Author Archive for Scott

Children in Worship at Rockport

“Assemble the people, the men and the women and children . . .
so that they may hear and learn and fear the LORD your God,
and be careful to observe all the words of this law.”
Deuteronomy 31:12

Then Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men, women and all who could listen with understanding (ie, children) . . . and read from it.
Nehemiah 8:2

I’ve always loved this picture of Ezra, in Nehemiah 8:2, standing before the assembled people of God with the Scroll of the Law in his hand reading to them from God’s Word. For many, this was the first time they’d actually heard the Word read to them personally. Ezra then went on, with the help of teachers he had trained for this purpose, to explain it’s meaning, making sure everyone had a chance to understand exactly what God was saying. But what is really striking to me is the fact that this great assembly, who were being taught to cherish, understand and obey God’s word, was made up not just of men alone, nor only of adult men and women, but men, women and children – “all who were able to listen with understanding.”
Passages like this (and in Deut 31:12 above) are one of the reasons we believe our children should participate in worship with us. So while we do have a nursery available for babies who are too young to understand, we believe that every child who is old enough to begin comprehending what is being said to them should worship with the rest of the church.
That does, of course, present some challenges for parents as well as for the congregation as a whole. As a congregation, we have to put up with little disruptions from time to time as our children are learning to sit still and listen. And that will be true as long as we have children which, Lord willing, will be always! But we believe, in the end, that it’s worth it. Our children gain much from participating in worship with us, much more than they would in a so-called “children’s church.” By being included in the worship of the church as a whole, they have the opportunity of seeing their parents submitting to the Word of God, hearing the same messages and singing the same songs. Handled right, this can provide many opportunities for further discussions and rich experiences parents and children get to share together.
And yet, there are some things parents can do to help their children get the most out of these times. Let me mention just three here this morning.
(1) Review the expectations you have of your children with your children each week. Children, and especially the younger ones, tend to forget what you expect of them if you don’t tell them. So remind them each week that it is our privilege to come together to worship God like this, and not everyone gets to do it. Remind them that they are expected to participate, to stand and sing the songs, to sit quietly and listen when the time comes for the message, and to try to understand what is being said. Teach them to expect that God just might speak to them through His word and show them something very important.
(2) Prepare them for the message each week. You can do this by reading the passage to them ahead of time, if you know what it will be, and discussing with them what they think it means. This is one reason I try to publish the text ahead of time on Facebook and Twitter. But since we’re usually working through a book of the Bible, you can usually assume that the next passage will be whatever comes next. Also, encourage your children to take notes, as they get older. Help teach them good habits of listening and understanding.
(3) Review what they have heard with them later. Ask them over lunch or later in the evening which songs they liked and why. Ask them what they learned from the message. Check to see what they wrote as they took notes and discuss it with them. And share with them what God may have taught you.
Practices like these will help our children get the most from weekly worship.
Learning to be Disciples of Jesus!

Pastor Scott.

Thinking About Worship

But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.
1 Corinthians 14:40

Those who lead the church in it’s worship are called to lead in a way that is faithful to Scripture, Christ exalting, and humbly directed by the Holy Spirit so that God’s people are not entertained, but are instead helped to set their minds and hearts more fully on what God has done in Christ through the Gospel. The result of this God-ward focus, is that the church is better able to respond to Him with appropriate actions of praise, gladness, repentance, prayer, confession, singing, trusting, and all other expressions of worship that arise from a living faith. With that kind of worship in mind, I have been thinking a lot lately about what biblical worship in the church should be like. I have likewise invited Nevin, as Elder in Training, and Stuart, as our Intern for Worship to do the same, so that the three of us can come together and prayerfully consider how we might provide more faithful leadership in this area. Would you join us in praying for wisdom in this matter?

