Power of Gaze

“Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  ~Paul (Philippians 4:8)

When I was living in Boston, riding the subway nearly everywhere, I really enjoyed the street performers.  There was such a variety – vocal, harmonica, saxophone, hurdy-gurdy, guitar, flute, harp, juggling, and more.  At first, I would always listen but kept my eyes turned toward the train tracks, usually with my back to the musician.  I noticed that very few others seemed to notice the musicians as they went on their normal way, not breaking their strides, and this frustrated me.

So I did an experiment.  Every time I saw a musician, I turned my body directly toward them (even if that meant facing the opposite direction of the crowd), and I watched them intently.  A stunning thing happened, everywhere I went – others started looking at me and then looking at what I was looking at.  They began to pay direct attention to the musician!  Once or twice I even saw someone miss their train to stay and listen.  Another fun result of the experiment was that the regular musicians at my regular platforms began to recognize me, and our relationship (mostly in glances and smiles) grew deeper, becoming a part of my city life that I cherished.

The word “witness” is used 200 times in the New Testament, my favorite of which is “since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses…” (Hebrews 12:1)  Usually we talk about that in court language – witnesses are those who make a case or argument for what is right, who testify to the Truth, to God’s works, with their mouths.  But another meaning that I have been clinging to lately is this – our gaze is powerful.  What we notice, look for, acknowledge can have a powerful effect on the world around us.

This has been helpful to me, too, as I think about my role in my facility.  Although sometimes I am called to advocate or hone or actively testify, much faithful work can be done just by quietly, steadfastly noticing the Spirit’s movement, the Christ-like actions, the Godly healing that is happening around me.  When Paul says to think on the good things, perhaps he is naming this power of gaze.  He is perhaps not suggesting that we ignore the bad or become artificially positive, but that we spend more time and energy looking for and steadfastly gazing upon the things that are right and good.  And perhaps when we do that, others will join us in noticing and those things, by our gaze and God’s grace, will increase.

I pray that it may be so!

Laura Stone, MDiv, Chaplain
Signature Healthcare of Bremen
316 Woodies Lane
Bremen, IN 46506
574-546-3494, x225

Falling Madly In Love With God

“David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.” 1 Chronicles 28:20 

Here is what I have recently discovered – a tip on how to fall back in love with God in one impossibly difficult step.

When I am afraid to confront fears . . . fears which usually in turn involve people . . . I sometimes turn sour. I’m not really sure why this is except perhaps that in my case, facing fear is exactly what God is calling me to do because he knows I need the most help with that very thing.

Of all the callings in the world, this seems to be the one that scares the bojangles out of me. But it is through that fear where I somehow come to see God better and to love God more for how He helps me through those fears. No matter how difficult, or how afraid I might be, he always manages to give me the exact amount of courage I need.

And so I swallow hard, nail my shoes to the sticking place, and face those monsters. And for that, I love him all the more.

Dive into your true fear and fall madly in love with God all over again.

Chaplain Larry Limbaugh
Signature Healthcare of Gainesville
chaplain.gainesville@signaturehealthcarellc.com

The Rock

“There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.” 1 Samuel 2:2 KJV

Have you tried everything possible to solve a certain problem in your life? Someone may have given you the advice….

“Don’t leave any rock unturned!” You might feel as though you’ve been wading in waters searching for that perfect rock and just when you reached down to flip over the solution the waters rise and you feel as if you are going to drown.

If we could only learn to stop searching and turning over stones and start standing on the highest, most solid, and unique rock there is giving us leverage to see. Our problems wouldn’t look as murky and the solution would be much more clear.

God is the only rock that can never be turned over. He can never be moved in raging waters and is the only one that will never wear down or wash away. He is the most unique rock we’ll ever find. None other beside thee compares.

HE is the solution! Have a Tall Tuesday standing firm upon the Rock!

Melanie Kern
melmelkern89@gmail.com

 

Replacing Adversity

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being … And the Word became flesh and lived among us …
John 1, selected verses (NRSV)

Being a non-medical person, I’ve never considered that there are brain cells other than neurons. My wife and I were watching a show on television that talked about transforming brain glial cells into neurons. The implications for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other brain disorders is huge. Before this, the efforts were to reverse diseases or to heal the existing neurons. This research is not only a game-changer but actually changes the playing field.

