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Old 10-29-2013, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
74 posts, read 116,381 times
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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).

Last edited by The Hillmeister; 10-29-2013 at 06:58 PM..
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:49 PM
 
183 posts, read 140,294 times
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Moderator cut: delete I'm watching my mother and her husband age, they are boomers, Self seekers, and I'm watching them waste away. Sad, but that's the price of Self-seeking.

Last edited by Miss Blue; 10-30-2013 at 06:33 AM..
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
9,265 posts, read 5,488,464 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).
I haven't any resource for your question (I'm 67), but I do understand where you are coming from. Unlike the first reply to your post, I feel it is an important question, and even more important when you look carefully at the link I'm going to add to this unformatted post (CD is having issues). Baby boomers are no more self-seeking in general than younger people are arrogant--in general. OLDER people, hold religion to be more important than younger people. Less educated people are generally more interested, and women outnumber men in interest by ten percentage points. Your question points to the fundamental fact that as we age we see the world like a funnel with our lives getting more closed in as we spiral toward the end---and for those with faith, a new beginning. I walk a mile and half five days a week and almost every step I take is with pain due to arthritis in my back (two surgeries). And I think back to the days when as a Marine I was marching five miles with pack, equipment, and rifle and wonder what in the heck happened. It's neither a sin to get old, nor a sin to complain about the aches and pains, but it IS a sin to forget that God gave you a purpose in putting you here, and as long as you remain, you should find it and make the path a little easier for someone else. The lucky ones will get to where we are. God bless. Religion Most Important to Blacks, Women, and Older Americans
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
16,256 posts, read 7,646,560 times
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I'm only 70 so it's a little hard to relate, but I am hoping to stay busy with the things I have been doing like Church, gardening, remodelling my 110 year old house (talk about aging) fishing and so forth, but I am looking forward to taking up my pipe again after I figure it won't matter so much whether I get cancer again....say in 50 years or so and enjoying it for the last 20 years of my life or thereabouts.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:58 PM
 
21,804 posts, read 16,674,400 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).
Hi Hillmeister. Everyone faces adversity of some sort or other in their life, and as one grows older the problems associated with aging tend to increase. We are all getting older, and apart from the rapture of the church we are all going to die. I am about to turn 60 and have my share of aches and pains. But so what? In the light of the eternal blessings which await the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, the problems of this life, no matter how severe they are, are not worth being bothered about.

As we grow older physically, we as believers should also be growing spiritually. That is how you deal with the problems of this life. You grow spiritually by inculcating into your soul the doctrines and principles and promises of the Word of God, and then applying them to your circumstances whether those circumstances be good or bad. The believer should be able to have the attitude expressed by the apostle Paul who wrote the following.
2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17] For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison. 18] while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
God intends for us as believers to lean on Him and to claim the many promises that are in the Bible to meet the challenges of this life. You said that you are not greeting each morning with the Praise the Lords you used to. But I am thanking God more and more as I get older, despite the problems that age brings.

Understand that God can yank out from under you whatever 'crutch' you lean on for your happiness. Whether it's health, wealth, success, friends, loved ones, etc. God can remove it all in order to bring you to the end of your rope so that you will turn to Him for your happiness. That's what this life is about. That is why God leaves us here after salvation. To grow spiritually. To deepen in our relationship with God. If you let the adversity that comes to you in life interfere with your relationship with God, then you are doing the opposite of what you as a believer are supposed to be doing. You should be letting your relationship with God overwhelm your adversities. But you are going to have to motivate yourself to learn, and then apply the Word of God to your life. You are going to have to start claiming the promises of the Word of God. To trust them, and to lean on them. God will not yank His promises out from under you.

You are looking for a resource to deal with the issues of aging. You have one. It's God. And it's His written word. Though your outer man is decaying, you can renew your inner man by means of inculcating into your soul the doctrines, principles and promises of God's Word.

