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We’re moving to Birmingham!!!! 6th June, 2013

Posted by Scotty in Calling, Life, Ministry, Travel.
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ukmap_birminghamWe’re moving to Birmingham!!!

I’ve not blogged in AGES, but that’s because there have been A LOT of significant things happening in the background. Here’s the brief update and we’ll give you more information later:

Firstly, we’ve just finished a major transition and have joined the ranks of The Navigators. They are an organisation I’ve respected for a number of years, and have always had an interest in being more involved. I am excited to move into an environment that is all about discipleship. We’ve already been having some great conversations with other workers within the organisation, and I just love rubbing shoulders with other people who are as passionate as us about this foundational aspect of the Christian Journey.

Secondly, we’re moving to Birmingham (England, not Alabama!!). When we first started talking with Navigators in December, they asked if we’d be willing to move to Birmingham. Initially, we were very reluctant, but as we prayed and our conversations continued, God confirmed to them and to us that this is what He wants. And so it’s looking like we’ll move down there at the beginning of August to dive in to the work they are doing in the city.  Birmingham puts us in close proximity to leadership team, central for a lot of their training, with easy access to a number of key ministries around the UK. This is even more helpful because…

Thirdly, I have begun doctoral studies in Discipleship. After looking at a very specific discipleship-focused degree for the last couple of years, I have finally embarked on that journey. As you know, I love to read and think and write about discipleship, and want to work out ways to assist the Church to become more effective at making disciples. As part of my new role with Navigators, I have been asked to undertake some large research and writing projects…. Which will end up being the body of my doctoral thesis. The doctorate fits beautifully alongside our new roles and will give some added structure to the projects I’ll be working on for Navigators. Not to mention the ways it’s already sparked thoughts for a thousand other blogs on discipleship!

Since chemo God has been refining me, cleansing my heart, honing our calling and bringing more focus to our lives and ministry. It’s always rewarding to see God brings things together and we’re looking forward to seeing what He does in this next season!

I’ll post more soon, so watch this space!

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Jack of All Trades 19th September, 2011

Posted by Scotty in Fun, Life, Ministry.
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20110919-061054.jpg

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

Baptisms @ Loch Lomond 31st August, 2011

Posted by Scotty in Ministry.
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You just can’t help but love baptisms… watching people take this powerful step in walking in obedience to God.  Well, even better when the baptisms are on the shores of Loch Lomond, complete with some sunshine, a bunch of friends, and a BBQ!

Last weekend Roger & Rosie, and Max & Jake were baptised at Loch Lomond.  Have a look at the video Stephen put together:

Is this really my life? 2nd August, 2011

Posted by Scotty in Calling, Life, Ministry, Support.
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Is this really my life?

Every now and then I have a moment where I see my life through someone else’s eyes.  In the moment, I’m just living my life doing what I do, then all of a sudden I see things differently.

Right now, Mon and I are in the States, travelling up and down the West Coast speaking to churches and church groups, sharing about God’s work in Scotland, calling people to surrender their lives and pay the cost of discipleship, and all the way through seeing God move mightily, provide generously and sometimes miraculously.

A few days ago Mon and I had just got done speaking with a group of students where we exhorted them to take discipleship to the next level.  It was the fourth or fifth appointment of the day and we were tired but loving sharing our lives with them.

As we were driving home we were suddenly struck by this life we’re living.

Is this really my life?

I’m a MISSIONARY!
I have an amazing wife.
I have an amazing team.
We live by faith, trusting God for our needs.
God moves other people to support us financially.
He moves the most unlikely people to lend us their possessions.
People invite us to speak at their churches.
He gives us unique opportunities to challenge and encourage people.
We’ve ministered in several countries and several States.
We’ve preached or shared in a different countries and to many churches
I even flew across the ocean to do a wedding.

But most exciting of all… God moves in people as we do all these things.

It doesn’t feel real!  Is this really my life?

This really is my life! 

If someone had described this to me 10 years ago I would have laughed.

