Being Filled with The Spirit

Hey, we were kids! And it was Christmas morning AND our parents were still asleep AND it was a snow cone maker AND there were sugary syrup packets! What did you expect was going to happen? Well, let’s just say that after THAT Christmas morning a general rule was firmly established: No opening presents UNTIL the adults are awake! What a sticky morning that was. But kids will be kids. They are…

You Should Have Listened to Me!

She just rolled her eyes. I’m getting that more and more from my 12 year old lately! Sure, I had just used one of my old, worn out Dad sayings, one of my favorites when I say that everyone would be happier if they would all just do as I say! She thinks I’m silly, and I do mean it in jest most of the time. But I confess a part of…

Paul Says He’s Alive!

Jesus gave us many promises as he preached and taught during His ministry. The problem is we want to pay attention to the “happy” promises like “ask, and it shall be given to you.” We have a bit more trouble hearing this promise to us from Jesus: “If the persecuted me, they will persecute you as well.” (John 15:20) That doesn’t sound like fun at all, does it? And yet, the truth…

Take Courage

When I am at peace with the direction of my life I find that restfulness spills over onto those around me. But that makes perfect sense. After all, we constantly pray in the liturgy “For our deliverance from all affliction, wrath, danger, and necessity, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.” Freed from my life being driven by “necessity” I am invited to a life of peaceful sobriety that quiets…

Full of the Holy Spirit

This famous conversation between St. Seraphim of Sarov and a young, Russian nobleman is a true treasure for us today: Movilof asked: “What does it mean, acquiring the Holy Spirit?” Abba Seraphim replied: “When you acquire something you own it, like owning money. The Holy Spirit is your heavenly capital. Let us pray to be filled with Holy Spirit and let us be silent in His presence in order to hear what…

The Gift of Prophecy

There are real and debilitating consequences to living life asleep. Wow, what a way to begin a devotional! But seriously, the ancient saying “the unexamined life is not worth living” hits home precisely because most of my troubles in my life are self-inflicted AND result from not taking the time and not developing the insight necessary to avoid the potholes in my life! You can’t hope to avoid trouble if you never…

Rules, I Hate Rules!

“They have to keep the rules, just like us!” Yeah, that’s true. We should all be held to the same standard. But wait a tick, have you kept the “rules” you expect others to keep? I know it’s hard to get your mind to shift from “what should be” to “what is,” but that’s what our lesson requires today. And there’s the rub, dear ones. But what if the purpose of the…

He Ascended Into Heaven

Today is the Feast of the Ascension, and this Feast begs the question: What is this whole ascending from the Mount of olives all about? Why didn’t Jesus just “POOF” disappear and go to the Father’s side? Why all this theatrics? It is almost axiomatic that any truth or tradition sufficiently removed from its Source or Cause tends toward superstition and nostalgia. And given enough time and thoughtlessness, it can even become…

He Who Believes in Me

Christ is risen! What does it mean to “believe in” something? I confess most of my life I’ve just taken for granted that I knew, and everyone around me knew, what that meant. I was wrong. The word “believe” means so much more than just agreeing that certain ideas are correct. The Greek word used in the New Testament for believe is πιστεύω (pistevo). It comes from the noun πίστη, which means…

Once, and For All!

Christ is risen! In World War 1 the two opposing armies would dig in and conduct what was then called “trench warfare.” The land between the two armies entrenched for the fight was called “no man’s land” because anybody who tried to attack would be shot by the other side! Not a pleasant place to be. But recently I was teaching after our regular Wednesday night service about the unique place the…