I’ll probably never be involved in brain research until that ultimate day that I become a donor, but I am involved in everyday life. I’ve tried my whole life to work against adverse circumstances. I’ve overcome a lot of adversity along the way. I see a connection between my approach to life and this new brain research. At some point, we have to stop trying to fix what’s broken and look for an entirely new way.

What is a big obstacle in your life that you’ve always assumed keeps you stuck? What if you were to ignore it and just go a totally different direction? God tried a lot of different ways to keep the people of Israel in relationship with Him, but they kept messing it up. Then came the Christ child in a manger. A whole different way of getting the same thing accomplished. Let that same Light be born in your heart this Christmas and grow into a whole new way that ignores your obstacles.

Deepak Chopra said that, “The symbolic language of the crucifixion is the death of the old paradigm; resurrection is a leap into a whole new way of thinking.”

Mark Mills, Chaplain / Director of Spirituality
Signature HealthCARE of Warren
2473 North Rd., NE
Warren, OH 44483
(330)-372-2251
chaplain.warren@signaturehealthcarellc.com

 

Integrity

Some time back on my way to Chattanooga I went through a bank’s drive in window to get a $100.00 checked cashed.  The young lady teller was very nice and said thanks after my transaction was completed. I very seldom look or count my money, rather just trust the bank to be accurate and honest.

My wife did some shopping and then we went out to eat. When the waitress brought the check I reached inside my suit coat and took out the money which was still in the envelope, and found to my surprise ten $100.00 dollar bills!  I knew immediately what had happened and explained to my wife that I had to make a call to someone even though it was after hours! To my surprise the bank was still open, including the young teller, looking for the shortage. I informed them that I had $900.00 too much and would bring it to them the next morning,  (they asked if I could bring it that night, but being out of town they understood) – they were so relieved and appreciative, especially the young teller.

The morale of my story is this, that same young lady and her husband and daughter began to attend our church and have become very involved.  Even though I didn’t do anything that 99.9% of the people wouldn’t have done as well,  it just shows us that Integrity is still the key principle to those who want to receive a blessing!

Prayer: May I be a person of integrity and make right decisions even when they are difficult.

Ronnie Case – Director of Spirituality
Signature Health Care of So.Pittsburg, Rehab & Wellness Center
chaplain.southpittsburg@signaturehealthcarellc.com

 

Successful Holidays

While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have the baby, and she gave birth to her first son. Because there were no rooms left in the inn, she wrapped the baby with pieces of cloth and laid him in a feeding trough.
Luke 2:6-7 (NCV)

What does a successful holiday look or feel like to you? A disastrous Thanksgiving or Christmas might be a funny story in years to come, but what about while it is going on? I remember that scene in Tim Allen’s movie, The Santa Clause, where he burns the turkey and he ended up taking his son out to eat on Christmas Eve. What about that scene in the iconic movie, A Christmas Story, where Bumpus’ dogs break into the house and completely destroy Christmas dinner, even making off with most of the turkey? The family eats at the only place they can find open, a Chinese restaurant, and endure badly sung Christmas carols.

If your holiday was something like one of those scenes, would it be a disaster? If you made Thanksgiving or Christmas the ultimately perfect event, would it create more love, belonging, fellowship, and grace in your family than an imperfect, or even disastrous, holiday?

Here is what I’m going to do coming into the year’s major holiday season. I’m going to consider that maybe what I do, the perfection of the to-do list, the perfection of the holiday meal, finding the perfect gifts, or whatever my expectations have been in the past are less important than who I am doing any of that with. The most perfect Christmas ever took place in a barn with farm animals because of no room in the inn, a scenario that most of us would call a disaster. Focus on the gift of relationship and we’re all going to be okay through the holidays.

Dr. Seuss wrote, “Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. “

Mark Mills, Chaplain / Director of Spirituality
Signature HealthCARE of Warren
2473 North Rd., NE
Warren, OH 44483
(330)-372-2251
chaplain.warren@signaturehealthcarellc.com

 

Prayer

Prayer

Smith Wigglesworth said, “I’d rather pray fifty-nine minutes and do one minute of work for God, than pray one minute and work fifty-nine minutes for God.”

How inspired is our work for God?

Or do we just work for God as a matter of habit and hope for the best?

Where is the power in our work for God?

