An Appeal Rather Than a Command

“What’s the magic word?” My teacher was trying to get us to remember to say the word “please” when we were asking for something. So, it turns out the little book published several years ago was right, “All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten!” So, what is the power of request over demand? To get to the answer we will have to explore the very purpose of our creation.…

An Imperishable Inheritance

“Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.” Anybody who has any idea about American soap operas will automatically see the opening of the old “Days of our Lives” TV show. As trite as that may sound, there is a “grain” of truth in the fact that life really is fleeting and we really do experience life slipping through our fingers at times, don’t we? I was telling…

Too Ashamed to Repent!

St. John Chrysostom declares “Be ashamed when you sin, not when you repent.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people confide in me that they don’t go to confession because they are ashamed. What a brilliant trick of the evil one! The very medicine that would cure your heart sickness is the one thing you’re most afraid to do. And, of course, folks tell me they don’t want me…

A Soldier, An Athlete, and A Farmer

It almost sounds like the beginning of a joke: “A Soldier, an Athlete, and a Farmer…” But what it really is is a prescription for living a wise life. All too often we fall into the trap of reducing life to being “right” or “wrong.” We want to be correct. We want to be strong. We want to be right. And we want others to recognize our “rightness,” our “correctness,” and our…

The Tongue is a Fire!

Soren Kierkegaard once said “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.” Frankly, I couldn’t list all the times I wish I hadn’t said this or that in my life. My tongue has gotten me in trouble as much or more than it’s gotten me out of trouble! But Proverbs declares “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of…

A Special St. Valentine’s Episode of Faith Encouraged LIVE!

Join Fr. Barnabas and his special guest, Adam Lowell Roberts, founder of Orthodox and Single, and they discuss how to discern the Lord’s direction in finding a spouse! That’s Sunday night at 8 PM Eastern on AncientFaith.com! As always, please forward this to your friends and family and ask them to listen along with you!

No Room For Arrogance

“It’s a gift!” I watched as the words fall on his ears, but the meaning didn’t seem to register. “But I didn’t get you anything” he insisted. “That’s OK. It’s a gift. I didn’t get it for you expecting anything in return. It’s a gift.” Again, the words were in English but the comprehension just didn’t seem to be there. He was visibly uncomfortable, confused, and (I thought I saw) a bit…

Don’t Play Favorites!

So, here’s 8 scientifically proven benefits to being beautiful: 1 – You are thought of as healthier. 2 – You actually are healthier. 3 – It’s easier for you to find a mate. 4 – You are thought to be more intelligent. 5 – You are thought to be more persuasive. 6 – Companies with good looking executives have higher sales. 7 – You have an advantage in politics. And 8 –…

Doers and Not Just Hearers!

“Well, now you’ve just gone to meddling.” It’s a great punch line to an old joke about a preacher who was talking about the dangers of sins. He mentioned drinking, and Sister so and so said “amen!” He mentioned gambling and Sister so and so shouted “amen.” But then the preacher mentioned gossiping and Sister so and so said “well, now you’ve gone to meddling!” Isn’t it amazing how quickly we see…

Not Made With Hands

What is the significance of the phrase “not made with hands?” We see this in our lesson today and we even see an Orthodox ikon of the same name. You know the ikon I’m talking about. It is the ikon of the Lord’s Face that the Lord sent to Abgar, the leader of the city of Edessa who had been afflicted with leprosy. The tradition says that the Lord commanded a bowl…