Tag Archives: comforting

Hugs are healthy, whodda thunk?

I will start out by saying I’m just not a hugger. It’s not that I’m somehow neurotic, anti-social, snobby or anything obsessive, just never did. I’ve been taking grief about that for years. Yea, I guess that I am somewhat conditioned. I spent 20 years in the corporate world. Hugging is not an acceptable part of corporate culture, or military where I spent 29 years. A firm hand-shake and steely eyed look in the eyes was considered to be entirely proper and sufficiently familiar.

Not so much in church culture, heck it’s even a quickly referred to topic in seminary. So apparently it’s a generally practiced gesture. My perspective is why would some sweet little lady want an ugly, gnarly ape like me putting my arms around her? Granted it’s become acceptable with guys in the church, but frankly my angle on that is that most guys would also prefer not. Yes, we should be family, more familiar with each other in a church environment. Certainly in those times of emotional distress physical comfort is often more therapeutic than anything I could say to that person, but for the vast majority of time not, in my opinion how you want to go. As I said it’s never a statement on the other person, it’s more about me thinking why would this person want this big, ugly guy that close? I have no problem with pats on the back, shoulder squeeze, physical contact is sometimes helpful in a bad situation. Non threatening touch often helps people come back to reality. So I don’t have some touch phobia. In a way I just have a problem with what I see are gratuitous gestures.

I guess I just have a bashful outlook on hugging, there are way too many that have what borders on hysteria towards it. There are way too may out there who are sure that everyone is somehow out to abuse them, I just really don’t want to give someone like that any impetus to irrationally lash out at me.

Having said this, turns out that hugs, physical contact in general (and you know what I mean so don’t be getting all hysterical, weird and phobic on me), is very healthy, for both parties. The caveat in the article is the positive effects … only happen when “you trust and love the other person, if not, hugs can raise stress and anxiety levels.”  If OK, then by all means. Since you don’t get Concordia Plan Services newsletter (Winter 2016 Vol 32 Nu 4), which is quoting a U.S. News and World report article. There have been other studies. I don’t have the reference right at hand, but it seems to have a vitally important impact on new-born babies. Hospitals go out of their way to put babies in contact with their mothers as much and as quickly as possible. Babies who went without physical contact, seemed to have physical problems, even dying. It seems to have a very positive physical impact for the baby. There are hospitals who recruit people to come in and sit with babies who can’t otherwise be held by their mother. So yes, it’s important. Within the limits of reason, trust and physical safety.

Anyway, the study shows that hugs are good for both, that there is a release of a hormone called Oxytocin that is released and promotes feelings of trust and bonding, it also influences mood and behavior. The article goes on to list other positive affects; lowers blood pressure, can reduce depression, bolsters immune system and builds up pain tolerance. Yes, it is an issue of commonsense, as always with all of God’s creation, it always seems to an issue of moderation, using the brains God gave you.

In conclusion, if I’ve somehow offended anyone, there was never any offense intended, if anything it was to spare you. However in view of the research and since it would seem to benefit both of us, I would certainly welcome the opportunity. I just hope it doesn’t end up being an issue for you.

We serve the ultimate Commander in Chief Veterans Day observance First St Johns Nov 9, 2014

