Archive for Pastor Scott Blog

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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

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)

Remembering Jason Moslander

“The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
Job 1:21

527470_491249960898649_1009502402_nAs many friends of our congregation have heard by now, we have suffered the unexpected loss of our dear brother in Christ, Jason Moslander. I say “loss” because, while his death is certainly “gain” for him (since he is now enjoying a full, unhindered fellowship with Christ – Php 1:21) it is nevertheless a real loss for us, and above all for his precious family.  Let us never forget that death is not our friend. It is an enemy. As Paul says in 1 Cor 15:26, “the last enemy that will be abolished, is death.” And death has taken from us a dear friend and zealous servant of Christ!

Many are likewise aware that Jason and his wife Stephanie were preparing to give their lives as missionaries. Their hope was to serve with Pioneers in the Middle East, taking the Gospel of God’s Grace to those locked under the hard rule of Islam.   Jason will not be going.  That means that others must now respond to Christ’s call and go in Jason’s place. Please join me as we pray to the Lord of the Harvest to raise up workers for this white harvest field.

One of the things, that has caught me off guard this, has been the discovery of how deeply our children at Rockport loved Jason.   I should have known it, I suppose.  Jason has served as a Sunday School teacher for many years.  And he was, in fact, the biggest “kid” of them all.  Each Sunday he would greet the children of our church by name.  And on our fellowship meal days, you would often find him out in the field next to the church playing soccer or some other game with them.  His fun-loving nature made him easy to love.  And they did love him.  Please pray for our little ones, many of whom are experiencing such grief for the first time.

But above all, pray for Jason’s family, for Stephanie and Gracie and Elliot (and the little one Stephanie is carrying), and for his parents, Dennis and Donna. This is a hard place where they find themselves, and they will need all the grace and love that God has so richly piled upon us, to be spread as thick as we can over their lives in the coming months and years.

As I’ve thought about Stephanie this week, the words Sarah Edwards wrote to her daughter upon learning of her husband, Jonathan’s, sudden death keep coming to my mind. Surely, Stephanie can say the same thing:

What shall I say? A holy and good God has covered us with a dark cloud. O that we may kiss the rod, and lay our hands upon our mouths! The Lord has done it. He has made me adore his goodness, that we had him so long. But my God lives; and he has my heart. O what a legacy my husband, and your father, has left us! We are all given to God; and there I am, and love to be.

Please keep all in prayer. A fund has been established to help Stephanie and her three children through these days. Checks may be sent to “The Acts 4 Fund”   in her name  (Acts 4 Fund / Rockport Baptist Church 3761 Telegraph Road / Arnold, MO 63010).  Everything received will go to help support her and her children during this difficult time.

The Lord has been our help!  He has not abandoned us but has continued to pour out his grace upon us throughout this entire ordeal!   He gives, he takes away.  Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Resting in His mercy,

Pastor Scott

PS – you can listen to the message preached at Jason’s Funeral here.   You can also listen to the sermon from the Sunday given the Sunday following his death here.  God has helped us through with both messages.

The local newspaper has also published an article about Jason.  You can find it here.   They also did a follow up article following his funeral.  It can be found here

Is it Necessary to Pray for People By Name

As our church has grown, I’ve found it harder and harder to keep up with the names of every child of every member of our congregation. This is made especially hard, given the fact that we have several very large families. With that in mind, I made the following post on my Facebook page:

I finally had to add the names of the children of our congregation to my weekly prayer list. For years I’ve been praying for the kids from memory as I came across their parents’ names. That’s just not possible any more! Soooo many kids (but that’s a good thing). It is a privilege to pray for you all, Rockport Baptist Church.

Within an hour or so of that post, I received a question from a friend and former member in my inbox (which I’ve edited to preserve the anonymity of the sender).

Good morning. I have a question. Is it necessary to mention everyone in prayers by name as you stated in your post? Are the children of Rockport less blessed by Him if, in my prayer, I say “the children of Rockport?” How is this different than when, in prayer I say “all the victims of a disaster”? I trust that the Lord knows about whom I am speaking. Maybe I have misunderstood something here. Chapter and verse, please, so I can get my prayer life where it needs to be.” Have a day filled with the blessings of the Lord. (Name withheld)

Here, in an edited and slightly expanded version (using made up names) is my answer:

Dear Friend,

I find many passages that speak of “making mention of you in my prayers” (Eph 1:16, 1 Tim 1:2, Philemon 1:4). It makes sense that I, as a shepherd, should lift to the Lord by name those who are under my care, just as I lift my girls to the Lord individually. Now certainly, there are different kinds of prayer and different levels of responsibility. It is true that, since I do not know all the folks who suffered during the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook, I have no choice but to lift them up as a group to the Lord and trust that He can and does interpret my prayers as needed. In the same way I also sometimes pray for the “families of our church” as a whole rather than individually. There’s nothing wrong with that.

