A New Beginning

Thursday, January 2, 2014
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Hallelujah Chorus"1 (Lyrics)

Proverbs 16:3 – Depend on the Lord in whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. (NCV)

The table is set in the dining room of the seniors' assisted care facility where I reside. Three of us ladies share this table each day. After the meal one day, we got into a conversation noting that there were several in our community who present themselves with a downcast countenance. "I could see where they could be depressed, especially if they were limited in what they can do," one of the ladies offered. "Maybe they might even want to die," was another response.

As I considered these comments, the realization came to me that seniors need to be encouraged to lead productive lives. Why not take advantage of the clean slate the new year provides and set some goals to work toward?

  • Physical: Start a walking routine. Add a brisk walk to encourage the function of the brain. Decrease eating tasty morsels which can add pounds.
  • Mental: Increase activities like word search, word play, and crossword puzzles.
  • Spiritual: Draw strength by reading the Scriptures and/or study with others in a structured setting. Pray — it is a source of power. Take time to relax.
  • Emotional/relationship: Decide to give the gift of forgiveness for an old hurt. Practice patience where historically we have been impatient.

Each of us can live a life of fulfillment. Look at the life of Job. When the book opens, he was probably seventy years old. The book ends on a note of contentment and peace:

Job 42:16-17 – Job lived on another 140 years, living to see his children and grandchildren — four generations of them! Then he died — an old man, a full life. (MSG)

How do we plan to live out our days?

Prayer: Lord, thank You for this new year. We depend on and trust You as You guide and strengthen us each day. Thank You for the many blessings You will give us as we lead meaningful lives for You. This we ask in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Parise Arakelian

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks Parise for a good reminder.

    Thanks Parise, just what I needed today.

    I needed that reminder. With God’s help I hope that I can get walking and breathe easier.

    Thank you Parise. Happy New Year. May 2014 bring you continued Peace and inspiration for your writing.

    Parise very good and timely, gives me things to apply today.
    Perfect timing.

    “Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.”(Romans 15:33)
    Happy New Year 2014. God bless you.

    Thanks for your devotional today.
    Great advice!

    Dear Parise,
    Thank you for a practical devotional reminding us of Job’s change.
    May we all grow in grace and in favor with God and fellow persons — this year and forever — with God as our guide. Amen.

    Thank you for your devotional today.
    Wonderful wise words based on the Wisdom and Love of God.
    May God continue to bless you during 2014 and beyond! May your light shine brightly in your community.

    Dear Parise,
    What a wonderful perspective on the senior years! Some of your good advice can be taken to heart by younger generations as well.
    May the Lord bless you richly as you share your seasoned insights.

    Your devotional contributions are always a blessing. I should have known this one was from you even before I finished reading your meditation and saw your name at the bottom! Your suggestions for seniors are suggestions that people of all ages could take to heart and be helped. May God continue to nurture and guide your life.

    Thank you for such a practical word. My older brother just turned seventy and he’s younger than me due to following the practices you suggested. I take it to heart for myself. New year’s day was a New beginning for me as I took a long walk with my daughter and two grandkids–She actually ran for 6 miles. The kids and I walked three miles. Myh feet were really sore though and now I will gradually build up to a three mile walk.

    Dear Parise!
    Thank you for fresh reminder how to be older and useful.
    A blessing around.
    New Year blessings to you and your fellow companions at the dining table.
    I enjoy such company off and on when taken out for lunch/dinner.
    We oldies have a place in God’s plan! Alleluia!
    Blessings to your days!

    Thanks Parise
    For a nicely laid out devotional. As an old retired teacher I always delight in well written work. And your submission is always a treat both in preparation and message. I really liked the fourfold advice section … especially after the excesses of the holiday dining in the Physical. As for the Spiritual section I find that with the guests gone one’s quiet is always extra refreshing.
    Keep on writing.

    Dear Parise, I really appreciate your devotional today. I have spent a lot of time visiting in Senior’s residences, first with my Mom and recently my partner, both who have passed on. I think if those residents, visitors and staff make a big effort with some of the shyer, withdrawn people we might get a smile or a few responses in return. I agree with you. Despite our age it helps to socialize, whether it is a card game or a sing song or simply going and sitting beside someone. Thank-you again,
    (BC, Canada)

    Dear Parise,
    Your example of Job is an excellent illustration for seniors who are lacking a sense of purpose in their lives; your suggestions are also great for anyone who wants to set healthy goals for the New Year. I am amazed how God has used you in various ways to encourage the elderly in your community. Not only that, but He has given you the ability to connect with many types of people of various ages. You have been a wonderful inspiration to me personally as I always appreciate your prayers and godly counsel. I pray the Lord will continue to use your gifts, especially your writing, for His glory in 2014!

    Great devotional today!

    Wonderful message. You hit it out of the ballpark again!!!

    Dear Parise;
    Thank you for the reminder. Have a blessed New Year!

    Hello Praise,
    Thank you for your devotional. I think that it is worthwhile and I hope that many take up your suggestions.

    Very practical goals, suitable for all ages.
    Thank you so much for sharing and encouraging!
    Blessings to you in 2014.

    Hi Parise,
    Your devotional was so spot on!!
    My mother-in-law recently moved into a retirement home.
    I’ve visited seniors residences and sometimes it’s very sad. I always try to reach out.
    Thanks for reminding me that visiting my mother-in-law is more than just
    that. It’s visiting her neighbours as well.

    Just wanted to thank you for these thoughts. My husband and I are still in our home. Although some of our family are close by, some are not and we depend on our computer communication daily to keep in touch. Many blessings to you.

    Dear Parise!
    Thank you for fresh reminder how to be older and useful.
    A blessing around.
    New Year blessings to you and your fellow companions at the dining table.
    I enjoy such company off and on when taken out for lunch/dinner.
    We oldies have a place in God’s plan! Alleluia!
    Blessings to your days!

    Thank you Parise, very encouraging words for the start of this new year. I pray God blesses you beyond measure. Keep up the great writing. Looking forward to what this year will bring.

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