcel from my Russian Angel

A Gzhel porcelain icon called «Неупиваемая Чаша» (in English: "The Inexhaustible Cup").
This is Nika's gift to our little chapel. This icon type is rare in Finland and hard to find here.

Hello, my friends! Sorry for the long silence again. For the past couple of months, I've been busy, or just too tired or lazy when it comes to writing my blog... I've been very active in our local Orthodox Christian community. It takes most of my free time. I'm a chairman of The Support Association of the Seinäjoki Orthodox Chapel. Besides, I'm the editor of our Facebook site (please click here to see it), which means that all those updates are written by me. The site is available only in Finnish, but you can use the Google translator. :) Our little chapel is one year old now.

One week ago, I received a big parcel from my dear Russian angel Nika. The parcel was full of many lovely gifts, souvenirs and decorative items: a Gzhel porcelain icon called «Неупиваемая Чаша» (in English: "The Inexhaustible Cup"), a lot of Yuri Gagarin collectors stuff (Nika knows I'm a fan of Gagarin!), four bars of chocolate, a lollipops, a refrigerator magnets, Snegurochka (in English: The Snow Maiden) and some other Christmas stuff. Wow! Thank you very much, my angel! Once again, you made my day! I thank God for you. Большое спасибо, мой ангел! Я люблю тебя! (^—^)

Happy Spring to everyone! God bless you all, my friends!

Teisuka

 A lot of Yuri Gagarin stuff: notebooks, pin, badge, coin, stamps, refrigerator magnets,
and Gagarin figure. Cool!

 Moscow mug and angels from my Muscovite angel! ^^

 So many lovely souvenirs from Russia!

 Chocolate, lollipop and cake. Yummy!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Kun ohi on elonaika


I wrote a little poem, this time in the Finnish language (sorry, it's much easier for me, more natural). English title of the poem is When the Harvest is Over. This poem is a bit melancholic and it's inspired by these Bible verses: "You who are my comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me. – The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved" (Jeremiah 8:18, 20; in Finnish: "Missä on virvoitus minun murheeseeni? Minun sydämeni on sairas. – Ohi on elonaika, lopussa kesä, mutta ei ole meille apua tullut").

Tämä runo kertoo kaipuusta, kesän loppumisesta ja siitä, ettei voi olla sen luona, jota sydän halajaa. Japanilainen kirjailija Yasushi Inoue on sanonut, että "kärsimys on poissaoloa kaiken sen luota, josta pitää" (in English: "Suffering is the absence from all that you like").

Silti tässä runossa on myös onnellisuutta. Se odottaa kenties jossakin tulevaisuudessa ja syksyn raikkaudessa, kun surullinen ja kirottu kesä on (Jumalan kiitos) vihdoin ohi. Olen aina inhonnut kesää. Miksi siis edes suren sen loppua ja laitan siihen mitään odotuksia. Kesä ei ole minun aikaani. Minun aikani ei ole vielä edes tullut. Mutta tervetuloa ihana, raikas syksy! Toivottavasti se tuo jotain onnellista mukanaan, eikä sateenkaari pakene minua loputtomiin, loputtomiin...

And here is the poem:


Kun ohi on elonaika
syksyn tummenneen taivaan alla
vihdoin onnellisina
kohtaamme toisemme siellä,
kulkien rahisevalla kylätiellä
ilman kiirettä ja huolta.


The English translation:

When the harvest is over
under the darkening autumn sky
finally we will happily
face each other there,
walking on the country road
without hurry and worry.
 
Teisuka (August 13, 2016)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Traveling with the Angel

Icon of the Archangel Raphael.

I just read The Book of Tobit, written in the 2nd century BC and containing 14 short chapters. Very impressive and delightful little book. It's a book of scripture that is part of the Catholic and Orthodox biblical canon (The Bible). Instead, it usually doesn't belong to The Bible of the Protestants – they regard Tobit as apocryphal book.

The book tells of a man called Tobit who is righteous and had been blinded by a freak accident involving birds, and his son, Tobias who journeys out to collect a debt owed to his father but Tobias gets married on the way while being accompanied and guided by Raphael the Archangel who calls himself Azarias which means God helps, who also helps Tobias' wife and Tobit.

The Book of Tobit is also a love story in two ways: it tells us of God's love for man, and human love for human. A young woman named Sarah prays for death in despair. She has lost seven husbands (!) to the demon of lust (Asmodeus) who abducts and kills every man she marries on their wedding night before the marriage can be consummated. God sends the Archangel Raphael free Sarah from the demon.

Raphael tells Tobias of the beautiful Sarah, whom Tobias has the right to marry, because she is related to his tribe. He instructs the young man to burn the fish's liver and heart to drive away the demon when he attacks on the wedding night. The two marry, and the fumes of the burning organs drive the demon to Upper Egypt, where Raphael follows and binds him. Wow! Such a weird story.

