Is Fat Sin? (Part 1)

Posted: July 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

Part 1: Is Fat Sin?

Jon Goodwin's Blog

Recently God convicted me in a very real way that I needed to change my ways. He revealed to me that some of my lifestyle choices were harming me and in turn could harm those He had called me to lead. He showed me that food was a problem.

In case you are wondering, the answer is no! I am not morbidly obese. However, I stood on the scale four months ago and saw a number that scared me. I have slowly been putting on weight for the last ten years and the weight is directly tied with my own personal discipline. Discipline in regards to food choice, food portion and exercise.

As a pastor, I find myself sitting in a chair quite often. I sit to study. I sit to counsel. I sit to email. I sit to read. I sit to talk on the phone. I sit to…

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I ended my post yesterday with the following question: “What are the spiritual implications of neglecting one’s body (and at times abusing it)?

Four things (not necessarily in order of importance) came to my mind rather quickly as I considered the above question: (1) Health, (2) Disrespect, (3) Example and (4) Sin.

Each one of these four points quickly became points of conviction in my life. Points of conviction placed in my heart by the Holy Spirit. Points that I realized could no longer be ignored. God was telling me to stop blaming my age, the fact that I spend much of my day at a desk, my slowing metabolism, and a whole host of others things as excuses. It was time to stop just acknowledging my convictions but to start living them out. The message was a very clear one in my heart: Jon, stop just preaching about discipline…start exemplifying it. In other words, practice what you preach and stop being a hypocrite.

The convictions that God placed on my heart were so convicting that I have been forced to dramatically change several things in my life over the last several months. Types of food I eat, types of food I don’t eat, how much food I eat, things I will drink, disciplining myself in various kinds of exercise were all changes that have occurred.

As a disclaimer, I wish to state that I am fully aware that some face health problems that cause weight gain and have legitimate things in their lives that affect their bodies in a very real way that they cannot help. I am not writing about those who struggle with that. Rather, I wish to share the work that God has done in my heart and in turn hope that it will be a blessing to others. I am writing about me; not you.

My next four posts will examine the spiritual implications of not taking care of my body: Health, Disrespect, Example and Sin. My prayer is that it will be a blessing to you but at the same be a means to hold me accountable as I seek to live a life that is pleasing to my Savior.

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Recently God convicted me in a very real way that I needed to change my ways. He revealed to me that some of my lifestyle choices were harming me and in turn could harm those He had called me to lead. He showed me that food was a problem.

In case you are wondering, the answer is no! I am not morbidly obese. However, I stood on the scale four months ago and saw a number that scared me. I have slowly been putting on weight for the last ten years and the weight is directly tied with my own personal discipline. Discipline in regards to food choice, food portion and exercise.

As a pastor, I find myself sitting in a chair quite often. I sit to study. I sit to counsel. I sit to email. I sit to read. I sit to talk on the phone. I sit to eat. Then Sunday comes, I stand up in front of the congregation and preach discipline. Yet all the while, clearly demonstrating to those who listen, by my growing gut, that I had not been practicing discipline in my own life.

So the question that started to plague my mind was this: what are the spiritual implications of neglecting one’s body (and at times abusing it)?

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Four Responses To Christmas

Posted: December 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

I wrote this back in 2010…Enjoy these thoughts on Christmas.

Jon Goodwin's Blog

Luke chapter 2 is read in most churches around the country at some point during the week of Christmas. I remember many times as a child hearing my father read this chunk of Scripture either on Christmas day or on Christmas Eve. I would like to suggest during this Christmas season that you don’t just read the Scripture but respond to the Scripture.
There are four responses I would encourage you to pursue as you go through the holiday season. Three of these responses are things we see from the shepherds and one of them is from Mary.
Response #1 Make seeing Jesus a priority

“Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and SEE this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” –Luke 2.16

I am sure you recall how the shepherds were out tending sheep only to be treated to a heavenly choir concert…

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I was considering the family of God and recalled this post that I wrote quite some time ago…

Jon Goodwin's Blog

MY KIDS

I am the proud father of three beautiful children.  Kaitlyn is 7, Matthew is 5, and my youngest just turned three.  It is hard to describe the depth of love I have for these three kids.  I don’t think I could adequately describe it on paper.  Anything that I could say, would fall short.  They are part of me.  They affect my every decision.  My wife and I have sacrificed much for our kids:  time, money, sleep, and at times sanity.

My wife has a full time job.  She stays at home with our kids and invests into them every day.  She and I choose to have less so that our kids can have more.  It isn’t as though she is unqualified to pursue work outside the home.  It is quite the opposite.  Jen has a professional degree from a good college.  She is a very gifted person…

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Day 4 of Daily Musings

Posted: July 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

Contemplating freedom on this Independence Day the thought hit me… Isn’t it ironic that in order for one to experience true freedom that they first must be owned by another?

