Raised in Lincoln, and whose family still resides here, Dr. Ray
served a number of years as the President of Lincoln Christian
University. A couple of years ago, he took an early retirement and
relocated with wife Janeen to the St. Louis area to serve with
Dr. Ray returns to Lincoln as often as possible and has been present
through the several stages of construction on the multi-million
dollar expansion project that includes the newly completed Woods
Foundation Garden Villa.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Ray expressed appreciation to all the CV
staff who have supported this project, with special thanks going to
Administrator Jo Hilliard.
In his speech, Dr. Ray illustrated how the human lifespan has
changed and our plans need to change in accordance.
He spoke first about the book of Genesis, referencing the seventh
day of creation was labeled the ‘day of rest.” He noted that a
favorite author of his had one time noted that there should have
been an 8th day in the creation story in which God expanded
mankind’s lifespan by 30 years. He noted that the average lifespan
used to be 50, but now it is 80, so the question becomes, “What are
you going to do with the next 30?”
He said that when the need arrives, Christian Homes will be included
as a portion of those bonus years. He said the CV has a sincere
desire to serve, to help people flourish no matter what their age
and that is what Christian Homes is all about.
He said the goal is to keep people moving and experiencing life no
matter what their age.
Dr. Ray spoke of a favorite philosopher who said, “the hidden agenda
of modernity is to avoid the harsh realities of aging.” He said that
the Village ministry aim is to find the balance “urging those in our
care to accept mortality with a gusto that reflects the subtle words
from Jesus himself, “I have come to bring you life and life more
abundantly.” - John 10:10.”
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He recalled a favorite book called “My Time” that spoke on aging and reflected
on time spent with Joan Jarrett Woods in her home on Nicholson Road. “Going into
this rustic looking home and observing this amazing massive fireplace made of
Oklahoma Stone, I think they stole and brought in,” he joked. He continued, “It
was this beautiful massive fireplace that I admired so much. But the thing I
remember most is she toured me around the house, and then we sat down to visit.
Woods had all these books. She was “A lady of books,” Dr. Ray said.
‘My Time’ published in 2004 observes a ‘longevity revolution’ and begs the
question, “What in the world is granny doing now?”
Dr. Ray observed, “Now, Granny is out of the rocking chair. She’s going to
graduate school, she’s modeling clothes, she’s running for office, she’s
introducing her children to hip-hop, she’s going to Mexico, she’s sending emails
to the kids; and so is grandpa. Whatever happened to the good old stereotypes of
growing old? They are out the window.”
Dr. Ray said that is what the life of added longevity has brought about, the
idea of “let’s longer, live life more fully, and live a life that is
He said that many who are coming into their “bonus years” may not yet know what
they are going to do with those years, but they are going to live on, and
Christian Homes goal is to help those people flourish, he said that is what
Christian Homes is all about.
Dr. Ray drew his speech to a close saying, “the Psalmist said it clearly.... to
flourish like a palm tree and in old age they will "stay fresh and green" and
when God finished on the eighth day it was good.”
[Karen Hargis/Nila Smith]