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Dear Family and Friends...

shawn beaty

Dear Church Family,

This week my family received some terrible news. On Wednesday, an MRI told us that my wife Kellie had a lemon-sized tumor on the left side of her brain. Friday morning she went into surgery to have it removed. The surgeon was quite certain from his professional eye that is was malignant. A formal biopsy is being done and at that point the Doctors will inform us on our next steps. This is a difficult time for our family and we covet your prayers right now. While the news is still fresh to us, one might imagine that there has already been an incredible outpouring of love from our church, friends and family. So many people have asked, “What do you need?” and I thought I would sit down and give you a list of immediate things that will help our family navigate this journey better.

  1. Please respect our family's privacy. Being the wife and children of a public figure can be difficult. We want to create as much of a sense of normalcy as possible for our children.

  2. Please pray for, but not with, us. I know this feels incredibly impersonal but let me explain: As I have spoken to mentors who have been through similar circumstances, they all spoke of the incredible weight they and their children had to carry when every week hundreds of people would ask them ,“How are you doing?” and then wanting to lay hands on them to pray. God is a mighty God, he can heal and and comfort from any prayer. Your proximity to us is not an issue for him.

  3. Continue being the church! The Lord has used us in so many ways over the last two years. Let’s not let the enemy take any ground. I will be back in the pulpit in two weeks and plan on preaching my heart out!

  4. We would love meals! My boys eat a lot :) (Please don’t just drop food off. The church will set up a system of delivery to protect our privacy.)

What we know:

“This is news and not the truth” is a quote from Lysa Terkeurst that came up in Kellie’s devotional the morning we received the news from the neurologist.. The news we received was devastating, and to be honest it still does not feel real. I know if you’re like me, you have always equated news and truth as the same thing or somewhat similar. What our doctor told us was honest news based on test results and medical facts.

But the truth always transcends the news. Things that seem impossible when heard as “the news” become much more livable when you know the truth. We are asking God for a full healing but we also believe that his will is always better than ours.

So let me give you the truth.


Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)


“He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them — he remains faithful forever.” (Psalm 146:6)


“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.” (Psalm 73:23, NIV)


For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

Kellies Surgery was on Friday morning and it went incredibly well. The surgeon was able to extract 95% of the tumor with only minor damage to the speaking portion of the brain. Her speech is good and will get better as she works with a speech therapist. The formal biopsy is still being run on the tumor but the surgeon was certain it was an aggressive level four cancerous tumor. Her recovery has been faster than normal due to the fact that Kellie is very fit, eats clean and has thousands praying for her. She is up walking and has even walked around the block a few times! We will meet next Wednesday with her team of doctors as we plan to go to war against cancer.

We Love You,

Shawn and Kellie

Words Matter

shawn beaty

Today, I am trying to be more mindful of my words. It only takes a few words to change the life of others. Words that may not mean much to me can stick to a person for a lifetime. So which words will you use?

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Long Tradition of Scientists Who Believe in the Resurrection

shawn beaty


Dr. Ian Hutchinson, a professor of nuclear science and engineering at MIT, explains why he and his Christian colleagues at MIT believe in a literal, bodily, historical resurrection of Jesus Christ. First, he says that he's following a long tradition that includes many scientists:

For Robert Boyle (of the ideal gas law, co-founder in 1660 of the Royal Society) the resurrection was a fact. For James Clerk Maxwell (whose Maxwell equations of 1862 govern electromagnetism) a deep philosophical analysis undergirded his belief in the resurrection. And for William Phillips (Nobel prize-winner in 1997 for methods to trap atoms with laser light) the resurrection is not discredited by science.

Hutchinson continues:

To explain how a scientist can be a Christian is actually quite simple. Science cannot and does not disprove the resurrection. Natural science describes the normal reproducible working of the world of nature … Science functions by reproducible experiments and observations. Miracles are, by definition, abnormal and non-reproducible, so they cannot be proved by science's methods.
Today's widespread materialist view that events contrary to the laws of science just can't happen is a [philosophical] doctrine, not a scientific fact … Contrary to increasingly popular opinion, science is not our only means for accessing truth. In the case of Jesus' resurrection, we must consider the historical evidence, and the historical evidence for the resurrection is as good as for almost any event of ancient history. The extraordinary character of the event, and its significance, provide a unique context, and ancient history is necessarily hard to establish. But a bare presumption that science has shown the resurrection to be impossible is an intellectual cop-out. Science shows no such thing.

Ian Hutchinson, "Can a scientist believe in the resurrection? Three hypotheses." Veritas Forum (3-25-16)

Race and the Gospel

shawn beaty

All weekend, I saw comments on social media about the white nationalist incident in Charlottesville and its tragic aftermath. Comment after comment rolled through the feed from friends who lean both left and right. Of course, all of them to one degree or another are denouncing the evil of racism and then proceeding to place blame on people with the opposite world view. For the few of you who care, I want to make a few observations.

