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    George Burns once said, "Tennis is a game for young people. Until age 25, you can play singles. From there until age 35, you should play doubles. I won't tell you my age, but when I played, there were 28 people on the court -- just on my side of the net.

    Bits & Pieces, April 28, 1994, p. 19.

    Man is like an automobile. As it gets older, the differential starts slipping, and the u-joints get worn, causing the drive shaft to go bad. The transmission won't go into high gear and sometimes has difficulty getting out of low. The cylinders get worn and lose compression, making it hard to climb the slightest incline. When it is climbing, the tappets clatter and ping to the point where one wonders if the old bus will make it to the top. The carburetor gets fouled with pollutants and other matter, making it hard to get started in the morning. It is hard to keep the radiator filled because of the leaking hose. The thermostat goes out, making it difficult to reach operating temperature. The headlights grow dim, and the horn gets weaker. The memory chip drops a few bytes, and the battery needs constant recharging. But if the body looks good with no bangs, dents or chipping paint, we can keep it washed and polished, giving the impression that it can compete with the newer models and make one more trip down the primrose lane before the head gasket blows. Gentlemen, start your engines. 

    Pinging Like Crazy in Tulsa, in Ann Landers, Spokesman Review, December 24, 1993, p. D2.

    A couple had been married for 50 years. "Things have really changed," she said. "You used to sit very close to me."

    "Well, I can remedy that," he said, moving next to her on the couch.

    "And you used to hold me tight."

    "How's that?" he asked as he gave her a hug.

    "Do you remember you used to nudge my neck and nibble on my ear loves?"

    He jumped to his feet and left the room. "Where are you going?"

    "I'll be right back," he said. "I've got to get my teeth!"

    Tal D. Bonham and Jack Gulledge, The Treasury of Clean Senior Adult Jokes (Broadman) quoted in Reader's Digest.

    Children touring a retirement home were asked by a resident if they had any questions. "Yes," one girl said. "How old are you?"

    "I'm 98," she replied proudly.

    Clearly impressed, the child's eyes grew wide with wonder. "Did you start at one?"

    Contributed by Ruth Naylor, Reader's Digest.

    Thought I'd let my doctor check me

    Cause I didn't feel quite right

    All those aches and pains annoyed me

    And I couldn't get to sleep at night.

    He could find no real disorder

    But he couldn't let me rest

    What with Medicare and Blue Cross

    It wouldn't hurt to do some tests.

    To the hospital he sent me

    Though I didn't feel that bad

    He arranged for them to give me

    Every test that could be had.

    I was flouroscoped and cystoscoped

    My aging frame displayed,

    Stripped upon an ice cold table

    While my gizzards were X-rayed.

    I was checked for worms and parasites

    For fungus and the Crud

    While they pierced me with long needles

    Taking samples of my blood.

    Doctors came to check me over

    Prodded and pushed and poked around,

    And to make sure that I was living

    They wired me up for sound.

    They have finally concluded:

    (Their results have filled a page)

    What I have will someday kill me,

    My affliction is .....Old Age.


    Source Unknown.


    Beatitudes for friends of the aged--Esther Mary Walker

    Blessed are they who understand

    My faltering step and palsied hand.

    Blessed are they who know that my ears today

    Must strain to catch the things they say.

    Blessed are they who seem to know

    That my eyes are dim and my wits are slow.

    Blessed are they who looked away

    When coffee spilled at table today.

    Blessed are they with a cheery smile

    Who stop to chat for a little while.

    Blessed are they who never say,

    "You've told that story twice today."

    Blessed are they who know the ways

    To bring back memories of yesterdays.

    Blessed are they who make it known

    That I'm loved, respected and not alone.

    Blessed are they who know I'm at a loss

    To find the strength to carry the Cross.

    Blessed are they who ease the days

    On my journey Home in loving ways.


    Esther Mary Walker.


