Resources: Grace Notes Features


November 25, 2009


From the Health Cabinet

November 25, 2009
"Senior Moment" or Alzheimer's?

When a "senior moment" occurs it can be frustrating and also unsettling. When does that "moment" or several of those "moments" become something more? The Alzheimer's Association has listed on their website the differences between normal memory loss as we age (those "senior moments") and Alzheimer's Disease. Now is the time, during National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, to stop and evaluate our loved ones and ourselves. Many families often don't see what's happening to a loved one right away. It is very easy to overlook those "moments" and not realize that someone close to you is in trouble.

 Signs of Alzheimer's  Typical Age-Related Changes
 Poor judgment and decision-making  Making a bad decision once in a while
 Inability to manage a budget  Missing a monthly payment
 Losing track of the date or the season  Forgetting which day it is and remembering later
 Difficulty having a conversation  Sometimes forgetting which word to use
 Misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them  Losing things from time to time

For more information on Alzheimer's Disease and to find out the 10 early warning signs of the disease, visit the Alzheimer's Association web site.


Hymn Stories

November 25, 2009
"On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry" by Len Berghaus

"On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry" is the Hymn of the Day for December 6, the second Sunday in Advent. All four Gospel writers introduce John as the Baptizer who appears in the wilderness of Judea to announce that the Lord's coming is near. The prophet Isaiah says: "A voice is calling out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way for the Lord; make the paths straight for Him.'"

The first stanza of this hymn is like a trumpet fanfare that explodes into the whole world and into each one of our hearts the long awaited announcement of the birth of the world's Savior. Wake up! The news is great! And through the inner stanzas we invite each other to prepare for this welcomed guest and to honor Him. We ask for the Lord's blessing upon our lives, that we be favored with good health and strength to endure until life's end. The concluding stanza praises the triune God for the freedom we have gained through the gift of his Son.

Charles Coffin is the author of this great hymn. He was born in Buzancy, Ardennes, France, on October 4, 1676. In 1736, the majority of his hymns, including this one, appeared in the Paris Breviary (a liturgical collection of services for the Roman Catholic Church). Stanzas 1-3 were translated from Latin into English by John Chandler; stanzas 4-5, the translator is unknown. Charles Coffin died on June 20, 1749, in Paris and was forbidden by the rector of his parish to receive the last rites or to have a Christian burial because of his persistence in appealing against the papal Constitution Unigenitas of 1713.

The composer Michael Praetorius (1571-1621), the youngest son of a Lutheran pastor, is familiar to us as the writer of this hymn and the beloved chorales "Lo, How a Rose is Growing" and "In Dulci Jubilo."


Looking for What to Read Next

by Carol Clover

During November, an adult education series featured presentations on the Book of Psalms. The Church Library has a number of titles on this subject that should be of interest to adult readers. Perhaps best known is C.S. Lewis's "Reflections on the Psalms." In this book of reflections, Lewis delves into the Psalms with the sensitivity of a poet and the honesty of a scholar. More than in Lewis' other books, his view on the Bible is most clearly seen as a canon of various types of literature to be approached in various ways. It is not an encyclopedia but an anthology. Scripture is viewed as God selecting a canon which, taken as a whole, portrays the history of the Incarnation, using myth, chronicle poetry and prophecy to do so. Lewis selects various Psalms for his discussions, enlightening them with his usual good sense while using illustrations from daily life and the literary world. A useful appendix at the back of the book lists the Psalms mentioned or discussed along with a reference to the page numbers on which they appear.

"The Promise of Winter: Quickening the Spirit on Ordinary Days and in Fallow Seasons, Reflections and Photographs" by Martin E. Marty and Micah Marty explores the signs of promise and presence found in the winter of the soul. Through its striking photographs of winter and reflective meditations on the Psalms, this volume leads readers on a journey through the heart's winter to the discovery of the God for all seasons.

Robert A. Schuller's "Getting Through What You're Going Through" is a study of Psalm 23. The book offers ten principles based on the Psalm to help break down the barriers to healing and to help readers get through their difficult times. Above all, the book proves the healing power of faith and prayer. To get through what you're going through, you must be willing to be carried, and that takes trusting, explains Schuller. Let go and let God support you, and your faith will lead you out of the valley into the Promised Land is his central message.

"Aesop's Fables" by Jerry Pinkney is a children's book for ages 8-9 years. It is the quintessential Aesop, lovingly retold in a contemporary yet timeless style embellished with a profusion of glorious illustrations. The text, which includes 61 fables in all, begs to be read aloud, while the pictures transport the reader into a different world, magical yet firmly grounded in reality. The book received starred reviews in Horn Book Magazine, Booklist, and Kirkus Reviews.


From the Back Page

"Portraits of the Prophets: Daniel" by Benjamin Chandler, art teacher at Grace School


Read columns and articles from previous issues of Grace Notes

From the Health Cabinet: Thinking of You

Hymn Stories

Looking for What to Read Next

The Back Page