Posts

“What’s Worse Than a Sinner?” InYou Window, June 2017

Does it intrigue you that so often when testimonies are shared, the now victor almost glamorizes his wretched past in order to magnify the mercy and grace of God on his behalf? We revel in his redemption yet stand paralyzed to identify with such a story. It’s time to hear from the good side of the tree*

“Stupid Chair! (Projection)” InYou Window, May 2017

“Stupid Chair! (Projection)”
I’m sure you’ve seen it just like I have. You’ve probably done it just like I have. Someone runs into a chair, bends a toe back the way it’s not supposed to bend, peels the edge off the unfortunately exposed nail, and screams in sudden pain, “Stupid chair!”

So What’s the Big Deal About Easter? April 2014

So What’s the Big Deal About Easter?!

For quite some time I’ve been thinking how believers should be putting more emphasis on the resurrection than the cross, because (as I reasoned): 1. At church, we hear so much about His awfully cruel death, but little of the overcoming life. Although His “substitutionary atonement” (death) paid for the sin of the world, it was His resurrection that conquered/proved victory over sin, Satan, death, captivity, etc.; and, 2. As I kept telling people, “There were three men who died on crosses that day (the cross was not unique), but only one man rose from the dead!” Then…

While I was teaching the homeless on Easter Sunday morning, it struck me: Just as Jesus wasn’t the first to die on a cross, neither was He the first to be raised from the dead. Just a couple weeks earlier He raised Lazarus from the dead…and Lazarus was dead FOUR days, not just three! And in Matthew 27:52-53, when Jesus breathed His last “the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.” (And what about that whole valley of dry bones in Ezekiel!! WOW!!)

So now I’m thinking that even the resurrection itself wasn’t unique. So what is the big deal with Easter?! Well then, 1. It has to be the Person of Jesus Christ, not just His death and resurrection that was unique. He was (as He claimed to be) God in human form. 2. His death/resurrection was really the foundation, not just an occasion. Hebrews 4:3 says, “For we who have believed enter that rest… although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.” In earthly time, He was not the first to die and be raised; but in eternal time, He was the Alpha & Omega! He told the disciples, “I AM the resurrection and the life!” (John 11:25). “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

So the whole Biblical narrative was recorded by the Holy Spirit, through men of God, in human time and space, to tell God’s story (HIStory), to convince us through prophecy and fulfillment, that He is in control, has a plan, knows our need—even the origin of it and remedy for it—and all we need to do is believe and rest!

OK, so what’s my point?! Well, today [Sunday, April 27] I got more excited than last week [Easter Sunday], because today we talked about the coming of the Helper! Now this is good news! The whole reason Jesus had to come to die and be raised was so that He could send His very Spirit into our spirit! “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). The Eternal Life of God enters into temporal time and space—into US who believe—bringing revelation and rest!

This week I counseled a heart-broken lady who through heavy tears said: “All I ever wanted was a mother. Someone to help me, comfort me, pat me on the back and tell me it was going to be ok.” When we cannot go back in time to redo what is terribly broken, we can live in the NOW, filled with the Holy Spirit of God—the Helper and Comforter!—and be restored through simple faith.

I emailed to a friend in CA:

“The truth is, the NT begins with Pentecost, not the Gospels. The whole Bible story to this point was written to show how much God did to bring us back to original condition! The coming of the Holy Spirit rebooted the whole messed up system! Now that we receive Jesus’ very life within us, we are free to live on the earth as the Father intended from the beginning. The New Testament tells the story of the indwelling Spirit of God and how that is what changes the individual from the inside out…and then the world, as those who hear and believe begin again!

Dry bones come to life! Dead people come alive. The old is gone and all things become new. Abiding in this truth realigns the human soul and transforms us in spirit, mind, heart, emotion, behavior….all and only because of what Jesus did by becoming sin so we might become the righteousness of God in Him! Christ IN YOU, the hope of glory!”

