A great way to say “Thank You” to God

Monthly theme: Why Wellness? Reading time: two minutes. “For all this…” is the reason. Self-care is the what. Why wellness? So far this month, we’ve discussed resilience, longevity and witness to the Gospel. The fourth answer to “Why wellness?” is “Thank and praise, serve and obey.” When Luther recounts all of God’s goodness to us […]

Your wellness is your witness

Monthly Theme: Why Wellness? Reading time: two minutes. I know how flight attendants feel. We’ve all heard the “oxygen mask speech.” And we all wonder if anyone is listening. I hope you are. When traveling with those who need your assistance, putting on your own oxygen mask first is a testimony to your core value. […]

The “Wellness Decline Curve” that will surprise you

Monthly theme: Why Wellness? Reading time: two minutes. Who’s your fitness idol? I hope it’s not the muscle-bound gym freak or the wispy super-model. How about Moses? Moses was a great example of the wellness in decline curve that God designed for us. Here’s what I mean… You can’t fight the decline of aging through […]

Are you well? Here’s 4 wellness touchpoints for 2023.

Are you well? Here are 4 four wellness touchpoints for 2022. Monthly Theme: Why Wellness? Reading time: two minutes. So, what does flourishing in ministry look like? How do you define wellness? It’s essential to consider what your spiritual, emotional, physical and vocational health look like when you’re at your best. Otherwise, as the saying […]

Christmas blessings from Grace Place Wellness/LCEF

You’ve been a faith-full proclaimer, now be a grace-full receiver of Christmas blessing. May the hope of a God who is with us bear you into a new year of Gospel ministry. May the peace of which angels sang fill your heart as you rest and renew. May the joy of knowing Jesus and seeing […]

Plan to work hard? Plan to recover!

Monthly theme: “Yes, with the help of God!” Reading time: two minutes This week’s calendar says you’ll be working hard. Why not build renewal into next week’s calendar? These next few days have potential to be spiritually draining. Our souls and spirits leak; we’re daily in need of baptismal, spiritual renewal, regardless of the month […]

Your Christmas family is already at work. Hooray!

Monthly theme: Yes, with the help of God! Reading time: two minutes Here’s the bad news about the Christmas season at your church: There’s more to be done than is humanly possible. Here’s the good news: There’s more to be done than is humanly possible. Yes, that’s good! When the Lord of the Church brought […]

They want to know YOUR Christmas story

Monthly theme: “Yes, with the help of God” Reading time: two minutes You defined what your ministry would be in your first day at the church. It may be your best, (and shortest) sermon ever. When you were asked if you were ready to fulfill the duties of your call, you said, “Yes, with the […]

Thankful, even for the challenges

Reading time: two minutes You’re entering into one of the most challenging, busy seasons of ministry. I know your heartfelt thanks for all the blessings in your life: family, fitness, food, faith, friends. Can you be thankful in the midst of challenges and hardships, such as those the days ahead will surely bring? How about […]

Are your dollars sneaking out?

Monthly theme: Intentionality Reading time: two minutes When’s the best time to plant a tree? Thirty years ago. When’s the second best time? Today. Our good friend from Concordia Plans, Eustolio Gomez taught this “Canadian Proverb” at about 200 Grace Place retreats! Isn’t it odd how thirty years can seem to disappear overnight? We would […]

Is poor physical condition sneaky? Well, sometimes.

Monthly theme: Intentionality Reading time: two minutes Fleetwood Mac sang, “I can’t help it ’bout the shape I’m in…” True. Sort of. We’re all born with certain physical limits, some with greater limits than others. The sudden onset of illness or an injury will certainly affect our physical capacity. But while physical incapacity is sometimes […]

Thank you. Seriously. Thank you!

Reading time: two minutes. Thank you. Even if every last person who was blessed by your ministry in the past month has said it, you haven’t heard it enough. Thank you. One day, when we are all over-awed by the glory and splendor of the heavenly Jerusalem, you’ll hear it more often. At least that’s […]

Sincere Faith

A Word from the Lord I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 2 Timothy 1:5 A Word of Encouragement What discipline would be of the greatest benefit to your spiritual life as you […]

Intentional about Healthy Choices

A Word from the Lord For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 A Word of Encouragement Intentional self-care requires exercise of the Spirit’s gift of self-discipline. How is the Lord calling you to care for your physical self today? […]

Who Knows What You Need Today?

A Word from the Lord May the Lord show mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. 2 Timothy 1:16-17 A Word of Encouragement Onesiphorus knew Paul and […]

Grace, Mercy and Peace for YOU!

A Word from the Lord To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 2 Timothy 1:2 A Word of Encouragement Baptismal renewal is an intentional welcoming of God’s grace, mercy and peace. Take a moment to remember God’s working of grace in you! We’re Praying […]

The Joy of Friendships

A Word from the Lord Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 2 Timothy 1:4 A Word of Encouragement Which of your friends would offer you the most joyful conversation? Renew yourself. Make a call. Be intentional about your need for friendships! We’re Praying for You […]

Fan into Flame the Gift of God

A Word from the Lord I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2 Timothy 1:6 A Word of Encouragement You are gifted and called for ministry. Be intentional this week about acknowledging and finding confidence in the Lord’s call! We’re […]

Spiritual Healing Today

A Word from the Lord Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. Ephesians 4:15 A Word of Encouragement God is using yesterday’s hardships to shape and mold you, to grow you up to be more like Jesus. Wounds turn to […]

Physical Healing Today

A Word from the Lord But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. Ephesians 4:7 A Word of Encouragement Forget the legalistic New Year’s Resolutions about diet and exercise! Treat your body with kindness for the pure joy of the grace of the gift of life! We’re Praying for […]

Emotional Healing Today

A Word from the Lord Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 A Word of Encouragement No relationship, no matter how strained and broken, is beyond the scope of the healing touch of Jesus. May peace prevail in all your friendships! We’re Praying […]

Baptismal Healing Today

A Word from the Lord …to be made new in the attitude of your minds. Ephesians 4:24 A Word of Encouragement People will try to define you with their comments and criticisms, but God has defined who you are in Baptismal grace. Pause and remember who (and whose) you are. We’re Praying for You “I […]

Relational Healing Today!

A Word from the Lord Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another is love. Ephesians 4:2 A Word of Encouragement Relationships experience little cuts and wounds every day. Healing comes with gentleness, patience and love. Who needs your healing touch today? We’re Praying for You “Your love, O Lord, binds me […]

Vocational Healing for Today

A Word from the Lord It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers…” Ephesians 4:11 A Word of Encouragement No matter the hurts of yesterday, God still calls. Welcome the call that he offers you today as a healing […]

Lesson Nine: Daily Healing Is Essential!

Were you saved or healed? When Peter said, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” in Acts 4:12, he used the same word he spoke in verse 9, “If we are being examined today concerning a good deed […]

Spiritual Renewal: A Bible Reading Plan!

A Word from the Lord Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 A Word of Encouragement God speaks, and has a word of blessing and hope for you every day this year. What’s your Bible reading plan for 2021? We’re Praying for You “Speak, Lord. Your […]

Physical Renewal: Good Eating!

A Word from the Lord There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you. Deuteronomy 12:7 A Word of Encouragement NO LEGALISTIC RESOLUTIONS for the New Year! Instead, have a plan for thankful, intentional eating […]

Intellectual Renewal: Healing Conversations!

A Word from the Lord “May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,” Ruth said. “You have given me comfort and have spoken kindly with your servant.” Ruth 2:13 A Word of Encouragement Intellectual curiosity opens conversations to discuss wild and crazy years like 2020. Who needs to hear from you? To […]

Baptismal Renewal: Off with the Old, On with the New!

A Word from the Lord You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness […]

Relational Self-Care: Refresh the Love!

A Word from the Lord My beloved spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! The winter is past.” Song of Songs 2:10-11 A Word of Encouragement This year has been tough on marriage and friendships. Find refreshment with someone you love. Talk about the past year. […]

Vocational Self-Care: A Year-End Jubilee!

A Word from the Lord “The land is to have a year of rest.” Leviticus 25:5 A Word of Encouragement The land worked hard. God healed the land. As you look back on the challenges of ministry from 2020, where do you need the healing touch of Christ before moving forward? Pause for renewal this […]

God bless YOU today!

A Word from the Lord But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19 A Word of Encouragement The wonder and beauty of the Incarnation is for you. Receive the blessing of God’s gift of faith and welcome the strength and joy of Christ living in you! We’re Praying […]

The Gift of a Savior

A Word from the Lord While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room in the inn. Luke 2:6-7 A Word of Encouragement Heaven opened. God […]

The Gift of Peace

A Word from the Lord “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to all on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14 A Word of Encouragement In the midst of your hectic day, pause to experience the peace Jesus came to deliver to you. We’re Praying for You “For the peace beyond all […]

The Gift of the Family of Faith

A Word from the Lord But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Luke 2:10 A Word of Encouragement The joy of knowing the Savior, Jesus, is shared by saints here and in glory. You are a part […]

The Gift of Family

A Word from the Lord Joseph went there with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. Luke 2:5 A Word of Encouragement Does your family know much you love spending Christmas with them? If far away, do they know how much you miss them?. We’re Praying for You […]

The Gift of Fellow Shepherds

A Word from the Lord And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. Luke 2:8 A Word of Encouragement You’re not alone. You are a part of the great fellowship of the Lord’s called shepherds of the flock. We’re Praying for You “For the wondrous fellowship […]

God’s Living Breath in His Word!

A Word from the Lord All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 A Word of Encouragement God breathes his breath of life on you every time you open his Word […]

“Your Feet Did Not Swell”

A Word from the Lord Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years… Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Deuteronomy 8:2, 4 A Word of Encouragement Life with God is life in the abundance of his […]

Healing Power of Jesus’ Grace!

A Word from the Lord When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” John 21:15 A Word of Encouragement We fail Jesus repeatedly, but his loving, […]

Lesson Eight: Ministry Threatens the Joy of Ministry

Whew! Well done, good and faithful servant. I’m praying that this week you will find rest and recovery from a most unprecedented Christmas season! Seriously. I’m praying for you. I know this is the wrong Dickens reference for Christmas, but even in a normal year, December is, for pastors and church work professionals, “…the best […]

Lesson Seven: Ministry Threatens the Joy of Life in Community

(Reading time: one minute. It’s Christmas!) Families Pay a Price Your family pays a price for your ministry. Nearly every pastor’s wife, when retirement approaches, reports that the pastor’s family endured significant stress because of the demands of ministry. The most anxiety filled Christmas season ever only accentuates the point. The congregation wonders where you […]

Where Two or Three Gather…

A Word from the Lord While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. Acts 13:2-3 A Word of […]

God Wrote Down Your Name!

A Word from the Lord Jesus said, “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20 A Word of Encouragement Good days in ministry. Rough days in ministry. Through it all, God’s promise endures. In baptismal grace, your name is written in the Book […]

The JOY of Goodness

A Word from the Lord Jesus said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” John 4:32 A Word of Encouragement The fruit of the Spirit is goodness. When you enjoy the daily feast of God’s Word, you are enjoying the food from heaven that builds in you the goodness of […]

The JOY of Faithfulness

A Word from the Lord Jesus replied, “You give them something to eat.” Luke 9:13 A Word of Encouragement The fruit of the Spirit is faithfulness. Faith trusts God to provide. God’s people give generously because of their faithfulness. Even when it seems there is nothing to eat, the Lord does provide. We’re Praying for […]

The JOY of Kindness

A Word from the Lord When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” John 5:6 A Word of Encouragement The fruit of the Spirit is kindness. Someone you meet today will have a story to […]

Lesson Six: Ministry Threatens the Joy of Life with God

“Don’t Try This Alone.” That was Lesson Four on the journey to wellness for church workers. We need each other. But even more than each other, we need the Lord. The tragedy of a life in ministry is that so many ministers work so hard and get so busy doing the Lord’s work that they […]

The JOY of love

A Word from the Lord Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” John 21:7 A Word of Encouragement The fruit of the Spirit is love. Who is the disciple whom Jesus loved? It’s YOU! In the challenges that today brings, pause often to remember that you are the disciple […]

The JOY of Patience

A Word from the Lord Jesus asked the disciples, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Mark 9:33-34 A Word of Encouragement The fruit of the Spirit is patience. Those closest to us know our faults and they […]

The JOY of Gentleness

A Word from the Lord Jesus said, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” John 13:14-15 A Word of Encouragement The fruit of the Spirit is gentleness. You’re […]

Sometimes the teacher is the learner!

A Word from the Lord “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:11-12 A Word of Encouragement What a joy it is when the Bible Class leader […]

You are loved, supported and blessed!

A Word from the Lord “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:11-12 A Word of Encouragement The offerings that God’s people bring because of their faith […]

Forgiven, forgiving, encouraging!

A Word from the Lord “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:11-12 A Word of Encouragement Paul and the congregations he served could drive each other […]

Baptized into a family of blessing!

A Word from the Lord “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:11-12 A Word of Encouragement When confusion and the hardships of ministry threaten to diminish […]

Lesson Five: Joy Is Fuel for Ministry!

Instant wellness assessment I can assess your level of wellness for ministry in about two minutes. In my eight years at Grace Place Wellness, I’ve asked hundreds of pastors, “How are you?” After the initial pleasantries, and sharing a little about our ministry, I’ll often ask again, “Okay, tell me, seriously, how are you?” because […]

The joy of unity in the Lord!

A Word from the Lord “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:11-12 A Word of Encouragement Unity is a gift from God for the mutual blessing […]

Serving in partnership lightens the load!

