Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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20 Great Quotes from An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life by Jeff Haanen

In An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life, Jeff Haanen writes that there is a growing sense of uneasiness among Americans ages 50–70. Baby boomers, and even early Gen Xers, are asking new questions about life, work, calling, and purpose in retirement—questions that our society is largely unprepared to answer. This book helps the reader with those questions.
Haanen writes that the dominant paradigm of retirement today is about vacation—how to afford it, and then how to make the most of it. But Haanen suggests beginning retirement with a stretch of deep Sabbath rest in which to find God’s call for the next season of life.
Haanen tells us that a Christian perspective on retirement needs a restoration of work, rest, and service that matures over a lifetime. He addresses topics such as learning, mentoring, and reconnecting with family in retirement.
Haanen tells us that the church has been nearly silent on the topic of retirement, and then asks, “What would it look like for the Christian church in America to transform our narrative about retirement?”
Haanen includes helpful stories to illustrate his points throughout the book, and contrasts “Common” vs. “Uncommon” ideas about retirement. A “Discussion Guide” is available for free download, making this a good book to read and discuss with others.
This is an excellent resource that pastors can recommend for those who are retired or will soon be retired.
Below are 20 great quotes from the book: Continue reading


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Retirement is a Time to Focus on Others

Recently, a friend that we hadn’t seen for a while asked my wife Tammy how I was staying busy in retirement. That’s not an unusual question. Some people are almost afraid of retiring because they think they will be bored. Others can’t wait to retire so that they can travel, play golf, spend time with their grandchildren, etc.
I’ve been retired just over three years now, and while we have done some travelling (the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns made that difficult for all of us for over a year), we’ve played very little golf. We both enjoy writing (the Coram Deo Blog and Tammy and I have each written a book), reading and spending time with our new dog Clara. I’ve continued to do some mentoring and participate in our ongoing breakfast book club. But we have found an unexpected benefit for this season of retirement. Retirement has given us time to focus on friends and family in a way that we simply couldn’t have if we were still working. Continue reading


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Go Into Retirement With Your Eyes Wide Open

I’ve been retired for three years. When I was first retired, I somehow felt I was doing something wrong. After nearly 38 years, I was no longer going to work each morning to the employer I worked at all of those years. My wife Tammy and I had agreed that we would take it easy, and not make any big commitments for a while. So, I spoke at a local church conference, and did a few teaching assignments at church, but didn’t commit to any more than that. What we were doing, though we didn’t know it at the time, was what Jeff Haanen writes about when he states that “the early years of retirement provide the perfect time to take a much-needed sabbatical”, in his excellent book An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life.
Tammy was worried about how I would adapt to retirement.  She knew that I had loved being a leader in a Fortune 50 organization, working with some wonderful people over the years. Would I be left without my identity as a leader? Fortunately, I made a very good transition into retirement, with a new found love of writing and additional time to pour into relationships. But that’s not the case with everyone.  Many people, after enjoying the first months of retirement, and perhaps a few trips, find themselves feeling lost in this new season of life. After looking forward to no longer having to work, having more time to travel and play golf, they find themselves singing the old Peggy Lee song, wondering “Is that all there is?” That’s why I highly recommend that you go into retirement with your eyes wide open. You need to prepare yourself for what God has next for you.
Keep your eyes wide open in these three key areas: Continue reading


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Don’t Hibernate: Stand the Test of Time

I listened to Alistair Begg’s excellent teaching series The Hand of God about the life of Joseph and God’s providence. It’s one of my favorite sermon series, and there is a corresponding revised book of the same title.   John Piper has also released a new book entitled “Providence”.
Toward the end of Pastor Begg’s series, and the end of Joseph’s life, is a message titled “Famous Last Words”. Joseph, who has led an incredible life, is now 110 years old and has stood the test of time. Begg then asks us if we are going to buy into the mythology that what we do in life is kill ourselves for as long as we can, to line the nest in which we plan to hibernate, so that the whole of life is just a preparation for hibernation. Or, will we, like Joseph, stand the test of time?
Perhaps you are already retired, or are close to it. Continue reading


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A Prayer for the New Retiree

Heavenly Father, I thank you for a good night of sleep so that I can live this new day that you have created with energy, joy and enthusiasm. As the Psalmist wrote:

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Thank you for blessing me with a wonderful career at a good organization. I loved my job and the many people over the years that I was blessed to work with. I am convinced that I was doing the work that you had intended for me. Continue reading


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I’m Retired….Now What?


