I Count ALL THINGS as Lost!

It was amazing. As I read his story I kept coming back to that very idea – Amazing. You see the man was sharing his life story with me and he was telling me how he built his first company from the ground up at age 24. He made his first million at age 28. He then started 3 more companies that he then sold for millions more in his mid-30’s. And…

God Had Mercy!

“The best laid plans of mice and men…” Most of us at least try to achieve a “planned life.” We plan for college. We plan our careers. We plan our relationships. We are forever warned against haphazard living, and rightly so, because a haphazard life tends toward chaos and misery. Even our faith has all the earmarks of a clear path; a way of life, filled with clear instructions and a narrow…

I’m Glad! You Be Glad Too!

“Here’s a little song I wrote. You might want to sing it note for note. Don’t worry! Be happy!” Yep, I loved that song, for about a day, and then it was being played so often I got sick of it rather quickly! But still, Bobby McFerrin captured in his “little song” a notion we Christians should explore today. And it is this: Happiness is a choice, just like love is a…

Work Out Your Own Salvation

My little brother and I were typical brothers growing up. We would engage in “sibling rivalry” now and again! But we were being raised by a single mother who worked fulltime and cared for us full time as well. One such event when we were a bit older elicited a phrase from my mom to us both that really stuck with me. I don’t even remember what we were fighting about but…

The Seasons of Life

“Daddy, when will the leaves change colors?” With that, I knew I was entering into the time when my 8 year old was beginning to understand the changing of the seasons. “Do they call it ‘Fall’ because the leaves fall on the ground?” Wonderful! I confess a deep love for Fall, mainly because of my childhood growing up in the rural American South. I also confess an ontological connection with the soil…

Why Reject God’s Purpose For Yourself?

Sometimes an extreme example is needed to restore the equilibrium to a society, a country, or even a person. And that moment of extreme example, action, behavior, sacrifice is rarely embraced or accepted by those who don’t want the restoration or don’t see that it’s even necessary. You see, the whole of the History of the Church is filled with examples and saints who, if we simply just read their lives, come…

Simple YES. Easy NO!

Being a typical man (that’s not a bad thing!) I always assume I don’t need to read the directions! After all, I’m educated. I’m capable. I know what’s going on, right? Uh, yeah, right. So, with that confidence (perhaps overconfidence) I launched into putting together the table we just purchased from the Do It Yourself store. It said “Do It Yourself” after all. Several hours later and frayed nerves to the point…

St. Thomas, the Believer!

She said this to me with such painful expression. I had really let her down by wondering aloud if another one of our mutual friends was really going to follow through on what he promised to do. I can still hear the pain and disappointment in her voice “you ‘doubting Thomas!’” So what is it about doubt that derails confidence? Well, past experience is a powerful image of future performance. It isn’t…

Orthodox on Purpose Retreat in Elmhurst, IL THIS WEEKEND

Fr Barnabas Powell: Orthodox on Purpose Posted By Staff on October 2, 2015 Fr Barnabas Powell, host of Faith Encouraged Live  will lead a retreat in Chicago on October 10. A former Pentecostal pastor that made the journey to Orthodoxy after years of study and struggle, Fr. Barnabas insists that it was his Pentecostal background that prepared him for the Orthodox Church. The principles and wisdom of the Orthodox Faith strengthen community and…

Do Good to Those Who Hate You

Let’s face it, grammar wasn’t my best subject in school! I’ve always been impatient with the rules, wanting to get to the end without having to mess with all that “process” nonsense! And yes, that is a problem because the process is part of the solution! A bit of wisdom that has cost me quite a lot in my life! Now, having studied other languages, I have a growing appreciation (if not…