Welcome to my blog, or should I say to the ramblings of an old man. I doubt that my ramblings are of much value, but at least I have an opportunity to share them.  So, please be kind and humor me. If nothing else of value stands out in these thoughts, I hope that you at least sense the value I place on a daily walk with the Lord.  That walk is what has provided me with motivation and a sense of purpose throughout my lifetime.  My prayer is that you, too, are experiencing this direction and joy in daily living which is available to everyone who puts his trust in Christ.  So, thanks again for joining me.  Please don't go without leaving some comments here so I can get to know you better as our paths intersect today in this blog.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Not Growing Old?

          Probably this blog has too often centered on medical issues and topics about growing old.  And those topics may only be of interest to some of us who are seniors and are experiencing these situations.  But the rest of you will also get there - sooner than you expect.  I have no idea what the interests and ages are of those who navigate to this blog on a regular basis.  But maybe my choice of topics is one reason why the readership of this blog, unlike my hymn blog, has never grown.  And there isn't too much that I can do about it since I tend to write about my experiences and things that I think I may know a little about.
          So as we begin another year, I have decided that the first blog of the year will again be aimed at those of us who are seniors.   While others may not yet appreciate these challenges, we who are seniors understand them well.
         John E. Roberts penned an interesting poem, "Not Growing Old", which I will share as we begin 2018.  Hopefully some of you can relate to it.

They say that I am growing old;
I've heard them tell it times untold,
In language plain and bold—
But I'm not growing old.
This frail shell in which I dwell
Is growing old, I know full well—
But I am not the shell.

What if my hair is turning gray?
Gray hairs are honorable, they say.
What if my eyesight's growing dim?
I still can see to follow Him
Who sacrificed His life for me
Upon the cross of Calvary.

What should I care if time's old plow
Has left its furrows on my brow?
Another house, not made with hand,
Awaits me in the Glory Land.

What though I falter in my walk?
What though my tongue refuse to talk?
I still can tread the narrow way,
I still can watch and praise and pray.

My hearing may not be as keen
As in the past it may have been,
Still, I can hear my Saviour say,
In whispers soft, "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.
The inward man, the Scriptures say,
Is growing stronger every day.

Then how can I be growing old
When safe within my Saviour's fold?
Ere 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

Have a blessed and happy 2018!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Here We Go Again

Dr. David Fuchs
         Life is full of changes and the older we get the more we seem to face.  Some of the difficult changes that we face during our lifetimes come when people who have served us well decide to retire.  We miss them and the wisdom and support which they have provided us over the years.  Good replacements are usually hard to find.

         One of the first times we faced that problem was when our first family doctor, Dr. Richard Bryson, decided to retire because of a heart problem.  When our kids were growing up we depended upon him for their care.  It seemed that he was always available, at all hours of the day and night, and he went out of his way to help us and care for us.
         Years later it was another doctor, Dr. Robert Stengle, who became our family doctor only to be struck with cancer.  One Monday morning we called his office for an appointment and, through her tears, the nurse told us that he had just announced that he was suddenly closing his practice because he was just diagnosed with cancer.  Later, in a time of remission, he returned to our new family practice at Oyster Point where he served until he passed away a few years later.
         Good plumbers who are also inexpensive and honest are also hard to find.  For many years the Rice Brothers took care of us.  They were crude, but they were good and were not nearly as expensive as other plumbers.  Among so many other things, they hooked us up to LASA, the new sewer system, when we were forced to hook up and could barely afford to do so.  We missed them when they retired.
         A good auto mechanic who is honest and doesn't overcharge is also a special person.  For many years Bill Miller kept our cars running for us.  He would help us quickly when we needed repair work done.  He was fair and honest.  His retirement was hard for us to handle and we have never really been able to replace him to our full satisfaction.
         For most of our married lives we bought all of our cars from a high school classmate and friend of mine, Glenn Zartman, in Lititz. He owned the former Zartman's Dodge. Glenn understood our needs and our financial situation, especially during our time of ministry, and he would shop to find the right car for us. He often even left us use the car for several days to make sure it met our needs.  I never had to bargain with him over price for he always gave me the best price he could, immediately.  And he stood behind everything he sold to us.  Then a few years ago he sold the business and retired.  Where do you find an honest and fair car salesman?
         Now it is happening again.  Sadly, on December 30, another longtime family doctor, Dr. David Fuchs, is retiring.  Dr. Fuchs established the Oyster Point Family Practice in 1985.  After Dr. Stengel's initial retirement, we began to go to Oyster Point.  Soon we learned that Dr. Fuchs was an exceptional family doctor and we began to see him.
         In recent years I have had countless physical problems and have relied completely on him to treat me or to send me to outstanding specialists.  I may have been his most frequent patient over the last number of years.  He has always been compassionate and has become a real friend.  He is wise with a wealth of experience, especially in dealing with older patients like us.  He has done so many favors for us such as working us into his schedule when he was really full, corresponding by e-mail when other doctors have been reluctant to do so, providing us with samples when he could, and referring us to good specialists when needed.
         One of his special strengths was how he seemed to stay on schedule without rushing you during your appointment.  Rarely have we waited more than five minutes to see him.  I don't understand why other doctors can't be this organized and thoughtful.  Unfortunately, many other doctors have kept us waiting 30 minutes and sometimes longer to see them.  And the doctor that I have often used as my back-up when Dr. Fuchs was away is also retiring this week.  Double whammy!
         This will be one of the more difficult adjustments that we have had to make.  He knew us and our conditions.  He treated us fairly and warmly.  And in recent years we have needed much more medical advice than ever before. We are already missing him as I am again struggling with some challenging physical problems and already miss his wisdom and advice.
      But he deserves to retire and hopefully live a much more normal life.  And so I thank him for all his care and friendship and wish for him the very best in his future.
     And for us, life will go on, but it just won't seem the same.  We will adjust once again. And, fortunately, the Lord never retires or goes on vacation. He never changes.  He is always there when we need Him and He always will be.  And in Him we have placed our trust and our hope.  What a great God we serve.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Greatest Walk

