Dale Fletcher, M.S. is the founder of Faith and Health Connection Ministry. Connect with Dale at www.FaithandHealthConnection.org
Posted 10/14/10 at 1:02 PM | Dale Fletcher
Jose Henriquez, in the photo to the right, was the 24th miner rescued from the Chilean mine on October 13th. His faith was apparently very important to him as he asked friends to gather and send 33 small Bibles down through a supply shaft. This enabled him to lead a Bible study for the other trapped miners during the balance of their 70 day stint underground. According to news articles, Chilean officials also assigned psychologists and a personal trainer by video conference to tend to the 33 miners that were rescued.
But Henriquez clearly recognized the importance of staying connected to God during this difficult ordeal and I suspect that he already had a personal practice of reading his Bible and connecting with Jesus. He knew that in addition to receiving food and water for physical strength that he and the other miners needed food for their souls as well, and that reading from the Word of God would provide this essential spiritual nourishment. The Psalmist says in Psalm 63:5, "You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy." Jesus can meet the deeper needs of the heart and soul - the kinds of needs that these men must have had when they were a 1/2 mile underground and separated from their loved ones for over two months. FULL POST
Posted 8/13/10 at 11:54 AM | Dale Fletcher
We are all instructed to be a minister to others by loving and serving them. (1 Corinthians 10:24 and Mark 12:30-31) Paul gives us, and Timothy, instructions about how we are to equip ourselves to serve others in the fourth chapter of First Timothy. (1 Timothy 4:1-16)
Ministry Through Service
The Greek for the verb form of the word minister is diakoneo meaning to serve or to help. Ministry can occur in numerous ways. It can be accomplished by practical ministry or by spiritual ministry in the church, community, small group or in a one-on-one setting. It could mean serving by giving practical support or finances, or by teaching others biblical truths.
Paul tells us in verse six that it is important for a minister to be instructed in the truths of his/her faith. As ministers, we must know what scripture says about the basics of the Christian faith - the Gospel. We must be able to distinguish between biblical truths and "old wives tales." And it's only through the study of scripture that we can distinguish God's truth as compared to what the "world" wants us to believe is true. Only then can we be effective teachers of others.
Spiritual Fitness FULL POST
Posted 8/8/10 at 10:42 PM | Dale Fletcher
Beliefs and Your Life
About a year ago I was asked a very thought provoking question by my oldest son. His question was something like this - "What is the single belief you have that has the greatest impact on how you live your life?"
That is a tough question and I had never been asked that or pondered my beliefs in such a way. How would you answer this question? Think about that for a bit before you continue reading. Really now..... pause and think on this for a minute or two.
Okay. Would your response be something like one of the following? God loves me. I am a child of God. Because I treat others like I want to be treated, I am treated well. I trust God no matter what happens in my life.
Drew, my son, shared his answer to this question with me and for the last year, I have adopted it as my answer.
The Bible is Truth
That is how I answer the question now. The single belief that I have that most impacts on how I live my life is that the Bible is truth. This belief has profound impact on my life in many, many ways. FULL POST
Posted 6/3/10 at 4:19 PM | Dale Fletcher
I've been reading the daily devotionals the magazine from InTouch Ministries for over 10 years. Below is an excerpt of an article by Robert Bruce titled Confessions of a Couch Potato from this month's issue.
"The most important thing I’ve learned since starting this (running and fitness) journey is that my health and my faith are not part of two separate worlds. For most of my life, I’ve pretty much eaten whatever I wanted and lived a fairly inactive lifestyle—all while trying to be a “good Christian.” I never saw the connection between physical fitness and faith, though the two are inextricably linked. Paul said that our bodies are temples designed to glorify God (1 Cor. 6:19-20). In other words, the way we manage our physical health affects our spiritual well-being."
In the article, Bruce shares how he embarked on becoming fit through becoming a long distance runner. I was able to relate well to his comments because I have been running since I was in high school for over 40 years. More importantly I appreciated his insight into the connection between his health and his faith, as that is the focus of my writings and speaking. FULL POST
Posted 5/19/10 at 3:33 PM | Dale Fletcher
An article published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reports that chocolate and depression go hand in hand. According to a study, people who feel depressed eat about 55 % more chocolate than their non-depressed peers. The more depressed they feel, the more chocolate they tend to eat.
Many people I know turn to sweets and other foods when they are emotionally depressed. When I get blue, I occasionally tend not to eat. FULL POST
Posted 3/25/10 at 10:45 AM | Dale Fletcher
Many of us enjoy watching what happens on the basketball court during March Madness, the annual NCAA basketball tournament. This year's tournament has seen several favored teams lose in either the first or second rounds.
