Two thousand years ago, a fire humbly and meekly exploded into our reality. That fire was Christ. Take the Journey Toward Perfection and be transformed. You will undergo a metamorphosis. You will become the butterfly that God always meant for you to be.
A Journey Toward Perfection reveals a path toward developing an intimate experiential relationship with God. It is an in-depth study of the attributes recorded in the Beatitudes of Matthew 5. These are the attributes God bestowed upon us when He created us in His image. They are the traits necessary to love others as God loves us. When Christ invited us to deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow Him, He asked us to follow His example. He encouraged us to take a journey toward perfection, toward a loving God who extends His open arms to us even as Christ’s arms were extended on the cross. He challenged us to develop characteristics, such as humility, meekness and purity of heart. If we accept His invitation, we will embark on a life-changing journey. We will find ourselves walking in the footsteps of Christ. We will experience what He experienced and see life through His eyes. We will learn how profound His love for us truly is. We will begin to develop attributes of Christ that will sustain us through the many trials and tribulations of our lives. We will experience God’s true presence in our lives.
Helen Kamenos has been an educator for over 26 years. She graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Subsequently, she earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. She served as a middle school teacher, high school counselor, and principal of a private school. She dreamed of writing a book one day, but never imagined she would write a book about God.
Throughout Helen’s life, her passion for learning and her fervent Orthodox Christian faith have always guided her toward seeking a greater understanding of God. When she faced several years of life-changing challenges, including a battle with cancer, Helen sought the comfort of her faith. This pursuit led to an in-depth study of the Beatitudes, which set her on a journey of discovery. In the process, she experienced Christ in a more personal and intimate way. This extraordinary journey provided her with a deeper understanding of God and His divine love. In A Journey Toward Perfection, Helen shares her new found insights of living the Christian life by following in the footsteps of Christ and participating in a real, experiential relationship with our Creator.
Many believe that love is a warm feeling we experience when we care about someone deeply. However, Christ taught us that love is an action we take. It is what we do for others, unconditionally, in spite of what we "feel." Love is a giving act, a giving of ourselves and a giving up of our egos, our pride, and our self-centeredness. Christ's kind of love is for everyone, regardless of whether we are worthy of that love or not. Christ gives His love freely. We just need to receive it and love Him in return of our own free will.
A Journey Toward Perfection
Loving others is not as simple as it sounds. Perfect love is called charity because it involves a sacrifice, a giving of oneself. It is a decision we make of our own free will. God showed His love for us by allowing His Son to be sacrificed for our redemption. We sacrifice ourselves, our selfish needs and desires in order to give love. Because charity is unconditional and expects nothing in return, we even sacrifice our need to be loved in return. We love simply because we are filled with God’s love and choose to express His love for us by loving others. Christ declared that “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). When we deny ourselves, we are able to love perfectly. This sacrifice can also involve suffering, as it did with Christ. Notice, He told us to take up our crosses. Denying ourselves creates a conflict within us because we are giving up or sacrificing our selfish desires or self-centeredness. This is why our conscience troubles us. It is the conflict between what we want and freely expressing perfect love. When it comes down to it, what we want often prevents us from being filled with God’s love.
For example, if we truly have perfect love in our hearts, we would not be able to gossip about others because gossip is hurtful. We would also be aware that we were disobeying God and therefore rejecting His will. In this case, our desire to gossip prevents us from loving perfectly. If we have God’s divine love in our hearts, we are truly a new creature. If we have reached this level of our journey, we may experience guilt or frustration when our desire conflicts with our love for God. Some of the sins we may have committed in the past may not have involved a conflict because we may have justified our actions. We allowed ourselves to be deceived by excuses. Maybe, we told ourselves everybody does that. However, when God’s perfect love has entered our hearts, our conscience prevents us from feeling comfortable about sin. Suddenly, we will experience great conflict in that decision. This is God’s love working in our hearts.