Author Archives: Scott Pace

Draw Odds

Genesis 28:15 (NKJV)  Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”

The application deadlines for western big game hunts have closed or are soon to.  This is an exciting and fun time for me.  It’s the dawn of a new season, new prospects and renewed anticipation of drawing an ever elusive, coveted tag.  I invest a good deal of time, energy and resources in researching the game I hope to pursue this coming fall, the states I would like to hunt, the units within the state, then down to the nooks and crannies within those units.  It’s necessary, tedious, frustrating and wrought with angst, but fun at the same time.  I have completed our apps for Elk, Mule Deer and Bighorn Sheep.  From this point, no amount of worrying or second guessing will change the outcome ahead.  It’s just hurry up and wait.  

Honestly, the odds of my wife and I drawing even one of the tags we applied for are extraordinarily slim.  They are all highly sought after, coveted tags.  That’s alright, though.  If we draw one of these low odd lotteries, great!  If we don’t, no worries, I have a back up.  I will purchase a guaranteed over the counter tag and head west all the same.  

Each of us knows someone, once was our self and some still are willing to rest all of our hopes, dreams, desires and goals on those low odds, highly coveted tags.  How many walk through life asking the question,”what if you’re wrong?  What if this really is all there is?” So, if that’s the case, even understanding the extremely low odds, that’s what they are willing to hang their hope on!  That’s crazy!  I won’t rest the hopes of my hunting season on tags with greater odds than that, but they’ll hang the hope of their eternity on it?!  I want a guarantee!  There are millions, billions of people walking through life applying for tags that aren’t going to come through.  Yet, if they but choose to, they can head elsewhere, stroll up to the counter and be guaranteed one!  

I want to head west and bow hunt every fall, if able, and am perfectly confident that I can.  Why, because I know where to go and be assured the opportunity.  I’m going to spend eternity in paradise with my Lord and Father.  Again, I am perfectly confident of that.  Why, because I know where to go and He has assured me that opportunity… a guaranteed tag!!!  Have a blessed weekend!    

John 14:6 (NKJV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me. 

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

 

Entangled

Matthew 13:7  (NKJV)  And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.  

When you surrender your life, mind, heart, spirit and body to Jesus Christ, accept the truth that He went to the cross to bear the sins of the world, your sin, and believe in your heart that God raised Him to life three days later, you are saved.  Through His sacrifice, you are justified, your slate wiped clean, you are made righteous. That cannot be reversed.  John 10:28-30 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”   Satan lost that battle.  There is nothing that he can do to pull you from Jesus’ embrace.  That’s the good, no great news!  

Now, the meat of today’s commentary.  In Matthew 13:7 we see a secondary tactic employed by the evil one.  He no longer has opportunity to claim you as a trophy.  You belong to God and cannot be snatched away.  So, his next option is to render you inconsequential.  This is, I believe, one of the greatest dangers facing the American church.      Luke 8:14  Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.  We live in satan’s domain and he will utilize any and all tools at his disposal to render you ineffectual.  As a follower of Christ, one of your primary obligations is to go into the world and make disciples.  Fortunately for satan and unfortunately for us, our culture provides satan with a plethora of options to call into service to sideline us from the work God would use us for.  The evil one cannot rip us away but he can maneuver and position us in such a manner that he may be able to get to those we were meant to touch.  

The only way to counter this is diligence.  We have to arm ourselves against the never ending onslaught.  If we are to resist the barrage of distractions he casts in our way, we most be focused, intentionally.  We must pray, seek God’s heart, desire to know Him, through His word, His communion, His gifts and His Spirit.  Do not allow the things of this world to entangle you and impede your mission.  Another’s eternity could, very well, be at stake.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

Tenaciously

I Corinthians 15:58 (NKJV)  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

I find that I am generally most successful at an endeavor, when I exercise a particular brand of tenacity.  That brand being, all in, set my sights on whatever it is and with focused determination pursue.  

When practicing shooting, I know whether I am executing with tenacity, mindful of all the intricacies of my form, or just going through the motions, completing a set routine and calling it good.  While hunting, especially elk hunting, if I lose my tenacious drive (or like one particular year never had it),  I am almost certain to fail.  It’s not enough to just hold on, endure and hope to make it to the end.  Tenacity is a fired, determined, no quit approach to the pursuit of what it is that you KNOW you will accomplish.  Tenacity is an unwillingness to give up, to endure, yes, but to endure with vigor.  Tenacity is being willing to say, “this hunt is not going as I’d hoped.  I’m beat up and worn out, but I’m headed for that saddle with vigor and determination, because I know that I don’t know what opportunity may await me on the other side.”  Tenacity is a refusal to just hang on and pray the end comes sooner rather than later.  Tenacity is watching an obstacle drop in your path and immediately, enthusiastically searching for a way over, under, around or through.  

Tenacity is a great thing to strive for.  It’s something I wish I could say I never lacked.  Unfortunately, I sometimes do.  

