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Pastor Ed

Scott - First Things First

Boyd Avenue Baptist Church
1930 Boyd Avenue, Casper, WY

(307) 261-9896

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Tuesday
Aug302016

September 2016

One of my favorite things to do is watch people.  There are times that I will be at the mall, waiting for Rebecca and the girls to finish in a store, and I will find a bench and just watch people.  Recently, we were in Santa Fe hanging out in the square and I found a place on a park bench and just observed the people around me.  I guess I learned this from a Nonverbal Communications class I took in college.  You can learn a lot about people from just watching them.

It is interesting to see how people interact.  Watching groups of teenagers, parents with the children, or couples walking together can be very insightful.  As a student pastor, I learn so much about my students from just watching them.  It doesn’t take long pick up on certain aspects of their personalities by observing what they do or how they interact.  People can hide a lot by what they say, but hide very little with their actions.

I thought of this some as I spent time at Uprising music festival and then at the activities fair at the college.  My responsibilities at the Uprising required me to spend much of the day walking around. It was interesting to watch as people responded and interacted with Christian music and testimonies being shared from the stage. Then the following day at Activities fair there were hundreds of students hanging around, excited about a new college year starting and connecting with each other and campus organizations. I took a few moments at both of these events to step aside and take it all in. Then a thought hit me.  If someone were sitting and watching me, what would they think?  And then I took it one step further.  When people look at me, do they see Christ in me?

You can learn a lot about a person’s relationship with Christ by watching them.  The things that we do give a clearer indication of who we are than do the things we say.  Have you ever wondered how people see you? As Christians, we are watched by the world and our actions and reactions are not only noticed, but are sometimes judged by those around us.   People expect Christians to act differently.  Although they may not agree with you, accept your faith or acknowledge your God, they sure expect you to live to a higher standard.  And they are right, we should.  Those who watch our lives should see something different, something better.  We have a relationship with God that should transform our lives and be evident in all we do.  The evidence of our Christian faith should be noticed when people watch us.  They need to see Christ in us.  We need to live in such a way that our words and deeds point to Jesus.

 

Tuesday
Aug022016

August 2016

“In the economy of God, nothing is ever wasted.” I heard this quote once and would give credit to the person who said it if I could remember. As I reflect on what has been an exciting and crazy summer and plan for the next few summer events, the reality of this quote has radiated in my mind.
     The past two months have been a blur of activity. The summer began with Vacation Bible School. Our leaders did an amazing job putting together a program that had great impact on our children. I am thankful for the effort to reach children and share with them the truth of the Gospel in such a fun and exciting way.

After VBS we spent a week in Haiti and then a week in Canada. I am often asked if I think that going someplace for a week is really a benefit. I think back to the quote at the beginning of this article. Without question, I believe that God had ordained things in both Haiti and Canada for us to be there at the time we were there. Haiti was a life-changing experience. In the short space of this newsletter I cannot communicate the impact this trip had on my life and the lives of those who went. God placed us there that week for the beginning of a partnership with the Haiti Outreach Ministries as we minister together in that country. Our trip to Canada was just as impactful. As always, our ministry with Southwinds Church was a blessing. This year we also had the opportunity to work with a Chinese Church doing a basketball camp. God orchestrated things so that we could work with this church at a critical time for them. It was a blessing to come alongside this group of believers and join them in ministry. I am excited to see what God will do through them in the future. In both Haiti and Canada, God used our availability for his purpose.

Our camps on the mountain had a similar impact. Boyd Avenue participated in Children’s Camp and Summit youth camp where we saw God move in the lives of students. Both camps saw students who attended with our church make decisions to follow Jesus. Some made commitments of salvation, beginning a walk with Jesus. Others deepened a walk with Him, dealing with things in their lives and trusting in our Good Father as they navigate life. God does amazing things on top of that mountain. It is a privilege to be able to be a part of that ministry. Lives are forever changed in one simple week of camp.

Summer is not over yet. We have Uprising coming up later this month. This is a community event designed to reach Casper through music. Several bands will be playing at Wells Park in North Casper the weekend of August 19 and 20. Also, throughout the event attenders will be challenged with the life changing message of the Gospel. We have the opportunity to partner with Uprising in using this event to impact our community.

Our summer will conclude with our Back to School Bash on August 31st. I love putting up the inflatables, making some cotton candy and snow cones, serving burgers and dogs, and watching as children have a great time. It takes a lot of effort and volunteers as we promote, set up and clean up, organize the food and man all the areas.

Why do we do all these things and put forth all this effort? Because we have a responsibility to reach into our world with the love of Jesus. God loves the people of Haiti and Canada. God loves the people in United States. God loves the people in Wyoming and God loves the people in our community. We must do what we can to impact these people. Regardless of the time, energy, or expense, I am reminded of that quote, “In the economy of God, nothing is ever wasted.”

