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                                   



Parish Nurse Health Tips Jan 28, 2018

HT 1-28-18

Proverbs 14:15 reminds us that, “…a prudent man gives thoughts to his steps.”  It is only fitting that, as we soon begin our Lenten journey, we step with the Lord.  We have all heard much about ’10,000 steps a day’, and I am once again challenging each of you to see if we can walk together in prayer to Jerusalem.  There is an abundance of evidence to support that for most people, walking can be an excellent form of exercise.  Health experts are recommending that we strive for 30 minutes walking every day and striving to increase to 10,000 steps.  A healthy diet and a brisk walking plan can reduce the likelihood of experiencing some chronic diseases by 50 – 70% !  That’s impressive.

In Seasons for Wholeness, Vol. 5, the author tells us that the best health advice is to take all of our steps, no matter how large or small, hand in hand with the Lord.  Galatians 5:2 encourages us with these words, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”  We can improve our health by walking more, and also by being aware of our “walk with the Lord”.  With all of your steps, why not challenge yourself to intentionally recognize the power of the Lord beside you.

I will be providing a focal verse to use as you walk, as well as a short devotion with thoughts to help you focus as you walk and pray, and I hope we will gain enough support that we will reach Jerusalem by Easter feeling renewed and spirit filled.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.  Psalm 51:10

The month of February emphasis is on developing health hearts, in body and spirit.  We will explore the possibility that heart health can be an expression of faith.  Our God is a God of clean hearts, and as we walk and talk and think, we will work to experience that first hand.

Stay tuned, get those walking shoes ready, find your pedometer and water bottle, and a warm jacket, and I will have your Week 1 “assignment” next week.

Meanwhile, stay dry, pray for those who are in frail health or struggling with life events, and ask His blessing as you begin a new month toward a healthy body, mind, and spirit.

You are a blessing!

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


Parish Nurse Health Tips Jan 21, 2018

HT 1-21-18

Today we recognize Sanctity of Life Sunday in our faith, and want to share some thoughts about END OF LIFE DECISIONS.

Why this?  Today we know that greater than 90% of Americans will die a ‘managed death’ and be allowed to make decisions about how long they will live and under what conditions – Advanced Directives, care choices, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, and Living Will documents, are many of the forms that are required with most types of medical care facilities – almost before you see a care provider!

In Seasons for Wholeness Vol. 3, Ruth Daumer listed principles that may help in guiding our heath care decisions as adapted from Christian Care at Life’s End.

  • Each person is created in God’s image and deserves to be treated with the same standard of care
  • As Creator, God alone knows with certainty if a condition is incurable
  • When God given body functions to sustain life are no longer effective and the doctors’ judgement is that there is no real hope for recovery, a Christian may in good conscience, let nature take its course.
  • Providing pain-relieving medications, even at risk of shortening life, is permissible, since this does not involve the choice of death over life.
  • When suffering intrudes into life it provides the opportunity for Christian witness and service.
  • It is good ethical practice for doctors to receive a statement signed by the patient indicating wishes to end life-sustaining treatment in case of a terminal condition.
  • Death is not only a physical event, but a crucial emotional and spiritual experience for each person.
  • Euthanasia in its proper sense involves suicide/murder. It is therefore contrary to God’s will.
  • Any complex health care decision and related actions that later appear to be misguided, have been redeemed by Christ.

I have Life forms for you to begin to work on making certain your information and wishes are available in case of emergency—in the narthex on top of the mailboxes.  I urge each one of you to fill out a form for you and any minors in your household, and follow the posting directions on the back of the form.  This is a beginning and is so very important to have immediately when there is an emergency.  I’ll be sharing more on this very important topic in the near future.

If you have questions or concerns related to health care decisions, I would be happy to visit with you.  In all of our decision making, may we share David’s hope, “But I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands” (Psalm 31: 14-15a).

In Peace and hope,

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


Parish Nurse Health Tips Jan 14, 2018

HT 1-14-18

Health Note for January 14, 2018

“I can’t sleep!”,  “My bed is sooooo uncomfortable!”,  “My children are awake half the night!”

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”

Proverbs 3:24 NIV

We are experiencing a very high flu/upper respiratory illness season, and the reminders to cover your mouth and nose, wash hands, etc., seems to be needed even more, but also observed to be ignored by many.  Lack of sleep is now becoming a prominent topic in my encounters during the week, and lack of sleep can reduce our ability to prevent getting sick.  Let’s talk about it.