    Old age is dreaded by almost everyone because it usually means loneliness, physical decline, and a retreat to inactivity. Some people tend to lose their enthusiasm for life and spend too much time in fruitless reminiscing and self-pity. They feel like "Old Jimmy", an elderly gentleman George Mueller often told about. When this man was asked what he did all day since he had retired, he replied, "I just sit and think, and sit and think,...and sometimes I just sit!" That's getting old in the worst way -- ceasing to live before we die.

    History records that many people made some of their greatest contributions to society after the age of 65. The Earl of Halsburg, for example, was 90 when he began preparing a 20- volume revision of English law. Goethe wrote Faust at 82. Galileo made his greatest discovery when he was 73. At 69, Hudson Taylor was still vigorously working on the mission field, opening up new territories in Indochina. And when Caleb was 85, he took the stronghold of the giants (Josh. 14:10-15).

    God never intends for us to retire from spiritual activity. The Bible says we can "still bring forth fruit in old age." Even as Jesus kept the "best wine" for the last at the wedding in Cana (John 2:10), so He seeks to gather the most luscious clusters of the fruit of the Spirit from the fully ripened harvest of our lives. You may be sure God wouldn't keep you on this earth if He didn't have a worthwhile ministry for you to accomplish. So keep on serving the Lord!

    Our Daily Bread.

    The great evangelist George Whitefield was relating the difficulties of the gospel ministry to some friends. He said that he was weary of the burdens and was glad that his work would soon be over and that he would depart this earthly scene to be with Christ. The others admitted having similar feelings -- all except one, a Mr. Tennant. Noting this, Whitefield tapped him on the knee and said, "Well, Brother Tennant, you are the oldest among us; do you not rejoice to think that your time is so near at hand when you will be called Home?" 

    The old man answered bluntly that he had no wish about it. When pressed for something more definite, he added, "I have nothing to do with death. My business is to live as long as I can, and as well as I can, and serve my Savior as faithfully as I can, until He thinks it's time to call me Home." Whitefield accepted that word as a gentle rebuke from the Lord, and it helped him go on with his work calmly and patiently. 

    Our Daily Bread.

    The closing years of life can be peaceful, happy, and productive. A man or woman of God doesn't need to escape them by dwelling on past glories; nor does he need to make them miserable by developing a bitter, complaining spirit. God gives the whole of life to live, and the psalmist suggests that even our later years can be fruitful and flourishing. But we must begin by being happy now!

    The well-known Christian psychiatrist Paul Tournier gives insight on this subject in his book The Seasons of Life. He writes, "True happiness is always linked with deep, inner harmony. It therefore always implies an acceptance of one's age; the acceptance of no longer being a child when one has reached the age of adulthood, and the giving up of the goals of active life when one is advance in years. This is the age of retirement, which for some men can be a meaningful experience, while for others it is a cruel trial. Why such differences? Partly, undoubtedly, this comes from differences in temperament. Yet more so from something else. Those who complain about their retirement are usually the same ones as those who used to complain about their work and longed to be set free from it!"

    Our Daily Bread.

    How to Know You're Getting Older

    Everything hurts! and what doesn't hurt, doesn't work!

    You feel like the night before, and you haven't been anywhere!

    You sit in a rocking chair and you can't get it going!

    Your knees buckle and your belt won't!

    Dialing long distance wears you out!

    Your fortune teller offers to read your face!

    The little gray haired lady you help across the street is your wife!

    You sink your teeth into a steak, and they stay there!

    You wake up in the morning and your water bed has sprung a leak,

    and you realize you don't have a water bed!

    When you watch a pretty girl go by, your pace-maker makes the garage door go up!

    When you know all the answers, and no one asks you the questions!

    When you decide to procrastinate, but never get around to it!

    C. Swindoll, Strengthening Our Grip, p. 128.

    Old age is always 15 years older than I am. 

    Bernard Baruch.

    By the time a person gets to greener pastures, he can't climb the fence. 

    Frank Dickson, quoted by Ira G. Corn, Jr., United Feature Syndicate.

    Wisdom doesn't automatically come with old age. Nothing does -- except wrinkles. It's true, some wines improve with age. But only if the grapes were good in the first place. 

