Christ Is Born!

Christ is Born! Glorify Him. With this traditional greeting we Orthodox Christians mark the beginning of the Feast of the Nativity of the Theanthropos (The God-Man) Jesus Christ. God takes His flesh from one of us in the person of the Theotokos, the Virgin Mary, and comes among us as the One promised by the Prophets in the First Testament. And He comes fulfilling the scriptures that He would be “Emmanuel,” God…

You Are My Son! Today, I Have Begotten You

As we approach Bethlehem to celebrate, it’s time to insist on some heavy theology today. So, let’s buckle our proverbial seat beats and do some soul stretching theological work out! Jesus Christ is 100% God and, at the very same time 100% Man. As St. Basil declares “What is not assumed is not healed.” This powerful identity of Jesus Christ is at the very foundation of the Christian Faith. In fact, every…

Marines Don’t Do That!

Recently, I read an article by Michael Wheeler of Harvard Business School on how to make necessary split second decisions. Interestingly enough, Mr. Wheeler concluded that these kinds of decisions we all face always flow from our life-long and deeply developed character. Dr. Wheeler’s article “Marines Don’t Do That: Mastering the Split-Second Decision” concludes that making these kinds of decisions in our lives require us to constantly summon the better parts of…

Don’t Throw Your Confidence Away!

It seems we Southerners have an “old saying” for everything. When I was in Boston for seminary, a young man from another part of the country asked me “Barnabas, is there a book I can buy with all these Southern sayings in them?” I laughed and told him “No, son, we Southerners guard these sayings very closely!” Of course, there are tons of books out there that recount all our “old sayings.”…

There is None Good But God

I love what Mark Twain once said: “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.” Yep, I know what he means. I squirm under the light of someone who’s life radiates a goodness I so often wish I had and all too often do not! My best friend use to say that “No life is a total waste; it can always serve as a bad…

Let The Children Come to ME

You weren’t made for brokenness and loneliness and isolation. You were made to be in communion. And that’s because you are created in God’s image. So, that begs the question: How does God “know” Himself? What does it mean to be made in the image of God? God knows Himself as Persons in Communion. In eternity past, before time, before creation, God is perfectly Himself without need or depravation. He is complete…

God Made Them Male and Female

Statistics are funny things. It seems everyone who wants to sway public opinion will use statistics to bolster their argument. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do the same thing, but apparently I’ve lived to that age in life where the old saying “figures don’t lie, but liars figure” strikes me as an important reminder in our polarized age! What a strange way to begin a devotional! I will say though that…

Fire And Salt!

When I was serving as a police officer in my 20’s and early 30’s one of the most difficult aspects of the job was dealing with the abuse and misuse of children. I simply lost the ability to see the perpetrator as a person. They had hurt a child. I just found it almost impossible to keep perspective when it came to children being mistreated. But I guess that’s understandable because when…

Not One of Us, Eh?

I remember as a boy dreading recess at school. You see, I was a bit of a bookworm and not very athletic, and so when it came to be picked for teams, I was usually the kid who got picked last. Ugh! I hated that. It was embarrassing and it made me feel like a loser! Of course, when report card time came, all the jocks wished they were me! We humans…

AWAKE, O Sleeper!

“Wake up, sleepy head!” Boy, I REALLY didn’t want to get out of bed! You know how you feel when someone wakes you up from a deep sleep? I felt disoriented, and groggy. It felt like my eyelids weighed a ton! But, staying in the bed wasn’t an option if I wanted to go with the rest of the family on the trip we’d planned for months! I HAD TO get up…