The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ Luke 7:34 NIV
Several years ago I wrote an article on encouraging aging voices to sing. Little did I realize at the time how much I would need my own advice today. It has been discouraging to me this year to realize I am slowly losing my voice. At first I just chalked it up to a bad day or overuse but it is beginning to be clear that I cannot sing as I once did. Now I have a choice to either, quit, deny the change or make the best of the situation. It is a bit like working through the stages of grief. It hasn’t been an easy thing, but I have accepted the weakness as real and will just do the best I can because in my heart the melodies are still ringing.
This week I share, Jesus What a Friend For Sinners, which is one of my favorite hymns. In the words of John Newton, “Although my memory’s fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.” May you also be blessed as you remember what a great Savior this Jesus – the Friend of sinners has been for you!
To the chief musician upon Muthabben. A psalm of David. I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart – I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1 NIV
For over thirty years I have been blessed with the fun as well as the privilege of singing for seniors. One challenge in singing for seniors is to get them to sing along. There are multiple reasons why that becomes more difficult over the years, such as our vocal chords weaken, our ears begin to miss some of their range of hearing and our lung capacity diminishes. Of course I did not realize any of this at the beginning. I simply loved singing for my friends and even more, hearing their voices joining in on their favorite hymns. It is ironic that after all these years I am now finding myself up against the wall facing these same obstacles. Each time I tune my guitar and put together a list of hymns I know that the battle to sing them lies just ahead. But what gives me the greatest joy as I put the key in the ignition, start my car and head for nursing home is that I know that I am not Heaven’s song leader and God only asks me to join my voice with that of the chief musician and with all my heart tell in song again all the wonderful deeds of the Lord!
If you are in the same boat with me you may notice that we are surrounded by younger voices and that those leading worship are unaware that our desire to praise is no less than that of our younger brother and sisters. So if you struggle with participating in corporate praise or just wish you could better enter in with those stronger voices around you be encouraged. God is listening to your heart and He will not only help you to keep on singing to the end, but His hearing is excellent and His ears are listening to even our weakest notes of praise!
As we move further into the new normal of Corona life more and more people may find that they are becoming a caregiver in a new sense of the word. Children are home and with even the parks closed we are being forced to come up with new ways of engaging with them, encouraging them and even helping with their online class work. For others who have a senior in the home, the reality that the senior centers, churches and restaurants are now closed means spending a lot more time with mom, dad, Aunt Linda or Uncle Bill. Though being a caregiver is a part of what we are designed by God to do, it can also be exhausting, intimidating and frustrating. When I wrote Grace for the Road it never entered my mind that it was for more than just people with friends or family either in Long Term care or with special needs at home. My small contribution this week is a free down load from now till Monday of a 30 day devotional written just for you. It is a combination of true stories from my several decades of ministry in long term care facilities, memories of our own family and a simple Bible based encouragement for the day. If you are suddenly a newly minted caregiver then my prayer is that this free resource may be a blessing to you.
Grace for the Road by Peter Caligiuri is available on Amazon and you can either search for that title or go directly to the listing by clicking on the link below. So the until we break out into the sunshine from under this Covid-19 cloud in the words of Tiny Tim; “God bless us every one!”
Grace For The Road