Hello everybody, and welcome to our blog! My name is Timothy, and I am a hospital chaplain in Arizona. My wife Stephanie is a pianist who entertains staff and patients in the hospital, and helps me to deliver spiritual messages to patients.

  We both hope you’ll enjoy our devotional words of wisdom, as well as updates about our ministry in the hospital. My guide dog Ansel may even check in with his own observations every now and then! In the meantime, thanks for coming, and enjoy our first devotional post!

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
–James 4-14, NIV

  I heard a great little quote recently: “Life is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.” I believe that life is a gift that very few people unwrap slowly.

  When I was a young boy, I couldn’t wait to open my presents on Christmas Day. I would get up early that morning, hardly able to control my excitement. However, I always had to wait for the other members of my family to get up first. Then I had to take turns opening gifts with the rest of the family, so I spent many impatient minutes sitting there and wondering what joys my next present would hold. Once I finally got a gift in my hands I would tear it open, throwing the wrapping paper to one side. Many of my gifts didn’t satisfy me (like socks, for example), so I would go right on to the next one, hoping it would contain something better.

  By now I’m sure you’re thinking, “Does this little story have anything to do with the way I live my life?” Yes, I think it might. Far too many of us live our lives in much the same way.

  As a hospital chaplain, I face death and loss on a daily basis. Because of this, I have learned how wonderful life can be. Very few of us see the gifts that are right in front of us, and still fewer take the time to open them slowly and enjoy the moment. People who constantly hurry are just like I was on those long-ago Christmas mornings, always looking for something shiny and new, and throwing the wrapping paper of life to one side.

  I believe there are four easy ways to fully appreciate your life. Remember these four L’s–live, laugh, love and let–and your life can be much richer.

  Regardless of the circumstances you are facing, don’t let them stop you. God is much bigger than the challenges you encounter. This knowledge frees you up to live life to its fullest. I’m sure you’ve heard this kind of message before, but I know what I am talking about. My wife and I are both blind, and we overcome obstacles all the time. The hospital I work in has 12 floors, so it was difficult to get around at first. But knowing that God can see better than any of us helps me to navigate the halls and floors every day. So, when a seemingly insurmountable challenge comes along, remember that we all face challenges, and that with God all things are possible.

  Secondly, find something in your situation to laugh about. One of the nurses at the hospital likes to joke with me about how she puts chairs, computers and other obstacles in my path. I reply, “That’s okay–it keeps me awake!” The Bible says laughter is the best medicine, and I believe that a sense of humor is invaluable during good times and bad.

  Third, love others like today is the last day you have on this Earth. We are never guaranteed a tomorrow. Find ways to say “I love you” with and without words. I like to give my wife little notes, and do things that I know she will like very much. Besides returning these kindnesses, my wife helps me out by doing housework and cooking meals. There are countless ways to tell those you care about how much you love them. Knowing just how much God loves you will help you to love others more completely.

  This brings us to the final L. Let God be 100% in control of your life by asking Him to help you navigate this confusing world in which we live. Let Him help you face the problems that you can’t bear alone. With His help, you can turn obstacles into opportunities. Remember to unwrap all of life’s gifts every day, and enjoy each of God’s gifts as much as you can!