Body Building

Several years ago, my doctor asked me about my eating, especially at church events. "As pastor," I said, "I need to try a little bit of what each person brings so as not to offend anyone." After additional prodding I admitted that this included about a half-a-dozen small portions of the various deserts. My wise… Continue reading Body Building

Temples for the Holy Spirit

How well do you house the Holy Spirit? Or do you not know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit within you … — 1 Corinthians 6:19 Historically temples have been places where gods were perceived as living. Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem as a place not so much to house God, but… Continue reading Temples for the Holy Spirit

Ashpenaz has Pizzaz

"I fast every Tuesday," a colleague told me when I had asked him about going to lunch. But when Daniel's request to not eat food that the king had chosen for him and his colleagues had life threatening consequences for Ashpenaz. For my colleague, fasting was a spiritual discipline and a means of connecting with… Continue reading Ashpenaz has Pizzaz

Worship as Healing

Do you want to know who your real friends are? Not merely the list of names of people who read and like similar posts on social media, but friends you can count on? Get sick or go to jail. From the earliest days, long before microscopes which could view germs had been invented, people knew… Continue reading Worship as Healing

Encouraging One Another

Baptism font reflecting stained glass window

You do not need to come to church this Sunday, or for that matter, any Sunday, as a condition for your own salvation. Leviticus prescribes numerous sacrifices for various occasions to demonstrate sincerity of heart. Keeping these sacrifices would keep a set of priests busy and standing full time. But we have the perfect sacrifice in… Continue reading Encouraging One Another

One in Worship

Where have you worshiped? In my various roles in the church I have visited a wide variety of congregations. Visiting a very large congregation and sitting a pew towards the back of the sanctuary, worship felt as if it happened on the stage for the congregation to watch. The entire service was well polished and professional.… Continue reading One in Worship

Buckle Up

Many churches have a suit of armor for children to wear. Frequently this costume is used for a Bible school skit. In many cases this costume may have once taught Ephesians 6:10-20, an illustration to remind people to use all of the gifts that God has given us. Put on the whole armor of God,… Continue reading Buckle Up

Stay on Course

When a new writing arrives by messenger, how will you decide if you should use it for your work in the world? Imagine the date is a few decades after Jesus was crucified and resurrected and that you live beside the Aegean Sea, an area that hundreds of years in the future would become Greece and… Continue reading Stay on Course

Live to Love

After the first Star Wars movies came out, whenever Alec Guinness appeared in public, people expected him to look, sound, and behave like the role he played in those movies. His fans had a hard time separating the person of Sir Alec Guinness from the fictional character, Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Letter to the Ephesians urges Christians… Continue reading Live to Love

Finding Center

We live in a world constantly blown to and fro by varying opinions often backed by strong emotions. Our political leaders walk-back what they had said so frequently, sometimes even re-clarifying what had been restated a day earlier. Leaving many people to wonder what really is truth. The early church had similar problems: We must… Continue reading Finding Center