Stress, Worry and God’s Loving Presence
May 2020
Dear Brothers and Sister in Christ

What challenges and what emotions are you experiencing during the COVID-19 challenges, the losses of gathering for worship and the national shut down? We have all been impacted by the national and state “stay in place” orders and it has especially challenged our families, schools, businesses, neighborhoods, cities, state, nation and congregational life. How are you handling the stress and emotions?
This month’s TLO Disciple theme is “Stress, Worry and God’s Loving Presence.” I pray that the articles and links provided here will help sustain you through these present days, strengthen you in hope of God’s love for you, and provide resources for you to love and help your neighbor know the steadfast love of the Living Lord Jesus.

With the psalmist we cry out, “ Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; preserve my life from dread of the enemy .” (Psalm 64:1). “ For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life! In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!” (Psalm 143:11).

God has promised to hear us, to preserve us and defend us. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

Jesus promised His disciples before He ascended into heaven that He would send His Holy Spirit to remind us of everything Jesus taught. Through the Good News of the Gospel of Christ, through baptism into the name of Jesus and through the Sacrament of the Altar, the Lord’s Supper, our Lord will continues to serve us with His grace offering the full assurance of forgiveness for our sin, and life and salvation through Him.

At this time when we feel a sense of lost control of events, Be assured. God is with you. While there are daily threats against our physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being, God is your fortress, your shield, your ever-present help in time of trouble.

Blessings in Christ

Pastor James Kroonblawd
From God's Word
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you; and through the rivers,
they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
—Isaiah 43:2
Stress: What is it?
Stress is a condition or feeling experienced when you feel like the demands exceed your ability to cope. It’s how you feel physically and psychologically when you have lost control. Richard S. Lazarus in his book ”Psychological Stress and the Coping Process,” stress is a condition or feeling experience when a person perceived that “demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.” Stress is the body’s response to meet the changes and demands you face. Stress is normal.

Hans Selye wrote “stress is not necessarily something bad – it all depends on how you take it. The stress of exhilarating, creative successful work is beneficial, while that of failure, humiliation or infection is detrimental.”
Stress is our body’s reaction to the pressures we perceive as threatening so that we can protect ourselves and can be useful in motivating change. We can experience stress as individuals, and as families.

In an article on , the authors warn stress can cause severe health problems. It’s very important that health professionals should be consulted if stress-related illness or stress is causing significant or persistent unhappiness.

Outbreaks can be stressful

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.  Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

What stressors do you face?

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating habits
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental heal conditions
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs

New LHM Course: Stress and Worry in the Life of the Christian

Are you looking for direction in these difficult times? Lutheran Hour Ministries is offering a free online course Stress and Worry in the Life of the Christian . This course explores stress and worry: the causes, effects, and strategies to manage them. It will equip you through God’s Word to look to Him as the source of strength.

Here is your Call to Action: Carry out intentional actions to manage your own stress or worry and also reach out with Christian support to someone who is dealing with stress or worry.

To access the course online click here. Or contact Pastor Kroonblawd at 651-235-7600 if you are interested in studying with others in a small group Bible study format.
When Stressors Pile Up
  • Know that you are not alone
  • Believe you and your family can control their choices and cope successfully
  • Seek social support
  • Talk to someone
  • Develop the fine art of gentle communication
  • Keep an optimistic view of the situation
  • Develop family esteem
  • Seek a balance
The answers to our stress and worry never come from within ourselves
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. — Psalm 73:26
CPH FaithCourses® Free for a Limited Time
Keep the Faith
Life in these troubling times—times that change by the day, by the hour, by the minute—brings a lot of uncertainty. Workplaces are closing; schools are closing; even churches are closing. Now, more than ever, is the time to remember to keep the faith.
That’s why, for limited time, we are making these CPH FaithCourses® available free of charge. May you find solace and comfort in Jesus’ presence to guide you through the storm.
Daily prayer should be central to what we do as Christians. Yet it is so easy for the pressures and stresses of daily life to crowd out the time for meaningful prayer. Scripture says, "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
PrayNow is the daily prayer app from Concordia Publishing House that places the Scriptures at the center of daily meditation and prayer. PrayNow is designed to meet the needs of the Christian who wishes to follow a disciplined order of daily prayer centered in the Scriptures and to use the rich resources of the church’s ancient daily orders of prayers with writings from the Church Fathers.
From our hymnal

Entrust your days and burdens
He cares for you while ruling
The sky, the sea, the land.
For He who guides the tempest
Along their thunderous ways
Will find for you a pathway
And guide you all your days.
Lutheran Service Book, 754, st. 1
Take care of yourself and your community

Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger. Ways to cope with stress:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body.
  • Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
  • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
  • Exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

Find more helpful ideas at
This artwork is a detail from a Mexican cloth tapestry called a “hungertuch.” This particular hungertuch was created by the Argentinian artist Adolfo Perez Esquivel, and is part of Concordia Seminary’s art collection. Click for reference.
Pandemic, Coping With It
March 23, 2020 by Leopoldo Sanchez 
This is not the time or place to rehearse the life-changing and, in some cases, devastating effects COVID-19 has been having on people’s lives near and far—in our families, churches, communities, workplaces, and neighbors around the nation and world. But how do Christians cope with this pandemic? Here is some food for thought.