InYou Ministries Updates:FYI: Scott Wolfe’s Personality (per 41Q.com): 

“Determined Realist”: Practical, traditional and organized. Likely to be athletic. Not interested in theory or abstraction unless they see the practical application. Have clear visions of the way things should be. Loyal and hard-working. Like to be in charge. Exceptionally capable in organizing and running activities. “Good citizens” who value security and peaceful living.Pray for this semester of S.P.I.C.E. (Self-Paced-In-Class-Education) at Tyger River Correctional Institution on Monday mornings.Scott is currently re-designing “The FIRM Foundation: Jesus Christ” to use more effectively in prison. Pray for a Grant to subsidize the cost.FIND InYou’s Indoor Trichotomous Triathlons on Facebook!Counseling and Training Center
InYou is now actively pursuing a permanent location for counseling individuals and training men and women to disciple discouraged believers to EXPERIENCE and EXPRESS Jesus in the NOW!Do you know a church or business that would prayerfully consider allowing InYou to “abide” with them permanently? Let me know.Regularly Scheduled Events:

  • 1-on-1 discipleship-counsel sessions.
  • Every Sunday, 7:30-10 am, Scott helps and teaches @ Refuge—a ministry of FBS to the homeless.
  • Every Friday, 6:30 am, inYou men’s discipleship meets @ Scott’s house. Come join us.
  • Every 2nd Thursday, 8 am, Scott speaking @ Grace Management

Calendar:

  • Apr. 11-May 2, “Living the Abiding Life” Seminar has been awesome as we learned more about how we get trapped in a spiritual cell of lying emotions, thoughts, unbelief, identity messages, etc. More to come May 16!
  • Apr. 14: I spoke at a SCCF ministry leaders luncheon, encouraging others to take advantage of personal counsel being offered by a grant from local businesses. I reminded the believers that we have everything we need for life and godliness in Christ…just BREATHE!
  • Apr. 20: Preached @ Tyger River Correctional. Shared Feb & Mar newsletters on “God’s order” and “earning death.” (Rom. 6:23)
  • Apr. 21, Dr Jim & Kathi Herrin for dinner! (Jim was 1st Pres. of inYou in TX). I surprised them with InYou’s Board members dropping in to share their stories of hwo they came to find “Christ as Life!” Rich fellowship.
  • May 5, SPICE celebration meal @ TRCI (prison). Also, COME CLOSER Spartanburg luncheon.
  • May 8, SPICE Graduation @ TRCI.
  • May 16 (Friday) 9:00-11:30 am. “Living the Abiding Life” Seminar (written by Dr. Michael Wells) taught by Scott Wolfe @ The Baptist Network Building, 5245 Highway 221, Roebuck SC.
  • May 18, Chase graduates from Wofford College! (Double major in Chemistry & Chinese. Pray for emplyment!)
  • May 30-June 1, Nephew, Hub Blankenship III’s, wedding in Washington, DC.
  • June 21-28: Kentucky Mission Trip Prison Ministry with FBS.
  • July 5-12: Beach Vacation with the family!
  • Summertime visits from TX friends, Day’s, Berwick’s, Hayes’, Walker’s, Others?!

Family Update:

Cooper  enjoyed Spring Break @ the beach with FBS youth. He also enjoyed his 1st prom!Kelli  enjoyed a brief Spring Break trip to Charleston with friends before prepping her 4thgraders for final testing!
Chase got a job!! He will be a “fragrance innovator” with Grace Management, helping the company stay on the cutting edge of home fragrance technology and production. He looks forward to creative thinking, process, travel and even using his Chinese! He and a friend won a Shag (dance) competition and he was awarded a Choral Award!
Carson turned 20 on Apr. 27. He and his roommates took in a teen from his church youth group, so Hemphill is becoming a Refuge for homeless too.We all got a new pool liner. Summer here we come!

Need 300 InYou Investors!

Give $20 per month for 10 months of the year. (Take two months off for birthday and Christmas and spend the $20 on yourself!)
You can sign up for regular online giving via a credit or debit card now through www.inyou.org. Or you can send a check to InYou Ministries • P.O. Box 998, Roebuck, SC 29376.

Seminar and Training offered another WEEK!

Friday, May 16,  9:00-11:30 am
“Living the Abiding Life” Seminar (written by Dr. Michael Wells) taught by Scott Wolfe @ The Baptist Network Building, 5245 Highway 221, Roebuck SC. COST: Sug. Donation: $15 each week. Also $15 for manual (optional), $15 for Unique Self Profile, $15 for Sidetracked in the Wilderness, by Mike Wells.

You Earned Death – Life is Free!

You Earned Death – Life is Free!

