Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Glimpses of God's Hand Throughout Life

My name is Seth Watson, and I am the Young Adult Flock Pastor at New Covenant Bible Church. I look forward to meeting and getting to know you better. One of my core values is authenticity, so in that spirit I want to share my story with you.

Growing Up
I grew up going to Sunday School, Sunday Worship, Sunday night events, and Wednesday night kids programs because my dad is a pastor. I grew up as the oldest of five siblings. When I was around eight years old I prayed with my parents to trust Jesus as my Savior. At this point my childish-faith was largely about “not going to hell” when I died. But the summer of my last year of elementary school I went to summer camp and there made a decision to follow after Jesus in a real way. This was a spiritually rich time of life for me. However, when I got to Jr. High things became more difficult. Living for Jesus was definitely not a popular thing to do at my Jr. High. So I struggled and finally decided that I would pursue popularity and acceptance at almost any cost. I turned to sports, music, and friends in order to gain the acceptance that I craved and I did well, for a while.
A Painful Season
In my junior year of high school, life was good. I was starting on the varsity football team, exactly where I wanted to be. I was dating a popular girl. But the Lord had other plans for me. I got sick, lost 25 pounds, and couldn’t finish the football season. In the off-season I hurt my back which led to a very disappointing senior football season. The god of football had been ripped out of my life. Just a few months after that season ended, the girlfriend who also had been an idol in my life broke up with me - another idol gone. I didn’t get the ACT score or the scholarship I wanted. Disappointment and frustration were mounting in my heart. Looking back I can see God’s hand in all of it. He would not allow other things to be idols in my life.

A Simple Invitation
So heading into college I was at a place of openness to the Lord again. I went to Wayne State College, majoring in pre-medicine. The Campus Crusade for Christ group helped me and the other freshmen move into our dorms. One of the movers invited me to a Crusade meeting and that simple invitation altered the course of my life. I went, and kept on going. That winter I rededicated my life to Jesus at the Denver Christmas Conference. But I still had my plan of becoming a doctor. Over the course of the next couple of years, the Lord began to make it clear that medicine was not what He had for me.

Our Story
At the same time I met Rebecca and we began dating. I interned with my dad at my home church working with the youth for a summer.  It was at this time that I began to feel the Lord leading me to pursue full-time ministry. So Rebecca and I got engaged (2004) and were married (2005). I finished college (2006) and started working as a youth pastor at our church in Wayne, Nebraska. Both Rebecca and I felt the Lord calling us to seminary for further ministry preparation. So in July 2007 we packed up all our earthly belongings, said a tearful goodbye to our friends and family, and drove 12 hours south to Dallas Theological Seminary. We met great friends and grew a lot during our time there. I graduated in May 2011 after four years of study.

Coming to Iowa
We visited New Covenant in January 2011 and were amazed at the healthy family of growing disciples that we found here. After a week of reflection and prayer the Lord made it clear that New Covenant was where He was calling us to be. So, here we are in Cedar Rapids. We enjoy hanging out with friends, being a part of what God is doing in people's lives, watching good movies, reading, drinking coffee, taking walks with our daughters, Annabelle, Abby, and Ellie, and lots of other things. I look forward to meeting you and serving alongside of you here at New Covenant. My email is

Friday, March 4, 2016

Glimpses of God's Goodness

This is an old something that I wrote a few months back. I found it digging through my files for something else. (from 10/7/15)

It's been a long week already. We had some really good stuff go on last week ministry-wise, but I am tired. It's one of those evenings where Rebecca said to me, "you take the baby home and I'll go to the store with the other two girls." Translation, you look beat, tired, exhausted, worn out, whatever adjective you want to use for all used up. Bone dry, that's how I'm feeling.

I feel alone. My phone is quiet, no one texting or calling me. Unimportant, forgotten. These are lies from some dark place hurtling through the air to lodge themselves in my brain where they grow into feelings of despair and panic. I ruminate on them, start to believe them, try to remember what God says is true. "I will never leave your or forsake you." But I'm just not feeling it tonight; the struggle of faith is harder than I can do on my own. I disengage on the computer, looking at stuff that, let's be serious, I don't need in my life. I re-engage telling myself that this time that I have with Ellie is so short. In two years she'll be running around the house, the newborn phase long-gone in the rear-view mirror.

I pick her up and hold her, talking to her. Blessing the Lord for this sweet gift. But the aloneness is still there, closing in on me. You're forgotten, no one cares about you. I know it isn't true, but why does it seem so clear tonight? This is hard.

But then, I turn, look at the table, see something unexpected there. It's a card. I open it; it's addressed to me. "Oh yeah, October is Pastor Appreciation Month isn't it." I remember.  I read the words "The Lord bless you and continue to pour out his goodness in your life. With Appreciation for your ministry. You are the perfect person to minister to young adults, young marrieds, and young families-as you are all of these yourself and can relate so well to them. We love it when you preach the sermon too. -A sweet couple

In my heart I know this card was written by with human fingers, addressed and stamped with human hands, delivered by a human post person, but really it was dispatched from my Heavenly Father knowing exactly what I needed to hear tonight.

I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.” (Psalm 63:5–8, NIV)