 

Tuesday
Jul052016

July 2016

Faithfulness.  This is a nice word that we like to use in our Christian circles.  We talk about the faithfulness of God.  We sing about His faithfulness.  We even sing about us being faithful in the song where we hear these lyrics, “May all who come behind us find us faithful.”  So I guess the question for me is what are we faithful too?  We can use words all we want, but unless there is a practical meaning then they are just words.  Unfortunately, most people are only faithful to themselves and what they need.  So what does it mean to be faithful?

We see in I Timothy 1:12 these words, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service.”  Paul writes these words to Timothy talking about how Christ has found Him faithful.  When I think of Paul’s faithfulness, I think of the consistency in his spiritual life.  Paul was faithful because he was consistent in the way he lived.

We can look at Paul and see several areas where he was faithful and apply these to our lives.  Paul was faithful in his relationship with Christ.  Paul didn’t just follow God when it was convenient for him.  He was faithful to God at all times.  When he was shipwrecked, he was faithful.  When he was beaten, he was faithful.  When he was imprisoned, he was faithful.  Paul was also faithful to the church.  He spent many hours of his life teaching, serving, and strengthening the church.  Paul went back to the church at Antioch and shared with them what God was doing in his ministry.  Paul wasn’t one who looked for what the church could offer him, but what he could do for the church.  Paul was also faithful to his friends.  He had great influence on many people and poured himself into their lives.  His faithfulness to them was about them, not himself.  Timothy, Titus, Luke, Apollos among others benefited from Paul’s ministry.  Paul didn’t look for what these men could do for him, but was faithful to them because they were friends.

I hope that faithfulness isn’t something that we just give lip service to, but something that is real in our lives.  We live in a day, an age, and a culture that says everything is about us.  Many Christians carry this into their spiritual lives.  Faithfulness is when we are committed to another.  Christian faithfulness is when we are committed to God, His church, and His people.

 

Tuesday
May312016

June 2016

One of my favorite things about the summer ministry is working with our interns.  Over the years we have had many college students work with us to assist in our summer programs. We have seen this as a very successful ministry with many over the years as some of these students have gone on to become pastors, missionaries, music leaders, and Sunday school teachers.  Most are actively serving our God in many different professions as they participate in the ministry of their local churches.  It has been exciting to see how God has used these students for His glory.

We are excited to have two interns with us this summer. Steven comes to us from Indiana State University.  He is involved with the BCM there and is very excited to work with us this summer.  Kelley is from Kaycee and has been involved in both our church and in BCM at Caper College this past school year.  Both of these interns will be heavily involved in ministry this summer: helping with VBS, going to Haiti and Canada on our mission trips, going to Children’s camp and Summit as sponsors and many other ministries.

I am thankful for the involvement of our church family in the lives of these students.  Our willingness to bring these students on as interns gives them a safe, encouraging environment to develop their skills and gifts in ministry.  Not every church is willing to put in the resources and time to invest in students like this.  I often get to talk former interns and listen to them share about how valuable this experience was for them as they gained experience and developed skills for ministry.

For this ministry to really be as successful as possible, it is important for our church family to take the time to get to know these students. They are more than hired help for the summer, but are a valuable part of our church. Take them to lunch or have them over to your home for a visit.  Pray for them and encourage them in their ministry.  Help make this summer an experience that will have lasting impact on not only their lives, but the lives of those they minister to.

 

Tuesday
May032016

May 2016

I am thankful for the students that God has entrusted to us over the years. It really is a privilege to serve in a place long enough to be able to minister to the students of some of my former youth. We have watched several of our youth grow, some from the time they were very little.  They have participated in the children’s ministry, Christmas programs, led in worship, been involved in VBS, participated in the youth ministry, and went on mission trips. At a time when many see the teenage years as just a time to blow off and have fun, there are students who sacrificially give of their time, money and resources to share God’s love with those around them.  These students have been a vital part of our church life.

One, of many, highlights of our youth ministry is the youth-led worship service. These students work hard in preparation for leading in all aspects of the service. They will again be leading on May 15th. I am proud of these teenagers and their willingness to use the talents and abilities God has given them. I am looking forward to the challenge they will extend to us as they share God’s Word through the music and preaching.

Some of our students are now preparing for graduation and the next step in their future.  As they move from youth to “young adults” let’s not forget our responsibility to these students.  As we approach graduation, remember to pray for the seniors as they are transitioning in life.  Some are choosing colleges, looking at careers or joining the military.  God is opening new opportunities and these students deserve our prayer. 

Whether they stay in Casper and continue to be involved in our church or move on to new places, let’s encourage them to stay involved in God’s Kingdom ministry. At a time when many students who are transitioning from high school to the next stage of life are leaving the church (statistics show up to 90%) we need to help them continue to grow in their relationship with Christ.  God entrusted them to us throughout their childhood and that doesn’t end at graduation.  We still have a responsibility to these students. 

Thank you for supporting student ministry. Boyd Avenue has done an exceptional job giving our youth many opportunities to grow, develop ministry, and become adults who love and serve God. All over our country there are former students who are actively participating in their churches and shining the light of Jesus in their chosen professions. So thankful that God allows us to be a part of that.