I'm just a man seeking God's face...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Getting Ready For Christmas Part II (Church Style)

Thanks to everyone who helped dress up the Youth Building. It looks great and will taste great too. See you all this week for our Gift Exchange.

This is what the Grinch would look like if he were a Gingerbread Man.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Getting Ready For Christmas...

Well, we are getting ready for Christmas. Yes, I said Christmas, not Happy Holiday's or Merry X-Mas. Christmas is to celebrate the birth our Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah , our Savior. It is a fun time of year, but it also has it's stresses. If we can continue to focus on celebrating the birth of Jesus then the other crude seems to disappear. Jesus left the comforts of heaven to live on this earth. Did you hear that, he left the comforts of heaven. He left perfection to join us in our imperfect world, full of struggles, pain and sin. Why would he do this? Of course we can go to the pat answer, because he loves us so much. While this is true, do we fully understand that. HE LEFT PERFECTION TO LIVE AMONGST OUR MUCK AND MIRE BECAUSE HE LOVES YOU! Don't forget that during this crazy time of year. While your stressing about finishing school work or shopping please, I beg you, remember God so loves you.

Here are a few pics of the family getting ready for Christmas.

Here we are getting ready to go get our Christmas tree.

Here we are making a few snowmen from mommy's Coffee Mate containers.

If you look very closely, you will notice our very own Christmas mouse. Since the flooding he is trying to join our family. He won't be around for much longer (4-5 days according to the box).
Merry Christmas to all my friends and family!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Is freedom a right given by God, or created by man?

This was a question recently given during Sunday school. Actually, there were a bunch of questions that would be good for blogging. This one though stood out to me because so many things spin off of our struggle with freedom.

I think many people see Christianity as a bunch of do's and don't's. This is true of about everything in life. At school "do" turn in your homework, "don't" cheat. At home "do" clean up your room, "don't" put a fork in the garbage disposal. In many ways Christianity is no different, "do" love one another, "don't" keep on sinning.

Matter of fact, the Bible is very clear about "the freedom we have in Christ Jesus, " (Galatians 2:4). But God gave us freedom from the very beginning. In the garden of Eden God tells Adam that he can eat from ANY of the trees, except from the ONE tree of knowledge of good and evil. That is a lot of "do's" and only one "don't". God is the creator of freedom, but freedom comes with a cost (just ask any person who was in the military during WWII).

What cost was given for this freedom? The cost of freedom is free will. By God creating freedom, he also created free will. He knew that by giving us free will we might choose not to take Him up on His freedom. And unfortunately that freedom didn't last long. Adam & Eve feel into the temptation and our true freedom was lost.

But, God loves us so much (which is still beyond me why) that He didn't leave us to our own demise. He sent His son Jesus to give us the power of His freedom back. Jesus death paid so that we might have a chance at God's freedom. Jesus' resurrection slammed to door shut on the possibility of that freedom being stolen back by Satan.

Freedom in Christ Jesus is a wonderful thing. I can't fully understand what all it entails, but I do know that His freedom is far better than Satan's dungeon (which he has tried to convince us is a golden palace).

Freedom is definitely given by God, but like many things man has twisted it into something far from its original form.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Quest 07 Jr. High Retreat...

Well, we survived the first retreat of the school year. It surely wasn't without its up's and down's, but we did have a good time. My prayer has always been that each person would learn just a bit more about God and how He relates to their lives. Enjoy looking at all the fun things we did and my God continue to enter your lives.

Paintball anyone?

The Blob!

Go Jenna.

Yeah, Sharon.

Watch out Clayton!

Devon, the water is very cold.

I mean very cold!!!

Miranda & Morgan checkin' things out.

Josh is trying to get picked.

Haley is trying to figure something out.


Let's get ready to have a good time!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Great Pumpkin Bash!

I wanted to say thanks to all of you who helped out at The Great Pumpkin Bash. Our first ever Halloween alternative event was a huge success. You guys rock! Here are a few great pictures from the evening.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Taynyn asked the question of an epiphany that any ones has had. I have had a few so called epiphanies in my life time. I have had a hard time trying to figure out which one to write about. Do I talk about a time I had to break up with a girl? No, but I have learned many lessons from the different relationships I've had. I could talk about the epiphany I had before deciding to get back into full time ministry. No, I've shared that fairly recently.

I have been thinking of the time I told my parents that I wanted to be a youth pastor. Many of you may remember that I was not raised in a christian home. I first shared with my parents of my desire to be a pastor when I was eighteen. I felt God had gifted me in many ways to be a pastor and that He was leading me down that path. My parents voiced their concerns about me studying an area that was so limiting. They would ask,"What happens if you study to be a pastor and then never become one?" They felt I should study something that could get me along in the "Real World".

I tried to follow my parents desire, so I entered college to become a history teacher. I enjoy history and this gave me the idea of teaching history, coaching football and/or baseball, and being a Young Life leader. Before long I knew something wasn't right. I felt God calling me towards full time ministry. What would my parents think, would they support my decision? These were questions I struggled with. I wanted to follow God, but I also was very afraid of separating myself from my parents love and support.

I went for it and told them I wanted to be a pastor. I was prepared for an all out, no holds bard arguments. That never happened. They listened and didn't say a whole lot. I think they realized I wasn't going to be steered a different direction.

Life was never the same from that point on. I knew that where I lived, who my friends were going to be, who my family was going to be was now in God's hands. I learned that if you steer from what you feel God calling you He may not shut the door permanently. We serve a God of redemption and restoration. And thank goodness for that.

Feel free to share some of your epiphanies.

In Christ,
Pastor Scott

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Why Teens Are The Way They Are...

