The Untapped Faith of Seniors

I write to you, fathers,
Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
Because you have overcome the wicked one.
I write to you, little children,
Because you have known the Father.
1 John 2:13 NKJV

One of the most overlooked resources in some local churches is the faith and prayers of its senior saints. Though this is not usually done consciously, it ends up that way through well-meaning though misguided choices and attitudes. Missions Trips or worship conferences for teens only. Small groups, segregated by age group and senior group activities that are little more than luncheons or entertainment make us feel left out irrelevant and unneeded.

The Apostle John on the other hand sees every age group as not only needed but essential in the success of the church. I love how this duo with Alanna and Percival Glover show the older hymns wonderfully sung by the youngest member of the family. May you find your voice to sing together in harmony with all of God’s family, no matter your age or circumstance!

https://youtu.be/aW-5gXNaTqk

Being a senior in the church sometimes feels like being a chaperone at a school dance. Everyone smiles and says hello, but they wonder why you are there and don’t know that you can dance too!

Running Out of the Cage – Video

 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” John 11:43-44 ESV

Last week I posted the message, “running out of the cage” which I then gave at one of the nursing homes which I visit. If you missed it, I tell the story of a groundhog I had trapped in our garden and was trying to release him in the woods. It took quite a while, because the animal was so angry at me that he never turned around to see that I had opened his cage door. After giving the message on Friday I asked if anyone needed to run out of the cage of regret, unforgiveness or bitterness, and then we prayed. Then, while visiting with the residents, one man began to share some of the things that kept him in a cage. First, his wife and two daughters had been killed in an automobile accident. Then years later after remarrying, his second wife left him and now with his health deteriorating, he was left with nowhere to live but in a long-term care facility.

Often people who are not involved in nursing home ministry think that everyone there is either a sweet old lady or that they are too far gone to be worth our time. But the truth is that many of our friends in nursing homes are just like us. That unfortunate mindset reminds me of a time I visited a friend who was in jail. While we were just getting ready to end the visit, he said something like, “You know Pete, the only difference between us and the guards, is which side of the bars we are on.” The very same is true in long term care, it is just that their bars look a lot different. They are trapped behind bars of disability, age, neglect and discouragement. They may be invisible, but they can hold a person just as well as any maximum-security prison. The good news is that Jesus still visits graves and prisons. He is well known in hospital corridors and deeply loved nursing homes. But He doesn’t walk in on His own like He did when He was on earth. Are you trapped in a cage today? Jesus gave His life to unlock the door and it is standing wide open. Whenever we just stop biting at the bars and turn around then, just like Lazarus and my groundhog friend we run straight out to Jesus right now!

Free eBook Today

For anyone interested in my most recent book about nursing home ministry, I am running a two-day promotion on Walking With Lambs, both today and tomorrow (November 9-10). This is for the eBook edition which you can find at

Memories and Yarn

As I have grown older, I notice there are times I go to the cabinet and open the door, then wonder what I was looking for. Or I intend to write down a wonderful idea for a story, but when I sit in my den later on in the day, I have to pray for God to remind me of what that was. I have begun to compensate for these little senior moments by making lists (and checking twice!) or grabbing a note pad, napkin or any scrap of paper handy to write down ideas. It makes me wonder if that unravellings will grow like those of a few of our senior friends or if there are simply too many facts knocking around in my head to keep track of them all. If you sometimes wrestle with remembering, I hope this little verse will give you some encouragement as it did for me when I wrote them this morning.

My memories are like balls of yarn
Which from my basket spill
And I watch as all those threads of life
Go tumbling down the hill!

So lately I’ve been wondering when
Just when those balls will slow
So they can be knit back again 
Into neat tighter rows

But then my Lord reminds me
In whose hands our lives are held
And how through every thread of life
He will His story tell

I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made
Marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well.
Psalm 139:14 NKJV

Memories and Yarn by Peter Caligiuri © 2022
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