Is your job killing you?
Workplace challenges, family conflicts, financial tensions, and spiritual crises can leave us feeling emotionally and physically spent. Vocation and Wellness helps identify and replace energy-depleting patterns with a proven prescription for re-energizing health and wellness in body, mind, and soul.
Combining medical data with Scriptural insights and practical suggestions, this plan designed by a Christian physician provides practical tools for healing and renewal in your daily life, vocation, and relationships. Discover how to experience God’s renewable energy—His grace—and live the whole, healthy, and abundant life you always wanted.
John D. Eckrich, M.D.
John D. Eckrich, M.D. is a Christian physician and founder of Grace Place Wellness Ministries—a retreat-based organization that teaches wellness life practices to encourage joy, vibrancy, and longevity in ministry professions. As a board certified internist and gastroenterologist for over 40 years, he brings a unique perspective on the stewardship of the whole person—body, mind, and spirit.
John Eckrich’s book is a little gem. It’s an everything-you-always-wanted-to-know compendium of the best advice and information to keep your body going strong and your service to God and others joyful. A great companion to one of Grace Place’s wonderful retreats for church workers, this book will serve as a great review of all you’ve learned and a good reminder to keep doing what you know you should do! Loaded with common sense, good advice, and full of the grace that nourishes your soul, this book will help you stay joyful in service, balanced in your lifestyle choices and daily renewed in the refreshing grace of God.
Ruth N. Koch, M.A., NCC
Mental Health Educator
Co-author of Speaking the Truth In Love: How to Be an Assertive Christian
I take this book personally and hope you will too. It’s a strange blessing to hit the stone wall of our limitations, but it’s then that God reminds us we’re still and wholly his beloved children. I’m putting Vocation and Wellness on a shelf with my devotion books because wellness is integral to godliness.
Rev. Dr. Dale Meyer
President, Concordia Seminary
St. Louis, MO
We rely on our physicians and other healthcare professionals to look after our wellbeing. We trust them to give us good guidance and counsel to help cure what ails us or to avoid problems before they arise. The best medical professionals recognize that humans are complex beings and that our health is not limited to physical fitness. Over the course of his distinguished career Dr. John Eckrich has demonstrated extraordinary interest, not only in the health of patients under his charge, but also in the Lord’s servants. A range of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and other health challenges face people whose dedication to serving others does not always include sufficient attention to their own needs. Dr. Eckrich’s observation of the particular concerns of church workers was inspiration for the founding of Grace Place Wellness. This succinct and insightful book is drawn from years of experience helping others to live healthy lives. In it, we benefit from valuable insights and useful, practical applications designed to help us grow in our reliance on the grace of God in Christ Jesus and to embrace the importance of balanced self-care. Here we have a prescription from a medical doctor who genuinely cares about the health of our bodies, our minds, and our souls.
Rev. Dr. Patrick Ferry, M.Div, Ph.D.
President, Concordia University
Vice President, Concordia University System
Ordained LCMS Pastor
In the midst of a wealth of practical advice for living well, Dr. Eckrich never strays far from the idea of an eternal perspective that ultimately enables us to renew ourselves and live the lives that we desire and that God intends. Theological points of difference among faiths aside, Dr. Eckrich clearly establishes our saving relationship with Jesus Christ, the Creator of the Universe, as the key to our wellness journey. He shows how through that relationship, the work of the Holy Spirit, and God’s grace we are able to put on a healthy and new self in every area of life. Important to this process is taking our focus off (“me”) and placing it on (“we”)—that is, our relationship with our Lord. Vocation and Wellness is a wonderful resource and is both pragmatic and spiritual.
Chairman Emeritus, Realty South
Elder, Briarwood Presbyterian Church (PCA)
Lay counselor, Bible teacher
In a world that encourages a focus on personal health and wellness as an end in itself, Dr. Eckrich reminds us that we are called to something more. He not only illustrates how a focus on wellness connects to our vocations but also demonstrates how God—through his unfailing grace—equips and empowers each of us on this journey. With our Wellness Backpack stocked with God’s good gifts, we will be spiritually and physically energized to live out our respective vocations!
James F. Sanft
President and CEO, Concordia Plan Services
LCMS Health and Benefits Services
Dr. John’s passion for church workers is unmistakable in this refreshing book. His unique perspective as a physician is coupled with a deep faith and understanding of how God works in the practical, daily lives of his people. This book gives hope for renewal of energy that is critical to prevent burnout and to restore vocational wellness. The flow of the book itself gives testimony to the flow of energy and love from one’s relationship with God (“we”) that pushes aside anxiety, personal struggles of worth, and all the other issues that come from trying to prove self (“me”). At every turn, there are practical suggestions and exercises to help make wellness part of the church worker’s lifestyle. This book will be a blessing to so many!
