Hey Aren’t You…?

All I can say was it was embarrassing! I could have sworn the person I ran up to in the store was a buddy of mine from High School. I just knew this was going to be a fun reunion, and we’d laugh about that time we all… and we’d talk about the old days and comment on how hard that Algebra class was and how the teacher was so difficult, and…

I Need A Guide!

OK, so I have a hard time asking for directions. But, hey, since the invention of the GPS, I don’t have to! My man’s ego is protected by technology once again! Seriously, I do admit to not being crazy about asking for help. It feels like weakness to me and that plugs into my own weakness and pride. I guess that’s why I keep getting into situations where I have no choice…

The Futility of Their Minds

Think about the word “Appropriate.” What a powerful idea! If something or someone is “appropriate” then that thing or that person or that situation is laudatory, worthy of emulation, and creates a space where there is a sense of well being. In other words, the complete opposite of the current American election for president! OK, no politics, but seriously, dear ones, can this society support even the vestiges of the concept of…

Countless Guides, But Not Many Fathers

We have over 30 families going through our A Journey to Fullness class at the parish and they keep hearing me say “This is a family, not a corporation or a club.” One of the key aspects of Orthodoxy that drew me to the Church was this mindset away from church as a religious club and a serious commitment to an actual community. In a society that is increasingly gripped in the…

Hey, You Don’t Belong Here!

I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I had wandered into the wrong place. Everything about me screamed, “he doesn’t belong here!” And it was confirmed when a waiter came to escort me out! There is nothing quite as cutting to anyone than to be made to feel unwelcome or unwanted. The stigma of being the “outsider” is a heavy burden to bear. This is especially true when all those “insiders” have their own…

The Head Over ALL Things

He told me “Never say ‘never.’” Of course, at the time I missed the humor in that contradictory command. But, still, there is wisdom there. Whenever I counsel couples or anyone having challenges in their relationships (aren’t we all?), I tell them “Avoid the words ‘always’ and ‘never.’” And that’s because those statements are “usually” untrue, and relationships never get healed in the middle of falsehood. But there are times when words…

Your Inheritance

“Count your blessings. Name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done.” When I sang that old hymn as a boy, I wondered what it could mean. After all, how can you count your blessings? There are so many. All you’d do is count all day long. But maybe that’s the point! If we learn to focus on our blessings maybe we won’t let what we don’t…

Go And Tell; See And Hear

Life can be discouraging at times. A wise man once told me this during a particularly discouraging time in my life: “Son, don’t quit when life is tough. You don’t throw your ticket away just because the train goes through a dark tunnel!” I still remember that today. And yet, there are dark times when the temptation to give up is very strong! In fact, during those times it seems that inner…

Simple YES. Easy NO!

Being a typical man (that’s not a bad thing!) I always assume I don’t need to read the directions! After all, I’m educated. I’m capable. I know what’s going on, right? Uh, yeah, right. So, with that confidence (perhaps overconfidence) I launched into putting together the table we just purchased from the Do It Yourself store. It said “Do It Yourself” after all. Several hours later and frayed nerves to the point of snapping, I…

That Apple Tree Has Pears On It!

“Don’t judge me!” With that, the argument was suppose to be over. After all, my interlocutor had used the nuclear bomb of debate. He had pulled out the “Judge Not” card. And, after all, since he was debating a Christian, that meant the discussion was over and he had effectively shut down the uncomfortable reality that he was losing badly! So he said “Let’s agree to disagree.” And I responded “No.” You…