-Written by Katy (edited by Anna) –

Sunday, October 23 was my birthday, my 64th birthday. At times along this journey I wondered if I would live to see it, but here I am! Since my birthday was on a Sunday,we found ourselves at church. We go to a small white country church and since it is a small congregation my birthday was recognized. Instead of singing Happy Birthday, I requested an old hymn, And are we yet alive? (see hymn below) It was written by Charles Wesley and sung by early American Methodist pastors, many of them circuit riders, at their annual meetings. The lives of circuit riders were anything but easy. Living on the road, riding on horseback through all kinds of weather, exposure to the elements, sickness, and dangers on the road…this was not an easy or safe life. Yet their impact is not to be underestimated as they shared the Gospel throughout the colonies. Many of these preachers died at a young age but those preachers who did survive to see another year would sing this hymn when they gathered.

So this past Sunday, Mt Zion Methodist church sang this song as a way of celebrating the mercies of God in seeing me through this difficult year. It helps put life in perspective. It helps me remember that were it not for God’s great mercies, we would all be consumed.

A phrase I am hearing over and over again is “Ya never know!” and how true this is as we live with increasing uncertainties and anxiety as we look at our world, our nation and our children’s future. As we get older and experience more of the world’s brokenness and watch evil prosper, trusting God through it all is not easy. My prayer is that I can declare with an honest heart the reality that the Psalmist found in Psalm 73:

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold…When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply UNTIL I entered the sanctuary of God…Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.


And are we yet alive?

1. And are we yet alive,
and see each other’s face?
Glory and thanks to Jesus give
for his almighty grace!

2. Preserved by power divine
to full salvation here,
again in Jesus’ praise we join,
and in his sight appear.

3. What troubles have we seen,
what mighty conflicts past,
fightings without, and fears within,
since we assembled last!

4. Yet out of all the Lord
hath brought us by his love;
and still he doth his help afford,
and hides our life above.

5. Then let us make our boast
of his redeeming power,
which saves us to the uttermost,
till we can sin no more.

6. Let us take up the cross
till we the crown obtain,
and gladly reckon all things loss
so we may Jesus gain.

(The United Methodist Hymnal Number 553, Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788, Music: Johann G. Nageli; arr. by Lowell Mason, Tune: DENNIS, Meter: SM)


44 thoughts on “Birthdays

  1. Thanks for sharing Katy
    I had never heard that Hymn but it puts life into proper perspective

    Happy Birthday love miss you and Stan
    Pete for Katz too


    1. Pete and Katz,what a comfort and joy to be able to hear from you in this way, thanks for tracking ,or trekking, with us on this means so much to know you’re there, even though half a world or moreaway. Sometimes I wish we had had more time to live closer,to follow your lives more closely, but then I just stop and thank the Lord that we met at all, in Gods great providence and care!i think we must meet again in Chiang Mai but NC would be closer 🙂 thanks for your love n prayers!


  2. happy birthday dear sister Katy!!! Happy birthday dear brother Stan!! Of course, as you always do, you’ve blessed and encouraged me and pointed me to Jesus – what a beautiful and powerful hymn and so perfect for your birthday. We thank God for you in every remembrance – we miss you both in this gospel-needy place. we continue to pray for you as you walk this journey of healing, hope and grace and proclaim the glory of God throughout each and every turn. we love you!!!


    1. Oh Diane, I can’t tell you how good it is to see your name here and just to know that your presence is still in my life even if from a distance. Location is nothing when bound by cords of His love. Chris has never been closer to me.somehow she’s there cheering us on in our hard places.thank you for holding the fort inaplace we love and He loves, in a place where many have not yet bowed the knee to His Lordship over all.we are blessed to have had each other to encourage us to live lives fully obedient to Him.
      Much love,


    1. Oh Chrissy, our love for you is so strong, it’s sometimes hard to imagine that His could be stronger. Thank you for not losing touch! It means so much to us. Katy


    1. Thank you, ,Virelle, for being in touch this way. We know you have had your own share of griefs and sufferings from which you have risen to stand again over.

      And over. Your life witnesses to the power of God at work in us.thank you for being steadfast, immovable in your love of the Lord.
      Our love to all the kidder!


  3. Thanks so much fro sharing Katy. I did not know that song and what a powerful message. How appropriate. Still praying, thanks for listening to God and sharing and blessing us.


  4. How is Stan doing? We have been praying for you both….And this I know…Stan turned 63 this month b/c I remember being almost exactly 10 years older than him! This getting older thing is tough in so many ways and we are experiencing our share these days. Blessings on you, Katy….jean

    On Fri, Oct 28, 2016 at 4:23 PM, Journey with Katy wrote:

    > lizlind posted: “-Written by Katy (edited by Anna) – Sunday, October 23 > was my birthday, my 64th birthday. At times along this journey I wondered > if I would live to see it, but here I am! Since my birthday was on a > Sunday,we found ourselves at church. We go to a small ” >


    1. Jean, good to see you. R name here. Thanks for reaching out and for keeping us in prayer. We do appreciate it. Growing older isn’t for sissies! I. T takes courage and plenty of His grace to face the challenges! Let us know how we can pray for you. Love, katy


  5. Thanking God you are both still here, pointing others to Him. The hymn a reminder that grounds us in the knowledge that our lives, each moment, each day, are in His hands. Miss and love you both…and we continue to pray. He isn’t finished!


