Mental Health and the Healing Power of Community

happy group of friends format

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

construction worker sleeping formatted

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

VanishingGrace.slider2

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

Why You Need to Get to Know Your Neighbor

Couple at Table Using Laptops formatted

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

Ballerina.format

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

Full moon formatted

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

Teenage boy with headphones 7

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

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

Couple-on-porch-4.3.13-289x300

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

AfricianDrummer41614_zpsebc94881

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

Happy Meals: Beyond Diets and “Foodie Righteousness”

Waiter2314_zpsf78ad60c

The following post is written by guest blogger Kim Shippey, an international journalist who is now a full-time writer and editor with the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly print and online publication: I received a glossy brochure-cum-prospectus through the mail this week. It outlines the online teaching offered by an organization called The Great Courses. What caught my eye (or was it my tastebuds?) was a course on the fundamentals of good nutrition, especially its impact on eating Continue Reading