Watered Down Faith

“It’s like trying to take an aspirin for cancer!” OK, that got my attention! The speaker was talking about the dangers of watering down the clear message needed for our group so that it wasn’t so discomforting. But his illustration really drove the point home that some problems need the fully potent dose of truth to be corrected. I admit, it hit home with me, especially as I thought about how just…

He’s Not One Of Us!

I remember as a boy dreading recess at school. You see, I was a bit of a bookworm and not very athletic, and so when it came to be picked for teams, I was usually the kid who got picked last. Ugh! I hated that. It was embarrassing and it made me feel like a loser! Of course, when report card time came, all the jocks wished they were me! We humans…

Effective Or Not?

I admit it, I can be a workaholic. One of my greatest, personal, fears is being “ineffective” so I work really hard to “produce;” to “get results;” to achieve. Now, that isn’t necessarily bad as long as our definitions are correct! Ah, and there’s the rub! What do I mean when I say “effective” or “successful” or “productive?” Forgetting to do that hard work means there is a high likelihood of truly…

5 Priestly Truths

The whole notion of a high priest is so foreign to we egalitarian Americans and moderns. We are centuries removed from a time when hierarchy and royalty were the norm. But it’s helpful to remember that, for the vast majority of Christians who have ever lived, the notion of a hierarchy and even monarchy was the norm. Frankly, the jury is still out from my perspective if our modern way is any…

You Are Not Far From the Kingdom

“Missed it by THAT much.” OK, I know I’m dating myself and all my consultants and advisors always warn me when I do this I’m not communicating well to the younger generation. But, seriously, shouldn’t everyone know Maxwell Smart? Well, perhaps not. But I do know that all of us know the feeling of being so close to something that we can almost touch it! I remember the frustration of getting lost…

You MUST Be Grateful

St. Paisios said “Sometimes the devil deceives us and makes us unable to be pleased with anything; however, one can celebrate all things in a spiritual manner, with doxology, and secure God’s constant blessing.” The older I get, the more I see gratitude and the cultivation of gratitude that is the key to spiritual peace. The ability to be grateful is in direct proportion to humility and honesty. But how do we…

The Spirit of Fear

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” This is the litany Paul Atreides recites in the book “Dune” as he is being tested. A…

Help! Our Computer Died!

Ain’t it just the way? Surprises happen in life and we here at Faith Encouraged just experienced one! But, before I get to that, I want to say “Thank you” for all you do with us! What you’ve made possible for the growth of this ministry is at the heart of why we get messages like this: “Father Powell is awesome!!! I’m going through a very tough time, of my own doing;…

Who’s Your Daddy?

In 1968 The Zombies recorded a song called “Time of the Season.” In it there is a great lyric: “What’s your name? Who’s your daddy? Is he rich like me?” It was meant to communicate the moment in time of protest, a slap at the arrogant rich, and a move away from the hypocrisy the younger generation saw in the wealthy and even middle class of America at the time. Plus, it’s…