Category Archives: Devotions

Learn to Disagree Well

Acts 15:36-41

36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company…

Earlier in this chapter of Acts Paul and Barnabas are a power packed theological and ecclesial debate team. They knew how to combine their efforts to counter the arguments of “certain people from Judea”. By the end, it seems that Paul and Barnabas could not “disagree without becoming disagreeable.” Their “sharp disagreement” divided a great team and likely caused division among the believers as well. Nothing helpful or edifying could have come from this! Failure to disagree well impacts

At one time or another we may find ourselves in some type of disagreement. Unfortunately, not everyone has the skills to disagree well. Yes, we can consider the ability to disagree well a professional skill in today’s workplace. Paul Graham has created a Disagreement Hierarchy (http://www.paulgraham.com/disagree.html). Rated from 0-6, this hierarchy examines ways of expressing disagreement from the least to the most effective. It’s worth a look!

Mainly we fail at disagreement when we attack the individual who presented the idea. We fail when we attack the way an idea was presented (I understand we may get distracted from the merits what is proposed because the way the idea was presented wasn’t very palatable). We also fail at disagreement when we fail to counter a proposal with strong reasoning that focuses on the central point of the argument.

Most importantly we fail to set an example of mature discipleship, not to mention strong leadership, when we lose focus on what is proposed and make the person our target. It is the content, the problem being addressed, the strategies, and the solutions being proposed, not the tone or the person, that should always be the focus. There may be a time and a place to address how the information was presented, but if we are truly focused solutions and we keep “the main thing, the main thing” we will find ourselves becoming more efficient and effective servant leaders.

We need not leave a discussion with, “we will simply have to agree to disagree”. As Hebrews 12:15 says, “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Unskilled disagreement that continues to go unchecked AND unforgiven can build resentment and bitterness whether at home, among friends, or among stakeholders.

Rev. Christopher Wyckoff, D.Min.
Chaplain
Signature HealthCARE Chapel Hill
1602 East Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514
chaplain.chapelhill@signaturehealthcarellc.com

Commitment

Commitment 

Luke 9:62 – “Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Commitment is an interesting word. Often times in today’s world we don’t use it. Some think it sounds too harsh or constricting. I have had some parents tell me that they will tell their children that they can do this or do that as long as they want, whenever they want. Their reasoning, “We don’t want to commit our children to anything for a long period of time.” When I was serving in a small parish in northwestern Ohio, I had a woman, whom I had gone up and asked if she would be willing to serve on a particular committee, say to me, “I don’t commit.”    

Today, in our passage, Jesus speaks about commitment. He talks about place our focus, our priority on one specific thing: the kingdom of God. Jesus calls us to commit our lives to his love, his forgiveness and to his presence. Do we? I can’t answer for you, but there is one fact I know, and is best illustrated in this little story: an elderly farm couple was driving along in their pickup and the woman stated, “We never sit all snuggled up in the truck like we used too.” The man looked over at her and simply replied, “Well, I haven’t moved.” God hasn’t moved. Commit your life to him today.

 Chaplain Mark E. Brodbeck

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

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Altitude

SACRED SIX: POSITIVITY MESSAGE

 Altitude

He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.
Isaiah 38:29-31 (The Message)

What is the greatest altitude you have ever experienced? Was it in a plane at 20,000 feet? Maybe a hot air balloon? Maybe it was at the top of a skyscraper or on the top of a mountain? Being at a high altitude gives a person a sense of accomplishment, an invigorating feeling of power. Most people have had times in life when we felt like we were on top of the world. That feeling never lasts forever, but it gives us perspective.

We do get into trouble when we try to live life at its highest, or on the mountaintop, all the time. We have to go through valleys between mountain peaks. Even mountain climbers on Mount Everest go through valleys, scale cliffs, and carefully pick their way over treacherous chasms. The depth of our valleys can become higher than the mountain peaks that used to make us feel on top of the world. Life is not a flat journey, but is a process of climbing into higher altitudes of confidence, self-esteem, grace, and unconditional love. We gain these greater altitudes not by learning greater skills and head knowledge, but by having the attitude of a mountain climber.

