Author Archives: Scott

My Portion

Lamentations 3:22-24 (NASB) The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.”

This was my memory passage for this week.  As I recited this over and over, really meditating on the power in this passage, I was hit with a revelation.  God was telling me that I rely on myself far more than I rely on Him.

That, my friends, is a frightening realization.  I, and I’m betting a great many of you, tend to count more on God’s gifts than God Himself.  An person gifted with high intellect will tend to lean on that.  A person of wealth, will count on His money, gifts, blessings from God.  When I struggle, I most often think and act on what I can do rather than first call on God.  Pridefully, I believe that I can handle this and work my way over, around, under or through the obstacle.  Why?  I’m gifted!  In these instances, our strengths, His gifts become extraordinary weaknesses.  Our pride and illusioned self determination and self reliance becomes an immense stumbling block to our discipleship and oneness with Christ.

Often times struggles fall upon us after a time of peace, plenty and closeness with Christ.  When we ask something of God, and He doesn’t provide in the manner we believe He should, subconsciously, if not consciously, we abandon Him.  We push ahead under our “own” power, determining that it is up to us.  Instead, we should be thanking and praising Him in these times.

Faith is not a bargain that we’ve made with God… “give me this, do that for me and I’ll trust You, I’ll follow You.  If you don’t, well I think I’ll do it my way.” 

Our faith MUST be firmly rooted in Him, not His gifts.  Who do you go to first, Him or you?  What to you lean on, the gifts or the Giver?  Have a blessed weekend.

Proverbs 16:19-20 It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly Than to divide the spoil with the proud. 20 He who gives attention to the word will find good, And blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

Be Still

Psalms 5:3 (NASB) In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.

There are few activities more settling to me than sitting in a tree stand on a frosty November morning, awaiting the sunrise to break and illuminate the world about me.  I am still, but alert.  I attempt to come into tune with my surroundings and the wildlife inhabiting it.  The distractions and cares of my day to day worries are rendered from my heart.  I am there for a purpose, a purpose rooted in peace and calm, stillness.  In this stillness, I know my purpose and because of the stillness I can be expectant.  I “eagerly watch”, listen and let it all unfold.

God wants us to be happy.  He wants us to have joy, peace and goodness in our lives.  But God generally enters into our awareness softly, as a whisper.  To hear Him, we must be still.  This stillness must be in body, mind and heart.  

If I were to climb into my stand and turn constant circles, flail my arms about while whistling the Star Spangled Banner, I couldn’t very well expect to see much in the form of deer movement.  The same, I believe, can be said quite often in regards to hearing from the Lord, experiencing His presence.  

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” ― Ram Dass   So simply put… simply true.

Being still requires discipline and patience, perseverance, and above all faith that He is working and you will know when His timing dictates. 

“When Christ delays to help His saints now, you think this is a great mystery, you cannot explain it; but Jesus sees the end from the beginning. Be still, and know that Christ is God.”  – Robert Murray McCheyne

We get caught up in the rush of the chaotic world that envelopes our life.  We grasp and clutch for control that never comes, because it can’t. It’s an illusion.  The chaos serves to only pull our focus from that which really matters.

Luke 10:41,42 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” 

So many of us allow our hearts and minds to be swept up in the noise and demands of life, when often times what we need to do is be still.  How often to you make room for specific moments spent in stillness, eagerly watching?  Throughout the day, how often do you pause when the weight of life begins to pull you down, and patiently, quietly wait on the Lord?  How much of of that which distracts, burdens and worries you have you surrendered to the Lord?On all accounts, not enough, is my answer.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