One clear principle from Scripture, in 1 Corinthians 14:40, is that our times of worship must be “proper” and “in order.”. I take that to mean that they must be well-planned and led in such a way that the distractions of disorder and confusion are kept to a minimum while the truth of the Gospel is kept in the forefront. It is that undistracted focus on Christ and His Word that will free us to respond to Him with genuine expressions of worship. In the coming weeks, I will be giving instructions and guidelines that I hope will help us “order” our worship in an increasingly God-honoring fashion. I ask that you join me in praying and seeking the Lord as we try to think and plan biblically so that every aspect of our weekly gathering in God’s presence will serve to encourage the body and exalt the Savior.

Serving the One Who is Worthy of Our Worship!

Pastor Scott

Grace Bible Conference Registration is Open!

Grace Camp for FB

9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
1 Peter 2:9-12

We’re looking forward to this year’s Grace Bible Conference (Formerly Grace Camp Meeting).  This year’s theme will focus on our calling as “Strangers and Aliens in this world:  Living as Christians in an increasingly alien world” (1 Peter 2:9-12).  We as Christians are no longer at home in this world.  So what should our response be? It’s not to “circle the wagons” and retreat into our own little spiritual ghettos. Instead, we must be willing to engage this world with the life-giving Gospel of Christ.  We’re on a rescue mission, even as we seek to bring up our children and love our neighbors in a way that refuses to compromise with truth, even as it embraces with love.  That is our challenge.

This year’s speakers are drawn from friends of Rockport who are engaged in planting, renewing or helping lead churches from a Gospel-centered perspective.  Many of these men have recently partnered with us in church planting or pastoral ministries, or are former members of Rockport.

Our goal in this conference will be to encourage and challenge you with fellowship, worship and the clear teaching from the Word.

You can find more information by going to our Bible Conference page here.

Registration is here.

We hope to see you in April!

In His mercy,

Pastor Scott

“Restore the Joy!”

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
Psalm 51:12

        Whenever there is trouble in our lives or in our relationships, the first thing that seems to go out of the window is joy. This was certainly true of David. Many times in the Psalms we find him crying out to God in his trouble, asking for a recovery of the joy he once knew. We see this in Psalm 51, which as you may remember is a song of repentance. David had sinned. His sin had created a distance between him and the God he once worshiped so freely. And now with a broken heart, he turns in repentance, crying out for God to restore the joy.

      “Restore the joy!” That phrase has been on my mind a lot lately. It has seemed to me that this past year and a half, though filled with many good gifts from God, has also been stewn with many troubles. Some of these have stolen our sense of joy. The result has been that the glad passion for Christ and for making His name known among the nations that once characterized our congregation has been muted in some ways. Perhaps that’s just my perception, and yet it’s something that has continued to press against my mind.

With that in mind, it is my intention, starting  September 15th, to begin a ten part series focused on our need to “Restore the Joy!” We’ll be looking at what we need to do and believe in order to recover a grace-centered vision for the whole of our life together as a church. The topics we’ll focus on are the following

1) Getting a clear view of the glory of God in all things.  Real joy springs from a genuine knowledge of God and a longing for his glory.

2) Holding firmly to justification by faith alone, as the true ground of our joy.  It is only when we know that we are truly forgiven based on what Christ has done (not what we do) that we are able to serve him with confidence.

3) Resting in God’s sovereignty over all things, especially our troubles.  The Christian is not exempt from sorrows, but he or she is strengthened in sorrow by the assurance of God’s all-ruling hand.

4) Celebrative worship fixed on the accomplishment of Christ.   The redeemed will rejoice as they keep their focus on His faithful finished work of salvation.

5) Encouragement expressed freely to one another in the body of Christ.God has not only given us Himself, but also one another to encourage and help each one finish the race.

6) Our joy is spread as we engage in missions broadly, globally and persistently.  This faith is meant to be shared freely.  And our joy is increased as we do so.

7) Our joy grows brighter as we join together in a generous fellowship with other believers in Christ.  Faith in Christ does not turn us inward on ourselves.  It drives us outward to engage and love our brother for Christ’s sake.