There are really some mystical and strange aspect in this book, and momentarily it's even humorous. Well, Martin Luther called it comedy, but I think he was only partly right. For the most part, there is a very serious message in this book, comparing The Book of Job.

Are you interested to read this strange little travelling story? If so, please click here to find it. The book is available in English, in Russian and also in some other languages. Finnish version is available here.

May angel guide you, like he guided young Tobias on his journey. We are never alone in this world. We are surrounded by countless spirits – angels and demons. The spirit world is very real. Thank God, good is always stronger than evil.

Teisuka


Attachment: The Orthodox Christian prayer to your Guardian Angel


O Angel of Christ, holy guardian and protector of my soul and body, forgive me of everything I have done to offend you every day, and protect me from all influence and temptation of the evil one. May I never offend God by my sin. Pray for me to the Lord, that He may make me worthy of the grace of the All-holy Trinity, and of the Most Blessed Theotokos [the Mother of God], and of all the Saints. Amen.


In the Jewish demonology, Asmodeus is the demon of lust and
is therefore responsible for twisting people's sexual desires.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

In the Cool of the Night


I'm in heart, I'm in prayes.
I'm a thought, I'm a dream.

There are two of me –
the one out there in your heart
on the lighted street of dreams,
another one here walking along
the alley of the shadow of death.

Is it the same me that is loved
or is it just a dream you love?

In the cool of the night
neither you are real.
Nothing on Earth isn't true.
We know the Paradise is lost
and we all here are ghosts.

But love is true and dream is good
so who cares are we real.

Всё равно.

Teisuka

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Everything (Ode to My Love)


You are everything: the purity and sanctity,
the illusion and surreality or super-reality,
a closed garden and an open oasis,
floating prayers above the desert of everyday
coming down like clouds of the night,
a healing voice around these ruins of mine.

You are every spring after the winters
and everything is the same but different
and time itself is an icon of eternity.
In a corner of reality there is a place for us
who dare not wake up since it's so good:
every dream that gently comes after the day.

Teisuka

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Looking for Solitude and Silence

Me in our little chapel. 24th of March, 2016.
On that day, I was tired but happy. Photo by Anya.

Lately, I've been very active in the local Orthodox Christian association. Last February, we rented a little room, and now it's our chapel – a place of fellowship, prayer and worship. Little by little, we have furnished the room. There are furnitures and beautiful cloths, and also many icons on the wall.

This is a big step for us, because we are minority church in Finland. There are only about 70.000 Orthodox Christians in Finland. In my city, we have no own church nor 'chasovnya'. Not yet, but we are hopeful that one day we will have it. Actually, a biggest dream of our association is to build a chasovnya or Orthodox church on this city. Our little chapel is the beginning.

I've been the chairman in this association since 2014. My tasks are to lead this little community, writing emails and letters round, manage the public relations (PR), and so on. Since last February, I've been also a moderator on our Facebook site. Please click here to see it (available only in Finnish, but you can use the Google translator). Sometimes, I can also deliver the Evening Service (a layman's service) in our chapel. Usually, I'm just "the Reader", and our cantor Lily delivers the Service. The priest visits only a few times a year, because he lives so far.

For me, Orthodox Christianity is the most important thing. It's a way of life, the base of my life, not only "one of the hobby". Just recently, I am tired with too much sociability and busy life. I hate to be busy and stressed. I need to spend enough time in solitude and silence, otherwise I don't feel very well. I need time to read, it is a hobby that requires solitude. So I decided to make some changes in my life. "The most important things first..."

"Seek solitude and silence." Thus teaches the ancient mystics of the Church. In modern times, it is more challenging. But when I'm calm and when I feel mentally well, I live in solitude and silence with pleasure, and my home is like a monk's cell.

In recent months, our Christian community has been the only area in my life, where the things are going well. Perhaps I should completely devote to spirituality, because it seems God will not allow me to enjoy the worldly happiness or family happiness. (I won't say I'm gonna do that, just sometimes I think perhaps I should.)

Sometimes I'd like to be a true ascetic, but maybe it's too demanding for me. So I think I can be a half-ascetic or something, or just as good as I can. Haha. Anyway, spirituality is the most important thing for me. Just yesterday, I realized something. It was like a little enlightenment. In the near future, I'm going to make some changes in my life... Слава Богу за всё – thank God for everything. Guide me, O Lord.

These are my recent and most important news in brief. Blessings and all the best to all my friends!

Teisuka

Our cantor Lily (left) and the secretary of our Orthodox Christian association,
Anya, in the chapel during the Evening Service. Photo by Teisuka.

 "The Inexhaustible Cup". Икона Божией Матери "Неупиваемая Чаша".
Size: 41 cm x 34 cm, price: 25 euros. This is a Russian Marian icon which
is considered miracle-making. The Russian Orthodox Church claims
the icon (and the Mother of God herself) help those who suffer from
alcoholism and drug addiction. I bought this icon on 15 April 2016.