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What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?       Romans 8:31‭-‬32

As we are growing older some days it is easy to feel discouraged. It seems to me often that we are just yesterday’s news to others. But I can’t forget in those lonely times that God never forgets. We are still front page headlines in Heaven!

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Memories and Poems

For followers of this blog you may find this collection of poems and reflections to be a blessing. Included are some of the best liked songs, poems and memories from the last few years on this site as well as some from the past. I pray these will be an encouragement to allow the hands of Christ to heal old wounds, to trust God’s grace through present difficulty and to go away focused with hope in Him for the future!

You can follow this link directly to the page for more information or your can search it out on Amazon: Book number ASIN: B01M3YWSRW

. Be blessed today!

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Grandparents

Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged parents are the pride of their children. Proverbs 17:6

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When grandparents and parents play on the same team kids come out ahead. Here are just a few ideas I have learned as a grandfather.

Grandparents don’t have all the answers but we have learned a few of the right questions…
Grandparents can’t keep up like Mom and Dad but we can help the kids to learn to slow down and wait…
Mom and Dad make sure there is always a good meal on the table. Grandparents make sure that there are always chocolate chip cookies!
Sometimes Dad and Mom feel like the demands will never end. Grandparents know that it all comes to an end too quickly!

God bless all you Moms and Dads as you share with us the gifts of our grandchildren. With God’s grace we hope to give them back to you wrapped in the love of a grandparent!

Would You Do It For One? Ministry- Launch in October

IMG_5023  I have often published news of our Nursing Home Ministry work on the Praise2worship blog but today God has put on my heart the plan to launch a separate blog site on WordPress devoted exclusively to Visitation / Nursing Home Ministry. I will be posting about twice a week with a variety of training material, personal stories and updates on our activities. It would be great for others who have an interest in this to interact with us on this blog-site. We would love to hear what others are doing and how you are encouraged in any way by the posts here. God bless our fellow workers in this often overlooked and underestimated outreach.

If you are considering Nursing Home Ministry or any other kind of work for God, this blog-site is for you!

Let’s begin our first post with another look at, “the Parable of the Good Samaritan”

Luke 10:30-35 NKJV Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.  So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.  On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’

The first person we meet is the man who fell among thieves. His story was a lot like that of the residents in any nursing home. The thieves that caught him by surprise go by various names, such as age, physical disability or disease. People fall into a system where they lose control of their finances, their health and their personal freedom.

Three different people came by the man that day. The first was a priest. He came from a good family, had chosen to dedicate himself to God’s work and was recognized as a leader in his community. But in spite of his opportunity to show God’s mercy, that day he failed. He passed by, saw the need but chose not to get involved. The second man was only a follower of the first, so he simply took the same path – the path of least resistance. Last in line came the Samaritan. This was the man from whom no one expected any help. But when the Samaritan passed by that place, he saw the need, rolled up his sleeves and got involved. He became a neighbor when he became a part of the injured man’s world…

This blog is designed not just to inspire you, but to challenge you to become a “roll up your sleeves” neighbor! Why? Because there are countless men and women left to die at the side of the road in every community. I did some research and discovered that within seven miles of the center of our small city live 2700 people in long-term nursing home care. From the street they look clean and well landscaped. The entrances are nicely decorated but what is lacking for the vast majority of the residents is someone, anyone who will come to visit, listen to them and call them by name. To be a nursing home ministry worker doesn’t require a special title, God is just looking for neighbors. Are you ready to be a neighbor?

Nursing Home Ministry

“The difference between reading the book and committing to this seven week course is the same as the contrast between what Jesus did when He met the woman at the well and what the disciples did that day. Jesus used the opportunity to help just one person and he reached an entire village. The disciples went into the village without telling a single person about Jesus!”

from Chapter One of the Workbook

This new edition comes with a seven week workshop that helps people wanting to go into the village of Nursing Home Ministry to have a road map to show the way.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00U…

The Widow’s Cause

  learn to do good;
seek justice,
    correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless,
    plead the widow’s cause. Isaiah 1:17

Learn, seek, correct, bring, plead: These are all action verbs and they are actions God is expecting us to take. We live in a nation addicted to communication. According to 2014 statistics there are 327,577,529 cell phones in the United States. Yet in this same nation we are abandoning the widows (and widowers) at an alarming pace. As a volunteer chaplain in a nursing home I am often asked to pray that some family member will come or even call. Though there are many families working hard to keep in touch with their loved ones once they have been placed in long-term nursing care, the studies show that 60% never receive a single visit over the space of an entire year.

From the times of Isaiah till today the ease at which we forget what truly matters to God’sKIMG1069 heart remains unchanged. His nation was busy going about its religious festivals, continuing to go to the places of worship and giving great shows of their devotion to God. But God’s response to their outward show was that He was not interested in showing up for their meetings or even listening to their prayers, because they were so focused on themselves that they had forgotten to hear the cries of the abandoned, the groans of the suffering and the loneliness of the widows.

Think of your own small town or city and ask yourself, “what can I do to obey the heart of God right here?”

For more resources in learning what you could do look for our guide on Amazon, titled, “Would You Do it For One?

http://www.amazon.com/Would-You-Do-One-Inspirational-ebook/dp/B00U9STGQM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1440852584&sr=8-2&keywords=Would+You+do+it+for+one

The Things Left Behind

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do,forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead Philippians 3:13

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Often when we think of this scripture the image that comes to our minds is of leaving behind the hurts, bitterness and disappointments of our past and pressing on to a bright future. But what Paul was leaving behind was not difficulty and disappointment, but rather comfort, respect and success. While what lay ahead of him were, struggles, persecution and death. Yet Paul faced these challenges of his life with courage, hope and compassion for those under his care. He did not sulk in the corner or slink away from the race in shame. Instead of giving up, Paul focused on the finish line.

I hold in my memory banks a scene from long ago when I ran on our high school track team. Though I was not a good runner I determined that I would always cross the finish line. Often I was dead last!  My position in the race and seeming lack of progress were outweighed for me by a single factor: there at the finish line stood my coach, waiting for me and cheering me on. I would pick my head up and look down the track and remember how coach always told us, “Run through the tape not to it!”

So if today your race seems hopeless, and to all outward appearances you are not achieving life’s most important goals, take your eyes off your feet as you run and look ahead.  There at the end of your race, Jesus is watching and cheering you on! Run your race for a goal that lies in heaven, with eternal our coach,Jesus Christ of Nazareth! , He was the one who fired off the starting pistol both at gate and is standing, holding the tape at the finish line!

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

His Eye is On the Sparrow by Civilla Martin