A daily Christian thought from:
ACP, The Church for the American Christian who is a Patriot
Pro-Christ, Pro-Life, Pro-Constitution.
Pastor Rev. Robert M., Bob, Celeste ACP
Associate Pastor Mr. Steve Burzlaff ACP
Friday December 10th, 2004
Although I was planning on a thought based on the feasts for today, Pastor Bob has sort of redirected my subject to one that is very current and a very real situation for my family.
1 John 3:10: In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
If we are not doing what God directs us, the whole world sees it and you can bet they are ready to point fingers. How can we claim to love God if we do not love our parents enough to care for them?
First a little background: The caregiver issue for my in-laws has changed in the past five years. At first they were generally able to handle their daily lives with just a little assistance. There was a lady who came in and helped with some meal preparation and cleanup and maybe a shower for my mother-in-law. Janice provided the majority of this as the kids were younger and home schooling was simple. Then came more crises in their lives such as strokes and heart surgery followed by rehabilitation. We still took care of the majority of their care, but it was taking a toll on our family. Individual family situations with Janice's sisters had left us as the caregivers, with her making the decisions and then following through on implementation.
Their continually deteriorating health required more and more assistance in their daily living to the point they now require 24/7 care. You see my father-in-law was 90 this past October and my mother-in-law was 83 in August. He is doing much more for them than would be expected considering his age. However she was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease eight years ago. On top of that, she is legally blind, so her care is much more demanding than his.
Ephesians 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
As young Christians we read Paul's admonition to the church at Ephesus, nodded our heads in agreement and went on, wondering how this could ever be even questioned. Our parents, grandparents, Sunday School teachers, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters all pounded this into our heads. Now let us speed forward a few years to the present. We have just spent a day in the local hospital ER with my father-in-law and I am getting ready (I am writing this on Thursday morning) to take him to their family physician this afternoon. He fell on Sunday night after dinner and although he did not break anything, he was bruised and shaken.
Many think we are slightly off our rocker to go to the extremes we have to keep them in their own house rather than placing them in a nursing home. After all we are told, they would receive professional care there. Which is best, professional care in an institution, or loving care in their own home? Before time and age started playing the cruel tricks of dementia with my father-in-law, he repeatedly told us he wished to remain at home. There was no little caveat on the end, "as long as possible," he wanted to stay at home. Although he is not my biological father, he is the father of my wife and is now my father-in-law and my own dad told me years ago that I was to treat my in-laws as I would want my own parents treated.
1 Timothy 5:
1: Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;
2: The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.
3: Honour widows that are widows indeed.
4: But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.
5: Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.
6: But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.
7: And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless.
8: But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
Again, we are being told to take care of our family - no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Although my in-laws are not physically in my house, they technically are. My mother-in-law is not a widow, but her husband of nearly 61 years is not mentally capable of caring for her. You see, several years ago they started having some serious health problems and had a document drafted up by an attorney. That document is a Power-of-Attorney. Talk about a life changing event. By having her name on the PoA and by virtue of her marrying me 32 years ago, I am now obliged to provide for my in-laws. Don't take this wrong, we discussed it in depth to decide on what our responsibilities would be long before the time came to exercise the PoA in their affairs so we knew what was coming.
16: If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.
You can see Paul carries this theme of caring for the elderly of our family through the entire chapter making it clear that it is my responsibility to make sure that my parents are cared for.
Now let us see how we came to where we are in their journey with us as their caregivers: First and foremost, when you're making a decision regarding their care, always pray about it, seek wise counsel, then make the decision, as long as it is made in the love of a servant and not for selfish motivations you will make it without regrets. If each step of the way is not bathed in prayer you are heading towards failure. You must ask the Lord to help you. He'll do it.
Part of caring is providing and planning now for the future. Do not wait until the doctor tells you that your mom has broken her hip and will require special care for the rest of her time here on earth. Do not wait until the doctor calls and tells you that your dad who was always the provider for his family now has Alzheimer's Disease and can no longer safely manage their finances as he is giving their money to anyone who asks for a handout and cannot drive as he is a danger not only to himself, but especially to others. What I am telling you is to have these talks with your spouse and then have the talk with parents, and parents you need to have these talks with your children. Don't delay your plans for what you must do when your loved ones need you the most. Remember it is our biblical responsibility to care for our aging family members. Plan now for tomorrow.
When the time comes for action you and your siblings must be in total agreement. If you have ever served on a jury than you know the effort involved in negotiating. This is the toughest part, but you must stick to your guns. Are your siblings Washed in the Blood Born Again Believers, or are they CHRISTmas Christians who only give lip service to their Heavenly Father.
When your parents get to the point they cannot remain alone what choices are there? For us there was only one option. Home care for them. Home care is wonderful but it is costly both in dollars and cents and in energy and the change of lifestyle it brings. In other words there is a 100% commitment required. If they are in their home and require an oxygen generator, what do you do if the electricity fails during an ice storm? What about an alternate heat source? You have to plan for all contingencies.
This brings us another point - caregivers. Planning for them. What happens if the caregiver needs care? It happens. The lady now living with them is having some health problems. How long will she remain? That is an unknown at this time. We are looking for help in this area. We contacted a local senior care assistance center, placed an ad in the local paper, and have prayed unceasingly for the replacement. Now we are waiting for the answers to the prayers. Somewhere there is a young lady, maybe a single mother who is seeking and desiring serving the Lord. What better way to do so than this? What an example she would be to her own daughter. Is the daughter a teenager? Let her see how we care for Janice's parents and how her mother grows to love and nurture them in her own special way. A great inheritance for her to receive.
If you have aging parents but they are still active and fit and they're still doing wonderful things in their life, thank God every day, but also plan for that day when you will need to put your plans into use. Don't be caught short.
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May the Lord understand the importance of Mac, Cecily, Steve, and Rev. Jim Marstaller to this ministry. Lord I need them both healthy and able to continue to hold up their ends. Lord this cancer of Mac's is starting to get in the way, this ministry needs him whole, just a thought Lord, is all it will take, just a thought on Your part.
There is a young man, a veteran who suffers from some kind of chemical weapon exposure, in a Veterans hospital in Colorado, he is young, and he is Saved, yet his wife just abandoned him. Please pray for him, Lord, help him and deal with her and those who hurt him, we ask this of the Father in Your name Lord Jesus, amen.
The Lord our God, Christ Jesus, be with and bless you all, amen.
The difference between a true preacher and a false preacher comes down to this. The true preacher uses God's word to convict of sin, the false preacher twist God's word to justify sin. The Lord our God, Christ Jesus be with you always, amen.
The Lord our God, Christ Jesus, be with you all and please keep your pastor and me in your prayers. Amen. My prayer daily is "Lord please bless those tenfold who bless me."
Pray for the President, pray for Attorney General John Ashcroft, pray for me, pray for all those who open their mouths or take pen in hand in an effort to sway public opinion.
The Lord God of the Universe, Messiah Y'shua be with you all, amen.
It is better to be a horse fly in the stables of the Lord Jesus than the CEO of hell.
All Scripture quoted, in both sermons and daily thoughts, except when done by a guest, is from the ACP/authorized 1611 King James Version. The words in red are those quotes of God the Son, the Lord Jesus and the words in purple are those qoutes spoken directly by God the Father and the words in this sickly greenish color are of satan. But all of the Bible is spoken by God and should be viewed as God's handbook for us to run our lives by 2 Timothy 3:16.
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