ACTIVE AGING WEEK

tl-9-25-active-aging-weekOther people see the persona we present.  We are able to hide many things, including bad attitudes from others – but God knows everything, doesn’t He?dont-be-finished

That means He knows when I just want to stay in my jammies and write the day away.  When the pain in my head, joints or nerves is just too bad to try to exercise on gym day, I think it’s time to find a new way…

use-your-gifts

If you have sciatica, you will understand that when it kicks up, you don’t always want to go workout at the gym.  It feels like a red -hot poker is right beside your sciatic nerve.  I’m not always diggin’ on exercise.  When it’s particularly painful, as it is now – there is also substantial weakness in my leg.  I could be walking and my leg can just “give away” – it buckles!  Sometimes I wonder how much more fun this condition will be as I get older.  At 55 I can usually work through the pain and do a victory dance when I’m done.  Will I be able to do that at 65 or 75???  Well…  time will tell.

dont-quit

We’re all doing the best we can with these bodies God gave us.  Have you ever wondered if God gives you difficult days so you will slow down and be active in a different way?  Maybe active doesn’t always refer to physical activity.  Of course, it encompasses that…  but people who are not in physical condition to run marathons should not feel that they cannot be used of God.  That is certainly not true.

  • Active aging may include mental focus.  I read an article recently about a senior who lived alone.  A veteran, he lived with just one leg.  He wanted to make a difference in someone’s life and prayed that God would open the door of opportunity.  It didn’t take the Lord long to answer his prayer.  A young mother with a son in elementary school lived in the apartment upstairs.  They had just moved in.  The mother worked 3 jobs to make ends meet.  The man offered to have the son stay with him, and help him with homework until his mom got home.  He not only helped take care of the young boy, but learned all about the dreaded common core math.  Just what we all want to do, right?  I’m sure along with homework, the man told the boy some war stories and shared U.S. history with him.
  • Active aging may include sharing.  Whether you are able to share your time, talent or treasure, there are ways you can share.  The church I grew up in had VBS every summer.  Through the years, I knew that some of the teacher’s faces would be familiar and some would drop out after a year or two.  One senior woman was there every year – our church librarian.  Mrs. Little believed that books about the church, it’s beliefs, and God Himself were like bridges that young people could cross to gain wisdom that would reinforce other teaching.  She encouraged us to be curious.  I used to go into the library just to chat with her.  She always had such wonderful insight when it came to recommending books to read.  It was like she already knew what I needed to read before I walked in the door.  She would not have had to share her time, talent or treasure (as I think most of the books came from her own collection).  I believe being church librarian was her passion and she experienced fulfillment in the ministry.  As she got older, Mrs. Little was nearly blind.  She was not discouraged and had some help, but she did not quit.
  • Active aging may include helping.  While it’s important to emphasize that nobody should be giving money away on facebook or giving out their personal information to anyone else – EVER…  I do think there are legitimate ways to help that are relatively safe.  My friend never had children, but read an advertisement for a pregnancy crisis center.  She had some health issues such as asthma that made it difficult to exercise much, but she felt led to answer the charity’s plea for help.  It happens that she was one of their best counselors and the most patient.  She gave rock solid, sound advice to young women in crisis.
  • Active aging may include teaching.  Seniors know more than young people, and the youth are missing a wealth of information by ignoring what they have to teach them.  My friend was a pianist for a church and in a few gospel groups through the years.  As she got older, arthritis began to invade her joints, including the joints in her hands.  She knew it was a matter of time until she would be unable to serve effectively, but she still had the knowledge to teach children.  She said there is nothing more rewarding than to teach and see the “light bulb light up” in a child’s eyes when they understand what you’re trying to teach.  My friend, crippled with arthritis, could still teach.
  • Active aging may include praying.  Last on my list, but by no means the least!  Prayer warriors are the backbone of families, churches, communities and nations!  Never underestimate the value of a sincere prayer from a prayer warrior.  Never think that as a senior, it’s time to be put to pasture.  God hears each and every prayer you pray.  Even if you have bad knees and can’t kneel anymore…  God understands!  He made you, so surely He forgives when you don’t kneel anymore.  Prayer is humility toward our maker and He looks forward to hearing them.

