Jude 24 -March 29, 2019

3668923101_340b51e825Some of you may remember studying the fall of the Roman Empire in school – it’s a little eerie when you realize how closely we are following the same course:

  1. The rapid increase of divorce; the undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society.
  2. Higher and higher taxes and the spending of public monies for free bread and circuses for the populace.
  3. The mad craze for pleasure; sports becoming every year more exciting and more brutal.
  4. The building of gigantic armaments when the real enemy was within, the decadence of the people.
  5. The decay of religion — faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life and becoming impotent to warn and guide the people*.

Obviously, if the Lord tarries, the West may certainly follow the same path…. But our families don’t have to!  Let’s remain zealous for good deeds as we look for His appearing! (Titus 2:11-14)  And let’s live like we believe! (Philippians 1:27-30).  Never forget that someone is modeling himself after you, even as you are modeling yourself after Christ (1 Cor 11:1).  And finally, keep in mind, that it doesn’t ALL depend on you!

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.  (Jude 24-25 KJV)

*The above list is attributed to Edward Gibbon, author of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1789)

Missons “funny” – March 22, 2019

As you know if you attended, or are on social media, or clicked through to here from the Newsletter, we just came off a fantastic 4 day Missions Conference.  We were blessed and challenged by the ministries of Dr. Cone, the Sells, the Hoskins, and Suermans.  We were reminded over and over again of God’s Grace and His Faithfulness.  We even laughed, a lot….  here’s a a funny tearjerker purely for your reminiscence and enjoyment!

Early missionaries to the Marshall Islands in the central Pacific received their mail once a year when the sailing boat made its rounds of the South Pacific. On one occasion the boat was one day ahead of schedule, and the missionaries were off on a neighboring island. The captain left the mail with the Marshallese people while he attended to matters of getting stores of water and provisions. At last the Marshallese were in possession of what the missionaries spoke about so often and apparently cherished so much. The people examined the mail to find out what was so attractive about it. They concluded that it must be good to eat, and so they proceeded to tear all the letters into tiny bits and cook them. However, they didn’t taste very good, and the Marshallese were still puzzled about the missionaries’ strange interest in mail when they returned to find their year’s correspondence made into mush. James-Gill-in-the-arms-of-his-mother-Elsie-receives-a-“first-gift”-from-an-Araona-India-chief-in-Bolivia.-Courtesy-of-James-Gill

Capital Thoughts – March 15, 2019

Sound BoothI was asked by our Board Chairman to outline where I see the the next phase of our building program going.   Obviously, I’m not an architect or an engineer and these ideas haven’t been approved by the board or by you, the congregation – but somebody has to get the conversation started!  🙂

As you may remember, when Mr.  Steve Guenther originally drew up plans for the remodeling of this building he did it in several ambitious phases.  Since that time we have made the phases slightly more bite-sized. A huge thank you to Mr. Jim Lee for spearheading the renovation and for all the others who have volunteered hours and hours of their time!  The building looks fantastic!

We are nearing completion of Phase One (defined as what we could do with money in hand) which included:

  • Signage
  • Acoustic spraying on Fellowship Hall ceiling
  • Painting of Fellowship Hall and new classrooms
  • Moving several electrical outlets
  • Installation of a platform and sound booth in the Worship Center and the Youth Room
  • New Screens, Projectors, and Sound System
  • Removal of the “hut” in Fellowship Hall
  • Installation of double doors into the Worship Center
  • Two new adult classrooms
  • Large storage/work room
  • New counters in Fellowship Hall  
  • Window shades throughout the Fellowship Hall
  • The creation of an office or two (Pastor Jim is going to move into the office storage room that currently houses the copier)
  • Expansion of the Conference Room into a full-sized classroom
  • Lots and lots of drywall mud, joints, sanding and mudding!  
  • Mini-Phase One should take us through:
    • Painting of the Worship Center and the KidZone
    • New Speakers in the Worship Center
    • Hopefully, the rearranging of the walls in three classrooms on the north side of KidZone
    • Lord willing, the building of a wall behind the platform in the Worship Center
    • And Window Treatments in the Worship Center

Phase Two, for which funds will have to be raised, will focus largely on our front door.  We need to (and this will be more clear after it’s accepted by the board and drawn by the architect):

