Living With Alzheimer's: John's Story

Editor's note: "John's wife submitted this story on his behalf and said, "When he had better thinking skills, he created a document of 'His Story,' and he starts a conversation with strangers by sharing this with others." Read more from Sandi here.

John's story, in his words

John's story of faith in Jesus and what life is really all about!

I'm 81, have early Alzheimer's, "essential" tremors, use cane and wear ankle brace. But I'm the happiest old guy around--sense of humor, enjoy life, meeting people and sports. Why? Because my life is focused on Jesus, Bible, and family. May I share my story with you?

The decisions that affect everything

Life consists of three major decisions: 1. Whether you accept or reject Jesus as Savior and Lord of your life; 2. Whom you marry; and 3. Type of employment. Order of life's major decisions is important, but Jesus and marriage are life's most important decisions! They affect everything else.

My Grandpa Young was a Methodist minister. As a boy, I was "saved" in a country revival near Marshfield (MO) when Grandpa gave the altar call (John 3:16). Years later, I was baptized at Grandview (MO) Baptist church because our Nazarene church lacked a baptistery.

Some things happen in life we can't explain

We have 4 children; Kathy is the youngest. She's special because we adopted her, plus she's mentally challenged. Kathy was our second of 140 foster children we accepted on emergency placement in KC. My wife Sandi did all the work; children arrived any time of day or night; perhaps half I never saw or met. If a social worker said placement was for 3 days, that meant 3 weeks, etc.

I was on an engineering recruiting trip to KU and K-State for my KC employer. As I departed KC, the Holy Spirit clearly spoke to me and said we were to adopt Kathy. (Remember when the Holy Spirit spoke to Mary re the super-natural birth of Jesus and Mary's astonishment?) Like Mary, Sandi was stunned – state of shock. Some of our foster children couldn't understand why we would adopt Kathy, but not them? Some things happen in life we can't explain, but accept by faith in Jesus.

Faith: our family's secret weapon

Sandi's my faithful, loving wife of 57 years. When we married, we didn't leave God at the altar before starting our honeymoon, life and family together. Taking our family to church regularly, tithing and making the things of God a priority have been our family's secret weapons – the glue that's held us together during life's ups and downs. No one is immune to life's challenges!

Life and living are about Jesus! Status and riches are temporary; instead, we should seek Jesus & Godly pursuits with eternal values. Spending eternity in Heaven with Jesus is more desirable than hell with Satan. (Math 7:13-14)

Finding your focus

What's your main focus in life? Is it money, status, sex, gambling, booze, drugs, pornography, etc? Are you willing to share your secret pleasures with family or others? If you'd like to make a life changing adjustment, here's a mind-boggling idea. Today, search for an easy to read/understand Bible (try Mardel's). Tonight, sit down with your new Bible and read 5-10 verses— perhaps with your wife, kids or significant other. You might start in the New Testament (Mathew, Mark, Luke or John) — anywhere! Note how they respond to you reading a few verses to them? You'll feel like a new person!

An evangelist once challenged me to read through the Bible. Reading a chapter, a day, I finished 4-5 years later, but reading 3 chapters daily, you'll probably complete the whole Bible in a year. People may change, but God's Word never changes. Try reading the Bible. Unlike the daily news, you'll start loving God's truth. Many own a Bible, but seldom read it? Wonder why we have so many problems? Is there a sin barrier separating you from a right relationship with God, family or others? Your eternal destiny hangs upon your decision—hell or heaven? Try John 3:16 for review.

This is our story.

John & Sandi
Springfield, MO

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