Today We Give Thanks!

My daughter was having some challenges with her friends at school. There was a new group of girls that had invited her to become part of the group. They went shopping together and spent the night at one of the girl’s houses. They were being typical teenagers and having a great time. Then, one of the girls confronted her about what “someone” told her about my daughter. This mysterious “someone” told one…

So ThankFul!

Dear Ones, The past year has seen our Ministry face some difficult choices and some renewed joy. Just like life, this work is blessed and challenged by the realities of life. And you have been such a blessing to us here at Faith Encouraged Ministries. I am so thankful to God for you! We saw some real loss during the Pandemic that had us tighten our belts a bit and try to…

Do It Again, Daddy!

Think of one (just one) foolish thing you did as a child. I remember one “project” I attempted as a single-digit-aged kid. I thought it would be “fun” to paint the basement of our house! The problem was I didn’t have enough paint to do all the walls. I didn’t have the right paintbrush to do the job. And I didn’t have the “know-how” to do it right. Needless to say a…

Learn How To Die to Death!

One of the most fundamental marks of maturity is the clear and unmistakable realization that actions have consequences. Ideas have consequences because they become actions. And avoiding consequences is always a sign of immaturity. No wonder our modern world is struggling, as it has always struggled, with the consequences of ideologies and actions. And we see it everywhere. From the sad state of affairs in the war-torn Middle East to our very…

In Those Days…

Today the Church celebrates the Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple. Her parents, Joachim and Anna, were both elderly when God granted their prayer request for a child. And, as Hannah did for her miracle baby, Samuel, these precious parents took Mary to the Temple in gratitude for the answered prayer. And, just like Samuel, Mary was raised in the Temple. You might ask why would parents do this, and that…

The Violence Of the Christian Faith

Our modern world seems to run on violence. And it seems that every day the news is of more violence there and more violence here. From college campuses arguing over speech and “safe zones” and “trigger warnings” to the very real violence of terrorism all meant to disrupt and destroy. And can we even talk about what seems to be “perpetual war” in hotspots around the world where our soldiers are sent…

Be Friendly If You Want Friends

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) This bit of wisdom is absolutely necessary to embrace. But it is especially true for young people to learn this lesson early so they can mature into healthy adults. And the reason is crystal clear: We were made for communion. We, humans, crave companionship. We long for connection and to…

Don’t Avoid the Hard Work!

Let’s face it; we all have to deal with unpleasant realities. You know the situations I’m talking about: those moments in life when there is either a difficult confrontation that has to happen or a struggle with bureaucracy or just a difficult relationship that has to end or change. It’s just not fun. It’s scary. It’s aggravating. But, it’s going to happen! So, how do we face such moments in life as…

Be Humble! Pay Attention! Sunday’s Homily

The temptation to try to weasel out of true compassion and true Christ-like living is so very common in our lives. We always run the risk of having our souls atrophy into hard-hearted souls. The only remedy for this spiritual sickness is the twin medicines of humility and attentiveness.

This Is A Hard Saying

St. Paul says “Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise” in Ephesians 1:1-3 and we even have prayers for people on their deathbeds asking God to forgive them if they have not honored their parents. It seems pretty clear in scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments that honoring your parents is absolutely non-negotiable. And it doesn’t even qualify these commands with “But only if…