Mental Health and the Healing Power of Community

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Today’s guest blog is by Boston-based writer, Kim Shippey, whose commentary and book reviews offer a helpful perspective on the intersection of health with spirituality, culture, and faith: The National Institute of Mental Health tells us that 18.6 percent of American adults have a diagnosable mental illness. That’s almost one fifth of the population. So, although many people may feel alone in their mental confusion, they’re not. This report was at the heart of an article by author and public Continue Reading

Permanent Happiness Over the Winter Blues

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  This blog was originally published on Huffington Post's GPS for the Soul. Read it here. Weekly snowfall has become the norm in my Boston suburb. Even the hearty Canadian transplants are starting to weary of our endless winter. The historic snowfall has spawned jokes (free snow!), prompted neighborliness, and made school closings the norm rather than the exception. Some cabin-fever Bostonians looking for an escape have even taken to posting videos as they fling themselves from Continue Reading

How Do You Know What’s True About Your Health?

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  A simple perusal of the day’s headlines points to a great stir in the health industry. With conflicting reports and opinions, the truth isn’t so black and white when it comes to many global issues, perhaps most importantly our health. For instance, now even the experts are questioning the routine removal of wisdom teeth and, after 40 years of government warnings, we’re celebrating the comeback of the egg as no longer a devil in white clothing. Or will these conclusions change in Continue Reading

The War on Sleep: A Holy Way to Get the “Sweetest” Rest

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Today's guest blog is by Boston-based writer, Kim Shippey, whose book reviews offer a helpful perspective on the intersection of health with spirituality, culture, and faith. It’s a disturbing thought that one of the fiercest—though not unexpected—causes of poor health in the United States is lack of health-restoring sleep. This was highlighted a few months ago in a well-researched report by Benjamin Dueholm titled, “The war against rest” (The Christian Century, November 17, 2014). The Continue Reading

Can Prayer Dig You Out After a Blizzard?

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Nearly three feet of snow fell in the suburbs of Boston where we live during the epic Blizzard of 2015. It’s on record here as the biggest January storm in a century. Despite early predictions, there were not widespread power outages and the snow remained light and fluffy for easier removal. Whether it’s a personal, health, financial problem, or an actual storm, we all face times when we can feel so buried by our circumstances that solutions seem elusive. That was the case for me two years Continue Reading

Find Your Way Out of a Hopeless Place

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I recently watched a video circulating on my Facebook feed that featured a veteran Gulf War paratrooper’s inspiring transformation. He’d jumped from a plane too many times and his repeated landings had taken a toll on his back and knees. After several operations, he walked on crutches and gained a lot of weight. He couldn’t exercise anymore. For 15 years his doctors told him he would never walk unassisted again. He accepted this as fact. Yet, despite his dire diagnosis and the prospect of Continue Reading

Film “Unbroken” Delivers Powerful Message of Perseverance and Forgiveness

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After enduring a near-fatal plane crash, 47 days adrift at sea on a life raft, shark attacks, starvation, enemy fire, and finally being rescued by the Japanese Navy only to be taken as a prisoner of war, you might think nothing worse could happen. But the punches kept coming. Literally. So goes the true story of WWII veteran Louis Zamperini, played out in the recent blockbuster film adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand's New York Times bestseller "Unbroken." But make no mistake. Behind this Continue Reading

Bring Amazing Grace into Your New Year

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Guest blog by Boston-based writer, Kim Shippey, whose book reviews offer a helpful perspective on the intersection of health with spirituality, culture, and faith. This one takes a closer look at cultivating the quality of grace as we move into the New Year. Philip Yancey was riding a wave of success after the launching of his book, What's So Amazing About Grace? when I first met him. It was 15 years ago, just after he had given a keynote address to 10,000 people at a Vision New Continue Reading

How to Slay the Inner Dragons

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You can read and share this on Huffington Post here. My family has a holiday tradition of seeing the latest Hobbit films in 3D IMAX. We are all anticipating the release of the third and final film, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” on December 17th. The second movie left off on a cliffhanger with Smaug, the dragon voiced by the amazing Benedict Cumberbatch, abandoning his vast treasure on the Lonely Mountain in a great puff of wrath after hobbit hero, Bilbo Baggins, played by the Continue Reading

Looking for an Angel?

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There are times when we all need an angel. Even for the not particularly religious, an angel can come in very handy. My brother and I recently discussed our concept of angels. We both agreed that they aren't people wearing white robes with fluttering wings. You could say my study of Christian Science has brought angels down to earth. I think of them as good and pure ideas that come in quiet moments or even in loud, busy moments. They're always there, we just have to listen. They guide Continue Reading