A Foretaste of Glory Divine

Reflections by Maxie Dunnam

Sheet music

Singing is one of our greatest expressions in the Christian faith and way, especially in the Wesleyan/Methodist tradition. We sing our faith. 

In our tradition, we happily express four “all” convictions about salvation: all need to be saved; all can be saved; all can know they are saved; all can be saved to the uttermost. 

As I contemplate the passing of time and our move into the new year, the third “all” is dominant in my reflection: all can know they are saved. There are few experiences that can provide more power in our lives than to have assurance of our salvation. Think what it could do for any one of us: 

Our timidity and uncertainty about witnessing would be dissolved. We would not be intimidated by those “buttonhole” witnesses who come on like gangbusters. We would know that tenderness, patience, and understanding are authentic testimonies, as well as words. 

We would not get overwrought with our Christian friends who insist on future security, for we would be assured of our present relationship with Christ. 

Fanny Crosby

We would be joyous in our service for God, but not driven in our works, or mistaken in the notion that our works would save us. 

We would be delivered from frantic preoccupation with taking our spiritual temperature minute by minute, because we could relax in our trust in the Lord. 

And all of that would help every one of us, wouldn’t it? 

We are certainly affirming the Gospel truth when we sing Fanny Crosby’s Blessed Assurance.

We can go into the new year in confidence, if we have this blessed assurance

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! 
O what a foretaste of glory divine! 
Heir of salvation, purchase of God, 
Born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.

– Hymn by Fanny Crosby 

-Maxie Dunnam  

Let it Snow!

See what Kirby Pines residents have to say about how our community handled Memphis’ recent snow, ice, and water challenges. Check out our video to see how Kirby Pines weathered the storm.

Congratulations to Our Champion of the Month: Rachel Ward


Assistant Resident Programs Director 

Describe your family: Loud and sarcastic, but very loving.

Describe yourself in five words: Determined, resilient, witty, adaptable and big-hearted.

What do you do for fun: Read, listen to music & play games.

Do you have any pets?: 3 cats & a dog named Henry.

Do you have any hobbies: Writing & learning to cook new things. 

What is your favorite food: Loaded Baked Potato Soup. 

What is your favorite thing about your job: Having residents who love me as much as I love them. 

What is your favorite song: Agnes Water by Jamie Rose. 

What is something you are proud of: The friends I’ve made and challenges I’ve overcome. 

What would you like people to know about you: I’m a terrible singer, but that doesn’t stop me. 

Rachel is hard working and dedicated. She makes sure things are communicated properly between departments to make sure things run smoothly. She is the perfect team player and a budding leader. Rachel has stepped up to the plate in both Independent Living and Assisted Living while we search for a permanent Activities Director. She is willing to help with anything and is also extremely kind. 

– Skye Sanders, Dining Room Manager 

10 Ideas for New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors


While your life might look different now than it did when you were younger, it’s never too late to set goals and improve yourself. These new year’s resolutions for seniors will prove that you don’t ever have to settle for things the way they are. You still have the power to improve your life, your future, and yourself, no matter what stage of life you’re in. 

1. Eat more nutritious foods. Your health matters now more than ever. Adding more nutrient-dense foods to your diet can help you feel better and have better energy. 

2. Move joyfully. Find a method of movement or exercise you truly enjoy, and incorporate it into your daily habits. Physical activity is especially important for older people as it supports heart health, strengthens joints, and reduces the risk of injury from falls. 

3. Learn something new. What have you always wanted to do, but never had the time for? A language, sport, or hobby? Learn it now! Set a goal to keep learning this year. 

4. Make new friends, or spend more time with old ones. Feeling lonely and isolated actually has serious health concerns. Loneliness increases the risk of heart attack and stroke as much as smoking! So set a goal either to make new friends, or keep in regular contact with old ones. 