“For the wages of sin is death, but, the free gift
of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Taking last month’s inYou Window a step further, I’d like to ask, have you ever noticed what many people do when they mess up? I ask this because I wrote before how what we do both before and after we sin is often far worse than the sin itself! There seem to be two natural reactions to our sinful behavior:
1. We get mad at God when we get caught and have to deal with the consequences of our sin (or hate ourselves for messing up), and
2. We seek to restore ourselves through any number of self-devised means: promises, apologies, accountability, recommitments…a whole bunch of #2! I don’t suggest we’re insincere in our efforts to fix ourselves from repeating the regretful behavior, but again, we are out of order. Satan has “flipped us off” again! Let me explain.

First, “the wages of sin is death,” so why are you so surprised when you get paid for what you earned?! There is no life in sin, so when we get the death we deserve, why do we blame God? We put in the time, we planned the activity, we carried out the agenda, we worked for the wages and when payday comes we get mad at the Boss! Crazy, huh?

Second, in shame and regret, we will often move toward making up or running away! We will redirect our efforts toward earning God’s favor and acceptance again, or rebelling, not because we find any life in doing things our own way, but because we just can’t seem to live His way! Whether we start earning more of sin’s wages or earning God’s grace, we are blind to the truth: “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord!”

FLIP! The enemy wants us to work for what we freely receive and exercise our freedom for what enslaves (2 Pet. 2:19). If sin is a wage you earn and grace is a gift you receive, why do we get mad when we get caught and then try to earn God’s forgiveness?! (Or why are we shocked when our sin pays us death and then work for the life God freely gives?)

Satan has no new tricks. His lies are the antithesis of God’s truth. He just wants us to sin. Sin is living independent of God. It’s missing the mark. Sin is unnatural. Sin always devalues us. Sin never works. Sin carries its own punishment, never rewards. And when it comes to our relationship with God, sin is not the problem, but the result of the real problem: pride and unbelief. As long as we are in pride, we will continue to “cash in” on sin’s deceptive promises. And as long as we’re cashing in, we will keep going bad or doing good, but never simply return to God, for “His works were finished from the foundation of the world” (Heb. 4:3).

InYou Ministries Updates

Want to go to PRISON!?

“Orientation for becoming a SCDC regular volunteer will be @ 10 am April 26, 2014 at Brushy Creek Baptist Church, 4999 Old Spartanburg Rd., Taylors 29687. If you would like to minster in a SC prison on a regular basis, you must attend this orientation every 3 years or you will not be allowed in institution. In the past grace was given, now SCDC is committed to the law.” —Chaplain Russell Painter

• Pray for this semester of S.P.I.C.E. (Self-Paced-In-Class-Education) at Tyger River Correctional Institution on Monday mornings.

• Scott is currently re-designing “The FIRM Foundation: Jesus Christ” to use more effectively in prison. Pray for a Grant to subsidize the cost.

FIND InYou’s Indoor Trichotomous Triathlons on Facebook!

Counseling and Training Center
InYou is now actively pursuing a permanent location for counseling individuals and training men and women to disciple discouraged believers to EXPERIENCE and EXPRESS Jesus in the NOW!

Do you know a church or business that would prayerfully consider allowing InYou to “abide” with them permanently? Let me know.

Calendar:

  • 1-on-1 discipleship-counsel sessions.
  • Every Sunday, 7:30-10 am, Scott helps and teaches @ Refuge—a ministry of FBS to the homeless.
  • Every Friday, 6:30 am, inYou men’s discipleship meets @ Scott’s house. Come join us.
  • Every 2nd Thursday, 8 am, Scott speaking @ Grace Management
  • Mar. 6: Scott spoke on last months InYou Window and used a traffic light to illustrate God’s order @ DHS FCA, 7 am
  • Apr. 14: Hugh Brantley, long-time friend and Pres. of SCCF, sent this with a luncheon invitation to 47 ministry leaders in Spartanburg:
  • “Scott Wolfe with inYou Ministries, Rob Nelson with Grace Pointe Ministry and Kelly Slate will provide the program as we continue to discuss the trials we face in ministry and how we can work toward a plan to provide emotional and spiritual support for all ministries in our community.” PTL! Pray for me.
  • Apr. 20: Preach @ Tyger River Correctional
  • Apr. 21, Dr Jim & Kathi Herrin for dinner! (Jim was 1st Pres. of inYou in TX)
  • May 18, Chase graduates from Wofford College! (Double major in Chemistry & Chinese. Pray for emplyment!)
  • May 30-June 1, Nephew, Hub Blankenship III’s, wedding in Washington, DC.
  • June 21-28: Kentucky Mission Trip Prison Ministry with FBS.
  • July 5-12: Beach Vacation with the family!
  • Summertime visits from TX friends, Day’s, Berwick’s, Hayes’, Walker’s, Others?!

