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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
Sep272016

October 2016

Recently, I was honored to oversee the memorial service of a man who died at a young age.  I say I was honored, not because I enjoy such things, but to be invited by a family to walk with them through one of the most difficult times they will ever face is a great privilege.  This is one of those times when I depended absolutely on God to provide the words and actions that will both help the family and  glorify the Father.

While I will not use the life of the man as an example during this article, I want to share with you the principles that God showed me as I  prepared the message.  There are some truths here that have impacted my life over the last several weeks and I hope that you can find them useful as well.

In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus said this: “Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.  But collect for yourselves treasures in   heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6: 19-21.

Most of the time when we hear this passage, we are told that we need to collect treasures in heaven by doing good things.  Be benevolent, be generous, be kind, be helpful, be joyful, and so forth thinking that our rewards are being vaulted away for us to collect when we get to heaven.  These are jewels in our crowns, so that everyone in heaven will see just how good I was and how much I loved Jesus.  Certainly, doing good things is good!  But, I’m not so sure that this is what Jesus meant.  Allow me to approach this from a different angle.

Let’s look at our treasures on earth.  Certainly, there are things in this life that are precious to us, and they should be precious to us.  But, we need to consider is:  What do we truly treasure?  Do we treasure our toys, or our   success, or our popularity, or our past times, or our bank account?  These things can be very valuable, but I think we can agree that there are things in this life that are more   worthy to be treasured.  Such as our families, our friends, our human relationships that can add so much joy to our lives.  These are far greater treasures and there is nothing wrong with any of these things in themselves.

So now what I want you to consider is what are the thieves that can take them away?  Are there thieves that can take away our earthly treasures?  Certainly, there are.  Substance abuse can steal everything from us.  What about the professional who is so driven to succeed, that he ignores his family and friends in order to climb the ladder of success?  He ends his days on the top rung of the ladder, but he has no      meaningful relationships and he discovers that being a workaholic has stolen his most precious treasures.  What about the woman who is so driven to have social status that she gives little attention to her family, while she spends her energy getting close to the “right people”?  At the end of it all, she may be on all of the social       registers, but her efforts have driven away everyone who loved her and that her      treasures have been stolen.  You see, any sin can be a thief.  Greed, laziness, blind ambition, pride, arrogance and so on can all be thieves that will steal our treasures away from us.

But, what is the treasure in heaven that cannot be stolen if it is not jewels for the very opulent crown that Jesus has waiting for me?  That treasure is Jesus.  There is no other.  He is the treasure that cannot be taken from us under any circumstance.  He is the one who delivers us into heaven.  He is the only one that makes our treasures on earth of  significant value.  He indeed is our Treasure.

So let me encourage you to ponder this.  Where is your treasure?  What would a  review of your treasure trove reveal about you?  Are you protecting your earthly treasures from the thieves that would try to steal them?  Is Jesus truly the Treasure of your heart?  When you can find peace with your answers to these questions, then you will truly have collected the treasures that can be cherished here and hereafter.

Pastor Quin

 

Tuesday
Aug302016

September 2016

It is hard to believe, but summer is gone!  And I have had a spectacular summer!  It would be an easy thing to use this article as an opportunity to give you a run down on this past summer.  It has been filled with mission trips, camps, children’s activities, vacation, and so much more.  Each of these has been very special.  In each (including vacation), I have seen our God do fantastic things.  But, I am going to resist that temptation.  Rather, I am going to take this opportunity to remind you of a vision of the future that has not gotten much attention this summer.

I want to draw your attention back to our building project.  I know that you have not seen much progress in our building process.  But I assure you there have been essential things happening behind the scenes that are bringing us closer and closer to the actual construction of the building.  Our plans have been in the hands of a variety of engineers, working on a series of designs that will make our building beautiful and functional.  Also, a huge praise should be lifted up because we have closed on the property that used to be the car lot adjacent to our old office building.  By the time you read this, we will be utilizing it for Sunday School, storage, and parking.  The building fund continues to grow.  People continue to ask about the project.  And I know that as a body, we continue to pray diligently over this entire process.

