Food, Fat, Faith, and the Gospel: Reflections of an Overweight Christian

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I have long “struggled with my weight,” as they say.  For as long as I can remember, adjectives like fat or overweight or husky or big boned have accompanied the way I have thought about myself.  Even in my more athletic days when I played sports year-round and could jog a couple of miles without feeling any pain in my knees and shins and lower back, I was still a big guy; chubby even.  A chubby, more-or-less athletic guy, who loved to eat, and was highly self-conscious about the results that eating had on his physical body.

Additionally, for as long as I’ve thought of myself as an overweight person, I have also thought of myself as a Christian.… Continue reading

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Gospel Loving: God’s Perspective

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“Husbands, love your wife, just like Christ loves the church” (Eph 5:25).

That’s a tall order. It is a rather difficult task for a believer and a rather impossible one for someone who doesn’t know Christ. Husbands have a large task. Looking beyond the walls of Ephesians, John records a broader command addressed to all believers, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). Obviously no believer is without excuse. God calls each of us to love others. Now, how do we define love? What does love look like?

If you’re like me, you want to define this in such a way to where it’s the natural by-product of my life.… Continue reading

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Reprise: Charismatic Resources?

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I honestly had something else planned for today, but this post speaks directly to a question I was asked on Sunday and that I have answered several times in recent months. And so I think it is worth revisiting.

We all need to be very cautious about who we allow to teach our families, and this extends not just to where you attend church, but also to what qmarkbooks you read (and allow your family to read) and what religious broadcasts you listen to and watch. But what about charismatic authors and pastors, are they all bad? Or can charismatic resources be helpful and edifying?… Continue reading

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Go to Summer Camp? … Of Course!

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A summer without going to a Bible/church camp doesn’t feel like summer to me. I am 35 years old and 27 of those years I have attended summer camp (either as a camper or counselor/leader). So, missing summer camp is very odd—I am sure many of you just nodded you head, because you know what I am talking about.

Well,in three weeks, my youth group will attend ASCEND CAMP. It is a camp of epic games, and clear Bible teaching. Over 600 students show up for this camp and it is non-stop fun, as well as life-transforming. I could not put on a better camp experience for my students.… Continue reading

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6 Questions to Help Pastors Assess Their Spiritual Health

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Later this month by God’s grace, I will reach my six-year anniversary as the preaching pastor of my local church.  I realize that this is not an incredibly long time and that compared to many faithful pastors, I’m still a snot-nosed kid with all kinds of things yet to learn.  Yet, I actually find it astonishing that I’ve made it this far.  Truly, this is all of grace.  I say that because I’ve come to realize that being in ministry poses a myriad of threats to a man’s spiritual health.

I remember hearing it said somewhere that ministry will either make you a better man, or a far worse one.  Like Paul discusses in 2 Corinthians 12, the privilege of knowing the Lord and the riches of his revelation, can easily become a source of pride and puff a man up with great conceit.  There is no guarantee that your soul will thrive in ministry; despite the hours you may spend in the serious study and proclamation of Scripture, and the number of people you counsel with the Word, and even the effectiveness of your ministry.  You can actually be a very effective pastor while your spiritual health is failing miserably.  That’s just the way the cookie of God’s mysterious Providence sometimes crumbles.  It is very easy for pastors to do ministry in a way that does not cultivate their spiritual health, and in fact hinders it.  Mining Scripture exclusively for teaching material, giving counsel to others that you do not personally live by, putting in extra hours at the office to escape from other responsibilities, ministering to the church to the neglect of your family; these are just some of the ways you can be very busy as pastor and very unhealthy as a Christian.… Continue reading

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