We Want Something Different!

In the Hebrew Scriptures, it is recorded in the early days of Israel’s history, the nation was a theocracy (God ruled). The nation was to have a distinct purpose therefore they were also to be distinct from the other nations. But, fickle as the human family is, the people wanted to be like the other nations rather than a light to the other nations. They wanted a king.

The United States of America, for her brief history, has been a unique experiment. We did not want to be like other nations, we were going to be a uniquely free country where everyone had certain unalienable rights given by their Creator. We were to be a beacon of freedom to the rest of the world. With limited government and freedoms guarded by the constitution!

As I travel in the energy world, though the USA has had the highest standard of living, the least expensive energy and is viewed with envy by the rest of the world, I often hear people say, but Germany is doing this, or look what Europe is doing. As an east coaster, it is also very common to hear, California is doing this or that.

I say, I don’t care what the rest of the world is doing! We have low cost energy, the ability to move ahead in life, opportunity for common people is every where if you aren’t afraid to work. I have no interest in paying $0.30+ for a KWH of electricity. I have no interest in paying $5-8 for gasoline and I have no interest at all in paying 50-60% of my salary in taxes so the government can control every aspect of life, like in other countries!

This Covid-19 exercise should be a warning to all Americans. Just like that, within days the government has the power to basically shut the entire country down. Churches are closed, schools are closed, sports have been shut down,  many businesses will be put in a very precarious situation. It is a warning of what could be all the time if you continue to listen to the radical socialist agenda and vote people into office who want to radically change us to be more like other countries!

America’s uniqueness among the nations of the world could be lost in one election. We have been blessed with vast natural resources, amazing ingenuity and freedom like others only dream about! Why would you want to be like any other nation that is less than what we already are?

Think about it!

Blessings,

Scott

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Paul, Timothy & Barnabas

I’ve heard most my Christian Life, everyone needs a Paul, Timothy and Barnabas in your life. Paul, represents a mentor, Timothy represents a student and Barnabas represents someone who encourages.

I’ve been pondering this idea that I believe originated with Howard Hendricks years ago. When considering a discipleship relationship, I believe thinking in these designations is not that helpful. Imagine I come into a relationship with you and I am assuming, I am Paul. I’m going to help you grow in your faith. That thought will ultimately tarnish the relationship and make it top heavy.

I think what we need more than one of each of these in our lives, is to be all three to whoever we are in relationship with. Here is what I mean. During my time as leader of a men’s ministry, even though I may have more Bible knowledge than most the other men, in my relationship with them we were equals, peers from my vantage point. There were times I was coaching or teaching like Paul, but other times I was the student, learning from these men like a Timothy. We all took turns being Barnabas, or encouragers to each other.

Rather than looking for one of each, humble yourself and become all of them in your relationships with others!

Blessings,

Scott

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Why Abortion Is Critical To Feminism

I believe all people are created equal and given certain inalienable rights, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This phrase gives us a glimpse into where satisfaction and fulfillment find their source. If we as people are created equal, that hints at the idea of a Creator. The dignity of all human beings find its source in the truth, we are created in the image of the Creator. Ask any person in life who has found a deep level of satisfaction and has been able to stop striving toward some allusive attempt at completion, and you will hear the same story. Their satisfaction and fulfillment came from within, often in connection with their God.

Years ago on a trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, we saw a beautiful oceanfront beach home that was named, “Never Enough.” Has any achievement ever been enough? Has anything you’ve ever accomplished, earned, developed, pursued or even married ever been enough and brought a deep down, lasting satisfaction?

It seems to me, at least originally, feminism is the pursuit of “equality.” I interpret that to mean equality with men, who seem through history to be “ahead.” To gain the same rights and privileges of men required women to become more like men. Though there are at least 6,500 genetic differences between men and women documented by research, only a few physical differences are noticeable. There is only one really obvious difference, that pesky issue that can really impede a women’s progress! That is conception, gestation, pregnancy, and childbearing.

