Age is not the enemy.

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Modern western culture portrays old age as somthing scary, ugly, the end of all the good stuff, to be fought veheminately. Celebrities go to great lengths to stave off its onslaughts with diets, creams and cosmetic surgery till they look like walking skulls.

I remember the East where old age is venerated due to its wisdom, the old retired couples in China dancing in the park every evening, dining out surrounded by their children and grandchildren and how natural it seemed.

Part is due to the much healthier lifestyle (you seldom see old Chinese with a stick let alone a walker or wheelchair) and family ties are far stronger. The widow or widower helping with the grandkids seldom find themselves lonely. Old age is seldom lamented, rather seen it as a time of well deserved rest and enjoyment. There’s almost a holiday spirit about it.

How far have we in the west strayed from the natural concept of age. I came across the phrase, “old age is only disappointing if we find ourselves older in years without growing closer to God.” This also set me thinking. Feeling our lives have been well lived, looking back with satisfaction and forward with expectation gives peace.

The frantic striving to live every second because there are new wrinkles etc. so full of fear, for cancer, for strokes, for disabilities, drains us of the joys of old age. Growing closer to God brings peace and wisdom and with it the ability to enjoy this golden age slowly, deeply, like a vintage wine. We once knew this.

Age is opportunity no less

Than youth itself, though in another dress;

And as the evening twilight fades away,

The sky is filled with stars invisible by day.

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

God’s ultimate back up plan.

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Yesterday I posted about how God always has a back up plan when things go wrong (Rom. 8:28). That set me to thinking of not just my little life, not even nationally, but about God’s global back up plans.
Yes, he has a back up plan for if/when we screw up this earth beyond redemption. It’s not about electing Christian politicians, edgy liberalist ideas, or law enforcement. It’s all explained in the book of Revelations (and a few other places). God’s ultimate contingency plan is to come rescue us (and the earth we were meant to care for).
It says, He’s going to take over with a whole new ball game, and this time we play by His rules, not ours. Finally, justice (and mercy – can’t have one without the other) will be meted out, our whole economic system uprooted, no more rich, no more poor, no more exploitation. The earth’s replenished land and resources will be shared by all, no more hunger, no more crippling mortgages. For sure there will be work, but wholesome, independent work, no more bosses! No more curse on the land, (no weeds, pests or fungus). Tame animals, less sickness, prolonged age expectancy etc. etc.
When I see us continually screwing up I remind myself – there’s a back up plan and its incredible!

companionship.

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It’s a cozy “armchair” feeling I have with Him and me,

Like a pair of bedroom slippers warm and comfy as can be.

A very special feeling to be loved for me alone,

To set down lists and doings, put down the mobile phone

And bask within His presence as He gently strokes my hair

Although I’m all alone here I feel his being there.

Like soothing cups of chocolate, like sunshine in the rain

This special deep contentment that eases all the pain.

 

Kuala lumpar sky

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Something about the sky …
I can’t quite articulate.
More definition, like a focused lens.
Though my camera skills can’t capture it
It remains embedded in my memory
A primeval force, alive, pulsating.
I’m aware of an ancient moving entity
Beyond the familiar firmament
Both disturbing and calming
Forces greater than I
Though encroached by high-rise towers
Its enduring nature upstages.
So much beyond the petty doings of man.
I find great peace in this sky.

Abundant life? (Christmas/ New Year thoughts).

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As focus drifts from Christmas to resolutions a misleading conception saddens me – “abundant life”. It’s preached as being God’s promise of abundant supply, riches, a prospering business, a new car etc. etc. Some even measure others by their prosperity. How odd to think that a God who chose to be born in a stable and wander the land as an itinerant preacher, sleeping rough with his followers, would be interested in such things.

Sure He cares for His children and supplies their needs as promised, but this gift of “abundant life” is so much more than that! Like the old picture of a child dropping her doll to receive a snow white dove, abundant life is so much more!

John says “in Him was life” the life, creative power to heal and mend hearts, minds and bodies. It says, “He came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly”. That this power of life can live in us to such a degree that it bursts forth on others, bringing life, healing, and peace. “Abundant life” is authority to access the power of the spiritual realm and perform miracles through that “life spirit” bringing forth fruit, not of sordid material possessions, but miracles of healing, redemption and changed lives. The former pales in comparison to the latter.

Just a thought when setting goals and resolutions.