Let’s Be Intentional – April 30, 2021

 Individuals are individuals. We each have our own temperaments, experiences, and backgrounds. That said, there are certain things that are hardwired based on whether or not we have an XX or an XY chromosome. There has been a huge disruption out in the world the last five years about these truths, but I want to just talk about us (believers).

 A frequent source of tension in marriage can arise from these differences.  

An impatient man is annoyed that he has to get up again to check that noise downstairs. It’s probably just a branch falling. Why’s she so fearful? 

A hurt wife is sad because her insensitive husband didn’t get it when she said, “I’ve been too busy with the kids’ homework to fix dinner,” that he was supposed to say, “Let’s get takeout,” not, “Cereal’s fine.”

These two scenarios are normal and maybe even familiar, but they, if never discussed, will turn into a cycle that can run marriages into the ground. I want to dissect what is happening so we can be sure we aren’t doing unto our kids what the world is doing – at least in this small arena!

Men are born with different sensitivities than women.* Therefore, we tend to be less afraid of spiders, mice and noises in the night, but can’t tell when things aren’t “okay” with our teenage daughter until the shouting or crying starts. Women read social cues much better. I believe this is because God designed them to be moms who need to be able to understand nonverbal cues, and He designed men to be the protectors who are unafraid of predators and enemies. Now in a marriage, when we each try to get the other to be more like us, we just cause frustration. I will never have the social senses my wife has, and she will never rehearse the rhyme “red touch yellow, kill a fellow.” She’ll just want me to kill it. So we each need to stop trying to change the other. I need to let her be my social guide, thanking God for this help mate. She needs to let me be her protector, as decrepit as I may be.  🙂

The marriage issues, however,  simply illustrate a larger concern. Boys playing dress-up and girls being tomboys have always been around. Yet this concept of making it permanent, while not new, has exploded, first with effete men thinking they are women, and most recently with teen girls thinking all of their troubles would go away if they became men.

My prayer is that we would raise our kids to be strong, confident believers, who are also strong and confident in who God made them to be. I would hope we wouldn’t expect our little boys to read our moods but to obey (listen to and act on) our words. I would also hope that we wouldn’t tell our little girls that men have it easier. Go ahead and teach them how to maintain their cars and do basic home repairs; I’m not counseling a return to the “Little House on the Prairie.”  I just want to send up a red flag and say we are entering really dangerous waters. As you are the primary spiritual influencer of your children, make sure they not only know who they are but WHAT they are!

Hang in there and pray like your grandchildren’s lives depend on it!

Pastor Scott

*Yes, this is a generalization. Yes, there are VERY sensitive men, typically with the spiritual gift of mercy.

The Holy Spirit – April 23, 2021

As I prepared to preach on 3 John, I planned to discuss the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit.   Thumbing through my illustration file I found two about the Holy Spirit that I loved, but that had NOTHING to do with my message. I almost let them fall back when a still, small voice said, “That’s what blogs are for!”  Hope these touch your heart, too! 


Pastor Scott

The Holy Spirit’s distinctive role is to fulfill what we may call a floodlight ministry in relation to the Lord Jesus Christ. So far as this role was concerned, the Spirit “was not yet” (John 7:29, literal Greek) while Jesus was on earth; only when the Father had glorified him (John 17:1, 5) could the Spirit’s work of making men aware of Jesus’ glory begin.

I remember walking to church one winter evening to preach on the words, “He will glorify me” (John 16:14), seeing the building floodlit as I turned a corner, and realizing that this was exactly the illustration my message needed. When floodlighting is well done, the floodlights are placed so that you do not see them; in fact, you are not supposed to see where the light is coming from; what you are meant to see is just the building on which the floodlights are trained. The intended effect is to make it visible when otherwise it would not be seen for the darkness, and to maximize its dignity by throwing all its details into relief so that you can see it properly. This perfectly illustrated the Spirit’s new covenant role. He is, so to speak, the hidden floodlight shining on the Savior.

