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Uncomfortable 17th January, 2008

Posted by Scotty in Heart, Me, Multnomah, Prayer, Support.
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crazy-contortionist.jpgObedience is often uncomfortable! And usually when it comes to obedience there’s a cost that we have to be willing to pay. I was reminded of a promise made to me that came with a challenge, and to rise up to the challenge is scary!

Three years ago now God called me to Seminary here in Portland. I remember praying “God, there’s no way I can afford to go here. If you want me there, you have to provide”. I have since walked in faith that God would provide all I need… and He has done just that. It was made clear to me that I would be learning to be dependent on God for all my needs, and that my faith would be put to the test. I nearly failed the most recent one!

For the first time so far, when I left for this semester I didn’t have all the money in my bank, and I still don’t have it all. I left for here knowing that a job on campus would adequately provide the money remaining and maybe even some pocket money on the top. I’ve been a little worried about how busy this semester is going to be with school, studying, church, internship, girlfriend, and work. But tonight as I read What the Spirit is saying to the Churches, I was reminded of God’s promise and His challenge:

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)

As I read these words I was reminded of the promise God gave me that He would provide for me to be here. As I read how Henry Blackaby and his church trusted in God for provision, of the criticism he faced for his radical obedience, and of how God showed up, I was convicted! I am here in obedience to God’s will. I am here to learn to be dependent on Him and to see my faith increase. I am here to be equipped to serve Him for the rest of my life.

Tonight, obeying God means that I’ve not to take a job on campus. I have a God who provides! He called me, I obeyed, and He will provide for my needs. This is uncomfortable. I could easily make the money by working a few hours a week, but God has a different plan and I know that I will be amazed yet again at what He does.  I will have to fight anxiousness that the money might not come in.  I will experience criticism from people who will call me lazy, or think I’m being stupid.  But I will pay the cost of being obedient.

What would the world be like if the Church was willing to be uncomfortable? What would your life be like if you stepped out in faith and did that thing that God has been tugging on your heart to do? Faith is uncomfortable. But the reward is great.

Father, I repent that I was looking to my own strength and not yours. I am sorry that I was seeking my own provision rather than trusting yours. I throw myself at your feet and I thank you for the calling you’ve place on my life. It’s my desire to please you with all I do. Thank you for providing for me as you promised, and for teaching me to be obedient to you. I ask that you would fill my hours with your work. That the time I would have committed to a job would be used to glorify your name. Show the people around me that You are a God who works in the lives of those who are obedient to You. I love You. My life is yours, and so I come to you surrendering everything in the name of your Son, my most incredible Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

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Newsletters… 29th December, 2007

Posted by Scotty in Life, Me, Support.
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My NewsletterThere are an amazing number of people supporting what I’m doing and so I do several things to try and keep them up to date with my journey… I meet up with people when I’m in their country… I write emails back and forth… I try to blog regularly… and I send out newsletters every month. I wrote my 15th newsletter this week and as I was getting ready to write it I looked through some of the ones I’d written previously. I came to the following conclusion: I really like my newsletters! It’s not because that they are an amazing design, and its not that I’m an amazing writer, but as I read, I was impressed with how my monthly letter reveals that I love God, and that He is at work in my life.

My prayer journal, my blog, and my newsletters are all attempts to log the things that God is doing in my life and to portray them to the people who are interested in what I am doing. And as I’ve said to people on numerous occasions before, as much as I hope that people read what I write and begin to acknowledge God working in their own lives, it is also a tool for me… to help my eyes stay open to what He is doing in and around me, and just like this week, to be a reminder to me of some of the things I have forgotten about!!! (If you don’t receive my newsletter but would like to, then jump onto my website scottburns.co.uk and fill out the little form in the bottom right. To help me a little, if you put blog in brackets after your name that would be cool).

I am studying in America because God called me there. I am able to be there because He promised to provide for me, and daily I witness His provision through the people He brings into my life. I love to write blogs and newsletters because I love to speak about what God’s doing, and also because I love the people who are in my life and want to keep them involved in my life, especially when I’m at a distance.

If you’re reading this blog entry, then we are in someway connected. Whether you are a faithful supporter, a faithful blog follower, or someone God led “randomly” across my blog…. I appreciate you, and God loves you! Thank you for being a part of what He is doing in my life.