View InYou Window Newsletter in Browser

Monthly Newsletter, Feb. 2014 “Are You in Order?”

Are you out of order? Are you making a #1 deal out of a #3 problem? Realign your soul with Truth to EXPERIENCE and EXPRESS Jesus in the NOW!
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** Are you out of order? What do you do with guilt?
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For the most part, I grew up in a church (in a denomination for that matter) that put a great deal of emphasis on SIN. “Sin is the great disease of mankind. Sin is a curse! The greatest problem in the world is sin. Sin is why Jesus Christ had to die for you. You must admit that you’re a sinner in order to receive grace and forgiveness. The rest of your life will involve a huge battle with sin. You’re always gonna sin, but you gotta keep trying not to. Re-commit and rededicate yourself often. Keep ‘short accounts’ with God in regard to sin in your life.” On and on… I’m not saying that sin is not a problem—it’s definitely “out of order” behavior—I’m just saying that the way we deal with it is often out of order.

I believe it would be accurate to say that we’re all a bit obsessed on sin. A guilty conscience, a self-righteous heart, a judgmental spirit, and even a sincere believer may all equally obsess on sin. There are two ways to be controlled by sin: 1. Running to it, or 2. Running from it; either way, where is the focus? On the sin! You know, I’ve never known anyone to ever be delivered from what they are focused on. One could argue that what we do to ourselves in all our obsessions with a sin (both before and after) has a more damaging effect than the sin act itself. Fighting sin is like fighting the “Tar Baby.” The more you swing at it, the more you’re stuck in it!

When I meet with people ridden with guilt over something they’ve done, I realize that part of their problem is that they have made their sin into a #1 priority when, with God, it is #3! Let me explain:

I’m seeing in Scripture that God never gets things out of order: Priority #1 is GOD, #2 is YourSELF, and #3 is SIN. For example, David said, “Against You, You only, I have sinned.” Now, you might say, “I wonder if Uriah or Bathsheba’s parents would agree.” Certainly David’s sin with Bathsheba had horrific consequences on others and his own soul, yet David had his priorities straight. That may be why Scripture calls him “a man after God’s heart!”

Here’s the deal: You fall out with God before you ever “fall” into sin! The fact is you NEVER fall into sin; you PLAN it! #1: You turn from the Source of joy, love and Life. #2: You rationalize with your SELF, seeking justification for what you are planning on doing that you know is wrong. (“God will forgive me,” “It’s just this once,” “I can quit whenever I choose,” “Why would God make me this way if I can’t act on it?,”, “I deserve a little ‘me’ time,” etc.) You betray your SELF every time you sin. #3: You act on your SELF-ish desire and you sin.

NOW, the funny thing is, when you make a mess of everything, you want to start with #2 to get #3 right. Insane! NEVER WORKS! The only remedy for #3 is #1, so you better inform #2 to get his eyes on #1! #2 ironically will to blame #1 for #3, but #2 planned #3 only AFTER he left #1. Insane again, so #2 ends up beating up #2 (himSELF) for doing #3, OR he seeks to restore #2 by trusting his #2 efforts*, which landed him in the middle of #3 in the first place. The Enemy will gladly encourage #2 to make all sorts of #2 commitments* and promises and vows and acts of remorse, confessions, etc., yet never suggest he simply return to #1, which is the ONLY REMEDY for #3. There is NOTHING the presence of Jesus cannot overcome!
[*Couldn’t help but notice that Paul called “#2 commitments” “DUNG!” LOL! (See Phil. 3:8 KJV)]

Jesus said the greatest commandment is what? Love God (#1) with all your heart, soul, mind, strength… AND the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as your… (What?!)…SELF!” (#2). Look, #3 never happens when you follow God’s priority! NEVER! When #3 happens, it’s ONLY because “you have left your first [#1] love” (Rev. 2:4)! Jeremiah told Israel this: “For My people [#2] have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me [#1], the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns [#3], broken cisterns that can hold no water” (2:13).

