From the Rev, September 16, 2015

from the rev

Dear Friends,

Beth and I are heading up to Michigan tomorrow to celebrate hand honor her parents 90th Birthday’s. 90th!!

The amount of history and change they have witnessed during this time is mind-boggling to me. Nine decades of history:

  • In the 20’s…the Stock Market crash
  • In the 30’s…the Great Depression
  • In the 40’s…World War II
  • In the 50’s…Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a bus
  • In the 60’s…First man on the moon
  • In the 70’s…US President Nixon resigns
  • In the 80’s…Berlin Wall falls
  • In the 90’s…the Columbine Massacre
  • In the 00’s…9/11
  • In the 10’s…Japan earthquake and tsunami

Major events all of them. But even more significantly, across those decades a young couple named Al and Millie grew up, fell in love, got married, worked hard and raised six children. Each new year brought laughter and tears, joys and sorrows. And 90 years later family and friends gather together to celebrate two remarkable people who have touched so many lives.

One of the greatest blessings I gained through my marriage to Beth is that I inherited Al and Millie as my father and mother in law.

There is a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson called “Success” where he identifies several items which he contributes to having lead a successful life. At the end he states:

“To know that one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

My life has breathed easier because of you, Mom and Dad Ferk. Thank you! Happy Birthday!

I came across an article a few days ago entitled “How to Stay Young.” I’m not sure who the author is. It has often, wrongfully, been attributed to George Carlin. As I read through the list I thought of Mom and Dad.

  1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay them.
  2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
  3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle.
  4. Enjoy the simple things.
  5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
  6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person , who is with us our entire lives, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.
  7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
  8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
  9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.
  10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

May you have many breathless moments!

You are loved,