What's the secret to staying young? The secret of our choice of attitude and the secret of staying young rests with us. It's nobody else. It's not where we live. It's not how much money we make. It's not who we're married to. It's not how the kids turned out.
It's not where we go to church. It's not the car we drive or the house. It's attitude choice. If you were listening to Thursday's program, you heard Chuck Swindoll quote the late celebrated baseball player Satchel Paige.
Years into his retirement from baseball, somebody asked him, what's your philosophy on aging? With a twinkle in his eye, Satchel said, oh, it's simple. It's simple. It's a question of mind over matter.
If you don't mind, it don't matter. Well, today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll is teaching from Joshua chapter 14, where Caleb, like Satchel, provides a lesson on life. In this passage, we find clues on staying young as your family grows older. Look at verse 9. Moses swore on that day, surely the land where your foot is trodden shall be an inheritance for you. Now verse 10. Now behold, the Lord has let me live just as he spoke these 45 years. I love it. From the time the Lord spoke this word to Moses when Israel walked in the wilderness and now behold, I'm 85.
Look at what he says. I'm still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me. There's no wimpy, woe is me attitude. He says, I'm strong for going out, coming in for warfare.
Give me the hill country. You know what else I'm impressed with with Caleb? He's not whining because he wasn't chosen to be the leader. God chose Joshua to be the leader. Ever thought about that? It's a great heart that will watch another person be promoted and you follow them with devotion. That's a great attitude. It's an attitude of unselfishness. That's a mature attitude that says it's all about God.
He promotes one and puts down another. Hey, that's his call. Let's go, Joshua. By the way, I want the mountains because the giants are there.
And I want to drive them out. The original mountain man. By the way, lest you think he's just a type A personality, you're just unusually gifted or maybe on some kind of drug. Let me clarify the secret because I deliberately waited till now to give it to you because I want you to underline it as I have in my Bible. Three times it says virtually the same thing. If you missed it in the reading, catch it now. He followed the Lord fully. Into verse 8, I followed the Lord my God fully. That's Caleb's testimony. You have followed the Lord my God fully. That's Moses' testimony. Into verse 14, he followed the Lord God of Israel fully. That's Joshua's testimony.
That's the secret. To him, the Lord was his partner. He was the source of strength. He was the reason for the positive spirit.
He was the reason he could look above decisions made by someone else and see God's hand is in this. His eyes aren't on himself. He has no expectations except if he could possibly be given a ticket to the hill country. That's where he'd like to spend his later years, taking on those high pockets that live up there, roam the field thinking they're in charge.
I want to drive them out. By the way, so much for Caleb. This is here and now. Let me talk to all of us. Whatever was written in earlier times is written for our learning that we through patience and comfort from the scriptures might have hope, Romans 15, 4 tells us.
So let's get a little hope from this passage. What about you? You who are grandparents. You who will be grandparents. What about you? What about us?
The secret of our choice of attitude as we ask for us to add up the years and passing of time and the secret of staying young rests with us. It's nobody else. It's not where we live. It's not how much money we make. It's not who we're married to. It's not how the kids turned out.
It's not where we go to church. It's not the car we drive or the houses we have or house we live in. It's none of that. It's attitude choice. And if your family could tell you anything, grandparent, it would be that. Get a better attitude. Listen to what is being said. So you got a choice of being a drag and a burden or an inspiration and encouragement, I suggest we do the latter.
This will help. I want to talk about your mind, your life, your strength, your opportunities and your God. We'll just kind of zip these out. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. Five, one, your mind is not old. Keep stretching it. Your mind is not old. Keep stretching it.
You say, how do I do that? Well, let's start with the television. Read more books, watch less television. Do more that involves you actively and less that entertains you passively. When you're with other people, talk about ideas and events more than people.
Talking about people turns quickly to gossip. Some of you have fallen into that trap much too early in life. Look for opportunities to be engaged. Your mind isn't old. How about a scripture memory program?
Set your goals high. How about 50 verses this year that's less than one a week? Just 50 verses this year. You say, I don't know, Chuck, my mind's tired. I'm tired. For you, I read Earl Rodmacher's words from his book, You and Your Thoughts. Rodmacher says, I've heard some persons complain that their brain is too tired to get involved in a program of scripture memorization.
I have news for them. The body can get tired, but the brain never does. A human being doesn't use more than 2% of his brain power, scientists tell us.
Of course, some demonstrate this fact more obviously than others. The point is, the brain is capable of an incredible amount of work and it retains everything it takes in. You never really forget anything, you just don't recall it.
Everything is on permanent file in your brain. Your mind isn't old. Don't go there. Keep stretching it.
Hang around people who stretch it. I went to get some firewood the other day in my pickup and the place wasn't open as early as I got there, so I decided I'd eat a quick breakfast at an IHOP. So I pulled in and set out a little booth for one and ordered orange juice and my breakfast. I looked across and sitting across from me within hearing distance was a table of old codgers. Six of them. One had on an old dirty cap. All of them had on old boots. One had on overalls. Nothing wrong with what they were wearing, they just liked being old. I think one was about 55 and had just retired.
