Born Again! Really? How?

Christ is born! “You must be born again.” Hey, where I’m from, that scripture is as well worn as John 3:16. In the ’70’s fad of the “Jesus Movement” (anybody who was paying attention at all to the culture of the early ’70’s knows this) being “born again” was all the rage. Billy Graham wrote a book about it and Jimmy Carter, running for President, made being “born again” a household phrase.…

The Fly and The Bee

There is a great story about St. Paisios dealing with some folks who were scandalized by this or that event or behavior in the Church. He then tells the story of the honeybee and the fly: I tell them that if you ask a fly, “Are there any flowers in this area?” it will say, “I don’t know about flowers, but over there in that heap of rubbish you can find all…

He IS Not Ashamed to Call You Brethren!

Christ is born! Glorify Him! “You can pick your friends, but you’re stuck with your relatives.” That’s an old saying around these parts and it reflects a reality that sometimes your family can embarrass you. Truth be told I actually try to embarass my daughters when we are in public. I’ll dance or sing out loud and my oldest will say, “Daddy, stop. You’re embarrassing me!” Mission accomplished! But seriously, there is…

Being Thirsty is Good!

Christ is born! Glorify Him! My doctor looked at me and said “Father, your body is thirsty! You need to drink more water!” What I mistook for hunger was actually my body being thirsty! Wow, what a revelation. So, it is with our lives. We can mistake our thirst for God as a thirst for safety or security or even fame. All the while we act on these mistaken ideas and we…

It Is Marvelous In Our Eyes!

Christ is born! Glorify Him! I always wonder at those who constantly insist “You can’t judge me.” Of course I can’t. Besides, I don’t need to judge you. We always judge ourselves. Our words, our actions, and our thoughts all contain all that is needed to “judge” rightly the true state of our souls. It is also why the Last Judgement and our constant Orthodox prayer “For a Christian end to our…

Out of Egypt Have I Called My Son

Christ is Born! Glorify Him! The Christian Church has been around a long time! And the place it’s existed the longest is the place where it first sprang up. The Church is, at it’s heart, a Semitic Faith, an Eastern Faith. And that’s because the Christian Church is the fulfillment of the promises made by God to Abraham, the father of the Faithful. So there are a lot of Jewish elements in…

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It’s been an Incredible YEAR! Thanks be to God! I am So Grateful to God for this Season, and I wanted to drop you and your family a note to wish you a blessed Feast of the Nativity. And to thank you for showing interest in Faith Encouraged Ministries this year! It’s been an amazing 2016! We released the 16 part video outreach series “A Journey to Fullness,” I published my first book “A…

Who CAN Be Saved? You, That’s Who

As uncomfortable as it may sound it’s just impossible for me to be saved. Of course, that begs the question “What do you mean by ‘saved’?” And that is the question, isn’t it? In my old way of thinking being saved meant not going to hell when I died. Or, to put a more positive spin on it, going to heaven when I died. But the more I learn about the fullness…

Take Hold of REAL Life!

“I don’t believe in God.” “OK” I told him. “Tell me about this god you don’t believe in.” This young man began describing Zeus. You know, a god who is vindictive and angry; who punishes the mortals with the lightning bolts of pain and sorrow. This god tries to control humans through threats and rewards. As the young man kept describing this “god” he didn’t believe in, I discovered I agreed with…

Great Gain in Godliness WITH Contentment

“You are so blessed!” Those were the words said to the lady who had just gotten a big raise at work! And, it was true. But there is a danger here. In many cultures and even religions, the idea that to be rich is to be favored by God is a popular belief. This notion says that if someone is blessed with great wealth then God has given this wealth to them…