P6 July 19, 2020

Many years ago the group Petra recorded a song that said, “Don’t let you heart be hardened.  Don’t let your love grow cold”. These words are in reference to Matthew 24:12.  Jesus is talking about signs pointing toward the end of time.

  • Verse 9 talks about widespread persecution.  In America this is becoming more of a trend.  In some other countries Christian persecution is at a fever pitch!
  • Verse 10 warns about betrayal and hate.  We hear about this daily on the news.
  • Verse 11 speaks of the rise of false prophets, and many who will be misled.  Christian resources abound, and many can be attained free of charge; yet, I personally see so much biblical illiteracy in this nation, opening people up to being misled by false teaching.
  • Verse 12 foretells of an increase in lawlessness.  In our country right now we have some city and state officials giving their consent to the unlawful actions of others, forbidding the protection of innocent citizens. 
  • The second part of verse 12 explains that the ending result of all of this is that “most people’s love will grow cold.”

This is where I am so concerned for church members who remain isolated from physical worship services.  A coal removed from a fire will soon cool off and grow cold.  The same thing happens spiritually if one stays away from the positive influence of other Christ followers.

The purpose of this article is not to make you feel guilty.  I am not judging you, but I want to motivate you.  I am encouraging you to return to church if you can.  If, for whatever reason, you feel it is still unsafe for you to return to church, then PLEASE get creative about some other ways to connect with other Church members—phone, zoom, Facetime video, online worship services, Christian radio, etc.  The writer of Hebrews said it best, “Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since He who promised is faithful.  24 And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, 25 not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:23-25).  Think seriously about this question, “Am I staying away from church out of genuine concern for myself and others, or out of personal convenience”? I love you church family!

P6 July 12, 2020

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it”– Proverbs 22:6. Over the years our culture has become more of a delegating culture when it comes to parenting. Many parents prefer to outsource the training of their children. Get them the right coach, the right teacher, the right church ministry, the right video gaming system, the right . . . ? But right now many of those resources are either gone, or have had to adapt dramatically!

As a church one of our goals is to provide resources that will actually instruct, encourage, and empower parents to train up their own children in the way they should go. This is why we are providing an at-home Vacation Bible School experience for families. This is an opportunity for Dad and Mom to actually be the ministers to their own children.

As a parent and a grandparent, it is my desire to see Christian parents raise their children to know God, to love Him, and to love His Word. I want to see children grow to be mature in their faith and service to God.

Parents, we would love for you to let us know how this time went for you and your kids. Please send pics and videos to let us in on your fun in learning!

P6

P6 July 5, 2020

Well, this Independence Day is going to be unique! Many people will celebrate their independence by remaining cooped up in their homes, afraid to venture out amid the threat of the pandemic. There will be no parades, no organized park events, and no fireworks shows as usual. But for followers of Jesus Christ, the Fourth of July is not where our freedom comes from!

Recently I have been listening to a podcast called “God, People, Stories”. This is a production of the Bil-ly Graham Evangelistic Association. I encourage you to subscribe and listen. You can hear to so many in-teresting stories about how people found their true freedom in Jesus Christ. The stories are so inspiring, and I think you would be motivated to live out your faith by hearing about God’s work in other people’s lives. Jesus said in John 8:36, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed”. So no matter what your situation is this coming July 4th, Happy Independence Day “Christian”! Celebrate from a heavenly perspective.

P6

June 2020

Most of my life has been spent in small towns surrounded by farms. Although it didn’t happen every year, it was not unusual to get a late hail storm that would wipe out some of the crops. The easy thing for the farmer to do would be to collect on the crop insurance, sell the farm, and move on to something else. Most of the time, however, the farmer would either try to salvage what was left or replant.

Covid-19, social injustice, and economic turmoil has been a “hail storm”
that has wiped out many businesses, churches, and even lives. As churches begin to regather they are faced with some challenges. There is a segment of the population that is checking out of church life. Some, for good reason, are trying to protect an already vulnerable health condition. But some have stopped going because of fear. Others have stopped attending because not going to church has become their new normal. They have gotten out of the discipline, and it is just easier to stay home. Congregations can decide to either fold up and quit (sell the
farm), try to salvage what is left, or replant.

What will Scotsdale do? We will work to salvage and replant, but we will
NOT quit! Right now while we are getting the field ready the Lord has allowed us to plant some seed, and we have already seen some signs of a harvest (guests visiting, and one salvation). Galatians 6:9-10 is appropriate—“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10 So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” Let’s regroup, roll up our sleeves, and go to work!

P6

Reopening Plan

After two months of meeting strictly online for our worship services we are pleased to announce that on Sunday, May 17th we will begin meeting live at our 10015 Lockerbie Ave. facility.

To read the letter from Pastor Six regarding the reopening, please CLICK HERE for the pdf document.

May 2020

“God is the God of second chances, new beginnings, fresh starts”—I am sure you have
heard others say something to this effect. Perhaps you have said it yourself. We (Dwaina and I) just finished remodeling our bathroom. Before we could go in with the remodel we had to tear out what was going to be replaced. In other words, destruction had to precede renovation. The new bathroom looks very different than the outgoing one.

