Growing Older Gracefully Archives 2011
Home2. Be Gentle3. Replace Anxiety With Prayer4. Control Thoughts5. Care for Others6. Be Content7. Know God Supplies All of Our NeedsArchives

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  • A Prayer for Growing Older Gracefully & Growing Older Gracefully with Your Adult Children and Their Spouse (adapted)
  • Don't Get Old! by Wayne Jackson
  • The Responsibility Grandchildren Have for their Widowed Grandmothers
  • Let the Beauty of Jesus Be Seen in Me by Cindy Granke
  • Blessed in Aging (poem)
  • The Courage to Live by Lonnie Garrison
  • Do We Appreciate and Respect Our Moms Who Are Growing Older Gracefully? by Jane Taylor
  • What If? (poem)
  • Older and Improved? by Shane Williams
  • Life's Book
  • There Was A Day (poem) by Tom Holland

Most of us have read the following "prayer" and it has probably been published in Our Hope sometime in the past. I want to take that same prayer and put a twist on it and direct it to our relationship with our adult child and his/her spouse. Sometimes we forget to treat our children like adults and we may become bossy and opinionated, even in their own home. In order to continue to have a good relationship with our child and especially our son in law or daughter in law, we need to close our mouths, allow them to grow, and wait for them to ask our opinion. Yes, there may be times when we need to warn them about something if there is a danger, but when we do this, we need to talk to them, with respect, as we would any adult.

The original prayer is posted first and my edited version which applies to being a mother will follow.  -Pat Gates

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Prayer For Growing Old Gracefully

Lord, Thou knowest better than I myself that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.

Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all; but Thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end. Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains; they are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.

I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cock-sureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet, for a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people; and give, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.

Amen.

Author Unknown

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Prayer for Growing Old Gracefully with My Adult Child and Their Spouse 

Lord, Thou knowest better than I myself that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something to my children on every subject and on every occasion. Help me to recognize they too have experience and knowledge and help me to be humble enough to recognize I can learn from them.

Release me from craving to straighten out my children's affairs. They will make mistakes but in order to grow in wisdom they need to learn to make their own corrections. Please help me to be willing to offer them wisdom, if asked, and to do so in a gentle manner.

Make me thoughtful but not moody and help me not to get my feelings hurt so easily when I don't get the attention I would like to have. Whether it is just a matter of our child growing in independence or if it is selfishness on their part, getting hurt feelings will lead to resentfulness, which will end in problems.

Make me helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all; but Thou knowest, Lord, that I want my children at the end. Yes! My children do need my wisdom at times, but help me to remember they heard it their whole lives and they want to become responsible independent adults and to have me see them that way. If I keep my wisdom to myself, perhaps they will be more free to ask about my experience and what I have learned. Help me to be quiet and to see and listen, for there is a good chance I will see my children making good decisions, perhaps even decisions I didn't see myself, and I will have the pleasure of feeling proud and assured of their capabilities.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains; they are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. (As a side note, I'm sure the author was young as these are the two memories I have of my own impatience when listening to older folks. Actually there are many young people who do these same things, but without excusing the aged, young people do need to recognize that the "endless details" sometimes are a result of cognitive inabilities and the details help the aged to arrive at the point. Also, many older people only have aches and pains as companions, leading very lonely lives.) Now, with that said, help me not to ramble on and on about anything, including my aches and pains, but to look outside myself and learn to listen to my children. Instead of finding joy in telling details about my life, help me to find joy in the details of my children's lives.

I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cock-sureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of my children. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken. (Again, as a side line I am learning this already. My memory fails me at times and it's very difficult to accept my children remember things a different way, when I'm just so sure I am remembering it correctly. I've often found out I was wrong and it's humbling to say, "You're probably right. My memory is not what it use to be." The fact is, it isn't. Most often when I say that, my child will say, "You may be right, I could be wrong." Humbleness begets humbleness. In this way, if joyously we find out our memory didn't fail us, we and our children are spared the arguing and the final feeling of "I told you so.")

Keep me reasonably sweet, for a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things at unexpected times and talents in my children; and give, O Lord, the grace to tell them so. Yes! Help me to always be sweet around my children, even during difficult times. Help me to always be pleasant. Help me to open my eyes and see the good in my child and his/her spouse. When I find out their way works better than my way or they teach me something I didn't know, I pray I will always compliment them and let them know I learned from them. Especially when it comes to spiritual matters. To be taught a Biblical truth from my child that I had not recognized before is a glorious thing and my child needs to know he/she has helped their teacher.

