Category Archives: Devotions

Treasures of Darkness

Treasures of Darkness

 One of our Father’s greatest blessings is the gift of emotion.  We can all agree that we want to be filled with joy and love; to experience the thrill of challenges met, be awed by beauty in many forms, and embrace the warmth of friendship.  It’s the other side of emotion that we shrink from. 

 I have spent time in the valleys of life.  I don’t want to live there, but I can say unequivocally that my life is enriched because of this journey.    When the respite of shallow comforts ceased for me, I found my heavenly Father’s nearness in a way I had never experienced before.  I am still reaping rewards from the intensity of Bible study and meditation during this time. 

God’s word is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12) and He comforts me from His words recorded by Isaiah and other Old Testament books.  In Isaiah 45 the prophet Isaiah told of a coming king, named Cyrus, who would re-build the temple when the Israelites returned from captivity, and that happened as recorded in the Bible in the book of Ezra. Alongside this truth, verse 3 speaks to me in a special way; I have received treasures from my journey.  My treasures of darkness include compassion for others and an increased ability to minister to those who are in their own valleys.  My riches stored in secret places assure me that I have resources for the future, and from my valley experiences I am deeply assured that the God of Israel has called me by name.

 We have hope.  Oh, that our world would know this hope.

Isaiah 45:3 I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.

 Julie McClure
Director of Spirituality
Oakview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Calvert City, KY  42029
chaplain.oakview@signaturehealthcarellc.com

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Correct vs. Connect

What we read in Scripture is, “Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own.
Romans 4:3 (The Message)

There is a practice in Eastern Buddhism called a Japanese koan. It is spelled k-o-a-n but pronounced “kowen.” It is a question for which there is no right or wrong answer, such as, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”

 Spiritual teacher Ram Dass tells the story of his studies with a guru in which every day he was presented with a koan, “How do you know the true nature of Zen?” For weeks, every day, he would struggle in trying to come up with the right answer and the entire experience was exasperating. He finally woke up one morning feeling like it just didn’t matter and when his guru first saw him he asked the same question. “How do you know the true nature of Zen?” Ram Dass looked at him and said, “Good morning, Roshi.” The guru smiled broadly and said, “Ah, now you are becoming true student!”

 We get so caught up in always trying to have the right answers that we easily miss the fact that there are more important things than being correct. Relationship, really connecting with other people, is the only thing we will take with us into the next life. Contemplate your relationship with the force that created you. Contemplate and cultivate the critical relationships in your personal life. Being correct has very little to do with the joy you will find in those.
 
Philosopher Friedrich Nietzshe wrote, “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”

 Mark Mills, Chaplain / Director of Spirituality

Signature HealthCARE of Warren
2473 North Rd., NE
Warren, OH 44483
(330)-372-2251

chaplain.warren@signaturehealthcarellc.com

Beauty for Ashes

SACRED SIX: POSITIVITY MESSAGE

“To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” Isaiah 61:3

Sometimes negative people, complaining and unhappy people, say their attitude is true to the reality of their lives. They are being realists – neither optimists nor pessimists. However, let us be reminded that all reality has both a negative and a positive side. True, life is filled with negatives; sickness, disappointments, hardships, losses, etc. We call these things trials and tests and rightly so. They try our perspective and perseverance but the “verdict of these trials” is ours. You are the adjudicator at the trial of your circumstances. Will you judge them only by what they are immediately and obviously; or, will you judge them prospectively and reflectively.

For example, the new Transformer movie has recently come out. I just learned that the inventor of the Transformer toys is a survivor of the holocaust – Henry Orenstein. Henry has made millions of dollars from his toy inventions which he has used to help the poor and to honor the memory of his parents who were killed by the Nazis. Somehow he faced the ugly reality of the concentration camp and determined this trial was not going to hang him on the gallows of gloom. The noose of the negatives would not choke the breath, the inspiration, from his life. His mind and heart would transform the negatives into positives. He learned to not just survive but to thrive.

I don’t know how he coped with the losses in his life during that period of time. But somewhere along he began to imagine the inventions that he would later create. Perhaps these imaginings began while he was struggling to survive in Hitler’s Concentration Camp.

Prayer: Father, you teach us to believe that every good and every perfect gift comes from You, the “Father of Lights”. Your light is constant even in the night. Your gifts are also constant, even in the trials. Give us the wisdom to see and judge Your hand in the circumstances and Your heart through the circumstances. Amen.

