The Creativity of God Through Us and In Us

I am amazed at the gift of creativity God has given people. God is the author of creativity. He has created each of us in His image, yet every person looks different. Some identical twins I have seen challenge that last thought. But the incredible variety of nearly 8 billion people today, not to mention all people over time is unfathomable. The variety of humans is not limited to our appearances or even our temperaments. We are each unique in how we have lived. Our families we are born into may be amazing or not, wealthy or not, whole or not, studious or outdoorsy, adventurous or tame, religious or secular, healthy or unhealthy, kind or rude, violent or peaceful, loving or distant or worse. likely they are a combination of all of these. Have we traveled or never even left our hometown? Are we educated a little or highly? Are we differently abled? Do we live in a rural, suburban, or urban setting or in a lush rain forest or endless parched desert setting? The creativity of the Creator is endless and amazing.

Not only are we so different in all these ways, but our interests, gifts, and talents and the combination of these lead to further individuality. Values and beliefs further make us individuals. There are endless permutations of all these traits and experiences. The Creator is truly remarkable. And even more remarkable is that He knows and loves each one of us. We are all unique and all precious to God. Then we come together with another, if we are so fortunate, to combine our unique amazingness with another to have children who are amazing expressions of the uniqueness of the Father.

Continue reading “The Creativity of God Through Us and In Us”

Messiah, Savior, Lord

Savior, Messiah, and Lord are just a few of the titles of Jesus. Comforter, Great Physician, Judge, Teacher…. According to some sources, there are over 200 names for Jesus in the Bible. Each name carries a special meaning and encourages us to look at Jesus with greater understanding, appreciation, and hopefully, awe and love. Deliverer, Great Shepherd, High Priest, I Am, Lamb of God, and the list continues.

At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, delivered in lowly circumstances of a stable during the journey that his mother and father were taking to be counted in the census. Of course, we remember the three kings or wise men who traveled from the East, guided by the star, by giving gifts to those we love. Gold, frankincense, and myrrh, each has their own special meanings related to the recounting of the birth of Jesus. Today, gifts of Minecraft, kitchen gadgets, and the latest cell phone have their own meanings. I will leave it to you to decide the relative meaningfulness or the message delivered. I have heard the tradition of limiting gift-giving to four gifts: something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. Whatever we buy for each other, we are attempting to show our love through the giving of a gift. Hopefully, we pick just the right symbol of our care for and understanding of the one we have chosen the gift for.

Continue reading “Messiah, Savior, Lord”

50 Age-Ready Tasks? Where Do We Start? A New Series…

Today we have the honor of introducing a new series of articles based on the work of Dr. Michael Parker, a tenured University of Alabama Professor, UA Birmingham Associate Professor, and a US Army Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.). Dr.Parker developed The AgeReady Program to assist career military personnel to prepare care plans ahead of deployments for their aging parents. Career military members are of the age where their parents are aging and present an additional concern for a deploying military member. Military members always prepare a plan for their spouses and children prior to deployment but are not required to have plans concerning their aging parents.

The Age Ready Task Assessment will soon be available for all families to address concerns related to the common issues that develop as we age. Are we prepared for what is ahead or are we just going to “wing it”? The AgeReady Program addresses 50 tasks that can be completed jointly between Older Adults and their adult children, or by either. The best-case scenario, whenever possible, is that the parents and children do this together.

Dr. Michael Parker

Medical, Financial/Legal, Family & Spiritual

The tasks, or perhaps we should call them opportunities, are divided into 4 main categories:

  • Medical
  • Financial, Legal, & Insurance
  • Family
  • Spiritual

These four areas address vital aspects of aging and doing it well. By preparing in advance we can help to avoid acting in a crisis, which is never the ideal position to act from.

The prospect may seem daunting when you hear something like “50 Tasks.” We will break them down and address them over time. Winter Grace Senior Ministries, Inc. is preparing workshops to help you evaluate where you are right now, what you might want to tackle next, how to go about it, and inform you on where to seek help. We will work with you every step of the way.

Be Sure to Add the Fun Too!

We highly recommend adding some fun things to the list too. This time, hopefully, spent together with your loved ones, is an opportunity to get to know each other better, spend some special time, and deepen relationships. Why not add those activities and perhaps some adventures that you have thought about doing to the list?

Where will we begin?

The first task we will address is “Work with your parent to schedule a comprehensive geriatric assessment with a certified geriatric physician.” We will cover what an assessment entails, why you should have one, and how to find a geriatric practitioner.

Stayed tuned and check back often to see what the next task is and how to tackle it!

Please subscribe to keep up to date with the AgeFriendly Articles and Workshop Offerings.

AWFT: Psalm 47 “Shout to God with Cries of Joy!”

Psalms….. There are Psalms that are appropriate for just about every emotion we might be feeling. I am beginning prep for a sermon and one of the lectionary readings is Psalm 47. It is one a praise and thanksgiving! Last time I preached was about doubting Thomas. I preached about not doubting our identity in Christ. Yea, I looked for the positive. It is kind of what I do sometimes, okay, usually.

This sermon is going to be on Ascension Sunday. Warning…. it is going to be an optimistic upbeat sermon, at least it will end that way. Psalm 47 is one of my texts to draw from for that message. It is one of praise. The texts from Luke and Acts assure us of the coming of the Holy Spirit to indwell all believers.

Continue reading “AWFT: Psalm 47 “Shout to God with Cries of Joy!””

Disciples: It Takes One to Make One

A Reflection on Luke 24: 44-53 & Acts 1:1-11

I love books! Just ask my husband. I love books of all kinds: cookbooks, craft books, gardening books, theology books, novels, you name it.  I also love books with more than one volume or series. When a book is really good, I never want it to end. Among the most popular serial books are The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Outlander, and Hank the Cow Dog. They are among the most popular series of books ever written. Okay, Hank the Cow Dog may not be a classic, but we loved it and the others are. Oh, and a Voice in the Wind, so good.

Today we spend time reading from a two-part work in the New Testament: the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles, sometime referred to as Luke-Acts. Luke, thought to be a physician, was a science-minded, detailed fella that wrote his works for someone named Theophilus. Some scholars think that Theophilus was an individual, perhaps a patron of Luke, or a government official, or perhaps we need to look more closely at his name. Theophilus literally means ‘Loved of God,” theo = God, Philus, (loved of). Perhaps this was the very brilliant Luke’s way of reaching more people.

Continue reading “Disciples: It Takes One to Make One”

AWFT: Isaiah 54:2-3: Enlarge Your Tent? Yes!

Enlarge Your Tent? Is this something we are really called to do? It all depends on what our vision of our tent is. If we look at our tent as our possessions, then no! We are not called to increase our possessions in a way that makes us focus on our material worth. Our possessions become our idol, even our god.

I just completed a Christian leadership course through Revelation Wellness® called Launch. It is for the Revelation Wellness® certified fitness instructors who want more, who want to learn how to be leader with Jesus Christ as our foundation. It begins with a vision, mission, and core values. These are undergirded with the pillars on which all of these rest. The first of these pillars is “God first. God only.”

Continue reading “AWFT: Isaiah 54:2-3: Enlarge Your Tent? Yes!”