If you think that Active Aging Week is just about lifting weights or riding a bike from one end of the city to the other…  think again.  These bodies are so fragile and frail…  and they don’t get stronger as time passes.  Please know that our Lord is aware of how the aging process works.  He is not surprised by it, and I don’t think most of us are either.  Just put your life and your body in His hands.  He will help you to make the best of aging.  I plan to be active as I age, don’t you?  🙂

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NATIONAL POETRY MONTH

TL - APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTHGentlemen, if you really want to do something special for your lady, take her to the park, sit on a bench together and start reciting poetry to her.  Okay, I see you rolling your eyes at me – hey, I tried!

April is National Poetry Month, so of course this blog has to celebrate!

I love a poem that says what my heart feels.  It puts into words all the thoughts and feelings I have.  This poem fills the bill:

When I say, “I am a Christian”

by Carol Wimmer

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not shouting, “I’ve been saved!”
I’m whispering, “I get lost!
That’s why I chose this way”.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I don’t speak with human pride
I’m confessing that I stumble –
Needing God to be my guide

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not trying to be strong
I’m professing that I’m weak
And pray for strength to carry on.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not bragging of success
I’m admitting that I’ve failed
And cannot ever pay the debt.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I don’t think I know it all
I submit to my confusion
Asking humbly to be taught.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I’m not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are all too visible
But God believes I’m worth it.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache,
Which is why I seek His name.

When I say, “I am a Christian”

I do not wish to judge
I have no authority…
I only know I’m loved

Lucinda Berry Hill has written poetry that connects with people.  She writes from the heart and is so open and honest.  Have you ever wondered what her first poem was???  It so happens I have it – right here….  yep – you saw it HERE first!  😉  She wrote this in the summer of 1976 after making a traumatic move from her home state of New York, leaving family  and friends at 12 years old – to Pennsylvania.  APRIL IS POETRY MONTH - THIS IS LBH'S FIRST POEM. I HOPE WE MEET AGAIN

BLESSINGS FROM PAIN

MY PEN-PALGLORY TO MY PARTNERShe also wrote 2 poems that were created using titles from both her books, “Coffee with Jesus” and “A Second Cup with Jesus”.BE BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE GOD'S CHOICE

FINDING HOME WITH A GOD OF ALWAYS

Poetry describes a situation you find yourself in and will hopefully spark something in others that makes them say, “Oh, I’ve been there too” or “That was surely a GOD thing!”  I wrote a poem that did just that a few years ago.  Hope you relate to this:

CONVERSATION ABOUT HEAVENApparently, I’m not the only one who has experienced this!  The first time I posted this on facebook, it got close to 100 LIKES and several shares – it blew me away!  🙂

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDDo you have a neighbor that doesn’t receive many visitors this time of year?  Loneliness is at epidemic proportions during the Christmas season.  It’s sad that some folks are overly busy while others are just seemingly forgotten.  😦

Most of our neighbors are surrounded by family – and often!  Our little circle drive is crammed full of cars almost every weekend – and that is a good thing!  We see the signs of life all around us in our neighborhood – everyone is alive and well around here.

But I have to ask myself – who is my neighbor?  Is it just the family on my immediate block?  We all know the answer to that question – of course it isn’t.  Our neighbors are everyone around us.  There is a senior living complex less than five miles from my house and it’s fun to go there to sing Christmas Carols.  Seniors are often alone and it means so much to them to be remembered.

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As we prepare our hearts and minds for the birthday of Christ, we will obviously remember the youth in our lives with gifts and good deeds.  Shouldn’t we also remember the aged among us just as much?  Yes, Christmas is for children – but it’s also for the elderly.  It’s for everyone!

A CHRISTMAS EMBRACERemember the story of Simeon?  All he wanted to do was see the world’s Salvation before he died.  He got to hold the Christ Child – and he said that he saw Him and could die in peace.  Let’s show the seniors around us the ways of Christ – His joy, love, mercy and peace.  Let’s show them the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  – Galatians 5:22-23

As we prepare our hearts and minds for the birthday of Christ the King, let’s include all of our neighbors of every stage of life in our celebration.  God loves us all so very much – that’s why Christ was born!  🙂

DAY TRIPPIN’ AROUND KANSAS

DAY TRIPPIN' AROUND KANSAS

Is it silly to want to take a trip out to Applejack Pumpkin Patch if you don’t have small children with you?  Can I tell you a secret???  I’ve never actually been to a pumpkin patch before.  I suppose it’s because I don’t have kids – but the second part of that secret is…  I’ve always wanted to visit a pumpkin patch!  It just looks like a lot of fun!  Having fun is not a sin – last time I checked.