Well school has begun and the annual morning ritual of getting out of bed and on your way is in full gear. Kim and I loaded up our daughter for her first day of kindergarten. And as we filmed and photographed this momentous event I couldn’t help to look at the world she is going into. Pop Culture has an ever changing definition. Ministering in today’s youth culture is challenging and rewarding. Here are a few things I have noticed about today’s pop culture that might help you understand yourself, your friends, kids, grandkids or just teenagers in general.

Pop Culture is Market Driven
If you watch any TV whatsoever you will notice that the children and youth market is the most aggressively targeted market segment in the world. Why? Money! Kids today have it and spend it. Marketers are trying to create brand loyalties by reshaping values and spending habits. Research helps marketers influence those most vulnerable in our society. Pop Culture is market driven!

Pop Culture is Always Changing
The children and youth throughout history have wanted the new hip and cool item. For those of you that might be a bit older, can you remember back when you were a teenager and your parents wouldn’t let you get that one thing that everyone else was getting? What’s next big thing (music, clothing, ideas, etc.)? Once you think you’ve got it figured out, it will change. Therefore, we will drive ourselves crazy trying to keep culture and our way of life the same. Pop Culture is always changing!

Pop Culture is Everywhere
People create culture. With today’s technology pop culture is beginning to look very similar all over the world. Children and teens in Asia are modeling pop culture in the U.S. and visa versa. There are very few places in the world that are not affected by the so called attitudes and actions of pop culture. Pop culture also goes to our sub cultures of school, home, church and communities. Pop Culture is everywhere!

Pop Culture is Engaging
Today’s teens want to be entertained. That is not a knock on teens of today. They want to be entertained because our homes lives have been disintegrating over the past few decades. We are raising generations on TV, music and the internet because the home life is going in so many different directions. Because of this teens and most young adults (myself included) have an “entertain me” mindset. Entertainment helps us forget, at least, for the moment all the crud that is swirling around our lives. Pop Culture is entertaining!

Pop Culture is United
Because crud and brokenness is on the rise, teens are longing for places and people to connect to. Today’s pop culture longs to find common ground and shared experiences. These common grounds and experiences bind youth together. Pop Culture is united!

How can we minister to today’s pop culture? First, we can’t compete with the large marketing companies, but we can update our thinking and provide a professionalism that people are accustom to seeing in their schools, workplaces and entertainment.

Secondly, ministry that was successful in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s will not have effective methods of reaching today’s culture. The message of Jesus will never change, but our methods must change.

Thirdly, we can’t ignore pop culture. Since the dawn of time there has been a pop culture. We might have differences with the different pop cultures that we have experienced, but it is everywhere and we in the church have a message of hope that transcends time and culture.

Fourthly, we have to provide a message of value. Today’s pop culture has to see the value in the message. “Because I said so”, or, “That’s how we’ve always done it”, doesn’t cut it any more.

Lastly, we have to create a place where teens can connect to others. I have heard it said that we can never meet the needs of everyone. That may be true, but I have heard it said many time in churches that Jesus can meet your every need. So, why can’t we as a church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, try to meet the needs of everyone in our communities?

Many churches today are growing smaller so they may grow bigger and meet more needs. Instead of one large men’s breakfast, which is good and has a purpose, how about three to five men getting together once a week or once every other week for discipleship or accountability. Instead of one large youth gathering once a week, how about groups of three to five young ladies meeting with a woman for discipleship.

Yes, these are rants of a youth pastor. But I desperately want to see lives changed by the Holy Spirit. That same Spirit that stirs in a sinners heart is the same Spirit that stirs in mine and it tells me I have to let go of my agenda and my ways so that He can work more freely.

In Christ,
Pastor Scott

Friday, August 31, 2007

Actions speak louder than words, well, maybe...

The 2007-2008 school year is about to begin. I understand that this is not welcoming information for some, but it is the truth. A new school year also means new opportunities to serve God. For some serving God is a tough concept. I know that I was nervous about speaking to others about Jesus. It has always been easier to serve Him through my actions, and as they say, "Actions speak louder than words." But I began to challenge myself to share my faith verbally. As we stand on the verge of a new school year I want you not to evangelize your whole school. That's right, don't evangelize your whole shcool. I want you to think of two friends that don't know Jesus. Now I want you to pray three things:

1) Pray opportunities to share your faith
2) Pray for confidence to share your faith at those opportunities
3) Pray for the Holy Spirit to do the rest

Sharing our faith does not have to be this huge ordeal. Jesus lived his life and shared his faith when opportunities arose. It truly isn't that complicated. It is our own insecurities that make it bigger than it really is.

Maybe you don't have any insecurities about sharing your faith, maybe you have questions about your own faith. If that is the case then you need to surround yourself with others that might have some answers. Our faith journey was never meant to be done alone!

Maybe you don't have any questions about your faith, but you feel you won't be able to answer all your friends questions. Guess what, this side of heaven we'll never have all the answers.

Alright, are you thinking of two friends you can share your faith with. Keep thinking and take those two names to God in prayer.

See you all soon.

Pastor Scott

Monday, August 27, 2007

Let the Blogging begin!!!

Well, the time is finally here. Let the Blogs begin!

So, what's the big deal about blogging? This is a way to share thoughts, ideas and whatever else comes to mind. It will also be a spot to inform students, parents and the community about what is happening in the youth ministries at Dallas Alliance Church here in Dallas, Oregon.

I hope you enjoy the rants and raves of a youth pastor who doesn't have all the answers, but does know the Creator of the universe who does have the answers. I love to be asked the tough questions and try not to hide behind any pat answers. I will do my best to honor my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and what he did on the cross for all of us.

In Christ,

Pastor Scott