Sunday, April 19, 2020

Physical & Spiritual Trim

So many things I'd like to say "right at the start," but I don't know which ones to actually start with.

  • Nothing I can do makes me more (or less) a child of my heavenly father.
  • It is possible for me to be more spiritually healthy than I currently am, and the converse is true.

Today is a Sunday morning, Happy Sunday!  I woke up this morning wanting to know how my friends and family are doing in regards to keeping their spiritual fitness.  It's not that I'm worried, but I know that it's easier to keep physically fit when there are classes to go to and a gym routine that people can ... go to.  In this time of COVID-19 stay-at-home, people aren't going to gyms or yoga classes, and they're not herding their families out the door to go to church, either.

I remember a comedian from my youth saying "You are what you eat.  You know, if you eat fat, greasy food, you'll grow to be a fat, greasy dude."  And obviously that's partly true--what you become is in some ways dictated by what you INTAKE.

This is Chris Hemsworth, the Marvel superhero Thor.  Photo on right is from Endgame, where Thor has let himeself "go to seed."

So, what are you doing to stay spiritually fit?  And part of that answer is going to be what you are taking in.

My answers to the question include:

  • I'm reading a book that I recommended to a teenager who is prepping to go to the middle east in ministry.  He contacted me recently and asked if there were any ONE book to recommend that he read, what would it be.  I was glad to buy a copy of Ignite for him, and now we're keeping pace with each other as we read through it.
  • I'm listening to Tim Mackie's My Strange Bible podcast and really enjoying it.  I had to listen twice to his Hell/Heaven 4-part series from 2017 because it presents a Biblical view so different from the imagery used in the evangelical mainstream.  If it's heresy, it's good heresy.
  • When we sit down to watch a superhero movie or British baking TV show (junkfood for the brain), we try to give ourselves something useful to watch, too.  Like the Bible Project videos, for example, but there are lots of options for something quick to watch that lifts our minds and spirits.
Hey, it's not just about what you're taking in that makes you trim or not.  The muscle-bound Thor doesn't get that physique by eating right alone.  What also matters is what you're DOING with faith.  But that's going to have to be another blog post.  For now, what are you taking in that helps you keep spiritually fit?


  1. If your kids are old enough to answer for themselves, would you adults type their answers for us, too? Kids, what spiritual food are YOU eating to be healthy?

  2. I'm always mindful that what I take in is going to be what I'm musing about throughout the day. If I notice my thoughts circulating on unhelpful things, I make a conscious choice to give my thoughts something better to feed on. Taking in the Bible directly (not just through sources talking about the Bible) is something I especially like to do right before I sleep. Also, several people I admire and respect have recommended the Chosen series about the first disciples of Christ, so I've begun watching that.

  3. "In one experiment, researchers gave participants a task that involved unscrambling sentences. One group was given sentence-scrambles involving words that related to rudeness, such as “aggressive,” “annoying,” and “intrude,” while a second group was given sentence-scrambles involving words that had to do with politeness, such as “honor,” “considerate,” and “sensitive.”

    When the participants were sent into another laboratory to wait to perform a second task, they encountered a staged scene in which a researcher attempted to explain the sentence-unscrambling task to a struggling participant. The group that had been primed with the concept of politeness waited 9.3 minutes on average before interrupting, and the group that had been primed with the
    concept of rudeness waited for only 5.5 minutes (Ariely 213-214)."


    Knowing that what we're "primed" with can so greatly determine our behavior ... what are we priming ourselves with? It's important.


Thanks for commenting! ~Pastor Tim