Pastor's pen July 2021

Today is a unique day in that we are celebrating our nation’s independence on a Sunday.  Freedom is a gift that we have received because of the price that others before us have paid.  We have politicians, soldiers, and law enforcement officers who are paying it forward at this very moment to defend and protect our freedoms.

In Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome he spoke of honor.  One definition for the word “honor” is — “a showing of usually merited respect.”

In Romans 13:7 he wrote, “Pay your obligations to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect, and honor to those you owe honor”.  I want to take the time to honor those who serve this nation.  I honor those who worked to draft and adopt our nation’s Constitution as well as those who work to uphold this Constitution.

Earlier in this letter Paul stated simply, “Show family affection to one another with brotherly love.  Outdo one another in showing honor”.  So it is also fitting for us to honor individuals; and today, we are honoring Mayrene MacKinnon for her service to our Lord and His church.  Mayrene has played the organ for Scotsdale Baptist Church for over 57 yrs!  Prior to that she played for another church.  In addition to that service she also played the piano for our Children’s Ministry and for the Friendship Class.  Mayrene also used her talents for weddings and funeral services.  Many years ago, in Scotsdale’s formative years, Mayrene taught Sunday School.  I am sure I am missing some other areas where she offered her services, but you can see just from what I have listed that she is a woman worthy of honor.  This morning we honor Mayrene as she is retiring from playing the organ.  Mayrene, thank you for your many years of faithful service.  May the Lord continue to bless you and use you to “HONOR” Him all the days of your life!

Pastor's pen June 2021

What memories do you have of your Dad (or whatever you call him)?  For some people this day is not easy.  Perhaps your Dad was not a man that you would hold up as a model person.  Maybe you and your Dad had a strained relationship; or possibly, it is still strained.  It could be that your Dad has made some life choices that has left a sour taste in your mouth.  Or yet another possibility is that your Dad has already passed away.  Some of you are Dads who have lost a child, making this a difficult day.  One more reason that this day is difficult for some is because, although they would love to be a Dad, this dream is elusive because of infertility.


I realize that this day can be a difficult day, and I want to be sensitive about that.  I am humbly grateful that my Dad was one of the finest men I have ever known.  Although I was just a young man of thirty when my Dad died of colon cancer, I have some very fond memories of him.  Here are a few I would like to share with you with the hopes that this man, through his deeds, will somehow inspire you:

  •         He attended church with the family
  •         He led us in family devotionals – not on a consistent basis, but he tried
  •         He read and studied the Bible for himself
  •         He served as a Deacon for many years
  •         He was a friend to pastors!
  •         He was a professional educator (teacher, coach, administrator) who lived out his Christian values at work
  •         He was a Gideon (an organization that distributes Bibles)
  •         He was FUN!  Dad loved to laugh, and many of his antics made his family laugh with him
  •         He taught me how to golf, fish, throw, catch, mow the lawn, clean the garage, and respect women
  •         He loved our mother, and he made sure we knew it
  •         He loved us kids, and he made sure we knew it
  •         He was an encourager and a supporter in whatever us kids were doing
  •         He loved his in-law kids as well.  It was my Dad who suggested that I ask Dwaina out.  That man had GOOD TASTE!
  •         He was faithful to his Lord to the end.  From his bed-ridden state he called us to prayer


As I am typing these words I have a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.  My Dad was my hero, and he remains one of my heroes to this day.  He was the type of man that I aspire to be.  He and my father-in-law are two reasons that Father’s Day is a happy occasion for me.


Happy Father’s Day to all of you Dads out there.  May our Heavenly Father bless you with a wonderful day.