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COVID-19: An Orthodox Response

covid-19

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown of much of the civilized world is well underway. In some parts of the United States the restrictions on travel and interaction are relaxing. In other parts, the conflict between freedom and security …

Pascha: Trampling Down Death

The celebration of Pascha this year is not as we expected. There’s an added sadness in the story of the Passion and of Christ’s descent into Hades. But I believe there is an even greater hope. Attempts to mitigate the …

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This is Needed for My Salvation

Is the Coronavirus a punishment from God? My social media feeds seem to think so. The COVID-19 virus has changed us forever. We look at each other differently in the grocery store – assuming you even have ventured out in …

The Publican and the Pharisee and the Toddler

publican and pharisee

Today was the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, and the folks in our parish got a lesson in piety, courtesy of a toddler and her frantic father. My daughter was actually pretty calm in church today. She spun …

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A Defiant Teenager and Dealing with Sin

defiant teenager

My daughter is a defiant teenager. I know this because she told me so. Yesterday she was asked to do one of her chores. At first she refused, saying she’d do it, but she didn’t want to do it until …

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Sickness: It’s Good For You

it's good for you

It’s good for you. As a child in bed with a cold, I often watched with bleary eyes as my mother brought me a bowl of chicken soup. The steamy, salty broth was her way of caring for both my …

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How to Struggle Against Sin

I saw an item online this morning about a woman who fought off an attempted assault. In the accompanying photo, she is wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the words she yelled at her attacker. A pattern on the shirt depicts …

Theotokos, Helper In Childbirth

theotokos

This week, Orthodox Christians commemorate the Dormition of the Theotokos – the falling asleep in the Lord of Mary, the mother of Christ. During our Dormition Liturgy I watched as our catechumens stood before the altar. Those in the process …

El Paso Shooting: America Has A Heart Problem

america has a heart problem

Another mass shooting happened this week. This time a young man in El Paso, Texas opened fire in a Walmart, killing 20 people. Just 12 hours later, another gunman killed nine people in an Ohio bar. Families are now mourning …

How to Raise Holy Children

raise holy children

I’m trying to learn how to raise holy children. So far, my results have been mixed, and it’s my own fault. My youngest daughter has learned to walk. But more importantly, she can run, and she likes to demonstrate this …

Saving Lives in Northern Uganda

uganda clinic

In the Gulu District of Northern Uganda, more than 1,500 people died from Ebola since August 2018. It is the second-largest Ebola outbreak on record. The infant mortality rate in Gulu is ten times that of the United States. Malaria …

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How to Deal with Pain

dealing with pain

I’m learning how to deal with pain these days. A few weeks ago I underwent major surgery, and have been in moderate to severe pain ever since. This is probably the longest I’ve ever been debilitated, and it’s not fun. …

A Father’s Day and Pentecost

father's day

Father’s Day was an extra blessing for me this year. My daughter was born just over a year ago and this is the first Father’s Day we’ve had together. I’ve been a stepfather much longer, and that has its own …

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Abbot Tryphon and Praying for Enemies

abbot tryphon

Abbot Tryphon, an Orthodox monastic from Vashon Island, Washington, was attacked by a stranger this week. The host of the popular podcast The Morning Offering was pumping gas when a man approached him asking, “How’s Trump?” before sucker-punching Tryphon, who …

The Practice of Prayer

I’m out of practice with my guitar. I’m not a particularly good player, but it’s fun to noodle around and make what music I can. But it’s been weeks since I’ve picked it up, and I know it will take …

God Has Answered My Prayer

god has answered

God has answered my prayer, and I can truly say I believe in miracles. Because there is one sleeping on my shoulder as I write this. This week my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. The last few …

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An Orthodox Wedding In The Age of Bridezilla

table at an orthodox wedding

My Orthodox wedding was over two years ago. In that time my wife and I have had the typical ups and downs. We’ve  gone through the loss of a child together. Through it all, we have leaned on each other …

Witness To an Orthodox Chrismation

an orthodox chrismation

My Orthodox Chrismation and reception into the Church was just over two years ago. On Palm Sunday I was witness to another Chrismation, as we received another member into the Church. A young man began attending services several months ago, …

Getting the Right Medicine in Confession

getting the right medicine

Getting the right medicine for what ails you involves understanding the ailment itself. Giving your doctor all the details of your symptoms helps in making the right diagnosis. It makes no sense to lie to your doctor about your symptoms. …

Have No Further Concern For Your Sins

have no further concern for your sins

I’m getting a little better at confession. I’m not as good at forgetting my sins. I try not to hold onto my sins after confession. And I do think I’m getting better at letting go each time I confess. But …