We have things that happen to us every day that could frustrate us into sitting down and not journeying any further, but we can’t carry backpacks filled with frustration. We have to leave in the valleys those things that would keep us bogged down in swamps. We have to travel light by letting it go. Landslides, falling rocks, mosquitos, or stale provisions don’t keep a mountain climber from gaining altitude if any way around them is possible. Applying this analogy to daily success, we can know that it is our attitudes that will always take us through the valleys so that we gain higher altitudes. That attitude is fueled by letting God’s Spirit renew us with strength and hope because God is always leading people to soar like eagles.

 Zig Ziglar said, It’s not your aptitude but your attitude that determines your altitude.

 Mark Mills, Chaplain / Director of Spirituality

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

chaplain.warren@signaturehealthcarellc.com

#shcdailydevotional #shcspirituality


 

Commitment

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

There was a chicken and a hog traveling together when they happened upon a village of starving people. The hog said to the chicken do you suppose there is something we could do? The chicken thought for a moment and said, “hey I got it”. I will supply the eggs and you supply the bacon. The hog with a puzzled look on his face replied, “if I understand what you are saying, YOU want to get involved, and want me to totally commit”?

Are you committed or involved?

The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.

Vince Lombardi

Prayer: Father today I pray that I would be a person committed to excellence in all that I do.

Dallas E. Waggle Chaplain / Director of Spirituality Signature HealthCARE of Galion chaplain.galion@signaturehealthcarellc.com

 

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Unnoticed

SACRED SIX: COMPASSION MESSAGE

Unnoticed:  Compassion

 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.” Matthew 25:42

The other day I was on a conference call. I spoke up and no one acknowledged me. I raised my virtual hand but no one noticed me. I sent emails to those on the call but no one noticed me. I sent text messages to the team but no one noticed me. The attendees even talked about me but no one noticed me.  It was not a good feeling being unnoticed. I began to think about how it feels to go unnoticed in life. It was not an enjoyable thought, I can tell you!

I wonder how often in life do we walk past people without really noticing them. We walk past the quiet silver haired lady fumbling with her car keys in the parking lot. We never notice the tear on the check of man in the grocery store check-out line.  We don’t even notice when someone you greet doesn’t respond positively. We do not notice the hurting people that are everywhere. They are hoping for someone to notice, if only for a minute.

I want to issue a “Notice Challenge” to each of us. Let’s stop staring at our phones, looking at the reports, thinking about something elsewhere. Let’s be “trained noticers” who look for people who are hurting, lonely, or in need of compassion. Let’s notice them even if no one else does.

Here is what you should do once you noticed them. You can use the 10:5:2 rule as a guide. At 10 feet smile and make eye contact. At 5 feet speak to them. At 2 feet make physical contact with a handshake or touch their shoulder or pat their upper back.

You will be amazed what your noticing of them will do. It will make them feel valued and will often make their day! Give it a try and be a “Trained Noticer!”

Charles Thornburg
Chaplain Development Director
cthornburg@signaturehealthcarellc.com

#shcdailydevotional

 

Undercover Boss

 

 

 

 

 

 

SACRED SIX: COMPASSION MESSAGE

“Undercover Boss”

Have you ever noticed how our behavior changes when we are around the boss? Maybe we begin to act busy, awkward, timid, quiet, gregarious, or filled with flattery? Of course, this all depends on the relationship and level of rapport built over time.  The boss, however, never ceases to be the boss.

There is a T.V. show called “Undercover Boss.” The CEO disguises himself as an employee and works the menial tasks of everyday operations along-side his/her employees. This generally enlightens the executive and surprises the employees to the chagrin of the audience.

What if our CEO or boss became a patient under our care without our knowledge?

What would it reveal about our true level of care? Yet, there is another boss (the real boss) who is undercover every day. Jesus said that when we help and serve the “least of these” including the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, or the prisoner that “we do unto Him.”

We not only honorably serve our patients who are in need but personally to Jesus Himself! He truly is the original Undercover Boss! He has called us to love each other as He has loved us.

(Ephesians 6:6) “Not with eye-service, as men pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.”

 Chaplain Laws Rushing
Director of Spiritual Care
chaplain2.bordeaux@signaturehealthllc.com
Nashville Community Care and Rehabilitation

 

 

 

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Cleaning the Heart

Scrub Cleaning the Heart

This morning, I went for a little stroll, a constitutional if you will, before I began working.

On the walk, for no reason that I could think of, I quite suddenly and out of nowhere asked the Holy Spirit to clean me.

And it surprised me that in that moment, I felt brand new, instantly.  Fresh as a dew-ladened daisy.  Delighted might describe the feeling.  Didn’t have to beg or anything.

