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Johann Christoph Arnold, admired by such prominent spiritual and inspirational leaders as Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Mairead Maguire, and many more, offers answers to the question: Why shouldn’t growing older be rewarding?
Arnold, whose books have helped over a million readers through life’s challenges, shows us the spiritual riches that age has to offer. Now in his seventies, Arnold finds himself personally facing the challenges of aging with grace.
With a foreword by Rev Tim Costello AO, Rich in Years covers the significant topics facing the aging, the elderly, and their family and caregivers: accepting changes, combatting loneliness, and continuing on with purpose and hope. Going beyond mere inspiration, Arnold does not shy away from such difficult topics as coping with dementia, the prospect of dying, and enduring with dignity. Through faith and a true spirituality, he says, we can find acceptance and serenity.
Johann Christoph Arnold knows, from decades of pastoral experience, what older people and their caregivers can do to make the most of the journey of aging. In this book, he shares stories of people who, in growing older, have found both peace and purpose. Praising Rich in Years, Tim Costello, CEO of World Vision Australia, writes it “has really encouraged me to reflect on my own journey, and I am excited about my future. I hope and pray that this book will have the same impact on you.”
In this gentle book, Christian elders are offered comfort, guidance, and hope for their last decades… Keen insights from friends, family, and others demonstrate that the passage of time can bring true wisdom to all, not only to famous spiritual leaders. Arnold emphasizes that cultivating love for others and generosity of spirit are essential to making one’s later years fulfilling. A welcome change from the flood of media attention on baby boomers uncomfortably hitting their mid-60s, this graceful field guide to life’s last journeys is deeply rooted in a love for Jesus and the Bible’s “good news.” Publishers Weekly
The strength of Arnold’s writing lies in his use of stories, complete with all the messiness and frailty of real experience. Full of wisdom, encouragement, sadness, and joy. Stephen Judd, chief executive, HammondCare, from the preface
Arnold confronts the challenges of ageing with insight, experience, honesty, and – most importantly – hope. Leigh Hatcher, Open House radio host; former Sky News presenter
Celebrates the gift of a sense of humour as we age, and highlights the pivotal roles of forgiveness and trust in finding peace in living and dying. Dr Megan Best, bioethicist and palliative care practitioner
The key to finishing our days well, writes Arnold, is to cultivate thankfulness and to devote whatever time remains to the love and service of others. Wise words indeed, and especially comforting for those who know their days are numbered – and isn’t that all of us? Ian Harper, professor emeritus, University of Melbourne
This worthy book will spur older readers into action and encourage younger ones to value their elders and hold them in well-deserved esteem. Toby Hall, chief executive, Mission Australia
Just as Dietrich Bonhoeffer applied the Sermon on the Mount to daily life in his book The Cost of Discipleship, so Johann Christoph Arnold does the same in even more practical ways. Rich in Years represents the true expression of Christian discipleship for the whole of life. It gives comfort, direction, and strength. I was deeply moved by it. Rev James Haire, executive director, Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture
Very few of us look forward to death – life beyond death, yes, but not what it takes to get there. Fear of death can overwhelm us, as can a sense of worthlessness and despair as youthful vigour departs to be replaced by the frailty and dependence of old age. The key to finishing our days well, writes pastor Arnold, is to cultivate thankfulness for what each new day brings, and to devote whatever time remains to the love and service of others. Wise words indeed, and especially comforting for those who know their days are numbered – and isn’t that all of us? Dr Ian Harper, professor emeritus, University of Melbourne
Johann Christoph Arnold takes us through the various situations that can make growing older a problem: inevitable changes in our life, loneliness, finding purpose and keeping faith, without ignoring problems like dementia and the loss of those near and dear to us. I have found much in these pages for reflection and comfort and hope this book will reach many who are in need of such consolation and understanding as the years mount up. Idris Edward Cardinal Cassidy, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity