It's Monday. The roads are icy. Walking is precarious. It's still winter.
At our house, we've canceled out on a late-February, much-anticipated, winter reprieve week on Florida's Amelia Island beach, where for several years we have bunked in near to our oldest child, and walked along stretches of the Atlantic's surf, soaking in the sun. We hope resting and exercising here in cold Minnesota will be a helpful, healing substitute.
It's a little about extending life, taking care, stepping out, claiming the future, trying to do good, serving, and staying on the trail with Jesus.
I look forward to Lent. We're planning our early morning breakfast Bible Studies for six weeks at the Hilltop Restaurant. A lovely group of nearly 20 friends, old and new, celebrated Advent that way, with me, and each other - reading wonderful words of scripture, praying, reporting on their lives, giving us words of wisdom and faith that blessed us all during the high and holy time of the Advent season.
The great thing is being together, being a little community of brothers and sisters in faith. So blessed are we always. That non-Florida week will be my special preparation time, anticipating those sweet mornings (7am to 8:30am).
For me it is life-giving. It is energy-restoring. It is healing, and renewing, and faith-building. And that, I find, has a lot to do with extending life, living longer, having a purpose. It is thinking and talking, with friends old and new, about Jesus.
It's really the faith that has the most to do with living longer. And, "living well." Having joy. Being happy. Loving others, and being loved by them.
I didn't think as much about that in my younger years. Now, I think about it much of the time. What in our age, it seems to me, we do well to think about life, and about walking closer with the Lord of life. Letting Him rule our thoughts, and create our ideals, and nourish our hopes, and give us visions and dreams.
Want to live longer? Take Jesus' hand. Let Him into your life.
Yesterday our family gathered for lunch after church to celebrate the 88th birthday of my wife, their mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She who gave birth to them, and loved them through the years, and who heard God's call in wounded Rwanda, about forgiveness. Asking for it and freely giving it. So much of her time is given to smiling. Such that her 15-yr-old grandson in St. Louis, remarked to his father, "Nonny just radiates light.
She does. It's Jesus' light. It keeps her going, and all of us going. It's a living miracle of life. There's so many more birthdays for her. Because of that.
Shine the light, friends. And live long!
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES