This is a guest post from Katie Karras – a communications consultant in Washington, DC and proud member of St. Timothy and St. Athanasius Church in Arlington, VA who has guest posted on my blog before. You can follow her on twitter,@KatieKarras. And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.

gym intimidation

This January, like thousands across the country, I made a resolution to lose weight and be healthy. So after doing some online research, I made my way to the neighborhood gym to meet with the sales team. Having read a lot about how gyms try to rip you off with random fees and entice you with perks, I went in skeptical but feeling prepared.

The staff was welcoming, they gave me the best deal they could, and I signed up. However, not fully convinced that I would be the 10% that keeps up with their resolutions every year, I decided on a month-to-month membership. This allowed me an easy “out” when things got tough, but still made me feel like I was committed to my health.

Let me just say that this is not the first gym I’ve joined, or my first attempt to get in shape. Like most women, I’ve tried about 5 gyms and 5 other “at home” work out programs in an attempt to get in shape. This time, I told myself, it would be different.

About a month in, I can really say it is. I have motivation, time, encouragement, and a specific goal, but sometimes the gym doesn’t make it easier.

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This one’s an oldie but a goodie!

I was looking through statistics for my blog the other day and believe it or not, the following is the #1 most viewed post.  A POST ABOUT PRAYER!

Not about marriage or relationships or how I manage my schedule like a control freak.  A post about prayer has been viewed more than any other.  And I think that’s cool!

That’s why I’m reposting it today – after it was originally written back in 2013 – and will be on Periscope at 12:30 pm EST to discuss it and answer any questions you might have about it.



Prayer.  A word that means different things to different people.  We all know we need it, but then why do so few of us do it?  Why does something which is supposed to be so simple end up being so hard?  We know the importance of prayer and we could speak endlessly about the priority it should have in our lives…but in practice, we don’t do it!

Sound familiar to anyone else?

We need to pray.  I need to pray.  You need to pray.  We all need to pray.  We don’t need to talk about prayer… or read about prayer… or have prayer meetings.  WE NEED TO PRAY – actually pray, like with words…that we say…with our mouths.

There are different kinds of prayer: group prayer, liturgical prayer, contemplative prayer, etc. Those are important and not to be overlooked, but that is not the kind of prayer God is speaking to me about these days.  I’m talking about personal prayerSimple prayer.  The kind of prayer that happens when we go to a quiet place and just speak with our Father who art in heaven (see Matthew 6:6).

Is it just me or this kind of prayer the hardest kind?  It seems like it should be simple enough – pray/talk to your Father.  But for some reason, I could do just about everything in the world except this.  I could read my Bible, give to the poor, spend hours in community service, and attend every church service…yet all of that is easier than spending 5 quality minutes in prayer!

What’s the problem here?

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After a week off due to last week’s blizzard, we’re back in action at The Well with Part 2 in the CONFRONTING CONFLICT series, titled “START WITH THE HEART”.

The main point of this week’s message was that the first priority in facing conflict needs to be: ME FIRST, US SECOND.  In other words, I need to examine myself – my motivation, my goal, what I want out of this conversation – before I look at the person in front of me in the conversation.  ME first, US second.

We also talked about how to properly diagnose when a conversation has moved from “casual” to “critical” and what that means.

It’s all there in this week’s message in the video above.  Enjoy!

This I Dream

January 29, 2016 — 1 Comment
This guest post comes from Joseph Yacoub, a member of St Paul Church in Chicago.  Recently their church held a campaign called “This I Dream” – where every member was asked to share a God-glorifying dream in their Cornerstone meeting.  This was his dream.  And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.


One of my favorite authors tells a story of an English yachtsman who made a small mistake, a slight miscalculation.  That author, G. K. Chesterton, would say about the yachtsman: “His mistake was really a most enviable mistake.”

The English yachtsman sailed to what he would have thought a new island in South Seas, he got off his boat planted the British flag and even talked to the locals in sign language, only to find out that he had slightly miscalculated his course and the new island he had just discovered was… England.

The Englishman had discovered England!

You think he would have felt a fool, and perhaps you many think him a fool, but Chesterton fancies that he felt something unique and indeed enviable.

“What could be more delightful” Chesterton says “than to have in the same few minutes all the fascinating terrors of going abroad combined with all the humane security of coming home again?”

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I know it’s hard to believe, but I’m now entering my 15th year of priesthood (ordained in 2001).  I feel like 15 years is enough of a milestone where I can now officially “look back” and “reflect” on some lessons I’ve learned over the years (I feel wiser and more distinguished already!).

I’ve noticed a lot of discussion recently about the topic of leadership.  What makes a good leader?  Can leadership be learned?  What are some do’s and don’ts of leadership?

Whether it’s in our nation as we approach a presidential election…

Or it’s in your church where you find yourself disappointed by someone in a position of leadership…

Or it’s in your family where you feel like you’re on a ship without a captain…

…leadership seems to be on everyone’s mind these days.

So with that, I want to share a few thoughts on the subject that came to me as I reflect back over the past 15 years as a priest.

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Who Am I?

January 22, 2016 — Leave a comment
This guest post comes from Robert Basilious – a member of St Mark Coptic Orthodox church in London who has guest posted before. Robert works as a software engineer by profession, but his true passion is serving church communities across the UK with their software needs. You can check out his work on his website, Serving Jesus. And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.

I am a father’s child, a mother’s child, yet no one’s son…who am I?

It may only take a moment to solve this riddle. However, in times of loneliness, as a sense of defeat creeps upon us and we feel we are of diminishing value, invisible to others, we need to identify our personhood. We need to examine this question: who am I?

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baptism jesus

Happy Feast of the Holy Theophany (aka Epiphany, aka when Jesus was baptized)!

If you’re Orthodox you know that we celebrate this great feast with a Liturgical service the evening prior (last night) and because of of that – and also because I just need a day to catch up on some rest – there’s no blog post today (NOOOOO!!!!!).

I apologize but I realized that I’ve been burning the candle at both ends this past week and so I’m giving myself a sleep in day to catch up on some good ole fashioned R&R.  But don’t worry, I’m not leaving you totally alone today.


I’ll open today’s scope up for another round of Q&A.  So once again, YOU get to set the agenda.  You can submit questions LIVE during the broadcast or by tweeting me (@FrAnthony) or by leaving a comment on this post.  Questions submitted via twitter and the comments section will be given priority and we’ll get to the live ones as time allows.

So if there’s anything you’ve always wanted to ask me, this is your chance to do so!

p.s. If you have 10 minutes to spare and want to read more about the feast of Theophany/Epiphany, check out THIS ARTICLE by a famous 4th century Christian father. I’ll see you all at 12:30.

Download the Periscope app and follow me at FrAnthony to join the conversation.