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Sunday, August 4, 2013

 
"In dog years, I'd be dead."
 
Digging in the past, I've uncovered a great deal of longevity.
 


"The wholesome climate of this elevated region is attested by the large number of people who have attained to old age in Franklin.   White records the following instances of longevity among the early settlers: Mr. Hale 117; John Watson & his wife, both 90; Thomas Clark, 90; William Spears, 110; Henry Parks, 101; Elisha Dyer & his wife, 93; Samuel MacKay, 100; Jesses Marshall, 97; John Stoneyher, 96; David Guess, 90..." and many others in their eighties. If you outlived war, and Indian attacks, small pox, etc. your chances were pretty good it seems.

The will of Sir Alexander Culpeper of England, 1444-1541 was very complex, leaving specific instructions in it for so much for three masses to be given at his death with so much for each priest, bell ringer, singer, official mourner and coffin bearer with provision for their black robes, and years of service ahead to sing for his soul, money for the churches, the manses, the highways.  I guess if you lived 97 back then, you'd have plenty of time to plan your own funeral.  Their effigies, he and his wife's, are beautifully preserved in an ancient church.  Of course, my favorite part are the stone sculptures of their dogs at their feet looking much like my beautiful weimaraner.


But the age-old question of mankind has been, "What's it all about, Alfie?"  Joseph Stalin once said,
"I'm pretty sure there is a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking.   And I plan on finding out what that is."  Apart from God, the answers elude and delude us.


"Today I will live in the moment, unless it is unpleasant, in which case I will eat a cookie."

Benjamin Franklin left the following instructions for his epitaph...
"The body of Benjamin Franklin, printer (like the cover of an old book, its contents worn out, and script of its lettering and gilding) lies here, food for worms.  Yet the work itself shall not be lost, for it will, as he believed, appear once more in a new and more beautiful edition, corrected and amended by its Author."

"All of our theology must eventually become biography."
 
You've heard it said, it's not how many breaths you take, but what takes your breath away."
It's pure science that gratitude makes us happier.  Let's be grateful for "every good and perfect gift..."
 
"In almost everything that touches our everyday life on earth, God's pleased when we're pleased.  He wills that we be as free as birds to soar and sing our maker's praise without anxiety."
A. W. Tozer
 
"Let us not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now, receive it with gratitude, and see it in the light of a loving God who guides us day by  day."
Henri Nouwen
 
"Don't be surprised when God's grace,
simultaneously,
disrupts your life
and delights
your bones."
Scotty Smith 
 
In the words of John Wesley, here is how we should spend this life...
"Do all the good you can
in all the ways you can,
to all the souls you can,
at all the times you can
as long as you can."
 
 
""You have been borne by Me from birth,
And have been carried from the womb;
Even to your old age I shall be the same,
And even to your graying years I shall carry you;
And I shall bear you, and I shall deliver you."
Isaiah 46:3-4
He's a womb to the tomb kind of God with a glorious plan for reunion in the sky.
 
 
*The pictures taken are from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello family cemetery, Jamestown, and Christ Church's cemetery in Alexandria, Virginia.
 



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