In addition to giving you a little more detail than we usually do in this newsletter, I also want to take a moment for us to remember why we are doing this.  Why are we expending the funds?  Why are we investing so many hours in planning?  Why are we sacrificing and asking others to sacrifice this much in order to build a new building?  There is and can be only one reason.  We are doing all of this, because we are convinced that the God of the universe has led us in this direction.  We have come to understand that we are not building a building, but rather, we are building a ministry tool.  Once we have completed the project, our Church will have another tool to use to reach out into our community to touch lives for Christ.

So, you may ask, “How are we going to do that?”  And this is a very good question.  The simple and general answer to this question is, “Every way we can.”  I know that this is way too broad of a statement, but it is exactly our intention.  We have already been in conversation with some of the leadership at College Heights and they have asked us to join them in their very successful “Upwards Basketball” ministry.  With the use of this building, we are confident that this ministry to our community can be significantly expanded.  Also, there are ongoing conversations with other service and ministry groups across Casper and there is every likelihood that the utilization of this building can expand other valuable works that are already established.  Add to that the literally uncountable number of new opportunities that a building like this can open up, and it is hard not to become excited over the prospects that lie before us.  And this isn’t even counting what God has in store that we haven’t yet considered.  Yes, I believe that many of the opportunities that we anticipate coming about in the new building have been laid on our hearts by God.  But I also am absolutely certain that God has much in store for us that we could never anticipate.  There is not an individual or an age group that will not be powerfully and positively affected by this new building.

His ways are above our ways.  His plans are greater than our plans.  So it is important that we stay the course.  It is important that we keep giving.  It is important that we keep praying.  It is important that we keep trusting God to accomplish this thing that is indeed greater than we.

Thank all of you so very much for all you have done to this point.  Also, I want to thank you now for all you will continue to do as time unfolds.  Let us all continue to thank God for all He is doing as He leads us down this very exciting path.

May the Lord Bless You and Keep You,

Pastor Quin

 

Tuesday
Aug022016

August 2016

In Genesis 32 we read an account of Jacob wrestling with God.  At the end of the episode in which Jacob is renamed  Israel, he names this place “Peniel” which means “Face of God.”  As we walk through our lives as Christians, there are times when we are privileged to behold the Face of God.  Whenever you look into the face of an infant, you will see the Face of God.  Often with the beauty of a sunrise or sunset, or a mountain seen, or a Wyoming vista of various landscapes, we see the Face of God.  We don’t get to choose these moments.  They are extended to us by God through His sovereign will.  But, it is to our great advantage to recognize these moments when they arise.

Recently, I attended two weeks of camp at Mountain Top Baptist Assembly.  At Kid’s Camp, there were at least a half dozen times that at the end of a worship time, a child, barely taller than my waist would come to me and say, “I want to ask Jesus to come into my heart!”    I would call upon a sponsor usually from the child’s home church and they would take them aside and experience the joy of seeing a child come into the Kingdom.  Each time this happened, I found myself looking into the Face of God, as He worked the miracle of salvation time and again.  That week we saw 12 children (that we know about) come to Christ.  Indeed, God showed up and did what He does.  The rest of us beheld His glory!

The next week was Summit Youth Camp.  At this camp there were 191 students and 41 sponsors.  Add in the Summit staff and the MTBA cooking team and we filled the camp to overflowing.  While we were a little nervous about the size of the camp, we again saw God show up and do what He does.  On Wednesday evening, there was a spiritual movement in the worship time and the church time that followed.  Several teenagers came to Christ that evening, then, just as we were preparing a fun night recreational event, word came down that a camper who has been struggling with leukemia had to be rushed to the hospital.  At that time, all plans changed and the entire camp met in the chapel for a time of prayer.  The Spirit of God swept through that place, I watched as an entire camp rallied to comfort and encourage a family, whose loved one was taken to the hospital.  I saw many church groups  surround a single church group to pray for them as one of theirs struggled.  I saw a teenage girl embrace her   parents to both comfort them and be comforted by them.  I saw two sisters wipe tears from each other’s eyes and say to each other, “I love you so much.”  I saw clusters of students, clusters of sponsors, clusters of sponsors and    students, huddled together, interceding on behalf of a teenage boy.  Some knew this boy well, others knew him only modestly, still others did not know him at all.  None of that mattered.  The Spirit of God was moving in that place at that time, and all who were there and took notice saw the Face of God.