5. Organize your life. If you need to create a will, organize your finances, clean out your closet, or coordinate your medical records, this is the year to do it! What can you organize this year that will make your life easier in the future? 

6. Sleep better. Stop settling for low-quality sleep! Find solutions to sleep problems you might have, create a better nighttime routine, or talk to your doctor about insomnia or other concerns you might have about your sleep. 

7. Stay creative. Find creative outlets for your mind this year. You can try a new form of art, like watercolor painting or sculpting, or take up an old hobby you haven’t visited in a while. Creativity is important for brain function, so prioritize being creative. 

8. Preserve your life story. Your grandchildren and great-grandchildren want to know about your life, all of it, including the parts before they were born. Memorialize your life story in some way for your descendants to read or watch. You could scrapbook, compile photo albums, write a memoir, or record videos of yourself talking about your life. 

9. Learn new technology. It can seem pointless or impossible to keep up with technology these days, but failing to do so means you’re missing out on ways to connect with the people who matter most to you. Try to learn and keep up with today’s tech, so you can continue to experience everything good the world has to offer. 

10. Be more authentic. We sometimes spend most of our lives not having the hard conversations and not saying how we really feel about things. Now is the time to be truly honest with all those around you. Be your most authentic self. What do you have to lose? 

Kirby Pines offers many options to help acheive your New Year’s goals. Whether it’s a new exercise class, dancing, playing cards, wood-working, cornhole, tech time, art class, volunteering, etc. or joining a club; book baggers, garden gro’ers, writer’s group and more, there are ways to meet new people, learn new things and enrich your life in 2024 – HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

Resident Spotlight: Philip & Pat Slate


It is unusual for a person to decide as a teenager what his mission in life is to be. At the age of 16, Philip Slate knew he wanted to become a preacher of the Gospel. When he met Patricia (Pat) Finch, he found her to have a strong faith with similar goals. Together, they have served 72 years in mission work and teaching, and Philip is continuing that work. According to Philip and Pat, “Our work with churches, our experiences, and our family have given us a rich and full life.”

Pat Slate was born in Old Hickory, Tennessee. Her only sibling was an older brother. When she was born, Pat says, “My brother wanted a brother but got me instead. Because my father had died when I was 15, I asked my brother to ‘give me away’ at my wedding. His response was, ‘Yes, I’ve wanted to give you away ever since you were born!’ ” 

Pat attended the DuPont schools in Old Hickory and was a cheerleader, active in drama, and an honor student. She chose to enter David Lipscomb College (now University) following graduation. It was there she met Philip Slate, a junior, on a blind date.

Philip Slate was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the oldest of three brothers. His father worked on road construction, so the family moved often. Philip reports that during his first year of school, he attended five schools in three states! There were other moves and different schools, mostly in the mountainous areas of East Tennessee. Philip says he enjoyed the country living, camping, hiking in the hills, and swimming in the water hole made by “damming” up a creek. He played baseball and basketball, learned boxing, and qualified to become a lifeguard. The family moved near Nashville, Tennessee, just in time for Philip to enroll in David Lipscomb College for high school and college. 

While in high school, Philip continued to play some sports, even boxing one year in the Nashville City Tournament. He began scholastic debating, which continued for five years while at Lipscomb, and preached at every opportunity. As a Speech major in college, he continued preaching each Sunday at a rural church. When he and Pat began seriously dating, she would accompany him on Sunday with her mother’s approval. “Most of our dating,” according to Philip, “was confined to group activities, and the time together on Sunday allowed us to know each other better.”

When Philip graduated from college, he and Pat married and moved to Wichita, Kansas, for Philip’s first pulpit position. “It was a wonderful church, and we loved the Midwest,” says Philip. During the years there, they welcomed their first daughter, Karen Marie.