Thanks for your Support 29th August, 2007

Posted by Scotty in Church, Family, Friends, Heart, Prayer, Support, Worship.
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peopletower.jpgIn light of my last couple of posts I want to take a minute to thank the people who support me. If you’re reading this blog then most likely you are one of those people! Since I began this journey of faith I have had a great number of people come alongside me to care for me, encourage me, pray for me, work alongside me, and support me financially. And I appreciate every one of you.

As much as the “big donations”, and the ones that come at strategic times, are the ones that make the blog entries, I thank God for every single donation I receive regardless of whether it is £1 or £10,000. Every penny I receive is needed. And regardless of quantity or frequency, I consider all of the support to be crucial. So… thank you!

I’m also aware of the fact that there are people who don’t have the financial ability to support me, but I’m aware that in all my friends, family, and even beyond that… there is a heart that desires to help. If you have given financially then I thank you for that important contribution. If you have been a listening ear as I rant about my fears, joys and uncertainties, thank you for helping to keep me sane. If you are one of those people who finds yourself encouraging me… giving me the little push that I need, then thank you for helping me stay strong and keep going. If you’re one of those people who prays for me… THANK YOU! It’s a Spiritual War that we live in and your prayers are Vital. I really believe that I receive the provision because God inspires people to pray for it to be given. People turn up to my concerts because people pray that God will draw the crowds. And the things that I often take for granted like my health probably only remain intact because I have people who are fighting for me at the spiritual level.

I need every one of you. With every person who supports me in some way there is a unique story of how God got you involved with me and my ministry, and it’s a story that was ordained by God before the foundations of the world. Ponder that for a moment:

How did God introduce us?
What is He using you for in my life?
What is He trying to show you through my ministry?

Father, I love you. I love you. I love you! But that is only possible because you first loved me. Thank you for the people you have brought around me to support what I am doing, and thank you for those people who will support me in the future. I pray your blessing on every one of my supporters. May they feel appreciated and may they understand both the magnitude of your plan and the significance of their contribution. Guard my heart against taking these things for granted. I ask that you would reward each of them in turn for their contributions by returning it to them tenfold. For those who support me but don’t know you… I ask that you would soften their hearts and lead them into your arms. Thank you God for using these people to reveal your love to me. May your name receive all the glory, honour and praise as I come in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World. Amen

The Lord Will Provide 22nd August, 2007

Posted by Scotty in JUC, Support.
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The Lord provides, right? Scripture is clear on that one. Repeatedly we read stories about God’s provision for His people Israel, we read of God’s blessing on the good and the bad alike, we read Christ’s words in the Sermon on the Mount that God provides for us, as He reassures us by describing God’s provision for plants and animals!

online_loan.jpgWalking this journey is a serious test of my faith. I am constantly debating in my head. At the start of the summer, I was offered a loan… interest free. I was told that I could borrow £3000 and we would negotiate when it would need to be paid back. I looked at my almost empty bank account and began to process through what this loan would mean.

“I need £6,000 to be in Israel for the semester”
“God said He’ll provide”
“Is this loan God’s way of providing?”
“Or… is it really trusting God’s provision if I take the loan?”

I have debated and debated and debated.
A few days ago, as I sat across from a great Man of God, we began to talk about the journey ahead. He was asking me how long I had left. Answer = 2weeks. He asked me how much of the money I had. Answer=£2,000. He asked me how much concert had done. Answer = it only made half the amount it did last year. He asked me my plan to get the rest of the money. Answer = I dunno.

We then ventured onto my “last resort”… the loan. I began to explain the situation:
I have been offered a loan, and I’m so grateful that it has been offered to me. But… God told me He would provide for me, and getting in debt doesn’t feel like trust. I have the offer of the loan there, but I really feel like I’ll be stepping on the aeroplane as the last amount for Israel is being given to me. In my case, I feel God has been really clear that He will provide, and so I need to rest in that promise. So… I’m waiting, extremely nervously for God to “do His thing”. All the while, feeling comforted by the fact that if the money doesn’t come in the way I’m imagining, the loan is always there for “safety”.

