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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Praise ye the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to his temple draw near;
join me in glad adoration!

Praise ye the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
shelters thee under his wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e’er have been
granted in what he ordaineth?

Praise ye the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before him!
Let the amen sound from his people again;
gladly for aye we adore him.

Joachim Neander’s “Praise Ye the Lord, the Almighty”
(tune: Lobe den Herren)
trans. Catherine Winkworth
from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

She was the most humble, ordinary, and yet, happy person I think I will ever know.

She lived most of her life on a small farm in Ohio with no bathroom in the house, just an outhouse about twenty feet away. The smell of that outhouse still lingers in my nostrils. There were five kids and many lambs, cows, and chickens, and dinner was often whichever chicken was the slowest to run away. I can still remember how to wring a chicken’s neck and pluck the feathers to make a tasty meal. Her life was hard but filled with blessings that she never took for granted.

My grandmother, Betty Sherer, lived the final years of her life in an assisted living facility that was wonderful, very different from the farm; she enjoyed the people, the games, and having someone else prepare the food.  She was always optimistic about every day and even in the end was looking forward to being with God.

Her bed was near a window, and out that window was a tree with a bird feeder. She had always enjoyed watching the birds play in the tree and eat from the feeder. As she waited to meet God, several family members had gathered around and were blessed to hear her final words. “Oh, look! The birds are having a party.”  Then she entered into life everlasting with complete hope and trust in God’s all embracing love. She experienced wonder and joy to her last moment and wanted to share that hope with those around her. 

“Praise ye the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth; shelters thee under his wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!” 

Lord of all creation, help us to give thanks and praise to you in all things and at all times. Guide our words and actions so that they may always be a reflection of your love and tender care. Amen.

Written by John W. W. Sherer, Organist and Director of Music

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