Or think of it this way. It is as if the Spirit stands behind us, throwing light over our shoulder onto Jesus, who stands facing us. The Spirit’s message to us is never, “Look at me; listen to me; come to me; get to know me,” but always, “Look at Him and see His glory; listen to Him and hear His word; go to Him and have life; get to know Him and taste His gift of joy and peace.” The Spirit, we might say, is the matchmaker, the celestial marriage broker, whose role it is to bring us and Christ together and ensure that we stay together. 

James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986.

Gordon Brownville’s Symbols of the Holy Spirit tells about the great Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, the first to discover the magnetic meridian of the North Pole and to discover the South Pole. On one of his trips, Amundsen took a homing pigeon with him. When he had finally reached the top of the world, he opened the bird’s cage and set it free. Imagine the delight of Amundsen’s wife, back in Norway, when she looked up from the doorway of her home and saw the pigeon circling in the sky above. No doubt she exclaimed, “He’s alive! My husband is still alive!”

So it was when Jesus ascended. He was gone, but the disciples clung to His promise to send them the Holy Spirit. What joy, then, when the dovelike Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost. The disciples had with them the continual reminder that Jesus

Thomas Lindberg

Self-Destruction – April 9, 2021

As I prepare to preach about Idolatry on Sunday, I’m reading through sermon illustrations and found one that not only condemns idols, but says a lot about the dominant political philosophy of our day! Be warned! Pastor Scott

“In The Wounded Healer, Henri Nouwen retells a tale from ancient India: Four royal brothers decided each to master a special ability. Time went by, and the brothers met to reveal what they had learned.

“I have mastered a science,” said the first, “by which I can take but a bone of some creature and create the flesh that goes with it.”

“I,” said the second, “know how to grow that creature’s skin and hair if there is flesh on its bones.”

The third said, “I am able to create its limbs if I have flesh, the skin, and the hair.”

“And I,” concluded the fourth, “know how to give life to that creature if its form is complete.”

Thereupon the brothers went into the jungle to find a bone so they could demonstrate their specialities. As fate would have it, the bone they found was a lion’s. One added flesh to the bone, the second grew hide and hair, the third completed it with matching limbs, and the fourth gave the lion life. Shaking its mane, the ferocious beast arose and jumped on his creators. He killed them all and vanished contentedly into the jungle.

We too have the capacity to create what can devour us. Goals and dreams can consume us. Possessions and property can turn and destroy us–unless we first seek God’s kingdom and righteousness, and allow Him to breathe into what we make of life.”

Jesus, as time allows…. April 2, 2021

John 21 begins at least nine days after the resurrection. John records it as Jesus’ third appearance to the disciples. Most scholars believe that John 21 is where Peter is restored; it’s often referred to as Peter’s recommissioning. If you search out Peter’s forgiveness for the three-part denial, you always get the three-part “do you love me” story in John 21, which makes the opening of John 21 that much more interesting. As the chapter begins, Peter takes some of the guys fishing. They are out all night and don’t catch a thing. As they are coming in, a guy calls to them and tells them to cast on the other side, and John recognizes that it’s the Lord. Peter jumps in the water and swims 100 yards to shore! Then, when he gets there he helps haul in the huge load and they all have breakfast.

The thing that challenges me the most is how excited Peter was to get to Jesus. I don’t know if he still had some ‘splainin’ to do or not. He threw himself into the sea and swam to His Savior and Lord, like a moth to the flame. Like Jesus was his PRIORITY!   

In the ‘70s I wrote a story wherein I postulated that an archeologist digging up our homes would assume we worshipped the televisions. Now I wonder if it wouldn’t be our cell phones or our coffee makers. I want to live making Jesus and His Word my priority!

Give ear to my words, O Lord,

Consider my groaning.

Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God,

For to You I pray.

In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice;

In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.

Psalm 5:1-3