Experience Health & Joy

Weekly Blog

Summer Shape Up #4: Health Screenings!

Reading time: two minutes. Grace Place Wellness is essentially a preventive wellness ministry.  Our intention is that church Dr. John Eckrich, Founder workers would serve long, vibrant careers in ministry and that no one would ever leave a life of ministry because of stress-related illness, burnout, relational, emotional or spiritual issues.  Our mission is "to nurture vitality and joy in ministry by inspiring and equipping church workers to lead healthy lives." Some of this preventive wellness stuff is simple:  GET YOUR COLON CHECKED!  Okay, there's a little more to it than that, but read on for my top ten health screenings to take care of with a short comment on each. Read More

Just Show Up

Written by:  Dcs. Heidi Goehmann My friend Rachel started a small book group at a local coffee shop.  We met for the first time to talk about Christmas books.  It was a random choice and I truly believed it would be just her and me, chatting at the coffee shop, but then something wonderful happened... People showed up. I went home excited and came back the next month with my book in tow, But I steeled myself, again ready for a chat session between just her and I.  I mean, once was nice, but surely no one would show up a second time??? That would be crazy talk, right? Then it happened, again.  People showed up. Read More

Summer Shape Up #3: Lifting!

Reading time: two minutes. When we get to heaven and try to explain to all of our new friends, from every age around the globe, how we spent our days here on earth, I have an idea they might be confused.  "Wait.  Explain that again.  You spent the day in a little cubicle moving your fingers around, and you called it 'Work'?  Is that right?"  "Well," we might say, "We called it a 'career station,' but, yeah, that's pretty much it." Except for early childhood teachers and camp directors, I don't know too many professional church workers who have a lot of physical effort connected with their jobs.  Okay, the pastor of a mission-start who sets up tables and chairs a few times a week might qualify. Most of us are not fully utilizing these amazing bodies that God designed for strenuous, physical labor to the extent of keeping them fit, toned and at top capacity.  Read on for my top reasons for strength training and a couple of quick tips. Read More

“Vocation and Wellness: Renew Your Energy For Christian Living”

A book by John D. Eckrich, M.D. called “Vocation and Wellness:  Renew Your Energy For Christian Living” is now published and available at Amazon.com for purchase. Is your job killing you? Workplace challenges, family conflicts, financial tensions, and spiritual crises can leave us feeling emotionally and physically spent. This… Read More

My One Word

Written by:  Dcs. Heidi Goehmann I'm sure that some of you have heard this idea from the internet of choosing one word for your new year.  I've never been especially interested in resolutions, mainly because I can not keep them to save my life. One word...that I can do.  I have no idea where the idea originated, but a few years ago it nestled itself in my heart. It was simple - I mean really, one word.  Not four words, not a whole Bible verse even, one word. It was doable.  Actually, the irony was that nothing really needed to be done with this idea.  I wasn't accosted by guilt at unfulfilled resolutions and broken promises.  All you had to do, in my understanding was pick a word for the year and see where that year led. It was Jesus-oriented.  I'm sure people have one word for their year and it has nothing to do with Christ.  But in my mind, this was an opportunity for God to speak into my life in a new way. Something fresh for growing in my Faith.  It allowed me to sit back and wait on Him. So here are my one word choices over the last 4 years. 2012 - less 2013 - brave 2014 - silent 2015 - grace upon grace 2016 - fearlessly wrong Read More

Summer Shape Up, Part 2: Walking!

Reading time: two minutes. Carol and I just got back from our morning walk.  About a half mile from our house, we met a guy about 15 years younger than us on a morning "jog."  He looked really bad!  He was huffing and puffing noisily, his feet were slapping the pavement, he had an agonized look on his face, and he could only muster up a weak little flip of the wrist as we waved and called, "Morning!" I hope he looked at us and thought, "They seem to be having much more fun than I am!"  Today I'll give you a quick version of what we've learned about fitness walking over the years. I truly believe you can reach almost all of your fitness goals through a brisk daily walk.  Read on!  I'll give you our most important tips about a daily fitness walk. Read More

