Are You A Peaceful Person?

Why all the drama? OK, I have to confess, I am no fan of drama for drama’s sake, and I’m in the house with two daughters who excel in drama! “She touched me” “She’s looking at me” WHAT? She’s “looking at you? Really? I guess I didn’t get the “drama” gene, because nothing sets me off quicker than high decibel whining and drama! Can’t stand it! Whew, glad I got that off…

Well, That’s Just The Way I Am. Really?

I was watching a well known leadership teacher speak recently (I like to keep up with this world since I find this both helpful and cautionary) and he was commenting about the necessity of making decisions to change. And he used some commonly heard excuses about why someone doesn’t live up to their potential: “I am not a leader. Then CHANGE and become a leader!” I get where he’s coming from and…

Why You Fast is Important

When I was just learning about the Orthodox Faith, I was struck by the wisdom of fasting from certain foods. You see, I had been raised to think that a fast was no food at all, just water. And I would hear stories of Pentecostal pastors “fasting” for a month or even 40 days and “great miracles” occurring because of their fasting. So, of course, I tried that and failed every time…

The Strange Allure of The Bad Guys

Perspective changes everything. Just take for example the modern tendency to hold up the anti-hero as someone to be admired or at least respected, and sometimes, even cared for. This is especially true in several contemporary television series. From Tony Soprano to Walter White of Breaking Bad fame, it seems our modern media is desperate for us to see the “good side” of being evil. They seem to be telling us that…

Great In The Kingdom of Heaven

I love what I read recently about being famous: “Being famous on Instagram or Facebook is like being rich in the game Monopoly.” That is so true. But we have a shallow culture today that seems to be addicted to being famous or “great” in the eyes of the people we want to think well of us. Our young people go through that period of maturity where being popular and belonging to…

Made For Freedom, Not Slavery!

Paul Laurence Dunbar, an American poet of the early 20th century, wrote a wonderful poem called “Sympathy” and the third stanza is powerful in its pathos and beauty and heart-breaking truth: I know why the caged bird sings, ah me, When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore, When he beats his bars and would be free; It is not a carol of joy or glee, But a prayer that he…

I Think My Timing is Off!

The American astronaut Buzz Aldrin once said “Timing has always been a key element in my life. I have been blessed to have been in the right place at the right time.” And, of course, this reminds me of the old saying in comedy, “Timing is everything.” It really is amazing when all the elements of time, opportunity, ability, and circumstances all mix together to create just the right environment for things to happen! Frankly, I could…

Don’t Lose Heart!

Listen to this quote from St. Peter of Damaskos: “Patient endurance kills the despair that kills the soul; it teaches the soul to take comfort and not to grow listless in the face of its many battles and afflictions.” Wow, “the despair that kills the soul.” How often have I seen that in the people who have come to me so despondent as to say “what’s the use.” No wonder the fathers declare…

There’s A Treasure In You

Turns out, all this emphasis on self esteem was terribly misguided! We were first told that low self esteem was bad for us, and it is. Then, in 2007 Harvard came out with a study about “The Use and Misuse of Self-Esteem” warning us that focusing on self-esteem can lead to real problems for people. We were warned not to promote esteem problems in our children, so give everybody a “participation trophy.”…

The Splendor of the Spirit

Have you ever heard of “imposter syndrome?” Yeah me either, until I discovered it was something that a lot of leaders struggle with. I was being coached by a professional leadership coach and he started talking to me about this common struggle leaders face. Turns out even the most confident among us sometimes thinks we really aren’t up to the task. Instead of this being a weakness, I discovered my own struggles…