Monthly Archives: March 2016

Coyote Hills Regional Park in Spring: Vibrant with Poppies, Rocks, Planes, and Turkeys

Coyote Hills Regional Park PoppiesIf you’ve ever wondered why the golden poppy is California’s state flower, Golden poppies. Coyote Hills Regional Parktry visiting the Golden State in spring! Coyote Hills Regional Park Amid the poppiesWhile on a tour to see our numerous West Coast rels
(which included the families of 2 sons and 3 siblings), Coyote Hills Regional ParkAaron took us with his crew for a hike near
San Francisco in the East Bay’s Coyote Hills Regional Park, Spring Wildflowers in Coyote Hills Regional Parka vast stretch (978 acres) of marshlands and rolling green hills that are carpeted Poppies in March at Coyote Hills Regional Parkwith flowers—most gloriously poppies—in early spring. Boardwalk through marsh in Coyote Hills Regional ParkIt’s been so rainy this year that part of the boardwalk through the marsh Alemeda Creek Ponding Areawas submerged by overflow from Alameda Creek, Wetlands in Coyote Hills Regional Parkso we had to retrace our steps along the Muskrat Trail. Gorgeous wildflowers in Coyote Hills Regional ParkHowever, the hills were phenomenal! Coyote Hills Regional Park poppies bloomingThe bedrock of Coyote Hills is part of the Franciscan Formation, Greenstone and chert outcroppings at Coyote Hills Regional Parkand half of that is composed of sheared greenstone,
which varies in color from shades of green to even reds and yellows. Franciscan Formation. Coyote Hills Regional ParkWhere the rocks have not been weathered, there are some stunning outcroppings with vibrantly colored veins of recrystalized red and yellow chert (jasper). Wildflowers and vibrant rock formations. Coyote Hills Regional ParkAt the top of one hill, the rocks had some strikingly blue coloring so beautiful Greenstone in Coyote Hills Regional Park that I feared people might think I was just “turning up the color” on my photos! Hiking in Coyote Hills Regional ParkFrom the tops of the Red Hill Trail, you can also catch vistas of San Francisco, Evaporation Ponds in Coyote Hills Regional Parkand the southwestern side of Coyote Hills is bordered by tidal mud flats that have been landscaped to create evaporation ponds for salt water from the Pacific. Radio-operated airplane pilots at Coyote Hills Regional ParkThis area is also popular with radio-controlled airplane operators, Coyote Hills Regional Park Oops. Shouldn't pick the flowers!and on the balmy day of our visit (Oops! It’s pretty, but don’t pick the flowers!), Radio-control airplane operatorone friendly pilot shared some of his expertise and delight in flying with us. Climbing the Trail in Coyote Hills Regional ParkThe only downside of this perfectly good day for UP Testy Tom Turkey in Coyote Hills Regional Parkwas a close encounter with an IFO…an identifiable flying object
which turned out to be a testy tom turkey. 16 Turkeys in our fieldWe have a flock of about 2 dozen turkeys in our Michigan woodsy backyard,
but they shun humans and won’t pose for close up photo ops, Turkeys 2 Coyote Hills Regional Parkso I was delighted that these turkeys seemed more than happy to accommodate… Turkeys by the Red Hill Trail in Coyote Hills Regional Parkuntil I realized the hens were simply feeling secure Tom Turkey at Coyote Hills Regional Park 2because their gorgeous but irascible tom guarded his harem Tom Turkey defending harem in Coyote Hills Regional Parkby  aggressively accosting interlopers, Coyote Hills Regional Park 2including my small partners Poppies in Coyote Hills Regional Parkwho—if a bit taller—were not nearly so wide! Green hills carpeted with wildflowers in Coyote Hills Regional ParkAnd so, I would advise prospective hikers to expect a fabulous day at the park, Testy Tom Turkey in Coyote Hills Regional Parkbut beware the jabberturk, my son! Tired boy after big day of hiking“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep:
for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety”
(Psalm 4:8).Little Boy Shoes after big day of hiking

 

 

 

