Dear Members and Friends of St. John,
I have been in Florida for the celebration of my dad’s 90th birthday. We had a nice turnout of family and friends who gathered on Saturday afternoon, September 23, to celebrate with him. One of my dad’s friends is Larry Christian, who worked with him at General Electric and has been his financial advisor with Raymond James for a number of years. Larry highly respects my dad and asked us if he could help with the costs of the party. At Dad’s party I thanked Larry for his help. He replied, “I just wanted to see how a man makes it to 90 years old like your dad did. What I see is a loving family and regular exercise.” I replied, “My dad’s faith life is a big part of his health too.”
For those who don’t know, my mom and dad had 5 children. My mom passed away about 6 years ago, but all five children were present at Dad’s party, along with many grandchildren and great grandchildren. My dad has also exercised and worked out regularly for over 20 years. For the last few years when I have visited I have gone with him on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings at 5:00 a.m. to the local gym where he does some cardio work and lifts weights each visit. Larry was seeing those obvious blessings of family and physical health.
Actually, Larry had previously worked with my dad and also knew his faith, not so much from his words but more so from his life. My dad has led his family in regular worship and participation in our local Lutheran Christian congregation. People around my dad saw his faith in how he lived, and how he worked.
What does give a person good health? It would be presumptuous to say there is one answer to that question about health. But I believe my dad has found some answers to health that even doctors would agree with. Physical health, social health, and spiritual health lead a person to overall health.
In this world, damaged by sin, there is no absolute answer to health. Just because a person takes care of themselves does not necessarily mean they will live a long life. Accidents happen. Illnesses like cancer and heart disease occur. Relationship struggles happen. But, when we choose healthy lifestyles it helps us to meet those challenges of life.
I am also convinced that taking care of our relationship with God then gives direction in other areas of healthy living. After Jesus talked to the people of His day about length of life and about physical provision, He then told those people, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things shall be added to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
Our life is a gift from God who created us, who sustains us, and who saves us through faith in Jesus for eternity. Taking care of a healthy relationship with our Heavenly Father gives us health and priorities as we face the trials of life. In fact, as Jesus says, if we first seek God, He takes care of the rest. That care happens through the difficulties of life in this world. That care of God happens when we have made some bad choices, but God reaches out in grace and forgiveness through Jesus to restore us. That care and love of God is given eternally by our gracious Lord.
So, how do I grow health in my life? We need to ask ourselves this question because disaster, illness, and death are all around us and are part of life. From my dad’s long life I believe he found his answer in these words of Jesus. “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things shall be added to you as well.”
May your relationship with God bring you spiritual, relational, and physical health.
A Child of God, Seeking Health through My relationship with God,
P.S. Here are some pictures from the celebration of my dad’s 90th birthday in FL. https://photos.app.goo.gl/QOj2riPTdCZK14mc2
ABOUT ‘THOUGHTS FROM THE PASTOR’ - I am sending these e-mail messages, hopefully weekly, to all St. John members and friends whose e-mails I have. (I am regularly adding new names of friends and members – in case you are just receiving this e-mail for the first time.) However, if you do not want to receive this e-mail, please let me know, and I’ll gladly leave your name off my list for this message.