So, this photo, taken just outside of the Applejack Pumpkin Patch is of my friend, Susan.  She posted it on facebook and I wanted to post it here today.  I love it when my Wichita friends post their day trips (even though I think she was technically on the job – which explains the vest).  I appreciate her giving me permission to share it with you.

The Minion Hay Bale... LOL!!!
Susan & the giant Minion Hay Bale… LOL!!!

I’m so thankful she posted this because we drove past it on the way to an antique store just a few days ago – and did I have my camera???  Well of course I didn’t!!!  I was kicking myself from that moment on.  I even suggested we take another trip just to get a photo of this.  That idea was not met with a great deal of enthusiasm, to say the least.  :-/

Applejack Pumpkin Patch is in Augusta, Kansas.  They have a facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/Applejack-Pumpkin-Patch-306961532736120/

There are scheduled activities and loads of fun for everyone (even the childless – well – probably).  I may not have kids – but I feel as though I’m still a kid myself…  for better or worse!

I’ve seen bales of hay made into a lot of different things – I must admit this is the first Minion I’ve seen – how creative is that?  Usually we see hay bales made into  jack-O-Lanterns…  you know, painted orange with the scary black face – that’s usually what we see.

Susan’s husband posted that if she had her way, Susan would take this giant Minion hay bale home with her and put it in their front yard.  I replied by saying, “She would be fighting ME for it – LOL!!!”  In reality, could you imagine either one of us – or both of us together – lifting that thing???  I’d say the argument is moot at best, wouldn’t you?

If you would like more information about Applejack Pumpkin Patch, click on this link:  http://applejackpumpkinpatch.com/activities/

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I enjoy living in Kansas, especially this time of year!  We have a lot of farms, which means we have tons of corn mazes, apple festivals, fall harvest celebrations and of course, pumpkin patches!  Now, we apparently have added a giant Minion hay bale to the list.  Does it get any better than that?  I think not!  Wink!  😉

 

BOXING DAY

TL 12-26 BOXING DAY

12-26 BOXING DAY EVERY DAYBoxing Day last year:

Today in England, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and other former British commonwealth countries, they are celebrating a legal holiday known as BOXING DAY!  It’s also known as St. Stephan’s Day because churches opened their collection boxes to the poor.   The holiday developed because servants were required to work on Christmas day, but took the following day off. As servants prepared to leave to visit their families, their employers would present them with gift boxes.

 During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz. I breezed through the questions until I read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?” Surely this was a joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade. “Absolutely,” the professor said. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello.” I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.   – JoAnn C. Jones, Guideposts, January 1996

In the Middle Ages, members of the merchant class would take boxes and fill them with food and fruits to give to servants, tradespeople and the less fortunate.  Servants worked on Christmas Day, so the day after Christmas they would be given a day off to celebrate.

 Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.  – Seneca

Today Boxing Day is celebrated by filling boxes with food and clothing for the needy and doing volunteer work.  Monetary donations to various organized charities are also common.

If Christmas falls on a Friday or Saturday, Boxing Day is celebrated the next Monday.

We are told in the Bible that the poor will always be with us.

  For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.  – Mark 14:7

Sometimes people use this verse as an excuse to withhold charitable contributions because they argue that it will do no good – the poor will be with us always.  I think the actual point Christ was making was that He would not always be amongst man on earth in human form.  Yes, the poor will be here, just as the rich people will be here.  Whether we are rich or poor, we have choices to make.  We as individuals will be held accountable for the choices we make.  It all comes down to what we believe is the right thing to do and what we are taught is the right thing to do.

God smiles on His children who share.

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.  –  2 Corinthians 9:7

We give in secret.  Give quietly and shhh…  don’t tell.

 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.  –  Matthew 6:4

THE FAMILY ACROSS THE WAY

While I believe alms refers to the tithes  and offerings given to the church, the same application should be made to charitable giving.  Here in the U.S.A. we don’t celebrate Boxing Day, but we still need to keep in mind that not every family had a Merry Christmas!  We (and I’m pointing to myself too) need to try to find those who are struggling and help them if we possibly can.  Wouldn’t it be a great idea to make Boxing Day a day of giving to those less fortunate?

