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 …

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 …

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 …

Forgiveness Sunday And Getting It Right

Forgiveness Sunday is the final Sunday before Great Lent. It’s also Cheesefare, after which Orthodox Christians abstain from dairy for the length of the fast. After the Divine Liturgy today, we ate macaroni and cheese, blintzes and various dips. It …

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Do You Want To Be Orthodox?

learning to be orthodox

One of my favorite films is Martin Scorcese’s The Departed. It’s a thriller about an undercover cop sent to infiltrate the Irish mafia. His mission is to uncover a mole inside the Boston police department. There’s a line in the …

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An Anniversary Letter To My Readers

anniversary

Today is my anniversary, and it’s long past time I wrote to you once again. Two years ago on the day I publish this, my wife and I were received into the Orthodox Church. On the same day, we were married. …

On Being Unworthy To Serve

unworthy to serve

When I post something on this site, I am writing to you. Some of you are baptized Orthodox Christians. Others are considering Orthodoxy, or merely curious about a faith all but unknown in America. But I try to consider what …

The Panikhida: Prayers For The Departed

the panikhida offers prayers for the departed

Recently our church offered prayers for the departed. A long time member of our parish passed away, and on the evening before his funeral, we held a a panikhida. Our small parish more or less split down the middle on …

Was Hurricane Irma A Punishment From God?

hurricane irma

Hurricane Irma unleashed its fury on the topics and Florida. The storm destroyed homes and upended lives. People across the state are without power and dealing with flooding. Off the southern coast of the state, the destruction is even worse. …