“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30, emphasis added)
“The finest art has always offered transcendence – inviting us to stand outside ourselves and gain perspective. Artistic images, music, and stories engage our rational faculties, which mediate and critique our emotional and visceral responses. Entertainment makes an end run around the intellect, stimulating the nervous system in much the same way as drugs do.” (Lael Arrignton, A Faith and Culture Devotional, 54).
Retirement planning is big business these days. And the market is ripe. Baby boomers currently enter retirement at a rate of 10,000 per day. And estimate 33 million more will join the ranks of the retired over the next seven years!
Heading into 2017 there was a surge of confidence in people’s sense of preparedness to enter retirement. In 2011 only 24% felt such confidence; today the percentage has risen to 41%. Whether that confidence is well-founded is, of course, yet to be seen. But it seems people are giving more and more attention to preparing for their retirement future.
Those in their 20’s are being urged to begin now to store away for their retirement years. The magic powers of compounding interest are paraded before their eyes with dollar signs dancing through their dreams of a better tomorrow, free of work and the stress it brings.
Anyone in their 30’s is warned that the window of opportunity is fast passing them by. Left feeling like dullards they are shamed into obtaining professional help and getting a “plan” together.
If you’re in your 40’s the time for warning is past and embarrassment is the tool of choice. If you are in your fifth decade of life and haven’t been working a wise investment plan you are not just foolish, but destining those around you to a life of taking care of you.
And, heaven forbid, you are in your 50’s … well, we have funeral services for you. Survival in retirement years is simply (ahem!) unrealistic.
Am I counseling not being intentional about preparing for retirement? Not at all. Of course there is some wisdom in this. It’s just that a related, but significantly different thought ran through my head the other day. I want to start asking people:
In fact, the next time someone asks me what I do, I think I may just answer: “I am a post-retirement counselor”!
Jesus—the ultimate post-retirement counselor—advised, “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20). Peter counseled us to make certain of “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4). Solomon counseled, “However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all. But let them remember the days of darkness, for there will be many” (Ecclesiastes 11:8, NIV).
As we prepare for 2017 year to give way to 2018, as we enter the gift-buying, gift-giving season, as all the while we all move toward our post-retirement existence … let’s take steps to make certain that we’re ready for our post-retirement experience, by the mercies and grace of God through Jesus.
The Bible has harsh things to say about those who put family before Jesus …
The Bible has harsh things to say about those who put Jesus before family …
So how are we to understand what Jesus wants with regard to our commitments to both Him and to the families He has given us? Here is what I’ve concluded …
So I need to ask myself some questions, prayerfully before God and honestly assessing my family’s needs …
bumbling through life
I encounter a
T in the road
What to make of this T?
An impasse? The end of my road?
A signal I should QUIT?
Or does the T signal, not a Termination, but a Transition?
As I consider my options something Emerges, standing between me and that fateful T …
Exaltation of the King who rules my journey
Examination of my heart as part of my journey
Exploration of the King’s leading for the next stage of the journey
In fact, I discover the E is not just one thing, but many things
Yet it is not Everything
No, that is the Exclusive domain of my King
Him alone in that place between me and the T
Embracing Him as my Everything Transforms my journey
opening new options as I stand there before that great T in my road
there, with Him the T no longer demands I QUIT, but invites me to become QUIET
for, says my King, “in Quietness and in Trust is your strength” for this journey