8) Our joy is deepened by an open-handed generosity that willingly uses material things for the good of others.   Why has God blessed us?  So that we might be a blessing to others.  And there is joy in that!

9) Joy goes deeper still through united, God-focused prayer.  The greater we grow in dependence upon Him and learn to see His faithful hand at work for our good, the deeper grows our joy.

10) Our families ought to be the seedbed where we bring up children who hope in the Lord and are ready to declare the glories of his name to the next generation.

This is just a sketch of where we’re going over the next few months.  My prayer is that it will be an encouragement to you to “restore the joy” of your life by regaining a Gospel-centered confidence in Christ.

I am gratefully yours in Christ!

Pastor Scott

“Finally…..” Returning to Our Study of Ephesians

Finally, Lord willing, we will be returning to our study of Ephesians this Sunday.   The final section of this wonderful letter begins at 6:10, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”  Beginning here, the Apostle Paul will both sum up and apply all that has gone before in Ephesians, drawing us into the conclusion that life itself is a battle we must continually and prayerfully fight in the strength provided (by grace!) in the Lord.

With that message in mind, let me challenge you to consider doing two things this week.

(1) Read through the Book of Ephesians again (either alone or as a family).  Let that reading refresh your thinking about these great themes of grace and gospel power that are alive in this letter.

(2) Consider beginning to memorize Ephesians 6:10-20 as we make our way through this vital portion of Scripture.

As my wife reminded our C-Group last week, it is often the little “nuggets” of God’s word that we have tucked away in our memory that God uses to equip us to stand against the sudden assaults of the enemy.   Such “nuggets,” called to mind by the Holy Spirit, can very quickly be hammered into an effective sword, and offered up as a faith-filled prayer on the spot, bringing us into remembrance of the victory and help that are ours in Christ.  His strength prevails when it is stood upon by faith and called into action by believers who are resting, not in their own power, but in His which grace amply supplies.

 May the Lord fill you with the knowledge of His power and grant you grace to rest all upon Him as you wage war in the strength He supplies.

Grace Camp Meeting starts Thursday, April 3rd at 7 PM

We’re looking forward to this year’s Grace Camp Meeting. It begins this Thursday, April 3rd at 7 PM and runs all day Friday and Saturday, ending at noon on Sunday.  The schedule is as follows:

Thursday Evening, at 7 PM
Prayer Room at 6:30 PM
Mack Tomlinson

Friday, April 4th
Prayer Room @ 8:30 AM
Tim Dickmann @ 9 AM
Kevin Williams @ 10:30 AM
Lunch and Fellowship
Curt Daniel @ 3 PM
Prayer Time
Dinner and Fellowship
Charles Leiter @ 7 PM

Saturday, April 5th
Prayer Room @ 8:30 AM
Nathan Rages @ 9 AM
Clint Leiter @ 10:30 AM
Lunch and Fellowship
Mack Tomlinson @ 3 PM
Prayer Time
Dinner and Fellowship
Curt Daniel @ 7 PM

Sunday Morning, April 6th
Mike Dickmann @ 9:30 AM (Sunday School Hour)
Charles Leiter @ 10:40 AM (Worship Hour)

Each year has been better than the year before, so come out and join us!   And if you’re interested, you can access previous year’s messages by clicking here