Was so proud of it. And all they did was talk about things they didn't like. One guy was on the weather and another guy was on the waitress. In fact, a couple of them didn't like her.
It was interesting, I was watching as this was going back and forth, when she was there and they were nailing her for something, she'd go back and roll her eyes and talk to her friends about this old table thing. I'd be so glad when they're gone. And I thought that's the last kind of table I want to sit at. Deliver me. Deliver me from groups that gather to talk about their digestive systems and their teeth and their hair or lack of it or the kids. Come on. Come on.
This brings up a second. Your life is not over. Keep enjoying it.
Listen to the words. Your life isn't over. Keep enjoying it. You say, I don't know if I'm really that much alive. Well, in the morning, get a mirror, get up real close to it and go. Now, if there's stuff that forms on a mirror, you're alive. And since you're alive, you can enjoy it.
And I will tell you the best partner to take with you through the day. A great sense of humor. Let me introduce that to some of you who have not smiled since about 78 last time you're really broken. I mean, when you laugh, you just laugh out loud. You see some people laugh. They go. It's like folks who sneeze. They go. Sneeze.
Sneeze so loud that the dog has a bowel movement when you let it out. Just whoa. Let it out. Get it out. It's OK. Great sense of humor.
It's so important. Like I'd like to know this florist. A man opened a new business and his best friend sent him a floral arrangement.
The friend dropped by in a few days to visit his buddy at the new business. And he was pained to see that the flowers have a sign that read Rest in peace. So we call the florist to complain. The mix up, the florist said with a smile, it could be worse. Somewhere in the city is an arrangement at a cemetery that reads, congratulations on your new location.
Is that a great answer? Keep that old spirit up with a little bit of enjoyment. Steve Farrar, our own Steve Farrar has in one of his great books, Willie and Ray, a couple of ranchers met at the feed store one afternoon, had some problems with my herd, said Willie. My prized bull gone impotent. But the vet came over and gave him some special medicine. And now he seemed to be doing just fine. Several weeks later, Willie and Ray met again at the feed store. Hey, Willie, said Ray.
Now my bulls having the same problems. What is that medicine the vet prescribed? I don't remember the name, Willie said, but kind of tastes like chocolate. Why not, Willie? Why not? Kind of tastes like chocolate.
That's what it tastes like, doesn't it, guys? Okay. I came across a whole bunch of, you've probably seen some of these, but you know, at a church, we get serious as a heart attack around churches. Everything is just so grim and dark and serious and frowning. So you come across a few bulletin bloopers that kind of help things lighten up. The ladies Bible study will be held Thursday morning at 10. All ladies are invited to lunch in the fellowship hall after the BS is done.
I'm just reading what it says here. The audience is asked to remain seated until the end of the recession. For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs. Pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing break forth into joy. Next Sunday, Mrs. Vinson will be soloist for the morning service. The pastor will speak then on it's a terrible experience. Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community. Smile at someone who is hard to love.
Say hell to someone who doesn't care much about you. Today's sermon, how much can a man drink with hymns from a full choir? Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to the church secretary. This is great. Weight watchers will meet at 7 o'clock.
Please use the large double door at the side. Oh, man, that is so good. Our mates love us when we're fun to live with. Our kids love being around us when we're fun to live with. I laughed with my granddaddy until I just almost wet my pants. He said the funniest stuff at times and he didn't even know it was funny.
He just was by nature up. Who doesn't want to be around that? It's an attitude. It's not age. Your strength.
Let's go there. Your strength is not gone. Keep developing it. Keep developing it.
Caleb, I'm as strong today as I was the days we went into the land. How do I do that? Look for ways to help other people. Stop spending so much time in front of a mirror. Volunteer. Get involved in projects at the church, in the community, with your family.
Babysit. Spend time with interesting friends that stimulate you. And I might as well add, maintain a vigorous exercise program.
Don't stop. I mean vigorous. If you can no longer run, walk. But don't stroll. Some people exercise like this. I see them at the Cooper Clinic.
They're like, they'd bore a dog if they were walking by, walking their dog. Get out there. Work up a sweat. Do it for an hour. You say, well, everything hurts. What doesn't hurt doesn't work. Well, if you exercise, it'll start working.
It's amazing what that'll do. Get your strength back up. And stop rehearsing all your surgeries. We don't want to hear it. We don't want to see the scars. Okay. We got our own. Fourth, your opportunities have not vanished.
Keep pursuing them. By the way, a crucial part of every day is how you start it. Some of you, admittedly, start your day with a sigh.
What time is it? Instead of sighing, think of the hours you've got in front of you as gifts from God. Some folks who once were where you are in this age are no longer here to enjoy those daily gifts.
It's over. Some have seriously, and it's nothing to laugh about, lost their minds. Some in the process of dealing with life have stopped looking now for surprises that await them and wonderful opportunities that are unexpected. They're treasures yet to be found.
