Freedom’s Just Another Word…

Janice 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…

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…

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…

Do You Love Me?

At the risk of really dating myself with this movie reference, I remember the movie “Love Story” and the famous line from the film “love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Hey, it was the early 70’s and we were just coming out of the tumultuous 60’s. We needed a bit of saccharine sweetness! But does love really mean never having to say you’re sorry? Really? Is our understanding of authentic love really encompassed by such…

OH NO! It’s Doubt!

Paul Tillich once said, “Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is one element of faith.” Interesting! In reading the Psalms, I encounter such true life and even great heroes of the faith questioning God or struggling with momentary doubt about God and His plan. The Psalmist struggled with watching the wicked prosper while he, working hard to live as God directed, suffered and struggled. But then his doubt melted away when he…

Is There Injustice in God?

If you could know the future, would you want to? I mean, really; if you could know the exact moment of your death, would you want that information? Knowing the future has been a preoccupation for we humans forever! I remember riding in the backseat of a car with a friend and passing one of those little houses on the side of the road with the big sign out front: “Madam So and…

All Creation Groans

Being in the room when my daughters were born was an unforgettable experience. Of course, I was a spectator. It was my wife that was doing all the work! And it wasn’t always a “fun” experience. In fact, I was “invited” to experience some of that pain while holding the hand of my bride during labor. The woman has a very strong grip! The event of childbirth is such a powerful icon…

2nd International Conference on Digital Media and Orthodox Pastoral Care

Dear Faith Encouraged Family, Fr. Barnabas leaves this Saturday to attend and present at the 2nd International Conference on Digital Media and Orthodox Pastoral Care to be held in Chania, Crete, Greece June 18-21. (www.dmopc18.com) This conference draws on an international representatives from several Orthodox Local Churches as well as representatives from over 21 countries. And the speakers, both clergy and laity, will offer talks that focus our attention on the opportunities,…

You Are In The Spirit

Debt is a prison. Just ask anyone still paying Federal School Loans. The truth is the modern phenomenon of Student Loans is a ticking time bomb in our economy as more and more people find a sense of hopelessness in ever escaping the burden of paying for higher education. But a sense of indebtedness isn’t always negative. In fact, one can make the argument that a sense of indebtedness towards other to…

Thank God Almighty I’m Free At Last!

On August 28, 1963, Baptist minister and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the mall in Washington, D.C. In it he uttered the equally famous line “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we’re free at last.” These words still stir my heart today. Some try to reduce freedom to mere temporal political “rights.” Others seem to suggest that freedom…