Thank God!

“3 Easy Steps to a Happy Life” or “The Path to Getting Rich” or “How To Beat The Odds in Vegas” Over and over again we are inundated with this or that “formula” to “be happy” or “rich” or any number of wonderful things that will finally make us content. And these formulas or advice books or courses or seminars are all, to varying degrees, either helpful or a waste of time…

Go To Church!

In one of the retreats that I give around the country, I have a particular presentation about how to heal the weaknesses of our modern age. I use examples from sociology, psychology, science, and even religion. But then I get down to the timeless and purposeful answer from Orthodoxy: GO TO CHURCH! It usually gets at least a smile from folks, but it’s meant to be a wake-up call for us all. You see,…

Are You STILL Wearing THAT?

It was an old suit, but I loved it! It had both sentimental value and the added benefit of actually fitting me! But my dear bride said it had to go! Sure, it had a few stains but I thought they were hard to see. Yes, there was a tear inside the jacket, but I was the only one who was going to see that. And, OK, so the pants were a…

The Whole Armor of God

I love this Armed Forces Motto: “The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.” Isn’t that great? In other words, when you put the time into preparing for battle, the more ready you are to face the fight. And what is true for physical fighting is also true for the spiritual battle each of us faces every day! What? You didn’t know this was going to be a…

Unsearchable Riches, An Eternal Purpose

I really like to write and I enjoy public speaking, but I had a hint of my tendency to wordiness when my first time in seminary produced a comment from one of my favorite professors. I had just finished a fairly intensive philosophy paper for his class and was really sweating the grade he would give me. Most everybody got their papers back quickly, but mine wasn’t in the first batch handed…

Hey, You Don’t Belong Here!

I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I had wandered into the wrong place. Everything about me screamed “he doesn’t belong here!” And it was confirmed when a waiter came to escort me out! There is nothing quite as cutting to anyone than to be made to feel unwelcome or unwanted. The stigma of being the “outsider” is a heavy burden to bear. This is especially true when all those “insiders” have their own…

The Head Over ALL Things

He told me “Never say ‘never.’” Of course, at the time I missed the humor in that contradictory command. But, still, there is wisdom there. Whenever I counsel couples or anyone having challenges in their relationships (aren’t we all?), I tell them “Avoid the words ‘always’ and ‘never.’” And that’s because those statements are “usually” untrue, and relationships never get healed in the middle of falsehood. But there are times when words…

The Foolishness of the Cross

“Until you have eradicated the evils in your heart, do not obey it, because the heart seeks to increase what it already has stored inside.”  St Mark the Ascetic, On the Spiritual Law We prideful humans can’t understand the power of this wisdom without the “foolishness” of the Cross of Jesus Christ. Look at our lesson today in 1 Corinthians 1:18-24: BRETHREN, the word of the cross is folly to those who are…

Consider Jesus

Ever thought about giving up? Yeah, I know. What time is it? I confess to struggling with this temptation all the time. And the temptation to give up seems to come in all sorts of shapes and sizes; from small things to big things. Plus, it seems we live in a modern culture that celebrates and even encourages “giving up.” The “easy path” of abandoning that which is hard flows from the…

All Who Wander Aren’t Lost

Have you ever heard of the story of the donkey who saved a prophet’s life by talking to him? And you thought your dreams were strange! Seriously, this powerful story in the First Testament is worth your time! Read the whole story in Numbers 22. To make a long story short, Balaam is something of a prophet and some enemies of the Jews in the area want to hire him to curse…