Not What But WHY

“We must speak out! We CANNOT be silent! Silence makes evil possible!” We hear this a lot nowadays, and I confess, I have great sympathy for this message. I’m a preacher, after all. And the public and fearless declaration of the Gospel is normal for we Christians through history. But, as usual, a one-sided perspective on this will lead to a lack of sobriety and balance. There is an equal witness to…

Perfect, Complete, Mature, Healthy!

A recent article on the Christian view of marriage is titled “Marriage is a Lifetime of Suffering.” You won’t see that on any Hallmark card for wedding anniversaries anytime soon. And yet, the idea of salvific suffering is so foreign to us as to be actually offensive to many. But the Christian understanding of life and salvation can be summed up in this quote from Elder Sophrony of Sussex “…in this world,…

To Be Attentive Is To Anticipate!

You remember when you were a kid and Christmas seemed to take forever. My mom used to use that old tried and true way to get me and my brother to behave through the year: “Boys, Santa is watching and Christmas is just (fill in the blank) away!” Well, the older I got the shorter that line would get me to behave! And Christmas seemed to come quicker and quicker as my birthdays increased!…

Are You Ready for the Parousia?

Standing in line at the supermarket is such an education. As I’m placing my grocery items on the conveyor belt and watching them slide toward the cashier, I glance toward the ubiquitous magazines there in the check-out line and read headlines screaming at me that Big Foot has been seen again, the latest Hollywood starlet has been cheated on or has cheated on her spouse, an aging actor tells all, and (most…

Looking Forward to THE DAY!

In the early ’80s, Merle Haggard came out with a great country song about “Rainbow Stew.” The song celebrated a time when everything in the world would be right and then, well, I’ll let some of the lyrics enlighten you. This is verse three: You don’t have to get high to get happy Just think about what’s in store When people start doing what they ought to be doing And they won’t…

Meant to Make You Like Christ!

Listen to this quote from St. Symeon the New Theologian: “In the future life the Christian is not examined if he has renounced the whole world for Christ’s love, or if he has distributed his riches to the poor or if he fasted or kept vigil or prayed, or if he wept and lamented for his sins, or if he has done any other good in this life, but he is examined…

Fight The Illness! Be Healthy!

You’ve met them. They are the ones who always seem to have a criticism of how things are going AND they don’t jump in to assist, they just want to complain. Truth be told, I’ve caught myself doing the same thing. Isn’t it amazing how much insight into a problem you can have and feel completely comfortable standing on the sidelines offer all this free advice? I guess by all the nodding…

Let Your Word Be Your Bond

A wise leader was teaching a group of “leaders to be” and he made a provocative statement ” When someone comes to you and asks for permission to do something in the organization, let your answer always be ‘yes.’” Yes? Yes! In my years of ministry, both as a Protestant pastor and now as an Orthodox priest, I’ve found this to be solid advice for leadership. My main task as a parish…

Remembering Mistakes Wisely

In 1861 Robert E. Lee wrote, “With all my devotion to the Union and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home.” In the end, he simply couldn’t raise his sword against his home state of Virginia, even though President Lincoln had offered him the command of the whole…