  6. Powerful. Grateful for your life Katy and another year of your life glorifying Jesus.

    Love the song. Words are powerful and thanks for the explanation. Blessings of many more years.


  7. God bless you both on your birthdays! So tankful that you are both still here. Missing you both. Heading out next Wednesday for Minneapolis with Tammy and Alyssa to go to my son’s wedding. Looking forward to the celebration. Giving a mother of the groom toast-pray for the right words to come together. Nancy in NY


    1. Praying for you as you go, Nancy, to your sons wedding. I know your toast will be beautiful because God, Himself, will give you the words!i believe He loves opportunities like this!thank you for your cards and love.we miss you and our”family”there.


  8. Thanks again for being an encouragement to us! Too bad, tho, they took it out of my Methodist hymnal. Mine stops at 552. Keep on expecting that healing. He is willing & able.


    1. Thank you, Janice, for your (and Eds) continual prayers and encouragement, for remembering our birthdays with a card sent with love. I love that you even have a Methodist hymnal but I suspect this isn’t the only hymn left out. Nonetheless,God gives them to us to enjoy and be blessed by! Much love, katy


  9. Happy belated birthday, Katy and happy Are We Yet Alive day. No matter how crazy and out of control this world gets it is indeed true that if it weren’t for the mercies of God we would all be consumed!


  10. Katy, Happy Birthday! I thank God for creating you! Through good times and bad, you continue to share the gospel and point everyone to Jesus! Your life is a sweet smelling testimony! I so wish you didn’t live so far from Albany, we all miss you. We’re all praying for your and Stan’s complete physical healing. 😊💗 love you!!


  11. Words of life sung by our own countrymen while sacrificing for us to live in liberty in America. I’m praying for current countrymen who will lead us to God for our children’s churches sake. Thankyou for caring to share this beautiful word.


  12. Happy Birthday to both you and Stan!! Thank you for sharing! Your testimony is beautiful. Loved your idea of singing a hymn instead of Happy Birthday! Miss you! Sending prayers & hugs!


    1. Good to hear from you again Liz. Do I have to go to the hospital to see you or do you make house calls? Would love to see you again!


  13. Happy, happy birthday, Katy…and may you, Stan, share in her celebration of Joy. I think of you folks often as I make weekly trips to Wilmore to see to my terminally ill father, who’s a new resident at Wesley Village. While I’ve personally been blessed with good health (so far!), I too have come face to face with the fragility of life, and the struggle to keep going when discouraged.

    Thank you Katy (and Stan, whom I’ve never met but respect deeply), for your powerful presentation of faith in the face of adversity.


  14. Happy belated birthday Katy! You are a strong lady, and we have all learned so much from your experiences and testimony. Thank you for sharing with us. I may not have posted much lately, but I haven’t forgotten about you. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.


  15. Hey Karty, Happy Birthday in Arrears. one thing God has been telling me lately is that Our christian life is known in the valleys not on the plains and mountain tops free of challenge and trouble places. And honestly I have no clue what that means. When I am not skill to understand what He is up to, I only know at his right hand is one who is my savior. Lesson from China. May his grace be your strength. Miriam sends her love and greetings for your birthday as well


  16. I forgot to send you birthday greetings! Hope it was special! Sounds like it was, in some ways at least. I enjoyed this so much I’m printing it out and giving it to our pastor!


    1. Sorry I missed your birthday, Kathy! Know you are loved n remembered, even if late. The year ahead can look ominous except for putting our renewed trust in Himwho continues to lead us through ! He knows The Way through the wilderness. Love, katy


  17. Happy Birthday, Katie, you are in my prayers every night….I only met you a couple of times but some how I feel very close to you as you go through this trial…(I am Joanne DeFayette and Brenda Embry’s mom) keep fighting…you guys have had a very tough year…God Bless you….


  18. Thank you for sharing this hymn, Katy. I think I’ve heard it only once, at a meeting of the Wesley Scholars in Wilmore some thirty years ago! Very appropriate for your birthday. I’m glad to know that the Lord continues to preserve you and Stan through the health challenges you’ve experienced.


  19. Hi Katy,

    I love keeping up with you through these posts. I am praying for you and Stan and am so happy you are both still here! Happy belated bday!

    I would appreciate you keeping me in your prayers. My mom passed on to be with the Lord last month. Today would have been her 86th bday. I am filled with joy this morning as I realize, in hind sight, how precious my time with her was and what a great mom and grandma she was to us.

    Please pray that I will clearly hear Gods voice as I transition into this new phase of my life. It seems He has cleared my plate for a new season. Brian is married, Beth is at SUNY Brockport and mom is with the Lord. The kids are both doing great and that is pure joy for me too. I am excited and nervous to see what God has next for me!

    Love, Noreen

    Sent from my iPhone



  20. On Noreen , lots of changes and adjustments for you, which puts you in a new place, wondering what’s next, seeking Him……..I am praying for you and with you. Don’t miss just “being” with Him for awhile instead of doing.How truly wonderful that the children are settled in places of their own and your mom is in the hands now of Jesus.How grateful I know you are now for time spent with her and care given before she passed. God has brought you through so much, .Noreen! He’s not finished with you yet. You are of inestimable worth. He will lead the way through the next chapter of the story of your life that He is writing?
    Much love,


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