A Rare Easter Birthday for Jonathan

Blowing out the birthday candlesEaster lands on March 27 ( which is my son Jonathan’s birthday)
only once or twice in any century, Daddy's Birthdayand this was one of those amazingly rare years. Opening birthday presentsIn fact, Jonathan would have to live to be 177 to experience another Easter birthday, since the next one on the calendar won’t occur until 2157! Happy Family Birthday PartyHappily, Alan and I were there to share this very rare double holiday
with Jonathan and his family. 36th Birthday CakeTo make it even more special, it was Jonathan’s 36th birthday,
which begins the second half of his “threescore and ten”
mentioned in the scripture as a person’s life span:

Talking together“We spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away…
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
(Psalm 90:9-10,12)

A present for DaddyIt was an absolutely wonderful day all the way around, Rushing to get ready for churcheven though everybody had to scurry like crazy to get ready for church “on time.” March 27. Easter 2016Actually, we arrived at 9:00 am for an hour-long pre-service prayer meeting, although apparently it had been canceled Apple Cake(being Easter Sunday and everyone needing extra family time).
At least we weren’t late!   🙂     Drawing presents for DaddyAt any rate, it was one of those unforgettably happy days. Lighting the birthday candlesI admire our kids so much! Preparing the birthday partyThey both work like troopers to take care of their kids Opening birthday presents 1and make life both fruitful and fun. Father and DaughterThey are really a team, too, working tirelessly at whatever needs to be done. Baking an apple cakeLinda made a special apple cake that is very labor intensive, Opening birthday presents 2and Jonathan engineered both breakfast and our delicious pot roast dinner.Happy Birthday Party The whole day made me appreciate more than ever the truth of 3 John 1:4:
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

(Easter is on March 27th only 8 times during 5 centuries:
1701, 1796, 1864, 1910, 1932, 2005, 2016, 2157)

 

Why Does the Easter Bunny Hide Eggs for Us??

Opening Easter EggsHave you ever wondered where the Easter Bunny comes from,
or why he brings Easter eggs? Early SpringBunnies are symbolic of fertility and growth, because they multiply so rapidly. Family with Easter bunny and dogThe Easter bunny was a tradition brought to this country by German Lutherans back in the 1700’s and has become a beloved part of most Christian celebrations. Finding an Easter EggThe tradition of celebrating with Easter eggs is even older,
and can be traced back to Christians in Mesopotamia,Searching for Easter Eggswho gave Easter eggs to celebrate new life in Christ. Opening Easter EggsThe egg reminds us that Jesus died for us, and the broken, empty egg symbolizes the empty tomb and the miracle of his resurrection from the dead.Happy FamilyAlan and I celebrated Easter with Jon and Gerlinde’s family last weekend. Family BreakfastWe had a wonderful breakfast together and then got ready for church.Children singing Easter SongsThe children sang “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” during the morning service. Child Listening to Easter StoryHowever, the lyrics are quite complicated for little ones, Mother telling daughter Easter storyso Linda practiced with the girls ahead of time, helping them understand
the message of this eloquent hymn of our faith.Little girl with hatAfterwards everyone took time for fellowship with coffee, donuts, and play. Hiding Easter EggsThen, it was time for lunch & a nap, (and for the Easter bunny[ies] to hide eggs)!Hail and Violets on Easter! It was pouring rain, and then it started to hail!   😦Two girls in raincoatsHowever, Linda wisely reminded us of a German saying:
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” Easter egg hunt for little girlThe children had a marvelous time searching for eggs. Eating Chocolate Easter BunnyIn fact, we all had a marvelous time!Small Girl with Easter basketI’m not sure who feels the deepest pleasure!
Is it the children as they hunt for treasure, Taking pictures of children hunting for Easter eggs or the parents, who delight in watching their children’s joy? Showing Grandpa an Easter prizeOr, perhaps it’s the grandparents, who feel so deeply the goodness of passing down through the generations such blessed Christian traditions. Finding Easter Eggs on a treeThank you, Father, for giving us families and so many precious times to share! Easter egg in gardenThank you most of all for Christ, who died and rose again for us on Easter Day, giving us the hope of being raised from the dead to new life as well!  Child with Easter BasketJesus said: “I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).Children singing in church on Easter Morning“Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

“Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

“Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

“Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!”
(—Charles Wesley, 1739)

 

Rise Up, My Love (179): Sapphire-Polished into a Heavenly Blue

“He is risen!” “He is risen indeed!” Happy Easter to you!
May we rise up with him and celebrate the resurrection of Christ.
He is everlasting life, and to know him is life eternal!

