3 Powerful Principles of True Leadership

“I’m their leader! Which way did they go?” I have a cap with two bills on it, one in the front and one in the back with that slogan on it. It’s funny because it’s so often true. Leadership is always such a rewarding and challenging calling. In fact, if you could get most leaders to share their deepest and most honest feelings, you would find that most leaders feel quite inadequate…

Bless Your Heart

As a “son of the South” I’ve heard people say “Bless your heart” all my life. And the irony is that this phrase that almost sounds like a prayer, is really a versatile phrase American Southerners use to both bless AND curse. And it all depends on how it’s used. It can be a genuine expression of concern or it can be used to cover with a thin layer of religiosity actual…

Kept Under Restraint

One of the most difficult realities I’ve had to face as an adult, as a priest, as a husband, and as a father is waking up to the reality of the complexity of each human person I encounter, including myself. This continuous process of discovery has me regularly seeing places of spiritual progress and immaturity in my heart first of all. All leading to the unmistakable conclusion that the taming of the…

People Talking Without Speaking…

At a recent spiritual retreat, I was asked to conduct, I was asked how one should prepare to deal with questions about the faith when others ask about it. Usually, many of our Orthodox brothers and sisters get very nervous when somebody asks them about our Orthodox Faith. It’s a good question, but it points to a deeper challenge – like most good questions do! While it may be satisfying to get some basic…

Do You REALLY Want to Know?

Why is it we avoid asking inconvenient questions? Or maybe they are just uncomfortable questions. Questions that get to the heart of a real injustice, or a deep-seated prejudice, or even a real life-stalling behavior? Why are we moderns always in therapy but never getting really free? What will it take for us to confront some inconvenient questions in our own lives, or better yet, what will it take for us to…

Just a Consumer?

We really have succumbed to such a consumerist mindset that the Pavlovian trigger of “sale” actually has us queuing up outside the “box” retailers to wait in the cold to get a slip of paper that gives us permission to purchase a product at a particular price so we will “have” the product. One begins to wonder if we “have” the product, or does the “product” have us? On the other hand,…

The Cornerstone!

C.S. Lewis said it best: “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” So true! You see, the Christian Faith isn’t merely a set of moral teachings. All religious systems have that, and most of them are fairly similar. The Christian Faith isn’t merely the cultural tradition of this or that people-group, though it certainly has become that…

Chaste AND Holy

The word Holy means “set apart for a specific and exclusive use.” Something or someone who is holy is singularly dedicated to a single purpose and action. No wonder the Church gives us the gift of marriage as an icon of faithfulness and dedication to teach us about our true purpose in belonging only to Jesus. Being faithful is the whole purpose of the Christian’s life. And the only way to be…

Keeping Holy Places Holy

“I can pray out in the woods so much better than in a church!” But do you do that? Seriously, I hear so many excuses as a priest from folks who can’t seem to make regular church attendance a priority in their lives. And most of those lives are marked by a consistent inattentiveness to God in their everyday lives. That’s why holy places are so very important to make all places…

There Is Neither Jew Nor Greek

I grew up in the American South in the 1960’s when the country was tearing itself apart over the war in Vietnam and the horrible cancer of racism and prejudice. I remember the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King in Atlanta and the fact that my grandfather was a policeman in Atlanta during those scary times. The terrible consequences of ignorant tribalism are simply too plain in human history to ignore. And…