The next part of the conversation was not expected in the slightest. My good friend, a really mature Christian Man whom I respect deeply, told me that I should not take the loan! My stomach started churning, because I knew that God was speaking through him. The conversation changed a little. This man is in the habit of supporting ministry endeavours, and whenever he gives a donation he always does it in cash as opposed to cheque because that was it remains anonymous and God gets all the glory!

The next sentence blew me away:
“In your case its going to have to be different, because it would be silly to hand you £2500 in cash. Will a cheque be ok?”

I thought I had misheard and so had to get him to clarify what he was saying. I had to look away as my eyes began to well up. It was all I do to whisper in my head “Thank you God. But why?”

It was not a question of ingratitude, but a statement of inadequacy. God has worked really clearly in my life. Those who know me and read my blog will testify that about me. But I’m so aware of my flaws. I’m extremely familiar with the fact that I repeatedly screw up. Daily I find myself doing things that are dishonouring to God. Moment by moment my sinful human nature takes control and I sin. And yet in spite of all the things I do that break my Father’s heart, He continues to love me and pour His blessings over me.

images.jpgIn that moment I repented of the moments where I lacked faith in God’s provision, restated my faith in the Lord Who Provides, and thanked God for His work in my life.

Thank you Lord. I love you.

What a Night! 17th August, 2007

Posted by Scotty in Blessings, Support.
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The first concert of this year is done, and it was a great night! If you were there, thank you for coming… and if you didn’t make it along… you missed a great night.

open_gift.jpgIt’s amazing the blessings God puts in your life. We often thank God for the “huge” blessings He gives to us., you know, the big things that we’ve prayed a lot for, or the unexpected, and so often the smaller things go by unnoticed. If you’re in the habit of saying grace before a meal, you would likely thank God for the food that’s in front of you… I’ve found myself amazed each time I say grace when I remind myself that people out there have nothing, and yet without even thinking about it, I snack on junk all day. Thank you Lord for your provision. You may thank God for friends and family when things are going really bad and someone is there for you, or if one of them does something particularly out of the ordinary, but are you in the habit of thanking God for them on an ordinary day? What about your bed? How many times do you thank God as you roll into bed for things like a roof over your head, money to pay the bills, heating, comfort? And then… there’s all the things He does for us, and protects us from that we don’t even know about!

Thank you God for all You provide for us.
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Fundraising Concerts 1st August, 2007

Posted by Scotty in JUC, Multnomah, Support.
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Well, it’s that time again. I have 2 fundraising concerts planned for before I head off.

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I’ve did two concerts last year to help with my fundraising, and they provided a large percentage of what I needed. If you haven’t been at one of my concerts before, you’re in for a treat! It’s a mix of classical music, show tunes, and popular music. They’ve been thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who has attended so far.

I need YOU! I need people to sell tickets for me, I need people to come! and more importantly, I need people to pray. It doesn’t matter how much planning I put into my fundraising events, without God’s hand at work, they are worth nothing. Prease pray for His blessings over the concerts.

Keep Trusting! 25th July, 2007

Posted by Scotty in JUC, Support.
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trust-jesus.jpgFaith is scary!  God calls us to a trust that we’re not used to.  I’m so used to being in control, to having it all planned out and knowing exactly what comes next.  But He wants us to have faith in Him.  He has it planned, and just like a few month old baby is completely dependent on its parents, so are we to rely fully on Him.

I’m still working away at my fundraising, and I could do with plenty of prayer.  I am fully expectant on God moving.  I know that I can’t do this without His hand at work.  Without God, the path I’m walking would be impossible.  So far my great plans for fundraising over the summer haven’t been going to plan, whether it’s people being away at inconvenient times, or my unability to find some work for the summer… if I didn’t have faith I would have given up already.

The funds are coming in extremely slowly, and with only 5 weeks to go, I’m still a long way off my target.   Strangely enough, I’m filled with peace, and walking about with a smile on my face knowing that God is leading me and that every step is a new lesson in trusting Him!

Online Giving 11th July, 2007

Posted by Scotty in Multnomah, Support.
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My church has set me up and account through The Dove Trust for my fundraising. So, if you feel a hole burning in your pocket and want to give me a little helping hand, venture onto my website, click the Dove Trust logo below, or use the link on the right and it’ll take you to my page:

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I still have a long way to go until I’m fully funded… I need your help!