She said this to me with such painful expression. I had really let her down by wondering aloud if another one of our mutual friends was really going to follow through on what he promised to do. I can still hear the pain and disappointment in her voice “you ‘doubting Thomas!'”
So what is it about doubt that derails confidence? Well, past experience is a powerful image of future performance. It isn’t wise to ignore the painful reality of past promises unkept. But neither is it wise or even helpful to always expect the worst from someone else. Where’s the balance? How do we protect our hearts from the debilitating power of doubt?
The message of the Lord Jesus invites us to a stark “change of mind.” The Lord invites us to give, without expecting any return, love even those who hate us, and purposely delay all expectations of reward until His Kingdom comes in fullness. Today, is this your attitude towards life?
How we Christians look at our Holy Scriptures reveals a deep truth about how we see God, faith, and even ourselves. This matters!
“Those who engage in debates on a regular basis know that the argument itself can easily shape the points involved. This is another way of saying that some debates should be avoided entirely since merely getting involved in them can be the road to ruin. There are a number of Christian scholars (particularly among the Orthodox) who think that the classical debates between Christians and Muslims during the Middle Ages had just such disastrous results for Christian thinking.”
He sat in the chair opposite me, and his discomfort level was off the charts. Eyes, darting around, feet fidgeting, obviously rather being someplace else, this life-long Orthodox Christian was making his very first confession. He was 64 years old.
Forgive the shameless plug, but I’d love to meet you in person this month! If you’re in the Atlanta area in a few weeks come by our parish and enjoy some hospitality and take the church tour! I promise, you won’t be disappointed in the wonderful community you’ll enjoy at the parish! Hope you can come!
Also, please feel free to share this with all your friends and family!
I never will forget certain momentous times in my life. There are only a handful of moments when the enormity of a moment calls for an all night focus.
One such moment in my life was when I was to be ordained as a deacon in the Orthodox Church. As I contemplated the implications of the changes that were about to take place in my life, I felt compelled to avoid sleep and focus on the moment before me that would alter my life forever.Turns out, it was a night that wasn’t long enough to really prepare!
Isn’t it interesting after the Lord blessed Peter and his partners in their fishing business, Peter saw himself as a sinful man and asked the Lord to leave him? But that’s the risk of standing so close to the Light. It reveals who you really are! But Christ invites us to be close to Him without fear or shame and allow His Light to set us free!
There’s a great country song about a dad taking his son fishing and the dad decides to take the little girl next door along on their fishing trip. The boy is horrified that he’s going to be in the company of “a girl” during this dad and son outing so he begs his dad “take Jimmy Johnson, take Tommy Thompson, take my best friend Bo. Take anybody that you want as long as she don’t go. Take any boy in the world! Daddy please, don’t take the girl!”
My girls love when I do this. Well, not really, but they do laugh. Sometimes, when we are all in the car, just driving down the road, everybody minding their own business. Conversation has lagged and the music on the radio is boring, when no one expects, I’ll holler real loud and scare everyone in the car! Infantile, I know, but boy does it get the juices flowing and after the initial shock everyone dissolves into laughter, and then the little voice from my three year old invariably says: “Do it again, daddy!”