Sunday, March 2, 2008

Somewhere Out There

OK So I tried this blogging thing and failed miserably. Figured since my wife is such an avid blogger that I to could take up the torch. Clearly I was wrong.

As many of you are aware a lot has changed here in Presque Isle (except the for the weather that is). We find ourselves in the midst of a senior pastor search. Although the proverbial tree has been shaken to its roots, Elizabeth and I continue to rest comfortably knowing that the same God who clearly communicated to us when it was time for us to come, will clearly do the same for our New Boss.

So We can't wait for you to come (whoever you are) and look forward to serving with you soon. We are praying for you and trusting God to draw you. Presque Isle Wesleyan has some of the best people on the planet waiting to love you dearly.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Youth Ministry - Finally

So I did it, After almost 20 years of waiting and praying I preached at our youth service tonight. It is actually our second meeting we launched last week. It was exciting to see 50+ students tonight worshiping the Lord.

I am PUMPED! It has been almost 20 years since I first felt the Lord call me into youth ministry, and now He has finally let me walk through that door. I guess most people my age are moving out of youth ministry for other focuses, I pray the Lord allows me to stay at this a long while.

any words of wisdom from those of you who have been down the Youth road?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Why Few Get Changed at the Altar

So I preached this weekend. I have to say I LOVE to preach. One of the things about taking part in the youth program that excites me is the chance to preach. Part of my message looked at the nature of repentance. I suggested that one of the reasons we don't see true change in people is because we don't have true repentance from the outset. As the Bible makes clear, there is a difference between wordly sorrow (feeling sad about what we did) which only leads to death; and Godly sorrow (feeling sick about what we did) which leads to repentance. Thie weekend we looked at a larger section of 2Cor 7 but for the purposes of this post I'll submit what we looked at out of vs 11 -

The indicators or fruit of true repentance:

2Cor 7:11
11For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter. (NASB)

I like how Eugene Peterson puts it in his paraphrase:

11-13And now, isn't it wonderful all the ways in which this distress has goaded you closer to God? You're more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible. Looked at from any angle, you've come out of this with purity of heart. And that is what I was hoping for in the first place when I wrote the letter.

1. "diligence" (KJV, carefulness)
"earnestness, zeal, sometimes with haste accompanying it"
I.e., being quick to do what is right!
2. "clearing of yourselves"
To clear one's self of blame
E.g., quick to stop doing what is wrong, if such is the case
E.g., quick to respond to the offer of forgiveness when one recognizes their guilt
3. "indignation"
This involves a sort of anger, or moral outrage toward the SIN which required the repentance
4. fear"
A healthy fear that God would protect you from the sin and a desire to be "delivered from the evil one"
5. "vehement desire"
a fervent desire to be right in God's eyes
6. "zeal"
True repentance should produce a drive or passion to turn us from sin a toward the Lord
7. "vindication" (KJV, revenge)
A willingness to follow through the whole process of repentance by doing the right thing! Making proper and full restitution.

Some cool things I've learned lately. Hope they help.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Thank You Lord

I really do just have to say that my wife is one of the most genuinely Christlike people I have ever known. She lives with a consistency and discipline that I can only dream to one day possess. She does not just parent our children but she truly ministers to them, and she is, by far the greatest gift the Lord could have ever dreamed up for me. I am truely thankful and humbled to be forever her Husband.

Monday, August 20, 2007

True Worship

OK so I've been a christian for like 30 years, I've pretty much walked with the Lord for the majority of those years and have spent most of my life in church. I've studied music, scripture, religion, worship for years and have been apart of some great experiences. I've been a full-time worship pastor now for 3 years and spend hours apon hours a week preparing for, and engaging in worship. But tonight I feel left completely bare before the Lord as one simple verse from James came to my attention:

James 1:27 (New International Version)

27Religion (worship) that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world

I love the way the message paraphrases this verse:

James 1:27 (The Message)

26-27Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.

So I look at all the "stuff" I am up to as a "worship pastor" and I ask myself. Where does this show up in my week? When is the last time I have on myown ministered to a wodpw or orphan? I mean I could pull out sometime when someone came to my office looking for prayer, but when did I "Pastor" Scott, go out of my way tp pray minister to or meet the need of one of these in my home town. My best stab at an honest answer to this would be christmas last year. So I have some serious self evaluation to do. How will I respond to the emphasis the Lord has put on this verse, in my heart? How will this change the ministries I lead? I'll have to let you know.