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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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July 2017

It is hard to believe, but 2017 is already half way behind us. On the other hand, half of this year still lies before us.  While this has been an interesting and productive year so far, I can’t help but wonder what the second half of 2017 has in store for us.  As I sit in my office writing this article, I can hear the heavy equipment accomplishing the dirt work necessary for the new building.  By year’s end, we expect to see a structure standing on our property, ready for the interior work to be done.  This will put us that much closer to being ready to finish the building so that the Kingdom work that will be there can begin.  This is exciting.

Also, on a bit of a sadder note, a few days ago, we locked the doors on the Set Free house.  This ministry is now concluded in our city.  While it is discouraging to see a ministry that has so much potential pass by the wayside for lack of leadership, it is up to us to move forward.  I am not sure exactly how Boyd Avenue will address the needs of the part of our community that Set Free reached, but be assured we will not ignore it.  My first inclination is to reach toward Wyoming Rescue Mission.  It is already in place and ministering to the homeless and substance challenged that live here.  Several of our folks regularly work as volunteers.  And one of our members is an employee, investing himself into these lives that are so often overlooked.  These decisions and directions will unfold as the rest of the year rolls forward.  Where we will end up in this ministry is still in question, but we can be sure that our Lord will lead us to the place that will best lift up those in need and glorify His name.  So this is exciting.

Then there are those unknown things to which we will find answers very soon.  Like, how is God going to use our mission team in Canada?   By the time you read this, they will be in Calgary working with Southwinds Church.  Then there are the camps that we will be a part of our ministry in July.  Kids’ Camp is fun and we always see youngsters come to Christ that week.  Then there is Summit.  For the first time, this camp has been expanded to two weeks.  Last year, we had about 245 participants in the single week of camp.  At this time, we have 334 registered for these weeks.  Who would have thought?  So it is impossible to guess what God is up to.  But, He is definitely up to something, and by the end of July, I think we will know what He had in mind, this is very, very exciting.

If that weren’t enough, throw into the middle of July our “Nourish” women’s conference.  Now understand, I may be a little prejudiced, but I am very excited about this conference for multiple reasons.  First, my daughters, Angie and Audrey, are the invited speakers.  So I am thrilled to see them, knowing that they are serving our Lord in a very special way.  Also, I am excited, because it was the women of our church who came up with this concept.  Neither Beth nor I suggested this.  This conference is something some of the women of the church wanted, and the next thing you know here it is.  I think that their initiative in this is great!  Add to that, what God is going to do in this conference in the lives of our ladies, and it’s hard to estimate what Kingdom things will be accomplished.  The prospects of all this are so exciting!

So, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m about as excited as a person can become.  Honestly, I’m a little overwhelmed by all that stands before me right now, but I know that God is in charge and He will get all that needs to be done, done.  Then we will all be in a place where we will celebrate God and His goodness and see all the great things that He has done, as this summer and the rest of 2017 unfold.



June 2017

Ecclesiastes 3: 1 says: “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”  As I write this article, I am witnessing the changing of a season of ministry in our community in which our Church has been deeply involved.  This is a sad time for me, but one that must be.  A few years ago, we, along with several sister churches, opened the Set Free Church in Casper.  This ministry was aimed at those who struggled most deeply with life.  Its principle purpose was to provide a live-in discipleship program for men who were coming out of prison, introduce them to   Jesus, and immerse them in scripture and discipleship so that they would have a new foundation on which to base their lives.  Most of the men who came through the program have had addiction problems which have greatly afflicted them.

Recently, the director of our program left abruptly, moving out of state.  This is the third leader that we have had fail in this position over the life of Set Free in Casper.  It would not be appropriate for me to detail any of the failures, but each time, the ministry has been left high and dry.  Following this final departure, the pastors of the supporting churches met and came to an obvious conclusion.  We could see no way for this ministry to go forward long term.  It was a difficult decision for us all, one we would rather not have made, but we saw no other course of action.

When the director left, he left about a dozen men in the house who are in the program.  We will not leave these men on the street, but will be working with them over the next few weeks to help them find places to live and means for them to continue their spiritual journeys.  There are wonderful testimonies that have come out of Set Free.  People, whose lives have been changed through this work.  So, it is with a heavy heart that I share this news with you about the passing of this ministry from our community.

This is not to say that Boyd Avenue or the other supporting churches will no longer serve this segment of our community.  We were reaching in that direction before Set Free came along and we will continue to reach out in the days ahead.  Also, we must understand that neither Set Free nor Boyd Avenue has ever saved anyone.  That work is done by God alone through His resurrected Son, Jesus Christ.  It is in that truth that I find comfort today.

So to everything there is a season.  Spring is moving into summer which will move into autumn.  So it is in our lives and in our ministries.  The season of Set Free is passing from Casper.  But, a new season is unfolding before us.  What will that season look like?  I do not know, but I am looking forward to see what our Lord has in store.



May 2017

As the book of Revelation unfolds, it is filled with imagery and promises of many things yet to come.  There are the frightening passages as bowls are poured out, as trumpets are sounded, and as seals are broken.  While there are many things that frighten us, we understand that as time moves toward her end, these things must be.  Exactly what these things will look like, how they will touch us I do not know.  But, what I do know is that this book is teaching us that no matter what happens or how they happen, the good guys win! 

It is this victory that God brings to us through His Son that the closing chapters of this book emphasizes.  There are powerful and wonderful descriptions of what heaven will physically be like.  Although the things described are things that exist beyond our natural world, there is no doubt that heaven is a wonderful place.  Also, there are even more beautiful descriptions of how we will relate to God.  He will be our God and we will be His people!  He will wipe away every tear from our eyes and there will be no more sorrow or pain.  There will be no separation between us and God, us and Jesus, us and the Spirit, and us and each other.  It is these relationships, lived in perfect harmony, that are the true distinctive of heaven. Yes, streets of gold, gates of pearl, a crystal river, the tree of life, and so much more are incredible, but the purity and completeness of our relationships that will be the true joy of heaven.  Also, I think that we need to understand that once these things are established they really won’t seem all that exceptional to us.  No, I think we will wonder how unexceptional the things of our previous life were.

Then as Revelation closes, there is an invitation and an appeal.

The invitation comes from the Spirit and the bride (the church).  Revelation 22:17 says: “Both the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’  And anyone who hears should say, ‘Come!’  And the one who is thirsty should come.  Whoever desires should take the living water as a gift.”  This is a summary of the Christian invitation.  Jesus, alone, is the living water that brings life.  The Spirit convicts people of their spiritual need.  The Church is compelled to extend this invitation to all people. (The Great Commission)  Everyone who has taken advantage of this Living Water must share the Good News.  Then all who are thirsty should come.  Those who do will be given new life.  Those who do not will continue on in their suffering, despite the availability of this Living Water springing up around them.

Then there is the appeal.  This appeal comes from us.  When we come to understand as John did as these spiritual truths were revealed to him, we will join him is his appeal to Jesus. Revelation 22: 20 says: “He who testifies about these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’  Amen!  Come, Lord Jesus!”  John could not wait for Jesus to return and fulfill all he had just seen.  Likewise, when we begin to get a glimpse of what Jesus has in store for us, we will join him in his appeal and pray to God, “Amen!  Come, Lord Jesus!”

When all of this is accomplished in our lives, then the benediction of the book will have its real power and meaning flow over us.  Revelation 22: 21 “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints.  Amen.”

We find the truth of God’s love for us in Christ alone.  His grace and peace will indeed be with us for He has transformed us from sinner to saint.  And His grace will be upon us.  Amen!



April 2017

In our called Business Meeting on March 8, our Church approved the recommendation from our Building Committee to move forward with the construction of the multi-purpose building that we have been planning for a long time.  I was strongly encouraged by the meeting.  It was well attended.  There were many good questions and much discussion.  The meeting ran about an hour and twenty minutes and I would characterize it as thorough, but positive.  At the end of the time, those who gathered voted unanimously to approve the recommendation.

A part of the recommendation was to approve the sale of notes for the capital funds for the construction.  These are to be sold in phases as the need for these funds comes about. (The first set of these notes are now available to be purchased at the Church Office.)  There will be many developments as the construction unfolds, and I will do my best to keep everyone updated.

The purpose for this article is not to make announcements or to encourage you to buy a note. Although both of those things are important.  No, I want to dedicate the rest of this space to what we must do as a congregation to complete the daunting task that stands before us.

Very simply put, the only way that this task can be accomplished is for each of us to do our part!  In the book of Nehemiah, we have the record of a great and difficult building project.  Israel had been allowed to return to Jerusalem and to live there again.  What Nehemiah found was a mess.  While people had moved in, they were in a very difficult circumstance.  The walls of Jerusalem remained in ruins and efforts to rebuild them had all been thwarted by forces from both inside and out.  Nehemiah, under God’s direction, organized the folks calling on each family and clan to simply do their part.  And in Nehemiah 6: 15, we read, “The wall was completed in 52 days.”  An accomplishment that no one expected, but God provided.

So what will we, Boyd Avenue, have to do to accomplish this thing that we have agreed together to do?  The answer is simple.  Each of us will have to put our shoulder to the wheel.  Each of us has something we can and must do.  This is not something that I as pastor can accomplish alone.  The Deacons can’t do this, or the Building Committee can’t do this alone.  This is something that will require all of us doing what we can do.  In Nehemiah, each family was called upon to build a certain section of the wall.  Each family rose to the challenge and the walls were built, providing the security they needed to flourish.