It appears men can enjoy the sexual relationship, and continue up the corporate ladder, a woman always has the risk she may become pregnant and that really complicates her future plans for herself and career. In order to level the playing field, abortion has been the tool to help women finally achieve complete equality with men. No pregnancy needs to slow her down as she pursues her dream of self-fulfillment and finding her place in the world. She may choose to end that pregnancy and only lose one day in the process of climbing the ladder.

The sad thing of all this to me is we miss the underlying issue of our discontentment. That is, we, men and women look for satisfaction in all the wrong places. We pursue things and people in an effort to complete ourselves. We chase things that can never give us what we really long for and our pursuits almost always leave us high and dry.

There is only one reservoir to drink from that will never run out of supply. There is a God who designed us as men and women, and He will fully embrace our masculine and feminine traits as beautiful and worth celebrating rather than trading in for the other model. May we all find what we are looking for in Him.

Blessings,

Scott

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Truth Exchange

Romans 1:19-25 teaches God has revealed himself to us through his creation. By examining our world around us we can learn the truth about God, his nature, his power and how the world is designed to work. Interesting, it says as humans we suppressed that obvious reality and exchanged the truth for a lie and ultimately end up thinking we are so wise but actually become quite foolish!

I recently got a new computer for work. We have a high degree of security which can make everything more complicated. I was connecting a wireless printer but it wouldn’t work. It has to be wired with a cable because it is more secure! I started thinking about how our technology has to be designed to communicate with other devices. Whenever there is a purpose, thinking and design are essential. Transmitting information is an absolute necessity between devices.

I read a book a friend wrote that started me thinking about the human eye and human hearing in the light of modern technology. It is overwhelming complex to even imagine how both these processes work in detail. How light and sound are received, transmitted, converted to nerve impulses and then processed by our brain to allow us to interpret sights and sounds. It caused me to ponder the Scriptures referenced above. There is absolutely no possibility, no matter how long the time period, these senses could have happened without no design, just by random selection. A person would have to become a fool to believe that.

I began to think about other exchanges the human family has made once we ignore the Divine Architect of life and think we know better. We look at the wonder of the universe and say it just happened by random selection. We come up with things like there is some better way to build a society than the traditional family. We say, our offspring are not human. We say there are more than two genders rather than the two obvious genders and a few rare deviations. We twist and turn everything and ultimately to our own destruction.

I would encourage you to think about things that are readily embraced by our society that fit into this category. We are making tradeoffs that are not very wise.

Ponder these things,

Scott

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Seeing The World Through God’s Eyes

I’ve been pondering this world we live in, and all the divisions and hostilities to each other. My thinking has led me down a path of realization that all of us view the world and how it operates through a variety of lenses.

I have chosen to do my best to view life through the eyes of the Creator. I have come to believe by learning, experience, and observation, there must be a Divine Being. By definition, observation and research, that Divine Being, many call God, must be greater than me.

Through years of study, I’ve come to believe the Bible both the Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament and the Christian, New Testament is His communication to us so we can know who he is and what he is like. Through this belief in the Scriptures, I also have learned God reveals himself through the creation and ultimately through his son, Jesus Christ.

Being the supreme being of the universe automatically carries with it the idea He is much more in the know than any of us, even the brightest minds, and greatest scientists are but dim bulbs compared to his all-knowing glory.

Coming to see myself as totally incomplete without him, I’ve seen when left to my own best thinking, my mind is warped, my choices are flawed and my emotions are fickle. I’m left with one solution, humble myself, surrender to him and then study his creation, his word, and his son to learn all I can so I can know him and what pleases him.

I cannot attempt to shape him into my image, I must be shaped into his image. My natural thoughts are not his thoughts, His ways are much higher than mine and I have no way to know them other than humbly learning from him.

This requires when I study his words and ways, I seek to know his truth and then submit myself to it. I cannot attempt to twist and pervert what he says to align with my best thinking apart from him.

This view of life will always put me in the minority. Culture will shout and vehemently disagree, just as a similar culture took the perfect son of God and crucified him 2,000 years ago.

When I operate by my best thinking, I create a god that suits me, a god of my own understanding,  but in reality that god only exists in my mind. It is only when I seek to know THE God, the true, living and all-knowing God and submit to his ways, I become enlightened to the truth, reality and the Divine Wisdom of God.

blessings and ponderings,

Scott

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Epic Shift Coming!

