We want to answer marriage questions on Facebook Live!

Katie and I started using Facebook Live to answer marriage questions sent to us. Here are two sessions:

We’re striving for one live session each Thursday night at 7PM PST. After we finish, I upload each video to our Marriage God’s Way YouTube channel. Please subscribe to make sure you don’t miss any videos!

marriage-gods-way-author-scott-lapierre - answer marriage questionsI have to say this is much more in Katie’s comfort zone than mine. I like to plan things out in detail. By the time I preach a sermon, I like to have invested a lot of time polishing it. I wouldn’t mind the videos so much if they weren’t live. The inability to start over is particularly nerve-wracking, but this is the only way to participate with us. People can post thoughts, questions, contributions, etc in the comments section while we’re recording.

Below are the three most recent videos we’ve done. I’ll provide a brief explanation of each, so you can decide which to watch.

Marriage Tips from Marriage God’s Way 

Katie and I shared two tips from my book:

  1. Wives, embrace your husband’s leadership style, from Chapter Fourteen.
  2. Husbands, you get the wife you prepare for yourself, from Chapter Nine. Ephesians 5:26-27 says Christ “sanctifies and cleanses the church…that He might present her to Himself a glorious [bride]”. Christ gets the church He prepares for Himself, and since this is a marriage passage it contains the same application for husbands with their wives.

Continue reading “We want to answer marriage questions on Facebook Live!”

Our 2014 trip to CA (and Katie’s b-day)

 

Our 2014 trip to CAI have to be a little more specific regarding which trip I’m referring to, since I have blog posts on our September 2013 trip to our hometown of Fall River Mills, CA, as well as Parts I and II of our December 2011 trip to Lemoore, CA.

Katie and I had a wonderful time. We visited many of our old friends as well as our previous church, Grace Baptist. We missed all of our Woodland friends and our church family – especially when looking at the pictures of the Harvest Party, but we really enjoyed the time of rest.

We arrived on Tuesday, October 21st in the evening and returned on Tuesday the 28th. We’re stayed with our wonderful friends Dave and Naida, whom we stayed with for our 2011 trip as well. We met in 2005 when we attended Calvary Chapel. They visited WCC in June of 2012 and shared during Sunday School, and they’re planning on visiting again in a few months.

Prior to arriving, Dave and Naida asked if we wanted them to fill our schedule with meetings and visits, but we told them we’d be happy relaxing at their house spending time with each other and with them. They’re the kind of friends we can talk with for hours, and even when we haven’t seen each other for years it feels like no time has passed between us. Plus, one of the main purposes of the trip was rest and relaxation…although we still stayed pretty busy…

Like I said, we arrived on Tuesday evening. We spent the evening with Dave and Naida, unpacked, then went to bed.

Wednesday, Dave invited me to meet with him and one of the young men he’s been discipling. In the evening Dave and Naida’s daughter Danielle and husband Charlie (two of our good friends when we were in Lemoore) came over for dinner and spent the evening with us.

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Thursday, Dave invited me to meet with him and an atheist he’s been witnessing to each week. Our previous pastor, Joe Gruchacz (I began my ministry under him at Grace Baptist as a part-time youth pastor and then full-time associate pastor), scheduled a “Marriage Toolbox” in the evening, which he invited me to lead. It worked out wonderfully since I was able to use the material from our Marriage & Family Series at WCC. I asked Katie to look through my sermons and find the lessons she thought would make good “tools” for people to take with them.

We spent most of Friday relaxing at Dave and Naida’s, and in the afternoon we went to Pastor Joe’s house and spent the evening with him and his wife Janet. They took us to the Cheesecake Factory in Fresno, then we went back to their house and prayed together.

10325242_765315453504460_1857955430012611486_nSaturday, Katie and Naida attended a bridal shower and Dave and I spent the afternoon together. In the evening Dave and Naida put on an Open House for our friends from the area to come and hear about our ministry at WCC.

