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I'll Come Speak

    I write and speak on all sorts of topics: ancient Christian spirituality and the Eastern Orthodox faith, the Jesus Prayer, marriage and family, the pro-life cause, cultural issues, and more. You can contact Cynthia Damaskos of the Orthodox Speakers Bureau if you’d like to bring me to an event. This Calendar will let you know when I’m in your neighborhood.

 

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Entries in Christian Life (167)

Tuesday
Mar041997

Lenten Sacrifice

[NPR, "All Things Considered," March 4, 1997]

Scattered among your friends and neighbors are those now living a shadow life: people observing Lent. For them Easter waits at the end of March, but preparing for Easter takes time; time for reflection, time for repentance and reordering a life. The Church counts backward seven weeks to allow this breathing space, and begins the season with Ash Wednesday.

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Tuesday
Jan071997

Silence is Golden, Even at the Gas Pump

[Religion News Service, January 7, 1997]

In a north Florida city, just off the interstate, stands a gas station that at first appears routine. But as I came around last week to pump a tankful for my holiday trip home, I noticed a sign posted next to the credit‑card slot.

The wording was oddly formal. "We hope your fueling experience will be enhanced by Jacksonville's first FAST PAY television gas pumps."

 

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Tuesday
Dec241996

Too Much Togetherness

[Religion News Service, December 24, 1996] 

This season of togetherness pushes people together, and in the process they find sometimes that the fit isn't so easy. Family members who see each other once a year do so now, over the turkey or New Year's Day ham; co‑workers from other departments share cookies and a paper cup of soda (or something stronger) and try to make conversation. In this season more than ever we are being appraised and often find ourselves fretting about how to dress or behave to suit different occasions. It's a tense and giddy time, so full of fun that we're quite relieved when it's over.

 

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Tuesday
Sep031996

Shows the Famiily Can Watch

[Religion News Service, September 3, 1996] 

 A recent television awards ceremony sought to honor so‑called "family" shows; advertising for the program proclaimed that it would celebrate "shows the whole family can watch together." The tone was both defensive and opportunistic.

The show's producers read their demographics correctly: There are a lot of parents out there who are just plain peeved.

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Tuesday
Jul231996

Church Fires, Contagious Hatred

[Religion News Service, July 23, 1996]

 
At the beginning of a summer expected to be long and hot, a shocking charge was made: Racists are burning black churches. In a June 8 address, President Clinton cited the burning of Murkland Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, N.C., which he described as the 30th such fire in 18 months.

 

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Saturday
Apr201996

Howard Finster

 

Howard Finster’s fame has spread far beyond American shores. The day of this interview found a Japanese camera crew double-booked for the same time slot (“We’ve been planning this for months,” the only English-speaking crew member said, apologetically). This brings something else to Finster’s mind, and he asks the girl at the cash register when the people from a London magazine are coming. “They should put it on the TV news,” he observes. “They could make a little film of it.”

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Tuesday
Nov141995

Futile Utilitarian Religiosity

[Religion News Service, November 14, 1995] 

Pick a page, any page, in your daily paper and you're likely to find one of two things. Either there's a horrific story of violence and evil, or there's a politician or pundit decrying such and telling us America is going to hell in a handbasket. All around us we hear the predictions of catastrophe. What we don't hear is what to do about it.

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Monday
Nov131995

To Hell on a Cream Puff

[Christianity Today, November 18, 1995]

It's hard to know just how to take an invitation to write about gluttony. "We thought you would be the perfect person," the editor's letter read. "Gee, is it that obvious?" I thought, alarmed. "No, no," I wanted to protest, "that's not really me. It just these horizontal stripes." But, if I'm honest, I have to admit that it is me. It's most of us. Food is an intoxicating pleasure, and it appears superficially like an innocuous one; it's not one of the bad sins, like adultery or stealing. We wouldn't do that; gluttony is different. All it does is make you soft and huggable. It's the cute sin.

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Tuesday
Sep191995

Loving a Daughter and Letting Her Go

[Religion News Service, September 19, 1995] 

The heat wave has broken hundred‑year records, and now the wave is broken with rain pounding the asphalt and whipping the trees around. This morning I tried to pick my way toward church around the yawning puddles, with an umbrella held down tight enough to function as an awkward hat. At last I sacrificed dignity to common sense and ran barefoot through the parking lot with my sandals in my hand.

 

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Tuesday
Jul251995

Looking for Religious Truth in All the Wrong Places

[Religion News Service, July 25, 1995] 

It's as adorable as a kitten sitting on a teddy bear holding a balloon, licking a lollipop shaped like a rainbow that smells like violets and plays "Send in the Clowns." Make that a pink kitten.

Superlatives fail me. The latest porcelain doll catalog just arrived from the Ashton‑Drake Galleries, and just thumbing through it is enough to make my teeth hurt.

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