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The Church Remembers John of Damascus

Today the church remembers John of Damascus, our good friend who once was the American Consul in Damascus is visiting with us, and we mourn the loss of peace and security in Damascus, and Syria, and the heartless loss of so many lives, the destruction of beautiful Homs, and so many other villages, named and unnamed, and the use of nerve gas on Syrian people.

I love it that he is most often shown wearing a keffiye


The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers John of Damascus, Priest, c. 760.

The son of an important official in the court of the Muslim Caliph of Damascus, John had an easy rapport with the Muslims among whom he was reared, and readily succeeded to his father’s office in the Caliph’s court. Later, he abandoned the wealth and comfort of the fashionable life of Damascus and joined a religious community in Palestine.

As he lived the rigorous life of a monk in the stark wilderness near the Dead Sea, his own strong personality began to emerge. He soon distinguished himself as a theologian and scholar. His chief published work extant is The Fount of Knowledge. He is recognized as a “Doctor of the Universal Church.”

However, John of Damascus is most widely remembered for his contributions to Christian worship. He wrote many fine hymns, including two Easter ones that are still popular today: “Come ye faithful raise the strain…” and “The Day of Resurrection, earth tell it out abroad!” He effectively defended the doctrine of the Real Presence in the Eucharist, the veneration of the Lord’s Mother, and use of icons. He became involved in an international religio-political struggle called the “Icononclastic Controversy” which reached violent proportions and shook the Byzantine world. His life was saved in this controversy by his powerful Muslim friends.

We give thanks for John and for all those who have upheld the truth of our faith and the glory of our worship. Amen.

December 4, 2013 Posted by | Advent, Biography, Character, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Faith, Lectionary Readings | , | Leave a comment

The Green Parrot on Panama City Beach

Our first day in Panama City Beach, I watched AdventureMan’s head swivel 120° to the left as we drove down the main drag.

“Did you see that?” he exclaimed! “A ‘Mediterranean’ restaurant!! Woooo HOOOOOOO!”

We’ve come to learn that ‘Mediterranean’ is code for comfort food. It is not Mediterranean-Italian, or Mediterranean-Greek, it is Mediterranean like Lebanon or Syria or Palestine . . . it is comfort food.

Sigh. Or close enough. There is no machboos, and sometimes the felafel aren’t home made. Still, we know we’ll give it a try.

On our last night in town, it is the perfect night to go. 00GreenParrottExterior


The owner is a delightful Lebanese import named Hani, and he is a word-of-mouth phenomenon on Panama City Beach. He has many fanatically loyal customers, and people recommend him all the time. We can see why. He loves what he is doing, and it shows.

Mixed appetizers/Mezze

His food is DELICIOUS 🙂




Everything tasted so good. We can understand how he is developing such a following – his food is really good.
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December 4, 2013 Posted by | Cooking, Cultural, Customer Service, Eating Out, Food, Living Conditions, Restaurant, Road Trips, Words | 2 Comments