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

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Bible is Scary??? Part One Half...

Okay, alright already. I have gotten a lot of good suggestions for some explanation, mostly from Facebook. I have been working on a few of them and look forward to sharing my thoughts. I have been swamped since The Bible Is Scary post and most of the questions need more than an off the top of my head type of answer.

So for a fill in I am answering another persons question that has nothing to do with the topic The Bible Is Scary. The question is, "Why do you have music on your blog?" They were asking because they would scroll through some of the writings but not be able to listen to the whole song. It's a simple answer, just leave the blog page up and listen to music. That's what I do most of my days. I love music, especially worship music. So I just pull up my blog page and listen to the music. Most the time I'm at work, some times we pull up the page to listen while we make and eat dinner. So, there you go, that's why I have music on my blog.

Sorry that I'm not answering the bigger questions yet, but hang on they're coming.

In Christ,
Pastor Scott

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Bible is Scary???

I’ve been listening to a musician named Misty Edwards. She is a worship leader at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO. One of my favorite songs of hers is Matthew 25. She puts the parable of the ten virgins to song and it’s AMAZING. I’ve listened to the song so much and read and re-read Matthew 25:1-13 that I think I’m going to ask our pastor if I can preach that passage when we get to it (we are currently going through Matthew as a sermon series).

Jeanette Danielian, the church’s office administrator, was listening to that song the other day. She is one of the most biblically literate people I know and I respect her insight very much, but what she said to me made me chuckle. Once I said that I’d like to preach the passage she says, “That’s in my top five scariest passages.”

What made me chuckle is the fact that she knows which Bible passages scare the daylights out of her. I’ve got ones that scare me too, I just have never thought about trying to figure out my Top 10 List of Scary Bible Passages. I would love to hear some of your top scary Bible passages. I will try to compile a list and then blog about those passages.

Here are some passages that come to mind for me:

Matthew 7:22-24-The “I never knew you. Away from me you evil doers” passage
Revelation 3:16- I’ll vomit you out of my mouth passage
Matthew 14:16- Jesus tells his disciples to feed the 5,000, “You do it.”

These are just a few, but what are the ones that you don’t understand or freak you out? You see I believe in a God who is big enough to handle our questions, so let’s hear’em. I don’t believe God is a boogie man who wants to leave us scared under our covers. Yes, there are passages that freak us all out, but what I love about God is that he doesn’t leave it there. He gives plenty of insight to help us understand him, even the scary stuff. I look forward to your comments.

Blessings,
Pastor Scott

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Holy Silence...

I am reading a book at the moment called The Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity by Skye Jethani. I am reading it with the church leadership from my church. I just finished the second chapter and have fully enjoyed the book. This second chapter, The Canvas of Silence, focuses on how our lives are filled with words from music, computers, TV and a host of other areas. Because of this we have a hard time letting our minds comprehend the big things in life. Our lives are so filled with the noise of words, read or heard, that we can’t begin to fathom the greatness of our maker.

How do we break from these things that hold us down? How do we create a “quiet time” that goes beyond “quiet” and goes to an Amazing time? “But finding true silence requires more than quieting our surroundings. It also requires our souls. This is the real dilemma of living in a wordy world. Even when we are still and alone, like the minutes before falling asleep in bed, our minds are racing with the images and words we’ve marinated in all day. It is inner silence that eludes us (pg. 33)”.

How do we quite our souls so we can comprehend to vastness of God? How do truly quite our world so that we may hear from God? I challenged myself this morning to go to the river/creek a block away from the house to silence my world. I had to fight against taking my mp3 player or my cell phone or my watch. I also fought against wanting to pray or talk to God. Yes, I did not want to pray. Because I wanted to be silent and know that He is God.

I couldn’t help to wonder why the water spiders (that is what we call the guys that are like spiders that skate on the top of the water) dart back and forth on the water. Or, why the water snails aren’t bigger. They have so much food but seem to only eat what they need to survive (novel concept). God has so incredibly woven this blue ball in which we live into a beautiful dance. I so want to hear that music.

