Lessons Learned in The Alzheimer’s World

With Alzheimer’s awareness walks scheduled in a few weeks I wanted to share some hope with those who have loved ones in the struggling with memory loss. One thing I have noticed from having spent some twenty plus years bringing music in to those places is the pain and heartache of family members.

The residents often no longer realize what is happening to them but their family’s hopelessness becomes so great that they visit only rarely and then go home feeling guilty. “What’s the use?” they ask when Mom or Dad no longer remember their name.

Here are some words of hope which John Wesley once said, “Do all the good you can With all the means you can In all the ways you can”

“Do all the good you can” but do NOT worry about what you can’t do. That is God’s work alone. If you can get them to smile you have already moved a small mountain!

“By all the means you can” You know your loved better than anyone. Think of the simplest pleasure you could give them. A chocolate bar or a coffee from their favorite diner may be the best medication they will receive all day!

“In all the ways you can” You have your own emotional and physical limits. If you can give only 1 or 2 days a week to visiting God knows. God asks us each to give our all but your all doesn’t mean neglecting the rest of your family or yourself. Jesus multiplied 5 loaves and 2 fish to feed 5,000. He will use what we can give and make it be enough to meet your loved one’s needs. God bless you as you do your best in this time of their life.

Alzheimer’s awareness events are in October and November. If you would like to participate there may be a walk near you. In our area, West Pasco County Florida is holding theirs on October 19th and Tampa on November 2nd. If you cannot walk or donate please remember to pray. God bless you. Remember God never asks us to give what we do not have but He does love a cheerful giver!

The Great Investment

And said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. Matthew 26:15 NKJV

The Dow Jones measures the value of  the biggest companies in our economy and some of us invest there. But there are others called commodity traders who make their money by buying something now that they believe will have a higher value later.

As Christians we are a kind of eternal commodity trader. We have chosen to invest in Jesus No one is forced to be a believer. We must decide to put our trust in Him.

Sadly one of those closest to Jesus chose differently. Even after having observed Jesus healing the sick, raising the dead; forgiving sinners and feeding the hungry Judas still remained focused on himself. He still wanted to know what was in it for him.

Being greedy like Judas means choosing to see value differently than God does. God sees people as His best investment. But when we yield to greed it means we have chosen short term gain as our only reward.

How wonderful it is that God is the opposite of greedy! He never sees us as objects to be used or abused. When it would have been far more convenient for Jesus to remain safely in heaven He came to earth. When a comfortable retirement in some quiet place teaching willing disciples seemed appealing Jesus went to the cross. He stood still when we would have run. He refused rescue when we would have begged for help. He forgave His crucifiers when revenge would have been justified. He did all these things because He chose to love. Love has a high investment cost; but it also has an amazing reward. Jesus believed we were worth the cost of His own life.

The wonderful news is that He can be our reward and He is worth infinitely more than anything else in this universe! Living in love will mean choosing to see people as God does. His Grace gives us the privilege to buy in to the heavenly commodity exchange for free. All we need to do is sign the contract because our shares are already set aside in heaven. You will never beat the great return on investment God offers you this morning by grace. The market is already open. What will you choose to buy in to today?

Living Connection

Our real connection to Jesus Christ must always lead to our true connection to one another. Division points to a brokenness in some aspect of our relationship with God.

Division in our hearts or in our relationships is a signpost pointing to a break in our connection to our Heavenly Father. But He is always standing by with His door open for our return and ready to receive us into His presence. We must be prepared then to leave our own doors open for restored relationships to those around us. An open door means no demands or expectations but rather a reflection of the grace by which Jesus Himself has accepted us.