Part-time Hesychast, Full-time French Fry

It’s been a year since my son and I made pilgrimage to Greece & Mount Athos … and, may I be frank with y’all?


It ain’t easy being a hesychast.

Nope. Not. Easy. Atall.

Let me give you an example …

I was recently finishing up my reading of Elder Ephraim’s book, My Elder Joseph the Hesychast – on the earnest urging of my son – and, boy oh boy, is it ever intense. Not for everyone – that’s for sure. But, a worthy read, nonetheless.

As I was racing toward completion of the 700 page book, I was at my leisure in a local Lebanese restaurant where, sometime ago, I discovered their French Fry Sandwich.

Now now … I know what you’re thinking. French Fry Sandwich???

Y’all. O my. Yes. That’s what I said: French Fry Sandwich … with pickles, slaw, and, well: fries … all wrapped in delicious Lebanese flatbread.


Okay, well, here’s where my asceticism came in handy.

That day, after being served my FF Sandwich …

Listen HERE.

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The World Does Not Need More Darkness

Sermon – Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese Convention, 2019

No doubt, we live in dark times.

But, hear me out …

When I grab a flashlight – I don’t need the flashlight to tell me how dark it is!

“Whoa, dark over there! There it is, darkness! Oh boy, I’m scared of the dark!”

This is silly … we all know how LIGHT WORKS.

I don’t need the light to curse the darkness! Same as with a candle … I need the darkness to be dispersed, banished, by the light!

What I’m saying is – and I’m speaking to myself here: The world does not need more DARK CHRISTIANS. [“If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”]

God forbid that those of us who have seen the Light — who follow the Light, who have been saved by the Light — continually talk about the Dark.

One of the most uplifting hymns …

Listen HERE.

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Tupelo Huneycutt & Cross Podination

What do y’all think of the name St Elvis Orthodox Church? Okay, how ‘bout Father Elvis? Er … can we at least have a church and priest in Tupelo?

Listen to the Orthodixie Podcast on Ancient Faith Radio!

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New Episodes of The Orthodixie Podcast …

… coming to Ancient Faith Radio (June, 2018)!


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LEBANON – Balamand, Nourieh, Kaftoun, Etc (final)

Finally, some pics to round out my 2017 tour of Lebanon. Previous posts may be accessed here.

Balamand Monastery with the abbot, Fr Romanos

I never realized that seminarians at the Balamand could day dream whilst staring off into the Mediterranean.

The Metropolitan PHILIP athletic complex at the Balamand.

Med view from the School of Theology, Balamand.

Main entry to the St John of Damascus School of Theology, Balamand.

Fr Bassam Nassif was my tour guide for the day around Hamat, Nourieh, etc.

Our Lady of Nourieh Monastery

That’s Tripoli in the background; me at Nourieh.

Hamatoura Monastery, from a distance.

Ha! An iWitness to the Annunciation?

At St Phocus Church, about 20 minutes from Balamand, where Fr Bassam Nassif is the pastor.

Icon of St Phocus.

St Phocus Church, where iconographers from Russia were beautifying the Temple.

With Fr Bassam in Koura.

The dean of the School of Theology/Balamand, Fr Porphyrios.

Our Lady of Kaftoun Monastery.

You can listen to a podcast of my spring 2017 tour of Lebanon HERE.


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Anfeh, Lebanon – Day 7

Having toured Lebanon in May, I have no good excuse for these final pics appearing here so late. But, if you don’t finish what you start you’ll never get anything done! So here’s some shots from Anfeh. For previous pics, go here.

You can listen to the podcast of my trip HERE.

Our Lady of the Winds – Anfeh, Lebanon

Weathered icons in Our Lady of the Winds – Anfeh, Lebanon

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Baalbek, Lebanon – Day 5

Day One. Days Two-Three. Day Four – Jeita Grotto & Harrisa; Byblos.

DAY FIVE – Back in April, when I was at Antiochian Village for some meetings, I snapped some pics of old photographs of Lebanon from the walls of the Conference center and Whatsapped them to Mary Catherine in Beirut. One of them was of Baalbek from the late 19th century. She replied that, hopefully, we would go there when I came.

Everyone, here & in Lebanon – and I mean EVERYONE – said, “No. You can’t go to Baalbek. It’s not safe.”

But, my daughter’s a pretty head-strong gal and I knew that, one way or another, she was going to Baalbek before leaving Lebanon. So, you know … DAD!

Yameen, our driver picked us up at 10 … traffic was cray! A couple check points, etc. The ruins of Baalbek are MAGNIFICENT! We had a tour guide who reminded us of Bishop Thomas (of Charleston) with a few more years on him. (Many years, Sayyidna 😉

Baalbek. I’ll let these images speak for themselves:

The shrine of the temple of Jupiter in Baalbek was the largest sanctuary in the Roman world, but little survives, except for six Corinthian columns on the south side, which are still carrying their entablature (the horizontal beams). While I was there, they were receiving a bit of a “shore up”.

Although it is sometimes called “the small temple”, it is larger (and better preserved) than the Parthenon in Athens. The Lebanese temple is one of the largest of Antiquity, but still, it is dwarfed by the temple of Jupiter next to it.


Our guide (see mention above). Just sayin …

Forgive the “uniform” — but, prolly best to travel in mufti in Baalbek.

Listen to the Orthodixie podcast of my tripHERE.

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