The Power of YES – The Feast of the Annunciation

Right here during our Lenten journey the Church brings us to one of the six feasts of the Theotokos, the Virgin Mary. And it is the Feast of the Annunciation. Of course you know this story well. God sends the angel Gabriel to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph and the angel (interestingly, the Greek word for “angel” is literally “messenger.” That’s a big hint by the way!) tells this…

Roots of a Ruined Life

One of the human parables of every human culture on earth is the warning against pride. As the scriptures declare ” pride goes before a fall.” And it seems that each human tribe has a multitude of stories that prove that truth over and over again. Once such story from my own Southern family was the story of the man in my grandparent’s town who strutted around town in a fine suit,…

Generosity Produces Joy

Nancy Gibbs once remarked “Virtue, like viruses, have their season of contagion. When catastrophe strikes, generosity strikes like a fever. Courage spreads in the face of tyranny.” But what’s even more surprising is modern studies show a spike in feelings of happiness and joy when someone is generous. You actually get a rush of endorphins to the point that there is actual, physical pleasure in being generous. And this has become so…

Do You Say “Thank You?”

At the very heart of the timeless Christian faith is the Eucharist. And you’ve heard me say many times before that the word “Eucharist” has its root in the Greek word for “thank you.” The very center of what it means to be a Christian isn’t some cultural habit “I’m Christian because I was born in a Christian family.” It isn’t in some political allegiance like insisting we are a “Christian” nation.…

God Put A Rainbow in the Clouds

“It’s gonna rain. It’s gonna rain. You better get ready. You better get right. God told Noah, by the rainbow sign; He said no more water! But FIRE next time!” A classic song from Andrae Crouch and the Disciples struck me, as a teenage Christian, as the perfect warning to everyone – God will never again destroy His world through water. Next time, as the scriptures declare, it will be fire! Whoah!…

Learning Leads to Strength

I have a friend who is a biologist and she is also an atheist. She’s an atheist because she’s convinced there is no such thing as “free will.” And she believes this because of her science. To her, every choice we think we make is actually just certain chemical reactions to different stimuli. I know, sad, isn’t it. And yet, I know some theologians who would agree with her about “free will.”…

Noah Obeyed God

It never fails. I’m sitting with a young couple in pre-marital counseling and we get to the part of the service where the husband is commanded to love his wife as Christ loves the Church and the wife is to “obey” her husband. They look at each other. They look at me. Sometimes they smile and sometimes they scowl. It seems we live in an age where the word “obey” is a…

Bitter, Necessary Medicine

My best friend in the world died of a brain tumor many years ago. Anyone who has either struggled with cancer or knew someone who did, knows the radical nature of cancer treatment. The chemotherapy is literally poison used to kill the cancer. But it’s still poison. Many have wondered if the cure is worse than the disease. And yet, modern science sees us surviving cancer at higher percentages every year. So,…

Fire BURNS!

I was a fire bug when I was younger. Fire fascinated me, that is until one day when I burned myself play with fire. It’s amazing how instructional pain can be if you let it! But why is it we keep insisting on learning life’s lessons the hard way? Why do we so consistently find ourselves ignoring wisdom for the prideful notion that “the rules don’t apply to me?” I’ll tell you…