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Pastor Quin

Pastor Ed

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Boyd Avenue Baptist Church
1930 Boyd Avenue, Casper, WY

(307) 261-9896

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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.

 

Tuesday
May032016

May 2016

How do you go about making decisions?  This is an important question that you and I need to consider from time to time.  Most of us just meander through our daily existence, making the decisions that must be made in order to deal with any given situation at any given time.

First, of all we have to understand that we make many decisions.  Every day, we make simple decisions, such as, where to eat, what to eat, what to wear, where to go and what to do when we get there.  Depending on the circumstance, we invest differing amounts of energy into these decisions.  For instance, I will consider more deeply what I wear on a Sunday morning than I may on a Thursday morning.  For one thing, Beth looks me over before I leave for church on Sunday morning to be sure I have not committed any stylistic cardinal sins.  On Thursdays, I usually leave the house before she is up, so I’m on my own.  But really, how badly can I mess up blue jeans and a golf shirt?  (This is a rhetorical question, I would rather not receive any answers on this.)  Also, I’ve been reviewing the gas choices that we have to make these days, in order to pick out the natural gas provider that we will be using for the next year.  Add to that the choices before us in the current political races both now and then again later in the fall, and you see that there are many choices that we must make.  And just as we make one or two choices on a matter, it seems 3 more suddenly arise for more decision making.

Second, we also have to make big decisions from time to time.  Professional decisions, family decisions, financial decisions can all weigh heavily on our minds.  These can be life-changing decisions that could affect us, our families, and perhaps others for a long time.  These decisions are less frequent, but they are exponentially more stressful. 

Then, there is our spiritual decisions.  If you know Christ as your Savior, you have made a vital spiritual decision that truly touches every part of your life. 

So we come back to the original question:  How do you go about making decisions?  The exact process that you used in making the spiritual decision to accept Christ, would depend on many things.  Your age when you made the decision would make a big difference in your processes.  Your background also would play heavily into this.  Whatever your circumstance, the Holy Spirit drew you to this decision.  He placed before you the facts of this decision, then pricked your heart, so that you came to believe in the impossible.  That is, a God of holiness could love a sinner, then put into place a way for that sinner to be transformed into a saint.

The process that led us to embrace Christ as our Lord and Savior, reflects the Mind of Christ.  In other words, we came to think about this matter as God thinks about this matter.  This is truly the summary of how we should go about making decisions in our lives.  If we view things as God views things, then we would be in a position to make wise decisions, not foolish ones.  You see, wisdom is the key to our decision making.  Otherwise, we will make foolish decisions and then pay the price for that foolishness.

I have known people who were absolutely paralyzed because they so deeply feared making a decision outside of the will of God.  Now, while I am sure that we should seek God’s will in all things, I also believe that there are many decisions that God is OK with, no matter what we choose.  For instance, if I choose the wrong color combination on a Sunday morning (this can only happen if Beth is not home), I really don’t think that God cares too much.  He has already built into the situation the natural results of such an error, for the ladies will wag their heads and see how inept I am on my own.  There are other decisions that we make that He may look at us and say that He will bless us whatever our decision may be.  Then there are those decisions that He wants us to make.  (Like your salvation or area of service for Him) You can be assured that He will, through His Spirit, make His will known to you.  Now this is not an exact science.  God works with us as individuals.  How He leads me will be different than how He will lead you.  But, you can be assured that He gives us His wisdom.  If we strive to view our world and our lives through His eyes, we will have access to His wisdom.

These are the keys to wise decision making.  Let us live wisely.  This is God’s desire for us.

 

Tuesday
Apr052016

April 2016

As most of you know, Beth and I recently returned from Texas, a trip that was centered on the funeral of my father.  As we spent those days between our arrival at my mother’s home, until the day of the funeral, I began to see the great value and importance of family.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved my family.  Any time that I was able to see and spend a little time with my folks or my siblings, was always special to me.  But, as with many families, time and distance and schedules make it very difficult to spend time together.  All this being said, the moments I spent with my brother, my sisters, and all their off-spring were a very important time to me.  Family is more important than I have words to express.

I make the above observation, which for the most part should be pretty obvious, to make another personal point.  On this recent journey in which the value of a person’s family was reinforced to me, I also saw emphasized another thing I knew to be true, but have rarely seen the depth of this truth.  I am speaking of the value of our church family or spiritual family.  On our drive to my mother’s home (about 20 hours) we were constantly bombarded by a barrage of incoming calls and texts, checking on us, encouraging us, and so on.  It really made the trip seem much shorter than it was.  At the funeral home, we found that some had sent flowers to my dad’s service, plus more calls, and encouraging texts were flooding down from Wyoming.  It was heart-warming and encouraging.  On top of that, when we returned home, we were greeted by a mountain of cards, letters, prayer-grams, and C.A.R.E. notes.  But wait there’s more.  When I got back to the office I found out that still other people had made contributions to our building fund or other ministries in memory of my dad.  These were the things that we could see and count.  I have no idea how many prayers went up from Wyoming on my family’s behalf.  While I could not hear these prayers, believe you me, they were felt.  It is without a doubt one of the sources of peace that passes all understanding that my family received during a time of loss.  In addition to all this I cannot count how many handshakes and hugs I have gotten since we returned home, with the whispered phrase, “So, sorry for your loss!”

