I believe life has cross roads and I am clearly approaching another one in my life. One of my most recent challenges has been to allow the gospel teachings every week guide my writings and meditations. That's easier said then done.
I am the sort of writer who must be inspired as apposed to the artist who can think of a theme and develop it into a full blown essay. I wanted desperately to relate this to my blog "Aging with Faith."
The parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector seem to be teaching us how to be "humble." Just as important as the trait, so is the situation by which it is being applied. When we pray we call upon the presence of God. Without this very basic understanding we may all pray as the Pharisee praising ourselves and honoring our actions.
Luke teaches us to recognize our wrong doings and humble ourselves in the presence of God to ask forgiveness. This is huge! If we humble ourselves Luke teaches us that "...he who humbles himself shall be exalted."
Growing in faith is a duty we as Christians owe ourselves. It's called "Aging with Faith - Luke 18: 10-14."
(Five Living Generations)
I am a "Baby Boomer." According to Wikipedia, "Baby Boomers were born during the demographic post World War II baby boom between the years 1946 and 1964." This bit of information is only relevant do to the content of this article.
As Baby Boomers approach our senior years, not only must we prepare comfort and necessities for ourselves, but many struggle to nurture and care for aging parents. For those fortunately to still have living parents, this has become a frequent discussion.
Many of my family, friends, associates and acquaintances now share this concern. The aging process is not a self indulging gratification, but also a shared responsibility for the ones we love and the ones who loves us. How do we cope with this life circle?
The one thing I know for sure is that there isn't any right or wrong way to deal with the situation. Both generations will age together using what ever provisions available. Provisions are plentiful and varied. There are supportive family members, shared living, nursing homes, assisted living, day cares. reversed mortgages, visiting nurses and a host of other type programs to accommodate all life styles. If one happens to be Christian, the path leads back to the guidance of faith and the belief in a living Christ.
What ever your situation be happy and find solace in the time spent between generations and know that God's plan will prevail.
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_boomer )
(Click on photo to enlarge.)
Autumn is such a mosaic of nature similar to a lifetime of experiences. When I was approaching retirement, one question kept arising, "Now what?" In order to answer the question I began analyzing my past experiences looking for the unfinished plan.
Just when you think you're finished look for the part of the mosaic which still needs work. For me it was writing. Writing has always been a passion and desire for me. It is my go to when time provides. It is a time consuming hobby and very taxing. I just happen to love it!
Life is a journey and we owe it to ourselves to use our time wisely and because we have reached one destination it doesn't mean there aren't other places we shouldn't explore. What is your unfinished desire?
One of the task associated with writing is research. I come across many interesting sites. One of my favorite introduced to me by my sister, Malika, is the Nubia_Group. They publish very positive and thought provoking concepts that just make you feel good and think. The attached poster/card speaks to my anxiousness of growing older and more importantly making sure not to leave my work undone.
Life is such a mosaic of color, enjoy!
Prayer is such a powerful instrument to keep in touch with God! "Alleluia! Praise the Lord!" What a wonderful acclamation of faith.
Have you ever felt lost,
afraid,confused, helpless or alone? These are such feelings of hopelessness. Sometimes aging seems to heighten these fears and quite often we may even feel isolated. Well, I happen to know faith can change things and prayer is a powerful instrument to God.
As aging Christians, I happen to believe that we owe it to ourselves to reevaluate our relationship with our Father and share His many blessings, rejoice and be glad in them. It may sound like a cliche, but it is true. As seniors we owe it to our family,community, and friends to find ways to share His glory.
Aging with faith allows us certain privileges to be shared with the younger generations of Christians. I was taught that a simple sign of the cross is so powerful it would protect me against all harm. To this day I still use my quiet sign and to this day it still works.
When life takes a toll and I think it is just becoming too much one of my favorite prayers to say is the "Serenity Prayer" beginning and ending with the sign of the cross.
One thing is for certain, ever since I've started this blog, aging has been front and center on my mind. It has become my measuring rod, my daily compass, and my guide to making decisions about my life.
In reality, I have always given my senior years consideration when planning my life's goals, but now my goals seem immediate and my plans appear to be more urgent.
