The Lively Lessons of Babysitting as Grandparents

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Today's blog is by guest writer, Kim Shippey, who shares his insights after a recent visit to Colorado with his wife: In an age in which one in ten children in the United States now lives with a grandparent, and, increasingly, senior grandparents are being called upon to take care of children (including babies) while both parents work (Pew Research Center study 2007), I am sure I've read Watty Piper’s The Little Engine That Could aloud at least fifty times. My most recent “performances” were Continue Reading

The Road to Character: A Book That Lifts You Up

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Today’s blog is by Boston-based guest writer, Kim Shippey: In much the same way that people love to “binge” on Netflix drama series, I have been bingeing (though I prefer the word feasting) on the op-ed columns of  David Brooks who writes on Tuesdays and Fridays for The New York Times. To read his new book (his fourth), The Road to Character (Random House, 2015), is a bit like tackling a couple of dozen of his op-ed columns at one sitting and getting up feeling a lot better about yourself, Continue Reading

Days and Nights Filled With Light

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Today's blog is by Boston-based guest writer, Kim Shippey: Earlier this year, I escaped the snowiest winter in Boston's history to enjoy a few weeks in the late summer sunshine of South Africa. The transition was exhilarating. The days were filled with light. They were long and warm. Night skies were dominated by the Southern Cross and the Milky Way. The black-eyed bulbul sang contentedly for hours on end. Dolphins frolicked in the Indian Ocean nearby. The ripening cane was sugared by late Continue Reading

Prayer Brings the Wow Factor to Health and Healing

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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. A report on the relation between prayer and good health published by Richard Schiffman has been given fresh prominence by a book on prayer from preacher, author, and public speaker, Timothy Keller, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God (Dutton, 2014). I doubt any conscious attempt to link report and book, but Continue Reading

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

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

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

With Every Valley, Say Yes to God

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A guest blog written by Boston-based writer, Kim Shippey: Whether or not you have a family tradition to take in at least one performance of Handel’s Messiah each year – at Christmas, or at Easter (when it was first performed in Dublin on April 13, 1742) – you probably know that there’s as much about health, hope, and healing in this oratorio as you’d find in any size Christmas stocking. In its recitatives, airs, duets, and soaring choruses, the fearful, blind, deaf, and dumb are led to Continue Reading

Why You Need to Get to Know Your Neighbor

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Today's guest blog is written by Boston-based writer, Kim Shippey: “Having good neighbors and feeling connected to others in the local community may help to curb an individual’s heart attack risk,” according to a research team at the University of Michigan. An Agence France Presse (AFP) report explained that participants in that study were asked to rate their neighborhood on a scale of one to seven. For every point they gave their neighborhood, they had a reduced heart attack risk over the Continue Reading

Make Room for the Sacred

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By guest blogger Kim Shippey: Houston journalist Kate Murphy recently remarked that people’s biggest complaint is that they are overscheduled, overcommitted, and overextended. Ask people at a social gathering how they are, and the stock answer is “super busy,” “crazy busy,” or “insanely busy.” Nobody is just “fine” anymore (The New York Times, July 27, 2014). Roughly translated: people are stressed out. Since stress accounts for many doctor visits, we'd do well to find quiet moments for Continue Reading