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From one family to my other 29th October, 2010

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

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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!

Hume Lake 3rd August, 2010

Posted by Scotty in Family, Rest, Travel.
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We’re currently at Hume Lake Christian Camp on a family vacation.  It’s a beautiful place and I’ve always been a sucker for sitting with my Bible and journal next to water.  Something about it helps me relax and focus and draws me right into the presence of God.

Mon’s family has been coming here for a number of generations.  It’s her “favorite place on earth” and so it’s fun to be here sharing in that with her.  We’ve been here for two days and I’ve already had to jump in the lake to help a dad and his two young daughters when their canoe capsized… and then today on a hike, one of our group slipped on a rock and ripped off most of her big toe nail?!!?!?  I had to carry her part way back and then swim her across the rapids to get back to the car.  Fun fun fun!

It’s nice to have a week with no agenda.  I can’t remember the last time I got to simply “rest”.  No sessions to attend.  No people to have to keep happy.  No phone ringing.  Just rest.  Much needed rest–especially since we jump into packing mode as soon as we get back.

That whole Sabbath thing… I think God knew what He was doing.

Refreshed 2! 4th June, 2009

Posted by Scotty in Friends, Fun, Rest.
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4702_222266045240_713935240_7134092_6938009_nOn Tuesday Joe called me to tell me that his roadtrip to Canada with some friends had fallen through.  Instead, they were planning to go to see his family down in Antioch… did I want to go?  Last time I went down with Joe was amazing.  I’d been hoping to go down again this summer, but we didn’t think there’d be a time that would work. Add to that tired graduate who was in desperate need of a few days away to get refreshed… and needless to say… I said yes!

Tuesday night, after Joe’s birthday bonfire on the beach, 5 of us (Me, Joe, David, Diana, & Angie) left at 1.30am to begin the 11hr drive to Antioch.  David boldly took the first shift and drove through the roughest part of the night, and then sometime around 5am I took the wheel.  All I can say, is I’m glad I was in the drivers seat and not crammed in the back!

We arrived, exhausted, ate some lunch, and then hiked Black Diamond.  Hit up the mall, and then it was home for pizza.  It didn’t take me very long before I was out for the count.

Right now, I’m sitting on my bed in my adopted-them-as-my-grandparents house, while we finish getting ready for a day out in San Francisco.  Joe is editing a video of the trip so far (where I look like an idiot!)…

I have to say though.  I love Joe’s family.  They have been amazing every time I’ve met them.  I could swear Joe, Josh, Eddy & Jocelyn are my siblings.  His grandparents are the most wonderfully hospitable people.  And his mom and dad make me feel like one of their own.  Do you think I can pass for a mexican?

It’s off to San Francisco.  I just wanted to write something.

Later.

Refreshing 26th October, 2008

Posted by Scotty in Blessings, Heart, Me, Pain, Rest, Worship.
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What an insane few weeks! And talk about exhaustion! This poor little battery looks a lot like I was feeling by the end of this week. This semester is crazy and some weeks I’m completely drained!

School this semester has such a huge workload, with almost every class having decent sized papers to write and chapters of books (if not whole books) to read EVERY WEEK! I finish one assignment with a sigh of relief, only to put those books on the shelf and pick up the stuff for the next paper. As I got to the end of this week I was exhausted. I got home on Thursday to grab the things I needed to lead worship Thursday night, wanting to go to bed and sleep for a week instead of do anything else.

As the week got closer to the end I began praying harder… God, I can’t do this alone… I need your strength to sustain me. God, fill me with your Spirit, energize me, refresh me…

And of course God answered my prayers! I have to praise him for two amazing conversations with two amazing guys:

Anthony is a new student at Multnomah’s College. I met him day one at lunch. I asked him several questions about his journey to Multnomah and was impressed by his answers. I loved his heart and so exchanged numbers to see about going for coffee. Well, it only took 7 weeks, but we eventually managed to go for lunch together. And man… what an amazing conversation. As we sat sharing stories about how God has worked in our lives, and how we feel Him working in us, I was blown away by God’s goodness. I was overwhelmed by His love, amazed at His continual provision, encouraged and edified by His Words spoken through my new friend, and somewhat refreshed as the Spirit moved back and forth between us. I am so impressed with Anthony’s “spark”… Has a profound grasp of His need for God, and an amazing desire to be obedient to Him. I left amazed at God’s hand in our lives, reminded of His care of me, and the work He has done through this Multnomah journey, and glad to have begun the process of getting to know Anthony better. REFRESHING!

