Bible reflections for Older People January - April 2017

Edited by Tricia Williams

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Content

Written by older people for older people, these reflections are designed to bring hope, assurance and sustenance, reminding the reader of the presence and love of God.

In each issue are 40 Bible reflections and prayer suggestions to use and revisit as often as is needed. In the central section, Debbie Thrower of BRF's The Gift of Years ministry offers interviews and ideas to encourage and inspire.

The Editor writes..

In this issue David Winter writes about the challenge of change.
In his series Changing times, he reminds us that God knows our future and we are safe in his care. Jennifer Bute, herself facing the challenges of living with dementia, helps us celebrate the Joy for the journey that God offers us all. This time of life often brings the need for decisions and help with guidance. Lin Ball in her series Decisions, decisions... points us back to the One who knows the answers, encouraging us to take our concerns to God. And Russ Parker, in his series Rhythms of remembrance, speaks to us of memories and remembrance - and the joy and blessing these can bring, as we turn to the One who chooses to remember you and me.
In the centre pages, Debbie Thrower of BRF's The Gift of Years ministry brings stories, ideas and encouragement. We hope you will enjoy reading these and hearing from others who may be facing similar issues to your own.

In this issue:

Changing times
David Winter

Joy for the journey
Jennifer Bute

Decisions, decisions...
Lin Ball

Rhythms of remembrance
Russ Parker

About the contributors in this issue:

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 Heaven's Morning: Rethinking the destination (BRF, 2016). Now retired from full-time ministry, he lives in Berkshire.


Jennifer Bute is a former medical missionary and a retired GP. She is now living with dementia and is a champion for others who are facing this challenge. She speaks at conferences and on radio, and has been involved in television programmes raising awareness and understanding of this illness. Her website www.gloriousopportunity.org brings encouragement and support to thousands.


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, creating radio programmes about disability, and helping a friend write and publish his story weeks before cancer claimed his earthly life.


Russ Parker was Director of the Acorn Christian Healing Foundation for 18 years before founding 2Restore, a resource for reconciliation and renewal for wounded churches. He is an author and travels extensively at home and abroad as a conference speaker. He is married to Roz and has two children, Emma and Joel. He also supports Liverpool Football Club and lives in Surrey.

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Reviews


It's not just the slightly larger font that makes Bible Reflections for Older People accessible. Being written by older people for older people serves engagement with a prime sector, given our greater longevity. So does the proven quality of the writers which include Russ Parker and David Winter. The formatting is also clever: a booklet with 40 daily Bible reflections, three times a year, which you can follow at a pace much less than daily, supplemented by interviews and ideas to encourage and inspire. Each A5 page has a few Bible verses, two to four paragraphs and a two-line prayer.

One of the authors, Jennifer Bute, is living with dementia and her commentary on Psalm 63:7 is powerful: 'Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.' Journalist Lin Ball, reflecting on Philippians 4:4 - 7, speaks of 'stormy winds and choppy seas' being under the command of the One who knows the way to follow. Care home chaplain Debbie Thrower provides a centre spread of helpful interviews, including one with octogenarian Thelma on entertaining your grandchildren with an eye to our sharing faith with the next generation.

The editor 'Tricia Williams sets themes and presumably authors. January - April 2017 addresses 'Changing times', 'Joy for the journey', 'Decisions, decisions...' and Rhythms of remembrance'. The latter is addressed by former Acorn Healing Foundation Director Russ Parker, who hands on biblical wisdom on finding holy rest: 'God woos us to rest so we can find our worth in what we are and not what we do' (Barbara Brown Taylor). Retired priest and former BBC producer David Winter, speaking on 'Changing times', builds from Ecclesiastes 3 on how faith in the Creator of time and seasons helps make sense of life, including ageing.

Bible Reflections for Older People looks to be fulfilling its promise of reflections designed 'to bring hope, assurance and sustenance, reminding the reader of the presence and love of God'.

Canon John Twisleton, Rector of St Giles, Horsted Keynes


Baptist Times - 21 April 2017

Timely study of communicating faith and love in our twilight years

A useful companion of mosty bite-sized remembrances for those facing the twilight of their lives and for those who care for them. David Winter focuses on Changing Times when it is often seems difficult to wade through the many choices that face us. 'Modern society can be a bit like a religious supermarket,' he suggests 'with well-meaning distractors peddling their wares'. In our unsettling society he advocates focusing on the 'steadfast love' of God, and his promises which are never changing - 'yesterday, today, forever'.

Jennifer Bute has a word for those who are less mobile than they once were, less independent and maybe sometimes feeling deserted. She finds comfort in God's promises and also in his peace, and in thankfulness to God which urges us to acknowledge his presence in our lives with praise . Even with failing memories, she suggests, we still know that God has been faithful to us. We can all recall good stories about the past, stories that reflect God's goodness.

Lin Ball focuses on the worries that often beset older folk - that picture-perfect dream you had of old age dented by the realities of retirement and unexpected frailty. She advocates facing those challenges as new adventures, treating the Holy Spirit as a 'celestial sat-nav' to give confidence and guidance as we step out into unknown territory.

Russ Parker's 'buzz-word' is 'Remember' ... remembering what God has done for us, acknowleging his presence and influence on our lives, while Thelma Butland brings a word for the older generation. She suggests interacting with grandchildren can be a blessing - for both old and young alike. Grandparents have a crucial role to play in passing on stories of faith, a legacy that no-one can take away. It's personal, it's precious and it's perfect to prepare the next generation for a lifetime spent serving God in their own way .

This is a timely study of communicating faith and love in our twilight years.

Reviewed David Stuckey

Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857465146
  • Published: 18 November 2016
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 64
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