Don’t Throw Your Confidence Away!

It seems we Southerners have an “old saying” for everything. When I was in Boston for seminary, a young man from another part of the country asked me “Barnabas, is there a book I can buy with all these Southern sayings in them?” I laughed and told him “No, son, we Southerners guard these sayings very closely!” Of course, there are tons of books out there that recount all our “old sayings.”…

There is None Good But God

I love what Mark Twain once said: “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.” Yep, I know what he means. I squirm under the light of someone who’s life radiates a goodness I so often wish I had and all too often do not! My best friend use to say that “No life is a total waste; it can always serve as a bad…

Let The Children Come to ME

You weren’t made for brokenness and loneliness and isolation. You were made to be in communion. And that’s because you are created in God’s image. So, that begs the question: How does God “know” Himself? What does it mean to be made in the image of God? God knows Himself as Persons in Communion. In eternity past, before time, before creation, God is perfectly Himself without need or depravation. He is complete…

God Made Them Male and Female

Statistics are funny things. It seems everyone who wants to sway public opinion will use statistics to bolster their argument. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do the same thing, but apparently I’ve lived to that age in life where the old saying “figures don’t lie, but liars figure” strikes me as an important reminder in our polarized age! What a strange way to begin a devotional! I will say though that…

Fire And Salt!

When I was serving as a police officer in my 20’s and early 30’s one of the most difficult aspects of the job was dealing with the abuse and misuse of children. I simply lost the ability to see the perpetrator as a person. They had hurt a child. I just found it almost impossible to keep perspective when it came to children being mistreated. But I guess that’s understandable because when…

Not One of Us, Eh?

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…

AWAKE, O Sleeper!

“Wake up, sleepy head!” Boy, I REALLY didn’t want to get out of bed! You know how you feel when someone wakes you up from a deep sleep? I felt disoriented, and groggy. It felt like my eyelids weighed a ton! But, staying in the bed wasn’t an option if I wanted to go with the rest of the family on the trip we’d planned for months! I HAD TO get up…

The Road to Hell is Paved With…

A quote from Virgil’s Aeneid says “the descent to hell is easy.” And no one ever expects their good intentions to turn out bad. That’s the “law of unintended consequences.” It seems we humans are better at coming up with witty quotes than we are at avoiding the mistakes of  our “good intentions” gone bad. But why is that? Nobody ever thinks their intentions are actually harmful. Most of us think (and,…

Our Generous God

It’s Gift Giving Season! But that can be dangerous if you don’t know WHY Giving is vital to your spiritual well being! Listen to St. Poemen. “As far as you can, do some manual work so as to be able to give alms, for it is written that alms and faith purify from sin.” Why? Why does almsgiving and faith purify from sin? By the way, this is a big deal! Look…

This Little Light of Mine

It was a favorite Sunday School song in my 1st grade class on Sundays! “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine!” We would hold up our right index finger as we sang the song. What a nice memory. But then…