Category Archives: Health & Joy!

“You Might Be In Trouble If…” Baptismal Edition

Reading time: two minutes.

Let’s look at the Lutheran Wellness Wheel in eight weeks through the lens of potential warning signs of an imbalanced life.

Our brief definition of Baptismal Wellness reads, “As I grow in God’s grace of Baptismal LOVE, I am finding joy in my IDENTITY as His new creation in Christ.”

Our three warning signs this week center around the words “stuck,” “worried,” and “criticized.”

That sounds awful, but unfortunately, all too familiar.  Let’s take a look! Continue reading

Financial Wellbeing for Churches in One Word: Share!

Reading time: two minutes.

We’ve been looking at one key word from Ephesians 4 each week as we reflect on the Wellness Wheel.  Today it’s verse 28: “He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.”

Mom gets it.  One of the first lessons she taught us was to share.  It’s the way of God.  It’s the nature of the kingdom that all who have received would share.

It’s the way the creation works, and when we’re at our best, sharing is what we do just because it comes so naturally and so joyfully.

Look around you!  God’s world is a sharing place! Continue reading

Physical Wellbeing for Churches in One Word: Sensitivity!

Reading time: two minutes.

“It’s my body.  I can do anything with it that I want,” is just bad theology.  Everything belongs to God (see Psalm 24:1).  Your body is only on loan from God for a few short years.  He’ll let you know when your time to use it is up.

In the meantime, part of our vocation as children of the Lord is to care for and use these bodies wisely and in a manner that pleases Him, because it’s His dwelling (see 1 Corinthians 6:19).

Physical wellbeing starts with being tuned in to the Lord’s will and purpose for our lives.  That’s how I interpret “sensitivity” in Ephesians 4:19.  What a joy it is to know that God cares about our physical wellbeing, and cares enough to guide us into good choices! Continue reading

Vocational Wellbeing for Churches in One Word: Service!

Reading time: two minutes.

You are God’s gift to the Church.  You know that, don’t you?   Wow!

“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” (Ephesians 4:11-12).

We stand in the long line of the apostles and prophets who went before us.  It’s a problem when any of us church workers consider ourselves, “God’s gift to the Church” in a prideful, arrogant manner.

But what a joy to be a personally selected servant of our Servant-King, Jesus! Continue reading

Emotional Wellbeing for Churches in One Word: Rid!

Reading time: two minutes.

What a great little word: Rid!  “Disencumber” is maybe more poetic, but I like the forcefulness of rid.  If it’s got to go, it’s got to go, so get rid of it.

I’m referring of course to Paul’s admonition to the Ephesians to “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (4:31).

None of that can help a church.  Emotional wellbeing is about a clear, fresh, welcoming, joyful atmosphere among the people of God.

How well are we doing at rid? Continue reading

Intellectual Wellbeing for Churches in One Word: Listen!

Reading time: two minutes.

The seminary taught me the answers.

It was the Church that taught me to first figure out the questions.  I’m still learning.

Intellectual wellbeing is often defined as having all the answers.  I’m so glad for my wonderful education, for the resource of centuries of Christian wisdom and literature as well as for our corpus of confessional doctrine.

I’m also glad for the opportunity to serve in ministry and to have the sacred privilege of entering people’s lives.  And I’m at my best when I’m most curious. Continue reading

Relational Wellbeing for Churches in One Word: Unity!

Reading time: two minutes.

Happy Fourth of July!  I love America and feel privileged to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.  I pray for our country constantly.  There’s no country on earth that compares to ours.  We are very fortunate.

That “e pluribus unum” thing, however, is not working out so great.  Years ago Rodney King asked, “Why can’t we all just get along?”  Of all the nations in all of history, I think America took the best shot at it, but left to ourselves, unity is just not in us, Rodney.  We don’t get along because we have a natural inclination to selfishness.

The word “unity” takes a central place in Ephesians 4, our guiding text as we consider the Lutheran Wellness Wheel, this week thinking about Relational Wellbeing.

When the Church of Jesus Christ is at it’s best, the world, America in particular, could learn how to make e pluribus unum a reality. Continue reading