At HealthKeeperz, our mission is to care for all for the glory of God. Each and every day, teammates across North Carolina fan out from county offices to call on patients they hold dearly in their hearts. In our culture, each position on the home health team is empowered to lead through humility, encouragement, selflessness, and caring for patients and each other. Two key roles on our many teams are those of the occupational therapist and physical therapist.
Many folks, when they first engage with us, may be a bit confused by the difference between these two roles. In fact, they are quite different, starting with the focus of each kind of therapist. Let’s start with a big similarity though—both types of therapists care for patients with hands-on, rehabilitative therapy to help those who are recovering from injuries or living with disabilities.
Physical therapists primarily care for those recovering with from injuries and surgeries. The main benefit of home-based PT is that patients, especially seniors, are able to continue their recovery in the comfort and dignity of their own homes, getting the same level of care that they would from hospital based PTs without the hassle of multiple hospital visits. Physical therapists work with patients to help them regain their pre-injury or pre-operative strength, through motion exercises, massage, and other techniques of the profession.
PTs also focus on injury prevention, in order to minimize future surgical interventions or long-term medications, whenever possible.
Occupational therapy, on the other hand, is applicable not only to post-operative situations and injury recovery, but also for those with developmental and cognitive disabilities. Occupational therapists, rather than starting with the body itself, focus on what patients need to do—occupations—at home and at work, as applicable. Versus a straightforward focus on health, as with physical therapy, occupational therapy focuses on quality of life through helping patients do what they want to do on a daily basis, as they struggle with conditions that can affect motor skills, emotions, or behavior.
While PTs focus on exercise, OTs focus on daily tasks.
We have found that both physical therapists and occupational therapists play gamechanging roles for our patients at HealthKeeperz, and our patients don’t miss a beat when compared to those who receive therapy at hospitals. Our PTs help patients build strength, reduce pain, and increase mobility, and many patients achieve physical fitness for their age and circumstance. Our OTs perform critical work not only for those hampered by physical limitations, but also with mental conditions like Alzheimer’s. Their work with patients suffering from memory loss, dementia, and other issues can be transformative, as they assist spouses and other caregivers through therapy techniques and adaptive devices.
Also contrary to conventional wisdom, many physical therapists and occupational therapists hold advanced degrees, ranging from master’s level to doctorates, from graduate schools of health sciences. They are able to provide such great care, and continuously improve their service, through a combination of cutting-edge education and the benefits of practicing with patients over time.
Some of our patients work with both physical therapists and occupational therapists. For example, we have some patients who have suffered injuries, both requiring surgery and leaving them with a post-operative disability. These patients often go home, where they are first treated by home health nurses, who ensure that patients are recovering according to the doctor’s pre-established standards, as well as physical therapists who work with patients to bring back strength and maximum mobility for their condition. The PT will then turn over the patient to focus on daily tasks, like dressing, showering, and even feeding themselves, while working through a disability or other impairment.
At HealthKeeperz, we are on a God-given mission to do His work in caring for the people of North Carolina. We are blessed to have the best PTs and OTs call HealthKeeperz home, as they bring the best care to the homes of those we are so honored to serve.
For more information about careers at HealthKeeperz, including openings in home-based physical therapy and occupational therapy, visit www.healthkeeperz.com/careers.
“There is nothing better for a man or woman then to eat, drink, and enjoy their work. I have seen that even this is from God's hand, because who can eat and who can enjoy life apart from Him?” “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God's glory.”
If you haven’t already, you should re-read those two sentences. It would be natural for you to think that those are my words since I am writing this devotion, but they are not. The first statement is from the Old Testament book, Ecclesiastes. This excerpt, from chapter 2 verse 24, is written by the wisest man that ever lived, King Solomon. The second is quoted from the Apostle Paul's first letter to the Corinthians in chapter 10 verse 31. Just in case you are thinking that Paul and Solomon are prescribing carefree living, allow me to explain how both are calling us to something much more fulfilling.
Solomon is saying that in both rest and work we should find enjoyment, while Paul is saying that God is glorified in both. From the early pages of the Bible, a God-ordained rhythm of work and rest can be seen. The most obvious example being a pattern practiced by God in creation. For six days he labored in creativity, manufacturing, and instructing, and then on the seventh day, He rested. And in the grand story of God's redemption of people, Jesus’ fulfilling and satisfying work in His life, death, and resurrection secure an eternal rest for not only himself but also for all those who have faith in Him.
