A Pound of the Eternal in a Paper Sack!

OK, I have to be honest, I have mixed feelings about gift bags. I guess I have too many fond memories of my mom laboring over just the right wrapping paper and then getting just the right bow for that paper and then attaching the matching name tag to the gift and then sliding the gift under the tree. She is an artist when it comes to gift wrapping. But nowadays giving…

Support Your Local Priest!

Today is the anniversary of my ordination to the diaconate in November of 2009. I would be ordained to the priesthood later in March of 2010. Listen to one of the prayers of ordination: “The divine grace, which always heals that which is infirm and completes that which is lacking, ordains the most devout Deacon (name) to the office of Priest. Let us, therefore, pray for him, that the grace of the…

Don’t Be A Dummy!

“I say that inner beauty doesn’t exist. That’s something that unpretty women invented to justify themselves.” OSMEL SOUSA, the longtime head of the Miss Venezuela pageant on the popularity of plastic surgery in Venezuela. This is a quote from today’s NY Times talking about their article on the popular rise of plastic surgery in Venezuela. The article focuses on the growing popularity of mannequins with the “ideal” shape for a woman. What…

New and Improved!

The packaging is more colorful, the content is said to be far and away so much better than the old product, and millions of dollars in advertising will be spent to convince you that this “new and improved” product is an absolute “must have” if you are going to have any happiness in your life! And yet, “New Coke” was a colossal failure. My home town is Atlanta and the Coca-Cola company…

You Are What You Eat!

“You are what you eat.” So goes the the saying that has at times served as a means to get people to have better diets, and a way for philosophers to reduce the human person to merely a thinking animal, and even to theologians trying to have folks consider the profound teaches of the Eucharist. Regardless how the phrase is used, the biological truth is we have to take in nourishment to…

Birds and Flowers and You

There is a saying popular in this modern age: “He who dies with the most toys, wins!” It is an apt description of a modern age that has forgotten itself. A materialistic mindset that reduces human existence to the sum total of possessions and the amount on the balance sheet at the bank. But let’s look at the consequences of such a mindset, an attitude. First if it is true that our…

Where I’m Weak, You’re Strong

It’s absolutely uncanny how many times I’ve discovered the beauty and benefits of complimentary talents in couples. While it is true that the long a couple is together, the more “alike” they may become, the strongest relationships I’ve seen in my life are the couples that discover the treasure of the different talents, and complimentary talents, of each other. This ability to discover and cherish the differences, in each other and also…

You Are The Mountain

There is a story on Mount Athos, that center of Orthodox monastic wisdom for centuries, of the circular cloud that forms on a regular basis at the top of the mountain. The science is easy. The warm and humid air from the sea is forced by the curve of the mountain up toward the cooler air at the peak and clouds are formed. But many monks have seen in this cloud formation…

I Can See Clearly Now…

I never will forget the first time I went to the optometrist and he had to dilate my eyes for a procedure. The light in his office hurt my eyes because my eyes were letting in too much light. Amazing. Too much light hurts. But that’s the nature of light. It doesn’t judge whether you are able to see or handle what it is. It simply shines and reveals what truly is.…

THIS AIN’T NO CARTOON

As of today, there are over 22 different countries that report at least one person reading “Orthodox On Purpose.” For that, I am grateful to God. Of course the US still has the most readers, but for those of you in China, Bulgaria, Greece, and other nations, welcome and I pray our thoughts help you embrace an Orthodox Christian lifestyle on a daily basis. With that in mind, I may need to…