And when you stay in #3 because #2 can’t achieve what only #1 can, you are out of order! You have made a #3 priority into a #1 priority with God. Again, you have surmised that your sin is the #1 problem between you and God, when God says, “NO! I have dealt with sin once for all through the sacrifice of My Son! The #1 problem is that you (#2) won’t come to ME with your guilt! Your priorities are completely flipped!” The believer (#2) who avoids #1 (God) because of #3 (sin) is actually now in opposition to God’s “soul remedy!” If #2 could overcome #3, she wouldn’t need #1! #3 is only remedied by Jesus Christ becoming #3 so that you (#2) might become the righteousness of God (#1) in Him! (2 Cor. 5:21.) Coming to Jesus is the ONLY right answer for “What do I do with my guilt?” Jesus is still calling, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 10:28). Are you out of order?

P.S. I believe we need to take a serious look at the source of teaching that makes a #3 priority into a #1 problem. I think we’d have to conclude it is Satan himself, the father of lies, the accuser of the brethren, the thief, murderer and destroyer of all that is true, pure, lovely and good. Only God’s enemy would “resurrect” what God has put to death—your sin!

** InYou Ministries Updates:
————————————————————

** Want to go to PRISON!?
————————————————————
“Orientation for becoming a SCDC regular volunteer will be @ 10 am April 26, 2014 at Brushy Creek Baptist Church, 4999 Old Spartanburg Rd., Taylors 29687. If you would like to minster in a SC prison on a regular basis, you must attend this orientation every 3 years or you will not be allowed in institution. In the past grace was given, now SCDC is committed to the law.” —Chaplain Russell Painter

• Pray for this semester of S.P.I.C.E. (Self-Paced-In-Class-Education) at Tyger River Correctional Institution on Monday mornings. There is an increase of false teachings in the prison.
inYou’s THE FIRM Foundation: Jesus Christ has brought clarity to the Truth of Christianity.
• Scott is currently re-designing “The FIRM Foundation: Jesus Christ” to use more effectively in prison. Pray for a Grant to subsidize the cost.

5th annual
InYou Indoor Trichotomous Triathlons
BOTH events Jan. 25, 2014 and Feb., 15, 2014, were a huge success although participants were down this year. I am SO grateful for the inYou Ministries’ Board and others who volunteered their time two Saturdays. (See pics on Facebook.com.)

** Calendar:
————————————————————
• 1-on-1 discipleship-counsel sessions occur by appointment weekly.
• Every Sunday, 7:30-10 am, Scott helps and teaches @ Refuge—a ministry of FBS to the homeless.
• Every Friday, 6:30 am, inYou men’s discipleship meets @ Scott’s house. Come join us.
• Every 2^nd Thursday, 8 am, Scott speaking @ Grace Management
• Feb. 17: Scott & Kelli really enjoyed singing 3 duets for a FBS senior ladies’ Sunday School class Valentine dinner @ Four Seasons Restaurant. They were so much FUN! (And thanks for dinner!)
• Mar. 6: Scott speaking @ DHS FCA, 7 am
• Apr. 21, Dr Jim & Kathi Herrin for dinner! (Jim was 1^st Pres. of inYou in TX)
• May 18, Chase graduates from Wofford College! (Double major in Chemistry & Chinese. Pray for emplyment!)
• May 23-25. Marriage Retreat, Greensboro, NC, was cancelled.
• May 30-June 1, Nephew, Hub Blankenship III’s, wedding in Washington, DC.
• Summertime visits from TX friends, Day’s, Berwick’s, Hayes’, Walker’s, Others?!

** Family Update:
————————————————————

** Kelli was voted “2014 Teacher of the Year” @ Roebuck Elementary.
Chase broke his finger skiing with his youth group! He’s seeking employment and looking forward to a Sr. trip to Jamaica.
Carson is working weekends as he completes his sophomore year @ USC.
Cooper is a lead in a play at school (Mar. 21) and enjoying his first adult role in “9 to 5” (with Chase) @ SLT Mar. 7-9 & 14-16.
————————————————————

** Need 300 InYou Investors!
————————————————————
Give $20 per month for 10 months of the year. (Take two months off for birthday and Christmas and spend the $20 on yourself!)
You can sign up for regular online giving via a credit or debit card now through www.inyou.org (http://inyou.org/contribution/) . Or you can send a check to InYou Ministries • P.O. Box 998, Roebuck, SC 29376.

** Texas Visit
————————————————————
I always love visiting InYou’s Texas supporters! Friendship and prayerful support make all the difference!

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January 2014: “If you don’t work, you don’t eat!”

“If you don’t work, you don’t eat!”

Ever hear that phrase? I was raised on it. No, I wasn’t a slave or victim of forced child labor. I was just parented by a man who was the youngest of nine children and whose father died when he was only two. Julia Wolfe couldn’t possibly support five boys and four girls without a little help around the house and farm in Neeses, SC, so she taught my Dad and his siblings the value of a hard day’s work.

As so many of us do, Dad recreated a part of his childhood and fathered six children. My brother and I were outnumbered two to four so the lion share of the work outside the home was apportioned to us. (That’s not to say my sisters didn’t work; even manually! Cindy and I once roofed a house on our own.) It was an unwritten rule (and, frankly, a godly example) that my father expected a strong work ethic if we were gonna eat and sleep under his roof.

Although I may have complained and compared my plight to my friends who got to play on the weekends, to this day I am grateful for his leadership. My dad modeled 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12: “make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.” I’m certain Dad was encouraged and supported by mentoring adults along the way, but my recollection is that he felt it was “more blessed to give than to receive.” Grandma Julia modeled that ethic, too, often giving away half of what she received. Dad is still more a giver than a taker.

As you may have noticed from the last INYOU WINDOW, I‘ve been thinking a lot about this working vs. raising support tension. It appears to me that the Apostle Paul may have had a grandma like mine. He never wanted to labeled “lazy” or a “mooch”: “For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:9). Paul would have fit in well with our family.

“For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example. For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread” (2 Thessalonians 3:7-12).

So, you see, the “If you don’t work, you don’t eat!” idea IS Biblical! It’s certainly easy for me to read into Scripture my own perspective and bias, but the art of interpretation (Hermeneutics) requires us to consider the context. Some believers in Thessalonica were simply slackers (maybe expecting Jesus to return and bail ‘em out)—undisciplined, unwilling to work, yet faking like they were all that! My aunt Nett would say, “They’re just runnin’ their mouth!” Paul’s point was that it’s not wrong to be paid for ministering, but that in this situation he desired to be an example and not be associated with those who talked a big talk but didn’t pull their own weight.

Dad was head of the Physical Plant at a Bible college for over 40 years and often mentioned how students in chapel were praying for miraculous provision—“mailbox experiences”—from God, yet seldom came to the Work Order bulletin board at “the shop” to select one of 105 jobs on campus they could do and be paid! Can you begin to catch my drift?

It is without question that a Gospel minister has an obligation to serve and a privilege of receiving his support from his service. Jesus Himself said to His disciples: “Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support” (Matthew 10:9-10). This is the stance I have taken with INYOU in regard to discipleship-counsel session fees: “There is no charge; give as the Lord leads.” As you can see, there is an element of faith required from those who are called to disciple others and “walk with an empty bag.” Just as Jesus fills an empty soul, He will fulfill every financial need of the one who offers the gospel of grace without cost.

The peace of God rules in my heart when I see myself in the pages of Scripture and I find that His Word is also written in me! Paul is my example in 1 Corinthians 9:1-18. (Read that.) In Acts 18:3, we learn that Paul made tents with Aquila and Priscilla. (So Paul made the tents and I’ve been painting them for 13 years!) In 2 Corinthians 11:7-9, Paul says, “Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge? I robbed other churches by taking wages from them to serve you; and when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brethren came from Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so.”

So why all this exhausted exposition of Scripture? Well, I’ve been thinking about my life and my future lately. I don’t want to be a burden, and I don’t want to be a “mooch.” (I was raised better! LOL!) But sometimes I wonder which one is in a worse wilderness: the minister lacking support or the hard worker lacking time for ministry? Jesus “nips it in the bud”: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). It appears that a man called of God is to be about his Father’s business.

Last month I talked about my “wilderness experience” and felt compelled to “enter into the promised land.” If God supplies in the wilderness of the past, He can supply in the unforeseen future. My job is to walk in faith and obedience. I’m simply inviting you to walk with me.