Then as that camp was  coming to a conclusion, at our last worship service, I saw the Face of God.  I have mentioned this in a recent sermon, but it has had a profound effect of me.  As the last service was coming to an end, the alter call had been extended, a few  students had responded and were being counseled by sponsors.  The music leader choose at that point to extend the music worship by singing two or three additional songs.  I sat down in my seat and just watched as over 240 people simply worshipped.  Their voices were raised and their countenance was shining as they offered the purest of   worship to the God of the universe.  I know it was a sweet sound to Him.  It certainly was a sweet sound to me.  As I sat there and beheld worship, a sense of peace and adoration swept over me.  There was no place in all of the world that I would have rather been than where I was at that moment.  I understood very clearly, I was beholding the Face of God.

Just as Jacob had his Peniel, I also, have seen these things.  While I did not have my hip dislocated as did Jacob, I beheld the glory of God shining through His people.  That place at that time will always be a Peniel to me.  When have you last seen the Face of God? 

Tuesday
Jul052016

July 2016

Where has it gone?  How could it have gone by so quickly?  Those questions keep running through my mind as I write this article.  On July 1, I will have officially been the pastor of Boyd Avenue Baptist Church for 20 years.  It was on July 4, 1996 that Beth and I and our kids rolled into Casper in a Ryder truck and a Ford Ranger pulling a U-Haul trailer.  Before you knew it there was a large gathering of folks unloading all of our earthly possessions in one of Lloyd’s warehouses, where it was stored until we found a house.  That day, there was much laughter and excitement.  I was filled with anticipation over what would happen next, putting my trust in God and in Boyd Avenue Baptist Church for the care of my family and the future of my ministry.

As it turned out, that trust was well placed.  What a blessing it has been (and continues to be) to be your pastor.  In a way it seems that these years have flown by.  At the same time, I can no longer imagine what it would be like not to be a part of Boyd Avenue.  This church family has become so deeply ingrained into my being, I have difficulty separating me from you, and quite frankly, I do not want to make that separation.  It would be much like making an emotional separation from my children or grandchildren.  There is no reason to do so, and therefore I have no intention of doing so.  When I speak of Boyd Avenue in this article, I am not speaking of the buildings that house our ministry, nor am I speaking of the not for profit organization incorporated with the state of Wyoming.  I am speaking of the people who have been and currently are Boyd Avenue Baptist Church.  It is you and the love that you have extended to a family from Texas that moves me emotionally.  You are my family.  You are my closest friends.  I am humbled to remain as your pastor, and I thank God for the blessing that each of you are to me and to Beth.

To be a pastor of a church for 20 years, especially a relatively small church where everyone knows everyone and their business, has created some special moments.  I will not get specific with moments here, nor will I name any names, because I could not name everyone who should be named, the list is too long.  Nor could I recount all of the special moments for there have been too many.   But, I have learned that to be in a place for this long creates some very special realities.  I have always done funerals.  That’s just something that pastor’s do.  But, when you have been at a place for 20 years, often, you are not burying just a good church member, you are burying a good friend.  I have done this many times over the past 20 years.  It is easy to honor these folks, but it is hard to grieve while you are trying to offer solace to a hurting family.  Don’t get me wrong and please don’t feel sorry for me, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  It is because time has built deep and loving relationships that these folks became my friends.  If I had my way, I would never have said farewell to any of them, but that is not the way it works.  I am honored and humbled to minister to these folks and their families (and there have been many of them).  If everyone reading this would help me out here and be sure to stay healthy for at least the next 8 to 10 years or so, I would deeply appreciate it.

On the other hand, being a pastor of the same church for 20 years allows me to see generations grow up.  I am now giving candy to children whose parents used to come to the front for the Children’s Message.  It is fun to watch the terror in the parents’ eyes for fear of what the kids might say in front of the whole church.  I saw that same terror on their parents’ faces as now they encourage their grandchildren to embarrass their children, just as they had been embarrassed a generation ago.  It makes me laugh!

