Growing Older Gracefully Archives 2010

Home | Autumn Creation | Harvest -Time of Thanksgiving | Autumn of Our Lives | Archives


  • Honor the Older by Murray Wade
  • Senior Citizens and Finding a Good Night's Sleep
  • Lessons I Learned As I Grew Older
  • The Art of Growing Older Gracefully
  • When You Look At Me, See ME (poem)
  • Growing Older by Johnny Ramsey
  • "Don't Let Go!" by Joanne Beckley
  • Older and Improved? by Shane Williams 
  • Life's Book (poem) 


Honor The Older
Sermon notes for Sunday, September 24, 2006
Notes written by Murray Wade

We do not have our older folks with us very long. I remember in 1973 my grandparents came to visit us from Oregon to Ohio on my 13th birthday. During that visit my Father encouraged me to spend some time with my grandfather and ask him about his experiences in the depression, in WW1 and WW2, as a sheriff, cars, etc. I remember that day clearly even today. He talked and told stories for hours and once in a while I ask a question. I learned so many things from that visit, and then two days later my grandparents died in a terrible car accident.

A few months ago I had the privilege of taking brother Jack to the hospital for some tests. The tests were delayed so we had couple of hours to talk about so many wonderful things. He told me so many great stories it was hard keeping track. I told a few too and we really enjoyed the visit. We laughed and laughed. Then later I went to visit him after his surgery, and we were both chastised by the nurses because we got each other laughing so hard, they were worried that Jack would rip open his staples.

We can learn so much from the older. God’s Word teaches us about showing honor. Let us look at some of these scriptures.

Fathers (Exodus 20:12, Hebrews 12:9, Ephesians 6:1-3)

Respect starts in the home. We parents need to train our children how to show proper honor and respect for those who are older. We children need to honor our parents, even when they are not perfect.

The Older and Wiser (Exodus 18:24-26, Proverbs 24:6, 1 Kings 12:13-14, 1 Timothy 5:1-2, Titus 2:1-7). Younger women are to honor older women. Young men are to honor older men. Remember, even when we get older, like me and Gene, we must honor, respect, and submit to those older and wiser than us. A good example about how this relationship does not change with years is Paul and Timothy. Even when Timothy was probably 30-35 years old, Paul refers “To Timothy, a beloved son:” in 2 Timothy 1:2. I have always tried to listen to the older, especially those who are older and living faithfully for God. We see a lesson on this in 2 Kings 2:23-24.

Elders and leaders (Hebrews 13:7, 17, 1 Timothy 5:17-18). “Rule or Lead”.

God the Father and God the Son (James 4:7-10, 1 Corinthians 11:1, Galatians 2:20). As we honor, respect, and submit to the older and wiser, we learn how to honor, respect, and submit to the authority of God the Father and God the Son.

The scriptures teach that we are to honor the older. One last passage seems to put it altogether for us. Read with me 1 Peter 5:5-7. How about you this morning? Have you humbled yourself to God by repenting of your sins and being baptized for the forgiveness of your sins? Why not honor Him and His Son by becoming a Christian this morning? Please let us know if we can help you while we stand and sing.


So many senior citizens complain of sleep problems
 that it has become associated with natural aging.
Research finds, however, that sleep problems grow
with the accumulation of illnesses, not years.

(National Institute on Aging)

Senior Citizens and Finding a Good Night's Sleep

September 18, 2006 - Since he retired, Edward dreads going to bed at night. He’s afraid that when he turns off his light he will just lie there with his eyes open and his mind racing. “How can I break this cycle?” he asks. “I’m so tired – I need to get some sleep.”

Just like Edward, you want a good night’s rest. Getting enough sleep helps you stay healthy and alert. But many older people don’t sleep well. If you’re always sleepy, it may be time to see a doctor. You shouldn’t wake up every day feeling tired.

Sleep and Aging

Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as young adults – between 7 - 9 hours each night. But older people tend to go to sleep earlier and get up earlier than they did when they were younger. And they may nap more during the day. If you sleep too much during the day, it may be hard to fall asleep at night. Also, feeling sick or being in pain can make it hard to sleep. If you don’t get a good night’s sleep, the next day you may be:

    ● irritable
    ● forgetful
    ● depressed
    ● likely to have more falls or accidents

There are two kinds of sleep – REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and non-REM sleep. We dream mostly during REM sleep, and have the deepest sleep during non-REM sleep. As people get older, they spend less time in deep sleep, which may be why older people are often light sleepers.


Insomnia is the most common sleep problem in adults age 60 and older. People with insomnia have trouble falling and staying asleep. Insomnia can last for days, months or even years. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you may:

    ● take a long time to fall asleep
    ● wake up many times in the night
    ● wake up early and be unable to get back to sleep
    ● wake up tired

There are many causes of insomnia. Some of them you can control, but others you can’t. Insomnia may be a sign of other problems. If you are excited about a new activity or worrying over your bills, you may have trouble sleeping. Sometimes insomnia is a side effect of a medication or an illness. Often, being unable to sleep becomes a habit. Some people worry about not sleeping even before they get into bed. Worrying doesn’t help, and it may make insomnia worse.

