After a long Christmas trip to join our family, we had our first service of 2023 on New Year’s Day. It is funny how God works out all the details of His plans. In the confusion of the first Sunday of the month being on a holiday, the assisted living facility where I visit had forgotten to have us on their calendar. Instead, there was an ice cream social scheduled! As I arrived and began setting up, so also did the staff who were getting ready to take strawberry sundae orders! So, we quickly put our heads together and decided that they would simply quietly take orders from the residents, and they could enjoy a little ice cream along with church. It was amazing how everything worked, including time for communion and the message. I am thankful for how God has guided us all through the past year. We have had several new volunteers and one additional facility that has opened its doors to visitation. Wherever we are God is with us as we do our best to obey His call to “Go into the world.” especially the world of widows and orphans. Have a blessed New Year all. I hope you enjoy this week’s video. When I asked for song requests, what else would they ask for than “How Great Thou Art.” There is no sweeter sound than to hear God’s people, who are living in long term care, singing praises with all their hearts to Him!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Oh yes, Thanksgiving is creeping up on us! I have read a lot of great posts about giving thanks, but people at the Nursing Homes which I visit take on a different viewpoint of the holiday. Very few will get to spend it with their family at a table filled with food. Most will get a few slices of turkey and gravy in the dining hall where we are meeting. Their thankfulness isn’t punctuated by football games, and they aren’t making plans to do Black Friday shopping. Instead, most of the thankfulness up and down the halls here is for a table that they will sit at one day with Jesus Christ. They come to these hymn singing times and either join in if they still can or just listen as the Lord lifts up their hearts to Him. Yes, we should be thankful for what we have received, but what lies ahead is so much greater and will last forever. Why not take a moment to close yourself in with God and picture His answer to your prayers before you receive them? Why not give thanks right now for what lies ahead, and then receive His peace which is greater than anything you can understand that can guard your heart and mind in Jesus?
I will be your God throughout your lifetime— until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. Isaiah 46:4 NLT
As we were singing “How great Thou art!” at the nursing home last week; it occurred to me that some of my friends could no longer remember where they were or how they had come to live there. A few had forgotten their children’s names and one or two, even their own. But as we sang that familiar chorus; most had no trouble at all remembering the words as we lifted up our voices in praise.
As the last notes faded away I remembered that what really mattered was not how smart we were, how much money we had in the bank or where we lived; but in how much we mattered to God. He has given us His promise to carry us not only during our years of beauty and youth but on through white hair and failing memory. His love is an eternal and unchanging commitment. Even when everyone else forgets, Jesus will still take care of us. He has promised to carry us for a lifetime: and no matter where we live we can still sing to Him today!