Showing posts from February, 2016

Fat City

At the Lutheran church I attended during my childhood, comic strips from the local newspaper were posted on a bulletin board. One in particular I remember was Hägar the Horrible sitting at a table with his first mate Lucky Eddie. They had the following conversation... 
Eddie: “Is gluttony a sin?” Hägar “Is it fun?” Eddie: “I think so.” Hägar: “It’s a sin.”
Of course, God is not against us having fun. 1 Timothy 6:17 says He “ us richly all things to enjoy.” That would include food. But like most other things, eating can be abused when done in excess. Scripture has a few things to say about those who eat too much...
“So that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah (which means ‘graves of gluttony’) because there they buried the people who had craved meat from Egypt.” - Numbers 11:34 (NLT)
“But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; You grew fat, you grew thick, you are obese! Then he forsook God who made him, and scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation.” - Deuteronomy 32:15
“Do not mix with win…

God Knows What You Need

Earlier this weekI heard a minister share a powerful story that brought me to tears. Nearly twenty years ago, evangelist Jane Lowder of Calvary Campground was ministering in West Virginia. A pastor approached Sister Jane saying he felt led of the Lord to give her a puppy. She didn’t want a dog and several times refused the pastor’s offer. 
A few weeks later, this pastor called Sister Jane again offering a puppy. When Jane prayed about that, the Lord told her “walls would fall” if she received the puppy. Then she recalled an incident that happened when she was a teenager. Growing up on a farm, Jane’s family had a dog that her father wanted killed because it was “sucking eggs.” Jane offered to kill it herself. After doing so, she vowed never again to own an animal. That caused walls to go up in her heart that needed to come down in order for her to be a more effective minister.
Sister Jane’s story reminded me of an incident that happened in 2003. My friend John and I were on our way to a …

My First Love

Mention the phrase “first love” and people often think of a significant other. During grade school there were numerous girls I liked. One who I consider my first real girlfriend was named Kathy. We were first grade classmates at Riverside Elementary School in Moorhead, Minnesota. Then I got transferred to a different school but came back to Riverside for sixth grade. Once again, Kathy and I were in the same class. We started exchanging notes and calling each other.
On February 14th of that school year I received two valentines from Kathy. I also received valentines from kids that made fun of our relationship or discouraged it. Nevertheless, Kathy remained an off and on girlfriend throughout my junior high years before she broke up with me for good. We still remained friends during high school. Kathy always smiled at me whenever we passed each other in the hallway. 
The last time I saw Kathy was in 1983 when I was 19. My dad sent me to Godfather’s Pizza one night to pick up dinner for th…

Super Sunday

Every year millions of people gather around televisions to watch the Super Bowl. The first time I ever watched it was on my tenth birthday in 1974. I was full of excitement since the Minnesota Vikings was one of the teams playing for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. That morning at Sunday school, the teacher noticed my zeal for the big game. In front of the whole class he asked me, “Which is more important…church or football?”
Without hesitation I replied, “Football.”
My dad scolded me when he later found out about this. Back then I didn’t see any benefit in going to church. We attended a traditional institution that gave me wrong perceptions of Christianity (it would be another 17 years before I realized how real God is). 
The Vikings ended up losing Super Bowl VIII to the Miami Dolphins. It would be their second of four Super Bowl losses during the 1970s. My favorite team hasn’t returned to the big game in almost 40 years. I would like to see the Vikings win it at least once before the Lord …