A Time to Repent
The Christian life is one of daily repentance. The baptized are called to die with Christ in order to be raised with him to new life. This is especially true in the season of Lent. When we hear of and see great numbers of people suffering and dying around us, the primary response is grief. Grief is our form of death at this time. It is deep contrition over the inescapable and universal reality that, as heirs of Adam, we are dust and to dust we shall return. Pandemics increase exponentially our awareness of this tragic state of affairs. Repentance calls us not to avoid this reality, but make room for grieving it. Read more

A Time for Vigilance
The Christian life is not an easy one. It is a perilous journey in the desert, in the wilderness, where the devil attacks and tempts God’s children. Times of crisis especially make us aware of our vulnerabilities to such assaults. So we must be vigilant, watchful. Temptations can make the fatalist, who despairs over tragedy, doubt God’s promises of protection, provision, and life. Read more

A Time for Sacrifice
The Christian life is one of conformity to Christ in his sacrifice, in his self-giving to others even unto death. Times of suffering put into question the popular notion that being a Christian is about being happy and prosperous. It is really about joyfully sacrificing for others. In unprecedented times, sacrifice may take different forms. Read more

A Time for Hospitality
The Christian life is one of welcoming strangers into our lives, even when the welcome is not physically possible. Pandemics make us painfully aware of large numbers of suffering neighbors we never heard about. Hearing of many lives lost in places that seem so far away, like China and Italy, we suddenly realize how much we share with these strangers. At times like these, we put a human face on strangers, especially those who are most vulnerable to the virus. Read more

A Time for Devotion
The Christian life is one of devotion to God in good and bad times. We were created to embody devotion to our Creator in the rhythm of repose and movement, of rest and labor. There are gardens to labor in, to tend to and care for, as stewards of God’s gifts. God continues to provide for his world through many laborers who are doing their best to care for lives on earth. People are busy figuring out the next step. In the midst of daily updates, difficult news, and uncertainty about the future, our minds are also filled with fear and anxiety. They are busy with thoughts that get in the way of receiving from God. Read more

From God's Word
Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God .
Acts 14:22
Wholeness Wheel
The Wholeness Wheel has taken many forms over the decades, but this is the one most often used within the Lutheran community.
The seven areas of wellness grow out of our Baptism. Romans 6:4 reminds us, “We were buried therefore with [Christ] by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
As Christians, we are God’s new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) strengthened by His grace and the Holy Spirit to walk in newness of life toward well-being in all areas.

Writer, Deaconess, and licensed clinical social worker, Heidi Goehmann, writes and advocates around the topics of mental health, relationships, and Jesus. She is a certified EMDR clinician and trained in Gottman methods for marriage and family therapy.
Heidi says "I started writing because I WANTED MORE FOR PEOPLE AND FOR RELATIONSHIPS.
I think we want to live outside of the boxes others create for our lives, our personalities, and our roles.We want to take risks in our relationships, because of the safety of His love.

We want the church to be a place where God’s grace lives and reigns, where people can speak a struggle out loud, and find Truth and Love; where mental health is something we know we all have and tend together.
We want to stop relegating God and spiritual conversation to one place, and a few relationships, but find them in the everyday of life."
Know the Risk Factors
We Can All Prevent Suicide. Understanding the issues concerning suicide and mental health is an important way to take part in suicide prevention, help others in crisis, and change the conversation around suicide.

From God's Word
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
    in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
    and with my song I give thanks to him.
Psalm 28:7
Building Family Esteem
How would you describe your family?
I’m proud of my family because?
I especially enjoy being with my family when__________
The most emotionally satisfying moments for me come when my family__________
From God's Word
…so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ,

2 Corinthians 2:7-10
Need help? Know someone who does?
If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others

  • Call 911
  • Visit the Disaster Distress Helpline call 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746
  • Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224
From our hymnal

When the Road is Dark there is hope in Christ
In God my faithful God
I trust when dark my road
Great woes may overtake me
Yet He will not forsake me
My troubles He can alter
His hand lets nothing falter
Lutheran Service Book, 745
public domain
If you would like to know more about worshiping our Lord, have questions about anything you've read in the Bible or want to talk about any aspect of your faith, contact us ! We'd be glad to visit with you about it!
TLO Disciple, with a topical study in each issue, is distributed primarily via email on the first of every month. Print copies are available by contacting the TLO Church office at 651-454-7235 or via email.
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Soli Deo gloria
Trinity Lone Oak Lutheran
2950   Highway  55
Eagan,  MN   55 121