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Old 10-30-2013, 08:19 AM
 
21,930 posts, read 16,727,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hillmeister View Post
WardenDresden expresses most accurately the spirit of my post, although Priscilla Martin articulates how I try to live. WardenDresden acknowledges that the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, while Priscilla exemplifies Phillippians 4:8. (Nateswift is dear too.) Mike555, although you cite scripture beautifully--I am speaking with exceptional frankness, because this subject requires exceptional frankness--what you write is ultimately boilerplate inspirational. I say this not to offend; after all, you put the effort into writing a lengthy response. But I am familiar with my "flesh decaying": oh, am I ever. This subject requires a Christian to (as some Easterner might say) "embrace your inner decaying flesh." It also requires honesty, not text; heart, not head.

There is not enough frankness within the Christian community at large in regard to this decay, or to the closing of doors that aging brings. Clearly, the time and age at which doors close is relative to everyone, but if I had to give a name for those doors, as if they were all part of some business suite, the "Department" would be "Hope," and the doors in the Hope Department would be 1) Health; 2) Hope for Vocational Success; 3) Unthreatened Finances; and 4) Loved Ones' Well-Being. I, like WardenDresden, used to walk five miles a day. I took pride in it, and it was a depression fighter as much as scripture. When arthritis and degenerating legs put an end to the long daily walks, I thought to try other means of exercise, and I have. But the walks were the thing that mattered and that meant to me, and the way by which God renewed my hope. I have had to cancel perhaps permanently a relocation to another part of the country in which I invested intense amounts of hope, and I've had to do this because the combination of rheumatologic and osteoarthritic problems, and the inability to hire, for example, a private nurse, have made the relocation impossible. Huge "Hope" door slammed in my face.

I'm not complaining in the sense that to complain means "whine." I spent 35 years as a volunteer at nursing homes, until the losses--and one in particular, and its brutality--became too much. One can say what one wants: to be deprived of a blessing is to be deprived of a blessing; just as to be deprived of a loved one is to experience the death of so very much that was a part of life; and I wonder which among us could say that to be deprived of a blessing does not feel like a punishment. That is the essence of age for me: this feeling that my prayer as a young Christian has fallen on deaf divine ears: Please, Dear Lord Jesus, put me through any trials and tests of faith You see fit, but take me from this life when the suffering is all that is left.

As I said, the question of aging in regard to Christianity is indistinguishable from a worldly perspective from "depression." I hate that word in its modern, pill-pushing definition. I have always--always--used practical means first when dealing with life's difficulties. I have been obedient; and I know it. As Priscilla and WardenDresden point out, and as any Christian over the age of ten will know is the true test of faith, I have lived for others--and I know it--and they are gone. It seems that the more sure we are that we have done the right thing through our lives, the worse the letdowns are at the end. God Bless C.S. Lewis: he admitted this. God Bless him for his humility and humanity. Because that's when life gets very frightening indeed: the "He Loves Me Not" retreat--not of God, but of Jesus. To whine that God is absent is the pasttime of morons and self-centered young people. I'm speaking here specifically about not "feeling Jesus" anymore.

I don't feel Him and haven't in so long, I sometimes feel as if He and I never knew each other. And it's not because of sin; it's because of age. And that's why I posted. So God Bless WardenDresden and Priscilla Martin for making me feel less alone. As for the Job's Comforters (or worse)--I'm referring to the first person who responded to me: Pride Goeth Before a Fall. Watch carefully before you sit at that anonymous laptop or PC and judge people who have come to appropriate forums to discuss appropriate topics.
Hillmeister, neither my first reply or this one is intended as a cold, heartless reply to your situation. It is an effort to get you to see what truly matters. Age has got nothing to do with your 'not feeling Jesus' anymore. It's your attitude that's the problem. Though you did not understand it, I gave you the divine viewpoint solution to your problem in my first reply. You are looking at your problem from the human viewpoint. You are going to keep getting older, and your age related problems are not going to go away. You must change your attitude with regard to that fact. You say that you don't 'feel Jesus' anymore, and that it's because of aging. No, it is not. It is because you have not spiritually prepared yourself and therefore lack the inner resources to handle the issues you are facing and are feeling a sense of aloneness in typical human viewpoint fashion. But instead of turning your problems over to God, you are seeking other solutions. You said that my reply was 'boilerplate inspirational.' But the only way you are to stop feeling alone, and to start 'feeling Jesus' as you put it, is to motivate yourself to get into the Word of God and make the effort to apply what it says.

You are trying to lean on other people as the solution to your problem. You need to start leaning on God and trusting Him. And that means utilizing, to start putting into practice the promises and doctrines of God's Word. That is what is going to change your attitude and allow you to face the challenges that aging brings. Your choice is to either try the human viewpoint solution which is what most people do, and which ultimately will not work, or to avail yourself of the divine viewpoint solution by saturating your soul with Bible doctrine and putting it to work so that you can face life with confidence and courage, and with inner peace. Though you say that you don't feel Jesus anymore, He is always with you, and in you if you have trusted in Him for your salvation. And if you have trusted God for the biggest issue - your eternal life, you can certainly trust Him to handle the small issues which you face in this life. No matter how big you think those issues are.

