From Paul’s Pen

            As announced by the elders last Sunday morning, I am stepping down from the Associate Minister’s position effective May 31st. It is time to retire! I have spent almost twenty years in school (not counting my military education), over twenty-two years in military service, and not quite thirty years in full-time ministry. I state all this – not because it earns me anything – but just to say, “I’m tired!” Gail and I are ready to reduce our obligations and travel more. We love Walter Hill and are so thankful for your love and kindness over these many years!

            I’m not ready to give my valedictory address as the apostle Paul did (2 Timothy 4:6-8) because I hope to be around a little longer. However, I do want to share some thoughts from scripture that have been lessons learned over time for me. ( I’m not saying I’ve perfected these in my own life – I’m still working on them!) But I wish I’d realized their importance when I was younger.

  1. Learn to be content – Philippians 4:11
  2. Be careful when deciding which road to take in life – Proverbs 16:25; Matthew 7:13-14
  3. Lean on God – Proverbs 3:5-6; Jeremiah 10:23
  4. Be thankful for your church family – Philippians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:3
  5. Believe in and expect the best in others – Mark 12:31; Luke 6:27; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (Agapé love in the Bible refers to a “pure, willful, sacrificial love that intentionally desires another’s highest good.”[1])
  6. Try to be humble – Romans 12:3; Philippians 2:3; James 4:10
  7. Be forgiving – Matthew 6:14-15; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:12-13
  8. Be eager to learn and keep growing in the faith – Matthew 5:6; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 1:5-8, 3:18
  9. Put God and His kingdom first – Matthew 6:33, 12:37-38
  10.  Believe in the power of prayer – 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18; Philippians 4:6-7; Hebrews 4:16
  11.  Put on Christ in baptism – Mark 16:15-16; Romans 6:3-5; Galatians 3:26-28; 1 Peter 3:21
  12.  Look forward to heaven – Hebrews 12:1-2; Colossians 3:2; Revelation 21:4

Purer in heart, O God, help me to be;

May I devote my life wholly to Thee;

Watch Thou my wayward feet, Guide me with counsel sweet;

Purer in heart, help me to be.