From God to You – A Children’s Book

From_God_to_You.coverWEB__87954.1404854285.1280.1280My very dear friend John Skinas has just released his book “From God to You – The Icon’s Journey to Your Heart.”

This is the follow up to his first volume Pictures of God. It is a children’s book, beautifully done, with 12 sections of 12 icons.

They are placed after the introduction which contains a picture of the extraordinarily beautiful iconostasis of the Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco, where St. John Maximovitch’s incorrupt relics lay.



photo (17)

For each icon, John includes two sections – one, a description of the substance and significance of what is depicted on the icon; next to it, a “Notice This” explanation of the particular features of the icon shown.


The 12 icons are: photo (20)

  • The “Icon Not Made By Hands”
  • The “Virgin of the Sign”
  • “Saint Luke Painting the First Icon”
  • “Flight into Egypt”
  • Royal Gates in the Form of Peacocks” (a description of the gorgeous Gates at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in San Francisco)
  • The “Christ Pantokrator” of Sinai
  • The “Angel with the Golden Hair”
  • The “Original Iveron Icon of the Theotokos”
  • “Saint Theodora”
  • The Transfiguration”
  • “The Resurrection”
  • “The Good Shepherd”

The book closes with a brief description of 3 “Defenders of Icons” – St. Kassiani, St. Stephen the New and St John of Damascus – and of the five major colors used in the icons with their respective symbolic meanings.


photo-(21)This is all done in a delightful arrangement that is both theologically sound and yet very intelligible to children. It is a wonderful tool to help them begin to discover and understand the beauty of God through the iconic windows of heaven.

As John says, “Burned, smashed, and buried, icons have endured a great deal as they’ve made their way from God to you. They’ve reached you because He wants them in your church, in your home, and in your hands. But most of all, God wants you to keep His image in your heart, where, if you listen closely, you can hear his message with every beat…”

John and his wife Suzanne are the parents of 5 children, and I am privileged to witness firsthand how their Orthodox faith permeates their entire family.

The book is printed by Ancient Faith Publishing and you can find it here:


*More* Genevan Exodus

Jason Stellman, a classmate from our Westminster Seminary years, and a minister in the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) has resigned his position as pastor and is leaving Protestantism.

Many comments on his combox are of the “sorry you became an apostate and is headed for hell” sort. I chimed in to congratulate him, and got some of that as well.

But I thought his post was well articulated.

Luminous Darkness

June 1st is the feast day of St Justin Martyr, and from his First Apology we have the earliest account of Christian Divine Liturgy and the Sacraments – written about 150 AD.


But we, after we have thus washed him who has been convinced and has assented to our teaching, bring him to the place where those who are called brethren are assembled, in order that we may offer hearty prayers in common for ourselves and for the baptized [illuminated] person, and for all others in every place, that we may be counted worthy, now that we have learned the truth, by our works also to be found good citizens and keepers of the commandments, so that we may be saved with an everlasting salvation.

Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss. There is then brought to the president…

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