REACH UP Thanksgiving: A Way of Life
As we approach this season of Thanksgiving we are reminded to stop and focus on the things we have received, rather than on the things we are lacking. This month we invite you to “choose to focus on what is TRUE and WORTHY OF PRAISE, cultivating FORGIVENESS and a SPIRIT OF GRATITUDE.”
This is in fact a choice that will impact not only your spiritual walk with God, but also you mental, emotional, and physical health. Studies have highlighted the benefits of gratitude, forgiveness, and having a positive outlook despite the challenges we face. One researcher found that older women seem to be more likely to feel grateful to God than older men. What an interesting finding. Even though we cannot generalize that to all people, perhaps this finding can remind men to be more intentional on cultivating this spirit of gratitude when things don’t go well as expected. In addition, the results of this same study revealed that the effects of stress (e.g., living in a deteriorated neighborhood for example) on health are reduced for older people who feel more grateful to God. We know that stress is linked to so many diseases.
Another study found that mothers who had forgiven their ex-husbands for previous transgressions committed against them were more likely than unforgiving mothers to report a greater sense of self-acceptance and purpose in life, as well as less anxiety and depressive symptoms (See page 4 for other studies and health benefits of this choice for full life).
It is so easy to be discontented and unforgiving towards people, circumstances, and the challenges in our lives. We do not have to pretend everything is 100% wonderful all the time and play along using “Pollyanna’s glasses” denying the problems we have. However, we can choose to avoid augmenting and magnifying our challenges and feeding hatred and bitterness from the wrongs committed against us. Instead, we can choose to magnify and augment the blessings we receive on a daily basis and also to truly live the prayer “forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors.”
Perhaps we can learn a lesson from the water lily. This beautiful flower can be surrounded by “slimy dirty waters, weeds, or even rubbish, but despite of her poor conditions it strikes down its stem to the pure sands beneath, and from there it draws life, lifting up its fragrant blossoms to the light in spotless purity. What a perfume it produces from such an unlikely place” (Education 119). You too can dig your stem deep beneath your stinky waters to the pure sands of the true, lovely promises of God, seeking by the power of the Holy Spirit to cultivate gratitude and forgiveness.
As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving this month, let us ask God’s grace to help us choose to make Thanksgiving not only an yearly event but a way of life. We will honor God and also reap many health benefits.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have dedicated your gifts, time and resources to serve God in the area of Health Ministries in our Division. I thank God for each of you and ask Him to continue blessing your life as together we proclaim God’s message of hope and wholeness to those in the North American Division territory.
A Happy Thanksgiving season to all!
Katia Reinert, PHDc, CRNP, FNP-BC, PHCNS-BC
Director, Adventist Health Ministries – NAD
Focus on a Spirit Led Revival Join Seventh-day Adventists around the globe to pray for revival and outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Join us in the “777” prayer, seeking “Revival and Transformation” as 7th-day Adventists praying 7 days a week at 7 o’clock (am or pm) daily, without ceasing until Jesus comes. For more information visit www.revivalandreformation.org
Reach NAD prayer calendar:
Oct 28-Nov 3 Kentucky-Tennessee
Nov 4-10 South Atlantic
Nov 11-17 South Central
Nov 18-24 Southeastern;
Nov 25-Dec 1 Arkansas-Louisiana
GREAT HOPE PROJECTThe Great Hope audio recordings are now available online. Downloadable in mp3 format, they can be loaded to your iPod, CDs, iphone, computer, for listening while you are exercising, driving, or working. The Great Hope can be ordered through your local Adventist Book Center (800-765-6955). The price is now 1-199/ .79 ea. and 2,000 or more/ .49 each plus S&H. Join us in the distribution of 3 million copies of The Great Hope in North America. (English, Spanish, and French).
Meet God Again, for the First time In this book, Dr Jon Paulien, dean of the School of religion at Loma Linda, invites us to take a deeper look at our own knowledge of God and dive deeper into an intimate relationship with Him.
REACH ACROSS AND FORWARD Health Ministries Resources
Adventists InStep for Life (AISFL) is a Division wide health initiative. The website provides information and resources on how your church, school, or healthcare organization can become involved. To learn more view previous recorded webinars at the website. Register yourself to add your own miles, also consider volunteering to be your church, school, or hospital coordinator so you can report miles for others. Promotional materials are available for free (videos, bulletin inserts, posters, brochures, stickers, pedometers and more). We need your miles to reach the NAD 2 million mile goal. www.adventistsinstepforlife.org.