         I wish that somebody would give me a dollar every time the Lord brings an old hymn to my mind, just when I need it, and then for days it continues to play in my mind.  I would give all of that money to our Awana Global Outreach project where every $10 given allows one new boy or girl to attend an Awana club somewhere in the world.  That could be quite a contribution.  Do I have any takers?
          It happened again very recently when a friend sent me an e-mail telling me how the old hymn "Jesus Will Walk With Me" came back to her.  I did some checking and found that in 2013 I included this in my hymn blog.  And the reminder of this old hymn, written in 1922 by Haldor Lillenas, flooded my mind for days.  Again, just at a time when I needed its message.

(1)    Jesus will walk with me down thru the valley,

Jesus will walk with me over the plain;
When in the shadow or when in the sunshine,
If He goes with me I shall not complain.
Jesus will walk with me,
He will talk with me;
He will walk with me;
In joy or in sorrow, today and tomorrow,
I know He will walk with me.

Life is not easy.  There are some days when everything seems to go right.  But there are times when things go wrong and the path is rough and we seem to walk in the shadow  Unfortunately, if you are like me, contrary to the words of the hymn, we do complain.  But He is with us in times of both joy and sorrow and He has promised never to leave us. And He doesn't.  How much better the rough path is when we recognize His presence and we walk together. May we never forget who our companion is.

2)   Jesus will walk with me when I am tempted,
Giving me strength as my need may demand;
When in affliction His presence is near me,
I am upheld by His almighty hand.
Jesus will walk with me,
He will talk with me;
He will walk with me;
In joy or in sorrow, today and tomorrow,
I know He will walk with me.

And the temptations do come.  Sometimes we are tempted to complain.  Sometimes we are drawn to sin.  Sometimes we gossip or tell "white lies".  Sometimes we just think things that are wrong or go to places we shouldn't go to. I think that temptations in our mind are some of the most difficult to handle.  I often pray "let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight".  But we are told that He was tempted in all things like we are, yet without sin,  And He provides the strength we need to face temptation.  And in times of failure or even affliction, His almighty hand is there to lift us up.

(3)   Jesus will walk with me, guarding me ever,
Giving me victory thru storm and thru strife;
He is my Comforter, Counselor, Leader,
Over the uneven journey of life.
Jesus will walk with me,
He will talk with me;
He will walk with me;
In joy or in sorrow, today and tomorrow,
I know He will walk with me.

I love the truth of verse 3. He is our guard and we may never know all the ways He has protected us. He is our Comforter and I have often experienced His peace and comfort.  He is our Counselor providing us with the wisdom that we need here on earth.  And He is our Leader no matter how uneven or difficult our journey.  At times I wish that He would guide us as He did His children in the wilderness, with a pillar of fire and and a pillar of cloud.  But He does guide us more silently through His Word and by His Spirit.  What a blessing.

