Merry Christmas 2020

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of mankind; as He already existed in the form of God, He did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men.  And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.   And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross. For this reason, also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Perhaps you or your family read or recite Luke 2 on Christmas Eve – Might I suggest this John/Paul Hash your Pastor cooked up as a great Christmas Morning Reading!

Hope you have a very Merry, Festive & family filled – Christ centered Christmas!

Pastor Scott

Abba’s Voice – December 11, 2020

Last week, springboarding off the things I was going to miss having to quarantine, I wrote about God as the Potter.  The line in that piece that has played over and over in my head this week (and yes, preachers often step on their own toes; how can they not?) reads:  He’s the Potter. Whiny clay isn’t even a thing.”  

I believe that we often need to hear God’s “drill-instructor” voice (e.g., Job 38-41).  There are, of course, other times that we need to hear Abba’s voice.  Several days after writing the line about whiny clay, God brought to mind a different picture.  Sitting around our house are samples of the finished work of the artists I mentioned in the last piece.  The beautiful lamp or the Hobbit that was in the lump of clay or the block of wood.  They look NOTHING like what came home from the store.

I don’t do handiwork.  I have ten thumbs and they’re all on backwards, but I do have two pretty good eyes.  And I’ve watched the face of these artisans as they gazed at their raw material and somehow saw not what IS but what COULD BE.  In the case of the woodworker, I’ve stood with him at specialty wood stores as he holds up and eyeballs piece after piece that all look the same to me, but a light comes over his face when he sees the one that has IN it what he’s looking for.  And then he can hardly wait to get to work on it, carving, shaving, polishing, even lavishing, if I may, with care in order to reveal the highly valued piece inside.  Beloved, I see so many similarities to how Abba sees us, but we are so much more than a chunk of wood.  He made us!  And He wants us to ultimately live with Him, FOREVER!  Consider just three, out of hundreds of texts:

  1. The Creator of the Universe Chose You!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,  just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love  He predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,  to the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He favored us in the Beloved.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our wrongdoings, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.  (Ephesians 1:3-8a NASB, emphasis added)

  1. The Omniscient Maker of the Stars Made You! 

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body

    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,

    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

You saw me before I was born.

    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.

Every moment was laid out

    before a single day had passed.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.

    They cannot be numbered!

I can’t even count them;

    they outnumber the grains of sand! (Psalm 139:13-18 NLT)

  1. The Lord of Lords and the King of Kings Has Got 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 Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.  (Jude 24-25 KJV)

I have watched a nose get sketched and re-sketched for a child by an adoring uncle.  I have witnessed a gift being lacquered again and again until you can almost see your face in a piece of wood… all for “things” that will be gone in a flash.  We are HIS workmanship and we’re going to stand before Him after this world has passed away.  

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons and daughters by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  (Rom 8:14-18)

Pastor Scott

Disappointment – December 4, 2020

I’m writing this on Thursday, December 3, the morning I moved my office home because I’m getting to quarantine.  I’m also getting to miss out on preaching my dear friend Glenn Hayden’s funeral service, on Saturday (and Monday).  I’m getting to delay, possibly into 2021, preaching my second favorite verse in 1 John.  And I’m so looking forward to potentially driving my wife insane with my stir-craziness.   

“Pastor Scott, aren’t you a little let down that God allowed this? After all, He holds all of us in His mighty hands.”

Truth is, I’m human, and as a human I want to be able to blame someone!  I want to be able to shake my fist at that sky…. But I’ve lived a little AND been blessed to have been immersed in the Word most of my life.  If the urge to blame starts to tempt me, I hear the words:


The metaphor of God as Potter and us as clay is only used a few times in Scripture (most notably in Isaiah 29:16; 45:9; 64:8; and Romans 9:21), but it’s been captured in story and drama so much that most of us have that mental picture of clay being smashed down and reformed.  My boys are both artists in that sense. One worked clay in a corner of our basement, so I got to see firsthand how little say a lump of clay has in what it becomes.  And now there is a wood-turning lathe set up in that same corner and my other son turns out beautiful pieces that look nothing like the original blocks of wood AND leaves huge piles of sawdust that is cut from said wood.

I say all that, not because you don’t know anything about woodcarving, but to remind us that you and I are predestined to be conformed (shaped) into the image of His Son.  And like the clay pottery, we might have to be spun and thrown down spun over and over again throughout our threescore and ten years of life, or we might be like the wood shaved and planed and sanded and polished, over and over… because each layer of “self” that comes off reveals another layer of “self” that needs work.  At least that’s my truth.  So if He needs me to sit on my hands for a few weeks, He’s the Potter. Whiny clay isn’t even a thing.

That said, Jesus was in the Potter’s hands for 33 years.  He knows.  He cares.  We don’t slog through this life alone. EVER!

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let’s hold firmly to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need.       

Hebrews 4:14-16

Forever in His Grip,

Pastor Scott