So, what is your part?  That, I cannot answer.  But, God can!  He may lead you to help in any number of ways.  Some can help financially.  Some can give much, others less.  We need people to keep giving to the Building Fund.  We need people to make loans through our note sale.  Some can’t give financially, but they will be able to give labor.  There will be phases of this project when we will need volunteers to come out to work on certain parts of the project.  We will need people to clean up after them.  And we will need people to provide a meal or two so workers can have a quick lunch on days they volunteer.  There will be other things that will arise that will demand someone to step forward and say, “I will do that.”  God will lead some of us to help in multiple ways.  But, there is also something else that each and every one of us can and must do.  This is the most important part of the project.  We need Building Project Prayer Warriors!  This whole thing must be bathed in prayer from beginning to end, or it will not be accomplished.  Will we see the project completed in 52 days?  Probably not.  But, if we all prayerfully and collectively put our shoulders to the wheel, I am certain that we will be amazed at what God accomplishes through us!



March 2017

How do we know that God loves us?  What is the criteria by which we measure God’s love for us?  Now I’m not talking about His love for humanity.  Obviously, humanity is made up of billions and billions of souls, from all over the world, through all ages of history, past, present, and future.  We can understand an abundance of love spread over so great a multitude.  But, I’m talking about the love that God has for me, or for you as an individual.  We understand that the Bible teaches us that God loves us all the same.  That His love is unconditional.  That His love is unfathomable.  That His love is inseparable.  We have been taught and teach others that God loves you and me individually as completely as He loves all of humanity.  Intellectually, we can come to a point that we see that God loves you as much as He loves me and vise-versa.  We understand that in God and by God, we are loved completely.  In other words we just cannot be loved any more deeply or purely than when God loves us.

Now all this is great!  To know that we are loved by the God of the universe to a degree that is beyond our comprehension is wonderful.  But, what about those times when are not feeling that love, at least not in the way that we would like to feel that love?  We know that life is not always easy.  Things don’t always pan out just the way that we had hoped that they would.  When health issues, or money issues, or family issues, or a dozen different issues arise that were not anticipated, do we judge God’s love for us according to those things?  And perhaps, not so much by those things themselves, for we know we live in a fallen world that is not often fair.  But, we often judge God’s level of love toward us on how we feel about those things.  Or another way of putting it, is the level of unhappiness that this situation may bring to us. So we may say, “If God loved me, things wouldn’t be like this.”

You see, if we come to that point, then we are using our emotional comfort level to measure God’s love.  It would be like a very young child, when he/she is being disciplined or denied, saying to their parent, “You just don’t love me.”  Or, even worse, “I don’t love you anymore.” One of the big differences here, of course is that this is an example of an angry child trying to manipulate the situation to get their way. And while our struggle with God’s love may or may not be an attempt at manipulation. But, it may be our attempt of dealing with emotional pain.  So, the question remains, how do we measure God’s love for us, when we aren’t feeling all that loved?

Let us go back to those earlier qualifiers of His love.  First, of all God’s love for us is unconditional.  This is an extremely hard concept for us to grasp, for there are few things in this world that come without condition.  Perhaps the closest thing that we can find within us to this is our love for our children.  We love them, no matter what.  Now, we like them better when their behavior is what we want it to be, but we love them none the less.  It is very difficult for us to comprehend the fact that we do not have to, nor can we earn God’s love.  Often, neglected children blame themselves for the neglect of a lousy parent.  They blame themselves even when it is not the child’s fault at all.  But, I have seen children go to great lengths to win their parent’s approval, all the while never comprehending that this love cannot be earned.  It either exists, or it does not.  Fortunately, for us the unconditional love of God exists.

God’s love is unfathomable.  By this, I mean love that doesn’t make sense.  Why does God love us?  Why did God love the nation of Israel?  Over and over again, they turned away from Him in the Old Testament, but He has loved them and continues to be faithful to them.  He has restored them to their land time and time again, against all odds.  They worshipped Baal, they turned away from God Himself, they rejected His Son as Messiah and murdered Him.  But still God loves them.  Let us be careful not to throw too many stones here.  God’s love for you and me is just as unfathomable as is His love for Israel.  We have sinned against Him over and over.  We doubt His existence from time to time.  We doubt His love for us.  We doubt His faithfulness to us.  We sometimes even try to judge Him by our standards, so that we can justify ourselves.  Why does He love us?  I have no idea.  He just does and that is what makes His love for us beyond our understanding.

His love is inseparable.  Nothing can separate us from the love of God.  Romans 8: 31-39 tells us this truth in great detail.  Verses 38-39 says, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, or things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Do you see that?  Nothing can separate us from God’s love.  It is inseparable in our lives!  So, what does this do for us?  Verse 37 says, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”  More than conquerors, so that in God’s love and in His love alone, we can conquer all things.  We can overcome the enemy.  We can overcome all created things.  In Christ’s love alone we can even conquer those things that would make us emotionally doubt the love of God.

So God does love us.  He loves you and he loves me.  I have no instrument that is able to measure His love.  My emotions are fickle.  They will from time to time be inaccurate in their assessment of God’s love.  But, you see in all things, His love is not dependent on any measurement of mine.  No, His love is dependent solely on Him.  And in Him I can fully trust!

Pastor Quin