But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. Luke 1: 13 We often forget as we read Luke chapter one about the life of John the Baptist’s parents, that God was concerned for the needs of this elderly couple. Maybe in old age they had all but forgotten their prayer for children, but God had not. God had heard their prayer. God was still working on the answer. They didn’t have to follow some special formula. Zacharias and Elizabeth simply needed to remain faithful to what God had given them to do. In the same way we who have grown older without seeing the answer to things for which we have prayed can be encouraged that God also remembers us. Neither age nor weakness alters the power of God to answer prayer . It doesn’t matter how many years pass, if we are praying something in God’s will for our lives He hears us. He delights in answering the prayers of we who the community and sometimes sadly even the church consider past our time of usefulness. But the good news is that we are never out of warranty! Miracles can still happen because God never gives up, never forgets and never forsakes us. Don’t be afraid. He has heard your prayer!
Caligiuri, Peter (2018-03-07). Reflections of Hope (p. 3). Kindle Edition.
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:38 KJV
As I round the corner on over twenty three years of nursing home ministry I have now decades of precious memories of hundreds of people whom God has given me the privilege to serve. I have preached to them my best sermons, sung to them my best songs and shared with them my most intimate feelings and yet can say without hesitation that I have received far more than I have given.
I have learned that a loving heart far outlasts a sharp mind.
I have discovered that vision far is sharper than eyesight
I have entered into friendships that outlast personal failures
I have learned that God is faithful to remember us
That our names are written on the palms of His hands
His greatest gift is received when we have nothing to give
His grace patiently carries us all the way up Calvary’s hill.
When we meet in His city every tear will be wiped away
Every weakness made strong
Every sickness made whole
And every sorrow tuned into joy!!
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!
This month I began learning along with a small group of other prospective volunteers how to help with hospice care. The love and dedication of the woman who is training us has been both an inspiration and example. As a volunteer chaplain and a song leader my ministry at Nursing home has focused on what to say or sing to give hope. This week I was amazed to see just how much hope quiet listening can give. I came away from the orientation sessions with this one quote. I pray it will be a blessing to you as well.
“The quieter we become, the more that we can hear!”.
If you are like me and wish God would speak more clearly, then ask yourself- How quiet has my heart been this week?