Stop Comparing

“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”

1 Peter 1:24-25 KJV

 Is there someone you hold in high esteem? One to whom you’ve placed upon a pedestal and often thought, “If I could just be like that person I would be able to…”

 We begin at a very early age comparing ourselves physically to one another. We notice our body types are different. “That person is taller, stronger, thinner, has beautiful eyes, glowing skin color, and thick long hair.” Then the comparisons become skill oriented….”That person is…smarter, more athletic, makes friends more easily than me.” Lastly, the comparison switches to materialism. We fix our eyes on what others possess. “He/She has a better job, wears expensive clothing, lives in a big home, and drives a brand new car.” The comparison game is exhausting, never-ending, and impossibly immeasurable.

 The only solution to ending this madness is keeping God in the center of our lives and learning to fervently measure our worth against God’s standards rather than one another’s. Today’s scripture reminds us that nothing in this world but God’s word is everlasting.  Everyone WILL fall, fail, and fade away; even that person we place upon that pedestal of perfection.

Dear Lord,

May we learn to ground ourselves in your word only and put a screeching halt to comparisons. May we bring honor and glory to you and not man by looking at ourselves through your eyes for we know your perception of us is immovable and unchanging. Amen.

 Have a Make-Over Tuesday!

Melanie Kern
melmelkern89@gmail.com

David’s Respect

SACRED SIX: RESPECT MESSAGE  

1 Samuel 24:4-7 Then the men of David said to him, “This is the day of which the Lord said to you, “Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you.” And David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. Now it happened afterward that David’s heart troubled him because he had cut Saul’s robe. And he said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.”

This story of the pursuit of Saul to hunt down and kill David has always intrigued me and taught me about the restraint and respect I should show another person…even when they rise up against me. Now I was raised up with all boys and so I found myself literally fighting to protect my stuff-J So my human nature is to rise up and fervently defend my stand against someone that seemingly is “out to get me, my family or our stuff”! But I must weigh the consequences of such action. What is the God’s word and Holy Spirit telling me to do? What example am I setting for others who are watching me? Is my rising up against others feeding my own desires and really, what good purpose is served?

In the verses following verse 7, we find that by example, David showed his servants a better way. The story goes on to tell us that David arose, went out of the cave and called out to Saul addressing him as “My lord the king” and even bowed down before him in honor. You see while David did not agree with Saul’s actions, he still honored him because he was still in the office of “the King of Israel”. David also had a very compelling conversation with Saul in verses 9-22 showing Saul that there was indeed a better way to settle differences than kill each other.

In the same way we are to honor and pray for others in authority, even when we do not agree with their actions and decisions. If they are in the place of authority, then we need to honor them that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. (1 Timothy 2:1-3) We may not be in a physical battle with them, but what about the battle of our words against them and withholding our prayers for them? There is a better way.

Heavenly Father, please help us today to give honor where honor is due. Help us to lead by example as David did and show respect for those who are in authority…even when we disagree with their actions. Let us pray for all in authority so that they will seek Your face and release Your hand to heal their hearts and our land. In Your name. Amen.

Prayers & Blessings,
Carol

Carol Harrison, CNA
Spirituality Pillar-Operations Director
HomeTown Segment Support
Signature Consulting Service, LLC

Who Are You?

Who Are You?

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.
Psalm 8:3-5 (NIV)

The caterpillar’s most memorable line in Alice in Wonderland is, “Who are you?” Alice struggled with her answer. She said her name is Alice, but the caterpillar wasn’t satisfied with that answer and then told her to recite. While that may seem disjointed and a bunch of nonsense, I think the point Lewis Carroll was making was that if we only identify with our label, then our contribution in life is to recite what’s already been done. None of us is created to be a redundancy.

So, who are you? Really. Take away the name you were given at birth. Take away your job title and job description and position in your family. What is left? Who is that?

What is the sum total of your creative contribution to this world? What will you do today that you’ve never done before? How can you live today beyond the label of your name and beyond all the other labels? Can you make an imprint in the world today of your uniqueness beyond reciting what you did yesterday?

Lewis Carroll wrote, “Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”

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

 

Love

Love

 Goodness is stronger than evil.

Love is stronger than hate.

Light is stronger than darkness.

Life is stronger than death.

Victory is ours through Him who loves us!