    Abigail Van Buren, Chicago Tribute-New York News Syndicate, quoted in Reader's Digest, May, 1980.

    Lowell Thomas, speaking at a luncheon, warned that one of the dangers of passing the 80th year of age is that "everything you say reminds you of something else". 

    Editor & Publisher, quoted in Reader's Digest, May, 1980.

    It's only natural for older people to be quiet. They have a lot more to be quiet about. 

    Reader's Digest, May, 1980.

    The distinguished behaviorist B.F. Skinner was addressing the Nova University 1978 Conference on Aging. He was explaining how, at age 74, he made allowances for his impaired vision and hearing.

    Skinner recalled a time when he was having a Chinese meal in a busy senior-center living room, and someone sitting near him pointed out the food in the middle of the table. Skinner decided he was expected to eat some. As he took a piece, he admired its thin, pale-brown crust. Eating the crunchy delicacy, he wondered how the Chinese were able to produce such a fragile, yet crispy, crust. Then he noticed that his neighbor was eating the same thing. She was peeling hers. It was a hard-boiled egg.

    Contributed by Marylou Hughes, Reader's Digest, May, 1980.

    The greatest happiness usually comes not in youth, but in old age. Men generally are happiest during their middle sixties, women during their seventies. Unhappiest time: early fifties for men, late forties for women. 

    Gail Sheehy, quoted in Homemade, November, 1984.

    Old age can be a most rewarding period of life. For those who have found the satisfaction of a loving and close relationship with the Heavenly Father through faith in His Son, the "sunset years" can be more appropriately labeled the "golden years".

    Henry Durbanville felt that way. In his book The Best Is Yet To Be he wrote, "I feel so sorry for folks who don't like to grow old...I revel in my years. They enrich me...I would not exchange...the abiding rest of soul, the measure of wisdom I have gained from the sweet and bitter and perplexing experiences of life; nor the confirmed faith I now have in of God, for all the bright and uncertain hopes and tumultuous joys of youth. Indeed, I would not! These are the best years of my life...The way grows brighter; the birds sing sweeter; the winds blow softer; the sun shines more radiantly than ever before. I suppose 'my outward man' is perishing, but 'my inward man' is being joyously renewed day by day.

    Robertson McQuilkin wrote, "God planned the strength and beauty of youth to be physical. But the strength and beauty of age is spiritual. We gradually lose the strength and beauty that is temporary so we'll be sure to concentrate on the strength and beauty that is forever." 

    Our Daily Bread.

    Retirement may increase a man's risk of dying of heart attack. "We found an 80 percent higher rate of death from coronary disease among those in a study who had retired compared with those who had not," said Dr. Charles H. Hennekens of Harvard Medical School. It may be that some people who retire get all nervous about it and kind of tense," said Hennekens. "That may be a way of explaining this, but I just don't know."

    Hennekens said he and his colleagues were trying to set up a long-term study of up to 10,000 elderly persons to determine their physical and mental responses to retirement. Among the variables not included in the current data, he said, were length of retirement, changes in lifestyle and attitudes toward retirement. The last may be very important, he said, since "for some people, retirement is a reward for a lifetime's work and they look forward to it. But for other people, it is a punishment for growing old. Those who feel that way perhaps might be the ones who get nervous, but we don't have that breakdown."

    Each victim was matched with another man of similar age living in the same neighborhood. Of the 568 pairs of victims and controls, 102 included one retiree and one person still at work. Of those, Hennekens said, 76 of the dead men were retirees, while only 26 of the living men had retired. After adjusting the information for age differences and other variables, he said, "there was still this 80 percent association." He said the tentative findings applied only to men in whom coronary disease is much more common than in women. By age 60, one in five American men will have had a coronary problem, while the figure for women is about one in 17. 

    Des Moines Register, November 11, 1979, Fingertip Facts.

    Shall I? - Or - Have I?

    Just a line to say I'm living

    That I'm not among the dead.

    Though I'm getting more forgetful

    And more mixed up in the head.

    For sometimes I can't remember

    When I stand at foot of stair,

    If I must go up for something

    Or I've just come down from there.

