Redefining Success – and Failure

Redefining Success – and Failure

A few weeks ago, my daughter had a difficult day. Her frustrations descended into what some might call "inappropriate behavior" in public, and when we got home, we sat down to talk about what was bothering her. I won't replicate the whole conversation here out of respect for my daughter, but what it came down to was this: Some things had happened that made her feel like a failure,  like she's not good enough, like she's not loved or valued. My daughter sat at the kitchen table, sobs rocking her 9-year-old body, and…Read more …
On Beauty and Worship

On Beauty and Worship

I used to debate "worship styles" with people. I used to think that churches that offered different kinds of services (traditional, contemporary, etc.) at different times were too user-friendly. Worship shouldn't be about me and my preferences; it should be about God! I still think that's true, to an extent. But let me tell you a story. Earlier this summer I visited a church that is not my own, and not even Orthodox. I was actually looking forward to a different kind of service. After all, Orthodox liturgy is long and sometimes boring,…Read more …
Ask About Orthodoxy: Can You Explain Relics?

Ask About Orthodoxy: Can You Explain Relics?

On the first and third Mondays of each month, I will answer readers’ questions about Eastern Orthodoxy. If you have questions, please leave them in the comments, email them to me, or tweet them to me. Today’s question is Can you explain relics?  {Forgive me for skipping the AAO post on the first Monday of June; it slipped up on me and I just did not get it done.} Let me begin my saying I am no expert on holy relics, but I'll do the best I can. At the end of the post,…Read more …
When I Struggle to Make Sense of the Atonement

When I Struggle to Make Sense of the Atonement

I've been struggling with the atonement lately. During Holy Week, I sobbed and sobbed when Jesus got nailed to the cross. It shouldn't be like that. It shouldn't take God dying in order for us to be saved. It feels so unfair, so wrong. I'm no theologian, but between being a PK/MK, attending a Christian college, and reading on my own, I've heard most of the atonement theories. Honestly? They feel like easy Sunday School answers, and those don't satisfy me anymore. I've read the ransom theory, the debt theory, the penal substituion theory,…Read more …

Ask About Orthodoxy: What’s the Big Deal About Mary?

On the first and third Mondays of each month, I will answer readers' questions about Eastern Orthodoxy. If you have questions, please leave them in the comments, email them to me, or tweet them to me. Today's question is Why do Orthodox Christians revere Mary so much? I remember when I first visited Ruamrudee International School, which was the school I attended for junior high and high school in Bangkok. The school was founded by Catholic missionaries, and when you entered the campus, there was a spirit house with a statue of Mary…Read more …