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 KJV
John was an old man by the time he penned these words, and travel for him was difficult. But one thing John could still do was write; and write he did. It may have frustrated John a bit, not seeing his friends in person, but that did not stop him from delivering a message to build them up. Today I am sitting home with Covid-19 and our nursing home meetings today and tomorrow are cancelled. So far, my symptoms are just a nasty sore throat and a light fever, but this made me recall another reason why we started Sunshine Newsletter and I started to make little song videos. I am also immensely thankful for the team of people who have come around me so that we can publish this every week. Sunshine Newsletter so far, reaches 9 facilities in three different states. God has not forgotten His people who are shut behind the doors of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and memory care wards. Sometimes we may not be able to go in ourselves, but God always will show us a way through an open door, where we least expect it!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13 ESV
After thirty years of nursing home ministry, I have learned that the heart of our message is the hope of Jesus Christ. Today’s verse clearly points us to God as our great source of hope. We must always communicate that if we want to give real people, real hope. They are walking their final mile here on earth and are struggling with physical weakness, discomfort and loneliness. When they think about eternity, they ask questions like “Does God really love me and care about what I am going through? Is He listening to my prayers? How can I be sure that He will accept me?” Of course, these are questions everyone thinks about, but in long term care, those whispered doubts become fearsome shouts that will drown out all but true hope. Before stepping into a facility to sing, or going into someone’s room to visit, we must ask God to fill us with the hope He gives through our relationship with Jesus Christ. Our hope, our future and our eternal salvation are found in Him alone! We cannot give to someone else what we have not already received from God. Do you carry that hope in your heart this morning? If not, then turn to Jesus in humble faith. He is listening and willing to fill you with His hope forever. That is the gospel and the message for which Christ died. When we receive that hope, then we will have a treasure we can lavishly give away to others! I love this song by Keith and Kristen Getty who are accompanied by Michael W. Smith. I pray you will find in Christ alone all the hope that He has for you today!
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15 KJV
While a ferocious debate rages back and forth in both the political arena as well as within our families over Covid protocols; those of us in nursing home ministry find ourselves caught in the middle. It is as if we are consigned to a no-man’s land filled with barbed wire and shell craters, while overhead deafening salvos of words and tempers fly back and forth. But for us, the reality of coping with Covid-19 continues unabated. Today (for maybe the fifth time) one of the facilities where I sing called with the familiar phrase, “We are sorry to tell you, but we have to close the doors again.” So, today’s post, aims to provide you a shelter and some limited guidance to encourage and help you to keep slogging through for Jesus. Remember Him? Yes! We are not in a war with anyone on either side of the philosophical aisle, we are EMT’s assigned by the King of Kings, to render first-aid to the wounded and weary residents in long term care.
Imagine yourself in a community where your homeowner’s association sporadically quarantines you to your quarters for days, weeks or even months. And this quarantine is not just to keep you in your home, but to confine you to the master bedroom and bath area! If you can imagine that you might begin to be touched by the feeling of the infirmities of those to whom we are called to serve. The amazing thing about all of this is that Jesus himself knows exactly what we are going through. He left heaven to come to a planet infected by an even more highly contagious and deadly virus than Covid: It is called sin. Doctor Jesus came even though He knew the risk, the prognosis and the end game were certain. Then we must also recall that He did all this because He loved us enough to lay down His life, without complaint, in order to heal us of our diseases and deliver us from the bondage of our quarantine. He was touched by the feelings of our infirmity, and He gave us an example of how we are to care for one another.
So, don’t give up, give in or give out. In long-term care ministry, we may be wearing masks and getting booster shots for years. We may not be able to even get in the doors for months at a time but stay in the fight. General Jesus knows what is happening and He has a great strategy to win the war for souls. Keep asking Him for new ways to continue your outreach. We use a weekly newsletter, YouTube videos and constant respectful communication with the directors to keep us in the mix. If you would like to receive any of our free resources, you can contact me at email@example.com. Have a blessed day all. Guard your health as well as your heart and remember that because God knows the feelings of our own infirmities, He is able to help us no matter what lies ahead!
What a wonderful time I had at nursing home today when my granddaughter volunteered to come in and sing with me! The people just lit up when they saw her in the front, and it was heartwarming seeing their eagerness to sing with her. When young people come to visit – it is better than any medicine that the doctor can prescribe! I hope you love this week’s video and that you will go out wherever you are and let your light shine for Jesus!!
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 KJV