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    The Red Hackle

    Several years ago I stumbled across a bit of fishing lore in a second-century bc work by the Greek writer Aelian. “Between Boroca and Thessalonica runs a river called the Astracus, and in it there are fish with spotted skins [trout].” He then describes a “snare for the fish, by which they get the better of them. They fastened crimson red wool round a hook and attached two feathers. Then they would throw their snare, and the fish, attracted by the color, comes up, thinking to get a mouthful” (On the Nature of Animals).

                Fishermen still use this lure today. It…

    Resting and Waiting

    It was high noon. Jesus, foot-weary from His long journey, was resting beside Jacob’s well. His disciples had gone into the city of Sychar to buy bread. A woman came out of the city to draw water . . . and found her Messiah. The account tells us that she quickly went into the city and invited others to come hear “a man who told me everything I ever did” (John 4:29).

     The disciples came back bringing bread. When they urged Jesus to eat, He said to them, “My food . . . is to do the will of him who…

    How to Grow Old

    “How are you today, Mama?” I asked casually. My 84-year-old friend, pointing to aches and pains in her joints, whispered, “Old age is tough!” Then she added earnestly, “But God has been good to me.”

    “Growing old has been the greatest surprise of my life,” says Billy Graham in his book Nearing Home. “I am an old man now, and believe me, it’s not easy.” However, Graham notes, “While the Bible doesn’t gloss over the problems we face as we grow older, neither does it paint old age as a time to be despised or a burden to be endured with…

    Grey Power

    Dutch artist Yoni Lefevre created a project called “Grey Power” to show the vitality of the aging generation in the Netherlands. She asked local schoolchildren to sketch their grandparents. Lefevre wanted to show an “honest and pure view” of older people, and she believed children could help supply this. The youngsters’ drawings reflected a fresh and lively perspective of their elders—grandmas and grandpas were shown playing tennis, gardening, painting, and more!

    Caleb, of ancient Israel, was vital into his senior years. As a young man, he infiltrated the Promised Land before the Israelites conquered it. Caleb believed God would help his…

    How did Paul overcome feelings of hurt and abandonment?

    Have you ever felt abandoned by someone you cared about? It can be difficult recovering from that type of pain and disappointment. Join us today for an encouraging conversation on “Discover the Word.”

    The Best Season Yet

    Life is a lot like the weather . . . it’s seasonal. It has a way of pushing us into the next season whether we like it or not. And when pushed into the next season, we are often uncertain and even fearful of what it might hold for us.

    Paul, The Aged

    Celebrating my 60th birthday really changed my perspective on life— I used to think people in their sixties were “old.” Then I started counting the number of productive years I might have left and set the number at 10. I went along with this dead-end kind of thinking until I remembered a very productive co-worker who was 85. So I sought him out to ask what life after 60 was like. He told me of some of the wonderful ministry opportunities the Lord had given him over the last 25 years.

    Fresh Fruit

    I love the old photographs that are often printed on the obituary page of our local newspaper. A grinning young man in a military uniform and words such as: 92 years old, fought for his country in WWII. Or the young woman with sparkling eyes: 89 years young, grew up on a farm in Kansas during the Depression. The unspoken message is: “I wasn’t always old, you know.”

    We Shall Be Changed

    Being afflicted with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, Thomas DeBaggio chronicled his gradual memory loss in the book Losing My Mind. This book records the disturbing process by which—little by little—tasks, places, and

    Don’t Just Retire

    The first people to climb Mt. Everest, the world’s highest mountain, were Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. Hillary was just 33 years old. His feat afforded him fame, wealth, and the realization that he had already lived a remarkable life.

    So, what did Hillary do for the next 55 years? Did he retire and rest on his laurels? Absolutely not.

    Although Hillary had no higher mountains to climb, that didn’t stop him. He achieved other notable goals, including a concerted effort to improve the welfare of the Nepalese people living near Mt. Everest—a task he carried on until his death in 2008.

    A Man My Age

    On a recent flight, I got ready to do some work. Spread out on my tray were my laptop computer, backup hard drive, iPod, and other gadgets that are part of being a 21st-century “road warrior.” As I worked, a young man seated beside me asked if he could make a comment. He told me how inspirational it was for him, a young man, to see someone my age so enthusiastically embracing modern technology. In spite of his intention to compliment me, I suddenly felt about 120 years old. What did he mean by “someone my age”? I wondered. After all, I was “only” 57.

    The Brevity Of Life

    On October 19, 2008, I heard the news that Levi Stubbs, lead singer for Motown’s vocal group The Four Tops, had died at age 72. As a boy, I enjoyed the Four Tops, especially Stubbs’ emotion-filled, passionate voice. I had never met him or heard the group in concert, yet his passing affected me at an unexpected level.

    Like A Tree

    In the quietness of my final years I plan to watch a tree grow—a birch tree I planted as a tiny sapling over 30 years ago. It stands now in mature splendor, just outside our picture window—beautiful in every season of the year.

    So it is with our spiritual endeavors: We may have planted, watered, and fussed over our “saplings” (those we’ve mentored) for a time, but only God can make a “tree.”

    Land Of Eternal Spring

    The former president of Columbia Bible College in South Carolina, J. Robertson McQuilkin, pointed out that God has a wise purpose in letting us grow old and weak:

    “I think God has planned the strength and beauty of youth to be physical. But the strength and beauty of age is spiritual. We gradually lose the strength and beauty that is temporary so we’ll be sure to concentrate on the strength and beauty which is forever.