Traducción española sigue el Inglés

We make our beginning in the Name of God the Father and in the Name of God the Son and in the Name of God the Holy Spirit and all those who know Jesus as the leader of their life said … AMEN
Before I begin the planned sermon, I would like to take a moment to remember our brother, the Rev. Donald Biggs. Pastor Biggs has been a member of our congregation since he retired from the ministry. I have very much appreciated his guidance and support as I started my ministry. We certainly offer our condolences to his wife Mary Lynn our beloved sister and their two sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren. We continue to keep Mary Lynn in our prayers as she has been suffering from health problems and we trust in the promises of Jesus that Pastor Don is in the presence of Jesus, now in perfect health and in perfect bliss before the throne of our Lord. (Time for silent prayer)
Today we honor our veterans, men and women who made a commitment to serve, protect and defend. Many of whom were often put into, at least, uncomfortable situations far from home, if not outright dangerous situations. The military teaches leadership right from the very beginning, even the most junior people are put into leadership positions or responsibilities. Beginning in boot camp there is a recruit company commander and other recruits put into leadership positions. Even in day to day situations junior people are often given authority for different tasks. The U.S. Military is unique among any other organizations in the world, often you are expected to follow commands without question, but quite often responsibility is pushed down to the lowest level to make decisions, part of being in the military is to not just be a good follower, but also a good leader. It has been recognized throughout history that quoting Aristotle: “’He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.” Despite the stereotype of those who have served in the military, you usually find people who are much more balanced, much more aware of the need to be an effective leader, much less concerned about their own gratification. There’s a very good reason for that, in politics, in government, in business, science, academia, it’s all about me and how I get ahead. There’s no danger, there’s no sharing, there’s no need to watch out for someone else, unless it’s to your benefit, it’s all about how anything enhances your life, everyone else just has to take care of themselves. Yea, in the military the consideration can be to your benefit, that you don’t get killed. But because you have built that sense of camaraderie with brothers and sisters, you also want to watch their backs. It is also much more about the common good, the good of each individual, when one benefits usually everyone does.
Again, too many times our “leaders” are only about how they are enhanced by being a leader. That’s simply not leadership. Leadership is about that agape love, that selfless love, that love that wants what is truly best for each person God leads you to, that love that Jesus showed to us on the cross and gives to us everyday through His grace, His hope, His promise. Napoleon said “A leader is a dealer in hope.” No doubt Napoleon’s motivation/definition of hope was in a very worldly sense and he wasn’t thinking about Jesus when he said that. But it is certainly true in Jesus, not in a cynical way, but in that true agape love way. The hope that He gives us in His resurrection, in the hope that He gives us for life eternal. Pastor Don liked to tell me how on Easter everyone was kept out of the sanctuary at sunrise, he came out on the roof of a tomb that had been built and with the sun at his back announcing to all who gathered “he is not here, He has risen”. We have that hope of eternal life, “He is risen…[He is risen indeed, hallelujah!]
Imagine a world where you did not have that love/leadership, not knowing that Jesus did step up, as Jesus tells us: “I have overcome the world.” This is so empowering, so comforting, so reassuring. In a recent study it was show that when people were monitored at work their quality and productivity was worse, they were stressed over being constantly watched, versus being enabled to be productive. Business is not a very forgiving environment, there may be ‘love’ when you’re on top, but there sure isn’t any if things aren’t going well. That’s what the world is all about, an old saying: “The world doesn’t want to hear about the labor pains, they just want to see the baby.” The further implication that not just having the baby, but also that the baby better stack up in terms of the expectations of the world, otherwise both mother and child have failed.
We know that the Holy Spirit dwells within us, we are a temple of the Holy Spirit. We are loved, we are inhabited by love and leadership, we have ready access to the forgiveness that is Jesus. He knows when we try for Him, when we demonstrate that sacrificial leadership of discipleship. He encourages us, He strengthens us, He picks us up, He dusts us off, maybe gives us new direction with promise and hope and then puts us on our feet, makes sure we know that we are loved with an everlasting love, squares our shoulders in the direction He wants us to go and then leads us on the path He puts us on. The Law/the world, monitors and checks us and usually intimidates the toughest of us. The Law/the world, never loves, it keeps us in fear and bondage and because of that we suffer, we don’t live to the level that God intends us to live at and when we fail (not if), the world just casts us into the junk heap. True leadership picks us up, equips us, loves us, is always with us “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:20 ESV) The Coast Guard motto is Semper Paratus always ready and we are always ready in Jesus.
Like the military you can be a new disciple and still be used mightily by the Lord, it is a lot like the military when you can be a junior person and still have responsibility over more senior person. I was in Puerto Rico for Tall Ships in 2001 to do security as coxswain of a 41 foot boat. Ended up doing a lot of taxiing, because it was the biggest most comfortable boat. Had to drive the zone commander from one end of the harbor to the other, going past where all the tall ships were moored. At one point a helicopter roars overhead and the commander tells me to hurry up because the vice commandant of the Coast Guard is on the helicopter. I had about a dozen passengers on board going past a bunch of historic ships and chose to ignore the commanders request. The safety and integrity of other people and boats took priority. He was just going to have to be a little late for the vice commandant. Often we have to ignore the world and rely on what the true CNC tells us, God is always our commander in chief, He wants what is best for us and for us to minister to those around us accordingly. When we are true leaders, true servants of Him, ready to serve and sacrifice as so many who do who are serving or have served in our military, then we are truly doing His will.
The peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Shalom and Amin.

Servimos el último comandante en jefe Día de los Veteranos observancia First St Johns 09 de noviembre 2014

Hacemos nuestro comienzo en el Nombre de Dios el Padre y en el nombre de Dios el Hijo y en el Nombre de Dios el Espíritu Santo, y todos los que conocen a Jesús como el líder de su vida dijo … AMEN
Antes de comenzar el sermón planeado, me gustaría tomar un momento para recordar a nuestro hermano, el reverendo Donald Biggs. Pastor Biggs ha sido miembro de nuestra congregación desde que se retiró del ministerio. He apreciado mucho su orientación y apoyo cuando empecé mi ministerio. Ciertamente Ofrecemos nuestras condolencias a su esposa Mary Lynn nuestra querida hermana, y sus dos hijos, hijas-en-ley y nietos. Seguimos mantener Mary Lynn en nuestras oraciones como ella ha estado sufriendo de problemas de salud y confiamos en las promesas de Jesús de que el pastor Don está en la presencia de Jesús, ahora en perfecto estado de salud y en la felicidad perfecta delante del trono de nuestro Señor. (La hora de la oración en silencio)
Hoy honramos a nuestros veteranos, hombres y mujeres que hicieron un compromiso de servir, proteger y defender. Muchos de los cuales fueron a menudo ponen en, al menos, las situaciones incómodas lejos de casa, si no en situaciones francamente peligrosas. El ejército enseña liderazgo adecuado desde el principio, incluso las personas más jóvenes se ponen en posiciones o responsabilidades de liderazgo. Comenzando en el campo de entrenamiento hay un comandante de la compañía recluta y otros reclutas puestos en posiciones de liderazgo. Incluso en el día a día situaciones de las personas jóvenes a menudo se dan autoridad para diferentes tareas. Los EE.UU. Militar es única entre las otras organizaciones en el mundo, a menudo se espera que siga órdenes sin cuestionarlas, pero muy a menudo la responsabilidad es empujado hacia abajo al nivel más bajo para tomar decisiones, parte de estar en el ejército es no sólo ser un buen seguidor, sino también un buen líder. Se ha reconocido a lo largo de la historia que citando a Aristóteles: “.” El que no puede ser un buen seguidor no puede ser un buen líder “A pesar del estereotipo de los que han servido en las fuerzas armadas, que se suele encontrar personas que son mucho más equilibrada, mucho más conscientes de la necesidad de ser un líder eficaz, mucho menos preocupados por su propia gratificación. Hay una muy buena razón para ello, en la política, en el gobierno, en los negocios, la ciencia, la academia, es todo acerca de mí y cómo me pongo por delante. No hay peligro, no hay intercambio, no hay necesidad de mirar hacia fuera para otra persona, a menos que sea para su beneficio, es todo acerca de cómo nada mejora su vida, todos los demás sólo tiene que cuidar de sí mismos. Sí, en el ejército la consideración puede ser para su beneficio, que no te maten. Pero debido a que usted ha construido ese sentido de camaradería con los hermanos y hermanas, que también quiere ver a sus espaldas. También es mucho más sobre el bien común, el bien de cada individuo, cuando uno se beneficia por lo general todo el mundo hace.
Una vez más, muchas veces nuestros “líderes” son sólo sobre la forma en que se ven reforzadas por ser un líder. Eso simplemente no es liderazgo. El liderazgo es acerca de que el amor ágape, el amor desinteresado, ese amor que quiere lo que es realmente mejor para cada persona que Dios te conduce a, de que el amor que Jesús mostró a nosotros en la cruz y nos da todos los días a través de su gracia, su esperanza, su prometer. Napoleón dijo: “Un líder es un distribuidor en la esperanza.” No hay duda de la motivación / definición de Napoleón de esperanza fue en un sentido muy mundana y no estaba pensando acerca de Jesús cuando dijo eso. Pero lo cierto es en Jesús, no de una manera cínica, pero en la que el verdadero camino del amor ágape. La esperanza de que Él nos da en Su resurrección, en la esperanza de que Él nos da la vida eterna. Pastor Don gustaba decirme cómo en Pascua todo el mundo se mantuvo fuera del santuario al amanecer, salió en el techo de una tumba que había sido construido y con el sol a sus espaldas anunciando a todos los que se reunieron “él no está aquí, ha resucitado “. Tenemos la esperanza de la vida eterna, “Él ha resucitado … [Él ha resucitado, aleluya!]