1801309_765881770114495_920414317427170050_oSunday I preached at Grace Baptist, again using material from the Marriage & Family Series…and again I asked Katie to choose the lessons she thought would be most valuable to everyone. After service, we went out to lunch with a small group of friends.

10623752_765881893447816_5623008548092812676_oThen Sunday afternoon and evening we visited our good friends Steve and Sylvia McCartha, who have really suffered since acquiring Lyme Disease, including not being able to leave their home at times because of Sylvia’s low white blood cell count.

Monday we had a really special morning with Dave and Naida. We spent hours after breakfast talking, and I feel like the Lord really guided and blessed our conversation. Then for our last day Katie and I spent our time together, going out to lunch and walking around the mall. In the evening we had dinner with Dave and Naida and our friends Barry and Pam came over too.

Tuesday morning we got up, had breakfast and headed to the airport. Katie’s father Rick picked us up at the airport, as he was staying at our house with Rhea, Ricky and Charis. My parents were visiting a timeshare and they’d taken Johnny with them. They said they were returning on Thursday, so while we were glad to be back and see our other kids, we were sad about not seeing Johnny (or my parents) for a few more days.

This also happened to be Katie’s birthday, and her sister Molly invited us over to their house in the evening. Molly and her husband DJ purchased a place right next to the church when they moved here a few months ago. Katie knew Molly was making her a cake for her birthday, but my parents surprised us by coming home from their timeshare early with Johnny. It ended up being a wonderful ending to a wonderful week.

photo 1Overall, I’m thankful for my parents and Katie’s parents watching the kids most of the time we were gone (a few other families watched the kids a couple nights and we’re thankful for them too), and I’m especially thankful for Dave and Naida’s hospitality and the love they showed us while we were with them. It was great to see old friends and our previous church, but whenever we’re away it makes us recognize what a gift we have in WCC as well.

What do I have to complain about?

What do I have to complain aboutHere’s the conversation between Katie and I one month ago when I told her I wanted to go back to the gym:

  • Katie: “You’re going to hurt yourself again.”
  • Me: “No, I’m not. I’m going to do things differently this time.”
  • Katie: “You say that every time.”
  • Me: “Yeah, but this time will be different.”
  • Katie: “You say that every time too.”

I went back to the gym one month ago, and this past Wednesday I hurt my lower back so badly I could barely make it out of the gym. If the pain hadn’t subsided some by the evening I would’ve had to cancel the first night of our home fellowship. By the time I work up Thursday morning I couldn’t get out of bed, which is where I spent the whole day (and most of Friday). Katie was wonderful as you’d imagine, taking great care of me and – most graciously – not reminding me of how right she was and how wrong I was. I joked with her throughout the day saying things like:

  • “Why didn’t you tell me you thought I’d hurt myself again?”
  • “If you would’ve warned me this wouldn’t have happened.”
  • “I’m only in this situation because it’s so important to you to have a husband that works out” (something Katie couldn’t care less about).

The truth is I was feeling sorry for myself on Thursday. I had four messages to prepare/review this week, and trying to study and type on my back was difficult. While I wouldn’t compare my “trial” to the trials others have gone through or are going through, there were still some lessons I tried to learn, because I believe the Bible is clear that every trial is meant to be a time of learning:

  1. First, it happened to be September 11th. What right did I really have to complain about anything compared to what some people were going through as they remembered the past?
  2. Second, good health – including the lack of pain and just being able to get out of bed, move around and wrestle with my boys is a blessing I take for granted. Ricky and Johnny try to “fight” with me every day and I felt like the elderly person in Ecclesiastes 12:5 afraid of everything whenever they came near me.
  3. Third, Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” There’s wisdom associated with valuing our days and when you experience what feels like a completely wasted day, it makes you thankful for days you can be productive and spend your time profitably.

