Faith Encouraged

Faith Encouraged Homilies on living a purposeful life in Jesus Christ

Start date: July 2014 38 episodes

Go through the Church year with Fr. Barnabas and his parish family as they discover through proper worship what it means to live a holy and purposeful life to the Glory of God.

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Date Title & Description Duration        
May 13, 2015

Looking For Love in ALL the Wrong Places

On the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, we are confronted with the commun hunger of all humans, the common thirst of all of us: to be loved and to love. But how do we avoid the traps of trying to fulfill this hunger and thirst in the wrong way? How do we avoid wrecking our lives by bad choices?

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May 06, 2015

Take Up Your Past And Walk

On the Third Sunday of Pascha we are called to remember the healing of the Paralytic 38 years sick. Jesus asks him a question and confronts him with a command: "Do you WANT to be healed?" and "Take up your pallet and walk." The power of desire and obedience challenges us to allow the grace of God to transfigure our past from a burden to a badge of grace and mercy.

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May 03, 2015

Courage in the Face of the Impossible

The Sunday of the Myrrhbearers shows us some courageous women who, even when faced with an impossible task (who will roll the stone away) nevertheless kept on going to minister to the Lord. But even when they were confronted with the empty tomb and the news of the Lord's resurrection, they left the place afraid! Our world is facing some impossible tasks as well and we traditional believers are confronted with the societal earthquake of a changin moral climate. When faced with these realities, what kind of example will we leave our children? Will we allow society to silence us? Or will e face a scary time with determination and faith?

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Apr 11, 2015

When The Unexpected Happens

Let's face it, the unexpected happens in life. And when it does, the danger is always being knocked off one's feet in the process. So, since the unexpected always happens, it seems silly not to prepare for it!

The unexpected certainly took the disciples by surprise when the Lord raised Lazarus from the dead. They didn't expect the Lord to be declared the "King of Israel" at the Triumphal Entry, and they didn't expect the crowd that hailed the Lord as the Son of David at the first of the week to turn on Him by the end of the week.

The unexpected happens in life. And today we learn how to expect the unexpected!

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Mar 25, 2015

Mission Impossible

The word "impossible" is thrown around a lot, but the technological advances in our lifetimes would look like magic to previous generations. I wonder what will be commonplace tomorrow that we call "impossible" today? Both our Epistle Lesson and our Gospel lesson use words like "possible" and "impossible" on this Sunday of St. John Climacus. And the whole point is to drive home the truth that it IS NOT impossible for you to become like Christ, especially when you have His Grace and Power assisting you up the "ladder of Divine Ascent!"

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Mar 12, 2015

Why Does This Man Speak This Way?

On the second Sunday of Great Lent the Church focuses our thoughts on the paralyzed man whose four friends tore a hole in the roof of the house where Jesus was and let their friend down before the Lord so that he could be healed. Everyone, including the paralyzed man, was surprised when Jesus said his sins were forgiven when they expected the Lord to heal his physical paralysis. It turns out the Lord wanted to heal both his spiritual AND physical illnesses. And the Lord wants to do the same for us, if we have the faith!

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Mar 04, 2015

Believing is Seeing

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Feb 25, 2015

A Warning, Some Wisdom, and the Way

On this Forgiveness Sunday, the Church draws our attention to a passage in Matthew's Gospel that offers us a Warning, some Wisdom, and the Way! Entering Great Lent without these insights will hamper your ability to truly celebrate the Resurrection. Suffice it to say it has everything to do with being forgiven and extending forgiveness!

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Feb 21, 2015

Judgement Is Coming

The Sunday of the Last Judgement (Meatfare) is an annual invitation to honestly face our own need for God's mercy and a clear revelation that we can't put off dealing with these truths forever. But we live in a world where saying "Don't judge me" is an easy tool to shut down the uncomfortable mirror of our own choices. Today, are you awake enough to learn "the right answer before the awesome judgement seat of Christ?"