I admired people who lived this kind of life.
I read biographies of those people.

Now we are those people.

What an exciting and humbling realisation.

I am a Prostitute Refugee 14th July, 2011

Posted by Scotty in Fun, Life, Ministry.
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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.

Baptisms 16th May, 2011

Posted by Scotty in Blessings, Church, Ministry, Mission.
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The service this weekend was amazing.  Our prayer times before the service was powerful.  There was a joy and energy during the worship.  The sermon was a simple but powerful message on Christ’s baptism.  4 people were baptised in the morning service and 5 baptised in the evening service.  And the post-baptism worship was fantastic.  And someone came forward for prayer limping but left dancing (Although I fully believe in God’s power to heal… I still have no box for this!)  What a day.

God is moving.  Lives are being changed.  May His Name be praised!

Hope to the Hopeless 23rd November, 2010

Posted by Scotty in Heart, Ministry, Prayer.
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I had forgotten how much God had broken my heart for the people of Scotland.  When I was in the States I spent most of my time praying for specific people who I’d left behind, who I was ministering to and who I was ministering with.  I’ve been home for about a month now and God has re-shattered my heart for this city and this country.

Our church is currently participating in a week of 24-7 Prayer.  The week has been divided between a number of Christian organizations and we opted to cover the first 3 days.  Knowing that people hate the middle-of-the-night spots I signed up for a 2-4am and two 4-6am slots… and man I had forgotten how amazing it is to be up praying when the rest of the world is sleeping.

God has reminded me just how much He has broken my heart for Scotland.

On Sunday at church, during worship, I wept.  I have a little friend over here who’s a 15 year old orphan.  His parent’s deaths were tragic.  His closest friend/relative committed suicide last week.  He has no self-worth, no dreams, no ambition.  He puts himself in harmful and destructive situations, no knowing any better.   After spending the day with him I was rocked to the core.  My heart breaks for my young friend.

I lay in bed most of that night talking to God about him.  Wrestling with God about the hopelessness of his case.  By church on Sunday I’d learned more about the hurt and pain he’s been experiencing over the last few years and I couldn’t take it any more.  I sat in church, hearing a powerful message from Daniel, and I broke.  Entering in to his pain I sat and wept for him as I cried out to God.  I was wrestling with questions… Can I help?  Will he ever be able to receive love?  Is the wounding too deep?  Is there anyway to help him break free of the self-destructive lifestyle he’s been forced into?  Is he beyond hope?

As I was praying God made me “zoom out” for a moment.  As I sad weeping for my precious friend I realized that God’s brokenness over him is infinitely more than the glimpse I’m feeling.  And that He breaks like this over EVERY one of His children.  The Cross demonstrates how far Jesus is willing to go to enter into our pain… God became MAN… lived here… and was abused and beaten and murdered… so that there is hope for the hopeless.

I began to weep for Glasgow and for Scotland.  So many people who have rejected God, who due to the choices of their parents and grandparents generations, have grown up believing the Gospel has no value to them.  So many people marked by sin and brokenness, making choices that only harm them more, unaware of the damage they are doing to themselves and blind to the reality that the love of Jesus Christ is what their heart is searching for.

So last night, I prayed while the rest of the city slept.  I cried out to God through tears knowing that He hears our prayers.  I allowed Him to re-break my heart for this city that has walked so far away from Him.  I pleaded and argued with Him, holding Him to the promises of Scripture… that ALL things have been put under Jesus’ feet… that He has power over every situation… that His heart is for the widows and orphans, the oppressed and downtrodden… that He came to set the captives free and bring hope to the hopeless… and that nothing and noone is beyond hope.

My heart is shattered.  I’m broken for my people.

But underneath the pain I have a deep-rooted stoic confidence.

Where Jesus rules… there is hope for my little friend.

Here I am Lord, send me.