While I share my deepest appreciation for all this, the purpose of this article is not intended to simply be a glorified thank you note.  What I want to emphasize is the importance of family.  Not just our families made up of parents, siblings, children, and so forth.  No, I want to emphasize the importance of a Church Family.  For my entire ministry, I have always referred to our local church body as “family”.  I have always done that on purpose, seeing and wanting the rest of the church to see the body of the church as family.  I do not intend for the church to take the place of our biological families, but it should be a wonderful enhancement to our families.  The recent experience of my father’s passing, that was accompanied by an unbelievable outpouring of love and support underscored to me just how vital it is that within the body of Boyd Avenue Baptist Church that we are family.  It is important that we accept this family relationship when our time of need arises, as well as be family to others in their times of need.  Personally, I have felt what it is like to have this large family that loves and supports me in a time of loss.  Now, I more fully understand how important it is for me to be family to others who will go through similar times.

What a wonderful thing it is to be a part of such a family!  If you are a part of a church family, remember to be family.  If you are not, let me strongly encourage you to invest yourself in a local church, so that you too can know and be family. (This, of course, is always centered on your relationship with Christ.) To receive the blessings that come from people who love you, and to offer those same expressions of love to other members of the family is a large part of the abundant life that Christ has for each of us.

Thank you Boyd Avenue for being here for me and my family.  Thank you for being my family!

Pastor Quin

 

Tuesday
Mar012016

March 2016

As most of you know, I grew up on a dairy farm in south central Texas.  I am the youngest of four children, three years younger than the younger girl, Karen.  I didn’t think anything about it then, but when Karen turned six years old, she entered the first grade, that left me at home alone with my Mom.  Looking back on it, Mom had to be highly frustrated to be the sole playmate of a three year old, who was used to having older siblings around for his entertainment. 

Now before you get to feeling too sorry for my mother, you have to understand that she had two aces up her sleeve to deal with my constant presence.  First of all, my Dad hauled our milk to town every day in those old milk cans that are now collector’s items.  You better believe that Mom had me ready to go to town every morning!  I so enjoyed going to town with Dad in the pick-up.  We would drop the milk off at the milk plant, get fresh cans, then I’d go with my Dad on whatever errands needed to be accomplished.  This always ended with a soda-pop somewhere.  I did not realize until I was a parent myself, just how calculating my mother was.  I thought she just wanted me to have some “Dad time.”  While I’m sure, that “Dad time” was fine, what she really wanted was some “no Quin time” for herself.  I have no idea what she did in my absence, but she seemed to get by just fine.

The other ace she had up her sleeve was our farm pond.  When I got particularly restless, or when she had sufficiently accomplished her responsibilities during her “no Quin time”, she would take me down to the pond with an old cane pole where she would catch grasshoppers and I would catch blue gills.  This instilled a love for fishing that I still carry to this day.  I had no idea that my Mom’s strategy to deal with a restless preschooler would have such a long ranging effect.  She would not allow me to go to the pond alone, for fear I would drown myself, but she did encourage me to spend time in the yard catching grasshoppers, putting them in a jar for future fishing trips.  Now this woman is a genius.  She increased her “no Quin time” by having me spend hours chasing grasshoppers, so she would not have to chase them the next time we went fishing.  Looking back on it as an adult, I’m sure most of those grasshoppers I caught probably never made it to the pond.  But, from her perspective, those insects accomplished their purpose.  They kept a preschooler busy for a while, so that she could be in the house alone.

As we consider these things, it strikes me how an individual’s perspective interprets events.  For me, as a three year old, everything revolved around going to town with Dad and ending up with a soft drink.  Or I was fishing or catching grasshoppers in order to go fishing.  From my Mom’s perspective, there was greatly needed alone time to get her house work done, take care of her personal needs, or maybe even a little down time without a restless tyke underfoot. 

I wonder how often the day-in, day-out events in our lives are viewed through the lens of a limited perspective.  I think all too often we are so caught up in our little world that we fail to recognize a bigger plan.  Are we so caught up in what we a doing at a given time, that we fail to recognize the bigger plan that God is working in and around our lives?   I’m sure the answer to that question is a simple, “yes”. 

We become interested in a new subject or activity.  From our perspective, the new interest is the whole ball of wax.  We see it, we do it, we like it, that’s all there is to it.  But, it is likely that God has a different and greater perspective.  The new area could grow into something that we use to bring Him glory.  We don’t notice it at first, but soon our perspective matures to see God’s greater purpose in this blessing.  Or perhaps we meet some new friends.  To us, they are some nice people with common interests and we are happy to have a new set of friends.  But, God may view these new people that He has brought into our lives as a way to advance His kingdom.  Yes, they are friends, but perhaps they will provide us the opportunity to introduce them to Christ.  If they are already believers, there could well be a mutual spiritual growth develop through the years. 

There is no doubt that God has a bigger perspective in the little things in our lives.  What we see resulting in soda-pop, or blue gills, or grasshoppers, He sees as building blocks that bring true abundance into our lives on a much wider perspective that we have at any given time.  There is no doubt that He enjoys our enjoyment, but we would do well to begin to broaden our perspective to view the things in our lives, big and small, from a greater perspective.