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Post-chemo haircuts! 25th May, 2012

Posted by Scotty in Cancer, Fun.

So… I’ve been fighting with Monica for a good few weeks about getting my hair cut.

Mon: “Scott, you need to trim your hair, can I tidy it up for you?”

Well, the day finally came to go get it cut and I’d decided that to celebrate, I would go and get it done at the same place that did my pre-chemo haircut.  One of the guys from church decided a while ago that he’d do crazy hair too, to celebrate with me.  So… today was the day… we went and got some fun done!

A big SHOUT OUT to BEN for being such a good sport!
Gotta love it!

Thrice Jagged, Parties, Sleep & Full Fingers: Day 15-16 10th December, 2011

Posted by Scotty in Cancer, Fun.

So I see a pattern. Long day yesterday means sleep most of the day today!

Yesterday was a long day. I’ve been taking a group of our high-level women leaders through the book the Making of a Leader and as much as possible I’ve wanted to keep doing that.  I permit myself to go to the 7.15am meeting at starbucks… only because at 7.15am the place is dead so I’m not sitting breathing in air that’s contaminated by a room full of virus-carriers.

I left there are headed to The Beatson for my Friday chemo.  As usual, I arrive and go get the bloods taken so they can check all my levels and prescribe my chemo.  Just like last week, I went to the wrong place to have my bloods taken (I went to the inpatient one instead of outpatients…I’ll have it right for next week!).  The nurse taking my blood was a wee bit flustered –the computers weren’t working right; staff were off; I’m-at-the-wrong-place-so-they-don’t-have-my-labels-printed–but the nurse was very nice about it.  They put the needle in my arm to draw blood and I was impressed.  I didn’t feel a thing!!!  I even complemented them.

The bloods were taken.  The needle was removed.  And the nurse looked at me all apologetically: “I only did two of the samples instead of four, I’ll have to take the other two from the other arm”.  So, he did the other arm… and OUCH! that hurt! Lol.  So I got two blue plasters this week instead of just one!

I was glad that they allowed me to go home again after I saw the doc.  I got a wee bit of a freak out moment at noon when a nurse called me to ask if I’d had my bloods taken because they couldn’t find results anywhere.  She called back a few minutes later to say they’d just arrived (that’s what I get for going to the wrong place!)

I popped back over, got the injection, and we’re good to go.  The also prescribed me some antibiotics to helps my system out (something to do with neutraphils–a type of white blood cell–being low).  So I picked them up from the pharmacy and went home.

Shortly after that one of my favourite guys from church turned up to spoil me with good company and Cadbury chocolate (always a good idea!).  Then it was time to get geared up for our staff Christmas party.

I was a bit apprehensive.  I love our team… and I love our staff Christmas party… but knew it was kicking off about the same type the flu-like side-effects of the bleomycin would be kicking off.  I pre-empted it by taking some paracetamol and hoped for the best.  Thinking about the cold shivery thing that I got last time I decided to opt for hat and scarf to go with my outfit… (so glad I bought them)… and had something of the English Gentleman look going on.

The paracetamol kept the aches at bay, but I did have a hard time regulating my temperature.  The party was lived up to all it’s expectations… great guests, amazing decor, delectable food, brilliant games and banter, and white elephant as well as (not-really-)secret santa gift exchanges.

I felt a bit like the staff scrooge.  😦  I was a lot quieter than usual, engaged the games with much less enthusiasm than I would usually (I’m very competitive and like to WIN!), and a few hours into it I felt my energy level disappear fairly rapidly… which I tried hard to fight to stay engaged, so hopefully people didn’t worry about me too much.

We got home late and I collapsed into bed!  I woke today about 10.30am… then rolled over and went back to sleep till about noon.  I woke up again and grabbed my book and read… I don’t know how long for before I fell back asleep and woke about 3.30pm as my mum and step-dad arrived to see me.

My mum asked about my hair… how’s it doing?  has it started to come out yet?  I showed her my daily routine of pulling on my hair to see if any comes out… and looking at my empty fingers.  As of yet… none.

