Hold On

Platitudes can be absolutely infuriating when you are in pain. And, usually, a person in pain hears things like “Oh, just trust God” or “into each life a little rain must fall” as uncaring dismissals of their very real heartache. To be sure, most folks mean well, but deep in their own hearts they are afraid of getting too close to pain lest it capture them. Let’s face it, folks avoid pain.…

I Want…

Someone once said that God has four answers to our prayers: “Yes”, “No”, “Wait a while”, and “You’ve got to be kidding me!” When I think of our requests we make of God, I find my own requests break down into a few categories – Personal needs, Family concerns, Parish concerns, and Hopes and Fears. But one of the blessings of being Orthodox is that the wise prayers preserved in the Faith…

That’s Not Fair!

“That’s not fair!” My daughter was quite upset over what she perceived to be a bigger piece of cake given to her sister. The depth of indignant and obvious heartfelt wound was unmistakable in the tone of her voice, her crossed arms, and the tears welling in her eyes. She was righteously fighting for what was “fair.” She would accept nothing less than absolute equality so as to affirm her equal status…

Connections That Redeem!

I confess to being both addicted and often overwhelmed by daily news headlines. I am an information junkie and have my daily routine of reading different sites and news aggregators that (I hope) keep me informed about my world. From politics to disasters, to cultural and social trends, to even local news events, I find it both informative and instructive to learn about my world. After all, I am called to be…

Judge Yourself

There seems to be something of a cottage industry about what to eat nowadays. I keep hearing about going “gluten free,” or “no white foods.” Friends tell me that “processed” foods are poison. And to make sure my fruits and vegetables are “organic.” I am also warned about “antibiotics” in my poultry and meat produces and to look for “free range” chicken. It seems like a full time job just keeping up…

We Need Each Other

Well, here is a statement filled with the potential for misunderstanding: “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.” (1 Timothy 4:4-5) There is great danger in attempting to grasp the wisdom and depth of the scriptures by yourself! The passage above could be used to sanction all kinds…

What Were You Thinking?

There is a direct correlation between delayed gratification and intelligence. In the famous Stanford study a group of children were told they could have one marshmallow now, or they could have two marshmallows if they waited for 15 minutes. The children were observed for the period of time and test scores showed that those children who scored highest on intelligence tests were more often able to wait the full 15 minutes for…

But We Didn’t Buy any Bread!

A recent meeting of the G-20, that group of nations whose economic policies tend to drive the world’s economy, met with the usual protesters in the streets. The groups that represent the “anarchists” movements are always prominent and always vocal and violent. Well, I guess that makes sense if you feel the only way to human freedom is to destroy current political and economic systems. The human vacillation between all encompassing structure…

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…