TONIGHT LIVE Q&A With Fr. Barnabas

Join Fr. Barnabas tonight for his monthly LIVE video session for all our Patreon Supporters. He’ll be answering questions and have a LIVE chat with our Patrons. Learn more at www.patreon.com/FaithEncouraged 

The More Excellent Way

The word “excellent” is such a wonderful word, and shouldn’t be emptied of its value by overuse or misunderstanding. Something that is truly “excellent” stands apart and suggests a standard to be aspired to and attained through diligence, admiration, and emulation. If something or someone is truly “excellent” then that is a reality to be celebrated and embraced! So, how do we live our lives in an “excellent” way? How do we…

Phoebe, a Deaconess

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…

Imitators and Examples

“Early is on time. On Time is late. Late is unacceptable!” These were my words, but they were coming out of my daughter’s mouth! She was giving a friend of her’s a hard time about being late to dance practice. We don’t “do” “Greek time” or “Country time” or any other ethnic excuse for being late in our house. That’s not how we treat other people or ourselves. Needless to say, I…

The Path OUT of Prison

“Well, you should have known better!” Oh, how I hated hearing that from my mom. It was the tone in her voice as well as the words. You know the one. The tone that communicated disappointment, disapproval, AND frustration all at the same time! Oh, I HATED it! But what made things worse was she was right! I SHOULD HAVE known better. In fact, I did know better and yet, there I…

People Talking Without Speaking…

At a recent spiritual retreat, I was asked to conduct, I was asked how one should prepare to deal with questions about the faith when others ask about it. Usually, many of our Orthodox brothers and sisters get very nervous when somebody asks them about our Orthodox Faith. It’s a good question, but it points to a deeper challenge – like most good questions do! While it may be satisfying to get some basic…

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…

Good Fathers Give Bread

One of the greatest revelations I had in my journey to Orthodox Christianity was the powerful theological truth preserved in the timeless Christian tradition of calling our clergy “father.” You may object by telling me that Jesus commanded “Call no man ‘father’” in Matthew 23:9. And on the surface that might seem to be the end of the discussion but you may want to sit down here! If this were truly an absolute prohibition then I…

Not Man’s Gospel

I’ve always been fascinated by philosophy and logical argument constructs. It seems to me that the ability to use one’s intellect to worship God through excellence and discipline is a very great accomplishment, one I’ve always lacked the patience and strength to fully embrace. One particular part of a philosophical argument that grabs my attention is the various logical fallacies that we humans use to “prove” our points or “win” arguments. I…

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…