I Hear There Are Divisions Among You

As much as we might hate it, conflict isn’t bad. It’s just not pleasant. But if the highest “good” in our lives is to avoid unpleasantness, then we are headed for either eternal delusion or a rude awakening. I’ll go even further and say that conflict is necessary for a “happy” life! Yep, if you’re going to be “happy” you NEED conflict. Just like a muscle doesn’t get stronger unless it has…

Not Seeking My Own Advantage

So, what’s it going to be – your way or our way? I guess your answer will depend on how you see yourself. If you think of yourself by yourself then self interest is going to trump community interest. But if you think of yourself as in community then your choices have to be measured against the needs of the many and not merely your own interests or comfort. But, do you…

Not Tempted Beyond Your Strength

My grandmother assured me many times when I was young “The Lord won’t put anything on you you can’t bear.” As I became an adult, I questioned that wisdom many times in my life. But, what do you know, I’m still here! And yet, I would be less than honest if I didn’t also say events and troubles in my life have left their scars. But it is also true that the…

A Witness to His Resurrection

“We have an eye witness.” Well, that got his attention. You see I was helping with an investigation with a recent spate of home burglaries in the area and we had caught a suspect in one of the neighborhoods where this was happening. This young man had been very successful in avoiding being seen or caught in the act until he robbed a house next door to a stay at home mom.…

Woe to Me If I Do Not Preach

It’s just who I am. I remember my time at an Evangelical Protestant school for my undergraduate degree, and the 2 years of homiletical (how to give a sermon). It was a bit gruelling and my professor was particularly tough on me. One day, I was walking with another seminarian and he overheard our conversation. He stopped me and said “Brother Powell, you are a preaching machine!” I chose to take that…

Come to The Living Stone

It doesn’t make sense. Jesus says some difficult things in His teachings and the Church continues this “challenge” to our intellect. The Lord says things like “If you want to be free, be a slave.” And “If you want to live, you have to die.” And even “If you want to lead, you have to follow.” So, which is it Lord? And to that the Church confidently replies: BOTH! The truth is…

The Form of This World

If somebody would have told me my society would undergo the shifts it has gone through in the last few decades, I wouldn’t have believed them. Perhaps it’s a result of my increasing age when we “old folks” look at the world and say “this new generation” is changing everything (after all that’s been going on forever) or perhaps my own mindset has become more “settled” in recent years. However, there is…

BE

G. K. Chesterton once said “True contentment is a thing as active as agriculture. It is the power of getting out of any situation all that there is in it. It is arduous and it is rare.” So true. Real contentment is something that doesn’t come “naturally” in a world that is always telling you you are lacking something and need to pursue that thing to be happy! In fact, I will…

Are You Stiff-Necked?

“That boy is so hard headed he wouldn’t even notice a rock hitting him between the eyes.” My grandmother had a way with words, but I’ve known people like this; so set in their ways that not even plain evidence would move them to change their ways. They were frozen in their thinking. But that kind of attitude can create some real problems for people, especially when they ignore clear communication from…

It Is Truly Right

Everybody else was squirming. They were obviously having a hard time with the information and seemed to rather have been elsewhere. But I was at peace. It just made sense to me, I guess. Some of you know the story of how I entered the Orthodox Church. I was a pastor of a growing Pentecostal church in the Metro Atlanta area, and my best friend and I were really interested in Church…