Dr. Michael Layne
Greensburg Daily News
III John 2: "My loved one, it is my prayer that you may do well in all things, and be healthy in body, even as your soul does well."
Much is said about the need to have a healthy body. We watch the blood pressure, sugar levels, take care of hygiene and make sure we are exercising. Right? Well, maybe!
We also hear about the importance of keeping the mind sharp and clear so our thinking processes don't get cluttered. We are aware of episodes of depression. Do we take advantage of what's available for us to keep a sharp, clear mind? I hope so.
Then we come to the part of us that we don't see. Our Spirit. The innermost part of us that is tightly connected to God or so I hope. If you have doubts about your connection with God, it's time for a spiritual checkup. However, that is one of the least attended to elements of our lives.
Statisticians tell us the generation X'ers (children of Baby Boomers) do not attend church as their parents did or even the way they did as children growing up in a home where church was a regular part of their life. Many people of that generation see no need whatsoever of attending church. Has the church failed in its mission to reach out to families?
There are many churches that provide programs for the entire family in order to keep them interested in church. My take on it is this: Let's make sure those people are experiencing a relationship with Jesus Christ, teach the doctrine of the church, practice the faith and exude the love which Christ has poured into the church.
We try to find ways to attract people to our various churches and I believe it is important to first of all show the love of Christ. A few short years ago I visited a church where the pastor had been a friend of mine for quite a while. Near the end of the Sunday School class a man and woman walked in. They stepped into the aisle of the pew where I was sitting and the woman asked me, in a loud voice, "Would you move over? That's my cushion and that's where I sit."
Of course I moved over, way over, and it was a bit uncomfortable for the rest of the service. How many times have we seen or been party to that kind of attitude? I hope never, but the reality is, it's probably happening more often than not. The Bible says, "If you want to have friends, show yourself friendly."
If you attend church I would like for you to take a moment, after you have read this column, to survey your attitude and demeanor toward others in your congregation whether they are regular attendees or visitors. Are you providing an attitude, which sets the tone of the atmosphere, that is positive, friendly and accepting? If not, ask God to help you with this.
If you don't attend church on a regular basis, why not? Have you been hurt? Are you blaming God for some of His children having bad manners? I am sorry if that is the case. Not every church does things the same way and I know many Pastors who spend time cultivating good habits of friendliness and care in their parishioners.
I know some of the people who read this column because you have seen me out and about town and have told me how much you enjoy reading it.
At the same time, I don't know all who read this paper, so I want you to know God really wants a relationship with you. If you have established that relationship with the Lord, I pray you are doing all you can to be a model of His love and care. If you do not maintain a relationship with the Lord I say the same to you, God really desires a relationship with you. Not just a relationship where you call on Him in the time of your need, but a positive, life changing relationship where others take notice that something about you has changed. That's usually not because all of a sudden you have a halo over your head, but you begin to project a different attitude about life and your surrounding.
Want more information about life change? Call me or send me an email. The information is at the end of this column. Do you want to prosper in Spirit, Mind and Body? Start with SOUL prosperity and everything else will fall into place.
In a few weeks at the Ministry and Media Center I will be doing a study entitled, "The God Questions." We all have questions about God, our relationship with Him and why things happen as they do. Got Questions? This will be a great time to ask and listen. I'll tell you more about it later.
Michael Layne, PhD, ThD, is a Bishop in the Lutheran Orthodox Church, author and broadcaster. He may be reached at 812-662-5154 or through www.faithandcourage.net.