Category Archives: Health & Joy!

The Incarnation: An Emotional Difference Maker!

Reading time: two minutes.

This might be an ideal topic for the beginning of a new year.

I could look back over my many years and mark the best years and the worst years.  My rating scale wouldn’t be according to how much money I made.  My income has been pretty steady.  I’ve traveled to some wonderful places, but fun adventures only constitute a small portion of a year.  Same thing with Cardinal World Series years.  Fun, but it doesn’t make or break a whole twelve months.

It’s easy to identify the most difficult years from my past based on the state of relationships that were just not right.  One measure of emotional wellbeing is the level of the love and care, or the lack of it, in a person’s life.  It can upset your emotional life for months on end.

The Incarnation of Jesus is the key to good, healthy, loving, caring, grace-filled relationships. Continue reading

The Incarnation: An Intellectual Difference Maker!

Reading time: two minutes.

The best part of children’s Christmas programs is that the kids are learning the story.  I hope Sunday Schools still have the children memorize the parts.  The story sticks.  How many of us (especially us old-timers) can recite right along with them, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host…”

The story of Jesus’ Incarnation is the greatest story ever.  We love to tell it.  We celebrate it in song and praise.  It’s the story that shapes our own stories.

Intellectual wellbeing is having a curiosity to learn and discover and to marvel at what we learn.  Maybe this season of remembering the story of Jesus birth and life among us will be an encouragement to share our own stories with one another! Continue reading

The Incarnation: A Relational Difference Maker!

Reading time: two minutes.

Some people are just naturally good connectors.  They bring people together.  My partner at Grace Place Wellness, Randy Fauser, is a connector.  We attended a Christmas party at the Fauser’s on Saturday along with about a hundred and fifty of Randy and Susan’s other close friends.  That amazes me.  Randy says, “We just love bringing people together and watching them connect!”

Jesus is a connector.  Christmas, our celebration of the Son of God who became a human being and dwelt among us, is a celebration of connections.

The connecting that Jesus does is really on two very important but also very different levels. Continue reading

The Incarnation: A Spiritual Difference Maker!

Reading time: two minutes.

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14), and the living, breathing, in the flesh presence of Jesus changes everything for us.  Everything.  All the way around the Lutheran Wellness Wheel.  Today we’ll consider how the Incarnation of the Son of God makes a difference for our spiritual lives.

I don’t think that everything Jesus did was an example for us.  Many of the things He did He did because we can’t do them.

But His life of worship and the spiritual disciplines are one of the ways we are called to follow in His footsteps. Continue reading

The Incarnation: A Baptismal Difference Maker!

Reading time: two minutes.

When we pray, “Lord, have mercy,” do you think the Lord can really relate?  I mean, we cry out in our weakness, “Help, Lord.  Save me!” but what does He know about stress and anxiety?

That’s the great thing about Christmas and the Incarnation of Jesus.  He became flesh for us, and He really does understand.

For the next few weeks, during Advent and into Epiphany, we’ll explore very briefly how the Incarnation of Jesus into this human life of ours makes a difference, spiritually, physically, emotionally, all the way around The Lutheran Wellness Wheel. Continue reading

Final Lessons from a Distance Runner!

Reading time: two minutes.

Karl Meltzer, the record holder for the fastest trip down the Appalachian Trail ever, has three more thoughts to share about endurance on a long hard journey.  I’ve really enjoyed reflecting on them.  There’s a nugget of truth for those in ministry to ponder in just about every one of them.

Drink coffee?  I’m not a big caffeine guy, but the last three are pretty good.

Let’s start with Embrace struggle.  Jesus said it this way, Continue reading

Three More Lessons from a Distance Runner!

Reading time: two minutes.

Karl Meltzer broke the record for cruising the Appalachian Trail, doing the nearly 2,200 miles in less than 46 days.  New York Magazine interviewed him and he shared some endurance lessons that apply quite well to this marathon of service in God’s kingdom.

Here’s a few more of his insights, beginning with Sleep.

I just saw something this week that allegedly Dr. Luther had to say about sleep. Continue reading