Look Up, Say Hi…

Matthew 5:44-48 (NKJV) But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

The other day I stopped at the station and filled up.  I ran inside to use the restroom, however it was occupied.  As I waited, I started up a simple little chat with a lady browsing the candy.  From our conversation I found out, she was diabetic and shouldn’t even be looking at the candy.  She justified it though, by telling me she was 71 years old and had overstayed her welcome anyway.  To this I replied, “You won’t be here a minute longer than you are supposed to be.”  She proceeded to tell me that she lost her daughter to cancer at 19, her son to it at 44.  There was weight, sorrow, distance in her eyes as she spoke.  I was feeling the urging of the Holy Spirit since before I spoke my first word, and it was rising to a crescendo now.  I stifled it.  I listened intently, carefully, empathetically.  I reassured her that she had worth and purpose, that everyday is a gift to make the most of.  I told her God Bless you.  Her eyes lit up and she returned the blessing.  She proceeded to the counter, I to the restroom.  When I exited the station, her husband and her were standing by their car, they both thanked me and wished me a Happy Thanksgiving, then drove away.

As I got into my truck, and as I write this to you today, my emotions are mixed.  It felt good to be a small blessing, but I also felt shame for quelching the full compulsion of the Holy Spirit.  It obviously did her a service, but I know that God was wanting more.

As I read this passage from Matthew, it brought this encounter to mind.  She certainly wasn’t an enemy and meant me no harm.  She was, however,  a stranger and it would have been easy, routine to pass her by.  I’m glad I responded to God’s urge and could be of service to her.  I regret not being of service to the full extent that I believe Jesus was prompting. 

It’s easy to miss the opportunities God puts in our path, to dismiss His nudges.  It’s natural to us to be warm an engaging with those we know.  On the other hand, in our fast paced lives, it’s easy to be casually aloof as we pass those we don’t know on the street, at the shopping center, the gas station.   I pray that this encounter and introspection makes me more acutely aware of these instances and more sensitive and obedient to God’s urging.  Perhaps this illustration will aid in accomplishing the same in you.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

Diligent Pursuit

With the demands of the archery shop this fall, I hadn’t been able to get to the field as much as I would have liked.  However, this week I took off Tuesday and Wednesday, combined with my regular Sunday and Monday off, I was able to spend some quality time in pursuit of a mature whitetail buck.  

The timing could not have been better, or the script more exciting.  After, church on Sunday, my wife, my friend Joey and I were headed to stands.  It had been a few years since Joey and I had this opportunity, so we struck out together, while my wife headed to one of her favorite stands on the east side of the farm.  Joey and I were headed to a seam in a hayfield that would permit us to enter undetected.  As, we started into the seam, I spied a giant mainframe 10, directly in our path, tending a doe.  We hit the deck!  I worked my binoculars from my pack, inched up and took a peak.  Yeah… he’s huge!  I gotta try.   I crawled backward to get into a line that offered some concealment.  Joey, provided over-watch as I proceeded to claw my way across the hayfield.  With Joey’s guidance, I managed to make my way to within 33 yards of the monarch undetected.  With him quartering away unawares, I began to draw.  In that instant, I saw a flash to my right, glanced over… busted!  The doe caught me and took off.  I redirected my focus to the buck, who, unfortunately was following suit.  Four seconds… that’s what I needed to seal the deal… four seconds.  

I made my way back to Joey, where we shared our exhilaration over what had just happened.  What a charge!  And, we still had our whole afternoon hunt to enjoy!

We saw the buck a short time later, cruising a hayfield across the draw.  To say I hoped he would cruise by my stand would be an understatement.  He didn’t.

The next morning on her way to work, my wife spotted him cruising not far from where I’d seen him the day before.  Due to other obligations, I was not able to get back until Tuesday.  That evening found me in the same area again.  There was amble action and opportunity, but he didn’t make an appearance.  When I was driving back to the house, I came up on him coming out of some standing corn.  “That’s it! I know what he’s doing!”  

My full focus is locked on this buck.  In all my years of bowhunting, I’ve only targeted a specific deer 2 other times, now we have #3.  Tuesday evening, I analyzed the terrain between the areas we had seen him.  A clear and logical travel route began to emerge.  Wednesday, I set a new stand in the area I felt could most likely yield an encounter.  The location is great, but the stand not so much.  It’s rather exposed, making movement nearly impossible, but manageable if appropriately measured. The scene is set, now to wait.  

