Monday, March 26, 2012


There are benefits to remaining active, even into the “senior years.” In a U.S. New and World Report article (3-14-12), Philip Moeller shares “6 Reasons Why You Should Never Retire”: (1) There is no physical reason to retire. (2) Continued work can support healthy aging, including better physical and mental health. (3) Well-being and happiness are boosted when people are engaged in challenging and meaningful activities. Work is a major place to find such activities in our society. (4) Older people have rich experience and mentoring skills to help enrich the workplace experiences of younger colleagues. (5) Declining numbers of younger workers, courtesy of lower fertility rates, will raise the need to retain older employees in the workforce. (6) We need and like the money, and shorter retirements sharply cut the risk we will outlive our assets. He also adds: “Continuing to work keeps people engaged and requires learning new skills. While the perfect antidote to the hazards of aging has not yet been identified, performing meaningful work is certainly a major part of the answer. For people who have "retired" in a technical sense, there has been a boom in encore careers and other volunteer experiences. Many of these people are working as hard and effectively as they ever have, and reaping big health and wellness benefits.”

There is no retirement age for a disciple of Jesus Christ. At no point should we be comfortable in watching from the sidelines. Of course, older age may mean that we have to adjust our methods and choices in serving God, but it should not be used as an excuse to stop altogether. In fact, it is possible that many senior saints will have more time to devote to kingdom purposes when other priorities like making a living and raising a family are less pressing. Don’t be tempted to check out on your church family! We need you now more than ever. Younger saints need the encouragement and example of older saints, who can be a living illustration of a LIFETIME of discipleship.

God loves you!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


“The world's tallest man appears to have finally stopped growing after treatment at the University of Virginia Medical Center. Sultan Kosen, who stands an incredible 8 ft, 3 in tall, made his first visit to the hospital in Charlottesville, Va, in May 2010 for treatment, the UVA said in a statement. The 29-year-old, from Turkey, suffers from acromegaly which is triggered by a tumor in the pituitary gland. The tumor causes a large amount of growth hormone to be produced, which can lead to gigantism if it begins before puberty. Kosen was treated by endocrinologist Dr. Mary Lee Vance, who placed him on a new medication to help control the production of growth hormone and stop his continuous growth. Neurosurgeon Dr. Jason Sheehan then performed Gamma Knife radiosurgery in August 2010. Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a non-invasive procedure that delivers a focused beam of radiation guided by MRI to a specific part of a patient's body. Around three months ago, Kosen's doctors in Turkey told Sheehan that he had finally stopped growing” (; 3-13-12)

Growth can be frightening when it causes physical problems like it does for Mr. Kosen. Thankfully, we have nothing to fear from spiritual growth. The Scriptures affirm that “...the righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon” (Psalm 92:12). We are encouraged to desire the word of God like a baby desires milk so that we can “...grow in respect to salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). Instead of succumbing to error, we are to “...grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

God never discourages positive growth. We never have to worry about growing too much. In fact, we need more spiritual giants. The same God who expects us to grow equips us and enables us to do it. Spiritual growth is not an option for the child of God. It is not a job we can leave to others. Lord, please help us to be giants for you.

God loves you!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Shocking Words

“Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person” (Colossians 4:5-6).

“Civility” is defined as “civilized conduct, courtesy, politeness” ( It follows, then, that civil discourse is the courteous and polite verbal interaction that is to be expected from civilized individuals. Sadly, it is something that is becoming more and more rare in our society. The privilege of free speech is being used as a licence to wallow in the gutter of vulgarity. Some who use words to make their living resort to crude language for its “shock value.” In a sound-bite world, un-civil discourse gets more press than civil discourse. Truth (or what we perceive as truth) is defended at all costs, even if that means speaking in ugly and ungodly ways.

Regardless of the verbal decay surrounding us, disciples of Christ are called to a higher standard. Our speech is ALWAYS to be full of grace. We understand that doors of opportunity can be open or closed depending on the words we use. Disagreeing with someone doesn’t give us permission to attack or demonize them. We can speak strong and clear words without hitting below the belt. Can we really be loving our enemies when we are calling them names and falsely accusing them?

“For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way” (James 3:7-10).

Lord, please forgive me for speaking without grace. Help me to tame my tongue and learn to speak in godly ways at all times and in all circumstances.

God loves you!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


In 1942, the Nazis herded hundreds of thousands of Jews into a 16-block area that became known as the Warsaw Ghetto. The Ghetto was sealed and the Jewish families imprisoned there awaited certain death. Diseases were spreading rapidly. Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker, was so appalled by the conditions that she joined Zegota, the Council for Aid to Jews, organized by the Polish underground resistance movement, as one of its first recruits and directed the efforts to rescue Jewish children.

Irena managed to be issued a pass from Warsaw’s Epidemic Control Department and she visited the Ghetto daily, bringing food, medicines and clothing. She began smuggling children out in an ambulance. Some were taken out in gunnysacks or body bags. Some were buried inside loads of goods. A mechanic took a baby out in his toolbox. Some kids were carried out in potato sacks, others were placed in coffins. With the help of many others, Irena Sendler successfully smuggled almost 2,500 Jewish children to safety and gave them temporary new identities.

But the Nazis became aware of Irena's activities, and on October 20, 1943 she was arrested, imprisoned and tortured by the Gestapo, who broke her feet and legs. She ended up in the Pawiak Prison, but no one could break her spirit. Though she was the only one who knew the names and addresses of the families sheltering the Jewish children, she withstood the torture that crippled her for life, refusing to betray either her associates or any of the Jewish children in hiding. Sentenced to death, Irena was saved at the last minute when Zegota members bribed one of the Gestapo agents to halt the execution. She escaped from prison but for the rest of the war she was pursued by the Nazis. Irene Sendler died on May 12, 2008 (http://www.auschwitz. dk/sendler.htm).

Stories like this help me to realize just how much I have yet to learn about true courage and service. What a bright light in the face of such great darkness!

God loves you!