Category: Assisted Living

Joy in the Morning with Pastor Laura!

Let them thank the Lord for his faithful love and his wondrous works for all people. Let them offer
thanksgiving sacrifices and declare what God has done in songs of joy! Psalm 107:21-22 (CEB)

One of the most provocative questions that I have ever heard asked is, “What if you wake up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?” I suspect that for most of us, waking up to a world that included only what we had remembered to give thanks for would be a very rude awakening.

Years ago, I regularly shopped at a family-owned bakery. Whenever I picked up my order, there would always be an extra cookie and a handwritten note of thanks on the receipt. One day, I picked up my order and discovered that there was no extra cookie and no note. I was so disappointed and called the shop to make sure the family hadn’t sold the shop or that something wasn’t wrong. They assured me that all was well and said that since I had never acknowledged the cookie or note they assumed I didn’t care for them, so they stopped including them so as not to offend me.

What an eye-opener! They had been expressing their thanks for my business all along, but I had taken their generosity and thoughtfulness for granted and had not offered them my gratitude. In that small way, I really did wake up in a world where I only had what I had been thankful for, and it was very disappointing. The world needs a lot more gratitude, both given and received – it really does matter.

THANK YOU for you being great neighbors, colleagues, and friends. It is an honor and a joy to serve as your Chaplain. Have a blessed and joy-filled Thanksgiving! — Chaplain Laura

October Series: Faith

Living by Faith

The writer of Hebrews defines faith as “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)

Almost everyone lives by faith although they may not be conscious they are doing so; however, not everyone has their faith rooted in God. Some go to sleep at night believing they will wake up in the morning, and the sun will be shining because they have faith in the laws of nature. Others get sick but trust that they will recover because they have faith in their doctors, drugs, or the strength of their health. Even lawbreakers have faith in their ability to get by without being caught.

On the other hand, faith that is rooted in God is based on two foundations. . . first, that there is a God who is the creator of all things, and secondly, that He can be trusted to keep his promises.


  • By faith we can be saved from sin by God’s abundant grace.
  • By faith we can trust God to provide for all our needs.
  • By faith we know that God will work for our good in every circumstance we face.
  • By faith we can come into God’s presence through prayer at any and all times.
  • By faith we can overcome the temptation to do wrong and lead a victorious life.
  • By faith we can look forward to new life in an eternal home in heaven when our earthly journey
  • ends.

In fact, it is impossible to please God without faith, and it is equally impossible to live
peacefully, joyfully, and hopefully at all times without faith in the living God.

The question isn’t whether we are living by faith, but is our faith rooted and grounded in God who
is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within
us.” (Ephesians 3:20)

October Series: Faith

The Faith of a Saint

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. — Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV)

This month’s articles will be on the topic of faith, and since the month of October is also the Season of Saints, it seems like a perfect time to consider what sort of faith it takes to become a saint. Growing up, I thought saints must be otherworldly in their faith, perform astounding miracles, or martyr themselves for the faith. Certainly, there are plenty of saints who have done these things, but I am learning that most saints are very much like you and me. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure that many of you have already attained the unofficial title of saints in the way that you have lived out your faith through your life.

So what makes a saint? The official process is quite complicated and lengthy and is certainly fascinating. Several years back, I started learning about the official process by following the progress toward sainthood of one of my icons of the faith, Dorothy Day. My curiosity about the saints continued to grow, and in January, I subscribed to an online daily devotional, Saint of the Day, to learn more. Each day, I read a brief biography of a saint along with a devotional based upon their life. I am amazed every day not by how extraordinary their lives were, but much more often by how ordinary their lives were, yet they each have made a lasting impact. By and large, the saints are not people who are endowed with astounding gifts; they are people who use whatever ordinary gifts God gives them to live out their faith wherever they are. Whatever they do, it is done for the glory of God. And we can do that, too!

Some saints were great orators or healers or gave their lives for their faith. One of my favorites, Catherine of Siena, was best known for her letter-writing. One of Saint Philip Neri’s greatest traits was his joyfulness in life. And there are Saints Louis Martin and Zélie Guérin, the parents of Saint Therese of Lisieux, who were a watchmaker and lace-maker respectively, and whose biographies as saints record that they created a home that “nurtured the sanctity of all their children.”

Most saints remind me of someone who has influenced me and helped to grow my faith — some of them you would recognize as our neighbors here at Epworth Villa. Who has been a saint in your life? Who has taught you how to live your life faithfully and use your gifts all to the glory of God? Don’t look now — you just might be a saint, too!

I Sing a Song of the Saints of God
They lived not only in ages past;
there are hundreds of thousands still.
The world is bright with the joyous saints
who love to do Jesus’ will.
You can meet them in school, on the street,
in the store, in church, by the sea,
in the house next door.
They are saints of God, whether rich or poor,
and I mean to be one too!