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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The Life of the Body: Physical Well-Being and Spiritual Formation

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The body is the temple of God and must be treated with tender loving care and respect. Jesus had a body just like us, and he models ways for us to live "more fully integrated in body and heart." That is the premise of this Christian resource by Valerie E. Hess, coordinator of music ministries for Trinity Lutheran Church in Boulder, Colo., and Lane M. Arnold, a spiritual director.

Wise stewardship of our body means paying close attention to what we eat, the amount of exercise we do, our sleep patterns and our physical maintenance. Hess and Arnold call self-care a godly activity and issue a challenge to us to try to engage our bodies in both corporate worship and private prayer. We get a sense from them how important our flesh is as they delve into a theology of food, cultural messages about the body, the ache of suffering and pain, the need to have a wellness plan and more.

Hess and Arnold have given added value to the book with four appendixes, including a study guide and "Holy Habits for the Whole Body" (IVP Press).


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