Message of Love

Message of Love

As a teenager, I came back from church camp and was asked to share my thoughts about my adventure with the congregation. It was, I suspect, a combination of lack of sleep, the emotional high of that type of experience topped off with plain old stage fright, but about all...

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One in Christ, One in Communion

One in Christ, One in Communion

In my former home parish of Saint Michael, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, I incorporated a stylized wheat and grapevine motif into the walls’ adornment. While they are a lovely choice visually, the real beauty is in their meaning. Grapes and wheat are food plants, but significantly and especially, they produce food which...

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Seeing with Saint Seraphim’s Eyes

Seeing with Saint Seraphim’s Eyes

“My friend, both of us at this moment are in the Spirit, you and I.” These pinnacle words from the historic conversation between Nikolay Motovilov and Saint Seraphim of Sarov express a concept awash in my mind as I tend to the care of my granddaughter. Reactions are numerous, animated,...

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Martyr Rugs and Angelic Voices

Martyr Rugs and Angelic Voices

God loves us, and we can find this to be so in the beauty that surrounds us. Sometimes we are watching and listening for it. Sometimes we are not. Icons have a special, deep beauty that can help us to be aware of God’s love for us and for all...

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Houston, TX: Saint Joseph Orthodox Church

Houston is a very big city. We moved here in 2012 not knowing much about the ramifications of big city life, especially as it might affect church life. I am guessing at this, since I only have a data point of one, but I think that with the state of...

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I Have a Boo-Boo

I Have a Boo-Boo

On our way to the coffee shop, Zoe kept slipping into random stores and announcing to the strangers she met that she had a “boo-boo.” Either that or that her name was “Yo-ee”. Since she was facing away from me, and since she has the pronunciation acuity of a 2-year-old,...

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A Map to Paradise

A Map to Paradise

While nakedness and being clothed are interesting as spiritual topics on which to meditate, my grandson clearly has his own opinion. He loves nakedness, namely his own! Grandson Max is, in general, a very happy baby. However, he launches into a whole other level of happiness when it is bath...

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A Daughter’s Tears and God the Father

A Daughter’s Tears and God the Father

Lucian Freud passed away in July 2011. A short time later, a 90-minute BBC documentary, “Lucian Freud: Painted Life,” was aired. In it, acquaintances had recollections about him. Knowing little of Lucian Freud before seeing this expose, I found myself captivated by this powerful, realist portrait of the artist’s work,...

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What Do You See?

What Do You See?

“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” This sentiment from George Bernard Shaw was often related to me by my Dad. And for those of us who know what it is like to hear often-repeated sentiments from our Dads, we know that eventually...

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Is It Funny?

Is It Funny?

My granddaughter is 2-and-a-half years old now. For anyone who has been around a toddler, you will know that this means the dawn of strong willfulness. As a grandfather, I can step back in a way that I could not as a father, and observe and (trying very hard to...

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Syrian War and Contrapposto

Syrian War and Contrapposto

U.S. involvement in the war in Syria might come. I fear. But, isn’t this the same fear as always? Isn’t it the fear that is sprouted from a weak or incomplete faith? Isn’t it, ultimately, a fear of suffering and death with fear being the opposite of faith? Fear exposes...

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How Much Can We Bear?

How Much Can We Bear?

At times pop cultural, classical and ecclesiastical literature, music and art deal with the idea of awareness, openness and the ability to absorb “Light”. Christians might notice this theme, found in so many creative outlets, as being a hint or shadow of the deep truth found in the “Light” of...

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