Damien and I met last week at the Seminary Preview. Every semester they have a few days where people come to check out the school to see if they want to attend, and each semester I’ve had the privilege of helping out at the preview. Last week this guy (a fellow Brit!) came to the preview. I talked to him a little, but had my biggest exposure to him at the Student Panel. He asked some great questions that revealed a lot about his desire to plant a church. As the evening wound up I knew that he hadn’t had all his questions quite a

nswered and so we exchanged details and arranged to meet for coffee. So we did… and yesterday was amazing! We went where all good Christians go (STARBUCKS!) and spend a few hours doing what I did with Anthony… sharing stories about what God has done in our lives. Damien was on FIRE! Like me, he has been living the faith-life over the past few years having to trust God for provision… and it showed! The story of how He came to faith is UNIQUE! and completely blew me away. We got so far through the conversation when he decided we should go up to Rocky Butte – a small ‘mountain’ that overlooks Portland and spend some time praying. So we did! AND MAN… what a time of prayer. (One of the things I miss most about being here and away from Re:Hope is the amazing heart for prayer that my home church family has) Damien’s depth of love for the Saviour was evident as he prayed, and we stood there looking over the city pouring out our worship to God, laughing out of the overflow of intense joy at what God is doing. I’m excited about getting to know him better. REFRESHING!

I left feeling amazing. I was still tired, I still have the same crazy amount of work, but I was filled up as through these conversations I was reminded about God’s continual provision for me, and His hand upon my life.

To cap it off, Landon a guy from church that I’m mentoring decided that I needed a rest and that we needed to hang out and so he took me to the beach yesterday afternoon.  In Scotland, I live 5 minutes from the coast, whereas here it’s a couple of hours away.  He took me over, and we went a walk along the beach… can you guess… it was REFRESHING!  I forget how much I miss being able to drive down and watch the sea.  We messed around, talked about God and about life… tiring me out, so that when I got home I just slid into bed, thanking God for the amazing conversations set up by Him to refresh my soul, and then drifted off to sleep in His arms.

Thank You God for refreshing me.

Refreshed! 29th May, 2008

Posted by Scotty in Blessings, Friends, Me, Rest, Travel, Worship.
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So, I got back yesterday from a week vacation in Antioch, California… and I feel grrreat! It was a busy week, but wonderfully refreshing to get out in the sun, let my hair down, play a lot, and best of all, be part of a family for the week. Joe and I left at 5am on Friday 23rd, and drove for 15 hours down the amazing Highway 101 to San Fransisco and then across to Antioch. I even got the joy of driving across the Golden Gate Bridge.

It was an action packed trip:

  • 15 hr drive – i enjoyed getting to drive most of the way through the amazing landscapes!
  • meeting his family and friends
  • playing with pet Iguanas (!)
  • hanging out with Joe’s brother Josh as he got ready for “prom”. (I felt like I was in an American movie!)
  • visiting Joe’s church
  • a day hanging with Joe, Eddie (his step-bro), and Jasmine (Eddie’s girlfriend) in San Fransisco.
  • a wonderful sunny day at Great America, an amusement park near San Fransisco.
  • hiking the beautiful golden hills of Contra Loma
  • front row tickets to a baseball game (A’s -v- the Blue Jays)
  • time with God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As you can see, we were busy, but in amongst it all was ample opportunity to rest with God reading and journaling!

It was great to get to spend time with Joe learning more about him as his family shared stories, and as I observed the place he came from. He is such a great guy, and it was a real blessing to get to spend time with him this week. I hope I get down there again before I leave America, and hope he makes it over to Scotland some day to check out where I came from.

The highlight of the trip for me however was the journey home. As Joe drove me from Antioch to Sacramento airport we stopped off to meet his pastor’s family. I enjoyed a quick lunch stop with the most inspiring couple I have ever met. In the mid-eighties, they have been married for 65 years (!) and faithfully serving God for longer than most people are alive! They served as missionaries in the Philippines, pastored churches, and raised a family who are very active in the church. They oozed godliness. They couldn’t speak without quoting God’s Words!

A few weeks ago their daughter passed away. They were filled with a profound joy because of the blessed assurance of salvation! As they shared stories, we laughed and we cried, all the while proclaiming God’s goodness and His faithfulness. I desperately desire another opportunity to meet them and hear some more of the incredible wisdom they have gained over the years.