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Feb 06, 2015

The Publican and Pharisee

Every year before Great Lent we hear the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee. But each year we should. All because it is so easy to allow the Power, Purpose, and Perspective of Great Lent to be lost in either a mere religious habit or, worse yet, total disregard. And that's because we humans are so very vulnerable to hiding from the truth that we need God and His transformative Presence to continually make us like Him.

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Jan 23, 2015

Do You Know Who I Am?

The central truth of the Orthodox Christian faith is Gratitude. If we can learn to live a grateful life, we will truly be shaped into the character of Christ and will reflect the life of Christ i.n our lives as well. But this life of gratitude is difficult in a world where we so easily dismiss our faith or reduce our faith to smaller ideas. How do we escape this all too easy temptation? By observing what is our initial reaction to being blessed with God's grace! What is our initial reaction to God's kindness to us? What is our reaction to the benefits of gifts? This internal clue reveals our true character!

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Jan 15, 2015

Our Purpose: Fullness in Christ

The Apostle Paul reveals the central purpose of our Christian life together as Church when he tells the Ephesians that all the ministries of the Faith are meant to "attain the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

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Jan 06, 2015

How You Remember Matters!

Your memory is filled with all kinds of thoughts, some good and some bad. How do you choose to remember your life? Do you only focus on the bad things, stew about revenge, or do you ignore all the bad things and live in the delusion that "everything is fine." Well, the Faith invites us to deal with life in a realistic manner, always informed by the Good News of Jesus Christ.

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Jan 05, 2015

A Normal Orthodox Christmas

The celebration of the Enfleshing of God at Christmas is nothing less than a Divine Invasion of Creation by the Creator for the purpose of rescuing all of Humanity.

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Jan 03, 2015

Escaping the Inertia of Mediocrity

The Good News of Jesus Christ invites us to such a radical departure from the fallen vision of our true purpose that confronting this message invariably challenges us. This challenge will be received differently by each person based on the true nature of their heart.

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Dec 16, 2014

We’re Not Kidding - The First AND Second Coming Of Jesus

When Jesus shares the parable of the man who invited his friends to a banquet and they all made excuses as to why they couldn't come, the Lord put's these words in the man's mouth: "None of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet." When God invites you to be at His Banquet, will you make an excuse?

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Dec 10, 2014

Reduced To Rule-keeping!

When Jesus heals a woman on the Sabbath Day, His act of love and mercy reveals the deep spiritual poverty of others whose hearts are gripped by mere rule keeping. This revelation is an invitation to you and me to examine our own attitudes towards our faith!

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Dec 09, 2014

Come and See

Father's homily today deals with the invitation to "Come and See." This is a dynamic and involved participation in the living out of the Faith. This is a purposeful Orthodoxy that demands not mere observance but actual practice of our faith. Tow men answer two different questions with "Come and See" and today we are invited to find out why!

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Dec 09, 2014

You Fool!

The only place in the Bible where God Himself calls a man a fool! And it was because this man was so blinded by his possessions, he thought nothing of his mortality! How foolish! Are you living a foolish life?

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Nov 25, 2014

A Life Changing Encounter

Matthew was a hated tax collector for the occupying Roman Empire. His encounter with Jesus Christ changed him forever. It is this life changing encounter that invites us today to further renew the spirit of our minds about just what is this Christian life anyway!

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Nov 18, 2014

Made Well By Faith

Both sickness and even death is made well by faith. But this message isn't about any physical sickness or even physical death but the spiritual sickness and death that grips us and enslaves us to a life of self-centered choices. Being free from that sickness and death is the only path that leads to authentic human life! It's the only path to a renewed mind!

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Nov 12, 2014

The Confrontation of Comparison

The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus confronts us today about a real change in the way we think. Only the courageous will comply!