I want to encourage wives to allow their husbands to seek some solitude. Husbands watch the kids for your wife so she can get away for an hour of silence time. But here is the catch. Don’t use that time to nap, to use your smartphone, or to pray (that will come in time). Use that time to ponder your existence, to ponder the vastness in which we live and to ponder the things beyond us. Does this sound to weird for you? It might, but people have been doing just this since the beginning of mankind.

Pondering the bigness of God comes fairly easy to me, but this exercise is a good reminder of his bigness. The bible says we’re “fearfully and wonderfully made”. Can you grasp that, I can’t, but God can begin to help me understand it.

Blessings in your search for silence,
Pastor Scott

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Biggest Worm You've Ever Seen...

So, I've been trying to get our garden ready for this years planting. Yes, I understand I'm a bit behind schedule. While I was weeding the other day Luke and I found the biggest worm I've ever seen. Check this bad boy out:




I wasn't joking. This bad boy was a small snake. I sure hope he brings us yummy veggies later on this summer.












Sunday, February 15, 2009

DYC...The Grotto

Saturday was a good day. Each of us went to two different seminars and then we went to The Grotto (http://www.thegrotto.org/). We spent two and a half hours of by ourselves trying to reflect on what God is doing in and around us. I could blog about this but it would take me a few days to complete it.


I was struck by the upper level. I noticed a theme of sorrow and joy. I think we here in America don't like to even acknowledge sorrow as a part of life. We could be having the worst day in the history of days when someone comes up and asks, "How's it going?" Without batting an eye we respond, "I good," or, "I'm fine." I understand that life is not all gloom and doom, but seriously there are plenty of times when sorrow is more a part of our life than we would even consider letting out of the bag. I think the movie Princess Bride summed it up best, "Life is pain, princess!"

But I believe in a God that doesn't leave us there. He has offered us joy. This is not happiness nor is it an emotional band aid. Joy allows us to mourn the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job or the loss of a dream. Joy tells us that God is sovereign, that He is in control no matter the circumstances.

When God is in control (which we need to give over that control) I am able to focus on today and the moment that is at hand. For this is the only guarantee we have in this physical world, the next moment is not a for sure thing. And without joy, I can worry myself about everything around me and it won't change anything. When I can focus on this day, this moment I can listen and watch what God is doing around me.

Maybe he has placed a single mom who is struggling to stay on her feet in this moment, maybe it's a strange teenager who has no one to turn to who is placed into this moment, maybe it's a need of my wife that is placed into this moment or maybe it's my kids who need an encouraging word from their earthly father that is placed into this moment. If we don't have joy, we can so easily miss these moments.

When I surrender my control and let joy reign the moments become real, they become holy. Yes, God can show up at work, in our homes and our relationships.

Sorrow and joy are part of a godly life. They are real life, they are who we are. They are mysterious in the fulfilling of our lives. Let's embrace the mystery and offer our control so that joy can reign in our lives and into this world.

Blessings,
Pastor Scott

Saturday, February 14, 2009

DYC...What every mother wants their kids to learn at a retreat

Here is a short clip to help you understand what type of man is teaching your kids. Remember to pause the music player to the right before playing the clip.





video

Blessings,

Pastor Scott

DYC...

Oh yes, I almost forgot. Would you like to follow what we are doing at DYC? Check out the blog and live stream of our sessions at http://www.pnwdyc.com . By the way, I think I just had the easiest night getting the guys to sleep...I guesss it helps staying up till 1am.

Blessings,
Pastor Scott

DYC...

I'm at DYC (District Youth Conference) for Sr. High'ers. This is an event with about 800 teens from around the northwest. It's a great event with so much going on. I will do my best to report on how the weekend is going.

So far we have had great worship with Logan Martin and his band and have been challenged by a good speaker, Paul Gunther Jr.. He made a very strong statement tonight that did challenged us, "I don't want to be a christian anymore...I want to be a Christ follower, TODAY!"

