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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)

Thursday
Nov232006

Repose of Fr. George Calciu

Reverend Father Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa Fallen Asleep in the Lord

Alexandria VA – The Reverend Father Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa, parish priest of Holy Cross Church in Alexandria, Virginia, fell asleep in the Lord on Tuesday afternoon, 21 November 2006 following a short but difficult illness.

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Tuesday
Nov072006

Ted Haggard and Suffering

[First Things, November 7, 2006] 

I was in Denver for about a hundred minutes this weekend. I hadn’t planned it, but when I arrived at the airport Friday morning to begin my journey to Calgary, I was surprised to see that’s where I would change planes. The story about Ted Haggard had hit the news the night before, and I had been for some reason really moved by it. I walked through the Denver airport praying the Jesus Prayer for him: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on Ted.”

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Sunday
Oct012006

Open Season on Beauty

[Dallas Morning News, October 1, 2006] 

 “I didn’t like the part in the restaurant,” Hannah, my 6-year-old granddaughter, said. We were leaving a screening of Sony’s new animated feature, “Open Season,” and I was trying to remember any scene in a restaurant. When she said it was “too messy,” I realized that she meant an early scene where the movie’s lead characters, a suburban bear and a one-antlered deer, run loose in a mini-mart.

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Sunday
May072006

Da Vinci Code: "Yeah, Whatever"

[TheDaVinciDialogue.com, May 6, 2006] 

Editors titled this: "Yeah, Whatever. This is All About You-Know-Who."  

When the DaVinci Code hoopla is all said and done, it will still be Jesus that we’re talking about. It’s Jesus whose face on the cover sells a million magazines, whose name instills widespread awe. Even people despise Christians paradoxically admire their Lord. In discussions of religion nearly everything is up for grabs, yet on this one point there’s widespread agreement. Why do people instinctively admire Jesus?

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Tuesday
May022006

Poor Excuse

[Touchstone, May 2006]

What happens when Christians are attacked by the contemptuous secular world? Often we start talking about how much good Christians have done. I just encountered this response in a book aimed at non-believers, which builds to a chapter that presents a whole parade of do-gooders to vindicate the Christian faith. Everybody got their paragraph in the sun, from Mother Teresa to Basil the Great to the Liberation Theologians.

It’s a difficult problem in apologetics, I admit, how to win a hearing for Christianity today.

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Wednesday
Apr192006

The Cross of St. Dimas

[Beliefnet, April 19, 2006]

The Gospels don’t tell us much about the two thieves crucified with Jesus. Tradition calls the “Good Thief” Dimas or Dismas, while the “Bad Thief” is named Gestas. Dimas’ legend reveals a little more. As a young man he was the leader of a robber band in Egypt, and encountered the Holy Family during their sojourn after Jesus’ birth. He discerned something special about the Jewish family, we’re told, and ordered his men to spare them. Thirty years later he saw that child once again, nailed to a cross beside him.

 

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Thursday
Mar232006

Why We Need Hell

[Beliefnet: March 23, 2006] 

Hell has never been a fashionable destination, but it in recent years it's met a fate that even the most passé hotspots don't endure; people suspect it doesn't exist. Or, if it does exist, it attracts no customers; "we are permitted to hope that hell is empty" is how this is sometimes phrased. Even the most conservative Christians have a hard time putting a positive spin on a wrathful God who flings evildoers into flaming torment.

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Friday
Mar032006

Loving the Storm-Drenched

[Christianity Today, March 2006]

Selected for Best American Spiritual Writing, 2007

If you hang around with Christians, you find that the same topic keeps coming up in conversation: their worries about “the culture.” Christians talk about sex and violence in popular entertainment. They talk about bias in news reporting. They talk about how their views are ignored or misrepresented. “The culture” appears to be an aggressive challenge to “the church,” and Christians keep worrying over what to do about it.

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Monday
Jan162006

Rising Victorious

[Atonement Anthology, 2006]

Jesus is standing on the broken doors of hell. The massive portals lie crossed under his feet, a reminder of the Cross that won this triumph. He stands braced and striding, like a superhero, using his mighty outstretched arms to lift a great weight. That weight is Adam and Eve themselves, our father and mother in the fallen flesh. Jesus grasps Adam's wrist with his right hand and Eve's with his left, as he pulls them forcibly up, out of the carved marble boxes that are their graves. Eve is shocked and appears almost to recoil in shame, long gray hair streaming. Adam gazes at Christ with a look of stunned awe, face lined with weary age, his long tangled beard awry. Their limp hands lie in Jesus' powerful grip as he hauls them up into the light.

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Wednesday
Jan042006

When a Miracle Doesn't Happen

[Beliefnet.com, January 4, 2006]

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12), and as I write I hear the angry voices drifting in from the television in the next room. There are sick hearts tonight in Upshur County, West Virginia. When miners were trapped a few days ago, initial hope of a rescue gradually waned. Then last night, unbelievable news arrived of a miracle, that 12 of 13 were still alive, was shortly followed by the shattering revelation that the toll was in fact the reverse, and only one had survived. And so what might have been a time simply of grief has gone rocketing from exultant confidence in miracle to resentment and rage.

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