Godly Grief Works Repentance

But I was really sorry. I said so over and over again. And I really meant it. I was sorry for what I did. And it wasn’t the first time. It wasn’t even the second time. It was multiple times I’d stumbled over the same mistake. And I was really sorry. But nothing changed. Why? Why was I so gripped by this short-sighted behavior? Why was I so vulnerable to this “besetting…

Soldiers of the Light

It was a favorite Sunday School song in my 1st-grade class on Sundays! “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine!” We would hold up our right index fingers as we sang the song. What a nice memory. But then something…

The Curtain Is Pulled Back

When I was a boy the movie The Wizard of Oz was always showing around Easter time. I’m not sure why the TV executives chose that time of year to show this movie, but I do remember looking forward to it every year. I especially like the spot toward the end where Toto pulls back the curtain hiding the professor who is running all the gadgets that he created to trick others.…

Not What But WHY

“We must speak out! We CANNOT be silent! Silence makes evil possible!” We hear this a lot nowadays, and I confess, I have great sympathy for this message. I’m a preacher, after all. And the public and fearless declaration of the Gospel is normal for we Christians through history. But, as usual, a one-sided perspective on this will lead to a lack of sobriety and balance. There is an equal witness to…

Perfect, Complete, Mature, Healthy!

A recent article on the Christian view of marriage is titled “Marriage is a Lifetime of Suffering.” You won’t see that on any Hallmark card for wedding anniversaries anytime soon. And yet, the idea of salvific suffering is so foreign to us as to be actually offensive to many. But the Christian understanding of life and salvation can be summed up in this quote from Elder Sophrony of Sussex “…in this world,…

To Be Attentive Is To Anticipate!

You remember when you were a kid and Christmas seemed to take forever. My mom used to use that old tried and true way to get me and my brother to behave through the year: “Boys, Santa is watching and Christmas is just (fill in the blank) away!” Well, the older I got the shorter that line would get me to behave! And Christmas seemed to come quicker and quicker as my birthdays increased!…

Are You Ready for the Parousia?

Standing in line at the supermarket is such an education. As I’m placing my grocery items on the conveyor belt and watching them slide toward the cashier, I glance toward the ubiquitous magazines there in the check-out line and read headlines screaming at me that Big Foot has been seen again, the latest Hollywood starlet has been cheated on or has cheated on her spouse, an aging actor tells all, and (most…

Looking Forward to THE DAY!

In the early ’80s, Merle Haggard came out with a great country song about “Rainbow Stew.” The song celebrated a time when everything in the world would be right and then, well, I’ll let some of the lyrics enlighten you. This is verse three: You don’t have to get high to get happy Just think about what’s in store When people start doing what they ought to be doing And they won’t…

Meant to Make You Like Christ!

Listen to this quote from St. Symeon the New Theologian: “In the future life the Christian is not examined if he has renounced the whole world for Christ’s love, or if he has distributed his riches to the poor or if he fasted or kept vigil or prayed, or if he wept and lamented for his sins, or if he has done any other good in this life, but he is examined…