Beware Mere Rulekeepers!

As a former police officer, I remember well having to memorize the rules of the road so that I could ENFORCE the rules. Of course, all these laws were on the books for people’s safety, but I can’t tell you how tempting it was to reduce that central purpose to the mere enforcing the rules as a purpose unto itself. You can always tell the difference between an officer who gets the…

The God of Generosity!

It’s Gift Giving Season! But that can be dangerous if you don’t know WHY Giving is vital to your spiritual well-being! Listen to St. Poemen. “As far as you can, do some manual work so as to be able to give alms, for it is written that alms and faith purify from sin.” Why? Why does almsgiving and faith purify from sin? By the way, this is a big deal! Look at…

I Think I Misunderstood!

Why is it we humans struggle with understanding certain things about life, technology, relationships, politics, and the list goes on and on? Well, it’s got everything to do with different experiences, different upbringing, different priorities, and so on. But what if there was a basic understanding that was fundamentally common to all humans, something meant to be so basic and so fundamental that every human could and should understand it? Misunderstanding something…

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And they (whoever they are?) are right. And that is both comforting and kind of scary when you think about it. My children are going to learn how to behave and live by watching and copying me! Poor kids. But think about it. We were created in the image of God to be made into His likeness. I know I’ve said this…

The Kindled Light

It’s amazing how powerful even a little light is when it’s dark. A small, flickering flame can brighten a dark room, and, amazingly the darker the room, the more powerful even the smallest amount of light! I remember visiting Ruby Falls as a little boy and going into the underground caverns with the tour, holding my mon’s hand tightly. It got even tighter when the tour guide turned out the lights in…

The “Mystery” of Lawlessness

The old Chinese curse says “May you live in interesting times.” Call me old-fashioned, but I think now qualifies as “interesting times.” And when your life or my life is surrounded by chaos, confusion, disappointment, or unmet expectations, the temptation to panic or thrash about can certainly take over and my life becomes intoxicated with fear or anger or resentment or even hopelessness. But we followers of Jesus Christ aren’t meant to…

Not Quickly Shaken

The American golf pro Tiger Woods once said “Sensationalism sells; don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.” It seems our modern age is awash in “storytelling” and narrative all too often at the expense of a sober look at the reality of the situation. But sensationalism does sell. We humans seem to be easily manipulated by the emotional candy and experiential “sugar rush” of easy answers and…

St. Nicholas: An Icon of Leadership

“I’m their leader! Which way did they go?” I have a cap with two bills on it, one in the front and one in the back with that slogan on it. It’s funny because it’s so often true. Leadership is always such a rewarding and challenging calling. In fact, if you could get most leaders to share their deepest and most honest feelings, you would find that most leaders feel quite inadequate…

THANK YOU!

Thank You! Thank you for supporting Faith Encouraged Ministries for #GivingTuesday this year! We had a goal of $1000 for that day and we raised almost $2000 between our FaceBook efforts and our PayPal donation button! This was so Encouragd=ing to Fr. Barnabas and the whole Faith Encouraged Team! We are continuing our end-of-year donation push toward a goal of $5000 to help us with 2022 expenses and enhance our website and…

Abortion: An Orthodox Perspective

I was blessed to be one of the guests on a recent Stewardship Calling podcast on Ancient Faith radio. My friend and parishioner, Bill Marianes, invited me to speak about the theology of the Orthodox Church regarding abortion, and we had a lively discussion about this very passionate and painful topic. I invite you to listen to the recording of the program and share your thoughts with me at email hidden; JavaScript…