There is NOTHING You Can Do

by Dr. Scott Andersen in , ,


Here is the text for the video above.

Our greatest successes and failures hinge upon God’s love.

I know you know of the story of the Last Supper. You can read it in John 13.

During this time it was important to know that in some homes, slaves and servants washed the feet of the residents.

At the Last Supper Jesus was washing the feet of the disciples. When it was Peter’s turn, Peter asked Jesus if he was going to wash his feet. When Jesus affirmed his plan to do so, Peter tries to micromanage God’s love by saying, “THOU SHALT NEVER WASH MY FEET.”

Peter felt that it was beneath Jesus to be washing people’s feet. He was Rabbi, Master, Messiah. Feet washing was for the slaves and servants. For that reason, Peter was refusing this act of love. He was doing so because he did not understand.

And you know, we do it too.  We say things like,

“God you can love me if I do good. But you can’t possibly love me if I sin, or if I rebel, or if I don’t tithe or if I don’t go to church.” Etc.

There is an adversary who wants you to put IF’s before God’s love. However, with God’s love, there are no IF’s.

His love is perfect. Accept his love.

Have you ever witnessed someone receiving a hug when they really did not want one? For instance, when Aunt Ruth, comes to give you a hug, your body might stiffen a bit, you might turn your head to the side and cringe while she is hugging you.

That is what we are doing when we attempt to limit God’s love.

On the other hand, have you ever had a hug that was warm, comfortable and comforting that you just melt into? That is my analogue to God’s love.

Let me remind you of what Jesus said in John 15:4, “Abide in me.”

Accept his love. All of it.

Take all of his love and give him all of you.

Melt into his hug..

God’s love is perfect.

There is nothing you can do to make him love you more.
And there is nothing you can do to make him love you less.

He just loves you. Right here, right now.


Seasons

by Dr. Scott Andersen in ,


While enjoying some time in American Fork Canyon walking through the American Fork River, I was inspired to talk about, well, SEASONS and how we experience them in our lives. So I recorded the video below.  

After watching it, I realized 4 things: 1) it is not very good; 2) It could have been much shorter; 3) I should not have worn that Vanilla Ice wannabe hat; 4) I used the word SEASON waaaaaaay too much. 

I decided to have some fun with it. I created a SEASONS counter in the upper right hand side. I also had some fun with the title and the background music.

Despite all of the above, there is a message in the video. 

And this is the SEASON for you to hear it!


FREE GAS for LoveWeek17

by Dr. Scott Andersen in , ,


One of my favorite activities at Turning Point Church in McDonough, GA was the Gas Buy Down as part of our LoveWeek festivities. Each week before Easter, we did 7 days of awesome community outreach.

Last year I was in CA and participated with giving away grocery cards and also in giving away free gas. Now that I am in living in Utah, I just had to keep it going.

So tonight at my nearby Maverik gas station, I gave away free gas. It was fun and the recipients loved it.

Check out the video.


Easter Invitations

by Dr. Scott Andersen in ,


Easter is just around the corner. It is just a few days away.

I have a reminder and an encouragement for you.

Jesus was a great man, but not by the worldly standards of wealth and possession that are prevalent today. He was great not for what he possessed, but for what he gave away. In fact, he really didn’t have anything in the way of possessions throughout his time on earth.

When he was born, as it says in Luke 9, he didn’t even have a place to lay his head. He was born into a borrowed manger. In his adult life, he traveled around, had no address, no house, and he slept everywhere – outside, in friend’s houses.

In Luke 5, we see that he had to borrow Simon’s (Simon Peter) boat to give a sermon. More on this in a moment.

On what we now recognize as Palm Sunday, Jesus rode in on a borrowed donkey as was prophesied. Soon thereafter, he was carrying his cross. He was nailed to it and died on it.

Yet, he was not done borrowing. There was one more thing he needed to borrow. A tomb. He was in that tomb over a span of 3 days. Jesus paid the ultimate price on the cross and borrowed the tomb for 3 days.

This man owned nothing. Did not seek riches. Was humble, loving, obedient and true. He wanted nothing and he paid the price.

So what was he buying for that price? He was interested in purchasing one and only thing – YOU.

He did that on the cross. He paid for you and for me with his life. He gave it all away so he could finally say, MINE. 

YOU ARE MINE.

And in return, we get to say, I AM YOURS.

A video of this same post

And now I want to return to Luke 5. After preaching a sermon on Simon's boat, Jesus asked to go fishing with Simon. Simon was exhausted from unsuccessfully fishing all night, but he obliged. When they tossed in their nets, the caught so much fish that they thought their boats would sink. When Simon saw this, he knew something was up…he turned to Jesus and said, "Go away from Lord; I am a sinful man.”

This is an important lesson for us…especially as we are approaching Easter, a time when many come back to church, and a time when we have the chance to invite many others to join us.

I think Simon represents many of us in his discomfort and fear of being in God’s presence. Because Simon knew he was a sinner, he felt unqualified, unworthy and incapable of being around Jesus. However, the fact that he felt that way is proof that he knew of God. Yet, he had more to learn. As do we all.

I think there are many people in our circles of influence, who have that same challenge as Simon. There are many who are uncomfortable coming to church or being in God’s presence because they feel the exact same things as Simon. They feel they are sinners, unqualified and unworthy.

