Which Son Are You?

I’ve noticed that some folks appreciate straight talk and some folks don’t. In fact, there seem to be whole cultures where plain talk is discouraged because certain cultures consider it rude. I’ve seen this reality play out with different concepts about honesty as well. A friend of mine told me about her business dealings with someone in a very different culture than hers that illustrates what I’m talking about. She was already…

Being Shrewd Isn’t the Same as Being Wise

He was a canny businessman. He actually took real pleasure in knowing he had gotten the better of his business associates in deals, in negotiations, and in life. He seemed to know just when to strike and just the right words to say to get his way and get ahead. And he was all alone. His great ability to shrewdly scheme his way to financial success didn’t translate into his relationships because everyone…

Gotta Have Faith

Faith is something we humans take for granted. We seem to just assume that we “have” faith or we “keep” the faith merely by wanting to do so, but is that true faith? Is faith something we simply “think” about and so we “have” it? I don’t know about you but this seems to lead us to magical thinking or, worse yet, self-delusion. Is it really true that the merest intention to believe is belief itself? We live in a day…

God Heals Chaos. He Doesn’t Cause It!

Isaac Newton once said “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” How I resonate with that. Simplicity is the enemy of confusion and chaos. I’ll never forget the story of a Third world visitor to the US being overwhelmed by her first trip to an American grocery store. This precious woman broke down in tears, not at the abundance, but at the…

Do You Pray To Zeus?

“Do you pray to Zeus?” What? Yep, the lady was serious when she found out I was a Greek Orthodox priest, she wondered if we prayed to Zeus! Holy Moly! “No, ma’am” I said. “We are lovers of Jesus Christ, and actually we are the first Christians.” She was amazed. She said “I’ve never heard of you before.” “Yes, ma’am, I know. We have to do better at letting our neighbors know…

A “Living Stone?” What Is That?

It doesn’t make sense. Jesus says some difficult things in His teachings and the Church continues this “challenge” to our intellect. The Lord says things like “If you want to be free, be a slave.” And “If you want to live, you have to die.” And even “If you want to lead, you have to follow.” So, which is it Lord? And to that the Church confidently replies: BOTH! The truth is…

One Body, Many Members

Let me state something that may be easily misunderstood, but something I am increasingly convinced has to be said and said often: Jesus Christ left us ONE THING – The Church. The Church IS the Body of Christ and is the continued Physical Presence of Jesus Christ in the earth. God has no “Plan B.” His plan to redeem humanity and see the Kingdom of God among us is The Church. Period.…

So Easily Led Astray

Alexander Solzhenitsyn once said, “We always pay dearly for chasing after what is cheap.” I wish I had learned this earlier in my life. I would have avoided some painful idolatries. But we humans are slow learners. And over and over again we come to the end of what we thought we could not live without and discover all too late that we certainly could live without it. We idolize the fantasy…

Lord, Have Mercy on My Son!

“I need to speak with your supervisor.” The customer service lady on the other end of the line could tell I was frustrated. I had already called several times to find out why what I had ordered had not been delivered. First they told me it had been delivered. Then, when they discovered they were wrong, they apologized and said it would be delivered the next day. When that didn’t happen and…

The Potential Within

I remember thinking “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.” It was one of those moments in our journey to Orthodoxy that caused my soul to say “Aha.” A point of enlightenment about just how profound our newfound, and ancient faith was going to be for how I thought about faith. Our catechist had just said “we get what we need many times in life by going through the door of its opposite.”…