How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand. Psalm 139:17-18
Since the birth of Laura in our church family 6 months ago I have been getting a crash course in awareness of downs syndrome children and families. These moms who collaborated to make the video 50 Mums and 50 Kids, come together for this interview to give us all a sneak peek behind the scenes and help us to get in touch with the reality of both the blessings as well as the challenges presented by having a child with downs syndrome in their families.
What we experience with these mothers is a no strings attached love that reflects God’s love for all of us. He values us in a way that is not related to what others think of us or what he can get out of us. These mothers share that the greatest challenge is to simply communicate that we don’t need to be afraid. Together we can tear down the walls that built on fear and the lack of personal experience.
As a long time chaplain at both nursing homes and an assisted living home that includes some residents with downs as well as various, emotional and physical disabilities one thing that I share with these Mums is the frustration in how little people outside our community seem to understand about us. These heart warming videos help to break down barriers as we see the real beauty of these kids and their mothers together. Pray for us that God would open new doors in long term care ministry as well. Have a blessed week!
The still unfolding story of yet another deranged man with a gun – this time at a nursing home touched a nerve with me tonight. Whatever the motivation for the violence will soon be lost in another shouting match over 2nd amendment rights and gun control. The three dead employees will soon be forgotten by everyone but God. But in spite of the night of hatred, division and fear that seems to get darker by the hour there is still hope. God has not nor will He ever abandon us. If we cry He is listening. When we lie awake sleepless with anxiety, He stands watch. In the deepest despair He plants a seed of hope. God’s kingdom whether in the life of an individual or a community always starts with the tiniest of seeds. Will you plant your seed of hope with me tonight in prayer that together we might see it grow one day into a mighty tree of faith?
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35
This week the head of the volunteer network at our facility said that everything she learned about life she learned from her brother who had been born with Down’s Syndrome. We usually think of people like her brother as the care receivers and we the givers. But in God’s economy we find that often people like her brother are the greatest givers. I also have discovered as a chaplain at a long term care that I have become a member of a community. This community is not based on racial or economic characteristics but on our shared experiences. Our days are not only measured by hours nor is our calendar neatly divided into seasons. One phone call, a doctor’s diagnoses or a night of pain can change what we are facing today. I wrote Reflections of Hope to be a healing balm to help strengthen our faith as we together struggle to love and serve. Our souls sometimes limp through the valley of death but our greatest hope is that He walks with us!
If you are either a care giver or receiver you may find this small book to be a help. The softcover is available now and the E-book releases on the 7th. I have it set up for free lending and for those who purchase the soft cover the E-book will be free. Thank you for following this blog. I will continue to share the highs and lows with you of our community and it is my prayer that together we could learn when to give and when to receive. We know that what ever end of the equation we are on today, everything we have comes from the Lord Jesus!
Reflections of Hope
I post this opening of our service this week at Allied Nursing Home as an encouragement to be yourself at your nursing home. We do need to follow rules and so we could not film any of the residents but your can definitely hear them in the background!! Don’y worry if everything you do is polished and professional, this is hardly a slick production in my Youtube channel. But we need to know that God will use us with whatever talents, and personalities we have to make a difference. This is the third of three services we have each week and we average about 25-30 people in the dining room. Stay tuned for a bit more live video in future posts sharing a bit more music and a brief message. Be blessed as you press toward the goal in nursing home ministry today!