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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Father, please forgive me...

Father, please forgive me for I have sinned. I have not blogged in many months. There are many reasons I could give for my lack of writing, but I call on you Father to look past my faults and lack of focus.

Any who, hope you all are doing well. We are about to enter into a new year and somewhere on my list of to do's in 2009 is to blog more frequently. I had an idea to create "After Thoughts". Since we have been studying character during our mid-week youth ministry I thought I could shoot down quick "after thoughts" shortly after all the teens have gone. I'm kinda excited about this idea and hope it gives me a bit more accountability to blog more.

Other than that, I was reflecting on 2008. I have several highlights. Last January I performed my first wedding (thanks Andy & Erin), in June I got to baptize 5 teens during our mission trip to Cibecue, Arizona, in August had a great family vacation with the Meyer's and McKee's on the Oregon coast, in September I began running again (after a year off since back surgery), celebrated lucky number 13 years of marriage, and totally revamped our youth ministry.

This has been a huge year and like always I thank God for what He has done. As we head into 2009 I encourage you to seek God more and more. His ways are incredible and will bring peace and understanding into your lives.

Have a safe and wonderful New Year's Eve.

Pastor Scott

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I just about messed my shorts...

Okay, so I am back to running and I must admit it feels great. But this last Monday I had the poop scared out of me while on my morning jog. I had been awake since 3:30am and could never fall back to sleep, so after watching Sportscenter and the news I get ready for my run. I head out of the house around 6am. It is still dark outside, but that has never bothered me, less cars, less distractions. As I run out of the neighborhoods, past Makayla’s school and a couple of churches I head out to the farm lands that surround Dallas.

There is a field that had been recently plowed that buts up to the road that I am running on. I notice something dark in the field but very close to the road, but since it is still dark I don’t give much notice to it. I’ve got the music pumping and my mind is in some far of thought. When I get to about fifteen feet of this dark something I think I see something move and I try focus on this dark something.

Now, I am not a small man, nor am I a stealth runner, but this object which is gaining my attention still hasn’t moved much, if at all. Now, I am maybe ten feet from this something when it explodes into movement. At this I think I did poop my pants. I realize that this dark object in not one object, but rather three coyotes having their morning road kill. Every hair on my body stood on end. Here is where I begin to get a little spooked.

The coyotes never left their morning meal out of their sight. They may have stepped back 15-20 feet and as I passed their breakfast I could see them coming back. We’re they thinking, “There goes an after breakfast snack?” I was praying hard and I could help look back over my shoulder. It became apparent the coyotes were not interested in me I was able to begin to focus on the road ahead, but I have to admit, I was distracted. Remember, it is still dark out and there are still many shadows that now seem to be lurking danger.

This is how life is much of the time. We have a goal, for me it was a morning run, but many times it could be something to do with your job, your education or your family. You’re energized by moving toward that goal, but you can’t truly see what is ahead of you, but you continue on. Then no matter what you’re going after trouble comes up. It doesn’t matter if you’re a person of faith or totally against any religious beliefs, something goes wrong or trials come up.

That is when the rubber meets the road. When those trials arise do you stop what you are doing on go back to where you came? Do you continue to go forward, but still look back over our shoulder? Do you continue to go forward, but are scared of every thing that could be the next scary trial? Or do you let the past be just that, the past? Do you acknowledge what happen, regroup from the situation and then just plow forward?

I must admit, I continued to move forward, but was nervous about every shadow that was lurking in front of me. It is amazing the power of fear, but the Bible tells us to, “Fear not.” I think many of us let fear control our dreams and the passions God has placed on our lives. I beg you; I implore you, don’t give in to fear. We were created to live free of fear, free from the cages that bind us. Let God reign and live the life He created you to live.

Pastor Scott

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Youth Group Kick Off...

We had a great kick 0ff. We started out with a slip and slide waterballoon toss, then headed to the marshmallow in your mouth for 2 minutes spit and catch and ended back at the slip and slide crazy run. It was a lot of fun, but I was a bit disapointed, no one puked or got bloody. Oh, well you can't win'em all. I am so excited for this new school year. I pray that God totally invades these students lives.

Happy Birthday Ladies...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Get Busy Livin' Or Get Busy Dyin'...

This is going to seem like much to many of you, but today was a huge day for me. I went for a run that was a little of two miles. Please hold your applause. I know that is not much, especially with how much I love to run or at least did love to run. It has been a little over a year since I had my back surgery. For those that don't know, I went to bed fine and woke up not being able to move my leg very well. My right leg became numb and stiff. The worst part about it was not being able to point to anything as the cause. After about a month and a half I did have surgery and was able to move pretty good after that. There has only been one thing still wrong, my right leg is numb. It is the strangest thing, I've got strength in it, I've got some flexibility in it, but it feels likes it is asleep.

Well about two weeks ago Kim and made a decision to get back at to eating right and exercising. We have an elliptical that has gotten some use, but whenever I have exercised my right leg would feel like it was on the verge of cramping for a couple of days. So two weeks ago I tried something very difficult, I got on the elliptical and went slow, very slow. I did this for a couple of days and then I started increasing the pace and length of time. I have been very nervous about this, but had to make a decision, "Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'!"

