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Posts Tagged ‘Billy Graham’

Book-NearingHome-BillyGraham-Sep2011

 

Those words, “Life, Faith, and Finishing Well,” are actually the subtitle of Nearing Home (2011), by Billy Graham.

Most Americans recognize that name immediately.  In fact, people around the world know of the famous preacher.  For nearly fifty years, he held mass meetings in numerous large cities, and introduced millions to Jesus.  His radio program, television broadcasts, and writings have further expanded his renown.

After such a long, fruitful ministry, Dr. Graham has earned the right to tell us how to live well during our remaining days.

He includes practical advice, to answer such questions as:  When should I retire? What should I keep in mind as I plan for the golden years?  What legal issues should I settle so my children won’t have to?

Dr. Graham also inspires us with his wisdom:

  • ” Look for the Lord’s purpose in every circumstance and in every face or voice you encounter daily, for the time He has given you is not without purpose” (p. 38).
  • “Whatever you do, keep your mind and your body occupied; don’t give laziness or boredom a chance to take root in your soul” (p. 47).
  • “God designs transitions and provides the grace to embrace what follows” (p. 165).

M-m-m.  Such advice would be helpful for the high school graduate heading off to college or the workplace, just as much as the senior citizen!

Billy also offers up much encouragement.  He names numerous senior citizens of the Bible and draws attention to the work God gave them to do.

The record of some we know well:

  • Abraham was 100 when Isaac was born, and the foundation for the Israelite nation was finally established.
  • Moses was 80 when he led the Israelites out of Egypt.
  • Daniel was still serving as prime minister of the Medo-Persian empire, at age 80.

Others are not so familiar:

  •  Barzillai,  age 80, helped to save the life of King David and his men (2 Samuel 17:28-29).
  • Jeremiah remained faithful to his prophet-calling, probably into his nineties
  • Haggai wrote his book of prophecy at age 70.

These men had probably slowed down a bit, compared to their energetic youth.  (Moses is the only exception.  Deuteronomy 34:7 tells us that, when he died at age 120, “his strength was not gone.”)  All of us, sooner or later, experience that life-shift from speed to sputter!

But slowing down is not the same as stopping.  “Retirement should not put us on a shelf,” says Dr. Graham (p. 28).  One option:  lift up others who are carrying heavy loads.  We can pray, encourage, and offer help as we’re able.

What else contributes to aging gracefully?  Age gratefully.   Follow Paul’s instruction, Philippians 4:8:

“You’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious–the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise not things to curse” (The Message).

Again, just as applicable to a teenager as an octogenarian–and all of us in between.

Because no matter how old each of us might be, our foundations of faith can always use reinforcing.

(photo credit: http://www.homecomingmagazine.com.)

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