Amen.

Author Unknown/Changes and additions by Pat Gates

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Don’t Get Old!

Wayne Jackson

From time to time I have spoken of William Barclay. He was a Scottish scholar who was exceptionally liberal in many of his theological views; nonetheless, one may profit from some of his writings.

In one of his books, Barclay tells of being in London on a certain occasion. As he prepared to cross a busy street, an elderly woman, quite frail, took hold of his arm and asked: “Will you help me across the street?” After they had made the short trek, she sighed, “Never grow old.”

Could we think about this admonition for a moment?

First, growing old and facing death are the inevitable consequences of human rebellion (Romans 5:12). With good habits, one may delay the step into eternity, but our final day on this earth is on the calendar somewhere. Thus, prepare your life, and your mind, for the rewards of heaven. Try to develop a healthy, sweet disposition about life so that such will carry you into those final years, and you will not be an additional burden to those who love you.

Second, don’t attempt to deny the aging process with exaggerated efforts to cover it up, and thus make yourself look silly. There is nothing more pathetic than someone who obviously is quite elderly, but who desperately attempts to look decades younger. Remember that childhood rhyme about the old lady who generously applied “powder and paint, to make her self look like what she ain’t”?

And it’s not a passion restricted to the fairer sex. I recently read of a prominent, aging actor who has had so many plastic surgeries, that he cannot fully close his eyes at night. I believe it was Phyllis Diller who once quipped that she had undergone so many face-lifts that when she smiled, it pulled up her hose! It is possible to be neat, and fashionable, without looking ridiculous.

Third, learn to appreciate your years and what they can mean to others. Robert Browning’s lyrics, “Grow old with me, the best is yet to be,” contain a gold mine of wisdom. By the time we reach the “elderly” state, we should have accumulated a degree of wisdom. We have matriculated through the “University of Hard-Knocks,” and ought to be in a position to pass along wisdom.

There are numerous teens, the young married, etc., who could greatly benefit from what you’ve learned. Make yourself available for counsel to those who are relatively young, and who are struggling with changing and frightful times in their lives.

Fourth, as we grow older we should better be able to discern what is really important in life, versus the trivial. It is a sad commentary on one’s life when, as he grows older, he looks forward to the time when he can retire and just “play.” Such is a tragic commentary on how one has assessed his “purpose” on this planet.

Fifth, as we age we ought to learn how to be more patient with others. When one assesses his years of experiences “in the flesh,” he will cringe at the memories of his blunders, and try to be more patient with the younger who are struggling in their own lives. Sometimes we think, “Why are they acting so stupidly?” Why did we? Don’t “curse the darkness”; “light a candle.” Be compassionate and help others along life’s difficult road.

Sixth, maturing in age ought to magnify our appreciation for the love and favor of God. Paul once agonized over the weaknesses of his own body. He failed to do his best on occasion; he acknowledged that sin sometimes had control over him. In a fitful moment of anguish he exclaimed: “Wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me out of this body of death?” (see: Romans 7:14-24). The only consolation was the grace of Christ.

If we are spiritually sensitive, we will be tormented because of our weaknesses as long as we live. But what a glorious day it will be when we are released from the flesh to sin no more!

Growing old is more a matter of attitude than chronology. I know people of four score or more years who have more life, zest, and happiness than those half their age. There may yet be time for you to groom yourself to be happily aged!

http://www.christiancourier.com

RECAP OF GROWING OLDER GRACEFULLY BY WAYNE JACKSON

  • Prepare your life, and your mind, for the rewards of heaven.
  • Try to develop a healthy, sweet disposition about life.
  • Don’t attempt to deny the aging process with exaggerated efforts to cover it up, and thus make yourself look silly.  
  • Learn to appreciate your years and what they can mean to others.
  • As we grow older we should better be able to discern what is really important in life, versus the trivial.
  • As we age we ought to learn how to be more patient with others.
  • Maturing in age ought to magnify our appreciation for the love and favor of God.
  • Growing old is more a matter of attitude than chronology

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 THE RESPONSIBILITY GRANDCHILDREN HAVE FOR THEIR WIDOWED GRANDMOTHERS

Honor widows who are really widows. But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God. 1 Timothy 5:3-4

Did you ever notice grandchildren were commanded to repay their widowed grandmothers and show them piety (respect)?

Are we teaching our children to be responsible for their grandmother?

