Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Let’s Get Real April 30, 2011

Filed under: Bible,Women in Ministry — Amy Scott @ 1:44 pm

Recently, I read a book about being real. The main focus was about being real before God and letting His love transform me. The book was called The Velveteen Woman and it used illustrations from The Velveteen Rabbit to make its point. While the rabbit illustration were cute, I found it missing the mark in my life. I was struggling with reality, but in a totally different way.

I don’t want to say I never struggle with being real before God, but for the most part, I feel like I’m very real before God. I must have accepted long ago that God knows everything, so He is the person who knows me the best and see every thought that goes on in my brain (that does worry me sometimes). I have explained to my class of 5th/6th graders that God needs to become their best friend. You can tell Him anything.

My time with God is very open and honest. I feel no need to hide because I know He knows. I find that I laugh at myself as I explain to Him what is going on in my heart and head. He must laugh too at how silly I can be. When I am hurting, I am not afraid to tell Him how I really feel about the matter. He is a perfect confidant and I trust Him with me – the real me.

When it comes to people, I’m not so confident. I’m not sure I can trust them with the real me. Along the way, I have felt the need to build up this image of who I am based off who I think I should be. Being in ministry, I feel like I have to look like I have it all together at all times. Somehow I have built this image of what a pastor’s wife is like or what a church staff member should be. I want to live under the umbrella of the images I have created in my mind. Sometimes I really believe I am the image I am trying to create. Other times it’s harder to grasp at perfection. I feel I can trust God with me the real me, but what about others? This has been my challenge.

I’ve really had to wrestle with God’s calling to be real. I feel so safe with him. I know I can be honest and He will love me. After much prayer and reflection, I can see that I’m living only half of my calling if I just give God me and leave it at that. I’m sure He is delighted in our relationship, but He didn’t create me to hide from the world. He created me with a purpose and a calling to love the world.

This reminds me of Luke 10:27 where Jesus says, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” There are two elements to this relationship with God. The first is the most important, the relationship between you and God. However, that relationship with God then commands you love others. Our purpose is two-fold. God doesn’t call us to stay tucked away in a safety cocoon with Him. Once we have that relationship with Him, we are sent out to the love the world as we have been loved.

It’s time for me to get real with others. The walls that I have built in protection are really holding me back from the true purpose God has created me to do. I realize that in this world I can’t please everyone and there will be moments of rejection that I will have to work through. If my identity and reality is rooted in Christ, then I will have the strength and boldness to accept whatever comes my way and move forward in truth and honesty.

 

Reflections on Ordination April 28, 2011

Filed under: Bible,Travels,Women in Ministry — Amy Scott @ 1:27 pm

I don’t have a lot of time, but I want to write down my thoughts about ordination now while they are still fresh! I don’t want to look back and think “oh, it was a nice day.” So many special moments are lost in the recesses of memory because they are not documented and intentionally remembered. I strive greatly to capture as many moments as I can to save them and cherish them in the future.

Ordination – two words come to my mind first – honor and humble. They seem to contrast, but they would be the best description of what I felt at my ordination ceremony. It is an honor to be recognized in such a way. To have my divine call to ministry publicly affirmed and supported by the Assemblies of God and by my many colleagues and family members is such an honor. I do not take lightly the call that God has placed on my life. I am actively pursuing whatever means possible to grow and develop that call. For me, ordination was another step in the journey the Lord has placed before me. In the midst of all this, I felt humbled! Just like King David prayed to God, “Who am I, Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in your sight, Sovereign LORD, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant—and this decree, Sovereign LORD, is for a mere human” (2 Sam. 7:18-19).  Now I didn’t receive the same news David did, but wow, I can’t believe that God has taken me so far! I’m humbled that I can be used to service His Kingdom purposes. I’m so honored and so humbled to be where I am today.

More than ever I feel the fervent call to mentor and teach God’s Word! I am passionate about those God has placed in my life and I know my influence is God given. Teaching God’s Word and helping the next generation to fall in love with it is an amazing calling and I am so excited to live it out. The theme of annual conference was “Find Your Voice” and I think is this so fitting for the new season of life I am in. I am so excited for this new calling to writing ministry and I look forward to using my voice to express my love for the Savior and chronicle my life in ministry. I continue to pray that God will grow me and use me in all these passions and callings! I do believe that big things are in store for the future.

In closing, I would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported me in this journey! The prayers and encouragement have meant more to me than you’ll ever know. I know that I am not alone and that I can’t live out this calling on my own. I am blessed and so grateful for all the love I have been shown. Yesterday was a very special day and I won’t forget the outpouring of love and support I was shown!

 

Getting Ready for Ordination April 24, 2011

Filed under: Travels,Women in Ministry — Amy Scott @ 10:23 pm

I’m going to be taking a quick blogging break for the next few days. Tomorrow I set off for Yakima, WA for Annual Conference 2011. This year I have the honor of being ordained at Annual Conference. Last year, I got to share this experience with my husband, Jeremy, as he got ordained and it was a very exciting time. Now that my mind can move past Easter weekend, I am starting to look forward to this occasion. It has also sparked some interesting emotions and is stirring a lot within me! I promise to write again with how the ceremony went as well as all God is laying on my heart! Pray I don’t trip as I walk across the stage!

Because it’s still Easter (…for another hour and a half…) – HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED!

 

More than Chocolate Bunnies and Egg Hunts April 23, 2011

Filed under: Bible,Children's Ministry,Women in Ministry — Amy Scott @ 4:48 pm

Today was a great day! We at close to 2,000 kids at Bethel Church for giant egg hunt! 40,000 plastic eggs full of candy were hidden in our fields for children to find. We had inflatables, pony rides, petting zoo, face painting, balloon animals. With such a big event on Easter weekend, it is very easy for my Easter to be all about Eggstravaganza. I mean I do Eggstravaganza for Jesus and for outreach, but what I am thinking about – prize eggs and signage and parking and volunteers… So right now I want to take a moment to remember the true purpose of Easter – beyond the bunnies!

My Savior died for me because I am sinner and separated from God. There is no way in my humanness that I could bridge the gap. He was God’s ONLY SON and he gave his life for me. He died while I was still a sinner. He died for me because He LOVES me. I have done NOTHING WORTHY of this love! The cross is so central to Easter, the suffering my Savior endured. However, death couldn’t hold Him down and the enemy was defeated! I have the glorious hope of heaven and purpose for each day here on Earth.

As I was thinking about Jesus in the midst of the egg hunt, Philippians 2:5-8 come to mind:

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very natureof a servant,
being made in human likeness.
  And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Thank you, Jesus, for dying for me. Thank you for lowering yourself from the heights of heaven to human lowliness. I don’t deserve your love, but I gratefully accept it.I know that I serve a God that is living and the grave couldn’t hold you down. Help me to reflect your love to others and make the most of my time here on earth. I LOVE YOU! Amen.

 

Like Ice Cream by Keith Ferrin April 21, 2011

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Children's Ministry — Amy Scott @ 3:20 pm

Helping the next generation fall in love with God’s Word should be as easy as sharing a love for ice cream according Keith Ferrin.  He runs a ministry that focuses on helping people fall in LOVE with God’s Word. Not just read it because they have or believe it because it’s true, but really love it in a relational way. You can tell from listening to Ferrin that he has a passion for God’s Word. Through his roles as a youth pastor and now as a parent, he has wrestled with how to help the next generation be just as passionate about God’s Word.

I was recently at a conference where I got to hear Ferrin speak on the subject of this book. I was so fired up about God’s Word and helping the next generation fall in love with it when I left. When someone truly cares about a cause you can feel them channeling the energy right into you and that is exactly what Ferrin did. I left that session thinking, “I wish everyone could have heard this.” The awesome thing is Like Ice Cream captures everything I learned in that session and more. I would say it’s a must read for children’s or youth pastors, but more importantly for parents. Really anyone with influence into the next generation (grandparents, teachers, congregation members, etc.) needs to read this book!

Kids are at church for a couple hours a week… maybe three hours on a Sunday and hour and a half midweek (most spend less than that). We can’t assume that sending a child off to Sunday school is going to develop this passion inside of them. As a parent, you have the biggest opportunity to influence your children for Jesus.

Ferrin goes through nine principles that will help you be more intentional about helping the next generation develop a taste for God’s Word. In children’s ministry, I can tell that they way I read the Bible and teach the Bible will show kids how exciting it really is. If I’m reading in a mono-tone voice then they aren’t going to sense passion. They are probably going to be bored and tune me out. I have to be creative with how I present God’s Word and show kids that is really alive and active!

One of the best examples that came out of the book is that of a cucumber. A cucumber can became a certain kind of pickle depending on what’s it is soaked in. You can’t make a sweet pickle by using dill. What you soak the cucumber in will decide what it becomes. We can’t just hope that kids turn out a certain way when they are not exposed to what they need. As a parent, you have the choice of what your children will be exposed to, you will have a say in the environments they spend time in and the people that influence them. Don’t expect your child to turn into a sweet pickle if their hanging out with dill pickles.

The truth of the matter is we can talk about God’s Word all the time, we can get creative with how we weave it into everyday life, we can be excited about it and show kid’s what a relational view of the Bible looks like, but only God can call a child to himself. This is where prayer is a key part of helping the next generation fall in love with God’s Word. We can only do so much and then we have trust God to grow the seeds that we have planted in these young hearts. Prayer is one of the most powerful tools we have in helping the next generation fall in love with God’s Word.

Another book I would like to suggest on a similar topic is Spiritual Parenting by Dr. Michelle Anthony. I read it as research for a possible parenting class at the church. I learned so much from it as a children’s minister.  It’s important for me as a children’s minister to empower and equip parents to be the best spiritual influences in their child’s life. Together we have an exciting opportunity to help children build their spiritual foundation that will carry them through for a lifetime with Jesus.  I’m excited – are you?

 

Better Together April 20, 2011

Filed under: Bible,Children's Ministry,Women in Ministry — Amy Scott @ 2:44 pm

When I was in high school, I felt the call of God in my life to go into ministry as a full time vocation. The thing is I only knew I wanted to be at church – all the time. I couldn’t picture myself heading into an office building and working the 9 to 5 job. I liked kids, but the thought of being in a classroom all day as a teacher scared me. So where was I going to fit? It all seemed so wide open. So many options!

