Are You Content?

“You are so blessed!” Those were the words said to the lady who had just gotten a big raise at work! And, it was true. But there is a danger here. In many cultures and even religions, the idea that to be rich is to be favored by God is a popular belief. This notion says that if someone is blessed with great wealth then God has given this wealth to them…

Principles To Treat Everyone Right!

“Well, to be fair…” I cringed when I heard these words because I knew what followed was an attempt by the speaker to shut down the discussion. After all, everyone wants “to be fair,” don’t we? Of course, we want to be “fair.” It seems to be an ingrained and foundational “sense” we humans all share. This idea that there should be an equality of treatment no matter who you are is…

How NOT To Abandon The Faith

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.”…

Which of Us Is the Greatest?

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 being 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…

Solving the Puzzle

Sometimes you have to wonder why we so easily miss it. You know, the obvious stuff that, once we see it, we wonder how we missed it in the first place! My girls like those puzzles where you are supposed to find the hidden pictures in a larger picture, but invariably I hear this little voice beside me say “Daddy, help me find the sock!” And, once we do, we both say…

Beware Mere Rulekeepers!

As a former police officer, I remember well having to memorize the rules of the road so that I could ENFORCE the rules. Of course, all these laws were on the books for people’s safety, but I can’t tell you how tempting it was to reduce that central purpose to the mere enforcing the rules as a purpose unto itself. You can always tell the difference between an officer who gets the…

The God of Generosity!

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 at…

I Think I Misunderstood!

Why is it we humans struggle with understanding certain things about life, technology, relationships, politics, and the list goes on and on? Well, it’s got everything to do with different experiences, different upbringing, different priorities, and so on. But what if there was a basic understanding that was fundamentally common to all humans, something meant to be so basic and so fundamental that every human could and should understand it? Misunderstanding something…

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And they (whoever they are?) are right. And that is both comforting and kind of scary when you think about it. My children are going to learn how to behave and live by watching and copying me! Poor kids. But think about it. We were created in the image of God to be made into His likeness. I know I’ve said this…

The Kindled Light

It’s amazing how powerful even a little light is when it’s dark. A small, flickering flame can brighten a dark room, and, amazingly the darker the room, the more powerful even the smallest amount of light! I remember visiting Ruby Falls as a little boy and going into the underground caverns with the tour, holding my mon’s hand tightly. It got even tighter when the tour guide turned out the lights in…