A Word from the Lord “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:11-12 A Word of Encouragement Jethro was right: Don’t try doing all the ministry work […]

From the most unexpected places

A Word from the Lord “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah….” Micah 5:2 A Word of Encouragement Don’t ever think that the small and unrecognized are not the Lord’s favorite instruments of wonder. Jesus has a way of showing up in the most unexpected places. We’re Praying for […]

God uses the tiny and unnoticed for big purposes

A Word from the Lord “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree.” Matthew 13:31-32 A Word of Encouragement Unnoticed? Seems […]

We’re thankful for your faithful service!

A Word from the Lord “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness.” Matthew 25:23 A Word of Encouragement God notices your ministry efforts, whether you make the evening news or not! And we […]

Remember, you’re small, but you belong to the Lord

A Word from the Lord “Although I am less than the least of all the apostles, this grace was given to me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” Ephesians 3:8 A Word of Encouragement You have mighty deeds to perform in the power of Christ. Remember that an attitude of humility […]

Part of a huge, worldwide family

A Word from the Lord “He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Genesis 15:5 A Word of Encouragement It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the size of the ministry task, […]

Jesus shows up when we get out of the way

A Word from the Lord “But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” Luke 3:16 A Word of Encouragement You’re not called to work miracles. Jesus shows his strength when we point to him and then stay humbly out of his way. Overwhelmed? It’s […]

You Bring Glory to God!

A Word from the Lord “Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” Psalm 115:1 A Word of Encouragement There is only One who deserves the glory and praise for the beauty of the gospel and the wonders in works in the […]

The Trials Build Strength!

A Word from the Lord “Consider it all joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2 A Word of Encouragement God is always at work for your benefit, even in trials, building in you the character and strength that will […]

Boasting in the Cross!

A Word from the Lord “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14 A Word of Encouragement The world offers many temporary pleasures, but our glory is in the cross, in a kingdom far […]

The Struggle Lasts a Short While!

A Word from the Lord “But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:13 A Word of Encouragement Glory awaits you, but in these days of trial and hardship, we get only little glimpses of what is yet to come. […]

Lesson Four: Don’t Try Ministry Alone!

Even Han Solo had partners Ministry is hard enough without the self-inflicted wounds we endure far too often. Among them is trying to do everything all by ourselves. I know I’m dating myself with the 1970’s cultural reference, (being a 1950’s guy, my first thought was the Lone Ranger), but even Han Solo didn’t fly […]

Lesson Three: Overwhelmed Is a Way of Life for Ministers

Feeling small Ministry has a way of humbling you, of making you feel very small. I wonder how small Abram felt when the Lord took him out under the stars and said, “I can make billions of stars. Trust me when I say I can make a baby for you and your wife.” In the […]

Never Alone!

A Word from the Lord “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.” 2 Timothy 1:8 A Word of Encouragement You’re on the right road! Timothy found strength from the trials Paul endured, […]

Never Alone!

A Word from the Lord “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 A Word of Encouragement Everywhere you go, whatever the task, no matter the obstacles you face, God the Holy […]

Bearing the Cross of Ministry

A Word from the Lord “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:3 A Word of Encouragement All who have gone before us have faced hardship and trial. Find courage today by knowing that you are not alone. The way of the cross will one day round the bend […]

Take a Drink from the Water of Life!

A Word from the Lord Jesus said, “…but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14 A Word of Encouragement In order to bear living water to others, we must first be […]

Rest. Eat. It’s a Long Journey!

A Word from the Lord The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched Elijah and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 1 Kings 19:7 A Word of Encouragement Ministry is hard and takes a toll on you physically. God, your family and those you […]

Lesson 2: Ministry Is the Way of the Cross!

Sorry, the Glory goes to Jesus He warned the disciples that ministry would be hard. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me” (Matthew 5:11). The way of ministry was paved for us by the martyrs. Paul recounted episodes of unbelievable hardships […]

Peacemaking? Impossible?

A Word from the Lord Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” John 14:27 A Word of Encouragement It’s hard to bring healing and peace to broken relationships. What makes ministry so great is the healing power of the gospel, […]

Who Builds the Church?

A Word from the Lord Jesus said, “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” Matthew 16:18 A Word of Encouragement Ministry is great, but hard. Impossibly hard, but your confidence is in the power of Christ alone who is always active, working in you for […]

Impossible Unity!

A Word from the Lord When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.” Acts 11:18 A Word of Encouragement You’re called to build unity among God’s people, which seems so impossible so much of the time. Remember today that […]

Our Weakness, Jesus’ Strength!

A Word from the Lord “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 A Word of Encouragement Ministry is hard, very hard. Vocational wellness is humble reliance on the Lord Jesus, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and the gifts God gives that even those like us may serve in power. […]

Comfort Others with the Comfort You Receive

A Word from the Lord “He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:2 A Word of Encouragement The flock of God will look to you for the restoration of their souls. Remember first your own need for a restored soul, and be a receiver of God’s mercy before you share it with others! We’re Praying for You […]

Stressed-Out Lambs of the Good Shepherd

A Word from the Lord “He makes me lie down in green pastures.” Psalm 23:2 A Word of Encouragement Pandemics. Politics. Technology. Deadlines. No one could handle all the challenges you face without feeling anxiety bordering on despair. Seek comfort today in a healthy meal and extra rest! We’re Praying for You “Lead me to […]

Seeking a Place of Peace Today?

A Word from the Lord “He leads me beside quiet waters.” Psalm 23:2 A Word of Encouragement Everyone needs a safe place, a refuge. Lambs under the Shepherd’s care stay near to him, remember their dependence, and follow Him to the place of peace, rest, and joy! We’re Praying for You “Lord Jesus, words of […]

Remember: You Are a Beloved Lamb

A Word from the Lord “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6 A Word of Encouragement Who are you: shepherd of the flock? Leader and teacher in the church? Remember today that you are like every […]

“For You Are with Me!”

A Word from the Lord “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 A Word of Encouragement Does the Lord seem distant? In the wonder of His people, the fellowship of […]

Little Lambs and their Shepherd

A Word from the Lord “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.” Psalm 23:1 A Word of Encouragement David was placed in the position of highest authority, but always remembered his rightful place as an under-shepherd of the Lord, a critically important tension to keep in balance! We’re Praying for You […]

Double Honor: Teaching and Learning

A Word from the Lord “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” 1 Timothy 5:17 A Word of Encouragement Maybe it’s a triple honor: teaching the Word of God, receiving the honor of the people who learn, and the […]

You Deserve Good Things from God

A Word from the Lord “Anyone who receives instruction in the Word must share all good things with his instructor.” Galatians 6:6 A Word of Encouragement Those who called you to teach them the Word of the Lord promised at your installation to provide for your wellbeing. Welcome their generosity with thanksgiving and humility. We’re […]

Mutual Respect Fosters Peace

A Word from the Lord “Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.” 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 A Word of Encouragement These […]

Our Common Faith is Our Joy

A Word from the Lord “To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.” Titus 1:4 A Word of Encouragement Those we mentor and those who are mentored are united as one in the grace and peace we share in our common faith. […]

An example to appreciate

A Word from the Lord “Remember your leaders who spoke the Word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” Hebrews 13:7 A Word of Encouragement Living as an example is a heavy burden, but so greatly appreciated. When you humbly welcome their appreciation, you become partners […]

Appreciation of leaders and followers

A Word from the Lord “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Hebrews 13:17 A Word of Encouragement They look […]

Lesson One: Ministry Is Great, But Hard!

Planned that way “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, anyone could do it. It’s the hard that makes it great!” That’s what Jimmy Duggan (Tom Hanks) told Dottie Hinson (Genna Davis) in A League of Their Own, when she was about to quit the baseball team. It always reminds me of Jesus […]

Pastor? Person? Shepherd? Sheep? Which are you?

My Little Buddy Jake At first glance, he looks a little confused, but I think he’s not. Yes, he’s a shepherd, but first and foremost, he’s a sheep. My friend Jake sits prominently next to my desk. He’s a shepherd. Maybe someone calls him “Pastor.” But he seems well grounded in his identity. He’s a sheep. […]

Gifted to share their blessings

A Word from the Lord “When Lydia and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. ‘If you consider me a believer in the Lord,’ she said, ‘come and stay at my house.’ And she persuaded us.” Acts 16:15 A Word of Encouragement God gives some of his children the […]

Clear communication is not easy

A Word from the Lord “By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you – I, Paul, who am ‘timid’ when face to face with you, but ‘bold’ when away.” 2 Corinthians 10:1 A Word of Encouragement Paul and the Corinthians had a hard time communicating well. Being clearly heard and understanding fully […]

It’s Healthy to Welcome Words of Appreciation

Don’t downplay words of thanks Everyone needs appreciation. As long as it doesn’t go to your head, every Paul needs an encourager like Barnabas, and few church work professionals receive as much as they need. I still have 35 year old notes of appreciation in a file folder. When the Spirit moves someone to offer […]

I’m one part, not the whole body

A Word from the Lord “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.” 1 Corinthians 12:12 A Word of Encouragement You have one gift, I have another, and yet we are bound together by the shared gift of baptismal […]

The gift of peacemakers

A Word from the Lord “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9 A Word of Encouragement Emotions run high during a pandemic. Whether you are a peacemaker yourself or you know who they are in your fellowship, you are greatly blessed when harmony prevails. We’re Praying for You […]

Gifted for service

A Word from the Lord “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10 A Word of Encouragement Today is a day for service, according to my gifts, remembering that I am but a steward of the Owner, who distributes his […]

Imparted gifts from a generous God

A Word from the Lord “There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all people. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” 1 Corinthians 12:6-7 A Word of Encouragement They’re called “gifts” because of the grace of a loving Father […]

Unity in our diversity of gifts

A Word from the Lord “You do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed… I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there will be no division among you and […]

You don’t get all the Spirit’s gifts. That’s okay!

God knows what he’s doing. One study identified 13 completely different “clusters of activity” that parish pastors are assigned monthly, each of which could be a separate career: public speaking, financial management, volunteer supervision, pastoral care, etc. You know the list. Nobody could possibly be an expert in every area. You deserve appreciation this month […]

Humans Make the Best Pastors – Physical Wellness

A Word from the Lord “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.” 2 Corinthians 12:7 A Word of Encouragement We’re best prepared for faithful service when completely humble and dependent upon the Lord. The […]

Humans Make the Best Pastors – Intellectual Wellness

A Word from the Lord For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.” 2 Corinthians 10:10 A Word of Encouragement Being fully human makes our communication with others always less than perfect. Seek clarity in speech and in hearing today! We’re Praying […]

Humans Make the Best Pastors – Baptismal Wellness

A Word from the Lord Paul and Barnabas shouted, “Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news.” Acts 14:15 A Word of Encouragement Humans make the best ministers because they know how desperately they and all others like them need the good news […]

Humans Make the Best Pastors – Emotional Wellness

A Word from the Lord “When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong.” Galatians 2:11 A Word of Encouragement Fully human means fully engaged in emotional and sometimes contentious relationships, but with hope for peace and joy through mutual forgiveness. We’re Praying for You “Lord […]

Humans Make the Best Pastors – Vocational Wellness

A Word from the Lord But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11 A Word of Encouragement Being fully human means being inadequate for the tasks of ministry, so God shows his power through our weakness. We’re Praying for You […]

Humans Make the Best Pastors – Spiritual Wellness

A Word from the Lord “With it he touched my mouth and said, ‘See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for’.” Isaiah 6:7 A Word of Encouragement God calls very human and thoroughly sinful people like you into ministry, but His grace and mercy have cleansed us […]

Humans Make the Best Pastors – Relational Wellness

A Word from the Lord “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” 1 Corinthians 12:13 A Word of Encouragement The differences in our frail humanity would divide us, but […]

Joshua Is Given a Land of Plenty!

A WORD FROM THE LORD  “I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.” Joshua 1:3 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Look around. Everything you see belongs to the Lord, and yet He has entrusted this world and all its abundance to our care! WE’RE PRAYING FOR YOU “Thank You, […]

Here’s why humans make the best Pastors

Sunday School got it wrong. I’m all in on Sunday School, but stories about the “great heroes of the Bible” do pastors a real disservice. There’s only one Hero in the Bible, the One who shows up and covers the humans with grace, turning their feeble ministry efforts into world-changing miracles. A more careful reading […]

Joshua Talks Straight!

A WORD FROM THE LORD  But to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said… Joshua 1:12 Then they answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.” Joshua 1:16 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT There was an honest and open conversation between leader and […]

God Will Never Leave Joshua!

A WORD FROM THE LORD  “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Joshua 1:5 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Remember who you are today. Just as Moses and Joshua were before you, you are God’s child with the promise of His presence today and forever! […]

God Lifts Up Joshua!

A WORD FROM THE LORD  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT You will find dozens of reasons to be discouraged today, and one reason for an uplifted spirit: the Lord […]

Joshua Finds Strength and Courage!

A WORD FROM THE LORD  “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.” Joshua 1:6 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Your work today is a part of God’s mission, His promise to pour out His Spirit and blessing on all people. Be strong and courageous! WE’RE […]

Joshua and Meditation on the Word!

A WORD FROM THE LORD  “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Joshua’s fortification was not in armor or horses, but in […]

Abraham Is Shown God’s Great Love!

A WORD FROM THE LORD  Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Genesis 22:2 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT God offered His own Son, whom He loves, Jesus – so that we […]

Abraham Shares a Feast!

A WORD FROM THE LORD  Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree. Genesis 18:7-8 A […]

Abraham Has a Conversation!

A WORD FROM THE LORD Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?” He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.” Genesis 18:32 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Amazing conversation! Sincere curiosity and great questions lead to serendipitous […]

Abraham Is Promised Eternity!

