Do Not Be Mismated

The latest statistics from the Archdiocese says that upwards of 80% of all marriages performed in the Orthodox Churches in America are between an Orthodox Christian and a non-Orthodox Christian. For some Orthodox Churches in Europe, this is a mystery since they still hold to the older wisdom on not allowing marriages between persons who are not both Orthodox Christians. But the pastoral reality of our situation here in America is unavoidable.…

“Perfect” Suffering?

The word “asceticism” is something of a mystery to our modern way of life. We have lived with such plenty and such amazing comfort and ease for so long that now we assume that all of life is meant to be pain (and even effort) free. Just consider our attitudes towards marriage. We assume that marriage is meant to “fulfill us” or “complete us” as if the Hollywood version of romantic love…

The Awesome Judgement Seat of Christ

Ever wonder how words lose their meaning? I have. I think of how society redefines things to suit their current thinking. But this isn’t a new phenomena at all. We humans do this all the time. In fact, a famous president of the United States defended himself from serious charges by reminding his questioners “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” The same challenge exists today with the…

We DO NOT 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…

A Ransom for ALL

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…

You HAVE to Be Prepared!

He was serious when he said he didn’t “need” to go to church to be a Christian. He could just be walking through the woods and sense God’s presence. I had been wondering where he’d been. You see he had been quite faithful up until about a year ago and then, poof, he was missing. Once I tracked him down and was able to spend some time with him, I heard all…

You ARE Our Letter of Recommendation

It’s always funny to hear people talk about what they think the Faith means by eternal life. I remember one movie from the 1990 called “Ghost” with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. The movie was about this tragic murder of a man and how the woman he loves copes with this tragedy. Of course the murdered man becomes a “ghost,” a disembodied “spirit and he spends the whole movie trying to learn…

They Did Not Recognize Him!

I’ve paid the price for failing to recognize “a VIP” before. I was new police officer in a small town and hadn’t really met all the “important people” in that town yet, and one day I pulled this nice Cadillac over for speeding on one of the side roads in a neighborhood. I walked up to the driver’s window and this very distinguished looking man said “Good afternoon, officer. Was I going…

This Sunday Night on Faith Encouraged LIVE – Evangelism

Join me Sunday night at 8 PM Eastern/ 7 PM Central for Faith Encouraged LIVE. My special guests will be Fr. James Kordaris, director of the Stewardship, Outreach, and Evangelism department of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and Thomaida Hudanish, assistant director of the Outreach office of the Metropolis of San Francisco, as we discuss the very first annual Evangelism Conference to be held in Portland, Oregon on October 3-5. The featured speakers…

Want to Know How to Fight Sluggishness?

It’s hard to admit, but there are times when I really struggle with laziness. I know, I know, how can I say that with all that’s going on in the ministry. But laziness isn’t merely inactivity. It can also be the wrong allocation of strengths and gifts that waste those strengths and gifts. It is the diffused illness of inattentiveness to proper priorities. Let me give you an example. One of my…