Pastor Mark Scott's Blog
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August 15, 2017, 7:44 PM

Ever Feel Stuck On The Launch Pad of Life?

Most of us that grew up with the NASA space program remember the excitement, after the Apollo missions had been shut down for several years, that was felt when NASA announced in 1981 that a new era of space travel would soon begin and would be known as the "Space Shuttle Missions". Betweeen 1981 - 2001, 135 different shuttle missions were launched into space. During that era, 789 men and women travelled to space and tragically, a total of 14 astronauts would lose their lives in the Challenger and Columbia accidents.

Of those 135 successful missions, there is one particular one I would call your attention to. It's historical mission name was STS-61-C and it was the 24th shuttle mission flown.  It was also the seventh mission of the space shuttle Columbia and was manned by a seven person crew which included the second ever African-American shuttle pilot and the first Costa Rican astronaut in space.

However, the most significant distinction that this shuttle mission is remembered for is the fact that it almost never made it into space. In the now, almost, 70 years that we have been launching rockets into space, Mission STS-61-C holds the distinction of being the most delayed rocket launch of all time

On six different occasions, the crew was readied to be shoved into space only to endure long hours of delays that ultimately led to the cancellation of their launch. SIX TIMES. Its a record that would later be shared by the STS-73 Mission in 1995. The delays were caused by a variety of reasons. 

The launch was originally scheduled for 18 December 1985, but the closeout of an aft orbiter compartment was delayed, and the mission was rescheduled for the following day. However, on 19 December, the countdown was stopped at T-14 seconds due to an out-of-tolerance turbine reading on the right SRB's hydraulic system.

Another launch attempt, on 6 January 1986, was terminated at T-31 seconds because of a problem in a valve in the liquid oxygen system. The countdown was recycled to T-20 minutes for a second launch attempt on the same day, but was held at T-9 minutes, and then scrubbed as the launch window expired. Another attempt was made on 7 January, but was scrubbed because of bad weather at contingency landing sites at Dakar, Senegal, and Morón, Spain; yet another attempt, on 9 January, was delayed because of a problem with a main engine prevalve, and on 10 January, heavy rainfall in the launch area led to another scrub.

The good news is that the seventh time was the magic time. On January 12, 1986, at 6:56 EST, the rocket and shuttle finally soared into space. The photo of that launch is actually one of the most beautiful ever captured as you can see below.

Maybe you can relate to how all of those connected to this mission endeavor must have felt. From the shuttle pilot all the way down to the faceless thousands of others who anonymously gave their best to ensure a successul launch and return of the crew, it must have been crushing to learn the news of of yet another delay.

Life can be like that. There are as many reasons - probably many, more reasons - for the delays of launches in our lives as there were   for the crew of STS-61-C. The most important lesson to be drawn is this one - Delays Don't Determine Destiny.  Solomon wrote that God's people have a built in resiliency that is often greater than one may realize. Proverbs 24:16 states, "For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes". 

I want to be like that little boy who was staring at the escalator in the department store. A clerk came up to him and ask him if we had lost his mom or dad. He answered, "Not al all. I'm just standing here waiting for my chewing guy to come back around". 

Stay with it! Light the fuse! Dig In and become what we say in Texas - Double Dogged Determined to launch yourself into a new, exciting, challenging, and achievable orbit of success, blessing, and accomplishment.

Just remember the Journey Church motto while you wait - We never, ever, give up, give in, give out, or quit!

 




June 30, 2017, 3:30 PM

Blog Comments Enabled

Just discovered from a reader that the blog entry from last week wasn't set up for comments.

I have corrected that on the last entry and on all future ones as well.

I welcome reading your comments so comment away!

