Well Done

God will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped his people and continue to help them (Hebrews 6:10).

During the recent hurricane and its aftermath, I personally witnessed some of the most selfless and loving acts imaginable. In the hours before the hurricane, many of our staff left family and homes behind, unsure if they would ever see either again, to ride out the storm here at the facility. Even as they were concerned about the well-being of their own families and property, these dedicated men and women, with a sense of duty, sacrificially cared for those who could not care for themselves.

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Isaiah 25:4

You have been a tower of refuge for the poor, Oh Lord, a tower of refuge for the needy in their distress, you are a refuge from the storm and a shelter from the heat. For the oppressive acts of ruthless people are a storm beating against a wall.

Forgiveness

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

– Ephesians 4:32 ESV

Recently in my small group at church, we were talking about forgiveness. Some in the group shared how they have a hard time forgiving others and how this un-forgiveness negatively impacts their lives and relationships.
Someone once said that “un-forgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”. The way un-forgiveness effects the offended is far greater than its effects on the offender. Studies have suggested that un-forgiveness may lead to depression, eating disorders, personality disorders and a host of other physical and psychological problems, not to mention its negative impact on our relationship with God.
On the flip-side, other studies have found that the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for our health, lowering the risk of heart attack; improving cholesterol levels and sleep; and reducing pain, blood pressure, and levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. And we must not forget that forgiving others honors God as well.

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What is My Purpose

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13
What is my purpose? Why am I here? …..These are questions asked frequently by people of all ages and are especially common for those in long-term care. Often times those in long-term care feel that their lives do not matter anymore or that they no longer have any purpose in life.
Struggling with one’s “life purpose and meaning” is not just a modern phenomenon but has been around since Old Testament times. King Solomon was a man who according to Scripture (1 Kings 10) literally had anything he wanted and then some. He had riches, fame, wisdom and power. He even had camels and baboons!…. How cool is that!…. But even the great King Solomon wrestled with this idea of life purpose and meaning.
The book of Ecclesiastes chronicles the King’s examination of all that life has to offer and his search for meaning in all the most logical places. After doing so, the wise King comes to this conclusion, “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” ….Wow! So simple, yet so profound. After the most thorough examination of all that life has to offer, the King concludes that life’s purpose and meaning are not bound up in things like work, relationships, possessions, hobbies, or even the size of one’s bank account but in living in a reverent, awe-filled relationship with God and doing what He desires for us to do. Everything else is—to put it in the words of King Solomon—“like a chasing after the wind”. Nothing can bring purpose and meaning to life as fully and completely as living in a reverent, obedient relationship with the God who made us and knows us better than we know ourselves.

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The Company You Keep

An old fellow I knew growing up was fond of saying “if you sleep with dogs you gonna wake up with fleas.” According to Wikipedia, this phrase has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac. But if you go back even further, you find this truth written in a different way by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15.

In first century in Corinth, false teachers had infiltrated the young church and were introducing teachings that led many away from the truth of the Gospel and even threatened the very foundation of the church. In response, the Apostle Paul wrote to these young believers, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV)

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He only is my rock and my salvation

Psalms 62:6 – “He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my; I shall not be moved.”

The Psalmist David teaches us that God is our defence which means “strong tower, lofty place, to be carried to a cliff”- which renders us unreachable or inaccessible to the reach of our enemy!  How do we make ourselves “INACCESSIBLE”?  Verse 8 tells us to- “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him….”

When we pour our heart out to God- The good, the bad, the ugly, the concerns, worries, problems, no matter what it is – God then carries us to a “lofty” place where we are inaccessible to our attackers! Make yourself INACCESSIBLE today by pouring your heart out before the Lord!  Be blessed today!

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Embrace your NINEVEH

Nineveh was a tough place for Jonah to go, yet it was mandated by God! God will many times give us a Nineveh, because He is wanting us to “EMBRACE” His attributes. Jonah fled from the Presence of the Lord, but God wants us to “EMBRACE” HIS Presence! 

God gives us Nineveh moments to also “EMBRACE” HIS Power! When Jonah was tossed in the raging and temultuous sea- God’s Power calmed the sea! And God gives us Nineveh moments for us to “EMBRACE” HIS Provisions! 

God prepared a great fish for Jonah – that fish was prepared for Jonah and Jonah only! God gives us Nineveh moments, (tough places for us to go, and tough things for us to do), in our life for the purpose of us to embrace HIM and for HIM to embrace us!

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“Remembrance”

“Brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast.” 2 Thessalonians 2: 5

As we store up experiences moving through life, the irony often is that one of the things we so often fail to remember is what a great gift that remembrance itself truly is.

Remembering is our time machine; it brings back to life the great moments that we have lived – as well as the many lessons we may have learned. It helps us create our outlook on life; it celebrates our loved ones and the times we have had together. It shapes our perspectives in order to give our lives so much of its meaning.

On this day in 2001, many gave their all; on this day many rose to challenges they would have never imagined; on this day many people’s lives changed forever and also on this day many made supreme sacrifices. We celebrate the gift of remembrance by standing firm and holding fast this day; by our remembrance we give renewed life to those who on this day experienced tragedy that many of us can only imagine. And we felt it with them and for our nation and for the threat that loomed. But we rebuilt and today we stand, remembering where we were, how it felt and showered them, then and now, in compassion and hope.

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Devotional: CATCH ME

Catch Me
by Wilford Collins, Director of Facility Ops

O’Lord I have run from the man
You want me to be.
And for that I am so ashamed,
But, I am the only one to blame.
O’Lord, so won’t you catch me?

Catch me when I fall O’Lord
Lift me up with your gentle and loving hands.
Will you please answer my call Lord?
O’Lord please help me with life’s demands.
As life pulls and tugs at me
I try to be the man you want me to be

Catch me, lift me up and fill me
With hope and love
Lord let the light shine down
On me from above

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Twice as Sweet

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” -Psalm 126:5

Just when Amy thought her work might go down the drain, a miracle came through. Working with the poor in Atlanta was the best job and the worst job she had ever had. She specifically worked in drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and there was nothing more gratifying than getting someone back on his or her feet. Yet, for everyone that got cleaned up, there were a dozen more in need. Money was tight, and things didn’t look good. Amy went home at night and cried for all the work left undone and all the people in misery. Then, the grant came through: Enough money to keep the doors open for a year. Amy felt like God truly did care about what she was doing. All the sweat and tears paid off.

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