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Pastor's Column

Aging gracefully

  As we gradually and gracefully enter our senior years, we notice some obvious signs that we are growing older.  One thing that I noticed is how I now put on my socks in the morning.  In my younger days I used to stand in the middle of the room as I gracefully stood on one foot and pulled on one sock - then the other.  Now I lean against the door post for the entire process.

  People also like to ask me, "How's the golf game?"  I hate to admit it, but it "ain't" what it used to be.  I've discovered that balance is an important part of the golf swing.  I read in a golf magazine a while ago that a good exercise for golfers is to stand on one foot not leaning against anything with your hands out in front of you for about 15 seconds.  I can do it for two seconds max on a good day.  My wife shows me up on this one.

  "Aging gracefully" is not always as easy as it sounds.  The other day I hit two brand new golf balls into the same pond.  And the pond wasn't even in front of me.  It was off to the side.  No!  I'm not going to tell you what I said.  I'll simply remind you that  aging gracefully is not all that it's cracked up to be.

  Moses lived to the ripe old age of 120 years.  Just before Moses died, God took him up on Mt. Nebo overlooking the Promised Land and showed him all the territory God was going to give to his people.  Moses was in near perfect health.  He just climbed a mountain and was able to see very well off into the distance.

  The Bible tells us, "Moses was 120 years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone."  (Deuteronomy 34:7)  Talk about aging gracefully.   

  One elderly shut-in I visited regularly died just short of age 102.  He used to tell me, "It's no fun getting old, pastor, but as long as you have this (and he pointed to his brain) it's not so bad."  He passed on to his home in heaven on Christmas Eve about 9:00pm.  His last words to those gathered around his bed were, "Merry Christmas everybody!"  He truly aged gracefully.

  Of course when we talk about aging gracefully, I am reminded of the word grace.  GRACE as the word is used in the Bible refers to GOD'S UNDESERVED LOVE FOR US SINNERS.

  This takes me back to words from the Apostle Paul: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his GRACE through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."  (Romans 3:23-24)  "For it is by GRACE you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast."  (Epesians 2:8-9)

  Knowing God's saving GRACE in Christ Jesus permits us to AGE GRACEFULLY no matter what our circumstances in life might be. 

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