Sapphire from Sri Lanka. Smithsonian        Song of Solomon 5:14 “His belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.” 55 carat Sapphire from Sri Lanka. SmithsonianAlthough sapphires are technically all transparent gems of the mineral corundum and come in all colors of the rainbow (except reds, which are called rubies), the best known and traditionally accepted color of sapphires is blue—with the intense, deep blues and the cornflower blue of sapphires from Kashmir, India, being traditionally considered the premier colors. In our culture, diamonds are the most highly prized gem stone, but in the Bible, sapphires are spoken of more often than any of the other precious gems, including diamonds, rubies (second most), and emeralds.  Sparkling Water on our lake                              Sapphire—the sparkle that dances across water New Zealand Fjord Naitonal Parkand the deep blue depths of the ocean…the transparent splendor of heaven’s eyes as we look up to God. Blue, blue, blue. Blue was the most oft used color by the Lord for his people. Indeed, blue has been nicknamed “the heavenly color.” In all the tapestries for the temple, blue, purple, and scarlet were to be used, but blue was always mentioned first (Exodus 26:1, etc.). Additionally, the robe of the high priest’s ephod was to be all blue (Exodus 28:31); the ephod and breastplate were to be connected by loops of blue (Exodus 28:28), as were the tabernacle curtains (Exodus 36:11); blue lace was used to adorn the high priest’s mitre (Ex. 28:37), and a fringe of blue was to border the hem of all the robes of the children of Israel throughout all generations, “that ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God” (Numbers 15: 38-40).  Jesus teachingBlue was definitely the “color” of God…the color to make us think of God. The children of Israel were to cover the ark of the covenant with a blue cloth when they traveled (Numbers 4:6). The table of shewbread was also to be spread with a blue cloth (Numbers 4:7). In fact, the altar (Numbers 4:11) and all the instruments for ministering in the tabernacle were to be covered with blue cloths for travel (Numbers 4:12). Even foreign powers recognized the preeminence of blue: The king of Persia dressed Mordecai in “royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold” (Esther 8:15), and in Ezekiel 23:6 we read of the Assyrian captains and rulers being “clothed with blue.”

The Son of God on his throne with his angels Matthew 25:31

The Son of God on his throne with his angels Matthew 25:31

Blue, heavenly blue, sapphire blue. In visions of God we read: “And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under His feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness” (Exodus 24:10). God exalted in heaven rests upon a foundation of transparent sapphire. In Ezekiel 1:26 we read, “And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.” God’s throne itself has the appearance of being one gigantic, dazzling sapphire!  “His belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.” What is the significance of being “overlaid with sapphires?” 423 Carat Sapphire from Sri Lanka. Smithsonian. Washington D.C.Sapphires are made by intense heat and pressure. They come from the depths of the earth’s fire… “the place of sapphires” (Job 28:5-6)…from the belly of the earth’s molten fires to the belly of our Savior’s molten love. Because sapphires are second only to diamonds in hardness, sapphire dust was used to polish gems. In Lamentations 4:7, Jeremiah laments the destruction of the children of Israel who were so beautiful—“their polishing was of sapphire.” Fired in the depths of His passion, and sapphire polished…this is the love of Christ for us.  Sunset in the RockiesIt is the picture of Christ’s sacrificial death as a man being beautified by the clarity of heaven itself. It is the spiritual portrayal of all Christ’s feelings of love for us ornamented by the exquisite beauty of heaven. We see the “belly” of Jesus, —the most tender and most vulnerable part—laid bare before us. We remember Jesus—as Son of man in his sacrificial death, and as the Son of God overlaid with his heavenly grandeur—reaching out to us in transcendent grace. Even as the foundation of God’s throne is sapphire, so the foundation of our relationship with Christ is his “ivory” death sealed with the “sapphire” splendor of God’s complete, transparent approval. May we remember him—and long to know him again—ever continuing to seek the One we’ve found!

