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Rich in Years by Johann Christoph Arnold

Johann Christoph Arnold, admired by such prominent spiritual and inspirational leaders as Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Cardinal Dolan, Pete Seeger, 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 Cardinal Sean O'Malley, 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, Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, writes, In simple language, Arnold gives hope-filled insights into the trials of aging for people of all ages. Pastor Arnold's book challenges those rich in years to also remain rich in faith.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780874868975
Publisher: Plough Publishing House, The
Publication date: 09/09/2013
Pages: 183
Sales rank: 238,353
Product dimensions: 5.38(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

People have come to expect sound advice from Johann Christoph Arnold, an award-winning author with over a million copies of his books in print in more than 20 languages.

A noted speaker and writer on marriage, parenting, and end-of-life issues, Arnold is a senior pastor of the Bruderhof, a movement of Christian communities. With his wife, Verena, he has counseled thousands of individuals and families over the last forty years. His books include Why Forgive?, Rich in Years, Seeking Peace, Cries from the Heart, Be Not Afraid, and Why Children Matter.

Arnold's message has been shaped by encounters with great peacemakers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, César Chavez, and John Paul II. Together with paralyzed police officer Steven McDonald, Arnold started the Breaking the Cycle program, working with students at hundreds of public high schools to promote reconciliation through forgiveness. This work has also brought him to conflict zones from Northern Ireland to Rwanda to the Middle East. Closer to home, he serves as chaplain for the local sheriff's department.

Born in Britain in 1940 to German refugees, Arnold spent his boyhood years in South America, where his parents found asylum during the war; he immigrated to the United States in 1955. He and his wife have eight children, 42 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. They live in upstate New York.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Cardinal Seán O’Malley
Preface by Rolland G. Smith
1. Growing Older
2. Accepting Changes
3. Combatting Loneliness
4. Finding Purpose
5. Keeping Faith
6. Living with Dementia
7. Moving Forward
8. Finding Peace
9. Saying Goodbye
10. Continuing On
11. Beginning Anew

What People are Saying About This

Pete Seeger

On these pages are wonderful words of hope. Savor them. --Pete Seeger, musician

Timothy Cardinal Dolan

Compact yet compelling… A wealth of personal stories and hope-filled insights. --Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York

von Hildebrand

This book is bound to enrich all who read it. Arnold squarely faces the challenges of old age, teaching us how they can become meaningful when seen in the light of eternity. --Alice von Hildebrand, professor emerita, Hunter College

J. I. Packer

Unassuming yet outstanding, this is the best book I know on aging. Wonderfully invigorating. --J.I. Packer, Regent College

Marva J. Dawn

Using profound and stimulating stories, Johann Christoph Arnold welcomes us into an elegant fabric of elderly life, abundant with significance and relationships. I know you will find this book spiritually enriching. --Marva J. Dawn, author, Being Well When We're Ill

Eugene H. Peterson

A symphony of voices of men and women willing to talk about aging. The author weaves their stories together as a pastor who knows how to listen. There is much beauty here and not a trace of sentimentality. --Eugene H. Peterson, author and scholar, The Message Bible

Richard J. Foster

Rich in Years is rich in wisdom, rich in courage, rich in hope. The people we meet in these pages and the stories they tell all build in us a confident assurance that God is with us every step of our journey. --Richard J. Foster, author, Celebration of Discipline