    And before the frig', so often

    My poor mind is filled with doubt,

    Have I just put food away, or

    Have I come to take some out?

    And there's times when it is dark out

    With my nightcap on my head,

    I don't know if I'm retiring

    Or just getting out of bed.

    So if it's my turn to write you

    There's no need of getting sore,

    I may think I have written

    And don't want to be a bore.

    So, remember...I do love you,

    And I wish that you were here;

    But now, it is nearly mail time

    So I must say: "Goodbye Dear".

    Here I stand beside the mailbox,

    With my face so very red,

    Instead of mailing you this letter...

    I have opened it instead....


    Source Unknown.


    But Not Today

    I shall grow old perhaps, but not today, not while my hopes are

    young, my spirit strong, my vision clear, because life has a way

    of smoothing out the wrinkles with a song.

    I shall grow old, perhaps, but not today, not while my dreams

    remain a shining shield, my faith a lance, and 'neath a sky of

    grey, my colors wave upon the battlefield.

    I shall grow old, perhaps, but not today, not while this pen can

    write upon a page, and memories turn Winter into May, shall this

    stout heart be brought to terms by age?

    I shall grow old, perhaps, but not today, and scorning Time who

    would enlist my tears, I stand convinced there is a better way,

    of occupying all the coming years.

    I shall grow old, perhaps, but not today, in my own style and in

    my own sweet time, no night so dark there does not fall a ray of

    light along the pathway that I climb.

    Just say of me, when my last hour slips like one bright leaf to

    softly rest among the others..."Life was Summer to the heart, of

    one who died believing she was young."

    Grace E. Easley.

    F.B. Meyer once confided to his friend F.A. Robinson of Toronto, " I do hope my Father will let the river of my life go flowing fully until the finish. I don't want it to end in a swamp." 

    W. Wiersbe, The Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching & Preachers, p. 193.

    "Little Pills Where Goeth Thou?"

    We take pink pills for old arthritis and green ones, perhaps, for the heart.

    A blue one because you are dizzy--hope the stomach can tell them apart.

    A white pill controls the blood pressure; a red one helps soften the stool;

    A yellow one calms you down greatly so you won't be acting the fool.

    There are two-toned, and gray and brown pills for relief from head-aches and gout,

    Diabetes, ulcers and heartburn, sure hope each pill knows the right route.

    What a terrible mess up there could be if your headache pill went to your toe,

    And the laxative pill traveled upward 'cause it wasn't quite sure where to go.

    If this should ever happen to you, you'd either laugh or you'd weep.

    'Cause you'd probably run off at the mouth and your feet would be falling asleep.

    How in the world could you stop the dilemma unless you stood on your head,

    So the pills could all change directions before you wound up sick in bed.

    What would happen if time released capsules forgot to do the right thing

    And released all their pellets at once. A great upset they would bring.

    So little pills of every kind, just wend your way thru us and find

    The ailment that we take you for so we won't worry anymore!

    Ester Stout, Pioneer Home, Thermopolis, WY.

    One thing about getting old is that you can sing in the bathroom while brushing your teeth.

    Source Unknown.

    Our pastor called the other day and told my wife, Helen, that at her age she should start thinking about the hereafter. "Oh, I do, I do," Helen told him. "No matter where I am, I ask myself, 'What am I here after?'"

    Source Unknown.

    A couple we know recently attended their 60 year high school class reunion. During the evening they were chosen to head a group that would judge the Old Smoothies dance contest. The husband has a hearing problem and his wife has been trying to get him to get a hearing aid. When the contest got down to the last two partners, the wife conferred with the group of judges and then whispered the name of the winners to her husband. He didn't hear, so she told him again and then yelled, "Get the bananas out of your ears!" The husband immediately seized the microphone and announced the winners: "Mr. and Mrs. Bonnanas!" Their name turned out to be Smith. That wasn't bad enough--then the wife explained to the Smiths that they had won because they did such a great job of executing all those dips. "Dips? What dips?" said Mr. Smith. "We were just trying to hold each other up."