At HealthKeeperz, we speak much of glorifying God in our day to day work. But with Labor Day upon us, I thought that we should be reminded that God is also glorified in our rest. If you are like most other Americans and me, we rarely rest well at times or on the days given for rest. Now I won't try to define what it means to rest because cutting the grass on Saturday may be enjoyable and even therapeutic for me, but it may be toil for the guy who runs a landscaping company! The only point I want to stress is that we must take our rest. Some will plan a trip to the beach, enjoy the first day of hunting season, or plan the summers last barbecue. Whatever we do, it’s a great time to “rest more than we are.” And I certainly don't mean we should plan trips to the beach every weekend or barbecues every evening, but we should protect the times given in our lives for resting.
Rest is restorative. That means it brings healing. It’s a break from labor and striving, and this is partly why it’s an essential feature of the sacred rest spoken of in the Bible. Rest is peace-giving. So that means rest requires a safe place. In saying this, I don't mean we always need alone time or that rest can only happen in the seclusion from others. When God gave the commandment to have a day set apart unto Him, he gave that command to a community of people, not to an individual. So although sometimes we do need a moment for ourselves, the most fulfilling, satisfying, restorative, and peace-giving rest will come when we are resting with those dearest to us in a way that we all enjoy.
So, guard your rest, take your rest, and bring others to rest with you. Not only on holidays like Labor Day but every week. Lead those around you in God-glorifying rest.
May your rest be sweet!
Yours in Christ,
Chaplain James Chavis
In a recent article for the HealthKeeperz blog, we explained how our company is growing through its commitment to the Community Alternatives Program (CAP), an initiative of North Carolina’s Medicaid program. HealthKeeperz is steadily becoming the managing entity of choice for CAP in some of the state’s poorest, most rural counties, where it’s increasingly critical to help people navigate the options at their disposal for both obtaining care and paying for it, for themselves or their family members.
Let’s take a deeper look at North Carolina Medicaid’s innovative Community Alternatives Program. First, we need to understand that Medicaid-funded home health care includes skilled nursing and therapy services, as well as certain medical supplies and equipment (as long as your physician prescribes them as part of your care plan for a particular condition). It’s also a little-known fact that Medicaid may pay for services more traditionally perceived as personal in nature—bathing, cleaning, meal prep—if your doctor determines that you need this type of assistance in your daily living.
North Carolina has a pair of programs, often referred to as waiver programs, both administered through CAP, that aid in delivering comprehensive health and personal care services to seniors around the state. Let’s take a look at the Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults (CAP/DA) and Community Alternatives Program/Choice (CAP/Choice).
Here’s what the two CAP waiver programs have in common: to qualify, you must prove that you need nursing facility care, and that you are at risk of being institutionalized within 30 days of your application. You may also qualify due to blindness or disability.
Now, let’s explain the differences. With CAP/DA, you are eligible to receive a range of home health and personal care services like adult day health, personal care aides, home modification and mobility aids (such as wheelchair ramp installation), meal preparation and delivery, respite services, personal emergency response services, transition services, assistive technology, and case management. In CAP/DA, an agency like HealthKeeperz, through an assigned case manager (usually a social worker), arranges your services and oversees your plan of care for you.
With CAP/Choice, you are able to select and train your own providers in the above areas of service. CAP/Choice thus gives you more control to oversee your care. The program will also pay for people to advise you, such as a personal assistant, care advisor, or even a financial manager.
At HealthKeeperz, we will make every effort to assist you in working with the right programs to pay for your home health and personal care services. When you work within the CAP framework though NC Medicaid, we will have very clear budget parameters, combined with our knowledge of the best local care providers, to achieve your goals, giving you the dignity and better quality of life usually found from staying in your own home.
While many of us have a pretty good idea of what nurses do in hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices around the world, sometimes it’s a little harder to picture the duties that nurses perform in the homes of their patients. As a company, HealthKeeperz delivers home-based health care that isn’t any different from the level of care you’d receive in a care facility. In fact, we think that in many cases, receiving home health care is better for you, since you can recover from a surgery or illness, or maintain a better quality of life while dealing with a chronic condition, with dignity and a better quality of life from the safety and comfort of your home.
At HealthKeeperz, Home Health Registered Nurse Case Managers deliver care to our high standards, supervising and working in coordination with colleagues like occupational therapists, physical therapists, and technicians who help with medical devices and equipment. Let’s take a look at some examples of the care our talented registered nurses provide for all of our patients, for the glory of God.
Patients in home-based care environments, just like their counterparts in hospitals and nursing homes, need certain types of care for a variety of reasons, and they receive personalized, one-on-one care from RNs. They may be elderly, disabled, or suffering from chronic or terminal illness. Often, home health care offers the optimal road to recovery from surgeries, accidents, or simply cutting short a hospital stay to bounce back in the privacy and comfort of home.
