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The Parable Of The Sower And Preparing The Soil

parable of the sower

We heard the Parable of the Sower this week in the Divine Liturgy, which is customary on the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the Second Ecumenical Council. Despite having heard this parable many times before, this time I got …

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Politics: A Distraction From The Real Enemy

When I was younger I worked in party politics, and chaired a Young Republicans club. I listened to talk radio and read political journals. I fantasized of one day seeking political office. Soon I became the editor of a newsletter for …

From Catechumen To Convert Part 5: Confession

confession

My first confession was the night before I was received into the Orthodox Church. It was a final step in my movement from my old life as a Protestant into my new life as an Orthodox Christian. What is more, …

Sin, Mercy, And Missing The Mark

do not be ashamed when you sin

I struggle with sin, and with the effects of sin. Guilt and shame follow close on the heels of my transgressions, sometimes instantly. Regret is a lingering scar from past sins. Though I may repent, I soon fall back into …

From Catechumen To Convert Part 4: Body And Blood

body and blood

“Do you believe that Communion is the actual body and blood of Christ?” It was one of the first questions I asked during my initial meeting with an Orthodox priest. In fact, it’s probably one of the first questions asked …

Video: What Is The Orthodox Church?

what is the orthodox church

What is the Orthodox Church? It’s a question many in America ask. Many of my friends and family have asked me the same question after seeing my posts on social media. The Orthodox Church is little known inside the United …

Free Download: Beach Sunset Mobile Wallpaper

beach sunset

Sunset at the beach can leave even the most jaded cynic speechless. The almost inexpressible beauty of the fading sun throwing orange flame into the sky. The rolling waves of the sea as they darken in the fading light. The …

Having A Child, With Fear And Trembling

having a child

My wife and I are having a child. This may come as a shock to those of you that know me personally. I’m a little old to be a new father, and I had all but given up on my …

A Consuming Fire: When God’s Love Becomes Hell

a consuming fire

Our God is a consuming fire. This phrase from the epistle to the Hebrews is used in a song by contemporary Christian band Third Day. It’s a vivid image of an all-powerful God burning away the chaff of sin. Growing …

Love Thy Neighbor Is Still A Revolutionary Act

love thy neighbor

“Love thy neighbor” is a simplistic idea. It’s outdated. It’s trite. What do we do when our country seems more fractured than ever before? Racial strife is at an all-time high. Our political leanings are our tribal standards, and fighting seems …

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Questions About Orthodoxy: A Reader Writes In

questions about orthodoxy

I’ve been asked questions about Orthodoxy ever since I began attending an Orthodox church. After I began this blog, old friends and even family members have popped into the comments section to inquire about my new faith.  I was going back …

A Funeral Without Tradition

funeral

This week I attended a funeral for the first time since my conversion to Orthodoxy. This was not an Orthodox funeral, and I wondered whether I would have a new perspective on old traditions. Dealing with death in the South …

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To The Catechumens Everywhere

prayer of the catechumens

Pray unto the Lord, ye catechumens… The Prayer of the Catechumens is a special part of the Divine Liturgy. When I was a catechumen preparing to be received into the Orthodox Church, I felt a sense of purpose. At that …

From Catechumen To Convert Part 3: The Virgin Mary

virgin mary

The Virgin Mary is a stumbling block to Protestants, or at least it was for this former Baptist. My upbringing taught me to regard the mother of Christ with indifference. I looked on those who apparently worshiped her with derision …

Wearing A Prayer Rope

prayer rope

My new prayer rope came in the mail last week. It’s a simple black bracelet made of a wool strand. Along its circumference are 33 knots, representing the age of Christ at his crucifixion.  A small silver cross joining the …

From Catechumen To Convert Part 2: My Patron Saint

patron saint anthony

A patron saint isn’t something Protestants have anything to do with. All I knew of a patron saint was seeing TV and movie Catholics kissing their St. Christopher medallion before a shootout or a feat of derring-do. Now I had …

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Orlando Nightclub Shooting: How Should Christians React?

orlando nightclub shooting

A shooting at an Orlando nightclub has shocked the world. The total dead and injured make this the worst mass shooting in the nation’s history. This outrageous attack has caused many to take to social media to express their anger …

Free Mobile Wallpaper: Lord Cause Me To Dwell In Hope

you alone o lord cause me to dwell in hope

Hope is an illusory thing. Sometimes it disappears when we need it most. In the depths of despair and worry it is hard to imagine that things will get better. In times when I cannot find a reason to hope, …

Dealing With Fear And Trusting In God

dealing with fear

Dealing with fear is a universal experience. But shouldn’t Christians be immune to fear? Isn’t that what we tell ourselves all the time? We say we trust that God is in charge, but then act as if we alone determine …

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Keep The Fast: Peanut Noodle Pasta Salad

peanut noodle pasta salad

Keep The Fast is a new series providing healthy, fast-friendly recipes for busy Orthodox families. Would you like to be notified when a new recipe is available? Sign up here. I’ll admit it. I have trouble keeping the fast. Between …