I gave a tug on a couple of my 2mm strands of hair… “see… nothing comes out”, says I, as a show her a finger cover in little hairs.

This is the week!  For all of you who have spent the time you know me wondering what I’d look like bald… in the next week your curiosity shall be satisfied.  LoL.

Bought them ALL! 19th October, 2011

Posted by Scotty in Books, Fun.

Something happened today that made me laugh.

I’m a big fan of Bobby Clinton’s book The Making of a Leader and by this point I have used it a LOT when discipling people.  Since arriving back in Scotland I’ve gone through it with a number of people, and now some of them have taken others through it.  Today we started another guys group, led by one of the men who went through my last group.  Next week we start a women’s group that Mon and I will lead.

Twice (or maybe three times) now I have bought the entire stock off amazon UK.  The last group I led drained our UK Christian bookstore of all their books.  They had more shipped to them which we quickly took.  For the guys group that started today, they ordered in the rest from the warehouse.  We’ve ordered all the ones we can find from various UK websites and then today, when I called to order more they told me that they’ll have to order some from the States because we’ve taken all the ones in the UK!  We’ve bought up all the copies in Britain!


I should get commission!

Jack of All Trades 19th September, 2011

Posted by Scotty in Fun, Life, Ministry.
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You gotta love full time church work! You just never know what you’ll end up doing in a week.

Since getting back I’ve preached, discipled and taught and all those wonderful things. I’ve helped a friend from church roof his house, I’ve crawled through the dirty bird poop infested article crawl space, I’ve sawn up pews, scrubbed toilets, and today… Hung out on top of an organ to dismantle it so we could pull down the pipes and paint them.

Gotta love being covered in dirt for Jesus.

“All in a day’s work” as they say.

Man, I love my job

Memory Boxes and Fridge Magnets 16th September, 2011

Posted by Scotty in Fun.
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One of my favourite possessions is my “memory box”.   Which really has nothing to do with the box and everything to do with the contents.  About 15 years ago I set aside a drawer in my desk into which I put all my concert programs, tickets, cards, and letters.  It graduated from a small drawer, to a large shoe box, to a small under-the-bed storage box, to a large filing box, and finally, today I merged my collection from Scotland with my collection from my time in the States moving it all into a big storage chest… which is pretty much FULL!

It contains programmes from all the musicals I’ve been to, concert tickets, programs, photos, letters, love letters, cards, awards, journals… and more.  Every few years I go through the box and choose which things stay and which get thrown out.

Today, I wasn’t filtering through simply migrating things from one container to the new one, and in that process pulled out a bunch of tiny little magnets which form bunches of Scottish phrases.  So, instead of putting them in the new box, I pulled them all out and put them on our fridge.

In August 2006, I attended a very emotional service at Re:Hope.  It was my commissioning service where the church prayed for me, and “sent me” to the States to train.  A number of powerful and encouraging things were said to me and about me.  Numerous people prayed for me and I remember spending most of the service feeling close to tears.

At the end of the services they presented me with a gift… an under-the-desk fridge for my room in the States (an accessory sought after by all college dorm dwellers!).  As a special added touch, people in the church had all bought me different fridge magnets to put on the fridge to remember them by.   These little magnets were one of those gifts that came with the explanation “these are to help you stay Scottish”.

So today I stuck them all on our fridge and reminisced about that day.  I reflected on the heart-wrenching pain I felt as I left the church and its people behind to run into the unknown.   I thought about the amazing and encouraging words that were spoken over me.  And the uncertainty, wondering if God would really allow me to come back to this church at the end of all my studies.

What a fun moment to take those magnets that marked my sending and stick them on the fridge in my returned-to-Glasgow Flat, that’s filled with food to feed the many Re:Hopers that stop by through the week!

God called.  I responded.  The church sent.  He provided more than I ever thought possible.  And here I sit, a much more effective minister of the gospel as a result of the training and equipping I received over there.

I loved this church then.  And I love it all the more now.

Thank you God!

My First Wedding: The Evensons 18th July, 2011

Posted by Scotty in Blessings, Friends, Fun, Furlough, Life.

