“The fundamental problem is the notion of “works.” It’s the belief that pleasing God is a matter of human effort. The harder one toils, the more one exerts oneself, the greater the chance that God will look with favor on him or her. But what God our Creator wants from us is far greater than works. It is our faith and love. These are matters of a relationship, and a relationship is a state of being…To live “to God” mean that we dedicate our whole being to the Lord, not just ce
“ From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men” (Matthew 16:21
“Christ has come according to the power given Him from the Almighty Father, and has summoned people to friendship, blessing, repentance, and dwelling together…we should regard our fellow Christians—as friends, since each of us has become a friend of Christ. It is perhaps significant that the same Saint John who reported that Christ called the disciples His friends in John 15:15 also used the term to describe Christians [3 John 14]—it is because Christ has made us His friends
Next Orthodox Christian Network Live Adult Religious Education Class - Monday, January 25th at 12 noon through OCN's Facebook page. Combatting Cancel Culture and the Culture of Hate, a brief reflection on what the current culture is doing to us; why we are knowingly or unknowingly participating in it; and what we should do to combat it.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights He was hungry. The tempter came to Him…” (Matthew 4:1). The same Spirit will lead you into a desert that you must fashion by separating yourself from whatever prevents you from self-discovery. You need not go anywhere, but you have to put a distance from your routine way of life.” (Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky) “The Russian word, “Poustinia”, means “desert”, and t
On Thursday, January 21 at 7 pm ET, Michael will deliver a Zoom class to the St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral Community and any others who wish to join. Christ says “your faith has made you well” specific to three healings in the Gospel. This phrase means much more than we think it does and understanding it in full opens our eyes to how we should be living our faith and why many of us are not . The class will run from 7 pm to 8 pm ET and anyone can join through Zoom at 210-068
“The ocean of life is vast. Without the reliable compass of God’s word, we sail aimlessly. Only by the accident of grace – God’s gift, truly – do any of us make the blessed landfall of true faith.” (Dynamis 2/20/2019) “The grace of God is the ocean in which we live. The ebbs and flows of the Almighty’s lovingkindness carry us where His goodness would have us go. If we fight against the currents of God’s will, we soon sink with exhaustion. And if we think we must earn whatever
Next Orthodox Christian Network Live Adult Religious Education Class - Monday, January 18th at 12 noon through OCN's Facebook page. The Devil, Divisions, and a House Divided, a brief reflection on the evil nature of division, why we must resist being divisive, and what Christ teaches us in the Gospels about lies and division and how easily we become enamored and ensnared by them.
Upcoming Zoom Class: Tried, Tested and Tempted: Victory in the Life of Christ: On Thursday, January 14 at 7 pm ET, Michael will deliver a Zoom class to the St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral Community and any others who wish to join. What’s the difference between testing and temptation? How can we discern God’s at work in our lives versus the enemy’s attacks? Why does the Greek in the scriptures use the same word for testing and temptation? Join the class as we addresses these q
“James [James 3:13-18] is also leery about us counseling others, for what is offered as wisdom can be based on pride and other sinful passions. Self-centered faith will manifest itself in self-centered works, in this case “helping” others.” (Orthodox Study Bible, James 3:13-18) “The mind is the great defense system we need to process all the information we receive. However, in so doing, the mind is self-centered, judgmental, and fearful of attack. It expects and assumes the w