Mother!

In the culture I was raised, your mother is the most important person in your life. Oh, don’t get me wrong, dad was just as important, but he was working, and it was mom that had the after-school snack ready for you when you got off the bus in the afternoon! Of course that calls to mind the old saying “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” This brings me…

The Opposite of Love

“Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) Such a familiar passage from St. Paul’s first letter to the…

Together Again

There seems to be a cottage industry that has developed in America all surrounding the notion that modern life is lonely. It seems this sense of loneliness flows from the notion that we are to be “self sufficient” and not “need” anybody to help us. Of course, there is nothing wrong with being capable of caring for yourself, but, as all good things, this ability can be twisted and made to be…

A Little Help From My Friends

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?” So asks our Lord in Matthew 5:13. Jesus has just given us the gift of the Beatitudes. You know, “Blessed are the poor…” This list of those who are blessed give us a look into the path toward being full of the Spirit and becoming “like Christ.” As I’ve journeyed in my…

As Close as Breath!

I’m writing today from the beautiful 200 acres of the Diakonia Retreat Center in Salem, SC, USA. Our Metropolis of Atlanta begins 5 weeks of summer camp ministry to our youth starting today. As we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, being with these teens makes it all the more clear why this feast is of such vital importance today. You see, there is nothing more powerful than intimacy with God to reinforce…

I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

You remember the story of the Tower of Babel in the First Testament. If not, refresh your memory by reading about the ambitions of humanity in Genesis 11:1-9. Suffice it to say that a unity of purpose is only as good as the motivation of that purpose! Sunday is the Feast of Pentecost and the fathers call the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost the reversal of the Tower of Babel.…

Say YES

I remember a time when I had to extend the power of attorney to someone to help me deal with a challenge in another state. The whole purpose of the power of attorney was so this person could act as me in the circumstance to achieve the desired goal. From a legal standpoint that person in the other state was me for a while. So, legally, I was in two places at…

LOVE Story

At the risk of really dating myself with this movie reference, I remember the movie “Love Story” and the famous line from the film “love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Hey, it was the early 70’s and we were just coming out of the tumultuous 60’s. We needed a bit of saccharine sweetness! But does love really mean never having to say you’re sorry? Really? Is our understanding of authentic…

All You Need

In a recent article of the national newspaper USA Today, the paper reports that, since 1970, marriages in the US continue to decline. The article goes on to suggest many factors for this demographic shift away from marriage and more towards cohabitation ranging from an increase in secular attitudes to economic chaos. (USA Today, June 17, 2013) Let’s face it, there is no sense in trying to pretend it is easy to…

Stay Connected!

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5ff) This declaration of our Lord Jesus in today’s Gospel lesson invites us to take seriously our daily struggle with a purposeful Orthodoxy AND reveals to us the absolute answer to that struggle. If I am going to “be”…