Yesterday, we in the Orthodox Church celebrated Christmas (best thing about being Orthodox is getting two Christmases - Dec 25 and Jan 7 - who wouldn’t want to celebrate twice???). And on that occasion, we received a beautiful pastoral letter written by His Grace Bishop Peter. We read the letter in church during the Liturgy and so many people were touched by it, so I decided to post it below for your edification as well. Enjoy!Read More
Below is a blog post that I originally wrote almost five years ago. I wrote it at a time when it seemed like a lot of people were going through "a hard time" and I found myself struggling with what to say and how to guide them. Below is what I came up with.
I feel that we might be in another one of those seasons now - where many are going through difficult times and struggling with questions like "what do I do now?" and "where do I go from here?"
Because of that, I am reposting my three-step strategy of what to do when there's nothing you can do... and where to go when you've got nowhere to go.Read More
It’s time for a special Thursday edition of my ASK ME ANYTHING scope today at 12:30 pm EST. So get your questions ready and I’ll do my best to answer them. You ask it and I’ll answer it. No topic is off limits!Read More
That’s right! Christmas is right around the corner and I have a great way to make Christmas shopping EASIER and more MEANINGFUL.
Order a copy of my book, “WHATEVER, GOD” between now and December 31 and I’ll send you a free copy of the audiobook as well.
Here’s your chance to grab a copy of the book for everyone on your Christmas list - co-workers, neighbors, teachers, relatives - and then get the audiobook for yourself as well. TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!!!Read More
One of the most powerful and mysterious writings of the early church is something called THE LETTER TO DIOGNETUS. It is an anonymous letter written in the 2nd century, less than 50 years after the end of the New Testament era.
What makes it so unique is that it is the first letter or “epistle” NOT addressed to fellow Christians, but rather to a pagan. Because of that, it serves as the one of the earliest accounts of how the early church shared their faith with non-believers and presented the good news of Jesus Christ to the world around.Read More
Have you ever heard of Christianese? It’s a language spoken by Christians and understood by Christians that makes little or no sense to just about everyone else. It’s like slang for Christians. For example…
“I feel God calling me to…”
Translation: “I want to do something that you don’t want me to do, so I am pulling rank by saying that Jesus sent me a text but did not include you on the message, which means if you disagree with me, you are actually disagreeing with Jesus. Sorry pal.”Read More
The New Testament ends abruptly but the story of Christianity doesn’t. When the last of the apostles died, Christians were left with just a few letters and some scattered writings about the life of Jesus.
So where did the church come from? Where did the Bible come from? What’s the connection between the church of the New Testament to the church of today?
Answer: THE CHURCH FATHERS. They are the ones who brought Christianity out of infancy and nurtured it to allow it to stand on its feet as it is today.
Each week in this series, we’ll look at one church father - a “hidden figure” of church history - and see how they helped contribute to the church we now see today.Read More
It’s the word that no one likes to hear. It’s uncomfortable. It’s intimidating. And at times, it’s downright frightening. The mere mention of this word brings to mind a myriad of emotions and rarely are any of them positive ones. But regardless of how negative our perception of this word might be, we all know we need to hear it and more importantly, we need to do it!
What is it that word? ACCOUNTABILITYRead More
“Let all BITTERNESS, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.” Ephesians 4:31
We wrapped up our No Big Deal series by looking at one of the hardest “minor sins” to detect - a sin that lies far beneath the surface but can have a major impact on your life. The sin of BITTERNESS.
Bitterness may not seem like a big deal, but as we saw in this week’s message, it might be the most self-destructive thing you can do to yourself. By choosing to hold on to the past, you may be holding your future hostage.
Why? Because “when you forgive, you in no way change the past. But you sure do change the future."Read More
Reality checks – where would we be without them? We all get a little ahead of ourselves sometimes and need someone or something to bring us back down to earth. One such reality check happened to me during the summer after I finished 8th grade and was preparing for high school.
