You Can’t Handle the Truth!

I love the scene in “A Few Good Men” when Jack Nicholson’s character looks at the military lawyer questioning his leadership of his troops in Guantanamo. It’s at a pivotal part of the drama. The commandant, Colonel Jessup, was a rough and tough Marine leader. He was a strong man, and he didn’t have any respect for the Navy Colonel lawyer questioning his judgement in leading his men. In that moment Colonel…

You Hypocrites!

“Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders?” You can almost hear the sneer in this question to Jesus in the passage for today! And, frankly, it’s a good question. You see, as a Church, we Orthodox place a great deal of confidence in the consistent witness of the Faithful through the centuries. And we get that honest, as my grandmother use to say. We inherited that attitude from the…

Making Masters Servants!

I know it is a bit “old fashioned” and it may be hard for those of this generation to understand, but the timeless message of the Faith is that we are called to battle and tame the passions SO THAT they are our servants and never our masters! So what are the passions? Some may say “I thought being a passionate person was a good thing.” Well, as usual, it depends on…

A Deeper Knowing

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to “eat crow” over some idea I had or position I held that turned out to be, oh not necessarily “wrong” but “too small” or “too narrow” for the subject at hand. It’s made me a bit gunshy at times to make a definitive statement before I’ve had the time to really contemplate my own thoughts. After all, as the scripture says, “The…

Sell Everything and Buy the Field

He looked at me right in the face and said the words I will never forget: “When you’re ready to ‘sell all you have’ to have this faith, then, and only then will you be ready!” Whoa, wait a minute, let’s talk about this! Everything? Yep, everything. It was a turning point in my own spiritual journey and I was having to confront my own desire to “play it safe” or not…

The “Weeds” in Your Heart

OK, let me confess something; I am not very talented when it comes to growing things. In fact, every time I’ve tried to plant and tend a garden, it has ended up either overrun by weeds or eaten by critters or over watered or under watered! I just don’t have the proverbial “green thumb.” I don’t know why. Maybe it’s a lack of patience, or a lack of discipline. Or maybe it’s…

You Tell The Best Stories, Pawpaw!

My grandfather was an amazing storyteller. He was always a larger than life figure in my eyes as a boy and still is even as a grown man. He had this ability to mesmerize us grandkids with his stories of being a police officer in Atlanta, and his stories of his adventures with his friends. To this day, I have no idea if any of these stories he told actually happened! He…

How Much Do You Love Me?

My daughters and I have this little game we play. I ask them “How much do you love me?” And they, giggling and smiling, try to stretch their little arms as wide as they can and say “This much, daddy!” Of course then they ask me how much I love them and I make as big a show as I can to stretch my arms as wide as I can and say…

Willing to Learn! Willing to be Taught!

You know the old saying “God works in mysterious ways.” Well, that may be true, but that doesn’t make my confusion over why things happen in my life any better! In fact, I have to confess to you that most of the short and cute little theological phrases we use to “comfort” others during hard times are simply not helpful. Life can be frustrating, confusing, and scary, and the whole message that…

Slave or Son? Which Are You?

The young man bristled under his father’s rules and regulations. He hated knowing that, while he was under age and under his dad’s roof, he had to buckle down and do what he was told. He daydreamed of one day being free of this harsh regiment. As he grew older, his impatience to be “free” grew stronger. And then the day arrived. He was “of age” and his father met him after…