Prayer For a Watch

Are you sometimes intimidated by technology ?

I wanted to get an Apple Watch, but I wasn’t sure whether I had the skills to get the watch to work. I ordered one anyway.

On the day it arrived, I unpackaged it, and prayed for the Lord’s help. He reminds us in John 15:5, that without Him we can do nothing.

On the second day I managed to attach the strap.

The third day was spent studying YouTube videos on how to set up an Apple Watch.

By the fourth day, the watch was running ! It is a great help in monitoring my fitness levels, and I’m still exploring all of its all amazing features. Technology can be a great help as we age, if we are able to be patient as we learn how to use it.

Just as I needed to use a slow and steady learning method to figure out this watch, I’ve needed to use the same method to learn spiritual lessons.

God understands our individual learning styles, and knows how to draw us increasingly closer to Him, if that is our desire.

For me, I need so much repetition, and some of the lessons that God has been trying to teach me are the same ones I’ve been struggling with for years.

Nevertheless, we know that our Father is a patient teacher, and always desires to draw us into closer relationship with Him, through Jesus, as long as we are teachable.

Photo by Sally

Sin at the Grocery Store

I confess to sinful behaviour at the supermarket.

I peek into people’s grocery carts to see what they are buying.

I shouldn’t be so nosey.

The Bible tells us to lead quiet lives, and mind our own business.( 1 Thessalonians 4:11)

Nevertheless, all humans have a tendency to compare themselves to others. In Sociology, this is part of Social Comparison Theory.

What others choose to eat is not my business, or is it?

Perhaps, indirectly, it is.

Here in Canada, health care is ‘free’ for everyone, whether you need an antibiotic, or heart surgery, but we pay for medical care through our taxes, and health care costs continue to soar.

Obviously there are some health conditions which are not at all related to what one eats, but there are some that are.

Newfoundland has Canada’s highest rates of obesity, Diabetes and Heart Disease.

Recently, the Government proposed a tax on sugary drinks like Coke and Pepsi, to help moderate people’s dietary choices, but this was met with overwhelming public outcry, as people claimed that this was a ‘tax on the poor.’

Choosing to nourish ourselves and our families well, is an act of love . Choosing healthy foods is not necessarly more expensive, but it does require knowledge of nutrition, careful planning, and creativity.

I try, with God’s help, to look after myself, and others, with careful nutrition.

And so, I may do my small part to try not to bankrupt our health care system, which, in this part of Canada, is getting dangerously close.

May the Lord help us to care wisely for ourselves and others.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Watermelon and Twilight

‘That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest’.

Of course, this quote from Henry David Thoreau should have been written: ‘That human is richest…

I was sitting on the deck , eatling ripe watermelon slices , and watching the twilight last evening. Because of our northern latitude, the sky puts on a long twilight spectacle after sunny days. Some young friends came over to watch with me.

The stage of life after age 65 is often referred to as the twilight of one’s life. During this time one can look back over many satisfying years.

As we allow the Lord to lead us, He gently guides us through every obstacle and difficulty. Looking back over our lives we can see how often we have been blessed.

Christians are never guaranteed easy lives, but we are promised that God is with us through every challenge.

Erik Erikson, the Psychologist refers to the twilight of a happy life as the stage of ‘Integrity’.

He also describes that this stage of life can end up quite differently if it has been lived selfishly, without any thought of pleasing God and neighbour. A selfish life can result in what he calls a state of ‘Despair’

This stage is characterized by regret, anger and bitterness. We always reap what we sow, especially in spiritual matters.

Let us decide each day to allow the Lord to guide our lives. Then, the twilight of our lives will be a time of satisfaction and beauty. Thus we will enter the life stage of ‘Integrity’

‘Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come,

‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home’ (Amazing Grace)

Photo by Sally

Weak and Strong

Have you ever written a letter of complaint to a company ?

I was growing frustrated trying to remove the lid of my favourite bottle of healthy grape juice.

It was difficult ! I decided that the fault must lie with the grape juice manufacturer ; they must be putting the lids on too tight now…

And so, I started mentally composing my letter of complaint.

However, as a researcher, my training tells me to consider all possibilities.

I thought that perhaps my hand grip strength was getting weaker, and when I tested this hypothesis using a small dynamometer I purchased, I found that my grip strength was now ‘below average’. ( grip strength tables are available online).

Luckily, also available online, are dozens of strategies and devices available, all designed to maintain and strengthen grip strength.

As we age, over-all body strength tends to decline, but, as we become aware of this, healthy exercise can help us maintain fitness.

As we grow older, the Lord seems to stay closer to us, as we seek continued fellowship with Him. When we are vulnerable, He proves to us that we can rely on his comfort, assistance and strength.

