Well, it’s 10:00 and it’s good to see those of you who are on the screen and logging in with this. Remember, as we as we begin today, we will have you can put pray request in and chat the meeting chat box.
And I will mention those actually right now, unless you do a private chat to go to everybody so everybody can read it and see it. So thank you for doing that. But this morning, as we get started, let me begin with a word of prayer and then we’ll have our worship song, a time of reflection and preparing our hearts to hear the word of the Lord.
Let’s pray. Father, thank you for this day. Thank you for the freshness and the brightness of the skies that remind us that you are light and we are children of light and we are to walk in the light. So we thank you for this opportunity to serve you today where you place this. Just pray for your presence and your guidance as we worship you and hear from one another the words of light.
We ask this in Jesus name, Amen. Let’s listen to. come to the altar.
The the song was come to the altar.
And you can just put that in YouTube and reflect on one of my favorite it’s alive version, Elevation worship. And I think it’s a great response. Just as just as I am was for my generation. I think this is a good, good response to for each of us. So let me introduce Scott Whitson, Dr. Scott Whitson to us today.
He’ll be bringing our message. Scott is a graduate of B.H. Carroll got his Ph.D. in pastoral leadership. Actually, missional leadership, I think, is the ideal focus. He currently is a director of missions in the Burleson area. I don’t remember him telling tell us the full name. But later on. But he’s been doing that pastoring. He’s a marathoner. He and I got to climb Mount Kilimanjaro together in 2020.
He also, through his church and his work in the association, has taken groups regularly over to Tanzania and actually has been able to start a Bible college in labor where where we’ve had several graduates. And so it’s his hardest missions. He grew up as a missionaries kid in Tanzania and has brought that heart for missions into his studies as well as his leadership into the association.
So very pleased that he has agreed to share what God’s put on his heart today. So, Dr. Whitson, it’s all yours, and let us know what the Lord has laid on your heart today.
Thank you. Alright. Well, thanks so much, Dr. Wilkes for the introduction. Yes, I am, Scott. Scott is good enough. An executive director at Southwest Metroplex Baptist Association.
Not even the pastors here can get the name straight. So, you know, they all kind of say it very tentatively and look at me like, did I get close? And it’s always close enough. So yeah. So I’ve been here since 2010. And this role pastoring in this area since, well, 1992. So been here a lot longer than I anticipated.
So thanks again for just the chance to connect out. And I’d love to just lead us in a short word of prayer before I share a few thoughts with us and invite the Lord to to speak through His Word and through however He wants to take what I say and use it in your life today. So Lord, I’m just so grateful that you are very personal, very practical.
And you know, each of us on this call today, you know what’s going on in our lives, what’s swirling around in our minds this morning, what is required of us this week, things needing tending to and you have direction for us today. You have promised us your presence and power. And so today, Lord, we just want to say here we are.
Speak to us now. Ask this in Jesus name, Amen. Well, great. Well, you know, as I wrestled with what to say to colleagues and fellow carols, whether in faculty, admin, students, friends of whatever, I think the Lord just really kind of put all my heart to share some things that God is teaching me. He has taught me and is continuing to teach me.
And this is not really a sermon. I’d be happy to do that at some occasion, but this is just more, you know, I guess just part of my story. Just what God has really been stirring my heart of late and things that I’m just grateful for what God has been teaching me. And, you know, I guess if there was a place to start in Scripture, I’m going to just move around a little bit because of the content of what I would like to share.
But, you know, I was just thinking of what the psalmist said in Psalm 145, where, you know, that whole Psalm just extolls the greatness of God, and he says, I would like stole you, my God and king, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great as the Lord and greatly to be praised And His greatness is un searchable.
And I love that phrase. His greatness is and searchable. I mean, just the time I feel like, okay, I think I understand. Like he just blows my mind and there is so much more that God has for us, I think, to learn and to experience. Then the Scripture goes on and so under and 45 down and 18 to 19, the Lord is dear to all who call on Him, to all who call on him.
