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The Gospel
  • Show Mercy, Share Songs

    Show Mercy, Share Songs

    In April I have a really exciting chance to share the world with my daughter. As her dad I want to give her more than a good life. I want her to know the meaning of life. I desire to help instill in her a heart for people and to see the importance of her own self. I can think of few things that do all of that like going with me on a missions trip to Africa.

    A couple years ago I went on a team to Uganda and was introduced to Show Mercy International. It was an incredible trip. SMI’s work in Uganda provides support for orphaned and abandoned children. They also provide practical assistance to the extreme poor through village outreaches, providing fresh water wells, medical care and training classes. With a succinct mission to mobilize, inspire and empower individuals to live life on purpose while reaching out in love, SMI is an organization that captured my attention. The work they do there is worthy of my time, effort and assistance.

    I’m going back to Uganda to help serve Show Mercy. I’m leading an international team of Welton Academy students with a focus on teaching the staff, as well as Ugandan leaders and pastors, the depths of the New Covenant. The trip will be about ten days long. The fruit of our work there will be long-term. I return to fan the flames of love in the hearts of those who work in Uganda in the day-to-day.

    So, I get to take my daughter with me. We are thrilled for this opportunity together. She sees my wife and I go on trips throughout the year and, by blood or by her own formation, she’s got the travel bug herself. She wants to see the world. She wants to go off the beaten path. The opportunity to fly with dad around the world and go into a foreign culture is just what she’s up for - and I can’t wait to share it with her.

    Lastly, I am offering a way to support our trip while sharing something back with you. At the very end of 2015 I released my solo album, Upon Shoulders. It’s an album that came out of my life message - putting my kids on my shoulders to live out of generational momentum. I’m releasing a digital download of an acoustic version of the album. You can download ten tracks (five songs, five spoken word intros about each song) and give me a ‘tip’. ‘Tips’ go towards our trip as we are still tying up loose ends for paying for this adventure.

    Blessings to you and yours,

    Scott

  • Still Optimistic?

    The world is a mess. Aren't you paying attention?

    How can you be an "optimistic local church?"

    Are your heads in the sand? Don't you know it's only getting worse?

    Aren't you just choosing ignorance in saying that you believe that "God is in a good mood?"

    No one has ever just come out and asked me such bold questions, but I imagine they are there. I'm a leader of DreamHouse, a church that calls itself "optimistic." Just take a look at the news or scroll down your Facebook wall. It doesn't take a Sherlock Holmes-like sense of details to see that things are rough out there. The question I ask myself is this, "What are we optimistic about"? Allow me to answer.

    1 Corinthians 2:9-10 says, 
    "What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit."

    Paul is quoting Isaiah here. In Isaiah 64 this scripture is a prophetic passage about the coming of Jesus. In the first verse of the chapter, we read, 
    "Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you!" 
    If you read Isaiah like it was written to you for 2015 you might get excited because to a lot of Christians this scripture is the anticipation that Jesus would come and solve the world's problems. Like Superman, or something less commercial, he would come down from the Heavens and trounce his enemies. The hope from this perspective is that even if things really are horrible, Jesus's appearance will fix it.

    Here's the thing, the book of Isaiah wasn't written to you. It was written to Jews in exile around 711 BC (BC as in before Christ). The historical context here is that Israel and Jerusalem were in Babylonian captivity. The expectation of God - as being delivered through Isaiah - is that restoration is ahead for God's purposes for His people. This passage is a prayer that is followed by God's answer, ultimately reminding them of His plan for salvation comprising a new Zion that will include the nations (66:18-21).

    So when does God's salvation come? When will the nations be included in this new Zion?  Great questions. Let's read from the Gospel of John.
    "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
    Do you mean to tell me that is your answer??
    Jesus's death and resurrection are why you are optimistic?!

    In a word - yes. Let's read on from verse 16-21.
    "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God."
    Traditional wisdom tells us that we don't have an answer for today's problems. I'm not spiritualizing the situation, I'm telling you that in Christ we can live in the truth of His Light. That means we can approach today and tomorrow with wisdom, hope, peace, joy and the empowerment of our Heavenly Father.

    The implications of Jesus coming to earth, dying on the cross, resurrecting and giving his disciples his authority is more than we've realized. In Christ, we have been given God's life. Sin and death are no longer holding all the cards. It's our move.

    We are an optimistic church because we believe in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior. Jesus isn't yet to be Lord. His Kingdom is here now. There is no separation between us. Now, let's open our hearts to the one's who are in front of us and let's come up with a plan for the next 100 years. There's a big opportunity in front of us.