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Scott - First Things First

Boyd Avenue Baptist Church
1930 Boyd Avenue, Casper, WY

(307) 261-9896

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December 2015

December is the month we set aside to recognize and collect an offering for International missions.  Lottie Moon Christmas offering has been a staple in Southern Baptist circles for years.  Lottie Moon was a courageous woman who gave her life to reach the people of China.  Her example should be an inspiration to us, not just a name attached to a yearly offering.

We are challenged by her life to be involved in missions.  This offering goes a long way to helping the gospel spread throughout the world.  Many missionaries are supported by this yearly emphasis, but we should have a bigger vision of missions than just this offering. When we give we are part of what God is doing. This partners us with missionaries all around the world. But our involvement is more than just giving. When Jesus said that we will be His witnesses to all the nations, I believe that is a mandate for us to be actively involved in carrying out the Great Commission.  We are to be the ones who spread the gospel to those around the world.  How do we do this?  What can we do to be involved?

First, look at the needs around us.  To be involved in world missions, we need to be involved in our local community.  There are places and people right here in Casper that need assistance.  Pray for those who live among us.  Get involved in the lives of people.  Look for places to volunteer.  Build relationships with our neighbors.  Love our community the way that God loves our community.

Second, ask ourselves the questions:  What is God doing around our state and nation?  How can I be involved?  America is a nation in need of the gospel of Christ.  As I have traveled on mission trips across our country, I found people open, receptive and hungry for something to place there hope in.  There is no greater hope than Jesus.  There are many opportunities for Christians to go and assist ministries all around our country.  Actively seek places to pray for and maybe go    and serve.

Lastly, we need to have a worldwide view of missions.  In order to do this, we need to know what is going on around our world.  Read about missionaries and pray for them.  Get involved in sending shoeboxes or sponsoring a child.  Or maybe go.  Serving in Columbia, Ecuador, Mexico, Portugal and Canada has greatly impacted my walk with the Lord and my view of God’s work around our world.  My view of missions had to get bigger.  God is bigger than just what I can see around me.

 Our church has many opportunities to be involved in missions.  There are several groups in our church involved in community ministries.  We have a yearly mission trip to Canada and this year a trip to Haiti. My hope is that our Haiti trip will turn into an ongoing partnership and not just a onetime trip.  We can go, share, and assist God’s work in these places.  This year as we think about Lottie Moon, as we place money in the offering plate or wrap it as a gift for our ingathering service, let us commit ourselves to God’s mission.  Let us be active in spreading the gospel in our Jerusalem, Judea,   Samaria, and the ends of the earth.



November 2015

November is probably my favorite month and very significant in my life.  As I look over the years, there have been some important events that have taken place in November.  For one, I was born in this month, 45 years ago. I often joke with our students about their youth minister being so old, but the truth is that most days I don’t feel like I am this old. November is also the month that our oldest daughter, Elizabeth was born. Now, the fact that she is about to turn 16 does make me feel old.  This is also the month that we moved to Wyoming and began our ministry at Boyd Avenue.  Hard to believe that it has been eighteen years since we left our house in Indiana and made our home in Wyoming.  

As I sit in my office, writing this article, I can’t help but think how grateful I am for God’s goodness in my life.  I am thankful, that as a little boy my parents took me to a church where I had the opportunity to learn about Jesus.  Because of His grace and mercy, I get to know Him as my savior.  I appreciate so much that God kept His hand of protection on me during my teenage years when I lived a life that was disobedient to Him.  God chose to put some great men in my life to help me grow and to be an example of what it meant to live for Christ.  These men have been used to help shape my life into the person I am today.  God has allowed me to serve Him in ministry for nearly 25 years.

November is the month we set aside to give thanks.  We even have that great holiday, Thanksgiving.  Another reason that this is my favorite month. I love the food of Thanksgiving and a day full of football makes for a fun day.  Most importantly, it is important that we take the time to thank God for all He has done for us.  Whether we have lived tremendously easy lives or have struggled, if we take the time we can see God’s goodness.  Often when we get discouraged it is because we are focused on the right now and miss the big picture. 

We serve a big God who holds all things in His hands.  How has he worked in your life?  If you can’t think of ways God has worked, maybe it is time to seek Him with all you are.  Take time to remember how God has worked and thank Him.  Not only for what He has done, but for what He will continue to do.




October 2015

I am often reminded how thankful I am to be a youth and college pastor.  God is doing some amazing things in the lives of students and I get to be a part of it. Every week, as we spend time in worship through song, Bible Study, and just hanging out, I am increasingly impressed at the love our students have for our Savior.  

Students bring an amazing energy and passion in their worship.  Every Tuesday and Wednesday night I get to join with the college students and youth as they lift their voices in praise and worship to God.  Usually I will just sit back and listen. My worship comes in listening to these students praise our God.  He has given these students some amazing talent and ability and I love seeing them use it for His glory.

