Category  |  care for older people

Visiting Jesus

I’m the point person for the visitation team at my church. This means that I visit people in the hospital, at their homes, and in hospice. I also solicit volunteers to go out and visit others and provide encouragement, spiritual conversations, and prayer. Being ill can be a lonely path for many—especially the elderly. Yet younger people can also contract serious illnesses and experience difficulties.

bad religion

In his landmark books Soul Searching and Souls in Transition, sociologist Christian Smith surveyed American young adults and found that most held to what he called “Therapeutic Moralistic Deism.” They’re deists because they believe God doesn’t interfere in our lives unless we need His help to solve a problem. They’re moralistic because they believe God wants us to be good and kind to each other. And their view is therapeutic because it makes them feel good about themselves.

Christmas kindness

My son spent his first decade of life in a warm East Africa climate. For his 10th birthday, I used frequent flier miles and took him to the western part of the US to experience snow.

strangers and foreigners

Last summer, my son and I were heading to a connecting flight at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. As we walked briskly from one terminal to another, my son said, “Look, Mommy, a Dinka!”

privilege and responsibility

William Arthur Ward, a writer of inspirational maxims, penned these words of wisdom to inspire people to be responsible and do the right thing: “Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: Be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.”

you choose Q: can Jesus understand the difficulties that come with old age?

Q: I know that Christ Jesus was killed at a young age, and suffered terribly, but he did not grow to be an old man. With this in mind, would Jesus know the ravages, aches and pains, and severe difficulties of old age? Since it says in the Bible that Jesus has experienced all the difficulties that we face and…

unwanted and unloved

A pastor and his congregation, serving in an area known for addicts, alcoholics, and prostitutes, have prayed an interesting prayer for many years: Lord, send us the people nobody else wants. That prayer has been answered, for more than 800 church attendees are now involved in recovery programs designed to help them break free from destructive lifestyles. Recently, the pastor added this phrase to the end of his prayer: . . . and nobody else sees. He says, “[These people] are often overlooked. . . . But after all, as Jesus put it, ‘Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do’ ” (Matthew 9:12).

good religion

As a pastor, I get interesting responses from people when they discover my vocation. Some will immediately apologize for the language they’ve used. Some offer a forced smile and then come up with an excuse to change the subject. One line I hear often is: “Well, I like Jesus, but I don’t like religion.”

April 29, 2013

The book “When Helping Hurts” reveals that the wrong kind of “help” can actually hurt those who are in poverty. What are some positive ways for believers in Jesus to minister to the poor?

the benefits of giving

Did you know that the apostle Paul never quotes Jesus in any of his New Testament books? Of course, he mentions Jesus throughout his letters. The Lord was his major topic. But not once does he directly quote Jesus in his epistles. In fact, if you were to thumb through a “red letter” Bible (where the words spoken by Jesus are printed in red ink), you might be surprised to find that outside of the four gospels, Jesus’ actual words appear only a handful of times.

laughing gas

Normally I dread having dental work done. But a recent trip to the dentist to repair a fractured tooth may have permanently changed my attitude.


Last year at Christmas, anonymous donors in several US cities surprised shoppers at a department store chain with generosity. In Omaha, Nebraska, manager Ted Straub recounted how many customers went to pick up their layaway items at the store, only to discover that a stranger had already paid for them.

In Indianapolis, assistant manager Edna Deppe recalled how a father—in…

what's your passion?

When asked what my seminary students are passionate about, I immediately ticked off a few issues of social justice—the plight of the poor, the rights of minorities, and ending slavery and sex trafficking. And then it struck me. While this is an impressive list, something seems to be missing. The Bible teaches us to seek justice for the oppressed, but…

bag it yourself?

A few years back, do-it-yourself checkout at US grocery stores was in vogue—but not these days. There’s been a noticeable decline in the usage of the self-serve lanes—down to just 16 percent of all supermarket transactions from a high of 22 percent 3 years ago.

Why? It appears that people enjoy their shopping experience much more when they can have…


It was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who said, “Perseverance is a great element of success. If you knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.” I don’t know if Longfellow had the persistent widow in mind when he wrote those words, but I believe he’s right.

In Singapore, where I live, 85 percent…