Jesus asked a question, when I return, will I even be able to find the faith on earth (Luke 18:8). When we look back to what has happened to Christianity in other parts of the world, we get a good indication of what will happen in our country in the future. In my last writing, The Church of the Future, I described what I see the church could look like.

So, I ask, how does the present day church prepare for the inevitable? Imagine walking away from your church facilities because it was no longer safe to go there. How long would it take for the facility to fall into total ruin? Is the present day, facility focused church sustainable for the long haul? Is having a church budget that requires $50,000 to a $1,000,000 dollars weekly for facilities and staffing sustainable? I don’t think so!

Every significant ministry in America should start developing an infrastructure of leaders and home groups for the day when that may be all we have. At least we will be prepared and be good stewards of THE CHURCH. When I think about the church, all it is, is the people. We are the church. Not the staffing structures, not the facilities, not the big productions that wear everyone out but the spectators, not the massive budgets, it is only the people.

I think the church will be much healthier and much stronger when all we know of church is the people, the relationships and the mission to share what we have with those that don’t have it yet. When as a living organism, we go about doing good, not to check a box that I serve a function at the church machine, but that Christ lives in me and I love him and I love you. Then we live with eyes wide open to opportunities that abound every day for me to be the heart, hands and feet of Jesus to a broken world.

The more I’ve pondered this over the weeks the more I’m seeing the machine siphons off the resources that could be going to impact the world in much more significant ways. The time, energy and money that is spent to sustain the machine actually keeps us from being the church Christ envisioned when he said, I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. The strongest representations of the church in the world is in those countries where it is not legal to exist. They have no facilities, just a network of people who love Jesus enough to risk their lives to meet together. Until it costs us something more than busy work to belong, I’m not sure we will ever value what it means to be the church.

What is your church doing that is more than rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic? What is your church pursuing that a match and thirty minutes can’t destroy?

Ponder this,

Scott

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The Church Of Tomorrow?

I just spent two days at the Global Leadership Summit. I was taught leaders see more and see further than others. I was challenged to learn the way our businesses or churches operate today won’t work in as soon as five to ten years. I’ve been pondering this for a decade, what do I see as the church of tomorrow? After seeing another mega-star pastor bite the dust, I thought there needs to be a better model of ministry than what we have now.

Here is what I see the church of tomorrow will look like and some pioneers may want to start moving that direction now. The church of tomorrow will value people and ministry more than anything else. Therefore the following must happen.

It must become streamlined and ready for persecution. No money will be tied up in facilities or salaries. Sorry pastors, no more opportunity to become a super star, celebrity pastor, writing books and speaking at conferences and pulling down the big bucks. You will work a regular job like everyone else and so not lose touch with life outside the church bubble. Plus, you won’t be leading alone. No more solo hot-shot pastors with a staff, there will be a team of leaders, all with equal status.

There will be no paid staff! That will contribute to a healthier group of leaders. It will contribute to a much more engaged body, and smaller more mobile teams of Christ followers.  There will be no bought facilities. People who have will share, a business, a storefront, a backyard. Where you meet will not be about how great the show or how comfortable the constituents. It will be about drinking deeply at the well of Scripture, worship, recharging and reaching and serving your neighbors.

There will be a team of people who share leadership and teaching based on gifts and availability but not on personality or charismatic leader to draw a crowd. The leaders will be loved, but so will everyone else. No part of the body will be more important than another.

All contributions will go to ministry efforts and needs. No salaries, no facilities, no insurance, utility costs, or multi-million dollar sound and light systems. The show is over it is time to get serious. If you want to follow Christ or learn more about Him, come with us. If you are more into what is in it for you, go to one of the dinosaurs in the neighborhood.

Hundreds of churches are going out of business annually. I can count at least a half-dozen senior, rock star pastors who screwed up and are gone just in the last couple years. When that happens your offerings can’t pay for your cushy facility and all energy now goes to survival so you can meet payroll and pay for a building. That is the future of today’s church if nothing changes.

The model of ministry I’m presenting, will be light and lean and ready to move at a moments notice. I would love to be part of that church!

blessings,

Scott

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