HT: John Fea
The picture above is of our home library. Lots of books and little room left to house them. Pretty inexpensive to build due to free review copies from publishers, used bookstores, garage and library sales.
I am sobered every time I study there because it is a quiet reminder of my great limitations. At 56, there are many I want to read, but time will most likely run out no matter how much of it is left. And then there are all the books I want to reread!
So pay attention. Your reminder of your finitude may not be a library, but there are other things. And pray Ps. 90:12!
Recent article on my dad’s faith:
A few weeks back I preached a sermon on Ecc. 1 and 2 in three consecutive services. The average age was about 65. Departing from my notes, I closed the third service by reminding all of us of the truth in Ecc. 9:4 that it is better to be a “live dog rather than a dead lion.”
You can hear my sermon here:
One of my favorite books is The Life of St. Antony by Athanasius. It is not a long read, but chock-full of fascinating stories. It is hard to know whether all the stories are true, but one thing is clear: there is much wisdom in it.
We modern-day Christians tend to think heretics pose the primary danger to a church’s integrity, but St. Antony added another category: schismatics. These are folks who may be orthodox in doctrine, but divisive and so not committed to “preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:3)
Here is some of St. Antony’s last counsel to fellow monks. By the way, St. Antony was nearly 105 years old!
“Don’t grow idle in your labors. Live as though dying daily. Stay away from heretics like the Arians and stay away from schismatics.”
(The Life of St. Antony by Athanasius)
InterVarsity Press is one publisher who is sensitive to this important, and little talked about ministry. Billy Graham recently said the church prepared him to die, but did not prepare him well for aging.
Three new books by IVP can help us wisely address the unique challenges of aging. I have carefully read the first two, but only perused the third.
Whether you are getting older (whatever number you think that is!) or minister to “older folk,” these books provide sage advice: