Growing Older Gracefully Archives 2015

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  • I'm Not Growing Older (poem) by John E. Roberts
  • A Heart of Love by Margaret Head
  • The Heart of Love (poem) by Margaret Head
  • A dedication to his mother by James Hendry 
  • The Forgotten Mother (poem)
  • Where Have The Grandmas Gone? by Traci Paseur
  • a Grandma poem

 

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“I’m Not Growing Old”

 

They say that I am growing old.

I’ve heard them say it times untold

In language plain and bold.

But I’m not growing old;

This frail old shell in which I dwell

Is growing old I know full well,

But I’m not growing old.

 

What if my hair has turned gray?

Gray hair is honorable, they say.

What if my eyesight’s growing dim?

I can still see to follow Him

Who sacrificed His life for me

There on the cross of Calvary.

 

Why should I care if time’s old plow

Has dug some furrows in my brow?

Another house, not made with hand,

Awaits me in the glory land.

My hearing may not be as keen

As in the past, it may have been;

Still, I can hear my Savior say

Come faltering child, this is the way.

 

The outward man, do what I can

To lengthen out this life’s short span,

Shall perish and return to dust

As everything in nature must.

But the inward man the Scriptures say,

Ah, the inward man

Is growing stronger every day.

 

Then how can I be growing old?

I’m safe within the Savior’s fold.

‘Er long my soul shall fly away

And leave this tenement of clay.

This robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise

To seize the everlasting prize.

I’ll meet you on the streets of gold

And prove that I’m not growing old.

 

— John E. Roberts

 
Are you growing younger?

Wherefore we faint not; but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is for the moment, worketh for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2Co 4:16-18)

 

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A Heart of Love

by Margaret Head 

 

As we allow the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God, to direct our minds in this study, may we candidly examine our hearts to see if we might be found lacking in our love for one another and thus, for Jesus and our Holy Father. 

 

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you - unless, of course, you fail the test? 2 Corinthians 13:5 IF Christ Jesus is in us, we will love as He loves. Even though this is a tough test we are about to take, this is what God expects of us. So, perhaps it would be of utmost spiritual value to examine our hearts to find out whether or not we are willing to be tested at this time. Are we willing to risk loving like Christ loves? The following scriptures will help us determine if, and where, we are falling short of perfection in this area, if indeed we are.

 

A worthless love is a superficial, feigned love:          

If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I GAIN NOTHING. 1 Corinthians 13:3  The Holy Spirit shows us an extreme here that drives home the message that a life without proper love is a spiritually failed life. It amounts to nothing!

 

So exactly what kind of love do we have to embrace if we are to pass the test?

 

Genuine love:

 

Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy , it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. What? We cannot even remember wrongs? Or get angry a little too quickly? Our pride may cause us to want to rebel at these examples of love, but show me a person who loves to this degree and I will be able to see one who is genuinely seeking to live a Christ-centered life of service to God. 

 

Jesus personal teaching concerning love:

“ But I tell you who hear me; Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other, also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.  Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. Luke 6:27-32  Now the test is becoming more difficult. Do I even attempt to love my enemies? How about that person who cursed me? Have I even considered a way to bless this person? The one who cut me off in traffic? Have I prayed for that person? Or, instead, did I call them stupid or a fool? “But anyone who says, 'You fool,' will be in danger of the fire of hell.” Matthew 5:22  Have I done something good for the one who cheated me? Or am I trying to think of a way to get even?  Jesus commanded us to love ALL of those mentioned! Not to just ignore them, but to LOVE them.

 

What about the politician that is not doing the things I think he should be doing? Do I pray for him, or instead, am I saying unkind, rude things about him? DO I LOVE HIM? If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?Matthew 5:46  And the admonition of the Holy Spirit through his servant Titus: Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility to all men. Titus 3:1 Does this mean we need to obey the speed limit? Does this keep me from forwarding those emails that degrade or deride those in authority? Is Christ Jesus in me or am I failing this test?

 

And, now for the money aspect: What does Jesus teach us about love for a complete stranger in the parable of the good Samaritan? (Luke 10:25-37)

 

In this parable, instead of the lawyer testing Jesus, HE was the one who was given the test. But let's look into that ditch by the Jericho road leading to Jerusalem and ask ourselves how our love would have reacted in this situation. Here is a man who has been stripped of his clothes, beaten, and left half-dead. What does God want ME to do with this half-dead stranger? Might I have reasoned that the robbers might still be close by waiting to beat and rob me, so I had better get out of here as fast I can? Or might I have thought this could be a drug addict who was carrying drugs, or even a murderer, and I should not be helping him? Or might I have bound up his wounds and put him on my donkey and walked this rocky uphill road in my sandals to the nearby inn and paid for his room for the night and felt that surely, this was more than enough? Am I thinking, “I can't wait to get to Jerusalem to brag about helping this bloody man I saw in the ditch?” Or would I have thought I would be given a lecture when I returned home if I spent money on this half-dead man?

