“Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well” by Billy Graham – A Review by The Washington Post


For much of his 92 years, Billy Graham has had one main title: evangelist.
But in a new memoir set in the twilight of his remarkable life, Graham reveals a lesser-known side of himself: a grieving and ailing widower who has difficulty getting up from a chair or putting on his shoes.

“I can’t truthfully say that I have liked growing older,” Graham writes in “Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well,” which hits bookstores on Oct. 18. “At times I wish I could still do everything I once did — but I can’t.”
To be sure, his book includes his signature focus on evangelism, asking non-Christian readers numerous times to come to Jesus before it is too late. But most of the book’s 180 pages are filled with messages on growing old, or preparing younger readers for the reality of old age.
“All my life I was taught how to die as a Christian, but no one ever taught me how I ought to live in the years before I die,” he writes in the introduction. “I wish they had because I am an old man now and believe me, it’s not easy.”
So, a month before he turns 93, Graham has become a teacher of sorts in How to Grow Old 101.
Stay involved, he recommends. And spend wisely. As the great-grandfather of 43, he warns against going into debt buying expensive gifts for grandchildren.
Prepare a will and medical directives to reduce family conflict after you’re gone, he advises. And look out for the “hidden perils” of depression, anger and self-absorption.
“Sometimes I have to force my mind to turn away from whatever problem is absorbing me at the moment and make myself focus on the needs of others,” he writes.
Despite their limitations, he assures, the senior years can nevertheless be rewarding. He cites biblical examples, including Moses, who died at 120 after leading the Egyptians to the Promised Land, and Elizabeth, who gave birth to John the Baptist though “well along in years.”
Source: The Washington Post | Adelle M. Banks| Religion News Service

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