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shawn beaty



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shawn beaty

The Huffington Post recently ran a short article about fear. It featured a series of comics depicting common fears that children have alongside similar fears held by adults. Titled "Childhood Fears vs. Adult Fears," the cartoons illustrate the following pairs:

  • Childhood fear: Doctors. Adult fear: Doctor's bills.
  • Childhood fear: Bad dreams. Adult fear: Unfulfilled dreams.
  • Childhood fear: Strangers. Adult fear: Crippling social anxiety.
  • Childhood fear: Clowns. Adult fear: Clowns.

The article notes that though the fears of children are often discounted as irrational or silly by us "older" and "wiser" adults, they are not far off from our own fears. "They're proof that no matter how old we get, we're never alone in our fears," it says. In the end, however, it would seem that there is a line of logic that explains why the most common fears among adults are often as irrational as those of children: everyone has a fear of the unknown. There will always be uncertainty about jobs, relationships, finances, health, and any number of other daily concerns that can bring down even the most spirited people.

Is there a way avoid the downward spiral that anxiety brings? In a world as chaotic as this one, you definitely can't replace uncertainty with certainty. You can, however, fight against it with hope.

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shawn beaty

“The very ones whose social pressure cause you to compromise will despise you for it. They probably respect your convictions,
and many of them wish they had the moral stamina to stand alone.
May the Lord give you added courage to be a witness for Him,
even in a hard place.” 

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Ugly Fruit still tastes good

shawn beaty

Wal-Mart is now selling "ugly fruit and vegetables." The fruits (mostly apples right now) are labeled in a bag called "I'm Perfect." Wal-Mart was already selling weather-damaged potatoes in bags called "Spuglies." "Ugly fruits and vegetables are a fact of life on the farm. Sometimes the dents and scars are so minor that you wouldn't think twice about buying them. They're perfectly edible, delicious and just as nutritious as their unmarred brethren—or perhaps even more so." Wal-Mart's John Forrest Ales says, "All of our conversations are about, how do we maximize the harvest?"

It sounds like a good calling for Christians. We're all "Spuglies" in need of God's grace and we follow a Savior who is on the hunt for other Spuglies to love and redeem for his good purposes.

The Power of Focus

shawn beaty

In 1957 a graduate student at Columbia University named Gordon Gould had been working with "pumping" atoms to higher energy states so they would emit light. As Gould elaborated his ideas and speculated about all the things that could be done with a concentrated beam of light, he realized he was onto something. In his notebook he confidently named the yet-to-be-invented device a LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation).

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Is that what God really said?

shawn beaty

Recently I heard the great apologist Lee Strobel use the following illustration to highlight how good we are at making the clear truths of Scripture much more ambiguous than they are.

"Imagine a daughter and her boyfriend going out for a Coke on a school night. The father says to her, "You must be home before eleven." It gets to be 10:45 p.m. and the two of them are still having a great time. They don't want the evening to end, so suddenly they begin to have difficulty interpreting the father's instructions: What did he really mean when he said, "You must be home before eleven"? Did he literally mean us, or was he talking about you in a general sense, like people in general? Was he saying, in effect, "As a general rule, people must be home before eleven"? Or was he just making the observation that "Generally, people are in their homes before eleven"? I mean, he wasn't very clear, was he?

And what did he mean by, "You must be home before eleven"? Would a loving father be so adamant and inflexible? He probably means it as a suggestion. I know he loves me, so isn't it implicit that he wants me to have a good time? And if I am having fun, then he wouldn't want me to end the evening so soon. And what did he mean by, "You must be home before eleven"? He didn't specify whose home. It could be anybody's home. Maybe he meant it figuratively. Remember the old saying, "Home is where the heart is"? My heart is right here, so doesn't that mean I'm already home? And what did he really mean when he said, "You must be home before eleven"? Did he mean that in an exact, literal sense? Besides, he never specified 11 p.m. or 11 a.m.

And he wasn't really clear on whether he was talking about Central Standard Time or Eastern Standard Time. In Hawaii, it's still only quarter to seven. As a matter of fact, when you think about it, it's always before eleven. Whatever time it is, it's always before the next eleven. So with all of these ambiguities, we can't really be sure what he meant at all. If he can't make himself more clear, we certainly can't be held responsible."

As children of the living God we are so quick to question God and what is best for our lives. Could it be that he actually does know best? Can I trust that he has my best and I actually don't know what is best for me? What kind of person would you be if God always gave you what you wanted? And so it is with God and his word, most of us question and write it off because we think culture knows better or we know better.