How’s this for a great perspective on life when you’re 100 years young?

Henry Stenhouse, a 100 year old Goldsboro, N.C. eye doctor running for Congress in North Carolina’s 3rd District, figures time is on his side. He calls his two opponents in today’s Republican primary “capable.” But, he says, “They don’t have the advantage I have.” What’s that? “Perspective,” says the man aiming to be Congress’s first centenarian. The district hasn’t had a GOP representative since Reconstruction, but Stenhouse is undeterred.

His platform: Stop foreign aid. End welfare. Rewrite the tax code. He calls child care “another welfare thing” and says the country would be better off if women stayed home.

Stenhouse vows not to serve more than two terms. “I don’t want to be there all my life,” he reasons.

-Desda Moss, USA Today, May 8, 1990


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What are the real stages of life? A lot of people can identify with “The Duration of Life” taken from Grimm’s fairy tales:

God originally determined 30 years as the ideal span of life for all animals, including mankind. The donkey, the dog, and the monkey considered it much too long, however, and begged God to reduce their years by 18, 12, and 10. Being healthy, vigorous, and somewhat greedy, the man asked to be given those extra years. God agreed, so man’s years totaled 70.

The first 30 are his own and they pass quickly. The next 18 are the “donkey years,” during which he has to carry countless burdens on his back. Then come the “dog years”…12 years when he can do little but growl and drag himself along. This is followed by the “monkey years,” his closing 10, when he grows rather strange and does things that make children laugh at him.

-Sermons Illustrated May/June 1989

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“The world
stands aside,” said David Jordan, “to let anyone pass who knows where
he is going.” This applies to those, who learn where they are going late
in life as well as for the young. At age 53, Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s
first female prime minister. At 64, Francis Chichester sailed alone around the
world in a 53-foot yacht. At 65, Winston Churchill became British prime minister
for the first time and started the epic struggle against Hitler. At 72, Golda
Meir became prime minister of Israel. At 75, Ed Delano of California bicycled
3100 miles in 33 days to attend his 50th college reunion in Worcester, Massachusetts.
At 76, Cardinal Angelo Roncalli became Pope John XXIII and inaugurated major
changes in his church. At 80, Grandma Moses, who had started painting in her
late 70s, had her first one-woman exhibit. At 81, Benjamin Franklin skillfully
mediated between disagreeing factions at the U.S. Constitutional Convention.
At 80, Winston Churchill returned to the House of Commons as a member of parliament
and also exhibited 62 of his paintings. At 96, George C. Selbach scored a 110-yard
hold-in-one at Indian River, Michigan. And on his 100th birthday, ragtime pianist
Eubie Blake exclaimed, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d
have taken better care of myself.”

Sermon’s Illustrated

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Dear Readers: This Gem of the Day came from Lorin Hess of Salt Lake City. It was seen in Modern Maturity magazine: A preppy-looking man was arrested for peddling “Fountain of Youth” pills that promised to reverse the aging process. When he came before the judge, His Honor was outraged at such a scam and asked if the man had had a record of prior arrests.

“Yes, indeed,” said the prosecutor, referring to her notes. “He was arrested for the same offense in 1981, 1965, 1942, 1908, 1873, 1847…”


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Grandma Moses

Her name was Anna Mary Robertson Moses, affectionately know as Grandma Moses. She was born on a farm in Washington Co., N.Y.

Without formal art training and largely self-educated, she began to paint rural scenes at the age of seventy-eight. Her work was discovered in 1939 by Louis Caldor, a New York engineer, who first saw her paintings exhibited in a drugstore window at Hoosick Falls, N.Y. In 1939 three of her landscapes were displayed in a private showing to members at the New York Museum of Modern Art among other works by contemporary unknown painters; in 1940 the Galerie St. Etienne in New York City presented her first one-man show. Thereafter Grandma Moses had more than one hundred exhibits throughout the United States, over half of which were confined exclusively to her work; since 1950 her paintings have been exhibited in Europe as well.

Amazingly she lived to be 101! I guess you’re never too old to begin your life’s most important work.

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How does old age feel?

Someone once said that if you want to know what it feels like, smear dirt on your glasses, stuff cotton in your ears, put on heavy shoes that are too big and wear gloves, then try to spend the day in a normal way.

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