In reading this list of five guiding principles, please reflect upon the Words of Satisfaction stated in Scripture found in Matthew 7:7; Ask, and It Will Be Given. Ask, and it will be given to you; Seek, and you will find; Knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matt. 7:7).
As the Holy Spirit within each of us guides us through each day; If we listen we will hear, Jesus is waiting to hear our prayers asking Him for these good things that we want in life, including the strength to face adversity. – Pastor Michael Hanus, Spirit of Peace.
Contrary to popular belief, mental toughness is not something you are born with. It is not a luck of the draw sort of thing. That means that everyone can work to improve their fortitude with a little practice and mindfulness when life starts going sideways. Research backs this up. Since the 1960’s, groups like the Beck Institute have pioneered Cognitive Therapy in the hopes of helping people stop negative “automatic thoughts” that impaired their views of themselves, the world, and the future. And the results are clear: everyone can change the way they think and develop mental toughness.
Five tips for developing your mental toughness in a positive way.
Set Your Expectations
Mental toughness is not about avoiding conflict. While you can not control every aspect of your life, you can control how you will react. Act like you have everything under control, and no one will think otherwise. You might wind up even fooling yourself. Know that time is finite and there’s only so much you can do in a certain period of time. By setting realistic expectations for what you can achieve in a given amount of time, you are laying a groundwork for measurable performance and success.
Do not let your emotions get the best of you. Whether things are going crazy at work or you feel the urge to find comfort in sweets after a trying day, take a moment to step back from the situation. By stepping out of the present, stressful moment and putting it in larger perspective, you can give every crisis its context and respond with a level-headed calmness. By delaying gratification, whether in the form of a cupcake or yelling at someone, you are helping yourself to see difficulty as a setback rather than an insurmountable problem.
Focus on Yourself
No matter what you do, you are never going to please everyone. Mentally tough people have mastered the art of focusing on impressing themselves. Love the ensemble you put on but maybe other people can not appreciate your sense of style? Well, those haters are going to hate. They do not matter. You should surround yourself with people who can appreciate you for who you are and the unique traits you have to offer, especially since these people are likely ones you can count on when you feel that your mental toughness is starting to get a little weak. Similarly, do not get down in the dumps by envying other people or being jealous of their success. If you see someone who is doing things with their life you want to achieve too, focus on how you can get there yourself, rather than how that other person reached their goals so easily.
Silence the Negative Talk
Whether it is expressing envy over someone else’s success or using negative words to describe yourself, your words have immense power to shape your worldview. Do not let that glass-half-empty viewpoint dominate your thoughts. When you make the effort to see the positive in everything, you will find it was there all along. When you find aspects of yourself or your life that you would like to change, focus on how you can do that and set measurable goals rather than sitting back and accepting your present as your life’s course. Become your biggest advocate and believe in yourself. Others will follow your lead and believe in you too!
Let It Go
Elsa in Frozen (Disney) had it right. Do not let the past bring you down or be deadweight on your path to success. Everyone has suffered failures and setbacks, but it is the people who learn from their mistakes or face adversity with a measured approach that come up on top. Do not let your past dictate what your present and future should look like. There is no point in lamenting something you can not possibly change. But the present and future is only what you choose to make of it. Make it something amazing! That commitment to the present will build mental toughness in no time.
Improving your mental toughness takes mindfulness and commitment. It is not easy, but the payoff and rewards are immense. Take charge of your life and withstand adversity like a pro! – adapted from Paige Turner, theautismsite
Peace and Joy! in Seeking the Greater Good Within You!
God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them. Exodus 2:25.
Barbara grew up under the care of the British government in the 1960s, but when she turned sixteen, she and her newborn son, Simon, became homeless. The state was no longer obligated to provide for her at that age. Barbara wrote to the Queen of England for help and received a response! The Queen compassionately arranged for Barbara to be given a house of her own.
The Queen of England had the right resources to help Barbara, and her compassionate assistance can be seen as a small picture of God’s help. The King of heaven knows all of our needs and sovereignly works out His plans in our lives. As He does, however, He longs for us to come to Him, sharing our needs and other concerns, as part of our loving relationship with Him.
The Israelites brought their need for deliverance to God. They were suffering under the burden of Egyptian slavery and cried out for help. He heard them and remembered His promise: “God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.” Exodus 2:25. He instructed Moses to bring liberty to His people and declared that He would once again release them “into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” Exodus 3:8.