Sleep is essential to your well-being. It is necessary for the body to recharge its

batteries, heal its wounds, rest the spirit, and regroup for another day. Everyone needs

a slightly different amount of sleep but everyone needs good quality rest. This means

deep, uninterrupted sleep for at least six or more hours a night. Without good sleep you

will experience fatigue, moodiness, irritability, poor memory, decreased dexterity,

decreased energy level, and possibly depression.

Many things can cause a poor night’s sleep: excessive napping, physical ailments, poor

sleep habits, excessive worrying, or even hormonal changes. Many of these conditions

can be remedied through behavior change or medical treatment.  Consistent bedtimes for kids of all ages, calming activities for all as we near bedtime are two very successful behaviors to increase quality sleep time.

Sleep is also impacted by the mattress you have. You spend approximately one third of

your life in bed so make sure it supports you well and can give you a restful night.

Consider looking for a new mattress if you routinely: wake up achy/numb/stiff, toss and

turn during the night, sleep better on beds other than your own, or feel yours is lumpy/sags.

Spiritually, sleep is important for active minds and good dispositions. The worries and

challenges of daily lives often cause problems during the waking hours which can carry

over into the nighttime. Turn your worries over to God. Work with His spiritual

presence and His gift of medicine to achieve a restful night.

More information can be found on the Mayo Clinic website, and please talk with your doctor about this if you are not getting the rest you need.  Our flu season is a serious issue, and we need to keep our bodies as healthy as we can.  Please see me if I can be of help.

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


Parish Nurse Health Tips for Jan. 7, 2018

Health Tips for Jan. 7, 2018

Joy, peace, blessings and wholeness to you during Epiphany!

Here we are at the beginning of a new year on the calendar.  I don’t find many calendars in the stores that tell us much about the season of Epiphany in our church year, so I want to share with you one of the monthly articles in “Seasons for Wholeness, Volume 3 by Ruth Dankanich Daumer”.  I feel it is a perfect guide for us as we work toward wholeness in our life in the busy world we occupy during our time on earth.

Epiphany: Christmas is for us! Immediately after Christmas, the church celebrates the season of Epiphany which lasts until the beginning of Lent.  The word Epiphany means “to make known” and during this season we celebrate the full measure of God’s glory in the birth of Jesus.  The day of Epiphany (January 6th), also known as “Twelfth Day,” concludes the Christmas season and opens to us the revelation of God’s unending mercy, love and faithfulness!  With Epiphany, the Church recognizes the visit of the Wise Men (guided by a great light in the night) and the revelation of God in Christ not only to the Jews, but now also to the Gentiles.  In many ways Epiphany shouts out that Christmas is for us!

Epiphany: A Time of Lights: it continues the lights of Christmas and concludes with the revealed light of Jesus’ Transfiguration.  The true Light of the world has come to us and destroyed the darkness that lives in our human heart.  Health care practitioners use light (such as lasers) to diagnosis and treat certain illnesses.  Our Lord uses His Light to judge and heal our human condition.  We look forward to more light in our days as our winter gives way to the light of spring and new growth.

Epiphany: Living in and Reflecting the Healing Light:  One of the Old Testament Lessons for the Epiphany season is taken from Isaiah 42:1-7.  These words describe beautifully living a spirit filled life.  God has called and enabled each one of us to be His lights in our dark world as we “…open the eyes that are blind, to free the captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”  We are both recipients and reflectors of God’s healing Light!  First, we need to make sure we are in a right relationship with God.  Eyes can be blinded both physically and spiritually and cause darkness to overshadow the light.  Second, our great God can use us to help others see and feel the light of His love as we care for them.  We are called to free the captives and release those who sit in darkness.  People can be imprisoned by their own sin, death and the power of the devil.  Third, we can speak God’s word of grace and healing acceptance to others and invite them into a relationship with ourselves and our faith community.  The darkness of our lives can only be overcome when we see the Baby of Bethlehem in the face of every precious person He has created (Matthew 25:35-40)

I pray that we daily use the gifts we have been given, to care for people during a time of need.  His encouragement comes with these words, “…Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

Let’s begin our walk in His light knowing His love for us and feeling His strength as we share that love with others.

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