Category Archives: Gospel

The Gospel Is Bigger Than Your Waistline: 7 Ways The Gospel Should Change Your Outlook On Weight Loss

Overweight

Overweight (Photo credit: just.Luc)

I’ve recently been on a diet, and I’ve lost 30 pounds in as many days. It was time. It needed to happen. 30 days ago, I was the heaviest I have ever been. I’m ashamed to even tell you how much that was, but I’ll do it because it’s good for my humility, keeps me accountable, and it’s a testament to the goodness of God toward me in the past month. I was…ugh…three hundred and sixty-five pounds.

There. I said it.

No, I didn’t take before and after photos. I was too embarrassed to take the before photo – even if I was the only one who was ever going to see it. I’m that guy who didn’t take his shirt off at the pool. Still don’t. I didn’t like mirrors because secretly I knew that what I saw was a reflection of my physical laziness and food-idolatry. Now, I doubt anyone would have guessed that I weighed quite that much. I carried it quite well (if such a thing is possible). I’ve always been a big guy – and I don’t mean “big” in the euphemistic sense that obese people use it in order to excuse their obesity. I am 6′ 5″ and have a very large frame. Losing 50 pounds for me would certainly be significant, but probably not as noticable or significant as it would for those of you who are naturally smaller than I am. I’ve been overweight since I was a child, save for a few months after high-school when I lost a significant amount of weight – right before I gained it all back after my first indulgence in a post-diet bowl of fettucine alfredo. But I’m not a teenager anymore, and at 29 years old and 365 pounds, my body was certainly beginning to draw my attention to the ill-effects. I ached. I was out of breath. The skin on my legs was turning purple. My back spasmed. I had developed chronic gout. I felt weak. I was constantly battling to keep depression at bay. That was at my heaviest. It was simultaneously my high and my low.
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Why Christians Who Share My Views On Alcohol Often Drive Me Nuts

English: A glass of port wine. Français : Un v...

A glass of port wine. Public domain image.

Recent years have seen renewed acceptance of alcohol consumption among evangelicals generally, and among Southern Baptists particularly. Just a few decades ago, teetotalism was the norm in evangelical circles, but now it seems the tide is shifting. If discussions I have had with several of my peers can accurately serve as any indication, the up-and-coming generation of Southern Baptist pastors and leaders will prove with time to diverge significantly from the traditional, recently resolved Southern Baptist position on the issue.

During my seminary career at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, students were required to sign a “Covenant Agreement Form” which outlined several points of requirement for conduct by which enrolled students were expected to abide. This form is still given to incoming students to sign and everyone is required to sign it before they are allowed to enroll for classes. Number six on the list of items is a wholesale prohibition on consumption of alcohol by any student, along with accompanying prohibitions on tobacco and illegal drugs. Every year, Danny Akin, the school’s president, would hold an open forum chapel service where he would field questions submitted by the student body. Every year, one of the questions he answered would be, “Why the prohibition on alcohol?” And every year, it seemed, he reassured us that this year was going to be the last year he would answer the question. Continue reading

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Grief, The Gospel, And The God Of Happy Valley (Repost With Update)

Joe Paterno. Public domain image.

UPDATE: The following post was originally posted on my last (now deleted) blog, coramdeolife.blogspot.com. It was originally posted on November 11th of 2011 in response to facts that had come to light upon the release of the Sandusky grand jury presentment. Since that time, Sandusky has been convicted of 45 criminal counts, Joe Paterno has passed away, his statue has been removed, administrative officials allegedly involved in the cover-up have been fired, and the NCAA has laid down some of the most stringent punitive measures in it’s history against Penn State. Additionally, it has just come to light that there are new investigations being led by the Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Attorney Office regarding an alleged child-porn distribution ring involving Sandusky and others. Insofar as the post indicates that my wife and I were considering church planting in State College, God’s movement in our lives in the following months led to us to investigate a calling to the city of Philadelphia and we are pursuing the opportunity to plant there at the current time. 

Sadly, many loyal fans still seem angry at the media and those involved in the investigation (i.e. independent investigator Lewis Freeh and others) for the demise of their football program, the tarnished reputation of their beloved coach, and the negative public perception currently plaguing the university. For these reasons and because of the renewed interest in the scandal sure to come about due to newly publicized investigations, I thought it suitable to republish this article. At the root of things, nothing since its writing has really changed. People worship persons. People worship themselves. People worship things around them. They don’t often worship God. Here’s to helping us all do just that: Continue reading

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