He Came The First Time. He Will Come Again!

He loved scaring me. I had a buddy of mine who thought it was hilarious to sneak up behind me and yell as loud as he could. Of course, I’d jump two feet off the ground and he’d just laugh and laugh. After I stopped shaking, I’d laugh with him. It was fun. After a while though, I started expecting it and he didn’t scare me anymore. That’s what happens when you’re…

The Power Of BEING Holy

The word Holy means “set apart for a specific and exclusive use.” Something or someone who is holy is singularly dedicated to a single purpose and action. No wonder the Church gives us the gift of marriage as an icon of faithfulness and dedication to teach us about our true purpose in belonging only to Jesus. Being faithful is the whole purpose of a Christian’s life. And the only way to be…

Being Orthodox On Purpose

I’ve been saying “Orthodox on Purpose” for so long that sometimes I wonder if I’ve grown deaf to the wisdom behind the words. After all, the danger for any minister is to keep all the words of his purpose and forget the meaning behind them. Terrifying! But I’ve discovered that most of us struggle to know just what our true purpose is supposed to be! Every time I begin to forget, I…

Giving Tuesday Is Here! Will You Help?

Today is Giving Tuesday. This focus started several years ago to help us reorient ourselves away from the overly hyped shopping frenzy of the holiday season so we don’t tumble into the sad prison of merely consuming! So Giving Tuesday has become a time where we donate to non-profits that are trying to do good in the world. Here’s a note we received recently at Faith Encouraged Ministries: “I always enjoy mail…

That’s All I Can Stand; I Can’t Stand Anymore!

As a boy, I loved the old Popeye the Sailorman cartoons. Every afternoon, we’d come home from school and my grandmother would let us watch the Popeye Club on Channel 5. It seemed each episode would have the patient and good Popeye put up with some shenanigans from Bluto. But then Popeye would say his famous line: “That’s all I can stands; I can’t stands no more!” Then Bluto would get what…

You Are Our Glory And Joy!

St. Basil said, “And so let us be glad and bear with patience everything the world throws at us, secure in the knowledge that it is then that we are most in the mind of God.” What a true blessing to read and know, especially in a moment in human history when those who control the popular narrative being fed to us on a daily basis have decided that Christ-followers are “dangerous.”…

On This Thanksgiving Day

I hated what was coming and, what made it worse was, it was unavoidable. It was a confrontation with a supervisor that had been building for some time, and it wasn’t going to be pretty. As he and I sat in the office of the consultant that the company had brought in to help several employees come to some resolution with a common challenge we all had with this supervisor, it was…

A Blessed Thanksgiving To All

From all of us at Faith Encouraged Ministries, Faith Encouraged TV, and Faith Encouraged Daily Devotionals, may the God of Loving Grace keep you and your family during this Thanksgiving Holiday. Remember that Fr. Alexander Schmemann once said: “Everyone capable of Thanksgiving is capable of salvation and eternal joy!” We are SO THANKFUL for YOU! (And for all of you outside the US, we are especially grateful on this American Thanksgiving for…

Being Grateful Makes You Strong

St. Paisios said, “Sometimes the devil deceives us and makes us unable to be pleased with anything; however, one can celebrate all things in a spiritual manner, with doxology, and secure God’s constant blessing.” The older I get, the more I see the gratitude and the cultivation of gratitude that is the key to spiritual peace. The ability to be grateful is in direct proportion to humility and honesty. But how do we…

Imitators Of Christ!

“Early is on time. On Time is late. Late is unacceptable!” These were my words, but they were coming out of my daughter’s mouth! She was giving a friend of her’s a hard time about being late to dance practice. We don’t “do” “Greek time” or “Country time” or any other ethnic excuse for being late in our house. That’s not how we treat other people or ourselves. Needless to say, I…