Help Celebrate Fr. Barnabas’ Birthday!

Next Tuesday is Fr. Barnabas’ birthday, and we here at Faith Encouraged want to invite you to help us celebrate. Would you consider making a special gift to Faith Encouraged Ministries to wish Fr. Barnabas a Happy Birthday? Just click the Pay Pal link and make your tax-deductible gift to further the media outreach of Faith Encouraged Ministries. https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=EBZ76697E7M98 Happy Birthday, Fr. Barnabas!

I Believe, Help My Unbelief

On this Sunday of St. John of the Ladder, we are confronted with the power of doubt and a lack of spiritual discipline to weaken us in our faith. What can we do about doubt? How can we stay strong for the spiritual battle that is everyday life?

Do You Believe?

There’s a prevailing notion that the mere granting of mental assent is believing. But is that really true? Is that really enough to actually believe? Does simply saying you think something is true to mean you truly believe it? I know we live in a society that likes to reduce life to “manageable” sizes. We want to reduce achievement to “imagine the possibilities.” We want “positive thinking” to replace the hard work…

This Place IS Holy!

The concept of “holy space” takes a beating in our modern society that values egalitarianism above hierarchy. But without one place being set aside as “holy” we lose the ability to see the “holy” in every place! In our Scripture Lesson today we read how God promised Abram (later his name would be changed to “Abraham”) the land of Israel for his people. Look at Genesis 13:12-18: Abram dwelt in the land…

Go To The Land I will Show You!

Daring to follow God’s plan for your life is an act of faith that rarely happens by accident. You have to be listening to hear His plans! So how do you develop a lifestyle that makes you attentive to God’s direction for your life? It all starts with being willing to be taught. The Scriptures are full of stories about people who dared to follow God’s path and the challenges they faced…

God Protects Humanity from Itself, AGAIN!

It is said that the greatest chess players “see” at least 4 moves ahead at all times. This is why they can anticipate their opponents’ moves and be ready for them. But most of us simply don’t think that far ahead in our lives. We clutter our moments with as much noise as possible in an attempt to drown out the silence that makes us uncomfortable. This need for constant stimulation, for…

The Consequences of Intoxication

Years ago, in my police officer days, I got assigned to the local DUI Task Force. This was a multi-jurisdictional team of officers specifically trained to combat driving under the influence and a direct result of the work of Mothers Against Drunk Driving that had formed in our community. I really loved this assignment because of our extra training and the fulfilling opportunity to really make a difference. One of the most…

The Rainbow Covenant

It’s an old word, but I like it. The word “covenant” is such a significant word for we moderns precisely because we have seemed to have forgotten the power of “covenant.” Our society is gripped by hyper-individualism that seems to be intoxicated with the notion of “rights” and “privilege” and “power.” This intoxication has created such chaos that even our very way of knowing our own identity has become confused. We think…

Life Is In The Blood

“Blood is thicker than water.” “He makes my blood boil.” We are related by blood.” So many sayings about “blood” and so many common sayings from culture to culture. It seems we humans are hard-wired to “know” the importance of the life-fluid we call blood. And yet it would be a mistake to reduce this life-fluid to mere “scientism” of materialistic functionality. There is a mystery in the blood. And that mystery…

The Paradox of Sacrifice And Gratitude

At the very heart of the timeless Christian faith is the Eucharist. And you’ve heard me say many times before that the word “Eucharist” has its root in the Greek word for “thank you.” The very center of what it means to be a Christian isn’t some cultural habit “I’m Christian because I was born in a Christian family.” It isn’t in some political allegiance like insisting we are a “Christian” nation.…