This is what God said He would do with His beloved Israel. And that is exactly what He
did. He stated the process this way in Jeremiah 31:27-28, “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “When I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and with the seed of beast. 28 As I have watched over them to pluck up, to break down, to overthrow, to destroy and to bring to disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant,” declares the Lord. Two important details about this statement from God—“I have watched over them,” and, “I will watch over them.”

Through everything that they experienced God NEVER stopped watching over them! They planted new seeds in new fields. They used different animals. They built new city walls that didn’t follow the same pattern as the walls of old. They build a new temple that wasn’t exactly like the previous temple. Some lamented and some rejoiced.

For a short period of time the world was forced to stop. A pandemic at least brought the pace of our world to a “snail’s pace.” The economy plummeted as the jobless rate soared. Even the normal activities of church life were dramatically affected! We were forced to do things differently, and we did it! No matter who you point the fingers at to blame (some blame China, some blame Satan, some blame Christians, and some blame God), but one thing you can rest assured in is that God has been watching over all of this!

Church, going forward we will need to lean on our God and His Word for direction, wisdom, strength, and comfort. Church life will not quickly bounce back to “normal,” and you can fully expect to see some type of new normal. We will not look like or operate the same way we used to. This information is not just coming from my own thoughts, these are expressions gleaned from national surveys, but we will be affected.

I don’t mind telling you I am excited about the days ahead! Because I know that God’s heart is for His church. He has been watching over us, and He will watch over us and use us to build and plant. May our chief aim be to please Him in whatever we do (2 Corinthians 5:9-10).

P6

April 2020

I want to share a perspective that a friend of mine expressed about the COVID-19 pandemic:

It is fascinating the wide disparity in how different people are experiencing this time of ‘stay at home.’ Some people are bored and going stir crazy, for others the workload has skyrocketed. We have healthcare workers who are longing to be home, while others complain about getting on each other’s nerves. Many store workers are idled, some are totally stressed out by their increased workload, including extra cautions. Educators just had their world turned upside [down] and are having to revamp their entire teaching on the fly. For me, I have some extra time (no hospital visits, no time spent watching sport) but that tends to get swallowed up by the pressure of steep learning curves of new technology and trying to be creative in terms of being the church.

Jesus has a way of meeting people where they are, including you. In spite of the deck being stacked against Him, our Lord overcame death, Hell, and the grave. If you feel like the deck is stacked against you, remember this–“But thanks be to God who gives US the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”–1 Corinthians 15:57. May God bless you and yours with a powerful celebration of His resurrection!

P6

March 29, 2020

A Message from your Deacon Body:

Giving

Whether you are giving tithes and/or benevolence online at https://www.shelbygiving.com/App/Giving/scot1001109 or by mailing a check to 10015 Lockerbie Avenue, El Paso, Texas 79925, thanks so much for continuing to give! Please remember to mark your giving separately as tithes or benevolence. We are keenly aware of the financial challenges that everyone is experiencing right now. It is already affecting us as a church and we will be making tough decisions in that regard. So, we are enormously grateful for your continued faithfulness to the Lord during these uncertain times. Normally we would be collecting benevolence funds after the Lord’s Supper this Sunday. We have met the needs of four (4) families since January of this year through our benevolence program which is in need of sustaining funds.

As income fluctuates your giving fluctuates. This creates an equality where no one (1) person or group of people are carrying our financial responsibilities, but we share them together in proportion to our income. Here is how Apostle Paul taught this to the church in Corinth in 2 Corinthians 8:12-15 (NLT):

Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal. As the Scriptures say, ‘Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough.

We thank you for your faithful and abundant giving to Scotsdale.

Pastoral Needs

As needs arise for members of the church, we want to do what we can as a church to support one another. If you are experiencing loneliness or have or know of a pastoral care need, please call the church office at 915-595-2811 during the day or after hours; Pastor Six is monitoring the office phone. Please note that our limited resources will primarily serve members of Scotsdale Baptist Church. Also, we will support any and all prayer requests.

Widows/Widowers

Widows and widowers should contact their assigned Deacon for any help needed. If you don’t know who your Deacon is, please call Frank Robbins, the Deacon Chair, day or night at 915-478-8991 for assistance. The Deacon Ministry is here to support the church body. Please let us know how we can help you.

March 25, 2020

As you all know by now Mayor Dee Margo has issued a “Shelter in Place” order for the city of El Paso. The purpose of this letter is to let you know about the actions and operations of the church during this time. Please share this letter with another church member who does not have email capability. I would encourage you to call them and read the letter to them. This may include a Sunday School Class member or someone who attends the worship services, but not Sunday School. 

First, for obvious reasons, the church office will not be open for as long as this city-wide order is in place. I want you to know that, in the meantime, the office staff and ministers will continue working from home. We have arranged for our church phone services to be transferred to Kay during regular office hours. The church number will then be transferred to the pastor’s phone during the evenings and weekends. If you call the church office number (915-595- 2811) during the weekday needing to talk to someone else, just let Kay know who you need to talk to and she will forward your information to us. We will return your call. 

