Finding God While Growing Older (Billy Graham)

By Karen O’Connor:

We can find inspiration in many who are growing older yet continue to live with purpose.

 

The Rev. Billy Graham

The Rev. Billy Graham

“You’re 90 years old?” I asked Charlie, the elderly man who accompanied my daughter to an afternoon concert with my husband and me. As he slipped out of his seat and into the aisle at the end of the program, I noticed that he appeared to be about twenty years younger than the ninety he had claimed in our previous conversation.

He smiled. “Yep. Celebrated my birthday on Christmas Day.”

“Let’s have a party,” my daughter suggested. “We’ll meet at my house.” We did, and had a wonderful time sharing stories. We mostly listened to Charlie tell us of his many experiences while working as a nuclear physicist during his career, and about many adventurous trips he’s taken over the years.

As he talked and we hung on his every word, I realized how easy it is to find God while growing older—especially when, like our friend, we remain vibrant, connected to people, and grateful for what the Lord has done in our lives.

I remember reading a saying once by an unknown author. “Do not regret getting older. It is a privilege denied to many.” Those words alone keep me on my toes as I move into my later years. I may have wrinkles and white hair, but I’m still here—available to family and friends and aware of the great blessings God has graced me with.

Gray hair is a crown of glory;
it is gained in a righteous life. (Proverbs 16:31 the Bible)

For a beautiful testimony about aging, you might enjoy reading this interview with the famous Christian author and speaker Billy Graham: Q & A: Billy Graham on Aging, Regrets, and Evangelicals in Christianity Today. Perhaps you too, will then find God while growing older.

Enjoy also this neat interview with Franklin Graham on 100 Huntley. He talks with Moira Brown about what it was like as his father, Billy Graham, wrote his recent book on growing older.

Click here to find the Rev. Billy Graham’s recent book: Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well [Kindle Edition].

You may also enjoy taking a look at this YouTube video focusing on the hope of seeing change—regardless of one’s age and situation, at http://youtu.be/9IBC1aRjPuM.

©Karen O’Connor. Karen is an author, writing mentor, and frequent contributor to the Finding God Daily blog. Visit Karen on the web at www.karenoconnor.com, on Facebook or follow on Twitter: @karenoconnor

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Finding God Despite Moving Stress

By Laurie Winslow Sargent:

When relocating, moving stress is inevitable, but finding God with you in the midst of it does help.

 

 Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Moving from one state to another can get a little crazy, as it has been for me the past few months.  Fixing, selling, and packing up a house on one end. Living out of suitcases in a not-so-homey temporary apartment while searching for a new home.

Of course to have any of these moving problems is a blessing in itself. So many people do not have homes, so for me to whine about moving stress when I do have places to rest my head and call my own may seem superfluous to them.

Yet if you are one who has been on the same journey as me, it’s important to recognize that moving stress is natural, even if a move is for a good reason and you love where you are moving to.  It’s also critical for us to remember that when we have asked Jesus Christ into our lives, he is alongside us through our entire journey.

At so many junctures it is easy to forget that.

There are a hundred billion little decisions to make and a to-do list that doesn’t seem to end. Just when I thought our home we were selling was just right, after fixing dozens of little things from updating electric outlets to crumbling window frames, an inspector found a bat had snuck into our garage attic.

A BAT?! What a mess and expense to clean up that was. Ugh.

There were plenty of opportunities to freak out, worry, become discouraged, and snap at my teen. Plenty of times my head was so full of lists I could not see needs in others around me unless I deliberately stopped and changed my focus. Times I had to choose to not obsess over small somethings for the sake of big relationships.

When we were attempting to sell our home,  my daughter was doing a chore for me and left some of the project undone.  It would have been easy to comment on that.

But as I tried to remain focused on God and keep things in perspective, He nudged me.

Told me to ignore it.

Reminded me a buyer would really not care about that. Reminded me that my daughter was under as much stress as I was, that she needed to be loved on and appreciated, not nagged. Reminded me of what a terrific help she had been to me, as my husband had to go ahead of us to his new job. I thanked God for my daughter’s helpful and sweet attitude, even when I myself  had left things undone or forgotten things important to her.

But that was an easy attitude check, compared to one I had to make when we realized we had to sell our home at a loss.  That took a VERY deliberate change of perspective.

