Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…

The Best Advice for Daily Living
Daily Word from Pastor Jim

Last Sunday our sermon set its sights on the best advice of the Apostle Paul. Advice for daily living, advice for surviving the beautiful but difficult journey that we share as humans. Every day I see people who are age-appropriately healthy, financially secure, and living the good life on Whidbey Island. Life is good. But no one escapes the human journey unscathed. People of faith and people without faith suffer in this world. Into every life a little rain must fall. People of faith turn to the church when their lives have been turned upside down by divorce, disability, betrayal, pandemic, or bankruptcy. During the past several months, I have spent a lot of time at graveside. Nothing is more painful than saying goodbye to children or grandchildren.

The Apostle Paul was a perfectionist. His faith and his zeal led him to persecute, kill, or imprison the early Christians. Then, on the road to Damascus, he found out that he had been headed in the wrong direction, he was playing for the wrong team, he was blinded by the light of God, and reprimanded by Jesus in a vision. This devastating reality could have broken him; he could have taken his life or wasted his life. How could he move forward, how would he put his life back together and serve God once again?

The Apostle Paul had to let go of a misguided past if he was to have a productive future. The life advice of the Apostle Paul instructs us 2,000 years later, “This one thing, I do: forgetting what lies behind me and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on.” You see, God’s memory is not as good as your spouse’s. God is not particularly interested in your past, but God is 100% invested in your present and your future. We are encouraged to learn from past experience, and to live and love for God today.

In the service last Sunday, I asked you to share the best advice that you have ever been given. I think that you will find wisdom and humor in this advice. Perhaps this advice can help us to “press on” through this pandemic, serving God and neighbor.

“Live within your seams and below your means.”

“Live each day well and be happy.”

“Don’t be greedy.”

“You only get out of life what you put into it.”

“Begin each day with a grateful heart.”

“Whether you think that you can or you think that you can’t, you will be right.”

“When you wake up in the morning you can choose to be negative or positive that day. Choose positive and you will have a better day.”

“If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.”

“Be kind. Always make your encouragement in a positive light and encourage often.”

“Don’t try to grow hay in the street.”

“My advice is not to follow my advice.”

“If you make a mistake, let it be your own.”

“Don’t buy your lunch where you get your gas.”

“Do it, Do it right and Do it now.”

“Say what you mean, mean what you say, just don’t say it mean.”

“Always assume good intentions from those who you supervise.”

And finally, “Don’t get in a pissing contest with a skunk.”

I am honored to share the journey with you all; we are making a difference today and we are one day closer!

Much love,
Pastor Jim