Nearing Home: Life, Faith and Finishing Well, Hardcover, by Billy Graham, Thomas Nelson, 2011, 192 Pages, ISBN-13: 978-0849948329, $19.99
In Nearing Home, beloved evangelist, Billy Graham writes from personal experience about the aging process and growing old. Where he shares his thoughts on God, grief, the “golden years,” retirement and lessons he’s learned along the way.
Graham never expected to live into his nineties and writes, “…no one ever taught me how I ought to live in the years before I die.” And that’s true for many of us. We’re so busy living we spend little time or thought on retirement until it’s upon us.
Graham hopes to change that with this simple message for young and old alike, where he writes, “The best way to meet the challenges of old age…is to look at retirement from God’s point of view…” Because it takes God’s help to grow old with “grace.”
His thoughts on retirement are clear and convincing and begin with preparing for retirement before it happens because retirement is not a reward, but a “gift from God.” At retirement, seniors are faced with two choices, to bless themselves with attitudes of “self-indulgence” or to bless others with “meaningful activity.” His argument for meaningful activity, to use life experiences in a “new way” for the Lord is simple and persuasive.
Sometimes humorous, other times serious, Graham writes about the onslaught of “physical ailments” seniors face from aging bodies that teach this truth—“old age is not for sissies.”
Readers learn why Graham believes the fountain of youth is a “mirage.” Why prayer is important for the legacy of faith left behind, how to fix broken relationships, the how-to of sensible budgets, living wills, as well as a last will and testament. The need to draw close to Christ, seek God’s plan for your life and commit to trust Him in all things when preparing for the reality of old age.
Overall, Graham features four important themes in Nearing Home: strong spiritual foundations, facing grief, aging or retirement transitions with the Lord, wise decisions and our “glorious hope” in Christ.His simple message of hope and inspiration is practical and can be summed up with the phrase his wife Ruth saw at the end of a road construction site she wanted engraved on her tombstone. “End of Construction. Thank you for your patience.”
Graham appreciated the truth behind the words, shared Ruth’s humor and writes, “Growing older with grace is possible for all who will set their hearts and minds on the Giver of grace, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Graham’s great advice is personal, genuine and authentic. Nearing Home makes an excellent gift choice for any senior friend or relative nearing retirement.
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