One of my favorite hymns to sing with my friends in memory care is “Mansion Over the Hilltop” by Ira Stanpill in 1949. His song has become a classic for every generation of Christians because it reminds us that our hope is not found on this earth. We may never have the “Forever Home” that is shown to us on television, but we can have an eternal home with Jesus Christ because of the cross! Why not join with us today and remember that faith in Christ is about more than health, wealth and fame. It is about the love of Jesus and the home that He has promised for all those who love Him and have surrendered their lives to Him!
Our Thursday morning group was a little smaller this week, but their voices were big and their hearts even bigger! What a wonderful time we had as we remembered how much Jesus has forgiven us and how wonderful it is that He has included us in His salvation plan. I hope you will be blessed to hear us sing, “Are You Washed in the Blood?” Have a blessed afternoon everyone!
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4 NIV
Dorothy sits with folded hands, staring straight ahead with a peaceful smile singing quietly along with every line of the hymns. Those folded hands, resting on her lap on occasion still pass over the keys of the piano in the corner of the room. Though her eyes can no longer see the keys she still amazingly finds every note. Dorothy reminds me of today’s verse, as I see her calm, unshaken faith. Hers is a faith undimmed by the passing of time. She was witnessed God’s sustaining power that has carried her through the years. Here as she nears the end of the journey, God has kept every promise and has rescued her from doubts, depression and fear. Undisturbed by the loss of what most of us simply take for granted, I think that she knows a day is coming soon when her fingers will reach out to touch keys again and they will ring with a melody of heaven. And I ask her, “Dorothy, what is your favorite hymn? What would you like me to play for you today?”
“Oh, I love them all!” she happily exclaims.
Then another lady calls out her request, “Love Lifted Me!” Dorothy nods with a smile, as I tune the guitar, and ready it to play the next song. Then as we begin to sing, I wonder just who is ministering to who, and how does Jesus hear the praise we are lifting together to Him?
If you would like to learn more about nursing home ministry than can be shared in this blog, consider my newest book, “Walking With Lambs“. It is available in both paperback and eBook form. Walking With Lambs is filled with the stories, and photos of my thirty-five years of nursing home ministry and shares many ideas as to how to more effectively engage in visitation ministry.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23 ESV
We often hear messages of how Jesus surrendered His life to pay for our sins and how that expresses His unconditional love. Rarely mentioned is that Jesus also calls us to surrender: the unconditional surrender of the cross. While this may not seem like the good news of the Gospel, it is in fact, the very heart of it. In today’s video, I share some of my grandfather’s memories from his days serving in the Pacific in WW2. At the end of that war, General Douglas MacArthur met with the generals of the Japanese Imperial army and there they signed a treaty of unconditional surrender. But this was not bad news for Japan. In fact, it was great news, because as soon as the war ended the bombing ceased and the bullets stopped flying. In the same way, in that moment we surrender our hearts to Jesus, the warfare with God ends. We are no longer His enemies and better yet, He adopts us as His children, wipes away the stain of our sins and begins the work of rebuilding our lives. Have you unconditionally surrendered to Jesus? Real life only begins when we sign the peace treaty with God and surrender out hearts to Him!