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

Out of Darkness

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By Guest Blogger Kim Shippey: The passing of actor Robin Williams in August set the world thinking as perhaps never before about depression and suicide (including teen suicide) and the health issues relating to such situations. Whether you’re a college student paddling though a tough semester, a new mom trying to figure out why you’re feeling so down in the dumps, or a father of three who’s just been laid off, depression is an overwhelming threat to one’s peace of mind and physical Continue Reading

Movie Puts Spotlight on the Healing Power of Music

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Today's post is a guest blog by Kim Shippey:  I have always loved the Bible’s account of the way a talented young harp player who was also “handsome, brave, and strong, and had good, solid judgment,” was able to restore the health of King Saul when he was depressed. I’m thinking of Jesse’s son David who was called in from his hillside shepherding to comfort the king: “Whenever the tormenting spirit  … troubled Saul, David would play the harp and Saul would feel better, and the evil spirit would Continue Reading

Wish You Could Take a Beautiful Selfie? Here’s How…

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Today's post is by guest blogger Estey Silva. Her blog originally appeared on BuzzFeed.  Do you like taking selfies? I do. A quick selfie captures a moment or feeling beautifully so I can remember it. The only problem?  I look at my photos later and think, “Ugh, that’s not a good angle for me” or “My face looked so puffy that day!” I leap into judging myself - often harshly. While it’s tempting to download and put to use a handful of photo-enhancing apps before uploading my photos to Continue Reading

What Happens When You Craft Your Life Into a Work of Art

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Guest Blog by Kim Shippey: Until I picked up Erwin Raphael McManus’s new book The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art (HarperOne, 2014) it had never occurred to me how strongly good health relates to minds focused on spiritual creativity. It may happen through involvement in a school band, community theater, a ballet class, a flower garden, or a blog like this one. Wherever and whenever we are seeking to be imaginative, inspire others, bring joy to shut-ins, paint a poster, or Continue Reading

News Anchor Dan Harris on Happiness and Faith

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By Guest-blogger Kim Shippey in recognition of Men's Health Week, June 9-15, which concludes with Father's Day on Sunday:  I have long been an admirer of ABC Television‘s news reporter and host Dan Harris -- a seemingly unflappable anchor, in the truest sense of that word. Then, in June, 2004, live on air, Harris suffered a panic attack in front of an audience of millions and we came face to face with a vulnerability we wouldn’t have believed possible in someone of his experience and Continue Reading

Loneliness Doesn’t Stand a Chance in a Community of Love

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A guest post written by Kim Shippey. In February the British newspaper The Guardian reported that a six-year study of lonely people aged 50 and older in the United Kingdom showed that such people had a 14 percent greater risk of dying than those who had company. Feelings of isolation can have twice the impact on health as does obesity on aging people. Previous studies had shown that loneliness in older people can lead to high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, depression, and heart Continue Reading

Spiritual Health in the Country Nelson Mandela Rescued

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This week's guest blog takes the form of a report by Kim Shippey on the spiritual health of the South Africans he revisited during a three-week trip in March. Kim spent many years in South Africa as a broadcaster on radio and television. Yesterday, the country celebrated Freedom Day, a commemoration of South Africa's first post-apartheid elections which happened 20 years ago on April 27. You know you've landed in the land of proteas and jacarandas, when you can look up into the night sky and Continue Reading