(Note: We're taking a break from the "Belonging to Him" series for the holiday season and will pick back up with Part 2 on January 17th. This week, you’ll be hearing one of the sermons John shared from a 4-part Christmas series while pastoring a church in the country of Honduras.) As children, the question, "What do you want for Christmas?" filled us with great joy and anticipation for the gifts we would receive come Christmas day. As adults, the question should point more to our spiritual expectations for the season, with a chief focus on receiving Christ as our greatest gift. So, what do you want for Christmas? The perfect gift? Family harmony? Hope and peace? This is only possible when Jesus is the reason for the season.
The classic book Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis finds its power in showing us a simple faith. A plain faith. One that leaves an immense impact without a lot of noise and fanfare. That's one way to describe Nashville singer-songwriter, Andy Gullahorn. Andy's music and life are purposely quiet and understated, but they are no less powerful. He speaks to us as a close friend. One who helps us relax. To laugh. To feel the joy of community and counsel. But he also shows us a way to discover holiness in the most common, everyday things, broadening our view of how to live eternally in the here-and-now. Join us for this first in a series of Unto Life Interviews: an in-depth conversation with Andy Gullahorn on his life, focus, and mission. (Music courtesy of Andy Gullahorn and Coma-Media from Pixabay.)
In this second Unto Life Interview, John speaks with Ukrainian Orthodox priest, Father Anthony Perkins. Father Anthony has led a fascinating life, living as a political scientist, military intelligence specialist, college and seminary professor, and in his most recent years, as an Orthodox priest and pastor. On the other side of the more simple ways we can experience God, Father Anthony dives deep into the waters of theology and mystery. He seeks to recognize eternity within the rituals of worship, through the use of imagination, within social relations and politics, in music, literature, nature, and so on. He says we should join God in his work to restore harmony in a world that is so often discordant and broken. In this interview, you'll learn how to better nurture God's presence and holiness in most every corner of your life. Only by doing so will you ever discover the patterns of perfection that lie just under the surface of the world in which we live. (Music courtesy of Father Archimandrite Sergius and Coma-Media from Pixabay.) To explore Father Anthony's extensive online presence, listen to his podcasts, and watch his YouTube channel, look through the "My Outlets/Content" box on his website, orthoanalytika.org.
(John shares his next spiritual meditation based on thoughts from his upcoming book: UNTO LIFE: Reflections on Both the Journey and the Destination.) God is first-and-foremost a Creator. And as our Creator, he is also the world's first artist. As discussed in a previous meditation, the beauty we see in the natural world exists because it is a reflection of God's beautiful eternal nature. In the same way, when human beings who are made in God's image create works of art, it is possible for those works to have the mark of eternity, too. This meditation encourages you to consider how art creates a longing for God, helping you live and move and have your being in the God who made you. (Music courtesy of Coma-Media and ZakharValaha from Pixabay.)