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Monday, August 31, 2009

The Station Fire

This week an article that I wrote for the Voice Magazine, a publication of the IFCA, was released. The article was an adaptation of a message given to some local Southern Baptist pastors about how to fireproof their churches against porn. The executive director of the IFCA, Les Lofquist, read a blog that I wrote about my message and asked if I could expand it for an article in their magazine. I opened the article saying:

With arid dry weather and hot winds that gust up to 85 miles per hour, parts of desert-like, sunny California are a powder keg ready to explode into flames. It is one of the worst wildfire areas in the US. Yet according to FEMA, the fire death rate for California is one of the lowest of all the states in the US. That’s an amazing stat. While a lot of factors contribute to that result, one reason why the death toll is so low is the enormous attention California pays to both raising fire awareness and combating wildfires. I think the church needs to apply a few lessons from California firefighters. Too often the church responds as if the fire of porn addiction blazing through the spiritually dry lives of unbelievers won’t jump to the church and start burning down our house.

The sobering irony of my lead-in to the article is that Les mentioned in passing that the article was scheduled to come out early September (it came out a few days ago), at the peak of California’s fire season. And here we are facing Station, one of the worst fires I have witnessed in my 27 years of living in Southern California. Tragically, two firefighters lost their lives fighting this blaze last night. It is my earnest prayer that no one else would die as a result of this horrific fire and that it will be contained soon. I also pray that Christians will fight with all the grace God allots to avoid being burned by the growing inferno of pornography that is sweeping across our nation and the world.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Vacation's Over


Vacation's over, time to go back to work, and that includes blogging. I thoroughly enjoyed my month off. I did a lot of thinking, reading, and meditating about God's grace. You can hear the fruit of my reflections from my sermon series "Amazing Grace." In particular, the last two sermons, parts 3-4 captured the well of God's goodness that I spent my vacation drinking from.


This year we enjoyed the 113 degree heat in Palm Springs by living in the pool from morning until 10pm at night. I think the kids grew fins. I gained a deeper appreciation of trusting God as we scaled 8,500 feet up the side of a mountain in a tram that overlooked Palm Springs. The dips were really scary. We also enjoyed great times visiting friends and fellowshipping with sister churches. That's a rare treat that our family has really come to enjoy.


Now August is in full bloom which means I am back teaching and pastoring. Presently, I am teaching a worldview class for Biola BOLD program on Tuesday nights and a course on Genesis Thursday morning at LABTS. These are my favorite courses to teach because they are both so foundational to what I believe and who I am as a Christian. At church we are reaping the fruit of God's work of sanctifying grace through our Home Bible Studies. We are using C.J. Mahaney's Why Small Groups?


And the kids are back to school. For the Scotts, that means homeschooling. I received really interesting feedback from Voddie's guest blog on Homeschooling. I obviously agree with what he shared, with one significant point of difference. I don't hold his conviction that homeschooling or private schooling are the only biblical options for Christians. I do firmly believe that when our public and even private schools become as decadent as they are in my neighborhood, then Christian parents need to take a step of faith and trust God to enable them to educate their children. Voddie posted a very enlightening blog that showed even when parents are not trained educators or hold college degrees, their children fair much better than students in public schools on standardized tests. (Thought I needed to say that to those who wondered). I hope that qualifier helps.

Well signing off for now, but it's good to be back. Here are a couple of posts I hope to write in the upcoming weeks: Living with a Biblical Worldview, Why We Need to Talk More about Genesis, How God's Grace Is the Christian's Answer to Our Growing Obesity Problem, What Would Jesus Say about Your Church? Are Small Churches or Mega Churches Better?