Plain and simple can be smart and strategic

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Be smart, be strategic”
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 …” 1 Thessalonians 3:10-11 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Plain and simple can be smart and strategic”
In order to be smart and strategic in how we live our lives, there are two fundamental pieces that have to be in place. The first is our relationship with Christ and the daily practice of our faith. Everything else in life has to grow out of that. The second involves the structure of our lives. We have to be smart and strategic – intentional. This pertains to the framework of activities and daily routines within which our life is lived.
By way of example, I’ll share a bit of my personal story. I do so with the understanding that you may be in a different season of life than me, and your circumstances may be different than mine. But this is one example of a way in which my wife and I tried to be smart and strategic regarding the structure of our lives.
Almost ten years ago Linda and I came to the realization that we needed to make some strategic changes. For more than fifteen years now, Linda has bravely battled a degenerative disability, and she has needed more and more of my attention and assistance. We knew this would be the case and so we decided to structure our lives in a way that would allow us to live fully and well, while staying focused on the people and things that mattered most. We decided that Linda’s health needs would be our first and highest priority. My role as the pastor of Oak Hill Baptist Church would be second. We would focus on those two areas, and every other thing that would take us away from or distract us from those two, needed to go.
So, we simplified and downsized. Over the course of the next three years we sold our large house and bought one less than half the size, requiring much less attention and upkeep; we sold or gave away approximately 70% of our possessions; we cut our living expenses by well over one-third; I resigned from my part-time work on the staff of an international mission agency so I could focus just on the church; and we also eliminated other activities and obligations that would take us away from, or distract us from, our two main points of focus.
It’s true that in some ways our lives constricted or narrowed. But in the process, we found that life is actually richer and more rewarding because we are more focused on the people and things that truly matter to us, and less distracted by those which were less important.
That’s our story. Yours is probably different. But the point holds that in order to be most effective in life, we have to be smart, strategic and intentional. For us, at this season in life, plain and simple is smart and strategic.
God bless,
Pastor Jim 
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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