Fr. Michael’s Midweek Reflection–Thanksgiving, No Matter What

Each Wednesday, Fr. Michael shares an encouraging message, hoping to bring light, clarity, and peace into our challenging lives

November 25, 2020

Thanksgiving, No Matter What

It’s easy to be thankful when things go our way, but if we’re only thankful then, maybe it’s not gratitude, but just satisfaction. In 2020, some are feeling like there’s not a lot to be grateful for, but if God is good, He’s good all the time, and there are blessings from Him, even in the midst of suffering. Real thankfulness to God comes from the heart, in good times and tough times alike. To view this week’s Midweek Reflection, click here.

 

November 18, 2020

Are you a Democrat or a Republican?

More than just a grammatical choice in saying, “I am a Democrat,” or “I am a Republican,” we Christians have only one identity, and that’s as Christians. We may “vote” with a certain party or make all kinds of choices, but we should not elevate any of those choices to the same level as our one and only identity as followers of Jesus Christ. This is a great gift we Christians can offer a world in great need. To watch the video, click here.

 

November 11, 2020

It’s 2020!

We hear “It’s 2020” and we know it refers to things being BAD!! But…does it? In this week’s Midweek Reflection we begin to examine how much of the angst and pain we experience is actually from what happens all around us–as bad as it has been. Instead of looking OUTSIDE of us, we can begin to look INWARD at our inner life–the life of our mind, our heart, our soul–and find there the remedies from God for all that ails us. Even if it is 2020! To watch the video, click here.

November 4, 2020

Don’t be Fooled by the Mirage

A mirage is what you see that you think is real but is really more of what you expect to see, hope to see, or sometimes, even what you’re afraid you’re seeing. In a world where there are so many mirages that can fool us into accepting lies and thinking they’re truths, we are invited to see not just a truth, but Truth Himself, Jesus Christ. To watch the video, click here.

October 28, 2020

Slowing Down to a Stop

In this week’s reflection, I continue to share some things I learned on a recent two-day bike trip. This week I reflect on the sanity–both mental and spiritual–we regain when we slow down our frenetic pace…all the way to stop. And there, we find the Eternal God, Who is always ready to meet us at the only time we can meet Him: now. This video can be found here.

October 21, 2020

Regaining Perspective

Most of us severely underestimate the amount of influence on our perspectives of the world come from the screens that we think are only helpful. In today’s video I reflect upon a recent two day biking trip I took, and how it helped me regain some perspective of the reality of the beautiful world around us. This reflection can be found at [Perspective].

 

September 23, 2020

THANK YOU, PRESIDENT TRUMP AND FORMER VICE-PRESIDENT BIDEN! (TALKING ABOUT TALKING ABOUT RACE, PART 3)

Using the first “presidential” debate as an illustration on what NOT to do when having a productive conversation. we finish this series on talking about race by holding up two important virtues: respect and humility. These provide the framework for us to have conversations on important topics that actually lead to productive actions. Fr. Michael continues this topic in today’s Midweek Reflection, found on his YouTube page at youtube.com/c/fathermichael.

September 16, 2020

THE MISSING PERSPECTIVE ON RACE, PART 1

Views on race and racial discrimination seem to be bound for an increase in conflict for which there does not seem to be a resolution. This tension is wreaking havoc, even in the spiritual lives of many. So-called “Christian” perspectives seem to be just those who use their Christian teaching to support their chosen political view, even if disguised as a moral view. I hope this week’s reflection will set the stage to explore what a true Christian perspective on the issue would be. This is the only way we can not find lasting solutions in this life, but that those solutions would lead us toward the Kingdom of Heaven, and not away. Video will be posted today at noon on Fr. Michael’s YouTube page.

September 10, 2020

UNEXAMINED ASSUMPTIONS

Our modern “wisdom” frequently discards traditional mores and values and replaces them with so-called “enlightened” ideas. And yet these new ways often lack any critical examination, and certainly place adherence to the Christian Faith anywhere but the top of the priority list. Among these is the common practice of a couple living together before they are married. Fr. Michael will discuss this topic in this week’s Midweek Reflection, found by clicking here.

September 2, 2020

THE NEWNESS OF REPENTANCE

For this week’s Midweek Reflection, we think about September 1st being New Year’s Day in the Orthodox Church each year. This gives us an occasion to focus on BOTH realities of repentance: its long, difficult road of making the effort, and the blessed joy of realizing the goodness of it. Click here for the video.

August 26, 2020

THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD

For this week’s bit of mid-week spiritual refreshment, we hear from our beloved Father in Christ, His Grace, Bishop ANTHONY. In this beautiful talk, His Grace offers a “prequel” to his previous “Reflections on the Spiritual Life” by focusing on the knowledge of God as what precedes our spiritual efforts. Our knowledge of God is nothing less than the purpose of our life, and you will be refreshed by His Grace’s words, which you can hear by clicking here.

August 19, 2020

FORGED BY ADVERSITY

No one has to tell anyone that 2020 has been a tough year. For most of us, the difficulties are fodder for our discontent, discomfort and dismay. But what if this difficult year could be seen as the very thing we’ve needed? We don’t wish tragedy on anyone, but maybe there’s another side to see our current circumstances. In this week’s Midweek Reflection, I’ll share some thoughts on this important perspective. Join me live on my YouTube page at 3 pm today at youtube.com/c/fathermichael, or see the video posted on our Parish YouTube page at youtube.com/c/stnicholasgr or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stnicholasgrandrapids/.

August 12, 2020

Dating in the Age of Covid…and When NOT in the Age of Covid

After a few conversations with young adults concerned about how to date in a age of no gatherings, I’ll tackle the issue from a perspective that was just as important before Covid as it is during. And the principles work the same in all relationships. I’ll go live at 3 PM today, or see it archived, both at our St. Nicholas YouTube Channel at youtube.com/c/stnicholasgr.

August 5, 2020

ARE YOU INFECTED??

And no, I’m not talking about coronavirus (isn’t it nice to take a break from that topic once in a while?). No, this is a different epidemic, and sadly, I think it’s much more destructive. It has an interesting name which I only heard recently: Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, or MTD for short. What is this terrible disease ravaging our world today? Tune into my MidWeek Reflection to hear more about it, and thankfully, how to get the vaccine! I will be live on our parish livestream at 3 pm today at youtube.com/c/stnicholasgr, and the recording will be available on that page following the talk, as well as our parish Facebook page (which you somehow don’t need to be on Facebook to get to: facebook.com/stnicholasgrandrapids.