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Nov 01, 2014

In Your Right Mind

The Gadarene Demoniac had been reduced to an animal existence by his misuse of his freedom. Jesus comes and heals him and he is finally in his right mind. Are you in your right mind?

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Oct 20, 2014

An Interrupted Funeral

Avoiding the twin temptations of fear and wishful thinking.

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Oct 09, 2014

Even Sinners Do That - The Real Golden Rule

We have all heard the Golden Rule, but there is so much more to this passage and it has everything to do with a very serious challenge to the status quo of our lives. After all, even sinners love those who love them!

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Oct 01, 2014

The Light Reveals

Isn't it interesting after the Lord blessed Peter and his partners in their fishing business, Peter saw himself as a sinful man and asked the Lord to leave him? But that's the risk of standing so close to the Light. It reveals who you really are! But Christ invites us to be close to Him without fear or shame and allow His Light to set us free!

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Sep 24, 2014

Again and Again I Say Unto You

The message of the Cross is God's invitation to you and me to break the destructive patterns of our lives and embrace the wise pattern of Purgation, Illumination, and Union in a perpetual growth and maturity pattern of becoming like Christ! It is a pattern that gives life instead of the slavery of the destructive patterns of selfish living!

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Sep 17, 2014

The Reality Check Of The Cross

Why does the Church offer us the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross? Because the Christian faith is about dealing with reality and having our all too easy temptations to delusions and the fantasy of what I'm afraid of or what I wish for blind us to the reality God wants us to embrace! Waking up is hard, but it has to be done!

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Sep 09, 2014

Jesus Loves Me This I know

We hear it all the time - God loves you - but our modern world has so lost the depth and beauty of God's love, we are in danger of emptying this profound truth of its powerful meaning. Today we look at a familiar passage of scripture with new eyes, with God's eyes, and what we discover is life changing!

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Sep 02, 2014

No Justice, No Peace (Really?)

When faced with a life-changing forgiveness of a huge debt, this man in our Gospel Lesson revealed his own wicked heart by not showing that same forgiveness and mercy to his fellow servant. It did not end well for that wicked servant. And it won't end well for we who refuse to forgive from the heart!

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Aug 19, 2014

In God We Trust! Really?

Trust is a foundational building block of any relartionship. Without it there simply is no way to have anything more than some superficial connection. But trust requires risk. And we humans avoid risk most of the time. Jesus challenges us to risk trusting Him.

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Aug 12, 2014

The Cure For Intoxication

Circumstances can be intoxicating and Fr. Barnabas says that true contentment begins in the heart not with our circumstances.

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Aug 11, 2014

Don’t Send Them Away

When the disciples were confronted with the impossible task of feeding 5,000 men plus women and children, they forgot that their Lord was all they needed!

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Jul 26, 2014

In The Spirit Of Elias

In a society where the noise factor of our lives threatens to drown out the loving Voice of God, learning to listen for that "still, small voice" that tells us who we really are is even more important.

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Jul 18, 2014

You ARE the Light of the World

There is a huge difference in trying to be something and living either the realization that you ARE something. It changes your motivation and your attitude about who you are. Well, you ARE the light of the world.

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Jul 08, 2014

An Outsider And Being Outside!

The Roman Centurion, a Gentile, shows more faith than all of Israel, according to the Lord's observation. How is it an "outsider" without all the benefits of centuries of religious education can see more clearly than the whole of israel shaped by centuries of examples and theology? Turns out being an insider is no guarantee that you won't end up outside!

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Jul 04, 2014

Opposites Together

Sts. Peter and Paul were two men from the opposite ends of Jewish society and yet each found a way to not only value each other but also challenge each other. In a Church broad enough to hold these two very different men, we are called to embrace each other and be enriched by the diversity of gifts we each possess.

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Jul 02, 2014

The Secrets of Men

Since God will judge the secrets of men according to St. Paul's letter to the Romans, it just makes sense to order our lives so that our secrets don't undo our words and our faith.

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