I sat on stand that day for 12 hours.  I saw dozens of deer, had numerous opportunities to fill my tag, including a very nice mature buck, but not the one I was after.  I’m focused now.  Anything less would feel like settling.  It’s not often a bowhunter is presented with an opportunity such as this.  I fell short on the first attempt, but I’m not done yet.

Over the past few days of purposed, focused, determined pursuit and preparation I couldn’t help but compare what I was doing with my focus and pursuit of the Lord. “Am I this focused and purposeful when I comes to pursuing and knowing Jesus?  Do I study scripture with the same veracity that I studied the aerials of the farm?”  At times, yes, but full on continued focus, no would have to be the answer. 

If I am able to put everything together and harvest this deer, it would be nothing short of a miracle.  If not for the fortunate encounter on Sunday, I wouldn’t know that he even existed.  I’m focused now, but I haven’t done much leading up to now.  I depend on a long developed knowledge of the area and the animals, never really knowing the exact make up of the bucks from year to year and just trust that a nice deer will cruise by and an opportunity presents itself.  Most the guys I know that consistently tag big mature bucks dedicate themselves to that end.  They are focused nearly always, and put in the work.  The result is they are consistently rewarded. 

That kind of focus on God and His kingdom is consistently rewarded.  If you want to be consistently successful, you have to be consistently focused.  In order to wake us up and drive our determination, He’ll occasionally appear to us as a monster 10 point in a hayfield.  And, that works… obviously.  Question is, do you want to see that mack daddy once in a blue moon, or every season?!  Have a blessed weekend!

Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

 

Graceful Conversation

Proverbs 26:4,5 (NLT) Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are.  Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.

This passage was related in our mens’ group the other evening.  After leaving there, I continued to give a great deal of thought to it.  

First and most obvious, don’t waste your time trying to answer someone who is stubbornly adhering to a false notion.  It will only serve to tarnish you and have no effect on them.  However, in verse 5 it tells us that we must confront one in their foolish notions or they will not only continue in them, but do so with arrogance and assurance that they are wise. 

Wow, this is tough.  How do you know the when, what and how to respond to someone that you know to be wrong in word and/or action?  

As I thought about this and worked through additional scripture that might shed further light on this, the first thing that became apparent is an initial restraint.  Proverbs 10:19 (NIV) Sin is not ended by multiplying words,but the prudent hold their tongues.  More often than not, our knee jerk reaction is to counter, to come right back and defend ourselves from an assault, if that be the circumstance, or offer correction to the inaccurate notion, statement or deed.  That typically comes in the form of a verbal retort.  However, the repeated theme throughout scripture, as illuminated in Prov 10:19, suggests that restraint should be our default first move. 

I was listening to Pastor Adrian Rogers the other day, and he made a statement I believe bears on this conversation.  To really know someone, you cannot base your determination on their actions, for those are strategic and planned.  Instead you must guage a person based on their reactions, how they handle the unexpected.  If our knee jerk reaction is typically one of attack, argument and confrontation, if we lose our temper and return assault for assault, what does that say about us?  What benefit could that possibly serve to either party or the others in witness?   

Instead, should we not exemplify restraint, listen and analyze first?  How can we begin to know how to proceed, to RESPOND if we blindly react?  We can’t.  You may be exactly right, but at this point, who cares?  It’s moot!  The only effect you can hope for is to further harden the heart before you and cast yourself the equal fool. 

Proverbs 15:28 The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.

This is very difficult, and obviously something that God sees needs work in me, otherwise He wouldn’t have directed me to look so deeply on it.  My take away would be this… answer is necessary, but the manner in which the answer is delivered must be prudent and calculated.  Your battles must be carefully chosen.  There can be no knee jerk reactions. They serve no good what so ever.  It must be a thoughtful RESPONSE, carefully drafted and wrapped fully in love.  Some of these battles you will win, some you will not.  However, executed in this manner, you will not be made the fool, the fool will not be made wise in their own estimate and, most importantly, God’s purpose will be served.  That, my friends, you CAN most assuredly trust in.  Have a blessed weekend.

Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. 

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

 

 

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