Today, we hear the Lord use the words that we priests use every time we baptize a new Christian: if anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. Today, if we are to be the followers of Jesus, we must embrace the rhythm of the spiritual life laid out for us by our faith. That rhythm is basically three movements toward spiritual maturity.…
Faith Encouraged Live with Fr. Barnabas now has it’s own Facebook Page where friends can get advanced notice about upcoming programs, guests, and special offers.
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Oh and don’t forget to tune in Sunday night at 8 PM Eastern/5 PM Pacific on Sunday September 28 for our program on “Rapturemaina: What does the Orthodox Church Teach about the End Times?” You can submit your questions here and maybe Fr. Barnabas will use it on the show!
Today’s Guest blog comes from Fr. Stephen Freeman:
Among the many losses within modern Christianity has been the place of transformation. Nineteenth century revival movements and theology emphasized a single experience that was associated with salvation. Those who concerned themselves with what came later, described growth in the Christian life as “sanctification,” and tended to imply that it was optional. Contemporary Christians have settled for a spiritual life in a plain brown wrapper ever since.
Read the rest here – https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/2014/09/13/christianity-in-a-plain-brown-wrapper/
I am always amazed at my own blindness to what I say I believe when my life is flooded with fear. I don’t just talk about this in the “big problems” of my life. That’s too easy to see. No, I’m talking about those everyday challenges that flood my moments with a hypocrisy that really shocks me about myself.
Do I have your attention?
Most of the time I feel pressed for time. A confession – I am addicted to saying “yes” to offers, invitations, and projects! I do this so often that my wife has to remind me that, as of now, I do not have the gift of bi-location! Because of this addiction, I frequently find myself stressed over deadlines, commitments, and projects yet to be completed. And, when I’m tempted with impatience (as I often am) I have to remind myself in repentance that most of this stress is self induced!
Why does the Church offer us the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross? Because the Christian faith is about dealing with reality and having our all too easy temptations to delusions and the fantasy of what I’m afraid of or what I wish for blind us to the reality God wants us to embrace! Waking up is hard, but it has to be done![youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8t81evmvJM?list=UUexfCDc6_Cu6Scuq2Y-9HWQ]
I have a fun refrain with my girls. It started some time ago. In a teasing manner, I would yell “REPENT!” and their little voices would respond “and believe the Gospel!” So, to this day I will sometimes yell “REPENT” and here comes that response…
Ah, the exclusive humor of being a preacher’s kid! I may need your help paying the therapy bills for these kids!
My daughters and I have this little game we play. I ask them “How much do you love me?” And they, giggling and smiling, try to stretch their little arms as wide as they can and say “This much, daddy!” Of course then they ask me how much I love them and I make as big a show as I can to stretch my arms as wide as I can and say “This much, baby girl!” And then we all start trying to compete and see who can stretch their arms wider! It all ends with much stretching, laughing, and smiles! It’s a fun game.
There is a joy in recalling those moments in life when something was told to you, or some example was given to you, or something happened to you to “turn the light on” in your heart or mind. One such instance came when our merry band of spiritual seekers were working our way to the Orthodox Church.
We were blessed to have some teachers who had traveled a similar path
Just in case you missed it, here’s the first Faith Encouraged Live show!
The Spiritual Discipline of Hospitality flows from the truth that we are created in God’s image and He knows Himself as Persons in Communion. Turns out we will only know our true selves in communion too!
Listen, and let me know what you think!