Category Archives: Baptismal Wellness

Humility and Baptismal Wellness!

Reading time: two minutes.

The holy season of Lent is now just a week away.  I know you’ve been in preparation for this time for many, many weeks, even before Christmas.  Shepherds of God’s flock are also members of that flock, little lambs dressed up in shepherd’s clothing.

It’s so important that as we are leading God’s people on their Lenten journey to the cross, we also make the journey.  Lent is to be a time not just of extra effort, more sermons and services to prepare; it’s also a time for our own meditation on the cross of Jesus. Continue reading

The Incarnation: A Baptismal Difference Maker!

Reading time: two minutes.

When we pray, “Lord, have mercy,” do you think the Lord can really relate?  I mean, we cry out in our weakness, “Help, Lord.  Save me!” but what does He know about stress and anxiety?

That’s the great thing about Christmas and the Incarnation of Jesus.  He became flesh for us, and He really does understand.

For the next few weeks, during Advent and into Epiphany, we’ll explore very briefly how the Incarnation of Jesus into this human life of ours makes a difference, spiritually, physically, emotionally, all the way around The Lutheran Wellness Wheel. Continue reading

Favorite Wellness Scriptures: Aaron’s Blessing!

Reading time: two minutes.

Pastors sometimes feel, “I bless everybody, but I could sure use a blessing myself!”

Part of fending off the dangers of compassion fatigue is finding a place to get blessed once in a while.  Now that I’m out of regular parish ministry, I find myself treasuring the absolutions and benedictions I’m receiving.  When I was dishing them out, I didn’t always recognized how much I needed them myself.

I love, “The Lord… be gracious to you” in Numbers 6, especially in this week of Sola Gratia, but there’s so much to cherish in the blessing God instructed Aaron to place on the people of Israel.

Read on for a couple more quick thoughts on Numbers 6:22-27! Continue reading

“You Might Be In Trouble If…” Baptismal Edition

Reading time: two minutes.

Let’s look at the Lutheran Wellness Wheel in eight weeks through the lens of potential warning signs of an imbalanced life.

Our brief definition of Baptismal Wellness reads, “As I grow in God’s grace of Baptismal LOVE, I am finding joy in my IDENTITY as His new creation in Christ.”

Our three warning signs this week center around the words “stuck,” “worried,” and “criticized.”

That sounds awful, but unfortunately, all too familiar.  Let’s take a look! Continue reading

Baptismal Wellness for Churches in One Word: “New”!

Reading time, two minutes.

God’s Word is so powerful that even one little word of Scripture can change everything.  Ephesians 4 is an unending source of wisdom for our life together in the body of Christ.  As I review the Lutheran Wellness Wheel once again over the next eight weeks, I’m going to focus on just one word from Ephesians per topic.

This week’s word shows up twice: “…to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self” (Eph. 4:23-24).

One difference between the old self and the new is joy.  The old nature grieves over hurt and loss.  The new nature rejoices in the life that springs from death.  Churches are continually in need of reasons to rejoice.  Here’s how I believe baptismally healthy congregations live by joy! Continue reading

A Good Baptismal Wash!

Reading time: two minutes.

It’s water season.  Life-giving water season.  April showers bring May flowers.  (By the way, do you know what May flowers bring?)  The rivers and streams are full in most places this time of year.  No sprinklers necessary quite yet.

Let’s walk through the Lutheran Wellness Wheel with water analogies in mind.  I hope these next eight reflections will give you another handle to use to assess your wellness.  Let’s begin with Baptismal Wellbeing, and a good wash! Continue reading

Easter Week: Celebrate, Pastor!

Reading time: two minutes.

Christ Is Risen! That’s reason to shout and sing.  For all the pastors reading this, I want you to know that I have been praying for your Easter celebration, hoping that you would be not just a worship leader, but a worshipper.

I remember an interview with Jim Bakker after he was jailed for the PTL scandal of the 1980’s.  When asked, “What happened?” he replied, “We were so busy doing the Lord’s work, we forgot about the Lord.”

I guess that’s an occupational hazard any time of year, but it’s especially dangerous in our busiest time.  Let me throw out a few suggestions for your Post-Easter-Recovery-Regrouping time in this week after the great celebration you helped lead. Continue reading