Ministry Update:
• 5th annual “INYOU Indoor Trichotomous Triathlons” Jan. 25, 2014 and Feb., 15, 2014.
• PRAY for 181 more INYOU INVESTORS who give $20 per month for 10 months of the year. (Take two months off for birthday and Christmas and spend the $20 on yourself!) We need 300 INYOU INVESTORS. You can sign up for regular online giving via a credit or debit card now through www.inyou.org. Or you can send a check to INYOU MINISTRIES using the envelope provided.
• in 2013, 73 people and a grant contributed nearly $24,000.
• Scott just started an 18-week semester of SPICE (Self-Paced-In-Class-Education) at Tyger River Correctional Institution on Monday mornings.
• Scott is currently re-design “The FIRM Foundation: Jesus Christ” to use more effectively in prison.
• 1-on-1 discipleship-counsel sessions.
• Every Sunday, 7:30-10 am, Scott helps and teaches @ Refuge—a ministry of FBS to the homeless.
• Every Friday, 6:30 am, INYOU men’s discipleship meets @ Scott’s house. Come join us.
• Every 2nd Thursday, 7 am, Scott speaking @ Grace Management
• Feb. 7-9: Scott travels to Houston (Conroe), TX to visit men and INYOU INVESTORS!
• Mar. 6: Scott speaking @ DHS FCA, 7 am
• May 23-25. Marriage Retreat, Greensboro, NC,

Family Update:
Kelli was an amazing cook and hostess all Christmas break! The family sang for a ladies’ banquet and a rehearsal dinner, and she sang New Year’s Eve at church.
Chase (and Carson) just returned from Passion 2014 in Atlanta. He will be choreographing a play for interim @ Wofford College, then begins rehearsals for “9 to 5” with Cooper @ SLT and starts his final semester of college!
Carson is classified a junior in his 2nd year @ USC.
Cooper is in college, too! (A dual enrollment class @ DHS.) He’s taking piano lessons, helping in FCA.

December 2013: A Wilderness?

“Not one of the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass” (Joshua 21:45).

I have been teaching through The Story (the Bible in novel form) in Refuge (a ministry of FBS to homeless people) on Sunday mornings and cannot help but parallel the journeys of Biblical characters with my own. (Isn’t that the point?) Moses seems to have had three stages in his life: Age 0-40—Salvation and preparation; Age 40-80—Sojourning in the wilderness; and Age 80-120—Fulfilling God’s redemptive purpose. I, too, have experienced similar stages:

Stage 1: Salvation and Preparation
I received Christ at age 3 and answered God’s call to ministry at age 14. He has proven Himself faithful every step of the way through Bible College, seminary, marriage and full-time ministry.

Around age 30, I began discovering that ministry was far more about who I am than what I do. This revelation led me out of traditional, vocational church work into a new ministry leading people to experience and express Jesus in the NOW through conferences (speaking), counsel (discipling) and curricula (writing discipleship materials). INYOU MINISTRIES was born in 1998 with a clear destination: “My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed INYOU” (Gal. 4:19). Life is Christ and Christ is life! “Abide in Me and I INYOU“ (John 15:4).

Naturally, with this step of faith came the continued responsibility to provide for my family, but now without a church salary. Kelli shouldered that burden for 2 years working full-time as a Children’s Minister while I stayed home with the boys, founded INYOU MINISTRIES, traveled to speak and counsel, wrote curriculum, built relationships with local ministers, raised support, etc. After “The Firm Foundation: Jesus Christ” curriculum was completed, Kelli enrolled at Converse College to complete her degree and I began painting houses to support the family. I often wonder if this is where I may have entered into “the wilderness. “

Stage 2: Sojourning in the Wilderness
I tell my friends I’m a “successful goat herder” like Moses, sojourning in the wilderness of sorts, always wondering: “Am I missing out on the ‘promised land’ because I’m painting houses instead of raising support? Am I living in disobedience and fear—hiding behind a paintbrush—or am I living like Paul: “You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’”? (Interestingly, in 12 years of painting, I have never advertised or used a business card, yet God has provided for me, my boys, some of their friends, several homeless men and other men needing temporary employment. Crazy God-thing!)

Stage 3: Fulfilling God’s Redemptive Purpose
Now I have not seen any burning bushes lately, but I have experienced an ever-increasing, burning desire to spend more of my time sharing the message of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27) and less time painting houses. Just as He did with Israel, God has increased my hunger to enter in to His promises through this wilderness experience!

