Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

It Never Gets Easier May 31, 2012

Filed under: Bible,Women in Ministry — Amy Scott @ 6:44 pm

I started attending Bethel Church in 1998. Since that time, I’ve attended the farewell reception of 9 pastors (1 senior pastor, the rest were associates) and last night made 10. Let me tell you it never gets easier! I’m not a huge change… I’ll just be honest, 99.9% of the time I hate it! But life never stays the same for long. People come into our lives for a season and then exit.

The most challenging part of this most recent change is that Pastor Vicki Judd  has lived in Chehalis and attended Bethel Church her entire life. Talk about commitment!  I have never known Bethel Church without her. She’s been a core member of the staff  and congregation as long as I can remember and then some! It’s hard to imagine what life will be like without her presence.

As a student, I would get upset when a pastor would make that fateful announcement.  It meant losing a familiar face and having to meet some new. The older I got, it seemed the more attached I was to the pastor that was leaving even if I didn’t interact within their ministry. I think I could see more clearly the role they had played and I had a greater appreciation for the effort they put forth to make our church body a healthy one. Now as a staff member at Bethel Church, when a pastor steps down, I’m losing a co-worker. I’m losing their voice around the table, their smile each morning, their insight into daily life. It effects my day to day life, not just my Sunday or Wednesday.

I’ve been blessed by the friendships that being on staff at Bethel Church has given me. Each member our team brings something unique to the table. Like iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17), we encourage one another to be the best Christ follower we can be. We’re not just focused on our own ministry, but we really are a team and each ministry affects the other. There are no silos. This means we get very close, very quickly.

Last night at the farewell reception, I got to hear many stories shared about Vicki and the memories she’s made amongst our congregation. I even got to share a few of my own thoughts. Let me tell you, that was hard! First of what to say… when you have an ocean of thoughts, how do you squeeze it down to a rain drop? It was very moving to see the impact that Vicki has had the lives of so many. This might sound weird, but it was neat to have all these things shared in this kind of environment. I feel like most praise is given to a person once their life has passed. Think of the open mic time at a funeral – it’s in those moments people say what they really felt and how they were impacted by a life. In this environment, Vicki and her husband, David, got to see that impact first hand. Saying these words now is so much more meaningful than saying once someone is truly gone.

Good-byes are never fun. They never feel good. I went to Vicki’s office one last time this morning. We exchanged hugs and kind words… I walked away with a couple books (Vicki shares my same passion for reading and learning). While I won’t see her on a daily basis, I know that Vicki’s influence will not leave from my life just because she is no longer on staff. The same is true with a lot of the pastors who have left. Many of them are still my friends. Some have moved far enough way that Facebook friendships are how we stay in touch, but some are still in our AG Network and I bump into them at events. When you do life with someone for that long, you know that you have a friend for life, no matter how near or far.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

A time for hello and a time for good-bye

 

The Thumper Theorem May 30, 2012

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 4:12 pm

Bambi wasn’t one of my favorite Disney movie growing up and I hardly ever watched it. However, one line from the movie has stuck with me. The reason why is because my mother would say it to my sister and I often. She called it the Thumper Theorem – if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

As I brainstormed what to blog about today and share with you, this theorem came to the forefront of my mind. Honestly, all the topics I could think of to write about would come across whiny. While I do love to wrestle with my issues through writing, for some reason today just seems to feel a bit like a pity party. Each idea I thought about made me more stressed and more worried. Ugh!

So instead of sharing with you all my woes, I will choose to do some self-filtering. Even in the midst of struggle, I am reminded that Jesus needs to be at the center of everything. It’s not all about me. I know that I am not alone and that if Jesus called me to something, he will come through for me. It’s hard though in the moments when I’m not sure how it’s all going to come together. My life often resolves around church ministry, which is great, but I think I loose perspective and balance. My life isn’t about church. It isn’t about my job. It’s about JESUS! Despite all the frustrations, complications, setbacks, and challenges, I need to remember who I’m really living for – not myself, not my church, not my family, not my friends, not my students. I’m living for Jesus! Ultimately, what he thinks matters most, more than any other. It can be hard to push aside the voices of stress and worry – all the demands that creep up in my mind and make me wonder how I’m going to do it. In this moment, I’m choosing to let Jesus be the voice I listen to. If I have nothing nice to say then I’ll be quiet. Maybe if I’m quiet, I can hear Jesus better.

Just some of my rambling thoughts for today…

 

Rainy Day Plan May 29, 2012

Filed under: Children's Ministry — Amy Scott @ 7:27 pm

I think all of us that live in Washington state know what I mean when I say “Rainy Day Plan”. Most events have two plans – the best case scenario sunny day plan and the worst case scenario rainy day plan. Never assume it’s going to be sunny – even when the little icon on the weather forecast says it might be. Two plans might be a bit more work, but when pulling off a successful event, it will be time well spent.

The 2011 Sleepover Crew!

