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
“The secret to HAVING more is _________ more.”
Any guesses what that blank is? Well, in this week’s message, I share my thoughts on what the answer is. I believe that you can HAVE MORE and the secret to getting there is a lot simpler than you think.
What is it? Check out the message above and see for yourself.Read More
HOPE. What is it? Where do I find it? How do I get it? And if I do get it, how do I keep it? Why does that guy seem to have so much of it and I have so little of it? Is there really such a thing as hope in my situation?
Of course we all know the “right” answers to these questions. It’s easy to rattle off some Bible verses and spew out a few stories and then declare “so just hope in God.” But do we really believe that? Do you really believe that?
The honest answer for me? Yes and no. At times, yes. And at other times, no. There are those times when life seems to be going well – not perfect, but at least moving in the right direction. Economy is up, career is progressing, and relationships are stable. Life is good. At times like that, it’s easy to talk about hope and tell others about hope as well. Hope is ours.
But those “good” times seem to occur much less frequently than the “bad” times don’t they? The economy seems to be down more than it’s up. My career has more bumps than I expected. And my relationships (or lack thereof) seem to be a constant source of stress and anxiety in my life. Where’s hope then?Read More
“The fastest way to kill something special is to compare it to something else.”
We’re in Part 2 of our series Highlight Real and this week we’re talking about three practical ways to defeat F.O.M.O. (Fear of Missing Out) and live a comparison-free life.
Because where comparison begins, contentment ends.Read More
“His divinity parted not from His humanity for a single moment nor a twinkling of an eye…”
Excerpt from the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil
Temper tantrums – a parent’s worst nightmare. If you have children, temper tantrums are unfortunately an inevitable part of life. You don’t have to teach a child how to throw a temper tantrum; there is something instinctual within them that tells them what to do when they don’t get what they want.
Cry…kick…scream…yell…roll around on the floor…call as much attention as you can to yourself and your extremely embarrassed dad who just wants to know where the cereal aisle is so he can get his Lucky Charms and get back home as quickly as he can.
Temper tantrums are something that all children know how to do.
But you know what? It’s not just children; we adults do the same thing. We may not be so obvious about it, but if we’re honest, we often find ourselves throwing temper tantrums with our heavenly Father when He doesn’t give us what we want or when He asks us to do something that we don’t want to do.Read More
Our generation suffers from O.C.D. -- Obsessive COMPARISON Disorder. Not a day goes by that you’re not tempted to glance to your left & right-- or scroll up & down-- to see how you measure up to the people around you. Constant comparison has hijacked our hearts and our homes. Factor in social media highlights and no wonder we’re left feeling drained & discontent.
But there is a way out and in part 1 of Highlight Real, we lay the foundation of how to treat the O.C.D. that lies within all of us.Read More
In last week's post, I spoke about bitterness/anger of the heart and the damage it can do. I wrote “the most self-destructive thing you’ll ever do in life is to hold on bitterness. That is the quickest way to ensure that you live miserably and lonely for the rest of your life.”
So what’s the cure for bitterness? How do we get rid of it?
There’s only one way. You can try to ignore it (won’t work) or pretend it isn’t there (definitely won’t work) or convince yourself that you’re past it (YEAH RIGHT!). Our goal shouldn’t be to “get past” the bitterness, but rather to treat the bitterness and to heal it.
How? There’s only one way…FORGIVENESS!Read More
What's the one, most important, most impactful, most needed, can't-start-my-day-without-it habit of all? That's a no brainer to me!
If there's one habit that I believe will impact your life more than other - one habit that I challenge you to take seriously as we wrap up summer and kick off Fall - it's simple: YOUR TIME IN THE CHAIR.
Nothing you do today will be greater than what you do there.Read More
This is a guest post from James Helmy, a deacon serving at St Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church in Delray Beach, FL. In this post, James shares an excerpt from the book, "If You Love Me: Serving Christ and the Church in Spirit and Truth" by Fr. Matthew the Poor - a man who James says is "an amazing example of spiritual formation and reformation for Copts living in modern times." If you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.Read More
It’s there. You may not want to admit, but you know it's there. It’s inside you. It’s behind the excuses… behind the rationalizations… behind the self-deception… behind all the ways we may “spiritualize” it… but it’s definitely there. And like termites within your house or cancer within your body, if you allow it to live within you, it’s just a matter of time before it eats you up and destroys you completely.
"It" is no joke. "It" is BITTERNESS.Read More
“Dear Fr. Anthony, my name is ________ and I need your help. I have a problem and I need to decide between option A, option B and option C. And I don’t know what to do. I need your help. How can I know God’s will for my life?”
Believe me, if I had a dollar for every time I received a question like that, I’d be a rich rich man.
That’s because it’s the most common question we ask: HOW DO I KNOW GOD’S WILL?Read More
OUR differences are for MY benefit.
That's the key thought for the final installment in our latest series, Handcrafted. Throughout the series, we've been looking at how God made us each uniquely - as a masterpiece created for a specific purpose.
But in this week's message, we flipped the script a bit and saw that not only are WE masterpieces, the people who are different than us are also masterpieces as well.
And why did God make us all so different? OUR differences are for MY benefit.Read More
In case you didn’t know this about me, I love bananas! I love to eat bananas. I love to put bananas in my cereal. I love to drink banana smoothies. And I especially love my wife’s fresh-baked, homemade, banana bread! You could say I’m bananas for bananas [sorry… couldn’t resist].
But despite my love for bananas, there was a time recently where the last thing I wanted to see was a banana. Someone gave me a banana and it almost made me vomit. Why? BECAUSE IT WAS ROTTEN!
You see, even though I love bananas and would love to be given a banana at any time… I never ever want to receive a rotten one. And if you give me a rotten one, it might just make me sick.
So no matter how much I might be craving a banana, if the one you have is rotten, PLEASE DON’T GIVE IT TO ME!Read More