Experience Health & Joy

Weekly Blog

JOY Is Intellectual Curiosity!

Reading time: less than 3 minutes People surprise me, when I've been curious enough to listen that is. Carmine and I had almost nothing in common, besides Jesus and her daughter who was in my youth group .  We could hardly have been more different.  We were separated in age by about 25 years and in hometowns by about 2500 miles. She was an African-American woman from a large, urban area of the Midwest who grew up in the shadow of tall buildings; I'm of northern European heritage and grew up in the shadow of Douglas Fir trees in Oregon.  We were from "different sides of the tracks." God gave me a gift when I accepted a call and became her pastor.  Fortunately, I was curious enough about Carmine to really listen to her and open up the gift. Read More

JOY Is Easter Worship… Alone!

Reading time: less than 3 minutes. Pastors, I'm praying that the Risen Jesus shows up for you in a significant way as you prepare to lead God's people in worship this Easter.  I pray He shows up every Sunday.  Early. Over the last twenty years of my parish ministry, my response to the question, "How's attendance at early service?" was always the same.  "The usual.  Just two."  Rarely spoken aloud, that was the truth, chuckled to myself (and of course, to Jesus).  Few people in the church understood how important the worship that happened before the worship really was for our life together. Over my early years in ministry I came to realize that you can't preach what you haven't experienced.   Read More

JOY Is Relational Unity!

Reading time: less than 3 minutes If you had to do without either your brain, your heart or your muscles, which would you be willing to surrender?  You wouldn't last long without any one of the three.  Let me tell you about three pastors who worked together in the most joyful experience of relational unity that I've ever been a part of. It was the body of Christ in action the way the Lord intended, and it was a source of joy for us all! Read More

JOY Is Spiritual Receptivity!

Reading time: less than 3 minutes I'm going to be more possessive of my joy from now on.  I'm going to be jealous for my joy. We were created for joy.   Joy is God's gift to me.  I'm designed for joy.  It is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), it's mine as an heir of the kingdom, and I want it.  To everything that comes to suck out my joy from now on I'm going to say, "Hey!  That's mine!  I want my joy back!" Joy is slippery to define.  You know when you have it.  You know when you've lost it, but how it vanishes is often a mystery. Read More

JOY Is Baptismal Renewal!

Reading time: 3 minutes What does JOY look like?  I've got a pretty good idea of what joy looks like.  I've seen it a few times. Have you ever been at a ball game where the announcer says over the loudspeaker, "Today we honor the families of our military personnel serving overseas..." and out marches some children of soldiers?  Then suddenly, sneaking up on the children from behind, comes daddy or mommy, returned home from service unannounced and sooner than expected. Read More

JOY Is Baptismal Renewal!

Reading time: 3 minutes What does JOY look like?  I've got a pretty good idea of what joy looks like.  I've seen it a few times. Have you ever been at a ball game where the announcer says over the loudspeaker, "Today we honor the families of our military personnel serving overseas..." and out marches some children of soldiers?  Then suddenly, sneaking up on the children from behind, comes daddy or mommy, returned home from service unannounced and sooner than expected. Read More

Financial Wellbeing Is… Generosity!

Reading time: 3 minutes Did you watch the Oscars?  Did you see the glamour and glitz of the Red Carpet and the Hollywood icons? I didn't watch much either.  A little bit goes a long way.  Now, you've got to keep up with Hollywood to keep your finger on the pulse of where society is going (that's another topic for another day!), but I have a hard time watching the excesses of wealth.  "Who are you wearing?"  For real? In the kingdom of God, success and personal worth is never measured by material wealth. Read More

Financial Wellbeing Is… Generosity!

Reading time: 3 minutes Did you watch the Oscars?  Did you see the glamour and glitz of the Red Carpet and the Hollywood icons? I didn't watch much either.  A little bit goes a long way.  Now, you've got to keep up with Hollywood to keep your finger on the pulse of where society is going (that's another topic for another day!), but I have a hard time watching the excesses of wealth.  "Who are you wearing?"  For real? In the kingdom of God, success and personal worth is never measured by material wealth. Read More

Grace Place Wellness Ministries attends ALDE Convention in Reno, NV Feb. 24-26, 2015

Hans Springer, Randy Fauser and Mark Hofman The Association of Lutheran Development executives for continuing education in the field of ethical fundraising.  Here's a look at who we ran into:   (left to right)  Hans Springer, Associate Executive Director of LCMS Mission Advancement; Randy Fauser, President/CEO of Grace Place Wellness Ministries and Mark Hofman, Executive Director, Mission Advancement of the LCMS.   Read More

Physical Wellbeing Is… Vitality!

Reading time: 3 minutes I'm planning to live until I'm 114. I'm a golfer who dreams of "shooting my age," having a golf score equal to or less than my age, and the way my golf game is going, I may have to live to for a few more decades. It's not my best reason for staying in shape, but it's one of them! I was about 35 when I stopped in to visit 105 year old Marie in the nursing home. She asked me if I would conduct her funeral one day. I told her, "Marie, if I'm still alive when you die, I'd be honored to preach at your funeral!" We laughed and I told her what a blessing she was to me every time I saw her. She was well into her eleventh decade and still full of vitality and life. Read More