Re-introducing myself

Carolyn in OZ here; some members will remember me, I was active a good while ago, but the trials of life have rather pushed many things aside for a while; it happens when age encroaches! I’ve a different email address and am interested to see some old friends still here; I also saw that dear Lois Westerlund has gone Home; the best and most longed-for destination! I’m getting on myself, (83) but not yet grown enough to follow her! Anyway, I will browse the topics here and enjoy being back with familiar friends.

Carolyn, it’s good to hear from you again after all this time. I think we old-timers (I’m 79) can’t help but wonder how many of us are still around. Since we have a little conversation going about our favorite C.S. Lewis works (Ruby mentioned Miracles, Problem of Pain and Mere Christianity, and Elaine mentioned Perelandra), I wonder if you also might want to contribute, and I could follow up later?


“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)

Hello Dimitry!
Yes, it seems a good idea.
The discussions are interesting, I wll read further in them!

Dimitry Zarechnak via SpareOom (<>) wrote::

I think we old-timers (I’m 79) can’t help but wonder how many of us are still around. Since we have a little conversation going about our favorite C.S. Lewis works (Ruby mentioned Miracles, Problem of Pain and Mere Christianity, and Elaine mentioned Perelandra), I wonder if you also might want to contribute, and I could follow up later?

To participate in this thread, my age is 77, and my favorite Lewis books are:
Non-fiction: The Screwtape Letters (read 7 times)
Fiction: Perelandra and The Silver Chair


I didn’t think I was so much of a youngster at 50, but…

Carolyn, welcome back. If you’d like, I can merge your old account with your new one.

I’m not reading a lot of Lewis lately; I think the most recent work of his I (re)read was Out of the Silent Planet with the idea of re-reading the entire trilogy, but haven’t gotten to the other two yet.

My church’s “Dead Theologians’ Society” (men’s reading group) has read both Mere Christianity and Screwtape Letters, with good discussion on both, but we ordinarily read works by people much longer dead, mostly the Puritans. Our meeting this afternoon is discussing J. Gresham Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism from 1923, which includes (in the portion we discussed last month) an argument very much like Lewis’ “Lord, liar, lunatic” trilemma–which is no great surprise; Lewis didn’t invent that argument, but had quite a bit to do with making it popular.

For the next few months, we’re reading Augustine, which I’m sure will be interesting.

Dear Carolyn,

Delighted to hear from you! In addition to being a professor of public health nursing, I am a gerontology nurse practitioner which is a specialist in the care of older adults. And now I’m turning into my own patient! Old age is actually very interesting in many ways.

I remember Mary Stolzenbach remarking that “Jesus never experienced old age.” She was thinking of the many challenges of getting older, especially the physical ailments that creep up on one. She did laugh and say, “Well, if God asks me to fall down, He’s provided a big, soft pillow for me to fall on.” (Referring to the many resources and privileges she enjoyed.)

I reminded her that Jesus experienced the sufferings of old age compressed into a day: multiple losses, physical suffering, nakedness, helplessness, and desertion by friends. And He took it on willingly for love of us. He also was vividly aware that Easter morning was coming.

I think of old age as one more task to complete for the glory of God. I’ve watched hundreds of folks age and have observed great suffering of all kinds. I’ve observed folks turn into bitter, angry, narcissistic old people (they were likely bitter, angry, narcissistic young people and got trapped into the habit). I’ve also observed nearly unbelievable grace, courage, and courtesy in older folks: one is in awe of what God can do with a human personality who yields to His beautiful will.

My own father died nearly a year ago, March of 2023, at age 93. He was a beautiful man at the end of his life, but he hadn’t started out that way. As a young man, he had a terrible temper and was as selfish a man as they come. But my cousin, who did the homily at my dad’s funeral, reported that Carl (my father) said he refused to turn into a grouchy old man. So to prevent that, he began to practice the grace of gratitude in his late middle years, filling his thoughts habitually with the goodness of God and the blessings God had poured on his life.

As a result of this, there was a glow of joy in my father’s face that attracted everyone. In his last week of life, his hospital room was filled with people who just wanted to be near him. He was so ready and happy to be going home.

Old age and death are jobs to be done, tasks to be completed for the glory of God. They do not define us. Our true selves are hidden with Christ in God and we will be astonished to meet our own true selves and see “what God hath wrought” with and in us one day.

Lewis brings this in beautifully in his essay “Membership.” Each of us individually was made for a place and a place has been made for us. We will find that when our story begins in Aslan’s country.

Right now, God gives us grace to deal with what we know now and must do now. Easter is coming but we must first get through our personal Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. He will give us what we need to do them well for Him.



Dear friends, It’s so lovely to hear from you again! Life had diminished me in some ways, since the beginning of the plague, and physical age-problems as well, but I have learned that giving in to them is not the way to go, and Ruby, your words about your father brought tears to my eyes. Yes, gratitude is a gift which blossoms when used.
My gratitude is greatly for a mind which is sharper, not duller, as age encroaches, and for the communion with our Lord that He gives, even when we are too often forgetful of him. And too, knowing that our story will begin - or continue - in Aslan’s country, is a joy that can’t be measured.

Dan, yes, please, would you kindly merge my accounts? Thanks.
I will keep reading, the topics are so interesting!

Love to all,

That is a beautiful testimonial about your father, Ruby. And insightful.

And I add my delight at hearing from my old buddy, Carolyn from Oz, again!

I’m almost 70. The Golden Dragon would say I am now an old heretic, haha. But I’m wondering were he still with us if he might becoming a bit of a heretic himself, with all that’s coming out of Rome these days.

Lord High Heretic of SpareOom (by order of the Golden Dragon, May He Live Forever)

Good to hear from you too, Michael! I did wonder if you were still active in here.
Don’t know about the Golden Dragon, but I suspect I’ve become more of a heretic as life goes on, and lessons are learned.
Relationship with God has always been more vital than theological questions, to me.
I remember, once, Michael, that you said you couldn’t read George MacDonald, and I agree, his writing is blocky; and of course, it is theology, but if we persevere with him, it is so refreshing! He doesn’t adhere to age-old theological thought; he carves a way through it to the essence of truth, IMO.
I can see why Lewis thought of him as a mentor.

In any case, thought must not become stagnant; if it does, we might as well have shuffled off the mortal coil!

Carolyn in Oz

Hi, Michael. In addition to your role as High Heretic, since some of us are discussing our favorite Lewis works, I thought you might have some, too?