One big upset that occurred was the 9th seeded Northern Iowa Panthers victory over the number 1 seeded Jayhawks of Kansas in a thriller, 69-67. Many sportscasters had Kansas as the favorite to win the overall tournament. President Obama picked Kansas to win as well. However, the young men of Northern Iowa pulled off a big upset.
During an interview of Northern Iowa's coach, Ben Jacobson, the coach made it a point to say that it's in the preparation for the game that the game is really won. He made this point three times. He told the folks on CBS who conducted the interview that it's the practice that prepares his players to be able to play the kind of games that they play. I think most any coach would say the same thing about the importance of the preparation period. FULL POST
Posted 3/1/10 at 12:56 PM | Dale Fletcher
The 2010 Winter Olympics are over. Over the course of 17 days of this year's competition, Team USA earned 37 medals -- the most ever by one country in one Games, besting Germany's mark of 36 set at Salt Lake. The feat was even more impressive considering it was the first time the U.S. earned the most medals in a Winter Olympics since 1932 at Lake Placid. Germany won 30 medals and Canada, the host country, won 26 total medals.
And here's a piece of trivia for you. This year's 549 medals contained metal from recycled TVs, computers, and keyboards that might have otherwise ended up as e-waste. (More on this here.) I suspect that over a period of enough time, these medals will likely become tarnished.
To be good enough to win an Olympic medal, whether it be bronze, silver or gold, takes a tremendous amount of talent, skill and, for most of the events, a high degree of physical conditioning. Preparing for an Olympic competition requires discipline and perseverance. In the end the award that athletes receive is a medal, along with the distinction of being recognized as the world's best athlete in their respective sport. FULL POST
Posted 2/19/10 at 1:32 PM | Dale Fletcher
I really like watching the Olympics, whether it be the Summer Games or the Winter Games as are going on now. Watching this year's events is extra special because I had the good fortune of visiting Whistler, British Columbia a few years ago to speak at a conference. It's truly as beautiful as the television cameras make it seem. It is, as many people say, God's country.
When I watch these events, I try to see the parallel between the athletes and their respective competitions and of my own life and personal challenges. The other day, I was made aware of such a comparison. The event was the Women's Sprint Cross Country race. One of the competitors had taken a really bad spill earlier in the morning during a practice session. Petra Majdič of Slovenia actually went off course and landed on some rocks in a ravine 10 feet below. After some medical attention, she got back on her skies and continued skiing. A few hours later she had to compete in a total of four races - three qualifying races and the final. In the final, she finished 3rd and captured a bronze medal. At the end of the race, I watched her collapse to the snow in pain. Another trip to the hospital and a few xrays later showed that her ribs were broken. See a video of her efforts.
Imagine skiing four races with four broken ribs. That takes a lot of determination and mental toughness. Fortunately, her years of training and ability to withstand heartache and physical pain paid off as she was rewarded with a medal. FULL POST
Posted 2/12/10 at 1:54 PM | Dale Fletcher
The month of February is recognized as heart month. Valentine's Day is celebrated on the 14th. During this time of year, many of us are thinking about how we can demonstrate love toward a person we care about or a family member. It can also be a time to reflect on how we are caring for our own heart. It's something God would want us to do. He tells us so the Bible.
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23
What does it mean to guard your heart and how do you do it? FULL POST
Posted 2/7/10 at 9:55 AM | Dale Fletcher
A recent Wall Street Journal carried an article titled "Thinking Happy Thoughts at Work." The author's corresponding blog post uses the following title - "Workplace Blues? Call a Happiness Coach."
"How would you feel if your employer brought in a happiness coach — a trainer or speaker urging you to practice new behaviors, cheer up and stop stressing out?" That's how Sue Shellenberger's blog post begins. She writes that trainers and coaches are "drawing on psychological research and ancient religious traditions to teach inner peace, gratitude, kindness and resiliency in the face of adversity" that is so prevalent at the workplace in today's tough economic times. Shellenberger writes that coaches are placing an emphasis on the inner happiness of their clients and how they can control their own mood amidst turbulence or misfortune. Some techniques mentioned are writing emails to friends thanking them for something they've done, meditating daily to clear your mind, doing something for someone without expecting anything in return and focusing on the process of work rather than the outcome which you can't control.
It's true that we all can benefit from applying techniques and activities that will bring us peace, kindness and strength during tough times. Fortunately, God provides us many principles for this in the Bible. Let's take a look. FULL POST