Fortunately, technology today is greatly helpful with the challenges that time can bring.

I started a training program to strengthen my hands and arms.

I am happy that my current grip strength is now ‘above average’

I have also ordered an electric jar opener on line.

‘For when I am weak, then I am strong’

(2 Corinthians 12:10)

Photo of dynamometer by Sally

Who Knew ?

I was surprised when I noticed them growing fainter.

As a septuagenarian, I’m aware that aging brings many changes.

But no one told me that my fingerprints would start to disappear.

Who knew?

As people age, their fingerprints, or friction ridges, start to become fainter because the skin gets thinner and loses elasticity. No wonder it was getting challenging gripping things and opening jars.

I’m happy now that I didn’t give in to my family’s strong suggestion to update my old, but dainty cellphone.

A phone that opens on fingerprint recognition might not have worked for me.

Fingerprints, or friction ridges, begin to develop in a baby while still in the womb, at about 3-4 months gestation.

As we know, they are unique to each individual, therefore they are useful in forensic investigations. The ridges on the fingers and palms also help us to grip things firmly.

Truly we are fearfully and wonderfully made. God is endlessly creative, and delights in variety.

Because of my fading fingerprints, I plan to update to a phone that opens with facial recognition.

May God give us the grace to cheerfully accept the unexpected changes that aging can bring.

Our Father in heaven, who provided friction ridges for us while we were still unborn, guides us tenderly throughout our lives, as we trust Him, and He is especially compassionate with us as our fingerprints become fainter.

Photo by Sally

What’s in a Name ?

Would you agree that we’ve all recently been instructed that some names are not politically correct, and that they can be offensive ?

Regarding old people, strictly taboo now are the words ‘geezer, coot, or little-old lady’.

‘Fuddy-duddy’ and ‘old fogie’ are also terms that should never be used.

I suggest that we also stop using the term ‘senior citizen’, since it is patronizing.

First used in the United States in the 1930s, senior citizen is a euphemism, for ‘old person’, and it tries to disguise Western Cuture’s fear of aging and death.

As a young person, I lived for a time, and conducted research, in an Ojibway Community in Western Canada. There, I learned how indigenous cultures show great respect to the old people in their communities, called, the ‘elders’.This trait is admirable, and worth emulating.

Worldwide, many other cultures, including those of Korea and India show the older members of society great respect for the wisdom that age and experience can bring.

Perhaps changing the term ‘senior citizen’ to ‘elder’ could be a first step in reducing ageist attitudes that are prevalent in North America.

I may ask our local drugstore to start offering ‘Elder Discounts’, rather than ‘Seniors’ Discounts’.

May God give us the grace to be respectful of everyone.

Photo courtesy of iStock

men dancers at a pow wow in michigan

Anxiety at the Clinic

The clinic was crowded that day, so I had to sit in the only available chair, the bariatric chair.

(This is an oversized chair).

I noticed that I was staring at a vending machine, selling an assortment of chocolates and sugary snacks.

To the right of this machine was another vending machine, selling soda.

To the right of this machine was a colourful wall display and pamphlets entitled : DIABETES CARE.

Several young children were crying loudly. They were not crying because they were ill, but because they wanted some candy from the machines, and their moms did not have any change.

The irony of sitting in the bariatric chair while gazing at the snacks was too much for me, and I started to laugh to myself.

This caught the attention of other patients, so I turned my gaze to the left. A television was turned on to the local cable station, and obituaries were being displayed.

By now my anxiety had reached a very high level. I told the receptionist I needed to reschedule my appointment, and I left the clinic. It was my first experience at the outport clinic.

As Christians, we should be role models for physical health and fitness.

Although our spiritual health, of course, needs to be considered first, Christ chose to live in a physical body for 33 years.

We also believe that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and our faith clearly teaches the resurrection of the body. Our physical selves are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Christ told us to love God, and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. And, loving ourselves always involves nourishing ourselves, and our loved ones carefully and wisely.

As we age, our immune system weakens, and thus we need to pay extra attention to the wholesome food that we eat. As our metabolism slows, we generally require smaller portions to maintain our ideal weight. And, maintaining our weight helps us to age gracefully.

As the years passed, my husband and I were instrumental in bringing about some needed changes at the clinic.

May the Lord grant us the grace to love and cherish our physical selves, especially as we face the passage of years.

The photo, courtesy of iStock, shows snacks similar to the snacks in the clinic.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – February 14, 2019: Vending machine with all sorts of snacks, located at the station of Amsterdam Bijlmer Arena

One Small Step…

Great News !

