Woe to … Me?

You’ve heard the old joke about the man who bought a horse from a very religious owner. The horse didn’t respond to the normal commands like “giddiup” for “go” and “whoa” for “stop.” The religious man who had trained the horse taught him to “go” at the word “hallelujah” and the “stop” command was “praise the Lord.” So, the gentleman bought the horse and started his ride. He said “hallelujah” and the…

Where Is Your Brother?

Ah, the joys of sibling rivalry! My daughters (I am a dad who has all girls. After all, why mess with perfection!) are a joy to watch. As my older daughter recites her activities of her day, my four year old immediately pipes up with the accusatory question: “What about me?” She simply cannot allow big sister to suck up all the attention. To watch siblings simultaneously love and compete with each…

Why Are You Angry?

A friend of mine recently confided “Father, I’m angry.” When I asked him what he was angry about, it was telling to watch him struggle with the reason for his anger. He simply responded “I’m angry about everything! Wow, everything? As we talked, he finally began to express how angry he was at how his life had turned out. He used phrases like “If only I had” and “If only I hadn’t”…

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…