Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pawnee Senior Center, Genoa, Celebrates 25th Birthday!

By Shelly Burke, Editor

On March 6, 2010, the Pawnee Senior Center in Genoa celebrated its 25th anniversary with an open house.

Teresa Drozd provided the welcome and introduction of the guests at the program.

Congressman Adrian Smith was a featured guest and spoke of his appreciation for small towns. “As I spend time in Nebraska before I head back to Washington DC,” he remarked, “I am reminded how nice Nebraska is. Rural Nebraska is the real deal.”

Senator Annette Dubas was another featured speaker. She is from Fullerton, and familiar with the area and small towns. She congratulated the Senior Center on its accomplishements and remarked, “This celebration is an example of what makes Nebraska’s communities a great place to live.”

Both Smith and Dubas spent time talking with others who attended the event.

Tim Mohrman, Senior Center Manager, reminded me that people don’t have to be over the age of 60 to enjoy meals at the Senior Center or receive Meals on Wheels. He wants people to know that guests of any age are welcome. Tim said, “The goal of the Senior Center is to help seniors to stay in their own home longer by providing meals here or in their home, foot care, and other services.”

A highlight of the afternoon was a performance by the Golden Oldies Band, formed by Jean Strand shortly after the Center opened. In 2009 the band played at more than 45 events in central Nebraska. Pearl Christensen, the only remaining original member of the band, is 96 years old. Her first instrument was a macarena that she made from a can filled with pebbles; the can had Chinese writing on it and was a souvenir from one of her many international trips.

The Senior Center was incorporated in 1983, and served its first meals in March of 1985. Last year, 8,781 meals were provided to participants 60 years of age and older.

The Pawnee Senior Center provides many services to the citizens of the Genoa area. Noon meals are served Monday through Friday, with an evening meal on Tuesday. The Meals-on-Wheels program delivers to participants who are unable to leave their home.

The Senior Center provides many services to area seniors; health education and clinics, volunteer opportunities, entertainment, senior care options, caregiver support, and socialization with new and long-time friends.

We wish the Senior Center a very happy anniversary and many more years serving Genoa and the surrounding area.

For more information about the Pawnee Senior Center and upcoming activities, call (402) 993-6002.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Looking for Suggestions!

I need your help, readers!

I’ve been including articles about local events, activities, and individuals, in the paper. In the April paper you’ll read about the Pawnee Senior Center in Genoa, celebrating their 25th birthday! In the May issue you’ll read about a planned mission trip by a group from Norfolk. In June you’ll read about a Columbus group also planning a mission trip. In past issues I’ve featured musicians, singers, a medical mission team, and so one.

If you know of an event, person, or group that you’d like to see featured, please contact me! You can reach me at shelly@shellyburke.net, or by phone at (402) 993-2467 or (402) 750-3496.

Thanks for your help!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Visit to the Emergency Room

About two hours after we returned home from Grandpa’s funeral in Missouri, Tim called me from the ranch, where he and the kids were doing chores. “Morgan got hit in the head by a gate and needs stitches. I’m bringing her home right now; get ready to go with us to the hospital.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE: many days, before Tim and the kids go to the ranch, I tell them, “Be careful—no trips to the Emergency Room today!” Today, however, I forgot to say that!)
On the way to the hospital I got the whole story; Morgan was letting the show cattle out for the night, and a cow kicked a gate that Morgan was standing by. Unfortunately the gate bounced into her head, knocking her down and making a big gash in her forehead.

The Emergency Room wasn’t busy, so she was seen immediately by a great nurse, and then stitched up by a very compassionate doctor. Morgan was brave throughout the ordeal.

We are so thankful that her injury wasn’t worse, and that Tim was close by and we could get her to the hospital immediately! Morgan is kind of proud of her injury and not at all worried about a scar (the doctor said it shouldn’t scar much at all, especially if she doesn’t allow sun on it this summer).

I think from now on I'll remember to remind everyone, "NO TRIPS TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM TODAY!"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Grandpa's Funeral Readings

(These were the readings at my grandpa’s funeral, and I share them with you in remembrance of him. My dad gave the meditations on these verses. Grandpa liked the traditional wording, which is used here.)

To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue…
Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed. The Lord works out everything for His own end—even the wicked for a day of disaster…In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:1, 3-4, 9

Grandpa made many plans during his life. Some things went as he’d planned, and some did not. But whether they did or did not go as he’s planned, Grandpa had put his life in God’s hands. He knew that the Lord was determining his steps, and accepted whatever happened.

Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” Thomas saith unto Him, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the say?” Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” John 14:1-6
What an amazing thought—Jesus Himself is preparing our eternal home for us…and loved ones who are already in Heaven are enjoying their mansions. We can all find comfort and joy in these words!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Grandpa Geil

We were saddened last night to receive the news from my mom and dad that my Grandpa Geil (my dad’s father) had died.

Grandpa had had some health problems recently but maintained a cheerful attitude every time I talked with him. He had a deep faith and our comfort is in the fact that he is in heaven with our Savior and his wife, who died in 1992. Mom and dad were with him when he died. He knew he was dying, and they said he was at peace and so excited to see Grandma in heaven.

We were all blessed to know Grandpa as long as we did, although of course we wish we would have had more years with him. I will always remember his sense of his humor and his words of wisdom about anything we talked about. He encouraged me in everything I did, and was always interested in our family and our activities. He loved to hear about all of our animals (especially the donkeys) and their antics.

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the Eternal Rock.” Isaiah 26:34

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Retired Preacher's View from the Pew

(Editor's Note: This column was written by my dad. His column will appear in the Nebraska Family Times every month. Dad is a great teacher and I learn something from every article I read and sermon of his that I hear. I hope you enjoy this article and the ones that will follow!)

A Retired Preacher's View from the Pew

As a retired pastor I get a different view of things from the pew than the view I had from the pulpit. Christmas and Easter are two good examples.

Christmas and Easter are the two most important celebrations of the church year for most of those who practice the Christian faith. It could be debated, but they are probably two of the most important celebrations for those who don’t consider the church and worship a very important part of their lives. The secularization of those two holidays (the word “holiday” comes from the Old English "halig" holy + "daeg" day) has a lot to do with that. You don’t see many Transfiguration or Maundy Thursday cards on the shelves, but almost everybody knows they have to buy Christmas presents for their kids and take them to the town Easter egg hunt even if they don’t make the connection to the Savior.

And for some reason, many people who don’t think it’s important to be in church the rest of the year seem to think they should be there on Christmas and Easter. When you’re a preacher looking from the pulpit it’s a bittersweet feeling on Christmas and Easter to see the church packed with “members,” knowing that many of them won’t see the inside of the church again until the next year. Those are the days for the preacher to “speak the truth in love” and remind those they are to shepherd about the importance of corporate worship.

When you’re a retired preacher and member in the pew there are some unique problems you’ll have to deal with. Here are a few guidelines for Christmas and Easter:
1. Make sure you get to church early if you want to sit in your favorite pew or if your family wants to sit together.
2. Sit near the front to avoid the distraction of kids (and adults, too) who don’t know how to behave in church because they haven’t been there enough to learn how to behave in church.
3. Be careful in being nice to “guests“. Never ask them where they‘re from-they might be a member who only comes at Christmas and Easter. Instead, say, ”It was nice to see you today! We hope to see you here again soon.”
4. Try to have an answer ready for the people who complain , “I come to church twice a year and hear the same two stories year after year.” Reply, ”Come every week and you’ll hear a lot of different stories.”

Easter and Christmas give opportunities to witness to those who are less than faithful in their worship. The Scriptures remind us all: Hebrews 10:25 “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Allen Geil is a retired pastor/teacher/hog farmer who lived in Nebraska for 18 years and now lives in Missouri.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Another Sign of Spring--A Donkey Baby!

We've acquired 6 adult donkeys over the last few years. When Morgan had sheep, the donkeys lived near them to protect the sheep from the coyotes. Several months ago the guys noticed that several of the donkeys were pregnant. The gestation period of a donkey is about a year, so we've been waiting for a baby or babies for the last few weeks.

Cody and Morgan have been feeding their cattle early in the morning and also checking for baby calves--and this morning Cody came home excitedly announcing the birth of the first baby donkey! I think it's the first donkey that's ever been born on the ranch...and the ranch has been in the Burke family for more than 100 years.

I love living in the country and seeing sights like this, and experiencing the wonder of new life.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spring is Coming...

I'm so thankful for encouraging, if small, signs of spring! I was able to walk OUTSIDE today! It's been too cold, snowy, windy, and muddy for several weeks. Jenny (the beagle) and I really enjoyed being out. We even saw a few robins, and heard them singing!

The snow is slowly disappearing. We're supposed to get rain next week and I'm sure that will help also.

I enjoy watching the seasons change; I think it was so nice of God to make our world so interesting. He could have created the earth so that the weather was constant...but it's continually changing from day to day, month to month, and year to year...and sometimes in Nebraska, hour to hour!

As my mom says at this time of year, "Every day of winter still brings us one day closer to spring."