The “Excellent” Way

“Excellence” is a term we hear a lot in sports and in business. And that ties the word to an idea of achievement or progress. But there is also an application of “excellence” when it comes to your relationship with God, and that has little to do with achievement or progress and everything to do with growing in love for God and others! Look at our lesson today in 1 Corinthians 12:27-31; 13:1-8…

Diluted Faith

“It’s like trying to take an aspirin for cancer!” OK, that got my attention! The speaker was talking about the dangers of watering down the clear message needed for our group so that it wasn’t so discomforting. But his illustration really drove the point home that some problems need the fully potent dose of truth to be corrected. I admit it hit home with me, especially as I thought about how just…

Do You Remember Where You Came From?

In 1861 Robert E. Lee wrote “With all my devotion to the Union and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home.” In the end, he simply couldn’t raise his sword against his home state of Virginia, even though President Lincoln had offered him the command of the whole…

To Hear and Be Healed

  In the beginning God said…. And with that action God has been using speaking and hearing to start the process of metania (repentance) in the hearts of those who have “ears to hear.” There are so many examples of this pattern of God’s actions that there are too many to mention them all. God “called” abraham from the land of his father. God “called” the prophet Samuel and the prophet Isaiah…

The Thief and The Christ

Jack Canfield (he’s the guy who wrote “Chicken Soup for the Soul”) once said “Clarify your purpose. What is the WHY behind everything you do? When we know this in life or design it is very empowering and the path is clear.” But what about the motives of others that aren’t so clear? The truth is so many people out there are more than willing to tell you how you should live.…

Look To Yourselves

The great, ancient philosopher Lao Tzu said “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” And I would, arrogantly, add that the first step in mastering yourself is truly knowing yourself. And that, my angels, is much more profound than what any of us might imagine. Of course, this is what’s behind all the Divine Mysteries of the Faith; the confrontation with…

We Prefer Rules over Wisdom

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…

Fear Is The Mind Killer

  “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” This is the litany Paul Atreides recites in the book “Dune” as he is being tested.…

Everything is Great!

What if every time you turn around, no matter what happens, it ends up helping you? It seemed like it was one of those days. All the traffic lights were green. Even the cars in front of me were moving along at a good speed. My favorite song came on the radio in just enough time for me to hear the whole song before I arrived at my appointment. And then, when…

Are You Blessed?

There is a common temptation to reduce all religion to merely behavioral modification systems. In other words, too many people think Faith is about making you a “good” person. For some religious systems, this may be true. But it is decidedly NOT the normal Orthodox Christian mindset. Orthodox Christianity isn’t about making you a “good” person but making you a “REAL” person. The changes in your behavior, your choices, your priorities in…