While home health nurses work with patients on medical needs like medication management (including IV therapies) wound care, and vital sign monitoring, they can also assist with personal care needs like bathing and dressing. The frequency of their patient visits will depend upon a couple of factors: what’s allowable by the patient’s insurance, as well as what’s reasonable to manage the patient’s care based on the condition (s) they are dealing with, either on a short-term or ongoing basis. On average, home health nurses visit their patients two to three times weekly.
During the first visit, a home health nurse will typically evaluate the patient’s health and review an individualized plan of care, as directed by the patient’s doctor. On an ongoing basis, depending on the duration of care, nurses administer medications and assist with pain management, clean and dress wounds, and document symptoms and vital signs. Based on each visit’s findings, nurses may work with doctors to update care plans and make changes to the level of monitoring required.
Nurses play a great role with regard to educating and involving family and friend caregivers, since their contribution is critical to the patient’s recovery and quality of life. Often, this means helping families understand nutritional and fitness needs, as well as keeping the patient safe, helping to avoid recurring hospitalizations. Also with regard to this last point, nurses, are often the first to detect symptoms that could lead to new health issues and even a future hospital visit.
While nurses serve as the main point of contact for patients and their families, in turn, nurses maintain lines of communication with doctors, social workers, and other care professionals as needed.
Finally—and this certainly isn’t the least important attribute of a home health nurse—they must be able to encourage each patient and support them emotionally during their recovery. This last point may be a greater challenge sometimes, since the patient’s home isn’t a controlled environment like a hospital or nursing home. Nurses with great “soft skills,” such as a genuine affection for working with people and their families, will find working with patients in their homes to be quite fulfilling.
We are a growing company, and HealthKeeperz is looking for Home Health Registered Nurse Case Managers, Occupational Therapists, and Physical Therapists to join our incredible team of dedicated home-based professionals and support staff. If you think our mission of caring for all for the glory of God should be your mission, too, follow this link to look at our open positions.
It’s been said that the act of asking for help and openly receiving it is one of the hardest things to do, yet this act is so essential to our well-being in life. Just think for a moment how many times you have helped someone, and you know that without your help, the result would have been, at best, bad, and, at worst, disastrous for that person. You should feel humbled and thankful that your contribution at the moment, whether emotionally, financially, or physically, aided in such a favorable outcome.
However, what if you hadn’t known about this person’s need? What if no one asked for your help? How would you feel, knowing that your friends or family suffered because they didn’t have your help? And you failed to help them, not because you withheld your assistance, but because they wouldn’t ask for it, thus, you had no idea that they needed you.
Some feel that to ask for help is a sign of weakness, as though needing help communicates inferiority to others. Others may not ask for help when they need it because they have no way to return the favor. In the American South, we have successfully elevated the idea of the self-made person to the point that we now boast, “I got this,” in the face of terminal illness, emotional breakdown, spiritual trial, and a host of other personal hardships, all the while reluctant to ask for a little help. Some will say, “I take it to the Lord in prayer.” And to that, I reply, ‘Hallelujah, of course, you should make your requests known to God.” However, don’t forget that God instructs us to share our burdens (needs) with each other.
Galatians 6:2 (ESV)
2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
We all need a little help, and sometimes a lot, now and then. It requires humility to ask for help, and no one likes feeling vulnerable. And yet, we are all very vulnerable, living in great need every day. We need God to grant us our next breath. I will have whatever financial means God grants me to have. If I have a need, He will provide. If I have plenty, it’s because He gave it. He superintends it all and designs both want and plenty for my good and His glory.
I guess Job did have the best perspective on the matter. He said, “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” However, there are times when “we have not, because we ask not.” And it’s in those times that I really what to encourage us to reach out to those around us. And when we are in need, and someone comes along and offers to help, consider this: “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father…” (James 1:17 NLT) That means when help comes, and it makes a difference, then it came from above.
So, if your friend has the means to help, and you know they would want to help, then allow them the joy of being God’s ambassador of grace. And in due time, you, too, will get the opportunity to serve God and love your friend in a similar way. Because remember, we need each other. That’s why God us placed in families, among friends, and at work together, as we work at HealthKeeperz. People need us every day, and we need them—and God strengthens us for both.
Helping us help each other is how we will care for all people for the glory of God.
Yours in Christ,
Chaplain James Chavis
HealthKeeperz is opening two new offices this summer, serving the rural communities of Robeson and Hertford Counties through the state of North Carolina’s Community Alternatives Program (CAP), a service of NC Medicaid.