A WORD FROM THE LORD “You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age.”  Genesis 15:15 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Only the Lord knows the number of our days, but by His grace, we know the promise of eternity with all the faithful when our days are […]

Abraham Seeks Harmony!

A WORD FROM THE LORD So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives.”  Genesis 13:8 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Our natural self-centeredness always leads to conflict. The fruit of the Spirit is Peace. Who is your “Lot” with whom you […]

Abraham Follows the Call!

A WORD FROM THE LORD The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.”  Genesis 12:1 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Your calling to serve is from God Himself. Only He knows what lies ahead; by faith, you follow, certain that He accompanies you on every […]

Abraham Receives a Blessing!

A WORD FROM THE LORD Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.”  Genesis 14:18-19 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Worship begins by receiving the gifts of God, His blessing of forgiveness, peace, hope and […]

Psalm 103 and A Father’s Love!

A WORD FROM THE LORD “As a father has compassion on his children,     so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed,     he remembers that we are dust.“ Psalm 103:13-14 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT We have a perfect mentor for all of our relationships in our Father who has been […]

Psalm 103 and Healing!

A WORD FROM THE LORD “Praise the Lord, my soul,     who forgives all your sins     and heals all your diseases.“ Psalm 103:3 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Our bodies are riddled with frailty, aches and pains, but God is constantly at work with His gifts of rest, strength and healing to face a new day! WE’RE PRAYING FOR […]

Psalm 103 and Never Forgetting!

A WORD FROM THE LORD “Praise the Lord, my soul,     and forget not all his benefits.“ Psalm 103:2 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Intellectual wellbeing means listening attentively. Listen to the promises. Recall all of His past blessings. Find refreshment for today in yesterday’s blessings! WE’RE PRAYING FOR YOU “Lord Jesus, I confess that I have been unaware of […]

Psalm 103 and Everlasting Love!

A WORD FROM THE LORD “But from everlasting to everlasting     the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,     and his righteousness with their children’s children.“ Psalm 103:17 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT He never breaks a promise, and His promise to you at your baptism was the blessing of His everlasting, eternal, unending love! WE’RE PRAYING […]

Psalm 103 and Forgiveness!

A WORD FROM THE LORD “For as high as the heavens are above the earth,     so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west,     so far has he removed our transgressions from us.“ Psalm 103:11-12 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Worried? Tired? Angry? Discouraged? In spite of everything […]

GPW Minute for 9/21- Vocational Blessing from Psalm 103!

Psalm 103 and the Mission of God A WORD FROM THE LORD “The Lord has established his throne in heaven,     and his kingdom rules over all.“ Psalm 103:19 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Who’s mission is it? What comfort there is in knowing that it is the Lord who sits on the throne and we are simply His servants. Rejoice […]

GPW Minute for 9/20- Spiritual Blessing from Psalm 103!

Psalm 103 and the Holy Name A WORD FROM THE LORD “Praise the Lord, my soul;     all my inmost being, praise his holy name.“ Psalm 103:1 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT His holy name is Jesus. You know him by name! What does the name of Jesus mean to you? We will never need any other reason to […]

GPW Minute for 9/19 – Relational Encouragement from 1 Thessalonians (Part 2)!

1 Thessalonians and Love A WORD FROM THE LORD “But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you.“ 1 Thessalonians […]

GPW Minute for 9/18 – Physical Encouragement from 1 Thessalonians (Part 2)!

1 Thessalonians and Purity A WORD FROM THE LORD “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God.“ 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 A WORD […]

GPW Minute for 9/17 – Intellectual Encouragement from 1 Thessalonians (Part 2)!

1 Thessalonians and Caring Curiosity A WORD FROM THE LORD “For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith.“ 1 Thessalonians 3:5 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT True compassion and kindness wants to know how those around me are faring as we journey through these difficult times! WE’RE […]

GPW Minute for 9/16 – Baptismal Encouragement from 1 Thessalonians (Part 2)!

1 Thessalonians and Blamelessness A WORD FROM THE LORD “May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.“ 1 Thessalonians 3:13 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Our yesterdays are filled with regret, our todays are loaded with […]

GPW Minute for 9/15 – Emotional Encouragement from 1 Thessalonians (Part 2)!

1 Thessalonians and the Increase of Love A WORD FROM THE LORD “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.“ 1 Thessalonians 3:12 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT These are the stressful times that bring about conflict in churches and homes, but the […]

GPW Minute for 9/14 – Vocational Encouragement from 1 Thessalonians (Part 2)!

1 Thessalonians and Joy in Ministry A WORD FROM THE LORD “Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.“ 1 Thessalonians 3:10 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT God’s Word never returns without doing its work. You are God’s chosen instrument to prayerfully supply God’s gifts […]

GPW Minute for 9/13 – Spiritual Encouragement from 1 Thessalonians (Part 2)!

1 Thessalonians and God’s Word of Blessing A WORD FROM THE LORD “Therefore encourage one another with these words.“ 1 Thessalonians 4:18 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT You are called to offer encouragement to others. Who offers you encouragement from God’s Word? Remember to first breathe in, then breathe out! WE’RE PRAYING FOR YOU “Thank You, […]

GPW Minute for 9/12 – Relational Encouragement from 1 Thessalonians (Part 1)!

1 Thessalonians and Lives Shared in Love A WORD FROM THE LORD “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.“ 1 Thessalonians 2:8 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT The love of God in the gospel binds us together into communities of […]

GPW Minute for 9/11 – Financial Encouragement from 1 Thessalonians (Part 1)!

1 Thessalonians and Financial Integrity A WORD FROM THE LORD “You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness.“ 1 Thessalonians 2:5 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT You didn’t follow the call in order to get rich. Celebrate the faithful and generous stewards who provide […]

GPW Minute for 9/10 – Intellectual Encouragement from 1 Thessalonians (Part 1)!

1 Thessalonians and Longing to Reconnect A WORD FROM THE LORD “But, brothers and sisters, when we were orphaned by being separated from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you.“ 1 Thessalonians 2:17 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Compassionate curiosity about those […]

GPW Minute for 9/9 – Baptismal Encouragement from 1 Thessalonians (Part 1)!

GPW Minute for 9/9 – Baptismal Encouragement from 1 Thessalonians (Part 1)! 1 Thessalonians and God’s Chosen A WORD FROM THE LORD “For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.“ […]

GPW Minute for 9/8 – Emotional Encouragement from 1 Thessalonians (Part 1)!

1 Thessalonians and the Danger of Hostility A WORD FROM THE LORD “They displease God and are hostile to everyone in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them […]

GPW Minute for 9/7 – Vocational Encouragement from 1 Thessalonians (Part 1)!

GPW Minute for 9/7 – Vocational Encouragement from 1 Thessalonians (Part 1)! 1 Thessalonians and Your Labor of Love A WORD FROM THE LORD “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.“ 1 Thessalonians 1:3 […]

GPW Minute for 9/6 – Spiritual Encouragement from 1 Thessalonians (Part 1)!

1 Thessalonians and the Word at Work A WORD FROM THE LORD “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.“ […]

GPW Minute for 9/5 – Relational Hope and Joy from 1 Timothy 1!

1 Timothy and Unity in Diversity A WORD FROM THE LORD “To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.“ 1 Timothy 1:2 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Different generations, different backgrounds, but mentor and disciple are bound as family, dear father and true son […]

GPW Minute for 9/4 – Physical Hope and Joy from 1 Timothy 1!

1 Timothy and the Gift of Strength A WORD FROM THE LORD “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength…“ 1 Timothy 1:12a A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Life, health, strength, even within the limitations of the infirmities that He has permitted, are gifts from our Creator Father to use to His glory! […]

GPW Minute for 9/3 – Intellectual Hope and Joy from 1 Timothy 1!

1 Timothy and Meaningful Talk A WORD FROM THE LORD “Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.“ 1 Timothy 1:6-7 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Meaningless talk breeds trouble. […]

GPW Minute for 9/2 – Baptismal Hope and Joy from 1 Timothy 1!

1 Timothy and Poured Out Grace A WORD FROM THE LORD “The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.“ 1 Timothy 1:14 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Think back to the day of your baptism. Grace was “poured out” on you also. […]

GPW Minute for 9/1 – Emotional Hope and Joy from 1 Timothy 1!

1 Timothy and New Beginnings A WORD FROM THE LORD “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.“ 1 Timothy 1:13 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Our ignorance and violence destroy relationships. God’s grace and mercy change everything and bring new […]

GPW Minute for 8/31 – Vocational Hope and Joy from 1 Timothy 1!

1 Timothy and Appointment for Service A WORD FROM THE LORD “ I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service.“ 1 Timothy 1:12 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT What comfort there is in knowing that as God carried Elijah, Jeremiah, Peter and Paul through times […]

GPW Minute for 8/30 – Spiritual Hope and Joy from 1 Timothy 1!

1 Timothy and Salvation A WORD FROM THE LORD “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst..“ 1 Timothy 1:15 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT When Satan accuses “You’re the worst!,” simply agree and remind him of the grace of Christ which […]

GPW Minute for 8/29 – Relational Wellness from Proverbs 3!

Proverbs 3 and Love A WORD FROM THE LORD “Let love and faithfulness never leave you;     bind them around your neck,     write them on the tablet of your heart.  Then you will win favor and a good name     in the sight of God and man.“ Proverbs 3:3-4 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT When the world seems to […]

GPW Minute for 8/28 – Financial Wellness from Proverbs 3!

Proverbs 3 and Abundance A WORD FROM THE LORD “Honor the Lord with your wealth,     with the firstfruits of all your crops;  then your barns will be filled to overflowing,     and your vats will brim over with new wine.“ Proverbs 3:9-10 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT God has provided for His people through drought and flood and pestilence. He calls […]

GPW Minute for 8/27 – Intellectual Wellness from Proverbs 3!

Proverbs 3 and Discovery A WORD FROM THE LORD “Blessed are those who find wisdom,     those who gain understanding,  for she is more profitable than silver     and yields better returns than gold.“ Proverbs 3:13-14 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Pandemics stir up curiosity: What’s next? What can I learn? Who can help? Seek out the wisdom […]

GPW Minute for 8/26 – Baptismal Wellness from Proverbs 3!

Proverbs 3 and Security A WORD FROM THE LORD “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,     and do not resent his rebuke,  because the Lord disciplines those he loves,     as a father the son he delights in.“ Proverbs 3:11-12 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Even in times of trouble, our faithful Father is present and active, teaching us lessons, […]

GPW Minute for 8/25 – Emotional Wellness from Proverbs 3!

Proverbs 3 and Calm Hearts A WORD FROM THE LORD “Do not plot harm against your neighbor,     who lives trustfully near you.  Do not accuse anyone for no reason—     when they have done you no harm.“ Proverbs 3:29-30 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Blaming others flows from anxiety over troubled times. Love and respect keeps emotions […]

GPW Minute for 8/24 – Vocational Wellness from Proverbs 3!

Proverbs 3 and Humility A WORD FROM THE LORD “Do not be wise in your own eyes;     fear the Lord and shun evil.   This will bring health to your body     and nourishment to your bones.“ Proverbs 3:7-8 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Pandemics leave us overwhelmed and humbled, and humbled is a good place to be. God […]

GPW Minute for 8/23 – Spiritual Wellness from Proverbs 3!

Proverbs 3 and Faith A WORD FROM THE LORD “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Submission, trust, faith. What a great confidence we have that the Lord is God […]

GPW Minute for 8/22 – Relational Wellness from Esther!

Esther and Family A WORD FROM THE LORD “ Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother […]

GPW Minute for 8/21 – Physical Wellness from Esther!

Esther and Meals of Celebration A WORD FROM THE LORD “If it pleases the king,” replied Esther, “let the king, together with Haman, come today to a banquet I have prepared for him.” Esther 5:4 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Have you found time for a meal of celebration lately? Have a banquet to strengthen the […]

GPW Minute for 8/20 – Intellectual Wellness from Esther!

Esther and Compassionate Conversation A WORD FROM THE LORD “Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai…” Esther 4:9-10 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Despite the barriers, Esther sought to learn more about her beloved relative. True compassion seeks out understanding! WE’RE PRAYING FOR YOU “Give […]

GPW Minute for 8/19 – Baptismal Wellness from Esther!

Esther and Unity with God’s Family A WORD FROM THE LORD Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated.” Esther […]

GPW Minute for 8/18 – Emotional Wellness from Esther!

Esther and Compassionate Conversation A WORD FROM THE LORD “Then Esther summoned Hathak, one of the king’s eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why.” Esther 4:5 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT When their relationship was strained, Esther sought out Mordecai, to offer love and care so […]

GPW Minute for 8/17 – Vocational Wellness from Esther!

Esther and the Call to Serve A WORD FROM THE LORD “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as […]

GPW Minute for 8/16 – Spiritual Wellness from Esther!

Esther and Deliverance A WORD FROM THE LORD “Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the […]

GPW Minute for 8/15 – Relational Hope!

Hope and Relational Wellness  (Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have will get better) A WORD FROM THE LORD “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been […]

GPW Minute for 8/14 – Physical Hope!

Hope and Physical Wellness  (Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have will get better) A WORD FROM THE LORD “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been […]

GPW Minute for 8/13 – Intellectual Hope!

Hope and Intellectual Wellness  (Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have will get better) A WORD FROM THE LORD “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been […]

GPW Minute for 8/12 – Baptismal Hope!

Hope and Spiritual Wellness  (Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have will get better) A WORD FROM THE LORD “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been […]

GPW Minute for 8/11 – Emotional Hope!

Hope and Emotional Wellness  (Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have will get better) A WORD FROM THE LORD “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been […]

GPW Minute for 8/10 – Vocational Hope!

Hope and Vocational Wellness  (Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have will get better) A WORD FROM THE LORD “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been […]

GPW Minute for 8/9 – Spiritual Hope!

GPW Minute for 8/9 – Spiritual Hope! Hope and Spiritual Wellness  (Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have will get better) A WORD FROM THE LORD “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put […]

GPW Minute for 8/8 – Humbly Celebrating the Gift of Friends!

Humility and Relational Wellness  A WORD FROM THE LORD “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’.” 1 Peter 5:5 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT All of our friendships are enhanced when both parties believe they are getting the better end of the […]

GPW Minute for 8/7 – Humbly Resting My Weary Body!

Humility and Physical Wellness  A WORD FROM THE LORD “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’.” 1 Peter 5:5 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Pride makes me think I can do anything. Humility teaches me to recognize my limitations and wisely care […]

GPW Minute for 8/6 – Humbly Learning from Others!

Humility and Intellectual Wellness  A WORD FROM THE LORD “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’.” 1 Peter 5:5 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Every day opens a me to the new possibility of discovering something new in the most unexpected places; […]

GPW Minute for 8/5 – Humbly Living by Baptismal Grace!

Humility and Baptismal Wellness  A WORD FROM THE LORD “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’.” 1 Peter 5:5 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT In days of victory or in days of failure and struggle, there is joy in knowing that I […]

GPW Minute for 8/4 – Humbly Seeking Forgiveness!

Humility and Emotional Wellness  A WORD FROM THE LORD “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’.” 1 Peter 5:5 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT When the mood changes between us, both of us are responsible to humbly seek what our part has […]

GPW Minute for 8/3 – Humbly Serving By My Gifts!

Humility and Vocational Wellness  A WORD FROM THE LORD “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’.” 1 Peter 5:5 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT We serve only by the gifts we have first received. In humility we place our time and energies […]

GPW Minute for 8/2 – Humbly Seeking God’s Grace!

Humility and Spiritual Wellness  A WORD FROM THE LORD “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’.” 1 Peter 5:5 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT What a joy to bow humbly before our Father in heaven, not hiding or excusing our faults, but […]

GPW Minute for 8/1- Love Like Newly Wed Soldiers!

Relational Wellness in Deuteronomy A WORD FROM THE LORD “If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.” Deuteronomy 24:5 A WORD […]

GPW Minute for 7/31- Love God with Strength!

Physical Wellness in Deuteronomy A WORD FROM THE LORD “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT We honor God through physical wellbeing, tending to the needs of our body, and loving Him with […]

GPW Minute for 7/30- Love for Strangers!

Intellectual Wellness in Deuteronomy A WORD FROM THE LORD “And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.” Deuteronomy 10:19 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Pre-judging those we don’t know is a dead end. Curiosity about strangers opens the door to surprises and new friendships! WE’RE PRAYING FOR YOU “Open my […]

GPW Minute for 7/29 – He Has Rescued Us!

Baptismal Wellness in Deuteronomy A WORD FROM THE LORD “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” Deuteronomy 5:6 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Before a word of law was ever spoken, God reminded Israel (and us!) that we were rescued from death by His act of power and […]

GPW Minute for 7/28 – Forgiving the Debts of Others!

Emotional Wellness in Deuteronomy A WORD FROM THE LORD “At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts.” Deuteronomy 15:1 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT The burden of debt weighs heavily on both parties. Forgiveness clears the atmosphere and creates new beginnings! WE’RE PRAYING FOR YOU “Lord Jesus Christ, as you have forgiven me […]

GPW Minute for 7/27 – The Lord Fights the Battles!

Vocational Wellness in Deuteronomy A WORD FROM THE LORD “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” Deuteronomy 20:3-4 A […]

GPW Minute for 7/26 – Not Bread Alone!

Spiritual Wellness in Deuteronomy A WORD FROM THE LORD “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 8:3 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT On new […]

GPW Minute for 7/25 – Reckless Love!

Relational Wellness in The Sermon on the Mount A WORD FROM THE LORD “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:43-44 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Love for all is the way of the […]

GPW Minute for 7/24 – Reckless Giving!

  Financial Wellness in The Sermon on the Mount A WORD FROM THE LORD “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” Matthew 6:3 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT There is joy in giving beyond what we think is reasonable. Celebrate God’s lavish generosity […]

GPW Minute for 7/23 – Make a Friend!

Intellectual Wellness in The Sermon on the Mount A WORD FROM THE LORD “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” Matthew 7:1 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT How quick we are to judge and slow to listen and learn. Ask someone to tell you their story today, and make a new friend by your […]

GPW Minute for 7/22 – More Valuable than Birds!

Baptismal Wellness in The Sermon on the Mount A WORD FROM THE LORD “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or stow away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Never forget: you […]

GPW Minute for 7/21 – Mending Relationships!

Emotional Wellness in The Sermon on the Mount A WORD FROM THE LORD “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your […]

GPW Minute for 7/20 – Let Your Light Shine!

Vocational Wellness in The Sermon on the Mount A WORD FROM THE LORD “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT The Light of Christ dwells in you. We don’t make light, we let […]

GPW Minute for 7/19 – Ask, Seek, Knock!

Spiritual Wellness in The Sermon on the Mount A WORD FROM THE LORD “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT How has your prayer life sustained you in these unusual times? God celebrates every […]

GPW Minute for 7/18 – Christ Is in All!

Relational Wellness in Colossians 3 A WORD FROM THE LORD Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Colossians 3:11 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Selfish pride divides us from others, but the love of Christ overflows into unity and love […]

GPW Minute for 7/17 – Shunning Idolatry!

Physical & Financial Wellness in Colossians 3 A WORD FROM THE LORD Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Passions of the flesh lead to unhealthy choices when we’re under stress, but Christ has the […]

GPW Minute for 7/16 – Speaking Words of Truth!

Intellectual Wellness in Colossians 3 A WORD FROM THE LORD Do not lie to each other. Colossians 3:9 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT True compassion and kindness desires the best for our loved ones, and so we speak truth with gentleness, respect and love! WE’RE PRAYING FOR YOU “Lord Jesus Christ, teach us to follow Your […]

GPW Minute for 7/15 – Off with Old, On with New!

Baptismal Wellness in Colossians 3 A WORD FROM THE LORD …since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Colossians 3:9-10 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Every day is a new day, begun fresh and […]

GPW Minute for 7/14 – Forgive as Forgiven!

Emotional Wellness in Colossians 3 A WORD FROM THE LORD Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Emotions run high, feelings are hurt, relationships are strained in trying times, but God’s grace makes all things new. […]

GPW Minute for 7/13 – All in the Name of Jesus!

Vocational Wellness in Colossians 3 A WORD FROM THE LORD And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT As we navigate uncharted waters, many of our ministry efforts seem […]

GPW Minute for 7/12 – Psalms and Hymns and…!

Spiritual Wellness in Colossians 3 A WORD FROM THE LORD Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Worship is different […]

GPW Minute for 7/11 – Relational Close Friendships!

The Relational Blessing of Good Friends A WORD FROM THE LORD Among these were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. Daniel 1:6 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT One of God’s great blessings in times of trial is the companionship and fellowship of close, intimate friends who journey with us in every challenge! WE’RE PRAYING […]

GPW Minute for 7/10 – Physical Wise Choices!

The Physical Blessing of Good Dietary Choices A WORD FROM THE LORD “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” […]

GPW Minute for 7/9 – Intellectual Honesty!

The Intellectual Blessing of Speaking Truth A WORD FROM THE LORD Then Daniel answered the king, “You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else. Nevertheless, I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means.” Daniel 5:17 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT We bless the people […]

GPW Minute for 7/8 – Baptismal Promise of Christ’s Presence!

The Baptismal Blessing of God’s Presence A WORD FROM THE LORD Nebuchadnezzar said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” Daniel 3:25 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT In every fiery challenge of life, Jesus Christ is alongside us, protecting, defending, […]

GPW Minute for 7/7 – Emotional Wisdom from Daniel!

The Emotional Blessing of Forgiveness A WORD FROM THE LORD “O Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill.” Daniel 4:9 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT In our times of anxiety and stress, the steadfast love of the Lord, His history of […]

GPW Minute for 7/6 – Vocational Wisdom from Daniel!

The Vocational Blessing of Wisdom from the Spirit A WORD FROM THE LORD [King Nebuchadnezzar said to Daniel], “I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no mystery is too difficult for you.” Daniel 4:9 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT By Word and Spirit, ministers of the gospel bear the good […]

GPW Minute for 7/5 – Spiritual Wisdom from Daniel!

The Spiritual Blessing of Word and Prayer A WORD FROM THE LORD “I, Daniel, understood from the scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation would last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and […]

GPW Minute for 7/4 – A Relational Blessing!

The Lord Delivers Me from My Relational Fears A WORD FROM THE LORD I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from my fears. Psalm 34:4 If my relational fear is that… my family will drift apart, God’s deliverance is that… there is no division that drives us apart that cannot be […]

GPW Minute for 7/3 – A Physical and Financial Blessing!

The Lord Delivers Me from My Physical and Financial Fears A WORD FROM THE LORD I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from my fears. Psalm 34:4 If my physical/financial fear is that… I could so quickly and suddenly lose all that I have, including my health and my wealth, God’s […]

GPW Minute for 7/2 – An Intellectual Blessing!

The Lord Delivers Me from My Intellectual Fears A WORD FROM THE LORD I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from my fears. Psalm 34:4 If my intellectual fear is that… I so poorly share with others in my life how much I love them and I fear that they doubt […]

GPW Minute for 7/1 – A Baptismal Blessing!

The Lord Delivers Me from My Baptismal Fears A WORD FROM THE LORD I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from my fears. Psalm 34:4 If my baptismal fear is that… my faith is so weak that I might fall into a time of doubt, God’s deliverance is that… the power […]

GPW Minute for 6/30 – An Emotional Blessing!

The Lord Delivers Me from My Emotional Fears A WORD FROM THE LORD I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from my fears. Psalm 34:4 If my emotional fear is that… the bitter atmosphere of conflict and resentment in my life will never go away, God’s deliverance is that… His grace […]

GPW Minute for 6/29 – A Vocational Blessing!

The Lord Delivers Me from My Vocational Fears A WORD FROM THE LORD I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from my fears. Psalm 34:4 If my vocational fear is that… I am unqualified for this enormous work and incapable of success; I’m afraid someone will find out. God’s deliverance is […]

GPW Minute for 6/28 – A Spiritual Blessing!

The Lord Delivers Me from My Spiritual Fears A WORD FROM THE LORD I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from my fears. Psalm 34:4 If my spiritual fear is… that my sin is so great, my service in so meager, how can the Lord put up with me any longer? […]

GPW Minute for 6/27: A Relational Wellness Parable!

The Lowest at the Feast and Relational Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Luke14:13-14 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Times of […]

GPW Minute for 6/26: A Financial Wellness Parable!

The Good Samaritan and Financial Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said, “and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.” Luke10:35 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Jesus said to the […]

GPW Minute for 6/25: An Intellectual Wellness Parable!

The Unjust Judge and Intellectual Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD And there was a widow in that town who kept coming with the plea, “Grant me justice against my adversary.” Luke18:3 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT God hears our every plea, and calls us to listen attentively to all around us who cry out with […]

GPW Minute for 6/24: A Baptismal Wellness Parable!

The Lost Sheep and Baptismal Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” Luke15:5-6 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Never forget, before anyone ever […]

GPW Minute for 6/23: An Emotional Wellness Parable!

The Unmerciful Servant and Emotional Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD The servant fell on his knees before him. “Be patient with me,” he begged, “and I will pay back everything.” The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled his debt and let him go. Matthew 18:26-27 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT When emotions run high, […]

GPW Minute for 6/22: A Vocational Wellness Parable!

The Dutiful Servant and Vocational Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. Luke 12:43 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Through every trial and tribulation, even when He seems far away, God is at work through His called servants who remain faithful […]

GPW Minute for 6/21: A Spiritual Wellness Parable!

The Good Soil and Spiritual Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Matthew 13:8 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT God’s Word works wonders of faith, hope and joy. These are blessings God gives to carry […]

GPW Minute for 6/20: Hope from Genesis – Relational

Genesis and Relational Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:24 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Are you married? In these hectic times, be sure and give special attention to your most important […]

GPW Minute for 6/19: Hope from Genesis – Physical

Genesis and Physical Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden.” Genesis 2:16 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Meat was not part of our diet until after the flood. What’s your favorite fruit or vegetable? Savor every delicious bite today! […]

GPW Minute for 6/18: Hope from Genesis – Intellectual

Genesis and Intellectual Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. Genesis 41:14 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Sometimes wisdom comes from the most unusual places. Our country needs good listeners. To whom will you seek wisdom today? WE’RE PRAYING FOR YOU “Open my ears, […]

GPW Minute for 6/17: Hope from Genesis – Baptismal

Genesis and Baptismal Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot passed between the pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram. Genesis 15:17-18 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Abram sat passively while God affirmed the covenant of his undying love, just as […]

GPW Minute for 6/16: Hope from Genesis – Emotional

Genesis and Emotional Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD But Esau ran to Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. Genesis 33:4 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Satan divides, but Jesus reunites estranged brothers through forgiveness and love. Who needs your word of gracious forgiveness today? WE’RE PRAYING FOR […]

GPW Minute for 6/15: Hope from Genesis – Vocational

Genesis and Vocational Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.” Genesis 14:18-19 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT The world needs a word of […]

GPW Minute for 6/14: Hope from Genesis – Spiritual

Genesis and Spiritual Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD Jacob said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” Genesis 28:17 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Even as the world spins out of control, we have access to the Father through His Son, Jesus. […]

GPW Minute for 6/13: Call for Unity – Relational

Ephesians 2 and Relational Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household. Ephesians 2:19 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Communities will always remain divided until we share in the one house that Christ is building, the household of God’s […]

GPW Minute for 6/12: Call for Unity – Spiritual

Ephesians 2 and Spiritual Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Ephesians 2:18 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Oneness needs constant renewal. Confessing our sins together, we meet before the Father who pours out grace and unity by the Spirit! WE’RE PRAYING FOR YOU […]

GPW Minute for 6/11: Call for Unity – Intellectual

Ephesians 2 and Intellectual Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. Ephesians 2:17 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Unity that breaks down barriers comes from a shared experience. When we’ve both heard and believed the one message that was […]

GPW Minute for 6/10: Call for Unity – Baptismal

Ephesians 2 and Baptismal Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD …and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. Ephesians 2:16 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT From all nations, languages and backgrounds, we stand together at the foot of the cross with […]

GPW Minute for 6/9: Call for Unity – Emotional

Ephesians 2 and Emotional Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD …by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace. Ephesians 2:15 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT True and lasting unity comes only by the power of […]

GPW Minute for 6/8: Call for Unity – Vocational

Ephesians 2 and Vocational Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility. Ephesians 2:14 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT The world cries for peace, but doesn’t know where to find it. What joy to share the […]

GPW Minute for 6/7: Call for Unity – Spiritual

Ephesians 2 and Spiritual Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:13 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT God unites strangers in spite of their differences. We turn to Christ and receive grace, then live not far […]

GPW Minute for 6/6: The Seventy-Two – Companionship!

