Rest – May 28, 2021

Despite the fact that the pandemic has kept many of us from our normal course of activity for many months, I’m not sensing (or experiencing) a particular impression that we are emerging from it refreshed and well rested.  If anything, I see a lot of drained faces (at least in the mirror)!  I suspect that it’s because while our bodies may not have been as active during this time of waiting, our minds more than made up for it by being overactive!  I’m not a doctor, but I have the same access as you do to the GREAT Physician’s Book. Consider His words and some commentary from a devotional printed a few years ago. – Pastor Scott

Mark 6

7 And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits; 8 and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belt— 9 but to wear sandals; and He added, “Do not put on two tunics.” 10 And He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town. 11 Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.” 12 They went out and preached that men should repent. 13 And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them…. 30 The apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. 31 And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) 32 They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves.   (Emphasis added.)

According to a Greek legend, in ancient Athens a man noticed the great storyteller Aesop playing childish games with some little boys. He laughed and jeered at Aesop, asking him why he wasted his time in such frivolous activity.

Aesop responded by picking up a bow, loosening its string, and placing it on the ground. Then he said to the critical Athenian, “Now, answer the riddle, if you can. Tell us what the unstrung bows implies.”

The man looked at it for several moments but had no idea what point Aesop was trying to make. Aesop explained, “If you keep a bow always bent, it will break eventually; but if you let it go slack, it will be more fit for use when you want it.”

People are also like that. That’s why we all need to take time to rest. In today’s Scripture, Jesus prescribed time off for His wearied disciples after they had returned from a prolonged period of ministry. And in the Old Testament, God set a pattern for us when He “rested from all His work” (Gen.2:3).

Shouldn’t we take His example seriously? Start by setting aside a special time to relax physically and renew yourself emotionally and spiritually. You will be at your best for the Lord if you have taken time to loosen the bow.

Our Daily Bread, June 6, 1994.

Trust and Obey – May 21, 2021

I’ve been teaching on the Parables of Jesus.  I found this “Parable from History” that I think speaks for itself.  Pastor Scott

In the eleventh century, King Henry III of Bavaria grew tired of court life and the pressures of being a monarch. He made application to Prior Richard at a local monastery, asking to be accepted as a contemplative and spend the rest of his life in the monastery. “Your Majesty,” said Prior Richard, “do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? That will be hard because you have been a king.” “I understand,” said Henry, “the rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you.” “Then I will tell you what to do,” said Prior Richard. “Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has put you.”

When King Henry died, a statement was written: “The King learned to rule by being obedient.” When we tire of our roles and responsibilities, it helps to remember God has planted us in a certain place and told us to be a good accountant or teacher or mother or father. Christ expects us to be faithful where He puts us, and when He returns, we’ll rule together with Him. 

The Enemy is on the Prowl – May 14, 2021

In his first letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote that the cross was a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles.  Because of that, I’m always loath to allow other potential stumbling blocks (or foolishness) into my preaching/teaching ministry, BUT I must never shy away from warning against cultural abominations that are potentially slipping into the way Christians think.  Jim Denison, out of Southwest Baptist, does a pretty good job of doing biblical, non-partisan analysis.  Please, for the soul of your family, give this a read.

Pastor Scott

 How Satan Is Using the Lie that Personal ‘Authenticity’ Is the Pathway to Personal, Social Flourishing

Jim Denison | Denison Forum on Truth and Culture | Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced this week that it will prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Their statement requires healthcare providers and other organizations that receive funding from HHS to provide medical services to transgender individuals. Such services include sex-change procedures for any and all patients who request them—even children.

The HHS announcement does note that its Office for Civil Rights “will comply with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” However, if the so-called Equality Act now before the Senate becomes law, such appeals to religious liberty will be expressly forbidden. In that case, faith-based hospitals would be required to perform sex-change surgeries on children and adults.

This is just the latest step in a spiritual conflict that involves every evangelical Christian in America.


The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, by historian Carl Trueman, is being called “the most important cultural book of the year (maybe even decade).” I just finished other reading and began the book yesterday; so far, I would have to agree.

For example, Trueman utilizes the work of sociologist Philip Rieff to offer a concise explanation of our cultural progression from the ancient world to today. Rieff notes that we have sought meaning and purpose in four stages:

1.     Political man: the Greco-Roman ideal of people engaged in community life.

2.     Religious man: the medieval ideal of people engaged in church services and religious pilgrimages.

3.     Economic man: the modern ideal of people finding their sense of self through financial activity and material success.

4.     Psychological man: the postmodern ideal of people finding their identity through the inward quest for personal, psychological happiness.

Trueman is quick to note that this formulation is far too simplistic on its own. For example, the Apostle Paul was clearly aware of his inner self and its challenges (cf. Romans 7), as were St. Augustine in his Confessions and Martin Luther in his struggles with personal failings. However, Rieff’s stages do describe the larger narrative leading to the present moment.

According to Trueman, the psychological stage created the cultural context for the sexual revolution. Friedrich Nietzsche taught us to cast off social norms and restraints that inhibit us; Karl Marx taught us to resist the oppression of ruling classes; Sigmund Freud taught us that we are at core sexual beings and that our sexual desires are decisive for who we are.

