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…

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…

Wise or Shrewd? What’s the Difference?

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…

So, You Got to 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…

THE Primary Relationship!

What is it about close relationships that either blind you or enlighten you? What I mean is, I’ve known folks who were so close to someone else that they were absolutely blind to that other person’s faults. I’ve seen it get so bad that the two people were so enmeshed with each other that they really were their own worst enemies when it came to other friends and relatives. There’s nothing like…

Eternal Healing IS Best!

Have you ever thought about all those people Jesus healed during His ministry here on earth? They were so happy, grateful, and changed. In some cases (the illness of leprosy) they were now free to rejoin society, be reunited with their families, and finally get their life back. They went on to live their lives. Some became great saints of the Church. And every one of them eventually died. Hey, why do…

Memory Eternal!

The ancients kept the stories of their past alive through storytelling and through communal memory. It was just expected that a young person would memorize the tales of the tribe so that he could pass on this communal memory to the next generation. Now don’t laugh, but when I think of this, I think of the perfect illustration of this fundamental idea of human self-knowledge from a movie! The movie is “Enemy Mine” and in this science…

Are You Connected?

I confess to being both addicted and often overwhelmed by daily news headlines. I am an information junkie and have my daily routine of reading different sites and news aggregators that (I hope) keep me informed about my world. From politics to disasters, to cultural and social trends, to even local news events, I find it both informative and instructive to learn about my world. After all, I am called to be a shepherd…

Led Astray By Dumb Idols

Alexandre 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…