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Personal Power

Too many older adults feel as though they have lost power as they age. The exact opposite may be true, and this category assembles the blogs that explain and celebrate this certainty: Our personal power may remain strong and useful in our later years.

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Deferring dementia 1

This and the following entry propose the likelihood that most congregations offer their members—perhaps especially older members—benefits that help deter or delay the effects of Alzheimer’s dementia. Perhaps you might see your congregation’s significance in a new light. Today an introduction and one factor that helps me understand Alzheimer’s dementia.. Today I write with observations about howMORE...

Who’s helping whom?

  I spent many years as an accompanist for choirs, soloists and presiding ministers who chant! One of the hardest parts of that work was to decide who was helping whom. The first rule for those who accompany—yes, there’s a metaphor coming soon here—is to match the singer’s tempo, volume and style as closely as possible. To meld into a unified musical voice—the accompanist helping the singerMORE...

Do you know who I am?

  A rule of thumb: If you need to ask anyone that question, you likely know the answer already: “NO!” Even though this exchange may be a common experience, some folks still find it necessary to ask the question. (And perhaps have difficulty responding to the rejoinder, “And why do you ask?”) Why do any of us want to continue a conversation that likely begins with the lonely or empty feelingMORE...

(NOT) just another night…

I’ve been a *homeless shelter volunteer for years, so am familiar with the scope of that work on a normal evening. Last weekend was different—a few of the residents were severely agitated, a disturbance that required more than our usual responses. Usually I come home from those late-night shifts with the usual mixture of emotions—admiration, sorrow, guilt, frustration, gratitude and resolve. FromMORE...

Holy conversations

One of my enduring mantras goes something like this, “There’s no such thing as an idle conversation.” That’s why many of my verbal interchanges with other people end up being more than an exchange of pleasantries. In that vein of thinking, I’m pretty sure that there’s such a thing as “holy conversations,” those rare times when earnest exchanges become inspiring and inspired. It might even beMORE...

You can’t. You shouldn’t.

  More and more, I’m coming face to face with the uncomfortable possibility that I am no longer capable of engaging in certain behaviors. You may face the same question: How do I know when “I can’t” changes into “I shouldn’t?” You may feel like I do: Obviously diminished physical skills tell me that these bones, muscles, tendons and nerves don’t have the stamina, strength or flexibility theyMORE...

Best Warrior Part 2

Perhaps one of your family members serves in the United States military. In the preceding blog, we considered what *“best soldiering” includes and how **Luther’s thoughts help add spiritual focus to military service. Today I share reflections about how I might honor soldiers—while they are deployed and when they return. In our church—yours, too?—we include armed services personnel in our weeklyMORE...

Preserving perseverance

One of the possibly least-appreciated attributes of old age is perseveration—the continual revisiting of familiar tropes, stories, worries, ideas or hopes. Like dementia—with which it’s associated—perseveration is a neurological condition that can’t be controlled. In a clinical setting, it’s associated with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. People who perseverate can’t seem to shakeMORE...

Twice is nice

Wise sayings stick in my mind, some from when I was young: “Measure twice, cut once” was my father’s advice when addressing a piece of lumber with a saw. STOP/LOOK/LISTEN was emblazoned on all railroad crossings, especially those without gates and flashing lights. “Look both ways before crossing the road” was my parents’ advice about walking to school. (When I started driving, those words laterMORE...

Refilling evaporated purpose

Pursuing an identifiable mission, vocation or calling is good for you. *Some recent research has shown that a practiced sense of purpose contributes as much to longevity as exercise. Although the parameters of “sense of purpose” can be loosely defined, the conclusion of researchers was definite: **”Finding a direction for life, and setting overarching goals for what you want to achieve can helpMORE...

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Bob Sitze

BOB SITZE has filled the many years of his lifework in diverse settings around the United States. His calling has included careers as a teacher/principal, church musician, writer/author, denominational executive staff member and meat worker. Bob lives in Wheaton, IL.

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