Bless Your Baby: How to Use this Resource

Bless Your Baby is a resource developed over the years with the hopes of encouraging parents and caregivers to actively seek to bless their children, helping them grow strong physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I have written a prayer, a thought, and a suggestion for interactive play appropriate for each day during an infant’s first year. These ideas were based on my own studies and from keeping diaries during the first year of life for each of my seven children. After my own kids started to grow up and have children of their own, I printed off copies of Bless Your Baby for them, but this past year I updated the thoughts and added pictures, mostly of my grandson Samuel, but including hundreds of pictures from many young friends and family members.

If you’re a new parent—or a caregiver who loves working with infants—I hope you are inspired by perusing Bless Your Baby. If you want ideas for a particular week or month, you can find them by clicking on the following links:

Week 1 (Month 1): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/03/07/bless-your-baby-first-week-first-month/

Week 2: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/bless-your-baby-second-week/

Week 3: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/bless-your-baby-third-week/

Week 4: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/03/28/bless-your-baby-fourth-week/

Week 5 (Month 2): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/04/04/bless-your-baby-fifth-week-second-month/

Week 6: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/bless-your-baby-sixth-week/

Week 7: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/04/18/bless-your-baby-seventh-week/

Week 8: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/bless-your-baby-eighth-week/

Week 9: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-their-ninth-week/

Week 10 (Month 3): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-10th-week/

Week 11: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/05/16/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-11th-week/

Week 12: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-their-twelfth-week/

Week 13: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/05/31/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-thirteenth-week/

Week 14 (Month 4): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/06/06/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-fourteenth-week/

Week 15: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-fifteenth-week/

Week 16: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-sixteenth-week/

Week 17: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/06/27/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-seventeenth-week/

Week 18 (Month 5): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-eighteenth-week/

Week 19: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-nineteenth-week/

Week 20: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-twentieth-week/

Week 21: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-fifth-month-21st-week/

Week 22 (Month 6): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/08/01/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-22nd-week-sixth-month/

Week 23: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/08/08/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-month-6-week-23/

Week 24: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-month-6-week-24/

Week 25: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-month-6-week-25/

Week 26: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-month-6-week-26/

Week 27 (Month 7): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/09/05/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-month-7-week-27/

Week 28: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/09/12/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-week-28/

Week 29: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-week-29/

Week 30: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-week-30-rolling-grabbing-standing/

Week 31: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-week-31/

Week 32 (Month 8): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/10/10/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-eighth-month-week-32/

Week 33: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/10/17/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-week-33/

Week 34: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/10/24/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-week-34/

Week 35: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-week-35/

Week 36 (Month 9): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/11/07/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-month-nine-week-36/

Week 37: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/11/14/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-week-37/

Week 38: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/11/21/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-the-ninth-month-week-38/

Week 39: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/11/28/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-the-ninth-month-week-39/

Week 40 (Month 10): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/12/05/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-the-tenth-month-week-40/

Week 41: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/12/12/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-the-tenth-month-week-41/

Week 42: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2015/12/19/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-the-tenth-month-week-42/

Week 43 (Month 11): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/01/09/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-a-ten-month-old-week-43/

Week 44: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-the-ten-month-old-week-44/

Week 45 (Month 11): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/01/23/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-eleventh-month-week-45/

Week 46: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/01/30/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-eleventh-month-week-46/

Week 47: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/02/06/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-eleventh-month-week-47/

Week 48: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-eleventh-month-week-48/

Week 49 (Month 12): https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/02/20/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-twelfth-month-week-49/

Week 50: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/02/27/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-twelfth-month-week-50/

Week 51: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/03/05/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-twelfth-month-week-51/

Week 52: https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2016/03/12/bless-your-baby-ideas-for-babys-twelfth-month-week-52/

P.S.—If you enjoy this book and end up taking some cute photographs of yourself and your baby trying out some of the suggested activities, please let me know! If you’d like to have your pictures included in this book, send me copies, and I’ll try to add them in where appropriate.

May God bless you as you bless your baby!

Risen: Are You Celebrating this Good Friday?

Risen. Seeking                              On this “Good Friday,” are you celebrating? Risen. Christ on cross“Good Friday” sounds happy, but for most of the Christian world, it’s a very sober day of commemorating the vicarious death of Christ for us. Jesus came to earth, died in our place to pay the penalty for our sins, and offers redemption and eternal life to “whosoever will!” Risen. The serach for Christ's BodyThis amazing gift of mercy and hope is available to anyone who will believe in Christ and turn to him for salvation. So, what’s the catch? If I offered you million dollars, wouldn’t you take it? If I knew how you could get a free pass into heaven and an eternal life of joy, wouldn’t you want to go? I think most people would. Risen. Speaking to Jewish leadersThen, why doesn’t everyone become a Christian? I think it’s because they don’t believe the “good news” is really true. risenIf you’re one of those people who wishes you could believe, please consider watching the newly released movie, Risen. Risen. Market SceneRisen is set in 33 AD during the first 40 days following the crucifixion of Christ, when Jerusalem was abuzz with rumors that Christ had arisen from the dead. Risen. SearchingA Roman tribune and his military aide are commissioned to find the missing body of Christ and thereby quell the rising tide of belief that Christ truly is the long-promised Messiah who predicted his own death and resurrection. Risen. Tibune on horsebackIf they can find Christ’s body, they can prove that he did not rise again, discrediting his claim of being “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25) and “the way, the truth, and the life” that alone leads us to God (John 14:6). Risen. Looking for Christ's BodyHowever, as the Roman soldiers become frustrated when no amount of wits or force can produce the body…and as they encounter those who knew Christ… they begin asking not only where he is, but who he is.  Risen. War and strifeHave you ever wondered what happened to the body of Christ? Does it seem logical that all the apostles would rather die than expose a hoax, if Christ’s death had really just been a trick? What changed them from cowering fearfully behind closed doors to preaching and teaching publicly despite terrible persecution? Risen. The ascension of ChristCould it have been anything other than a rock solid faith that Jesus really had risen from the dead? And, why is the resurrection so foundational for Christians? Risen. Examining grave clothesBecause, if Christ really is risen, then he truly is who he claimed to be—the Son of God—and he can in fact save us and resurrect us after we die. That’s why Christians can celebrate on “Good Friday.” Are you celebrating?!
Risen. Tribune and Aide“And ye shall seek me, and find me,
when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13)

 

 

Reflections on Nearing Home, by Billy Graham

Billy Graham. WikiAlan and I both came to faith through the ministry of Billy Graham. I got saved the first time I heard the gospel, but what drew me to listen was seeing the total transformation in my older sister, who had heard Billy Graham speak in Washington D.C. back in 1962. In 1968, Alan surrendered his life to Christ after listening to Billy Graham preaching on a televised evangelistic crusade. 03.23.16 Nearing HomeSo, we both have a lot of history with this now aged teacher, and it seemed quite natural to listen to his book on “life, faith, and finishing Well” on our way home from spring break. Although Nearing Home is uniquely geared to those approaching their retirement years, Graham’s reflections and advice are really appropriate for adults of any age who have “eternity’s values in view.”  Billy Graham, who’s now 97, was a mere 93 when he wrote Nearing Home. Billy said the biggest surprise of his life was growing old! He thought a lot about life and death, but not about how to live with grace and purpose even after he was so frail he could no longer carry on his ministry. However, through this book, he is definitely carrying on his ministry, and as always, Billy Graham is still leading by example! Nearing Home is full of stories and practical insights gleaned from people he’s known or heard from over the years (and I’ll bet that numbers in the hundreds of thousands). His book resonates with hope and comfort, but it’s also an inspiring call to continue serving. Love and serve—God and mankind, and never stop thinking in terms of how to extend love, compassion, and service even to those who are caring for us. If you’re wondering when to retire and what to do afterward, please take time to ponder your way through this classic work on how to grow old with grace, written by the man who’s been our world’s most influential Christian leader for the past 65+ years. May God bless you richly!Sign about AgeP.S.—My dad, who lived a robust life until almost 90, kept this cheerful sign on his bedroom door: “If things get better with age, then I’m approaching magnificent!” 🙂 Oh, to have a twinkle in my soul until I die!

“The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him” (Psalm 92:12-15, ESV, emphasis mine).