To Love Is To Understand

“Oh, come on. You know good and well I didn’t mean that the way you are taking it!” Frankly, I couldn’t get over that this person so misunderstood me. It almost felt like it was on purpose to discredit what I was saying. After a few deep breaths, and dialing back my wounded ego, I stopped and asked this person “Why did you think I meant that by what I said?” After…

The Power Of The Eyewitness

Ask any police officer or investigator and they will tell you having an eyewitness to an event is great, and not so great. The reason is eyewitnesses are notorious for filtering what they see through what they think they remember. So, we were trained how to weed out what they thought they saw from what they actually saw. It can make all the difference in the world. The Early Church was faced…

What Idols Lead You Astray?

Alexander Solzhenitsyn once said, “We always pay dearly for chasing after what is cheap.” I wish I had learned this earlier in my life. I would have avoided some painful idolatries. But we humans are slow learners. And over and over again we come to the end of what we thought we could not live without and discover all too late that we certainly could live without it. We idolize the fantasy…

Normal Orthodoxy Invites Us to Repentance

If you had to choose between self-esteem and self-awareness what would you choose? By the way, it’s a trick question! I remember when there was this emphasis on self-esteem becoming so very central to our educational process for children. And I remember when there were even public service announcements during Saturday morning cartoons like “The More you Know” and even special movies all about building and promoting our self-esteem. We started getting…

Normal Orthodoxy Reveals Your True Potential

It was a bit of a significant moment between me and my daughter. We were at the Mall and went into a store for her to buy some of the pins and stickers she loves and behind the counter was a young person with piercings on his nose and ears and eyebrow. Half his hair was shaved and the other half was purple. He was so very friendly and we exchanged some…

Normal Orthodoxy Creates a Well-Lived Life!

I love this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” In an age where it seems narcissistic Nihilism has come to dominate society, ideas, like nobility, dignity, self-control, and honor all seem to be in short supply. And the reason is…

Made To Be Like Christ – Sunday’s Homily

The Christian Faith is meant to transform you into a “new creature.” You are made to become like Christ. In fact, the purpose of the Orthodox Faith is to have you enter a lifestyle that remakes you from the inside out. And it will be as we bend our will to the “steadfastness of the Scriptures” and the encouragement of the Faith that we will focus on that which must be transformed…

Normal Orthodoxy IS Marvelous

Welcome to the second day of the Dormition Fast! The wisdom of the fasting disciplines of the Church is meant to reinforce the reality that unless the faith is holistically practiced, that is it affects every aspect of your person, the real danger of compartmentalization exists! One aspect of Orthodoxy that first caught my attention was this focusing on Cosmic Truths AND everyday practice of the Faith. What I discovered was the…

Normal Orthodoxy Honors Mary

Everybody else was squirming. They were obviously having a hard time with the information and seemed to rather have been elsewhere. But I was at peace. It just made sense to me, I guess. Some of you know the story of how I entered the Orthodox Church. I was a pastor of a growing Pentecostal church in the Metro Atlanta area, and my best friend and I were really interested in Church…

Normal Orthodoxy Always Chooses Better

There’s an old saying, “Life is simple, we make it complicated.” And what complicates our lives the most? Well, if you’ll allow me a bit of meddling, may I suggest it is our untamed desires. What I want, undisciplined and unmanaged sends my life down paths of consequences that make my life complicated. When I don’t soberly evaluate, tame, and discipline my desires, I make choices based on wants that end up…