Older adults who have trouble sleeping may have memory problems, be depressed, have more nighttime falls, use more over-the-counter sleep aids, or feel very sleepy during the day. Using prescription medicines for a short time may help. But remember, these medicines aren’t a cure for insomnia. You need to develop habits that will help you get a good night’s sleep.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is another serious sleeping disorder. A person with sleep apnea pauses in his or her breathing while sleeping. These pauses may happen many times during the night. Waking up over and over each night makes you feel very tired the next day.

You may not even know you have sleep apnea. But your loud snoring and gasping for air can keep other people awake. Feeling sleepy during the day and being told you are snoring loudly at night are signs that you may have sleep apnea.

If you think you have sleep apnea, see a doctor who knows about sleep problems. Treatment may include learning to sleep in a way that keeps your airways open. Sometimes a medical device called Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP), a dental device, or surgery can help. If not treated, sleep apnea can lead to other problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, or memory loss.

Movement Disorders

Restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder are common in older adults. Some people have both problems. These movement disorders can rob you of needed sleep. People with restless legs syndrome, or RLS, feel tingling, crawling, or pins and needles in one or both legs. It’s worse at night. Moving the legs brings some relief, at least for a short time. RLS tends to run in families. See your doctor for more information about a new medicine called ropinirole to treat RLS.

Periodic limb movement disorder, or PLMD, causes people to jerk and kick their legs every 20 – 40 seconds during sleep. Some people have hundreds of these movements each night, which may result in loss of sleep and feeling tired and sleepy the next day. Medication, warm baths, exercise, and learning to relax can help.

A Special Problem Alzheimer’s Disease and Sleep

Alzheimer’s disease often changes a person’s sleeping habits. For example, some people with Alzheimer’s disease sleep too much; others don’t sleep enough. Some people wake up many times during the night; others wander or yell at night. The person with Alzheimer’s disease isn’t the only one who loses sleep. Caregivers may have sleepless nights, leaving them tired and out of sorts.

If you’re caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, there are steps you can take to protect his or her nighttime safety. Try the following:  

  • Put a gate across the stairs.
  • Make sure the floor is clear of objects.
  • Lock up any medicines.
  • Put grab bars in the bathroom.
  • Put a portable toilet in the bedroom.

 Suggestions for a Good Night’s Sleep 

  • Being older doesn’t mean you have to feel tired all the time. There are many things you can do to help you get a good night’s sleep. Here are some ideas.
  • Follow a regular schedule. Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day, even on weekends. Napping in the late afternoon or evening may keep you awake at night.
  • Develop a bedtime routine. About 30-45 minutes before bedtime do the same things each night so your body will know that it’s time to sleep. Some people watch television, read a book, listen to soothing music, or soak in a warm bath. 
  • Your bedroom should be dark, not too hot or too cold, and as quiet as possible.
  • Be sure you have a comfortable mattress, a pillow you like, and enough blankets for the season.
  • Exercise at regular times each day but not within 3 hours of your bedtime.
  • Make an effort to get outside in the sunlight each day.
  • Be careful about when and how much you eat. Large meals close to bedtime may keep you awake, but a light snack in the evening can help you get a good night’s sleep.
  • Stay away from caffeine late in the day. Caffeine (found in coffee, tea, cola, and hot chocolate) is a stimulant that can keep you awake.
  • Drink less liquid in the evening. Waking up to go to the bathroom and turning on a bright light breaks up your sleep.
  • Remember that alcohol won’t help you sleep. Even small amounts make it harder to stay asleep.
  • Use your bedroom only for sleeping. After turning off the light give yourself about 15 minutes to fall asleep. If you’re still awake and not drowsy, get out of bed. When you feel sleepy, go back to bed.

Safe Sleeping

Try to set up a safe and restful place to sleep. Make sure there are smoke alarms on each floor and lock up the house before going to bed. Other ideas for a safe night’s sleep are:

    ●   Keep a telephone with emergency phone numbers by your bed.
    ●   Have a good lamp that turns on easily within reach.
    ●   Put a glass of water next to the bed.
    ●   Use nightlights in the bathroom and hall.
    ●   Don’t smoke, especially in bed.
    ●   Remove area rugs so you won’t trip if you get up in the middle of the night.
    ●   Don’t fall asleep with a heating pad on; it may burn.

