The Mature Have a Compass: Thurs. Oct. 1

The word of the day is “truth.”  In today’s reading of Ephesians 4:14-19, St. Paul speaks about maturity in Christ.  The Apostle recognizes that the  Ephesians are being “built up” as the Body of Christ (vs. 12).  By the spiritual gifts of ministry, they are advancing toward the “unity of faith and the [full and perfect l] knowledge of the Son of God” (vs. 13). Becoming Full Grown in Christ When they reach the standard of the “fullness of Christ,” they will become full-grown and complete (vs. 13; Strong’s 5046, 248). To attain this end, St. Paul advises that they should “no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine…”  (vs. 14). Rather they…

What’s a “Word of the Day”?

Every day I will use one word as a key to comprehending and remembering the message of the daily reading. I call it the “Word of the Day.” One word? How can one reduce a whole passage to one term? Well, I don’t intend to use that word to reduce or simplify the message. I will use it as a keyword, a tool to organize the thoughts of a passage so that we can comprehend and remember it. Some educators say that keywords are more than ways to search for information on the Internet. They have an essential role in understanding and memory. This learning theory holds that we do not learn in isolated and individual units of information or…

No-Frills: Nothing Fancy

If you are looking for engaging anecdotes and interest-grabbing stories to enhance your reading of scripture, you won’t find them here. This is a no-frills venture. Nothing fancy. Nothing to take focus away from the biblical text. I have found that people often respond to the illustration and to remember the one-liner rather than the message of the Word. But let us set aside every distraction, even if it would entertain us, and let us cut to the chase. The scriptures should speak directly to us. Before its introduction, before its exemplification, before its application, before anything else, the text must cut like a sword to the heart. What are the words of scripture saying? That is what counts. In…

The Story of This Blog

It began as a response to the Covid-19 virus. I had just finished teaching a three-part series on David C. Ford’s translation of Saint John Chrysostom’s Letters to Saint Olympia (St. Vladimir’s Press, 2016). I did not realize at the time how timely the subject of despondency (depression) was. But then the Covid-19 virus shut down everything—even our worship and fellowship at St. John’s the Evangelist Orthodox Church in Tempe, AZ. As I read the many requests for prayers on St. John’s social network, I wondered what I could offer to my hurting fellow parishioners. I decided to post comments on Dr. David C. Ford’s excellent translation of the St. John’s letters. I highlighted each of these entries with a…