Pastor Mark Scott's Blog
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October 26, 2015, 12:00 AM

Follow-Up on Message and Responses to Abortion Topic

There have been a few comments on our Journey Church Facebook page in response to my posting a link to my previous blog. They seem to reflect the divide in this country regarding this subject - and, it seems that the greatest division is about when a baby in the womb has become a real person.

I thought it might be interesting to post some remarks that were made a few years ago by Dr. Jerome Lejeune, who until his death in 1994, was one of the leading geneticists and pediatricians in the world. It was his remarkable work that uncovered the mystery behind children born with Down's Syndrome - discovering that the abnorality is caused by an extra copy of the 21st chromosome in the child.  Here is the link to his remarks before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the question, "When Does Human Life Begin?"

Pastor Mark Scott discusses Court Cases and Trials

In speaking before a U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommitee about the development of a child in the womb, he states, “Life has a very long history but each individual has a very neat beginning, the moment of its conception. The material link is the molecular thread of DNA. In each reproductive cell, this ribbon roughly one meter long is cut into pieces twenty-three, or chromosomes. As soon as the twenty-three paternally derived chromosomes are united through fertilization to the twenty-three maternal ones, the full genetic meeting necessary to express all the inborn qualities of the new individual is gathered and personal constitution takes place. At two months of age, the human being is less than one thumb-length from the head to the rump. He would fit at ease in a nutshell, but everything is there, hands, feet, head, organs, brain. In the fourth week, there is consciousness. All are in place. His heart has been beating for a month by the second month. His fingerprints can be detected, his heart is beating 150 to 170 beats a minute to accept the fact,” he writes, “that after fertilization has taken place, a new human being has come into being, is no longer a matter of taste or opinion.

And, we may choose to argue about whether we believe that the baby aborted was a person or simply a fetus but the overwhelming evidence of those who chose abortion suggests that they know that it was a child whose life was taken. I encourage your reading of the two articles below that reflect the impact of abortion on individuals in Japan.

In Japan, a Ritual of Mourning for Abortions

Published: January 25, 1996

KAMAKURA, Japan— Winding her way among thousands of tiny statuettes in an ancient hillside temple, Yuka Sugimoto finds the one she is seeking and lingers in contemplation of the secret, haunting act that brought her here. Many Buddhists come to temples to pray for good health, a new husband or a pile of money, but not Miss Sugimoto. Every month she comes to this temple in the ancient Japanese capital of Kamakura to make amends with the fetus that she aborted nearly two years ago as an unmarried student.


Exclusive: Marisa Martin notes sorrows in 'innately maternal souls' of women

Japan: Land of manga, gold-plated Buddhas, robotic romance … and Rachel weeping for her children? I could have sworn that was from another religion and a foreigner’s book. But that was before I discovered the culture of “mizuko kuyo,” their ritual of mourning and apologizing for abortion.

From a sea of shrines and graveyards dotting the islands, some of the busiest are dedicated to Japan’s dead babies. Ceremonies and attendance is consistent at these spots, even with a less religious culture than earlier generations. Of all those infants, the vast majority lost their lives by abortion, at least since the 1970s, when rates peaked. But the graveyard scene is bustling, thanks to abortion and its fallout in Japan.

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October 22, 2015, 12:00 AM

What Does The Bible Say About Abortion?

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In my previous blog post I shared that as I was preparing to preach on racism, I realized that more racism existed in the world I grew up than I had before ever considered. Unfortunately, I now realize I internalized what I heard and observed by being immersed in it.  I wish that I had acknowledged that sooner.

I find myself having some of those same thoughts and emotions as I have been preparing for the message this Sunday about abortion. I came of age at the same time the Supreme Court legalized abortions in our country. 1973 was the year that I left home for college and it was a new day for me and it was a new day for our country. Until that time, states made their own laws about abortion and on January 22, 1973, it was still illegal to have an abortion in 30 states and only certain types of abortions were permitted in the other 20.

A lot of things have changed in my life since 1973 and thats of course also true for our country. Since the legalization of abortions, the number of pregnancies that have been terminated in our country is straggering to consider. 

