Experience Health & Joy

Weekly Blog

Baptismal Wellbeing and Psalm 103

Reading time: less than three minutes Just in case you haven't had reason to sing to the Lord yet today, here's one: the splash of the water!  God has made you His child by the water and the powerful word of grace, cleansing and renewal of holy baptism, and that's enough reason to rejoice and sing.  Anytime.  Anywhere.  Always. So what do we sing?  How about a song the Lord Himself has written through His inspired servant, David.  How about a song of celebration from the anointed prince of Israel, a great sinner (like me) who knew the joy of sainthood (like me)? Here's a song for you: "Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name" (Psalm 103:1). Read More

Reflections on Wellness after Three Years

Reading time, three minutes. I don’t know everything about church worker wellness, but as I pass my third year anniversary as the Program Director for Grace Place Wellness Ministries, I’ve been thinking that I’ve gained some significant insights along the way. I’ll begin a new eight week cycle around the Lutheran Wellness Wheel next week, but this week, let me offer five words that speak to me about church worker wellness.  I hope you’ll find a quick blessing in here somewhere. #1 Jesus. Everything begins and ends with Jesus, so let’s start here. Read More

Everyday Can’t Be French Press….

Written by:  Dcs. Heidi Goehmann This is the day that the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 I heart coffee.  It's a well known fact.  I love it like no ones business.  I'm not the person who drinks copious amounts of it, but I like good coffee every day.  My husband and I were introduced to the world of French pressing several years ago, by an Alton Brown TV spot where he rode around on a motorcycle and made French press coffee out of fresh snow from the Rockies.  Yum! French press coffee is amazing.  The oils in the coffee beans rise to the surface of your cup.  There are more layers of flavor and body in your coffee than you can imagine.  The problem:  it takes a lot of time and a lot of beans.  It's expensive, you have to boil the water to a perfect temperature, so you stand there and watch it;  you steep the beans and come back, but you need to dedicate time to savoring your delicious cup because it because it gets cold fast at said perfect temperature. I love French press coffee, but the reality is, I can't have it everyday. This applies to so much in my life.  I want excitement and adventure.  I want hyperbole.  I want everyday to be fabulous, every meeting to be fantastic, every conversation to be life changing, every moment to "matter."  (Can you say, my own breed of prosperity gospel?) Read More

Ministry Wives Online Fall Bible Study

Stay tuned for our upcoming Ministry Wives Online Fall Bible Study on Philippians 4:8, beginning September 21, 2015. The study will be 8 online sessions and include a Scripture engagement tool each week.  All posts can be easily found at http://ilovemyshepherd.blogspot.com/.  Click on Philippians 4:8 tab… Read More

Healthy Churches Pay a Healthy Salary!

Reading time: three minutes It's funny to me that churches often have such a hard time talking about money in general and salaries in particular.  Jesus spoke a great deal about money, treasure and possessions.  Why can't we? Our Lord taught that our possessions should not own us, but that we should manage them to God's glory.  I think it glorifies God when professional church workers are paid a decent, honorable salary for the service they perform.  I think it's a topic worth talking about in every congregation. If I could, I'd ask the lay leaders at every church I visit four important questions.  Wait a minute.  I DO ask every church I visit four questions!  Here they are... Read More

Healthy Churches Are HEALTHY Churches!

Reading time: three minutes. Here's five reasons why churches should be emphasizing physical wellness.  1) It's our roots. Jesus healed as a way to proclaim the kingdom.  We have a long history of health care/hospitals/outreach to the sick. 2) We're not neo-platonists.  We don't believe the spirit is good but the flesh is evil.  3) We have work to do.  Stay fit; fill your vocations.  4) The Church has always been counter-cultural, and our culture is a mess physically.  5) What a great way to connect with health conscious people in our neighborhoods, or those who seek greater physical wellbeing! That's the theory.  Here's four practical ways that healthy churches can truly be healthy places that care for body as well as mind and spirit... Read More

Bits and Pieces (or tired of waving goodbye)

Written by:  Deaconess Heidi Goehmann Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.                                              Ephesians 4:15-16 We listen to a fair amount of audiobooks in our family.  Early on in our four year old's life we figured out that if we had an audiobook in, then he didn't find it necessary to scream each and every moment of a car ride. ;) The last audiobook we finished was called "Touch Blue" and dealt with the topic of change, foster care, and finding your own place in the world.  The book was really good, but that isn't what this blog is about, of course. "These are the Texas pieces of my heart' At one point in the book the dad instructs the main character, who's struggling with what home is and who she is, that we're all made up of bits and pieces to make a whole self.  We aren't made up of our time in just one place or of just a single element of ourselves.  Our "bits and pieces" are collected together throughout our lives of people we love, experiences we have, and places we've been. I wholeheartedly agree with this tiny treasure tucked into the wisdom of a middle reader and between that and the scripture reading yesterday in church, it started to help me resolve something I've been struggling with for years. You see, so much of what I do is wave goodbye out the rear view window of my minivan.  One of the blessings of college and seminary life is wonderful, beautiful friends scattered all over the country.  But never will I have all the people I love in one place. Read More

Healthy Churches Serve Well Together!

Reading time: three minutes. I told my wife Carol the other day, "My dogs are barking!"  It seems my feet have been doing more than their share of the work lately.  It's retreat season, so I'm on my feet for long stretches.  My poor aching feet are over-functioning.  Carol suggested I let my gluteus do their job for a while. The Apostle wrote to the Ephesians, "From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work" (4:16). We pastors and other professional church workers sometimes have a problem with that last part, "... as each part does its work."  We tend to be over-functioners. Read More