In truth, he fulfills the desires of those who fear him. He also hears their cry and saves them. So yeah, I just wanted to share a little bit about what God has been teaching me, because I’m sure like you, I would suppose I hope I want to be so filled in, empowered with the presence of God that what I do is not natural.
And people realize, Man, that is not Whitson speaking or, you know, God just God just showed up in this meeting and I was just a part of it. But that’s my longing, you know, It was reading an autobiography of Charles Finney a year or two ago, and I was reading about his revival in Utica, New York, in early 1926, and then in November and then in January of 1927.
And he writes about the lodging house where he was staying. And it was reported not only by him but others, that even as the stagecoach came into town and people just stepped in to the hotel to have a quick meal, they fell under divine conviction and many of them sought out Finney to ask, Why am I feeling this way?
And he was able to lead them to the Lord and change their lives. And that seemed to follow. FINNEY In many places that he went. And, you know, as I read that, I just thought, wow, Lord, how we need that kind of outpouring again today where, you know, those who stand in the pulpit, those who teach ordinary people like us when we’re out and about just in a daily stuff of life and encounter people, others just had that sense that God’s presence is with this person.
And that’s what I’m really after. That’s what I’m pursuing in our county. We’re praying for a revival and spiritual awakening. It’s been our focus for since 2010. I’ve come here, they’re maybe get tired of me beating the drum, but I just feel like, God, God wants to do something. He wants to do something in our churches or communities, our nation.
But most of all, he wants to do something in us, in our own lives, so that we can be part of what God has planned for the people around us. And so some things that God has been teaching me, I hope maybe one of these will just kind of land on you and it’ll be something that God speaks to you through.
But I just wanted to just mention three things that God has really been showing me. He’s been reminding me of and things that He just doesn’t seem to let me get away with in terms of pressing into him for more understanding. And one of them is this God is willing to speak to and lead us more than we can imagine.
He is willing to speak to and lead us more than we can imagine. I suppose if you want a scripture, there’s a plethora of scriptures. I was thinking of John ten, you know, the the shepherd and the sheep metaphor. My sheep hear my voice, they follow me. He goes out before them. He knows our name. He speaks to us.
We hear him. And all of that is true. I mean, it is absolutely true. I wish I could say my hearing is crystal clear all the time, but sometimes my hearing gets a little plugged and, you know, sometimes it’s of my own doing. There’s unforgiveness, there’s things that I’m not doing that God is waiting for me to start doing before he clarifies his leading.
At other times, it’s not just being still and seeking him. There’s all those things. But I do know this God still speaks. He still leads us and He leads us very specifically at times uncannily specific colors. Just really reflecting on this in my own life, I’m thinking back to part of my journey in missions right before when I was pastoring, taking this job, pastoring, I was praying for the nations of the world, asking God where he wanted us to go as a church.
And you know that early January I had just had that big map of the world on my wall, and I began to pray and ask the Lord, where do you want us, Father? And my heart was in Africa because that’s where I grew up. But God just had not opened that door yet. And so as I prayed across the nations, placing my hand on the map, I got to one particular area in Asia, East Asia, where, I mean, as soon as my hand touched that geographical region, I just I began to weep.
I mean, weep, uncontrollable bleed. And I just had a clear sense that God was saying, this is where like I’ve never been there. I know nothing about the culture, the people. I don’t even know where to start necessarily. And not long after that, I got an invitation to go on a vision trip to that very specific country. And as I made plans and got over there, I met with some missionaries.
As we’re about to take us, we’re in one country about to go into the target country because of restrictions in that place, talking about security and all those details. And just really as an afterthought, he said, I guess you would like to know where you’re going. Right. And the country that I’ve been praying for and the hand it touched is really large and requires lots of hands to cover that country.
And he opened the map and put his finger in the exact place that I had been praying is about it. So it just reminded me that God is very specific and he answers our prayers in very specific ways. And what a joy it was to go in to lead teams to that place year after year and after about ten years to have a first edition copy of the New Testament translated and that that unreached people, groups, language and to hear how God had taken a handful of believers of over a million mountainous people and now had churches scattered all across the mountains not because we didn’t think, we just went and prayed.
