The greater the noise, the greater the need to simplify and focus. The Philokalia is a guide book to finding peace in the storm. Today we discuss a lesson on simplicity and humility as a path to God from St. Hesychios the Priest.

In 1942, my grandpa built a house he designed in Beaver, PA. He did the construction himself. He was following the footsteps of his father who had built a house just two blocks away in 1890. My first visit to these family landmarks filled me with a sense of humility and motivation.

To me, these homes represent ingenuity, hard work, and lives focused on family and the things that matter. I left motivated to create my own legacy by stay focusing on the things in my life that are important.

June 29, 2020

A Tale of Two Countries

If you stand back and listen to the storms raging around us you will see that we are quickly devolving into a land of two countries. Each thinks the other is crazy. Each is probably correct! 

Will we let the storms drive us into the abyss, or will we allow it to turn us all into something new, something better.

How can we find real change in our world today? There are many opinions, but anything consequential must be rooted in common love for each other. Sadly, I think much of what we see happening today is being driving by other factors.

When we don't receive an abundance of loving attention as a baby, it impacts the healthy development of our neural pathways. It becomes harder for us to connect with others, to love and be loved. We have raised a generation of children where society has put economics, convenience, and education ahead of loving attention and the type of personal connections that make us human and happy. I believe we are now seeing the result.

Took a minute today to go over the daily twenty top trending search terms on Google. If you want a glimpse into the soul of America, what we spend our time talking about, look there. Is is all bad news, video games, soccer, and celebrity gossip.

But I warn you, you might just have to take a look at your own habits, and your own "values".

June 24, 2020

Fear and Fauda

An encounter with a scared to death young lady in a Wal-Mart, and the Netflix series, Fauda, has got me thinking a lot about fear and how it has influenced us the last few months, and what is the healthiest way to respond to fear.

In many ways, faith is the opposite of fear, and keeping our path straight and our mind clear means finding a way to not let fear turn into anxiety and fuel our soul into making bad decisions.

Freedom is the fuel that allows real justice and the moral character to truly help the oppressed and fight tyranny. Never forget it, and be willing to stand up and fight for it.

Teddy Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela fought for freedom and justice. In time's like these, we can learn some valuable lessons from them all. 

My family surprised me with a record player on Father's Day! What a joy, and what a rediscovery of crackle! The sound of the needle on the record as you anticipate the track being played. It seemed to herald life and authenticity. My kids who'd always listened to compressed digital music could instantly hear the difference.

There is crackle everywhere. It is life that isn't perfect or always neat, but has the grit of things that are real. Playing some old records reminding me that getting dirty and getting real is one of the best things you can do to keep your eyes on what is important in life. 

For years I volunteered in a local prison, speaking and teaching to primarily young black men from the inner city. While I thought we would have little in common, I learned that there was far more that united us, and any differences we had could be used to benefit the other. All my work today has been influenced and shaped by my experiences with those young men.

Today, I talk about what it means from my experience to fight racism and how I learned those lessons from those most impacted by it. Join me for a powerful, sobering, pro-active message.

It can be the darkest secret, the thing that infects our body and soul and creates a vicious cycle of anger, it is domestic violence.

Yet, don't point fingers. Don't look at families devastated by abuse and think you are better than them. It comes from the same dark places your sin comes from, and just like abuse, your sins infect the ones you love too.

By struggling to stop the cycle of our demons, we are better able to help and respond to those caught up in the generational cycle of domestic abuse. 

How will they know our faith? By helping widows and orphans in distress, by purifying ourselves.

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