Tenacity is something that I’m learning needs to be applied to my pursuit of a greater understanding of God and my relationship with Him.  I need to be tenacious about reading His word.  I need to pursue, with tenacity, daily time in close conversation with Him.  I need to tenaciously endure the hardships and heartaches that have and will inevitably come my way.  In doing so, it shows my willingness to faithfully believe that no matter what it is or what the reason (known or unknown)  He will not let me fail.  His working of this level of tenacity in me serves as an illustration of His glory to all around me.    Psalm 37:23-24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LordAnd He delights in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.  

We can merely hold on until this life is over, fix our grip and wait for that glorious day to come when we leave this world and join our Father in the eternal home He has prepared.  Truthfully, I don’t believe that’s a shameful thing.  For some to just endure the rigors the world throws at them is nothing short of monumental.  However, for most I believe we owe it to God to be as vigorously tenacious as we can while we’re here. We have work to do for His kingdom, examples to set, relationships to cultivate, disciples to make.  That doesn’t happen if we’re not in the game and tenaciously pursuing the possibility.  Have a blessed weekend!  

Philippians 3:12-14 (NKJV)  Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

 

Plant It, You Were

I Corinthians 3:6-9 (NKJV) I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.

While having breakfast with a friend last week, he made a statement that has been resonating with me ever since.  He said, “you can count the seeds in an apple, but you can’t count the apples in a seed.”  What a profound truth.

It got me thinking about my responsibility in working to the growth of God’s orchard.  Every apple tree came from a seed, that came from an apple, that came from another tree, that started as a seed from another apple.  

I was an apple seed from a mature fruit bearing tree.  Many apples were ripened, dropped, and their seeds dispersed without production.  Fortunately, it just takes one and God wouldn’t give up on me.  He had the right seed picked out, the ground necessary for it to land and the time chosen for proper germination.  You could count the seeds in the apple from which my new life sprang, but you or I can’t count the apples that will come from the seed that was planted. 

As we grow into mature fruit bearing trees, we are expected to cast our seeds to the ground in hopes that they too find fertile soil, take root and continue the cycle.  Our lives will cycle through seasons, God expecting us to bear more fruit and disperse yet more seeds.

We don’t know how many apples are in each one of the seeds that we produce.  Our duty is to produce them and disperse them, with the faith and understanding that God will bring up the ones that He chooses.  

As you go through your day, engage ceaselessly with God, find quiet time to be with Him, draw close, pursue His heart so that you may be increasingly aware of when He desires a seed to be dropped.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

 

Uncomfortable

This past Sunday, Pastor John made a comment.  He said, “there are few things more uncomfortable than a comfortable church.”  This was stated in the context of the great CO-mission.  Matthew 28:19,20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.  Pastor John’s meaning of comfortable, I believe, was that we cease to be bold, press ahead or seek out the lost and find contentment with the status quo. 

In our home group, this week, the question was asked, “are we a comfortable church?”  To which I quickly responded, “yes.”  I was asked to expound on my immediate, definitive assertion.  I was talking about our “church” the congregation that I call my church home, yes, but it was more an indictment of the church in America as a whole.  I believe that as American christians, our faith is superficial.  For most it is a weekly ritual we undertake, so that we may check it off the list and feel good about that and ourselves.  I believe that most of the people I know, who profess Jesus Christ Lord and Savior, honestly and faithfully believe in Him wholeheartedly.  However, I believe that if we woke up on Sunday morning and every church building in America was gone, utterly vanished, christianity in America would be virtually gone as well.

Why do I believe that?  The American church as a whole lacks the heart.  The church in America, I believe, lacks the desire of full out pursuit of and connection to the heart of God.  I was asked by the group, if we are “comfortable”  what is the answer for change?  That’s a tough one to answer and I admittedly professed to not presume to have a complete and thorough remedy.  However, I did offer a starting point.  If we, as members of the American church body, want to see revival, get uncomfortable and draw others into the life that Jesus offers, it has to start with our individual hearts.  Action is not the answer, example is.  If we are to shake up the spiritual awareness of this nation, we must first pursue God with every ounce of our being.  We must long to know Him as intimately as we can.  We must pursue Him and place Him in the foreground of everything we do.  We must strive to read His word, pray to and converse Him daily .  Psalm 42:1,2 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  When shall I come and appear before God?  When have you felt that way about God?  That if you didn’t get to the life sustaining water that is Him, you would wither away and die?

If we want to see a dynamic, infectious spiritual awakening in this country, we must first cast off self and realize that without Him, His power and the gift of life He offers, it will never happen.  We can employ the latest enticement to draw people in, entertain them, but it’s all for not if our hearts are not fully captivated by a ceaseless desire to know and love Him.  When the individuals who comprise the body of Christ get fully engaged, sold out to full pursuit of His heart, then it will spread like wild fire and disciples will be made.  Have a blessed weekend!

II Corinthians 13:5,6 (NKJV) Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.  

 

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

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