Better To Live On The Roof!

Drama! I confess, I am not a fan of drama in my house. And here I am living with three women! I guess the joke’s on me! OK, before I get in real trouble here, let me say that I have noticed the older I get, the more I like quiet and smooth sailing. And yet, I’m a parish priest of a growing congregation filled with dynamic people, the head of a…

Better to Be Poor Than A Liar!

Why is it I keep having to learn wisdom the hard way? I mean, it isn’t like I haven’t had wise men and women and friends who have offered wise counsel. I’ve seen how bad choices can really wreck a life and then I’ve watched myself make those SAME BAD CHOICES! What gives? Well, what gives is our common, human struggle. Our will, our “want to” is weakened by fear and death.…

Forget Your WHY; Lose Your Way!

If you’ve spent any time with me at all, you know I’m a big fan of asking the “WHY” question when it comes to our motivations for living. In fact, I’m convinced that no one sticks with a pattern of life that is effective without really understanding WHY it is effective. Getting to your “WHY” is at the hearts of being able to be motivated enough, consistent enough, and faithful enough to…

Eternal Perspective Makes Joy Possible Anytime

Fr. Alexander Schemann once said “The greatest charge against a Christian is that he has no joy.” Frankly, the normal Christian faith is incompatible with a life without joy. It is specifically joy, regardless of the outward circumstances that should be the “normal” Christian life. Now I know what you’re going to say: “But father, we will be accused of being unrealistic if we are joyful all the time.” Well, sure we…

I Will Help You, Says the Lord

Nelson Mandela once said “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” This is so true. I’ve found too many people who think that because they feel fear, they are not courageous. This isn’t true. Feelings come and go, but it’s what you do in reaction to feelings…

Happiness Is A Choice

I never will forget the look on his face when I told this man that “Happiness is a choice.” You see, he had come into my office insisting that he wasn’t happy and asking what could he do about it. He wanted to hear me tell him to change his life, and I had just told him to change his mind! He was confused, to say the least! But this is true…

Are You Wise?

Socrates said “The only true wisdom is to know you know nothing.” Deep! But is the great philosopher right? In a sense, yes, because to know you know nothing means you must be in relationships to know anything. One of the most powerful draws for me in my own journey to Orthodox Christianity was this palpable connection to real people through the centuries and the heavy and obvious connection to those who…

The Door of its Opposite!

OK, it’s a great scene: Indiana Jones and his dad have reached the cave where they believe the Holy Grail has been hidden. But, to get to the treasure Indy has to pass some tests. As he approaches the first test, he remembers the words of warning “Only the penitent man will pass.” As he approaches the test, he says that the penitent man kneels before God, and he kneels at the…

But It FEELS Right!

“How can it be wrong when it feels so right?” Probably one of the most overused lines in the history of mankind right before someone does something really stupid! Yeah, I know, I’ve said it myself! So, why is it we humans get ourselves into messes like this? Simple, we let our heart be our guide! But, you say, that’s what they told me I was supposed to do, follow my heart!…

The Power of YES – The Feast of the Annunciation

Right here during our Lenten journey the Church brings us to one of the six feasts of the Theotokos, the Virgin Mary. And it is the Feast of the Annunciation. Of course you know this story well. God sends the angel Gabriel to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph and the angel (interestingly, the Greek word for “angel” is literally “messenger.” That’s a big hint by the way!) tells this…