He was a new member of our choir when he offered a solo rendition of How Great Thou Art. The strong, mellow baritone voice filled the sanctuary with sonerous sounds and a feeling of awe.
On Friday a gathering of friends, family and church family sang this very hymn in honor of yet another of our members who left us to sing in Heaven’s choir, after many years of loyal service in our church.
Laurie will be so missed by so many and I, for one, could feel his presence on Friday as we sang his favorite hymn, How Great Thou Art.
Awhile back I posted a poem written by my sister about the passing of her pet dog, Farleigh. Today I’d like to share her poem to Jesse, another pet she said goodbye to.
In Remembrance of Jessie
November 16, 1989 – April 24, 2001
When you flashed me a look from your smiling Jessie eyes
I knew you were telling me your last goodbyes
You were telling me not to grieve
Now that the time had come for you to leave
When you flashed me a look from your sweet smiling eyes
The time we spent together went by fast
I can see you again as I look back over the past
The games of ball we used to play
You kept me playing night and day
You never seemed to tire
We walked the lake on days both hot and cold
We both walked slower as we grew old
We ate ice cream cones all year long
You listened while I played a song
On an accordion no longer new
You served humanity in a very special way
You birthed twenty-one puppies and gave them all away
To CVC to do their best
I hope that most passed the test
And became the best dog guides that they could be
Now that God has called you home
I walk the lake alone
I still think of you
And the things we used to do
And I’ll always remember your smiling Jessie eyes
©Mary Frances Martin
Last week I received a call from a friend of ages past. We had quite a chat, catching up on each other’s lives and making plans to reconnect over lunch in the nicer weather.
Of all the words spoken by my old friend, what stood out the most was, “I’m lonely.”
This lady had spent a good part of her life raising children and welcoming grandchildren. She enjoys Sunday worship and coffee time afterwards but then goes home to an empty apartment. She reaches out to family and friends via telephone but seldom do we reach out to her.
What do to do about loneliness? Obviously the answer is to be aware of these people and make a point of remembering that they do exist and are in need of friendship and caring.
It was a reminder that there are those whose lives would benefit greatly from a telephone call, a visit, an invitation to lunch…whatever it takes to ease the pain of loneliness.
The lonely are everywhere…in our churches, families, public places, long term care facilities, hospitals…everywhere. If you are suffering from loneliness, do what my friend did, make that call and say, “I am lonely”.
Are you fortunate enough to have a happy happening in your life this weekend? For me it is going to be a multicolored weekend of fun and family, feasting and celebrations. When I saw the picture of this tree it made me think of how blessed I am to have such a colorful life. Happy Saturday!
On Thursday I attended another end-of-life celebration. A dear friend in her 95th year had been declining for a few years after breaking a hip which never completely healed. This robbed her of her active life and eventually landed her into a long-term-care facility where each year she longed to be closer to her Maker.
Not long ago as I entered her room for a visit she called out, “Oh, Pat. I’m still here and I don’t know what to do.” “Well, Carol,” I replied, “there is a long line of people waiting at the gates of Heaven and you will just have to be patient and wait your turn.”
Carol had been very active in our church and community for over sixty years and as one of our elders, cared deeply for those in her care. She, too, had been a comforting visitor to many people and had seen many of her friends climb that stairway to heaven.
I had the opportunity and pleasure of meeting her two sons and daughter on many occasions while visiting Carol. Their love for their mother was very evident in the way they each attended to her needs at various times. There was affection, gentle chiding, wholesome conversation and endless hours of just being with her. They were always standing by her side.
Yesterday I heard that wonderful song, “Stand by Me” and it brought tears to my eyes as Carol and her devoted family came into my mind.
Don’t we all need somebody to Stand by Me? Enjoy this rendition from many parts of our world and have a Happy Saturday.
Sunday…another day to give thanks, especially on our Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. Thanks for family, friends, food, fun, safety, blessings and all good things.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1
These words are from the book, “The Prayer of Jabez” by Bruce Wilkinson, taken from 1 Chronicles 4:10 (NKJV).
“Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.
Let me tell you what happened to me within a nine year period of repeating that prayer:
Two grandsons were added to my twelve grandchildren, seven girls and five boys, evening up the genders. Five of these granddaughters blessed me with nine great-grandchildren with a tenth due in November.
I became an Elder in my church and have fifteen families in my territory, and am available for prayer, information, or help in some way. As a member of our Pastoral Care team there are many opportunities to be of service to those who experience some of life’s difficulties as shut-ins, hospital patients and long-term care residents.
In between times I survived lung cancer, a heart attack, and the death of a spouse. Several other health issues have assailed me over the years and I’m still here.
As you can see, my territory has been enlarged, His hand has been with me, and I have been blessed indeed.
On this day, whether alone or with friends and family…whether you have great plans or small, rise to the occasion and have a happy Saturday.
Whether you are happy or sad, may your Sunday be blessed with the love that binds. To my family and friends…I love you…just saying.
Picture from Cardinal Cottage
I love how the steeple has its own space amid the trees. This is where I spend my Sundays with my church family, one of whom took this photo; another instance of seeing more than you are looking at. Surely the Lord is in this place. Genesis 28:16