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Rich in Years 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rich in Years: Finding Place and Purpose in a Long Life by Johann Christoph Arnold This book is a quick read with kind advice and thoughtful insight to the aging process. Its appeal is probably limited to a specific group  of readers, but to that group, it has spot on insight and inspiration. As the title suggests, the book describes the aging process from the  eyes of someone experiencing it. The author has also interviewed many people to get multiple perspectives. It is a timely read for  anyone experiencing their bodies slowing down but whose minds still brightly burn! I would recommend it to family members and  care givers supporting aging adults as it offers a glimpse of the challenges the aging face in their unique world. The book covers topics  such as aging, loneliness, finding renewed purpose, dementia and even comfort for those left behind when a loved one passes. I do need to offer an advisory on its very prominent religious overtones. If you are someone who is offended by the mention of religion  or Christianity, then this book is probably not going to be a good fit. If you have a strong faith, or are not offended by the mention of  Jesus and the Bible, then I think you can find some useful messages. Whatever your faith, the author’s words are gentle, humble  and are given with a full heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“Rich in Years” is not just another self-help book about growing older. Let’s face it, nobody likes to talk much about death, and the younger among us rarely even think about it…. or try not to anyway! Christoph Arnold’s book is not just about the end of life, and it’s not just for the “older” generation. I found the book to be like a peaceful train ride; less about the destination, and much more about enjoying the ride. Using his signature style from his earlier works, Arnold unfolds his theme via the narratives of people, encountered along his own path. Allowing these folks to share their personal stories, many times in their own words, provides the reader with a sort of emotional “connection” with them; a sense of both spontaneity and real honesty. Above all, it’s apparent that Christoph Arnold is a good listener. One gets the feeling he is sitting and rocking, chatting with some interesting friends. The stories are at once interesting, informing and filled with wisdom. You’ve been invited to sit with them all on the front porch. Don’t miss this chance to pull up a chair and join them. I promise you will enjoy your visit.
Benj-O More than 1 year ago
Rich in Years – Johann Christoph Arnold © 2013 The Plough Publishing House, Walden, New York Everyone faces aging and death. Many people are frightened by the idea. We want to live long, but we don’t want the side effects of aging. With the advent of life-prolonging technology and lifestyles, people are “ripening” more and more. Life expectancies are increasing. And fears and prejudices that plague the aged and aging are increasing right along with them. People don’t know how to respond to the aging of their loved ones, and in turn don’t know how to respond to their own battle with aging. Kudos should be given to septuagenarian pastor Arnold for taking the time to address some of these fears. In this short book the author touches on all the issues that face people who are living longer, from accepting the changes that are inevitable, to dying with grace. If I have one complaint about the book, it has more to do with my deep-seated evangelical roots than the information and quality of the book and its advice. I would like to see a stronger proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (it’s there, but softer than I’d like, and later than I care for). Other than that (which is probably more me than the author and his thoughts), the book brings together some excellent stories from people who are or have lived the aging process. Arnold challenges readers, young and old alike, to take a fresh look at the twilight years. Advice to the aging includes things like sharing your wisdom, and passing on the reins of control. To younger readers, the advice includes soaking in the wisdom of those who have been there and reveling in the new child-likeness of a parent who seems to have lost their mind. I would recommend this book for a number of audiences: Clergy who work with the aging and dying; members of the older generation who are fearfully facing the silver-lined, silver-haired years; younger generations whose parents and grandparents are already there. Anyone could benefit from this positive look at what is to come should we live so long. The book is well-written, and the information about aging is sound. I’d have to give the book 4 out of 5 reading glasses. —Benjamin Potter, April 3, 2014 [Disclaimer: I received this book for free for this review.]
Moonpie72 More than 1 year ago
There may be more books on the subject of aging, but I haven’t seen them.  I was so excited to read this one.  I haven’t ever found many seniors that talk openly about growing older. I am 60 years old and I want to have an idea about what’s ahead; the unvarnished truth!   In many other societies, the aged members are respected and admired.  They are viewed as an important part of the families and the culture.  The youth woipping society of the United States views aging as something to avoid at all costs.  No wonder so many elderly people speak of feeling useless and not needed.  I know God’s Word says that growing old is an honor and a blessing. Every year we are alive means God still has a purpose for us here on earth.    I liked the fact this was written by a senior.  The many scriptures throughout the book are a guide to seeing growing old from God’s point of view.  The author doesn’t sugar coat anything but addresses issues of aging head on: failing health, loneliness, the death of family and loved ones, dependency on others, and more.  Mr. Arnold helps one see that these are not the enemies of old age, but our attitude toward them.  Yes there are things we will lose as we leave younger years behind, but there is much to gain.   Is the glass half empty or half full?  There is still much to be enjoyed and savored, only not in the way we did in the past.   He even addresses facing death.  Death is as much a part of life as living, and as Christians, the Lord is with us every step of the way, even to our last breath. As we trusted Him to care for us in our life, we can trust Him when it is our time to die.    The individual stories he shared about seniors who face their challenges with courage and joy were very inspiring.  This was made even more personal by pictures of those people.  This book is filled with hope and encouragement.  It was beautifully and sensitively written.    People of all ages need to read it.  I received this book free from Handlebar Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 
readermontana More than 1 year ago
RICH IN YEARS is a book that everyone should read - no matter what age they are at this time. It shows how aging is all about - not in looks - but in feelings and what to look forward to. Johann Christoph /Arnold has captured the sweet and tender aspects of aging, as well as the heartbreak. He has also shown we have a living hope in what lies beyond these years on earth. I have already passed my book on to others to read and will suggest it to many others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Legacy What is my purpose here on Earth? What do I do now that I am retired? What legacy do I want to leave to my children and their children? As an older adult can my life be rich and fulfilling? These are some of the topics Johann Arnold addressed in his latest book "Rich in Years." Arnold writes "God created each one of us for this world, but he also created us for eternity, and he has something in mind for each of us." He examines dementia, fighting loneliness, finding purpose and finding peace by writing about real people, their stories. This is a short, easy read for anyone pondering questions about being an older adult and finding their God filled purpose. We may not want to think about aging but it is part of the cycle so why not have peace about it. That is what Johann Arnold offers in this little volume. I received this book free from Handlebar to review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When we're young, we feel like we'll live forever. Then we actually start growing old and we experience the real change that comes with aging. But growing old doesn't have to be a bad or fearful experience. In fact, our final years can be full of rich new experiences and diverse blessings. That's not how we often think about growing old, but as our nation ages, maybe it's time we take a fresh look at what our final years really could be like. "Rich In Years," written by Johann Christoph Arnold (published by The Plough Publishing House) is a delightful, gentle conversation on "Finding Peace and Purpose in a Long Life." Instead of a sterile self-help look at planning for end-of-life, Arnold shares a thick smathering of stories that encourage us to believe growing old can be as rich a part of life as any other. Certainly, the challenges change as we grow older, and the eventual changes to our physical capacity can bring new trials for us, but living a long life doesn't have to be one of losing our sense of worth or even our sense of usefulness. Things will change, but life is always changing! And it's possible to discover continued purpose and deep peace as we live out our final decades or years. "Many of us worry that no matter how successful our lives have been, they will fade into oblivion and soon be forgotten. Or we may fear losing our mind, our memory, and our independence. We also fear loneliness, pain, and suffering. Many worry that they have not lived as they should. But all this can be overcome. Growing old doesn't have to be a prison of hopelessness and despair. It can present us with unique opportunities, where life's meaning and purpose find fulfillment and where we can express the love we've always wanted to but somehow were never able," Arnold writes. Arnold then walks his readers through how to turn the challenges of aging into those new opportunities that extend our purpose and bring us peace. Not only is "Rich In Years" an excellent book for those who are currently living out their final years, it also provides valuable insight to younger readers who have family and friends entering their senior season. When I finally put this book down, I loved the refreshing journey the author had taken me on about growing old. Without creating any false hopes, Arnold addresses the realities of aging and demonstrates for us that life's greatest blessings aren't relegated to our youth. Scotty I received this book free from Handlebar as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
GCWineholt More than 1 year ago
RICH IN YEARS Finding Peace and Purpose in a Long Life Johann Christoph Arnold Growing older has its problems, but it can be rewarding. Johann, in his seventies, using examples from his own life and the lives of others describes getting older and how it can be rewarding. He offers stories of those who suffer from health issues, such as cancer and dementia. He writes about how our society treats the elderly, the way things should be and why God should be a very important part of our lives as we are growing older. I am in the older generation and can relate to things he wrote about, taking care of our parents and preparing for what may be ahead of me before God takes me home. A very informative book. I would recommend to the young person as well as the older person. Remember God is the most important part of us growing older. He is always with us. I received this book free from Handlebar Marketing for purpose of this review, I was not required to write a positive review, the opinions I have expressed are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of RICH IN YEARS: FINDING PEACE AND PURPOSE IN A LONG LIFE by Johann Cristoph Arnold from Plough Publishing House via Handlebar. This book takes a look at growing older, through a spiritual and religious backdrop. It is broken into short sections, each headed by a picture and quote, that draws you deeper into thought. I kept nodding my head as I read, and only shook it during the foreword when nursing homes are discussed. My family faced a very hard decision as to whether or not to place my grandmother, who suffers from dementia, into a nursing home. We took care of her at home for over ten years, but times kept growing more trying. She stopped trusting us, would try to flee, and would call for help, even when we were in the other room. When working less and hiring aids failed, we realized we had no other choice but to keep her safe by placing her in a “home.” It is still a decision we regret, but one we still can’t remedy. With that point aside, I looked at this book through the eyes of my grandmother. Her childhood friends are gone, and many of the other residents in her wing has passed on. She’s also grown more religious with each passing year. I highly recommend this book to anyone who feels old or wishes to take a fresh look at life.
avidreader85 More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up last night so that I could read a little while before falling asleep. Well, I couldn't put it down until I finished it. Rich in Years was full of so much wisdom. Having grandparents in their nineties ( and having just celebrated their 71st anniversary), a father who is struggling after having a stroke, and me trying to understand why older people have to struggle so much, this book brought me a lot of insight. I now understand why God's plan is the way it is. My wish would be that every person on this earth would read this book. I feel that today, our society does not respect life the way God intended. We brush people off if we don't see them as "productive members". Unfortunately, people don't realize that there is so much to be gained by spending time with the older generation. For me, I learned the great value in every living person. I saw the great lessons that we younger people can learn by caring for our older family and friends. But if you are in your Golden years or are about to enter into it, then this also shows you what a great value you are to your community and all the wonderful things you can do, even if you can't do everything you once did. There is also a very good explanation regarding redemptive suffering and why it is important. I highly recommend this book to everyone, the young, the old, and everyone in between. Even though I have always respected my elders and held them in high esteem, I do so even more now. God has given us people to care for and people to care for us when that time comes and it is all for God's purpose. We should never take anyone for granted. Everyone has worth and every situation can bring us closer to our Heavenly Father. Thank you so much for this inspiring book!