As a result, we are urged to seek personal authenticity with regard to our sexual orientation and gender identity and to reject any individuals or institutions who inhibit us. This worldview has come to dominate secular society and seeks to replace the biblical worldview it rejects.


Now, let’s recast this narrative in the context of spiritual warfare.

The Bible warns us that “your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). As a result, we must “resist him, standing firm in your faith” (v. 9). Like lions in the wild, Satan adopts strategies that are suited to the victims he seeks to “devour.”

During the “political” phase of Western history, he used persecution by the Roman Empire to attack the Christian movement. The Holy Spirit responded by leading Roman leaders such as Constantine to faith in Christ and the legalization of Christianity, which led to the medieval “religious phase.”

Satan responded by seeking to institutionalize the faith, turning Christianity into rules and activities rather than a personal relationship with a personal Savior. The Spirit responded with Luther’s call of sola fidei (“only faith”) and the success of the Protestant Reformation.

Satan responded by seeking to commercialize the faith, turning the Christian movement into a transactional quest for economic and material gain. The Spirit responded with the evangelical movement’s emphasis on salvation and transformational spirituality.

Now Satan is responding by seeking to psychologize the culture with the lie that personal “authenticity” is the pathway to personal and social flourishing. This strategy takes us back to the first stage as evangelicals face antagonism and opposition from those who caricature us as dangerous to society and seek to replace our worldview with theirs.

There are clearly exceptions to my narrative, such as medieval and Reformation-era Catholics whose faith was deeply personal and evangelicals whose spirituality is coldly transactional. But my arc illustrates the spiritual battle in which we find ourselves today.


How do we respond to a culture that condemns us as opponents of the authenticity it demands? One answer is to be just as authentic as believers as our opponents seek to be as secularists.

The key to being authentically Christian, of course, is being authentically with Christ.

Paul said of Christians, “We have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). The Spirit of Christ lives in us as his temple (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16). But we must cooperate with the Spirit in thinking like Jesus: “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

How? Begin your day by meeting God in his word. Ask him to speak to you through Scripture, agreeing with J. I. Packer that the Bible is “God preaching.” Memorize God’s word regularly, then ask the Spirit to bring biblical truth to mind as you face the challenges and opportunities of your day. Pray for the strength to “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

If you will say with the psalmist, “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97), you will be able to testify, “Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me” (v. 98).

Ralph Waldo Emerson noted that “a man is what he thinks about all day long.”

What—or who—will you think about today?

 Publication date: May 12, 2021

Moms! May 7, 2021

Happy Mother’s Day

The following was written, in the “voice” of Paul Harvey, by Heather Sears, a young mom of three on her seventh Mother’s Day.  ~Pastor Scott


And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a mother.

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up throughout the night, nurse and change the baby, get little sleep, work all next day, attend the kids events, fix dinner and then clean up the kids for bed and the kitchen and stay up past midnight going over and prepping for what needs to be done the next day.” So God made a mother.

“I need somebody with arms strong enough to carry groceries in one and a child in another, be strong enough to watch them leave 18 years later and yet gentle enough to wipe all their tears and kiss their boo boos. Somebody to discipline, make sure they have clothes to wear, run errands, do three things at once, and to take pictures of every special moment. Tame the kids from fighting with one another, and tell them that God is watching – and mean it.” So God made a mother.

God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a sick child. And help them throw up in the bucket. Then wipe their mouth and say, ‘I think I’m getting sick, too.’ I need somebody who can feed, dress and get their kids off to school on time, take them all to the grocery store with her, who can plan birthday parties, buy Christmas gifts for everyone and host a holiday dinner for 12. And who, by school time and summer break, will finish her 40-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pained from cleaning the house and being climbed on all day, put in another 72 hours.” So God made a mother.

God had to have somebody compassionate enough to be there for their first heartbreak, spend their bonus check on a trip to Disneyland, and yet stop and offer a hug to another mother who has hung her head in frustration and remind her that she’s doing a great job. So God made a mother.

God said, “I need somebody strong enough to stand up for her child who’s been bullied at school, or herself when she’s been harassed at work,  yet gentle enough to tame teenage tongues and potty train a toddler, and wipe her own tears and tell herself it’ll all be okay. One who will dance in the rain and squeal in laughter with her kids. It has to be somebody who’d work on letters and numbers and reading and not cut corners. One who would have the embarrassing and private talks with them and stand by their curfew, hold her children in her arms and sing them a lullaby,  yet bake cookies and say ‘yes’ when they ask to lick the bowl.  Somebody to teach kids how to play sports, cook, clean, have compassion and confidence, not to give into temptation, be independent, be true to who they are, teach them chores and color in the lines, ask for help but not give up, have common sense, tie their shoes, and reply to my daughter, ‘Yes, you can do anything a boy can do,’ and finish a hard week’s work eating a big ice cream cone with sprinkles. I need somebody who’d hold a family together with the soft strong bonds of love and forgiveness, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply with smiling eyes when her daughter says she wants to spend her life ‘doing what mom does.’” So God made a mother.