Truths yet to be discovered. I can't tell you how many wanted me to retire when I left California to move back here. What are you doing at this age, taking on the seminary? I said, hey, why not?
This is fun. And they weren't going to start a church. They thought I was two feet in the grave.
Starting a church? Yeah, boy, I'm very excited. At your age? I don't know. What age am I?
These are former friends, but they're no, no, no, it's it's a joke. You know what? I need the work. I need the study. I need to be stretched. I need the challenge. I need the hassles. I need the demands.
I need the deadlines. I need to write. I got a lot I want to write.
I'm determined to write more and better. And sometimes slower to do it well. Patarevsky was still practicing and giving concerts at 79. William Gladstone was still practicing or was still engaged in politics at age 80. Golda Meir was prime minister of Israel at 71. Ronald Reagan didn't become president till he was 70 and did it for eight strong years. Only his critics talked about his age. George Bernard Shaw was still producing plays at 91. Ben Franklin helped frame the Constitution at 81. Goethe finished Faust his last year on the earth at 82.
Check out Faust sometime. Edison was still working in his lab at 83. Toscanini still leading great symphonies at 87. It isn't your age.
It is attitude. Now your God is not dead. Keep seeking him. Center him in the very core of your being. Put him right in the heart of your day. Start with him. Stay with him. Think his thoughts after him. Believe his word. Trust him.
Life is so brief. Don't hold back. Bring him with you all the way through.
The trial comes as surely they will. He's there. You're not going to meet him for the first time in a long time. You talk with him that morning. Begin a scripture memory program that will just shock your friends when they discover that that's how you spend your spare time. Study theology. Buy some new works.
For a change, a hardback. Get a book that will outlast you. We've had some fun today and now I want to be very serious. Life is brief. Stay with me now. Life is brief. It's a very tiny slice in light of eternity. Here we are. That's all we got.
That's earth. Jesus had 33 years and finished his work. You may finish yours at 50. You may finish yours at 87.
You don't know how long. Be sure you've come to the cross. Be sure that's taken care of. Be sure you've given your heart and soul to the Lord Jesus Christ at first.
And then pick up his enthusiasm and energy about life. And don't wait for something to happen before you engage. Herman Hessen, a fine little short story entitled Cling Sirs Last Summer. My sister introduced me to that little story. Has a great few lines that I want to close with.
Listen to them. Life passes like a flash of lightning whose blaze barely lasts long enough to see. While the earth and the sky stand still forever. How swiftly changing time flies across man's face.
Oh, you who sit over your full cup and do not drink. Tell me, for whom are you still waiting? God helped me to live my life like my granddad, not my dad.
I loved them both. But there's nobody like my granddaddy to help me know life can be lived to the full. Even when other folks say you ought to retire. Don't waste your breath. You want to leave your work? Leave it. Just don't retire from living.
If you do, you're going to wind up at that little table at that IHOP with five other guys that look just like you and a waitress that can't wait for you to get out. We realize, Lord, that if we don't mind, it don't matter. We acknowledge that you're the one who calls this shot about aging. Our years are all numbered before you.
Not one of our deaths is a surprise. Thank you for putting us on an earth that is so full of color and variety and creative people and challenging opportunities and so much we can never get our arms around. Forgive us for being bored in the midst of your magnificent creation. Show us the value of living every day to the hilt, believing it to be the will of God. I ask this and we ask this in the name of Jesus our Savior, Lord.
Everybody said, Amen. Our subject today on Insight for Living is Staying Young as Your Family Grows Older. To learn more about this ministry, visit us online at insightworld.org. Well, this is the very last message in Chuck Swindoll's eight-part teaching series called Marriage from Surviving to Thriving. And you'll be glad to know Chuck wrote a book by the same title. Many have used this practical book in their small group Bible study and others have given copies to their adult children and grandchildren who are wrestling with the normal issues of married life. This book includes a chapter called Practical Advice on Making a Marriage Stick. And there's a full chapter on the topic we address today, Staying Young as Your Family Grows Older. Now this is the very last day we'll mention Chuck's book called Marriage from Surviving to Thriving.
To purchase a copy right now, go to insight.org slash offer. Or call us if you're listening in the United States, dial 1-800-772-8888. And then don't miss Chuck's brand new verse-by-verse study through Paul's letter to the Colossians. This New Testament series is titled Jesus Christ, Our All in All. And then one more thing as a compliment to your worship experience in your local church this coming Sunday. Remember, you can also celebrate with Chuck Swindoll by watching the worship service online at insight.org slash sundays. Recently Chuck presented a mini series that was delivered online. One of those messages was designed to help us look back at the prior year and the other was designed to help us look forward into the future. Chuck reassured us that God's fingerprints are all over our past and His fingerprints are all over our future as well. The response was broadly received and in fact we decided to offer both audio recordings free of charge. These two messages from Chuck are offered under the title Pressing On in Faith. So download the free audio files today by going to insight.org slash pressing on. Join us when Chuck Swindoll begins a brand new study in the book of Colossians Monday on Insight for Living. .
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