Saturday was a special day… I officated my first wedding!  Two years ago I did my first baptisms.  The first person I ever baptised was my friend, Josh Evenson.  The next person in the water to be baptised was Ashley Leister, his girlfriend.  Well, two years later I performed my first ever wedding… The marriage of Ashley Leister to Josh Evenson.

It was a special day.  The weather forecast said rain (which is not good for an outdoor wedding with no backup plan) but in His mercy it stayed dry all day, including the sun making an appearance a few times.

I was so nervous for the wedding but it went extremely.  I feel so honoured to have been able to play such a key part in their wedding.

A big thanks to the Mr & Mrs Evenson for asking me to be a part of it!

I am a Prostitute Refugee 14th July, 2011

Posted by Scotty in Fun, Life, Ministry.

Photo © Sophia Ruth

Back in Scotland is a 14 year old kid whom I love with every ounce of my being.  This particular kid has had a really rough life and has suffered more loss and heart ache than anyone else I know.  I’ve known him since he was born and have had a soft spot for him his entire life.  As a result of what he’s gone through he is in full-time residential care where he receives special attention and education to help deal with his behavioural issues.

When I returned from the States I felt really strongly that I should invest time and love into him… hoping to be able to bless him with God’s love.  And what a blessing it has been… to me.  God has showed me so much of his heart through this relationship.

Around Christmas time I went on a field trip with him and some staff at his school.  As we were standing beside and ice-rink, he came over and excited told the staff that care for him that I am the refugee that he’d been telling them about.  I stood looking puzzled as I tried to work out what he was talking about… until I realized he meant “reverend”.

refugee/reverend… Not quite the same thing.

But we got a few good laughs out of it.

A couple of weeks ago I was spending some time with him on his birthday.  Part way through the day he we explaining to his staff worker some details about me.  He suddenly turned around and in a half-statement-half-question way said: “my gran said you’re not Catholic??”  I listened attentively and then agreed.  “So you’re a prostitute then?” he asked.

I laughed so hard

(while someone else explained to him that the word he was looking for was “protestant”)

prostitute/protestant… Not quite the same thing

So, back in Scotland is a 14 year old kid whom I, the prostitute refugee, love with every ounce of my being.

The joys of ministry.

Brassed Off! 19th May, 2011

Posted by Scotty in Fun, Me, Music.
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Well, I joined a brass band…!

I started playing tenor horn at school when I was 11 years old.  Of all the instruments I play it’s the one I’ve played longest and was most accomplished in.  I played constantly, right up to when I got involved with Re:Hope about 7 years ago.  At that poin between uni, church and work I wasn’t able to make the band practices.  The worst part about that is the horn I had for all the years I played belonged to the band and so had to give it back.

I sat beside Anne (in the pic above) for the last several years that I played.  There were a couple of times after stopping when I got a phone call from Anne asking if I’d help out another band she begun playing with because they needed some extra players for concerts/contests.  Pretty much I haven’t touched a brass instrument at all in the last 7 years.

Since I quit, whenever I hear brass music I get a little twinge of I-want-to-play again.  Several times in the States I thought about joining a band when we got back here, but I didn’t think I’d have the time, the ability to commit, or be able to play very well after a 7 years absence.

Well, true to form, when I got back I got a wee message from Anne wondering if I was interested in playing again.  I kept considering it but was pretty convinced the commitment expected from the band wouldn’t work with my commitment to the ministry we are doing here.  She has lovingly whispered “come play with us” in my ear since I got home and I finally buckled.  After hearing of their need, realizing their practices are on the evening of my day off, and then finding out that most of the band are Christians I gave in and decided to check them out.

So… I’m now playing Tenor Horn with BSI (Brass Sounds Inverclyde) who are about an hour train journey away.

The first practice was daunting.  I turned up, they handed me a horn, and that rehearsal was my first time playing in 7 years.  I guess playing brass is like riding a bike.  It comes right back.

It’s so good to have this outlet again.

Yup, I’m a band geek.