Sweet dreams

There are some tricks to help you fall asleep. You don’t really have to count sheep – just try counting slowly to 100. Some people find that playing mental games makes them sleepy. For example, tell yourself it’s 5 minutes before you have to get up and you’re just trying to get a few extra winks. Other people find that relaxing their body puts them to sleep. You might start with your toes, and tell yourself that your toes are relaxed and sleepy. Work your way up the rest of the body saying the same words. You may drift off to sleep before getting to the top of your head.

Sleep problems can cause you to feel bad, but there are changes you can make to get a better night’s sleep. If you feel tired and unable to do the things you usually do for more than 2-3 weeks, see a doctor.


Lessons I've Learned As I Grew Older

I learned that I like my teacher because
she cries when we sing "Silent Night".
Age 5

I learned that our dog doesn't
want to eat my broccoli either.

Age 7

I learned that when I wave to people

in the country, they stop what they

are doing and wave back.

Age 9

I learned that just when I get my room

the way I like it, Mom makes

me clean it up again.

Age 12

I learned that if you want to cheer

yourself up, you should try

cheering someone else up.

Age 14

I learned that although it's hard

 to admit it, I'm secretly glad my

parents are strict with me.
Age 15

I learned that silent company is often
more healing than words of advice.
Age 24

I learned that brushing my child's hair
is one of life's great pleasures.

Age 26

I learned that wherever I go, the

world's worst drivers have

followed me there.
Age 29
I learned that if someone says something

unkind about me, I must live so

that no one will believe it.

Age 30

I learned that there are people who love you
dearly but just don't know how to show it.

Age 42

I learned that you can make some one's day

by simply sending them a little note.

Age 44

I learned that the greater a person's sense

of guilt, the greater his or her need

to cast blame on others.
Age 46


I learned that children and
grandparents are natural allies.
Age 47

I learned that no matter what happens,
or how bad it seems today, life does
go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

Age 48

I learned that singing "Amazing Grace"

can lift my spirits for hours.

Age 49

I learned that motel mattresses are better

on the side away from the phone.

Age 50

I learned that you can tell a lot about a

man by the way he handles these three

things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and

tangled Christmas tree lights.

Age 51

I learned that keeping a vegetable garden

is worth a medicine cabinet full of pills.

Age 52

I learned that regardless of your

relationship with your parents,

you miss them terribly after they die.

Age 53

I learned that making a living is not

the same thing as making a life.

Age 58

I learned that if you want to do

something positive for your children,

work to improve your marriage.

Age 61

I learned that life sometimes

gives you a second chance.

Age 62

I learned that you shouldn't go through

Life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands.

You need to be able to throw something back.

Age 64

I learned that if you pursue happiness, it

will elude you. But if you focus on your

family, the needs of others, your work,

meeting new people, and doing the very

best you can, happiness will find you.

Age 65

I learned that whenever I decide something

with kindness, I usually make

the right decision.Age 66

I learned that everyone can use a prayer.

Age 72

I learned that even when I have

pains, I don't have to be one.
Age 82

I learned that every day you should
reach out and touch someone. People
love that human touch-holding hands,
a warm hug, or just a friendly
pat on the back.
Age 90

I learned that I still have a lot to learn.
Age 92  
~ Anonymous

The Art of
Growing Older Gracefully
* * * *
Throw out non-essential numbers
  • This includes age, weight and height.  Let the doctor worry about them.  That is why you pay him/her.
  • Remember the important ones: dates of birthdays and anniversaries.
Keep only cheerful friends
  • The grouches pull you down.
  • But those (few) grouches may benefit from our friendship and praise;
    they may need us more than we realize.  
  • Your smile increases your face value. 
Keep learning
  • Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening,
    whatever. Never let the brain idle.
  • "An idle mind is the devil's workshop."
    And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.
Surround yourself with things you love.  
  • Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge
  • We still enjoy much in our community, home and yard
  • What I admire and love is the generous and spontaneous soil which flowers and fruits in all seasons.  Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Enjoy the birds and squirrels in your neighborhood.  Listening to birds singing is one of life’s greatest joys.


Enjoy the simple things
  • I've learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances. Martha Washington
  • Never resist a generous impulse.   Jeffrey Bernhard

 Tell the people you love that you love them

  • You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  Romans 13:9
  • And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three and the greatest of these is love.
    1 Corinthians 13:13
  • Tell your family that you love them every day.
  • Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get; only with what you are expecting to give. . . which is everything.  Katherine Hepburn

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Philippians 4

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! ~  Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.  ~ Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:  I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.



When You Look At Me,
Don't See a Crabby Old Man


What do you see nurses?  What do you see?
What are you thinking when you're looking at me?
A crabby old man, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food, and makes no reply.
When you say, in a loud voice, “I do wish you'd try!”
Who seems not to notice, the things that you do.
And forever is losing a sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not, lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking?   Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse.  You're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am,  as I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten,  with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters, who love one another.