4)    Jesus will walk with me in life's fair morning,
And when the shadows of evening must come;
Living or dying, He will not forsake me.
Jesus will walk with me all the way home.
Jesus will walk with me,
He will talk with me;
He will walk with me;
In joy or in sorrow, today and tomorrow,
I know He will walk with me.

But this verse may be the toughest truth we need to face.  While we haven't yet walked the valley of death ourselves, we have watched others do it. And we dread watching our loved ones take this journey. It hurts.  And our day is coming and nobody can avoid it.  And while hopefully we have the assurance of that better life ahead, nobody looks forward to the shadows of evening. For some they might last just for a few hours but for others they go on for years.  Believers face that time with both fear and anticipation.  But the beauty of that final journey is that our Lord will not forsake us and He will walk with us all the way home.  Yes, I know He will walk with me.
          Now the key to all of this is making it more than head knowledge, even though that is important.  It needs to be heart knowledge built on our personal experience and our relationship with the Lord. Maybe you don't know this hymn, (you can hear it at Jesus Will Walk) but hopefully you know the experience of walking with the Lord in joy or in sorrow, today and tomorrow.  How else can we make this journey as pilgrims in this foreign land.  Thank you Lord!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

A Politically Correct Santa

Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck...
How to live in a world that's politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to "Elves",
"Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves.

And labor conditions at the North Pole
Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.
Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,
Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.

And equal employment had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!

The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
The ruts were termed dangerous by the C.A.A.
And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard sled noises on their rooftops.

Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened.
His fur trimmed red suit was called "Unenlightened."
And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows:
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose.

So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,
Who suddenly said she'd enough of this life,
Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title was Ms.

And as for the gifts, why, he'd never a notion
That making a choice could cause so much commotion.
Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.

Nothing that might be construed to pollute.
Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot.
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls. Or just for the boys.

Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.
Nothing that's warlike or non-pacific.
No candy or sweets...they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.

And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,
Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.
For they raised the hackles of those psychological
Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.

Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passé;
And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.
So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.

He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,
But you've got to be careful with that word today.
His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.

Something special was needed, a gift that he might
Give to all without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion;
Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone, everywhere...even YOU.

So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth...
"May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth."

Now if Santa were real and what Christmas was really about, 
I imagine he would face these problems in this strange culture 
in which we live.  But, Jesus is the real reason for the season 
and it is becoming increasingly politically incorrect to talk about 
Him and celebrate His birth.  But that shouldn't keep true 
believers from celebrating the real meaning of Christmas 
and thanking God for His unspeakable gift.  May this Christmas 
be a special time of worshiping and thanking the One who left 
all the beauty and glory of heaven to come to this earth to 
provide our eternal salvation.  Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Puns 4U

          After all the recent world and national negative news, I felt that maybe I should follow with a blog that might even make us laugh a little.  I love all sorts of humor, but puns are one of my favorite forms.  So here, for your enjoyment and hopefully some laughter, are a set of puns.

1.   The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Circumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2.   I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian . 
3.   She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.  
4.   A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.
5.   No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
6.   A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
7.   A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart
8.   Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
9.   A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
10.   Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
11.   Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
12.   Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: 'You stay here; I'll go on a head.'
13.   I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
14.   A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'
15.   The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
16.   The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
17.   A backward poet writes inverse.
18.   In a democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.
19.   When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
20.   If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you'd be in Seine .
21.   A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, 'I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.'
22.   There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.
23.   Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.
24.   Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, 'I've lost my electron.' The other says 'Are you sure?' The first replies, 'Yes, I'm positive.'
25.   Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal?  His goal: transcend dental medication.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Unfailing Love

          I mentioned in a previous blog that I have been using a publication from David Jeremiah on Psalms and Proverbs.  It includes daily readings from both of these Bible books.  The readings are in the New Living Translation and are very easy to read.  This version has helped me to better understand these chapters which I have often read before.