Returning to Tennessee, Philip enrolled in Harding School of Religion(now Theology), earning a master’s degree. Then in 1961, the Slates were asked to go to London, England, to plant a church. They remained there for 10.5 years. Another daughter, Carla Joan, and a son, Carl Philip, were born there. Pat was involved by teaching classes and directing the Bible correspondence program. Philip was accepted to Oxford University where he did his doctoral research toward a Doctor of Missiology degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1975.

In 1972, the Slates returned to Memphis when Philip was invited to teach at Harding School of Religion. He would remain in that position for 21 years while he and Pat would also teach and minister to five different churches of Christ during that time. Philip describes those years as “very rewarding.” Pat’s classes on “Fascinating Womanhood” were taught in many churches. In 1983, Pat surprised everyone by deciding to try sky diving. “It was exciting, but once was enough,” says Pat.

The last six years of Philips academic career were as Chair of the Missions Department of Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. Following his retirement, he and Pat served as mission trainers, consultants, and encouragers in both the United States and abroad. As a result of their mission work, Phillip has visited 40 , and Pat has visited 25!

Regarding their work, Philip has this to say: “God opened many doors for us to serve. The best positions were those we did not seek.” Philip has also served by authoring or co-authoring six books and many articles.

The Slates at their wedding
Wedding Day

The move to Memphis was the Slates’ final move and became home. All of their family live in Tennessee, which now includes eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. The move did not really mean retirement for Philip. He continued to serve churches wherever he and Pat lived, and he continues since moving to Kirby Pines through Zoom and e-mails.

In 2021, the Slates moved to Kirby Pines because they recognized the advantages and knew many people here. “We enjoy the amenities,” states Philip, “but we also enjoy conversations with the diverse and interesting people who live here.” 

Due to Pat’s health, her activities are limited. However, Philip says he enjoys the Oasis, attending Bible groups, and classes. They worship at Germantown Church of Christ where Phillip serves in many areas. He has served as speaker for Vespers on occasion. Philip has found the Bistro an interesting place to meet others, and he loves walking around our beautiful campus. “The flowers and trees help to create a nice ambiance in this place,” says Philip. Both he and Pat agree, “Moving to Kirby Pines was the right move for us.” 

Written by Joan Dodson, Resident of Kirby Pines.

Therapy Traffic: Green Means Go!

Traffic lights – whether you love them or hate them – help to control the flow of traffic. They tell you when it is your turn to GO, STOP, or use CAUTION. We all understand how they work, and they have been around since 1868! But what you may not be as familiar with is the Functional Pathways Traffic Lights!

What are they?

Functional Pathways has a plethora of traffic light handouts to facilitate and guide residents of typical signs of their health conditions, such as Heart Disease, COPD, Stroke, and even COVID. The star of today’s show is the traffic lights for therapy services! Staying well is everyone’s priority, so utilizing these helpful tools can assist residents, families and caregivers to thrive in place and avoid hospitalizations. 

All is well – therapy services most likely are not needed.

Therapy might be helpful to ensure you are able to participate in your favorite activities with ease and prevent risk of a decline in function.

New onset of these symptoms could result in a hospital admission if the issue is not addressed. Contact your therapy team immediately.

Interested in learning more about all our resources that encourage health and wellness? – reach out to the therapy team at Functional Pathways! Wishing you a very Happy and Healthy New Year!



Physical Therapy: Falling/unsteady or shuffling gait, Pain, Shortness of breath that does not resolve quickly, Unable to do stairs, Trouble with getting in/out of bed, chair, or car safely. 

Occupational Therapy: No longer bathing, cooking and/or cleaning, Incontinence, Not participating in social events, Not leaving your house or apartment.

Speech Language Pathology: Not eating/drinking due to choking or coughing, Forgetting important dates/people, Sudden onset of slurred speech/unable to communicate, Unable to pay bills/keep meds straight. 

Physical Therapy: Out of breath/less energy, Fear of alling/occasional loss of balance, Concerns about getting in/out of a bed, chair or car safely. 

