Grateful in All Things!
As we approach a season of Thanksgiving and the end of 2014, our hearts and minds have the opportunity to reflect on God’s blessings. The Bible encourages us in this way. Paul says, “Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”(1 Thes. 5:16-18). This does not necessarily mean we must feel grateful “for” the difficulties and problems of life, but rather that we should be grateful “in” them, as we live through it.
Why? There has been many studies that demonstrate that gratitude is not only a gesture of thanksgiving that warms the hearts of the those who offer us their love, resources or thoughtful gifts, but in fact, being grateful brings benefits for mental, emotional and physical well-being.
One study demonstrated that grateful people also tend to take better care of their health. Researchers found that study participants who kept a weekly gratitude journal exercised 1.5 hours more than the group who recorded daily hassles. In another study with adults having congenital and adult-onset neuromuscular disorders, participants who jotted down their blessings nightly reported more hours of sleep each night, falling asleep faster, and feeling more refreshed upon awakening. In my own research, I found that gratitude was a key protective factor for health outcomes among people who experience trauma (physical, emotional or sexual abuse, neglect, and abuse between parents) in childhood.
Each of us has a list of health habits that could use improvement. This season, why not enhance our mental, emotional and physical well-being by spending a few quiet moments each day counting our blessings?
If you are like me, perhaps there are too many reasons to number. I think about family, friends, the privilege to know God, be loved by Him with an everlasting love, and share that good news with others through extending His healing ministry in this world, just to name a few.
We can be grateful “in” any circumstance, good or bad. Gratitude can change an enemy’s heart, when he or she expects of us complaints and hatred, but we offer a forgiving, caring and joyful attitude instead.
Why not start a daily habit of listing 5 reasons why you are grateful for? No matter what disappointments or challenges you might have faced in 2014, if you are alive that is already something to be grateful for! Life is a precious gift from God.
If you face or are facing challenges in your life, make an effort to look for the reasons to be grateful. If you cannot be grateful for the fruit of tree because it is not there, be grateful for the shade of the leaves of the fruit tree. If there are no leaves to offer you a cool shade, be grateful for the promise and intention of the seed of this tree. With little effort, we can find reasons to praise God for His care. Let’s us make an intentional effort to “In” all things give thanks!
Katia Reinert, PhD, CRNP, FNP-BC, PHCNS-BC
Director, Adventist Health Ministries – NAD
Focus on a Spirit Led RevivalJoin 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:
Atlantic and Columbia Union Union
- 2-8 (South Atlantic Conference)
- 9-15 (South Central Conference)
- 16-22 (Southeastern Conference)
- 23-29 (Arkansas-Louisiana Conference)
- Nov 30-Dec 6 (Oklahoma Conference)
- 7-13 (Southwest Region Conference)
- 14-20 (Texas Conference)
- 21-27 (Texico)
Health and Wellness: Secrets that will Change your Life
Edited by Mark Finley and Peter Landless, and written by dozens of experts, this book is the Health Mission Book for 2015 and provides a wholistic perspective in evidence-based principles for a healthy and abundant life.
REACH ACROSS AND FORWARD
Health Ministries Resources
- Health Mission Book 2015 The Seventh-day Adventist church globally will be focusing on Health in 2015. As part of this initiative, a sharing Health Book has been prepared to be given away to neighbors, friends as well as during any health outreach in 2015. Health and Wellness: Secrets that will change your Life, is now available for $.65 cents through Jan 31. Orders must be placed at www.NADHealthMinistries.org/HealthBook.
- Health Sabbath February 14 is Health Sabbath in the NAD. In 2015, the focus will be on healthy relationships and their impact on health. Resources will be available at www.NADHealthMinistries.org.
- November 20 is great American Smoke Out Materials are available at www.cancer.org.
- Breathe-Free 2 The Breathe-Free-2 stop smoking program has been updated and is now available to be used by anyone interested. The first webinar held in October has been recorded and is available at www.NADHealthMinsitries.org under resources and webinars or at www.breathefree2.com. A second webinar and training will take place on January 12. Register at www.NADHealthMinistries.org under calendar of events.
- Health Impact Day 2015 As part of the 2015 year of Health in SDA Church, a Health Impact Day has been set-aside in the Global calendar. Churches are encouraged to impact their community with a message of hope and wholeness through any number of health outreach events on April 18th. Millions of the Health Mission book will be distributed on this global Health Impact Day.
- Facts with Hope videos The NAD Health Ministries has launched 1min videos with evidence-based counsel on healthy choices for a full abundant life. These wholistic Facts with Hope videos are available on Youtube.com , Facebook , and twitter. You can also see the latest ones at the website www.FactsWithHope.com or purchase the DVD with all the 12 videos at the online store. The website is designed to connect with the public and with young people in particular and it links to the www.ChooseFullLife.org site listed above where other health programs and spiritually related meetings are listed across the NAD.
- December 1 is Global AIDS Day World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988. - See more at: http://www.worldaidscampaign.org/.
