The Unforgivable Sin

A popular show (on PBS no less) is Downton Abbey. And that's a bit surprising to me since we Americans seem to always be gripped, al least in our rhetoric, with this notion of egalitarianism. But this popular show is very much about the clear stratification of "classes" and the "drama" of etiquette and class. In that society, a violation of what is "acceptable" can be an "unforgivable" mistake that scares one's reputation for a lifetime. "What, he didn't extend his pinky while holding his tea cup!? Unforgivable!"

I Know You Are, But What Am I?

The playground bully was speechless. He was bigger than me. He was stronger than me. And he was better at fighting than me in every way except one. I was faster on my feet with a verbal response. He had just taunted me about being a "weak, mama's boy" and I responded "I know you are but what am I?" Huh? I could see the confusion on his face. I watched as he tried to process the verbal judo I had used to throw him off balance in our confrontation. He just didn't get it. So, in the fog of confusion he went back to his old tried and true method of dealing with situations like this. He beat me up! Well, that didn't turn out like I had hoped.

Half Finished

Distracted again! And once again the familiar reminder! "Sweetheart, stop watching the IPad and finish your homework." Back to the task, but slowly the distraction returns and the pull of what I want rather than what I need starts its all too familiar tug of war inside my precious 8 year old. But, hey, she's young, She hasn't learned how to discipline her actions and desires. That's why I'm called to parent her. But wait, what about when my distractions leave important things in my life unfinished? Could that be a similar symptom of childishness winning out over wisdom? Yeah, I know. I hate it when it's that obvious!

My Own Worst Enemy

"Well, you should have known better!" Oh how I hated hearing that from my mom. It was the tone in her voice as well as the words. You know the one. The tone that communicated disappointment, disapproval, AND frustration all at the same time! Oh, I HATED it! But what made things worse was she was right! I SHOULD HAVE known better. In fact, I did know better and yet, there I go again. Amazing. And here I was a "grown man" making the mistakes of a teenager! ARRGH! (By the way, that's a very technical term I learned from Charlie Brown.)

Confronted with Comparison

Today we are Confronted with Comparison. The Rich Man and Lazarus confront us with a reality we ignore at our own peril. Are you ready to have your mind renewed by the wisdom of Jesus Christ?

Our Saturday Guest Blog – Bless Them That Curse You

This Saturday we hear from Fr. Alex Trader. "A growling dog will inevitably make another dog growl in turn or cower in fear. A hissing cat will inevitably make another cat hiss in response or fly up a tree. But people do have a choice when others curse them and swear at them. Yes, they can swear back, which according to biologists, is the human analogue to a dog’s growl and a cat’s hiss. But they can also inhibit that animal instinct as the situation requires, which according to neuroscientists takes place through the regulatory function of the prefrontal cortex, that cerebral place where morals and a sense of right and wrong can be found. And yet beyond just inhibiting a growl or merely suppressing a hiss, we can act in wonderfully surprising and sublimely counterintuitive ways that reveal the divine magnitude of human freedom. Through love for Christ and with the grace of Christ, we can even “bless them that curse us.” Go here to read the rest - http://ancientchristianwisdom.com/2014/10/25/bless-them-that-curse-you/

The Strong Man Has Come!

It never ceases to amaze me when I succumb to fears that flow from a forgetful faith. It seems a week doesn't pass (or sometimes even a day) when I am either mindlessly faithless or I have reduced my faith to mere "decoration."

Good Fathers Give Bread

One of the greatest revelations I had in my journey to Orthodox Christianity was the powerful theological truth preserved in the timeless Christian tradition of calling our clergy "father." You may object by telling me that Jesus commanded "Call no man 'father'" in Matthew 23:9. And on the surface that might seem to be the end of the discussion but you may want to sit down here!