Also, there is the growth.  I’m not talking about numerical or financial growth although we have seen that.  What I speak of is spiritual growth of individuals over many years.  It is amazing to see how God has brought so many so far.

I would be in error if I did not take a moment to thank and praise our staff.  We have been together for a long time.  Ed, Pam, Heather, Scott, Alice thank you for working alongside me all these years.  You are a joy to work with and a blessing to my heart.

Truly, I am not the kind of person who spends a lot of time looking back.  Writing this article has created a moments of nostalgia and a few tears, but it is not my nature to look back for very long.  True, I will look back across these years with great fondness and joy.  There will be moments, when I am alone, that I will allow the many memories created here to wash over me.  But, despite the joy of the past, I am most excited about seeing the days ahead.  Boyd Avenue has a great future in front of her.  I am excited to see where we go and what God does over the next few years.  We have a good, good God.  I thank Him every day for how He has blessed me and my family with Boyd Avenue Baptist Church.  Thank you, Church for allowing me to be your pastor.  Thank you for being my family!

 

Tuesday
May312016

June 2016

As I come to the conclusion of the series of sermons that I have been doing on Sunday mornings through the book of Ephesians, I have been perusing through the Old Testament looking for direction in the next series.  After looking through a few options, I’ve settled on a series of messages dealing with Samuel, the prophet, priest, and judge of Israel.  I have not yet finished the series, so I do not know how long it will be, but I am finding that Samuel is a fascinating character. 

One of the directions that I considered was the call of some of the Old Testament heroes into the work that God had for them.  Starting with Samuel, then there is King Saul, King David, King Solomon, the prophets Elijah, Elisha, and Isaiah.  While I did not begin working on this series, I have not yet completely abandoned the idea.  Who knows, maybe this will be the next series, one tackled in the future, or maybe not at all.  I am giving you this run down, not to reveal my thinking, but rather to point out the intriguing people God used to accomplish His purposes.

King Saul for instance, while used by God, never truly developed God’s heart.  David, a man after God’s own heart from his youth, had his problems.  Solomon, who asked and received wisdom, led Israel toward her destruction in his old age. Elijah went through a season of depression and doubt.  Elisha and Isaiah seemed never to waiver in their confidence of God.  I find all of these men, their strengths and weaknesses to be compelling.  When studied as a group, I can’t get past how different each man is from the other. 

Saul stood head and shoulders above his contemporaries.  He was the image of a man who should be King.  But, despite all that Saul had going for him, he simply could not wait for God.  He was constantly running ahead of where God wanted him to be and by this he ultimately incurred God’s wrath.  All of the others, while they each had their shortcomings, sought God above all else (at least most of the time.)  But, God used them.  And this is the point of this article.  God uses people.  He always has and He always will.

As surely as this was true in the Old Testament, it is true today.  God uses people to accomplish His goals.  The key to being used well by God is to find His heart.  The reason that Saul failed as king, was not that he was not capable.  It was that he never found the heart of God.  The reason that David was so honored as king was not his skills, but rather, that he knew God’s heart and wanted Him to be glorified above all else. Even though a horrific series of sins cost him and his family dearly.  Satan often tries to convince us that we are too weak, or too bad, or too unimportant to accomplish God’s will.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  God uses people, imperfect people, redeemed people to do His will.  Each of the Old Testament heroes that I mentioned earlier (except Saul) served God well, because they loved the Lord, they knew that He loved them, and God used them despite their humanness.  

I have said all these things to say this to you:  God wants to use you!  Will He use you in the same way that He used Solomon or Elijah?  Probably not.  But, He does have some very important things for each of us to do for Him and His Kingdom.  He has equipped no one in this world to do your tasks better than He has equipped you.  So if you and I will seek to know the heart of God.  If we will live with that heart toward others, we will see Him use us in ways that we never imagined.  To put it simply, God wants His heart to be displayed by His people.  When we do that, we will be in awe of His plan as it unfolds around us.