 

 




June 23, 2017, 12:00 AM

Heaven Is Gonna Be Such A Blast

5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. (Mark 16:5)

I was doing my quiet time reading this week and found myself in chapter 16 of the gospel of Mark. It contains the resurrection story which includes the appearance of three women at the tomb on Sunday morning. That itself is an interesting note since we are introduced to three different women, by name, which none of the other gospel writes do, at least to this extent. The three women are noted as Mary Magdalene, which is by far, the best known of the failthful women who followed and supported Jesus and his disciples. The other two, interestingly enough, were probably Moms of three of the twelve disciples. One is also known as Mary and tradition suggests that she was the Mom of James, The Less. I have always thought that a bit of a funny way to describe anybody. Can you imagine that guy showing up at a gathering of single adults at a church fellowship and saying, "Hi everyone, I'm James, the Less". Probably not the best way to make an impact on your future bride! For what its worth, his name might be explained by something so simple as he may have been the shorter one of the two James that were disciples of Jesus.

The other woman is named Solome, and tradition has also suggested that she was the Mother of the other James, along with his brother, John. They are also sometimes referred to as the sons of Zebedee. If this is true, this is the same woman who unflatteringly is exposed in the scriptures as the Mom who has Jesus to be certain that her sons occupied the two seats on his immediate right and left when his Kingdom came into power. (Matthew 20:20-28)

But, I digress from the purpose of this particular blog entry. What really caught my eye was the mention in verses 5-7 of a young man seated inside on the right side of the tomb. While Mark doesn't explain the identity of this young man, I think based upon the other three gospel writers description of the tomb experiences, that this was almost certainly an angel who had the appearance of a young man.

By the way, the drawing that is shown at the top of this entry comes from a collection called, "Phillip Medhurst Collection of Biblical Illustrations". From what I was able to find in researching that collection, it appears to have taken place in the mid-1800's in England. However, most of the sketches included in it date back another three or four hundred years earlier. So, this copy of the particular sketch may be taken from the original which may have been constructed more than five hundred years ago.

The reason I bring all of this up is that as I read these verses again more closely, I felt as if the Lord were showing me some really wonderful things about what heaven is going to be like.  In no particular order, five things jumped out at me about what life is going to be like in our resurrected bodies.

1. This is quite obvious, but, our bodies are going to be visible ones. We will not be some whispery vapor, no Casper the Ghost floating around on a cloud. This angel's presence was as real and viable as any other person on earth has ever appeared.

2. Our bodies will be a recognizable ones. While they did not know this particular young man, we know from at least two other scriptural occasions that people from heaven are recognizable. When Peter, James and John accompany Jesus on to the Mount of Transfiguration, they look up and see Elijah and Moses talking with Jesus. I am pretty sure no one was wearing name tags that day but they were clearly identifiable to the three disciples although there time on early pre-dated when they were living by hundreds of years. More powerfully, when Jesus spent his forty days of earth after the resurrection, all of his followers immidately recognized him while he was in their presence. What I think this means that is so great, is that in heaven, not only will recognize the people there we previously knew on earth, we will have such magnified intelligence and awareness that we will immediately know who EVERYONE in heaven is. How great is that!

3. Our bodies will be powerful ones. In verses 3-4, the women are shown wondering how they are going to be able to get into the tomb since the stone barred entry from the outside and escape from the inside. Josh McDowell in his excellent writings about the death and resurrection of Jesus suggests that the rock may have been so large to have weighed in excess of 1,000 pounds. However, the stone is rolled away and the implication is that this young man, this one angel, was more than capable of doing that which for an ordinary human being is impossible. The abilities of our resurrected bodies will be so amazingly more powerful in every respect to the current limitations that we face. 

4. Our bodies will be youthful ones. I admit that there was a time in my life when I didn't appreciate this fact nearly as much as I do today at the age of 63. I remember how great it was to have a young body which tight, fresh, unaged, and an unlined skin. Those days are long gone! However, this angel's appearance suggests to be something so wonderful about heaven. When we finally come home, there will be no more old age appearance, no more old aged maladies, and no more old aged illnesses. When I think about that, Paul's word in 2 Corinthians 5:17 take on new meaning for me. "If anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW creation...the old is gone, the new has come!".

5. I have saved the best for last. The young man was dressed in a white robe. Everytime we see the color white in the New Testament, it refers to holiness - an absence of the presence of sin. That can only mean one thing. Our bodies will be purified ones. We will be creatures without sin, without the influences of sin, without the imaginations of sin, and best of all, without the destructive impact  that sin has had on our minds, spirits, souls, and bodies. But, praise God, no more!