You can register for this year’s Grace Camp Meeting by clicking here

Hope to see you there,

In His Grace,

Pastor Scott

Paul Washer in Canada

First a Confession, then a great article.
I confess this is a blatant rip-off.  My good friend Mack Tomlinson sent me this article by Ruth van Dyken which is taken from this month’s edition of Christian Renewal.  I hope that is enough citation to deliver me from any concerns of plagiarism!  I am passing on to you a wonderful report of God’s owning and using His clear Gospel Word.
A debtor to Mercy,
Pastor Scott Lee
Ruth van Dyken
Nearly 1000 young adults poured into Redeemer College on February 14th to hear  Paul Washer. A former missionary to Peru and current director of Heart Cry Missionary Society, he spoke on “The Gospel and True Conversion.” Although the greying preacher’s personal appearance in slacks and a blue dress shirt wasn’t particularly noteworthy, his presence there in Hamilton was nothing short of remarkable.
A few days before, two feet of snow smothered Washer’s home in Virginia, throwing the “Old Dominion State” into a state of utter confusion. With Washer entrenched in a log cabin on the side of a Virginia mountain, he and his staff scoured schedules for a flight to Ontario. God makes a way for His people, and 3:00 a.m. on the very day of the conference found Washer with high boots, hunting clothes and suitcase in hand. After trudging several miles down a logging road he joined a congregant for a seven-hour car ride to Cincinnati, where a flight was booked for Toronto.
That set a tone for the evening, so manifestly a direct work of providence. Pastor Jack Schoeman of Providence Free Reformed Church in St. George ON opened the evening with prayer and the Parable of the Sower. Schoeman introduced Paul Washer, who is perhaps best known for “The Shocking Youth Message” delivered at a youth conference in 2002, since viewed over 1.2 million times on YouTube.
Washer took the podium and turned to I Thessalonians 1, stopping at Paul’s bold claim that he knew the Thessalonian brothers were chosen by God. This sure knowledge came, Washer clarified, not from divine revelation but from the perception of the Gospel’s power among them, both in its proclamation and its effects. The setting and nature of Paul’s arrival in Thessalonica makes this clear. In a context of fervent idol worship and sage-like Greek philosophy, Washer describes the apostle’s arrival on the scene: “bent over, aching, limping, with a bloody back and bloody feet.” There was no silver-tongued eloquence to woo them, no scintillating human power to draw them to their best life now; there was only the bare, scandalous Gospel calling them to a life of sacrifice. Yet Paul received divine strength to preach with boldness and power, and that was a sign to him that the Holy Spirit was moving and the Gospel was taking root. As Washer pointed out, the Master sends out His reapers with sickles when He intends to reap, and Paul was powerfully equipped for the task.
The Thessalonians’ response was the second reason why Paul was able to confidently declare them chosen of God. Paul burst in on their devout and consuming idol worship – yet when the truth was held before them, they embraced it with full heart and turned to God. Thus began the transformation of their hearts and lives.
Washer gave an example of transformation from his home, where coyotes attack flocks of sheep. How do you solve the problem of the coyote? You could shoot the coyote – that solves your problem, but not the coyote’s because he is dead. You could cage the coyote – that solves the sheep’s problem, but not the coyote’s as he will be pacing that cage, eager to lay his teeth into them. The only way to solve the coyote’s problem is one impossible to humanity, to change its very nature. Yet some “gospels” attempt to inspire people to cage their sinful natures: go to church, restrain your evil passions.
When God takes hold of a life, the results are nothing short of mindblowing. “God created the universe out of nothing, but when He makes a child of God, He takes a mass of radically depraved humanity and makes it into a servant of God.” His desires are changed, his very heart is changed.
“Has the Gospel come to you in power? Are you truly believing the Gospel?” Washer asked, pausing each time to search the eyes of the audience. “Do you look on God with true affection?” “Do you long for Jesus?” This life-changing regeneration and its resulting fruits are a sort of spiritual barometer, or in Washer’s words “a Biblical standard of how to know if you are converted.” This also is how Paul could say with complete confidence that these brothers were chosen by God. “If someone observed your life for six months, would they testify, ‘I know God has elected this one’?”
The Gospel transforms our lives. Washer told the story of a popular young man who turned to Christ. He immediately began to hand out tracts at his college, and his social profile fell from “big man on campus” to laughingstock for all. His friends took him aside one day and remonstrated, “Can’t you see that you’re ruining your life?” to which the young man replied, “What else can I do? Jesus saved my life – how can I not give myself to Him?” In Washer’s words, “If I spend the end of my life rotting in prison with my tongue ripped out, is [what Jesus has done for me] not enough to keep praising Him?”
The radical, renewing power of the Gospel doesn’t stop with our personal lives. No, it also has a transformative effect on our culture. The Thessalonians imitated Christ and the apostles, so sounding forth the word of the Lord across Macedonia, Achaia and, in Paul’s own words, “everywhere.” “Do you want to change the world?” Washer asked. “Then imitate Christ.” The evening closed most appropriately with “Amazing Grace,” and we parted, grateful that God had brought in a preacher down a mountain and across 1,000 snowy kilometres to deliver that which is truly the Good News, the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in all its power.
Taken with permission from Christian Renewal March 2014