          I quickly noticed a new theme that I had never caught in previous readings.  The chapters in Psalms use the term "unfailing love" 73 times.  It is used 121 times in the entire Bible.  Now I probably missed that before because other versions use a variety of other terms - loving kindness, steadfast love, multitude of mercy, faithful love, great love, gracious love, great mercy and great faithfulness, just to name a few.  I believe that hese terms help define unfailing love.
         As we are in the Thanksgiving season, I am especially thankful for God's unfailing love which I have experienced throughout my life.  Certainly His love has never failed me and never will.  Here are a few of the references to it from Psalms.
         "But I trust in your unfailing love."  13:5
         "Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways."  17:7
         "Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life"  23:6
         "Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love, which you have shown from long ages past."  25:6
         "Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord."  25:7
         "The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands."  25:7
         "I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul."  31:7
         "Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord."   32:10
        "Lord, don't hold back your tender mercies from me. Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me."   40:11
        "But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life"   42:8
        "Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love."   51:1
        "For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds."  57:10
        "But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress."  59:16
       "O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love"   59:17
       "Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!"   63:3
       "O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help."  86:5
       "I will sing of the Lord's unfailing love forever! Young and old will hear of your faithfulness."  89:1
       "Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives."   90:14
       "For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation."  100:5
       "For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth."  103:11
       "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness."  115:1
       "Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you."  143:8
       "The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love."   145:8
          And these are just some of the many references in Psalms to God's unfailing love.  It is there for us in times of joy, victory, peace and contentment.  But it is also always there for us in times of fear, loneliness, illness, sadness and despair.  Hopefully you are experiencing it in your life.  This season, and every day throughout the year, take time to give Him thanks for His unfailing love to us.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Older Than Dirt?

          Nobody wants to admit that they are getting old.  We all like to think that we are still young, younger than we really are.  But sometimes when we try to do some of the physical things that we used to be able to do, we know that we are aging.  People say that you are only as old as you think you are.  But often our bodies betray our thinking.
          Now I do admire those seniors who still have physical strength and stamina and can win or at least compete in the Senior Games  I admire those whose minds are still sharp and can remember names and dates from long ago.  I admire those who are still very active and look much younger than they really are.  The Lord does bless some with those characteristics.  But then there are the rest of us who, no matter what we think or try to do must recognize that the days of our youth are gone forever.  Now many of us enter a new stage of life where we can do different  important things and still lead very useful lives.
          One way to see how old you really are is to take a test.  So let's see how you really do on what is called the "Older Than Dirt Test".  In the following list you are to count all the ones that you remember -  NOT the ones you were told about!  I dare you to give it a try.  By the way, if your brain can't handle the arithmetic, feel free to keep count using your fingers and toes or a calculator.  Good luck!

1.     Blackjack chewing gum
          (I sure would enjoy some again)
2.     Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water
          (As a kid who worried about sugar content?)
3.     Candy cigarettes
          (They were a no no in our house)
4.     Soda pop machines that dispensed bottles
5.     Coffee shops with table side jukeboxes
6.     Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
          (Our former milkman, Al Charles, recently graduated to
7.     Party Telephone Lines
          (How did we ever live with these?)
8.    Newsreels before the movie
          (Actually we didn't attend movies when I was growing up)
9.     P. F. Flyers
10.   Butch wax
11.  Telephone numbers with a word prefix (Olive 4 - 6933)
          (Ours was MAdison and in Sunbury it was ATlantic)
12.   Peashooters
13.   Howdy Doody
          (Clarabelle, Princess Summerfallwinterspring, Mister Bluster,
          Buffalo Bob and friends)
14.  45 RPM records
          (i still have many of these.  Where can I sell them?)
15.  S&H Green Stamps
16.  Hi-fi's
17.  Metal ice trays with lever
18.  Mimeograph paper
19.  Blue flashbulb
20.  Packards and Hudsons
21.  Roller skate keys
22.  Cork popguns
23.  Drive-ins
         (Movies or fast food?)
24. Studebakers
25. Wash tub wringers

So here is your scoring sheet.  Be honest!  
* 0-5 = You're still young
* 6-10 = You are getting older
* 11-15 = Don't tell your age
* 16-25 = You're older than dirt!

         Now I will admit that I am older than dirt.  I guess it is good that I still remember a few things from my youth.  Now if only I could remember what happened yesterday.
         Keep a youthful attitude but also remember that there are many advantages to growing older - like senior citizen discounts.

Saturday, November 11, 2017


          In his book "A Life Beyond Amazing", Dr. David Jeremiah shares a story in his chapter on "A Life of Integrity" that spoke to me enough that I want to share it with my readers.  Here is the story.