This weekend is my annual 5th/6th grade class sleepover. Each year I bring my Wednesday night class of about 12 girls over to my house for a sleepover. This is always the highlight of the year for a lot of my students. While we a have big sleepover for all 1st-5th grade girls in February, this one is just for our class and the special treat is they get to come over to my house. I really enjoy doing this event because I want the girls to get the message that I enjoy spending time with them. I don’t just teach them at church because I have to but because I want to. Even more than that, I want them to know what their welcome in my life – beyond the church. If that means attending a band concert or a softball game, I want them to know that I’m here for them and I want to share my life with them. My home is not off-limits.

So I’ll push all the furniture up against the walls. I’ll put the extra leaf in the table and set up the card table. I’ll make my home as kid friendly and welcome the group of them right on in. Usually in the past, we’ve gone outside to play a game of croquet. Let me tell you, croquet with 5th and 6th grade girls is always a hoot! However, there are little rain drops in the forecast, so now I must plan indoor activities. Here are some of the things I’ve been brainstorming:

  • Board Games – Disney Scene It is always a hit
  • Wii Games – Mario Party or Wii Party
  • Make Your Own Dessert Kebabs – This will fill time as they make their own dessert. I’ve already made a list of the yummy food we can put on stick – like strawberries, marshmallows, cubed cake pieces, brownie bites, doughnut holes, pineapple, etc. Thanks to Sweet Maggie May’s for this inspiration (http://sweetmaggiemays.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/summer-dessert-kebabs/).
  • Crafting – I’m pondering doing a craft project similar to what we did at my family ladies retreat in April. You can get picture frames that are blank at the craft store and decorate them using mod podge and craft paper. I’m still debating if this might be too messy. I will need to protect my table and my floors. However, the girls are usually pretty good at keeping things clean when strict instruction has been given. So we’ll see… this one is still up in the air.
  • A Movie – this is how I wrap up the night at all my sleepovers. The girls lay down, the lights dim and suddenly they get sleepy! A movie is the perfect way to calm down the vibe and get them ready for sleep (because some sleep is always nice at a sleepover)!

I look forward to sharing with you how this weekend goes! Even if it turns out to be a rainy day, we’ll still have a blast. You always have to have a rainy day plan that rivals the sunny day plan. There will be no less fun had even if there are rain drops falling from the sky. We live in Washington state for crying out loud! We’re pros at having a good time indoors! Here’s hoping that is exactly what happens this weekend!

 

Happy Birthday, Nephew! May 28, 2012

Filed under: Family Time — Amy Scott @ 9:17 pm

Today is my wonderful nephew’s 2nd birthday! I couldn’t go without a blog shout out to my favorite nephew, Carson! Right now he is my one and only nephew so it makes it pretty easy to shower all my auntie attention on him. He will be a big brother in July and I’m excited to know if I’ll be have another nephew or maybe a niece this time!

This Saturday, we all assembled at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, WA to celebrate the glorious birthday! It was perfect weather – not too hot and beautifully sunny! It was a joy to watch Carson’s reaction to each animal! I also got to share a few moments one on one with my little nephew. I treasure these times to snuggle or hold his little hand. So sweet!

After the zoo, we went to a picnic area in the park to have cupcakes and watch Carson open presents! It was so much fun to watch his face as he opened his gifts. He was very excited and played with each one.  Another highlight was listening to him chatter on! I will admit that I don’t understand much of what he says, but I’m so excited for the day where I can understand all his stories! From what I can tell he has a lot of them to share!

Celebrating Carson’s birthday was the highlight of my Memorial Day weekend. I’m so blessed by his addition to our family! I love being an aunt! Every time we get to hang out is special. Family is very important to me, so I look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with Carson as well as future nieces and nephews!

PS – A close second highlight of the weekend, was my brother-in-law arrived today from Kansas! It’s official! My family is all back in the Northwest! This was a very happy weekend to celebrate family!

 

Pretty or Tasty? May 26, 2012

Filed under: Cooking Experiments — Amy Scott @ 8:30 am

It would be ideal if both happened, but sometimes you can only settle for one! I would choose tasty if I had the choice. I’m guessing the rest of you would as well!

Jeremy and I are in the middle of an experiment. We’re trying to eat everything in our freezer, frig and pantry before we go shopping. We are doing a good job, but now we have to get creative when it comes to making things. We wanted to use the blueberries in our freezer and make a dessert with the limited items we have.

The final result was lemon-blueberry scones with a lemon glaze.  Honestly, I made a mess in the kitchen. A big one! They also didn’t turn out beautiful and well shaped like the scones you might find at Starbucks. Oh well! I should have waited until after dinner, but I had one right away just to make sure that they tasted okay. Let me tell you – they were awesome! Yay!

So here are the lessons learned today: Simple ideas might not be simple to execute and messes can be worth the results!

 

You Lost Me Live May 25, 2012

Filed under: Simply Me,Women in Ministry — Amy Scott @ 10:00 am

I’m the type that gets star-struck… It just happens! I found myself with a few stars in my eyes as I sat in the same room as David Kinnaman and Jim Henderson. David Kinnaman is the author of two books and the current president of the Barna Research Group. Jim Henderson authored The Resignation of Eve which I reviewed here on my blog a few months back. Jim Henderson is an advocate of women in ministry and is bold enough to ask the questions that others avoid (I got that line from his website, but after reading one of his books and seeing him live – I know that is the truth)! I admire the work that both these men do, so it was a pleasure to spend 4 hours in a live setting to hear directly from them.

The event I am referring to is You Lost Me Live. It was a presentation based off Kinnaman’s recent book You Lost Me which focuses on why the next generation is the leaving the church and not coming back. In some cases, they aren’t just leaving the church, but they are walking away from faith all together. It was great to have the research of Barna bring to life this startling trend.

There is so much I could pull out my time at You Lost Me Live to blog about, but that would take forever and probably excitement me a whole lot more than it excites you. So, I will share one thought that stood out to me. Here we go – There is a belief among the older generations that Christians may walk away from their faith during their college years, but not to worry because they will reconnect with the faith community once they have kids.  It was interesting to learn that there a lot of factors that play into this being a false assumption.

The biggest factor that took me by surprise was how the economy played a large part in this. Students are coming out of college with more debt than ever before. They are also coming out of college into a hard job market. While some can’t even find employment, many are living paycheck to paycheck. This leads to many adult life experiences being put on hold. Things like moving out of the parent’s house, buying a house, getting married, and having kids are happening later and later in life. Living with the parents might be the only option for a post-grad who can’t make enough to cover the bills. This prolongs other life changes – like getting married. Who wants to propose and move into the parent’s basement? Who wants get married and have kids when they are can barely support themselves? Research shows that young people are waiting longer to get married and have kids. While most cite careers as being the reason why, is it any wonder that a career takes priority when there is a mound of debt that needs to be paid off.

This makes a lot of sense to me. I can see it in my own friends since I’m the generation they are talking about (young Christians ages 18-29). So what does that mean? The church just waits for them to come back in their 30’s once they get all the pieces of the puzzle put together? That seems like an awful lot of wasted time to me. If someone has a gap in their church attendance of 10+ years, I have a hard time believing it will be easy for them to come back to church.  I’m sure most will say that they hold on to their Christian beliefs; I’m not positive that we will see the fruit of a healthy Christian lifestyle. How deep will this faith they claim be?

The thing about You Lost Me is that the research is stated simply. The issues are clearly seen. However, a research group doesn’t have the answers; they just tell you how it is. In a way this is a golden opportunity. The church has some talking to do. They need to be honest about where the next generation is at. They need to acknowledge their needs and their struggles. They need recognize that the times are different. It’s like it was when you were growing up. However, we are all human and have our human frailty in common. We all need a Savior. When the gospel is at the core of our message then we truly do having something offer this generation that seems to be walking off. When I say the gospel, I really mean the good news – the story of Jesus – his love and redemption. It’s not about being churchy and making them all act the same and look the same and talk the same.  There is hope in Jesus and we need to keep that at the forefront.

Oh my… there are so many other topics I could discuss… this might have to be a blogging mini-series!

 

The World of Avonlea May 24, 2012

Filed under: Recollections,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 6:06 pm

I’ve always been a fan of the magical world of Avonlea created in the mind of author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Growing up, I remember watching Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea on VHS. Still to this day, I love to do a good Anne marathon and watch them all! I don’t own the third movie – The Continuing Story, mainly because I don’t feel it flows well with the older movies. But that is just my opinion…

Last summer I bought the entire Anne of Green Gables book series. It was so delightful to see the story played out on the page with so much depth that comes from a book rather than a movie. It was also great to see the continuation of the story through Anne’s children. I wish that the movies would have continued through the whole book series. Oh well. I also purchased The Chronicles of Avonlea and The Further Chronicles of Avonlea. These are delightful short stories that center around the town.

One of my favorite childhood shows on the Disney Channel was the Road to Avonlea. The show takes us back to Avonlea and focuses on Sara Stanley and her relatives, the King family. I have vivid memories of watching this show and being excited for each new episode. I also remember how sad I was when it ended.

Recently, I decided to rent the series through the public library (which is going to be a slow process since apparently I’m not the only one who wants to watch it). Originally I thought about buying it, but the whole series costs $200 and that seems a bit frivolous right now.  I’ve now completed the third season (they go pretty quickly because each season only has 13 episodes). I never realized it but the show is a mixture of stories from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s The Story Girl, The Golden Road, and The Chronicles of Avonlea. If I hadn’t read the chronicles last summer, I would have never seen this new layering to the story line. It make me very excited!

As you can tell, I’m a big fan. That might be an understatement… I’m in love with Avonlea! It captures my imagination and takes me back to a simpler time. It has good values and is truly heart warming. There’s little bit of something for everyone – humor, romance, life, death, action, family, friendship… You get the picture! I love reliving the memories from this childhood television show! Kind of makes me want to go visit Prince Edward Island… Too bad Avonlea is fictional. My husband is probably lucky in that regard, since there is no chance that I can move there!