Showing posts from March, 2011

Track 1 - Deliverance

Slavery is a distant memory for our culture and one we would like to forget. Yet it is no surprise that the American slaves embraced the images of the Exodus to provide hope and relief during their time of bondage. Sadly, slavery is still with us today but hidden among our neighborhoods and countries throughout the world. Today there are more slaves in the world than at any other time in history. This is not metaphorical slavery but true captivity where people are treated as chattel and property and deprived of any outward freedoms.
Louis Etongwe rescues people from slavery in Virginia and Maryland. This is not slavery from the old south but from modern America. His stories are harrowing, but touching as this modern day Moses delivers people from hidden enslavement.
This modern story of slavery leads us directly into the first Biblical ode. Understanding the slaves of the American past and knowing t…

The Nuclear Cross

The Japan catastrophe is mind boggling in the amount of death, suffering, and destruction caused by one event. As more and more stories enter the news stream, the horror keeps growing. Yet in all this suffering, incredible stories appear that inspire the soul.
Tonight, the news compared the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl to the current situation in Japan. In doing so, the stories of those who averted greater disaster were recounted. At Chernobyl, the workers who reentered the facility to contain the meltdown did so knowing that it would be their own demise. Within three months of containment, they all died.
Today we hear of Japanese workers making the same sacrifice. They are giving their lives for their countrymen, and are doomed to be the walking dead for next several months. Radiation poisoning of this magnitude rarely is pretty and pleasant to the human body. These workers, of all people, know and understand the pain this will place on their lives for the next several mon…

Priests, Prayer, and Purple Demons

Lent is upon us, and strange things will begin happening. The purple demons of Lent come out in force. How can you tell the purple ones have arrived? You have trouble making it to church, meat is everywhere you look, you miss morning prayer when the alarm clock mysteriously stops working, church politics gets crazy. You've seen it. Lent is a battle, and knowing this should us fight.

Those who feel the brunt of Lent are often our clergy. Their workload is increased due to the increased number of services. The pressures of ministry are concentrated. While we should prayer for our clergy throughout the year, during Lent there is an urgency of prayer for them. One of their main jobs is to equip us, the laity, for the work of the ministry. For this we should offer thanks and prayers, especially during this intensive period of the year.

Here is a prayer taken from the Antiochian Little Red Book:


O Lord Jesus Christ, enkindle the hearts of all thy Prie…

The Best Soundtrack for Life Or Your Money Back

A Facebook friend and fellow Orthodox blogger is running an FB experiment. Each day he is posting a separate song that is part of his soundtrack for life. My guess is that much of this is tongue in cheek, but it is fascinating. This is something I could never do. For me, it would be like getting a tattoo; as soon as I made my decision public, I would be embarrassed by its level of uncool. Growing up in an age of tv, radio, & movies, most of us probably have songs that evoke deep memories. My soundtrack would be a strange mix of brit pop, movie soundtracks, 80's/90's CCM, early rap, and a college foray into grunge. I still hear "Eye of the Tiger" in my head whenever I motivate myself to start a running regimen every 3 years. Decades after hearing a song, I am amazed that I can still remember the words.

Songs do have power. They have a way of entering the heart of man through the back door. The music, rhythm, and rhyme drop the rational defenses of the m…