Nativity Fast (Advent): Our Costly Calling

They immediately left their nets and followed Him., … and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. Matthew 4:18-22 We celebrated the feast day of the Apostle Andrew the First Called on November 30th. Fr. Adam Sexton and the members of the St. Andrew Parish (Orthodox Church of America) in Ashland had specialContinue reading “Nativity Fast (Advent): Our Costly Calling”

Nativity Fast (Advent): Thanksgiving as a Cure

In a homily from the Prologue of Orhid, St. Nikolai Velimirovich shared these important words: “Be not proud, be not angry, be not fainthearted; for these are unworthy of a Christian calling.” With everything going on in the news today, it is way too easy to fall into one of these three traps. Perhaps moreContinue reading “Nativity Fast (Advent): Thanksgiving as a Cure”

Nativity Fast (Advent): The Challenge of Self-Examination

One of the Desert Fathers and a few of his disciples went to Alexandria to speak with the Patriarch. Along the way, they walked past an actress bargaining for a fancy outfit. Seeing her, the great monk started to cry. “Abba, why are you weeping,” asked his disciples. “Because she may be more devoted toContinue reading “Nativity Fast (Advent): The Challenge of Self-Examination”

Nativity Fast (Advent): Decorating the Soul

It’s not uncommon to see Christmas paraphernalia for sale as early as late September. With the recent scares in the economy and national supply chain issues, we are being advised to begin shopping early for electronic and other specific gifts as they may not be available during the regular holiday buying period. I haven’t seenContinue reading “Nativity Fast (Advent): Decorating the Soul”

The Slavery of Satiety

“… Do not give place to the devil.” — Ephesians 4:27 “The direct effect of satiety is weakening of attention and allowing of exceptions to oneself, whoever permits this will begin to slide downhill on a slippery slope. This is a danger, so watch.” –St. Theophan the Recluse, Art of Prayer “Excuses will never beContinue reading “The Slavery of Satiety”

The Need For Spiritual Heroes: Beyond an Influence

“… Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.,’” Luke 10:37 “Follow me as I follow Christ.” I Corinthians 11:1 “… Just work first and foremost, and if they want to live like you, they will see to it themselves. Be the example …” Sayings of the Desert Fathers One of the scariest things aboutContinue reading “The Need For Spiritual Heroes: Beyond an Influence”

Listening Evangelism

While mindlessly looking at videos on Facebook, the Spirit put something on my list to challenge me to think more of evangelism in the way of Deacon Philip in the book of Acts. The Jude 3 Project is an African-American ministry that seeks to understand and address the reasons why black church membership is decreasingContinue reading “Listening Evangelism”

Love Beyond Alliances

“So then you are no longer strangers or people far away. But you live with God’s people and belong to God’s family.” Ephesians 2:19 “We used to hate and destroy one another and refused to associate with people of another race or country. Now, because of Christ, we live together with such people and prayContinue reading “Love Beyond Alliances”

Where to Lean

“ One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was lying close to the breast of Jesus”  – John 13:23 We like to have personal space with other adults. Children, especially babies and toddlers, we don’t mind holding close to us. And a hug when we greet or say, ‘good-bye,’ to a good friend or relative isContinue reading “Where to Lean”

Living an African-American Orthodox Christian Life: Dealing with “Bumps and Bruises”

Originally posted on Desert Fathers Dispatch:
In a recent post on Facebook, I mentioned that “There will be some bumps and bruises in some parishes for black Inquirers.” Over thirty years after a wave of evangelicals converted to Orthodox Christianity under the Antiochians, the hurdle of ethnicity can still be daunting for anyone seeking the…