The Gift of Years Bible Reflections for Older People

Edited by Tricia Williams

Currently out of print £2.50


These Bible reflections, especially developed for older people, are part of BRF's The Gift of Years ministry, led by Debbie Thrower. Inside you'll find:

  • 20 daily Bible reflections. Themes include 'Hope is the promise' - David Winter and 'Of life and loss' - Lin Ball
  • Prayer suggestions for every day
  • An interview with Debbie Thrower about her life, faith and ministry.

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Author info

David Winter is a former producer and Head of Religious Broadcasting at the BBC. He is also the author of 43 books, the most recent being At the End of the Day: Enjoying Life in the Departure Lounge (BRF). Now retired from full-time ministry, he lives in Berkshire. Lin Ball's career began in journalism over 40 years ago. She feels blessed to have explored many different areas of writing. Highlights include interviewing missionaries for OMF, editing Bible resources with Scripture Union for over twelve years, and creating radio programmes about disability.


From the Methodist Recorder

When I served as pastoral director of Methodist Homes I became aware of the lack of devotional materials suitable for use with older people and in fact drafted a short series of very brief Bible studies and prayers.

Now the Bible Reading Fellowship has produced a 30-page book containing 20 such reflections: The Gift of Years (brf, GBP2.50). The authors are David Winter, now in his 80s and recent writer of "At the End of the Day", and Lin Ball, who has edited Bible resources for Scripture Union for several years and has created radio programmes about disability.

However, the inspiration behind the publication is Debbie Thrower who, after many years as a broadcaster, pioneered Anna chaplaincy to older people in the community and then worked with BRF to launch their Gift of Years ministry which she leads. There is a fascinating interview with Debbie in the centre pages of this book.

In the first part, "Hope is the promise", Winter draws mainly on the Psalms and Pauline epistles using the New Revised Standard Version and on his long personal and pastoral experience to great effect. The reflections are positive and reassuring without being at all unrealistic or "pie in the sky". They are helpfully peppered with contemporary references and the writer's personal observations.

In her sensitive reflections "of life and loss'", using similar sources, but in the New International Version, Ball shows how apparent losses can turn into gains both in terms of our mortal life and ultimately. Her reflections have a valuable inter-generational resonance as she contrasts the "viewing platform" of youth with that of older age.

The short biblical passages are reproduced in the text, the prayers are all pithy and very much to the point and there is a helpful page of guidance on how to use the reflections. It is good to see older people, who make up the great majority of church attenders in the mainstream denominations, provided with such a resource.

Review by The Rev Dr Albert Jewell

Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857464132
  • Published: 01 November 2014
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 32
  • View sample pages of this book
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