Picture of yours truly with a compelling older Christian, Dr. Dave McCoy.
I’ve been thinking more about aging and the aged these past few years. Sure, part (much?) of it is due to being 59. Hard to believe. Turning forty was somewhat surreal, but sixty?
In any case, it is clearer to me that ever than older people are not typically the lifeblood of churches as they should be. Some is due to them. Did they prepare themselves spiritually as younger folks? I’m sad to say many did not. Lackluster Christians in their twenties and thirties make terribly unimpressive Christians later in life.
Of course, God is gracious and I know examples of those who made course corrections later in life. I also know those who were intentional about their walk with the Lord in earlier life, so it is not surprising they remain so. I am grateful for the men and women I know like this.
This aging stuff has me noticing new things. For example, I check out several blogs and Twitter accounts on a daily basis. One thing that has struck me of late is how so few older people are featured. Sure, there are older people if they are well-known Christian leaders, but that is about it. Where are the older folks? Most feature just the younger folks.
This fall I will be interviewing the eminent, American historian, Jill Lepore of Harvard. I will interview Lepore on her book about Jane Franklin, sister of Ben.
Here is a recent interview with Professor Lepore (HT: John Fea):
The writing life of Harvard historian Jill Lepore
I am coming to this terrific book about five years after its publication, so no long review here. I will say it is an extremely well done piece of work, both witty and wise, entertaining and educational. You will learn a lot about Scripture and yourself by reading it!
American Christians are especially in dire need of reckoning with this fine book.
For me, the answer has come from a simple mathematical equation. I take the total number of pages in a book and divide by two. If my total marginal notes exceeds that number then most likely the book was invaluable to read.
This does not mean, of course, that I agree with everything in the book. It does mean the book provoked much fruitful interaction.
The photo above is my copy of the terrific, Flannery O’Connor and the Christ-Haunted South by Ralph Woods.
Dan Siegel offers three things that greatly help one’s overall mental health. I rearranged the list (as found in Curt Thompson’s Anatomy of the Soul) so I could make the word FAN. Here are the three things:
Focused attention exercises. These are things such as prayer and meditation on the Word of God.
Aerobic activity. Forty-five minutes a day at least five times a week. We think better when we our body feels better.
Novel learning experiences. Pushing yourself to learn something new. Could be gardening, cooking, a new language, really just about anything that forces the brain to make new connections.