          "Several years ago I read a tale about a group of salesmen who were leaving a Chicago convention and were late getting to O'Hare Airport for their flight home.  As they hurried into the terminal, they heard the last call for their flight.  They began to run through the busy airport, dodging and weaving through the crowd, their carry-on luggage careening behind them.  Two of the men crashed into a table stacked with beautiful baskets of apples, overturning it.  Apples bounced and rolled everywhere, but the men kept running.  They reached their gate just as it was closing and managed to board the plane.
         All except one man.  He stopped and told his companions to go on; he'd catch a later flight.  Conscience-stricken, he turned back and found the young boy who managed the apple stand on his knees, in tears, groping for the scattered apples and baskets.
            The salesman got on his knees beside the boy, gathered apples and baskets, and helped him set up his display again.  Some of the baskets were damaged, many apples were bruised, and a few were missing.  He opened his wallet and placed three large bills in the boy's hand.  "Here, take this," he said.  "It will more than cover the cost of the damage.  I'm very sorry we messed up your day.  Are you okay, now?"
            The boy nodded his thanks through his tears, and the salesman turned back to the lobby to arrange for a new flight home.  He hadn't walked far before the boy called out, "Mister …"  As he paused and turned around, the boy said, "Are you Jesus?"
            No one could receive a greater complement than to be mistaken for Jesus.  It happened to this man because he allowed himself "to be conformed to the image of His Son" (Romans 8:29).  That is the call laid on every Christian, and when we respond to it, we become faithful to the will of God and reflect His character.  That is what it means to be a person of integrity."
            "The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them." Proverbs 20:7  NLT.
             When is the last time that someone thought that because of our actions that we might be Jesus?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Week To Remember

          There are particular days in your life that you never forget. For me, I will never forget the events that happened this weekend 24 years ago.  Please allow me to reminisce.

          On Friday night, November 5, 1993, we went to Lititz to visit my mother.  It was her birthday.  It turned out to be an extra special day for her because all of her children and grandchildren happened to stop by that day to visit her and that actually was unusual on her birthday  We had a very nice evening with her.
          On Saturday my wife and I headed to State College where we enjoyed the Penn State  vs. Indiana football game.  It was an exciting game, won by PSU, and we had a great time.  When the game was over we headed to Shamokin Dam to visit my wife's parents.  Her mother was in the hospital and we especially wanted to see her.
         But when we arrived at their home, about 6 pm, my father-in-law said that I had to immediately call my oldest son.  He didn't tell us why but he insisted that it needed to be done right away.  When I reached my son he informed me that my parents had been in a bad accident and that my mother might have died in the accident.  We were stunned, to say the least. We immediately left to make the two hour trip back to Lancaster.
          That trip was a blur and, fortunately, I did not get stopped for speeding.  When we arrived at the hospital most of our family were already there and mother's death was confirmed.  Soon my brother and his wife also arrived.  They had been on a weekend retreat at Sandy Cove.  We were told that a teenage boy, on his way to work, ran a stop sign and hit my parents broadside on my mother's door.  It is interesting that his parents quickly removed him from the accident scene so that he couldn't immediately be tested for drugs or alcohol.  We later heard that he hadn't been drinking for several hours before the accident.  I don't know how he legally avoided being tested.  I can't help but wonder if he was drunk, but at this point it no longer really matters.
          Dad wasn't seriously injured, but they decided to keep him in the hospital for several days just to be sure.  We spent several hours with him and I still am amazed at how he outwardly took the tragic news.  Later they gave us a chance to view mother and looking back I often wish that we hadn't done that.  I will probably never forget the images that are in my mind of how she looked.
          The next few days were also a blur as we made service arrangements and cared for dad.  But what I do remember is how close we all became as a family.  We all pitched in and shared all that had to be done. In a time of tragedy we were all drawn together like never before. We were also blessed with all the food that folks provided for us, enough that we didn't need to worry about any meals during that time.
          Dad was released from the hospital and we could then finalize service plans.  Together we decided to have a private service and burial and we invited our relatives and some very close friends to attend.  We had an open casket at the service. The casket was a wooden one representative of those that her father made for many years working in the casket company in Sunbury.  My brother was able to purchase a lot in the Moravian Cemetery, just a block from my Dad's home.  In fact, the plot almost overlooked his home.  
          The burial was followed by a luncheon at our church.  Then we had a memorial service in the evening following a time for family visitation  And the church was packed with a very long line of folks waiting to greet us.  Mother had so many friends who loved her.  We finally had to stop the visitation or the service might have been several hours late.  It was a beautiful, God honoring service that was fitting for such a special woman.  Unfortunately, some were disappointed that we didn't have an open casket so they could say good-bye.  But even today I have no regrets that we had decided to first bury her earlier that afternoon.
           Mother had touched many lives and she was greatly missed.  One example of this were the city kids in our Awana program who cried when they learned of her death.  She had been like a mother to them as she listened to them say their verses each week and they really missed her.
          Now I still miss mother, especially in November, and that November weekend was so difficult.  But as I look back I thank the Lord that mother never had to suffer the physical and mental problems and nursing home experiences that so many seniors must endure.  Now she had her share of physical problems that no doctor seemed able to diagnose and treat.  I admit that at times I thought her problems might even be imagined, but now I know otherwise.  I guess I am now my mother and am facing many of the same challenges that she faced. I am so sorry for ever having those doubts about her. I now better understand the frustrations and pain she faced.  But God immediately healed her when she stepped into His presence that Saturday night in November.
          Dad suffered, usually silently, but often the tears quietly flowed.  They loved each other and had built a wonderful life together for 53 years.  After mother's death dad always refused to even date another women.  God had given him a special mate who could never be replaced.  And he spent 16 years without her until the Lord finally took him home one February morning.  Those years he spent continuing to serve the Lord and set a Godly example especially for each of us in our family.
          We were blessed to have such wonderful parents.  Thank you, Lord!
50th Wedding Anniversary Dinner



