Have you ever felt like you are just going through the motions, as though your body is on auto-pilot? It knows the routine of the day and night, and you just do it.
You feel completely detached from the people around you. You are present, but you’re not there. Perhaps it's worrying from work, stressors in life, or maybe it’s fears about the future. These and a host of other concerns can leave us feeling lifeless. Whatever the reason is for this disconnect, the pathway to a solution begins with “checking your connection.”
I have found time and time again that the problems and concerns of life only throw me off balance when I take my eyes off the One who steadies it all. That One is Jesus Christ. I have a saying that goes, “See God rightly, live life rightly.” Here’s what I mean: when I believe the truth about who God is, what He has accomplished in my redemption, and how He is at work for good in my life, I will not only enjoy the peace of Christ which surpasses all human peace, but I will also flourish despite the circumstances.
In the gospel of John, chapter fifteen and verses 1 through 11, Jesus teaches us how this is possible:
John 15:1–11 (ESV)
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Here, Jesus uses the imagery of a vine, likely a grapevine, to describe how fruitfulness and joy in life come from the practice of dependent prayer. In verse 2, Jesus says that fruitful branches are pruned so that they produce more fruit. Verse 3 speaks of the word or teaching of Jesus as the pruning tool that God the Father, the pruner, uses. Abiding in Christ, or maintaining a connection with Christ, is the way that fruitfulness happens according to verse 4.
Moreover, verse 7 gives us a picture of what how this connection looks. It’s prayer! A life lived in dependent prayer. When Jesus says, “. . . ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. . .” This is an act of prayer. We need not be fearful of asking for “anything,” because when we are in intimate fellowship with God through Christ, the Holy Spirit will aid us in asking for what is in line with the will of God.
Now, lest we miss the point, allow me to point out that our peace of mind and joyful fruitfulness in Christ is not the end goal. Those are promises that come with this intimate connection. The end goal is the glory of God, which is the result of our fruitfulness and also the assurance that we are Christ’s disciples. That is glory upon glory and blessing upon blessing.
And yet there is still one more question. Ultimately, how will this life-giving connection to Jesus affect us? We will love as Jesus has loved.
Well, that’s verses 12 through 17 and, God-willing, we will bask in their riches in next month’s devotion.
Yours in Christ,
Chaplain James Chavis
The week of May 6-12, 2018 marks an annual celebration of some of our favorite caregivers. National Nurses Week is a time to honor those who give so much of themselves every day to care for others.
Nurses serve in many capacities throughout the health care system. Many work in hospitals, while others work in medical clinics and even in our schools. Everywhere you look, there’s a nurse, there to take care of us. At HealthKeeperz, our nurses perform yet another function. They provide care in the most intimate setting possible, in the homes of our patients. And they do so with consistent emphasis on quality, while putting the patient’s needs first.
Let’s take a look at the impact that our nurses make at HealthKeeperz. During the 2017 calendar year, HealthKeeperz nurses provided 49,075 home visits—that’s 134 times every day where our outstanding team of nurses was able to provide in-home care with comfort and dignity.
Whether home health, hospice, or CAP Case Management visits, HealthKeeperz nurses demonstrate the ability to work with a high degree of skill and care. HealthKeeperz nurses care for patients who are on the mend following surgery, who need help managing diabetes or heart disease, or who may be focusing on quality of life as the end of life approaches. Whatever the case, you can count on a caring, compassionate, and competent HealthKeeperz nurse.
Thank you to all of the registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants who have made it their aim to care for others. We are especially thankful for all of those who provide care while representing HealthKeeperz. Most of all, thanks to all of you who help our company pursue its mission, caring for others for the glory of God.
HealthKeeperz has a mission. It is to “Care for all people for the glory of God.” The foundational principles or, as we call them, core values are: Be Compassionate, Pursue Excellence, Take Ownership, and Put Family First.
These core values are the bedrock that undergirds everything that we do at HealthKeeperz. But to go from core values to fulfilling our mission, there must be some action. And that’s where our vision statement comes into play. Our vision statement reads this way:
HealthKeeperz will be a community of caregivers who deliver value as measured by:
Let’s consider this first link in the bridge from core values to fulfilling our mission. Wise Stewardship.
According to Merriam-Webster, stewardship is “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.” To be entrusted with something communicates that there is an obligation to do something with whatever we are given. And to be employed at HealthKeeperz is to be entrusted with the mission of HealthKeeperz. It is assumed that when we say yes to working with HealthKeeperz that we are saying yes to pursuing the mission of HealthKeeperz by standing on our core values and striving to execute the vision of HealthKeeperz faithfully. And we do this in part by practicing wise stewardship.
Although at first, it may seem like a daunting task, we can take heart because God has created us with an innate ability to steward wisely.
This is seen in Genesis 1:27 (ESV):
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
And in Genesis 1:28 (ESV):
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Being made in the image God gave Adam and Eve the natural ability to rule the earth and subdue in the same way that God would. Then, wise stewardship at HealthKeeperz is carefully and responsibly managing our resources, time, and money in the same way that God does. But wise stewardship for us is not a list of do’s and don’ts like, don’t waste supplies, don’t fudge your timesheet, or be frugal with your budget. These right practices are a given or even elementary. Our visionary action to be wise stewards is about pursuing something spectacular and glorious by unleashing the wise, creative visionary that God has designed us to be. Setting and managing budgets; finding new ways to conserve; increasing efficiency; all of this happens for the purpose of fueling our growing passion for caring for all people. Wise stewardship in our daily operations gives us more resources for the mission. This is the wisdom from above that allows us to steward well here below.
For the glory of God and the good of His people,
Chaplain James Chavis