Holy Monday – Given To Another!

On this Holy Monday: Let us pray to the Lord, O you who observe all things with your eye that never sleeps, who afford us such saving lessons in your desire to grant mercy to all who seek it: We give you thanks for this evening that brings us before you once more. Now that we have completed the Lenten season, enable us to enter into the week of the Savior’s passion…

The “Good” Wife

My grandmother once told me “Son, a good woman is hard to find.” The longer I live, the more I think that it’s the fault of bad men that this saying may be accurate. But what does that even mean after all? Good according to what measure? Is it looks? We all know that physical beauty is fleeting. Is it intelligence? Using what standard? All of this feels so arbitrary. No wonder…

Clear Headed Sobriety

In my old law enforcement days, I served on the DUI Task Force in our local community. This was when Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) was just getting started and there was a real push to get impaired drivers off the road. We had to do extensive training on just how alcoholic beverages or any intoxicant affected a person’s ability to safely operate their car. One tool we had was a car…

Don’t Be A Fool!

“Smiling faces, smiling faces, sometimes, they don’t tell the truth, smiling faces, smiling faces, tell lies, and I’ve got proof…” The Temptations did this song in 1971 and it’s a favorite. But its message is all too familiar. Sometimes, a friend turns out to be no friend at all. Sometimes, the smiling mask someone wears hides an evil and jealous intent. And too often we learn about this the hard way. It…

The Foolish Person VS. The Wise Person

Drama! I confess I am not a fan of drama in my house. And here I am living with three women! I guess the joke’s on me! OK, before I get in real trouble here, let me say that I have noticed the older I get, the more I like quiet and smooth sailing. And yet, I’m a parish priest of a growing congregation filled with dynamic people, the head of a…

A Birthday Request

Dear Faithful Partners of Faith Encouraged Ministries, Every year we reach out to you to help us celebrate Fr. Barnabas’ birthday during the month of April. This year he turns 62. Recently he told me these years approaching “retirement age” fill him with both hope and dread. Hope in the sense that the central desire of sharing this Orthodox Faith with as many people as possible continues to grow, and dread in…

Escaping Bad Choices

Why is it I keep having to learn wisdom the hard way? I mean, it isn’t like I haven’t had wise men and women and friends who have offered wise counsel. I’ve seen how bad choices can really wreck a life and then I’ve watched myself make those SAME BAD CHOICES! What gives? Well, what gives IS our common, human struggle. Our will, our “want to” is weakened by fear and death.…

Knowing WHY

If you’ve spent any time with me at all, you know I’m a big fan of asking the “WHY” question when it comes to our motivations for living. In fact, I’m convinced that no one sticks with a pattern of life that is effective without really understanding WHY it is effective. Getting to your “WHY” is at the heart of being able to be motivated enough, consistent enough, and faithful enough to…

You Can Have Joy!

Fr. Alexander Schmemann once said, “The greatest charge against a Christian is that he has no joy.” Frankly, the normal Christian faith is incompatible with a life without joy. It is specifically joy, regardless of the outward circumstances that should be the “normal” Christian life. Now I know what you’re going to say: “But father, we will be accused of being unrealistic if we are joyful all the time.” Well, sure we…