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e-Tsayn e-Voice is a publication of

The Diocese of the Armenian Church (Eastern) Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate Department of Mission Parishes Rev. Fr. Tateos R. Abdalian, Director www.armenianchurch.net Diocesan Office: 212.686.0710

Email: dertateos@ armeniandiocese.org

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a few words from der tateos . . .

Here is one of those stories that ended up in my email box: A man walks up to a bank teller, hands her a large envelope and tells her to fill it up with money or she'll get hurt. It's a scene in hundreds of TV shows and movies, not to mention news reports of actual bank robberies. And one such real-life robbery took place earlier this year in Texas. But this particular robbery was one for the record books. When the bank robber was apprehended, he turned out to be 91 years old, the oldest known bank robber in U.S. history. When asked why he went to the trouble of planning and executing bank robberies at his age, the man replied, "It's fun. I feel good, awful good. I feel good for sometimes days, for sometimes hours." But he's now serving a 12-year sentence, which he anticipates will be a life sentence for him. After reading the story my mind wondered back to my days of adventure – my teenage years – and the popular slogan of the late 1960s, "If it feels good, do it." Armed with that philosophy, I saw too many people mess up their lives by getting involved with rampant sexual experimentation, drug use, and other things that felt good ... at first. Some weathered the storm and straightened out when they realized those "good feelings" could lead to addictions and other serious problems. Others didn't fare as well. Some of the most promising entertainers of the time - Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison, to name a few - died much too young because of habits that made them supposedly feel good. The words of the 60's slogan were self-serving to say the least. People wanted to get high to escape the realities and the problems of the times: war in Vietnam, Watergate, the assassinations of Kennedy, King and another Kennedy, campus takeovers, riots in our cities, . . . a lot of bad stuff. Today those "good feelings" don't speak so much of drug and alcohol use, but perhaps of the attitudes of the past decade - "if I want it, I should have it, because I deserve it, so I will


have it." Some people who made a lot of money very quickly in the housing and stock markets realized just as quick that things can change. And they did. Now, with the economy still trying to find a way out of the gutter and the consequences being endured by the masses, families, good families, both parents and adolescents, are finding it extremely challenging in accepting a changed lifestyle of doing without. The watchword has become "no" regarding many of those pleasures or purchases that were once a normal part of one's lifestyle. As the season of Great Lent is about to commence this Monday, the faithful often view it as one big NO! No receiving Holy Communion, no eating of meat, no having dances or parties, . . .no, no, no. This notion of negativity has created a template for a lack of enthusiasm in our faithful rather than an opportunity for positive growth. Doing without does have at times positive benefits for the mind, soul and body. A reduction in "feeling good" activities can and does lead to positive results. It depends on your attitude. If you want to have a good, strong body, you need to exercise and diet. One can experience that time with either a positive attitude or a negative one. But the results of a good body will be the positive result. Obedience to God's rules has its own rewards. The good feelings may not be as pronounced right away, but obedience results in an immeasurable joy that will last for eternity. For those who put their faith in Jesus, our slogan should be, "If it's the right thing to do, do it." When it feels good, well, that's just a big bonus. And like our geriatric bank robber found out, those so-called good feelings that we may have thought would last forever were in fact and are frequently, short-lived. Robbing banks made one man feel good, but now he languishes in a jail cell. As always, the choice is yours.

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Are you still thinking about coming to Armenia this summer? Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be left out! Space is limited! !



eTsayn March 6, 2011