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Living joyfully with the companionship of the Lord and overflowing with His love

At 101 - That’s our Dad!

Dad, on his 101st birthday, with his new cross.

November 30, 2023

Family: It has been a tremendous gift to walk with Dad through these senior years. The four of us “Houston kids” have discovered together the gift of being a “team”; each using our unique gifts to love, care and support Dad. It is quite remarkable that during our fifties and sixties, we have been called to figure out how to work as siblings, side by side, with a shared mission and purpose to support Dad in finishing life well! We have grown to love and depend on one another more and more, and that is a forever gift for each of us!

We miss Mum these nine years, but she would be delighted (and a little jealous) seeing us surround Dad. Dad is more and more ready to be with Mum and looks forward to that reunion! Dad’s 9 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren are a source of delight and pride for him, and we are grateful for his love and prayers for them!

Visitors are Dad's great delight! Thank you to all of you who generously and regularly visit Dad. He really does rejoice in your visits, and they are life giving for him. He continues to enjoy sharing new ideas from his readings and meditations and, while his thinking is not as sharp as it used to

be, he is still challenged to learn and think deeply. We were deeply touched recently when one regular visitor said that the highlight in his visits with Dad was how deeply loved and known he felt by Dad. That has certainly been one of Dad’s greatest gifts to the world and so wonderful that, even at this age, his smile and attention still communicate his love and his delight in those the Lord sends across his path. Perhaps that is a challenge to each of us; that others might leave our presence knowing they are welcomed and loved.

A renewed call: This spring a dear friend came in and anointed Dad with oil, as Dad committed to be faithful to the Lord’s call for him to care for the dying. In a senior’s care facility there are no shortages of people who are in their last days! Dad has taken this call seriously as he has tenderly cared for new friends as they pass from this life to the next. Taking them daily devotions and words from the Lord, holding hands, writing poetry for family, and praying over the dying and their families have all been ways that Dad has blessed those passing from this life.

Writing: Dad has been so committed to sharing his ideas and reflections through books and papers for a lifetime, but his writing days are coming to a close.

He tends to write less and might even miss replying to some of your beautiful emails. Please know that he does appreciate them and keep writing to him.

In recent months Dad has spent significant time reflecting and engaging with the Psalms. These have long brought Dad great joy. It is a blessing for him to share his reflections with others and meditating and sharing contribute to greater intimacy with the Lord. He is still ordering books on Amazon, and delights in being surrounded by the Scriptures and books on a vast array of topics.

At peace but ready for the great reunion... Dad’s health continues to be remarkable, but he is getting old! He has had a few minor scares, but his heart and health continue to be strong. While Dad still seems to be able to quote some of his mentors/friends from the Middle Ages, his details and clarity on present day details, particularly his health, are not always quite as accurate. So, if Dad tells you he has had a heart attack, maybe check with the family before you fly in from afar for the funeral!

For Dad’s 101st birthday he had just one request: “I’d like a silver cross from the four of you.” He wanted us to engrave the words, “When I am tempted to be proud, Lord take me to the cross.” We have seen in Dad’s life a greater and greater desire to be utterly dependent on the Lord. He is happy and at peace here because the Lord has not called him home yet; but you can be sure that when his days are up, he will be glowing in gratitude and love to be united with His Heavenly Father.

Warmly, Chris, Lydele, Claire and Penny

Photo courtesy of Yaletown Photography, on the occasion of his 100th birthday. We are missing two grandsons and their wives, and 7 great grandchildren.

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