But First, Extinguish the Fires

We have to expect interruptions to some extent. As a nurse and a mom I am no stranger to the concept of stopping what you are doing to address something urgent. But sometimes I become discouraged, feeling like I should be further along. I see what I want to accomplish in ministry, the church, my marriage, and my profession, and it’s hard not to be disappointed if I am not at least moving forward. I see the potential in my children and wonder if we are spending too much time just surviving each challenge and not enough time cultivating their hearts and minds for the future. Treasured friendships are put on the backburner too often in order to fulfill present obligations. In all this, I wonder if my good intentions will ever materialize with more frequency than the ever present fulfillment of priorities.

How Stress & Anxiety Affect Physical Pain

By Karen Morgan, DPT Angelica For the past two Octobers, Angelica’s back “gave out.” As a personal trainer at a local gym, this flummoxed her. I treated her for each episode, but it was during the second episode that I thought to ask what sources of anxiety or stress could be feeding her pain. TearsContinue reading “How Stress & Anxiety Affect Physical Pain”

Keep Calm and Trust God

By Jen Roland According to the American Psychological Association, 77% of Americans face physical symptoms of stress, such as fatigue, headaches, and difficulty sleeping, but only 28% of them manage their stress well. About 40 million adults deal with anxiety disorders and 1 in 6 Americans take at least one psychiatric drug to treat mentalContinue reading “Keep Calm and Trust God”

Am I Spiritually Healthy?

What does spiritual health look like? I think it’s revealed in the same way physical health is: through our fitness, wellness, and capabilities. The physically fit individual can do what needs to be done, and feel well doing it. Practically speaking, the physically fit person can take out the garbage without feeling out of breath. So, the spiritually fit individual can do spiritual things and feel well doing them. They can live in this world but know they are not defined by it. They allow the Holy Spirit within them to be evident in their actions. They flex the spiritual muscles of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control because they have developed them through regular habits.

Diagnosing the Decline in Your Motivation

The last few weeks I paid attention to my attitude, the words and attitudes of others, and the knowledge I already have regarding motivation. This was not difficult since I spend most of my days motivating others to better their health. Funny how sometimes things we perceive as unclear come into focus when we look at them. I’ve taken what I gathered and observed, and sorted it into six topics that often decrease motivation, and just might be killing yours.

Rest Easy

Saturday is my Sabbath, the one day per week I attempt to focus away from this world and fully on God. On this particular Saturday I was awoken by strong winds outside my window. I find irony in being woken from sleep so I can start resting, but life is often that way. 

I started the day with this verse, the classic and probably most quoted passage on rest. My intent was to read it and pray my way into this day of spending time with Jesus. But irony struck again when I found myself drawn to a particular phrase in those familiar verses, as God began to peel back another layer from his Word and reveal something new.

From Pissed Off to Peace

It was the coolest morning we had seen since spring, the first hint of fall, and the day of my son’s tenth birthday party. The sun was rising, birds were chirping, an excited boy was up and preparing for his day, and I was looking forward to coffee on the patio before it all got started. Walking into the kitchen I saw something on the floor, and quickly realized what it was: the birthday cake. Half-eaten, icing licked off, and completely ruined, there sat the cake I had picked up just twelve hours prior. The perpetrator of this crime walked over, happily wagging her tail and greeting me, unaware of how perturbed I was with her at this particular moment. This was not the peaceful fall morning I wanted.

How to Have Peace, Love, and Joy When You Are Pissed Off

Walking through this latest season of pandemic surge, I had not been able to shake loose this dark cloud I felt over me. I went about my usual things: prayer, Bible reading, exercise, work, family time, even summer fun times. None of them settled this dust bowl I was in. It’s been swirling around me, pulling me into its filth and blinding me from seeing anything good. I knew it was there and I didn’t like it, yet I could not escape. It took some time to realize the reason for my entrapment. The problem wasn’t the dirty vortex of opinions, accusations, and misinformation that seem to continuously spin around as we debate politics, masks, vaccines, and international terrorists. What was tethering me in my position was not an external force, it was an internal choice to remain pissed off. 

Re-threaded Hope

Hello, I’m Jen.  I’m new to writing this blog.  My husband said he didn’t want to be married to me on Christmas Day. There you have it, the concise introduction — a three sentence and 27 official word summary of my current moment. My current  moment.  A timeline in my journey, a fork in the road, an opportunity for reflection, a chance to start over, a road to a brighter future, a welcome from Christ to get back to know him.

Building Unity in Community

Christians today often refer to themselves as the hands and feet of Jesus, but I never hear anyone boldly proclaim to be Jesus’s ligament. When I read Paul’s description of the body of Christ, I was struck by his chosen emphasis. He could have mentioned so many parts of a body. Out of all the organs, bones, and complex components that make up our bodies, the two things Paul chooses to highlight in this letter are Christ as the head, and ligaments.

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