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All the while those abortions were going on, I did the worse thing I suppose a person can do - and that was to do nothing. I didn't confront the issue, I didn't preach on the issue, I didn't teach on the issue. I was silent. Because I had no personal experience with abortion, it was easy in those days to just pretend that it was not going on. In that sense, its not that different than what a lot of us did about racism - we just pretend it didn't exist - that it was not out there - and, therefore, it has no affect upon me or my house.

Everything on the matter of abortion changed for me in 2008 when our youngest son, Jeffrey and his wife, Tarah, called to share with us the wonderful news that they were going to have a baby. I have to be honest - on one hand, of course, we were absolutely thrilled but on a selfish note - I remember thinking that I am too young to be a grandfather! All of those thoughts went out the window forever a few weeks later when Jeffrey sent to us an email with a link. When we opened it, we saw an ultrasound of a baby boy who at that time was no larger than my thumbnail. His heartbeat was strong and powerful - and I can still recall as clearly today as I did at that moment recognizing - that is no fetus - that is a child. And, not any child, but our son's and his wife's child - and a child that we will soon begin a lifelong relationship with.  

And, what was true about that baby is true for every baby in the womb. Every baby is a somebody - and it is a somebody that God knows and that God loves - and that God has had a plan for since before the beginning of time. 

Pastor Mark Scott does not play judge

Fast forward to 2015 - and that little guy who we were first introduced to us when he was no larger than my thumbnail is Stratton Jeff Scott. He is a proud first grader in the great state of Texas, and our first grandchild. We have been blessed with three others, (SO FAR), but there will always be something special about Stratton. I hope to teach him many wonderful and lasting truths in the years to come but he has already taught me one of the most important realities of my life and that is that I have been silent far too long. Much sooner I wish that I had been identified with the cause of encouraging others to choose life for every child in the womb. I cannot go back but I can move forward and use my influence, my voice, and my backbone to be counted on regarding protecting the life of the unborn child.

What about you?  Are you willing to look, to consider, to find courage, to be counted on to take a stand? And, by that, I dont mean that in some confrontive, judgmental, or argumentative way. Instead, can we not find a voice of love and a response that mirrors that of Jesus? One that offers hope to women who feel they have no other option or choice? I want our church to be known forever as a place of second chances, and a place to starting again. So, that must include a safe place for women and men who at some time earlier in life made the choice to have an abortion. There is no single area where the church must find its voice than on this matter - we have to be willing to not only be counted as being committed to the life of an innocent child when abortion is being considered as a solution to a temporary problem - but we must also to be a place of healing for those who have made this painful choice at another place and another time. 

One of the ways we are trying to make a difference at The Journey is by being a leading advocate of a ministry called Deeper Still. There is more information here about that on our website under our ministries  - it is our way of beginning the process of healing for abortion wounded hearts. The next retreat that we will be leading in along with our two other church partners takes place November 5-7. Please be in prayer for those from our congregation who will be leading and participating. 

If you would like to take this subject to a deeper level of understanding and research, I have provided some links below for you to read.












07-03-2016 at 9:35 PM
Mandy Duncan Sayre
Oh Mark Scott how I have missed your teaching!! You can't imagine the excitement I had when I found your blog!! I have downloaded your church app and read every blog!! I receive a blessing and God's word for my life in each sermon and blog!!

But THIS blog is very close to home!!!! After many years of infertility specialist, in vitro, etc., Chad and I started the journey of adoption! It was a huge step of faith that showed us God's handprint in so many ways!! As a result, we adopted a beautiful baby girl born in Santa Fe, Nm 3-16-05!! We were able to pick her up at the hospital and head home 3 days later with Sadie Grace Sayre as OURS!! So many times I look at her face and think her birth parents could have easily chosen abortion! But I believe she was born to be our baby!! I don't understand it or even try! I just know that God's ways are far bigger and better than we can ever imagine!! I am so thankful for Sadie's birth parents, who we begin praying for long before she was even thought about!! They chose and valued Sadie's life! They listened to God's whisper and allowed him to work in great ways!!!

Our "Sadiebug" is such a blessing! She is 11 years old and going into middle school! She was saved and baptized 2 years ago! She is our pride and joy!! She has recently joined the youth group in the same room(s) where Kathy and yourself poured into Chad and me! What a huge honor and privilege it is to watch her grow in Christ!!

