Parish Nurse Health Tips for October 2, 2016


When I turned my calendar to see what October had in store for me, I was surprised to see so many directions my month was taking me, both professionally and personally!  October is always a busy time of year and my verses in the personal devotions I do each day are so appropriately encouraging, uplifting, strengthening and caring that it is as though God is sitting right next to me as I am praying my heart out about life, health, daily walk, etc.  How many of you are taking time to walk with the Lord each day?  What strengths or weaknesses or questions are you taking to the Lord?

Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. Psalm 105:4 NIV

In mid-October we celebrate the festival of St. Luke the Evangelist and Physician.  For parish nurses, this is a wonderful time to consider the concept of holistic health….the biblical view of wholeness we use as we work to encourage each person to work toward whole health—physical, emotional, spiritual, as well as social, vocational, and environmental.  This Biblical concept begins with harmony between a person and God, the source of healing and health helping us to find our wholeness in our Savior Jesus Christ.

Many in our midst have experienced stumbling stones, roadblocks, problems that seem unsolvable in our daily walk.  How often, though, do you look back and think, God, you really had it handled all along – just not in the way I was trying to work it.  I pray that you continue to turn to His word and strength and guidance each day to provide you with the help you need, rather than the secular approach of ‘holistic health’ – the attitude of harmony within self.

I plan to offer several opportunities for health care and information this month.

Blood Pressure Checks:  Sunday,  October 16, between services

Morning Tea & Chat:  Wednesday, October 19,  9:30 am

“Staying in Shape in the Winter Months”

A special speaker on ways to exercise for everyone

Vision Screening: October 6 and 7 , (still looking for helpers!)

As I work on ways to walk closer with my Lord, I recall a recent devotion about Habakkuk, shipwreck survivor who felt he was abandoned by his God and never going to be rescued.  As he returned to his campsite after his morning search for food, he saw his camp on fire, sending smoke billowing up and destroying everything.  He cried out to God, “How could you do this to me!” (Forgetting that it was he not God, who left the fire unattended).  The next day he heard a sound of a ship approaching the island, and was rescued!  When he asked them how they knew he was there, they replied, “We saw your smoke signal.”

For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. James 1:3

May you be filled with His love, and trust in His guidance this week and always.  Please see me if I can help you in your health walk toward wholeness in Him.

Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace,



Parish Nurse Health Tips for August 28, 2016

Parish Nurse Health Tips 08-28-16

School starts this week!  We are seeing lots of activity on our campus already as our teachers are gearing up for the 200 youngsters coming to our doors.  It is easy to see the joy and enthusiasm in their efforts and on their faces even with days and days of planning, classroom preparation, supply checks and more.

I am wondering how our spiritual health is doing as we gear up for the fall schedules and changes in routines for families and individuals alike.  Self-Esteem is an important value to take time to assess in the midst of busy schedules and changing routines.  Let’s review some ways we can reaffirm our life style in God’s vision or perspective.  As Christians, we are grateful that our worth isn’t based on our deeds, but rather on our Lord who has already done it all for us!

Some things we can do to “get back on track” can include:

☑ Refocus – Put God at the center and everything else in increasing distance from Him.

☑ Stay grounded in His Word and in prayer every day – watch your vision of life improve!

☑ Guard against negative self-talk.  Restate the negative in words God could agree with.

☑ Build a greater intimacy with others by your words and actions.

☑ Invest your time and efforts in the work that matters – be involved in serving others.

☑ Take  time to speak a word of affirmation to others – watch their smiles and see God at work!

Look in the mirror each morning and see what God sees: A precious redeemed child of God!

Some Bible support can include Romans 12:3; Hebrews 2:10-13; Romans 4:23-25; and more.

Thanks be to God there is a way to improve our self-image vision… by being grounded in His Word!  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8

If I can be of any help to you in your health walk, please get in touch.  I am eager to work and learn with you.

Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran

(Taken in part from Seasons for Wholeness Volume 5 by Ruth Dankanich Daumer)

Parish Nurse Health Tips for August 14, 2016

Parish Nurse Health Tips 08-14-16

The weather has been beautiful with just enough temperature variation to keep us from complaining and many have shared all the projects and activities they have been doing in the summertime before school and work schedules get back to the “usual” routines.

I shared last week about caring for your feet and shoe shopping.  This week another topic that has been shared with me is “Why do I get leg cramps?”  and “What can I do to lessen them so I can sleep?”