~Archbishop Desmond Tutu

‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven.’  ~Jesus (Matthew 5)

Evil seems so apparent these days.  It manifests itself in our local communities, in our national and international relationships, in our workplaces, in our intimate relationships and families, and even within our own hearts.  What evil wants feels good for the short term – evil wants division, chaos, and fear.  Evil wants us to be divided against each other.  Evil wants us to be suspicious of each other and isolated, because when we are alone and fearful, we are weak and easily overpowered or controlled.  It is so easy to get sucked into scapegoating or gossip, because for a moment it feels like we are safe if someone else is the target.  But that kind of division only perpetuates itself and makes everyone, including the perpetrator, more afraid.

Instead, Jesus shows a way of love – love that risks, love that reaches out, love that connects beyond barriers, love that trusts God’s provision, love that forgives and creates – a 1 Corinthians 6 kind of love in action.  Powers and principalities come and go, but these three things remain: faith, hope, and love.  And the greatest of these is love, the love that we experience as grace and mercy from Christ, and the love we pass on because God first loved us.  So we will not be fooled.  Nothing will keep us safe except God, but we need only abide in His love to be secure.  Evil will try to sway us toward fear and division, but we will not be persuaded.  We will reject hatred, not because it is too powerful, but because it is too weak.  We will proclaim, with our words but mostly with our lives, the truth that goodness is stronger than evil, light is stronger than darkness.  And the God of mercy and wholeness, the Christ of healing and peace, and the Spirit of power and truth will meet us in that proclamation, granting reconciliation to his creation.

Laura Stone, MDiv, Chaplain
Signature Healthcare of Bremen
316 Woodies Lane
Bremen, IN 46506

Hold Out Your Candle

SACRED SIX: COMPASSION MESSAGE

Hold Out Your Candle

Matthew 5:16 – “…let your light shine before others….”

I was listening to 91.5 Freedom FM out of the Columbus the other day on my journey to the Sr. Olympics. One of the songs that played was from Chris Rice titled, “Go Light Your World.” In the song there is this particular verse that caught my attention: “Carry your candle, run to the darkness, seek out the helpless, confused and torn. And hold out your candle, for all to see it, take your candle, go light the world…”

That song, in a personal way, was asking me how well I let God’s light shine in my life. And yet, I also think it is a challenge for all of us as well. Instead of running from trouble, or hardship, or hurt. Instead of living in fears and worries and doubts. Instead of forgetting those who less fortunate than ourselves. Let’s let our light shine for all to see it. It is a light of hope. It is a light of direction. It is a light of peace. It is a light of joy. So my challenge to you, in using Chris Rice’s song, “hold out your candle, for all to see it….”

 Chaplain Mark E. Brodbeck

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

Thoughts

Thoughts from a Chaplain on a coolish Wednesday, after lunch, written on a full stomach in a quiet room.

Noise is the enemy of peace.

TV is a soul disturber.

Save money.

Eat frugally.

Be thrifty.

Love your body.

Don’t overreach.

Keep it small, modest, and unpretentious.

Occupy the mind with wholesome tasks.

Watch your step.

Think things out.

Keep confidences.

Don’t tell everything you know.

Be hidden.

Be quiet.

Stay on task, even if the job is ‘small’.

Don’t pretend to be smarter than you are.

Learn daily how not to take offense.

There is no path.  We can only make a path of where we need to go already.

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

 

 

Ignition

Ignition

But John intervened: “I’m baptizing you here in the river. The main character in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will ignite the kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out.”
Luke 3:16 (The Message)

Just before the time change, mornings are dark. Waking up and getting dressed while it is dark outside can make us feel like we’re up too early. Trying to do important things when surrounded by dark, even when we have artificial light, feels very different from doing the same things when surrounded by lots of light. Let’s not miss the symbolism here. When you wake up, God is awakening one more source of light in the world and you aren’t artificial light.

God has no other hands but ours, no other arms but ours, and no other voices but ours. For God’s light to shine in the world, we have to let it shine through us. We may think that this spiritual activity is a separate thing from our work, but shift your thinking. See that your work IS a process of letting God’s Light shine through you and letting it ignite those around you. Every piece of paperwork, every conversation, and every decision are opportunities for ignition in the midst of darkness.

