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Pastor Quin

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Boyd Avenue Baptist Church
1930 Boyd Avenue, Casper, WY

(307) 261-9896

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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.

 

Tuesday
Feb022016

February 2016

When the champion of the National Football League is crowned on the first Sunday of this month, the sports world will go into a time of hibernation.  March Madness (the NCAA basketball tournament) is still a month away.  Spring training for Major League baseball is getting close, but games that count don’t start until April 12.  Yes, the NBA seasons continues, but that usually doesn’t get real good until the play offs begin.  And I know that hockey is rocking along, but I am not a Canadian.

So what is a guy supposed to do?  We can’t just sit around and mope.  We can only apply for hunting license for this fall’s hunting season so many times.  This is a true dilemma.  But, men, we should be grateful.  The women of our world, some years ago, recognized this problem and decided to help us out.  They invented a holiday that fits perfectly into this time of sports void.  They call it Valentine’s Day!!  You may ask me how I know it was invented by a woman.  Well, the holiday itself gives us all indication that we will ever need to recognize this obvious reality.  What man, no matter how devoid of sports he may be, would ever think up a day like Valentine’s?  A day centered on chocolate and flowers would never have entered his mind.  (Well, chocolate maybe, but flowers never.)  Perhaps, you could argue, it was a man who was in deep trouble, so he came up with this idea.  But, what man is in so much trouble that he would have to make this an annual holiday?  (OK, I concede this as possible, but not definitive.)

Enough of the arguing, we need to move on before I have to invent another mushy holiday.  Valentine’s Day is a day, yes, designed by women for their men to give them some special attention.  But, beyond that, we can and should use it as a reminder of the truth about love.  God is the perfect picture of love.  He is love, as the Bible tells us. He exhibits love in more ways than we can count. 

Now you may counter with the idea that the love of God is a little different than the love we exhibit on Valentine’s Day.  (You seem to be in an argumentative mood today.)  But, let me point out that it was God who invented this romantic love.  After all He created us male and female.  He placed us in a beautiful garden and instructed us to care for the garden and for one another.  It was not until we sinned against Him that our love for one another, romantic and otherwise, was interrupted.  Without the interruption that sin brings, we would have had no need for Valentine’s Day.  Actually, without sin, every day would be Valentine’s Day.  For each and every husband would be so driven by his own need to serve his woman that he would never be satisfied by the ways that he served her.  At the same time, each and every wife would be so driven by her need to serve her man that she would never be satisfied with her service. 

All this sounds pretty good, but really, this is how it was all intended to be.  We have just messed it up.  So here we are, relegated to a single Valentine’s Day, given to us in the midst of a time devoid of interesting sports.  (I am not conceding here the point that sports are a result of the fall of man.  Although, I’m not sure I can defend that point.)  So let us make the most of this year’s Valentine’s Day.  Let us also strive to make our spouse and children feel the true love that is returned to us in our relationship with God through Christ.  Let us indeed love   one another as Christ has so loved us.

Pastor Quin

 

Monday
Jan042016

January 2016

As the calendar turns from 2015 to 2016 it turns at a time of great uncertainty for our nation and our culture.  With the current events going on internationally and domestically, most of us are living with a level of discomfort to which most of us are unaccustomed.  With the rise of ISIS and other venues of radical Islam, there is a hatred that is being expressed which most of us have never seen before.  Even the evil forces that gave rise to World War II were pushed more by a lust for power and control than it was by the hatred we see being expressed in our current series of crisis.  In reality, we are under threat for two simple reasons:  1) We are Americans who live in a free and open society.  This has its own sets of problems that are produced by these freedoms, but these freedoms are the object of hatred that is producing great violence. 2) We are Christians who believe that Jesus is the Messiah, that He is the Son of God, that He died on a cross and was raised from the dead.  In other words, we are hated for theological reasons.  To hate someone over religious disagreement is so foreign to us that we would never even think of doing someone harm over such issues.  We may debate these issues, but we would never harm someone else over them or even wish them ill.  But, the truth of the matter is that we are hated because we live in freedom and we worship Christ as our Lord and Savior.

To stick our heads in the sand and pretend that we are too insulated here in Wyoming to be threatened by this is unwise.  So how do we deal with the threats that have been made against us and our way of life?  There are forces that say that we would be safe if there was stricter gun control.  Some go so far as to say that if we were to completely disarm our citizenry that this would somehow make us safe.  On the other hand, I have recently heard one university president and two sheriffs tell their citizens to arm themselves for their own protection.  While personally, I would fall on the more conservative side of these issues, this article is not intended to have anything to do with the politics of our country.  Rather, I want us to consider the answer that will truly bring us peace even victory in a set of very difficult circumstance.

Recently, Barbara Crews sent me a letter that her uncle sent to his parents while he was serving in our military during World War II.  With her permission, I am sharing this letter with you.  Note the date, the place, and emphasis of this letter.

 

England                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        December 6, 1943

Dearest Papa & Mama,                                                                                                                                           

I wrote you yesterday in answer to a couple letters from you.  There isn’t much else to write today, only that I thought of writing a few lines extra because Christmas is upon us.

I suppose that in some respects this Christmas will be minus its usual cheery atmosphere for you because the boys won’t be there.  But you can take consolation from the fact that four of your boys are in uniform to preserve the privilege of enjoying Christmas in the American way.     

In the face of a world torn asunder by hate and war, the story of the Prince of Peace at Bethlehem shall reverberate once more to dispel, temporarily, some of the present gloom.  The old rugged cross has not lost any of its appeal.  Let us, with renewed faith; hope and pray for a better Christmas in 1944.                                                                                                                            

So it is the same old story from one who loves you sincerely—Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.                                                                                                                                                                                           Dargan

 

We have just concluded the Christmas season.  A time when our way of life and our faith in Christ is a point of hatred and violence.  Today, just as in the midst of World War II, we owe a great debt to the men and women who serve in our military and in our domestic law enforcement.  These people are standing between us and those who hate us.  But, above this, we will find our true peace in that baby who was born in Bethlehem, died on a cross as our Savior, and was raised from the dead in ultimate victory of the true evil of our sin.  It is His victory in which we live.  Yes, our politicians will have all sorts of ways to bring peace and keep us safe. But, let us live in and enjoy the only source of peace, the Prince of Peace.  Only in Him we can have a happy and prosperous New Year.

Happy New Year

Pastor Quin