After a couple of weeks of increasing distance and pace I began to get an ache to go for a run. I have missed the cold air in my lungs and seeing the early sunlight. But like I said, I've been afraid of something happening to my back or leg and that fear has kept me down. But no longer!!! So, I went for my first run, numb leg and all. I am sore, but it felt good.

Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'

Our faith walk is much the same way. This past weekend I got to preach from the book of Matthew 9:1-8. It's the story of Jesus healing a paralytic. I always learn something new and challenging when I read through the Bible (I love that about God's Word). This sermon spoke to my condition very strongly and I had to put it into practice. I learned four main points from the passage.

1) We must Take Heart! This is easier said than done, but we have to stop our worrying and let God be in control. Jesus tells the paralytic, "Take heart, son." It is as if he is trying to calm him down and reassure him that everything is going to be okay.

2) We must Confront Our Skeptics! There were teachers of the Law there to see Jesus forgive the sins of this paralytic. Only God can forgive sins and this man Jesus was telling this guy his sins are forgiven. That was creating an equality with God that a Jew couldn't take. If you stated you were equal to God that was punishable by death. But Jesus didn't ignore these teachers. He confronted them. He didn't correct their theology about sin, he did correct them about who he was. All too often when we face our skeptics we do it in a defensive way or with a holier than thou attitude. This only defeats the purpose. Yes we must confront them, but do so with the right heart.

3) We must Get Up And Walk! Yes, we have to move forward. Jesus didn't just leave the paralytic on his mat. He made sure there was no question about his authority to forgive sins. Jesus calls us to also get up and walk. This faith journey in not one of convenience, but rather it is living and breathing inside of us. This journey calls us to walk and in some cases run.

4) We must Stand In Awe And Praise God! I forget to do this one sometimes. God is in control and it is Him who should receive our highest praise. Not just when good things happen, but in all things. Do you realize as you are reading this, you are spinning at over 1000 mph, and not only that but we are also circling a big ball of plasma at over 68,000 mph. And all too often we think its just another day. Holy Cow, we have to wake up and see how incredible God is and what he has done in creation. We have to slow down so me can stand in awe of what He has done and praise Him.

Well, like I said, I needed to take my own words to heart. So this morning I woke up about 5:30am (on my own, no alarm clocks). I had to take heart and realize God is in control and that includes my back. I had to face my skeptics and in this case it was myself. I got up and walk, no I ran. And finally during my run I was able to look around and be in awe of what God did in his creation and that make me want to sing.

How about you? Is there anything that has been on your heart to get back to or to get started. Don't hold that inside, get busy living so that God may be praised.

Blessings in your journey,
Pastor Scott

Monday, August 18, 2008

Getting Ready 4 The New School Year...

Okay, its about time I posted something (sorry for the long time between posts). Well needless to say I am getting very excited for the new school year. This is always a good time of the year. Many students are wanting to get back into seeing friends and getting back into a routine, its the homework that they would love to see left out. So many changes to come.

Well we couldn't sit back and not change! We have a great year planned. We have two very big changes. First we are moving everything to Tuesday night. That's right, Jr. and Sr. High will be meeting on Tuesday night from 6:30-8PM. We need to do this for space reasons. Both youth ministries and Children's Ministries have grown. Having Jr. High and Children's Ministries meeting on Wednesday was very taxing on our building and there was not enough room to do what God had laid on my heart.

The second big change is the format. We are going to be meeting in age & gender appropriate small groups. This means will have small groups of sixth grade girls all the way up to twelfth grade boys and everything in-between. We will meet for the first fifteen minutes or so for some singing, drama and announcements, then we'll break off into our small groups. This will allow all of us to ask the tough questions and build deep relationships with those in similar struggles.

But what about all the fun we've been having over the past few years. Well have no fear, every four to six weeks we are going to be having a huge Game Nite!!! That's right, a real knock your soxs off, snot coming out your nose, barf on the verge of coming out type of Game Nite.
Sorry Caleb, I had to find a way to get this picture of you puking in my garden into a blog. But I digress, we are going to have a great time this year. I am truly excited about what God is doing in all or your hearts. Have a good couple of weeks and be ready for God to move mightily in your life.

In Christ,
Pastor Scott

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cibecue Mission 2008 Slideshow...

This is our slideshow from an amazing trip to Cibecue, AZ. Before you press play you will want to pause the music player which is on the right hand side of the page. Once you do that you can watch this video without any musical conflicts. Sit back, enjoy the video and praise God for working moving so powerfully during our time there.

Blessings on your day,

Pastor Scott

Thursday, July 3, 2008

LIfe on an Apache Reservation...

Wow, what an experience. We have just gotten back from 10 days on the White Mountain Indian Reservation. We painted a church, one house and held a VBS for elementary age kids. Not to mention we baptized five of our group. Our students were stretched and grew closer to God and each other. I am so proud of these students for being willing to try new things and get out of their Dallas, Oregon box.

Monday, June 9, 2008

To God Be The Glory...

I have to take a moment to thank all of the leaders and students who participated in the 30Hr. Famine in April. We collected over 900 lbs. of food for the local food bank and raised over $10,000 for World Vision to stamp out hunger. Thanks to all of your efforts we raised the most money in all of Oregon and SW Washington. All of you are the best.