- Health Calendar Emphasis - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
- Canada: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/calend/index-eng.php
- USA: http://www.healthfinder.gov/nho/nho.asp#m8
- November 2014
- American Diabetes Month
- Lung Cancer Awareness Month
- 20 great American smoke out
- 22 International Survivors of Suicide Day
- December 2014
- National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women (Canada)
- 1 - Worlds AIDS Day
- 7-13 National Influenza Vaccination Week (USA)
- Looking Forward (January 2015)
- Alzheirmer’s Awareness Month (Canada)
- Thyroid Awareness Month (US)
- National Stalking Awareness Month (US)
- 19-25: National Non-smoking week (Canada)
NAD Health Ministries and Mid-America Union
Let’s Move Day Kansas City
Hundreds of children, youth and their families participated of a fun filled Let’s Move Day in Kansas City, MO. The event was hosted by the Central States, Iowa-Missouri and Mid-America Union Hispanic Ministries with the support of the North American Division and Shawne Mission Hospital. A special emphasis was placed on bringing together the Hispanic Community in KC, as Hispanics are at a higher risk for obesity and its related diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Many churches hosted “week long health events as well as health fair along with the Let’s Move Day event to make an impact in their communities,” said Pr Juan Acosta, Mid-America Union Hispanic Ministries Coordinator and Let’s Move Day Kansas City organizer. One of these churches was the Multi-cultural SDA Church which hosted a health fair Sabbath before let’s move day, as well as health seminars attended by many visitors. The Multicultural Church won an award for having most members and visitors at the Let’s Move Day event.
NORTH PACIFIC UNION
Let’s Move Day
The office staff of the North Pacific Union Conference participated on the 3rd Union office Let’s Move Day. All together 19 participants walked/jogged a total of 56 miles enjoying a great time of fellowship and exercise. Other employees who were traveling also participated wherever they were and reported their miles adding their part to the 2 million mile goal for the NAD in 2014.
Adventist Singles Adults Ministry (ASAM) Connecticut
The NAD Family Ministries is one of the partners of the Adventists InStep for Life initiative. As such the directors Claudio and Pamela Consuegra joined the Let’s Move Day fun and took along dozens of single adults attending the Atlantic Union ASAM meeting in Connecticut. Together they reported “a total of 250 KM in a gorgeous 70 degree weather,” reported Dr Consuegra.
SDA CHURCH IN CANADA
CHOOSE FULL LIFE
CHOOSE to Engage in UNSELFISH SERVICE
Facts with Hope
FACT: In 2013, 274,641 babies were born to teenage mothers in the U.S. Teen mothers are less likely to be married, behind their peers in completing their education and more apt to live in poverty—they are also more likely to have a second child within two years of their first. Teen mothers and babies have higher incidence of health problems related to pregnancy. And children born to teens have more developmental problems and are more likely to themselves end up incarcerated or as teen parents themselves.1 2
HOPE: Research from Andrews University reviewing results from a number of youth outreach programs showed that teens who performed community service or service learning programs were less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior and fewer teens became pregnant.3 When teens fill their lives with positive behaviors, they’re less inclined toward negative ones.
FACT: More than one-third of teens in the U.S. are underage drinkers while nearly one-fourth have smoked marijuana. Nearly 16 percent smoke.4
HOPE: Teens who engage in social activities, and particularly community service, have lower rates of illicit drinking and smoking, both tobacco and marijuana, according to the Andrews study. Instead of focusing entirely on programs that entertain your children or church youth group, get them involved in reaching out to others. Plus, kids who participate in community service are more likely to do so as adults.5
FACT: For senior citizens living alone, social isolation and lack of interaction with others results in higher rates of infection, depression, mental alertness and death.6
HOPE: Seniors who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater life satisfaction and are better able to cope with loss, according to a report by the Corporation for National & Community Service.7 In addition, those 65 and older who volunteer are less likely to be depressed, according to the report. As Is. 58:10 says, “If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.”
FACT: Each year, about 720,000 Americans suffer heart attacks,8 more than one in five adults late 40s-late 80s experiences chronic pain,9 and each year more than 795,000 people suffer from strokes.10
HOPE: Volunteering lessens the impact of depression on those who have suffered from heart attacks and reduces disability and depression for those who suffer from chronic pain. And for a group of stroke survivors, serving as peer supporters for other stroke victims increased their feelings of usefulness and well-being and helped them reintegrate into the community following their illness.11 As it turns out, helping others is a gift we give ourselves.
- S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2014). Trends in teen pregnancy and childbearing. Retrieved from http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/adolescent-health-topics/reproductive-health/teen-pregnancy/trends.html.
- MedlinePlus. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001516.htm
- Hopkins, McBride, Featherston, Gleason & Moreno. (May, 2014). Benefits to adolescents who perform community service: a perspective from adolescent health researchers. Montana Lawyer. Retrieved from http://www.andrews.edu/services/ipa/documents-scientificpublication/montana_lawyer_may_2014.pdf
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (June, 2014) Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2013. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
- Hart, Donnelly, Youniss, Atkins. (March, 2007). High school community service as a predictor of adult voting and volunteering. American Educational Research Journal.
- Cornwell & Waite. (March, 2009). Social disconnectedness, perceived isolation and health among older adults. Journal of Health and Social Behavior. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2756979/
- Corporation for National & Community Service. (2007). The health benefits of volunteering. Retrieved from http://www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/07_0506_hbr.pdf
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart disease facts. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm
- Gallup. (April, 2012). Chronic pain rates shoot up until Americans reach late 50s. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/poll/154169/chronic-pain-rates-shoot-until-americans-reach-late-50s.aspx
- CDC. Stroke facts. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/stroke/facts.htm
- Kessler, Egan & Kubina. (June, 2014). Peer support for stroke survivors: a case study. BMC Health Services Research.