Ministering to Families

Often when some think of nursing home ministry they imagine a few old ladies who play bingo and go to listen to a couple of hymns once a week as their religious activity. But we are not called just to cheer people up and go home. God’s call involves touching entire families at a time in their lives they are most open to the message of Jesus Christ. The numbers of people living in assisted living, long-term care and half way houses is dwarfed by the number of friends and family members who are dramatically impacted by the needs of one.

A great example from the Bible was how God called the apostle Peter to bring God’s message to people who he never considered even socializing with. Peter just thought he was going to have a meal with his own friends, but God had other plans! God sent a vision and he also sent an invitation that Peter could no longer refuse. When Peter obeyed God’s direction he traveled to another city and the next day he didn’t meet just one person; he met a crowd!

And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends.  Acts 10:24

 

Peter probably did a double take when he saw all the people gathered. Then Peter simply shared the plain message of hope, salvation and eternal life. There was no music, no program, no funds dispersed. He just gave it to them straight in love and opened the door for God to begin something miraculous!

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.  Acts 10:44

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Because we have meetings in two different facilities we have had the opportunity to minister to one entire family. At the end of a meeting recently I was passed a note by the youngest daughter, “Pastor Pete could you please pray for my Mom and brother. Mom is stable but in congestive heart failure.” Her brother suffered a stroke/ Her Mom is able to breathe only by means of a Trach. But through God’s appointment all three come to church, hear the word and sing the songs with us. It all began with just a single invitation to meet a single person but God has called together entire families who are ready and waiting for us to tell them the good news that jesus remembers their address and that He has a better address waiting for them in heaven!

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Watch “Joni’s Corner: Memories” on YouTube

God has given us memories so like everything else he does there is a good purpose to them. Let Him do for you today the good things that He has in mind for your past your present and your future.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord , plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

All Hope

Day 31    –  31 Days of Hope

As we have come to the end of this series that God has led me on I have traveled with you. Whether you are battling cancer as my wife is, are seated in a nursing home or face life shaking situations of kinds i can not imagine I pray God will minister to you His miraculous hope that will last through it all. Be blessed and remind yourself that not knowing all the answers is okay. God’s hope does not depend on our abilities or wisdom but on His own!

When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned  Acts 27:20

 

Paul was being carried as a prisoner in chains in a ship in a storm. He had no control of his destination or the means of his travel. Does this verse sound in a little like what you are experiencing in your life? When the landmarks of sun and stars disappear behind storm clouds it is easy to forget that others are going through storms right by our side. With wind and waves beating at the sides of your boat you want to hang on to something while time crawls by so slowly that we lose sight of others right next to you.

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But in that night when everyone else lost hope, Paul received a message from God. God promised deliverance and not only to him, but also for the soldiers holding him prisoner, the sailors in charge of the boat and even his fellow prisoners. So today in your very real situation remember that God is not only with you in your biggest storm but that He is offering you all hope and hope for all who traveling by your side.