Devotional for Saturday and Sunday May 25-26

Good Morning Everyone,

Our theme for this month: “You Gotta Keep Dancing”

Our Bible verse for today: “But we encourage you, brothers and sisters, to do this even more, to seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, so that you may behave properly in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone.” 1 Thessalonians 4:10-12 (CSB)

Our thought for today: “Focus on what really matters.”

Linda and I have experienced an interesting shift in our thinking in recent years that has resulted in major changes in our life. We have come to appreciate the truth that in life, quality is more important than quantity. So we decided to simplify and downsize in all areas. First we sold our old home and bought one half the size. Then we gave away or sold approximately 75% of our possessions. Then we cut out of our lives a lot of the busyness and activities that kept us constantly on the go but didn’t really add anything meaningful to our lives.

During that time I’ve also found myself drawn to books about the simple life. “Wisdom of the Plain Folk” by Donna Leahy; “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” by Annie Dillard; “The Little Way of Ruthie Leming” by Rod Dreher;  “Jayber Crow” by Wendell Berry; and “The Farmer’s Son” by John Connell, just to name a few – all of them about the peaceful beauty of living a quiet and simple life.

I suppose one reason for our shift in thinking is simply the fact that we’re older and have slowed down a little, but part of it is out of necessity too. Linda’s health issues required that we make some changes. But interestingly, this has resulted in a much more pleasant and enjoyable life for us. It’s slower, more peaceful and serene, and we’ve learned to truly savor and enjoy the little things. This is the kind of life Paul was commending in 1 Thessalonians 4:10-12 cited above.

In all my decades of working with people I have observed that trials and difficulties, even sickness and even apparent tragedies, have a way of shifting our thinking and causing us to focus on the things that really matter in life. Often, in the long run, in many ways this shift in thinking ends up making things better rather than worse.

Yesterday I suggested to you that God brings good things out of bad situations for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). That’s what I’m talking about here. As you continue to deal with whatever it is you are wrestling with in life right now, I encourage you to focus on the things that really matter. Use this season in your life as an opportunity to reevaluate your life and to cut-out things that have been weighing you down or holding you back. As the song says, “Maybe your world isn’t falling apart; maybe it’s falling into place.”

God Bless,
Pastor Jim

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Our mailing address is:

Oak Hill Baptist Church

3036 Genesis Road

Crossville, Tn 38571

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