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Steve the Builder

Steve the Builder
On Growing Old

Episode date: August 06, 2011
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I’m turning 59 in five days. I’ve never been much into birthdays and milestones and “passages”.  The big 2-0, 3-0 and 4-0s went pretty much by without any sense of “gee or wow-ness” or movement toward or away from anything.  By twenty I was married, by thirty I had kids, a mortgage, a couple college degrees, had lost my jobs in my fields and ended up in construction.  By forty I’d been through the cliche Red Bugatti mid-life crisis (yeah, I really had one), divorced, left my church, remarried into a blended family etc. etc. (not that all that is normal or anything to be proud of, but…

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The Morning Offering

The Morning Offering
Situation Ethics

Episode date: October 04, 2011
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Situation ethics has become the norm for our times, having replaced the biblical ethics of past generations. In situation ethics as long as no one is hurt one can do as one pleases. Taking drugs, watching pornography, and aborting the unborn child all can come under the flag of situation ethics.

Taking drugs is seen as morally neutral by increasing numbers of Americans. We believe no one is hurt by our drug use, while refusing to see the obvious connection between our drug purchases and the mass-killings in Mexico by drug cartels that are in the business because of the demand for drugs by American users.

Nothing wrong with watching…

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The Morning Offering

The Morning Offering
A Healthy Soul Is One That Seeks Out Silence

Episode date: December 09, 2011
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A healthy soul is one that seeks out silence. We are addicted to noise. We find it impossible to drive our vehicles without the radio on or a CD playing. Our televisions are running from the moment we return from work. We run with earphones filling our minds with music. We even walk with friends while listening to our own music. 

We live as though we are afraid of silence. As little children who have to sleep with a nightlight on, our reasons for filling our hours with noise are varied. Some find silence disturbing and a reminder that they are alone. Others use noise as a way of keeping out the sounds of the city or the voices…

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The Morning Offering

The Morning Offering
Bodily Suffering

Episode date: December 26, 2011
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Elder Ambrose of Optina Monastery said:

We should not forget that in our age of sophistication, even little children are spiritually harmed by what they see and hear. As a result, purification is required and this is only accomplished through bodily suffering. You must understand that paradisal bliss is granted to no one without suffering.  A person has salvation, not only by his good deeds, but also by his patient suffering of various griefs, illnesses, misfortunes and failures (Luke 16:19-31, Mark 8:31-38, Romans 6:3-11, Hebrews 12:1-3).

Jesus Christ gives us the power which is needed for…

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The Morning Offering

The Morning Offering
Pets as Gifts from God

Episode date: December 28, 2011
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Pets as Gifts from God

Every evening I try to spend an hour or so in the library, sitting in front of the fire place. Our beloved Norwegian Forest Cat, Hammi, sleeps in the library/community room every night. Hammi is as happy as he can be when the entire monastic brotherhood is gathered together with him. He’s an important member of our community, loved by all of us, and the only cat I know who has his own Facebook fan page, started by a woman who met him on a pilgrimage to the monastery (if memory is correct).

The first time met Hammi, a large male cat, [was] as I was walking between our old trailer house (now gone) and…

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