Physical exercise vs spiritual exercise?

As ministers, missionaries, etc. who serve in church and Christian organizations we do work that’s supposed to be good for the mind and spirit…you know, stuff like reading the Bible, biblical commentaries, exegesis, sermon preparation, counselling, and other church-related work, etc.  The work we do is related to spiritual health, but doing this to the exclusion of physical exercise is counter-productive.

As ministers and spiritual leaders, I think it is easy for us to make excuses because we rationalize that spiritual exercise is better than physical exercise.  Out of convenience, we take 1 Timothy 4:7-9 out of context.  Fact is, many of us are overweight.  A better rationale is: physical exercise can extend the length and effectiveness of  ministry.

An interesting website/blog I ran into at Faith and Health Connection is directed toward pastors like me who rationalize spiritual health over physical health. (above image is their Model of Faith and Health).

Here’s a video gone viral that made me think about my health. Maybe it will for you too.

My homepage: a bible reading plan

Regular bible may be easy to start but most of know that it  can be hard to maintain.  Keeping up with reading the scriptures is one of the hardest things to do in our fast-paced life these days.  I’ve found something that might be helpful for everyone.  Setting the bible reading plan as your homepage.  So when you get up in the morning to check your email or whatever, what is going to be the first thing to pop up on your browswer?… Yes, the bible.

YouVersion at has some good ones: has various bible reading plans: (I’m using this daily lectionary version).

News of my family’s life-changes

Grace and peace to readers of the New Epistles blog.  It’s been a while since my last blog post. In this month of November, our family has been undergoing a big life-change. We have moved to new place (Brampton, Ontario located in the Greater Toronto Area). This change was stressful at first but we are getting used to it. There are different things to deal with: new environment, new home, planning on a new school for our daughter, new church, new working relationships, etc. We have been finding ways to cope with the new changes of living in a new place and getting to know new faces and names. Such life changes are never easy so I have empathy for anyone who has gone through this.

The reason for our move is that I’ve taken on a new call in a new congregation and denomination. I’ve moved from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada to the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec. This means some different ways to “doing” church. At the outset, it may also seem like different ways of “thinking” church, but for me personally, it won’t be that different since my spirituality is rooted in evangelicalism. There will be some things I will definitely miss (e.g., Apostles’ Creed, church seasons, etc.).

On a sub-note, we will be recognizing the start of Advent with the lighting of the advent candles this coming Sunday (which I learned was a recent tradition that was started in this congregation about four years ago). It may even be addressed by someone one of these Sundays during our childrens’ talk (if not by myself).  This Sunday, I will be preaching on Isaiah 64:1-9  and will be titled: “We are the work of God’s Hands”.  I hope to challenge my congregation to think of God’s work in our lives as a vital necessity in our spiritual lives.

The theological language between the two churches may be a little different but through my years worshiping and growing in the Lutheran Church and evangelical churches, I feel that I’ve have been stretched. My wide exposure and experience have challenged me to use theological-speak without losing the crux of the theological idea. I have found that being trained in various ecclesiologies and theologies has broadened my scope of ministry methods. It has enabled me to become more versatile in ministry, leadership, and in communicating the gospel, and sometimes, find myself searching for different ways to bridge the gap of understanding.

I am sure there are many other Christians who have traveled between various denominations. There differences may seem big at first, but as one becomes accustomed to the differences, they seem to shrink as time goes by.

Anyone else out there who has, or is, going through similar life-changes?

Might be going minimalist

I occasionally run into a few blogs that are life-changing. Here are a couple by the same author on minimalism that has just influenced me to think about making a change in my life.  It fits well with, and lends to my previous post (or rant) on materialism. To me, this is kind of a spiritual issue in life.