The offices, located in Lumberton and Ahoskie, will serve hundreds of patients with integrated case management services to ensure patients are safe and receive quality home healthcare and medical equipment as needed. To meet patient needs in accordance with the company’s high standards of care excellence, HealthKeeperz has added 18 new case manager positions—three in Ahoskie and 15 in Lumberton.
The Community Alternatives Program is a wonderful alternative for many North Carolinians seeking to avoid placement in nursing homes. HealthKeeperz is dedicated to using the CAP program to help seniors maintain their dignity, lead more active lifestyles, and enjoy the safety and comfort of their own homes.
The state of North Carolina designates one case management entity per county, and each agency works with local hospitals and care providers to identify eligible patients. In administering the CAP program across seven North Carolina counties, case managers, who are social workers, work within NC Medicaid-specified budgets to ensure that patients are safe and are receiving services they need.
With the addition of the two new offices, the geographic footprint of the company’s CAP offices and the number of social workers serving hundreds of patients on an ongoing basis are truly impressive. Here’s a breakdown of the company’s current impact on North Carolina’s rural, aging population:
According to HealthKeeperz President Tim Brooks, the CAP program has grown from a small part of what HealthKeeperz does to a key element of company’s business. “Over the last four years, CAP has become central to our business at HealthKeeperz,” he explained. “We are always looking for opportunities to be the agency of choice for the home health needs of rural North Carolinians.”
CAP case managers usually follow a routine with patients, with face-to-face visits complemented by phone calls with each patient. If the patient has a new need for medical equipment, healthcare, or even personal care, the case manager will source the appropriate solution within budget. The program even allows for services like adult day care, as well as home improvements like adding wheelchair-accessible ramps. Each case manager builds great relationships with patients and their families, and the relationships can often last for years.
For Brooks, serving rural communities is not only a point of pride, but central to the company’s mission to care for all for the glory of God. “A few years ago, the state was looking for a provider for the four northeastern NC counties,” he said. “We responded to NC Medicaid’s request for proposals, and I later found out we were the only agency statewide that responded. I had to put my faith in God that this would work for our business.”
“But we tend to do really well in rural areas,” Brooks continued. “God’s hand is on this work, and our Barnabas Culture has now extended to areas of the state quite far from our headquarters. Going rural doesn’t scare us, but our main concern is replicating our culture. Early on, we went up to Elizabeth City to meet with the newly-hired case managers, and we asked them if they could build our culture in northeastern NC. Each of them took this challenge to heart, and I’m convinced they are as close to the heart of HealthKeeperz as any office we have. Validation of my feelings here happened, as Hortensia Ray Alston-Hayes was nominated for a Barnabas Award last year by her Elizabeth City teammates, and she went on to win the Super Barnabas Award for 2018.”
HealthKeeperz is excited by the possibilities of impacting lives of more patients in Hertford and Robeson Counties, all for God’s glory. “These opportunities are where the sovereignty of God has placed us to do well,” explained Brooks. “Our company is from a rural area, and we understand what it’s like to live in these places of high poverty and what that means to people. Even though many of the places where we work are poor, they often have the greatest needs. We, in turn, can do great work, build our Barnabas Culture to care for those at HealthKeeperz who do this hard work every day, and be a God-honoring company in all that we do. Profits aren’t enough—we have to constantly expand what we do, how we care for others for the glory of God as we develop our people and grow our revenues.”
For more information on the Community Alternatives Program where you live, contact HealthKeeperz today.
Last month, we took a moment to “check our connection” with Jesus in the gospel of John, Chapter 15. In that devotion, we said, “fruitfulness and joy in life come from the practice of dependent prayer.” Moreover, in our closing, we looked forward to the rest of that section to John 15, verses 12-17. Here they are.
John 15:12–17 (English Standard Version)
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
I know what you’re thinking. To command someone to love another feels coerced, forced, or manipulating. However, remember Jesus and other Bible writers often use commands as a way of saying ‘since a is true then b is true.’ So it is in this text.
Jesus has already established that love for one another is in the disciples because of their abiding in the vine of Jesus (verses 1-11), and so it is only natural that they do(take action) love one another. The question then remaining is, how does this love manifest itself? Read verse 13 again. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Wow! Because we are reading this from the vantage point of 2000 years after these events, we can see that Jesus is calling his disciples to love one another in the same way that he loved them when he went to the cross of Calvary and laid down his life for his friends. In verse 16 Jesus tells his disciples that he chose them for this very purpose, that this type of sacrificial love for one another is what it means to bear fruit by being possessing an intimate relationship with him. Jesus has chosen and empowered his disciples for the labor of loving one another.
So then, what does all this mean for us at HealthKeeperz? It at least suggests that when we say we intend to care for all people for the glory of God, this caring will manifest itself in some sacrificial act and we will be empowered by the very Author of love. To say it another way, when it is our goal to love one another as Christ Jesus has loved us we will have the resources of heaven at our full disposal to accomplish this glorious mission because the power to do so flows directly from Jesus as we cultivate our intimate connection with Him through prayer.
May the Holy Spirit strengthen us in our endeavor of caring for all people for the glory of God.
Yours in Christ,
Chaplain James Chavis
The Barnabas Awards began a few years ago, designed by our leadership team to have our employees select the people who, on a quarterly and annual basis, inspire them to be their best by living the values of our Barnabas Culture.
Barnabas, a disciple of Jesus Christ, serves as an example of many attributes necessary for HealthKeeperz to operate as a strong, vibrant, Christ-honoring organization. Our approach to providing the highest standard of community-based health care services to the people of North Carolina, defined as our Barnabas Culture, seeks to promote and recognize HealthKeeperz team members who have served our company, our patients, and our people by being a Barnabas.
Colleagues recognized at our quarterly and annual Barnabas Awards contribute to the HealthKeeperz mission of caring for all people for the glory of God. The ultimate goal of the Barnabas Culture at HealthKeeperz is to build a community of caregivers who are caring, selfless, humble, and encourage their teammates.
In this series, Portraits of Barnabas, we are highlighting the winners of the award. In the last few months, we’ve honored Janet Locklear of our hospice services division, Timmie Stultz of home medical equipment, community health educator Tito Massol, and Hortensia Ray Alston-Hayes of our northeastern NC office. Today, let’s enjoy a look at the life and work of hospice’s Kayla Johnson, winner of a our first quarterly Barnabas Award for 2018.
Winning a Barnabas Award is often a shock for the humble folks selected for this honor, and Kayla is no exception. “I was shocked when I found out that I won,” she said, “but I was grateful. It makes me feel appreciated and that my hard work doesn’t go unnoticed by my teammates and the company.”
Kayla is part of the outstanding hospice team, consistently recognized for its excellence in caring for patients and their families facing what for many is the toughest time in life, that time just before death. “Our bond is what makes us special as a hospice team, as well as the love that we share for our patients,” said Kayla. “Our team is more like a family than a group of co-workers. We all have good days and bad days, but we are always there to support each other, no matter what.”
And that “no matter what” can be quite daunting to face, day-in, day-out. “Different people relate to different situations in different ways,” she explained, when asked about why some folks on the team may need an uplift some days, while others may need it on other days. “Right now, we have a baby on hospice. That can be especially difficult on those of us who are parents or grandparents. Other times, you might care for a patient your same age, and that can have a really heavy effect on you.”
To care for all hospice patients and their families for the glory of God takes a lot of prayer, according to Johnson: “Every morning we have a call and pray with one of our chaplains, James Chavis and Bob Bulls. We always pray for our patients, our family, and our team, and if someone is out sick, we pray for them and then check in with them and care for their needs, even if it’s an encouraging phone call or text.”
To Kayla, the best part of working at HealthKeeperz is the opportunity to serve others. “Working with our patients and their families is so rewarding, as we are able to be there for them during a difficult time in their lives,” she explained. “Every touch matters.”
Let’s take a look at what her teammates at HealthKeeperz had to say about Kayla and her work.
Humble: “Kayla has gone far above and beyond the call of a social worker,” said one of her hospice teammates. “Recently, hospice had a patient die, and the husband was left all alone, with no children or siblings there for him. Kayla took it upon herself to comfort him and follow him to the funeral home to make sure the arrangements were taken care of correctly. She knew that he had a form of dementia, and she wanted to make sure he was able to communicate with them.”
Selfless: In helping the husband struggling with dementia, Kayla spent more than three-and-a-half hours with him to help him deal with the loss of his wife, and all of the decisions he needed to make in the aftermath.
Caring: One of her teammates says that “there is no doubt that Kayla Johnson cares deeply for others, and I believe she does so for the glory of God.”
Encouraging: Kayla’s positivity and genuine personality help others to stay strong. “Kayla will brighten up your day with that genuine smile she carries on her face, any time you come in contact with her. I just believe that in all she does she shows Barnabas characteristics.”
The HealthKeeperz family would like to again congratulate Kayla Johnson, an example of the generosity of spirit that brings out the best in all of us at HealthKeeperz. We are so proud of her positive contribution to the lives of her teammates and patients every day.
Stay tuned to learn more about our other previous Barnabas Award winners in the coming months.
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.