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 …


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 …

Theotokos, Helper In Childbirth


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 …

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 …


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 …

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, …


An Anniversary Letter To My Readers


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. …

People Are Not Problems To Be Solved

people are not problems to be solved

“People are not problems to be solved.” It had been a rough Sunday morning. As you’ve heard me say again and again, getting my daughter ready for church can sometimes be a challenge. It’s a test that I tend to …

Icon: A Novel – An Interview with Author Georgia Briggs

icon: a novel is a new work of fiction for orthodox youths

Icon: A Novel is a new work by Georgia Briggs, and my daughter loves it. The book is a young adult novel focusing on Euphrosyne, an Orthodox girl living in a post-Christian America. Icon: A Novel is receiving rave reviews from …

A Soft Answer Turns Away Wrath

understanding that a soft answer turns away wrath has blessed me

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.   – Proverbs 15:1 My daughter is on the verge of being a teenager. She’s straddling the line between a young woman and a girl, with all …

Getting Through Lent: A Mid-Way Report

soups are a good way for getting through lent

Great Lent is at about the halfway point. How are you doing? Is getting through Lent a chore or a pleasure? I previously provided some tips on getting through Lent without going crazy. But I do realize that “getting through” …

5 Reasons I’m Glad I Was Raised Southern Baptist

raised southern baptist

I was raised Southern Baptist, and steeped in that culture from the time I was old enough to go to church. I’m no longer Baptist, or any other type of Protestant. But I remain a product of that upbringing, in ways …


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 …

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 …


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 …


Sinful Pride: An Orthodox Christian Comes Home

sinful pride

Sinful pride reared its head in my life this Thanksgiving. My wife and I went home for the holiday. It was the first time we traveled to Alabama in nearly a year. We were a newly-minted Orthodox, newly-married couple the …