Saint Athanasius – Christ as man and not another form


Saint Athanasius – Christ as man and not another form

Reading from the Prologue of Ohrid Jan 18 is the feast day of Saint Athanasius. They have a “reflection” sharing the thoughts of St. Athanasius.

The reflection revolves around the question “Why did the Son of God appear on earth in a human body and not in another form of creation?” This was a really interesting read.

They share Athanasius’ thoughts. He contemplates why Christ did not come “in some other better form of creation – for example, as the sun of the moon, or the stars or fire, or the wind —but just as man”. This is something I have never really contemplated though I have never questioned as a skeptic.

He goes on to say “…let them know that the Lord did not come to show Himself, but to heal and teach sufferers”. That is awesome. Christ did not come to bring glory to himself but to save us. He did God’s will and sacrificed himself because he loved us. Not because he demanded something first.

Athanasius goes on to say it was only necessary for him to come “but to serve for the benefit of the suffering ones, and to reveal Himself in such a way that this revelation would be bearable for the sufferers”. It is always humbling to remember that Christ as was the greatest example of a servant. Everything I do should be following his example. Then I will truly be serving God.

The reflection continues “Not one single creature was in error in the eyes of God, except man alone” he shares how the moon, the stars the wind and the water “remained as they were created”. Christ came to redeem what had fallen away from God’s created plan. Only people. Christ had to come as a human. We thought we could be better. We were saved. Glory to GOD!

Athanasius continues “…and the Honor belonging to God they transferred to devils and to men carved out of stone (idols)”. Many God’s are portrayed as idols in the Bible. It is interesting that people would expect Christ to come in the same way. It is not surprising that the way God revealed himself through Christ was done in a way that was not the prescribed or “desired” way.

Saint Athanasius finishes. “What, therefore, is so unbelievable in this, that the Logos appeared as a man to save mankind?” “Indeed, we also ask the unbelievers of our day: “In what form would you wish God to appear, if not as a man?””


Orthodox Dad in America


DOJ involved in School Discipline?


So the justice department headed by a criminal is going to insert itself in school discipline? Racial disparity needs to be looked at logically. If there is a higher number of infractions of discipline then wouldn’t there be more consequences handed out? The real solution is to stop the destruction of the family and stop expanding the racial divide!

CS Lewis Screwtape Letter 6 Part 2


CS Lewis Screwtape Letter 6 part 2


It has been a while since I had time to sit down and read and think. With Christmas, sickness, work and life it has been crazy but fun. None the less I had been rereading letter 6 and there is some fascinating thoughts in the last section.  Screwtape talks about hatred and how hatred can be spewn at mythical or far off people or objects that we will never meet. Satan uses this and directs this anger and hatred toward those around us.

I know that when I find myself frustrated, often at things I cannot change, I take it out on people that have nothing to do with my circumstance. This is something I know that I need to work on and become aware of.

Further, Screwtape talks about a really intriguing aspect. “Think of your man as a series of concentric circles, his will being the innermost, his intellect coming next and finally his fantasy….you must keep on shoving all the virtues outward till they are finally located in the circle of fantasy, and all the desirable (evil) qualities inward into the will”. This is incredibly interesting.

We have our will, as in what we do and choose to be (and what we find normal for ourselves). Then there is intellect, then outward fantasy. I know that too often I let intellect get in the way of things. Sometimes compassion is overruled by intellect “what is it worth? What will I get? Why should I?”

Satan wants us to push all of our goodness and positive character traits out to the edge of not believing that is who we are. They become fantasy. Goodness is not what we are made up of. These are just lofty ideas that I am not capable of. Instead, the less desirable qualities are prioritized. Not only that, we focus on them. We see what we are able to do, though it is not good, it is easy, or normal.

I will be honest, I do not have a lot of money, however I sometimes put up barriers to charity. I put “charity” as a fantasy because of intellect. There are things I can do aside from having money to develop charity. I could give time. I know that I am busy, however I can do more. Intellectually, I put up a barrier with my time. These are aspects I am trying to do a better with.

This idea presented in this letter is really eye opening. The concept of the circles is something I am going to use to push the good toward the “will”. I know I can do a lot more with the resources I have, including character traits.


Mark Lee

Orthodox Dad in America

Born This Day – An Original Christmas Song by Mark Lee / One Match Left

Born This Day – is a song that I wrote and included on my Christmas CD called “Water Like a Stone”. Check it out and let me know what you think. The lyrics are taken directly from the bible at Luke 2, the story of the nativity. It was a joy to write and sing.


In the Bleak Midwinter – a cappella sung by Mark Lee / One Match Left

In the Bleak Midwinter – a cappella – Mark Lee / One Match Left – Gustav Holst
all 4 parts sung by Mark Lee as a choir (song info listed below)
this will be part of a Mark Lee / One Match Left christmas album – more details to come
subscribe and share if you enjoy
I sang this version in High School as part of the madrigal choir. I LOVE this song and this version and I hope you enjoy.

