When Tragedy Strikes

We continue to stagger from unexpected tragedies like the Valentine’s Day Florida high school murder of students, teachers and coaches. Another sad reminder of how unstable life can be, another addition to similar events before that found us unprepared. What great grief was felt by the parents who sent their children to school never imagining it would be the last time they would see them alive. Dreams shattered…hopes smashed…the future stolen. Each family walked through its own set of bewildered unbelief at what had taken place. Each one dealt with the sorrow in personal responses that only they could embrace.

Sometimes these circumstances overwhelm and engulf us. How we respond is extremely important.

In another time, somewhat different than these recent events, some other children died. Their circumstances and conclusion were special. Here is their story as related by Ernest Emurian.

“The French liner, ‘S.S. Ville du Havre’, was the most luxurious ship afloat when it sailed from New York in November 1873. Among her passengers was Mrs. H. G. Spafford of Chicago, making the trip with her four children, Maggie, Tanetta, Annie, and Bessie. Mr Spafford, a highly successful businessman, had business commitments and was unable to accompany his family on this voyage, but planned to join them later in France.

At two o’clock on the morning of November 22, 1873, several days out from New York, sailing on quiet Atlantic Ocean waters the Ville du Harve was rammed by an English sailing vessel, the ‘Lochearn.’ In two hours the ship settled to the bottom of the ocean. Two hundred twenty-six passengers were drowned. Among that number were all four of the Spafford children.

Nine days later when the survivors landed at Cardiff, Wales, Mrs. Spafford sent her husband a cablegram of only two words: ‘Saved Alone.’

H. G. Spafford had already gone through one great tragedy. The business matters that prevented him from making the trip with his family were the result of the great Chicago Fire. It had destroyed all his business establishments. Now he struggled with the greater loss of his children.
Spafford booked a ship to Europe to join his wife. On the way over the Captain called Spafford to his cabin and said, ‘I believe we are now passing over the place where the Ville du Harve went down.’

Dare we imagine how he felt. Sleepless, he began to put his thoughts and feelings into words. He wrote five sections that later would become one of the greatest expressions of faith in tragedy that has ever been stated.

When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll, Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.”

– Living Stories of Famous Hymns, pp. 66-67

Such great faith in deeply troubling moments. Would we have responded in this way? Do we have a trust that would so characterize us amidst such tremendous times? Can we look up regardless of terrible events and say “It Is Well With My Soul?”

We cannot predict when good or bad things will come, but we can claim the Lord’s Presence whenever or whatever it might be.

If we do not walk in right paths under Divine guidance in the usual steps of life we will not find strength and support when our world falls apart. Let’s start now!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Till next time, Don Johnson, Kirby Pines Chaplain


The Importance of Nutrition

Please join us March 21st at 1:30 pm in the PAC for our Smart Moves presentation on this topic.

Eating a well-balanced mix of foods every day has many health benefits. Eating well may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, bone loss, some kinds of cancer, and anemia. If you have one or more of these chronic diseases, eating well and being physically active may help you better manage them. Healthy eating may also help you reduce high blood pressure, lower high cholesterol, and manage diabetes. Eating well gives you the nutrients needed to keep your muscles, bones, organs, and other parts of your body healthy throughout your life. Eating well helps keep up your energy level by consuming enough calories. In order to get energy from food, the number of calories needed depends on how old you are, whether you’re a man or woman, your height and weight, and how active you are.

Eating well is important for everyone at all ages. Your daily food choices can make an important difference in your health, how you look, and feel. Older adults should choose foods rich in fiber; drink 8 glasses of water and other beverages that are low in added sugars. Carbohydrates are one of the main types of nutrients. They are the most important source of energy for your body. Your digestive system changes carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar). Your body uses this sugar for energy for your cells, tissues and organs. It stores any extra sugar in your liver and muscles for when it is needed.

We often think of fats as unhealthy, but your body needs a limited amount of certain kinds of fats. Fats give you energy and also help your body absorb vitamins. However, fat contains more than twice as many calories as protein or carbohydrates. Eating too many high-fat foods will add extra calories and lead to weight gain. Excess weight increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or other health problems. Excess weight can also make it harder to control these diseases if you have them.

Eating healthy at Kirby PinesEating is one of life’s pleasures, but some people lose interest in eating as they get older. They may find that food no longer tastes good or don’t enjoy meals because they often eat alone. Others may have problems chewing or digesting the food they eat. If you don’t feel like eating because of problems with chewing, digestion, or gas, talk with your doctor or a dietitian. Avoiding some foods could mean you miss out on necessary vitamins, minerals, fiber, or protein. Not eating enough could mean that you don’t consume enough nutrients or calories. One reason people lose interest in eating is that their sense of taste and smell change with age. Foods you once enjoyed might seem to have less flavor when you get older. Some medicines can change your sense of taste or make you feel less hungry. Talk with your doctor if you have no appetite, or if you find that food tastes bad or has no flavor.


Improve Your Health With Water Aerobics

Water Aerobics at Kirby Pines

Staying fit is a challenge at any age. Finding the right exercise routine for your body can be a challenge, too. Balance, strength, endurance, and flexibility are key components to a good exercise program. Dealing with balance issues, osteoarthritis, and knee and hip issues can make exercising difficult. A solution may be right down the hall… Water Aerobics. Here are five good reasons to join the water aerobics classes:

  1. Low impact: Water places an upward force on a person. This principle known as ‘buoyancy’ means that you can experience as much as 90 percent less weight when in the water. This makes water exercises an ideal activity for a low impact water workout. Water aerobics allows you to perform exercises while placing very little weight on the joints opening up a new opportunity for people of all ages, and varying levels of fitness. (One of the ladies in our classes was in terrible back pain and now is recovered thanks to water aerobics.)
  2. Improves physical and mental health: The natural resistance of water increases strength while keeping you cool and comfortable. Just 150 minutes of a pool workout per week can help decrease your risk of chronic illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Water aerobics can improve your cardiovascular and respiratory system in the same ways as cycling or running. Water is about 800 times denser than air, so it provides about 12 times more resistance. That means the moves you do in the pool can work your entire body, particularly your arms, legs, shoulders, and core. (Two of the gentlemen in the Men’s Only Class were faced with shoulder issues that the doctor wanted to do surgery to repair. They both now have almost full range of motion in their shoulder that they contribute to water aerobics.)
  3. Boost confidence: Pool exercise can boost your confidence if you are intimidated by conventional exercise routines. In the water, you are mostly submerged, so no one can see if you get the moves wrong. If you are a beginner, you can build a level of fitness that you can then carry over to feel more confident when exercising on land. Water is naturally supportive. If you lose your footing on land, gravity will take over and you will most likely fall and injure yourself. In water there is no need to worry about falling, water will not allow you to, and it will support you throughout all your exercises.
  4. Increase calorie burn: Water also has greater resistance than air, which means walking in water requires more effort and ultimately burns more calories than walking on land. Expect to burn between 400 and 500 calories per hour in a water aerobics class, according to the Aquatic Exercise Association.
  5. It’s a FUN way to exercise: Being in a pool is always splashy fun. Participating in a water aerobics class not only makes you happier and healthier, it is also a great social experience where new friends are made. The forgiving water environment is effective for exercising and enjoyable. You won’t get your hair or face wet. People are friendly (I love watching the big smile on Jane Kinney’s face as she exercises with us).

Check our schedule for classes Monday through Thursday and the pool is open form 7am-7pm for water walking.