Parish Nurse Health Tips March 18, 2018

HT 3-18-18

Walking is hard work!  At least that is what many have said about our Walk to Jerusalem effort.  My response has been to ask…”Why is it hard?”  The answers are revealing of our level of commitment, and I am asking you – do you approach your commitment regarding your health and your faith in the same manner?

“My feet hurt, my legs are tired, I don’t have time to walk/exercise.”

Do these sound familiar?  Our life/faith commitment only comes into No. 1 priority status when there is a crisis in one of these categories.  I am in prayer that we learn to commit to strengthening these very important areas daily rather than when a crisis hits.

I have several walking record cards in the narthex and a sheet on the Parish Nurse bulletin board to record your daily progress in exercise/walking/faith building activities and more during Lent.  It is exciting to see the miles add up.  Begin your day with a devotion, include prayer time for those who you include on your prayer list, buy an extra can of food for our food cupboard, practice some form of exercise for 20 minutes, eat healthy choices and smaller portions, and you have already added miles without taking a step out the door!  We are working on our spiritual health as well as our physical health!

Our school Jump Rope for Heart has added lots of miles this week, our school basketball teams have added many miles to our trip, and the weather has been good for walking or doing 20 minutes of yard work.  Have I given you motivation?  We have a long way to go, so let’s get busy.  Let’s arrive in Jerusalem by Easter!

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice   …And walk in it!

PS: You are earning a mile credit by worshipping with us today and even more when you attend Bible study!


Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran Church and School


Parish Nurse Health Tips March 11, 2018

HT 3-11-18

Where am I Going?
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Phil 3:14
Are we there yet? Are we really going to Jerusalem? How much longer before we get there? Are you sure we’re heading in the right direction? These questions, I am sure, will bring to mind memories of past journeys traveled as a child or with children. Most of us know what it’s like to be the child and the adult in such a situation. As a child, we must trust that the adult really knows the way. As an adult we must press on toward the goal, knowing that if we follow the map and continue to travel, we will eventually reach our goal. Having a goal really does help us to continue until we reach the prize or the destination.
Your physical goal this week may be to walk 2 miles – or 5 miles- or 50 miles (cross country and marathon runners take note!). Having a goal helps us to continue on. Our school students are competing in Jump Rope for Heart this week —each one has a personal goal. Peace basketball team is turning in impressive tally in their physical activity miles. Your spiritual goal may be to read the Word of God daily, pray daily or memorize a Bible verse – the one above or another one that might be helpful to you. The deeper spiritual goal may be to have a deeper personal relationship with Jesus, to confront each other in a kinder more loving manner or to forgive someone. The ultimate spiritual goal is to become more Christ-like in our everyday encounters with people and society.
Thoughts for your walking this week:
♰ Do I have physical and spiritual goals for this week?
♰ Do I have physical and spiritual goals for my life?
♰ What is one thing I can do to help achieve my physical goal?
♰ What is one thing I can do to help achieve my spiritual goal?
Don’t forget to give me your miles for the week and pick up a card to jot down these thoughts and record the com-ing week’s activity. Press toward the goal!
Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran Church and School

Parish Nurse Health Tips March 4, 2018

HT 3-4-18

In March we will focus on Nutrition Month in our health topics.  In our community we are seeing much growth in development of housing and renovation of commercial developments.  As I begin preparation for my Lutheran Parish Nurse International pilgrimage to Bethlehem the end of this year, I am recalling my experiences in the settlement camps there several years ago as we visited the “homeless” refugees who have been moved out of their homes for many reasons around Bethlehem and Jerusalem.  The hardships there are similar in many ways to what we are seeing in our serious problem with hunger and homelessness.   Lots of homeless have been moved out of areas to make way for development.  This has created a greater awareness in the need to find ways to share God’s love to those who are hurting.

As we are SLOWLY (I am waiting for a huge post of miles on our WALK TO JERUSALEM BY EASTER!) walking to Jerusalem this month, let’s reflect:

Worldwide, there are millions of children under the age of 5 who die every year, the vast majority of these deaths are hunger related.  We read about the many problems in developing countries every day, but we seem to slide past the issue of hunger and homelessness in our own communities.

We give food bags to those who show need in our families and our community.  At LEST, our school was recognized for their huge ingathering of food items for our local need.  We help with local food service kitchens for the homeless.

Have you taken the time to look at the ways you can help this growing need in our community as you walk to Jerusalem?  For every 2 items of canned food you contribute to our food pantry, you earn 1 MILE!  The basket is empty!  Let’s fill it and fill in the mileage.

Healthy living miles can be earned using the 5-2-1-0 model:

¨ 5 or more fruits and vegetables servings daily

¨ 2 hours or less of recreational screen time

¨ 1 hour or more of physical activity each day

¨ 0 soda and sugary drinks——more water and low-fat milk

God has done so much for us.  He supplies our every need, in body-mind and spirit.  May we who have been so blessed, share of our abundance with our brothers and sisters in need.

Need more information?  I will be available at the end of services today and at the potluck to share more!

Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran Church and School


Parish Nurse Health Tips Feb 25, 2018

HT 2-25-18

We are walking!!   Yes, it is cold outside.  Yes, we are really

busy this time of year.  So…Why Walk?

Walking is mentioned almost 250 times in the Bible.  We were built to stand tall.  Our joints need to move to maintain good range of motion.  Every day I read in my nurse posts about the benefits of walking. “The benefits to heart health are compelling.  Regular walking can prevent depression, lengthen lifespan, lower stress levels, relieve arthritis and back pain, strengthen muscles, bones and joints, and improve sleep.”  (

A walking program has physical benefits while also drawing us closer to God by adding an intentional reflective or devotional element.  Stepping away—literally—from the demands of our daily routines to walk, reflect and pray reminds us that God created us and wants to come near to us. Our goal…travel the many miles to Jerusalem by Easter.