Isaiah said it first (Isaiah 64:4)  and then Paul quoted him in 1 Corinthians 2:9;

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

If that were not enough to whet the appetite for heaven, add unto it these words of the Apostle John, in 1 John 3:2.

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

Sometimes, it almost more than I can take in - to imagine what a day that will be.

 

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June 20, 2017, 9:26 AM

The Blog Is Back!


Yes, it has been a long time but you can start watching for updates from me on a consistent and frequent basis going forward.

I'm looking forward to providing a new venue for communication with our readers.

Watch for an update by Thursday each week.

Blessings!

 

 




November 7, 2015, 12:00 AM

Follow_Up On Message on Euthanasia

Pastor Mark Scott teaches The Journey Church about Biblical Responses to current social issues.

This past Sunday, I shared a message with our congregation on the subject of euthanasia. Christianity Today magazine stated in their September 5, 2015 issue that this will be the next moral crisis Americans will face in coming years. Already, in the United States, euthanasia is permissable in five states including, most recently, the state of California. This is one of those subjects that sounds reasonable at first glance - in fact, the next day after Brittany Maynard died after moving to Oregon to be allowed to die, 20 newspapers in nine states wrote editorials stating their belief that this right should exist for every American. 

If you listen to the message, you will find that i spent the second half of the address in warning of the slippery slope such decisions bring us to an a nation, states, and communities. I think that the following story that was printed on July 27, 2015 in The Guardian Newspaper. Katie Hopkins is a newpaper columnist and a British television personality and she had the following to say about the elderly in her home country.

Katie Hopkins, a British television personality and former The Apprentice contestant, shows us all just how utterly insane liberal thinking is at its zenith.

Hopkins says that old people should be put to sleep just like animals because they are too much of a drain on society.

And, her solution to carry out this genocide of the elderly is the following...

FEMINIST CELEB: WE NEED ‘EUTHANASIA VANS’ TO DRIVE AROUND AND GET RID OF ALL THE OLD PEOPLE​

 

Hopkins suggests that we create “euthanasia vans” that drives door-to-door and kills off the elderly.

“We just have far too many old people,” the feminist says. “It’s ridiculous to be living in a country where we can put dogs to sleep but not people.”

According to Hopkins, this can be carried out stylistically, you know, with a flair.

“Euthanasia vans — just like ice-cream vans — that would come to your home,” Hopkins says “It would all be perfectly charming. They might even have a nice little tune they’d play. I mean this genuinely. I’m super-keen on euthanasia vans. We need to accept that just because medical advances mean we can live longer, it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.”

HOPKINS: PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA ARE ‘BLOCKING BEDS,’ AND THERE’S NO POINT TO THEIR LIVES

Hopkins’ off-color comments weren’t made completely out of the blue. Great Britain has been wrestling with whether or not to allow assisted suicide for some time now, an idea that’s repeatedly been shot down by the Parliament. But Hopkins is tired of all this concern for human life and wants to see all those gray-hairs six feet under as quickly as possible.

This wouldn’t be the first time that Hopkins has shown such disdain for the more vulnerable members of society. A recent “tweet” she posted to Twitter openly mocked dementia patients and their propensity towards forgetting things, writing:

“Babe I’m here again, I’m here again, where have you been. Babe I’m back again. I’m back again Where have you been? Take That Dementia style.”

And just like how she views the elderly, Hopkins is of the persuasion that dementia patients are pointlessly taking up space in hospitals and care facilities, and should be put to sleep. The Mirror Online reported on a related Hopkins tweet that stated, “dementia sufferers should not be blocking beds.” It procee

ded to question the point of their lives.

The former Celebrity Big Brother contestant added: “It would all be perfectly charming. They might even have a nice little tune they’d play. I mean this genuinely. I’m super-keen on euthanasia vans.

“We need to accept that just because medical advances mean we can live longer, it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.”

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