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Apr 7

Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well by Billy Graham

Posted on Saturday, April 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

I’m forty-nine years old. I don’t feel old, but I don’t feel young either.

I spend my life encouraging others to live their life well.  Mysilentscream.com exists — through stories, some tips, and some Scriptures — to inspire you to live well. 

As I’m nearing fifty I’m looking for “older” people to inspire me to live the rest of my life well too.  Billy Graham’s book Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well seemed like a good fit.

Billy Graham’s book is honest, vulnerable, and inspiring.

“All my life, he wrote, “I was taught how to die as a Christian, but no one ever taught me how I ought to live in the years before I die. I wish they had because I am an old man now, and believe me, it’s not easy.

Whoever first said it was right: old age is not for sissies. Get any group of older people together, and I can almost guarantee what their favorite topic of conversation will be: their latest aches and pains.

I will soon celebrate my ninety-third birthday, and I know it won’t be long before God calls me home to Heaven. More than ever I look forward to that day—not just because of the wonders I know Heaven holds in store for me and for every believer but because I know that finally all the burdens and sorrows that press down upon me at this stage of my life will be over. During the last year the physical ailments common to old age really have taken their toll on me.

I also look forward to that day because I will be reunited with Ruth, my beloved wife and best friend for almost sixty-four years, who went home in 2007 to be with the Lord she loved and served so faithfully. Although I rejoice that her struggles with weakness and pain have all come to an end, I still feel as if a part of me has been ripped out, and I miss her far more than I ever could have imagined.”

Here are some highlights from each of the chapters:

Chapter 1: Running Toward Home
How can we “prepare for the unexpected twists and turns of growing older?
God has given us the answers we need, if we will only discover them and apply them to our lives.”

Chapter 2: Don’t Retire from Life
“Let’s remember that many generations before us have been where we are today without the conveniences we enjoy…Instead of being frustrated by technologies, let’s be thankful for the time they give us to concentrate on His blessings.”

Chapter 3: The Impact of Hope
“One day you may not be able to do everything you once did or everything you would like to do. Instead of feeling guilty or frustrated or resentful, however, thank God that you can still do some things—and make it your goal to do them faithfully and do them well.”

Chapter 4: Consider the Golden Years
“Having your house in order is one of the most important things parents can do for their children. Give them the peace of mind that you have your piece of mind and have taken care of the business that has come about from your lifetime of labor. More than anything else, let them know where you stand with the Lord Jesus Christ, for this will be your lasting legacy.”

Chapter 5: Fading Strength but Standing Strong
“How do we overcome the perils that steal our zest for life? Let the promises of God’s Word, the Bible, uphold you every day. Turn constantly to Him in prayer, confident not only that He hears you but that even now Jesus is interceding for you. Focus your thoughts on Christ, and maintain your connection with other believers who can encourage and help you.”

Chapter 6: Death’s Destination
“While many older folks are not able to care for themselves, many are still capable and can care for others in various ways. We often find that our own loads are not as heavy when we begin helping others. Our choices determine our destiny. When we make choices with the Lord Jesus at the center, life’s journey can be purposeful and filled with hope…”

Chapter 7: Influencing the Impressionable
“Forgiveness is one of the most beautiful words in the human vocabulary and is best illustrated by God’s forgiveness of sin. When God’s people practice forgiveness with their fellow man, sweetness replaces harshness.”

Chapter 8: A Foundation That Lasts
“The elderly should take heart in the biographies that fill the pages of Scripture and the foundations that have been laid by those who have lived before us. The Bible does not diminish old age but teaches its values and virtues. We would do well to emulate the wisdom of those who responsibly passed on the building blocks of God’s truth.”

Chapter 9: Roots Strengthen in Time
Strengthening our spiritual roots begins with God’s Word. Many have said that when they were young, they were too busy to read the Bible and memorize Scripture. Before they realized it, they had grown old and could not commit Bible verses to memory because their memories failed them. That may be true for some, but not for everyone. Many of us remember what we want to remember.” One eighty-eight year old lady was quoted as saying, “It’s going to help me keep my mind fresh and young!”

Chapter 10: Then and Now
“When life’s burdens press upon you or its pressures seem almost more than you can bear, turn your heart toward your Heavenly home: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”…When your hopes and dreams fall apart or people disappoint you or turn against you, turn your heart toward your Heavenly home. And when the infirmities and struggles of old age threaten to overwhelm you, turn your heart toward your Heavenly home…This is certainly what Christ did—before He departed His earthly life…”

This may not be a book for you — or the stage of life you’re in — but, I absolutely loved it.

 

Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 […] “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Bring on the comments

  1. Your article is first class.

  2. You’re very kind.
    Billy Graham is one of my heroes.

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