What Are You Doing to Thrive Today?

Many of us know Psalm 118:24 because it is a popular worship chorus to sing.  “This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Even though the Psalm was written for a national day of rejoicing, it can apply to every day of our life.  This day, the day we are living today, is a day which the LORD has made.  What we do with this day is a choice that we can make.  We can rejoice, be glad and see the opportunities to thrive today.

A friend sent me an uplifting writing about how they are viewing their day.  It reads:

“Today, when I awoke, I suddenly realized that this is the best day of my life. Ever!

There were times when I wondered if I would make it to today, but I did.  And because I did I’m going to celebrate!  Today, I’m going to celebrate what an unbelievable life I have had so far, the accomplishments, the many blessings, and, yes, even the hardships because they have served to make me stronger.

Today, I will share my excitement for life with other people.  I’ll make someone smile.  I’ll go out of my way to perform an unexpected act of kindness for someone I don’t even know.

Today, I will give a sincere compliment to someone who seems down.

Today is the day I quit worrying about what I don’t have and start being grateful for all the wonderful things God has already given me.

As the day ends, I will lay my head down on my pillow, I will thank God for the best day of my life.  I will sleep the sleep of a contented child, excited with expectation because I know tomorrow is going to be the best day of my life, ever!”

Chaplain Jeff

Thriving in Prayer

For the month of February we are going to practice THRIVING in prayer. As Believers, we are rooted in Jesus Christ and our way of communication with him is through prayer.

One way to THRIVE is to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path” Proverbs 3:5-6. Another way to THRIVE is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 where Paul encourages us “…to pray without ceasing..” in all the ups and downs of this life!

There are many ways in which we can THRIVE in prayer and I offer you four ways:

  1. Thriving in prayer in a quiet place – this ‘quiet’ can be difficult in our day and age, however, it does offer less distractions, and as we have conversation with God, we “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” 2 Peter 3:18.
  2. Thriving in prayer outdoors – Jesus prayed in the wilderness, on a mountain and in the Garden of Gethsemane. You and I can pray in the very same places as well as a park, a river or while hiking. I challenge you to pray Psalm 19 while hiking and gazing upon the sky, or Psalm 42 while meditating near a body of water or Psalm 62 while sitting on a rock and “ finding rest for your soul in God your rock and salvation”.
  3. Thriving in prayer with others – Matthew 18:20 is encouraging, “for where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them”. Praying together is a time for you and me to be in community with fellow image bearers, seeing the very image of God in each other and bringing the work and power of the Holy Spirit into community. What an opportunity you and I have to practice this in our homes! If you and I don’t pray with and for each other, how will we THRIVE?
  4. Thriving in prayer using images – If we are new to prayer or going through a difficult time in life and cannot find the words to pray, we can use images such as a picture, a poem, some memorabilia, a sunset, or a sunrise. Romans 8:26-27: “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good” (The Message).

This month of February, I challenge each one of you to pray and write down how you see yourself growing vigorously and flourishing in communication with God, yourself and others! Like a tree planted by the water, you will never run dry, living water flowing through you, you will thirst for more of God! (Paraphrased THRIVE by Casting Crowns).


Chaplain Val

An Invitation to Thrive

Last week I tended to some drooping plants.  Their leaves had faded and roots were failing. Some even had fallen over. These plants definitely were NOT doing well.  When doing well, they bloom, grow, and their color looks good. They reach up and engage with the environment. They thrive.

I know what thriving looks like for my plants, but what about for us?  We are beginning another calendar year when we consider what went well and what hasn’t, New Year’s resolutions, and hopes to better ourselves and lives.  But, …what does it mean to thrive?

We are struggling with so many challenges that seem to never end.   Family worries and discord    World crises and fighting.  Living paycheck to paycheck.   Asking “why am I here?  What is my purpose?” Boredom.  Letting go of ways of life that were familiar to us.  Often it can feel like we are simply surviving, just making it from day to day.

When his disciples were struggling, Jesus encouraged them saying, I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  (John 16).  Jesus reminds us that we can do more than survive.  We are meant to thrive.  God desires our lives to be filled with purpose and value even in a chaotic world.

With my plants, I made changes to help them.  And yes, they are doing better!   I encourage you to read Isaiah 35:1-10 for some great imagery about people and society thriving.  But how about for us? What does it mean to thrive at home, with family, at work?  What does thriving look like as a whole person: body, mind and spirit?  What does it mean to thrive as a resident in one of Baruch’s homes?  As a staff providing care?  What does it mean to thrive as a company dedicated to serving God by serving our elders?

Not only are we entering a new calendar year, but we are entering the year of Baruch’s 25th anniversary.  With God’s help and direction, and a lot of hard work from staff and residents, Baruch has thrived.  Our hope and prayer is that each resident and staff will thrive (not merely survive) in the coming year, and that Baruch will continue to thrive for the next 25 years.

Peace and Blessings,

Chaplain Karen