A Journey Toward Perfection: Deny Yourself, Take Up Your Cross, And Follow Me

The Beatitudes as a Road Map for Our Journey through Life

Christian - Living
346 Pages
Reviewed on 01/08/2017
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Author Biography

Helen Kamenos has been an educator for over 26 years. She graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor of Arts in English. 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.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Mary C. Blowers for Readers' Favorite

I truly was blown away by A Journey Toward Perfection. Author Helen Kamenos is an Orthodox Christian and gives a truly stellar description of many tenets of their doctrine. It is very detailed and thorough. I very much enjoyed it because, as is true of many Christian books and especially the Bible, passages will seem to be written just for the reader. For example, things I have been thinking about in my daily life recently were referred to in the pages of this book. This may seem impossible to some people, but this is why the Bible is referred to as God's Living Word. It can speak to your situation and give biblical counsel. Each chapter starts with a Bible verse to illustrate its main points. It's a very good study tool and is also enjoyable reading in its own right.

The author, Helen Kamenos, has chosen the sub title The Beatitudes as a Road Map for Our Journey Through Life. This is a good analogy, because the beatitudes, found in Matthew 5 and 6, contain the sermon on the mount which is a list of proper behaviors for Christians and the rewards inherent in those behaviors and beliefs. For instance, the meek shall inherit the earth. This one is often quoted as a reminder to refrain from anger and violence. It could even be used to guard against unwholesome talk and criticism. In the Bible, it says we are to submit to whatever authority is in place, such as the laws of our land or our bosses. By doing so, we become meek like Christ and consequently can inherit the earth. This book would be a great faith builder or a comfort if the reader is already familiar with the Bible. It would be a lovely gift for newlyweds or a student upon their confirmation, graduation, or other rite of passage.

Vernita Naylor

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.” Matthew 5:14-16 NIV. The light is the essence of A Journey Toward Perfection: Deny Yourself, Take Up Your Cross, And Follow Me: The Beatitudes as a Road Map for Our Journey through Life by Helen Kamenos. The light as a believer is you. The light must be ignited to shine, be equipped to share the Gospel, and to display the love of Christ. Helen Kamenos rolls out in A Journey Toward Perfection the steps and process that it takes to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Christ into living the path that God has designed for His followers. In A Journey Toward Perfection, you will learn through the chapters from Being Humble and The Thirst and Hunger to Righteousness to Cultivating A Relationship With God what is required to walk the walk of faith.

Reading A Journey Toward Perfection by Helen Kamenos was enlightening because it told the story of the life of Christ. In the book of Matthew, you will learn about a monumental episode in the New Testament times, the Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon on the Mount is where Jesus performed His most powerful teachings from the Beatitudes to The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). A Journey Toward Perfection provides information needed to better understand what God requires of us. To strengthen your commitment as you read A Journey Toward Perfection, Kamenos offers a few scriptures to help you along the way.

Mamta Madhavan

A Journey Toward Perfection: Deny Yourself, Take Up Your Cross, And Follow Me: The Beatitudes as a Road Map for Our Journey through Life by Helen Kamenos is an uplifting book for all those who seek the love of Christ. The book leads readers into a deeper relationship with God and reiterates the power of God’s love. The author exalts the virtues of Jesus Christ and makes Him the role model of divine love. Every Christian’s journey should be toward Christ and also toward an intimate relationship with Him and His divine love. Readers are encouraged and motivated through this book to follow in Christ’s footsteps to see their lives transformed and becoming more perfect in Christ.

The book is motivating and encouraging to all Christian readers and speaks about how to experience the joy and peace of a virtuous life and true Christian living. The author quotes the most difficult teaching of Christ in the book: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44). The book is good for all Christians to look into themselves and see in what ways they can witness a transformation in their lives by believing in God. The author’s words are simple and easy to comprehend, and readers are taught that through a relationship with God they can reach a deeper relationship with Christ and see themselves change from a caterpillar into a butterfly.

Rabia Tanveer

A Journey Toward Perfection - Deny Yourself, Take Up Your Cross, And Follow Me: The Beatitudes as a Road Map for Our Journey through Life by Helen Kamenos is a beautiful book about how a person should strive to become one with Jesus. At a glance, you can tell that the author puts her heart and soul into her words and this book. The book focuses more on the Beatitudes of Matthew 5 and the attributes of Jesus described in them. The book takes a closer look at the attributes of God and how we can become much like Him, love people like He does, and be as pure as He is.

Like the author says, it is a tall order to fulfill, but it is our duty to at least try. Our decisions have a direct impact on how we connect with Jesus and how it affects our life. This book is about enduring, bearing your crosses, and wearing them like a crown. This is a guide for anyone who wants to connect with God and become one with Him. This book was written with a pure heart and soul. You can feel Helen Kamenos’ love for Jesus in her words and how much she wants everyone to feel as close to Him as she does. It was exciting to read her words because she was excited to tell us what she thought. I think this is the best way to write a book like this. It was a wonderful experience.

Ray Simmons

It has been years since I even thought about the Beatitudes. I grew up going to church in a small Methodist church outside Mobile, Alabama. I say Methodist but more precisely, it was African Methodist Episcopal Zion. A branch of the Methodist church created after the Civil War because white people, for the most part, did not want to attend church with the freed slaves. I often think about how different American history might be if the Christians of the era had simply embraced each other in the faith and just moved forward in Christian fellowship. The fact that this did not happen is a testament to the fact that the Church itself is on A Journey Toward Perfection. Let’s hope it gets there soon. It would change the world.

I could not help but like A Journey Toward Perfection by Helen Kamenos. It reinforced and gave new perspective to lessons I learned and absorbed at my mother’s knee. She was an imperfect teacher and it was an imperfect time, but she did her best. The Beatitudes are beautiful. The pastor of our church would recite them in a solemn voice before his actual message every Sunday to the accompaniment of spiritual organ music. Helen Kamenos's book vividly reminded me of those lessons and explained some points I had never considered. There is also something else in A Journey Toward Perfection that I had forgotten about; it is called The Nicene Creed. We called it The Apostles' Creed. The message in A Journey Toward Perfection is the message of Jesus Christ. The book is beautifully written, logically organized, and will definitely help you on your personal journey.