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Scott - First Things First

Boyd Avenue Baptist Church
1930 Boyd Avenue, Casper, WY

(307) 261-9896

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March 2018

It is the time for my annual newsletter article promoting our summer camps.

We are looking forward to another great year on Casper Mountain as we participate in Summit and Children’s Camp.  If you are not going to camp, please don’t stop reading.  This is a tremendous ministry that really does involve a church wide effort to be successful.

This is our second year of having two weeks of Summit. We had over three hundred participants last summer. Our church will participate in the first week and we have about 50 spots reserved.  This camp takes place July 16-21 and the cost is $165.  This camp is open to those that are completing sixth through twelfth grades.  July 1st is our deadline to sign up for Summit.

We also have Children’s Camp July 9-13.  This camp is open for students finishing third through sixth grade.  The cost of this camp is $85.  Children’s Camp is a very popular camp and we need to get our registration in early.

These camps play a strategic role in our youth and children’s ministry.  Not only are these highlights of the summer but are used as platforms for further ministry.  Every year, we see students become Christians, grow in their relationship with Christ, and deal with issues in their lives.  I am very thankful that we have Mountain Top Baptist Assembly and these camps as resources in our state.

As a church, there are ways to be involved.  It is essential that we pray for these camps.  Pray for those that are going, both students and sponsors.  Pray that God will work in the lives of these that are going.  Pray for those that are preparing and leading these camps.  We also have a need for sponsors to go with our students to camp.  Maybe God would have you spend a week on top of wonderful Casper Mountain with a group of teenagers or children.  There is also a financial need.  Many students can’t afford the cost of camp.  Every year, we provide scholarships for several students so that they can attend one of these camps.  I am so very thankful that I can tell students and their families that we will be able to help them.  There has never been a student in my time at Boyd Avenue who has not attended camp because they could not afford it.

I am already excited about what God will do this summer.  Thank you for participating in Camp with us.  As part of the body of Christ, this is a ministry we do together.




February 2018

The 2018 Winter Olympics are about to start.  Athletes from all over the world will be in Pyeongchang, South Korea to compete for Olympic gold.  These athletes have spent years preparing themselves for this occasion. They spend countless hours training, pushing themselves to be the best possible.  As the world watches, they will put their skills, hard-work and dedication to the test.  The games begin February 9th with curling and ski jumping then ending on February 25 with the hockey gold medal game.  Some athletes will celebrate dreams coming true, while others will leave in disappointment.

I remember as a child watching the Olympics for the first time.  My brothers and I would go outside and pretend that we were competing in the events.  We would sled down the hill behind our house and pretend we were the American bobsled team.  We would shovel the snow off the ice and play hockey.  In our game the USA always beat the Russians.  In our version of the Olympics, we always won gold.

Spiritually, the Bible teaches that we should prepare ourselves to reach for the prize.  For us it isn’t a medal at the Olympics, but the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  We should be spending time preparing ourselves for the things that God would have for us.  Going to church, studying the Bible, prayer, fellowship with other Christians are some of the things that God uses to prepare us for His ministry.  Just like the Olympians work hard to succeed at their respective events, we need to work hard to succeed in the work God has called us to.  Living the Christian life requires dedication, hard-work and discipline.

Instead of putting forth the effort required, many Christians treat living for God like my brothers and I treated the Olympics.  Just head out, do a couple of things, and pretend like we are having success.  No real effort, no real motivation, and no real reward.  Just going through some motions, having some fun, and calling it good.  This is not the life that God intends for us.

Going for the gold is living a life that strives for the best.  In our Christian life, we should be striving for the best God has for us instead of just going through the motions of Christianity.  Olympic athletes prepare themselves to compete.  Then they put into practice what they have prepared to do. How do we prepare ourselves to live for Christ?  Then do we put that into practice in our lives?




January 2018

For those of you who know me well this might come as a surprise.  I like to win.  I am a very competitive person.  My philosophy is “If you aren’t playing to win, why keep score.  If you’re not keeping score, why play?”  When I was younger, losing would bother me a lot.  After losing a baseball or basketball game, it would take hours to get over the loss. If this sounds dumb, it probably was.  That was just the way I was.  As I get older and a little more “mature,” I handle losing a little better.  I no longer have to win at everything, although that is still my goal.   I still don’t like losing, but I get over it a whole lot faster.

Seriously, I believe that it is important to strive to do and be the best we can.  Excellence should be our goal.  This should be our goal in life, but even more so as Christians.  Paul said in Philippians that “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (3:14).  Paul was working toward the prize, not just going through the motions.  He wanted to be the best follower of Jesus that He could be.