Students are hungry for God’s Word.  We have had some incredible Bible Study times as we look through the book of James on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and are challenged on Sunday nights to live out our faith in a real way that impacts others.  It is exciting to see students go beyond the superficial to dig deep into the truths of Scripture and seek to apply these to their lives. These Bible study times carry an excitement and passion from our students.  I am encouraged as they are given specific challenges each week and have taken these to heart.  It is humbling  to hear our teenagers and college students share their experiences as they reach out to their fellow students and demonstrate the love of God in real and practical ways.

I am also greatly impressed that these students actually enjoy being at church and love each other.  Long after our meeting times are over, these students continue to hang around and spend time together. I read their posts on-line and there are messages saying how excited they are for BCM, Wednesday night youth, or Sunday night Bible study.  Not only are they excited, but they want their friends to know they are excited.  This is very encouraging to me as their student minister.

Pray for these young men and women.  God is working in their lives.  Some have already talked about a future in ministry.  Most have a desire to serve Him.  All have the potential to make a kingdom difference both now and in the future.



September 2015

In our youth and in the college ministry we will be studying the book of James this semester.  James is one of my favorite books.  I have always been a person who likes to do stuff.  I am not much for sitting and listening, I like the action.  James is a book that calls for action.

James called his readers to action.  He wants them to do Christianity.  Being a Christian is not just something we are, but it is something that affects all aspects of our life.  It is something we do.  Not only does James call us to do Christianity, but he calls us to do it right.  As our students prepare for another school year, it is important for them to understand the impact they have by living their lives as Christians.  Being a Christian is not just who they are, but what they do. This book gives instruction on how to live right as a Christian.

There are a lot of things that motivate us.  Each of us has different things that push us to do what we need to do. Some are motivated by such things as money, success, academics, sports, parents, or some even have no motivation at all.  In my life, the biggest motivation is to do what God wants me to do.  I honestly fear wasting my life and not being obedient to God.  When my life is over, I want it to have mattered, not by what I have obtained, but what I did for the glory of my Savior.  We are challenged in this book to have an active obedience to God’s Word.

There are many people who call themselves Christians.  They say that they have faith in God.  James teaches that this faith must be accompanied by action or it is not really faith. This is the theme of James and the theme of our studies this semester. 

What does faith look like?  What do we do with the Word of God?  What is right living?  These are just some of the questions and answers we will study. 

I encourage you to take some time and read this small, but powerful book.  Five Chapters.  One hundred eight verses.  It won’t take long to read, but its message can change the way we live as Christians.



August 2015

Another amazing summer is drawing to an end.  This summer has seen us involved with the missions yard sale, VBS kickoff and a week of VBS, mission trip to Canada, children’s camp and Summit youth camp, along with many other activities and service projects.  Now we are in August, with more summer ministry still happening and transitioning to a new school year.

I am so thankful for the many adults and youth that made this summer possible.  Our mission’s yard sale this year made almost $5000 that was used for our Canada trip and will give us a good start toward our international trip next summer.  More than 100 people showed up for the VBS kickoff as we spent the day serving cotton candy, snow cones, popcorn, and hotdogs while the children enjoyed the bounce house and inflatable slide.  We had a great group of both adults and youth minister in VBS where we had about 65 children and over 20 adults attend each day. The children were engaged with fun activities and challenged with great Bible studies. 

Our team that went to Canada had the opportunity to continue assisting with the basketball camp.  It is exciting to travel up there each year and renew relationships with some of these children.  Two of the young ladies from Calgary who assisted with camp this year were in our preschool soccer camp during our first trip working with Southwinds church.  It has been a privilege to see and be a part of the ministry this church is doing to reach their communities with the Gospel.  Upon returning from Canada, 18 preteens and 6 adults ventured up the mountain for children’s camp.  As always, this was an amazing camp for these students.  It is always an interesting experience spending a week in a cabin with 14 boys ages 9-12.  And then, I was blown away by our youth camp, Summit.  43 students and 8 sponsors from Boyd Avenue participated in this life changing camp.  Because of the number of students we had attend, I tried a new hair color for the week.  The top of my head looked like a used highlighter.  God moved in amazing ways that week as we saw six of our teenagers come to know Jesus as Savior and several others make decisions in their walk with the Lord. 
     This summer also saw three very talented and gifted college students come and intern with us.  I am so thankful for Tabitha, Emily, and Jon.  Their great attitude and hard work were a great example for our students.  Pray for these outstanding young adults as they continue their college careers and ministry on their campuses.

Join with me in praying as summer turns into another school year.   God has done some amazing things this summer and my hope is that this momentum carries into the school year.  Pray for our students as they prepare to enter the mission fields that are their schools.  Pray the excitement of the summer and the decisions made at camps carry over as God’s light shines through these students.  As excited as I am about what happened this summer, I am even more excited to see what happens next.