Adventists InStep for Life Mobile Apps are available for download for android and iPhone users. You must first register at the website listed above, download the app searching under the name of INSTEP or ADVENTIST INSTEP, and then start recording your physical activity.
NAD HEALTH SUMMIT 2013 registration is now open! This regional Summit is connected with the NY13 initiative and will take place in New York City March 13-17 for a limited number of registered attendees (300 max) so please register early to save your seat and get equipped for health evangelism. Dr Neil Nedley will present evening outreach on the topic of mental health and optimizing the brain. We will also have hands on health expo, a track for pastors, a track for faith community nursing, a track for community services, the Adventist Recovery Ministries training and the official NAD Health Ministries training. You can register for the health summit at www.NADhealthsummit.com.
November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month Alzheimer’s is the 6th cause of death in the country and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. Based on final mortality data from 2000-2008, death rates have declined from most major diseases—heart disease (- 13 percent), breast cancer (- 3 percent), prostate cancer (- 8 percent), stroke (-20 percent) and HIV/AIDS (-29)—while deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have risen 66 percent during the same period. More info at http://www.alz.org/stl/in_my_community_20875.asp and http://napa.alz.org/
November is Diabetes Awareness month American Diabetes Month® (ADM) is an important element in raising awareness about this epidemic with programs designed to focus the nation’s attention on the issues surrounding diabetes and the many people who are impacted by the disease. Here are just a few of the recent statistics on diabetes: Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. Another 79 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $174 billion. For more information go to: http://www.diabetes.org/in-my-community/programs/american-diabetes-month/..
Nov 1-30 – American Diabetes Month
Nov 1-30 – Lung Cancer Awareness Month
Nov 1-30 – National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month
Dec 1 – World AIDS Day
Dec 2-8 – National Hand washing Awareness Week
REACH OUT NORTH AMERICAN DIVISION - HM Global Healthcare Mission Conference
On October 18-21 Seventh-day Adventist healthcare administrators from around the world convened in Loma Linda, CA, for the first Global Healthcare and Mission Conference. Representatives from the several world Divisions attended seminars and shared their challenges and opportunities in the local field as they continue the embrace the mission of extending Jesus healing ministry to those in need around the world. Health Directors and Union administrators from many world Division also attended and participated of the discussions exploring effective ways to deal with the difficult questions and dilemmas that Adventist healthcare institutions face to be financially stable, provide clinical excellence while connecting with the needs of the communities and working side by side the church in fulfilling the mission. Together the group spent time networking and looking for innovative ways to make their institutions stronger and better able to further legacy that Adventist Hospitals and Clinics have throughout the World. North American Division Healthcare institutions like Adventist Health Systems, Century Health and Florida Hospital reported partnering with mission hospitals in challenging areas of the world, and sponsoring dozens of annual mission trip, needed supplies and equipment, as well as medical and supporting staff. Loma Linda University has been instrumental in providing support to these institutions through Adventist Health International.
New Jersey Conference Comprehensive Health Ministries Training
The New Jersey Conference hosted the NAD Comprehensive Health Ministries Training for health ministries directors. “My pastor asked me to be our churches Health Ministry Director and I told him I didn’t have any idea how to do that job!” said Carmen Antalya of the Carteret Spanish SDA Church. “He just told me, “’You’ll be fine.’” She said that was 8 months ago and she really hasn’t done much with her position. “She came away from the New Jersey Conference Health Directors Training week-end full of ideas”, reports pastor Tom Durham, NJ Conference Health Ministries director. The training took place at the Tranquil Valley Retreat Center on October 13 & 14, and was presented by Katia Reinert, NAD HM Director. Some Health Directors came by themselves, some came in pairs, and others, like the Jersey City Heights English church, brought their whole team.
Allegheny East Conference
Philadelphia Black Clergy H
Delaware Valley Pastors of the Allegheny East Conference supported the Black Clergy of Philadelphia in their plan to counter-attack a legion of health disparities affecting the teeming thousands of minorities who compose the religious communities of Philadelphia. This unprecedented collaborative effort was initiated by the Black Clergy of Philadelphia, through its leader and spokesman, Terrence D. Griffith, Pastor, First African Baptist Church of Philadelphia. Griffith stated “We know that Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease, many forms of cancer, and type 2diabetes.” It was the challenge of resolving that “problem” that united the Black Clergy of Philadelphia by the Delaware Valley Ministerial. Griffith turned to Gwen Foster, a dynamic Seventh-day Adventist health educator, who proposed a three tier approach to resolving the dilemma. Allegheny East Conference (AEC) Headquarters decided to support the Black Clergy of Philadelphia. Adventist pastors also attended to support the event. AEC Health leader Leah Scott, and Community services leader Minnie McNeil also offered support. On Saturday, October 27, groups of volunteers representing healthcare agencies and health education groups, including various Seventh-day Adventist groups from as far away as New York City and Silver Spring, Maryland, including NAD Health Ministries Director, Katia Reinert, met at the Philadelphia Convention Center to share lifestyle education with Philadelphians. The event was supported by city and state government representatives. AEC Pathfinder drum corps posted the Nation’s colors and led the precession. Elder Henry Fordham, newly elected president of AEC participated in the “Call to Action!” event and gave his support to the initiative along with other Philadelphians who pledged to continue the attack on lifestyle disparities.