But that is good news. That is the proof that they have the light of Christ within them.

I share this to encourage you. This week leading up to Easter, there are without a doubt, people with you associate, who know God, but have done the same as Simon tried to do, by telling God “to go away” because they are uncomfortable and feeling shame for their sin.

I encourage you to invite them. Lovingly. Prayerfully.

Remember your invitation is one of the ways that you can partner with God to create the conditions and opportunity for these people you know to find their way to into the loving arms of Jesus.

I imagine you may be thinking of people right now. Take that action.

No judgement. No assumptions. Just love them.

Jesus died on the cross so he could say, YOU ARE MINE.

Let’s invite others with the hope that they will soon say, JESUS I AM YOURS.


You Are Here

by Dr. Scott Andersen in , ,


I do a lot of activities outdoors. I love the outdoors! I live for the outdoors!

A screenshot from ALL TRAILS app

A screenshot from ALL TRAILS app

I use apps on my cell phone to help me when I ride and hike. The apps share with me milestones of distance, time and pacing. When I am hiking, it shows me where I am on the map, where I am on a trail and where I need to go to complete the hike. The apps are super handy and they work great.

I feel safe when I use these apps hiking. The key word though, is “when.” Sometimes the apps do not work. This typically happens when I am in deep into the mountains. The technology may not work...but sometimes it is due to my choosing. Sometimes I choose to get off the trail and explore. If I do that for too long or for too far, I can get disoriented. 

With this disorientation comes the need for help getting back on track. If my app is working, I can usually use it to directionally find my way back on to the trail. But if the deadly duo happens, if my app is not working and I stray too far and, as a result, get disoriented, then I am in big trouble. Because even though I may have a map, if I don't know where I am, the map is not going to be much help.

When I am lost, I need help. If am lost but have an idea of where I could be, the map is not the first thing I need. The first thing I need is to have a very good understanding of where I am.

For instance, imagine I pick you up in a helicopter, blindfold you and fly you out to the middle of the Alaskan wilderness. Before leaving you, I give you a map of the state. I fly away and leave you on your own. How useful is that map going to be? The answer is NOT AT ALL USEFUL.  Why? Because you have to know where you are on the map to plot the course to where you want to go. You can see Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau on the map, but you will not have any clue where to take your first step.

You have likely seen this symbol on maps in shopping malls or when you seek online directions. It is usually accompanied with the words “You Are Here.”

The concept of knowing where you are in crucial in just about every component of our everyday lives. It’s true at work, at home, at play and in our spiritual journeys.

In business, this is important because if you want your business to grow, to achieve success for you and those associated with your business. You have to have a very good understanding, a fact-based understanding, of where your business is. I mentioned fact-based because when considering where we are, we do not need to include how we FEEL about where we are. It is also not about where we THINK we should be. It is about the observable facts that exist. Things that others would be able see and know without question.

People in successful businesses ask lots of questions about where they are: What conditions exist? What challenges you have and will have? Are you truly successful and performing? What do you do well and what do you need to do better? Where do you stand in the marketplace? Do I have the right talent? Do I have the right employees? How do I stack up against the competition and market conditions? 

In our personal lives the same types of questions hold true. Relationships are a good example. We can assess where we are in our marriage and our other familial relationships. It is going to be hard to work for what you think your ideal marriage should be if you have no idea of the true FACTUAL conditions that exist today.

In our walk with God, again, the same holds true. We can attend church, give tithes and offerings, and even participate in a service project or two, but if we do not have a clear understanding of who we are and where we are in our journey, then those things can merely be activities without meaning.

The Bible has some clear counsel:

1 Timothy 4:16 “Keep a close watch on yourself.”

Romans 12:3 “Think we sober judgment.”

2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.”

When we understand ourselves, our current foibles, challenges, shortcomings, strengths, and opportunities for growth, then we can also better map out our daily lives that taken those conditions into account. By so doing with thought and spiritual guidance, we can then begin our own personal journey to better align ourselves with our spiritual beliefs.

So, here is a fact: YOU ARE HERE. 

Yep, as you are reading this, YOU ARE HERE.

Remember, God sees you.  He knows you.  So there is no need to lie to yourself.

Look around you. Look inside you. Take stock. Take notes. Be honest. If possible, seek feedback from trusted advisers. I find it helpful to associate with people who are themselves strong in their relationship with God.

When you have that clear and honest self-picture. You can put yourself into the right spiritual frame of mind, conditions and surroundings.  Equally important, is that you can also take yourself OUT of conditions and surroundings that are contrary to where you want to be.

When you create that strong understanding of where you are, regardless of whether you like the answer or not, you can truly start mapping your next steps and begin to map your journey closer to God.

Below is a video version of this post.

And here is the blooper reel of footage I attempted while on the side of the mountain in the rain. Let's just say #EpicFail.


The Doldrums

by Dr. Scott Andersen in ,


Ever been stuck in rut? Ever feel like you are not going anywhere? Some call this "the doldrums." Do you know where that term comes from? I didn't either until recently.

Here are some thoughts I recorded after hiking to Maple Lake in Payson Canyon, UT. Read below the video for the scripture references upon which this is based.

1 Kings Chapter 19

4 Elijah was afraid[a] and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die.

“I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 

5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.

All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

7 The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night.

The Lord Appears to Elijah

And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shatteredthe rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram.16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet