Freedom From Anxiety!

Well, the truth is I was worried (OK, actually worried and scared). I had never faced anything like this before and all I had ever heard was this situation was serious. And it was. But as I stood there waiting to face the music I so dreaded, I noticed something. My anxiety and fear were making things worse. These emotions and feelings were clouding my judgement, and that was dangerous. You see,…

You Are More Valuable Than Sparrows

It scared me to death! I was convinced something was lurking in the dark in my room, and I wasn’t about to shut my eyes! After all, it was only my constant vigilance and watchfulness that was keeping whatever was “out there” away from me, right? Imagine my surprise when sleep finally took me and I woke up the next morning unharmed! Such is the life of a 7 year old whose…

Prayer = Watchfulness!

My daughter sits in front with me in the car many times as I drive. And she is old enough now to notice that daddy sometimes has a challenge with patience with other drivers! She’s learned my “triggers.” Well, yesterday, she looked over at me when a person in front of us didn’t move when the light turned green and she said “that person isn’t paying attention, is she daddy?” It’s tough…

The Paradox of Generosity

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,…

Phoebe, A Deaconness

The old saying is “You can pick your friends, but you’re stuck with your relatives.” Oh the volumes that have been written about dysfunctional families! Family dynamics is one of the most interesting aspects of psychology to me because when I look at my own family I see a tapestry of joy, love, confusion, pain, good choices, bad choices, and a whole lot more. In other words, like most families, we have…

The Delusion of Pride

There is a powerful word in the wisdom of the Orthodox Faith that acts as a real warning to you and me. It is the word “prelest.” It literally means “the state of spiritual delusion or deception.” This is a great spiritual illness in the teaching of the Church and is to be recognized and dealt with as quickly and as often as possible in relationship to a spiritual father. St. Ignatius…

All AND Nothing

Ever heard the saying “It’s all or nothing!” This perspective says you have to choose in life to be all in oir get all out! But I wonder how far we can really push this insight. I think there’s something better for those of us who follow Jesus Christ. I prefer “All AND Nothing.” You see, life really is made up of choices and perspectives and priorities. And, to be sure, there…

THE Primary Relationship!

What is it about close relationships that either blind you or enlighten you? What I mean is, I’ve known folks who were so close to someone else that they were absolutely blind to that other person’s faults. I’ve seen it get so bad that the two people were so enmeshed with each other that they really were their own worst enemies when it came to other friends and relatives. There’s nothing like…

Protected From Distraction

“OK, so what’s the catch?” The guy had just given me his best pitch for a timeshare vacation package at the resort we were enjoying in the Dominican Republic. (Beautiful place, by the way). They told us that if we would go to this presentation that we could get exclusive access to the 5 star restaurant at the resort and prefered seating! So, we agreed. Sitting there and listening to this pitch,…

Strengthened With All Power

“Endurance is nobler than strength, and patience than beauty.” So says the 19th century writer and art critic John Ruskin. But is he right? Well, I think so, as long as all those important words are defined properly! But what if there was a way to understand WHY we should endure? Frankly, most people give up on different things in their lives because they’ve lost the “WHY” in their endurance. Sometimes that’s…