 

Do I think I had better just do like the priest and the Levite and walk on by as though I had not seen him? Surely that would be alright since I can't question him. Or, will I explicitly follow the example Jesus gave and show true love and compassion for him by paying for his room and returning to pay more, if needed? Jesus told the lawyer in this parable to “Go and do likewise,” just as the good Samaritan had done. According to verse 25 the lawyer's salvation depended on his doing as the Samaritan had done. How often do we zip our purses closed instead of  helping those in need? Do we have just a little bit of that service destroying “LOVE OF MONEY” in our hearts? Are we afraid of giving, fearing we might have to go hungry? Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:42

 

Jesus' living example of true selfless love:

Jesus does not leave us to wonder what kind of love He has for us and also expects us to emulate. He gave the supreme self-sacrificing example; His life for us! Or perhaps, I should say, for ours. Are we willing to be beaten, spat upon, mocked and crucified for those very people that are treating us in this detestable manner? We, too, may face this kind of persecution and even death some time in the future. Are we spiritually preparing our hearts for this? Will we pray for God to forgive those who persecute us as Jesus did? (Luke 23:34) Will we not insult or retaliate? (1 Peter 2:23)

 

Can our hearts even begin to appreciate fully that our Savior was willing to bear the burden of our sins on the cross! He himself bore our sins  in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness: by his wounds you have been healed.     1 Peter 2:24  Can I see myself willingly walking that road to a cross and to be brutally beaten, just to save an ungrateful people? You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6) Surely, we can be willing to give our bodies a LIVING sacrifice as Paul commanded through the Holy Spirit.  (Romans 12:1)

 

Our God, was willing to endure the suffering of His Son, who was perfect in every way.   And now we have no excuse for not loving one another, and that following the example of His blessed Son, we might prove ourselves fit for His eternal heavenly kingdom. To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father –to Him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen! Revelation 1:5 THIS IS OUR ETERNAL BLESSING!

 

Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)

 

This writing has so very clearly brought to my consciousness the guilt of my neglecting to love as deeply as Jesus loves. Forgiveness of sins is a comforting, unearned blessing worth FAR more than rubies or silver and gold! Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord—and You forgive the guilt of my sin.” Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to You while You may be found (Psalm 32:5-6).  This gift of grace is ours because of the precious love of Christ, our Lord and Savior!

 

May we train our hearts to live by the GREATEST commandment according to Jesus: A Pharisee, an expert in the Law, tested Jesus with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?”Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself; All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40.

 

The Heart of Love

With loving hands, our Father formed us,

Breathed into us the very breath of life.

With those same hands He also feeds us,

Breaks unto us each day, the bread of life.

 

Can we not see our God in every mountain?

Gently feel His touch in every drop of rain?

Know He fills up every flowing fountain,

And cares about our every grief and pain?

 

If that's not love we'll never know it,

We'll never grasp what love's about.

God's unmerited grace for us is perfect,

Leaving us no room to doubt.

 

This same love gave Christ to be our Savior,

In God, alone, our hearts can trust.

Our lot? To show our love to friend and neighbor,

While thanking Him, OUR God for loving us!

 

Margaret Head

 

 

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Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her. (Proverbs 31:25-28)

No greater love that I have ever known. then my Mother's love that made our house into a home. She gave us her best, and yes she gave us her all. To show we kids that we belong. No,not one thing did She ever hold back, to see that we had food, and clothes upon our back. She could cook a pumpkin rind, and make it taste good. For this is my Mother, Oh yes my Mother could. We were poor with no clothes on our back. So she tore her dresses and made us her best. Yes when I was young times were hard. But I thank my God for my Mother's true love. Now she stays all alone, anticipating a call from her children this so long gone. To hear a word from their sweet lips. Just to say I love you Mom. and thank you for your help.

PS. I gave this to my mother before she passed away. And after she passed away. I changed the end of it. And it goes like this. And now She's gone on to God golden throne. And we're standing here all alone. But our love you Mom will never die. But continue to grow, and continue to go on. God only knows, how much, I miss you Mama.

