Ask the Pastor -November 29, 2019

big question markPastor Scott,

I had a question for you about the message yesterday. You talked about loving your enemies instead of wanting vengeance. Turn the other cheek and don’t withhold your shirt from them. My question is this: Was David wrong when he prayed for the detriment of his enemies? Psalm 109.

David was a man after God’s own heart and I believe that this was before his fall with Bathsheba. So why is this in the Bible and what am I missing because I know the Bible doesn’t contradict itself.


The Ponderer

Dear Ponderer

The short answer is you aren’t missing anything!  You caught a major change in God’s program for dealing with people.   Jesus changed everything (ie Matthew 5); In short, because He reconciled the whole world to His Father on the Cross (2 Cor 5:19).

God still hates sin and He made provision for it to be dealt with in our lives (Romans 5:8); in the church (Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 5).  But unlike David, we aren’t given the power to judge others (James 4:11-12).

Something else to consider is the fact that David was God’s point man on earth and his position doesn’t really exist in the Church.  Neither was his mission – slaying Israel’s enemies, the same as the church’s mission – making baptized disciples.  

I’m barely scratching the surface here, but I hope this gives you enough to ponder!

Pastor Scott


Alistair Begg does a Blog for CH Spurgeon.  I liked this one:

Give Thanks – November 22, 2019

praying bread

I really wanted to write something clever and new for this Thanksgiving blog, but it’s hard to write better than the man after God’s own heart!  As your family gathers and as you feast, don’t forget to bless the Lord!!

Psalm 103 – A Psalm of David.  

Bless the Lord, O my soul;

And all that is within me, bless His holy name!

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And forget not all His benefits:

Who forgives all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases,

Who redeems your life from destruction,

Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,

Who satisfies your mouth with good things,

So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord executes righteousness

And justice for all who are oppressed.

He made known His ways to Moses,

His acts to the children of Israel.

The Lord is merciful and gracious,

Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

He will not always strive with us,

Nor will He keep His anger forever.

He has not dealt with us according to our sins,

Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

For as the heavens are high above the earth,

So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;

As far as the east is from the west,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

As a father pities his children,

So the Lord pities those who fear Him.

For He knows our frame;

He remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass;

As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,

And its place remembers it no more.

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting

On those who fear Him,

And His righteousness to children’s children,

To such as keep His covenant,

And to those who remember His commandments to do them.

The Lord has established His throne in heaven,

And His kingdom rules over all.

Bless the Lord, you His angels,

Who excel in strength, who do His word,

Heeding the voice of His word.

Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,

You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.

Bless the Lord, all His works,

In all places of His dominion.

Bless the Lord, O my soul!

From my family to your family – Happy Thanksgiving!

Pastor Scott

Forgiveness or Permission – November 15, 2019

maxresdefaultBelow is a link to a blog I follow from GES in which a variety of authors write on a variety of issues involving grace.  Typically they are “defending grace” from those trying to make it harder to get to heaven. In the case of the article below, they are taking on the issue of those who use grace as permission to sin.  It’s an interesting read, for all that I don’t know if the ECM churches referred to are actual individual churches or “straw men.” My reason for reposting, however, isn’t to point fingers at those churches; it’s because of the disdain I feel, for their teaching points a finger back at me!

Not me as a preacher.  As a preacher, I’m clear that every passage that teaches justification by grace (ie. Romans 3:22-5:21) is followed by passages like Romans 6:1 “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?”  And Scott, the preacher, and you, the congregant, know the answer, right?

God Forbid!    

My concern isn’t for my preaching.  My concern is for Scott, the distracted driver, or the tired channel surfer.  Or Scott, the impatient husband. Scott, the preacher, and Scott, the Bible student, knows that grace means forgiveness, NOT permission.  Scott, the man, doesn’t always act that way. Scott, the man, may answer the question: “What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?”   

“You Betcha!”  

Well, not with my words, but with my actions or attitudes.  How about you? Do we give the amazing grace of God a bad name by using it as permission?  I think the reason this article hit me so hard is because it was secular researchers who saw the obvious hypocrisy!  Remember we are His witnesses, always and everywhere!   

Yours, Because I”m His,

Pastor Scott

It won’t read itself! – November 8, 2019“This Book is the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding; its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s character. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. Follow its precepts and it will lead you to Calvary, to the empty tomb, to a resurrected life in Christ; yes, to glory itself, for eternity.”  ~Writer Unknown

I can hear this in the comforting voice of an old southern preacher!  I hope you can too; but I also hope the Holy Spirit’s voice uses it to remind each of us not to allow the urgent things in life to distract us from the important thing in life!

Pastor Scott

“Hold on Loosely” – November 1, 2019

open hands

No, I’m not referring to the 1981 hit by .38 Special, though I admit that song always made me smile.  I’m referring to words, whispered in the dark, 18 years earlier by my mom’s mom to my mom as she held her first baby (me) in her arms.  “Hold on loosely, honey.” My mom used to share how jarring that was coming from her sweet little mother, and yet how profound. Truth is, it applies to many more things than parenting.

For the last several weeks the congregation has brought in pounds of candy, the facility team has spent dozens of man-hours undoing critter damage in our outbuilding (Building 2).  On Saturday, October 26, a crack team of volunteers assembled the giant bouncy houses, fun fair games, and eatery, turning a warehouse space into an outreach extravaganza! Then came the warnings of another snowpocalypse…..  Unfortunately, because of the heaters we had to rent, we had to make the call in the morning of the event, and that morning there was still a bulls-eye on KC at 7 p.m., so I pulled the plug – hearing, once again, the words of my Grandma Nelson, “Hold on Loosely”… 

As echoed by Solomon:

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

Learned by Job:

“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:  ‘Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.  Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.’” (Job 38:1-4)

And demonstrated by Jesus:

“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)

I don’t know how often this happens for you.  I am often accused by voices in my head that if only I had planned better, if only I had anticipated better, then thus and so wouldn’t have happened.  Of course, one can ALWAYS learn from mistakes, BUT one isn’t always mistaken. Sometimes God has a different plan. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.  Where He leads, we simply need to…..go!



Pastor Scott