Up through that year, I had been playing football in my local town youth league. I loved playing football and not too toot my own horn, but I think I was pretty good (toot toot). There were three teams in each weight class – an “A” team and two “C” teams. The “A” team was comprised of the top 30-40 players in each weight class and the rest of the kids were divided equally amongst the two “C” teams.Read More
The book of Proverbs says that “The words of a gossip are like CHOICE MORSELS; they go down to a man's inmost parts.” (Proverbs 26:22). Why is that? What is it about gossip that we just can’t resist? And how do we get the gossip out of our lives - not just in terms of speaking but also in terms of listening to it as well.
All that in more in the video message above in Part 5 of our No Big Deal? series above.Read More
I have to start with a confession, something that could get me in trouble. What I’m about to confess could cause some of you to look at me different and judge me as being not very “spiritual” but I’m gonna do it anyway. Here goes…
I confess that I like to understand things. I like to know what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I know it sounds unspiritual but I like to ask questions and dig for answers in areas we’re often told to just accept on “faith.”
Yes, I confess: MY NAME IS FR ANTHONY AND I'M A LOGICAL PERSON.Read More
“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.” Proverbs 12:22
Have you ever wondered why lying is such a big deal to God? Who cares if we tell “white lies”? Is it really that big a deal? Well, based on the verse above, the answer is YES!
And the reason why has less to do with the impact of our lies on others, and more to do with the impact of our lies on ourselves. Check out part 4 in our No Big Deal? series above to see for yourself.Read More
This is a guest post from Bishoy Sharobim, from the Coptic Orthodox church of St. Mary and St. Mina in Sydney, Australia. In today’s post, Bishoy discusses a spiritual practice that has long been part of our Orthodox heritage, but unfortunately has become less appealing to our modern world. You can find more of Bishoy’s work on his Facebook page, The Art of Orthodoxy.Read More
“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18
We’re in Part 3 of our No Big Deal? series and this week we’re talking about the sin of CRITICIZING. Whether we realize it or not, every time we open our mouths to speak, we can bring healing or piercing. We can build or we can tear down. We can give life or we can give death.
Which will you choose?Read More
My name is Fr. Anthony and I am an independent-aholic.
You know what that is, right? An independent-aholic is someone who wants to do everything on their own; they never want to ask for help. Independent-aholics are usually pretty successful in life, but eventually we all meet our match. At times we’ll find ourselves face to face with a problem that is bigger than us and we have to decide what to do.Read More
Is complaining really a sin? Isn’t that just part of life?
That’s our topic this week as we jump into our series NO BIG DEAL? In this series, we’re looking at the “minor” sins and asking the question, '“what’s the big deal?”
As you’ll see in this week’s message, God takes our complaining PERSONALLY and therefore we need to take it SERIOUSLY.Read More
You asked and now I’m answering. Whenever I get suggestions about topics to blog about, at the top of the list are always questions like: “how do you organize your time?” or “how do you schedule your days?” or (my favorite), “what do you do all day?”
This topic is certainly one that is near and dear to my heart. It is probably the single most important factor (other than prayer and the support of my wife and all that good stuff) that leads to my ability to accomplish what I believe God has set in front of me. Simply put, without this, I’d be lost.
And that is the process of SETTING A WEEKLY SCHEDULE.Read More
In today’s world, “little sins” like criticism, complaining, gossip, or lying aren’t just shrugged off, but are sometimes encouraged or even celebrated. But in fact, these sins are just as deadly as any other. They destroy relationships, inhibit our ability to pray, and weaken our witness to the world.
In other words, these "acceptable sins" separate us from the life that God wants for us just as much as any other sin.
In this series, we’ll examine 5 “little sins” and develop a plan to avoid their deadly sting.Read More
Busy, busy, busy. Everyone is busy. Deadlines and pressure at work… a mile-long to-do list at home… I need to start exercising… I need to spend more time reading my Bible… I need to find time with the kids. UGHH!!! I just have too much on my plate!
Sound familiar? These days I don’t know of single person who isn’t struggling to keep up with everything. Everyone has more than they can handle and it doesn’t seem like there’s an end in sight. Is there???
Somehow in the midst of all the chaos around us, we find the Word of God giving us a beautiful promise in Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”
Peace? Where is that peace? How can I get it? And how can I make sure I keep it?
The Bible is clear that God has promised to give us His peace. But so many of us struggle to have peace. So clearly there's a disconnect here. There's something wrong with our view/expectation of "peace" and how to find it.Read More