 Michael Cooper, Director of Spirituality
Clinton County Care and Rehabilitation Center
404 Washington Street
Albany, KY 42602
mcooper@signaturehealthcarellc.com

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Pursue Your Vision

Pursue Your Vision

If you go the wrong way, to the right or to the left, you will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the right way. You should go this way.”(Isaiah 30:21)

Whether major or minor, personal or work related – life is about change, pursuing dreams, and achieving goals.  While most people plan and set goals for their future; God is the ultimate director of our steps (Proverbs 16:9) He knows our skills and talents, imparts vision into our hearts, and leads us into the right directions.

The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land I will show you, I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you. I will make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others and I will bless those who bless you. (Genesis 12:1-3)

In pursuing our vision– making changes in our current circumstances such as relocating, driving further distances, or returning to a previous place.. may be necessary requirement(s). Though it may be uneasy being led back to a previous place – however, it could be God confirming to us that’s not where we should pursue our vision or it could be a maneuver for God to get us to where He wants us. Yet, we have to make the decision to trust.

When God places vision in our hearts – it is for the purpose of making a difference in the lives of others. We do not need to fear failing – the task was specifically assigned for us to achieve. God will bless us with the help of others to bring the vision to past, the provisions have already been made; yet, we need to take that necessary step of faith and follow His lead.

In trusting, we must not focus on our own abilities or second guess our decisions. When God is directing us – He will keep us from going the wrong way; our passionate pursuit will be established at the exact time and everything will turn out perfect. Amen.

Rachel West – Chaplain
Signature HealthCARE of Orange Park
2029 Professional Center Drive Orange Park, FL 32073 (904) 272-6194
chaplain.orangepark@signaturehealthcarellc.com


 

 

Unity

SACRED SIX: POSITIVITY/TEAMWORK MESSAGE

Unity

 Psalm 133:1 – “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”

The other day I came across a phrase that really resonated with me. The phrase is this, “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” One attitude that drives me crazy is negativity. It doesn’t matter if it comes from resident’s family members or from stakeholders. Negativity just gets in my crawl. I think it got in David’s crawl also. That is why I think he wrote that segment of Psalm 133. Here was a people who had received everything good thing imaginable from God. He parted the waters for them. God gave them water from a rock, manna from the sky, and enough quail to fill their stomachs. And yet, despite those instances and others, they, meaning the people of Israel, complained, bickered, whined, pouted, and were negative.

Have you ever stopped to listen to all the negativity that may come from our own lips? “I am so tired of such and such.” “That shift never does their job.” That call light has been on forever (and it may have only been on a couple of minutes.” Complain! Bicker! Negative! Wouldn’t it be better to hear people say, “Well, I realize they are busy, therefore, I will pitch in and help.” “Wow! That family is really concerned about their loved one.” “I’m glad that I can touch the lives of so many individuals.”

If we are united, if we are positive, we can be strong. But when we become negative, and weak, we will divide. Remember God has granted you so many blessings and talents and we can give him praise for that!

Chaplain Mark E. Brodbeck

Signature HealthCARE of Coshocton
100 S. Whitewoman Street
Coshocton, OH 43812
(740) 622-1220

Things I Have Learned While Working at Signature

SACRED SIX: A MESSAGE OF COMPASSION

Things I Have Learned While Working at Signature:

I have been with Signature for almost eight years.

That is above fifty in dog reckoning.

And I am learning as I work here:

  1. That God all along has fixed the problems that I made at work.
  2. That to care for the elders is in a way caring for myself now, and how I will be 20 years from now.
  3. That these are the “good ole days” right here and now.
  4. That some stakeholders work while facing hard problems at home.  They come in every day and give themselves even if the home front is under attack.
  5. The job I have at Signature is the one I have been preparing for all my life and didn’t know it.
  6. It will break my heart in two when I leave. (either through a cardboard-box going away party or retirement)
  7. Because, I will always look back on this experience as the best job that I have ever had.
  8. And because I both lost God and found Him at Signature.

These eight years have been just like Heaven.

How about your time at Signature?

Prayer: Oh Lord, Help me to understand the purpose You have placed me where You have placed me.  Help me to make a difference in those around me.  And as I go about my day help me to show compassion to our residents/elders and be compassionate to each and every stakeholder.

