It Is More Blessed to Give!

It’s a bit of a paradox, but the truth is Faith and Joy are gifts that can only be possessed by giving them away! Strange, isn’t it? But think about it. joy and faith are always the casualties of inattentiveness. When I stop prioritizing Faith and Joy, they diminish their presence in my life. When I focus on Faith and Joy, they grow and spread to others around me. It’s kind of…

What Draws a Crowd?

Just because something is popular, doesn’t make it good or right. William Penn said, “Avoid popularity; it has many snares and no real benefits.” In my previous religious circles, we were always working to build a big crowd so that we could assure ourselves we were doing the right thing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problems with large churches AS LONG AS they are staffed properly so that families…

Nothing is Unclean in Itself

The preacher was telling the story of the plight of those in biblical times who suffered from leprosy. They were social outcasts and had to live in leper colonies and if they ventured out, they had to call before them to warn all around the “Unclean! Unclean!” You see leprosy was highly contagious, even to the point that the clothes lepers wore were burned instead of recycled or given away. The leper…

Childlike OR Childish!

The great 20th-century thinker, Aldous Huxley, once said: “Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardor, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shams, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision.” Funny, now that I think about it, he’s right. Children have the power of clarity of thought that is absolute and simple. No wonder they are so stubborn when they want something. It simply never occurred to them that they didn’t have…

Free At Last, Thank God Almighty, I’m Free At Last!

Janis Joplin had a hit record after her death in 1971 called “Me and Bobby McGee” that had a line that said, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” Kind of a depressing thought, but then again, the song is about the memory of a happier time and the loss of that time, so I guess that makes sense. The whole concept of freedom is at the heart of most of human…

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…

Many Blessings Equal Great Responsibility!

“Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done.” All through my life, I’ve heard that we should “count” our blessings. If we would do this, we would be protected against falling into the “pit of despair” and we would be encouraged by how much we have in our lives. I guess that’s why I love the Orthodox wisdom of “nepsis” (wakefulness). This encouraging…

Time to Grow Up!

“Petulant child!” That’s what I thought as an obviously frantic mother was trying to placate a toddler throwing a fit. Nothing seemed to work. He didn’t want the toy, then he did want the toy. The treat mom tried to give the boy was accepted then thrown down and the screaming commenced again. She tried holding him. That didn’t work. She tried letting him down. That didn’t work. The look in her…

Your Name Is Written In Heaven

One of the greatest practical jokes ever played on me was when some friends actually hid my car from me while I was at work. As a teenage boy, my car was my ticket to freedom. It represented my passage from a child to a man! Besides, I looked really cool driving it around the mall parking lot with the windows down, hoping that pretty girl would notice! I panicked! I looked…

Time to Rest!

Ah, summertime! The season of vacations, a more relaxed pace of life, adventures, and warm weather. “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy….” Summertime is such a wonderful time of year. But our society is one in which most Americans take little to no vacation time. The drive to produce creates the sense that I always have to be “productive.” A friend of mine recently sent me an article naming the top ways…