Aging: The Master Teacher

Do Older Adults Have Counseling Needs?

Jun 06 2018

This question, while rhetorical, does serve as a mental stimulus for those of us interested in the overall welfare of maturing adults.  Studies investigating this question have discovered something quite intriguing – the most urgent counseling needs of older adults are not physical, i.e. food, clothing, shelter, medical care, insurance, etc. The most urgent needs of older persons are in the area that might be called affective needs, or psycho-social concerns or, personal concerns.  In seminal work on this topic (Fleer, 1975) it was found that the highest rated needs in order of importance were: Sense of self-worth At least...

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What is Your Definition of Retirement?

May 25 2018

Here are four definitions of retirement penned by people who attended my retirement classes over the years.  Which one do you like best?  I’d love to hear from you. Retirement is another life forum where you can perform a new act in the drama of your life, becoming ever more the person that God intends you to be.  Retirement is that purifying gift and stage of adult life inviting you to summarize and integrate the meaning of who you’ve become, as a reflection of God’s love. Retirement is the point in life when you see the events, circumstances, and relationships...

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Maturing Adult Ministry: A New Call for Change

Apr 25 2018

We are in the first act of an historical drama that is destined to transform our culture, and reform churches in ways we have yet to imagine.  Unlike any drama before it, the opening scene of this drama was hardly noticed, yet it has intensified year by year until now when it’s about to take a center stage position in our faith communities.  I’m speaking, of course, about the fact that in the last 90 years our longevity has increased 30!  We are just now beginning to experience the consequences of this fantastic change; and many are frightening!  We’re fearful...

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Spiritual "Failure to Thrive"

Apr 09 2018

Our spiritual needs emerge developmentally innervated with our physical and psychological needs. Our spiritual needs are felt as "Yearnings of the Soul" that require our advancing attention lest we lapse into a "spiritual failure to thrive". Failure to thrive is the name given to the condition of an infant who doesn't adequately physically grow because she/he doesn't receive sufficient human touch, warmth, and affectionate attention, even though she or he receives quite adequate food and hydration.  I think we can use the same concept of failure to thrive to describe a maturing adult who either neglects, or in some way...

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What is Spiritual Agelessness - Part Two

Sep 29 2017

In my last blog I define spiritual agelessness as a faith formed state of mind, heart, and soul that renders the individual free from the more common psychological constraints of physical aging.  After deeper contemplation, I'd like to expand on this definition by adding this:  The primary driver of spiritual agelessness is the individual's deepening reliance on God, their advancing journey with Jesus, and their dependence on the mystery of the work of the Holy Spirit. Here are seven more descriptors of a person who has adopted a philosophy of life best described as spiritual agelessness:  9. Leans on God-Reliance...

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What is Spiritual Agelessness? Part 1

Sep 21 2017

So many people have asked me to define what I mean by spiritual agelessness that I decided to give it a try. Spiritual agelessness is a faith formed state of mind, heart, and soul that renders the individual free from the more common psychological constraints of physical aging. Here are eight descriptors of persons, who I believe have adopted spiritual agelessness as their primary philosophy of life in their later seasons of maturation. A spiritually ageless person: 1. Believes that the notion of age is irrelevant as a primary definer of self- identity.  2. Has developed a positive spiritual strengths-based...

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