Larry Limbaugh, Chaplain

Winter Park Care & Rehabilitation Center
2970 Scarlet Road Winter Park, FL 32792
(407) 671-8030
chaplain.winterpark@signaturehealthcarellc.com

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You Have Everything You Need

You Have Everything You Need

“…..Freely ye have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8b

Chaplain Army/Signature Revolution, I have a question to ask before sharing with you the thought for this morning.  How many of you believe in providence?   Let me explain, I believe that God places the right people in our lives at the right moment. For instance, I recall visiting with a patient during my chaplaincy residency last year. What stood out to me in my visit with her is what she said to me. In the midst of our conversation she said chaplain I have something to tell you. Ok was my response. She said, “You have anything you need. God has given you everything you need to do whatever he has called you to do. Just keep Him first and Trust Him No Matter what”.  Thank you so much was my response. I don’t know about you but sometimes we need to be reminded that God has equipped us with everything to do the work he has entrusted to us. So Chaplain Army/Signature Revolution, I want you to know that You Have Everything you need to do the Work God has entrusted to you.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for another day. Bless each and every individual that will read this devotional. Thank you for giving us everything we need to do the work you have entrusted to us.

In Your Precious Name, I do pray. Amen

Chaplain Robert Lee White III

Signature Healthcare at Tower Road

chaplain.towerroad@signaturehealthcarellc.com

 

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Keeping a Positive Attitude

SACRED SIX: POSITIVITY MESSAGE

Keeping a Positive Attitude

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly, things to praise, not things to curse….Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies.” The Message Philippians 4:8-9b

 Wow…what great advice! But how can we accomplish this while living in a world of turmoil with devastating news hitting us all the time? The answer, I believe, is to not always dwell on the negative, but be thankful for all that is true. Have an attitude of gratitude. For instance when my mom had breast cancer, her attitude was “ I am fighting this thing because I have so much to live for and be thankful for”! Her oncologist said she wished all her patients would have that attitude during their treatment. When my father-in-law was fighting cancer his quote was “whether I live or whether I die, I am a winner either way because if I live I can tell of God’s marvelous healing power, if I die, I can go to heaven to be with my Lord”. He died within a few short months of discovering he had cancer, but his attitude has been such a source of hope for his family and friends.

 You see, we have the power to choose what we allow our minds to dwell on. As for me, with God’s help, I want to choose to think about what is good, pure and gracious. Yes, we all will have to face the bad and ugly, but I choose to not allow those circumstances kill out my ability to choose gratitude for every good thing in my life and in the world. Even in math multiplying two negative numbers = a positive. The negative in our lives are opportunities to find a way to the positive answers!!

“If you can change your mind, you can change your life.” – William James

Carol Harrison, Chaplain Program Director
Signature Consulting Service, LLC
charrison@signaturehealthcarellc.com

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Adversity

Adversity
Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them.
Isaiah 30:20 (NIV)
 

Have you ever had someone shoot you down? Have you had someone complain about you behind your back, or even directly to your face? A wise person once said that if we have no one complaining about us, we aren’t doing anything worth doing.  

Critics seem to abound, but that isn’t unique to our day and time. Jesus had his critics who eventually put him to death. Look at the foundation he built from all of that adversity. Adversity comes at us at all times of every day and in all forms. If we are looking to build a life that matters, perhaps we should understand that the more adversity we experience, then the more material we have to build a solid foundation and go up from there.

 We should remember the words of Alfred Adler who said that it is not what happens to us that matters. It is what we tell ourselves about what happens to us.  

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.
David Brinkley
 

Mark Mills, Chaplain / Director of Spirituality

Signature HealthCARE of Warren
2473 North Rd., NE
Warren, OH 44483
(330)-372-2251

chaplain.warren@signaturehealthcarellc.com

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Building a Winning Team

SACRED SIX: TEAMWORK/INTEGRITY MESSAGE

Building a Winning Team

The Chicago Cubs finally won a championship after 108 years. Yet, just 5 years prior, Team President Theo Epstein remarked, “The Cubs were the oldest team in the division, the most expensive team in the division and the worst team in the division.” How did they do it? It began with their recruitment of players.

What do you look for in a great baseball player? Most would say they look for the the arm of Nolan Ryan, the eye of Ted Williams, the swing of Babe Ruth, or the speed of Willie Mays.

So how did they go from the worst in the league to champions of the world in less than 5 years? The answer is simply character. The Cubs expanded their criteria to include character as a primary quality in a player! If you really want to build a winning team, you must begin with character. The root of team building begins within the player themselves.

A player must be well-built in their values to build a successful team.

Epstein went on to say, “Because baseball’s a game with a ton of adversity inherent in it. And players that tend to respond to adversity the right way, and triumph in the end are players with strong character.”

So, there is more to winning than just talent, intellect, money! Ultimately, we must be people of integrity and character!!

Let’s begin the win within ourselves!!!!

Proverbs 4:23: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Chaplain Laws Rushing
Director of Spiritual Care
Nashville Community Care and Rehabilitation at Bordeaux

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