I was never one who counted down the years to retirement. Until the day I left the organization I worked at for nearly 38 years I loved my job and the people I worked with. So, how should Christians think about living for God in retirement? Is it all about taking it easy, sleeping in, traveling and playing golf? Or perhaps taking a part-time job and doing some volunteer work?
John Piper has been helpful in shaping my thoughts on retirement. He writes that the Bible doesn’t explicitly talk about retirement. We don’t, for example, read about Moses or the Apostle Paul retiring at age 65. Piper writes: “Finishing life to the glory of Christ means resolutely resisting the typical American dream of retirement.” He charges us to: “Live dangerously for the one who loved you and died for you in his thirties.” I know this may be unpopular with some, and some may object to this concept, feeling that they deserve to take it easy after working in jobs for perhaps fifty years. But I believe that type of thinking may be culturally based and ultimately unbiblical. Continue reading


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Living Dangerously in Retirement

Are you still working? When are you going to retire? I hear that often these days when I see people I worked with in the past but haven’t seen for a while, or from friends or members of my extended family. And the truth be told, many people that I have worked with have retired over the past few years. It’s hard to believe; one day you are the youngest on the staff and then seemingly in no time, you are the oldest.
But I’m not one who has ever counted down the years, weeks or days until retirement. I still love my job and the people I work with, and that makes a big difference. But I know that some people hate their jobs and can’t wait to retire, the ultimate “Is it Friday yet?”
How should Christians think about retirement? Is it all about taking it easy, traveling and playing golf? Or perhaps taking a part-time job and doing some volunteer work? John Piper has been helpful in shaping my thoughts on retirement. Here are three ideas for you to consider based on his writings in his little book entitled, Rethinking Retirement: Finishing Life for the Glory of Christ:

  1. The Bible doesn’t explicitly talk about retirement. We don’t, for example, read about Moses or the Apostle Paul retiring at age 65. Piper writes: “Finishing life to the glory of Christ means resolutely resisting the typical American dream of retirement.” I know this will be unpopular with some readers and some will object to this concept, feeling that they deserve a life of leisure after working in jobs for perhaps fifty years. But I believe that this thinking is culturally based and ultimately unbiblical. Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?
  2. Finish strong. I want to finish strong, and be like Paul when he wrote in II Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”. I long to hear my Savior say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”. On the occasion of his death not long ago, I wrote about Art Moser, my model for finishing strong. In my Divine Design Assessment completed in Dr. Douglass’s class at Covenant Seminary, I wrote about Art as one of the people in ministry I most admire. I served for years as an Elder with Art. I appreciated many things about him including his ability to finish strong. Well into his 80’s he was still mentoring young men, reading books and writing book reviews and articles for our church newsletter, which preceded this blog. May I say that Art “didn’t act his age”, and I mean that in the most positive and respectful way. Art modeled finishing strong for me – may I be like him as I finish my race.

Piper writes that finishing life to the glory of Christ means finishing life in a way that makes Christ look glorious. How about you? How do you plan to spend your final years to make a difference for Christ?

  1. Don’t Waste Your Retirement. John Piper’s excellent book Don’t Waste Your Life is one of my favorites, and one that I have read often. In that book Piper writes: “I will tell you what a tragedy is. I will show you how to waste your life. Consider a story from the February 1998 edition of Reader’s Digest, which tells about a couple who “took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30-foot trawler, play softball and collect shells.”  At first, when I read it I thought it might be a joke. A spoof on the American Dream. But it wasn’t. Tragically, this was the dream: Come to the end of your life—your one and only precious, God-given life—and let the last great work of your life before you give an account to your Creator be this: playing softball and collecting shells.  Picture them before Christ at the great Day of Judgment: ‘Look, Lord. See my shells.’ That is a tragedy. And people today are spending billions of dollars to persuade you to embrace that tragic dream. Over against that, I put my protest: Don’t buy it. Don’t waste your life.”