The Seventy-Two and Relational Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. Luke 10:1 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT You are not alone. The Lord still sends His servants out with […]

GPW Minute for 6/5: The Seventy-Two – A Worker’s Wages!

The Seventy-Two and Financial Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD Jesus said, “Stay in that house eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages.” Luke 10:7 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Generous disciples of Jesus provide the blessing from God, a salary and benefits for the provision of their called workers. […]

GPW Minute for 6/4: The Seventy-Two – We Know God!

The Seventy-Two and Intellectual Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD Jesus said, “No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Luke 10:22 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT What our minds could never comprehend, […]

GPW Minute for 6/3: The Seventy-Two – Written in Heaven!

The Seventy-Two and Baptismal Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD Jesus said, “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” Luke 10:20 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Ministry is hard and has its highs and lows, but our joy in every time, no matter how […]

GPW Minute for 6/2: The Seventy-Two – Peace on This House!

The Seventy-Two and Emotional Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD Jesus said, “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.” Luke 10:5-6 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT The gospel brings many blessings, including […]

GPW Minute for 6/1: The Seventy-Two – Demons Submit!

The Seventy-Two and Vocational Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Luke 10:17 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT The ministry of the Word has power beyond our imagination and we are privileged to be sent in the name of Jesus […]

GPW Minute for 5/31: The Seventy-Two – Praise for Revelation!

The Seventy-Two and Spiritual Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good […]

GPW Minute for 5/30: Wisdom from David – A True Friendship!

David and Relational Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD “I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of a woman.” 2 Samuel 1:26 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Every leader needs a true companion and friend, one who offers a safe […]

GPW Minute for 5/29: Wisdom from David – All Is from God!

David and Financial Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD David prayed, “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes form you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” 1 Chronicles 29:14 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT A pandemic […]

GPW Minute for 5/28: Wisdom from David – Asking Questions!

David and Intellectual Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” 1 Samuel 17:26 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT […]

GPW Minute for 5/27: Wisdom from David – Dancing for Joy!

David and Baptismal Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD “David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.” 1 Samuel 6:14-15 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT The ark was a […]

GPW Minute for 5/26: Wisdom from David – Grace to Saul’s Grandson!

David and Emotional Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD “Don’t be afraid,” David said to Mephibosheth, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.” 2 Samuel 9:7 […]

GPW Minute for 5/25: Wisdom from David – The Mighty Men!

David and Vocational Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD “These are the names of David’s mighty men.” 2 Samuel 23:8 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT David surrounded himself with other great leaders. In times of crisis, God’s people step forward to lead. Find a new leader this week! WE’RE PRAYING FOR YOU “Thank You, Lord of […]

GPW Minute for 5/24: Wisdom from David – Singer of Songs!

David and Spiritual Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD These are the last words of David: “The oracle of David son of Jesse, the oracle of the man exalted by the Most High, the man anointed by the God of Jacob, Israel’s singer of songs ” 2 Samuel 23:1 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT The most […]

GPW Minute for 5/23: Friends of Jesus in Luke – Zacchaeus!

Zacchaeus and Relational Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” Luke 19:5 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT No one would have thought, but the most unlikely of companions became friends that day. God binds us […]

GPW Minute for 5/22: Friends of Jesus in Luke – The Widow!

The Widow and Financial Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put in more than all the others.” Luke 21:3 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT A time of crisis brings out the generosity of the Lord’s people. How have you seen God’s people respond sacrificially for those […]

GPW Minute for 5/21: Friends of Jesus in Luke – The Centurion!

The Centurion and Intellectual Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD “When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, ‘I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel’.” Luke 7:9 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Jesus showed great delight in meeting the Centurion and […]

GPW Minute for 5/20: Friends of Jesus in Luke – Little Children!

The Little Children and Baptismal Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD “People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them.” Luke 18:15 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Take a moment to remember the gift of your own baptism. No matter how “grown up” you are, you’re still a little child under the Lord’s hand […]

GPW Minute for 5/19: Friends of Jesus in Luke – The Samaritan Leper!

The Samaritan Leper and Emotional Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.” Luke 17:15-16 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT What a transformation: from crying out at a distance to joyous celebration at […]

GPW Minute for 5/18: Friends of Jesus in Luke – Former Demoniac!

The Former Demoniac and Vocational Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD “But Jesus sent him away saying, ‘Return home and tell how much God has done for you’!” Luke 8:38-39 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT We are equipped to share the gospel because the gospel has first taken root in our own hearts. Ministry proclamation is largely […]

GPW Minute for 5/17: Friends of Jesus in Luke – Mary!

Mary and Spiritual Wellbeing A WORD FROM THE LORD “She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he said.” Luke 10:39 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT You feed the Word of God to others. Remember the joy of sitting at the Savior’s feet and being fed! WE’RE PRAYING FOR YOU […]

GPW Minute for 5/16: A Call to Taste and See from Psalm 34!

An Invitation from Psalm 34 A Call to Taste and See! A WORD FROM THE LORD “Taste and see that the Lord is good;     blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. 9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people,     for those who fear him lack nothing. 10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,     but […]

GPW Minute for 5/15: A Call to Fear the Lord from Psalm 34!

An Invitation from Psalm 34 A Call to Fear the Lord! A WORD FROM THE LORD “This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;     he saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,     and he delivers them..” Psalm 34:6-7 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT The […]

GPW Minute for 5/14: A Call to Listen, Learn, Speak from Psalm 34!

An Invitation from Psalm 34 A Call to Listen, Learn, Speak! A WORD FROM THE LORD “Come, my children, listen to me;     I will teach you the fear of the Lord. 12 Whoever of you loves life     and desires to see many good days, 13 keep your tongue from evil     and your lips from telling lies.” Psalm […]

GPW Minute for 5/13: A Call to Seek Refuge from Psalm 34!

An Invitation from Psalm 34 A Call to Seek Refuge! A WORD FROM THE LORD “The Lord will rescue his servants;     no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.” Psalm 34:22 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Servant is a prime occupation when you serve in God’s house. No matter what your challenge is today, […]

GPW Minute for 5/12: A Call to Cry for Help from Psalm 34!

An Invitation from Psalm 34 A Call to Cry for Help! A WORD FROM THE LORD “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;     he delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted     and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:17-18 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT What God […]

GPW Minute for 5/11: A Call to Good Deeds from Psalm 34!

An Invitation from Psalm 34 A Call to Good Deeds! A WORD FROM THE LORD “Turn from evil and do good;     seek peace and pursue it..” Psalm 34:14 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT God is at work; what an amazing thought that He has invited you and me to be His hands and feet. What a […]

GPW Minute for 5/10: A Call to Glorify from Psalm 34!

An Invitation from Psalm 34 A Call to Worship! A WORD FROM THE LORD “I will extol the Lord at all times;     his praise will always be on my lips. 2 I will glory in the Lord;     let the afflicted hear and rejoice. 3 Glorify the Lord with me;     let us exalt his name together.” Psalm 34:1-3 […]

GPW Minute for May 9 from Ephesians 4: His Fatherhood!

A Blessing from Ephesians 4 Welcome God’s Abundance! A WORD FROM THE LORD “(There is) one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:6 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Parents are calling out for help! None of us are performing the tasks of our parenting vocations as […]

GPW Minute for May 8 from Ephesians 4: His Abundance!

A Blessing from Ephesians 4 Welcome God’s Abundance! A WORD FROM THE LORD “He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.” Ephesians 4:28 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Gainful employment and the skills to serve […]

GPW Minute for May 7 from Ephesians 4: His Truthfulness!

A Blessing from Ephesians 4 Welcome God’s Truthfulness! A WORD FROM THE LORD “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body” Ephesians 4:25 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT God speaks truth. The call to follow is to speak truthfully to one another […]

GPW Minute for May 6 from Ephesians 4: His Re-Creation!

A Blessing from Ephesians 4 Welcome God’s Re-Creation! A WORD FROM THE LORD “…to be made new in the attitude of your minds.” Ephesians 4:23 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Take a deep breath. Regardless of how yesterday unfolded or what’s happening today, your baptismal right is to begin anew, moment by moment. You are in […]

GPW Minute for May 5 from Ephesians 4: His Forgiveness!

A Blessing from Ephesians 4 Welcome God’s Forgiveness! A WORD FROM THE LORD “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT What our families and friendships need most can’t be found on Amazon. We’re piled in on top of each […]

GPW Minute for May 4 from Ephesians 4: His Gift (YOU)!

A Blessing from Ephesians 4 Welcome God’s Gift of YOU! A WORD FROM THE LORD “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers…” Ephesians 4:11 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT “It was he (Christ) who gave…” That makes you (yes, […]

GPW Minute for May 3 from Ephesians 4: His Fullness!

A Blessing from Ephesians 4 Welcome God’s Gift of His Fullness A WORD FROM THE LORD “…until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Sundays are invigorating, […]

GPW Minute 5/2: God’s Gift of Patience!

God’s Intention for You Is the Fruit of the Spirit! Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of PATIENCE A WORD FROM THE LORD (Read slowly, welcoming the Spirit’s gifts to you) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:23-24 A WORD […]

GPW Minute 5/1: God’s Gift of Self-Control!

God’s Intention for You Is the Fruit of the Spirit! Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of SELF-CONTROL A WORD FROM THE LORD (Read slowly, welcoming the Spirit’s gifts to you) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:23-24 A WORD […]

GPW Minute 4/30: God’s Gift of Kindness!

God’s Intention for You Is the Fruit of the Spirit! Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of KINDNESS A WORD FROM THE LORD (Read slowly, welcoming the Spirit’s gifts to you) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:23-24 A WORD […]

GPW Minute 4/29: God’s Gift of Love!

God’s Intention for You Is the Fruit of the Spirit! Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of LOVE A WORD FROM THE LORD (Read slowly, welcoming the Spirit’s gifts to you) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:23-24 A WORD […]

GPW Minute 4/28: God’s Gift of Peace!

God’s Intention for You Is the Fruit of the Spirit! Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of PEACE A WORD FROM THE LORD (Read slowly, welcoming the Spirit’s gifts to you) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:23-24 A WORD […]

GPW Minute 4/27: God’s Gift of Gentleness!

God’s Intention for You Is the Fruit of the Spirit! Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of GENTLENESS A WORD FROM THE LORD (Read slowly, welcoming the Spirit’s gifts to you) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:23-24 A WORD […]

GPW Minute 4/26: God’s Gift of Goodness!

God’s Intention for You Is the Fruit of the Spirit! Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of GOODNESS A WORD FROM THE LORD (Read slowly, welcoming the Spirit’s gifts to you) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:23-24 A WORD […]

GPWellness Minute 4/25: Grace that Binds Families Together!

Easter Means Grace and Peace! Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY of Grace that brings Peace to families A WORD FROM THE LORD On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and […]

GPWellness Minute 4/24: Grace for Too Much Dessert!

Easter Means Grace and Peace! Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY of Grace that forgives poor wellness choices A WORD FROM THE LORD On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and […]

GPWellness Minute 4/23: Grace Anoints Our Conversations!

Easter Means Grace and Peace! Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY of Grace that blesses imperfect communication A WORD FROM THE LORD On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, […]

GPWellness Minute 4/22: Grace Defines Who I Am!

Easter Means Grace and Peace! Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY of Grace that gives identity as God’s child A WORD FROM THE LORD On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them […]

GPWellness Minute 4/21: Grace that Changes the Atmosphere!

Easter Means Grace and Peace! Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY of Grace transforming the atmosphere A WORD FROM THE LORD On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace […]

GPWellness Minute 4/20: Grace Covers Ministry Efforts!

Easter Means Grace and Peace! Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY of Grace covering my ministry efforts A WORD FROM THE LORD On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, […]

GPWellness Minute 4/19: Grace and Daily Devotion

Easter Means Grace and Peace! Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY of Grace covering my devotional life A WORD FROM THE LORD On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, […]

GPW Minute for 4/18: Easter Makes Families New!

An Easter Week Word from Jesus “A New Life” Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY of New Home Relationships A WORD FROM THE LORD Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in […]

GPW Minute for 4/17: Easter Makes Finances New!

