America's Newest Health Hazard

By Pastor Mark McAdow
Summer has finally arrived in northern Oklahoma. We have enjoyed an abundance of rain for July and cooler-than-normal temperatures, but the Southwest U.S. is burning up with weeks of temperatures and heat indexes in the significant 110’s!  People are dying from heat exhaustion and dehydration – both preventable diseases with proper cooling and hydration.  This is a summer problem, but there is an even greater health hazard identified in America today by  Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.  Do you know what it is? Loneliness.

The surgeon general says: “Loneliness is now a public health threat so severe that it’s on par with smoking and obesity.  It increases the risk of physical ailments like heart disease, dementia and stroke plus mental health ones including depression, anxiety and suicide.”  Dr. Murthy believes over one-half of adult Americans struggle with loneliness and even more children do as well. Social media is no real help in staying connected emotionally to others.

Psychiatrist Daniel Amen (can I get an “Amen”?) says, “I actually believe we’re on a tidal wave of brain and mental health problems in young people, and it’s because we’re disconnected from our families, because when people are together their faces are buried in their gadgets.”  The pandemic and wearing masks only furthered people’s loneliness and isolation from others. It was very damaging.

His solution? “So, it’s back to church,” he said. “Go back to church. Get involved. Get involved in groups” (ministry teams? Adult Discipleship Communities?). Not involved in one?  Try one this Sunday! “We have to go back and really, no better place to solve it than the church.”  I will say “Amen” to that!

It was such a blessing to have so many of you in worship last Sunday. We are growing again, and we are thankful to the Lord and to you. You may want to invite a friend or neighbor to Willow View this Sunday.

What does God’s Word have to say about loneliness? Psalms 68:6 says, “God sets the lonely in families …”  We are the family of God at Willow View. Each one of us is valued and each one is needed and each one is loved by The Father and us. As I love to say, “the greatest family in the world is the family of God!”  I'm looking forward to our weekly “family reunion” this Sunday!

Yours in Christ’s love,
Pastor Mark

PS:  I just enjoyed a great lunch at Lotta-Burger with the Lunch Bunch, a group of Willow View senior adults who eat lunch together around town every month on the second Thursday at 11:30. Check in with Pat Herron for next month’s Lunch Bunch site.

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