If we retire in our late 50’s or early to mid-60’s, hopefully we will have many years before our physical and mental powers fail. Piper challenges us to live those final years for the glory of Christ. If you are retired, or within a few years of retiring, how do you plan to live them in such a way as to show that Christ is your highest Treasure?
Lord willing, I hope to not waste my retirement. Completing my seminary education served to equip me theologically. In God’s providence, I hope to serve my Jesus and my church through teaching, mentoring and discipling during my retirement for as long as I am physically and mentally able.
Piper charges us to: “Live dangerously for the one who loved you and died for you in his thirties. Don’t throw your life away on the American dream of retirement.”  How do you plan to live dangerously in your last season of life for Christ?


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3 Thoughts on Retirement for the Christian

Life is too shortAre you still working? When are you going to retire? I hear that often these days when I see people I worked with in the past but haven’t seen for a while, or from friends or members of my extended family. And the truth be told, many people that I have worked with have retired over the past few years. It’s hard to believe. One day you are the youngest on the staff and then seemingly in no time, you are the oldest.

But I’m not one who has ever counted down the years to retirement. I still enjoy my job and the people I work with, and that makes a big difference. But I know that some people hate their jobs and can’t wait to retire, the ultimate “Is it Friday yet?”

How should Christians think about retirement? Is it all about taking it easy, traveling and playing golf? Or maybe taking a part-time job and doing some volunteer work? John Piper has been helpful in shaping my thoughts on retirement. Here are three ideas for you to consider based on his writings:

  1. The Bible doesn’t explicitly talk about retirement. We don’t, for example, read about Moses or the Apostle Paul retiring at age 65. Piper writes: “Finishing life to the glory of Christ means resolutely resisting the typical American dream of retirement.” I know this will be unpopular with some readers and some will object to this concept, feeling that they deserve a life of leisure after working for around fifty years. But I believe that thinking is culturally based and ultimately unbiblical. Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?
  2. Finish strong. I want to finish strong, and be like Paul when he wrote in II Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”. I long to hear my Savior say “Well done, good and faithful servant”. My model for finishing strong is a man named Art. Now well into his 80’s, Art has written many articles for Coram Deo over the years, mentors young men, reads a lot, and continues to run the race well. May I say that he “doesn’t act his age”, and I mean that in the most positive and respectful way. May I be like Art as I finish my race. Piper writes that finishing life to the glory of Christ means finishing life in a way that makes Christ look glorious. How about you? How do you plan to spend your final years to make a difference for Christ?
  3. Don’t Waste Your Retirement. John Piper’s excellent book Don’t Waste Your Life is one of my favorites, and one that I have read often. In that book Piper writes:  “I will tell you what a tragedy is. I will show you how to waste your life. Consider a story from the February 1998 edition of Reader’s Digest, which tells about a couple who “took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30 foot trawler, play softball and collect shells.”  At first, when I read it I thought it might be a joke. A spoof on the American Dream. But it wasn’t. Tragically, this was the dream: Come to the end of your life—your one and only precious, God-given life—and let the last great work of your life, before you give an account to your Creator, be this: playing softball and collecting shells.  Picture them before Christ at the great Day of Judgment: ‘Look, Lord. See my shells.’ That is a tragedy. And people today are spending billions of dollars to persuade you to embrace that tragic dream. Over against that, I put my protest: Don’t buy it. Don’t waste your life.”

If we retire in our late 50’s or early to mid-60’s, hopefully we will have many years before our physical and mental powers fail. Piper challenges us to live those final years for the glory of Christ. If you are retired, or within a few years of retiring, how do you plan to live them in such a way as to show that Christ is your highest Treasure?

Lord willing, I hope to not waste my retirement. Completing my seminary education has served to equip me theologically. In God’s providence, I hope to serve my local church through teaching, mentoring and discipling during my retirement for as long as I am able.

Piper charges us to: “Live dangerously for the one who loved you and died for you in his thirties. Don’t throw your life away on the American dream of retirement.”  How do you plan to live dangerously in your last season of life for Christ?

Only One Life