Occupational Therapy: Occasional incontinence concerns, Trouble with grooming/basic hygiene, bathing and/or dressing, Trouble with light housekeeping/cooking, Less comfortable going to social events.

Speech Language Pathology: Some difficulty completing tasks you could previously do, Difficulty finding words or carrying on a conversation, Coughing when/after taking medications, eating or drinking. 

Physical Therapy: Balance is goo, Able to walk without concern/maintain usual activity level, Pain-free range of motion, Able to get in/out of a bed, chair or car safely, No shortness of breath. 

Occupational Therapy: No concerns with hand strength, No visual problems, No concerns with adaptive equipment, No concerns with grooming/basic hygiene, cooking, bathing, dressing, housekeeping.

Speech Language Pathology: Can remember to take medications/pay bills, No memory concerns, No difficulty finding words/carry on conversations, Able to keep appointments, No concerns with eating/swallowing.

The Health Benefits of Exercise in Older Adults

woman lifting weights

Our biology changes as we get older, causing seniors to have different reasons for staying in shape than younger generations. Though physical fitness provides benefits at any age, the health perks physically fit seniors enjoy are more notable. Physicians and researchers say seniors should remain as active as possible, without overexerting one’s self. In older adults, exercise helps you live a longer, healthier, and more joyous life. 

Some of the benefits of exercising later in life include: 

More exercise means more independence for seniors: 
Seniors that exercise regularly are less likely to depend on others. According to Harvard Medical School, regular exercise promotes an older adults ability to walk, bathe, cook, eat, dress, and use the restroom. If self-reliance is a priority, exercise is one of the best ways to maintain independence for older adults. 

Exercise improves balance for older adults: 
Falling down is a much bigger deal for older adults than younger ones. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is admitted to an emergency room for a fall-related injury, and every 19 minutes, a senior dies from a fall, according to the National Council of Aging. Though no two falls are alike, and preventing falls is very complex, regular exercise reduces the likelihood of falling by 23%. 

Regular exercise means more energy: 
Though it seems counter-intuitive, being inactive makes you tired and being active gives you more energy. Any amount of exercise promotes the release of endorphins, which are essential neurotransmitters linked to pain mitigation and a sense of well-being. Endorphins combat stress hormones, promote healthy sleep, and make you feel more lively and energetic, overall. 

man exercising with a rope

Exercise helps prevent and counteract disease: 
Heart disease, osteoporosis, depression and diabetes are common diseases among older adults, and are often deadly. Fortunately, adopting a more active lifestyle can contribute to the prevention of these diseases, or reduce the unpleasant symptoms of these diseases if you already have them. If you are at-risk for disease, exercise may be the key to warding off an unpleasant condition. 

Regular exercise improves brain function: 
One of the most remarkable developments in health science is the revelation that the mind and the body are much more closely linked. A healthy body likely means a healthy mind, and seniors that exercise on a regular basis have improved cognitive health, according to research from NCBI. More recently, a study from the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, regular exercise has been shown to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia by nearly 50%. 

The Spirit of The Season at Kirby Pines

WOW! What a December! Such a beautifully adorned building! Events and activities almost nightly. Our Christmas Parties were amazing. Residents and staff alike came together to spread good cheer throughout the festive month. Today, I would like to focus on three special events that took place this month. These three events tell the Christmas Story of Kirby Pines. It illustrates who we are and what we are about. More than parties….more than gifts….the following is what Christmas is all about.

Immediately after Thanksgiving, it was suggested that family and friends might benefit from a coat drive. With the encouragement of Mr. Trammell, our leadership team, residents, and families have been extremely generous. We have collected over 730 coats, with an additional 125 pairs of gloves, scarves, socks, and sweatshirts. In turn, our staff is receiving these efforts with great joy and appreciation. Residents continued their joy by donating over $39,000 to the Employee Holiday Fund. This was given to our hourly employees making less than $23.00 per hour, based on tenure, and hours worked during 2023. These funds were dispensed on Monday, December 18, just in time for any last-minute shopping.

