Reality! What a Concept

A recent article in the New York Times suggested that up to 35% of the Twitter feeds most people follow aren’t real people. They are programs designed to mimic the postings of real people but are used to shape opinions and influence behaviors. These programs are called “bots.” Isn’t it amazing how powerful fantasy and illusion can be? In fact, I will go so far to say that the escape from the…

Finding a Place

Here’s a chilling phrase: “And they prayed and said, ‘Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go to his own place.’” (Acts 1:24-25) “…to go to his own place.” There seems to be a perpetual human tendency to cry out “It’s not my fault!” Ever since the…

I’m Offended!

It seems being offended is a national pastime these days. Folks have become so thin skinned that any suggestion that someone might disagree with their ideas is treated as akin to destroying civilization. Britt Hume, a TV news anchor, commented on this: “We have a society in which one of the greatest things you can do is a platform to see victim status, and one of the qualifications for that is that…

More than Meets the Eye!

When I was young, I enjoyed a cartoon called “Transformers.” The theme song was “Transformers; more than meets the eye! Transformers; robots in disguise!” The whole premise of the show was that these Transformers looked like regular cars or machinery, but they were really more than that. Nowadays one of this year’s summer blockbuster Hollywood movies is “Pacific Rim,” which is all about these giant robots! Throughout the centuries and across all…

Could Not vs. Did Not

Today we prepare our hearts to celebrate the Transfiguration of the Lord! Tomorrow is the Feast! Tonight we celebrate the Great Vespers of the Feast to properly get ready to enter fully into the Eucharistic celebration tomorrow! The Feast is here in the midst of our fasting preparations for the Feast of the Dormition. I love the wisdom of the Faith preserved in the rhythm of fasting and feasting. It arrests the…

Marvelous!

Welcome to the second day of the Dormition Fast! The wisdom of the fasting disciplines of the Church are meant to reinforce the reality that unless the faith is holistically practiced, that is it affects every aspect of your person, the real danger of compartmentalization exists! In my opinion, this is the greatest source for a nominal Christian faith. This idea that the faith is only one part of my life. When,…

Buy a Dishwasher!

“If you want a guarantee, buy a dishwasher!” These are the plain spoken words of a wise man to me early on in my spiritual journey that eventually led me to the Orthodox Church. He was responding to my questions about assurance of salvation and my mindset that still saw my relationship with God and my Christian life as more of a contractual business relationship rather than the messy relationships based on…

The Greatest Story Ever Told

My grandfather was an amazing storyteller. He was always a larger than life figure in my eyes as a boy and still is even as a grown man. He had this ability to mesmerize us grandkids with his stories of being a police officer in Atlanta, and his stories of his adventures with his friends. To this day, I have no idea if any of these stories he told actually happened! He…

Troublemakers and Peacemakers

In today’s Epistle Lesson from Romans, the Apostle Paul says: ” I appeal to you to take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them.” Romans 16:17-24 Have you ever noticed that the people who cause the most trouble in relationships are the most needy? They are the ones who seem to hurt the most, are embittered the most, and…

As Many as have been Baptized…

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” (See Galatians 3 and 4) If you received Christian baptism, then you “have put on Christ” AND you…