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5 Reasons You’re A Leader – You Just Don’t Know It

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I’ve been trying to escape the title of “leader” almost my whole professional life. I never really have understood why until recently, but I think it’s in part because I imagined leadership to be a job for people with more drive to succeed than I had. I thought of it as an echelon for the powerbrokers and the people who cared more about their status and who loved playing “office politics”. Admittedly, this was an immature mentality I had. However, over the years, I learned that the best leaders were people I could most relate to. They were people I automatically wanted to emulate whether they had a “director” or “leader” title or not.

As I grew in my own career, I started to realize I wanted to be a leader, but by then, I had missed many opportunities to push myself to that goal. I had a comfort zone and because I clung to it too much, I had convinced myself that I was not actually fit for leadership, but the truth is that I was the only one holding myself back from being a leader where I was at. It’s now clear to me that to be a good leader, there are qualities which someone may possess and they don’t even realize that this makes them just as good (if not better) of a leader as the person above them.

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Common Hatred: Why Loving Our Enemies Is So Hard

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What do Adolph Hitler, Fred Phelps and Justin Bieber have in common?

They are people we love to hate – to varying degrees, of course. In each case, society has made a verdict. (Of course, Justin Bieber is an exception; he is not considered a truly evil person … just a brat.)

It’s easy for each of us to forgive and love our neighbor – someone we already have a relationship with, or at least no real disdain for. But it’s a whole lot harder to forgive and love serial murderers, bigots, despots, pedophiles, thieves, and people who have committed acts so heinous that to even extend forgiveness is seen as weakness or injustice. Essentially, it’s harder to love people that our society has already found to be evil in the sight of the world.

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The Logos: Where Philosophy and Theology Meet

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Why I Love the Gospel of John

The Gospel of John is my favorite Gospel. It’s also one of the more controversial Gospels of the four, because it’s not a synoptic Gospel. This means it doesn’t cover exactly the same territory or have the same narrative structure of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. While those three books cover Jesus’ latter ministry, John covers a wider timeline and gives us the three-year span of Christ’s ministry. Some also question if it was even authored by John, but the Catholic and Orthodox churches affirm the traditional view that the author is St. John the Apostle.

The Gospel of John clearly has a different mission. Its style and arrangement are more directed towards Gentiles, with an emphasis on unpacking philosophical and theological ramifications for the incarnation of Jesus Christ, starting right off the bat with a dive into Greek philosophy. It’s intellectually rich, but also simple enough that a child could understand the significance of the events told.

In the early church, the four gospels were to be read by new Christians in succession, with John being the last one read around Passover (Pascha). It’s a book that highly emphasizes Jesus as the Christ and takes focus on the last year of His ministry, so for the newly baptized, it could be thought of as the crescendo to a beautiful theological orchestra.

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Perfect Love Casts Out War

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The Machine of War

As I’m writing this, the news is breaking that Israel has invaded Gaza. This is the culmination of weeks of tension, which has now ratcheted up to all-out war. I can only observe this from a distance. I’m able to see the bloodshed and tears through video and pictures, on my TV screen while sitting in the comfort of my own living room. I don’t want to dismiss the lives of men, women and children who have been lost on either side.

This is why I want to be very careful in what I’m about to say.

The world today is in many ways safer but also scarier than it was past centuries. We also have bigger and more deadly weapons, capable of ending millions of lives in an instant. We continue to live in this cycle of war, in spite of our best intentions. We shroud the implications of death and violence with consequential reasons for defending the weak and the innocent. We constantly try to justify war through our belief that God sees is it as a moral imperative. My question is, “who or what really controls us when each individual has to decide the value of life, even the lives of those we deem ‘evil’?” I don’t believe it is God. I believe it is fear.  The question Christians need to ask is “why are we afraid when we have perfect love over us?”


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You Can Start a Podcast

I wrote this as a sample of my non-religious writing skills. I’m currently and building a portfolio. Enjoy!

You Can Start a Podcast

I used to believe that starting a podcast would be a Herculean task that only polished professionals or audiophiles could get into. This is not true though. Pretty much anyone can podcast if they take the time to get the right equipment and software.

However, to do a podcast well…that takes a bit more work.

The podcast I’ve started is called the Theologues Roundtable. I began the podcast as an idea with one of my good friends and launched it a few months ago. I did have to spend some money to get started it, but surprisingly, not that much.

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5 Reasons Not to Underestimate the Faith of Millennials

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I’m just barely a Millennial, being on the cusp of my 30s, but I did grow up during the dawn of the Internet, cellphones, and Homestar Runner. As I’ve grown up in this decade, I’ve seen friends and acquaintances grow and mature out of awkward teendom into having college degrees, jobs, spouses and kids.

In one sense the critics of the Millennial generation are correct when they state we are a very self-absorbed generation, but I think those same critics mistake the technological methods we gratify and glorify ourselves as some how more base and less noble than the methods the previous generations used to do the same. In another sense, every generation uses the next as a scapegoat for society’s ills and to increase their own sense of superiority.

Still, while a few Millennials may be decidedly “spiritual, but not religious,” I’m finding a vast number of people in my generation who’ve shed these trends and matured into actually having convictions and concrete beliefs based on deeply studying and grasping their own faith, embracing the wisdom of those who came before them and realizing that we don’t come by our beliefs alone. In many cases, Millennials were primed by the previous generation to be open and generous towards the old, the out-of-fashion and the traditional based on the fact that the previous generation discarded them, so their progeny are drawn by the novelty of such things.

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More Than Bread & Wine

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Why the Eucharist Matters

For Christians around the world, the bread and wine (known as Communion to some and Eucharist to others) have been markers of true church life. Some churches see the bread and wine as a symbol or memorial of what Christ did for us on the Cross. Others see it as the very body and blood of Christ which we partake of at the table. Growing up, I took the former view as the orthodox view. I never fathomed that it could be possible that Christians would partake in a pagan practice akin to cannibalism. I know hold the latter view and it’s precisely because I know now that it was neither “pagan” or “cannibalistic.” I believe in the Eucharist.

The word Eucharist comes from the Greek word eukharistia and it means “thanksgiving.” The Eucharist is Christ’s own thanksgiving to the Church and it is the Church’s thanksgiving celebration which surrounds the table.

In learning more about the early church’s view on the Eucharist, I became astonished to see that the early Christians, such as Irenaeus and Justin Martyr, defended the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist  as what was taught by the apostles to the Church. In John 6, we see Jesus breaking the bread and distributing the wine to his disciples and those same disciples taught their understanding of the Eucharist to their disciples. In many cases, seeing the Eucharist as the real flesh and blood of Christ was not only defended by these early Christians but they also believed that the Eucharist provided a foundation for understanding a Christian’s own transformation in Christ.


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4 People Who Successfully Argued With God

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As humans, we tend to pray most when we really need something from God. We pray before tests, job interviews or jumping out of an airplane. Our prayers are most often directed to God in times of desperate need. The rest of the time, we figure He’ll take care of the rest. But a big question that comes from prayer is that if God knows everything that will happen, why do we pray? What good does prayer actually do?

In many ways this is a question that has sparked some of the biggest divisions in Christian theology. Humans often want to know why God does what He does in our lives.

I think that is a question which we cannot completely answer with the limited knowledge we have, but through the Scriptures we do see many cases where prayer influences God’s decision (or appears to anyway). Maybe we can learn from them. I’ve found at least four cases where this has happened:

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