An Easter Week Word from Jesus “A New Life” Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY of New Trust for Provision A WORD FROM THE LORD Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death […]

GPW Minute 4/16: Easter Makes Old Friends New!

An Easter Week Word from Jesus “A New Life” Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY of New Discoveries A WORD FROM THE LORD Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order […]

GPW Minute 4/15: Easter Makes New Beginnings!

An Easter Week Word from Jesus “A New Life” Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY of New Beginnings A WORD FROM THE LORD Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order […]

GPW Minute 4/14: Easter Makes Feelings New!

An Easter Week Word from Jesus “A New Life” Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY of New Feelings A WORD FROM THE LORD Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order […]

GPW Minute 4/13: Easter Makes Ministry Methods New!

An Easter Week Word from Jesus “A New Life” Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY New Methodologies A WORD FROM THE LORD Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, […]

GPW Minute 4/12: Easter Makes Worship New!

An Easter Week Word from Jesus “A New Life” Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY Worship A WORD FROM THE LORD Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just […]

Grace Place Wellness Minute for April 11

A Holy Week Word from Jesus (The Gospel of John) Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY of Family A WORD FROM THE LORD On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and […]

Grace Place Wellness Minute for April 10

A Holy Week Word from Jesus (The Gospel of John) Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY of Daily Rising A WORD FROM THE LORD Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces […]

Grace Place Wellness Minute for April 9

A Holy Week Word from Jesus (The Gospel of John) Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY of Learning A WORD FROM THE LORD “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. Why question […]

Grace Place Wellness Minute for April 8

A Holy Week Word from Jesus (The Gospel of John) Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY of Eternal Life A WORD FROM THE LORD Jesus looked toward heaven and prayed, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he […]

Grace Place Wellness Minute for April 7

A Holy Week Word from Jesus (The Gospel of John) Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY of Hope A WORD FROM THE LORD Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.” John 16:20 A WORD OF […]

Grace Place Wellness Minute for April 6

A Holy Week Word from Jesus (The Gospel of John) Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The Joy of Service A WORD FROM THE LORD Jesus said, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” John 13:14 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT When the burden of a […]

Grace Place Wellness Minute for April 5

A Holy Week Word from Jesus (The Gospel of John) Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of The JOY of Worship A WORD FROM THE LORD They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!” John 12:13 […]

Grace Place Wellness Minute for April 4

Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of UNITY A WORD FROM THE LORD All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. Acts 4:32 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT One of the most frequently occurring words in the New Testament is […]

Grace Place Wellness Minute for April 3

Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of VITALITY A WORD FROM THE LORD We went on ahead to the ship and sailed for Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had made this arrangement because he was going there on foot. Acts 20:13 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT In times of crisis, we need a […]

Grace Place Wellness Minute for April 2

Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of CURIOSITY A WORD FROM THE LORD Peter said, “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. So when I was sent for, […]

GPW Minute 5/2: God’s Gift of Patience!

God’s Intention for You Is the Fruit of the Spirit! Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of PATIENCE A WORD FROM THE LORD (Read slowly, welcoming the Spirit’s gifts to you) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:23-24 A WORD […]

Grace Place Wellness Minute for April 1

Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of IDENTITY A WORD FROM THE LORD One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” Acts 19:15 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Jesus says, “I know you” and he loves you very much. While the world may wonder who you are […]

Grace Place Wellness Minute for March 31

Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of HARMONY A WORD FROM THE LORD Judas and Silas who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the people. After spending some time there, they were sent off by the people with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them.” Acts 15:32-33 A WORD […]

Grace Place Wellness Minute for March 30

Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of HUMILITY A WORD FROM THE LORD Peter said, “If we are being called to account for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of […]

Grace Place Wellness Minute for March 29

Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of RECEPTIVITY JESUS A WORD FROM THE LORD Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and […]

Grace Place Wellness Minute for March 28

Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of FAMILY A WORD FROM THE LORD Jesus told the seventy-two “When you enter a house, say ‘Peace to this house’.” Luke 10:5 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Pastors and church workers are finding creative ways to bless the families under their care. Give your own family a blessing today and celebrate […]

Grace Place Wellness Minute for March 27

Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of REFRESHMENT A WORD FROM THE LORD Jesus told the seventy-two, “Stay there eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages” Luke 10:7 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Food and drink are for our nourishment, but also for our enjoyment. It’s been a long, hard week. Enjoy […]

Grace Place Wellness Minute for March 26!

Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of REVELATION A WORD FROM THE LORD Jesus said (to the 72) “I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it” Luke 10:24 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT If you could […]

Grace Place Wellness Minute for March 25

Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of BAPTISMAL GRACE A WORD FROM THE LORD Jesus told (the 72) “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” Luke 10:20 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT For the seventy-two, ministry was great, but for you, it’s rather challenging these days. […]

Grace Place Wellness Moment for March 24

Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of CELEBRATION A WORD FROM THE LORD “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name’.” Luke 10:17 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT The Spirit given response to witnessing Jesus at work is the gift of joyous celebration. He’s at work through you today. […]

Grace Place Wellness Minute for March 23!

Welcome the Spirit’s Gift of THE CALL FROM JESUS A WORD FROM THE LORD “After this the LORD appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go” Luke 10:1 A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT Jesus will follow you in every task of […]

Journey to the Cross, Aided by the Spirit!

Reading time: two minutes. During our Lenten journey to the cross and empty tomb, we’ll find some encouragement from Luke’s travel narrative, our Lord’s own journey to Jerusalem. It was on the journey that the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray (see Luke 11). After the Lord’s Prayer and the Parable of the […]

Elijah: Don’t Try This Alone!

Reading time: two minutes. We’re wrapping up our look at Elijah’s journey from Mt Carmel to the broom tree and back into ministry again. At the end of 1 Kings 19, the conclusion of Elijah’s journey is a communal affair. At his lowest point, he had called out, “I’m the only one left,” but his […]

Elijah: Renewal Happens All the Time!

Reading time: two minutes. 1 Kings 19 is not really that special. I know that sounds odd coming from a guy who’s been writing about it for six weeks, but it’s really not. I cherish every dot and dagesh of the inspired Word, I’m just saying that stories of new beginnings and renewal are not […]

Elijah: One Voice to Ignore!

Reading time: two minutes. We all know Elijah’s last name: “Prophet.” (I guess that makes his middle name “The”). God had a Word for the nation. Elijah heard and then delivered. He was a prophet. It’s what he did best. He was lousy at thinking up a Word of his own. In his time of […]

Elijah: God Always Has a Word for You!

Reading time: two minutes. 1 Kings 19 is a cautionary tale for church workers. We all ought to be familiar with the lessons from Elijah’s collapse under the broom tree and God’s gracious restoration of the prophet. Today we reach the heart of it, found in verse 9, “And the word of the Lord came […]

Elijah: Healthy Food Matters!

Reading time: two minutes. Don’t get all spiritual on me. Just because Jesus said, “Man does not live on bread alone…” doesn’t mean that your Creator and Sustainer has no regard for what goes in your mouth. There’s a sort of functional Neo-Platonism running around in church worker circles among those who say to themselves, […]

Elijah: Naps Can Be Very Therapeutic!

Reading time: two minutes. Elijah’s Broom Tree episode gets interesting at verse 5 of 1 Kings 19: “The Elijah lay down under the tree and fell asleep.” I’m not sure whether to interpret that as Law or Gospel. Was Elijah’s rest a part of his collapse from the burdens of ministry, or was it the […]

Elijah: Discouragement Is Common in Church Workers!

Reading time: two minutes. I spend much of my time giving church workers permission to struggle. For some reason, we think this calling will be all sunshine and lollipops, which doesn’t make much sense, considering the way Jesus warned his disciples, the way Elijah collapsed under the broom tree and the way the Psalms are […]

Elijah: Stress (and Support) from Unexpected Places!

Reading time: two minutes. Elijah’s retreat under the broom tree and into the cave in 1 Kings 19 is a wealth of wisdom for church workers concerned about their own wellbeing. Let’s look at eight of my favorite nuggets of blessing before Lent begins! What do Jezebel and the angel of the Lord have in […]

Health Resolve? Try the Old One… Grace!

Reading time: one minute (Holiday!) All healing work of Jesus is by grace. It always has been and always will be. What I love about the Lutheran Wellness Wheel is the focus on the healing work of Christ in every aspect of our lives, and the core of it is always grace. The taxing, adrenaline […]

Christmas JOY!

In this blessed, holy, and very busy season, may you know ALL the joy and NONE of the stress of bearing the message of hope to world! The Staff of Grace Place Wellness Ministries!

“But Did You Sing to Jesus?”

Reading time: one minute (eight days away!) In twenty-four years of supervising seminary field education students for Concordia, St Louis, it became pretty common after a student’s first time leading worship to hear, “So, how did I do?” they wanted to know if they spun toward the altar at the right moment during the Kyrie […]

Preach Better with Wonder!

Reading time: two minutes. You don’t add wonder to the sermon; you add wonder to the preacher. It’s not too late for a miniature sized Advent retreat. If you can find a half day to get away, that’s ideal, but even a half morning or afternoon, or a half hour sometime this week could make […]

A Pastor’s Prayer: Psalm 84 (Part 5)

(Psalm 84 sounds to me like a pastor in prayer. I hope these thoughts in recent weeks and this last section, give your own prayer life a lift.) “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the […]

A Pastor’s Prayer: Psalm 84 (Part 4)

(Psalm 84 sounds to me like a pastor in prayer. I hope these thoughts in recent weeks give your own prayer life a lift.) “O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob!” (Ps 84:8) I’m sometimes jealous of Jacob, dear Lord. He laid his weary head and dreamed visions […]

A Pastor’s Prayer: Psalm 84 (Part 3)

(Psalm 84 sounds to me like a pastor in prayer. I hope that these thoughts give your prayer life a boost over the next few weeks.)  “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place […]

A Pastor’s Prayer: Psalm 84 (Part 2)

(Psalm 84 sounds to me like a pastor in prayer. I hope these thoughts from the Psalm give your prayer life a boost for the next few weeks.) “Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my […]

A Pastor’s Prayer: Psalm 84 (Part 1)

(Psalm 84 sounds to me like a pastor in prayer. I hope these thoughts from the Psalm give your prayer life a boost for the next few weeks.) “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for […]

Self-Control and JOY!

Reading time: two minutes. Am I self-controlled or Spirit-led? Hmmm. There’s room for confusion here. Galatians 5 teaches that the Spirit is the source of love, joy, peace, patience… and self-control, so is the Spirit leading me or turning me over to self-control? Our Marker of Wellbeing states: “As I grow in God’s grace of […]

Faithfulness and JOY!

Reading time: two minutes. I’m listening to baseball free-agent-season talk on the radio and frankly, I don’t get it. The one talk-jock said, “Why would he want to be a Cardinal instead of a Yankee?” and his partner responded, “More money.” Seriously? You’d walk away from your preferred team and play for a team you […]

Gentleness and JOY!

Reading time: two minutes. I grew up surrounded by horses, and was always impressed by their enormity; frightened, really. Many of our neighbors had one or two of the beasts, some as many as a dozen. I can still distinctly remember standing alongside their massive haunches and rippling muscles and feeling tremendously intimidated, until I […]

Peace and JOY!

Reading time: two minutes. It’s the joy of the Lord that keeps us going, despite the sacrifices and hardships. Joy is fuel for ministry. The joy of living in the grace of God is always primary. That’s our foundation. The joy of God’s blessing on the work of ministry is also wonderful, but fleeting. Jesus […]

Kindness and JOY!

Reading time: two minutes. Painters fascinate me. I’m a natural Pointer. I don’t typically start sharing my story until I’ve had time to think about what I have to say. I also need to build trust before I share my story. Painters, on the other hand, are far more likely to just start talking when […]

Patience and JOY!

Reading time: two minutes. In the past few years, I’ve learned that being patient with your grandchildren is easier than, well, throwing macaroni and cheese out of your high chair onto the kitchen floor. “Relax! Come on, they’re just kids!” Of course my own children wish I had learned this lesson about 30 years sooner. […]

Goodness and Joy!

Reading time: two minutes. I recently had a bad bout of “Good sermon, Pastor.” It’s always so awkward to hear and I don’t receive it well. I preached at our home congregation and I worked hard to give my best effort to prayerfully contemplating, crafting and delivering the message, and it was, actually, a pretty […]

Love and Joy!

Reading time: two minutes. Bruce was sitting with us on Little League Night at the minor league ballpark. “Check your ticket number,” the announcer said, “to win a $1,000 college scholarship.” After the number was read, Bruce jumped up and shouted, “It’s me!” and headed toward the field. Yeah, right. It was the kind of […]

“Where Is the Grace Place?”

Reading time: two minutes. For the last of our summer epigrams, (short sayings with a nugget of truth), I thought I’d mention one we hear all the time: “Grace Place. I’ve heard of that. Where is it, exactly?” We now encourage people to say “Grace Place Wellness“; we’re a ministry not a location. But it […]

“We Rotate Pastors!”

Reading time: two minutes. A recently seminary graduate placed at a long established church suggested that the six elders (who had all served for decades) might, from time to time, step down and let someone else serve.  “Maybe we could rotate elders!” Their reply? “Son, at this church we don’t rotate elders; we rotate pastors.” […]

Wounded Healers!

Wounded Healers Reading time: two minutes. Henri Nouwen coined this week’s wellness phrase in his book of the same name, “The Wounded Healer.” Essentially he says that we who carry on the Lord’s ministry of healing, (spiritual, emotional, relational, physical), serve best out of our brokenness.  It’s our scars that qualify us for ministry. Maybe […]

Managing the Polarities!