A young boy of Sixteen, with wings on his feet.
Dreaming that soon now, a lover he'll meet.
A groom, soon at Twenty.  My heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide, and a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty, my young now grown fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons have grown and are gone,
But my woman's beside me to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children - My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me.  My wife is now dead.
I look at the future - Shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing young of their own.
And I think of the years, and the love that I've known.

I'm now an old man, and nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles.  Grace and vigor depart.
There is now a stone where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass, a young guy still dwells,
And now and again my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys.  I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living life over again.

I think of the years, all too few, gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people.   Open and see.
Not a crabby old man.  Look closer.  See ME!!



By Johnny Ramsey

JUST THE OTHER DAY I reached birthday number 70! It is hard to believe that so many years have passed so swiftly. For 52 years I have preached the gospel of Christ. God and my brethren have been very good tome. In nearly 20 nations and 45 states, the Lord has allowed me to spread the glad tidings of redemption. Through the printed page, television and radio, gospel meetings and lectureships, I have been truly privileged to tell the grand old story of salvation. I am profoundly grateful. I sincerely hope that Browning's words hold true:

Grow old along with me,
The best is yet to be.

The Bible declares, They shall still bring forth fruit in old age" (Psalm 92:14). The Wise Man, in Ecc.12, paints a graphic portrait of how things are for the elderly:

Eyes grow dim
Hearing is impaired
Teeth fall out
We get up earlier
Hands tremble
Strength declines
Hair turns gray

These things remind me of an old gospel song:

We are going down the valley one by one;
We are going toward the setting of the sun.

This is an extremely challenging time for those of us in the twilight of our sojourn here on earth. We must not become bitter, pessimistic nor complaining. We should look for the silver lining, the beautiful rainbow and the encouragement of good brothers and sisters in Christ. Recently a good friend shared with me the humor that goes along with the optimistic view we must develop. Think about these benefits of aging:

Kidnappers are not very interested in you.

In a hostage situation, you are released first.

You enjoy hearing about other's operations.

Your secrets are safe with your friends, because they can't remember them anyway.

The aging process makes some folks so bitter that they spend their last days alone because no one enjoys their company. Christians should always strive to be gracious and loving as they mature in the Lord. Being kind and considerate of elderly members of the body of Christ is time and effort well spent. The encouragement and comradeship will bless both old and young. The Scriptures give us comfort as we press toward the end of our days on earth: "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus" (Phil 4:7).

As we approach the evening shades of our stay on earth, we should have a deeper and richer faith in God. Our prayer life should be at zenith capacity and our sincere longing for that home in heaven should be an inspiration to others. God says, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; For out of it are the issues of life" (Prov 4:23). Pressing on to higher ground will increase our resolve and deepen our insight into those matters that count. Blazing down the final lap of this temporary existence will give us reason for the hope within our hearts. The beauty of 1 Peter 5:4 will challenge our days continually: "And when the chief Shepherd shall be manifested, ye shall receive the crown of glory that fadeth not away." May we come to the last golden sunset of our existence here with joy in our hearts and smiles on our faces!


Older and Improved? 

by Shane Williams
in The Lilbourn Light, Vol. 10, No. 7, Nov. 2009.

We've all heard the television commercials that tell us about a product that's "new and improved." This is in contrast to an older and therefore inferior product. At least that is what they are hoping will cause you to buy the "new" item. No matter how hard you and I try none of us can hold back the natural process of aging. We can exercise, eat right, take vitamins, put on moisturizing lotions, but guess what...we still get older. That indisputable truth is found in II Corinthians 4:16, where Paul says: "Our outward man is perishing."

As bad as that sounds, though, there is good news in all of this. At the same time our bodies rush with determination toward destruction, we can enjoy a youthful strength in our walk with God. Through the constant renewal of our "Inward man" (II Corinthians 4:16), we grow more and more prepared to be with God. "Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day."

Spiritual age does not have the same effect as physical age. Instead of slowing down as we walk longer with God, we should be enjoying a little more spring in our step. The longer we have fellowship with Him, the better off we should be. We may be getting older on the outside but we can be "older and improved" inwardly.

We should be growing spiritually. The difficulties we bear are helping us store up heavenly glory, not weighing us down. It is true -- if you're walking with Christ, you're not just getting older, you're getting better.

"For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (II Corinthians 5:1).


Life's Book 
No matter what else you are doing
From cradle days through to the end,
You are writing your life's secret story,
Each day sees another page penned.
Each month ends a thirty-page chapter,
Each year means the end of a part;
And never an act is misstated,
Or even one wish of the heart.
Each day when you wake the book opens,
Revealing a page clean and white,
What thoughts, and what words, and what doings
Will cover its pages by night?
God leaves that to you - you're the writer;
And never a word shall grow dim,
Till the day you write the word "finis",
And give your life's book back to Him.

           -anon/via Whit Sasser's Exhortations & Stuff

November 2017