Next, I asked for the power of Jesus for this day so that first of all I wouldn’t fall asleep on the job.  Management tends to frown on this don’t you know.  The four hour commute ends next week.  Glory in the Highest!  Secondly, I needed the power so that I wouldn’t jump ugly with people. 

His power alone can make this happen.

Someway, somehow Jesus’ power is available to those who ask for the Holy Spirit to first scrub clean the heart.

Prayer: Today may I focus on the power of the Holy Spirit and keep and attitude of gratitude.

Chaplain Larry Limbaugh

Signature Healthcare of Gainesville

chaplain.gainesville@signaturehealthcarellc.com

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Caring

Caring

So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.
1 Thessalonians 2:8 (NRSV)

I wrote the original version of this a few years ago, but today it is more relevant than ever. Health care has been one of the most prominent terms in the news for over a decade. Our nation is right now in the middle of perhaps the most heated discussion on health care in our nation’s history. We hear and talk about the cost of health care, legislation of health care, availability of health care … the list is almost endless.

We also talk about providing care, getting care, whether we get good care from our doctors, and whether someone gets good care at a long term care facility. People in relationships talk about whether the other person cares. Isn’t it funny in all this bandying of terminology, we seldom hear the word expressed as “caring”? Do you ever hear discussions about “health caring?” Long term caring? Wouldn’t it be interesting if the government renamed Medicare to be Medicaring?

How funny it seems that just adding the -ing to the word gives it a dimension of action. Maybe that’s why it won’t work for the government, but that’s another discussion. When we think about whether we are giving good care to someone today, maybe we can add that dimension of action as well. Caring doesn’t happen on paper, though medical care involves a fair amount of documentation. Caring happens live, between individuals, and is given as well as received. We might sound kind of foreign if instead of “I care for you,” we say, “I am caring for you,” but wouldn’t that rewire our brains for that dimension of action that care needs to have? If we really do care about people, then we should do more than just provide care. We should be actively caring, determined to share of our own selves.

Dale Carnegie said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

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

 #shcdailydevotional


 

The Simple Things

The Simple Things

 2 Kings 5:10 – “And Elisha sent a messenger to Namaan, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored.”

In 2010 this event involved over one million individuals from the ages of 13 to 29. If you went to include those up to the age 39 you could add another 2.5 million. And if you would go to the age of 50 you could add another 6 million. So roughly speaking, that is nearly 10 million individuals from the ages of 13 to 50 all doing the same thing. Can you guess what it is? (I will tell you at the end.)   

The story above is about Namaan, a king, who has leprosy. Elisha, the prophet goes and tells him to do something very simple, “go wash in the Jordan River.” Now the Jordan was not, and is not, that great of a river. And upon hearing what Elisha told him to do, Namaan was not too keen on doing it. But eventually he does.

Here is my point, God often asks us to do pretty simple things: be kind, be compassionate, help another, pray for another, forgive someone, and on and on. None of those events are too difficult. And yet, often times we want something more noteworthy or demonstrative from God so that we look cool, or others can be impressed. Maybe instead of waiting for the “big thing” from God for us to do, we should look more at the simple things. You might be amazed at the outcome, like Namaan was. (By the way the answer to the question above: plastic surgery, and most of it was elective.)   

 Chaplain Mark E. Brodbeck

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

 

“Broke Clock Syndrome: Integrity”

“Broke Clock Syndrome: Integrity”

There is an old saying, “even a broke clock is right twice a day.” The broke clock may appear to be right at a given moment but ultimately cannot be trusted for the actual time. The Sacred Six value of integrity calls us to do more than just the right thing at a given moment in time but to be the right person through it all. Otherwise, we may just suffer from the “broke clock syndrome.”

Integrity is the inner virtuous working of our character, motivation and knowledge that manifests itself consistently in our words and deeds.

Our integrity is especially expressed when we are under the pressure of deadlines, conflict, and stress. Our circumstances do not necessarily dictate our response but only serve to reveal what is really working within us. The poet T. S. Eliot wrote, “The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason.”

So, don’t just do the right thing be the right person. Be a working clock worth trusting.

Chaplain Laws Rushing
Director of Spiritual Care
Nashville Community Care and Rehabilitation at Bordeaux
chaplain2.bordeaux@signaturehealthllc.com
Nashville Community Care and Rehabilitation