What a legacy they have! Children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren faithfully walking with the Lord; as well as spiritual children all across the world! I long that one day I too would have such a legacy to leave behind.

As I got in the car, fighting back the tears and the laughs, I was so overwhelmed by God’s goodness and how’s these people’s lives showed it. Joe and I shared some profound minutes of silence as we reflected on their lives, and then God blessed me even more as my phone rang and I enjoyed a much longed for conversation with my mentor, Brian.

God is good. He is faithful.
May my life show that to the world until the day I go to be with Him.

American License 30th April, 2008

Posted by Scotty in Friends, Fun, Life, Me, Rest, Travel.
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The time has come! I’m only allowed to drive on my UK license for a limited amount of time and it’s almost up. So, today I went and sat my driving test. It was rather strange being tested when I already know how to drive! Fortunately, I passed, so I now have my very own Oregon Drivers License. Well… I’ve got the little paper one until the real one arrives.

I wanted to make sure I had it before the summer arrived. I’m going to be driving down to California with my friend Joe and spending 4 or 5 few days in the San Fransisco Bay area (which I’ve heard is beautiful) resting up after a busy semester! It’s a long drive and so we’re gonna be sharing the driving.  I’m looking forward to it!!!

Prayer Retreat 21st March, 2008

Posted by Scotty in Heart, Multnomah, Prayer, Rest.
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hardprayer.jpgWednesday 12th -Friday 14th was a Prayer Retreat for my Spiritual Formation class Prayer. It was part of what made my week stressful, because it stole the days that I usually get my work done, and so I found myself having to stay up late and get up early, and squeeze work into every break that I had.

The retreat itself was… not quite what I expected. And to be honest, I left somewhat disappointed with it, but that has more to do with my expectations of it, than the retreat itself.

The first exercise of the retreat was to write out our expectations of the retreat. I quickly filled my sheet of paper with the things I have come to expect when people come together to pray… time to pray, God to speak, people to be challenged, confession, edification… and so on. Once everyone had finished a trash can was placed in the middle of the room and we were asked to surrender our expectations of the retreat and allow God to have His way with it. I guess the problems started with me keeping a hold of some of those expectations.

Our Prayer class is a 3 credit class (which means we have class 3 hrs a week). Instead of that usual format, they have 2hrs a week for class and then a mandatory class prayer retreat which makes up the rest of the hours. I failed to think about that as I got ready to go… it wouldn’t be just a Prayer Retreat, but a Prayer Class Retreat.

When I threw out my expectations that first day, I thought the expectation that we would spend a lot of time in prayer would of course be fulfilled. But I was wrong – We spent a lot more time talking than we did praying… which was a HUGE frustration for me.

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Been and Gone 20th November, 2007

Posted by Scotty in Blessings, Friends, JUC, Me, Rest, Worship.
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Mark, me, and Brian at MasadaThe guys are away back home but what a great week it’s been. I pretty much took the week off school, we rented a car, and then headed out to let them see this amazing land. It was one of those weeks that was hugely tiring because of the combination of sun, messing around, hiking and driving most of the day but it was worth it. Brian and Mark left me tired but incredibly rested… and thirsting to get home and see the things that have been morphing within Re:Hope.

It was good to have them enter into this experience in my life and to give us that “common experience” which I’m sure will fuel a lot of our talks and plans in the future. It was equally great to watch them interacting with people on campus and see how in even a small amount of time they can be used to impact people. I’ve had guys on campus mention at various times “I wish I could have spent more time with them”.

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The Wilderness 12th October, 2007

Posted by Scotty in JUC, Prayer, Rest, Spirituality, Worship.
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What comes to mind when you think “wilderness”? At the weekend, our class went on a 3 day field study exploring the land in the south of Israel, and I think the most impactful moment for me was visiting the wilderness. There were a couple of stops that allowed us to look out over the wilderness of Zin, but one in particular was breathtaking. We went up to the top of a cliff and looked out from what they call maktesh ramon… gazing out into an area of the wilderness that is known as “the superbowl”.

Where I sat on the Maktesh Ramon

Usually in our field studies we run from place to place with hardly a moment to breath, but this day in particular as we arrived at this spot our professor realised we had an hour before we needed to head home and he said some of the best words I’ve heard all semester: “Go off on your own and spend some time praying and journalling as you enjoy your wilderness experience”.   (more…)