Boundaries Are Essential

Do you know the difference between a barrier and a threshold? It’s actually quite an important distinction. There’s actually some really important contemplation to be done here. Boundaries are necessary for healthy relationships BUT those boundaries need thresholds to stay healthy. I can’t tell you how many people have sat in my office talking about troubles with their relationships with family and heard them talk about how they never talk to their…

FORTH-Telling

Growing up in that sliver of Christian sub-culture of the American South in the 70s and 80s, that was the time of the Left Behind novels and constant speculation about who is the Anti-Christ and if Jesus’ Second Coming was just around the corner. Was Russia going to invade Israel? Is the bar code the “mark of the beast” from Revelation? Are you ready for the Rapture? Frankly, it was all both…

Doubting John The Baptist

Christ is risen! Paul Tillich once said, “Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is one element of faith.” Interesting! Real life is filled with moments of doubt and any honest person has to admit that doubt rears its ugly head in our lives from time to time. The mistake is two-fold – Either trying to ignore doubt or allowing doubt to swallow our life whole. Both reactions are wrong because they deny…

The Ascension Reveals Our True Purpose

Christ is Ascended! There was an article recently in the Wall Street Journal talking about the noticeable increase in the amount of Americans converting to Orthodoxy. And one of the more amazing discoveries is that these converts are embracing the Orthodox Faith in spite of having no cultural connection to traditional Orthodox cultures. And, a sizable amount of these converts are young men. Why is this happening, the reporter asked me when…

True Faith Isn’t DIY

Christ is risen! (On this Leave-Taking of the Feast of Pascha!) One of my very first jobs was at the fast-food restaurant Burger King! Man, that was a hoot. I loved the fact that I could work there after school and on weekends and get a free hamburger too! Yeah, that wasn’t a very healthy choice. But Burger King was one of the first fast-food places to let you decide what you…

“You Are Very Religious”

Christ is risen! In the heady days of the Enlightenment in Europe, the elites and the educated were convinced humanity had turned a corner away from the silly superstitions of religion and towards the “mature” and “enlightened” attitudes of the materialistic world. Science would lead to a “Golden Age” of human reason, and all this silly talk of God and miracles and resurrections would be abandoned as we humans grew up from…

The Message Of Jesus Disrupts

Christ is risen! The old apocryphal Chinese curse seems innocuous at first, but when you really think about it, it is truly a curse: “May you live in interesting times.” To wish for someone to live in times of turmoil and upheaval really is an ironic wish. But most of human history is turmoil and disruption. The United States has been around since 1776 and has fewer years of peace than conflict.…

The Rulekeepers

Christ is risen! It’s so easy to be “one-sided!” You know what I mean – “That idea is so wrong and everyone who thinks that way and acts that way is misguided.” And you may be right about that, BUT, there is also a danger on the other side as well. You can become just as misguided by insisting you’re right as those who are stumbling on the other side. It’s easy…

The Spiritual Discipline of True “Dialogos”

Christ is risen! It seems we are a society of fads. To say that our modern culture is captured by the immediate and temporary seems to be a bit of an understatement! Just look around at what passes for actual conversation and see the effects of this faddish and tribal mentality at work. There is a lost art in true “diologos.” And there is a crushing lack of understanding about doing dialog…

I See You! Sunday’s Homily

On this Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, we are confronted with the message that we must never neglect the marginalized in society AND the confrontation that all of us must be changed. Both parts of the Message of the Gospel MUST be our work and our calling. The purpose of the Faith is to CHANGE YOU!