We can get into the mechanics of Christianity...meaning go to church, go to a mid-week group, read my Bible and we can still miss what Jesus was all about. Going through the motions is what many of us do in our christian walk, but to follow Jesus daily would and could radically change the world.

Let's stop going through the motions and live for Christ TODAY!

Blessings,
Pastor Scott

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Critical but Stable...

This is a post from my wife's blog pertaining to her dad. We would still covet your prayers for her parents:

My dad nearly lost his life on Wednesday 1/28/09. He pulled through after emergency surgery and spent the last couple days in ICU at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, Washington. Dad was moved to a new room yesterday and is resting as much as possible. He is very week and is back to square one with the doctors and what the future might hold. Luke and I traveled down from Orcas Island Thursday afternoon and made our way to the ICU with mom. Dad had pressed his little morphine button a few extra times in anticipation of some news he needed to share with us. Mom was on his left side and I on his right, each holding a hand and doing our best to comfort my very distraught papa. Dad took a deep breath and his eyes filled with tears as he barely uttered the words "It's going to be - Amputation." It was one of the hardest moments of my life, but so filled with grace and strength from above. Mom and I had total composure and where able to console him and let him know how thankful we where that he was still with us. Loosing a leg verses loosing your life suddenly was put in a new profound perspective. We visited for a while and hugged as best we could between all the cords, wires and bed rails. Dad was extremely exhausted and fatigued so we made our visit fairly short. He didn't didn't want us to go right away because he thought we where going to fall apart as soon as we left his sight. Yes- we have had our tears but it is a confusing mixture of sadness for what dad is going through and also tears of gratefulness that he is still with us. The last few days have been spent trying to get the run down directly from the doctors. We were apprehensive to fully except dads statement about amputation because of his state of vulnerability and pain killers. At this moment the doctors are collaborating as to what is the next best step. As of today the plan is for dad to rest and hopefully regain some strength over the next week or so. They are aggressively trying to rid dads body of the current infection that is reeking havoc on his body. There is talk of a collaborative effort of several specialists to once again open dad up and assess the current condition. We have gone from thinking amputation to a slight hope of saving his leg. It is touch and go and the doctors are working hard to communicate and get a plan together. Our prayer is that the surgeons will have a collaborative agreed plan for that which would be best for dad, his leg and for the rest of his life. May we all continue to lift my dad in our thoughts and prayers as we are hope and ask for Gods Best for him. May peace reign in his an all of our hearts, no matter the outcome. My heart is pounding out of my chest as I type this. Every morning I open my eyes and realise this nightmare is real. I am pretty worthless today and have taken time to jump off the roller coaster. Naps are so good for just disappearing for a while and writing everything out is not just a means of keeping friends and family posted but is also wonderful therapy for me. I will be in Seattle for a bit longer than I will head back to the island to meet with all the fire investigators/detectives scheduled to descend on the farm on Tuesday, February 3rd. One thing I will leave you with...my dad shared with me yesterday that he had a little talk with God last Wednesday night (Thinking he was dieing) and all he could come up with was Pure Thankfulness!

Blessings,
Pastor Scott

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

After Thoughts...Integrity

I was really pleased with youth group went last night. There were some unexpected people that came and to be honest, I love that. So the big question, how do you teach about living an integrity filled life to a generation that fudges everything? Integrity is a tough one, but so very vital to living a life worth living.

Some of the students shared about how doing the right thing are not accepted. I know this to be true, but it leaves me floored every time I’m confronted with it. When was doing the right thing the wrong thing. Well, too be honest it’s not just the teens of this generation that struggle with that. If you’re an adult reading this do you remember being a teen, you never wanted to come across as a goodie-two-shoes and integrity would take a back seat.

I am convinced that unless you are one very sick individual you know what the right thing to do is. That doesn’t mean we always act on that knowledge, but more often than not we know what the right thing to do is. Keep that thought for just a moment.

Some of the students also voiced that they try not to care what others think of them. If this is true and we do, deep down, know what is right then why don’t we step out and try something different and do the right thing? The answer is easy; it’s because of sin, yes that icky topic. Sin does keep us from being the person God created us to be, but that doesn’t mean we have to let it win all the time.