     Bits and Pieces, April, 1991.

    Shall we sit idly down and say,

    The night hath come; it is no longer day?

    The night hath not yet come; we are not quite

    Cut off from labor by the failing light;

    Something remains for us to do or dare;

    Even the oldest tree some fruit may bear.

    Henry W. Longfellow.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was and still is generally regarded as one of the most outstanding justices in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was known as the Great Dissenter because he disagreed with the other judges so much. Holmes sat on the Supreme Court until he was 91. Two years later, President Roosevelt visited him and found him reading Plato. "Why?" FDR asked. "To improve my mind," Holmes answered. 

    Bits and Pieces, December 13, 1990.

    Jesus loves me, this I know,

    Though my hair is white as snow;

    Though my sight is growing dim,

    Still He bids me trust in Him.

    Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me,

    Yes, Jesus loves me, The Bible tells me so.

    Though my steps are, oh, so slow

    With my hand in His I'll go

    On through life; let come what may,

    He'll be there to lead the way.

    When the nights are dark and long,

    In my heart He puts a song,

    Telling me in words so clear,

    "Have no fear for I am near."

    When my work on earth is done

    And life's victories 'been won

    He will take me home above

    To the fullness of His love.

    C.D. Frey, Tennessee, in The Bible Friend.

    There's nothing whatever the matter with me;

    I'm just as healthy as I can be.

    I have arthritis in both of my knees;

    And when I talk, I talk with a wheeze.

    My pulse is weak, and my blood is thin,

    But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.

    Arch supports I have for my feet,

    Or I wouldn't be able to walk on the street.

    Sleep is denied me night after night,

    And every morning I look a sight.

    My memory is failing; my head's in a spin.

    But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.

    The moral is, as this tale we unfold,

    That for you and me who are growing old,

    It is better to say, "I'm fine," with a grin,

    Than to let them know the shape we're in.


    Source Unknown.


    You know you're growing old when:

    The gleam in your eyes is from the sun hitting your glasses. You feel like the night before, and you haven't been anywhere. Your little black book contains only names ending in "M.D." You get winded playing chess. Your children look middle-aged. You finally reach the top of the ladder, only to find it leaning against the wrong wall. You join a health club and don't go. You decide to procrastinate, but then you never get around to it. Your mind makes contracts your body can't meet. You know all the answers, but nobody asks you the questions. You look forward to a dull evening. You walk with your head held high, trying to get used to your trifocals. Your favorite part of the newspaper is "25 Years Ago Today." You sit in a rocking chair and can't get it going. Your knees buckle and your belt won't. You stop looking forward to your next birthday. Dialing long distance wears you out. You just can't stand people who are intolerant. The best part of the day is over when your alarm clock goes off. You burn the midnight oil after 9:00 p.m. Your back goes out more than you do. A fortune teller offers to read your face. The little gray-haired lady you help across the street is your wife. You sink your teeth into a steak and they stay there.

    Source Unknown.

    How do I know my youth is all spent?

    Well, my get up and go has got up and went.

    But in spite of it all--I'm able to grin

    When I think of where my get up has been.

    Old age is golden, so I've heard it said,

    But sometimes I wonder as I get into bed--

    With my ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup,

    My eyes on the table until I wake up--

    Ere sleep dims my eyes I say to myself,

    Is there anything else I should have laid on the shelf?

    I'm happy to say as I close my door

    My friends are the same--only perhaps even more

    When I was young, my slippers were red;

    I could kick up my heels right over my head.

    When I grew older my slippers were blue

    But still I could dance the whole night through.

    Now I am old--my slippers are black--

    I walk to the store and puff my way back.

    The reason I know my youth is all spent

    My get up and go has got up and went!

    But I really dont' mind, when I think with a grin

    Of all the grand places my get up has been.

    Since I've retired from life's competition

    I busy myself with complete repetition.

    I get up each morning, dust off my wits,

    Pick up the paper and read the "O-bits";

    If my name is missing, I know I'm not dead,

    So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed!!

    Source Unknown.