Katie's thoughts on the Ladies' Retreat…

Each week I write a letter to the church on the back of the bulletin. Then I take those letters and make them into a post for my blog. Yesterday my beautiful wife wrote the bulletin letter about her time at the Ladies’ Retreat earlier in the week. Here it is…

I just returned from our annual WCC Ladies’ Beach Retreat and it was such a blessing. I have never had so many sweet sisters in Christ surrounding me in my walk with the Lord before. While we were there the theme was Biblical Conflict Resolution. For the first bible study we discussed different personality types and how the body of Christ consists of different people, but we’re all called to live at peace with one another. Paul said, Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ (1 Cor 12:12). In the second bible study we discussed tips for resolving conflict biblically. Here are four of them:

  1. Think on Christ: He said, “Forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). People often don’t know they are offending us, so we should give them grace like Christ gives us grace.
  2. Learn to receive correction: Anyone who loves learning accepts correction, but a person who hates being corrected is stupid (Pro 12:1). Need I say more? 🙂
  3. Overlook offenses: It is his glory to overlook an offense (Pro 19:11). In other words, it’s for our own good to “get over it”. Be more like Teflon and less like Velcro.
  4. Talk to the person, not about the person: This might be one of the hardest to live out, but the bible is VERY clear: If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over (Matt 18:15). If the problem is big enough to talk about the person then it’s big enough to talk to the person.

Then we finished with verses on dealing with difficult people. That was the most enjoyable study for me, being the most practical of the whole retreat in my opinion.

The third study consisted of a series of Christian quotes about conflict. One of my favorites was: “Don’t equate peacemaking with peace-achieving. A peacemaker longs for peace, and works for peace, and sacrifices for peace. But the attainment of peace may not come.” Romans 12:18 is very important at this point: If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all. That is the goal of a peacemaker: “Don’t let the rupture in the relationship be your fault.” Conflict is everywhere; it is inevitable. The question is, will we deal with it from a biblical standpoint or from a worldly one?

Lessons from Katie and the kids gone

When Katie and the kids left for our hometown of Fall River Mills, California this past week it was a lot harder than I thought. I’ll be flying out of Portland tonight (September 1st) to go see them and I can’t wait; this is the longest I’ve been away from them…which I know isn’t very long…which brings up what I’d like to discuss. Them being gone has made me think about a few things…

First, it’s helped me see that I’m pretty blessed by the availability I have to my family. When I say goodbye to them in the morning, I don’t say goodbye like most fathers do (for 9 hours or more); I say goodbye for an hour or two until they surprise me at the office or I walk home to see them. I can have most meals with them. If Katie’s having a rough time at home she’ll have me come home and help (i.e. spank one of the boys). Katie sends me coffee, smoothies, and love notes daily. Almost all the church’s activities involve my family. Whenever I go on visitations I bring my kids…sometimes even when I shouldn’t (like Linda Sprague’s retirement party: I knew something was wrong when I walked in and didn’t see any other kids, and it got worse when someone said, “I think your son just took a bite out of that cookie and put it back on the tray.”).

Second, I’ve been thinking about the reality of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7:32, 33 that married people have to be concerned about their spouses, but unmarried people can really focus on the Lord. With Katie and the kids gone I was sort of like an unmarried guy again, able to get a ton of work done. It made me hope the unmarried people appreciate all they can do for the Lord during their seasons of singleness. When they get married, and especially when they have children, these other obligations will take priority.

Third, I’ve been thinking about how valuable my wife is to me as a pastor. I didn’t consider how much she helps me…until she’s not here to help me. I bounce ideas off Katie and talk to her about almost everything. Whenever I teach she always gives me feedback. She reads every one of my bulletin letters ahead of time (including this one, which involved a recommendation to remove two paragraphs that were “over the top.” I don’t know what that means, but I took them out anyway). I always go over my sermons with her (sometimes a couple times), but this week I wasn’t able to, and it really bothered me and this week we went over it late Saturday night. Proverbs 18:22 He who find a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord and that’s definitely been the case for me.