In sports, winning means that you are better than the team or person you’re competing against.  The final score is what matters.  As Christians, winning is obedience to God.  Winning is not measured by what happens at the end, but by the decisions we make as we live our life.  Success means nothing without a relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior.  Accumulating stuff doesn’t mean we win.  We can finish on the top of the corporate ladder, and still not win.  Education doesn’t make us winners.  God has given us the goal in life.  Serve Him. 

The call of God on our lives is to serve Him with all that we are.  As Paul said, He is to be our focus.  Jesus wins the final victory.  We have the opportunity to be a part of what He is doing in this world. 

I never thought that just playing the game was enough.  Still don’t.  As Christians, we are to play the game of life the right way, serving our God and loving others. This is what we are called to do.   



December 2017

The story of Christmas never ceases to amaze me.  I love to read about how the angels spoke to Mary and Joseph on different occasions and how they reacted to the shocking news.  Mary leaves to spend time away with her cousin, Elizabeth, who is also pregnant with John the Baptist. Then the couple is made to travel to Bethlehem, in order to fulfill prophecy, where Jesus is born in a humble, lowly manger.  Others, such as the shepherds, Wise Men, and King Herod receive the news of the Messiah’s birth and react in different ways.  The shepherds and Wise Men look to worship the new born king while Herod is deeply troubled by the news.   

In Matthew 1:6 we read these words:  “’Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’, which translated means, ‘God with us.” Jesus, fully God, came to earth to live as man.  As God, Jesus was creator and yet chose to come live among His creation.  Jesus was the author of salvation in heaven and then humbled Himself to be born in a manger so that He could become the perfect sacrifice on that cross at Calvary.  I understand that this is God’s plan to offer salvation for the world.  I know that God’s goodness, mercy and grace makes our salvation possible.  Yet each Christmas I am reminded again that God could love us this much.  

We read the Christmas story, sing the songs, and celebrate the birth of Jesus.  But do we really take the time to think about what this really means.  God stepped down from heaven, was born in a manger, lived and taught on the earth, suffered death on a cross, rose again, ascended into heaven, and now sits at the right hand of the Father.  He did all this for us!

As we celebrate another Christmas, let us remember that we are not just celebrating the birth of baby Jesus.  We are celebrating the birth of a Savior who came to take away the sins of the world.  We are celebrating God’s plan to give us eternal life.  We celebrate an amazing God who paid the ultimate sacrifice.  Not only did He die on a cross, but He left heaven to live with us.

Remember, as Christians we have reason to celebrate Christmas.  Let us do so with joy and excitement and also with reflection and reverence.  God is worthy of our worship.



November 2017

Many years ago, as a college student, I was reading the book of Joshua and God’s charge to him became      implanted in my life. As  Joshua takes over for Moses, God tells him “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). This verse has been a guide in my life for over 20 years. It guided me to Wyoming as a summer missionary, a decision that changed my life.  When   Rebecca and I married it  became our life verse. We were excited to see where God would lead us in life and willing to follow him  wherever he would lead us. Each step of my life, each decision I make would be done in the confidence of God’s call.

This confidence fueled us as we made a decision twenty years ago that changed the direction of our lives and came with concern from those around us. In November of 1997 Rebecca and I loaded up everything we owned into a yellow Ryder truck and began a cross country trek that would take us 1100 miles from our family to begin a new ministry in Wyoming. Many in our families thought we were crazy. Some thought it would be a passing phase for a couple of young kids. We were advised to not get too attached and to keep a safety net in Indiana for when we returned. God’s words to Joshua rang in my head as we accepted a call to do youth and college ministry in    Wyoming. We went with the confidence of God’s call and the knowledge that He was with us. Twenty years later we are still doing the same ministry. No safety net was put in place or ever needed. Gone are the thoughts from family that we may return. Wyoming has become our home.

This charge to Joshua has carried us through difficult times during our ministry. The first year in Wyoming was hard. We did miss family. A knee injury to Rebecca and then a miscarriage added stress to a new ministry, but we knew God had called us. With the birth of our oldest daughter, pressure came again for us to move back to Indiana. “Do not be terrified or discouraged” were words that we took as a promise from God. If he had called us we must be obedient to that call. Each trial was met with that confidence.

God’s charge to Joshua has also carried us through many great times in our ministry. I am so thankful for the many students that we have had the opportunity to minister to and with over the years. It amazes me to see many of my former and current students loving and serving God. I could have never imagined the blessing of a  career in student ministry. God has been faithful as students and adults have traveled the world with us on mission trips, sharing the love of Jesus. God has allowed us to build many close relationships and a second family in Wyoming.

Thank you to all for allowing us to serve at Boyd Avenue for twenty years. Hopefully there will be many, many more to come. Whatever God may have for our future I can still hold on to those words, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).