Please continue to advocate for adoption as an option for abortion!

And please hug Kathy's neck for me!! Love you guys so much!
Chad, Mandy, and Sadie Grace Sayre
10-25-2015 at 6:35 PM
Susan Chavez
Thank You JESUS that HE took the condemnation of death on the cross we are free but we must believe in HIM to have ETERNAL LIFE here and of course to get to Heaven
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October 18, 2015, 12:00 AM


New App for The Journey Church in Yorba Linda CA with Pastor Mark Scott

October 1, 2015, 12:00 AM

What About Racism?

This weekend, we will begin the first of seven messages aimed at attempting to better understand what the Bible says about some of the more controversial subjects taking place in American culture. This first message which we will examine on Sunday puts the focus on racism. On one hand, it seems amazing to me that in more than 250 years as a nation, we don't seem to have resolved the issue of not liking, or perhaps, even hating someone because of their skin color, their ethnicity, their native language or their socio-economic background. Furthermore, we all know someone who is racist or have witnessed someone expressing racism, but I am guessing that most of us would never describe ourselves as being racist.

Mark Scott pastors The Journey

However, most of us have either inherited or carried over from past experiences some elements of racism whether we like it or not. For example, I grew up in a wonderfully, loving home and no one in my family would have ever believed that we demonstrated any traces of racism in what we said or did. However, as a child or teenager, I never really knew anyone that was black and in fact, I never attended school where any other student wasn't white until I was in the tenth grade.  Donnie Moore came to my high school when we were both sophomores. If his name sounds familiar, its because he is the same guy who would later pitch in the major leagues, more importantly, he was the 9th inning reliever for the Angels in the mid 1980's. Unfortunately, he is also the same guy who gave up the most painful home run in Angels baseball history, a left field shot to Dave Henderson of the Boston Red Sox on October 23, 1986 that cost the Angels the opportunity to go to the World Series that year. Sadly, Donnie would never get over that terrible loss and three years later would turn a gun on himself and take his life after first shooting his wife. Fortunately, she survived, but Donny was gone at the age of 32. 

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But, 19 years before that, Donnie and I were both 10th graders and assigned to the same science class at Monterey High School in Lubbock, Texas. It was a school of about 1,800 students and that year, Donnie became the first African-American student to attend our high school. He was not only the first - he was also the ONLY student on the entire campus that wasn't either white or Latino. I can't imagine how difficult that must have been for him - but, the baseball coach had brought Donny over to attend our high school for one reason - and that was because he was a better high school baseball player than anyone else within at least three hundred miles.  And sometimes, that all it takes to break a paradigm like the one I grew up in that assumed everything was better if the different races were kept apart from one another.

In my world, black people were called, "colored", people. It wasn't meant to sound harsh but for some reason in those days, we felt we had to distinguish people by their skin color. Latino people were often referred to as "Meskins" and in West Texas, they suffered a harsher kind of racism than many black people did. To most of us back then, they all seemed the same. We saw them as poor, uneducated, and not capable of any tasks other than those that required a strong back and firm hands. People spoke of them with disdain, dismissing them as "wetbacks". Forty years later, I realize more than ever that we don't get to choose the time and the place where we are born and grow up. This was my world and while it wasnt anything like growing up in Mississippi or some other place in the deep south, it was the only world that I knew and racism was much more alive than any of us would ever want to admit. 

When I was in the 8th grade, I came home from school one day with a friend by the name of Ralph Cuellar. He was a smart kid but even more, I thought he was a really funny kid. A few days later, we went to the South Plains Fair together, which was the biggest event that happened every year in our part of the world. Kids went for the amusement park rides and adults went for the exhibits and the food. That evening when it was time to go home, my parents picked us up at the fairgrounds and we drove Ralph and his little brother to their modest house and dropped them off. Then, we went to our home in a newer part of town and went to bed. The next afternoon, my dad talked to me and said that he thought that while Ralph seemed like a really nice young man, from now I on, I needed to make friends with people like myself. In other words, people that weren't Mexican.