Let the Nations Be Glad

“God be gracious to us and bless us, And cause His face to shine upon us that Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations.”
Psalm 67: 1-2

Psalm 67 is about missions! It’s a cry for God to bless us. But unlike so many who cry today for God’s blessing, the Psalmist is not thinking only of himself. He has a much greater goal in mind. He prays that God would bless us and be with us so that through us the nations might hear and know and worship God as He deserves to be known and worshiped!

As I think about that, I realize that this has always the motive behind God’s blessing. God does not bless his people so we can hoard that blessing to ourselves. He blesses us so that we might be a link in the chain of events He intends to use to bring a blessing to others – and especially to bless them with the Gospel of Christ.

What was it He said to Abraham when he called him to leave all and follow Him by faith? He said, “I will bless you and you will be a blessing and all nations on earth will be blessed through you!” (Gen 12:3) Think about that. God doesn’t bless us so that we can look in the mirror and say, “Gee, isn’t it great to be blessed?” God blesses us so that other nations and people we’ve never met may be blessed through us! And how will they be blessed? By hearing and responding to the Gospel of Christ that we preach and bring to them as we send and go as missionaries into the world!

That’s why I like to say that Psalm 67, in addition to being one of my own personal favorite Psalms, is at heart a missionary Psalm! It is a call for us as Christians to realize that everything God is doing in our lives today and every day, all His rich blessings of grace, all the advantages he has let us enjoy as “wealthy” Americans is for this one great purpose: to make His glory known and to enable us to carry the news of His glory (the Gospel!) to the ends of the earth so that,….”all the peoples” and “all the nations” everywhere may hear and be glad in Him!
So let the nations be glad!

God blesses us, so that all the ends of the earth might fear (and worship) Him! (Psa 67:7)
Pastor S Scott Lee

Remembering a Dear Brother

Several have asked for a copy of the eulogy I delivered at our dear brother, Jason Moslander’s funeral.  With hope that he may be remembered as a loving husband, father and friend who above all loved Christ.  Here it is:


Eulogy of Jason Moslander.

I just can’t believe he is gone, but I do believe that I will see him again. I am still stunned and deeply affected by this young man. What a gift that God bestowed on us when Jason walked in the doors of Rockport Baptist Church with his friends. Little did we know that we had some six short years to enjoy him.

Jason was born again shortly before he came to Rockport. I don’t know much about his past life.  I know he has a loving family that he loved.  His father and mother both love the Lord and are very loving people whom we have had a joyful chance to get to know more.  He married a wonderful young lady, Stephanie, whom we love dearly .  and they had two, no- three little children together.  I know he had business associates and many friends that he cared for deeply. Jason knew and loved Jesus Christ, our Lord more than anything and is right now, in His presence.  Only a few have that blessed privilege, for straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to eternal life, and few there be that find it.  And Jason is enjoying it right now.

He also had given his life that he might venture forth into the land of Muslims in order to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.  That is what all of his preparations were for.  He was a missionary to Egypt. A light going to a dark world.  He lit up our world also.

When he first came to Rockport with his dear friends and Stephanie, he brought the light and joy of Jesus with him.   In many ways I thought of him as being over the top. I’m kind of old school. But if I had known, as the Lord knew, that we only had him for six more years, I would have understood.  I would have understood that the biblical admonition to greet one another with a holy kiss really should be lived out literally.  In fact, if we could have another chance at him, we would all shower him with kisses.

