Experience Health & Joy

Weekly Blog

A Prayer for Baptismal Wellbeing

Praying time: less than three minutes. Baptismal renewal is a privilege for us moment by moment throughout the course of every day.  I pray for you every day.  I hope this prayer might be your own! Holy, blessed, eternal God, You shine with the light of glory.  The flaming seraphs who are always before Your throne  fade and diminish in comparison to You, their Creator.  My brothers Peter, James and John glimpsed a reflection of Your glory in the face of my Savior, Jesus, and they fell face down, terrified.  Holy, Holy, Holy is Your name, O Lord. Read More

He Saves me, and Saves me, and Saves Me Some More

Written by:  Dcs. Heidi Goehmann Jesus is a once and for all kind of God.  He tells us in His Word that the battle is over, the fight has been won.  The cross paid the full price for our sin.  The resurrection gave us eternal life.  It is finished, it is done (See Romans 8:37-39, John 16:33) But he's also an every day kind of God, a not quite done with me God.  (See Philippians 1:4-6, 2 Timothy 4: 6-8) We are still in this race, still slapping our armor on each day.  He is still working out His plan on our lives, every day. In ministry life, we are intensely aware of this.  We get a first hand glimpse into pictures all around us of God working out His salvation in His people.  What a ministry blessing, that I for one, so easily take for granted. 2 Samuel 22 is filled with David's words of exultation and thanksgiving for God's salvation.  This beautiful testimony to God's saving action in our lives is repeated again in Psalm 18.  And it is indeed worthy of repeat.  Let's read at least 2 Samuel 22:1-7.  Feel free to look up the whole chapter.  It's beautiful! "And David spoke to the LORD the words of this song on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.  He said, "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence.  I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.  "For the waves of death encompassed me, the torrents of destruction assailed me, the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.  "In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I called.  From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry came to his ears." David was miraculously saved from Saul's torment of him, through an enemy.  God's ways of rescue and salvation are ceaselessly amazing.  He used a manger and a cross to save us.  Who would have seen that coming? Read More

Financial Wellbeing and 1 Chronicles 29

Reading time: less than 3 minutes. This is our last stop on our current tour: What's a Scripture that epitomizes the eight aspects of wellness depicted in the Lutheran Wellness Wheel? Peter and David are such beloved characters because they display in their lives both the best of a walk of faith and the worst.  We love them because they are like us.  Flawed. Toward the end of his life, David had one of those episodes where he showed us again what it means to be a man after God's own heart.   Read More

Finding a Lutheran Perspective of the Proverbs 31 Women

Written by: Dcs. Heidi Goehmann Lately, for one of our online Bible studies, I've been studying the word Excellent.  Interestingly enough, in my Biblical search of the word excellent, Proverbs 31 kept popping up.  Interesting because it's for a women's Bible study (convenient), and interesting because I avoid the passage at all costs. Proverbs 31, any proverb really, is a minefield, for the Bible study writer, in my opinion.  Proverbs is wisdom literature, which means it is helpful, insightful even, but isn't meant to be always and never.  I don't need to get up at 4am and sell yarn in the marketplace to be a wife of noble character (v. 13-15, interpreted by Heidi, tongue in cheek).  Wisdom literature is intended to do just that - impact some broad wisdom.  think of it like talking to an older and wiser mentor women from church.  You thank God for her and discern her thoughts and ideas, but  your situation may not exactly line up with her suggestions and that's ok.  Complicate all of that with the inerrancy of God's Word and "ta-da!" - minfield. However, the Proverbs 31 women, is indeed called excellent.  More than once!  Let's read together.  Don't get wrapped up in it  yet.  Just let the words flow from the page and sit a bit. Proverbs 31:10-31: An excellent wife who can find?  She is far more precious than jewels.  The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.  She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.  She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.  She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar.  She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.  She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.  She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.  She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.  Her lamp does not go out at night.  She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.  She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.  She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.  She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.  Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.  She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant.  Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.  She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.  She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:  "Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all."  Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord Is to be praised.  Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. Read More

