At Eighty-ThreeThomas Durley Landels
Thank God for life, with all its endless store
Of great experiences, of hill and dale,
Of cloud and sunshine, tempest, snow and hail.
Thank God for straining sinews, panting breast,
No less for weary slumber, peaceful rest;
Thank God for home and parents, children, friends,
For sweet companionship that never ends:
Thank God for all the splendor of the earth,
For nature teeming with prolific birth:
Thank God for sea and sky, for changing hours,
For trees and singing birds and fragrant flowers.
And so in looking back at eighty-three
My final word to you, my friends, shall be:
Thank God for life; and when the gift's withdrawn,
Thank God for twilight bell, and coming dawn.
Memories of Life
Greta Zwaan, © 1998
In a corner by the window with his memories' treasure store,
Sits a grandpa with a yearning to retrace life's steps once more.
For the years went by too quickly when his strength was at its prime,
And he didn't seem to value all his blessings at the time.
Youth to him displayed no ending, limitless was zest and zeal;
Vigorous were his daily conquests, work to him held great appeal.
E'er the sun rose to full glory or the birds awoke in song,
He had risen to his labours, yet the day seemed never long.
There was much to be accomplished and so many mouths to feed,
It took every waking moment to supply the family's need.
Yet the hours brought forth much pleasure as he tilled the ground each fall,
Ready for the early planting when once more he heard spring call.
Oh, the freshness of the morning when the dew lay on the soil
Brought to him tremendous pleasure, it was not considered toil.
To be straining every muscle as the team ploughed through the sod
Was a privilege he cherished, coming from the hand of God.
Through the planting and the haying and the sheaves of harvest grain,
Every year it was repeated, sometimes failure, sometimes gain.
Yet he never lost his interest, all his life was in his farm;
Nothing else had greater value, nothing else held forth morecharm.
Through the years his body weakened, bit by bit his strength had gone,
And one day he could no longer rouse himself before the dawn.
So, with saddened heart he parted from the field, the horse, the plough,
And gave up his life of farming, far too strenuous for him now.
He packed up all his belongings that he'd need to live in town,
With the longings and desires that would never be put down.
Being physically unable did not change his heart's desire;
He had always been a farmer not a well-dressed country squire.
He would rather be in blue jeans with the soil beneath his feet,
Where he felt that life had meaning and his calling seemed complete.
Than to sit beside the window daily dreaming of the past,
Always wishing he was younger so his farming days might last.
But he knows time holds no preference and that strength with years grows weak,
Days of youth are not forever, yet the future is not bleak.
God has granted many blessings others never could enjoy:
To always be close to nature sincehe was a little boy.
Near to see His great creation, there to watch Him wake the sun;
Present as the birds were rousing, chirping music to each one.
There to see the autumn glory being painted on each tree,
Followed by the gleaming hoarfrost that the early risers see.
Very few folks have this privilege, with so vast a memory store,
Of a walk so close to nature for some sixty years or more.
Memories are the greatest treasure when a life has been so sweet,
And though time does not turn backward, memories' treasures are complete.
When God gives you the grace to make changes that you know you couldn't do with your own strength, it becomes precious to you. T.D. Jakes
If we want to understand God's goodness in His gifts, then we must think of them as a responsibility we bear for our brothers. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Jesus Christ knows the worst about you. Nonetheless, He is the one who loves you most. A.W. Tozer
Things are changed by a faith that defies obstacles and laughs at impossibilities. Nicky Gumbel
Worry scuttles our lives, hurts us, and most sadly dishonors God. Max Lucado, Every Day Chance
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