Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div. - Visionary Strategist  Faithful Innovator  Inspirational Essayist
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Salvation and Stilettos Blog

Is your faith in a Nursing HOME? - James 5:13-16

Is your faith in a Nursing Home?
BlogFam, a nursing home is a private institution providing residential accommodations with health care, especially for the elderly [].  I have visited several nursing homes in my life for different reasons and while I know that there are really great benefits to having these type of facilities available, there are certain realities that I confront when I walk through the doors.
When I walk in to a nursing home, I always think of growing old.  Most of the residents in nursing homes are elderly and are at a point where they need the type of care that a hospital can no longer provide and that the individual’s family is unable or unwilling to handle.  I do believe that growing old is a blessing but when I walk into a nursing home, I do not have expectations for new and exciting possibilities. I do not think of purpose yet to be fulfilled. I do not ponder the new ways I can change my life for the better.  However, I do think about what once was.  I do think about all the life stories these seniors have lived.  I do think about love lost, failing health, and past joys. I honestly do not have very positive thoughts about their future except for the eternal rest they will have in heaven. [Don't judge! :-)]  I do appreciate the value of nursing homes and I do honor those who have provided such care for the aged in our community; however, I am clear that when I visit a nursing home, the hope for a better tomorrow is not the feeling that is evoked when I enter.
Friends, is your faith in the nursing home?  When you think about how you feel about your relationship with God at this very moment, how would you describe it?  Have you set your passion for the things of God aside and are now in a place where you see no light at the end of the tunnel? Are you solely relying on the care you might get from a random spiritual leader on television, in your twitter timeline or on your Facebook newsfeed?  Is your faith in the nursing home? 
 Have you gone so long without speaking to God that your spirit needs to be resuscitated?  When is the last time you worshipped the Lord on your own without the Sunday dose of medicinal praise and worship from the worship leader at your church?  How long will you allow your faith to grow stale, stagnant, and starve from the lack of nutrients that only the Word of God can provide? Is your faith in the nursing home?
When people comment that they just do not “feel” church anymore or that they no longer “see” how incorporating the spiritual practices of prayer, devotional scripture reading, fasting, or Christian fellowship as essential to how they live their life, they are simply letting you know this: “My faith is in the nursing home.  I have set my faith in God in a place that is separate from how I choose to live my life right now.  I used to have lots of energy about carrying the Light of the world but that light has grown dim and is in need of being reignited.”  Friends, is this you?  Where is your faith in God?
The feelings that are evoked inside of me when I walk into a nursing home should not be how your life with God by faith through Jesus Christ should be described.  In fact, the feelings that I have when I walk into a nursing home are most certainly contrary to how one should be describing their faith in God. I am not at all saying that this is how those who own or are employed or reside at these numerous facilities feel about their personal faith.  However, I am saying that even if solely based on the definition of what a nursing home is, our faith should not strictly be described in the same terms that define a nursing home facility. 
In other words, your faith is in the nursing home if it is:
·        Private – Yes, our relationship with God is personal, but it is not private to the extent that those with whom we interact have no clue about the One who is ordering our steps
·        Institutionalized – Yes, we come together to worship in churches, in small groups, through outreach and missions, and countless other ways, but our faith should not be restricted to the confines of any religious institution. Our faith is living and active and full of life and energy.  If your faith becomes so closely defined by the structures and strictures of an institution, then please help me to understand how the Holy Spirit has room to breathe and live through You?
·        Residential – Your house should not be the only place where people get a clue about your faith in God. 
·        Accommodating – Yes, we should be respectful of all people and religious traditions but we should not feel compelled to accommodate other traditions or even relationships we might build with others to the point where we compromise basic tenets of our own Christian faith.
·        In Need of Spiritual Health Care – If you are wondering where your faith has gone or you are getting to the point whereyou feel like you can’t pray for yourself or if you are no longer looking to Jesus as the author and finisher of your faith, then it is time for you to have the Master Physician diagnose and heal the conditions of your soul.
My sistas and brothas, is your faith in the nursing home?  Is your faith private - institutionalized - residential - accommodating - or in need of spiritual health care? Do any of these points describe where you are or is it time for you to begin to intercede on behalf of another whose faith you know needs to be revived? If so, it is time to check your faith out of the nursing home!
And here is what the doctor has ordered…
James 5:13-16
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Friends, let this word in the book of James provide the release papers you need to drag your faith out of the nursing home!  Come on out and live new life!  Pray!  Sing Songs of Praise! Call on those who are spiritually minded and mature to touch and agree with you in the name of the Lord!  And the Lord promises that your faith WILL be raised up and you will be forgiven and you will be healed! 
Friends, I pray that on today you would feel the prayers of the righteous and that you would pray the prayers of a righteous person and that you would see the powerful and effective results of faith resuscitated, full of life and energy, dreams and new possibilities outside of that spiritual nursing home!
Black HistoryMonth – Quote of the Day:
If you will protest courageously, and yet with dignity and Christian love, when the history books are written in future generations, the historians will have to pause and say, "There lived a great people - a black people - who injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization." This is our challenge and our overwhelming responsibility. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
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