You Never Know

There is a story about some Christian missionaries going to a place in the African continent to a tribe of people who had never had missionaries before. This tribe also had no written language and no knowledge of the Christian message. So, the missionaries started out learning their language and working with the tribe to create a written alphabet. They then began to work on translating the Scriptures into this tribe’s language.…

AN EXCLUSIVE PURPOSE

OK, so one of my most favorite movies in the whole world is “Princess Bride” and one of my most favorite scenes in the movie is when Vincent keeps using the word “inconceivable!” Finally, after so many times of hearing this word from Vincent, Inigo Montoya responds “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” The truth is words matter, and the meaning of…

EXCUSE ME, BUT THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE

I laughed out loud when a comedian started talking about words that seem to contradict each other. Phrases like “Jumbo Shrimp” and “Military Intelligence” and “Government Efficiency.” They just seem to cancel each other out! On a more serious note, St. Anthony the Great, the desert dweller, once said: “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying,…

What’s Stopping You?

In the United States alone, the self-help industry; books, seminars, infomercials, personal coaches, audio and video products, was an $11 Billion industry in 2013. This according to Katheryn Shultz from an article in in New York Magazine from January 6th of this year. (New York Magazine (New York Media, LLC). ISSN 0028-7369.) Listen to how Ms. Shultz describes the hunger for “self-help” in her article: “In The Age of Anxiety, W.H. Auden observed…

Forgiven Much?

Look up songs about “love” and you’ll discover so many you won’t be able to count them all. Just as an example, the #1 Love Song of “all time” on Billboard magazine is “Endless Love” by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross. This obsession with love is understandable since it is a basic desire of all people to be loved and cherished. We all long for love. But what if our definition of…

What Were You Thinking?

“It is a great achievement not to be attracted by things. But it is a far greater achievement to remain dispassionate in the face both of things and of the conceptual images we derive from them.” St. Maximos the Confessor Isn’t that great? The ability to be free from a slavery to desires, but not just desires; to be free from the ideas these desires conjure in our minds! That’s the kind…

End Well!

“It ain’t how you start, it’s how you end that matters!” With that, a wise man began instructing a young man about the power of endurance, patience, integrity, and perseverance. You see, the young man was born in a home racked with division. His mother and father had split up when he was 9 years old. Dad was a sweet and amiable fellow, but just not much of a father. He spent…

You Hypocrite!

OK, I admit it. I’m a hypocrite. No, really. No need to protest. It’s good for me to come clean about my own hypocrisy. I know exactly what I need to do to improve my health and lose weight and get in better shape (although I do insist that we all admit that “round” is a shape!”), and I have even unleashed my hypocrisy on others by “advising” them how to exercise,…

Pardon me, you have something in your eye!

My grandmother use to tell me “Honey, don’t worry; truth will out.” And another one she’d remind me of was “The proof’s in the pudding.” Never quite understood what pudding had to do with it, but she seemed to be very sure of herself! In our culture of instant gratification, we have a particular difficulty in waiting. We want everything right now. We want what we want because we want it. And…

Jesus is Coming Soon!

Growing up in the religious world of my friends and family, from my earliest years I remember hearing talk and sermons about Jesus coming again. In fact, I would say that this subject competed with the other central message I heard in church – getting other people to become Christians. So, Evangelism and the Second Coming dominated the religious talk I grew up with. That’s not surprising since we evangelized because Jesus was…