The Parish Health Bulletin Board in the fellowship wing hallway has information on ways you can add miles to our trip even if walking is not an option, so I will accept no excuses!  Each week I will pick a name from the folks who turn in miles to me on the tally slips in the narthex, and that person will receive an incentive award for their effort!  Wow!  Let’s get going!

Focus for this week in your walk thoughts:

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5

Patience is the virtue for healthy living we will ponder as we walk:

¨ What does patience mean to you?

¨ What does it mean to lose your patience?  What kinds of things make you lose your patience?

¨ How can you be more patient with others?

¨ It is hard at times to make healthy changes in our lives and stick with it.  How can you be more patient with yourself?

Prayer: I pray that we begin our “walking”  journey to Jerusalem learning to have patience with others when they don’t do as we think they should.  Help us to have patience as we work to progress in our physical activities in our walk to Jerusalem as well as our emotional activity and spiritual experiences in faith growth. Amen

Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran Church and School


Parish Nurse Health Tips Feb 18, 2018

HT 2-18-18

Last summer David and I traveled with the Lutheran Parish Nurse International annual study tour to London and Cambridge.  While in England, we toured St. Paul’s Cathedral in London and watched people climbing the 259 steps up to the Whispering Gallery high on challenging, narrow and dimly lit steps to what they described as a breathtaking view at the top.  While time didn’t allow our group to undertake the climb, we talked with some who did.

That climb was not on our agenda, but each day we all undertake a different “climb” regarding our whole health.  We procrastinate and tend to fill our days with everything that is easy and “good for us.”

This week as we begin our walking journey through Lent, I pray that each of you decide to be good caretakers of the body God has given to you.  Walking not just for exercise, but to grow stronger spiritually as you spend time with our Heavenly Father in Prayer and thought.

For we walk by faith, not by sight.  2 Corinthians 5:7

As you walk, ponder these thoughts:

♰ How has my faith developed throughout the years?

♰ Were there special people who mentored me in my faith?

♰ What steps am I taking to strengthen that faith?

♰ Is God telling me to step out in faith about some issue?

David and I will be going with the study tour to Bethlehem in November, and using my previous trip miles, we will figure our Peace Walk Challenge using our mile calculation of 6,781 miles.  I have posted some things that can help you collect miles by other than walking ~ No Excuses!  Everyone can walk, and post your miles on my chart each week on Wednesday or Sunday when you join us for worship.  Let’s get started!

We pray:   Lord, make us mindful of the gift of our bodies and spirits each time we move through the week.  Help us to celebrate our bodies by encouraging us to move and exercise.

Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran Church and School


Parish Nurse Health Tips Feb 11, 2018



HT 2-11-18

I do blood pressure and wellness checks twice a week at a local retirement community, and recently I have been getting some significantly higher readings in folks who are normally in well controlled lower readings. One lady had a series of high readings over a couple of weeks, and she and I had conversations about things that can help lower blood pressure. I encourage exercise in various forms and had been doing so with her but she confessed that she just couldn’t get motivated. The last reading I got for her was stage 2 hypertension and she immediately became concerned. I suggested that she take advantage of the brief sunshine we were having, and go out for a walk using her walker and maintaining a slow but steady pace for about 15 minutes around the perimeter of the facility. She agreed, and came back smiling and we checked her blood pressure again. She had a much lower reading, and said, “I guess it takes a scare to get me to move!”

I am hoping that many of you are taking time to WALK! We all strive for healthy hearts, and sometimes we just need a little nudge to get our motivation in gear! We begin our Lenten journey this week, and I pray for lots of miles logged on the exercise chart starting next Sunday. Walking, swimming, biking, and more. Our young folks are in sports, and that can count for miles. Please check the chart I posted today.

Heart Month is a good month to make some changes to become better stewards of our body, His creation. My hope is that we once again show action in caring for our health.

A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you.  Ezekiel 36:26a

Thank you God for family and friends of all ages. Help us to be good stewards of your creation by caring for our hearts and the hearts of those around us. Make us all good ambassadors for heart health by helping us to make good choices for ourselves in your holy Name, Amen.

Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran Church and School,


Parish Nurse Health Tips Feb 4, 2018

HT 2-4-18

“You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth.”  Psalm 104:14

February is traditionally heart month, and this week the thought to ponder dwells on a very interesting topic: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.

The verse tells me that our Lord has provided for us all that we need.  We are daily hearing that a healthful eating program means making sure the food we eat is the right kind and prepared in a healthy way.  By doing so, we honor the body given to us by God.

In our weekly walking, here are some thoughts for discussion.

  • Eating is a wonderful time for community and conversation. Who do you eat with most often? How might you improve your eating habits within your community?
  • What healthy choices are you already making in your diet?
  • What difference might it make in our eating habits if we remembered every day that our food is a gift from God?
  • Healthy food choices will help your heart to be strong physically, but how can those same choices also make you strong spiritually?

As we end our walk each day, we ask, “Lord, make us mindful of how and where our food is grown, thankful for the people who plant and harvest our food, and for those who prepare our meals. We give thanks for the gift of our bodies, and we ask that you help us this week and from now on to keep our hearts as healthy as possible.  In His name we pray each day as we walk with Him.

Don’t forget to keep track of your walking and we will track our progress to Jerusalem by Holy Week.

I will have a recording sheet in the narthex next week for you to sign in and record your weekly total.

Walk with the Lord, and have a blessed week!

Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace