Author Archives: Scott Pace

Tried, Tested and Tempered… Praise God!

I had drafted this week’s commentary and had it ready to post.  However, as He does on occasion, God brought something else to my attention and has compelled me to share it instead.

I preface what I am about to address with a statement;  I have had a fairly good and reasonably easy life.  In comparison to a great many I know, mine has been an easy row to hoe.  So, with that said, today’s is a commentary based in observation and scriptural application, not one born of personal experience.

We had a guest speaker tonight at church.  A gentleman by the name of Jeff Stultz, from North Carolina came to share his personal testimony and give us a glimpse into the path he has traveled in this life.

Before hand, he stopped by the Harley Shop and I was privileged to have an opportunity to spend a brief but rewarding time getting to know a bit about and share some things with him.  For the sake of space, I will not go into great detail, let me just say, Jeff has lived a very dangerous, difficult and tragic life, a great deal of which was his own doing.  His testimony can be found at www.motorcyclemissionary.com, and I would strongly encourage you to read it.

I’ve known a number of people that have walked a path very similar to Jeff’s.  People who have lived lives of addiction, violence, crime, selfcenteredness and destruction.  I’ve known people who have been on the receiving end of people living as Jeff lived.  I’ve known people who have lived through lives of struggle and heartache, told and untold horrors,  by no fault of their own.  My wife, bless her heart, comes immediately to my mind. Whatever the circumstances surrounding the pain and suffering, it’s tragic.  Though, not having experienced anything even remotely comparable, I can scarcely imagine what it is like.  My heart goes out to them.  I want to say that’s horrible and no one should ever have to endure a life like that.  

As we talked, I found my thoughts drifting to another perspective.  I found myself praising God for walking Jeff down the road He did.  I certainly would never wish for anyone to go through and put others through what Jeff did.  I would never want to see anyone go through any of the multitude of anguish I know others have endured.  Yet, praise God that those people did.  

As Jeff and I conversed about that perspective, drawing from memory he immediately recited Genesis 50:20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. (NKJV)  There’s our reason for praise!  Though we would never want to see someone afflicted in such ways, nor if we’re being honest, choose to be plagued with such, but… what if they or we never?

If Jeff or so many others had not been walked down the road God had set forth for them, been tried, tested and tempered by fire, He could not use them for the work He had prepared for them beforehand.  How many people have been brought to the foot of the cross by the witness that Jeff and so many others testify to?  Through baptism by fire, how mighty are these testimonies of restoration, endurance, God’s eternal grace and His miraculous hands of healing?!  

Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Whether our choices led us down the path or the path was directed by circumstances beyond our control, there is peace in the knowledge that God holds the map.  Though it maybe painful, unfair, even horrific, through faith in God we can praise Him for it, it’s effect on us and the fruit that He would have it produce.  We each have our own stories and men and women like these have been purposed by none other than God Himself, to reach those who could not be reached by people who’ve walked paths similar to mine.  Praise God for that!!!  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

 

Seek, Then Tell Them

Colossians 3:1 (NKJV) If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.

        I read this verse the other day and it was the first time that I read it for what it really says. Every time prior, I had read this as a question, a matter of doubt, “if then you were raised…” When I read it this time, Paul’s intent was made clear to me. This is a statement of confident victory.  Paul is flatly stating, “YOU WERE RAISED…” This is a proclamation. Christ died, God raised Him from the dead, and with Him so too were you raised. Now, focus, fix your gaze, heart, mind, every ounce of your being resolutely on the things above.

Colossians 3:2,3 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Too many Christians freely receive the gift of salvation and that’s where the journey ends. In other words, they carry out their days on earth with two minds, their Christian mind, and then their secular mind, bouncing back and forth as they deem the situation calls for.