Suddenly, my time management seems more keen. There's no doubt in my mind that the way I planned at 30 years old is a lot more intense now that I'm in my 60's.
I have always prided myself with being a very spiritual being much more then religious being. For me "religious" is a term of endearment I attach to ministers and other persons who have dedicated their lives to religious service. Aging has brought me closer to defining my faith and how it dwells in my existence or my existence dwells in faith.
All of these questions, all of these terms, have led me to a deeper level of understanding of just how Catholicism and Christianity have influenced my life. My faith dwells in my spirit and my spirit like my body matures with age.
I can only pray that my faith dwells within my aging spirit reflecting the love of Christ!
In my last article I talked about "knowing God" and being in touch with your spirituality. Today I walked along the Niagara River and amazingly my mind cleared and my minds eye became so intense with knowledge of life, belonging and existence. It was such a miraculous burst of vividness!
As we pass through life it is these moments that we must grasp and nurture our aging soul. It was a "God whisper," an enlightenment needed to encourage a tired soul.
Sometimes it is the simple things in life which enable us to continue along our God given path, even when the path seems blocked by trials and tribulations. When your faith needs stimulation and nurturing try reading Hebrew 11 New American Bible, Catholic Edition.
Just as we nurture our body, we must also nurture our soul!
Do you know God? As I grow older and approach my golden years, I'm ever so mindful of my personal relationships and how this interaction effects my personality. My spiritual beliefs are key to this development. I have a personal relationship with Christ. This relationship strengthens my resolve for a better more resourceful life everyday.
"Researchers find centenarians optimistic, extroverted, positive beliefs help. There is evidence that some become that way later in life." http://www.webmd.com/healthyaging/news/20120530/personality-secrets-to-long-life
. Happiness is good at any age, so it is OK to long for longevity.
For me, Jesus brings a peace and harmony to my life. I would like to think that this transfers into a very positive personality. Aging with faith keeps me grounded. When I need to feel His presence I can call Him up Psalm 139.
Aging is a very personal process, but no matter your thoughts, your beliefs must be based in something...try God! He works for me.
Aging is such a difficult subject for Americans. We seem to be obsessed with trying to stop the inevitable. Everybody's looking for the fountain of youth, so how do we age in faith. What does it mean to age in faith?
Faith is based in the knowledge that God is the creator and giver of life. Life and age are synonymous. I think when you anchor your faith in Christ your beliefs strengthen your resolve to appreciate life and not worry about age.
Age is three fold, physically, emotionally, and mentally. Aging with faith introduces a fourth element, the spiritual.
My faith led me to the New American Bible, Hebrew 11:1-3, which states, " 1. Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see. 2. Because of faith the men of old were approved by God. 3. Through faith we perceive that the worlds were created by the word of God, and that what is visible came into being through the invisible."
After having said all of the above, I too ponder the inevitable. and smile to think I'm aging as I write about it.
Last month my sister, affectionately known as my "West Coast Promoter," forwarded an e-mail to me with the following web site attached, www.girlfriendsingod.com . I especially liked her sentiments regarding the here and now.
Simply stated Southerland writes "I believe if you are alive, God has a purpose and plan for your life. Give yourself a pat on the back for your survival skills. Take a few moments to reflect on your life and don't get hung up on what might have been. Celebrate what is and what will be."
Most of the article warns against lamenting over things you can't change. She believes as I, "Don't." Mary Southerland offers a Christian view and belief in God to reflect on one's life: past, present, and future.
Christianity is the vehicle used by Mary, but more importantly: "What vehicle are you using?" She offers eighteen steps to remaining young. (Check those out for yourself.) I want to concentrate on the following reflections quoted from her article:
1. Who or what is stealing the joy from your life?
2.What circumstance are you facing that you need to see through God's eyes and boldly trust Him for?
3.Look around. What can you find in your life to celebrate?
4.Are you living out God's purpose for your life or are you bowing to the wrong audience and listening to the wrong voices?
Mary is the wife of a minister and recommends seeking your answers by building a relationship with God. How do you choose to celebrate life?
Your comments, questions and suggestions are encouraged
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