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Pastor Quin

Pastor Ed

Scott - First Things First

Boyd Avenue Baptist Church
1930 Boyd Avenue, Casper, WY

(307) 261-9896

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Tuesday
Sep112012

September 2012

When our daughter Angie was a little girl, in response to something outstanding that had happened, she exclaimed, “Well, that just amazingable!”  This is not a typo, in her excitement, and in the innocence of a young child, she coined a new word that entered our family’s lexicon.  So for all these years, when we want to express complete excitement over something we say,  “Well that’s just amazingable!”  It should also be noted that I have no recollection whatsoever of the event that birthed this new term, but I remember the expression very clearly.

As our summer is coming to a close, I keep finding myself using this term, in my head, to refer to what God is doing.  It seems that every time I turn around, there He is doing something else that is just “amazingable”.  Every time I look into the face of one of these many new babies that have born into our church this year, I think, “WOW!  That’s amazingable!”  When I see our summer attendance in our worship services (averaging well over 200).  I use this term.  As I have watched the progress of the new chapel being built at Mountain Top, the new people who show up at church, the growth of individuals in their service to the Lord, and so many other things, I just keep saying, “amazingable, amazingable, amazingable.”

Now do not get me wrong, I am not advocating that this become a wide-spread term.  After all, musically, it just wouldn’t work,  “Amazingable Grace, How Sweet the Sound?”  I don’t think so.  But, I do want us to consider how great God is.  Not just how great He is, but also how great are those things that He does around us.  The many, many things we see Him do all the time are indescribable.  For the Christian who says they have never seen a miracle, I would say, “Pay attention!”  God is busy.  He is active.  Any time we see His activity, that’s a miracle.  He does miracles around us all the time.  We just are not too good at paying attention. 

Why would the God of the universe bother with us?  Do we deserve it?  Absolutely not!  Quite frankly, we do not want what we deserve.  We want His grace.   His grace is first and foremost exemplified for us through the Gospel message.  Jesus came to earth, lived, taught, died upon a cross, then rose from the grave and is alive today.  Upon accepting that message, we live in His bounty.  His bounty for us is both spiritual and physical.  It is the source of our joy and peace.  It is the source of our security and direction.  It is the source of our satisfaction.  It is amazingable!

Also, I do not want to be misunderstood.   I do not think that we have seen that last or the greatest of God’s “amazingableness.”  (Since we are adding to the English language here, why stop with just one form of the new word?)  But, I think we are just scratching the surface of what God is about and what He is doing in and around our lives.  I am confident that to the degree that we remain faithful to Him, and to the degree that we pay attention to what He is up to, we will be regularly astounded at the many things He will be doing around us every day.  There are many times coming that we will stand there and say, “WOW!! That’s amazingable!”

 

Monday
Jul022012

August 2012

 

One of the terms that we hear today, that is relatively new, is “distracted driving”.  Now we all know that being distracted while driving is nothing new.  Most commonly, currently, we refer to a driver being distracted when they are using some sort of modern technology while driving.  Texting is probably the most vilified form of being distracted while driving.  But there are many things that can get out attention. But, before the cell phone we were distracted by any number of other things while driving.  Scenery, wildlife, kids, food, sudden and unexpected noises, and many other things can get our attention off the road and somewhere it does not belong.  Most of the time, being slightly distracted is no big deal. Most of us have gotten away with dividing our concentration.  We have adjusted the radio, talked on the phone, put on make-up (ladies), or any number of other things that we shouldn’t be doing while driving at high rates of speed.  No one thinks much of this until something goes wrong.  Hopefully, what goes wrong is just a close call.  But, many serious automobile accidents happen every year because a driver is doing something else while driving.  All of us know the problems that potentially come with distracted driving, but most of us still accept certain levels of distractions because these things don’t happen to us, they always happen to the “other guy”.

Often, as Christians, we become distracted.  Normally, we do not intentionally take our eye of the road, but we are easily distracted nonetheless.  We must remember that the road down which Jesus leads us is a narrow and sometimes difficult road.  What we think is just a minor distraction can become a major spiritual problem.  Or, what we think will be a very temporary distraction can quickly lead us to a long-term separation from God’s path.  Of course, the distractions that tempts us as Christians are not phones, or texts, or hamburgers, or lip stick.  Rather, these distractions are SIN.  There is no other way to put it.  The tricky part of this is that in other settings, these same things, activities, or attitudes may not be distractions.  But if they end up leading us to a place, not on the path down which Jesus is leading, then they are a problem.  If these things are truly distractions to our spiritual lives, then as sin tends to do, it takes us to a place we never expected to go and keeps us there much longer than we ever could have imagined.

So, how do we avoid distracted Christianity?  Well, I think it is probably pretty simple, although it may not be easy.  If something (just about anything) draws our intense interest, then we should take a careful inventory.  If the honest inventory tells us that the thing, activity, or attitude takes our attention away from our walk with Jesus, no matter how slight, then we need to get our eyes back on the narrow road.  If that honest inventory reveals that the thing, activity, or attitude does not interfere with our walk with Christ, then it is not a distraction and should be gratefully enjoyed.

Above all else, we must be very aware that we could fall victim to distracted Christianity.  If we remain diligent, disciplined, and humble we will be less likely to become distracted and remain on that road down which Jesus is leading.  Now that is living!