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 Let The Beauty Of Jesus Be Seen In Me

Cindy Granke

Looking back over the past months, there are many of my loved ones who have suffered painful and life threatening conditions themselves, as well as other members of their families.  Some are now in the arms of Jesus, and I miss them dearly.   

My husband Arnie has struggled with an illness that required major emergency surgery several years ago.  Since that time, he has been admitted back into the hospital on several occasions, and after one midnight emergency room visit and week-long stay in one of their expensive rooms, living on an all liquid diet for awhile last Fall, the doctors feel it’s time to remove part of his colon, preferably when it is not an emergency.  So we are working with the doctors to set a good time when he has no infection in his body.   

I said all that, to tell you this story.  A few weeks ago, on the way home from a doctor’s appointment, we were talking about things for which we had been praying.  Arnie told me that he had been praying about something he had really wanted to talk to me about, but had been reluctant to bring it up.  You have to understand that Arnie and I can talk to each other about anything, so I told him to say what was on his mind.  He said, “Honey, please don’t take this the wrong way because if anything happened to you, I would be really devastated, . . . but I have been praying that I will outlive you.”  Now this might sound like a strange conversation for a couple who have been married for 44 years to be having while driving home.  I have Fibromyalgia, and some days I cannot function effectively, mentally or physically.   For all intents and purposes, he has become my caregiver, and he handles many of the matters I no longer can.  He expressed concern about how I would manage alone.  I told him that I had been having similar concerns, that I might not be able to take care of him effectively, at some point.  And that I would be so bereft without him.  Discussing a lot of things like those, that day, caused me to reexamine some of my anxieties.  I’m not good at managing the family finances, and I’m not an organized person.  We sometimes joke about my attempts at those things.

As we grow older, there are many changes in our lives which inevitably cause a certain amount of apprehension as we face the prospect of living alone.  This is especially so when we have health issues that limit our own physical mobility, and our ability to take care of ourselves, not to mention possibly having to make ends meet on a reduced income.

None of us can avoid the challenges that come with age.  After my husband and I had the conversation I just related, I thought about my own illness and limitations, and as I prayed that night, I remembered a passage of Scripture that I have visited often over the years:  "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" (Philippians 4:11-13).  I understand that Christ endured loneliness, fear, pain and suffering.  If I find myself alone, I want others to see the love of Christ living in me, not just through my words, but also by my love and caring for those around me.  I may not do it well, but I want to do my best.  And I know that by doing so, I also remind and encourage myself.  It’s very difficult to indulge in self-pity when I am encouraging or helping others who are suffering.  There is a hymn which many of us know, Let The Beauty of Jesus Be Seen In Me.  One of the verses says,

When your burden is heavy and hard to bear,

When your neighbors refuse all your load to share,

When you’re feeling so blue,

Don’t know just what to do,

 Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in you

Here are a few of those Scriptures that often come to mind:

 

2 Cor. 1: 3-5  Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those which are in any trouble, by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.

2 Cor. 4:6-7  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

(If you haven't already done so, read Dana Nolan's article this month about earthen vessels).

Matthew 5:3-12  This passage from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, is usually referred to as the Beatitudes.  It is a bit long to copy here, but it contains a lot of encouragement and comfort, for you, as well as for others you may talk to who need to be reminded.

Matthew 5:43-47  You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy."  But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 

  .

Romans 12:14-28  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.  Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord. Therefore if your enemy is hungry, feed him;  if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  

Proverbs 15:1  A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

I will summarize these next Scriptures and I hope you will familiarize yourself with them, for your own edification and encouragement, as well as those you want to help in their time of sadness or trouble.

Matthew 10:32-37  -  Family will turn away from some who obey the Gospel

Matthew 19:29 - Being a disciple may have a cost, but it will be repaid

1 Peter 2:19-20 - Enduring grief for conscience toward God

1 Peter 3:15-17 - It’s better to suffer for well-doing than for evil

1 Peter 4:3-5 – Friends think you strange when you will no longer sin with them 

1 Peter 4:14-19 -  Be not ashamed to glorify God in suffering as a Christian repaid  

There are many more passages to encourage you to stand fast, and not let Satan tempt you.  And it’s important for us to teach our children these things while they are young.  The pressure is great when they become teenagers. 

As you grow in grace, you will be approached by new Christians, neighbors who are ill, young parents who are trying to train up their children in Christ, parents who have older children who have fallen away, or perhaps even those who are grieving the death of a loved one.  It is a shame if you are unfamiliar with God’s word and are unable to help those who are seeking your guidance. 

