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Hey, this is the personal and professional site for Jay Winters, Lutheran pastor and campus minister. I'd love to hear from you, so comment or email me ( jay @ jwinters.com ) or use one of the icons below.

[The crisis of pastoral care in Luther’s day came about because pastors] had little idea of how the gospel might make a difference in people’s lives.

The Genius of Luther’s Theology, Kolb & Arand

Posted on Tuesday, September 9th 2014

What makes us genuinely human in relationship to other human creatures is our performance of the works of love, which God designed.

The Genius of Luther’s Theology, Kolb & Arand

Posted on Thursday, September 4th 2014

By repentance Luther meant a life lived out in the rhythm that God set in motion through his baptismal Word of life.

The Genius of Luther’s Theology, Kolb & Arand

Posted on Wednesday, September 3rd 2014

Luther believed that the church of his youth had played power games that obscured the simple truth of Christ’s victory over evil through death and resurrection.

The Genius of Luther’s Theology, Kolb & Arand

Posted on Tuesday, September 2nd 2014

What does love look like?

What does love look like? Physical: kisses, hugs, cuddles, etc. Mental: imaginations of what things will/could be like, plans made to delight, commitment, etc. Emotional: tears, butterflies, smiles, etc. Financial: no bill too big, save for it, rescue, etc. Probably more. 

Is this what church looks like?

Posted on Tuesday, August 26th 2014

Where’s your microwave?

When I was working my way through the Seminary, I worked for an upscale catering and banquet company.  When we were at our own facilities, there would be times when a parent with little kid in tow would walk up to me with a bottle of milk and ask, “can we use your microwave to warm this up?”

I had to tell them, “Uhmn…well…you see, about that…we don’t have one.” The same goes for many restaurants that you would pay good money to eat at.  If you ask the maitre d “where’s your microwave”, he’ll probably look at you a little funny and say, “we don’t have one.”  

The reason that people choose not to have a microwave is because they care about quality more than convenience. A microwave in a 5 star restaurant tells you that they aren’t going to hold on to those stars for very long.

Often times, churches have microwaves in their buildings. I’m not necessarily talking about literal microwaves, but things that display that this church has given up on quality for the sake of convenience. What are those things at your church?  Where’s your microwave?

Posted on Thursday, August 14th 2014

Islamic State news - not just for conservatives anymore

I get it. I, too, roll my eyes when I see someone sharing “news” from some site called “rightwingersareawesome.com” or “christianityrules.org”. That is not necessarily because these sites don’t pander to my own political and religious viewpoints —- in fact, they usually do. But I spent too much of my parents’ money at a “liberal arts college” to harbor an inane paranoia of “the liberal media”.  In addition, while at that liberal arts college, I took a journalism class, and frankly what I’ve witnessed lately is that few are quite as “liberal” in their usage of the term “fact” as conservative media outposts as of late.

And so, because of that bias and because I was on vacation, I largely ignored much of the ramping news about the Islamic State crisis in Syria and Iraq. That was until today, and I took some time to read up. Thanks to a few folks who responded to my facebook inquiries about legit stories about the issue, I became knowledgeable about the subject in about 30 minutes via reliable sources including CNN, Telegraph.co.uk, BBC, and Al Jazeera.  Wait.  Add to “knowledgeable”: “horrified”, “angered”, and at least “aghast”. 

I’ve always thought the United States was pitiable in their perception of world news stories. The nation has a bit of a Pearl Harbor/9-11 predilection: If it doesn’t reach our shores, it doesn’t really matter. And frankly, it is doubtful that the Islamic State ever will.  However, that doesn’t change the facts that:

  • People are being told that they must leave their homes or pay a tax to remain in them, with the enviable option of…death.
  • Al Qaeda, notorious anti-Western terrorist group, is distancing itself from the Islamic State and saying, “woah woah woah, you guys need to chill a little…”
  •  Innocents aside, numerous people are being killed in warfare daily

I’m posting this with a title that I hope draws in my “liberal” leaning political friends, but I actually hope that no matter who you are and what your politics involve - that you take the following steps with me:

  • Tomorrow is Sunday, bring up the Islamic State violence in your prayers
  • Read good news sources and share good news sources on your social media feed
  • Conversely, don’t share sensationalistic crap, which will only serve to deaden the nerves of those who need to actually hear what is happening
  • Donate to a cause that you feel is appropriate, and search until you find that cause
  • Talk about this at dinner with your family

No matter who you are. This is a problem.  Let’s address it together as such.

Posted on Saturday, August 9th 2014