Humor is a valued friend and a devious enemy for pastors. The enemy factor comes in various forms. We are tempted to joke or roll around in levity when we are nervous or scared, as do all human beings. The problem is that on many occasions when nerves or fear are part of the equation, it is became those we are called to pastor are in hard places that are not funny. A quip or silly gesture may calm our nerves but at the price of empathy for those in pain.
With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for dealing with daily challenges, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health. Laughter has been researched and it has been found to quickly effect the body in many ways.
Because these T cells are a major weapon in the body's defense against illness, the "laughter stimulus" they receive may be a crucial factor in staving off the next flu virus that comes your way. But the mystery of exactly how laughter strengthens the immune system continues to puzzle researchers. Is it simply that the physical exercise of laughing helps to "condition" the disease-fighting system, in the same way that exercise "conditions" an athlete? Or is there also a mysterious psychological component at work?
I was not looking for a miracle, but one happened at a toll booth.
The end of one year and the transition into the next offers time for reflection as well as hope for what the future holds. However, the holiday season, traveling, projects, and other demands for your time may seem overwhelming. The good news is that something as easy as being mindful can help you trudge your way through.
Do you ever feel like you need a break? How would you like to take two or three days just to relax, refresh or do what you really want to do? You can. We had a chance to do just that recently, thanks to a new ministry available to all of our IGRC clergy and spouses.
Pastoral Care and Counseling would like to initiate a conversation about how can we can best support ministry spouses and how clergy and their spouses can best help each other. Research reliably demonstrates that talking with others who face similar challenges can make us feel less alone, more supported, and understood without judgment. Only when we feel “safe” will we share our deepest hurts and scariest challenge.
Christian Yoga class at Wesley UMC provides a safe atmosphere to do yoga in Christian faith. This class is intended to help people practice yoga that is centered onto Christ. It encourages people to be calm, focused, and renewed in the presence of God. Through conscious breathing, movement, and meditation, people can appreciate that their body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. This ministry may reach more people and diverse people that we could not reach without it. I pray this ministry may help people to set aside the time for self-care, to be away from daily busyness, to be calm, to be relaxed, and to feel God’s presence and His Spirit.
Setting mini-goals is the best way to achieve your goals. Achievable goals also provide positive feedback, increase your self-confidence, and help you attain your final goal. If you do fall short, accept that you are human and try again tomorrow. Every day is an opportunity for a new start.
Like you, I’ve done my share of good deeds. And I’ve fallen short, i.e. missed the mark as the apostle Paul likes to say. For example, persons in prison haven’t seen me very much. While I have not taken the initiative to minister to and visit with persons incarcerated, no invitation to serve you has ever been rejected. In 2014 at Big Muddy, the men’s choir sang. Every song they sang fed my soul. Minds were transformed by the word and music of songs like “Amazing Grace”, “Our God is an Awesome God” and “Jesus Loves Me”. Wherever the songs of faith are sung, lives are touched.