In Christ,

Pastor Quin

 

 

Tuesday
Jun052012

June 2012

Recently, I read the first Psalm. While David wrote this song of worship some 3000 years ago, I find it striking how modern the message continues to be. The Psalm opens with the familiar line, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly.”

It strikes me as to just how willing the ungodly are to
offer counsel. I am amazed at how people who seem to
struggle with every aspect of life are more than happy to give instruction to others. Once in a while (when absolutely alone), I will sit down at a piano and plink around on it for a little while. It is terrible. The poor timing of my key striking is only surpassed by the discords that would bring tears to your eyes. I have no illusions concerning my talent or knowledge with the piano. It should not be a surprise that Lisa Coleman, Lorna Duncan, or Karen Michel (our church pianists) refuse to ask me for pointers on the piano. (Smart girls!) So just how dumb would you consider me if I were to go forward and give counsel to our talented musicians in an area in which I am a big failure? (That’s a rhetorical question. Please, do not answer it out loud.)

Yet, people who do not have a clue about successful living, how to find peace and happiness, or how to deal with life’s difficulties inundate us at every turn. They know what is best for us. They not only offer advice, but they seem highly offended when we question their ideas and directions. Ungodly people have no place giving life pointers to those of us who seek Christ. We may be unable to avoid such advice from time to time, but it is strictly up to us as to how we will respond. Actually, wisdom comes to us when we seek godly counsel. One of the purposes of the Church is to offer a place where Believers, young and old, can go to seek godly wisdom.

One of the areas in which our Church is powerfully blessed, is in our corporate wisdom. If you do not find wisdom on a subject from staff (and you may not), there will be someone sitting around you in church every Sunday who would WOW you with what God has taught them. It has been my experience that we have many wise men and women, who, when given the chance, are willing and able to share what God has taught them. We can learn much from each other. So, here is a source of godly wisdom available to us all.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is that God has taught and is teaching you a few things about godly living that He expects you to share with others. You would be amazed at our many people are struggling in an area where you have already been. You have seen God do what only He can do in a given situation. So, if given the opportunity, you now have become a resource of godly wisdom. How often do you think of yourself that way? Hopefully, not very often, for this would speak of pride and arrogance. These are traits that the ungodly show, not the godly. You see, when God reveals Himself to us in a given situation, we understand that it is His wisdom that we have acquired. This makes us a humble resource for God to reveal Himself to others through our life experiences.

So, when you come to a time in life when you feel the need to seek counsel, remember, seek godly counsel. This is simply wise. Also, praise God that He uses each of His children to provide wise counsel to those who are in need. This is what the Church does.

Wednesday
May092012

May 2012

Dear Church Family,

It struck me the other day, that in heaven, there won't be any clocks, watches, or calendars. Time as we know it will be completely irrelevant. That is what the Bible means when it says that, in the Kingdom, a day is as a thousand years. I wonder what that will be like. It has to be part of what makes heaven, heaven. In our fast paced world, we are dominated by our schedules, controlled by the clock. I often joke when referring to my calendar, that I spend more time reviewing my calendar than I do reading the Bible, and it is hard to say which one has more affect on my life at any given time. But, even with calendars, schedules, clocks, and reminders, I still find myself getting behind, forgetting an important appointment, or being late because I lost track of time while doing something else. I find this frustrating, but as I talk to other people, I discover that it is all too normal in our society.

Many years ago, I went with a group of folks to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas to do mission work in Mexican churches. Mostly we did Vacation Bible Schools in small neighborhood churches south of the border. We worked through a Texas based Mexican mission church. One of our well-meaning Anglo ladies noticed that the pastor of the church did not wear a watch. She offered to buy him one in appreciation for all his work. He kindly but firmly declined the offer, because he did not want to become a slave to a watch. In our culture, we struggle with that concept, but in the Mexican culture, it worked very well. I often think of that conversation and lament my own slavery to a clock. No doubt, if I did not follow the clock and calendar, my productivity would fall off dramatically. But, time is a heavy-handed master. Even when I get away during elk season, I find myself the first half of the first day of hunting rushing through everything, as though I have a deadline I must meet. It is not until I realize I am alone in the mountains and I do not have to please anyone's schedule but my own that I can really slow down, relax and enjoy the hunt by observing the beauty of the landscape, the simple joy of walking quietly in the mountains, and who knows, maybe even finding one really dumb elk.

I find this same principle to be true in our day-to-day lives. Sometimes, we rush here and there trying so desperately not to fall behind our schedules, that we fail to enjoy what we are doing and where we are at any given time. We rush to our children's activities, but do we slow down enough to enjoy our kids? We hurry to get home so that we can get our stuff done there, but do we slow down enough to enjoy our spouses and our homes?

When you look at the life of Jesus recorded in the Gospels, you will see that He regularly retreated from His hectic schedule, from the pressures of ministering to an endless stream of needy people, to be alone. These retreats, while frequent, were never very long, but they were times of refreshing and renewing. We need those times of retreat, but we also need to stop once in a while and just breathe deep.

So, as we prepare ourselves to dive into a very busy summer, we would do well to commit ourselves to take a few moments now and again to stop everything, look around and enjoy where we are and what we are doing. Psalm 46: 10 reads: "Be still, and know that I am God." This is done by quietly listening to Him and also by quietly observing where He has placed us at any given moment and taking in all that He has provided.

In Christ,

Pastor Quin

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