Category Archives: Devotions

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

 

What We Speak

SACRED SIX: POSITIVITY MESSAGE

What We Speak

Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. Luke 12:3

I love the Word of God don’t you? Throughout my life this book has helped me in more ways than one. It covers a vast amount of topics that we face on a daily basis. Today, our devotional will face on a topic that some of us may be dealing with right now. Ladies and Gentlemen, I want us to focus on the Power of our Words. I know some of you are wondering what lesson is going to be brought out of this devotional.

Let me be honest with you sometimes my words are not uplifting and there is no excuse for that.  Chaplain Army/Signature Revolution, Be honest can you relate to what I’m saying here? Well, there is good news and God is ready to help us conquer the words we speak.  The same is true for each Stakeholder we encounter on a daily basis. How do you make the Stakeholders feel in your facility? Do they feel Empowered or Deflated? How do the Residents feel when you talk to them Encouraged or Discouraged?  In the end the words we speak go a long way. Below is a poem that sums up this devotional thought.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou

Prayer: Lord, thank you for another day of life. Help us to learn how to speak to one another in the right way. Continue to bless our facilities to be all it can be. Amen

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

 

Divine Inconveniences

SACRED SIX: COMPASSION MESSAGE

Col. 3:12 – Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

I was asked by my administrator to accompany a resident to an appointment last week.  Most of the time, a CNA will escort, but I could sense God chose me this time for some reason.   Our resident, Jeannie, was returning for a follow up visit from surgery on her right arm.  While at the doctor’s office, the receptionist called Care Ride for pick up as Jeannie saw the doctor.  However, an hour later, they had still not arrived.  Discomfort was increasing with her arm, but I had just learned that she had a wound on her tailbone making it very difficult for her to sit for an elongated period of time.  I phoned Care Ride again to ensure she was on the list for pick-up and was told that their computers were down all day, with no way to assure us of a pick-up time.  So waiting was our only recourse and lots of pillows!  Jeannie was restless due to increasing pain, and the only thing I wanted to do was to relieve her discomfort any way I could.  As much as I prayed for God’s favor for a timely pick-up so that Jeannie could get off her tailbone, God had other plans.  One hour turned into another as we waited for any response to return back to our facility.  Her pain was getting unbearable, and although the staff would re-position her as needed, it was a short time before she was in agony again.  Tears welled up in her eyes as she cried, “I can’t do this one minute longer” causing me to wonder what God was up to.  

Suddenly I was reminded of a book I had read a few years ago which was a forerunner to ministry as God introduced me to the compassionate ministry.  One of the main tenets was that, as humans, we get frustrated when we can’t fix something for someone which goes right to the heart of our own discomfort.  Compassionate ministry tries our flesh but ultimately opens the door to being with a person in their pain rather than trying to alleviate it.  My own anxiety kept asking, “What can I do for her?” But, once I surrendered the need to relieve her pain, I saw the shift God was after.  She still remained in pain, but as I ceased to change the situation to accepting a higher purpose, I saw God’s peace enter the picture soothing her spirit which was His agenda all along.  (And mine too actually!)

Even in our good intentions, we can get in the way of our Lord’s work.  Some days it is as easy as refreshing a resident’s ice water to serve them. Other days, it requires an all out surrender knowing there is nothing we can do but let God move without our interference.  Jeannie and I arrived back at our facility 4 hours after Care Ride was initially called…a long day.  Even through all of her complaining at the office, when we got to our driveway, she peacefully confessed, “It could have been so much worse.”  God targeted us both as she got through the unthinkable, and I reminded of our valuable mission of peace.

 Kristine Schuck
Chaplain
Gulfport Rehabilitation
kschuck@signaturehealthcarellc.com

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