During the evening of December 18, Kirby Pines Senior Leadership, spearheaded by Mr. Trammell and Michelle Vincent, hosted a “Good Ole Fashion Christmas” for 3 needy families in our area. These families were recommended to us by local churches whom we have close personal ties. We provided a “PotLuck Dinner” prepared by our Directors who offered their own specialties. Kirby Pines contributed an additional $750 per family for “Secret Santa” gifts to be opened on Christmas Morning. It was a truly wonderful event filled with smiles, laughter, and tears of joy. This is the true meaning of Christmas here at Kirby Pines.

I hope that this report gives you a sense of pride and joy knowing the good works that are being done right here at Kirby Pines.

Here is to an even more exciting 2024!


Michael Stephanie and McCoy

Michael, Stephanie and McCoy

Christmas is on the Top of a Steep Hill

Reflections by Maxie Dunnam

There is no more exciting world than the world of children. Charles Schulz, in his Peanut cartoons, perceives and probes that world in a marvelous way. One year during the Christmas season, he put into drawing and dialogue one of those common exchanges between children that has deep and uncommon meaning. Sally asked Charlie Brown, “Is it Christmas yet?” “Four more days,” responds Charlie Brown. “How come it takes so long?” Sally wants to know. Without even looking up from the TV, Charlie Brown gets off one of those off-the-cuff philosophical statements that one can chew on all day. “Christmas is on the top of steep hill,” he said, “and the closer you get to it, the steeper the hill is.” 

As I reflect, I conclude Charlie Brown is right. The birth of Jesus was on the top of steep hill, not literally, though Bethlehem is on a hill. Men had longed and prayed for the Messiah. The years of sorrow and suffering, darkness and death had dragged endlessly on. Through the prophets, God kept telling them that “in the fullness of time,” the Messiah would come. 

That time came, and Jesus was born. He said he would come, and he did. He came to give us life, and he promised to come again to fully establish his Kingdom with his followers living with him eternally. 

He will keep that promise. I want to solidly lodge two sentences in your mind for your reflection and action as you stay ready for his coming. Let this be the hill you climb as Christmas comes and your celebration will be as joyful as the children. First, we have plenty of everything, except what we need to make what we have worthwhile. Spend a few minutes pondering that before you read further………….. 

The second word: The best we have without Christ is not enough for salvation, not enough to give us abundant life. We need a Messiah, a savior, a life giver. Christmas is on the top of a steep hill of acknowledging our need. When we acknowledge that all of our getting and spending, our accumulation of things, the way we excuse our selfishness and efforts at self-justification, the way we go about trying to rationalize our un-involvement with the needs of the world, the way we seek salvation in so many places. 

When we realize that all this is futile, and wait and pray in expectation and openness, then we will see the salvation of the Lord. ‘Until he comes again, by his grace we can move from one degree of glory to another. 

-Maxie Dunnam  

Congratulations to Our Champion of the Month: Charlene Jones


LPN – Medical

Describe your family: Close and sharing.

Describe yourself in five words: Determined, open-minded, trustworthy, patient and kind.

What do you do for fun: Vintage shopping. 

Do you have any pets?: A 7 year old white shepherd named, Samson.

Do you have any hobbies: Quilting and crafting. 

What is your favorite food: Fish.

What is your favorite thing about your job: Satisfaction in helping people.

What is your favorite song: Walking by Mary Mary.

What is something you are proud of: Becoming a nurse.

What would you like people to know about you: I have a twin and have been married 37 years.

Charlene Jones is the strength on the 11-7 shift. When there is a staffing issue, she takes the leading role and makes adjustments that are in the best interest of the residents. She is consistently part of the solution to voiced concerns. She has often stayed over, just to make sure our residents were taken care of. We are proud to have her on our team.

– Rhonda Nelson, Director of Nursing