In Him It Is Always Yes!

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…

Comforted to Comfort

Recently a Presbytera (that’s what we call the wife of the priest) passed away after a heroic struggle with breast cancer. This woman was a young woman with a husband and 17 year old daughter who struggled with their mother for the years she battled this illness. I knew this family because I had attended seminary with the husband who became a priest, and a good priest at that! As I learned…

St. Matthias, Pray For Us

“We have an eye witness.” Well, that got his attention. You see I was helping with an investigation with a recent spate of home burglaries in the area and we had caught a suspect in one of the neighborhoods where this was happening. This young man had been very successful in avoiding being seen or caught in the act until he robbed a house next door to a stay at home mom.…

How Are the Dead Raised?

“But, how does it work?” That was the question burning in my mind as a young, curious, typical pre-teen boy. So, I did what any normal kid would do. I took the clock apart! Still didn’t get my question answered because I didn’t understand the concept of the gears and spring system AND the clock never worked again because I didn’t know how to put it back together again! Needless to say,…

Do You REALLY Believe?

Friedrich Nietzsche declared “Faith means not wanting to know what is true.” And Fr. Seraphim Rose responds: “Atheism, true ‘existential’ atheism burning with hatred of a seemingly unjust or unmerciful God, is a spiritual state; it is a real attempt to grapple with the true God.… Nietzsche, in calling himself Antichrist, proved thereby his intense hunger for Christ.” In our modern world, gripped by what I call the religion of scientism, reduces…

A Heart Too Small

If you have a younger sibling then you’ve heard this before: “She did it! Why can’t I?” I know I’ve heard it in my house on numerous occasions, especially when the younger kiddo wonders out loud “What about me?” But sometimes (actually, many times) the younger child isn’t developmentally ready to take on the task that her bigger sister is doing. This happened recently as one daughter was walking to her bus…

The 100 Campaign!

Faith Encouraged is launching our “100 Campaign” today! We want to reach our goal of 100 sustaining donors in the next month. YOU can help! Please visit our Patreon page to donate. https://www.patreon.com/FaithEncouraged As little as $5 a month can help us grow our outreach and help our Church fulfill the Command of the Lord to make disciples of all nations! Your support produces results like this: Dear Fr. Barnabas, I thank…

The Cure I Need!

When I think of our requests we make of God, I find my own requests break down into a few categories – Personal needs, Family concerns, Parish concerns, and Hopes and Fears. But one of the blessings of being Orthodox is that the wise prayers preserved in the Faith cause my prayers to ever expand to include the whole universe. The regular litanies of the Divine Liturgy and other services allow me…

The STONE the Builders Rejected!

Welcome to the second day of the Dormition Fast! The wisdom of the fasting disciplines of the Church are meant to reinforce the reality that unless the faith is holistically practiced, that is it affects every aspect of your person, the real danger of compartmentalization exists! I know this is a constant temptation for me! This idea that the faith is only one part of my life. When, in fact, the Faith…

It Is TRULY Right!

Everybody else was squirming. They were obviously having a hard time with the information and seemed to rather have been elsewhere. But I was at peace. It just made sense to me, I guess. Some of you know the story of how I entered the Orthodox Church. I was a pastor of a growing Pentecostal church in the Metro Atlanta area, and my best friend and I were really interested in Church…