We’ve heard some people at his ripe age of ninety declare that they’ve outlived all of their friends. Not Papa Don. He had a constant stream of friends and family—all ages—visiting and calling him in his final days—and showing up at his memorial celebration.
We need the Holy Spirit actively involved in our lives, both individually and corporately. We can’t leave the power cord unplugged. We need the Holy Spirit to help us overcome fear, at all stages of life, perhaps even more in later years as some of our natural strength dissipates. He is our Advocate, Helper, and Comforter.
One challenge we face with Christian adults on the plus side of fifty … is the fact that Jesus went to the cross at age thirty-three. We don’t have accounts of Him traversing the pre-frail, frail, and dependent years.
We do, though, get to observe what He was doing as He approached death: praying, serving, and making/shaping disciples.
Intergenerational may sometimes sound like a buzz word or a passing fad churches may or may not find appealing or relevant. Because the word itself doesn’t appear in Scripture, some see it as a new, experimental, optional concept.
But, digging deeper, it’s clear God intends for all of us to have healthy, intentional relationships extending beyond our peer group, both up and down the age ladder—and both inside and outside our extended families.
Actively serving God in our robust years often carries over into the pre-frail and frail years—adding special meaning, purpose, relationships, and joy. If we refuse to take risks and choose not to serve when our health is good, starting when our strength dissipates is unlikely.
"Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:4
It's so easy to get caught up in looking out for our own interests. I know it is meant more broadly, but I like to interpret 'others' to mean those who might otherwise be viewed as competitors. It's becomes a great reminder that we're all in this together. A 2:4 One special!
We know longevity in professional sports is different than life, but there comes a time when the sidelines become a better fit than the playing field. While no one shows up for a game just to watch the sidelines, there is a whole lot of meaningful activity going on just beyond those out-of-bounds markers.
We love how God works up and down the generational chain, using our kids and grandkids to challenge us to live lives worthy of respect. This generation to generation thing isn’t only moving from oldest to youngest. God wants to use younger adults, teens, children, even babies—to continue building His character in us.
We are called to daily pick up our cross and live for Christ. It’s a daily walk, not an annual pilgrimage.
We find that encouraging. Let’s not beat ourselves up over yesterday’s missteps. Let’s do better right now … today. “Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:23 (NLT)
In both Matthew and Luke we read that the coming of the Son of Man will be like it was in the days of Noah.
People were going about business as usual, and suddenly the day of reckoning was upon them. With no meteorologists, weather satellites, or CNN news reporters to warn them, these people who had scoffed at Noah’s incredible ark project found themselves drowning without recourse.
Let’s not think we’re more sophisticated and that we’ll be able to buy some time, preparing at the last minute to get our lives in order spiritually. Let’s be prepared for Christ’s return.
We may think of lavish, home-cooked meals and nicely decorated tables as synonymous with hospitality. But it’s not a gift reserved for home economics majors, Pinterest enthusiasts, or younger adults with boundless energy.
Hospitality starts in our hearts, as we make room for Jesus and others to enter our lives and make themselves at home. If we wait until our lives or homes are perfect, we miss the point and miss out on lots of opportunities to share the love of Christ.
One June evening a few years ago as I flipped through TV channels, I saw that the San Francisco Giants led the Houston Astros 10-0 after five innings. This game had a foregone conclusion; I was not about to waste my time watching it. I even told Judy that I felt sorry for the fans sitting through the remaining four innings. “There is no way they will come back,” I said with smug authority.
I was right. Houston didn’t mount a comeback. Not surprisingly, the game ended with that same fifth inning score, 10-0.
We can’t help but reflect on how healthy a ministry, church, or family can look when we stand together in unity. We may singularly feel inadequate, but when enough of us Charlie Browns get together, look out! We’ve got something beautiful.
I confess that I had some doubts as I looked up at those high-hanging persimmons. Had I waited too long? Will the fruit still be good? Will the risk of climbing a tall ladder be worth it, or will I just be pursuing worthless, mushy, overripe fruit?
We know some folks in their later seasons of life seem destined to die fruitless, never discovering their greater purpose in life. Sadly, perhaps we and other leaders aren't expecting anything special to emerge from their lives. Their spiritual fruit-bearing potential hasn't even crossed our minds. But they, like our late-blooming persimmons, deserve our attention, affirmation and investment.