Forgotten People…The Call Of The Gospel

Written by:  Heidi Goehmann Sunday morning looked about like the usual, rushing and more rushing, throwing a bagel or a baggie of cereal to my children, and doing a fair amount of hollering to get out the door, always five minutes behind.  It is, and probably always will be, controlled chaos trying to get to church.  I walked through the church doors and grimaced at the louder than necessary slam of the church door, while the strains of the first hymn play, my small parade of little ones behind me.  We make it through the children's message without incident, we raise our voices in praise, and then we begin the weekly wrestling match that is the sermon.  I have three small people in my house that can (mostly) listen to the sermon or color quietly.  I have one that requires a great deal of patience, multiple bathroom trips, a bundle of threats upon dessert, and sometimes more than a little heartache. The tears begin to roll down my cheeks.  I feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and in so much of it, very alone.  The last hymn comes and I wipe my eyes quickly.  I paste the smile on my face and cheerily greet my fellow believers in the narthex.  Do you know who I am?  Am I a single mom, the parent of a special needs child, the pastor's wife?  I could be anyone.  The question is...do you know me? The church is full of people silently struggling.  In fact, most of us are struggling with something.  Maybe it's the health of a loved one, our own health, our marriage, finances, job stress, whatever.  We all have junk.  The reality is, though, that it is easier for some members to go by unnoticed.  Maybe it's because they are quiet.  It's easy to shout out an expectation that they should just share their burden, let us help with the load, but there may be reasons we cannot even begin to understand that are holding that person back from getting the care and fellowship they need. Look around you.  Who is sitting in the pews with you that you do not know?  There are hidden shames and struggles that leave people in the margins.  Imagine the margins of a book, or this magazine.  They are blank, yes, but more importantly they are the place where the words don't go.  It is hard for us to find, much less accept, that which we do not know, or even more, where we do not go.  God calls us to go there.  To reach across the aisle to someone. Read More

Summer Shape Up! Healthy Eating!

Reading time: two minutes. It's summer shape-up season!  Our roots as a health and wellness ministry for professional church workers are found in a physicians office, so it seems logical to take a few weeks and turn our focus to physical wellbeing. I typically work my way around the wellness wheel and all eight aspects of wellness.  I'll get back to that in a few weeks.  In this short series, I'll offer some real, practical, down to earth ideas for your physical wellbeing. Let's take a look at the Bible's  take on what healthy eating for the Lord's people looks like! Read More

Preparing for Confirmation

Written by:  Dcs. Heidi Goehmann Our house is a bit of a hub-bub in this season of our lives.  We have four beautiful children, with lots going on.  My husband and I are both professional church workers with our own schedules.  But much of the hub-bub has a little less to do with the everyday and a little more to do with what is to come. We are preparing for confirmation at our house.  Confirmation versus are being picked.  Party ideas are being pinned.  Food, and invitations, and attendees are being selected. At first glance it may seem like a bit much, but we have been preparing for this moment our whole lives, as a family.  We aren't making it a big deal because we want every thing, every party to be bigger and better, which, let's be honest, is kind of our culture in America.  Holidays can't be celebrated casually between a few friends.  There must be crafts and over-the-top food and drinks.  The decorations must be top notch. This planning, though, is for a different reason.  It's not about the cultural expectations, or what people will think.  It's not for the "Ooooo-s" and Aaaah-s."  This party is for our child's moment to proclaim what she has learned, what her foundation is, what Jesus has done and will continue to do and be in her life.  This moment is HUGE, in and of itself. And it deserves to be celebrated as such! My thirteen year old is beautiful - inside and out.  She is a precious child of God.  I know that every mother of a daughter reading this feels exactly the same way. So I would like to take this moment of her confirmation to celebrate that fact.  More than that, to celebrate the beauty of Christ in her. Read More

Risen and Brand New… Financial Wellbeing!

Reading time: two minutes. The last of the Post-Easter reflections on the Lutheran Wellness Wheel.  I've enjoyed this so much because Easter changes the way we think and the way we look at everything in our lives, including money. For a guy who didn't have any, Jesus sure talked a lot about money and possessions.  They say it's the number one subject of the parables, but we all know that the primary subject of the parables is human hearts. I guess that's why Jesus talked about it so much.  He knows where our hearts are. Read More