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Activated July 2009

Aging Gracefully - July 2009

We all age, but too few of us learn how to enjoy and make the most of the process. Here’s how to make each passing year better than the one before.

01-07-2009
The Best is Yet to Be
The Best is Yet to Be

Odd, isn’t it, how our perceptions change as we age. When I was very small, my brother, who was all of 18 months older, defined “big.” When I was in 1st grade, I thought 4th graders were a higher life form, but by the 6th grade I was old enough and wise enough to realize that the new batch of 4th graders were in fact little kids.

My parents surely knew everything there was to know until I was a teenager, when they became clueless practically overnight. I could never imagine them as children, but now it’s hard to believe that...

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01-07-2009
New Start at 80
New Start at 80

Brenda was nearly 80 when her husband died and she was left alone in a large house in a mid-sized city with a fairly high crime rate. Her two sons lived an hour away, but her daughter, who didn’t, wondered how her mother would cope and prayed for her often.

Months passed. One day Brenda was reading obituaries in the newspaper and came across a name she recognized from many years before—Nick, with whom she had become close friends when they were both teenage counselors at a summer camp for children. The obituary was for Nick’s wife. Memories flooded Brenda’s mind....

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01-07-2009
Year by Year, Day by Day
Year by Year, Day by Day

Someone asked me the other day, “Why do you so often tell your age?” Well, I think it’s wonderful how God has kept me through so many years. I’ll tell it again.—I’m in my 80th year [in 1966]!

I wouldn’t fear old age, if I were you. Some people think that old age brings on all sorts of troubles and inconveniences. There is some of that, of course, but old age can also be a glorious adventure, especially for those who have a personal relationship with Jesus. Without Jesus, I imagine my life would have been humdrum and filled with disappointments...

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01-07-2009
God at the Wheel
God at the Wheel

I can still remember when it was just me—self-assured, confident, and proud of my ability to maneuver my car along life’s road. I was master of my fate. I loved those solitary hours on the highway, watching the sun sink below the horizon. I loved the feel of the wheels gripping the road. I loved being able to go anywhere at a whim, wherever my fancy would take me at the moment. Life was all mine to enjoy, and I did my best to live it up.

Sure, there were hard times too—lonely, dark stretches of road in the night that...

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01-07-2009
Your Turn to Love
Your Turn to Love

Do you have parents, grandparents, or other loved ones who are suffering from any of the long-term troubles that occur naturally in old age? Here are five ways that you can return their love and support:

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01-07-2009
She Goes with Grace
She Goes with Grace

While going through my mother’s personal belongings after she died, I found a bookmark that has meant a lot to me since. On it is a picture of an elderly Native American woman in a long flowing dress. There are mountains in the distance, and the moon is high in the sky above them. The woman’s eyes are closed. Below the picture are the words, “She goes with grace.”

I had heard or read a few accounts of how God has given people “dying grace” at the moment of their passing, or similar grace to others who have lost loved ones....

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01-07-2009
Smiling at a Tree
Smiling at a Tree

Eighty-two-year-old Eloise sits in her nursing home room with Stage Six Alzheimer’s. She remembers her name but frequently doesn’t recognize her granddaughter. She is sweet and kind to all the nurses and has a special impact on them, although they appear in her room every morning as strangers. It is easy for them to be patient with Eloise; other Alzheimer’s patients sometimes act stubborn and cantankerous. In spite of losing her memory and spending most of her time alone, she is happy because she looks out her window and sees a tree.

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01-07-2009
At Midlife, Is This As Good As It Gets?
At Midlife, Is This As Good As It Gets?

God wants to equip you to meet these new challenges.

Question: I thought that after my children were grown and gone I would finally have time to do some things I’ve always wanted to do, but now I find that I’m worn out by the end of the day and tired when the weekend comes around. Is it all downhill from here?

 

Answer: Midlife requires some adjustments, but no, it’s not all downhill. The decline in physical stamina is natural and part of God’s plan. He uses these and other challenges of midlife to slow us down and get us to take...

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01-07-2009
Looking for the Sunrise
Looking for the Sunrise

I’m not looking for the sunset,

As the swift years come and go;
I am looking for the sunrise,
And the golden morning glow,
Where the light of heaven’s glory
Will break forth upon my sight,
In the land that knows no sunset,
Nor the darkness of the night.

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01-07-2009
Sunrise, Sunset
Sunrise, Sunset

The sky this evening was beautiful—a cathedral in the heavens, glowing with light. It was almost like catching a glimpse of heaven. The sun is gone now, swallowed up by the darkness, but it’s sure to rise again. Sometimes the dawn is even more beautiful than the sunset.

The light slowly fades to darkness, but then comes the sunrise. “The Sun of Righteousness”—Jesus—“shall arise”1 and set everything straight. Before I can see the sun itself when it begins to rise, I can see its effects as it lights up everything—like the light of God’s Word drives away the darkness.

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01-07-2009
Age, a State of Mind
Age, a State of Mind

Growing old is no more than a bad habit which a busy person has no time to form.

—André Maurois

 

If wrinkles must be written upon your brow, let them not be written upon your heart. The spirit should not grow old.

—James Garfield

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01-07-2009
Ages and Stages
Ages and Stages

Each age has its special beauty.

Proverbs 16:31: The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.

Proverbs 20:29: The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor of old men is their gray head.

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01-07-2009
A Prayer for Aging Gracefully

Jesus, You promised, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”1 Please help me to stay young in heart and spirit, even as I grow older in body.

Help me to remember to thank You for the times I’m in good health, and give me the grace to cheerfully accept the difficulties and disappointments that come with aging. Amen.

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01-07-2009
The Tapestry
The Tapestry

Each event in a person’s life, each thought, each decision, each bit of love, and each interaction with some-one else is like a thread in a tapestry. Day after day, dark threads ad bright threads are woven together, often, t seems, without rhyme or reason, but in the end they form a picture. I’m looking at the tapestry of your life now, and it’s beautiful! All the good things—the happiness and fulfilment, the love you gave and received, the lives that were better because of you—these are bright threads. 

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