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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
Nov292016

December 2016

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you!  As I note every year at this time, it is hard to believe that another year has come and is almost gone.  If nothing else, I think we can all agree that 2016 has been an eventful year.

While there are many things that could be addressed in this article, I want to take a few moments of your time and update you on our building project and the fund raising that is ongoing.  The numbers that you will see in this article are close estimates of where we are and what we have done to date.  The time lapse between when I write this and you read this will be about 2 weeks, so things will change, but this will give you an idea of what we have done and where we are.

Since we started our capital fund raising about 3 years ago, we have seen consistent and generous giving to this project.  So far, with our building fund offerings, we have purchased the house at 1956 Boyd Avenue for $189,900.  We also purchased the former car lot.  After some designated gifts specifically for this purchase came in, our Church was left with a responsibility of around $45,000.  We have paid for the demolition of the old office building including asbestos testing and abatement, a total cost of about $35,000.  In addition to these expenses, we have spent about $32,500 on soil testing, engineering fees, architecture and drafting, and electrical preparation to service the new building.  This brings the total spent from this account to about $302,400.  Currently we have about $100,000 in the account.  There will be a few more expenses that are upcoming in the near future, but I think the additional monies that flow into the account will outpace these upcoming expenses. 

Before you nod off as you look over these numbers, let me give you my take on all this.  First of all, I find it absolutely breathtaking, that our church has been able to pay out all this money for these purposes related to the building project and we still have $100,000 unspent.  None of this money has come out of our General Fund.  All has come through special donations and gifts to our Building Fund.  There is no doubt that God is in this, because I see no way that we should have been able to accomplish all that has been accomplished to this point.  So with that in mind, we press on toward the mark that our Church feels that God has set before us.

Also, I want us to remember why we are doing all of this.  The answer is short and simple.  We are in the process of building a wonderful ministry tool.  In this new building, we will have a new and modern kitchen facility.  There will be comfortable space for banquet or fellowship gatherings of 300 or more.  Recreational ministries will be available for all age groups.  New offices will be developed.  And there will be some additional educational space.  There is no doubt that this new building will be of great service to our current folks and also open many new doors through which we can touch our community.

Now, this brings us to our current fund raising goal for the Building Project.  Throughout 2016, we have been encouraging people to give toward a project goal of $100,000.  This figure was not just grasped out of thin air.  But rather, this is the number that our research has told us that will be necessary to service and reduce the debt that will be incurred, once we have sold the notes (bonds) that have always been a part of the capital funding plan for this construction. This also takes into account the expanded expenses that will come with a new building (utilities, insurance, etc.).  These expenses will eventually be woven into our budget, but for the first couple of years, we intend to cover them outside the budget.

Currently, we have received right at $90,000 this year.  By the time you read this, we should be somewhere north of that figure.  Let me strongly encourage you to consider giving to the Building Fund, so that we can reach or perhaps exceed our goal.  I am not asking you to do anything that my family and I are not intending to do and have been doing.  But, along with all the wonderful things that we have seen God provide through this Building Project, it is important that we meet or exceed this goal.  We are very close and I am confident that if we all pull together in this, that we will be able to celebrate what our God has once again done for and through Boyd Avenue.

 

Tuesday
Nov012016

November 2016

As November rolls our way, there are a number of things that will get and keep our attention.  The hunting seasons will continue.  The holiday season will get underway.  This year, much to our chagrin, is an election year.  Along with a number of other political offices, on November 8, we will be going to the polls to elect a new president of our country.  While you may or may not be excited about the choices that are before you, all of us have a duty as citizens to vote, so allow me to encourage you to do that.

As each of us considers, from our own perspective, the person for whom we will vote, I am reminded of a challenge that the outgoing leader of Israel made to his people after he had led them on a successful conquest of the land that God had promised to Israel generations before.  In Joshua 24: 14-15 Joshua tells Israel “Therefore, fear the Lord and worship Him in sincerity and truth.  Get rid of the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and worship Yahweh.  But if it doesn’t please you to worship Yahweh, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship:  the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living.  As for me and my family we will worship Yahweh”

In essence, Joshua lays out four options from which to choose who or what will be worshiped. 

  1. You can worship Yahweh, the living God of Israel. 
  2. You can worship the ancient gods of Mesopotamia, worshiped by the ancestors of Abram, before he became a Yahweh worshiper and became Abraham.   
  3. You can worship the gods that were worshiped in Egypt that were left behind some 40+ years ago. 
  4. You can worship the gods of the Amorites or other Canaanite peoples whom they had just defeated. 

These were the choices that Joshua laid before his nation, demanding that they must choose who they would worship and serve.   Joshua went so far as to tell the folks what his choice would be:  “As for me and my family, we will worship Yahweh.”

Now, please understand, that there is no comparison or contrast between the choices put forth by Joshua, and the choices that stand before us in this presidential election.  While we should make a choice in our upcoming election, if we opt not to vote, that may have minimal consequence.  But, as in Joshua’s time, we must choose whom we will worship and serve.  We have a series of gods in our world who are running against our faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Everyone has to make a choice.  Who will we choose to worship and serve?  There are idols that have sought allegiance from every imaginable source.  Each of them is competing for your vote.  This is an election that cannot be ignored.  Fortunately, for us, there is an option in this choice that is vastly superior to all the others.  Jesus Christ is the living Son of God.  All of the other candidates are gods of the imagination of mankind.  This was true for Joshua and it is true for you and me.  So, choose today whom you will serve, one of the many gods that our world and culture embraces, or the true and living God, who reaches out to us through His resurrected Son. 

I think you will agree that every presidential election is important.  So again, let me encourage you to exercise your right to vote later this month.  But, more vital than that, let me encourage you to fully embrace the Christian faith, through an active daily relationship with our Lord and Savior.  Our president, whoever he or she may be, may make a difference in our lives.  But, there is no doubt that who we choose to worship and serve will have a much greater impact on our lives, here and hereafter.

 

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?