Recognizing the World's Toughest Job on Mother's Day

Okay, looking at a few different lists on the Internet (with no lists completely agreeing with each other) I came up with the top 10 toughest jobs in the world: 1. Coal Miner, 2. US President, 3. Alaskan Crab Fisherman, 4. Mercenary, 5. Freelancer, 6. Calcutta Sewer Cleaner, 7. UN Negotiator, 8. Logger (hats off to Gary!), 9. Prison Warden, 10. Mountain Rescuer.

All the lists I looked at really frustrated me, because none of them got it right as far as listing the toughest job in the world. Everyone knows the toughest job in the world is being a pastor. I’m kidding! It’s being a mother. Seriously. You’re working from the moment you wake up until the moment you lie down…and if you have infants (or sometimes even non-infants) you’re not off at night. There literally is no vacation. The most you can hope for is the occasional break of a few hours. You’re always trying to balance a number of activities and responsibilities. You’re always trying to make sure your kids are safe from harm (including harm you might feel like inflicting on them when you want to lose it). Kids pull on you all day, and if you asked my wife she’d say her husband pulls on her too. Rhea told me, “Daddy, you could never be a mommy. It’s so hard.” And she was right.

Let me share something interesting with you about the Book of Isaiah. It’s like a miniature Bible in that the first 39 chapters (like the 39 books of the OT) are filled with judgment. Then Isaiah takes a dramatic turn (like the turn between the OT and NT) and the last 27 chapters (like the 27 books of the NT) declare a message of hope and comfort, with a clearer focus on the Messiah. When God wants to reveal His love and compassion for His people in those chapters, it’s no wonder He chose to compare Himself to a mother:

  • Isa 49:15 Can a mother forget her child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? Even if that were possible, I would not forget you!
  • Isaiah 66:12-13 Her children will be fed, carried in her arms, and held in her lap. I will comfort you there in Jerusalem as a mother comforts her child.

God has given us many wonderful blessings in our lives, and mothers are definitely one of the greatest. If you’re blessed enough to have your mother in your life still, thank her!

This past Sunday’s sermon, Luke 3:7-9 Fruit Worthy of Repentance – Part I, can be found here.

Learning From Our Wives

There’s an interesting situation in this morning’s passage that I won’t be discussing during the sermon, but I’ve always found it particularly fascinating and as a result I would like to share some of my thoughts about it with you…

Right in the middle of Jesus’ trial, Pilate’s wife sends for him and says, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him” (Mat 27:19). Everyone knows Pilate; he goes down in history as one of, if not, the most tragic figures ever (with Judas). While I can’t say for sure what’s happening, it looks like God was mercifully trying to warn him through his wife. In Genesis 2:18 God said, “I will make him a helper comparable to him.” This verse means men need help and Pilate is the best example in Scripture of a man who should’ve used his wife’s help.

If you’ve been in our church for very long, you’ve heard me talk about the ways Katie helps me: I go over my sermons with her, she’s the one who initially found WCC and said, “There’s this great church looking for a pastor!” After every Bible study or church event I ask her how she feels like it went. We regularly discuss our family, the church…just about everything. Sometimes I think submission is criticized because those who misunderstand it think it means a husband doesn’t listen to his wife. While there definitely are examples of men who listened to their wives when they shouldn’t have (Adam/Eve – Gen 3:17 Because you have heeded the voice of your wife and Ahab/Jezebel – 1 Kin 21:25 There was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil, because his wife stirred him up), husbands should see their wives as the most common avenue, second only to the Bible and the Holy Spirit, that God uses to help us. Many times the guy who silences his wife’s voice in his life silences the Lord’s voice in his life.

I’ve noticed that many times women have a sensitivity to spiritual issues that men lack. Perhaps that explains God’s assessment in creation: everything had been “good” (Gen 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25) until 2:18 when the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone. The husband and wife becoming one flesh (2:24) seems to bring the completion or perfection God wanted.

This Sunday’s sermon, Matthew 27:15-26 A Disastrous Choice, can be found here.

Beards, Firewood and Our Sin Natures

So Thursday night Katie and I were at the table having dinner and I said, “Do you think I should grow a beard?” She said, “Why do you ask me that? You’re never going to grow a beard.” As you can see I have a beard today. I don’t think I look good with a beard and I don’t really like having one (something that’s probably obvious based on Katie’s response), but since my wife challenged my manhood, of course I had to grow one.

When the firewood in our carport starts to get low, Gary comes over with his truck to help me load up some more from the shed behind the church. Some of the pieces in the shed are big enough to be cut into four pieces, but for reasons I’ll never understand Gary will come with his chainsaw and only cut them into halves. You would think he’d know how to cut wood small enough to fit into our fireplace since he used to be a logger and especially since it’s the same fireplace he has in his house, but this is what he does and I’m convinced it’s his way of messing with me like when he locked me out of his house in the snow and I almost died.

Anyway, so I have these huge pieces of wood that require a tremendous amount of skill to get into the fireplace. Occasionally when I’m putting one of the pieces in Katie will say, “You’re not going to get that to fit.” I might pull a muscle or burst a vein in my forehead, but you can be sure that piece of wood is going in the fireplace.

I think this is what Paul was talking about in Romans 7:8 when he said “sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire.” He meant that when we’re told we can’t do something, it makes us want to do it: the commandment [produces] all manner of evil desire [in us].

  • Katie: “You’re not going to grow a beard.”
  • Romans 7:8 in action: “I’m going to grow the longest beard you’ve ever seen.”
  • Katie: “You’re not going to get that piece of wood in the fireplace.”
  • Rom 7:8 in action: “I don’t care if I have to hold one end of this piece of wood outside the fireplace as the other end slowly burns and I push it in over the next few hours, it’s going in there.”

Embarrassing coffee ignorance

Recently my coffee ignorance led to a pretty embarrassing situation. On Tuesday Katie and I found ourselves in Tacoma for the day. We had the afternoon off before meeting Katie’s high school best friend and her husband for dinner. While waiting we decided to look for a coffee shop that would allow us to spend time together. One of the requirements: free refills on coffee. I found a place gave them a call. Let’s jump to the interesting part of the conversation:

  • Me: Yes, do you guys have free refills?
  • Coffee shop: Yes on drip coffee.
  • Me (wondering if “drip coffee” is different than…I don’t know…regular coffee): What’s drip coffee?
  • Coffee shop: (pauses and then in obnoxious, arrogant, annoying, high-pitched, squeaky voice): Uhhhh coffee you make by dripping. It’s coffee that drips. The way you make coffee by dripping it. The coffee drips into a pot. Drip coffee. Coffee that’s made by a drip system. Coffee that’s made by dripping coffee into a pot. Hence “DRIP” coffee.
  • Me (feeling stupid): Oh…okay…sorry…I didn’t know if it was different than regular coffee.
  • Coffee shop: Dial tone.

It gets worse. We get to the coffee shop and Katie goes to order. She overhears the guy behind the counter telling another employee:

“You’re not going to believe what happened. Some guy called and I told him we had free refills on drip coffee, and he was like, ‘What’s drip coffee?’”

Then they both laughed hysterically.

What happened when I met the guy familiar with my coffee ignorance?

Katie came back with a huge smile on her face and said, “You’re not going to believe what just happened.” She tells me, so I walk up to the counter, grab the skinny-little man by his long sideburns, pull him over the counter close to my face and say, “Tell me the story about the guy who asked about drip coffee!”

Actually, that’s not true. My flesh wanted to do that, and it’s more exciting than what actually happened. Katie later went up to the counter and told the little man she was the wife of the “drip coffee” guy. He said, “Well, you should tell your husband not to waste people’s time with such silly questions.”

