Experience Health & Joy

Weekly Blog

A God Who Sews

Written by:  Dcs. Heidi Goehmann I have orange pants. They may just be my favorite article of clothing.  I feel like maybe I've talked about them before, so forgive me if you are like, "There she goes with the orange pants again!" I love my orange pants.  They are skinny corduroys.  I love them so much that I brought them to Haiti with me...in August.  Anyone who has had any experience in subtropical climates knows how ridiculous this is.  But I love the pants and couldn't bear to just leave them in a drawer at home.  Ridiculous. I have sewn the pants once.  They got a weird tear by the zipper and they were easily fixed with a needle and some tough thread.  Then there was a small rip in the bottom near the seam, so I stitched that up.  After doing the laundry on Sunday, I notices a new rip near the zipper, so now they are sitting in a prominent place on my dresser, as a reminder to "fix me."  Some pants are worth fixing, you know?  Some things in life are worth sewing. Our God is a God that recognizes the value of sewing.  The value of mending. The earliest act of sewing we find is in Genesis 3.  Read verses 6-13: So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.  7  Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.  And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.  8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?"  10 And he said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself."  11 He said, "Who told you that you were naked?  Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?"  12 The man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate."  13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?"  The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." Read More

When Jesus Appears… In Generosity!

Reading time: two minutes The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25 can get tricky.  Are our good works ("... you fed me, ...you visited me" etc.) the cause of our salvation?  Certainly not.  We often say, "Works are just evidence of saving faith."  Well, yes, but does that do justice to the text?   "Come..., for I was hungry and you fed me" If, as Jeff Gibbs suggests, the parable is connected to the sending of the disciples in Matthew 10, (no extra clothes, no extra money, no extra shoes, facing sickness and persecution) then those who provide support for the bearers of the good news are offering care to the Lord Jesus. I can't speak for my fellow pastors or for educators, but it's pretty humbling to think that those who in faith give generously to pay my salary are credited with saving faith in the gospel I share. When people support me by their gifts, "You did it unto me," Jesus said. Read More

Mending With Words

Written by:  Dcs. Heidi Goehmann Reading Time:  2 minutes Our words matter.  We know it.  We just have a hard time making the transfer from what matters deep down to a life lived in it.  It's the reality of the sinner/saint condition.  We know it.  He helps us move to living it.  It's an imperfect growth process. The Bible speaks all kinds of Truth about our words, which we would be wise to heed.  It also speaks all kinds of grace over every single area of our lives.  Jesus lived perfect, so that we don't have to.  To remain teachable, it is helpful to remember that now I know in part.  He is working on me, every day, every hour, perfecting and discipling, until the day I see His face and know in full (1 Corinthians 13:12). Today I want you to hear a balm of truth held deep in the book of Proverbs 16:18-25 - Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. 19 It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud. 20 Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good. and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. 21 The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness. 22 Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it, but the instruction of fools is folly. 23 The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips. 24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. 25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Let's look at 3 specific pieces of wisdom found in these verses: Read More

When Jesus Appears… In Healing!

Reading time: two minutes. I took the day off yesterday to install a side garage door on my son's house.  I got home last night with a blister, a nasty splinter, sawdust and concrete dust in my nose and eyes, a sore back, a sore neck, really sore feet, I was tired, I was hungry and I smelled bad. After a good night's sleep of eight solid hours (plus a shower and my morning stretch when this blog is done!) I'm ready to go for another day of ministry.  (Two minute pause from writing right here: I dug the rest of that splinter out!) I believe in the healing power of Jesus. Read More

Keeping The Younger Version Of Myself

Written by:  Dcs. Heidi Goehmann Reading Time:  Less than 4 minutes Grace is a living and active part of many of our lives.  God offers it to each of us and the community of God is His very self.  It is so much a part of who He is, that we can not know God and not know Grace. However, applying grace in our lives can be the bigger challenge. I am constantly praying for Grace.  It isn't a justification issue.  I know that grace is fully and freely mine in Christ Jesus.  I confess and am fully and freely forgiven.  I praise and thank Him for the gift of salvation in my life and how that freedom eeks out into every little piece of life lived on this earth.  Rather, it's a sanctification issue. Read More

