Stewardship call-in with Bill Marianes – May 31, 2015

BMAre you living the personal calling given to you by your Father and Creator?  Is your Parish thriving, with successful stewardship and serving as a beacon of Orthodoxy and making disciples? If you are looking for a “good account at the awesome judgment seat of Christ” we have the program for you. This coming Sunday, May 31st, from 7:00-8:30 Central (8:00-9:30 Eastern) tune into the live Stewardship Calling – 5th Sunday series on Ancient Faith Radio hosted by Bill Marianes of Stewardship, who will be joined by Father Barnabas Powell of Faith Encouraged ministries. This is a live call in program with an internet chat room and guests who are focused on “seekers” and “sowers,” those seeking to discover their own personal callings or those who want to share how to sustainably improve the results in their Parishes, ministries and lives.

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What a thing to see!


Today’s Epistle is about Eutychus and how he was brought back to life. Although this miracle is the focal point, I reflected upon the activities of the day. Paul “spoke to them and continued his message until midnight!” There were “many lamps in the upper room where they all gathered.” Some, including Eutychus, even occupied windows in order to be able to listen to the word of God and learn from Paul’s teachings. St. John Chrysostom reflects… “Picture to yourself, I beseech you, that house with its lights, with its crowd, with Paul in their midst, discoursing with even the windows occupied by many. What a thing to see!

Yes, what a thing to see! And today, it is so hard to gather a handful of people to listen to the word of God. Our schedules are full, we are too busy, we just can’t find the time to sit through a religious education class. I myself, am struggling with a situation. One of our local parish priests is beginning a religious education class on Sunday’s. What a blessing – a class that will go through the duration of summer (a rarity as we always assume nobody will be around because it’s vacation.) Also, that it’s on Sunday, the day we are supposed to rest and reflect on the Lord. But the first thought in my mind was “it’s Sunday.”

I thought about it again and said it’s Sunday, and what a great way to spend the day. With all of the errands and tasks on my to do list, it is important for me and my family to reflect on the Lord during His day. Now one asks, how is this related to Stewardship? It emphasizes the use of our Time, Talents and Treasures. Here, Time is the most critical. Will we have the fervor of the faith to take the time to learn about Orthodoxy as Eutychus did? Will we take the time to attend Church services (especially during summer)? Will we make the time to do good works as Christ did, with our family? Will we prioritize prayer and scriptural readings each day?

We must take advantage of every opportunity to strengthen our faith. Christ, on many occasions, discussed how we will be judged by the works that we do. St. Gregory reflects:

Let us become like Christ, since Christ became like us. Let us become God’s for His sake, since He for us became Man. He assumed the worse that He might give us the better; He became poor that we through His poverty might be rich He took upon Him the form of a servant that we might receive back our liberty; He came down that we might be exalted; He was tempted that we might conquer; He was dishonoured that He might glorify us; He died that He might save us; He ascended that He might draw to Himself us, who were lying low in the Fall of sin.

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Ascension… but are you ready for His return?

The Ladder

He was taken up and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

He will come again in a like manner… I thought about His return and standing before the dread judgment seat of Christ – will I be ready? How do I prepare? What must I do to inherit the Eternal Kingdom?

Practicing and focusing on Stewardship is a great way to start! In my last blog, I referenced a book on the Ladder of Divine Ascent. St. John Climacus has provided one of the best “self help” resources ever written. Pay special attention to Step 16 which focuses on Avarice.

Have a blessed Memorial Day Weekend and honor those who have died to provide for our freedom!

In Christ,

David Batrich

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Something to reflect upon as we consider our works…

e15509e1a16f7c087f44564e7a3cd273Vassilios Papavassiliou, in his book “Thirty Steps to Heaven – The Ladder of Divine Ascent for All Walks of Life” makes one simple but powerful statement.

We cannot be saved by faith alone, grace alone or works alone!

As we strive for our Salvation, we must balance all of these and our works are realized through the Stewardship of our Time, Talents and Treasures.

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Stewardship is a very important part of everyone’s life!

graduation-landing-1 (1)

This weekend focuses on college graduations – across the United States, many schools are celebrating the day when students transition to working adults. There will be a variety of careers under consideration – doctors, mechanics, chefs, accountants, scientists, etc.  Our world is full of many opportunities and much diversity. St. John Chrysostom says of the Apostles “one was more tender and indulgent and another more strict and austere – for their gifts are diverse, one gift benefitting one, the other gift another set of characters.”

Whichever career our graduates decide to choose, we must impress upon them that all are a gift from God and that each and every one of us will be judged by our works. This diversity is so prevalent across our Time, Talents and Treasures. We may be different with the path we take but are the same when it comes to Stewardship. Make your commitment and guide your children so they understand the importance of Stewardship.

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Think about your works on a daily basis

St%20James%20Brother%20of%20the%20LordFaith and Deeds

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

James 2:14-19

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Think about Stewardship this summer!

What is Orthodox Christian Stewardship?icon_christ_face

Orthodox Christian Stewardship is…

Learning how to be a responsible and concerned caretaker of Christ’s Church; it is learning how to enjoy Church life and be happy in Church work., for in Her dwells the fullness of the Spirit of God.

Our active commitment to use all our Time, Talent and Treasure for the benefit of humankind in grateful acknowledgment of Christ’s redeeming love.


2 Corinthians 9:7 – Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

  • Caring for the needs of others.
  • Offering one’s self to God as He offered Himself to us.
  • What a person does after saying “I believe…”, as proof of that belief.
  • Devotion and service to God and His Church as persons, as families, as a diocese and as Church universal.

The theme that we find throughout Stewardship is care… care for our Church, care of our people, care for our children, care for the elderly and care for how we conduct ourselves. Caring requires a commitment and focus – one that mirrors the care that God our Father has for us.

As the summer months approach, please continue to support your Church as a faithful Steward. The three T’s apply here – focus on your Time, Talents & Treasures.

Also, please share your Stewardship experiences via this blog.

Thank you – David Batrich

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