And that is the very best advice I can give you. Nevertheless, I did a search on ''online resources where issues of aging and Christian faith are discussed'' on the Bing search engine and it came up with some sites you can look at. I hope I said something that's of help.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:05 AM
 
535 posts, read 795,508 times
Reputation: 199
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).
You have my empathy Hillmeister. I turned 71 recently and though I'm in excellent health, my husband of 50+ years is not. He's had multiple surgeries and most days is in terrible pain. That said, we are enjoying our retired life. Reflecting back, these are, except for perhaps my 20's, the best years of my life. No more juggling a busy professional workload and family. No more constantly washing and folding more laundry than a Laundromat. It sucks big when friends and family pass on. Our church has many seniors and the coffee hour crowd has been hit hard the last couple of years. Not knowing how old you are or your physical condition makes it difficult for me to give you suggestions on how to get the fire burning again. I am the type that needs to keep moving. I volunteer at a local grade school listening to and timing poor readers. There are several of us "grandparents" as we're called. These kids are like family. I put in two days a month at a church soup kitchen. That's a great place to meet seniors and people who are worse off than yourself. I belong to a garden club. And a prayer chain. I think I "praise the Lord" now more than ever. Each day my eyes open in the morning and I'm still inhaling air, I'm thankful. Do I ever get down? Sure. I am just not hardwired to get truly depressed or down for long though. Some people are, and if you're one of them, I don't have any sure fire remedy. I'd talk to my family doctor and go from there. Feel free to direct message me whenever you want to "chat".
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:32 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
74 posts, read 116,381 times
Reputation: 153
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.

Last edited by The Hillmeister; 10-30-2013 at 04:58 AM..
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:07 AM
Status: "The nicest curve on a woman's body is her smile" (set 13 days ago)
 
Location: Florida/Tennessee
2,365 posts, read 4,302,446 times
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Default a simpler look at aging

Aging... ah yes.

Love the wisdom gained but didn't like the punishment I had to take to get it.

Miracles are common place these day medically speaking. I've got two new knees and feel young again.

let those near you see your heart and those watching from afar wish they had what you have. When they get close to your joy, be a pane of glass that allows only God to be seen as you gradually disappear from sight.

Learn to live and pass it on. We should live in a way that brings honor to God and others.

Teach someone-something-someway-today.

I still enjoy scaring my kids and wife by doing stuff I'm not supposed to.

Don't hang around other people your age... older or younger is OK. I prefer younger.

Bring up the subject of dying so others will know when you go, it's OK.



“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
9,265 posts, read 5,488,464 times
Reputation: 4046
Default Experiencing the green side of the grass

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.
Thank YOU, Hillmeister, for enlightening US about the aging process more eloquently than any of us could do. I think that God indeed still has purpose for your life.

My father, a devout Christian and church goer, shortly before his death showed me a book he kept of the names of men in his squad (17) through his boot camp days of 1941-early 42, before he left for a three year tour in Africa. He had kept up with the men and had a line drawn through each name and their date of death. Only one had died in WWII. There were two names left besides his own. He remarked on the increasing feelings of loneliness this brought to him, even though he had not seen any of these men since the war--they simply exchanged occasional Christmas cards and notes.

Age is also a time when we begin to reflect on all that we've experienced, smiling at the joys and regretting the mistakes, wishing for an opportunity to atone in the here and now for those times when the love of God and others was second to the love of self.

I think the reason that we experience that loneliness in spite of our faith, is that our faith is keenly tied to other people, that we take joy in the knowledge that God is working in all of us together for something greater than ourselves. Losing a loved one or close friend, is akin to losing a piece of ourselves. So I try to keep in mind that great unknown, our hope of joy and peace in Christ, and remembering that whatever pain and discomfort now mark my days, physical or emotional, Jesus' spirit departed from His body in greater pain. At least I know that He knows, but in the moments of my leg burning from walking, or when another friend or family member has departed, the pain is not lessened---but then neither is my Hope.

Maybe someday we can hobble a mile together while we are still experiencing the green side of the grass!

God bless, and thank you.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
74 posts, read 116,381 times
Reputation: 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wardendresden View Post
I think the reason that we experience that loneliness in spite of our faith, is that our faith is keenly tied to other people, that we take joy in the knowledge that God is working in all of us together for something greater than ourselves. Losing a loved one or close friend, is akin to losing a piece of ourselves. So I try to keep in mind that great unknown, our hope of joy and peace in Christ, and remembering that whatever pain and discomfort now mark my days, physical or emotional, Jesus' spirit departed from His body in greater pain. At least I know that He knows, but in the moments of my leg burning from walking, or when another friend or family member has departed, the pain is not lessened---but then neither is my Hope.

God bless, and thank you.
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.
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