What legacy trails behind us?

John Wesley got up early in the morning before his 12 hour days, just to pray until the power came.

The Lord.  His secret?

Prayer in private, often early in the morning in a lonely, desolate, place.

How inspired and lasting is our work for God?

Or does it evaporate as soon as we leave a room?

Are we powerful or just busy?

Chaplain Larry Limbaugh
Signature Healthcare of Gainesville
chaplain.gainesville@signaturehealthcarellc.com

 

Sowing and Reaping

“……..whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”  Galatians 6:7

It’s harvest time! What does your field look like to the person driving by your farm? Would they shout? “They have enough to feed 5,000!” Or would they whisper?…”Bless, their hearts, that field looks dried up and bare. They aren’t going to have enough to feed even one!”

Are we working to feed our own fleshly desires or diligently working to feed the souls of others? Yesterday morning on the K-Love radio station a thought provoking question was posed, “Would your prayers change the life of anyone’s besides your own?”

Are you malnourished? Before we can begin feeding others, we must take in enough food ensuring our bodies are strong enough to sustain the hard work of feeding someone else. But once we’ve been fed, it’s time to start planting seeds for others so starving doesn’t become an issue for someone else. The Lord will take over the rest of the work….

Deuteronomy 28:12

“The LORD will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.”

Let’s stop feeding our self-absorbent spongy souls and help pour out blessings that would put an end to the corruption. May we learn to nurture our souls with God’s word in order to expand our fields connecting to that of neighboring lands. God WILL show up and only then will we begin to witness the fruits of our labor.

Have a Tasteful Tuesday!
Melanie Kern
melmelkern89@gmail.com

Nothing, I Found Nothing

You know that when it drops below 60 degrees here in Florida, I insist on putting on my snow tires and taking a day off.

Such was the case this morning.  I didn’t want to get out of bed; I wanted to stay home all cozy and cared for and like a baby of the Vanderbilt’s.  So, I canvased my system to see if I could find a callout worthy ailment. First, I tried the stomach but, nothing not even a twinge or a growl.  Next, I looked at my mental status and it was average, well at least average for me. Even, my breath even smelled like lilacs.  I had nothing.

So I called out, “Jesus, you are going to have to help me!”

Before, I could even think about what I said I was jolted out of bed with joy and I found myself with two feet on the floor.

Which later on in the morning turned into this thought: “God wants me at work today to do His work?”

Proving that Jesus not only raises the dead, but he also raises 64 year olds, who are very sleepy, comfy-cozy in bed, and sweetly dreaming of pensions and retirement.

Chaplain Larry Limbaugh
Signature Healthcare of Gainesville
chaplain.gainesville@signaturehealthcarellc.com

 

Possible

Possible

 

Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Mark 9:21-24 (NIV)

Our day activities don’t require a lot of faith to get them done. You don’t need faith to get up in the morning. You don’t have to believe in anything to brush your teeth or make breakfast. Some of us do believe, though, that God is heavily involved in the making of coffee. You might want to have at least a little faith as you drive to work. Most of it, though, doesn’t require faith in a higher power.

Consider, though, that for many people the above activities are impossible. Most of us don’t have to believe they are possible because we simply do them. We don’t even think about it.

What is the biggest challenge you face right now? In your mind, it might seem impossible to you. It’s huge. It’s overwhelming. But, look around the world. Has somebody else done what you find impossible? Why would that person be more special than you?

Maybe it’s buying a house. Maybe it’s putting a kid through college. Maybe it’s writing a book. Maybe it’s running a marathon. No matter what you find impossible, if it is for you to do, you can do it. Changing your reality requires a beginning, a first step. It requires a willingness to believe that it might be possible for you to do it. If somebody else did it, then you can do it. What if you could put this impossible thing into the same mind space as making a pot of coffee?

Crack the shell of impossibility. Impossibility only exists in the six-inch space between our ears, Believe. When we begin to believe, the Spirit within helps us overcome the rest of our unbelief. What the mind can conceive, the body can achieve.

Audrey Hepburn once said, “Nothing is impossible; the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!

Mark Mills, Chaplain / Director of Spirituality
Signature HealthCARE of Warren
2473 North Rd., NE
Warren, OH 44483
(330)-372-2251

chaplain.warren@signaturehealthcarellc.com