Saturday, October 28, 2017


          Most of us have faced times of anxiety when a loved one is facing physical problems.  Waiting for one who is in surgery can try one's nerves, even if your trust is in the Lord.  When you don't know exactly what is happening it can be so hard.  And I am convinced there is no such thing as minor surgery, unless, of course, it is surgery on somebody not related to you.   Any surgery or procedure has risks and things can go wrong.

          Anxiety can also kick in when you are waiting to hear the results of tests that you or a loved one has had.  What did the tests reveal?  Is it cancer?  The days and hours seem to go so slowly when you are waiting for those answers.
           When my wife was in the hospital in July she was in critical condition from a blood infection caused by a diseased gall bladder.  Waiting for answers and for improvement in her vitals and test results was a real strain.  The days and hours passed so slowly until her condition finally began to improve.
          But during that time a test revealed an additional possible serious problem that couldn't be dealt with at that time in her weakened condition.  And later she was referred to a specialist from Philadelphia.  After studying her results he recommended another MRI with contrast when her health improved. 
          Now MRI's aren't always fun but they are a real problem for those, like my wife, who have a pacemaker.  In fact, unless the pacemaker is MRI compatible, you can't even have an MRI.  Thankfully we asked to have a compatible one implanted when she received hers.  But that then requires that a cardiologist be present to turn it off before the scan and then reset it after the scan.  So for that reason it has to be scheduled weeks in advance and can only be done in a hospital.
          So the test was finally set up for Thursday at LGH.  I was led to believe that it would take about an hour.  After being admitted she was taken by wheelchair on a long trip to the far regions of the hospital where the MRI is located.  I was to wait for her in the hospital admitting area, far from the MRI area.
          Assuming she would be gone for an hour, I went to visit my brother-in-law who just had a knee replacement.  After about 30 minutes visiting with him I returned to the waiting area to wait for my wife.  She wasn't allowed to eat or drink for four hours before the test so we planned to go for something to eat as soon as she was done.
          And I waited, and waited, and waited.  Stating to feel a little anxious, I asked the attendant if she knew how much longer it would be.  She called the MRI area and they said she would be back in at most 30 minutes.  That half hour passed slowly while I waited.  Still she was not back.  Later the attendant called again and they said it would be 20 more minutes, but gave no reason for the delays.  Now I was beginning to be concerned that there might have been a problem with her heart.  More than 20 minutes passed again and I had now waited much more than 2 hours.  Finally the attendant called them again and this time they at least let me talk to my wife who told me there was no reason to worry. The MRI was just finished and they were waiting for the cardiologist to come to reset her pacemaker.  So, almost 3 hours after we arrived, my wife was finally done. So much for an hour procedure.  I guess eventually by blood pressure and anxiety settled.
           As it turns out the problem was that she had to wait for everything – the initial interview, then the cardiologist, then the MRI technicians, then the MRI, then the cardiologist again, and finally somebody to bring her back to where I was.  Not a very efficient process.   A little more communication with me would have made it so much better and might have reduced my anxiety.
          Unfortunately, anxiety is a problem that I deal with.  I know it is wrong and I do trust the Lord, but I guess I need to learn to exercise more faith and patience.  Am I the only person with that problem?
          But,  thankfully, the MRI and the pacemaker went well and my anxiety was just wasted energy, as it usually is.  Of course, now we must wait two more weeks to learn the results and I imagine my anxiety will again return as that time approaches.  I must remind myself, "Cast all your care upon Him for He cares for you!"
          Hopefully you don't have a problem with anxiety.  It's stressful!