Written by James Hendry

 

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The Forgotten Mother


A gray old woman sits all alone
Unloved, uncherished and unknown.
Sitting beside her broken door.
Dreaming of days past long ago,
When children played about her knee
Filling the air with childish glee,
Tended by her with loving care.
Knowing the blessing of a Mother's prayer.
But now they have gone, each to his life
A girl to her husband, a boy to his wife,
Forgetful are they of her who sits here
Silently wiping a tricking tear,
For striving for things in a life so brief
Blind their poor eyes to a dear Mother's grief.
But does she upbraid them in word or in mind.
Nor does their neglect to her seem unkind.
She'll forgive and forget all unkindness they've shown
This poor old mother who sits alone.

Ruby Latimer Edwards  

Remember to love your parents. We are so busy growing up, we often forget they are growing old.

 

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Sister Traci wrote this in the year 2000. How much more do we need righteous grandmas today? There has been such a drop in morality in this country in the last 15 years - grandmas, be strong and nurture! 

 

 Where Have the Grandmothers Gone?
by: Traci Paseur

The year 2000 is now twentyfour days old. What modern times we live in . . . And, my, how these times have changed. I have a birthday approaching and my age is so very insignificant. It doesn’t matter because times have changed and I find it discouraging.

I was raised in the church and am so very grateful that my grandmother made a way of life for me. Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, and Wednesday nights were for worship. No questions asked. As a child, I willingly admit to that burst of excitement if for one reason or another we didn’t go to church. But, for the most part, my childhood days of worship were happy times and I felt the comfort of God’s word even then. Sunday afternoons were spent around the dinner table enjoying a wonderful meal that my grandmother had prepared.  During those days, you didn’t dare take a bite until the blessing was said. I’ve seen my grandmother give thanks over a bowl of beans and a piece of cornbread. Where have the blessings gone? I ask because I don’t know. Maybe we don’t want to offend anyone by offering a blessing and we don’t want to embarrass ourselves shamefully by doing the honor of giving thanks. We should give thanks that we even have the opportunity to give thanks.

I just can’t remember a day that I spent with my grandmother when she didn’t refer to God and His glory. I remember, not so long ago, driving with my grandmother on a beautiful fall afternoon. The leaves were turning their beautiful shades of orange and red, and my grandmother said, “Only God can make a tree.” Of course, I had noticed the fall colors, but paid attention instead to my needs, my schedule, and basically, my life. My life at that time had absolutely no room for, or any need to be mindful of “God’s trees.”

On a similar outing on a spring day she began to admire the big white fluffy clouds in the sky. She commented on how beautiful they were and that they looked like “you could sit on top of them and let your feet hang off.” I can still hear those words, but the daily commute to punch the time clock has created tunnel vision that blocks out God’s wonders. Where has the appreciation of God’s beauty gone? Again, I ask because I don’t know. Perhaps the drive to be there and get it done has blinded us so much that we don’t allow ourselves the moments to remember just how small we are in God’s beautiful universe.

My yesterdays are filled with God, His blessings, and a good map with clear directions to His door. My today is filled with anguish over the fact that I didn’t lose the map, but intentionally put it away in favor of going my own way—My own way, which has left me lost and without purpose. My tomorrow, I pray, will be filled with hope and reassurance from God that I may take up His map and make my journey through life on the right path. Thanks to my grandmother, I know how to read a map.

Growing up, I can remember my grandmother making us turn away from the television when a beer commercial came on. In recent days, watching anything on television with my grandmother has just gotten to the point that I become embarrassed. And fearful of what  she might see simply because you just never know what’s coming. Today’s world needs grandmothers. Someone to speak openly about God and someone to remind us continually of His plan for us and to remind us of His blessings.

So now I ask, “Where have all the grandmothers gone?” I’m just not sure. I do know that my grandmother has started her journey home. Just a few more hours and her work here will be done. Soon, there will be one less grandmother and one less teacher. Thank God for grandmothers who are sent from above. I hope God has a beautiful cloud awaiting my grandmother’s arrival. One that she can sit on and let her feet hang off. While she’s there I hope she will look down at me, through God’s trees, and see me reading my map, the map that will lead me to God’s door, and hopefully, to a place on a the cloud beside her, forever.

 
 
From early in the morning
Until I go to sleep each day,
I know my grandmother loves me
In a very special way.
 
Sometimes it's tea and crackers,
Sometimes it's a walk in the park,
Sometimes it's just a hug
When I'm scared and in the dark.
 
I love to hear her stories
About the past and where she's from,
And I know her heart is filled for me 
With never-ending love.
 
-unknown 
 

 

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September/October 2017