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From Your Pastor's Heart - 11/13/2017

Probably like all of you, the kid “Growing Up on Dump Ground Road” was told repeatedly: “You are known by the company you keep.” It must be one of those lines that they teach at Parenting School. Of course, it is a warning to be careful about the type of people with whom you choose to associate. And since everyone knows everything about everyone else in a small town, it was easy for parents to identify the names and the nature of your friends. In all likelihood, they were acquainted with their families and their other friends. Parents always knew if you were running with “the wrong crowd.”

Generally speaking, my parents approved of my friendships. They included the pastor’s son, a couple of girls from church that I had known since our nursery days, my Catholic buddy who became the local pharmacist, my baseball coach’s son, and another “good Baptist” kid who grew up to be a school teacher/coach. We were not the wild bunch, the star athletes, or even super scholars. We were just hard working, above average students who, for the most part, stayed out of any serious trouble. We all managed to reach adulthood without any jail time and become contributing members of society. The same cannot be said for a few of my fellow high school classmates.

Psalm 1 is a guide for how to avoid trouble in life. It proclaims the pathway to happiness as being to “not walk in the counsel of the ungodly,” “not stand in the path of sinners,” and “not sit in the seat of the scornful.” Instead, the psalmist advises those who seek true fulfillment in life to take delight “in the law of the Lord” and to “meditate on His law day and night.”

In truth, whatever measure of success and happiness the kid from Dump Ground Road has experienced in life can be directly linked to time spent in the Word of God. Friends and family members have been great encouragers, and at times competitors, that spurred me forward towards my goals. Yet, the greatest influences upon my life have been the Living Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Written Word of God, the Holy Scriptures. I have learned that God can use anyone from anywhere who is willing to follow His leading.

Serving in love,

Bro. Jim

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