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Blessed In Aging

Blessed are they who understand
My faltering step and shaking hand.
Blessed, who know my ears today
Must strain to hear the things they say.

Blessed are those who seem to know
My eyes are dim and my mind is slow.
Blessed are those who look away
When I spilled tea that weary day.

Blessed are they who, with cheery smile
Stopped to chat for a little while.
Blessed are they who know the way
To bring back memories of yesterday.

Blessed are those who never say
"You've told that story twice today".
Blessed are they who make it known
That I am loved, respected and not alone.

And blessed are they who will ease the days
Of my journey home, in loving ways.

~ Anonymous ~
from Whit Sasser
Exhortations & Stuff
...

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♦  ♦ 
The Courage To Live 
@  @ 
by Lonnie Garrison
     A soldier was home on furlough before being sent to the front lines. He visited his grandfather who was an invalid, afflicted with a painful disease. Both the grandfather and the grandson were Christians, so they had a good time discussing spiritual matters. As he prepared to leave, the boy said to his grandfather, “Grandpa, pray for me that I’ll have the courage to die.” The old man looked up through eyes that revealed the pain he was enduring, and he said, “I will, my son, and please pray for me that I’ll have the courage to live.”

     It takes courage to die! But sometimes it takes more courage to live. When a Christian dies, he goes to be with Christ, which is far better. But to live day after day, year after year, with pain or difficult circumstances is another matter. Perhaps this is why more than twenty thousand persons a year commit suicide in our country, and many thousands make the attempt but fail. Suicide ranks tenth as a cause of death in the United States, and it is becoming more and more prevalent among college students and teenagers.

     Realistically, suicide doesn’t solve any problems, no matter how noble men might try to make suicide appear. Dr. “what’s-his-name” not withstanding, suicide is not the answer to physical pain. I’m sure that in some cases the person has a mental or emotional disturbance and perhaps is not totally responsible for his decision. But more than one person with a clear mind has contemplated taking his own life, simply because life had become too difficult for him.

     Moses had this experience, and Moses was a man of God. One day he was so overwhelmed by the problems of the nation of Israel that he said to God, “I am not able to bear all this people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me, kill me, I pray thee . . . and let me not see my wretchedness” (Numbers 11:14-15). Of course, God knew that His servant was overwrought and discouraged; and God did not answer his foolish prayer.

     The prophet Elijah became discouraged and also prayed that God would take his life. So the pressures of life are real, and it takes courage to face life.

     Take a good look at Jesus Christ. He died to give us life – eternal life; and He lives today to help us face life and live it victoriously. Being a Christian means more than going to Heaven someday, as wonderful as that is. Being a Christian means having the courage to face life today, and face it as a victor and not a victim. It means singing a song when others are complaining. It means joining the apostle Paul in that great affirmation of faith: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

     Have you ever thought of the difficulties Jesus faced when he was living here on earth? He knew the meaning of poverty because he was born into the home of a poor carpenter. He grew up in the despised village of Nazareth. It is likely that while he was just a lad, His foster father Joseph died, leaving Mary a widow. There were other brothers and sisters in the home; so it must have been a crowded, uncomfortable situation. Jesus knew what it was to work with his hands and earn a living. He went through the difficulties of life that you and I go through, and yet he never became discouraged.

     When Jesus started his public ministry, he knew what it was to be laughed at and misunderstood. Some of his friends and relatives even said he was crazy. They called him a glutton and a drunkard; they said he was demon possessed. He was misunderstood even by those who should have best understood. His life was threatened. When he displayed love, men retaliated with hatred. When he spoke the truth, they spoke lies. Believe me, Christ’s life here on earth was not an easy one.

     Think of the humiliating way that he died. He was arrested illegally. The witnesses lied about him. The soldiers, instead of protecting him and giving him his rights, persecuted him and laughed at him. They spat in his face – they struck him with their hands – they crowned him with thorns – and then they crucified him. And through all this inhuman treatment, Jesus was able to say: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

     Jesus Christ went through every trial and testing that you can ever go through – and he won the victory. If his crucifixion looked like a defeat, his resurrection from the dead changed all that. We look back at the cross and realize that it was not a defeat, but a tremendous victory. On the cross, Jesus conquered sin and death and hell. Every enemy bows at his feet.

     That is why Paul could write in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” Paul faced far more difficulties in life than you and I face; yet he came through in victory. Why? Because of anything he had in himself? No! It was because he permitted Christ to work in and through his life. Paul’s testimony was, “Not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20). The Christian life in not imitation, it is incarnation: Christ living His life in and through us. This is what gives us the courage to live.