  • Either center up and go to one double door at the front entrance OR go to two double doors  
  • Then at about 6 feet in, do it again forming a vestibule between the front door and the Fellowship Hall
  • Add walls and doors and a window for the secretary on the left (as you are facing in from the parking lot) and a window to the new pastor’s office to the right inside the vestibule space, as above
  • The current pastor’s office would become the worship pastor’s office
    • Essentially, I’m talking about enclosing in that entire overhang (Senior Pastor’s office on the south end, glassed-in vestibule in the middle, secretary’s office north of that with a window facing the vestibule, and security office on the north end)     
  • Division of the room behind the café counter into a cooking kitchen* and a mop room, with individual doors  
  • Two more classrooms
    • One, carved out of the space in the southwest corner of the worship area that was originally designated “office”
    • The other, behind the SE wall of youth room (currently a storage room/workshop)
  • Sufficiently improve rear parking lot so as to begin using Westridge gate for westbound 350 traffic coming from Lee’s Summit.

Phase Three, after we prove we would use it, would be to:

  • Insulate, and otherwise improve, the large spaces in the other two buildings to make them useful for all weather for games, activities or things not yet dreamed of
  • Create green space inside the wall on the east side of the property (picnic, playground, and/or sports)   

*We need the cooking kitchen ASAP but the cost of hooding a stove has seemed prohibitive.  If one can be located (a going-out-of-business restaurant?) on budget we might be able to do it as part of Phase One.

On a completely unrelated note; the kids are going to be singing “These are the Days of Elijah” in the service in the coming weeks.  I’m often asked if I’m OK with that song – Turns out when I read the composers heart, I am! 🙂


Opportunity – March 8, 2019

I’m not even sure what made me pause today, before rushing on with my own Bible reference search, but I happened to take note of the verse(s) “in focus” on my Bible program.  They were:

“Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Eph 5:16);

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” (Col 4:5)

Of course the word “opportunity” jumped out at me, as it was supposed to, and next thing I know I’m looking through my illustration file under that subject heading.  I want to share these two with you.  They are both true, although 600 years apart, and both speak to the fact that we NEVER know what opportunity may lay before us!

In 1269 Kublai Khan sent a request from Peking to Rome for “a hundred wise men of the Christian religion…And so I shall be baptized, and when I shall be baptized all my baron and great men will be baptized, and their subjects baptized, and so there will be more Christian here than there are in your parts.” The Mongols were then wavering in the choice of a religion. It might have been, as Kublai forecast, the greatest mass religious movement the world has ever seen. The history of all Asia would have been changed.

But what actually happened? Pope Gregory X answered by sending two Dominican friars. They got as far as Armenia, could endure no longer and returned home. So passed the greatest missionary opportunity in the history of the church.

~ Dunkerly, in Resource

We missed him. Our chance to change things came and passed and we did not know it was there. A dark-skinned little boy sat through Sunday School classes for three years at a great Baptist Church (First Church, San Antonio) but someone missed him. His name was Sirhan Sirhan, and at age 24 he shot and killed Senator Robert Kennedy. In a welter of words and the shudder of grief throughout our nation, the persistent thought keeps recurring…someone missed him.

~ Dr. Jimmy Allen, former pastor of First Baptist Church, San Antonio, Texas, in Pulpit Helps, May, 1991.


Would you pray right now, and every day hereafter, that God would give you at least ONE opportunity to touch ONE life?  Even if it’s something as simple as, “Hey, may I pray for you?”  We never know where someone has been, nor where they are going – but God does!

In His All-Knowing Grace,

Pastor Scott

Ephesians 5.16

Discipleship 101 – March 1, 2019

GurkasIn his book One Crowded Hour, Tim Bowden describes an incident in Borneo in 1964. Nepalese fighters known as Gurkhas were asked if they would be willing to jump from airplanes into combat against the Indonesians. The Gurkhas didn’t clearly understand what was involved, but they bravely said they would do it, asking only that the plane fly slowly over a swampy area and no higher than 100 feet. When they were told that the parachutes would not have time to open at that height, the Gurkhas replied, “Oh, you didn’t mention parachutes before!”

The word translated “disciple” in the New Testament means “student or follower.”  Jesus upped the ante (yes, I did it again) for His disciples by saying they would need to deny themselves and take up their crosses to follow Him.  Jesus’ final commission to His disciples was to go into all the world and “make disciples.” (Matthew 28:19-20) Fast forward less than three months and Peter is preaching a sermon at Pentecost at which 3,000 people are saved.  These new disciples formed a church and immediately devoted themselves to the Disciples’ teaching, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer (Acts 2:42).

In the coming weeks (or months if we keep having weather delays) I plan to begin a class/Bible study to help in the area of becoming better disciples/disciple-makers.  I’m hoping to find a few “Gurkhas for Jesus” among us! 🙂

Pastor Scott