Keep Asking Why!

This message was a central focus of our recent clergy retreat. It is fascinating to see in my own life how easy it is to forget the basic and fundamental question of “why are you here?” Every time I’ve taken this fundamental and foundational understanding for granted, I’ve forgotten “who” I really am. And the results have always been confused priorities, ineffective efforts, and little to show for my labors. No wonder…

It’s 3 AM and I’m Afraid

A recent article in Psychology Today said that “Sleep loss from worry was at its highest during the ages 35-55. During the period of 55-60, worry began to decline as a factor in sleep loss, and leveled off with the onset of old age during the years 66-70.” Psychology Today, December 2012. In fact, one of the leading causes of insomnia in adults is that nagging inability to “shut off my brain”…

Shaking Dust

Several years ago there was a TV show on called “Allie McBeal.” Long story short, the show was about a young woman who was a lawyer in Boston and the eccentric co-workers around her. But one of the main arcs of the story line was Allie’s continual inability to have a meaningful relationship, which she so desperately wanted. Every time she seemed to have met the man of her dreams she seemed…

Shocking God

I love this quote from St. John Chrysostom: “Upon leaving the house one should without fail say, ‘I renounce thee, Satan, thy pomp and service, and I enter into Thy service, O Christ.’” It’s so radical in its insistence that we actually take seriously the reality of the spiritual warfare and the power in a focused devotion and dependence on Christ with every step of my day. But say something like this…

Close Encounters

Every time I think of the Super Bowl commercials, the one I remember most is Mean Joe Green and the little fan meeting each other as the great Pittsburgh Steeler player comes off the field. Those of a certain age already have a smile on their face. That kid will never forget that moment! And I bet he still has the jersey. In today’s Gospel Lesson we revisit one of the most…

Freedom Isn’t Free

There’s one sure way for any politician to get an applause line in a stump speech. All he or she has to do is say “I support our troops!” And rightly so. The brave men and women who serve in our military perform a vital function in the preservation of our liberty, and we, as a nation, should always show our gratitude for their sacrificial service. The truth is freedom isn’t free,…

The Same, Yesterday, Today, and Forever

Today is the feast of the Three Hierarchs, St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian, and St. John Chrysostom, the great 4th century preacher in Constantinople. Each year this feast day marks a powerful moment in the history of the Church. You see, at one time, these three saints had singular and separate feast days, and, as humans will do, controversy ensued. There developed over the years something of a rivalry…

He Ain’t Heavy

He’s my brother. You know the song. Everytime I think about that song, it reminds me of a story I saw once about two brothers, one very healthy and one with a severe disability, and the stronger brother decided to do triathlons to get his brother outside more. Of course they always came in last because the disabled brother had to be carried by the abled brother. They always ended the races…

Sheeple (In A Good Way)

Yesterday our parish was blessed with a visit by our Metropolitan (our bishop). Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta tries to visit all his communities through the year, which keeps him on the road a lot. But yesterday was our turn and it was a wonderful day. But it is always a treat to have him with us. Why do you think that is? Besides being a gracious man, and a good preacher, there…