These are the Crankshaft comic strips I used in yesterday’s sermon.
Category Archives: Aging
What do you want written on your epitaph? How do you want to be remembered?
Hebrews 10:37-39 tells us that we need to live by faith. In chapter 11, the author of the book gives numerous examples of ordinary men and women who took God at his word and acted accordingly. In Hebrews 11:17-22, we discover that not only do we need to live by faith, we also need to die by faith. We need to understand that the legacy we leave is more important than the heritage we received. Through the example of the patriarchs—Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph—we discover how to finish well and leave a legacy of faith.
Model faith to your children (17-19). Abraham obeyed God’s command to give his son, Isaac, back to God. God had promised to bless the world through Abraham and give him as many descendants as there were stars in the sky. While Abraham might not have fully comprehended God’s instruction to sacrifice Isaac, he trusted God to keep his promise even if it meant raising Isaac from the dead. Abraham trusted the promises and the power of God. Imagine the impact that had on Isaac on the return journey.
Look to the future with confidence (20). Isaac rode a roller coaster of faith throughout his lifetime—one minute trusting God and the next minute trying to do things his own way. God answered his prayers for children (Genesis 25:21). God promised that “the older will serve the younger (25:23). In the midst of a famine, God confirmed his promise about his descendants (26:3-4). Isaac then lied about his wife (26:7) and followed it up by building an altar (26:25). Isaac then ignored God’s instructions and set about to bless the son he favored, Esau (27:1-4). He was first deceived into blessing Jacob (27:5-9) but then later chose to bless Jacob (28:1-4). Isaac pictured a hopeful future for his son, Jacob, in his blessing.
Bless your descendants with intentionality (21). It took Jacob a lifetime of divine discipline to learn obedience. Jacob went from praising God (Genesis 28:16-17) to bargaining with God (28:20-21) to acknowledging God’s blessing (31:5) to wrestling with God (32:24-26). At the end of his life, he resisted the temptation to be “fair” and passed on a unique blessing to Joseph’s sons.
Anchor your life on the promises of God (22). As Joseph’s death drew near, he used the event as a teachable moment. He reminded his family of the promises given to Abraham that Israel would be strangers and slaves in Egypt for 400 years but afterward, God would bring them back to the Promised Land. Joseph made them promise not to leave his bones behind in Egypt when they left and returned to the land of their ancestors. Joseph was confident that nothing could annul God’s promises.
What kind of legacy do you want to leave your children? How can you model your faith to them? Do they know what you believe and why you believe it? Do you have a confident hope about the future? How can you be intentional in the way you treat and bless your children and grandchildren? Is your life and faith anchored on God’s promises?
What changes do you need to make today to make sure you leave a godly legacy? Remember that the legacy you leave is more important than the heritage you received.
This is the synopsis of a message preached at First Central Bible Church in Chicopee, MA, on September 29, 2019. It is part of a series of expository sermons on the book of Hebrews. Please click on the link to download a copy of the sermon notes.
Book Review: The Aging Brain: Proven Steps to Prevent Dementia and Sharpen Your Mind, by Timothy R. Jennings, MD
Growing older is inevitable. Being 63 years old and recovering from a broken hip/leg, I’m well acquainted with that fact. I’m not recovering as quickly as I did in my 20’s. While I can deal with the physical challenges, I’m more concerned about the mental troubles that are associated with aging. Can I avoid dementia which my step-father wrestled with in his later years?
Dr. Timothy Jennings believes that the answer to that question is “Yes.” It is possible to maintain a sharp mind, vitality, and independence as we age. In his latest book, The Aging Brain: Proven Steps to Prevent Dementia and Sharpen Your Mind, he shares ideas that can be implemented each day to avoid disease, promote vitality, and prevent dementia and late-onset Alzheimer’s.
The first half of the book is more technical and includes up-to-date scientific research on aging. The second half of the book is more practical and includes easy to implement ideas and actions. In Part 1, the author discusses the problems of aging, how healthy brains are developed in the womb and our early years, the impact of our ancestors, and what role our genes play in the equation. In Part 2, the author explores elements that contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle and brain health including obesity, sugar, oxidation, tobacco, and substance abuse. In Part 3, the author discusses the activities that contribute to a healthier lifestyle and brain health including exercise, sleep, rest and vacations, beliefs about God, mental stress, and love. In Part 4, the author discusses Alzheimer’s, the role of vitamins and supplements, and how to reduce other risk factors. He also includes a chapter on how to care for a loved one with dementia.
Each chapter contains “Learning Points” which summarize the chapter into bullet points. There is also a section called “Action Plan” which gives simple, practical ways to implement the concepts.
The book is helpful and informative, but you have to be willing to wade through the medical jargon to understand and benefit from the ideas.
Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.