     Have you ever tried to put together a picture puzzle without first having seen the picture? It can be done, but it’s very difficult. Once you have seen the picture, you know where the various colors belong. Well, life is something like this. Because today we cannot see the total picture, we don’t know exactly where the individual pieces belong; and we get discouraged. We think God has forgotten us, or worse yet, that He has turned against us. It is then that we lose the courage to live, and living becomes a monotonous grind instead of exciting experience.

     We need to get hold of a basic fact: God sees the total picture. It really isn’t necessary for me to know the end from the beginning, because God already knows. God does not have to give us reasons, because He gives us promises. We say, “Oh, if I only knew what tomorrow holds, I’d be happier.” Yet if we knew what tomorrow holds, we might be terribly frightened. The important thing is not to worry about tomorrow, but to live for Christ today. We don’t have to know what tomorrow holds, just who holds tomorrow!

     Life has never been easy. This world is a battleground, not a playground. Jesus said, “In this world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” The difficulties of life are God’s tools for building character and making us more like Jesus Christ. I’m sure that all of us have times of depression when we feel like throwing in the towel and quitting, but those are the times we need to turn to Christ and let His power go to work.

     Yes, it does take courage to live and, yet, it does take courage to die. In ourselves, we don’t have this courage. But through faith in Christ we can face life with confidence and know that He will see us through. He never leaves us, He never forsakes us. His power is always available for every demand of life. He can give us what we need – patience, wisdom, kindness, love, understanding, and moral courage. He never fails.

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Do We Appreciate and Respect Our Moms Who Are Growing Older Gracefully?

My Mother

Who fed me from her gentle breast
And hushed me in her arms to rest,
And on my cheek sweet kisses prest?
My mother.
.
When sleep forsook my open eye,
Who was it sung sweet lullaby
And rocked me that I should not cry?
My mother.
.
Who sat and watched my infant head
When sleeping in my cradle bed,
And tears of sweet affection shed?
My mother.
.
When pain and sickness made me cry,
Who gazed upon my heavy eye
And wept, for fear that I should die?
My mother.
.
Who ran to help me when I fell
And would some pretty story tell,
Or kiss the part to make it well?
My mother.
.
Who taught my infant lips to pray,
To love God's holy word and day,
And walk in wisdom's pleasant way?
My mother.
.
And can I ever cease to be
Affectionate and kind to thee
Who wast so very kind to me,
My mother.
.
Oh no, the thought I cannot bear;
And if God please my life to spare
I hope I shall reward thy care,
My mother.
.
When thou art feeble, old and gray,
My healthy arm shall be thy stay,
And I will soothe thy pains away,
My mother.
.
And when I see thee hang thy head,
'Twill be my turn to watch thy bed,
And tears of sweet affection shed,
My mother.
.
Jane Taylor

 What if?
What if the last paragraphs of the poem read as follows? We would never write these words, much less admit them to ourselves, but do we live these words and make excuses for ourselves in returning kindness, reward, support, and comfort to our parents?
.
And can I ever cease to be
Affectionate and kind to thee
Who wast so very kind to me,
My mother.
.
Oh yes, the thought I surely can bear;
And if God please my life to spare
I hope I shall never reward thy care,
My mother.
.
When thou art feeble, old and gray,
My healthy arm shall never be thy stay,
And I will not soothe thy pains away,
My mother.
.
And when I see thee hang thy head,
'Twon't be my turn to watch thy bed,
And never tears of affection shed,
My mother.

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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).

 

http://lavistachurchofchrist.org

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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

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There Was A Day 

 

There was a day when I was young

I could run and jump and fall.

Then get right up and do it again

Without any trouble at all.

 

There was a day when time moved by

With the pace of the lowly snail.

The hours and days drug slowly on

And the years never seemed to fail.

 

There was a day I could work all night,

Then go on for most of the day.

With energy to do what I wanted to do

With enough left even to play.

 

Then suddenly life seemed quickly to change.

The days with haste fled away.

The months became years in a moment of time,

And my hair started showing the grey.

 

The strength that I knew in the days of my youth

Was prisoner to the passing of years.

Father Time was declaring the future for me,

I could take with courage, or fears.

 

So I decided as time sped on

That I'd keep my eyes on the goal:

A beautiful land where God with us dwells;

A land where we never grow old.

 

by Tom Holland