Be Kind? To Seniors! All Day (#BestOf)

(the Best of) A Year of Being Kind, Sunday, June 14, 2015

I enjoy preaching! And, I miss the lovely seniors at the several retirement centers I would occasionally visit. As I read over this blog post from last June, I vividly remembered several seniors with whom I interacted. And, I choked up. Dear God, I pray for them, and for all of the residents at that center.

 A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, June 11, 2014

BK kindness is a lifestyle

I preached at a retirement center today. Midweek service—Hymns and Devotions.

After being away from more of a chaplain’s role for a number of months, I felt really good as I revisited it. My pastoral care gifting certainly is being expressed when I do chaplainly things, that’s for sure! Plus, I can use the spiritual gifts of encouragement and helps in this retirement setting, too. That’s fulfilling (and filling!) for me, too.

Since I got there almost a half hour before the service was to start this afternoon, I took the opportunity to go into the chapel and greet the residents who were already gathered for the service. I went down the row of wheelchairs that were placed in the chapel, spending time with each person. A few had difficulties raising their heads. (What a sad thing, to always have to look at the floor because of difficulty with the neck and back!) Several of these extreme elderly showed significant signs of frailty, and a couple more had signs of dementia.

I was so pleased to see the organist! I have known her since I served at this retirement center as a chaplain intern. (Ten years ago!) The organist is also a resident. Such a sweet, lovely person. I especially enjoyed the hymn arrangement she played just before the service began. An arrangement of “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” I made special mention of the prelude. I also said this hymn reminds us that God created everything, indoors and out, and especially the creatures, the animals big and small.

After opening the service with prayer and thanksgiving, the organist and I led the congregation in two hymns. And then, the scripture lesson. Ah! I chose the Acts 2 passage from Sunday, three days ago. The passage for the day of Pentecost! And then, I talked about a Power shortage. (Especially with our Lord Jesus gone!) I moved into talk of the Holy Spirit, and reminded people that Peter said these words at the end of our passage today. “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved!”

I certainly did my best to be animated and engaging when I preached and led worship this afternoon. I received some nice compliments from the residents and others who attended the service today. I do this as a labor of love, it’s true. In addition, I am so glad that my voice was clear and sounded good to the majority of these dear seniors in the chapel.

God, what a blessing to be able to serve these dear folks. I need to remember this wonderful feeling! God, thank You for the many blessings you provided for all of these residents, all through the years. What a witness to Your love, grace, mercy and power. Amen, God!

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Suggestion: visit me at my daily blog for 2015: matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er – Thanks!)

Be Kind? To Seniors! All Day

A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, June 11, 2014

senior couple walking away clipart

senior couple walking away
clipart

Be Kind? To Seniors! All Day

I preached at a retirement center today. Midweek service—Hymns and Devotions.

After being away from more of a chaplain’s role for a number of months, I felt really good as I revisited it. My pastoral care gifting certainly is being expressed when I do chaplainly things, that’s for sure! Plus, I can use the spiritual gifts of encouragement and helps in this retirement setting, too. That’s fulfilling (and filling!) for me, too.

Since I got there almost a half hour before the service was to start this afternoon, I took the opportunity to go into the chapel and greet the residents who were already gathered for the service. I went down the row of wheelchairs that were placed in the chapel, spending time with each person. A few had difficulties raising their heads. (What a sad thing, to always have to look at the floor because of difficulty with the neck and back!) Several of these extreme elderly showed significant signs of frailty, and a couple more had signs of dementia.

I was so pleased to see the organist! I have known her since I served at this retirement center as a chaplain intern. (Ten years ago!) The organist is also a resident. Such a sweet, lovely person. I especially enjoyed the hymn arrangement she played just before the service began. An arrangement of “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” I made special mention of the prelude. I also said this hymn reminds us that God created everything, indoors and out, and especially the creatures, the animals big and small.

After opening the service with prayer and thanksgiving, the organist and I led the congregation in two hymns. And then, the scripture lesson. Ah! I chose the Acts 2 passage from Sunday, three days ago. The passage for the day of Pentecost! And then, I talked about a Power shortage. (Especially with our Lord Jesus gone!) I moved into talk of the Holy Spirit, and reminded people that Peter said these words at the end of our passage today. “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved!”

I certainly did my best to be animated and engaging when I preached and led worship this afternoon. I received some nice compliments from the residents and others who attended the service today. I do this as a labor of love, it’s true. In addition, I am so glad that my voice was clear and sounded good to the majority of these dear seniors in the chapel.

God, what a blessing to be able to serve these dear folks. I need to remember this wonderful feeling! God, thank You for the many blessings you provided for all of these residents, all through the years. What a witness to Your love, grace, mercy and power. Amen, God!

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Work with My Whole Heart? Maybe, Yes!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, April 3, 2014

 

Work with My Whole Heart? Maybe, Yes!

Today I took a closer look at the verse for this new month in my blog, another in the series of verses from the Bible that talk about service and work. From Colossians, verse 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

This is an important verse for me to consider, especially since I am just starting a new job. A new ministry. Sure, I need to be aware of the people I work for! However, I kind-of, sort-of get the hint from this verse that I need to have my priorities straight. I need to do my work for God, first and foremost. If I consider God before anything (and anyone) else, I suspect I will have a minimum of difficulties.

I relish having a varied position! Different kinds of things to do for work. I enjoy it, and am energized by it. I know that a certain kind of person prefers to have a set number of things to do each day or each week, and is comfortable within those set parameters. While I can work under those limited conditions, I find I appreciate the freedom of more options. Like this week, for instance. Just the past three days.

Not only did I familiarize myself with the church office, but I researched, wrote and preached a sermon, made the order of worship and led the Lenten midweek service, assisted Pastor Gordon at the midweek bible study, chose and practiced some service music for Sunday worship, did a good deal of praying for members and friends of the church, and had a number of extended conversations with some individuals—in terms of pastoral care and church activities.

Wow! What a way to be of service!

It’s true that God has given me a spirit of conscientiousness. Yes. Guilty as charged. So, I really try to do my very best—except now I don’t beat myself up for it if I do happen to miss the mark. It was at least twenty years ago; I used to do that. Beat myself up, that is. I would get really guilty, and feel badly, and my poor self-image would pound me even further into the ground. But gradually, God has helped me become more comfortable in my own skin. After a number of years of working on myself (and my Self), getting further training in seminary and several internships, and more than a dozen years of intentional therapy, it’s changed. I mean, I’ve changed. I pray, for the better!

With God’s help, I’m part of God’s team. I am able to step up to the plate (to use a baseball analogy). God’s the Manager in this ballgame. And I need to remember: even if I strike out two out of three times, a .333 batting average is pretty good! I don’t need to hit one out of the park all the time. Not even most of the time. Thanks for that assurance, God!

baseball - color sketch, 2005

baseball – color sketch, 2005

@chaplaineliza
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.