Remember the Better Angels (Podcast)

the kingdom within

Remember the Better Angels

“Just as there are ‘better angels of our nature,’ there are also ‘lesser angels’ of our nature. We have the capacity for compassion, but we also have the capacity for indifference. We have the capacity for forgiveness and for resentment. We can build bridges and we can burn them, we can heal and and we can hurt. We have to very intentionally choose the path of compassion and forgiveness and healing, and of all those things carried in that phrase ‘the better angels of our nature.'”

(Listen to podcast)

Dealing with Anger

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In Romans 12 St. Paul offers some very good advice for how to deal with an issue that we all face at one time or another — the challenge of anger:
Be kindly… patient in tribulation… bless and do not curse.
Many Christians feel bad when they get angry because they assume that the Bible teaches us that anger is a sin. This is not quite accurate. For example, a quick look through the Book of Psalms will show us plenty of anger offered up to God in prayer.

Anger, in and of itself, is really not the issue. Most of us don’t choose to get angry, it’s just how we feel sometimes. The issue is what we choose to do with our anger. We can choose to either react to our anger, or respond to it.

Continue reading “Dealing with Anger”

The Four Pillars (Part Three)

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Sometimes, it’s hard to know God’s plan for us. But if we’re being truthful, even when his plan is clear, it can still be hard to process. Here are some thoughts on what to do when all we want to do is walk away.

Previous Episodes

You can find full audio recordings of the “Four Pillars” retreat sessions on the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church web site. You’ll also find a link to Metropolitan Tikhon’s book, “Of What Life Do We Speak?” and its Study Guide.

 

 

The Four Pillars (Part Two)

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In part two in a series on the “Four Pillars of Our Healing” we learn that it’s not only hard to sometimes see the forest for the trees, it is also hard to see the Tree for all the noise.  Sound cryptic? Listen on!

Here’s a link to part one of this series.

You can find full audio recordings of the “Four Pillars” retreat sessions on the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church web site. You’ll also find a link to Metropolitan Tikhon’s book, “Of What Life Do We Speak?” and its Study Guide.

 

The Simplicity that is in Christ

our boasting


In paradise life was simple. We walked with God in the Garden, speaking with him as a friend to a friend. We did not worry about what we would eat or what we would wear, or what tomorrow would bring. We lived with an intimate awareness that the Lord God had it all under control. Furthermore, we only had to worry about keeping one commandment: stay away from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Life became more tangled for the human race the minute we decided that we didn’t need God to get along in the world, that we could become lords of our own life. St. Paul shares these words of concern for the Christians in Corinth: “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3)” It is our stubborn insistence that we know better than God that has made life much more complicated than it needs to be.

In my life, whenever I’ve tried to push an issue that I really knew belonged to God and not to me, I have made the situation more difficult and protracted. Many things in life go a lot smoother when we keep our hands out of them. As the Good Book says — “Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)”

To truly feel God’s active presence in our lives we must step out of the way and let him work. Keeping it simple, therefore, is essential. The more we try to “do” — the more we try and manipulate situations, the more motivated we are by our own subjective expectations and presuppositions, the less God can act.

Each of us should look at our lives with an eye for trimming away the excess baggage that might be in God’s way. Simplifying our life, even things like how we pray, is the secret to the greatest spiritual growth possible. Simplicity frees us of the compulsion to “get it right” – “right” usually being that which I have subjectively decided is right. This opens the door for God to do his work in our lives.