Dr. David J. Ludwig
Professor of Clinical Psychology, Lenoir Rhyne University
For those who tend to think “too much is never enough” in pouring themselves into people and projects, there’s healing in this great read. Hear today, be well tomorrow … or at least be on the way to the wellness God intends, offers, and promises. It’s right here through tried and true wisdom earned by decades of experience with thousands of patients. Want to do something immeasurably good for those you serve? Read this book! And for goodness’ sake, read it for yourself!
Host, Woman to Woman Talk Radio
Family Counselor and Author
Nice work in integrating church professional self-care with the Christian Gospel. Having clergy who are physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy and committed disciples of Christ is not an oxymoron. Thank you for dispelling the notion that to be a servant of Christ means sacrificing ourselves, physically and emotionally, to the Lord.
Rev. Roy Oswald
Executive Director, Center for EQ-HR Skills (www.eqhrcenter.org)
Former Senior Consultant for Alban Institute
Ordained ELCA Pastor
This book is as remarkable as it is accessible. Eckrich offers a scripturally sound, classically orthodox, and terrifically relevant vision for living a healthy, holy, happy life in Christ in the midst of the challenges facing Christians today. Given his long experience in caring for Christian ministers of every stripe, coupled with his own deep and authentic faith in Christ, Eckrich offers a kind of “middle way” between uncritical appropriation of every new diet and exercise fad and a kind of paranoid Puritanism which would have devout Christians simply try and pray away their problems. Ultimately Dr. Eckrich’s program works because it founds wellness in the foundation of all things—life in Christ Jesus—and so recasts wellness and self-care, not as self-indulgence but as worship, an act of gratitude and praise to the God Who has chosen to make us His temples.
Fr. Dominic McManus, OP
Dominican Friar, Province of Albert the Great
Dr. Eckrich writes a compelling book encouraging us that coming to terms with God’s generosity of grace in Jesus is one of the key things we need to do in order to live a balanced and healthy life—not just spiritually, but physically, emotionally, vocationally and financially. We have found this particularly true as we help people be wise with money and live generously.
CEO Thrivent Financial
We are each born with a unique set of genes that will influence our health and affect the way we think and act as well as our susceptibility to disease. However, there is ample evidence that our attitudes, lifestyle, habits, and diet can affect these genetic foundations and greatly impact how we experience the world, value both ourselves and our relationships, and avoid disease. In Dr. Eckrich’s book on wellness, he uses his training in both theology and medicine to provide an insightful and pragmatic lesson plan for a life well lived. As a physician and scientist, I was most drawn to his comments on diet, exercise, rest, and relaxation. While not overwhelming the non-scientist reader with technical details, the medical reasons for what he advocates are strongly based on current knowledge. The material is presented in a well-written, reader friendly format; questions are clearly posed, ample backgrounds are provided, and well-reasoned and practical suggestions are given. This textbook provides unique and thoughtful perspectives and valuable suggestions on how to pursue a healthful life that should be of broad interest to all readers.
Fred Gorelick, M.D.
Professor of Medicine and Cell Biology
Deputy Director, Yale MD-PhD Program
Yale University School of Medicine
Those who serve the Church dedicate their lives to God and His people—proclaiming and teaching the grace of God in Christ Jesus. Such service is not easy. In fact, our Lord does call his servants to lose their lives, take up their crosses, and follow him—body and soul. Such following and discipleship are grounded in the abundant love and grace of God revealed in his Son, Jesus Christ. Sadly, due to the weakness of the flesh, the assaults of the devil, and the great stresses of this world, servants of the Church fail to hold in their own lives the very Good News they profess in their calling—to the detriment of their own bodies and souls. Dr. Eckrich has dedicated himself to care for those who care for God’s people and to direct them to the grace of God that is sufficient for all their needs. Vocation and Wellness is a gift to the Church and her servants as the author diagnoses with his physician’s skill the symptoms and root causes of the church worker’s physical and spiritual disease. He directs them and all God’s people to the medicine, cure, and true healer: Jesus Christ who makes all things well. This book should not only be read but also be put into practice by those who serve the Church. This can be done as laity read it and lovingly encourage the servants of their congregation toward wellness and health in body and soul. All should follow the good doctor’s prescription and find energy, wellness, and joy for service in the grace of God in Christ Jesus.
Rev. Bart Day
Executive Director, Office of National Mission
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS)
Ordained LCMS Clergy
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