The STONE the Builders Rejected!

Welcome to the second day of the Dormition Fast! The wisdom of the fasting disciplines of the Church are meant to reinforce the reality that unless the faith is holistically practiced, that is it affects every aspect of your person, the real danger of compartmentalization exists! I know this is a constant temptation for me! This idea that the faith is only one part of my life. When, in fact, the Faith…

It Is TRULY Right!

Everybody else was squirming. They were obviously having a hard time with the information and seemed to rather have been elsewhere. But I was at peace. It just made sense to me, I guess. Some of you know the story of how I entered the Orthodox Church. I was a pastor of a growing Pentecostal church in the Metro Atlanta area, and my best friend and I were really interested in Church…

You Hypocrites!

“Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders?” You can almost hear the sneer in this question to Jesus in the passage for today! And, frankly, it’s a good question. You see, as a Church, we Orthodox place a great deal of confidence in the consistent witness of the Faithful through the centuries. And we get that honest, as my grandmother use to say. We inherited that attitude from the…

Making Masters Servants!

I know it is a bit “old-fashioned” and it may be hard for those of this generation to understand, but the timeless message of the Faith is that we are called to battle and tame the passions SO THAT they are our servants and never our masters! So what are the passions? Some may say “I thought being a passionate person was a good thing.” Well, as usual, it depends on definitions.…

Easily Offended

“I’m offended!” It seems that is a common complaint in our day. When did we become such a generation of “fragile little snowflakes” that the slightest challenge sends us into fits of offense and demands for regress? So, what do you think is behind this age of easy offense? I certainly have my own thoughts, but the most important reason seems to be we have forgotten our true purpose as adults. You see, we…

Eternal Healing IS Best!

Have you ever thought about all those people Jesus healed during His ministry here on earth? They were so happy, grateful, and changed. In some cases (the illness of leprosy) they were now free to rejoin society, be reunited with their families, and finally, get their life back. They went on to live their lives. Some became great saints of the Church. And every one of them eventually died. Hey, why do…

He Who Has Ears to Hear…

A few weeks ago we were all at home, just sitting in the living room when there was a noise outside the back door. My wife turned to me and asked “did you hear that?” I had and went to investigate. It turned out to be nothing more than a bullfrog trying to get the attention of the object of his affection! But it got me thinking: Why do we ask such…

You Tell The Best Stories, Pawpaw!

My grandfather was an amazing storyteller. He was always a larger than life figure in my eyes as a boy and still is even as a grown man. He had this ability to mesmerize us grandkids with his stories of being a police officer in Atlanta, and the stories of his adventures with his friends. To this day, I have no idea if any of these stories he told actually happened! He…

Weeds in the Garden

It’s just not my strength. Gardening, for me, usually ends in disaster! But not for my grandmother. When I was a boy I remember me and my brothers and cousins being conscripted to help Mawmaw “put up” the vegetables from her garden. Corn and okra and green beans, and other produce was grown, harvested, canned, and stored so we’d have fresh vegetables to eat all year long. It amazed me she could…

God’s Provision

I’ve heard this all my life “God will provide.” I remember hearing it when me and my brother and my mom were near poverty when I was young, and He did. I remember hearing it when I watched my family go through a shattering crisis, and He did. I remember hearing it again when I was terrified at the consequences of leaving the religious world of my youth, of leaving the stable…