Abundant Life

J.C. (Cash) Penny

Abundant Life
Max Lucado

A friend of the late American jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes asked him why he had taken up the study of Greek at the age of ninety-four, Holmes replied, "Well, my good sir, it's now or never."

When J.C. Penny was ninety-five years old, he affirmed, "My eyesight may be getting weaker, but my vision is increasing."

Growing own can be dangerous. The trail is treacherous and the pitfalls are many. One is wise to be prepared. You know it not like God kept the process secret. It's not like you are blazing a trail as you grow older. It's not as if no one has ever done it before. Look around you. You have ample opportunity to prepare and ample case studies to consider. If growing old catches you by surprise, don't blame God. He gave you plenty of warning. He also gave you plenty of advice.

"Those who try to hold on to their lives will give up true life. Those who give up their lives for me will hold on to true life" (Matthew 10:39)

There are two ways to view life," Jesus is saying, "those who protect it or those who pursue it. The wisest are not the ones with the most years in their lives, but the most life in their years.

There is a rawness and a wonder to life. Pursue it. Hunt for it. Sell out to get it. Don't listen to the whines of those who have settled for a second-rate life and want you to do the same so they won't feel guilty. Your goal is not to live long; it's to live.

Time slips. Days pass. Years fade. And life ends. And what we come to do must be done while there is time.

We would think it bizarre for a traveler not to be prepared for the end of the journey. We would pity the poor passenger who never read his itinerary. We'd be bewildered by someone who thought the purpose of the trip was the trip.

Others, however are anticipating the destination. I hope you are. And I hope you'll be ready when you get home. For you, age is no enemy. Age is a mile-marker---a gentle reminder that home has never been so near.


Read Ecclesiastes 2:17-15

* Describe a person you know who has aged gracefully.

* What is the difference between living long and really living?

* Why do you think so many people fight the natural aging process?

* What criterion do you think we should use in looking back over a lifetime and evaluating its worth?

* What are the "how to's" for enjoying the life God gives us?

* Do you think old age gives you more or less ability to enjoy life?

* What do you fear most about aging? Why?

* What stage of life do you think is best and which is the most challenging? Why?

* What can we do when we feel discouraged about growing old?

J. C. Penny Museum & Boyhood Home
Caldwell County Economic Development

James Cash Penney (J. C. Penny) was born on September 16, 1875 in Hamilton, Missouri. He established a chain of department stores across the nation that is still successful today. He used the old fashioned values he learned in Hamilton as a foundation of his business and personal life. Mr. Penny died in 1971 at the age of 95.

Throughout his life he maintained a close relationship with his hometown. Penney donated funds to help build the first library, the shoe factory which he told if they would bring a plant to Hamilton, the J. C. Penney Company would purchase the complete output of children‘s shoes from that factory, the high school (J. C. Penney High School), Highland Cemetery and the American Legion Park.

A statement he used to make was “Lasting prosperity for ourselves would only come if the people of our communities were happier or better off for our being among them”. He lived that philosophy. Mr. Penney throughout his life kept close tabs on his managers and making too much profit was as bad, to him, as making too little!

The J. C. Penney Store in Hamilton opened in 1924 and closed in 1981. The building now houses a hardware store. The Penney farm, located east of town, was an agricultural showplace during the Depression. J. C. Penney was well known throughout the country for his registered livestock. During his lifetime, Penney refused to have any memorials in his name. But today the City of Hamilton makes sure the country remembers this special man.

The J.C. Penney Museum and Library, is open to the public, and is filled to the brim with memorabilia of Penney’s retail career, including the first pair of shoes produced in the International Shoe Company plant in Hamilton, and his many agricultural endeavors. Hamilton residents roll out the red carpet and celebrate their heritage during the J. C. Penney Hometown Festival, which is held the second weekend in June. A flea market, carnival, baby contest, farmer’s market and live music are just a few of the events included in the festival.

The J. C. Penney Park, featuring the historic Penney Boyhood home is a “must see”. Also, the community spent many years and great effort developing a beautiful mural that focuses on J. C. Penney and many other important sites in Caldwell County.

The Devotional Bible - Experiencing the Heart of Jesus, Max Lucado General Editor, New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Bibles, page 93, Background - J. C. Penny http://www.caldwellcountymissouri.com/CC%20Economic%20Things%20To%20See.htm

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