Then the Lord brought Jeremy into my life. Jeremy was the intern at my home church. He was active in children’s ministry and right around the time we started dating he was offered the position as children’s pastor at my home church. This was very exciting for him and I was so proud of him. I was away at college during this process so when I came home for that summer, he was curious if I wanted to teach a class of girls on Wednesday nights and help with children’s church on Sunday mornings.

Being just out of high school, I was still in the youth mindset, but I knew that church was much more than a youth ministry, so I decided to jump into children’s ministry. I figured if God wanted Jeremy and I to be together then I would need to find a fit in children’s ministry. If I didn’t fit, then I figured maybe this wasn’t the right direction for my ministry calling.

That summer was so important for me as a young person with a passion for ministry. I fell in love with children’s ministry and it set me on the path I’m now walking out. The great thing about my ministry is that I’m not doing it alone. I get the joy and the pleasure to walk beside my husband in truly a partnership of ministry.

Being able to share my ministry with my husband is so important for strength. We are able to support strengthen each other. We process the world differently, so we have two perspectives that help us to think outside of the box and openly discuss life and ministry from various angles. My strengths are not my husband’s strengths and his are not mine. We are able to round each other out.

Ministry is so rewarding, but it also can be very draining. By sharing the load, in a partnership, I am able to go farther and do more. I am also empowered to be who I am and how God made me to be. I don’t have to worry about trying to be just like my husband and mirror his ministry. We can see where we each shine differently. Every person is blessed with unique spiritual and leadership gifts. Using these unique gifts brings balance to ministry. We are energized to be an allied force for good.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” I get to live out this principle every day at work. I know that I am better off for working in a team. We get more done together then we do alone. Our labor has a good return and we have the support and strength of each other. It is so nice to know that someone is there to catch me when I fall and that we’ll be able to get up and keep going. No getting stuck in a pit for this girl, I’ve invested in the buddy system.

Now I realize that not everyone has the blessing of sharing their ministry with their spouse. The ideas and principles still apply to anyone. We are not meant to it alone. Ministry is best done together because it is so central on relationship. We need to build partnerships into our lives and share our loads. Not only will the burden be lighter, but you have shared joy and shared triumph. Build people into your life that you deeply share your ministry with. Don’t walk this path alone. It’s truly better together!

 

The Intentional Woman by Carol Travilla and Joan C. Webb April 19, 2011

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 6:02 pm

As I write this review, I’m listening to the April shower happening outside of my window. I have a cup of hot chocolate steaming beside me and my favorite blanket across my lap. I’m just taking a deep breath and feeling the goodness of God wash over me. Simple moments like this are a pleasure and help me make it through the busyness that surrounds my life.

Now on to the book review… The Intentional Woman is a wonderful study. It was a great follow-up to Half the Church by Carolyn Custis James which I finished before starting this study. The study is formatted into 6 steps that can be done in a multitude of ways. This is a nice because it allows you to make the study fit your life and what works best for you. My suggestion would be a 6 week study with a small group of women – maybe 5 or 6. I think it would also great for a pair of ladies to go through.

It is a study and therefore, it is interactive. There are questions for you answer along every step of the way. The main focus on the study is where you’ve been, where you are at now and where you are going.  Travilla and Webb give many examples from their own journeys as well as other intentional women. Even if you decide to do the study alone, you still feel like you’re walking the path with others.

This study became a reaffirmation of what I’ve been currently working through personally. I’ve been in a very reflective season where I feel the Lord is calling me into new depths of ministry. As the Lord calls me to His purposes, I have to make sure my life is balanced enough to respond. Defining my priorities and addressing my passions are so important for intentional living. If you don’t prioritize the important stuff it will get pushed aside for a frantic, try-to-do-it-all pace. Some people might be able to balance what seems like a million hats, but I’m learning I’m a do a few things and do those things well kind of person.  I have to be intentional about where I am spending my energy so I can get maximum effectiveness.  Sometimes this is hard to accept, but it might mean letting go of some roles.

Travilla and Webb will help you to navigate the things that shaped you growing up, the things you are currently doing, and the things you feel called to do.  One point they brought out was a lot of us still love the things we loved when we were little. It might be painting, journaling, playing with friends, reading, etc. We often feel the need to push aside these simple childhood pleasures when become adults because we no longer feel they are important uses of our time. The truth is God made you in a unique way and there is probably something you really love to do. Don’t put off spending time doing something you love because you feel it’s selfish to focus on yourself. If we are truly balanced people than we will know that there needs to be export (us giving to others) and import (us being renewed). God might use that thing you loved as a child to be an outlet for you and your ministry.

In a constantly busy culture, it’s important to sit down and evaluate. Being an intentional woman will set you on a path of doing life on purpose. Don’t just let life happen to you. Decide what it’s important to you, respond to God’s calling on your life and live like you mean it! Live like it matters for eternity! The Intentional Woman is a great resource to help you sort through it all and make a clear, concise step in the right direction!