The Sweet Smell of Worship

A certain man married, had children, and became a very wealthy businessman. His fortune was world renowned. As his children grew, they got the best of everything – the best schools, the best clothes, the best food, and the best connections their father’s wealth could provide. This man’s children were blessed beyond their wildest dreams. As the oldest entered his teenage years, the father continued to lavish abundance on the young man,…

Save, O Lord, Your People

“Into each life a little rain must fall” and “April showers bring May flowers” and “This too shall pass” all old sayings meant to convey honest (and sometimes not so honest) attempts to help others get past difficult times. As we approach the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, we are confronted with arguably the greatest tragedy, the greatest miscarriage of justice, the most horrendous event in human history –…

Thanks Donkey!

In finding stories of unlikely prophets, there is none better than in the Bible. In Numbers 22 (for those wondering, Numbers is actually a book in the First Testament) we discover the wonderful story of Balaam and his donkey. To make a long story short, Balaam is something of a prophet and some enemies of the Jews in the area want to hire him to curse the Jews so these enemies may…

Open Your Mouth, Widen Your Heart

Today is the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City, the Pentagon, and the crash of the third plane in a field in Pennsylvania here in the US. That horrible day was terrifying, tragic, and life changing. Setting aside the politics and the scandals, fallout, and subsequent attacks (today marks the one year anniversary of the death of diplomates and guards in Benghazi, Libya), this event in the life…

You Have Never Talked to a Mere Mortal

As we move toward the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross this Saturday, listen to this quote: “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you say it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such…

The Son of the Slave and the Son of the Free

There’s an old joke about three people who died misunderstanding the real path of salvation. For those whose first language isn’t English, I apologize if this doesn’t translate well! OK, these three men died and found themselves in hell! One was a man who thought that if he only did good deeds then his “good” would outweigh his “bad” and he’d just squeak into heaven. He said, “I’m surprised I’m here. I…

Back to Church Sunday!

Tomorrow is the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos and our annual Back to Church Sunday. All of us have busy lives. But I am convinced one of the greatest tricks of the evil one is to so busy our lives that we sideline important things for temporary things. If we really believe we are going to face our mortality someday, doesn’t it make sense to prepare for that eventuality by…

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together!

“I love it when a plan comes together!” That was a famous tag line for a character in a ’70’s sitcom on American TV (I’ll let you work to find out which one). But it really does describe the feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment when all our hard work, planning, and team building pay off with a successful event or project. I like that feeling. I bet you do too. There really…

He Was Angry at Me

He looked at me in the face, and he was angry, he was angry because he was confronted with an uncomfortable truth. The truth he was confronted with was the stark reality that his words and his actions didn’t match. And being confronted with that reality made me the object of his wrath. He was angry at me. And I hated that. It is never really very fun to deal with the…

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem

Do you know what a “Lament” is? It is defined as “a passionate expression of grief, often in music, poetry, or song form. The grief is most often born of regret, or mourning.” Laments are really not very stylish in today’s modern world. We too often expend great amounts of energy and effort to hide from unpleasant truths or sadness. After all, the number one prescription in America is an antidepressant! Modern…