We will do everything we can do electronically/digitally because we will not be able to go into the office to print and mail. So again, if you receive an email or text from the church please convey our message to those that you know of who do not have an email address. This would be very helpful to us, and I am sure that your call would mean a lot to them. Speaking of mail, we have arranged for the mail carrier to deposit our church mail in a designated door that has a mail slot.

Second, in preparation for this order we have turned all thermostats off so that money would not be spent unnecessarily on utilities without people being in the buildings. We have also suspended our lawn care service for now.

Third, we will work hard to communicate with our church family well and often. It is important for us, as a church family, to continue to worship together even if we can’t be in the same building. Some of our Sunday School Classes are arranging to meet digitally. I applaud them in their efforts to do this. There are some video conference apps that would allow groups to get together to study, pray, and worship together. I encourage you to take advantage of those meetings. Additionally we are live-streaming our worship services on Sunday mornings at 10:30. You can access these services on our church Facebook page even if you do not have a Facebook account. You can also find the services on YouTube, and we are researching to see how we can broadcast on Right Now Media as well. 

Fourth, I want to remind you that although we are not meeting together on Sundays this does not mean that ministry has stopped, and most of our property expenses have not stopped. In a staff meeting last Monday I announced that at this point we do not have a Children’s Minister, a Youth Minister, a Music Minister, or a Senior Minister, we just have ministers; and this group also includes our Elders and our Deacons. Our Elders will utilize our digital capabilities to continue to meet in order to give instruction, guidance, and biblical oversight to the church. Our Deacons will continue to reach out to their assigned widows, to oversee benevolent needs, and to minister to other families in need. In the future I hope we will begin to see some prayer groups meeting together via some type of video or telephonic medium just to pray. Feel free to coordinate that yourself if you feel so inclined. 

Finally, because the work, ministry, and finances of the church have not stopped, I want to plead with you to be faithful in giving your tithes and offerings to the church. I know that, in uncertain times like this, it is tempting to want to save everything you can just for your own family. And while I would encourage you to be wise in your money management, I would also remind you that your investment in kingdom purposes will yield an amazing return. It is possible to make an online donation to the church through your bank. If you do not know how to do this just call your bank and they will help you set it up. If you wish to continue to mail your check you may do that. You can also give through our church website or you can text your donation. With that I will leave you with two verses:

• Malachi 3:10-11, “Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this way,” says the Lord of Armies. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure. 11 I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not ruin the produce of your land and your vine in your field will not fail to produce,” says the Lord of Armies.

• 1 Timothy 6:18-19, Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and willing to share, 19 storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

P6

March 22, 2020

In the words of the apostle Paul, “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:2). The purpose of this letter is to give you some information about the Sunday School ministry in light of the COVID-19 situation. The latest information from the CDC as of today is that they recommend the cessation of any gatherings over ten people. It is highly probable that people are innocently, yet actively spreading the virus although they themselves have not become fully ill themselves. Medical leaders project that we are no where near the peak of the spread of the Coronavirus yet, and may not be for months to come. For this reason we need to remain vigilant, flexible, and intact! This is a time to use our resources to pull together even if it is from a distance. I am aware that the technologies that we are utilizing are not available to everyone, but we are doing the best we can with the opportunities that we have. 

The following schedule was approved by the Sunday School leadership that gathered a couple of weeks ago, but in light of the Coronavirus I am just now getting this information to you. I apologize for being delinquent in getting this information to you sooner. Please see the end of this post for the approved schedule for The Gospel Project.

Dwaina and I are working on a method to teach the Sunday School Lesson by way of an app called Zoom. This app allows for an interactive video group of up to 100 people to study the SS lesson together. This app is different from our Facebook platform because this one would be interactive; therefore, the teaching would be live. Those who participate would be able to interact with one another, answer questions, ask questions, etc. You can also watch while chatting at the same time. As we learn we will keep you informed. This is one thing among many that we can do to help us remain together and united during this otherwise trying time. 

In closing let me share some words of encouragement from 1 Thessalonians 5. I am quoting short statements from these verses so I would ask you to go back and read the passage in its entirety:

  • V. 11 – “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”
  • V. 13 – “Live in peace with one another.”
  • V. 15 – “…Always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.”

P6

Unit 4: God Redeems His People (Genesis; Exodus)

  • March 1 Session 1 God Redeems Betrayal
  • March 8 Session 2 God Redeems Adversity
  • March 15 – There was no Sunday school on this day.
  • March 22 Session 3 God Overrides Evil with Good.
  • March 29 Session 4 God Hears His People
  • April 5 Session 5 God Frees His People
  • April 12 Easter Sunday! No Sunday school planned for this day.
  • April 19 Session 6 God Delivers His People

Unit 5: God Provides for His People

  • April 26 Session 1 A Test in the Wilderness
  • May 3 Session 2 A Leader’s Wisdom
  • May 10 Session 3 A Law for God’s People

Unit 6: God Receives Worship from His People (Exodus; Leviticus)

  • May 17 Session 1 An Image of Idolatry
  • May 24 Session 2 A Place for God’s Presence
  • May 31 Session 3 A Picture of Atonement