I had added up all we had spent on that home, including our new roof, property taxes for eight years, repairs–including bat cleanup–and our mortgage payments. Divided by the years and months we’d lived there. And realized that it was as if we had rented the entire time, although we had tried so hard to get ahead.

But then I looked out the window. I looked around me. I thanked God that we had been able to live in a lovely home instead of a run-down apartment, or worse yet, on the street. I thanked the Lord for the neighbors we had enjoyed, not just people but neighborhood deer, foxes and owls. I thanked Him for the view out our windows that I had loved every day.

And instead of frettting, I was at peace. Instead of feeling outrage, I felt gratefulness.

I praised God for all I had been given, instead of agonizing over what I thought I had lost.  And after the movers had taken away all our possesions,  we’d driven to our new state, then settled into our temporary place, we looked forward to a new adventure: with God in it.

Have you moved recently? What was one stressful thing about it you experienced, and how did God help you through that? Tell us in a comment–your experience may also help others. 

© Laurie Winslow Sargent. Laurie edits Finding God Daily, and is a multi-book author/contributor and magazine article writer. She blogs for parents at  ParentingByFaith.com and for writers at  SellYourNonfiction.com.  Join her on Twitter as @LaurieSargent

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How Do I Find God? Kathi’s Story: a Vision of Jesus

For some who ask, “How do I find God?”,  He provides a vision: clarifying exactly who He is. Jesus revealed to Kathi exactly what he had done for her. . . and for you as well.

 

By Kathi Macias:

 I wasn’t raised in a Christian home, though we all (with the exception of my then avowed-atheist dad) considered ourselves Christians.

My mom, after all, had been raised in the Catholic Church and still dropped in on occasion. And besides, we lived in America, which was a Christian nation, so what else could we be…right?

My dad’s mother, whom we called Omi, truly was a believer. She had been orphaned in Germany at the age of ten and then went to live with a Lutheran pastor and his wife. It was there she learned about Jesus—“Yesus,” as she called Him—and later taught her children and grandchildren the importance of having “Yesus” in our hearts.

Thanks in great part to Omi’s faithful prayers, my mother and two brothers came to know Jesus in the late ’60s and early ’70s, leaving only my dad and me as the “holdouts.” Since I already believed in God and accepted the basic tenets of the Christian Church, I couldn’t figure out what the big deal was and why I still had to accept “Yesus” into my heart.

Then, on July 5, 1974, with my personal life in shambles and living 1,000 miles away from my parents, I called my mom to see if I could come home.

“Of course you can,” she said. “But that’s not the answer. What you really need is Jesus.”

I sighed. We were back to the same answer again. Whether “Yesus” or Jesus, that seemed to be the only response I could get when I called home.

Before we hung up Mom made me promise to pray. I said I would, and when I got off the phone I kept my promise and fell to my knees beside the bed. It was then I saw myself standing in a great crowd of people. We were on a dusty road, and the people were crying and yelling, and craning their necks to see something. I looked in the same direction to try to discover the object of their interest. And there, stumbling down the road toward me, came Jesus, carrying His cross. I could see the blood, the sweat—and yes, the tears—as He came near. I too was crying by the time He drew even with me. Then He stopped and looked past everyone else, straight into my eyes, and spoke five words that forever changed my life: “I did it for you.”

Suddenly the pieces of the religious puzzle I’d never understood before fell into place. Jesus hadn’t simply died for the sins of the world—though He had certainly done that—but He had died for me, for my sins! Now it was personal.

I turned my life over to Him at that moment, joyfully receiving His forgiveness and love, and I have never had a moment of regret. Oh, it hasn’t always been easy, but it’s always been wonderful because I knew my hand was held by the nail-scarred hand of the One who had gone to the Cross—for me!

 Kathi Macias (www.kathimacias.com) is an award-winning author of 40 books, including the 2011 Golden Scrolls Novel of the Year and Carol Award Finalist, Red Ink. She lives in Southern California with her husband, Al, where she is affectionately known as “Easy Writer.” Kathi writes fiction revealing the trials and faith of persecuted Christians in various countries, and about human trafficking.

Are you wondering, “How do I find God?” He is right there with you, simply waiting for you to recognize him and ask Him to come into your life. Still have questions about the Christian faith? Visit GodTest.com.

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