Look Inward, Look Upward!

One of the most fundamental marks of maturity is the clear and unmistakable realization that actions have consequences. Ideas have consequences because they become actions. And avoiding consequences is always a sign of immaturity. No wonder our modern world is struggling, as it has always struggled, with the consequences of ideologies and actions. And we see it everywhere. From the sad state of affairs in the war-torn Middle East, to our very…

THANK YOU!

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The Kingdom is a PERSON, Not a Place!

Through all of human history, humanity has conceived of the “perfect” society and each time we humans have endeavored to build it, it turned out to either fail or become a nightmare. In 1787, the Founding Fathers of the United States met in Independence Hall in Philadelphia to hammer out the Constitution of the United States, the governing document of the nation. When a lady asked Benjamin Franklin outside the Hall “Well,…

Doing What I Should!

Let’s face it; we all have to deal with unpleasant realities. You know the situations I’m talking about: those moments in life when there either a difficult confrontation that has to happen or a struggle with bureaucracy or just a difficult relationship that has to end or change. It’s just not fun. It’s scary. It’s aggravating. But, it’s going to happen! So, how do we face such moments in life as believers?…

TRADITION! Tradition!

I was on Broadway in New York City, and I had tickets to “The Fiddler on the Roof!” And I was as giddy as a school boy. This is one of my favorite plays, mainly because one of the deep vacuums in my life was a sense of rootlessness because I was part of the vast American population that didn’t know where my family came from, and I felt this missing identity.…

Countless Guides, But Not Many Fathers

We have over 30 families going through our A Journey to Fullness class at the parish and they keep hearing me say “This is a family, not a corporation or a club.” One of the key aspects of Orthodoxy that drew me to the Church was this mindset away from church as a religious club and a serious commitment to an actual community. In a society that is increasingly gripped in the…

Who Are The Other Sheep?

We have an annual Greek Festival at our parish that we have done for the past 14 years. It is exhausting and wonderful. When I first came to the parish about 8 years ago, we had to ask our neighboring parishes to send their Greek dancers to our festival so we could showcase this wonderful aspect of our culture. This year I looked and all our children were dancing, and almost half…

The Purposeful Discipline of Generosity

As someone who has spent most of my adult life either as a police officer or in the nonprofit world, I can tell you, generosity is both addictive and life giving. It really is. Studies have shown that there are real psychological changes in someone’s behavior and mood when they are generous. And it seems we Americans are more generous than ever, but our generosity is changing. In the past few years…

A Stranger They Will Not Follow

I was a nervous wreck! A 15-year-old teenager with his best buddies was sneaking into a movie theater without paying! I can hear the voice of my mother in my head “Young man, you carry your family name. That should make you think twice about doing things you know you shouldn’t!” We didn’t get caught. We loved the movie. We laughed, and we congratulated ourselves for our stealth and our “courage.” And I…

Made Perfect!

The word “asceticism” is something of a mystery to our modern way of life. We have lived with such plenty and such amazing comfort and ease for so long that now we assume that all of life is meant to be pain (and even effort) free. Just consider our attitudes towards marriage. We assume that marriage is meant to “fulfill us” or “complete us” as if the Hollywood version of romantic love…