I don't remember being mad about it - more, I was just surprised. Looking back, I think that perhaps my parents, like most parents, were afraid that if I continued on being friends with people like Ralph I might never make the kinds of friends that all parents dream of their kids having.  Friends who come from respectable homes and who have standards and ideals like those we are trying to instill in our own children. And, it goes without saying, that included friends with the same color of skin, I do not consider my parents to have ever been racists - far from it. But still...truthfully, in a way we were -  we just didnt know it. It was simply how things were in the 1960's in the corner of the world from which i came. 

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It obviously a new day today - we have come a long ways from back then, but most of us would agree we still have a long ways to go. And, tensions about race are heighthened whenever it seems that the police takes matter farther than they should and a life is taken. And, for some reason, it seems that the color of the skin of many of those people are often black. And whenever that happens, it reopens the old wounds of suspected racism.

Black Lives Matter at The Journey Church

Interestingly enough, there isn't a more volatile subject confronting the American people today than the one of immigration. It is my opinion that it will be the most defining issue of the 2016 Presidential election. And, it also has the potential to be a trigger of a new wave of racism in America - and most of it will likely be directed towards Muslims.

All Lives Matter at The Journey Church

People have expressed to me a lot of mixed emotions about Muslims - most of it reflects what happened on 9-11 and all that transpired since in the war on terror, including the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Somewhere, being a Christian has to make a difference in how we feel, how we act, and how we respond to how our world is changing. There is only one remedy for this - and it is the abiding love of Jesus in our hearts and a love that is lived out for all people. This Sunday morning, we are going to talk about what fear and uncertainty can do to us - and how those thoughts can lead into racism. I will stop for now...and perhaps, come back and follow up on this in this blog sometime after Sunday morning.

For what its worth, just in case you don't know, the Bible gives us a pretty strong hint to what is going to happen with the matters of race, different languages, unique styles of dress, and the verigated cultures when we finally get to heaven. And, I have a feeling, it is going to surprise some of us what God has in store.smiley

Pastor Mark Scott teaches about New Race in Christ Jesus

The Journey YL Pastor Mark Scott




10-29-2015 at 12:13 PM
Kim Norwood
Good stuff, Mark. It brought back a lot of similar memories from my own days in west Texas.
10-04-2015 at 6:29 AM
Mark - great article. Looking forward to hearing your sermon today!
10-02-2015 at 12:00 PM
Jeremy A. Walker
Good word! No matter how subtle racism may be, it builds walls between people. A gospel of inclusion through the blood of Jesus will overcome exclusions based on any other factor.
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September 24, 2015, 12:00 AM

A Book I Recently Read

Pastor Mark Scott of The Journey Church in Yorba Linda CA

Abe Velasco is one of my favorite people in The Journey Family...He and his wife, Izzy, have been a part of us from the early days and he recently gave me a book to read that he has been telling me about for years. The name of it is "Sufferings In Africa". There are many remarkable distinctions about the writing, one being that it was composed and first printed almost 200 years ago

It is the true story of a merchant captain by the name of Captain James Riley,  who sailed with a crew from Hartford, Connecticut on May 6, 1815. On the 28th of August of that same year, they were shipwrecked off the western shore of North Africa.. The cargo was lost and all members of the crew  were captured and then sold into slavery. The book is a tale of remarkable courage, unrelenting perseverance, challenged faith and all-in prayers for deliverance by God. All of this was done in the midst of what most of us would consider to be impossible obstacles to overcome for being saved from this terrible ordeal.

The book was listed by Abraham Lincoln as one of the three most influential books he ever read and he was a voracious reader. I strongly recommend that the Journey Family get its hands on a copy.  I have checked and discovered that it is readily available on several online sites including the iTunes Store, Google Play, and Amazon.

Here is just a brief excerpt about the book from the back cover of the version that Abe loaned to me:

"Captured by a band of nomadic Arabs and herded across the Sahara Desert, they were beaten, forced to witness outrageous atrocities, sold as slaves, and starved so severely that Captain Riley's weight dropped from 240 pounds to a mere 90 pounds at his rescue". 

If you have read it or intend to do so, drop me a note here and let me know what you think...Happy reading - you are in for an adventure and a boost in your faith in the goodness and mercy of God.

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