In just a few weeks Dr. Jerry Gill will be semi-retiring from Lakewood as our Minister of Pastoral Care, and I will be transitioning more into his role. No one can replace Dr. Gill, he has done invaluable work and ministry on behalf of Lakewood. Many of you have been touched by his ministry.
But, as we were talking about the transition, one of our church members suggested that it might not be a good thing to be transitioning into Dr. GillÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s job because that meant I was getting old. I think the term he used was being Ã¢â‚¬Å“older than dirt.Ã¢â‚¬Â Sorry Dr. Gill, I am not sure what that makes you!
I have been working with Senior Adults for many years, but it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t until last year when I turned 55 and I received my AARP card in the mail that I realized maybe I was old?
So, it led me on a quest to discover, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Am I really old?Ã¢â‚¬Â because I still feel young and that my best years are still ahead of me, butÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ I came across this test. It is called the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Age Gauge Test.Ã¢â‚¬Â I would encourage you to take the test. The idea is to count how many of these things you remember growing up as a child.
- Candy cigarettes
- Ã¢â‚¬Â¨Wax coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside
- Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles
- Coffee shops with table-side juke boxes
- Blackjack chewing gum
- Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
- Party lines
- Newsreels before the movie
- PF Flyers
- Butch wax
- Telephone numbers with a word prefix identifying the exchange
- Or the one which became a hit Glenn Miller song title! (Pennsylvania 6-5000)
- Howdy Doody
- 45 rpm records
- S&H Green Stamps
- Metal ice cube trays with levers
- Ã¢â‚¬Â¨Mimeograph paper
- Ã¢â‚¬Â¨Blue flash bulbs
- Ã¢â‚¬Â¨Roller skate keys
- Cork pop guns
- Wash tub wringers
- The Fuller Brush man
- Ã¢â‚¬Â¨Reel-to-reel tape recorders
- The Erector Set
- 5 cent packs of baseball cardsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦with a pink slab of bubblegum
If you remembered 10 or less: YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re still young.
If you remembered 11 – 15: YourÃ¢â‚¬â„¢e getting old.
If you remembered 16-20: DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t tell your age.
If you remembered 21 or more: YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re older than dirt!
I think there was only one that I was not familiar with or did not remember from my childhood so I guess that does make me Ã¢â‚¬Å“older than dirt!Ã¢â‚¬Â But maybe that is not such a bad thing! Being Ã¢â‚¬Å“olderÃ¢â‚¬Â has allowed me to see God do some incredibly amazing things in the ministry of Lakewood in the last 20 years.
So, I have decided that maybe old is not bad, and even admitting we are getting older is not bad. In many ways, it can be very good. With age comes gray hair, and gray hair is not all badÃ¢â‚¬â€at least, for some of us.
Prov. 20:29, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Webster defines splendor as “the quality of being splendid.” Does this mean that old people are splendid and young people are strong? Can a person be both splendid and strong?
Well, Psalm 71:18 says, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.Ã¢â‚¬Â
I have been very blessed to see that scripture lived out by many of the seniors here at Lakewood. They are an amazing and incredible group of people who continue to declare His power to the next generation. So, if you are like meÃ¢â‚¬â€Ã¢â‚¬Å“older than dirtÃ¢â‚¬ÂÃ¢â‚¬â€I hope you will consider joining me and other seniors to serve and minister to the next generation. If you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t, you really are missing a blessing!
Psalm 92:14 says, “They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Elizabeth and I love old books. Old is not bad. Indeed, old may well be very good and sometimes expensive. I was looking for a copy of The Collected Letters of CS Lewis, Volume 3 for Elizabeth to complete her set. I thought that will be a nice present, used-copies ranged from $225 – $1,300. I have not bought the book!
In my library, though, I have a copy of Preacher and Prayer by E. M. Bounds. Its original copyright was 1907. My copy is not that old, but in this Ã¢â‚¬Å“oldÃ¢â‚¬Â book is some good advice for all of us.
E. M. Bounds says, “We are constantly on a stretch, if not on a strain, to devise new methods, new plans, new organizations to advance the church and secure enlargement and efficiency for the gospel. This trend of the day has a tendency to lose sight of the man or sink the man in the plan or organization. GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than of anything else. Men are GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s method. The church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Maybe old is not that bad!