He Who Believes in Me

Christ is risen! What does it mean to “believe in” something? I confess most of my life I’ve just taken for granted that I knew, and everyone around me knew, what that meant. I was wrong. The word “believe” means so much more than just agreeing that certain ideas are correct. The Greek word used in the New Testament for believe is πιστεύω (pistevo). It comes from the noun πίστη, which means…

Once, and For All!

Christ is risen! In World War 1 the two opposing armies would dig in and conduct what was then called “trench warfare.” The land between the two armies entrenched for the fight was called “no man’s land” because anybody who tried to attack would be shot by the other side! Not a pleasant place to be. But recently I was teaching after our regular Wednesday night service about the unique place the…

You Know Nothing At All

Christ is risen! “You just don’t know what you’re talking about!” He was pretty upset over what I had to tell him. But sometimes, for a person’s own good, you have to say plain things plainly so that there will be no misunderstanding. And, in spite of my attempts to soften the blow of these plain truths, he still simply insisted I didn’t know enough facts to say what I said. And…

How Long Will You Keep Us In Suspense?

Christ is risen! The great American author Lewis B. Smedes once said “Seeing reality for what it is is what we call discernment. The work of discernment is very hard.” And the Orthodox Fathers would agree. In fact, it is the gift of discernment that we are constantly called to develop and embrace in the writings of the Orthodox Fathers. Being able to tell reality from delusion isn’t nearly as easy as…

We See! Yes And Your Guilt Remains

Christ is Risen! This thought haunts me. All I’ve preached, all I’ve taught’ all I’ve said, will one day be used as a comparison with the way I’ve lived, the choices I’ve made, and the priorities I’ve set. No wonder the Church teaches me to say over and over again “Lord, have mercy!” But I won’t seriously learn how to truly repent and change the way I think if I ignore this…

The Abundant Leftovers

Christ is risen! Alexander the Great is reported to have said “Nothing is impossible to him who will try.” Yeah, try telling that to a group of people who refuse to try. I remember having a conversation with a man about building a new church building on our property and he told me to my face “Father, it’s impossible. These folks will never do it.” He was surprised when I responded to…

Before Abraham Was, I Am!

Christ is risen! Ok, I admit it. As a public speaker, I have often used the outlandish statement as a rhetorical device to get or keep an audience’s attention. It reminds me of one dear person who looked at me once and said “Father, I can’t tell if you’re serious or not.” Bingo! If you are going to speak to move people to change or embrace what you are saying, you have…

Truth or Lies

Christ is risen! Soren Kierkegaard, than mournful Danish theologian, once said “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” For me, I find the most difficult deceptions to fight are the ones I tell to myself. It’s easy to spot errors in others, and it seems that we actually excel in correcting the mistakes and untruths…

I Am the Living Bread

Christ is risen! There is actually a mental health condition called thanatophobia – the fear of death. This phobia drives those who suffer from this malady to be afraid of doing anything. But, in reality, having anxiety about one’s mortality is actually normal in we humans. Why do you think that is? Could it be that a part of us instinctively understands we weren’t made for mortality. We were made for life…

The Testimony of Two Witnesses

Christ is risen! It was a dramatic moment in the courtroom. I was a witness for the prosecution since I had been the arresting officer in the case. But I was only one witness and the defendant was insisting he wasn’t the one who was driving the car when the accident occurred. Then, another witness came to testify. It was the man’s brother who had been in the car with him that…