So what?!


Merry Christmas Everyone! 27th December, 2010

Posted by Scotty in Family, Friends, Fun.

Merry Christmas to YOU!  It’s hard to believe that it was 2 years ago that I proposed to Monica in Scotland.  A lot has happened over the last 2 years yet they have flown in.  It feels so good to be here knowing we’re where God wants us.  The weather has been crazy…. lots of snow then thaw then freeze so that the pavements (sidewalks) are covered in thick sheets of ice.  We’re still getting settled in the flat (the apartment) and getting the furniture and things we need (lots of things still to get).  (Pictures will come soon… Mon wants to be the one to upload them first!).  We don’t have internet yet… there was a 6 week wait for installation and so we should be live on the 26th of January!  Here’s a quick summary of the last couple of weeks…

It was with a degree of sadness that I watched the Grace Chapel staff Christmas pictures go up on Facebook.  I miss these people a lot.  The fun, the friendship, the camaraderie, and the crazy pics up at Timberline. 

But with joy I got to celebrate Christmas with the team here, after 4 years of separation, equipping, growth, and anticipation.  (This picture is of the CRM team, Church Directors, Staff & spouses)…

Every year at Christmas time an outdoor ice-rink is constructed in the middle of Glasgow City centre.  Mon and I had the fun of hanging out with Brian & Kellie teaching the kids how to ice skate!  So much fun!  It’s especially difficult because the ice is REALLY HARD, not the smoothest, and the skates are blunt… but the kids did a great job!

For the last 10 years (except last year), I’ve attended the Midnight Mass at Our Lady of the Assumption & St Meddan in Troon (about 12 mins from my parent’s house).  It was so great to see everyone again and to spent the evening in the beautiful building surrounding by amazing people and witnessing a tradition that goes back 1500 years.  It has extra special significance now, because it was at the end of this service 2 years ago that I proposed to my wife!  🙂

And finally, Christmas with my family.  Every year we get up early to open Christmas Presents together.  My gran spends the night, my adopted-granny (the lady who lives next do0r) comes in, and we open all our presents and have some fun together.  Clean up time follows and we head up to my Aunt & Uncles house for Christmas Dinner packed full of crazy family antics.

Gotta love Christmas!  Hope you had a great one!

From one family to my other 29th October, 2010

Posted by Scotty in Family, Fun, Rest, Travel.

I thought I should introduce you to the awesome family we stayed with for the last two months… the Tatlocks.  It was a complete blessing getting to stay with Mike & Bern, Diana, the kids and Duke (the dog)!  Their hospitality was incredible.  This picture is going to be blown up big and hung on the wall of our Glasgow home!

Having left our Wilsonville family behind, we’ve spent the week in Irvine with my parents.  They decided that seeing as we hadn’t spent any one-on-one time with them in two years, that we’d head off for a few days and be alone.  It was fun to go away to the States as mum’s son, and come back as her friend.  We had a great time hanging out, spending time laughing and joking, and catching up with all that’s gone on over the last few years.

As a treat for Mon, they booked us into the Stonefield Castle Hotel thinking that it would be fun to spend the night in a castle.  It’s a beautiful place to stay.  The managers were extremely nice, the rooms comfortable, the food… delicious.  They also had a grand piano which I spent a couple of hours playing the first evening there.  (Click the pic to see more)

The plan was to take a drive further north and west, visiting some of our heritage along the way.  We wanted to introduce Mon to the history she is now part of, so we stopped in at Inverary Castle which is where the head of the Campbell Clan lives.  The Burns family is recognized as part of the Campbell clan.  The biggest rivalry existing in Scottish history is the rivalry between the Macdonalds and the Campbells (google the Glencoe Massacre).  It’s funny though, because my dad is the Burns and my mum’s maiden name… Macdonald.  So I’m one of the forbidden offspring!!  haha.  Welcome to Scotland Monica!!!

It’s been a fun few days resting and adjusting.  Looking forward to getting up to Glasgow, finding our new home, reconnecting with the team there and getting back into ministry!  Fun times.