“The 50 Person Challenge” 12th November, 2010

Posted by Scotty in Life, Ministry, Support.
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I’ve spent a chunk of today updating the Scott&Monica website, because today we’re launching a new support raising campaign… and I need your help!!!  After being a little overwhelmed at how underfunded we are (about 50%/monthly) I’ve been spending a lot of time praying about what to do about support.  We’re are excited to do what we’re calling “The 50 Person Challenge”.

The idea is very simple:  If we can find 50 people who are willing to commit to supporting us $20/month we will increase out monthly support by 20%.  After taking time to pray about the idea and asking a few friends for their input we felt this was a good way to move forward.  To add a little spice to it, Mon and I decided that we’re going to compete to see who can get 50 people FIRST!  (Yes, we’re both VERY competitive).

We can’t do this alone!  It’s extremely difficult to connect with people while we’re out of the States and so we need your help!  We’re looking for advocates:  people who would be willing to approach their friends and family on our behalf and ask them to support us.

It would only take 25 people to each find 2 people in their life who would be willing to support us for us to reach the goal!  It seems doable!  If you know anyone with a heart for global mission, for church planting, discipleship or Scotland… or you know someone who values the sort ministry that we’re doing, we love love for you to ask them to partner with us as we exalt the name of Jesus here in Scotland.

We’re excited to see what God does.  He called… and He’ll provide!

Detour 14th September, 2010

Posted by Scotty in Challenges, Life, Ministry, Rest, Travel.
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This morning was WEIRD!  I woke up knowing that I had tickets for a flight that was taking off at 11am that I wouldn’t be on.  It got weirder when I turned up at the church office for a meeting that I wouldn’t have been at, knowing that if I jumped in a car and headed to the airport I could still make my flight.  I was sitting there at 11am debriefing the summer program and discussing upcoming events while my plane was taking off without me.

The last few days was quite an emotion rollercoaster.  We were holding out hope to the very last minute that the visa would come by yesterday.  We said all our goodbyes and got mentally and emotionally ready to leave.  Then we dealt with the disappointment of the delayed visa and had to internally adjust and re-engage to the fact we’re going to be here longer. 

The certainty of our calling is such a source of comfort and assurance.  We know that we are called to minister in Scotland.  We know that He is in control and is doing everything necessary to prepare us for that ministry.  And so we have no fear.  He is with us. 

I’m so glad God doesn’t let things go my way.  As I look back over my life and consider the choices I’ve made and the detours He has brought me on… I’m so thankful for His gracious intervention.  I dread to think where I would be and what my life would be like without the detours that brought me to this point.

There was uncertainty in each of those moments–confusion that things weren’t going the way I’d planned–but I see God’s perfect plan at work in each of those instances and so I’m excited to see how this little detour will be used by Him to bring more glory to His Name.

Thanks God for getting in the way of my plans and helping me to submit to your better one!

Help Me Read My Bible 5th August, 2010

Posted by Scotty in Bible, Ministry, Spirituality.
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For the last 5 1/2 years I have been doing Bible Readthrough’s, reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.  When I get to the end, I start back at the beginning.  The goal: to be saturated in the Word.  Usually I take one day in the week where I set time aside and read the whole book in one sitting, underlining and journaling as I go, then mid-week I study something else at a slower pace.  Bible Read Through has changed my life.

Too many people analyze a verse from Scripture with no idea of the context.  We spend a lot of time arguing theology and calling people heretics when the reality is that we’ve never read the book we claim to know so much about.  Bible Reading Groups are by far the best form of Bible Study, accountability and growth that I’ve come across.

At Re:Hope we desire to grow leaders who don’t just know about the Bible, but who are committed to a lifelong pursuit of being saturated in the Word to know the God it reveals.  There’s now a website to help explain the readthrough:  www.BibleReadingGroups.com.  I advise you check it out.

If you want to grow in your relationship with God…
If you want to know the Bible…
If you want your life and ministry to have Spiritual Authority…

… there’s no shortcut.   There’s no substitute for devoting hours of your life to studying His Word.  Jump on the site, have a read/listen.  Then get 2 or 3 people together and start reading.

Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Josh 1:8)