Tag Archives: death

Rich in Years: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Long Life

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Even if you are not elderly, there is something to love in the book Rich in Years by Johann Christoph Arnold. While some of the chapters address specific issues (nearly) exclusive to the elderly, most of the topics discuss things that all of us will face at some point in our lives. If you or a loved one are facing a serious or life-limiting illness, or if you’ve lost a loved one, you will find wisdom and encouragement in this easy-to-read book.

Mr. Arnold addresses issues without demographic boundaries such as “Accepting Changes,” “Finding Purpose,” and “Keeping Faith”. Topics that are pertinent to individuals and families faced with serious or terminal illnesses include “Living With Dementia,” “Moving Forward,” “Finding Peace,” “Saying Goodbye,” “Continuing On” and “Beginning Anew”. Topics aimed at anyone who is advanced in years include “Growing Older,” “Accepting Changes” and “Combating Loneliness.”

I am living with a disabling and life-limiting illness and I found Mr. Arnold’s words to be quite encouraging:
It is only when we dwell in our past, using our old measure of self-worth, that our bodies seem decrepit in comparison. If we look at what we can give, rather than our limitations, we will be able to accept our new role.
When I was diagnosed I was still relatively physically functional and able to continue in my career. Eventually, the disabling effects of my illness made it impossible for me to continue and I had to leave the job that I loved and that had, to a large extent, defined me for nearly two decades. Changing that role has been the hardest part of my illness. I felt lost and extremely depressed for quite some time. I have come to the point now where I can accept my new role, but it was extremely difficult. There is wisdom to “letting go” without “giving up.”

If you are elderly, or have an elderly loved one, I encourage you to read this book and share it with them. I’d also recommend the book for anyone facing a serious, life-altering illness or injury. There is much wisdom here!

I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Heaven Changes Everything by Todd and Sonja Burpo

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If you’ve read and enjoyed Heaven is For Real  by Todd Burpo, you’re going to love Heaven Changes Everything. Todd and his wife, Sonja, team up on this devotional book based on Heaven is For Real. If you didn’t read the first book, it is the account of a young boy who became gravely ill and visited heaven. The devotional is able to be read as a stand-alone volume, although the examples mentioned are richer if you’ve read the companion book.

It is important for Christians to live their lives with a view of heaven in mind. So many things are easier in this life when seen in light of eternity. Todd and Sonja both contribute short chapters dedicated to different topics related to life beyond the veil. Taking a heavenly perspective gives us the ability to endure and to encourage in ways that nothing else can. It is easy to fall into discouragement when we find ourselves failing at something again and again (or to be judgmental when we watch as someone else tries and fails repeatedly). God doesn’t look at it that way. He doesn’t grow impatient. Instead, He watches us and encourages us like a parent of a child who is learning to walk. As parents, we know our child will fall but we feel nothing but elation when they try. When they fall we don’t scold them. Instead we pick them up and set them up to try again. Some children are slower to walk than others. As their parent we don’t love them any less. They are living up to their potential and we are pleased with that. God only asks that we do our very best, not that we always succeed.

Heaven Changes Everything takes subjects like family, death, forgiveness and grace and illustrates them in light of our eternal destination. The short chapters are easy to read and are perfect for a daily devotional to reorient ourselves away from the temporal concerns of this world and towards a heavenly perspective.

***BookSneeze® provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.***

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