Many Blessings Equal Great Responsibility!

“Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done.” All through my life I’ve heard that we should “count” our blessings. If we would do this, we would be protected against falling into the “pit of despair” and we would be encouraged at how much we have in our lives. I guess that’s why I love the Orthodox wisdom of “nepsis” (wakefulness). This encouraging…

Time to Grow Up!

“Petulant child!” That’s what I thought as an obviously frantic mother was trying to placate a toddler throwing a fit. Nothing seemed to work. He didn’t want the toy, then he did want the toy. The treat mom tried to give the boy was accepted then thrown down and the screaming commenced again. She tried holding him. That didn’t work. She tried letting him down. That didn’t work. The look in her…

Is Doubt Wrong?

Paul Tillich once said “Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is one element of faith.” Interesting! As a priest, I have folks regularly come to me struggling with doubt. Some are in great distress, thinking their momentary doubt has “offended” God, or undone all their spiritual efforts. Everyone of them are a bit shocked when I confront them with their prideful notion that they have the power to disturb God…

Is There Injustice in God?

If you could know the future, would you want to? I mean, really; if you could know the exact moment of your death, would you want that information? Knowing the future has been a preoccupation for we humans forever! I remember riding in the backseat of a car with a friend and passing one of those little houses on the side of the road with the big sign out front: “Madam So…

All Creation Groans

Being in the room when my daughters were born was an unforgettable experience. Of course, I was a spectator. It was my wife that was doing all the work! And it wasn’t always a “fun” experience. In fact, I was “invited” to experience some of that pain while holding the hand of my bride during labor. The woman has a very strong grip! The event of childbirth is such a powerful icon…

You Are In The Spirit

Debt is a prison. Just ask anyone still paying Federal School Loans. The truth is the modern phenomenon of Student Loans is a ticking time bomb in our economy as more and more people find a sense of hopelessness in ever escaping the burden of paying for higher education. But a sense of indebtedness isn’t always negative. In fact, one can make the argument that a sense of indebtedness towards other to…

Thank God Almighty I’m Free At last!

On August 28, 1963, Baptist minister and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the mall in Washington, D.C. In it he uttered the equally famous line “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we’re free at last.” These words still stir my heart today. Some try to reduce freedom to mere temporal political “rights.” Others seem to suggest that freedom…

A Reviling Judgement

One of the questions I get often from parents trying to raise children in a society and culture that seems to have been reduced to sand. This reduction has occurred as we moderns have allowed the deconstruction of timeless wisdom preserved for centuries, all in the name of being relevant or even “compassionate.” My answer has changed over the years. Earlier, my answers use to revolve around battle and “apologetics” as if…

Why Are You Orthodox?

I was talking to someone the other day and we were discussing a fairly important subject when it dawned on me “We are not really speaking the same language.” It frustrated me and, I confess, I was at a loss as to how to bridge this gap in our understanding each other. You see, this person came from a vastly different place that I had. Our experiences were different. Our relationships were…

Storm Outside; Asleep Inside

What struck me was his strong, silent presence even in the face of chaos and tragedy. Here we were, dealing with the human tragedy and destruction of the aftermath of a hurricane. We were there as clergy to help people. We were moving through the American Red Cross “tent city” and it was set up to hold hundreds of displaced people and we were there as IOCC Frontliners, the First Responders ministry…