Finding The Tomb of Jesus

The tomb of Jesus and the church sitting atop it helped me find true Christianity. In late 2016, researchers gained access to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. They uncovered the limestone slab where Jesus body lay after …

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Chirrut Imwe: A New Hope From An Ancient Practice

chirrut imwe and prayer

Chirrut Imwe, a character in the new Star Wars film, has a lesson to teach us about mystical prayer. This week my family saw Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It’s a worthy addition to the Star Wars canon. It’s also …

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The Rise Of Christian Martyrdom

christian martyrdom

Christian martyrdom is not something Americans give much thought to in their daily lives. Despite our secular culture, we still live in a nominally Christian nation. There is no real persecution of Christians in America. We can still attend the …

St. Stephen, The Icon Of Our Family

st. stephen

We commemorate St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, on December 27. My wife and I will celebrate our first wedding anniversary on this day. My family also mark the anniversary of our conversion to Orthodox Christianity. I had little idea who …

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On Losing A Child And Finding Our Faith

losing a child

Losing a child is one of the worst things a human being can experience. The sense of loss and helplessness leave a scar on the heart that never truly heals. It was only a few months ago that I announced …

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Mary Did You Know? (Of Course She Did)

mary did you know

Like any good Evangelical, I was moved to tears the first time I heard the song Mary Did You Know? Mark Lowry’s take on the Annunciation is a modern Christmas classic, covered by a who’s who of popular music. The lyrics present …

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President Donald Trump: An Orthodox Christian Reaction

pray for donald trump

Donald Trump was elected President of the United States after a bitter, nasty campaign season. We saw the worst of ourselves as a nation reflected in the two major party nominees. It was a nasty denouement to a year filled …

The Orthodox Blog And Media Evangelism

orthodox blog reader

In a recent post on his Orthodox blog Roads from Emmaus, Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick tells of a marketing call from a distributor of Christian-themed media content. The caller made no allowance for the distinct difference in Orthodox Christianity and other …

Jack Chick: This Was Your Life

jack chick tracts

Jack Chick scared the Hell out of me. Or at least he tried to. The California-born cartoonist died this week at the age of 92. Chick gained fame through the publication of Christian-themed cartoon tracts that were distributed throughout the …

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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 …

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 …

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 …