But, when it comes to my specific responsibility to shepherd and care for individuals, I find that it is necessary (or at least helpful) to bring them to the Lord individually. When I ask the Lord to bless the Baker family for instance, I am thinking of them as a whole. Certainly God can and does use such praying. But when I am praying for little Tom Baker, for instance, the Lord brings his individual needs to my mind so that I am moved to pray for him more earnestly. Does that make sense?

I think it comes down to a matter of wisdom. Since I cannot pray for every individual in the world, I spend specific time praying for those individuals for whom I bear a personal responsibility. So that is the question: For whom has God made me responsible? My wife and children, certainly. Grandkids when I get them one day. My own parents, siblings and families. Other relatives, in-laws, etc. And as pastor, the people of this congregation. I also include good friends, missionaries I personally know, and on in on. Generally I begin with those closest, and move out in concentric circles as I seek to pray for those in my immediate sphere of influence. This is where my “lists” of people I know begins to come in handy. I have broken up my week into various categories of prayer so that I may work through most of the people in my life on a weekly basis, while praying for those closest to me daily.

Does that answer your question?

My prayer is that this answer may help others as well

Grace and peace, through faith in Christ,

Pastor Scott Lee

So What Is Rockport All About?

Somebody recently asked me what Rockport Baptist Church was “all about”.  That got me to thinking.   What is it like to be a part of this congregation?   I was tempted to just say, “We’re all about glorifying God through Christ!” Because I hope that’s the case.  But then, I suppose ever church that strives to be biblical would (or should) say the same thing.   But what are we about really?  When people come to be a part of our congregation, what do they experience?

Here is the answer I gave:

Rockport seeks to spread the good news of God’s sovereign grace for the joy of all who believe.  We are (or at least desire to be) passionate about missions and seek to find ways to engage our people personally in missions. We do this by recruiting and training people to serve as missionaries, and men to send out as pastors.  Every worship service begins with a focus on a missionary we are connected with, as we remind our people to pray for them.   We have also divided up lists of missionaries to volunteers who correspond with them and keep our congregation informed of their needs.

 We desire to disciple all of our people, beginning with our youngest, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.   We place a great deal of emphasis on family focused teaching and ministry, training fathers and mothers to be the primary teachers/trainers of their children.   Most of the things we do as a church are designed to include all ages together.  We believe it is vital to have a multi-generational approach to ministry and fellowship so that the older men can teach the younger men, and older women can teach the younger women.  This has been one of the great joys of the last few years as we’ve seen the “generation gap” narrowing in our congregation and both the older and younger learn to love and serve one another.  To help facilitate this, we have a fellowship meal on the first Sunday of every month after our worship service.  Many families will remain for several hours afterwords getting to know and spend time with each other (all other activities are cancelled for that day).  But even on the regular Sunday mornings, it is not odd to have families remain at church fellowshiping and talking for an hour or two longer.

 Though Pastor Scott carries the primary task of weekly preaching, we are led, spiritually, by a team of elders, each of whom helps share the load of teaching, preaching,and leading.   We are also served by a wonderful team of deacons who seek to meet the physical and practical needs of the congregation.

 We place a high priority on the careful, systematic teaching of the word.  Every individual and family are strongly encouraged to be daily in the word, and to share freely with each other what they are reading.   During every Sunday morning service we have a time of open sharing when any member can stand and share something from the word, or a need for prayer, or a praise for some good thing God has done.  This has become one of the most joyful aspects of our weekly gathering.  There is also a weekly Sunday evening Systematic Theology class where those who wish may come study a little deeper.

 We also place a high priority on gathering for prayer and the study of the word.  There are no midweek meetings at the church building.  Instead we gather in homes on every night of the week (except Monday) to meet in C-Groups where whole families and individuals meet together to worship, share testimonies and exhortations, study the word and pray.  These meetings are a highlight of the week for many of us.

 We are always looking for ways to send our people out in evangelism and service.  Bake Ottofy heads up our jail ministry, sending various members (and others from the JBA) into the jail to visit inmates who have requested a visit.  We have a team, led by Matt McDonnell who go into the city to hand out tracts and preach wherever crowds of people gather together.   We were privileged recently to plant a church in U-City (the Gate), led by Pastors Kenny Petty and Kyle Hubbard.   This year we hope to plant another church somewhere in West County, pastored by Bro Brig Jones.   We also have, by God’s grace, several able men who are ready to go preach in any church that has need for pulpit supply, interim work, etc.

 Finally, our we have two annual events that are a blessing to our people.  Grace Camp Meeting in the Spring (April 11-14 this year).  This is three full days of meeting together to pray and hear the Word.  This years speakers are Charles Leiter, Mack Tomlinson and Curt Daniel.  And then, in the fall, our Annual Family Camp at Bate’s Creek, where our whole congregation meets together for four days of fellowship, fun and family focused teaching.

In a “nutshell” I think that describes the life of our congregation.  I’m sure I’ve left some things out, but that’s surely most of it.

If you live in the Saint Louis area, and are looking for a church that isn’t trying to be anything, but faithful to God’s Word.  Come join us.  We’d love to get to know you.

Soli Deo Gloria,