Back in 1991, while yet a stranger to the Orthodox Church, I was walking my Jack Russell Terrier when a wanderer approached me. He introduced himself; we talked about our Christian experience; began a friendship, and a few months later went separate ways. That last moment together, however, he entrusted me with several books about the Orthodox Church and Faith. On the bookshelf they sat for seven years, barely attended. Periodically I'd lift one off the shelf and try grasping the concepts and doctrines, but was only moved for a short time, returning it alongside the other books. In 1998, "Amastad", the movie, was in theaters and I went with a friend. It left an impression and a curiosity to understand more about our American forefathers - their clarity of thought, collegiance, bravery and intense purpose of being. I found and read, "The Light and the Glory", by Peter Marshall, Jr. and David Manuel and was dumbstruck with the contrast of my Protestant experience and the lives of the Puritans - who considered an interest with "self" equal to darkness, battling to regard and to love "neighbor". We've wandered further from our mooring, Christ the Lord. That did it. I dusted and read those lost, unappreciated books from that old Orthodox friend, and I was changed. The Ladder of Divine Ascent stood before me. The following Sunday, March 29th, 1998, I attended my first Divine Liturgy, never returning West. It was the Sunday of John Climacus.