“He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD. Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son” (Deut. 8:3-5).

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“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth” (Matthew 6:24).

This is a very real tension! In the moment I cannot have it both ways; it’s money or ministry. When I make that early Monday morning commute to prison to disciple inmates or get up early on Fridays to disciple a small group men; or when I spend time preparing a PowerPoint presentation for Refuge or any other Bible study, devotion or sermon; or when a phone call comes in and someone requests a counseling appointment or another homeless person asks for a ride or a job or more of my “spare time” (Who really has any of that?!); or when my family has a very real emergency; I either obey and experience the blessing of the Holy Spirit orchestrating His divine work in and through me (and wish I never had to pick up another paint brush) or I grumble and complain about being “inconveniently interrupted” and pour myself into my labor (and wish people would leave me alone and let me finish my job).
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God is a genius! He makes His way clear through the contrast. In the moment, I must trust God or play “god.” When I feel the power of my next choice rising in my chest, it’s like I’m standing on the edge of the river Jordan wondering “What if?” I can enter into the promise land or wander around in the wilderness a few more years, but I cannot serve two masters. Which master will I choose to serve today?

“He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).

The most precious and magnificent promises of God are not those given that we might possess a personal “promised land” or our daily provisions or a non-profit 501c(3) ministry, but that we might possess Him. Jesus is the fulfillment of every good promise. God wants us to partake of His very life—Christ living His life in and through you and me. That’s the message of INYOU MINISTRIES and I am asking you to prayerfully consider joining me on my journey by giving a one-time, tax-deductible gift or becoming a regular INYOU INVESTOR. Simply send a check to INYOU MINISTRIES using the envelope provided or you can sign up for regular online giving via a credit or debit card through www.inyou.org. Whatever you decide, please…

Pray for INYOU MINISTRIES needs:
• 268 more INYOU INVESTORS.
• Complete the book “Jesus in the NOW (The moment-by-moment significance of the cross)” It’s been brewing since 2001!
• Complete the website (with new ways to stay in touch, donate, pray, be encouraged, be informed, promote, sell curricula, etc.)
• Serve and train pastors of local churches and support those on the front lines.
• Organize and conduct fundraisers like the annual INYOU Indoor Trichotomous Triathlons coming up Jan. 25, 2014 and Feb., 15, 2014.
• Re-design “The FIRM Foundation: Jesus Christ” and use it to disciple people in drug rehab ministries, homeless shelters, Juvenile Detention centers, prisons, etc. in the Spartanburg area. (I have requests for all of these ministries now, but no time to pursue them and support my family.)
• Start selling the many curricula I have written these past 15 years through a new online store.

Family Update:
Scott is teaching Refuge Bible study every Sunday morning. The homeless of Spartanburg are invited to shower at FBS at 7:30 am, attend Bible study at 8:30 and eat a hot breakfast provided by Life Groups at 9:30 am. He also teaches “The Firm Foundation: Jesus Christ” at Tyger River prison every Monday and Friday, counsels individuals, leads a men’s discipleship group every Friday morning and paints houses (among other projects and house repairs).

Kelli is in her 10th year teaching fourth graders at Roebuck Elementary and still loves singing in the choir and praise team at FBS. She lost her dear sister Donna VanHoy this year.

Chase is a senior at Wofford College. He will be graduating with two degrees in Chemistry and Chinese. He loves ultimate Frisbee and teaching hip-hop dance at the Chapman Cultural Center and Houston Elementary. He’s also still working as a youth minister at Reidville Rd. United Methodist Church and in the foreign language lab at Wofford. One word: BUSY! Pray for his life decisions after college.

Carson is a sophomore at USC and has changed his major to Hotel & Restaurant Management. He enjoys his roommates and newly renovated house in Columbia and now has chickens, rabbits and a garden (and a sweet girlfriend)!

Cooper is a junior at Dorman, enjoys the challenge of the STEM academic program, works with Scott painting, takes piano lessons and helps lead FCA and worship at Crossfire (Weds. Youth Worship at FBS).

We got four hens this year and enjoy fresh eggs. We all joined the YMCA. (Lord, help us stay healthy.) Keep in touch with us more personally and see our pics by friending us on Facebook.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

P.S. THANK YOU to all those who already support us through prayer and contributions. Like “InYou Ministries” and “Jesus in the Now” pages on Facebook.