In my resources I found some simple facts and tips about leg cramps:

💃 Leg cramps most commonly affect the calf muscle.

💃 Leg cramps typically only last a few minutes, but the pain can last for 24 hours.

💃 Older people and pregnant women are more prone to leg cramps than others.

💃 Most often, leg cramps are no cause for concern and have no medical significance.

💃 Dehydration, flat feet and alcohol consumption are potential factors involved in leg cramps.

💃 If stretching does not help, some doctors advise taking quinine.

💃 Propping  your toes when you sleep can help prevent cramps.

💃 When diagnosing leg cramps, a doctor will rule out other more serious conditions first.

💃 Some medications can increase the likelihood of cramps

The important thing for you to consider is making sure there are no underlying health issues that could be sending you signals about needing treatment.  Consult your care provider about “Charlie horse symptoms” and frequent let cramps before you take any home remedies to be sure you are not ignoring something serious.

Walking programs help you exercise the legs to maintain strength and conditioning.  Remember our gym is open  from 9:05-10:05 am most days during school year to walk, pray, and fellowship with others who are walking.  It would be great to see you join the faithful few.

See me if I can help you with any more information about leg cramps.

Walk with faith and share your concerns in prayer with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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


Parish Nurse Health Tips for August 7, 2016

Parish Nurse Health Tips 08-07-16

This week was the beginning of soccer season practices for my granddaughter, and we needed to get new soccer shoes.  The sports store was very full of many others getting the same thing.  It reminded me of my own childhood and shoes.  We had very little money, but my parents always made sure the shoes we wore were top quality and well fit to our feet.  We had a pair of school shoes, a pair of church shoes and a pair of work- on- the –farm shoes.  They were our pride and joy when they were new—the most expensive thing we owned, and we learned to take very good care of them.  As I grew up and paid for my own shoes, I realized what a sacrifice my parents had made to make sure my feet were well cared for and did not cause me problems.  As a nurse on my feet all day, I was grateful for healthy feet that did not cause me problems.  I tried hard to save for appropriate shoes and was very conscientious of combining style with comfort and safety.  After eight years in Hawaii in sandals and bare feet, I had a wake-up on how my feet had changed and my arch had fallen. It took a lot of effort to restore my feet to comfort!

School is just around the corner, and the beginning of sport season too. Let’s talk a bit about some ways we can help our children and grandchildren learn proper foot care:

👣 Foot sizes change often as children grow, both in length and width, so never buy without trying  on shoes.  One foot is always slightly larger than the other, so fit to the larger foot.

👣 Trace a youngster’s foot before going shoe shopping, and select a shoe that is shaped like the tracing.

👣 The recommended fitting is allowing ½“ space beyond your longest toe when you stand up in the shoe.

👣 The heel should fit comfortably and the shoe should not slip on the heel when you walk.

👣 Feel that the ball of the foot is fitting in the widest part of the shoe, and the arch is properly fit.

👣 Make sure that the material in the shoe doesn’t cause irritation.

👣 Ensure that the heels are safe and the soles of the shoe are non-slip and provide solid footing.

There are over 100 verses in the Bible about feet!  They mention footwear, washing feet, safe pathways to prevent injury, and more. Genesis 18:4 tells us to wash our feet and “rest yourselves under a tree.”  Psalm 119:105 tells us, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”  And  in Proverbs 3:23, we hear, “Then shall thou walk in they way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.” My strength verse in times of stress and trouble is Psalm 40:2: “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”

I pray that you consider the importance of YOUR feet!  Not only are they physically important to prevent losing them to disease as in uncontrolled diabetes, but they are important in our spiritual walk that we take daily.  When we find ourselves yielding to temptation, we recall the lamp He gave us in His word, and pray “O Lord, hold me up!

Walk in the Lord this week, and may your shoes fit properly in all you do, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse, Peace Lutheran Church & School




Parish Nurse Health Tips for July 31, 2016

Parish Nurse Health Tips 07-31-16

JESUS GATHERS US TOGETHER! Wow … what a testimony to that we experienced this past week with over 100 children gathered together for Vacation Bible School! The theme was Psalm 23 and each day we heard:

Jesus Cares, Jesus Provides, Jesus leads, Jesus forgives,
Jesus is our Savior now and forever!