Our King loves it when we come to Him! He wisely provides what we need, not necessarily what we want. Let us rest in His sovereign, loving provision. – Ruth O’Reilly-Smith. Daily Bread.
Why is it important for us to bring our needs to God in prayer?
Connect with God
How can you learn to rest in God’s provision, whatever that may be?
Reinhold Niebuhr (1934).
God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other. Living one day at a time, Enjoying one moment at a time, Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, Taking, as Jesus did, This sinful world as it is, Not as I would have it, Trusting that You will make all things right, If I surrender to Your will, So that I may be reasonably happy in this life, And supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen.
Sovereign Burning Lights
Chris Tomlin (2013).
Loving God, thank You that I can bring my needs to You. Help me to be content in whatever paths and provisions You choose. Amen.
May Your Spiritual Connectivity with Our Sovereign Lord Bring You Serenity and Acceptance. Peace and Joy! Pastors Michael and Cathy Hanus
Dear Lord, Thank you for Your amazing power and work in our lives, Thank you for Your goodness and for your blessings over us. Thank you that You are able to bring hope through even the toughest of times, strengthening us for Your purposes. Thank you for your great love and care. Thank you for your mercy and grace. Thank you that You are always with us and will never leave us. Thank you for Your incredible sacrifice so that we might have freedom and life. Please forgive us for when we do not thank You enough, for who You are, for all that You do, for all that you give. Help us to set our eyes and our hearts on You afresh. Renew our spirits, fill us with Your peace and joy. We Love You and we need You, this day and every day. We give You praise and thanks, for You alone are worthy. In Jesus Christs Name, Thank You. Amen.
– adapted from Crosswalk.com
Prayers over and for the Missional Community
In our offering basket today, each and every one of us has placed written examples of
1. Demonstration that our Community is Broken and in Need of Healing; and
2. Demonstration that God is at work within our Missional Community today.
Pray for families. Families are a crucial social presence, and they can weather some significant challenges. Pray for the parents, aunts, grandparents, uncles, cousins, siblings, children, and all family members in our community.
Heavenly Father, we ask for Your presence in families in our Missional Community. We pray for strength and understanding between the marriages in our community. We ask for loving, strong bonds between the children, teenagers, adults, and grandparents. We pray that each branch of the family would demonstrate love for one another.
– adapted from fcsministries.org
Pray for relationships between neighbors. Healthy relationships between neighbors create a loving and compassionate community, Pray that neighbors will learn from each other’s differences and find common ground in the community.
God Almighty, we ask for healthy, thriving relationships between neighbors. We pray different cultures will be able to understand and care for one another in our community. We pray that the diversity of your people will be celebrated by all neighbors, just as you affirm and love each one of us.
– adapted from fcsministries.org
Pray for schools. Pray that schools will be a place of positive influence for students in the community. We hope to see schools that contribute to the social fabric of the Missional Community and equip our adults and children to achieve and thrive.
Father, we pray for the Community teachers and school administration staff who devote their days to shepherding our students. Please be present as these leaders make impactful decisions. We ask for guidance and patience for the parent volunteers as they serve our community schools. We pray that our schools will be a safe, positive community for our students.
– adapted from fcsministries.org
Pray for local churches. Churches in the community are too often disconnected from the communities in which the physical building resides. We hope to see congregations committed to serving the residents and representing the hands and feet of Jesus.
Lord God, we pray for your guidance for our local pastor and ministers as they nurture Your congregation and seek to serve those around them. We pray congregations will welcome neighbors with open arms. We hope for residents to find a place to experience community with the body of Christ as they grow spiritually.
– adapted from fcsministries.org
Pray for safety and peace. A community where all residents feel welcomed and safe is one we strive to create. Pray God would allow our neighbors to find safety in their living situations.
God, our Prince of Peace, we ask for your presence in the streets and homes of our community. We pray for local law enforcement, for their safety and wisdom and compassion in all circumstances. We pray your comfort for those who have experienced violence, and we ask your protection for all our neighbors.
– adapted from fcsministries.org
Pray for local politicians and leaders. Many communities experience marginalization when important decisions are being made. Pray for community voices to be heard in matters that impact them at all political levels.
Father, we ask you to give our political leaders wisdom make decisions affecting our community. We pray they will be thoughtful in their decisions and listen to the voices of the community. We pray for courage to stand up for our community and to live with grace and dignity in our community.
– adapted from fcsministries.org
Pray for residents. Pray for each neighbor by their name. Pray that your neighbors and residents of the community will know Jesus more deeply in their lives and have the opportunity to flourish as a community.