Adventist Health 2012 Innovation Seed Money Recipients Announced
The Innovation Council recently awarded the 2012 Innovation Seed Money to the winning recipients, and they have received funding to implement their ideas. Now in its second year, seed money proposals increased by 36 percent from last year. Sixty-four proposals were received with nearly all the hospitals participating, including one from a rural health clinic and one from the corporate office. Nine proposals were funded, with a total of $278,090 being awarded. “We received many great ideas, but the ones chosen by the council really reflected the innovative spirit we are trying to foster at Adventist Health,” said JoAline Olson, vice president of Innovations at Adventist Health. Among the proposals, Tillamook County General Hospital will address childhood obesity through their SuperFit Family Challenge, while Castle Medical Center will cultivate a roof top farm to provide fresh produce and use it as a community education vehicle. Adventist Health president and CEO Bob Carmen saw the need to foster innovation throughout the system and created the seed money program as a way to encourage innovation.
CHOOSE FULL LIFE Focus on what is TRUE and worthy of PRAISE, cultivating FORGIVENESS and a spirit of GRATITUDE
FACT: Forgiveness helps us to live longer. After analyzing data from the Religion, Aging and Health Survey of over 1200 people over the age of 25, researchers found that an attitude of forgiveness towards others is associated with a decreased risk for all-cause mortality. HOPE: Nearly everyone has been hurt by the actions or words of another. But in holding grudges, we may be the one who pays most dearly in higher levels of anxiety, hypertension, depression, substance abuse and more. On the other hand, “forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31) will lead you down the path of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
_________________________________ FACT: Children who practice grateful thinking have more positive attitudes toward school and their families. Researchers studied 221 early adolescents and randomly assigned them to make a daily list of either five things they were grateful for or five hassles that occurred in their life over a period of two weeks. Those who counted blessings had higher self-reported gratitude, optimism, life satisfaction, and decreased negative affect, and satisfaction with school experience. HOPE: Colossians 2:7 encourages us to “overflow with thankfulness.” Cultivate gratitude in your family by creating an ongoing gratitude list together, sharing positive experiences at mealtimes or during commutes, and sending thank-you notes to people whose kindness you appreciate.
_________________________________ FACT: Americans average about 11 lies per week. Recently, University of Notre Dame Researches conducted an experiment to find out if living more honestly can actually cause better health. They asked people to stop telling lies for ten weeks. In that time, the participants’ physical and mental health improved—and they said their relationships and social interactions were better. HOPE: Philippians 4:8 (NIV) reminds us that “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” More than a principle to live by, the verse actually helps you live healthier.
_________________________________ FACT: Writing letters of gratitude not only benefits the receiver, but research shows that it also benefits the author’s well-being. Participants included 219 men and women who wrote three letters of gratitude over a three-week period. Results indicated that writing letters of gratitude increased participants’ happiness and life satisfaction, while decreasing depressive symptoms. HOPE: The apostle Paul is a great example of writing letters of gratitude. “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership” (Philippians 1:3-5). Who could you write a letter of gratitude to today? You’ll both be blessed.
Toussaint, L., Owen, A. & Cheadle, A. (2012). Forgive to live: Forgiveness, health, and longevity. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 35(4), 375-86.
Froh, J., Sefick, W. J., & Emmons, R. A. (2008). Counting blessings in early adolescents: An experimental study of gratitude and subjective well-being. Journal of School Psychology, 46, 213-233.
Guibert, S. (2012, August 4). Study: Telling fewer lies linked to better health and relationships. Notre Dame News, University of Notre Dame. Retrieved November 3, 2012, from http://newsinfo.nd.edu/news/32424-study-telling-fewer-lies-linked-to-better-health-relationships/. Toepfer, S. M., Cichy, K. & Peters, P. (2011). Letters of gratitude: Further evidence for author benefits. Journal of Happiness Studies