Physical Wellbeing and Daniel 1

Reading time: less than 3 minutes To paraphrase Will Rogers, I never met a cookie I didn't like. It's a sugar thing and it's a stress management thing, but ultimately, it's a spiritual matter for me that I'm so quick to seek comfort in sweets.  When I'm behind in my work, when I've got a confrontation with someone coming, when I'm criticized (either rightly or wrongly), when my mood is down or when I haven't taken time out to plan for a decent meal, my "go to" is a handful of cookies.  Sugar, fat, mouth, comfort.  It's a simple formula. The Fruit of the Spirit is self-control, and clearly God is not finished with me yet.  I'm still learning to find comfort and joy first and foremost in the gift of baptismal grace. I'm glad there's grace surrounding the cookie jar, too! Read More

Our 2016 Retreats Are Gearing Up!!! Stay Tuned….

Please continue to check back on our Calendar for 2016 Updated Retreat information!  We have been trying to keep our Professional Church Workers, Donors and Subscribers up to date with the latest information as we prepare to announce and add upcoming retreats for the 2016 season.  The generosity of people… Read More

Vocational Wellbeing and Ephesians 6

Reading time: less than three minutes. Balancing the tension between humility and hubris in our calling is not easy, but when done well, it can lead to what I think is the most important marker of vocational wellbeing: Joy in Ministry. Ephesians 6:7 serves as this week's "top Scripture for the Lutheran Wellness Wheel" series, our reflections recently.  Paul says, "Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men" (NIV). Humility is understanding that I am no more than a servant, the master of none. Hubris is understanding that I serve as the anointed representative of the Almighty God, who is Master of all. It's in balancing that tension that the joy of ministry comes. Read More

Emotional Wellbeing and Genesis 50

Reading time: less than three minutes. There's a collective wisdom among brothers, or at least, there should be.  I've got three brothers.  None of us is a genius of any sort, but between the four of us, I bet we could work our way through just about any life situation.  Before my parents died, I think they felt pretty confident that our family would do just fine after their passing. I think Jacob felt that way about his sons, but maybe even more so because of his son Joseph.  As we work our way through Scripture passages that exemplify each of the aspects of wellness depicted in the Lutheran Wellness Wheel, the story of Joseph and his brothers says "Emotional Health" to me. Joseph knew how to clear the emotional atmosphere through gracious, undeserved forgiveness.  That's emotional wellbeing, and we could all use a good dose of it. Read More

My Husband the Preacher

Written by:  Dcs. Heidi Goehmann "...And how will they hear without someone preaching?" My husband was preaching Sunday on THIS day being from the Lord.  This day being an opportunity to focus on Him.  Each day being filled with joys and sorrows that remind us of His mercy and grace, and His love in our lives.  He must have said "this day" about 50 times in his message. The sermon wasn't necessarily more exceptional than others, but a new thought dawned on me... Every Sunday I go to church.  Sometimes with bells on, and sometimes reluctantly, I admit.  It's a workout, with four kiddos who each need something different, need to be in different places, or who just have needs.  There are a million people to see and check in on each Sunday.  It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the life of the church, blessed by it truly, but overwhelmed by it. Sunday, I sat in my pew and listened to my husband's message.  The message sat in my heart and God spoke in His Word a new kind of gratefulness to me, in my vocation as pastor's wife. Wow!  This is the day I get to hear the Word from my husband's lips. Read More

The John Eckrich Scholarship Fund

THANK YOU! to our many supporters that raised $40,000 for the John Eckrich Scholarship Fund at our 2015 Gala.  We are delighted to share our sincere thanks to all of you for making the 2015 Gala such a tremendous success! https://www.graceplacewellness.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/John-Eckrich-Sch.-Fund-Video-15.mp4… Read More

Intellectual Wellbeing and 1 Kings 22

Reading time: less than three minutes. Everybody loves a good Jehoshaphat story (almost as much as a good Zerubbabel story!), but there just aren't that many in the Scriptures.  Besides King Jehoshaphat's obituary, there's only one extended story in King's.  It is, however, an excellent example of intellectual wellbeing. Jehoshaphat was curious.  He was interested in learning something from someone else, even if his own preconceived notions might be challenged! Read More