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 It’s outdated.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 …

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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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From Catechumen To Convert Part 1: A Beautiful House

A catechumen begins learning in the Church

Becoming a catechumen in the Orthodox Church begins the process of preparation to become a convert. Prior to being made a catechumen, there’s a feeling out process that takes place. For me, this process took over a year. I didn’t …

What Does It Do? Take A Reader Survey

reader survey

When I began this website, my priest gave me his blessing to discuss my path to Orthodoxy despite how early I was in the journey. He reads every post (I assume), and comments on the good and the bad. He …

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Orthodox Christianity: The Essential Reading List

orthodox christianity reading list

Eastern Orthodox Christianity is one of the largest Christian fellowships in the world, second only to the Roman Catholic Church. Yet inside the United States it is almost unknown. As a former evangelical Christian, I understand the strange and mysterious …

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Orthodox Icons As A Teaching Tool

orthodox icons are a teaching tool

Orthodox icons are one of the most beautiful parts of the Eastern church. But they are more than decoration. They are a way of preserving the truth of the Gospel down through the ages. Orthodox icons are created only by …

Dealing With Grief Through Repentance

dealing with grief

Dealing with grief is something we must all do at one time or another. Countless books have been written about the grieving process and the proper ways to channel it. The five stages of grief have become a part of …

You Are Made In The Image Of God

Made in the image of God

You are made in the image of God. Think about that for a moment. The God of all creation made you in His image. You are an expression of the energies of God, a likeness of the Almighty. And God …

Myrrh-Bearing Women And Changing Plans

This past Sunday we commemorated the Myrrh-bearing women and Joseph of Arimathea. I’m struck by the fact that they were in the process of very specific tasks when Christ changed their plans drastically. The Gospel reading on this day is …

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Doubting Thomas Got A Bad Rap

doubting thomas

I’ve always identified with Doubting Thomas. Despite being raised in church and never straying too far from my Christian upbringing, I’ve gone through valleys of doubt. There have been periods in my life where I have questioned the truth of …