Everyone is in a position to lead others. Even a ground troop has an opportunity to exhibit leadership. So, maybe we can live by an acronym for the word “LEAD.” Think of it as Light Exhibited Annihilating Darkness. Leadership means to be an interventionist, igniting Light in darkness. Where there is confusion, ignite the light of understanding. Where there is a lack of motivation, ignite the light of significance. Where there is adversity, ignite the light of tenacity. At every opportunity LEAD by ignition: Light Exhibited Annihilating Darkness. The more the Light within you shines and ignites others, the faster darkness will flee.

Carl Jung said, “As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” 

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

 

 

When You Lose Something of Value

When You Lose Something of Value

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? Luke 15:4

Recently, my wife and I traveled to Philadelphia Pennsylvania to celebrate the birthday of my wife’s childhood friend. I met this childhood friend in college. Nevertheless, I was excited to have a few days away with my wife from the hustle and bustle of Atlanta, Georgia life. Anyway, our story takes place in the Atlantic City International Airport. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity my wife and I took a taxi so we could take a train to the Philadelphia Airport. Our ride lasted for about ten minutes.

Since the driver did not accept a card to pay for the taxi ride we had to go to a gas station and get cash. As the transaction between me getting the money from my wife I placed my cell phone in my pocket or so I thought.  We get our bags from the driver and head to the kiosk to purchase our train tickets. Once, we get settled my wife said, “Rob what time is it.” I reach for my phone in my pocket and notice it is not there. Suddenly, panic sets in and my worst dream is realized I left my phone in the taxi. All type of emotions was going on in my mind. Examples include Irritation, Annoyed, and Frustration just to name a few. In the end, however, I retrieved my phone and the driver charged my battery as well. What about you? What do you do when you lose something of value in your facility? It could include a good rapport with patient, family, or staff. I just wrote this devotional to let you know that God can return whatever it is you lose back to you and when he does give him the praise just like the lady in our scripture up above. Read verse 9.

Prayer:  Dear Heavenly, thank you for being our everything. Help us to reflect you in everything we do.  Help us to give you praise for everything that you do for us in our lives. Amen

Chaplain Robert Lee White III
Signature Healthcare at Tower Road
Marietta, Ga 30060
chaplain.towerroad@signaturehealthcarellc.com

Now is the Time

Now Is The Time

“I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2

Get up and do it!

All that we have to do is start and once you get the wheels rolling things begin to happen. Just start.

What dreams do you have that have been sitting dormant so long?

I do not believe that advanced age is a time to settle, but a time of accelerated, personal growth.  As an older person, I now see that our lives are not set in concrete. I rather see them as a time when the paint is still fresh and can be moved about the canvas to create art that has never been seen.

This life is a malleable gift.

Just get up and do it, whatever “it” is.

Now.

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

 

The Person in Your Way

SACRED SIX: COMPASSION MESSAGE

 The Person in Your Path

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. Luke 10:33-34 (NIV)

Imagine that you were bound to a wheelchair because you couldn’t stand on your own and maybe you couldn’t even move your limbs without help. People pass by and smile. You raise a hand to try and get their attention and they wave back, thinking you are saying hello. You struggle to say something, but it doesn’t come out right. Passersby hear you, but since they are focused on their tasks they overlook your request for attention, but they do seem nice. All you need is for your leg to be moved an inch to one side because it’s uncomfortable. You sit for a long time before someone finally passes by and understands you have a need and you are no longer overlooked. They take the time to hear your need, they adjust your leg for you, and they even take a moment to decipher your words and hear something about you.

We can focus on success and be diligent in a career path, but success finds meaning when we take the time to meet the needs of those who are frequently overlooked. We walk quickly through hallways in which a person may sit with a need, but maybe we dread the possibility of getting drawn into something that will take a long time or may not have any kind of resolution. Maybe someone just needs to talk to another person who genuinely listens. It may be a person in the course of a work day, or someone at church, or even a relative. Are they being overlooked? Are they in the course of your journey because you are the one who needs to tend to that need? Personal success is only fulfilling when we get there by making the world a better place. We can’t take on the whole world, but we can make a difference by helping one person at a time not be overlooked. Who is the person in your path today?

Tony Blair said, “Sometimes it’s better to lose and do the right thing than to win and do the wrong thing.”

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