For some reason, Jason wanted us to know that he really loved us.  I know that part of his motivation was that he delighted in aggravating me.  Its true.

When we went on a float trip, I wondered why he was so full of glee to be canoeing with me.  Little did I know what he had in store for me that day.  Or maybe it was just off the cuff typical Jason, which is more likely.  Continually acting like he accidentally stroked his paddle too far soaking me to the bone.  Actually at one point, simply tipping the canoe over on purpose.  Or commenting that it was only my end of the boat that was dragging in the gravel. I tell you the truth, I was truly sanctified that day and grew in patience.

On the other hand, I delighted in aggravating Jason by telling him that it was just silly to play board games.  It is not silly.  It is wonderful and loving to be with friends and family to play some board games.  But to have a library of them. That’s a little weird.

Jason was a big soccer fan.  I also delighted in telling Jason that soccer wasn’t a real sport.  And that it wasn’t football.  It was soccer and actually only a warm up for the real game of football.

Rockport was truly affected by this young man’s life.  We will be a different church without him.  There will be a void.  We needed his hellos, his goodbyes, which were often just as flamboyant.  His vigor, his forgiveness, his love and his kisses.   His death has affected us more.

When we reviewed Jasons life for missionary service the first time, we wanted to care for him well and instruct him and help him to be better prepared, so we gave a brief delay.  Jason was deeply affected, but understanding. He told me later that when a brother asked him why the delay, he answered him, oh, “bald guy won’t let me go”.  I thought that was hilarious, Perfect.  Yet, he was truly sincere and as a mature young missionary, did what it took to further prepare himself.  There was no stopping him.  And that’s what I like to hear.  He was going to Egypt, with or without our help.

On the last Sunday we saw him, his last words to me were that I had one week to finish my endorsement so that he could send letters of support for his mission.  I had looked over a few endorsements and was thinking about how to best write mine.

Jason was a very compassionate man, and truly cared for everyone around him.  He had time for everyone.  When I taught his Sunday School class yesterday, I taught a class of affected young people. It was truly difficult to get through it. They had been loved and they were shaken.  He hadn’t been there merely to fill time or get a resume.  He taught them the gospel. And the truth about life.  He truly wanted them to know, and be saved.

Here was a man who enjoyed life, raised a family and laid down his life for his family and for the sake of the gospel.  Many of us were unsure as to whether he would live through fulfilling his calling to Egypt, but that wasn’t much of a thought with Jason. Someone must go, and Jason said, here am I, send me.  And Stephanie joyfully embraced the call.

This life is like a vapor that appears for a little time and vanishes away.

Jason, I would have written and do now give you my full and unreserved endorsement my brother.  You are a great man, of whom the world was not worthy.

Jason Moslander.  Well done Sir.

Helping Those Who Grieve

We all need help in learning to minister to the bereaved. When you lose someone you love, it leaves a hole in your life.  The depth of that hole depends on the nearness of that person to you.  That’s why the loss of an acquaintance hurts, but only for a short time.  The loss of a close friend, however, hurts much longer.   Keeping this in mind helps me understand why, even with the loss of a friend, most of us are able to pick up and move on more quickly…much more so than those who have lost a spouse or child.   The hole left in our life, though significant, is not nearly as deep as theirs.  Knowing this reminds me that I must continue to express a greater depth of compassion for those who have experienced this deeper loss.  They can’t just “pick up and move on”.  A larger part of their life is now missing.  They need me to stay closer to them, to pray for them and to grieve with them longer than I would do, if it were just about me. But it’s not just about me.  It’s about them, and the love Christ would have me show them, for His sake.  Deep wounds do not heal in a matter of weeks or even months.  I must be prepared to love those who grieve, over the long haul.  In that way, I can take part in fulfilling Christ’s promise, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”  (Mt 5:4)