A.W. Tozer talks about Christians being 30, 60 or 100-fold Christians. The 30-fold receive Jesus’ gift of saving grace, but go no further. They stay trapped, catching a glimpse of the promise that lays just outside their grasp, because they refuse to let go of the things of this world. They refuse to resolve to live in one mind. They refuse to fix their gaze and, “seek those things which are above.”

The 100-fold Christian sells out 100 percent. His gaze is firmly affixed on Jesus and the promise He lays before him. He is determined, unwavering and because of it, he is fruitful. God can use men like this and men like this get to experience the fully promised life in Christ.

John 17:17-22  Sanctify them by Your truth.  Your word is truth.  18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.  19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.  20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;  21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:

In John 17 we read Jesus’ prayer for His disciples.  He prays for our protection from evil, but in 17-22 He prays that God would sanctify us in truth.  Why? It is so that we can go out into the world, with our gaze perfectly affixed to “those things which are above,”  and proclaim the gospel message to those still trapped in darkness.

Where is your focus? What do you live for, think about? Why do you do the things you do, in the way that you do them? You were raised for something far more exquisite than any of us could ever imagine, but it requires of us. You must look to, focus on, and pursue the unimaginable glory of God.  Then you must go out into the world and tell them what you see!  Have a blessed weekend.

Colossians 3:4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,
Scott Pace

He Went

As I prepared to write this week’s commentary, it was not lost on me that it would publish on Good Friday.  I pray that I do some honor to this day for my Lord.

Romans 5:7  (NKJV) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 

As I think on what it was that God did for us through His sacrifice of His only begotten Son, I am humbled.  I’m drawn to a passage in Romans chapter 5 beginning with verse 7.  I think about all the instances in my life, past and present, in which I have withheld forgiveness, grace.  How much bitterness do I hold to for a slight, real or perceived?  I imagine, there is likely not one of you reading, that could not ask him/herself the same and answer zero.  I would like to think that I would, should the occasion arise, be willing to lay down my life in sacrifice for another.  Yet, I read this verse and am ashamed.  Under a load of conviction, I realize that I cannot even bring myself to forgive some for even minor offenses.  I hold grudges, to varying degrees, but hold them all the same.  If my heart is unwilling to let go and forgive another, why should I believe myself capable of laying down my life for another? Why should I believe that I would be capable of the service to others God would see me perform?  What kind of example am I projecting for my Savior?

We’ve all done it, justify to ourselves and others the validity of our withholding.  “If he hadn’t done… if she would have just…why should I…when it was them that…”  As we prepare to celebrate Good Friday and gaze upon the bloodstained cross, ask yourself, did Jesus withhold?  Did Jesus justify to Himself, others and God why He shouldn’t have to go?  He could have.  In fact, He’s the only Man in the history of the world who had that right.  Yet… He didn’t. 

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 

He went.  He chose to pay the price, sacrifice Himself, though we did not deserve His grace and were “unworthy” of His love.  He asked nothing of us.  He chose not to wait for us to rectify the situation, clean up our act and prove our worthiness.  He loved us, and He went. He went for all of us, despite the pain and offenses we riddle Him with, He went.  

Romans 5:9-11 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.  

Read through those verses again, please.  Jesus went to the cross for us, the undeserving, the enemy, for love.  Will you go?  For love?  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

 

Be Three

Proverbs 1:2-7 (NKJV)  To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding, To receive the instruction of wisdom, Justice, judgment, and equity; To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion— 5  A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, To understand a proverb and an enigma, The words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.


On the radio the other day, I heard a man state, “as disciples we should each have a Paul, a Barnabas and a Timothy in our life.” As I thought about that, I agreed. I’d take it a step further in saying, in doing so, we liken ourselves to a Paul, a Barnabas and a Timothy, as well.

In most avenues of my life I realize the greatest rate of growth if I both assume and surround myself with the personification of the roles of those three purposes.

Applying it to my progression as a hunter and archer, it indeed becomes very evident. Since my beginnings, I’ve had a Paul, that mentor type to guide, encourage and, when needed, correct and rebuke. They are persons of experience, wisdom, patience and leadership. They are people I trust to lean on, to teach and guide my growth. I still have and rely on my Pauls.

Having a Paul, I am therefore a Timothy, the student. I become the embodiment of a vessel in need of fulfillment. The day we stop seeking to learn is the beginning of the end of our development.

By embodying the purpose of a Paul, Timothys come within my sphere of influence. I can help to instruct and develop future hunters and archers. I provide wisdom, guidance and, when needed, correction and rebuke. Passing on the torch to the next generation of woodsmen is critical for the perpetuation of our hunting heritage. In being a Paul for other’s I gain additional insights and refinement, as well. One of the greatest of teachers, is to teach. When guiding others, I learn just as much about the subject and myself, as by any other means.

Lastly, whether chasing game in the mountains or here at home, I have my Barnabas. This person is my confidant, my partner. Be it my wife or a good friend, we share a similar attitude and mission directive. We cooperate and communicate in order to accomplish these things. We are each other’s support system, second set of eyes, hands, ears and feet. We depend on each other and our success is the result of cohesive collaboration. In having a Barnabas, I become a Barnabas for another as well.

As I walk the path of discipleship, it is important for me to be mindful of the relationships I cultivate. Being sure to incorporate a Paul, for wisdom, instruction and rebuke, a Timothy, for passing on the perpetuation of our faith, and a Barnabas to walk along side me through the journey.  By doing so, I assure myself a greater refining of the person God would see me become. My walk and witness is deeper and more fruitful. The exclusion of any one of these personas, or failure to embody them in oneself, serves only to steepen the curve. Have a blessed weekend.

I Peter 2:9,10 (NKJV) But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.  

 

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,
Scott Pace

The WHY

  1. I spend a great deal of time planning and preparing hunts.  As an pro shop owner, that applies to helping others prepare for theirs, as well.  Preparation is good, essential actually.  A simple outline would follow something to this effect:  #1 choose your game (the what), #2 what type of experience are you after and what are the area(s) you want to hunt (the where), #3 figure out the guidelines, ie the application process if applicable, the rules and regs of your location choices and complete them (the how), #4 gear needed, assembled and organized, #5 get your body ready for the experience you have chosen (#4&5 are details of the how).  If you do all of the things in this outline, pack up and set out, you MAY get somewhere.  You MAY have an amazing experience.  You MAY… even fill a tag.

However, if we really want to maximize our odds, we must not exclude the final and absolute crucial piece of the outline, the WHY.  Why are we wanting to do this?  Why are we making the choices we are making and why are we going forth in the manner we are?  Once we have figured out the WHY, we can develop and settle on a path that will get us there.  If we are honest, truly devoted to the WHY, that path will likely be a narrow one.  Will you take it?

Matthew 7:13,14 (NKJV) “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Like in life, the path to success in the field is seldom the one that most are willing to take.  If you want to find your game, you will likely have to be willing to seek and follow the path few others will.  When the pressures on, elk, deer, turkey head for inhospitable locales, places they know are hard to get to and they will find security.  Are you willing to find the way in there AND take it?  That’s where the reward is.  That’s where the WHY lives!

Most of the world around us is looking for the easy road, the wide, broad stretching mesa of easy travel.  I’ve looked for that route, sometimes still do.  I’ve followed that route, in life and on hunts and what I’ve learned is that elk do not live there.  They seek out those hard to get to cracks and seams that you see in the picture above.  They travel down narrow paths to get beyond the reach of most.  

To get to the reward God promises, your path will not be across a lush grassy mesa.  It’ll be along a sheep trail, with you questioning the sanity of your every step.  He never promised us an easy road.  In fact just the opposite, but He will empower our WHY, and assures us victory for our willingness to find and take the sheep trail.  So, assemble your outline, figure out the WHY, look for the narrow path and push on.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

 

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