Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.Job 12:12
The aged and seasoned among us have much to teach us. Jim taught me the wisdom of that!
Jim was one of the first people I met when I became the pastor of his church in Southern California.
He was a “retired” police officer. First serving in Racine, Wisconsin (which is not far from where I grew up) and then in California.
After retirement, he stayed very active even as he aged, serving as a officer at the Federal Court House in Los Angeles (one of the oldest to ace the small arms marksmen test).
But Jim’s passion was for ministry to “seasoned citizens” – the aged among us – and that was why he came to see me.
We would work together – he as an elder in the church and me as his pastor – to continue building up the Senior Adult Ministry, along with our friend Wally.
Jim was a wise man. I don’t mean intelligent – although he was certainly that. But he had a wisdom that only comes with age and experience. He taught me, and shared with me, an understanding of Jesus that I didn’t have – his lifetime experience of the love of Christ.
His understanding of Jesus enriched my pastoral ministry and continues to do so to this day.
Jim was a good friend. He saw Jesus face to face a couple of days ago and a shadow crossed my heart when I heard the news.
Jim’s passion for older adults was infectious. He loved making them laugh – as the above picture indicates.
He loved, even more, sharing Jesus Christ with them.
In a world that is increasingly looking for “younger and better” Jim taught me not to forget the “seasoned” among us.
He taught me the truth that all people are valuable to God. Not just the young, strong, and beautiful. But all people, regardless of age or status.
Jim also reminded me that God doesn’t really look at age as a qualifying factor in raising up leaders for His cause. David was a youth of seventeen years old. But Moses was 80 years old. Abraham was 100 years old when God established his family though him and his 90-year-old wife!
I will never forget what Jim taught me and I’ve carried this to all the churches that I’ve served since meeting him.
I will miss him, his smile and laugh.
For nearly four years we had breakfast together – 6:00 a.m. every Thursday morning. Pancakes and sausage.
I know he’s now enjoying the heavenly banquet in heaven.
And because of Jesus Christ, I’ll see him again soon.
Thank you, Jesus, for my friend Jim. Thank you for loving him and me through him.
Heavenly Father, thank You for loving each one of us so much You sent Jesus to be our Savior. Raise up men and women to share that love with others – no matter what age. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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