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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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Tuesday
May201997

Thrift Shop Treasures

[NPR, "All Things Considered," May 20, 1997]

I've walked a hundred miles in another woman's shoes, and I don' t even know her name. I've ironed her blouse, hemmed her skirt, and carried her handbag. She's not one person, but a composite of dozens, women of all ages and races and creed.

But there is one thing they all had in common: they were all mostly my size.

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Monday
Apr071997

The Dilemmas of a Pro-Life Pastor

[Christianity Today, April 7, 1997]

In his darkened office Pastor Stan put his head in his hands. It had been a difficult phone call, and Marcia was beginning to cry when he hung up. The baby, in the background, was already crying. Usually, the baptism of a baby is a joyful part of the Sunday service, but this time Pastor Stan had said no. Marcia wasn't married, so he had told her it would be a private ceremony. To put her and her baby up in front of everybody, as if it were the same as any other family, just seemed wrong. The church would be practicing make-believe morality, looking the other way. It would mean pretending sin wasn't wrapped all around this situation.

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Monday
Mar311997

Platitudes

[NPR, "All Things Considered," March 31, 1997]

I don't think I want personal advice from gas pumps. The other day, while standing at a self-serve pump, I heard the machine give a peremptory beep. I turned around and, in the tiny screen that usually offers specials on soft drinks, this message was reeling by:

"Each Day Silently Affirm That You Are The Type Of Person With Whom You Would Want To Spend The Rest Of Your Life. Each Day Silently Affirm That You Are The Type Of Person With Whom You Would Want To Spend The Rest Of Your Life. Each Day Silently Affirm..."

I was moved to some affirmations that weren't all that silent.

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Monday
Mar241997

Beseiged in Albania

[Religion News Service, March 24, 1997] 

"Madness," writes the Rev. Luke Veronis, in one of his daily e‑mail messages from his beseiged apartment in Tirana, Albania. "It is as if the entire country has gone crazy. I want to think that things are slowly getting back to normal, but I am fooling myself."

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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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Sunday
Feb091997

Think of All You'd Miss if Your Reading Skills Weren't "Enhanced" by Age

[Smithsonian, February 1997]

Now that all three of my children are teenagers I've reached the age where, as they keep reminding me, I'm well on my way to being a geezer. Most signs of impending geezerhood involve diminishment: loss of hearing, memory, and I think there was another one. But one I didn't expect was the tricks the eye can play while reading. With increasing frequency I'm running across astounding things in headlines, billboards, and captions--only to find, on closer inspection, that it didn't say that at all.

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Tuesday
Feb041997

The Bomb That Wasn't

[Religion News Service, February 4, 1997]

This year Jan. 22, the date of the March for Life, dawned chilly and gray in the nation's capital. There was no snow, but ugly rumors troubled the crowd.

It was said that there had been an explosion at an abortion clinic in town earlier that morning. A couple of days before there had been a firebombing at a clinic in Tulsa, Okla. Before that, a pair of bombs exploded at an Atlanta building that housed an abortion clinic along with other businesses.

 

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Thursday
Jan161997

The Subject Was Noses

[Books & Culture, January/February, 1997] 

One night after dinner, while Gary and the boys and I were still sitting around the kitchen table, Megan called from college. After the phone had been passed around and everyone had done some chatting, it came back to me. Megan hesitated, then said:

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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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Friday
Dec271996

Tasteless Miracles

[NPR, "All Things Considered," December 27, 1996]

As I zipped open the cardboard envelope a sweet, heavy fragrance began to spill out. Rifling among the magazine and newspaper clippings I found it, a plastic bag containing a cotton ball. A drop of golden oil was soaked into the cotton. I gently opened the bag, and the scent of roses spilled into the room.

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