I hope that you will at least think on what I have said and not simply dismiss it as a cold, heartless response to what you are facing.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:16 AM
 
535 posts, read 796,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hillmeister View Post
I have been trying for years to find a good online resource where issues of aging and Christian faith are discussed. City Data seems to have no forum specifically for aging (I assume that people could start Retirement at 29 if they're wealthy enough). Has there ever been any extended discussion here on this forum about the challenges to Christian faith (any denomination) that aging brings? Particularly if you began your Christian life in a socio-economic group that was comfortable, and as you age, your status fell from middle or upper-middle class?I often wonder how Christ would have coped with the unpleasant aspects of age--the aches and pains, the *worse* aches and pains, the mourning for more and more departed family and friends, the hopelessness that comes when the future no longer feels something you will be an active part of. All of these aspects are aspects of depression, and Christians often shy away from discussing depression as if the mere discussion of it is sinful. Of course every one of us has to commit each day to God, but when the sources of *present* joy (as opposed to the idea of joy in heaven) become less and less, sometimes even remembering what it felt like to be hopeful as a Christian is impossible. But no one likes to talk about it. Admitting that as an aging Christian, you are not greeting each morning with the Praise the Lords you used to...it's almost worse, in the eyes of Christian society, than admitting that you're (take your pick of any of the currently popular and fashionable sins or lifestyles).
Reading your thread again gives a fresh take on your questions. When you say "the hopelessness that comes when the future no longer feels something you will be an active part of," is more a frame of mind issue than a given, IMHO. When I retired a chapter in my personal "book of life" ended, yet, a new chapter began. Along with that, a new sense of excitement arose. Unfortunately, I know of no Christian forum for us old fogeys. Even if there was I doubt I'd spend much time there. What would I gain from it? Hillmeister, you still have a lot to contribute. Years ago, when I started teaching grade school, the retiring teacher I was replacing said to me, "These kids have kept me young."
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
9,308 posts, read 5,505,186 times
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Default You are not alone

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hillmeister View Post
I got tears in my eyes reading this, Wardendresden. It's exactly why I started this thread: to get gut-level support from those of us "in the trenches." The words God used in your response to speak to me through I have bolded. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I construed the bold-ed phrase as meaning, "Christians suffer more as we age because we have taken other people so seriously, we have 'done unto others as we would have them do unto us,' that their deaths cut deeper than if their lives had been trivial to us." Correct me if I'm wrong.

In red are the words I do live by each day. I believe that I am working "for something greater than" myself and try to be a Christian soldier, setting my face like flint toward...I won't say "Jerusalem," because I'm not Christ, but also because a more recent speech captures the "goal line" better for me. Setting my face toward Free at last, free at last, Thank God ALMIGHTY, I'm free at last-- This actually gets easier the more one suffers; the discipline gets greater the longer your time in "the military" lasts. Hopefully in that respect, we become more like Our Savior.
Yes, Christians should take others very seriously. As Christ was concerned for those about who no one was concerned, so should we be.

I try every night to pray that God will grant me the opportunity to give a measure of peace or joy or physical assistance to someone in need. More often than not, I end up being surprised about who I can do that for and why.

A few years ago my wife and I lost our jobs and our home (the downturn). We have been financially blessed in the last few years, but had to move away from our only son and his family. God willing we will return there when my wife retires next year. Financially things will be much tougher compared to now, but in our declining years our family takes on more importance and we want to see each day as a precious gift.

Sometimes what is needed from one person to another is neither a lecture nor a scripture lesson, but simply a "I understand and feel your pain." It's frequently the exact same answer God gives us when things seem to go awry in our lives. The loss of our home, the need to move away from family and friends, were incredibly painful---but as I looked around the country at that time I saw many with even more frightening stories of no jobs, no home, no health care and pervasive illness. And when I remember that on the cross Jesus cried, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me," it was then that I saw my own pain diminished by comparison. Others share in the hurt and separation, Christ Himself shared in the hurt and separation. You are not alone.

So sometimes doing small things with great love is the best way to restore faith. As Mother Theresa said, "It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters."

God bless
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:50 PM
 
8,110 posts, read 7,083,089 times
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Best to keep in the elderly in your supplementary prayer , and people who are elderly need to find people who can pray for them , and keep then cleansed for Christ , as some who just get locked away in nursing home or rest homes where Christians could be hard to find , and elderly Christians could be unfairly yoked with unbelievers of Jesus ..... So people praying can be a God send and can be lead by Jesus Spirit to pray , which will usher people right into Heaven for Jesus ... See the problem is some elderly may need walkers with wheels as some in the church can judge the elderly as un -human and could curse them with `mobility demons , which can come in and bother the elderly walking abilities , which Jesus would need to cleans them time and time again .. It is hard to endure to the end , which Jesus calls us
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