Hope in His Word

I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope     Psalm 130:5 KJV

When we were young many of us used to song: “The B-I-B-L-E, Yes! that’s the book for me. I stand alone on the word of God, The B-I-B-L-E!” Today as we are older, whether we are looking out the window at a nursing home or looking out the window at work or school we all sometimes wonder how we will make it. Where will we get the strength just to keep putting one foot in front of the other?

Hope in You

It is easier facing outward conflicts because at least we can see the enemy we are fighting. But when things seem dark and confusing on the inside then there are moments when we feel as if things are hopeless. God’s word gives us this promise from King David who found that his greatest enemies were bigger than the giant Goliath whom he had faced on the battlefield. David’s battle with sin, failure, and shame left him wondering how he could face his family, his friends and his responsibility as a leader and example for others.

At his darkest moment David remembers that the same God who had given him hope when he fought the giant with a sling had also promised him forgiveness and restoration when he had sinned. God’s word isn’t weakened by our failures, doubts or needs. There is no limit to how much God can restore and His promises are not a limited time offer. You haven’t missed your chance to ask God for His help.  Today is the perfect day in all eternity to put your hope in His word!

 

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The Power of a Song

The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him. Exodus 15:2

Never underestimate the power of music. No matter how plain (or just plain off key!) there is a force that flows just below the surface of the notes. A melody is a lot like one of the stones in David’s sling in the Bible story. Goliath had a serious size advantage over the puny teen-aged David. In spite of Goliath’s awesome armor and weaponry, the power of one smooth stone guided by God’s hand was able to penetrate his defenses. Music can be an armament for good if we ask God to guide it to ears that long to hear from Him.

I discovered the simple power of music from two dear shut-in friends, William and his wife Joaquina. For about two years I visited them every Wednesday afternoon and came to affectionately call them “Mom and Dad”. William began to slowly lose the use of his arms, then his legs and he became confined to his bed and recliner. William loved to hear the hymns especially the lively ones.  But William didn’t only listen to music. He found that he could still whistle a tune so one of his pass-times was to whistle to his  parakeets whose cage sat in the corner of the living room. Whenever William whistled the parakeets chirped loudly. Near the end of William’s life his family filmed a brief video of his two parakeets hopping on his chest while William whistled a song. In the battle of his life William still used the smallest melody to fight.

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For those, who like myself, have chosen to do nursing home ministry, I would encourage you to prioritize music. Music’s purpose is often unrecognized and its value underestimated but in its proper place it has the power to touch the hearts and minds of people as nothing else. Whether you are an accomplished musician or an amateur. Simply share the songs of the church  and God’s message will take wings and fly!

Excerpt from Music Matters in Nursing Home Ministry:

Music Matters in Nursing Home Ministry

Music Matters

 

 

Who Will Go?

One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way.     Acts 13:2-3

The next few years will see exciting new opportunities about to open up to people involved in nursing home ministry. The question is will we be ready to go? One Abc news report states that there are 100 projects underway for Alzheimer’s and Dementia communities based on the experimental faux village in Holland. These micro-communities will have barber shops, ice cream parlors and bus stops. The challenge for those of us involved as chaplains, volunteers or regular visitors to traditional nursing homes is who will open the first church in such a setting? If we leave it to the government or the for profit corporations rushing into this lucrative field I think we all know the answer. Today is not too soon. Just as in the day of the Apostle Paul, the Holy Spirit is calling some of us to prepare for the work to which God has called us to bring not just awakening of memories but awakening of a real message of hope. Now is the time to prepare. Please feel free to enter the conversation. Be blessed this week as you go!