Reading time: two minutes. Epigram: a short, pithy saying with a kernel of truth.  This week’s summertime epigram: “Wellness is managing the polarities well.” Lutheran theology teaches us about balancing out the polarities of the paradoxes of our faith: free servants, sinner saints, dead but alive, etc. The polarities of a life in ministry are […]

“I Don’t Eat That!”

Reading time: two minutes. This week’s wellness epigram, “I don’t eat that!” is not even really good advice, but I like it anyway.  Read on and I’ll tell you what I like and what I don’t like about it. It’s become something of a slogan for me.  I’ve passed by people in the airport or […]

“Sir, We Want to See Jesus!”

Reading time: two minutes. Martin Luther talked about his experience at the altar as a young priest. The overwhelming sensation of awe at the responsibilities of a man like himself terrified him, and he considered quitting.  “Me? How can that be?” That’s actually a pretty healthy place to be! When some Greek people in Jerusalem […]

The (Nearly Impossible) “Non-Anxious Presence”!

Reading time: two minutes. The first time my pastoral counselor friend Al mentioned Murray Bowen’s expression, the “non-anxious presence,” my reaction was, “Of course! That’s it!”  It made perfect sense.  As a church pastor, if I could remain level-headed and calm while all around me were breaking out in fits of congregational anxiety, I’d be […]

Disappointing People As Best You Can!

Reading time: two minutes. Here’s another summertime wellness nugget, this one from Ronald Heifitz and Marty Linsky in “Leadership on the Line”: “Leadership is disappointing people at a rate they can absorb.” It’s the nature of ministry that people will have extraordinarily, even unreasonable, expectations of those in the office.  No one could be expected […]

“A Quivering Mass of Availability”

Reading time: two minutes. The expression that a pastor is nothing more than “a quivering mass of availability” is widely attributed to Stanley Hauerwas, and is also, to a large degree, accurate.  I don’t know exactly why we pastors and other church workers feel that we are on call 24/7 for every crisis, real or […]

“It’s the Best Job You’ll Ever…”

Reading time: two minutes. How would you complete the sentence, “It’s the best job you’ll ever…”?  This week’s wellness catchphrase is one that breaks my heart.  It was an LCMS pastor who was asked in a focus group some years back, “What’s it like to be a pastor in the LCMS these days?” who responded, […]

Rhino-Pastor!

Reading time: two minutes. Another favorite wellness quote of mine comes from Stuart Briscoe’s list of qualifications to be a pastor.  “He must have the mind of a scholar, the heart of a child, and the hide of a rhinoceros.”  That’s excellent advice.  Anyone who takes up a prominent position in public leadership is open […]

Conflicting Loyalties!

Reading time: two minutes. This week’s favorite phrase is not one that necessarily offers an uplift of encouragement, but one that is meaningful because it states very clearly a central issue that faces every professional church worker.  I found the phrase while reading research from the 1950’s on clergy burnout.  The study indicated one of […]

A Friend of Jesus!

Reading time: two minutes. I’ve got a little book I keep handy, given to me decades ago, called “Children’s Letters to God.”  It’s always good for a smile when I need a pick-me-up or a break from what I’m working on. I’m reviewing some of my favorite wellness phrases this month, some little nuggets of […]

The Joys of Piety!

Reading time: two minutes. I like the twists and turns of that phrase, “the joys of piety.”  It’s from the subtitle of William Weedon’s “Thank and Praise, Serve and Obey: Recover the Joys of Piety.”  You might ask, “What joys of piety?”  When I think of piety and when I think of joy, my mind […]

Closet Pelagians!

Reading time: two minutes. If productivity is down at your lumber yard, your bakery or your used car dealership, the first thing you might consider is that you may need to work harder and get others to work harder also. That’s not the case in the kingdom of God.  Now there’s no excuse for being […]

Free and Willing Spirit!

Reading time: two minutes. I’m writing today because I have to.  Don’t misunderstand: there is not a compelling urge in my soul that what I write just has to be said.  Beth in our office asked me this morning, “Is your blog ready?” I made a commitment, and she reminded me, so I have to […]

Darning Is Easter!

Reading time: two minutes. My Grandma Schuldt, who would be 131 next month, darned my giraffe.  Her 21 grandkids could request any stuffed animal, and she would design a pattern and create it from scratch. When I asked for a giraffe, she made one for me, and then on a rare visit to the west […]

Easter Joy! Time for Self-Care!

Reading time: two minutes. Well done, good and faithful servant!  You are good because of the goodness of Christ, the fruit of the Spirit, imparted to you.  And you are faithful; you completed your Lenten/Easter tasks not believing that your efforts would make a difference, but in faith that Christ is present in word and sacrament.  Well done. […]

Lenten Wellness: Baptismal!

Reading time: ONE minute (Holy Week!) Did you ever step into the pulpit thinking, “This sermon is not ready.  Dear Lord, send your Spirit to bless this mess.  Amen.” I have.  To one degree or another, I’ve felt that way and prayed that way about 4,000 times, every time I preach. It’s Holy Week.  It’s […]

Lenten Wellness: Relational!

Reading time: two minutes. You’re not alone; we’re in this together.  Holy Week is just two weeks away and the burden of having everything ready and as excellent as possible is starting to build, but remember, it’s not all up to you. I’m doing my part.  I’m not traveling this week or next, so I’m […]

+Lenten Wellness: Spiritual (again)!

Reading time: two minutes. Reed Lessing recently suggested, “Prepare yourself before you prepare the text.”  I’m breaking from my eight steps around the Wellness Wheel pattern to revisit spiritual health again this week, just for Lent.  We talked two weeks ago about the Lenten journey to the cross, dying and rising.  Reflection on the word […]

Lenten Wellness: Physical!

Reading time: two minutes Okay, Pastor, take a deep breath.  I’m not kidding.  Right now, relax for a moment, take a long, slow, deep breath in, hold it for a few seconds, then slowly release if completely, relaxing your body while you do, rest in that quiet place for a second, then continue reading.  It’s […]

Lenten Wellness: Spiritual!

Reading time: two minutes. I’m writing this on an airplane, having just heard the oxygen mask speech:  “Before you assist those traveling with you, take care of yourself first!”  The Word of God is the spiritual oxygen for the Body of Christ, the Church.  Pastor, before you point others to the cross and empty tomb, […]

Lenten Wellness: Vocational!

Reading time: two minutes. Lent has begun and if you’re at all like me, you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the tasks of the season.  Pastors, musicians and the whole team need to be at their very best and most efficient this time of year.  With two services each week and with Holy Week looming, […]

Lenten Wellness: Intellectual!

Reading time: two minutes. It’s here! The arrival of Ash Wednesday has been anticipated by pastors (and their families) for weeks and weeks, knowing that the coming days will be both the most grueling and the most enriching weeks of the year.  It’s no wonder that pastors are experiencing today both the excitement over the […]

Substantial Healing: Physical and Financial!

Reading time: two minutes. I like the concept of substantial healing.  We’ve been talking about the walk of faith, this side of heaven where things will never be perfect, but any part of our lives can be touched by the healing power of the love of Christ and significantly improved. You get a double topic […]

Substantial Healing: Vocational!

Reading time: two minutes. “Go back the way you came” (1 Kings 19:15).  That’s what the Lord told Elijah after lifting him up from under the broom tree with the still, small voice of substantial vocational healing.  “Get up, Elijah.  You’re not done yet.  Eat.  Rest.  Hear a word from your God.  Get a partner […]

Substantial Healing: Emotional!

Reading time: two minutes. Your emotional health is of utmost concern to your Lord, to all of us who care about you, and to all of those who depend on you for gospel ministry.  Tending to your emotional and mental health needs is not selfish; it’s responsible stewardship.  At any given time, about 20% of […]

Substantial Healing: Intellectual!

Reading time: two minutes. I learned something about me today.  My wife Carol, it seems, knows me better than I know myself.  She noticed something and said, “Have you noticed that you stand taller and have a bounce in your step after you preach?”  I only get the privilege about 20 times a year these […]

Substantial Healing: Relational!

Reading time: two minutes. By substantial, I mean real.  Jesus heals.  The miracles recorded in the Gospel record are living testimony that when Jesus shows up and touches real lives like yours and mine, He makes a difference. All of our relationships are fragile and susceptible to injury.  There’s no one that we know so […]

Substantial Healing: Spiritual!

Reading time: two minutes. Wellness is when the healing touch of Christ restores the joy of what’s broken in my life.  Whether it’s my relationships, my finances or my physical health, brokenness saps the joy right out, but the grace of Christ that repairs my brokenness results in a joy that says, “Jesus did that!  […]

Substantial Healing: Baptismal!

Reading time: two minutes. I prefer “wellness” to “wholeness” although the terms are interchangeable and nearly synonymous.  My internal lexicon hears “wholeness” as having it all together, whole, complete, perfect in every way.  “Wellness” sounds to me more like Jesus saying to the woman healed in Luke 8, “Daughter, your faith has made you well!”  […]

New Generosity: Financial Butterflies!

Reading time: two minutes. Our “new beginnings series” around the Wellness Wheel wraps up this week.  Christ makes all things new, and wellness is the healing touch of his grace penetrating and transforming each aspect of our lives.  What’s broken by sin, Jesus restores by grace.  Everything is broken, but thanks be to God, the […]

New Vitality: Physical Butterflies!

Reading time: two minutes. Hold the resolutions!  It’s too easy to fall into a legalistic approach to physical fitness based on willpower and personal resolve.  Here’s a gospel oriented suggestion: take the good gifts of God and use them in a “Thank you, Lord!” manner. We talk a great deal about “diet and exercise” which […]

A Wish for Post-Christmas Peace and Joy!

I hope you’ve had a moment to draw a deep breath since the exhausting tasks of Christmas.  Please take another and know that I’m praying you and your dearest ones will know… the PEACE that comes from knowing the Word became flesh for you.  He knows you, with all your flaws and weakness and loves […]

New Humility: Vocational Butterflies!

Reading time: ONE MINUTE! (Christmas is next week!)  As if you didn’t know that.  Let’s get right to the point. The joy of ministry can become strained if proclaiming the good news becomes just a matter of habit.  It’s a particular danger when the story is extremely familiar.  But the time a pastor has a […]

New Harmony: Emotional Butterflies!

Reading time: two minutes. I’m not a regular watcher of the Hallmark Channel.  Not my thing, really, although I think I understand why their movies are so popular.  People love a “feel good happy reunion at Christmas” story.  Families are split apart, best friends have a falling out, then the “Christmas miracle” happens and happy […]

New Curiosity: Intellectual Butterflies!

Reading time: two minutes. Relationships are constantly in need of renewal and conversation, sharing our stories, is what freshens them up.  After eight hours at work, my wife Carol can be a new person.  She’s experienced some things that I need to catch up on.  Time together with any family member or friend is an […]

New Unity: Relational Butterflies!

Reading Time: two minutes. I Googled “benefits of date night” and discovered a 14 page research project published by the National Marriage Project in 2015.  Actual research! It turns out that everybody is in favor of date night for couples.  Our hectic lifestyles and the thousands of distractions we face every day can pull married couples […]

New Receptivity: Spiritual Butterflies!

Reading time: two minutes. So what is it that turns a lowly caterpillar into a butterfly?  I’m sure Mr. Romine tried to explain it in high school biology, but I totally missed.  I have no clue. But we do know how God is at work in our lives, daily renewing, transforming, shaping, correcting, instructing, molding […]

New Identity: Baptismal Butterflies!

Reading time: two minutes. “Behold, I am making all things new!” (Rev 21:5). “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (1 Cor 5:17). New in Christ is good news because each of us is in need of renewal every day; multiple times […]

Financial Health in a Post-Church Era!

Reading time: two minutes. There’s a growing financial trend among American clergy that is only going to escalate in the days ahead: bi-vocational ministry.  Most of us know someone who has a supplemental income so that they can stay in ministry.  It’s becoming more common, and is the fastest growing trend in seminary education.  I […]

Physical Health in a Post-Church Era!

Reading time: two minutes. I think exercise classes at church are a great idea, but it gives me the shivers when I hear someone say, “My exercise class is my religion!”  Ow.  I haven’t participated in CrossFit, but there’s quite a phenomenon arising there.  People are making connections in a way they never have before, […]

Vocational Health in a Post-Church Era!

Reading time: two minutes. Here’s some statistics from Barna Trends 2018 that show how respect for our profession as church workers is rapidly diminishing.  When asked “Do the following people/institutions have your best interests in mind?” it’s not surprising that America responded, Government: 6% and Universities: 16%, but it’s heartbreaking that Clergy came in at only […]

Emotional Health in a Post-Church Era!

Reading time: two minutes. “Grudge” is one of those onomatopoeia words that sounds like what it means.  Grudge.  Rhymes with sludge and drudge, but it’s not as sweet as fudge.  It’s bitter. Our society is turning into Grudge World.  Recent testimonials to Senator John McCain emphasized his increasingly rare capacity to disagree, and even to […]

Intellectual Health in a Post-Church Era!

Reading time: two minutes. I was born into a different world in the 1950’s.  Find an episode of “Leave It to Beaver” or “Ozzie and Harriet” if you need a clue.  I know my grandchildren will be unprepared to face their world without knowing a second language and without developing an aptitude for cultural adaptability. […]

Relational Wellness in a Post-Church Era!

Reading time: two minutes. When I read the following, I thought to myself, “Well, that explains a lot!”  Barna Trends 2018 describes the rise of Tribalism in our changing society like this: “In a society based on individual self-interest, the community people seek out is one that looks and believes as they do.”  The problem here […]

Spiritual Wellness in a Post-Church Era!