How’s is life working for you? (Sorry, bad take off from Dr. Phil) Government official, pastors, teachers, lawyers, doctors, you name it; have failed at modeling integrity to us and the younger generations. If life isn’t working so great for you then stand with me and do something different. Live a life that stands for integrity.

Proverbs 13:6 says, “A God-loyal life keeps you on track; sin dumps the wicked in the ditch.” This is basically saying, “Live a life of godly integrity and you will stay on track, but for sin it will only through you to the wayside.” Let’s get out of the ditch and run on the track.

Blessings,
Pastor Scott

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

After Thoughts...Goal Oriented

This version of After Thoughts is not really on the subject of being Goal Oriented. Even though I am a youth pastor and love what I do, last night I my mind was not on the kids. Many of you know what has been going on with my in-laws, but if you don't let me catch you up to speed.

Last Thursday night they lost everything (except their lives and the dog) to a house fire. The fire was due to a gas leak and they are truly lucky to be alive. Here is a link to see some of the fire pictures: http://www.sanjuanislander.com/groups/fire_orcas/01-08-2009.shtml .

As if this wasn't enough Kim's dad, Doug, was coming down to Seattle from their property in the San Juan Islands. He still works as a dentist and had a couple of patients lined up for Monday. It was going to be a good distraction from dealing with the loss of so much. On the drive down his right hip dislocates. This is a hip that has been replaced twice in recent history. So, Sunday night they got to a hospital in Seattle and the doctors were trying to pop his hip back into place. The doctors couldn't get it back in so they were going to do it surgically on Monday. Oh yeah I forgot to mention that Kim and Luke headed up to meet her parents in Seattle. The surgery took quite a while and later that evening they found out why. His hip joint was so full of infection that it popped it out of the socket. Ouch!!! So, instead of resetting his hip they cleaned out the socket and don't plan to re-set it for another 6 or so weeks. Yes, that's right his leg is attached only by flesh and tissue.

I found this little bit of information out on Tuesday, which is also youth group night. Needless to say I felt very distracted. I think I gave a talk and played a game, but I really don't remember much from the last few days.

So how does this tie into being "Goal Oriented"? It doesn't. God does things that at times we can't understand and at time He allows things to happen that seem out of control. But I believe in a God who is in control and nothing is by accident. That doesn't mean that this kind of things are easy, matter of fact they are very hard, but God had a plan when He created the universe, He had a plan when He created Adam and Eve and He has plans for you and me. We don't always get what happens, but I know I can rest in the fact that He does understand. For that I am eternally grateful.

My prayer if for Doug and Jeri. Let them grieve the loss of a home (which in many ways is like losing a loved one). May they continue to be thankful for life and life abundantly. I also pray for healing, both physical and emotional. May God be with Doug and Jeri and they adjust to what is going to be a different lifestyle than they had before.

For those of you reading this, please take inventory of your life. Not just material things, but what truly matters to you. If it is stuff understand that it can be taken away in a matter of seconds. If the things that matter most are people, then make sure they know that. Hold them close and make sure they know that you care about them.

Blessings on you,
Pastor Scott

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

After Thoughts...Gift Exchange

Sorry I don't have anything hugely spiritual here. We just got done with our 80's White Elephant Gift Exchange (Yes, for you older readers and by that I mean anyone over the age of 30, I did say 80's). We, well some more than others dressed up in their best 80's outfit (sorry, can't find my download cord to get the pics of the camera, they'll come tomorrow). See we had a huge winter storm come through our area in December so we had to cancel our gift exchange and I got to thinking, why cancel, just reschedule!

We had a lot of fun...candy, cookies, pop and presents usually do that for teens. I was a great chance to let the teens be teens, to laugh and have some fun. It's hard for me to understand that the only ones who were alive in the 80's were the leaders, non of the kids were born yet, yikes where does time go.

Any who, it feels good to get back into the grove of things from being off for a few weeks. I can't wait to see what God does in their live.

Have a great week,
Pastor Scott