Boundaries and Margins and the In-Between

Written by:  Dcs. Heidi Goehmann Reading Time: 5 Minutes Boundaries is kind of a buzz word at this point.  My generation (guess how old I am !) has been inundated since college with the lingo of boundaries.  The trouble with boundaries is that they are pretty easy to talk about, slightly harder to define, and much harder to put into practice.  My friend, Ali, reminded me of the newer terminology "margins" which is a little different from hard and fast boundaries. Webster's dictionary defines a boundary as:  something (such as a river, a fence, or an imaginary line) that shows where an area ends and another area begins a point or limit that indicates where two things become different. Or boundaries:  unofficial rules about what should not be done: limits that define acceptable behavior. Whereas, margins are defined as:  The part of a page that is above, below, or to the side of the printed part the place where something (such as a piece of land) stops: the edge of something an extra amount of something (such as time or space) that can be used if it is needed measure or degree of difference. Can you see the difference?  Boundaries are something that you define very clearly.  There is definitely a time for this.  However, margins are a little less defined.  They are important and create space between two people for healthy relationships to exist, but they are a little more fluid.  Note that the definition for margin is a degree of difference.  When we exist in relationship with others we have to constantly be evaluating what is healthy, what is godly, and what is simply not.  Sometimes this is clear cut, and sometimes this is not so clear cut. Read More

2016 St. Louis Concordia Seminary Retreat was a Success!

Grace Place Wellness held the 2016 St. Louis Concordia Seminary Retreat at the Missouri Athletic Club on Feb. 19 – 21.  Rev. Dr. Darrell Zimmerman and Dr. John Eckrich were the facilitators for this much appreciated retreat along with Eustolio Gomez, Director of Worker Resources for Concordia… Read More

When Jesus Appears… In Ministry!

Reading time: two minutes. A few years back, LCMS pastors were gathered into a series of focus groups and asked an intentionally neutral question, "What's it like to be a pastor in the LCMS these days?"  Thirty percent of those in the groups found nothing positive to say.  They only registered their complaints.  A small minority spoke only of the joys of ministry; the rest were mixed. I firmly believe that those pastors and educators who do not regularly experience joy in their ministry will not last, and even worse, will not represent the gospel of Christ well. Joy is a gift of the Spirit, an indicator of a healthy, balanced life in ministry and our greatest encouragement to continue on in the face of hardships. Today, I'll offer two quotes that have been a great blessing to me in recent days.  The first comes from Dr. Walther. Read More

Keeping The Party Alive

Written by: Dcs. Heidi Goehmann, Reading Time:  3 minutes A well known fact in our congregation is that my husband and I love to dance.  I remember one of the first weddings my husband did.  It was hot, middle of July-no-air-conditioning-in-the-church-hot.  We all would have been happy with bologna sandwiches at the reception, because of the cool sweet blowing air coming from magical vents in the ceiling.  I think everyone attributed our dance moves to sweet air-conditioned rejoicing, but we shut the dance floor down.  At the next wedding reception, people started to comment. "Enjoying yourselves?!" "Look at you go!  So much fun!" And my personal favorite... "Wow! You guys can really 'cut a rug'!" Dave and I are naturally less inhibited in one another's company.  Something about having someone that loves you so wholeheartedly brings out the party simmering on the inside.  But give us a dance floor and we crank it to a whole new level. Now, do not be mistaken.  We have no real moves.  I mean we barely have pretend moves.  We have a tiny bit of rhythm.  And in college we took a 6 session class on ballroom dancing, but we are in no way even worthy of watching "So You Think You Can Dance." What we do have is a lot of joy.  And it's not just average run of the mill joy, it's Jesus in the midst of His people joy.  I think one of the reasons wedding receptions are so exciting for us, is that we are elated to be allowed into these people's lives.  It is a sheer blessing to not only witness new love, but to be a part of building it up for the months before the wedding, and to look forward to the years to come of new homes, tiny babies, joy and heartache and just to be a part of it and experience it together.  What a life we have! Read More

When Jesus Appears… In Harmony!

Reading time: two minutes. I don't know what kind of presence the devil has at your house, but I do know he would love to set up camp there.  He would really enjoy an invitation to be a permanent resident, stirring up trouble in your home, in your family. Maybe the presence of Satan in your home is like that of the annoying mosquito in the summertime, that tiny little buzzing sound that is nothing dramatic, but just a steady, droning, agonizing buzz that disrupts what is an otherwise peaceful quiet. Maybe his presence is an earthquake that threatens to tumble every last brick from it's place and topple your house. What I do know is that "one little word can fell him."  Should we send the devil on his way today? Read More