Free Love

Well, that ought to get your attention! The truth is it isn’t love if it isn’t free. In fact, love presupposes freedom. Without freedom, there is no possibility of true love. As an example, we have jus started our new class for those wanting to know more about the Orthodox Faith. Every year after our annual church festival and after we have done so many church tours, we invite those who have…

Martha, Martha

You’ve seen them. They rush around and work their fingers to the bone all the time doing a million things at once and accomplishing amazing things because of their industrious nature. You’ve also seen them when they notice others aren’t nearly as “busy” as they are. Not all of them, but enough to make this story hit home, they will “point out” that “so and so isn’t helping nearly as much as…

It’s 50/50

There’s an old saying “figures don’t lie, but liars figure!” In many presentations I’ve made, I’ve used statistics to buttress my points and drive a point home for an audience. But I am constantly wary of statistics since they are often so easy to manipulate into supporting the conclusion you’ve already made. Let’s face it, most of us go seeking affirmation for the things we already believe. But here I go anyway!…

Remember Lot’s Wife

Actions have both consequences and motivations. The consequences may be unforeseen and the motivations may be a mystery, even to the doer, but without a doubt, they always exist. The challenge to me is will I own up to both my consequences to my actions AND observe and scrutinize my motives? Because I am never going to break the pattern of behaviors that keep me from becoming who I really am without…

The Real Fight

Someone was commenting earlier today that it seems even the PG-13 movies are more violent and suggestive than a few decades ago. It seems our culture, for all it’s development and all the seemingly “liberal” notions in ascendency nowadays, the culture has gotten more violent and more coarse. What can we attribute this apparent cultural “slide” to? Well, for me, it seems to be a loss of the ability to actually value…

I’M Not Prejudiced! (Am I?)

“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.” CHARLOTTE BRONTE, Jane Eyre Prejudice is always the ugly counterfeit to true discernment and good judgement. But we humans all too often confuse these realities to our own detriment. As a man who has grown up in the American South, I…

The Shepherd and the Hireling

If you’ve ever hired a babysitter, then you know that sinking feeling any new parent has when they leave their child with someone new. In fact, there was a recent story in them paper about a family whose pet dog started growling and barking at the babysitter the family used to watch their infant child. Whenever the babysitter would come to sit with the baby the dog acted very aggressive toward her. This…

Give Till It Makes You Happy

The old saying is “give till it hurts.” But that isn’t actually the best way to give. For many years I have been reading and studying the power of philanthropy. I’ve even been blessed to attend the School of Philanthropy in Indianapolis, IN for some specific courses on how to help fund non-profit organizations. And study after study shows that when a person develops a habit of generosity it actually creates the sensation…

A Pound of the Eternal in a Paper Sack!

OK, I have to be honest, I have mixed feelings about gift bags. I guess I have too many fond memories of my mom laboring over just the right wrapping paper and then getting just the right bow for that paper and then attaching the matching name tag to the gift and then sliding the gift under the tree. She is an artist when it comes to gift wrapping. But nowadays giving…

Support Your Local Priest!

Today is the anniversary of my ordination to the diaconate in November of 2009. I would be ordained to the priesthood later in March of 2010. Listen to one of the prayers of ordination: “The divine grace, which always heals that which is infirm and completes that which is lacking, ordains the most devout Deacon (name) to the office of Priest. Let us, therefore, pray for him, that the grace of the…