Imagina un mundo donde no tiene que el amor / liderazgo, sin saber que Jesús intensifique, como Jesús nos dice: “. Yo he vencido al mundo” Esto es por lo que empodera, tan reconfortante, tan reconfortante. En un estudio reciente se muestra que cuando las personas se controlaron en el trabajo de su calidad y la productividad era peor, se destacaron por haber sido constantemente vigilado, frente está habilitado para ser productivos. Negocio no es un ambiente muy indulgente, puede haber ‘amor’ cuando estás en la cima, pero no seguro que no es ninguna si las cosas no van bien. Eso es lo que el mundo es todo alrededor, un viejo dicho: “El mundo no quiere oír hablar de los dolores de parto, lo que quieren es ver al bebé.” La implicación, además, que no sólo tenga el bebé, sino también de que el bebé mejor apilan en términos de las expectativas del mundo, de lo contrario la madre y el niño han fallado.
Sabemos que el Espíritu Santo mora en nosotros, somos un templo del Espíritu Santo. Somos amados, que están habitadas por el amor y el liderazgo, tenemos fácil acceso al perdón que es Jesús. Él sabe cuando tratamos de Él, cuando se demuestra que el liderazgo sacrificial de discipulado. Él nos anima, nos fortalece, nos levanta, nos desempolva, tal vez nos da una nueva dirección con la promesa y la esperanza y luego nos pone en pie, se asegura de que sabemos que somos amados con un amor eterno, plazas nuestros hombros en la dirección que quiere que vayamos y luego nos lleva por el camino que Él nos pone. La Ley / el mundo, los monitores y los controles de los Estados Unidos y por lo general intimida el más duro de nosotros. La Ley / el mundo, nunca se ama, que nos mantiene en el miedo y la esclavitud y por eso sufrimos, no viven al nivel que Dios nos tiene la intención de vivir en y cuando fallamos (no si), el mundo sólo nos hace caer en el montón de chatarra. El verdadero liderazgo nos recoge, nos equipa, nos ama, está siempre con nosotros “Y he aquí que yo estoy con vosotros todos los días hasta el fin del mundo.” (Mateo 28:20 NVI) El lema de la Guardia Costera es Semper Paratus siempre listo y estamos siempre listos en Jesús.
Al igual que los militares puede ser un nuevo discípulo y todavía ser usado poderosamente por el Señor, que se parece mucho a los militares cuando se puede ser una persona menor y aún así tener la responsabilidad sobre más persona mayor. Yo estaba en Puerto Rico para la Tall Ships en 2001 para hacer la seguridad como timonel de un barco de 41 pies. Acabé haciendo un montón de rodaje, porque era el mayor barco más cómodo. Tuvimos que conducir el comandante de zona desde un extremo del puerto al otro, más allá de ir a donde estaban amarrados los barcos de altura. En un momento un helicóptero ruge encima de la cabeza y el comandante me dice que se diera prisa porque el vice comandante de la Guardia Costera está en el helicóptero. Tuve una docena de pasajeros a bordo que van más allá de un puñado de barcos históricos y decidió ignorar solicitan los comandantes. La seguridad y la integridad de otras personas y embarcaciones tomaron prioridad. Él sólo iba a tener que ser un poco tarde para el vice comandante. Muchas veces tenemos que ignorar el mundo y confiamos en lo que el verdadero CNC nos dice, Dios es siempre nuestro comandante en jefe, Él quiere lo mejor para nosotros y para nosotros para ministrar a los que nos rodean en consecuencia. Cuando somos líderes verdaderos, verdaderos siervos de Él, dispuestos a servir y sacrificio como tantos que hacen que están sirviendo o han servido en nuestras fuerzas armadas, entonces estamos haciendo realmente su voluntad.
La paz de Dios que sobrepasa todo entendimiento, guardará vuestros corazones y vuestros pensamientos en Cristo Jesús. Shalom y Amin.