God, we ask for a flourishing community, where neighbors learn to love each other and come to know Jesus. We pray that we can be good stewards of Your love to each one of our neighbors. We ask that You help us to learn from our community, and it may be a place where all are welcomed. Amen.
– adapted from fcsministries.org
Peace to All who are present here. Amen.
Peace to this Missional Community, in the Lords Name We Pray. Amen.
Inspiring Peace Songs
This articulated service has ended. Go in Peace to Love and Serve the Lord. Amen.
Post Valley Flood 2019 Health Wellness Pastor Cathy Hanus, Holistic Health Coach
Opening Prayer and Lesson
Flood Prayer, Martin Luther
Almighty and eternal God, according to Your strict judgment You condemned the unbelieving world through the flood, yet according to Your great mercy You preserved believing Noah and his family, eight souls in all. You drowned hard-hearted Pharaoh and all his host in the Red Sea, yet led Your people Israel through the water on dry ground, prefiguring this washing of Your Holy Baptism. Through the Baptism in the Jordan of Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, You sanctified and instituted all waters to be a blessed flood, and a lavish washing away of sin. We pray that You would behold (name) according to Your boundless mercy and bless him with true faith by the Holy Spirit that through this saving flood all sin in him which has been inherited from Adam and which he himself has committed since would be drowned and die. Grant that he be kept safe and secure in the holy ark of the Christian Church, being separated from the multitude of unbelievers and serving Your name at all times with a fervent spirit and a joyful hope, so that, with all believers in Your promise, he would be declared worthy of eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Three things that Luther’s Flood Prayer teaches us about Holy Baptism:
First, Holy Baptism drowns sin. Just as the flood drowned the evil and violent people in Noah’s day, and Pharaoh and his army were drowned in the Red Sea, so all sin in you is drowned and put to death. This includes both the original sin you inherit from Adam along with all the sins that you have ever committed. This drowning is not something that happens only at your baptism, but every time you confess your sins you are drowning them again. Luther says in the Small Catechism, “What does such baptizing with water indicate? It indicates that that Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die, with all sins and evil desires.”
Second, Holy Baptism saves you. Noah and his family had a new life after the flood. The Israelites were set free from death and slavery in Egypt through the Red Sea. You have a new life in Holy Baptism. This is a pure gift of God because of His grace and mercy. In Holy Baptism you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, who creates faith for you to trust in God and His gifts. The Holy Spirit will also keep you safe in the church until our Lord returns, just as He kept Noah and His family safe in the ark.
Third, Baptism leads to a life of service and praise. Luther prays that the one being baptized would serve God “all times with a fervent spirit and a joyful hope.” In baptism you are made a member of God’s holy priesthood and called to a life of service to Him. The sacrifices you offer are not the blood of sacrificial animals but the sacrifice of praise to God and acts of love towards your neighbor. This is the life to which you are called through your baptism.
That is just the tip of the iceberg. There is much more about baptism here in this prayer to meditate on throughout our life. In fact, you do not have to pray this prayer solely at baptisms. You can continue to pray this prayer for yourself as you give thanks for your baptism and pray that God keep you in true faith through His Holy Spirit, and you can use this prayer to pray for all of God’s baptized people. – Rev. Dr. Mark Birkholz. Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, Oak Lawn, IL.
Health and Wellness Presentation
Managing Physical and Emotional Stressors with Nutrition
Pastor Cathy Hanus, Holistic Health Coach
Assorted Prepared and Raw Fresh Vegetables
Fresh fruit Dessert
Bug Out Bag BOB Presentation
A Bug-Out Bag or BOB is a portable kit that normally contains the items one would require to survive for 72 hours when evacuating from a disaster.
Just 10 Minutes of Exercise a Week May Be Enough to Extend Your Life, Study Says; But more is better.
Exercising for just 10 minutes a week is linked to a longer life, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Several recent studies have found that even low-intensity exercise, done for a short amount of time, can have a meaningful impact on health. Still, the idea that exercising for 10 minutes a week, less time than it takes to watch a TV show, do a load of laundry or make a pot of pasta, may be enough to increase your lifespan is novel. It is also somewhat controversial, since the federal physical activity guidelines recommend getting at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise or 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week.
Beneficial associations of low and large doses of leisure time physical activity with all-cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality: a national cohort study of 88,140 US adults. – British Journal of Sports Medicine https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2019/02/26/bjsports-2018-099254
Compassionate God, source of all comfort; We pray for the people whose lives have devastated by rain and flood.