19. Maximum Uncertainty…Suspense and Anxiety (C.S. Lewis Screwtape letter 6 – part 1)



19. Maximum Uncertainty…Suspense and Anxiety (C.S. Lewis Screwtape letter 6 – part 1)


I was reading screwtape letter number 6…a few times actually. I think this letter is Incredibly rich with information. I am going to break this down into a few installments to make sure my thoughts are focused.

The thing I want to focus on first is the idea of “maximum uncertainty” as stated in letter 6. “…in the maximum uncertainty, so that his mind will be filled with contradictory pictures of the future, every one of which arouses hope or fear”. This is an incredible statement.

I was just reading in one of the pamphlets at church and flipping through and a statement stood out, “if you have time to worry you have time to pray”. We must be careful not to take our minutes here on earth and use them worrying but rather living the life that God gives us each day. I know that sometimes we (my wife and I) try to predict out months, years so on. It is not a bad idea to plan, but we also have to be careful not to forget to use the minutes we have to teach our kids and focus on what is here in front of us in the here and now. It is extremely easy to get carried away worrying about things that may not and likely WILL not ever happen! That is crazy to think about. “There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human’s mind against the Enemy (God)”.


There is another great thought thrown in here. “He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them. “ We must stay focused on what we are doing. We need to live within our bodies and not let our minds race or get ahead of ourselves. My wife had printed out a great quote that touches on this exact thought.

“Life is a precious and unique gift, and we squander it foolishly and carelessly, forgetful of its bevity. Either we look back with yearning on the past or else we live in the expectation of a future in which it seems to us, life will really begin; where as the present that is, our life as it actually is, is wasted in these fruitless dreams and regrets”

                Fr. Alexander Elchaninov

This fits extremely fitting. All too often we wait for a future time, place and date in which our lives will begin and THEN we can start to be better parents, pray more, better parishoners of our church, more charitable, happier etc. What an exciting thing to realize but something that is sad at the same time. I am challenging myself to live in the moment. Not carelessly but without looking too far ahead and worrying. I want to have time to teach my kids and pray and and and and. But looking ahead in worry doesn’t really accomplish anything.

It is almost an example of envy …but …not. Often times I find that if I get something I actually “wanted” or “needed” then it often becomes a thing of the past and now there is a new thing that is Actually “needed” this time….and so it goes. Not only do I need to not look to far ahead but also not forget the gifts that I DO have. It is easy to forget.

God wants us to be aware of what we Do. Aware of the people we talk with and the time we have with those around us. Everything we do is a choice and God desires that we make choices that are honoring to his name as well as fruitful as well as kind. We need to strive to be happy with our vocations and situations and love the people that God brings into our lives. After all they are temporary and they need to be treated as they are….Gifts.



Orthodox Dad in America

18. CS Lewis Screwtape Letter 5 – Demons Delight


18. CS Lewis Screwtape Letter 5 –  Demons Delight

The first thing that came to mind in reading this is the fact that Satan and his minions delight in our squabbles, distractions and misfortunes. These things can easily distract us from our ultimate goal which is to be one with Christ and to raise ourselves up out of our earthly struggles. Satan is constantly working to make us miserable, to forget our goals and to wallow in self pity.

I was just talking to my students about being people that make goals and choices. We make goals, we adapt and we make the best of what we have. We don’t make excuses. Let me rephrase that…we should not make excuses. There are always things we could have done better but we must take our circumstances and make the best of what we have. Satan delights in our uncertain routines.

One of the other things I noticed in this is the fact that Screwtape is talking about not delighting in things until the goal (destruction of this subjects soul) is complete. I like to think of that in the opposite way. Shouldn’t we be so focused on God and doing his will that we are not distracted by the small roadblocks, nor be boastful at achievements? Rather I must keep focused on the goal. Eternal salvation for myself and my family.

I recently wrote my thoughts about Luke 4 where Christ is tempted. Satan has a lot of power in this world. We must keep our focus and remember that God gives us the tools and the weapons to defeat Satan and his demons, no matter how determined they are. As we read in scripture and are reminded here in this letter from Screwtape, Satan is very determined. If we are passive and do not know our ultimate goal we will stumble more often, lose our way and ultimately fall. I must remind myself every day (and ideally every MINUTE) that I am not just living in spiritual passiveness but rather Fighting evil! As I have also written before it is not just God or Neutrality. Rather, it is God or Evil! if we are not moving toward God we are falling away from him. That can be a powerful (or scary) thought!

Lastly one wonderful thing in reading this is affirming the awesomeness of being part of the Orthodox Faith! Screwtape speaks of the “European Human” war. The Orthodox Faith is so powerful to me in the fact that many of those battles have been fought and we know that the faith can be traced back through apostolic succession to Christ and his direct apostles! Does this mean there are no new dilemas? Far from it. With technology and science advancements there are new questions being raised every day. However, the beauty is that there is always a foundation of truth, scripture and tradition set forth by Christ, his Apostles, the Martyrs and saints that have come before us. The distractions can be minimized though not necessarily distinguished. I vow to strive toward Christ every day (and every second) with my whole heart, and actively work against Satan and his demons.


Orthodox Dad in America