Reading time: two minutes. It’s not just a “Post-Church” era in which we live. Barna Trends 2018 suggests we live in a “Post-Truth” era.  The truth doesn’t seem to matter to people anymore.  Here’s what Barna says: “When patently false news spreads like wildfire among those eager to believe it, the value of telling the truth […]

Baptismal Health in a Post-Church Era!

Reading time: two minutes. It was a valiant effort, but an abysmal failure.  Joel Primack and Nancy Abrams wrote “The View from the Center of the Universe” to try to fill the void when God died.  Their premise is, “In spite of the fact that modern cosmology and sub-atomic physics have proven that there is […]

Financial Vitality for the Long Haul!

Reading time: two minutes. Church work couples need to have a conversation about church work salaries as early in their marriage as possible; hopefully right around the same time as the conversation that begins, “Will you marry me?” Nobody gets rich in this business.  Lutheran educators will almost always earn significantly less than their public […]

Physical Vitality for the Long Haul!

Reading time: two minutes. How about “a continual lust for less”?  That would be nice, wouldn’t it? Paul wrote to the Ephesians about those who don’t know Christ and are driven by the lusts of their flesh.  The Greek word pleonexia is “lust for more” and it usually gets us in trouble.  A fit, healthy body […]

Vocational Vitality for the Long Haul!

Reading time: two minutes. Paul explains the nature of Christian ministry to the Ephesians in chapter 4, concluding with the phrase, “…as each part does its work” (v. 16).  There is some work that only the pastor can do; there is some that is appropriately given to commissioned ministers.  The key to surviving and thriving […]

Emotional Vitality for the Long Haul!

Reading time: two minutes. There’s an atmosphere at your church.  I pray all the time that your church would have that light-hearted, joyous atmosphere that reflects the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. I know that all too often, bad weather creeps in to congregational life.  A church with a tumultuous atmosphere hinders the […]

Intellectual Vitality for the Long Haul!

Reading time: two minutes. Do you open packages right as they arrive?  Some people wait.  They set the latest Amazon arrive aside for later or even forget about it.  I’m much more curious than that.  I rip ’em right open. Intellectual vitality is like opening packages and finding surprises.  Open a book, find a surprise.  […]

Relational Vitality for the Long Haul!

Reading time: two minutes. One of the most common words in the New Testament is one that I’ve already used twice in this one sentence.  Oops.  Now it’s three times.  Did you catch it?  The word is “one”.  It’s used more often than words like “faith”, “heaven”, “believe” and “holy”. In one way of looking […]

Spiritual Vitality for the Long Haul!

Reading time: two minutes. Back in the spring, I was pretty concerned about the puny little marigolds we planted along the picket fence.  They were so frail!  How would they hold up to the heat of a St Louis summer? I’m not so worried now.  They look pretty good.  They’ve matured.  The careful weeding and […]

Baptismal Vitality for the Long Haul!

Reading time: two minutes. “As for all the other events of Asa’s reign, all his achievements, all he did and the cities he built, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?  In his old age, however, his feet became diseased” (1 Kings 15:23).  He had a nice long […]

A Summer Financial Refresher!

Reading time: two minutes. Maybe you had a first career as a Certified Public Accountant.  If so, see you next week! If you’re like most of us, (especially if you’re like me) your summer refresher is to set an appointment with a financial advisor and have a thorough review of your financial plans. The first […]

A Summer Physical Refresher!

Reading time: two minutes. Summer is a great time to take a hike.  Even better than taking a hike, summer is a great time to refresh your commitment to the care of your physical self by establishing a habit of taking a hike daily. I’ve talked often about the advantages of a daily walk.  With a […]

A Summer Vocational Refresher!

Reading time: two minutes. Summer might be a good time to look at which of your ministry responsibilities bring you the greatest amount of anxiety and stress, and DO something about them in preparation for the coming year’s busy season. There’s a difference between our vocational “gettas” and our “gottas”.  Gettas bring us the greatest […]

A Summer Emotional Refresher!

Reading time: two minutes. I’ve watched a lot of cowboy movies.  Most of the riding around the range and roping cattle looked like fun.  The barbed wire jobs didn’t look that enjoyable. There was usually a grizzled, sun-beaten old veteran like the Jack Palance character “Curly” in City Slickers mending the fence.  You’d see thick […]

A Summer Intellectual Refresher!

Reading time: two minutes. Summertime is all about new adventures; exploring unknown territory and seeing new sights.  Adventure is following where our curiosity leads us for new discoveries and surprises. I’m going to suggest an adventure a little closer to home: how about exploring the heart and mind of someone you know well? Intellectual wellbeing […]

A Summer Relational Refresher!

Reading time: two minutes. A refresher is a little kick in the pants, a way to shake things up a bit and to get out of the ordinary.  Summer might be a good time to pay a little extra attention to a relationship that’s important to you by doing something a little out of the […]

A Summer Spiritual Refresher!

Reading time: two minutes. Our summer, “Be nice to yourself and refresh a little” series moves on to spiritual wellbeing. We like to define spiritual wellbeing as the life long journey of receptivity  to the gifts of the Holy Spirit delivered to His people in Word and Sacrament.  A summer refresher might be trying on […]

A Summer Baptismal Refresher!

Reading time: two minutes. Happy Memorial Day!  It’s summertime!  For the next eight weeks, we’ll work our way around the Lutheran Wellness Wheel and suggest some summertime refreshments.  Today: Baptismal Wellbeing. Baptismal wellness is all about our Identity in Christ Jesus.  It’s the day by day battle to remember that I’m not defined by how […]

Financial JOY in the OT!

Reading time: two minutes. We watched the movie “Ghost” a while back.  Nice movie.  Lousy theology. But I love the scene where Whoopi Goldberg’s character, Oda Mae Brown, gives the embezzled check for $4 million to the Sisters of Charity raising funds for the homeless.  With a big, fake grin and teeth gritted tighter than […]

Physical JOY in the OT!

Reading time: two minutes. “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you” (Deuteronomy 8:10). I didn’t grow up a farmer, but we did a lot of harvesting on our little acreage out in Oregon.  I can’t say I enjoyed it. Every morning, it […]

Vocational JOY in the OT!

Reading time: two minutes. Ministry is hard.  One cross-denominational survey of pastors in America showed that in the last 12 months, 75% of pastors have considered doing something else for a living. Amos certainly must have been tempted.  The priest at Bethel, Amaziah, who was the brunt of many of Amos’ prophetic attacks, told Amos […]

Emotional JOY in the OT!

Reading time: two minutes. If you charted the emotional history timeline of your family, what kind of a roller coaster would it depict?  Would you see the normal ups and downs of family life, the joys of blessings and the sadness of loss?  Or would you see more sudden and dramatic sharp declines of painful […]

Intellectual JOY in the OT!

Reading time: two minutes. One of my favorite stories from the many thrilling adventures of the prophets is the story of Micaiah (yes, Micaiah, not Micah, but he won’t survive your spell-checker) in 1 Kings 22.  It is a perfect depiction of the difference between intellectual curiosity and closed-minded stubbornness. We’re all surrounded by people […]

Relational JOY in the OT!

Reading time: two minutes. The Bible’s teaching on marriage is all muddled up.  (Don’t panic; keep reading).  The same jumbled teaching happens in the New testament as it does in the Old.  In Ephesians 5:21-33, when Paul describes husbands and wives, he gets all muddled and slips into describing the relational wellbeing between Christ and […]

Spiritual JOY in the OT!

Reading time: two minutes. You could not possibly get a better endorsement.  No one among the Old Testament people of God ever did.  Here’s how it reads in 2 Kings 23:25: Neither before or after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did – with all his heart […]

Baptismal JOY in the OT!

Reading time: two minutes. Okay, technically it’s not baptismal joy.  Maybe covenant joy would be more correct, but the point is the same. When we forget who we are, the beloved and redeemed children of the heavenly Father, we lose the joy.  When we remember who we are by the grace of God, we rejoice! I’ll […]

Humility and Vocational Wellness!

Reading time: less than two minutes (it’s Holy Week!) You’re not ready for Holy Week.  You couldn’t possibly be.  No matter how thorough your preparations, there’s always more, there’s always better, that could be done. The beauty of a life in ministry is that there is grace.  We offer our best, these jars of clay, […]

Humility and Emotional Wellness!

Reading time: two minutes. Easter is joy.  Lent is our time of reflection on all that would steal the joy from us.  It’s a powerful and important reflection.  The joy of Easter glows brighter because of the contrast with the sadness of Lent. Lutherans take a lot of ribbing about the serious way we engage […]

Humility and Financial Wellness!

Reading time: two minutes. Jesus “did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage” (Philippians 2:6, NIV).  In his commentary on Hebrews 4 from CPH, John Kleinig says, “He goes so low so that he can raise them so high.” One part of our Lord’s humiliation that leads to our […]

Humility and Intellectual Wellness!

Reading time: two minutes. Coach John Wooden said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”  There is so much wisdom in the body of Christ.  It’s an occupational hazard for pastors and other professional church workers to think that we need to have all the answers about everything. The Church depends […]

Humility and Physical Wellbeing!

Reading time: two minutes. I’ve enjoyed watching the Olympics recently, but has been rather humiliating.  The other morning I was watching the biathlon while working out on my old, trusty Nordic Trac Ski Machine.  I like to think I’m in pretty decent shape for a guy my age (who had another birthday last week).  I […]

Humility and Relational Wellbeing!

(Reading time: two minutes). Lent is good for relationships. The problem with people like me and people like you, as we’re trying to walk through life together, is that we get in our own way.  “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”  If I were more lovable, more people would love me, but […]

Humility and Spiritual Wellness!

(Reading time: two minutes.  Maybe less.  Lent starts tomorrow!) It’s a very humbling season.  The Lord of glory is crowned as King; the King of the cross.  The humiliation of the Son of God from heaven reaches it’s peak in His passion and death.  Any who contemplate the story of what Jesus endured in our […]

Humility and Baptismal Wellness!

Reading time: two minutes. The holy season of Lent is now just a week away.  I know you’ve been in preparation for this time for many, many weeks, even before Christmas.  Shepherds of God’s flock are also members of that flock, little lambs dressed up in shepherd’s clothing. It’s so important that as we are […]

Your Pre-Lenten Wellness Retreat!

Reading time: two minutes. Ash Wednesday is just two weeks away.  This is a good time to “get your own oxygen mask on before you take care of others.” We’re heading into one of the busiest seasons of the church year, a time of extra hours, extra responsibilities and extra anxiety.  It’s a season we […]

The Incarnation: A Financial Wellbeing Difference Maker!

Reading time: two minutes. Born at Christmas, made manifest at Jordan’s waters, the life of Jesus shows us what God is like, but also, in many ways, what it means to be human.  Many of the things Jesus did, only He could ever do.  I don’t think everything Jesus said or did is an example […]

The Incarnation: A Physical Wellbeing Difference Maker!

Reading time: two minutes. We have two more reflections on the significance of the Incarnation of Christ for our wellbeing: physical this week and financial next.  When I planned this series, I hesitated and almost skipped these two.  The ramifications of our Lord’s Incarnation go so far beyond the lessons we learn about caring for […]

The Incarnation: A Vocational Difference Maker!

Reading time: two minutes. At January’s arrival, we dive right back into the full swing of ministry.  Not only has the (brief!) respite of the time after Christmas passed, the season of Lent and Easter is looming not too far away. Many of the stresses for which life in ministry is famous rise up in […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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. […]

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, […]

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. […]

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 […]

More Lessons from a Distance Runner!

Reading time: two minutes. If you hike the length of the Appalachian Trail in record time, you learn some lessons about taking care of yourself.  Karl Meltzer shared some thoughts about his 46 day journey, and I thought they were pretty helpful.  I’ll cover three more today, and include our list so far at the […]

Lessons from a Distance Runner!

Reading time: two minutes. Distance runner Karl Meltzer recently set the record for hiking the entire length of the2,200 mile long Appalachian Trail; just under 46 days.  In an interview (New York Magazine), he shared the keys to enduring such an ordeal. I think they fit pretty well for those in a life of ministry!  […]

Favorite Wellness Scriptures: Jeremiah’s Hope!

Reading time: two minutes. My prayers are with you for a JOY-filled Reformation Day.  “Give thanks to the LORD for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever” (Ps. 136:1). My problem with choosing favorite wellness scriptures is that ALL scripture brings healing to the soul, the body and the spirit. Case in point: […]

Favorite Wellness Scriptures: Aaron’s Blessing!

Reading time: two minutes. Pastors sometimes feel, “I bless everybody, but I could sure use a blessing myself!” Part of fending off the dangers of compassion fatigue is finding a place to get blessed once in a while.  Now that I’m out of regular parish ministry, I find myself treasuring the absolutions and benedictions I’m […]

Favorite Wellness Scriptures: Paralytic Healed!

Reading time: two minutes. The topic of wellness runs through the Bible.  For a few weeks, I’ll take a quick look at some of my favorite wellness stories in the Bible. Leading the way is the story of Jesus healing the paralyzed man who was lowered through the roof in Mark chapter 2.  I’m starting […]

“You Might Be in Trouble If…” Financial Edition!

Reading time: two minutes. The warning signs that you might be in financial trouble are pretty obvious, but as we wrap up this series on “You Might Be in Trouble If…” I’ll mention three that plagued me for a long time. You might be in financial trouble if worries about your financial condition interrupt your […]

“You Might Be in Trouble If…” Physical Edition!

Reading time: two minutes. I’ve been tossing out three warning signs of impending trouble as we work around the Lutheran Wellness Wheel.  As we consider physical wellness this week, I’d suggest that you watch out for these three warning signs: 1- Warning Signs (get it?) 2- Loss of Passion and 3- Forgetting your Doctor’s Name. There […]