There’s No Profit in It

I remember thinking “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.” It was one of those moments in our journey to Orthodoxy that caused my soul to say “Aha.” A point of enlightenment about just how profound our newfound, and ancient faith was going to be for how I thought about faith. Our catechist had just said “we get what we need many times in life by going through the door of its opposite.”…

They Provided FOR Them

I’ve heard this all my life “God will provide.” I remember hearing it when me and my brother and my mom were near poverty when I was young, and He did. I remember hearing it when I watched my family go through a shattering crisis, and He did. I remember hearing it again when I was terrified at the consequences of leaving the religious world of my youth, of leaving the stable…

Spiritual Germs!

You see it in every restaurant bathroom you go to: “Employees must wash their hands before returning to work.” I’ve even seen detailed instructions in bathrooms as to how to wash one’s hands properly! In 1546 Italian physician and scholar Girolamo Fracastoro first suggested that unseen “germs” were the cause of infectious diseases, and the idea that germs caused sickness. But they couldn’t “see” the germs, so it would be years later…

A Prophet Without Honor

“Hey, I know that boy. I’ve known him my whole life. Who does he think he is?” I confess, it hurt a bit. You see, I was preaching one of my first “sermons” and some “friend” of the family who had, actually, known me and my parents since I was a baby, was a bit put out at my sermon topic. I don’t even remember what it was now, but I do…

The Wisdom to Know the Difference

George Bernard Shaw once said “Youth is wasted on the young.” What he meant by that is when we have great strength and potential, we are still too immature to take full advantage of our possibilities, and when we gain the wisdom of the years, we tend to have less energy and even less time to take full advantage of our hard won insights. The truth is, and the mystery of life…

What Makes You Unclean?

My dear bride has a hard and fast rule for my two girls: “Wash your hands!” You see, my wife is a trained elementary school educator and part of that training has to do with hygiene. Teaching children to wash their hands before they eat, after they play, and after their potty breaks is all part of having healthy children. It’s a good thing. And once again we see the parallel between…

Childlike OR Childish!

The great 20th century thinker, Aldous Huxley, once said “Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardor, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shams, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision.” Funny, now that I think about it, he’s right. Children have the power of a clarity of thought that is absolute and simple. No wonder they are so stubborn when they want something. It simply never occurred to them that they…

They Kill Prophets

I know it is a bit “old fashioned” and it may be hard for those of this generation to understand, but the timeless message of the Faith is that we are called to battle and tame the passions! So, then, what are the passions? Some may say “I thought being a passionate person was a good thing.” Well, as usual, it depends on definitions. As an aside, this is why passive practice…

Because of Their Unbelief

The late Fulton Sheen once said “Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.” And there is simply no other vice that destroys both parties as completely as jealousy. It cankers the soul of the one who experiences it and it reduces the object of jealousy to a forever unreachable “thing.” No wonder jealousy and envy occupy high places of dishonor among human weaknesses! But what is the source of jealousy? It…

Journey To Fullness Video Project News!

What a great day shooting the Demo video for the Journey to Fullness Video Project here at Faith Encouraged Ministries. The studio audience and the fantastic crew at Comprehensive Media were wonderful to work with and really understand the vision for this project! Will you help us? Our goal is to raise the funds necessary to complete this project and provide an effective tool to introduce our Orthodox faith to the average…