There are a lot of ways this COVID-19 pandemic and the response to it have changed us. We have changed as individuals and as communities, and as a country. We have also changed in regard to our care and acknowledgement of those who are older and live around us.
I am sure you have read, and perhaps even experienced, the heart breaking stories of Older Adults who lived in nursing homes passing away. While that is not terribly unusual, that they have passed separated from family is a terrible new reality that many families have suffered through. Hopefully, at the time these precious people were welcomed into their heavenly home they were not alone completely, but with staff of their facility. But they were not with their loved ones.
Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Something on my mind this morning….
The Bible is not filled with only virtuous people. That may or may not be a shocking statement to make. But it is true. Sure there are many who are virtuous and those who become more virtuous as their story progresses. Then there are those who are riding a roller coaster in this regard.
We learn much from folks like Daniel and Ruth, and of course Jesus! We see the obedience of Abraham. We first get to know Noah as being obedient to the call of God to build the Ark, but then we see his post “cruise” less than stellar action. King David, known as a man after God’s heart is an adulterer who sets up the killing of Urriah in battle. Roller coaster? Yep. Peter is another good example of a person in the Bible who rides the righteous roller coaster.
In one of our first homes as a young navy couple, we lived on the second floor in our apartment complex. Of course, there was a third floor. The couple that lived there was not shy about arguing. One of the common lines we would hear from the husband was, “What about me?” And he wouldn’t just say it once. Now, I have no idea what led to him saying that repeatedly, but one thing was for sure. Either he always wanted the focus on him or he felt the wife always wanted the focus on her. Either way, someone was focused on themselves and was mad not everyone else was as well. This argument line happened often enough that 31 years later we still remember it.
What might this have to do with today’s passage? Hold that thought for a few moments please.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”2 Timothy 1:7
We are living in tumultuous times. We watch the news. We spend time on social media. We aren’t spending time with our family of faith like we enjoyed just a few months ago. All of this may be driving us to a place of sadness, anxiety, even fear. Honestly, it is in this place I find myself this morning. Then comes the challenge of providing something for an email to be sent out to brothers and sisters in Christ. A message that might uplift, inspire, and encourage.
Motivation is a topic very much on my mind right now. There are a lot of assumptions going around about why people are saying and doing the things they are, or often not doing.
Presumption of innocence is a critical legal idea in the United States. When someone is in court they are supposed to be presumed innocent unless a jury of their peers determines guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That is my understanding of how the judicial system is supposed to work, or maybe I have watched too many legal dramas on television.
I am not a lawyer or a legal scholar and I am not trying to pretend that I am. What I am writing here is 100% my opinion. I would like to think that my opinion is formed on the foundation of Christian beliefs. This in turn is based on my theological understandings of the Bible. One of the passages my focus has been drawn to is Colossians 3:23-24. A pastor friend shared it on his Facebook page and the words of Paul really have me thinking.
When you think of June you may think of a lot of things, but Alzheimer’s and Brain Health may not be on the top of your mind. Personally June is a big month. We celebrate our wedding anniversary on the 26th. (32 years this year) We also celebrate our son’s birthday and my birthday too. Summer weather arrives. Roses are blooming. (They are my favorite, especially pink ones.) Summer vacation, well who knows this year.
But it is also an important month in terms of awareness topics. June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Brain health is a very important topic to me, and I would venture a guess, for you as well. But it may not be something we give a lot of thought to, until we or a loved one starts to experience cognitive issues. Then it might be all we think about.
Jesus had ascended right before their eyes. We know during Jesus’ three years of ministry on Earth, the disciples has seen many unbelievable things. His appearances after the Resurrection must has been, for a lack of a better term, “mind-blowing.” Then came His Ascension into heaven. Certainly, nothing could compare, right? But to quote every infomercial ever, “But wait! There’s more!”
This “more” came in the form of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. With tongues of fire on each of the disciples, the Holy Spirit came upon them. They began speaking in tongues that the people that had come from all over the Roman Empire for Pentecost could understand. The disciples were accused of being drunk at 9:00 AM. But no. They were not drunk, they were filled with the Holy Spirit who gave them this gift of being understood by everyone, regardless of their native language. The Holy Spirit speaks to each of us, not only through language as commonly think of it, but through inspiration with a small still voice.
There is a lot of conversation going on lately about church. Is it a God-given right? Can church be closed by government officials? Can church be opened by government officials? What is safe? What is necessary? Is church the building or is it the people or a unique combination of both? What is church?
The above questions have become polarizing. National politics, theological politics, fears from society opening up and people being in greater contact with one another and fear from others who fear the repercussions of staying home and out of work. The repercussions of either choice may impact our physical health, but also our mental, emotional, and financial health. There are a lot of high emotions on every side of the debate.
Winter Grace Senior Ministries, Inc. just completed our first Virtual 50+ Resource Fair. We had 26 service providers from a variety of fields: all experts and all serving Older Adults and their families with expertise and passion! Thank you!
The Fair had over 3,000 page views. To me that means a couple of things. Not only are we on to something with this format, but, thankfully, we are finding new ways to live out our mission:
“Empower and Enrich the Lives of Older Adults Through Christian Initiatives, Connecting People, Ideas, and Resources”
What’s next? We certainly are not going to take a rest. There is much to be done to serve Older Adults, perhaps more now than ever. We must be creative and take chances. Some ideas will work and others will not, but we must use our time and energy to reach out in ways we haven’t before.
We would love to be face-to-face, person-to-person, but we cannot right now. The goal is to use our God given creativity, gifts, and talents, and package them in a new way. We took our Fair on-line, and we will be doing the same with much of our ministry.
One way is that we will begin Weekly Wednesday Worship at Noon (EDT) on May 27,2020. This will be short time of prayer, Scripture, and devotion. First things first, and that always needs to be Jesus.
Second, we are firing up the YouTube Channel and this site to share interviews, information, and hopefully share a good dose of inspiration and encouragement. We hope you will join us often.
We are opening the Resource Partner Center officially onJune 1st. We will be building an information packed place for Older Adults and those who care for them to visit and inform themselves. We look forward to its growth.
Please stay tuned, check back often to see what is next. If you have just 3 minutes you can watch this video and hear more.
Let’s see what we can do together. It may not look like we had envisioned, but, by the grace of God, we will do our best to continue to serve Older Adults.