Bring them comfort, we pray. Protect the vulnerable. Strengthen the weak. Keep at bay the spread of disease. Have mercy on all those working to rescue the stranded and to feed the hungry. May our response to their suffering be generous and bring you praise.
We ask this in Jesus name. Amen. – Christian Aid.
I arise today Through the strength of heaven; Light of the sun, Splendor of fire, Speed of lightning, Swiftness of the wind, Depth of the sea, Stability of the earth, Firmness of the rock. I arise today Through God's strength to pilot me; God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me, God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me, God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me, God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me, God's hosts to save me Afar and anear, Alone or in a multitude. Christ shield me today Against wounding Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me. I arise today Through the mighty strength Of the Lord of creation. - Anonymous.
Today we all remember Patrick, Missionary to Ireland
Patrick is one of the best-known of the missionary saints. Born to a Christian family in Britain around the year 389, he was captured as a teenager by raiders, taken to Ireland, and forced to serve as a herdsman. After six years he escaped and found his way to a monastery community in France. Ordained a bishop in 432, he made his way back to Ireland, where he spent the rest of his long life spreading the Gospel and organizing Christian communities. He strongly defended the doctrine of the Holy Trinity in a time when it was not popular to do so. His literary legacy includes his autobiography, Confession, and several prayers and hymns still used in the church today. Patrick died around the year 466.
There are times when God calls upon each of us to be attentive to the needs of our brothers and sisters, all people, with special concerns, in the Missional Community. It is our responsibility to engage and follow the call.
March is Natural Health Month
St. Patrick’s Day comes along mid March. Wherever and whenever we should aspire to make informed food best choices and continue to develop and share best eating and physical activity choices. Our theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right.” We will savor some healthy flavors this St. Patrick’s Day.
Healthy St. Patrick’s Day tips
Be festive with Green:
Add more dark greens to your salad, such as baby kale, spinach, romaine and green leaf lettuce, green peppers, cucumbers, etc.
Be inspired to Go Green with your side dishes. Try Brussels sprouts, broccoli, edamame or green beans.
Pistachios and pepitas. Sprinkle on entrees, side dishes and salads.
Green tea is a good way to warm up and get antioxidants at the same time.
Sweeten up that fruit salad with kiwi and green grapes
Spinach. Add to your fruit smoothie to add extra fiber and iron.
More colors of the rainbow food possibilities:
Red – watermelon, apples, tomatoes, strawberries.
Blue/purple – blueberries, eggplant, grapes, red onion, blackberries
– some of our nutritional lesson today is borrowed from HyVee Foods
Saint Patrick’s Day Traditional Themed Meal
Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage
Natural grass raised lean beef
Organic red and green cabbage
Kale and Spinach
Roasted Brussels sprouts
Organic red spring potatoes
Irish Soda Bread
Red Black table grapes
with Pastor Michael
Saint Patrick’s Day Workout
Seven choice exercises accomplished seven times each
– Bumble Bee Foods
Saint Patrick’s Day song
Saint Patrick, Ireland
May the Strength of God pilot us. May the Power of God preserve us. May the Wisdom of God instruct us. May the Hand of God protect us. May the Way of God direct us. May the Shield of God defend us. May the Host of God guard us Against the snares of the evil ones, Against temptations of the world. May Christ be with us! May Christ be before us! May Christ be in us, Christ be over all! May Thy Salvation, Lord, Always be ours, This day, O Lord, and evermore. Amen.
Another Movie Season Celebration is upon us! Pastors Michael and Cathy Hanus, along with our Missional Ministry Staff, have the fellowship sharing desire to kick off another Movie Season Celebration! We are blessed to have generous resources to gather dozens of youth and adults every Movie Season from Valley and surrounding communities for a movie and lively fellowship at a meal nearby. If you are new to this Celebration and would like to join us, you are invited. Do not be shy, just contact us for a mutually available time. Spirit.Peace@outlook.com Feel free to call, leave a message and text 402-541-7019
Pastor Michael invites youth and adults to accompany him to movie theaters in the community for movie viewing, light meals, fellowship and lively discussion.
Dinner and a Movie at the Theater
“MMM”s: movie meet-ups, meals and mingling are a great way to enjoy the passing of time, energize our spirits and enjoy life.
If you have an interest in this activity in the missional community, please contact us at: Spirit.Peace@outlook.com