The secret to a great life starts with reliance on God.  That advice comes from a man who’s been around 104 years.

These days, the 104-year-old Rodger Williams is still energetic as the father of nine looks back on his accomplished life. He is entering the new year with an extra buzz after celebrating his recent birthday in Alabama with friends and family, including a birthday card from President Barack Obama.

Williams says life is good because “The Lord has took care of me all these years. Time takes care of you, that’s what I think,” “I appreciate life from the first day I was born. I’ve had a lot of help along the way.”

Williams has served as a U.S. Army medic nearing the end of World War II, working a 10-year stint in a Chicago steel mill and farmer on more than 100 acres. He retired in 1977 after working as a custodian at Auburn University for 17 years.

Williams said he has learned many life lessons in his 100-plus years. He says, “It don’t cost no one nothing more to be nice in life than to be mean,” “I tell young folks: ‘You don’t have to have everything that you want. You can make out with what you’ve got.’ Life is funny sometimes. Time tells you what life is like. Some years you’re going to be poor, some days you’re going to be up. If you’ll be nice, it’ll follow you.”

These days, Williams said he enjoys spending his days watching television, admiring photos of his children and grandchildren and eating cornbread, collard greens and sweet potatoes.

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