Katie came back and told me what he said, and by that point I had had enough. I walked up to the counter. He saw me coming, and he knew I was mad, so he quickly threw a pot of hot “drip coffee” at me. My cat-like reflexes allowed me to move just in time for the pot to shatter against the wall. The other employees and people in the café ran over to see what was happening. It was about to look like West Side Story…actually, this isn’t true either.

Katie told the guy she was my wife. He stared at her life, “Uhh…I’m going to lose my job.” He brought our coffee over to us, and I tried to start a conversation with him by joking with him about him being friendly. He didn’t really say anything and walked off. See, the other versions are more exciting!

Katie LaPierre—my amazing wife

My wife, Katie LaPierre, left for the Ladies Retreat on Tuesday and she should be back in less than an hour. Aside from a missionary trip I went on a few years ago, I’m pretty sure this is the longest we’ve been apart. As a disclaimer, I know for a lot of couples two nights isn’t very long! Usually the longest we’re apart is the few hours I’m at the office between visits to walk home and see how she and the kids are doing.

Katie LaPierre—the mother

Occasionally Katie has some function that takes her away for a few hours leaving me to watch the kids. Whenever that happens, my appreciation and respect for her always soars. I try to take care of our kids and our house, while constantly asking myself, “How does she do this so well every day?”

Having all three kids the last few days wasn’t that big of a deal considering my dad was with me the entire time, I didn’t have that much food to prepare, I didn’t worry about any laundry, and as opposed to making sure the house was spotless I focused on keeping it “maintained.” To think my wife does all these things every day is really unbelievable…actually, that she does all these things and stays in a good mood is probably the most unbelievable part.

Katie LaPierre—the pastor’s wife

When I was thinking really seriously about marrying Katie, I had a pretty good idea at the time that I would be a pastor in the future, which meant I really needed to marry a woman who could be a pastor’s wife. I thought that was the case with Katie and she even told me she’d been told she should marry a pastor someday. When I worked part-time and then full-time in ministry at Grace Baptist in Lemoore, CA I don’t think Katie really occupied the position of “pastor’s wife” (at least not in the traditional sense), because I wasn’t the senior pastor. We had a number of Bible studies at our house each week (three to be exact: youth group, young adults’ group and an adult home fellowship), and she did a great job with hospitality, but she wasn’t really involved with counseling or planning events.

When we got to Woodland, she really had the opportunity to invest in the church and the women in the church instead of only our kids, our home and me. I’ve really been amazed by the job I’ve seen her do. I guess I would say that while I was able to see her excel as a wife and mother, now I was able to see her in an entirely new capacity and she did a better job than I could have imagined. Occasionally I’ve walked in the house and observed the quarterly women’s meeting, pleasantly surprised by her leadership skills. She planned a ladies’ conference, and now this ladies’ retreat better than I could have imagined. Each function she’s been involved with has seemed to go so well.

If I wasn’t a pastor, I really feel like there would be some church that would miss out on being able to have her as their “pastor’s wife.” Part of it has to do with the women she’s surrounded with as well. Every time someone steps out in putting on a ministry event like she’s done, it’s a risky move, because you’re setting yourself up for criticism. This is the case with people behind almost any ministry in the church: VBS, Christmas programs, outreaches, nursery, etc. There will always be people who feel like something should have been done differently. “It would have been better if we would have planned it for these days instead.” “Why did she choose that _______.” “Why did she decide to do it that way?” “Why didn’t she have enough ______.” “We should have left at this time instead.”

Fortunately, the women at WCC are really supportive, encouraging, helpful and understanding. They don’t complain or criticize which I think makes my wife’s ministry much easier and emotionally safer. I invited Katie to write the letter on the back of this week’s bulletin and her conclusion really summed up what I’ve observed, “When I moved away from California I prayed the Lord would bring girlfriends into my life that challenged me and loved me. He has definitely answered that prayer.”

If you read all the way to here, thanks for letting me share my heart for my wife.