I am delighted to learn that our government has taken definite action to improve the health of our residents !

For many years, according to Statistics Canada, Newfoundlanders have been Canada’s ‘plumpest’ Canadians, with the highest rates of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. ( We are also Canada’s friendliest folks).

To combat our soaring healthcare costs ( healthcare is free to everyone), residents must soon pay a tax of twenty cents per litre on sugary drinks, such as Coke and Pepsi.

This is a wonderful first step to help educate the public how harmful refined sugar can be to our health.

I had an early education on the damaging effects of sugar.

My loving father never ate refined sugar. No cookies, cakes, etc. He was fit and slim throughout his long life.

It was conflicting for me, as my mom was a fabulous baker, but looking back now, I can see the wisdom in my father’s decision.

Refined sugar causes inflammation in the body. As such, it has been shown to aggravate many chronic diseases, such as arthritis, which many older adults gradually develop.

We are wise to limit refined sugar in our diets.

I am proud of our government.

Christ followers, who are aware of the body being a temple of the Holy Spirit, should be most aware of lovingly nourishing our precious bodies.

May we choose carefully what we eat and drink.

Photo courtesy of CBC NL

EVOO ?

Have you ever researched something and ended up with more information than you wanted ?

I was browsing a recipe that called for 2 tablespoons of EVOO. I had not heard of this before, and thought it might be an oriental spice.

When I researched this, I realized that EVOO stands for extra virgin olive oil, a staple in my kitchen.

Acronyms can be confusing sometimes (LOL).

As I researched further, I learned that for many years, EVOO has been subject to food fraud, since unscrupulous merchants have mixed less expensive oils such as corn oil together with olive oil, and have sold the oil as EVOO.

Italian crime organizations have been involved, and charged, in recent years, with marketing EVOO that has been tampered with.

As I read further, I learned that the European olive oil market has lost billions of dollars in recent years because olive trees have been killed due to a plant disease called Xylella fastitiosa.

This plant plague is also threatening olive trees in other European countries.

Olive oil is often mentioned in the Bible, and its health benefits are well-documented.

I had new respect for my bottle of olive oil after reading all this, and it helped me once again not to take any food for granted.

I may start using olive oil from California.

After all this research, knew I needed to relax.

I am going to make that recipe I was browsing, that calls for EVOO.

Photo by Sally

(EVOO should be stored away from sunlight)

P.A.P.A.

It is the most dangerous activity that many of us do on a regular basis.

Controlling a piece of complex machinery weighing over a ton is an awesome responsibility !

As a newly-licensed teenager, I had a car accident. I was innocently driving through a green light at an intersection, when a driver ran a red light and smashed into my car.

I was unhurt, but it was an early lesson teaching me that drivers do not always do what they are supposed to do ! The rule ‘never assume’ certainly applies to the skill of driving.

Over the years, I’ve created the P. A.P. A. guidelines for defensive driving.

P – I pray before driving. Jesus tells us that without Him we can do nothing. (John15:5). I always ask for the Lord to guide me as I drive. I bless myself with the sign of the cross before I start my car.

A – Anticipate areas where extra alertness and caution is required. Insurance studies show that intersections are risky areas. ( As I found out.) As well, increased risk occurs while making left-hand turns. I try to plan my route to avoid making this type of turn. Companies such as UPS and FedEx caution their drivers to avoid making left-hand turns whenever possible.

P- Prepare carefully to avoid distractions. I caution my passengers not to try to converse with me while I’m driving. I love conversations, but not when I’m behind the wheel ! I am notoriously bad at multitasking, and I suspect that many people are. I concentrate best in silence.

A- Always be receptive to new technology. I confess that I was apprehensive about the new vehicle we bought because it has many new features and gadgets that I’ve never used before, but as I gradually adjusted to them I see that these new features can increase driving safety.

Vehicles are constantly being upgraded, and it is likely that within our children’s lifetimes , self-driving cars may become the norm.

As we age, our brains lose neurons, and this can slow our reaction times. However, there is much we can do to maintain good reaction times. I play a variety of online brain-training games. Lumosity is the program I first used, but there are several other programs available. Being physically fit helps to maintain our reaction times as well.

So often we are told to drink lots of water and stay well-hydrated. This advice is worth repeating. As we age, our sense of thirst declines. Lack of proper hydration results in increased skin wrinkling, moodiness, and slower reaction times.

No one wants to be wrinkled and moody.

I wear driving gloves to remind me to pay close attention to my surroundings when I drive. When cars were first invented, all drivers wore gloves. That is why cars still have ‘glove compartments’.

Let us continue to pray for everyone entrusted with the responsibility of driving.

Photo by Sally