My wife and I serve as members of a worship team at a multicultural church. Our members are from Brazil, Nepal and the U.S.. Because of the many languages and cultures in our local body we face unique challenges, such as how many songs will we do in English today? What new songs can we use in either language that are simple enough for the people to sing. The songs, the devotions and insights here are a small portion of some of the ways God is leading us as we push towards the goal. I pray that these will be both a blessing and an encouragement for those of you who may pass by Praise 2 Worship.
If you watch our little – not so professional video – and say, “Hey we can do better than they do!” then I will be delighted! There is no better time of year than Christmas, to share the love of Jesus through caroling and sharing time with our friends in long term care. Hey, this year we even had a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Santa along with their granddaughter elf! So, why not take a moment and join us as we follow the shepherds to Bethlehem and find Mary, Joseph and Jesus, just as the angels said?
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. Luke 2:14-16 ESV
This was the warmup for the real Christmas caroling with some of my friends that starts on Sunday. Of course, you can’t see our little group, but we had a nice mix of memory care, long term care and assisted living together for our music. It is nice at Life Care Center that the wards are separate, but the activities are mixed. I hope you enjoy our medley of Away in a Manger next to Jesus Loves Me.
I write to you, fathers,
Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
Because you have overcome the wicked one.
I write to you, little children,
Because you have known the Father.
1 John 2:13 NKJV
One of the most overlooked resources in some local churches is the faith and prayers of its senior saints. Though this is not usually done consciously, it ends up that way through well-meaning though misguided choices and attitudes. Missions Trips or worship conferences for teens only. Small groups, segregated by age group and senior group activities that are little more than luncheons or entertainment make us feel left out irrelevant and unneeded.
The Apostle John on the other hand sees every age group as not only needed but essential in the success of the church. I love how this duo with Alanna and Percival Glover show the older hymns wonderfully sung by the youngest member of the family. May you find your voice to sing together in harmony with all of God’s family, no matter your age or circumstance!
Being a senior in the church sometimes feels like being a chaperone at a school dance. Everyone smiles and says hello, but they wonder why you are there and don’t know that you can dance too!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Oh yes, Thanksgiving is creeping up on us! I have read a lot of great posts about giving thanks, but people at the Nursing Homes which I visit take on a different viewpoint of the holiday. Very few will get to spend it with their family at a table filled with food. Most will get a few slices of turkey and gravy in the dining hall where we are meeting. Their thankfulness isn’t punctuated by football games, and they aren’t making plans to do Black Friday shopping. Instead, most of the thankfulness up and down the halls here is for a table that they will sit at one day with Jesus Christ. They come to these hymn singing times and either join in if they still can or just listen as the Lord lifts up their hearts to Him. Yes, we should be thankful for what we have received, but what lies ahead is so much greater and will last forever. Why not take a moment to close yourself in with God and picture His answer to your prayers before you receive them? Why not give thanks right now for what lies ahead, and then receive His peace which is greater than anything you can understand that can guard your heart and mind in Jesus?