How wonderful it has been to see children and adults actively sharing in all the stories, games, music, Bible challenge and art activities that bring home the message Psalm 23:1-5. I feel truly blessed to be a part of the faith growth of so many of our church, school and community young folk.
I encourage all of you to spend some time in Psalm 23 this week to recall that familiar, but oh so full of strength, Bible passage. Each day as I attended opening and closing worship, I was moved by how quickly the children learn and remember from day to day. Now, I have a “test” for all of you, and especially those children and helpers …
We are sharing part of the music today in our hymns, so I am encouraging you to sing along as you remember the part of the week where these hymns were used. Ask your neighbor in the pew, ask your children, ask yourself how you think the words of the hymns might fit the messages in Psalm 23:1-5. I am so grateful for such an eager and dedicated faith family and their outreach to keep the faith fire burning. Let’s not let the fire go out!
Let His light shine as you carry on His work this week!
Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran Church and School

On another note:
I have new postings on the
Stop to see the latest IMMUNIZATION UPDATES for both children and adults. We are less than a month before school begins and the children have required immunization updates to meet our Health District requirements for school age children. The health department has assistance for those who are not able to pay for the immunizations required if this is an issue. Please call them or log on to their web site for more information, or see me if you have any questions.

Parish Nurse Health Tips for July 24, 2016

Parish Nurse Health Tips 07-24-16

As you look around you in our church this morning, you know something BIG is happening!  Yes, Vacation Bible School kicks off tomorrow morning!  Many helpers have been preparing for almost 100 eager youngsters to teach and learn about our Savior.

The weather is always something that I, as the parish nurse, am watching closely; and our week is forecast to be HOT!  My first aid kits for helpers always includes water, Kleenex, hand sanitizer, and band aids.  I need to share with you parents and grandparents and friends of our young ones the importance of skin protection from the sun exposure.

We tend to think that “a few minutes in the sun won’t cause skin cancer”, but in fact it can contribute to it if we are not using skin protection.  Nearly all skin cancers can be connected to excessive sun exposure.  The easiest way to reduce your risk is to stay out of direct sunlight, especially during the mid-day hours when the rays are the strongest.  Making sure that you have skin protection by wearing a hat – especially a wide brim this coming week as we are on the farm for VBS!  Always wear protective clothing and please, please apply sunscreen with the appropriate SPF for you and the weather of the day.  Greater than 90% of the skin cancers found a few years back could have been prevented by limiting sun exposure!

Even God provided clothing for Adam and Eve as we read in Genesis 3:21 and Ez. 37:8.  As we prepare for a fun VBS event and some beautiful warm weather, I pray that everyone will use extra care to take care of the body we have been given.  The two most important things this week that I emphasize are:

☼ Drink lots of water

☼ Protect your skin from excess sun exposure

Please see me if you have any concerns about reducing your risk of skin cancer.  I will be on campus every morning this week roaming the campus as the Sun Protection Detective!  Be prepared!

Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace


Parish Nurse Health Tips for July 17, 2016

Parish Nurse Health Tips 07-17-16

As the summer days fly by, and activities seem to fill our life with not enough time to get it all accomplished, it is sometimes easy to feel like we are not capable or worthy.  The concept of self-esteem is a very important one, and I’d like to share some thoughts on this.

Self- esteem is defined as a feeling of satisfaction that someone has in himself or herself and his or her own abilities.  As a Christian, viewing it from that definition can lead us to feel prideful and self-centered and independent of God.  In James 4:6 we hear that “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”. This does not mean that as a Christian we should have a low self-esteem.  Rather, it means that our sense of being a good person should not depend on what we do, but rather on who we are in Christ.  Psalm 16:2-3 tells us “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”  We know we are valuable because of the high price God paid for us through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.

A very simple affirming song rhyme that children learned in VBS last year says it all: ”We love, because He first loved us.”

So, let us remember each day that we are His children, He made us and He loves us.

We are capable, valuable and loveable, and with His help we can give ourselves a pep talk that says.  “I am a child of God, and with Him I can grow in love and self-esteem; loveable, capable and valuable.”

With VBS right around the corner, we will see lots of affirmation of His love.  I hope that you will be a part of this wonderful event in some way. The love of Christ is everywhere in this fun experience.

Two songs we sing today are part of our VBS curriculum music:  Savior, like a Shepherd Lead Us, and The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want. Carry them through this week and next as we launch our VBS event to share God with our children.

Please see me if you have any questions.  Your whole health is important to me, and I am willing to help in any way I can.  I pray for each of you as you walk life’s journey.  May you always feel His love.

Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace