Plain Talk Saves Lives!

Do you mind if I get on a soapbox today? Thanks! Someone can be truly sincere AND sincerely wrong. It doesn’t help good people to be more concerned about their fragile feelings and ignore the danger they are in by heading in the wrong direction. Sometimes, speaking the truth in love is unpleasant and unwelcomed. But love DEMANDS I care more for the other than their opinion of me. Look at our…

Crucify Your Flesh!

Folks, there’s just one use for a cross. No ambiguity. No “shades of meaning.” The only use for a cross is to kill someone. Sorry for the stark language right off the bat, but there’s just no way to dress this up to make it more palatable. Crucifixion means somebody is going to die! No wonder we avoid the idea so much. But should we? After all, the famous saying on Mt.…

You MUST Be Grateful!

St. Paisios said, “Sometimes the devil deceives us and makes us unable to be pleased with anything; however, one can celebrate all things in a spiritual manner, with doxology, and secure God’s constant blessing.” The older I get, the more I see gratitude and the cultivation of gratitude that is the key to spiritual peace. The ability to be grateful is in direct proportion to humility and honesty. But how do we cultivate gratitude…

Getting Back What You Gave Away

You remember this, don’t you: “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t come back, it never was.” While I find this sentiment a bit saccharine for my tastes (I have a deep suspicion of sentiment since I am convinced it is more akin to emotional “candy” than actually helpful to my life), there is an element here worth exploring. We really do need to hold…

Yeah, Everything is Fine

What if every time you turn around, no matter what happens, it ends up helping you? It seemed like it was one of those days. All the traffic lights were green. Even the cars in front of me were moving along at a good speed. My favorite song came on the radio in just enough time for me to hear the whole song before I arrived at my appointment. And then, when…

No Short Cuts!

“I know a shortcut!” And with that, me and my buddy promptly got lost going to a friend’s house! You see, I remember the days before GPS! Yes, I’m THAT old. By the way, are you aware that we now have a generation growing up that will never know what the world was like before the smartphone and GPS tracking? I wonder where they will take “shortcuts?” We all face the temptation…

An Offer You Shouldn’t Refuse

I looked out at the congregation and said: “If Kmart had a Blue Light special like this, they’d sell out in a minute.” Of course, you don’t know what a “blue light special is. You may not even remember KMart! Suffice it to say it was a marketing trick that a store use to use to draw attention to special deals they had in their store. And my reference was to the…

Quick! Get UP!

Sometimes it’s just time to move. I mean there comes a time in your life when the day has passed for contemplation, planning, and consideration and the time comes to act and act fast. But you are never going to be ready for that moment in your life without preparation. And that preparation takes three distinct disciplines to make you ready to move when the time comes. No one is able to…

Is Gentleness Weakness?

There’s one word that those who know me best would NEVER use to describe me: Gentle! I don’t know if it’s my “creative” use of language or just my deep suspicion of spineless mediocrity, but I am rarely what you might call “gentle.” I tend toward the “over-the-top” and brash black and white mindset of a hard-nosed conservative, former police officer, by-the-book rule keeper. So, do you still love me? And yet,…

They Devoted Themselves

The first time I heard this, it hit me like a ton of bricks! “Let us commend ourselves, ONE ANOTHER, and our whole life unto Christ, our God. To You, O Lord.” “One another?” How do I “commend” someone else to “Christ, our God?” Aren’t they responsible for themselves? What does this mean? Well, of course, each of us is responsible for ourselves, but, from the very beginning when Cain asked God…