WORK Out Your Own Salvation!

My little brother and I were typical brothers growing up. We would engage in “sibling rivalry” now and again! But we were being raised by a single mother who worked fulltime and cared for us full time as well. One such event when we were a bit older elicited a phrase from my mom to us both that really stuck with me. I don’t even remember what we were fighting about but…

YOU Feed Them!

It was actually, physically, painful to hear her say those words. I was at the point of both tears and disbelief. You see, we had the opportunity to help some homeless people in our community by participating, as a parish, in a wonderful ministry to homeless families in our county. We are blessed to live in one of the fastest growing and wealthiest counties in Georgia and even the nation. And yet,…

To Live IS Christ!

St. Paul tells us today that “to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” I confess, every time I read this passage and contemplate this phrase, it always drives me to reconsider my own life. Can I really say this along with Paul? Of course, the answer is “no,” but before I let myself off the hook here, I want to confront the all too easy cop out I sometimes allow…

Can You Keep Your Faith?

The headlines read like a series of horror stories to many. Mass shootings and infectious diseases break out and we wonder about our own health and safety. War rages in the Middle East and radical Islamic groups are ethnically cleansing the Christians and other minority groups, even killing children because “they may grow up and seek revenge against us.” Religious citizens in America are confronted with the reality that they are growing…

Excellent

Every time I hear the word “excellent” I think of Mr. Burns from The Simpsons and it makes me smile. Or, I can go back down memory lane in my mind to “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” Either way, that word has a way of triggering several nostalgic images in my head. But the word also conveys all my training in marketing and business as well. It seems we are always striving…

Moved To Compassion

“Daddy, when will the leaves change colors?” With that, I knew I was entering into the time when my 8 year old was beginning to understand the changing of the seasons. “Do they call it ‘Fall’ because the leaves fall on the ground?” Wonderful! I confess a deep love for Fall, mainly because of my childhood growing up in the rural American South. I also confess an ontological connection with the soil…

Derail Your Doubts

She said this to me with such painful expression. I had really let her down by wondering aloud if another one of our mutual friends was really going to follow through on what he promised to do. I can still hear the pain and disappointment in her voice “you ‘doubting Thomas!’” So what is it about doubt that derails confidence? Well, past experience is a powerful image of future performance. It isn’t…

The Way to Do Family

It’s no secret that family life is filled with challenges. To be honest, I don’t think we’ve seen the real fallout of all the societal experiments we Americans have engaged in since all these movements have been demanding this or that change in society. One of the interesting, if unintended consequences, of these movements is the growth of interest in young men and women in ancient religion. For instance, the Roman Catholic…

He Who Loves His Wife Loves Himself

To say that marriage is a hot topic today would be an understatement. But, you have to understand that the motivation for all this controversy about marriage today isn’t new. And it isn’t about equality or fairness or even compassion. It’s about attack. It’s about the real, yet unstated goal of some (after all, if they were honest about what they really wanted hardly anyone would support them) to actually make the…

Provoked!

What provokes you? Politics? Religion? Race? Inequity? Violence? Chaos (OK, this one is a personal provocation!)? No matter what might provoke you to action, if you allow the provocation to be your primary motivation, you are sure to always be provoked. You see, provocation is a “result”, not a motive. And learning what is behind the reaction is key to being able to discern if the reaction is appropriate or not, healthy…