Adventures in Thanks-Living

Living the gift of life one breath at a time

Archive for the month “September, 2012”

A Simple Step Toward Good Health

If you have good health, give thanks! If your health is compromised, don’t despair. Give thanks that you can likely do something to improve it. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, you don’t need expensive equipment, and you don’t even need to join a fitness club.

Dr. Mike Evans believes there is a simple and inexpensive answer to vastly improving health and well-being. Check out his animated health lesson that challenges all of us to give just 30 minutes a day to the one thing that can do the most for our health. The answer is simple: GET MOVING! Just 30 minutes of walking a day–or some similar physical activity–can make a big difference in your overall physical and emotional health, your longevity, and your pocketbook.

Are you willing to trade 30 minutes a day to live longer, have a more positive outlook on life, and avoid chronic health problems such as obesity, arthritis, high blood pressure, depression, and high cholesterol? Look at it this way. Becoming a better steward of your time, talent, and resources begins with taking good care of your body. After all, it’s hard to help others if you aren’t willing to help yourself.

And if you think you’re too old, or too unhealthy, or too busy, well think again. My 84-year-old mother walks almost every day. My cousin’s spouse was extremely overweight, and he started walking, then running, and finally competing in triathlons. He’s lost the excess weight, added years to his life expectancy, and looks fit and healthy. You can do it, too.

If you need a little faith nudge, remember what Paul said about our bodies in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Even Jesus pointed out in his greatest commandment that loving others begins with loving ourselves (Mark 12:30-31). Faithful discipleship involves faithful self-care.

Research tells us it takes 21 days to create a habit. Why not challenge yourself to creating the daily habit of physical exercise? Better yet, enlist a friend or family member to join you and hold you accountable. You are worth it, my friend. So get out there and take a simple step toward good health and better stewardship of self. Oh, but first watch the video; if you have any doubts, it will surely dispel them.

Here’s to your health and to the stewardship of all aspects of life!

Photo by puuikibeach used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!

Here’s a wonderful reflection on gratitude from fellow blogger Paul Mark Sutherland of GYAtoday. My thanks to him for sharing. Enjoy!

GYA today

Fall arrives in the Northern Hemisphere tomorrow, September 22, 2012. I love fall. But, I’m not in a hurry for it to arrive, I will happily wait one more day and enjoy today. That’s because today, September 21, is one of my favorite days. Besides being the last day of summer, it is also World Gratitude Day, which was established globally in 1965 and has been slowly gaining steam.

To commemorate World Gratitude Day, I have compiled my 50 favorite quotes on gratitude and appreciation. Since I painstakingly etched them on a parchment scroll, I thought I should share them. So, I have unfurled the scroll below for all to see. Collectively, they all lead back to the same benefits, but they each have their own subtle nuance or shade. Hence the title, 50 Shades of… oh well, you know what I mean.

This collection is not all-inclusive, of course, so…

View original post 50 more words

The Basics

This past Saturday my spouse and I, along with a couple of really cool women from his congregation, had the privilege of preparing and serving the noon meal at the Gettysburg Area Soup Kitchen. Another generous family from the same congregation funded the purchase of the food.

We made Sloppy Joes (a.k.a barbeques) from scratch, and served them with salad and chips, and homemade peach pie and zucchini bread for dessert. We served 36 people, a dozen of whom were young children. Including the four of us, 40 good meals were enjoyed.

Some of the dinner guests share their stories; others choose not to divulge much about their personal lives. Medical difficulties are a common theme, and several of the guests have chronic conditions that compromised their livelihoods and ability to work or have been devastated financially by healthcare costs. One guest was dealing with a medical issue but had no health insurance. Among the guests were single parents–both male and female, white and of color. The youngest guest was a toddler, and the oldest appeared to be several years past retirement. All were courteous, polite, and gracious.

It was humbling to realize that it is only by the grace of God and the help of family and friends that I was able to serve. Eight years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time I was in seminary, had just gone through a rough divorce, and was rearing two daughters with no child support. I was riding the razor edge of financial insecurity, but thankfully many hands and hearts helped us through that rough time. We always had a roof over our heads, food to eat, work to do, and more than enough. It was tough sledding for awhile, but we were among the fortunate ones. Not all are so lucky, and times are even tougher now.

It’s too easy to make sweeping generalizations about poverty and those who live close to the margins. When we do, however, we don’t see the whole picture or learn the story behind the person. The New York Times featured a fine photo essay about homelessness on Sunday, and the latest edition of American Life in Poetry featured a striking poem by Minne Bruce Pratt entitled “Temporary Job.” Both the photos and poem help put a face on a complex issue and remind us that each person, regardless of station in life, is a beloved child of the Creator of the universe.

Mercy, compassion, kindness, generosity, and relationship are among the world’s greatest needs. Yes, we all need the basics–food, water, and shelter–but we need more to thrive. We need each other, the richest and the poorest among us. We have much to learn from one another, and all of us have something important to share and contribute. When we stand (or sit at the table) together as equal partners and children of the Creator amazing things can happen.

Small acts of kindness can spread sweet like honey between the most unlikely of folks. Sloppy Joes shared with strangers and friends can be a feast of love and grace. When hearts and minds are open barriers fall away and basic human dignity blurs the lines between serving and receiving. That is how it should be; all of us need to give generously, and all of us need to learn to receive gratefully. Above all, we need to learn to love and serve one another lavishly. That just about covers the basics, doesn’t it?

(Photos courtesy kirinqueen and sblezard. Thanks!)

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