Simple YES. Easy NO!

Being a typical man (that’s not a bad thing!) I always assume I don’t need to read the directions! After all, I’m educated. I’m capable. I know what’s going on, right? Uh, yeah, right. So, with that confidence (perhaps overconfidence) I launched into putting together the table we just purchased from the Do It Yourself store. It said “Do It Yourself” after all. Several hours later and frayed nerves to the point of snapping, I…

That Apple Tree Has Pears On It!

“Don’t judge me!” With that, the argument was suppose to be over. After all, my interlocutor had used the nuclear bomb of debate. He had pulled out the “Judge Not” card. And, after all, since he was debating a Christian, that meant the discussion was over and he had effectively shut down the uncomfortable reality that he was losing badly! So he said “Let’s agree to disagree.” And I responded “No.” You…

Nepsis

It seems we’ve been focusing on being awake this week and today is no exception. In fact, I want to really dive deep today in the central wisdom of the Church that teaches you and me to “BE” awake to what is most important in life. And that’s because it seems in our modern world there is an increasing amount of troubles, temptations, violence, demands, politics, morality confusion, technological discoveries, mindsets, and…

What ARE You Thinking?

“It is a great achievement not to be attracted by things. But it is a far greater achievement to remain dispassionate in the face both of things and of the conceptual images we derive from them.” St. Maximos the Confessor Isn’t that great? The ability to be free from a slavery to desires, but not just desires; to be free from the ideas these desires conjure in our minds! That’s the kind…

Three Questions God Asks You Today

“But I don’t want to!” My 5 year old simply didn’t want to go to school that day. She didn’t want to, and that fact alone should have released her from her obligation to attend class that day. “I don’t want to!” Imagine her surprise when her father, the mean ogre forcing her to do what she didn’t want to do, informed her that her momentary desire did not overwhelm the constant…

Cooties!

It’s amazing how perspectives change as you get older. When I was a kid in elementary school, we boys were absolutely convinced that the girls had cooties! Of course, we had no idea what “cooties” were, but if the girls had them then that meant we needed to be as far away from them as we possibly could! What was really nice was that, at that time, my initials were CP, and…

Go To Church!

In one of the retreats that I give around the country, I have a particular presentation about how to heal the weaknesses of our modern age. I use examples from sociology, psychology, science, and even religion. But then I get down to the timeless and purposeful answer from Orthodoxy: GO TO CHURCH! It usually gets at least a smile from folks, but it’s meant to be a wake-up call for us all. You see,…

Abraham Had Two Sons…

“Did you hear…” That’s the beginning of a moment that rarely turns out good! And that’s because this is usually the beginning of a conversation that is more gossip than true. But we do love to gossip, don’t we? Unfortunately, there are real consequences to spreading stories, especially when those stories are either untrue or, (sometimes worse yet) half true! And it seems to be so easy to not get the story…

The Whole Armor of God

I love this Armed Forces Motto: “The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.” Isn’t that great? In other words, when you put the time into preparing for battle, the more ready you are to face the fight. And what is true for physical fighting is also true for the spiritual battle each of us faces every day! What? You didn’t know this was going to be a…

We Did Not Yield!

There was a day when I relished a good theological argument. Jousting with this or that “opponent” over this or that doctrine was as much fun as it was challenging. My favorite fights were over questions about the Trinity or predestination or even the very question about what was salvation anyway. I’d pour over scriptures and read books about apologetics and hone my “arguments” until I thought they were ironclad! And then…