Who Told You That?

In his famous book, “Rules for Radicals,” Saul Alinsky states “Lest we forget at least an over the shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins – or which is which), the very first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his…

What’s In A Name? EVERYTHING

Poor Juliet struggles as she wrestles with the fact that her new-found love is for a hated Montague. Romeo listens as she says her famous line “‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy; Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot, Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part Belonging to a man. O, be some other name! What’s in a name? that which we…

Very Good!

You’ve heard me talk about Simon Sinek’s book “Start With Why.” The main thrust of the book is a simple premise: If you forget why you do what you do, you will soon stop doing what you do! As a further consequence of this foundational amnesia, you will also not be able to perpetuate what you do in the lives of those who follow you; your children, grandchildren, and extended family and…

A Reed Shaken by the Wind?

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…

Ugly, Empty Liturgy! Really?

“Vain repetition, that’s all it is!” My friend was absolutely horrified by my shift from my Pentecostal roots to the Greek Orthodox Church. He came to a service where I was presiding as priest and he simply shook his head in disbelief. “How could you do this?” he wondered to me afterwards. All the ritual and read prayers and prescribed movements were seen by him as nothing more that the empty “traditions”…

The Fast Is A Feast!

When I was a boy, I was always excited about my birthday party. My mom was a hard working lady, but there always seemed to be time enough to make my day special either with a cake or something else that let me mark this landmark in my young years. Nowadays, well let’s just say, birthdays aren’t nearly the times of celebration as when I was younger! But, you know, we humans…

Perverting the Nation

I really don’t know where it came from, but since I can remember, there were two great interests in my mind – politics and religion. Strange, since my traditional Southern upbringing discouraged the mixing of the two realms of human endeavor. But there it was, a passionate interest in both, so much so that there was a time in my life where I had to choose whether to become a politician or…

Blow The Trumpet in Zion

I was sitting right next to it! And then it went off! And I nearly jumped out of my skin. It was an alarm that let you know when someone was “breaking into the house.” I didn’t realize I was that close when they were going to test it and it scared me to death. But I guess that’s what an alarm is suppose to do: get your attention. Nowadays, though, most…

The Widow’s Test

I will never forget his face. You see, this man was asking me about giving to his church. He was absolutely amazed that his pastor had preached a sermon on tithing. Tithing is the belief that one should set aside 10% of one’s income to dedicate to God’s house and supporting the work of the faith. His question to me revealed his dilemma. “Hey, Barnabas, you’re a religious person. (I like to think…

Seeing Further Gives Strength!

“They say hindsight’s 20/20.” Yep, that’s what they say. I don’t know anyone who, if they could and knowing what they know now, wouldn’t jump into a time machine and go back to one or two spots in their lives and do something different. We all have moments in our lives where we were blind to the unintended consequences of our choices. And yet, even knowing what we know now, we still…