That’s all we did. Went and prayed, looked for people of peace, connected them with workers who were coming in and out of the country and some national workers so that they could do the follow up. But it was remarkable, I guess, another instance of how God is so clear in speaking related to that same journey of going to that country and missions.
Because one year my daughter wanted to go and she was a teenager at the time, a young teenager. And, you know, this was backpacking at the foothills of the Himalayan gene. You would have loved that. The scenery is absolutely phenomenal. It’s just up and down. It’s rugged. You’re just carrying your tent, your sleeping bag. And if nobody invites you to stay with them, you just camp.
I mean, that’s just what we did. And she wanted to go. And I knew the difficulties of the trip because I’d been already several times and I was really wrestling with that. She’s like, God, Dad, God, I think is telling me to go. I’m like, Yeah, I don’t know about that. And, you know, the day got closer and closer to the deadline to buy tickets.
And I mean, we’re literally on the last day my friend is getting the tickets for us, said Matt Scott. I need to know an answer today. And so I was out on the porch that morning and just saying, Lord, I, I don’t know what to do. I mean, am I just being a dad or are you in this?
I mean, what is your plan? You have got to I mean, you’ve got to be really clear. And, you know, God doesn’t always speak to me like this. Rarely. Sometimes he does. And he put a scripture in my mind. Isaiah 4511, that was like, gosh, you know, that’s going to be one. Like, you know, Babylon is being dashed to the walls.
And you know something? You know, I don’t know. So I was like, okay, Lord, I don’t know. I’m just turn in there. And as I turn, this is what I read ask of me of things to come. Will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands? And I was just like, okay. Or I got to tell.
And my daughter, she can’t go and trust that you’ve called her. You know what? It turned out to be a phenomenal trip. All that to say is God has been teaching me and continues to teach me that he is more willing to speak to and lead me there than I am, that I’m willing to lay hold of. It’s only encourage you in that a second thing that God has been teaching me is that God and I’m just going to say this to you, even though I’ve been thinking about it in my perspective, but God has made you just the way you are, not to be like anybody else, but to be the you he created you to be. Does that make sense? Let me read it again. God made you just the way you are not to be like anybody else, but to be the you he created. You to be. Yeah. You know, I have a difficulty that has hounded me for many years, and that’s the desire to be like somebody else. You know, there’s always somebody stronger, there’s always somebody smarter.
There’s always somebody that’s got more influence that has the kind of job I’m thinking, man, if I could just do that, you know, was at B. H. Carroll doing my Ph.D., you know, I’d look around the room and it’s like, Wow, if you talk about the brightest light bulb in the box, I am not that. And, you know, I just look at people like Dr. Bollock and Scott Floyd and, you know, faculty and Gene and things people have accomplished and written and done and, you know, I’m like, wow, man, I just feel I just feel like a baby sometimes.
And, you know, God just continues to teach me. Scott, I didn’t make you to be like anybody else. I made you to be Scott. And on a practical note, God continues to remind me the world doesn’t need another Scott. Scott Whitson He made one and I’m to be who God made me to be. And so, you know, I was reminded of this back in November.
We traveled to South Korea, my son in law, South Korean. So my daughter and son in law want to take their two kids, four and one for the first time to visit. And so we had this big trip planned for a long time, and one of my other sons went with us. And so we had just a fantastic trip.
I mean, just it was phenomenal. But one of the things to me that was a highlight was visiting three different churches. We visited a just a very small church, less than 30 people in Busan, where my son in law’s parents family live and go to church. And then we, after some time there, drove up outside of Seoul and visited the church where my son in law’s brother attends.
By all rights, a megachurch. I mean, you walk in and while there’s a phenomenal coffee shop, a library, a restaurant, I mean, it’s like legit. This is amazing. And then we took some time to go out to enjoy the full Gospel fellowship. But, you know, the largest church in the world, they say 500,000 members. And, you know, just through that experience, God reminded me that God calls people to different responsibilities and has different assignments.
And no, no one’s greater than anybody else necessarily from his perspective. It’s what God has called them to do. I was thinking of, you know, the John the Baptist and how John just, you know, reiterated in chapter 327, a person can only receive what has been given to him from heaven. You know, his disciples were like, Well, everybody’s leaving you and following Jesus.
You know, He’s on the other side of the Jordan. What are we going to do about this? It’s like, you know, this is my role. I’m not the Messiah. I’m here to just point people towards heal. You know, as I looked at those three churches and visited, I was reminded that God as God has different callings for all of us that are custom made for who we are in the sphere of people God wants us to influence in a very unique and specific way.
And I think what was most meaningful to me about visiting those three churches was actually visiting in the smallest church. And after the service, sitting down, they have lunch every Sunday after the worship service and after lunch I sat down over at the table where Pastor Lee, he didn’t speak any English. I definitely do not speak Korean, and my son in law came over and sat between us so that he could translate.
And you know, all I could say, it was a divine appointment. As we began to visit, it was just clear he was so discouraged and, you know, I didn’t realize it at the moment, but I was just saying, Man, Pastor, I feel such love here in your presence with the people. I can tell you love the people and that the service blessed me.
I couldn’t understand anything you said, even though I picked out a scripture and I looked at that. But I could just tell that you’re preaching out of great love, man. He just began to weep. Now, you know, Asians are not that emotional. In fact, my son in law’s dad asked me lately, what was he getting so emotional about?
And yet, you know, God just did something in that moment, allowing me to be who I am. He who he is reminding him that God hasn’t made a mistake. God has him exactly where he wants him to be. He didn’t have to be like anybody else. He just has to be faithful with what God has assigned him to do.
And, you know, in my more honest moments, that’s that’s hard for me to always live in, that God made me unique. And my simple role is to be who he made me to be. Right where I am and to not be worried or fretting about going after other things. So I don’t know if that resonates with you or not, but it certainly has been an encouragement, a constant reminder in my own life.
I guess the last thing that I wanted to say is that God really does want to teach us more of Himself in His ways. God wants to teach us more of himself and his ways. And I don’t know what that looks like for you. you know, for us, for my wife and I. Leslie we’re entering into this season of life, and we’re both at that point of going, you know what we, we want.
I don’t know if this is the last season or not. You know, when you get close to 60 ish, you know, you start realizing there aren’t many people looking for, you know, a 60 year old for their next job. And so it’s like, well, Lord, whatever it is, we want to shine for you as bright as we can, and we want to serve you as best we can.
I’m kind of that place in life where it’s like, Man, I don’t want to get busy doing stuff. I want to be busy doing what God has really called us to do and living the kind of life Jesus wants us to live and, you know, and I’m just been reminded there’s so much more that God has for us than we can possibly imagine.
And life can always be learning. And one of the things we’ve been learning is just, you know, what does it mean to live and to walk in the authority and power of Jesus? You know, I live in Africa and some of you travel to different places globally, and we see the spirit of God doing incredible things. I see this in Africa all the time.
And so my heart breaks is like, Lord, why are we not seeing those same kind of things here? That’s my longing is that God would break through. You know, this this shell that we’ve built around ourselves, that he would do something so profound and incredible that the lost or drawn the wayward come back. And one of the things God’s been teaching us, for instance, is, well, trying to take John 1412 to task.
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do in greater works. Will he do? Because I go to the father and I’ve been I’ve been thinking that through and just thinking about how Jesus sent out the 12 and then he sent out the seven D and then he sent out those in the upper room and met all they were.
They were turning the world. Well, it was written right. They were turning the world upside down. And, and so we’ve been crying out for that and becoming increasingly committed to just trying to live out what Jesus says we’re going to be doing. One of the things that I’ve done as a pastor for years is prayed for people in crisis and pray for the impossible, pray for healing.
You know, remember, we had a little boy his mom brought to church and his hip was deformed and she had him up to ask the church to pray for him and to anoint him with oil. And that’s exactly what we did. And we just asked God to bring healing and to restore it, to make bone. And, you know, she came back in a few weeks and said took him to the doctor.
He had an x ray. And guess what? That bone is there. He does not need the brace. He thought that our child would need God’s still does that stuff. In fact, last Tuesday I was supposed to have surgery and I’m already kind of giving away the key here right. But I’ve had some trouble with my voice for several years.
And speaking to summer at an event, an association event out in West Texas and there happened to be a speech pathologist in the audience. And she came up to me afterwards and she said, I hope you don’t mind me, Scott, getting in your business, but it looks like you’re really struggling to talk. Have you ever seen ENT? Like, you know, I’ve been thinking about it, but you’ve just convinced me.
And so sure enough, I went to an EMT and she put a scope down and just moments later pulled it out, said, Yeah, you’ve got a growth on your vocal cord, and that’s not going to go away. It requires surgery. So you need to work with our team and let’s get a calendar. And I said, okay, so this was back in November when that was found, and the earliest I could get in the surgery was January.
And so last Tuesday, January 9th, 7 a.m. there I am I’m showing up at the hospital. And yes, I’ve been praying about this. I had gone over to some dear friends house, Peter and Patti Vaughn. He’s in the Ph.D. program. We’ve become really good friends and they prayed over me, as did some other people didn’t share it very widely, but we pray for great things, right?
And me, I wish I had great faith all the time. And I went into the hospital thinking, okay, get ready for surgery and got to be quiet for a week and, you know, do the healing process. And so I was checked in and IV was running. I’m in pre-op, Anesthesiologist comes by and visits and, you know, goes through the spiel and said, okay, so the surgeon will be back next.
And sure enough, the surgeon walked in and we had only conversed about 30 seconds and she said, you know, Scott, I hear a little change in your voice and I want to scope that again before we take you into the operating room. And I said, okay. She put the scope down and pulled it out and she said, It’s gone.
Go home. You don’t need surgery. You know, God gave us an opportunity to testify to a number. It caused a little bit of a stir in the pre-op and in the admissions office as they’re having to try to refund and figure out how to do all this stuff. You just checked in right. And I’m amazed that God wants to do more than we can possibly imagine.
And there’s still a mystery to why God does things one time and not another. Or our sweet Emily, our son in law, his fiancee still passed away with cancer. You know, there are still mysteries. I guess I’ve landed on the idea that there are some things God’s not going to do. Doesn’t matter how much we ask him. There are some things he is going to do regardless of whether or not we ask him.
And there are a lot of things God will do in response to our asking, and I’m just learning to ask God more to try to believe more and trust more. And I was just thinking of Paul’s doxology and the end of Romans 11 the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God. How in searchable are His ways?
His paths are beyond tracing out for who has known the mind of the Lord. Is it ever been is counselor who has ever given to him that she he should repay him for from him and through him and to him belong all things to him be glory forever. So today I just want to encourage you that God wants to do more than we can imagine that God made you.
He made us who He intended us to be. And that God is very personal, practical, and willing to speak to us and lead us in profound ways as we seek him. So I’m going to leave it at that. And I appreciate the opportunity to share a few thoughts with you. Gene, I’ll hand it back over to you.
Thank you so much, Dr. Whitson.
That is a truth about God’s presence and power in each of our lives. So what a great word today. Thank you so, so much. I want to close in a word of prayer and just in an invite to that. If you do have a if, email us at email@example.com a prayer request, then we will definitely pray for you.
Scott. Thank you again for the greatness and power of God. We pray for us. Father, thank you for this day. Thank you for your servant, Scott. Thank you for his witness today of your greatness, your power, your desire to do unique things and powerful things through us. We just pray that as we go through this day, we pay attention to you and we seek you.
We listen for you and we cry out for you. Thank you. Thank you for these who have chimed in today. Just pray you bless them and that you would have taken your word and placed it on their assets. In Jesus name, Amen. All right. Thanks to all of you. We’re off to staff meeting Scott. Thank you again. Thank you to each of you for attending.
And we’ll see you next month. God bless.