Are our bodies a temple?

Hamburger bad food I recall visiting India for 10 weeks back in 1998. Back than I used to eat beef, hot dogs and pork and plenty of cola’s to wash it down. I also used to pour sugar in my tea and coffee to make it sweeter. I usually exercise but ate unhealthy foods. After returning to USA from India, I told my wife Denise, I missed hamburgers and I want to get couple of whoppers from Burger King and a large cola drink. I ate those whoppers for couple weeks everyday to satisfy the need. In India many of the Indians do not eat beef or pork due to religious reasons. Hindus respect and worship cow, and the Muslims (Islamic) do not eat pork, because of uncleanliness. When I first arrived US back in 1964 from India (at age 18), I did not have any beef or pork while growing up in India. But, as I settled in US, I ate beef and pork and drank plenty of cola’s for about 42 years, most of my adult life.

Junk food I had excessive cholesterol in my body, and my doctor told me back in 2002 to cut back on red meat and exercise more. I did follow up what my physician told me, and brought down my cholesterol down. I completely stopped eating the beef and pork in 2006, after seeing the movie “Fast Food Nation”. Instead of eating beef, pork and hotdogs, I eat turkey, chicken, fish and eggs. When I mention temple, I am talking about respecting and honoring our bodies as a temple. Do you ever question what happens when we are not healthy and not feeling good in our physical system? Just because the meat is available in plenty and eat plentifully that produce unhealthy results, is that respecting our bodies? I recall drinking diet 7ups constantly for many years, and sugar in my coffee and tea tasted “good”. But, the price many pay with diabetes as they get older?

TV bombards children with ads In “our land of plenty”, many of us indulge in eating “bad” foods without even questioning it. Are we caught up with meat industry and supermarket commercials and neglect our health? Are we so addictive, that without cola’s, we can’t eat our meals at a restaurant or at fast food joints? Are we respecting and honoring our bodies? Food for thought.


Rev. Ernie Martin, The Reverend of Love, Las Vegas


Be prepared – In the moment

Plan A Plan B This afternoon, as I was driving to the storage place to pick up empty suit cases for packing for our upcoming trip to Denver, I received a phone call from the manager of a wedding chapel to officiate a “ceremony”. The call came in at 3pm, and the “ceremony” at the wedding chapel was at 6pm. I accepted to officiate the ceremony. I called my wife Denise while going to the storage place and told her I accepted to officiate the “ceremony”.  I had to come home by 4pm, get my wedding ceremony copy ready from the computer/printer and place it in my folder and my ministry bag. This was my third time this particular chapel called me in, mainly on a stand-by minister basis or as a substitute officiant minister.

I got ready by 5:15pm, suited up, and went to the wedding chapel about 30 minute drive (with some congestion), even though it was more like 10 miles away, close to the Las Vegas strip casinos. The drive should have taken 20 minutes, without the traffic congestion, but, such is life. I reached the wedding chapel and talked to the office manager. She said the party didn’t arrive yet. And I asked her do you have the names of the couple getting married? She replied this is a commitment ceremony, and they are same sex couple. I was “shocked”. And I asked her, men or women. She said two men. I have not officiated a same sex or heterosexual commitment ceremony before. In Nevada, same sex wedding are not legal, but, same sex couples can have commitment partner ceremonies, which does not have legal paper work to file with the court.

Be Prepared So, fortunately I had in my ministry “bag”,  a copy of the commitment ceremony for the same sex couple, which was stashed in a folder some couple years ago, hoping “some day” it would come in handy. I didn’t expect it in matter of minutes to happen.  But, I was expecting to officiate a traditional man woman ceremony this evening, and printed out a copy of the ceremony. The manager  “forgot” to tell me on the phone, it was a same sex commitment ceremony. she went on to say, “I got very busy, and couldn’t call you back”. So, I quickly read the same sex commitment ceremony for myself and the party still didn’t arrive. By 6:15pm, the couples and two guests arrived.

This was my first same sex commitment ceremony in a moments notice at the chapel. I talked with both partners and inquired about where they live (are from Florida) and their spiritual/religious upbringing. They both attend a Christian church. The Commitment ceremony went smooth, and I was relieved.  I got home and told my wife, I was little shocked, because of my expectation for a traditional wedding ceremony. A learning lesson for me: Be in the moment and be prepared for the unexpected.


Ernie Martin, The Reverend of Love, Las Vegas


One’s feelings can change instantly, from joy to sadness

Joy and love My wife and I just celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary on Tuesday. We drove to a hotel near downtown, we both had a wonderful massage, dinner at Freemont Street Experience, walking around Freemont Street in downtown Las Vegas and watch some TV in the room. In all, a joyful and enjoyable evening. Every minute of the wedding anniversary was beautiful and inspirational.

Than, we learned following morning after Denise checked her facebook messages on her cell phone that, one of our friends passed away the previous night at a hospital. She was seriously ill and resided in the hospital for a month. Denise and I knew her from her association in a business networking group for over 15 months. The lady was very spiritual and traveled quite extensively  to Bali, Indonesia and Singapore for religious pilgrimages seminars.

Sadness In matter of less than 12 hours, we went from joy to sadness. It gave a lesson to prepare ourselves to accept joy and sadness, as they come, within a small window of time. This evening, we went to the celebration of life at a yoga center. Many shared the moments of the transitioned lady to eternal life. Things started happening so fast. Just less than 24 hours of her transitioning, there was this celebration of life event. I volunteered to pray in the end. Sort of a closing prayer. It was kind of a closure. We pray the daughter and her family will find comfort and solace.


Ernie Martin, The Reverend of Love, Las Vegas