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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

Baptismal Wellbeing Is… RENEWAL

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes. Did you ever feel like starting all over again? Wait, what I’m really asking is, Did you ever not feel like starting all over again? I’m sorry. That’s not right. Please let me try it again. Have you ever known deep in your heart that your only hope is for a brand new beginning? (There, that’s better!) The Gospel is always about beginning all over again New beginnings. That’s the hope and the joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ, isn’t it? That’s why we’re open every Sunday, for new beginnings, fresh starts in the wondrous gift of Christ’s love and forgiveness. But isn’t Sunday too long to wait? If you’re like me, you’re ready for new beginnings all through the week! Read More

Net worth can’t buy fiscal happiness

If you have a family, you likely have financial worries — especially this time of year as the kids get ready to head back to school, whether they’re starting kindergarten or college.  But your total net worth can’t buy your fiscal well-being, according to a Gallup study. Instead, research shows that our financial wellness is more closely tied to our perception that we have enough money to adequately care for ourselves and our family without the burden and stress of debt. Read More

What's your key to happiness?

While most of us equate well-being with being happy, a book from the famed Gallup organization, Well Being, The Five Essential Elements (Gallup Press), sheds incredibly helpful and even surprising insights. Well-being goes far beyond happiness. Gallup surveyed the people of more than 200 nations and populations representing about 98 percent of the world. Researchers discovered five key areas of “being” that reflect humans’ health and wellness: career, social, physical, financial and community well-being. Read More

Word-saturated meditative prayer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his concise text, Meditating On The Word,* begins his preface with the following paragraph: [su_quote]Word and sacrament are at the heart of our worship and our life together as Christians, yet it is my experience in the church that we keep ourselves close to the sacrament but at some distance from the Word. This is commonly seen in the small attention paid top-reaching, the trivial nature of so many sermons we hear, the absence of Bible study in many congregations, and (one imagines) the infrequency of personal reading of the Bible. I believe this is an imbalance that needs correcting, although I think I understand at least some of the reasons why it exists.[/su_quote] As we look at the spiritual elements of our lives as church workers and laity alike, could it be that we are Word-impoverished? Read More

Community well being

Community well being You might be a person who recognizes all the variations to Wellness Wheel diagrams that are showing up all over health literature. The LCMS even has its own Wellness Wheel that was created out of a joint effort of the members of the Inter Lutheran Coordinating Council, Concordia Plan Services, the Commission on Ministerial Growth and Support, and even with Grace Place input. They’re all well thought out, colorful, useful… and round! However, what is not showing up on most wheels is “Community Well Being.”  Yet, our friends at the Gallup Organization found that most of the folks in the world feel that community well being is essential to being whole.* Why might this be true? Read More

Physical well being

Physical well being Eat a good breakfast; brush and floss twice a day; work hard; exercise daily; make nice friends; eat your vegetables; go to bed early; don’t smoke; avoid salt; eat fish; drink your milk, and call you mother…often!  All of this is probably the best advice anyone can give regarding physical wellness… no really, anyone, including Mom, Dr. Oz, or a super-double-board-certified-best-doctor-in-America.  Just do it!  As we approach this New Year, this season when, despite our good intentions, all seems to get tossed out the window, are there a few caveats that we can post on our limbic system that might possibly alter our physical (and for that matter, our whole-being well-being) enough that we can launch into the new year with veritas and gravitas?  Yes. Read More

Fiscal well being

I’m guessing most of you have already seen the headline: Fiscal Distress Number One Cause For Church Worker Loss. That’s not just an LCMS lead story, but announcements from the Synodical headquarters to the LCEF Tri-Synod study on the financial health of church workers and leaders from a few years ago remind us that personal finances is numero uno on the detriment-to-ministry hit list. That’s so interesting since our shekels (our possessions/talents) are addressed in the Scriptures almost more frequently than any other issues. Our friends at the Gallup organization* to whom I have been referring throughout this series offer a few poignant deductions. Firstly, our total net worth does not buy fiscal well being. Financial wellness really turns out to be defined as ‘the perception that you have enough money to adequately take care of yourself and your family without the burden and stress of debt.’ Are you there? Read More

Social well being

Social well being You need at least six hours of socialization per day to bring about social wellbeing!* Now, there is a health headline that… Read More

Vocational well being

Vocational well being “How’s the job going in this economy?” This is an often asked question to most of us, to which we usually respond,… Read More