1 Corinthians 6.20 “you have bought with a price.”

Choices: You cannot always guarantee success, but you can almost always guarantee failure. -Me

Are you choosing success or failure?

I was sitting in my office today contemplating kingdom work and this thought came to mind. Agree? Disagree?

“I believe the heart of Christ is more in reaching the hurting than coddling the offended.” – Me

Thoughts?

Day 1 of Daily Musings

Posted: July 2, 2013 in Daily Musings

This is something I shared with somebody yesterday. I am curious what your thoughts are on this statement.

“I have become very convicted that the church must be more of a beacon of light to the community than a buffet line for Christians.” -Me

Pastoring a church has its unique challenges and none are more challenging that at times acting as the HR department. I have been called upon to put out fires, confront, remove people from ministry and at times serve as referee. I do not wish to just focus on the negative. For while there are negatives there is something so rewarding about working with so many who have such beautiful servants hearts. I am truly a blessed man.

While I sit and contemplate what is the most important thing when it comes allowing someone to serve in a service position I have settled on four items. This is by no means exhaustive but things that are necessary nonetheless.

1. Ability- I do not believe that everybody is suited for every ministry. Sometimes we need to say no, that’s not for you. Churches are great at plugging holes with warm bodies. They then wonder why ministries don’t work. I believe if God is in a ministry that He has provided all the correct pieces of the puzzle. Unfortunately we often mismanage these pieces and try to put them where they just don’t fit. Make sure ability lines up with the need. Saying no now is easier than removing someone that has been in a position.

In Mark 5 Jesus cast demons out a man that has been referred to as the Gerasene Demoniac. This man had lived among the tombs and after he encountered Christ he was a changed man. We are told he begged Jesus to let him accompany Him. Jesus told him. Instead this man was told to go do a different ministry.

2. Availability- If people are to serve in a church setting they must be people who are faithful. If someone is unwilling to show up to church when they do not have to “perform” their ministry then they clearly are in the performance. If someone is not committed to service and to church then they are the wrong person. I believe each church has to define this. Create a timeline and be aware of those being considered for a position a watch how faithful they are. If a skilled person does not come to church more than once a month then they should not even be considered. I believe that a faithful person will rise to the service. If you are constantly asking, “hey where is ___________” then chances are they ought not be in a service position. They need to be told “figure out how to be faith and then we will figure out how to plug you in.”

In Matthew 19 we find a narrative a man that has been referred to as the Rich Young Ruler. He essentially came to Jesus and said, “Here I am, I want to follow you.” Jesus did not respond in a manner that was pleasing to the man, so the man left. Just because someone is available does not mean they are ready or the right person.

3. Actions- How somebody conducts themselves is a huge deal. Nothing will hurt a church more than having a compromiser up on the platform acting holy. There must a consistent life present that can be seen not just in church but in everyday life. People who are engaged in immoral relationships should not be on a platform leading worship! If they have availability and ability we cannot overlook the obvious. It never ceases to amaze me how a church is willing to bypass God’s standards for their servants because they have a glaring need in the church. There would appear to be a severe lack of faith when we say God can provide for our needs but do not believe that if we uphold His standards that we will survive.

The writer of James tells us that we are show our faith by our works. Just as we can show off our faith by doing we can show off our lack of faith by doing. We do not want people from our community shocked that the worship leader is a Christian. His actions should show that even when he is not on the platform at church.

4. Attitude- Malicious grumpy people will do nothing but pull apart a team. These people at times are hard to spot because they tend to crack under pressure. They have ability, are available and appear to be doing the right thing with their actions yet something happens when they don’t get their own way. Bad attitudes will not just be frustrating for those working with them but will stop other volunteers from stepping forward. It is amazing that this is often overlooked and that churches often offer an inordinate amount of grace towards those who show no grace to anyone else. It is better to remove one bad attitude than to lose five good attitude people that can’t handle grumpy pants. This is one item I would actually take a step further though. If the individual that is being considered for ministry is married to a chronic complainer that appears not to like people I would consider that a huge red flag. I have known pastors, worship leaders, deacons, elders, and others in ministry that had their ministries hindered in a huge way because of their spouses. Attitudes will typically do one of two things: they will attract or repel. The last thing I want to see happen in my church is that new people are repelled by those who think their spiritual gift is de-edification.

Scriptures abound in regards to that which proceeds from one’s mouth. It is not hard to tell whether or something is acceptable and unacceptable. Then again, when we are with other believers who are fellow servants in our church we should not have to police attitudes and words. The Holy Spirit is the convicter and this is His job. Therefore if they are not convicted clearly there is a deeper spiritual issue present.

In conclusion, I would add that we must seek God’s face when looking for servants. Filling a position in a church can never be more important than honoring God. We owe to Christ to do it right.