I give because it’s the only concrete way I have of saying that I’m glad to be alive and that I can earn my daily bread doing what I love.  Giving… puts our focus back where it belongs – on the lives we lead, the families we raise, the communities which nurture us.  – Stephen King

People have all sorts of motives for giving (tax breaks, bragging rights, getting on someone’s good side), but remember God knows the heart and the motive.  I have a personal belief that once you are praised by people or receive any payment or compensation, you lose your reward from God.  Humility has to be a key element of real giving – be humble and quiet.  God knows and His reward is sufficient for your life and His blessings will sustain you.  He gives the best rewards, doesn’t He?  To my friends celebrating Boxing Day – have a wonderful day!  🙂

 

I like the idea that God has a box packed with everything I will ever need – don’t you?

It’s not too late to order your copy of Lucinda Berry Hill’s new devotional book!  Everybody needs a new devotional book to begin this new year, right?

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Click on the link below to get your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx 

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (16)

INGREDIENTS FOR A PERFECT DAY

http://youtu.be/7DFo-mIa47A
I love quilts and really like the name of this quilt. I wish I was gifted in this way, but at least I have the one granny and mama made. It’s my most cherished possession.

The word perfect often brings a note of doubt to mind, but this day came very close to being perfect in my humble opinion. Here’s my recipe for a perfect day.

So often we take the weather for granted when it is this nice. I can honestly say after the long winter months, I do not under appreciate near perfection anymore. I don’t believe I’ll ever take that big bright ball in the sky called the SUN for granted again! The first ingredient in this recipe is serendipity. Begin the day grateful for blessings, you will surely find many wonderful things to be thankful for.

When was the last time you looked at the good and thanked God for it? You can admire and enjoy the good around you, but until you take a moment to bow before the Creator and voice your thanks, it’s just admiration and enjoyment. The second ingredient in this recipe is thanksgiving.

Once you have thanked God for the good around you, is there someone you can remind to do the same? Maybe there is someone in your life who is looking down or so involved in other things that they have not noticed the good around them. How great would it be if you could take a moment to point out the good when they don’t see it before them. The third ingredient in this recipe is sharing.

Once you have mixed the serendipity, thanksgiving and sharing in a large bowl, bake it in the warmth of God’s love all day long. Keep a big smile on your face and your batch of near perfect will bake up nicely. If you make quilts, maybe you’d like to make them a Serendipity quilt! That would remind them to invite God’s goodness into their lives. You know when we are thankful and have a serendipitous attitude about life, it makes it easier to face the more unpleasant things that happen in life.

My little recipe costs nothing to make, it is calorie-free and it won’t raise your blood glucose, blood pressure or cholesterol at all. ❤

MERRY CHRISTMAS

 

TL MERRY CHRISTMAS

Didn’t Bob Hope teach us all how to live? With humor, trusting that God will take care of us. He gave selflessly and was a blessing to all around him.

No matter how much I give – God gives back to me ten-fold. Now, let me stop right there. By “give” I do not necessarily mean money. I do not mean that if I give a chunk of change to a charity that God will reimburse me. That is NOT what I’m saying. I am not telling you that you will prosper financially. I am, however, telling you that my soul feels greatly prospered when I give of my time, talents and maybe some treasure. My soul is richer for giving. And God gives to me in a number of different ways. He rewards the good work we do.

I’m also not encouraging anyone to give and give to others and ignore your own needs. I don’t believe God would have us do that at all. We do need to take care of ourselves and our families. God has entrusted us with a precious charge when He allows us to be in a family. It is imperative that you first take care of your family. But we do need to be aware of the needs surrounding us outside our own family as well.

The Bible tells us that the poor will always be among us and that’s why being involved in charity work is such a rewarding opportunity. It’s a chance to do for others and lay your own “needs” (which are sometimes actually “wants”) aside to help someone else.

It’s true, you really can not out-give God. This season of giving could be a great opportunity to share what God has blessed you with. Do you have time to give to a lonely neighbor? Do you have a God-given talent for something that you could do for someone? Do you have a little extra treasure you could share with someone else? I’ll bet if you prayed and asked God, He would put someone on your heart that you could help this Christmas season. ❤