Woe To You Hypocrites

One of the greatest attractions to me towards the Orthodox Church was the continuity of practice and, more importantly, a real connection to the People of God. There’s an old story about a British journalist visiting the library of one of the ancient monasteries on Mt. Athos in Greece. He was walking among the stacks with the monk librarian and the old monk was talking about this and that saint or writer and…

Do You Know WHY?

The playground bully was speechless. He was bigger than me. He was stronger than me. And he was better at fighting than me in every way except one. I was faster on my feet with a verbal response. He had just taunted me about being a “weak, mama’s boy” and I responded, “I know you are but what am I?” Huh? I could see the confusion on his face. I watched as…

Where Are You Distracted?

Distracted again! And once again the familiar reminder! “Sweetheart, stop watching the IPad and finish your homework.” Back to the task, but slowly the distraction returns, and the pull of what I want rather than what I need starts its all too familiar tug of war inside my precious daughter. But, hey, she’s young, She hasn’t learned how to discipline her actions and desires. That’s why I’m called to parent her. But…

Our Generous God Invites Us To Be Like Him!

Most people want to believe the best of themselves. We have an idealized image of ourselves in our brain, and sometimes this “image” is so different from the reality that it is actually a danger to our spiritual maturity. But the struggle to embrace reality is filled with difficulties and dead ends. We were meant to be set free from delusion. And this freedom was also meant to be shared with those…

An Omen For Destruction

My grandmother use to say “Your actions are so loud I can’t hear what you are saying.” When I was small, I didn’t understand what she was trying to teach me, but as I got older I began to realize that she was trying to tell me that my actions were a more trustworthy insight into my true beliefs than my words. And even after all these years, I still struggle with…

Orthodox Spiritual Warfare Parts 1 and 2

On Tuesday, October 19, and Tuesday, October 26 I was honored to be the featured speaker at St. Innocent Orthodox Church in Macon, GA. Annually they have speakers come and speak on a topic that is open to the public and advertised heavily in the area. The parish has a meal and then offers church tours to open their community to the surrounding area. This year I was blessed to be asked…

Pitching The Tent For Worship in Your Own Heart

I’m not a big, outdoorsy, guy. So, camping out was never something I really enjoyed, except for this one time. Me and my best friend, Mark, had a great “fort” in the woods near our apartment complex in Orlando when I was about 11 or 12. Being central Florida, the pine trees in these woods were kinda scrawny and they were lots of palmettos. But the clearing we had made seemed perfect…

My Eager Expectation And Hope!

What if every time you turn around, no matter what happens, it ends up helping you? It seemed like it was one of those days. All the traffic lights were green. Even the cars in front of me were moving along at a good speed. My favorite song came on the radio in just enough time for me to hear the whole song before I arrived at my appointment. And then, when…

Don’t Get Jesus Wrong!

At a recent spiritual retreat, I was asked to conduct, I was asked how one should prepare to deal with questions about the faith when others ask about it. Usually, many of our Orthodox brothers and sisters get very nervous when somebody asks them about our Orthodox Faith. It’s a good question, but it points to a deeper challenge – like most good questions do! While it may be satisfying to get some basic…