Can hurting people really help hurting people?

I have struggled with depression and anxiety off and on since high school/college. Some seasons are symptom free and others are…well…horrible. A few months ago, I felt God’s call on me to start a new church here in Owasso. Shortly afterwards, I was impressed to call it: “The Refuge Owasso.” Why? Because I want our new church to be a safe place for the hurting, the confused, the downcast, and even the sinful. Several times the Bible describes God as “Our Refuge.”  We know that when Jesus walked on the earth, He was a refuge to the sick, the hurting, the downcast, and to the vilest of sinners.

As I have said for years, Everybody is “JACKED UP!” Don’t believe me? Let me spend just 5 minutes with you and I will discover how jacked up you really are. 🙂

 

Jesus was a refuge and as believers we are to be refuges for the hurting. Recently I was asked, “Scott, how are you going to hold up with your struggle with depression and anxiety if you surround yourself with so many needy people? Won’t that get you down?”

That was a great question and an easy one to answer; not just to the person who asked it, but to the greater number of friends that might be reading this right now.

You see, “needy” people don’t get me down.  At least they admit their need(s). People who act like they have it all together … now they get me down. Why? Because, I know it’s not true. Again, I just need 5 minutes.

 

 

Scripture teaches us that Jesus won’t forgive your sin until you acknowledge that you are a sinner. And to be honest…you are more than a sinner. You’re a professional sinner. You are a sin addict. Why? Because you keep on sinning. And you’re so good at it. But here is the breaking news: all of us are good at it. It’s not just you.

Needy people are refreshing because they are so much closer to their healing than those who aren’t even aware of their own issues. And who better to help the hurting than someone (me/you) who is hurting right beside them?

You can’t let your own wounds stop you from helping others with wounds. Some might call my battle with depression and anxiety a liability or a disability.  I call it my “Thorn in the Flesh.” I continue to ask God to deliver me, and God continues to tell me, “My Grace is enough!”  So until God delivers me from my pain, I am going to serve Him through that pain to help others with whatever issues they have.

Here is my invitation to you to join me.  Will you use whatever “weakness” you have to help others? If you are waiting to get yourself together, then you are going to be waiting for a very long time.

You will never feel worthy! You will never feel put together! You will never feel complete!  That is, until you are wrapped in the arms of Jesus helping others get out of their pit.

Please help your church be a safe place for hurting people. Take them by the hand and make them part of your tribe. Love them. Lead them. Disciple them. Be patient with them. Look at them through the eyes of Jesus and be His hands and His feet to introduce them to The Refuge…and then walk with them until you take your last breath!!

Now another invitation.  Will you help me make this new church plant a reality in Owasso?

Currently I am meeting with 40-50 people (including children) on Sunday mornings. I am calling them “The Launch Team.”  Why “The Launch Team?”  Because they are going to help me “Launch” our new church – hopefully in September of this year. Our desire is to grow our launch team to around 100 before we open to the general public.  We have a lot of work to do.  Would you be interested in joining our team?

There are many ways you can be a part of The Refuge Owasso, whether you live here or anywhere in the world.  We need prayer partners. We need financial partners. We need people encouraging us. And we need people who will pray and give and encourage as they put their boots on the ground to launch this new church plant.

Here is my email if you would like to contact me directly.  I answer every email.  I would love to hear your comments or questions.  God bless you!!                                                                                    Scott.therefuge@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Coming Soon…The Refuge Owasso!!!

Something new is coming to Owasso!!  “The Refuge Owasso” is a community of hurting people helping hurting people through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Let’s face it.  No one has it all together.  No one!  No one is exempt from pain.  Everyone experiences pain at some point in their life. And some people experience it more than others.  Life can be cruel and unfair.  But Jesus came to bring healing to the hurting.  God intends us to live in community and to be a part of the healing process for ourselves and in the lives of others.  The purpose of “The Refuge Owasso” is to help hurting people through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Beginning on February 3rd and every following Sunday, The Launch Team (and you are invited to be apart of the launch team at any time) will be meeting at 10:00 A.M. at the Owasso Community Center, right behind the KFC on 76th Street North in Owasso.  The address is 301 S. Cedar Street, Owasso, OK 74055.  

 

 

Our plans are to officially launch “The Refuge Owasso” in early September to the public.  But until then we are going to be studying, praying, worshiping, fellowshipping, serving, preparing, and adding to our Launch Team as we get ready to open.  If you have any questions about “The Refuge Owasso”, or about being part of our Launch Team, please contact me at scott.therefuge@gmail.com or call me on my cell  at (918) 408-8154.  I would be happy to talk to you, share our vision, and answer any questions you might have.  Please pray for us and let us know if we can pray for you.  God bless you!!

Until the whole world hears,

 

Pastor Scott Carlson 

 

 


Vision

Vision: The Art of Seeing the Possibility

A couple of years ago I purchased my first pair of progressive lens glasses. I’m going into my third year with these fancy contraptions and I am still trying to get used to them. I feel like a country boy in the big city, because I’m still struggling to find the “zone” to look through.  Speaking of vision, there is a famous rendering from Proverbs 29:18 that goes like this. “Where there is no vision the people perish.” For years preachers have used this passage to build the case of presenting a clear vision for God’s people to follow. While we all need vision in how to live, this is not exactly the meaning of this passage. After careful study of Solomon’s words, it becomes clear that Solomon is referring to the danger of living without being guided by God’s Word.

Another way of translating this famous passage as followers would be, “Where there is no revelation, people cast off all restraint.”

In other words, if man doesn’t hear and follow God’s Word he will end up doing just about anything and everything. Does that sound like today’s world? It goes without saying that apart from God’s Word, man is in a heap of trouble. We should be extremely thankful that we have the Word of God.

Our church recently adopted a new Mission and Vision statement. Our mission statement is our job description whereas our vision statement is what we desire to be. Central’s mission statement says, “The purpose of CBC is to Live for Christ, Love People, and Make Disciples.” This is what we are supposed to do. Our Vision statement is more of a description of who we need to be. It is our desired outcome. “The vision of CBC is to be a people of acceptance, healing, equipping, and sending.”

What would our church look like if this indeed became our vision? Can you imagine a church that accepted people where they were, helped them to find true healing in the name of Jesus, equipped them to be fully committed followers of Christ, then sent them into the world to help rescue other wounded people by accepting them, helping and equipping them only to send them out too? Are we there yet? Some might think so while others would say certainly not. Still others possibly see a glimpse of this vision. Regardless, this is the type of church we desire to become.

During the next four months, I will be preaching a series of messages that speak about this vision. It’s important to note this is not a vision from a man. It’s not from a convention or from a conference. It comes directly from God’s Word. February’s theme will be “Acceptance.” What does it mean to be a people of acceptance? What does the Bible teach? What examples does Jesus offer? All this and more is in our new sermon series, “Vision: The Art of Seeing the Possibility!”

                                                                                                                                                                               Until the whole world hears,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Pastor Scott