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Review: Messiology 1st August, 2016

Posted by Scotty in Books, Reviews.
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Messiology_COV.inddI love short, quick, insightful reads, which certainly describes George Verwer’s Messiology. The subtitle beautifully summarises what he tries to get across in the book “The mystery of how God works even when it doesn’t make sense to us.”

Written in the latter stages of a life as a career missionary, communicator, and respected evangelical leadership, Verwer invites people to consider how “God in His patience, mercy, and passion to bring men and women to Himself often does great things in the midst of a mess” (13).

Verwer writes from a place of great humility, revealing many ways he has fallen short over his life, and the various ways God has brought him from a place of critical judgementalism to a pace of greater grace, deeper unity, and a new appreciation of the place of mystery.

In a beautifully simple and humble way, Verwer calls us to trust God with our failures and our differences, to believe that He can work through us and others even when our methods are wrong, and along the way he helpfully draws attention to numerous books that have helped cultivate his heart and understanding in various areas of the Christian life.

And all of that in 127 small pages. This book is a little gem.

(I received this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review)


Where it all began! 2nd October, 2014

Posted by Scotty in Calling.

Inside the ChurchA few weeks ago I was sitting with some new friends who asked me to share about my faith journey and my decision to pursue vocational ministry.  There is a very significant experience in my life that was a “turning point” for me.  It’s an important part of my story, and one I have shared many times and in many parts of the world.  When I finished sharing my tale, my friend went back to this part of the story and asked me a question that led to this blog!

Not Happy
About 15 years ago, I was away on a music weekend and was told we had to go to a church on the Sunday.  To my 15 year old self, it was the most excruciatingly dull experience I’d had in a church.  It was a fairly typical church—sandstone building, arched wooden ceiling like an upside down boat hull, two lots of wooden pews separated by a centre aisle, red carpet, organ playing, hymn singing—and I was not very happy to be there (a feeling shared by all my friends!)  I had to sit at the front because I was playing some music, which gave me a unique view.

There is a particular moment during this service that I recall vividly.  The service was moving along as normal, and the minister was speaking, when I, a not-really-a-Christian Christian, began to analyse what I was seeing…

Not Sustainable
As I looked out at the congregation, from my vantage point, I was aware of the 15-20 people scattered down the right hand side, all crowned with grey hair; while the left side was packed with a number of my also-forced-to-be-there adolescent musical peers.  I distinctly remember thinking, as I looked out at the old congregation, “I’m no expert on the whole church thing, but the elderly congregation don’t have a long time left, so if things don’t change, this church will be dead in the next 10-15 years”.

Not Engaging
I turned my attention to the minister who was talking.  I remember his beard, and being repulsed that he wore a cardigan!  I remember him standing talking with his toes hanging over the edge of the step.  I remember a dull monotony to his speaking, random stories from the newspaper, old people drifting to sleep, and young people clearly interested in everything other than being there.  I remember clear as day analysing what I saw: “Again, I’m no expert on church, but aren’t you supposed to be teaching stuff about the Bible?  Why then are you talking about the news instead?  You’re supposed to believe the stuff the Bible says, and so, shouldn’t you be more enthusiastic about what you’re saying, rather than speaking in monotone?  The future of your church are sitting right there—all those young people—and you’re doing nothing to get their attention; even your own congregation is falling asleep.”

Not Honouring
I remember looking over at the organist who was known best for their consistently unpleasant nature—sitting in a robe that looked like Batman’s Bat Cape—and thinking: “I’m definitely no expert on church, but are hymns not supposed to be a way to honour God?  How then can you have a person as horrible as that leading people in worship?  That just doesn’t go together!”

Not Working
And I remember turning my attention back to the minister and having an imaginary go at him in my head: “I don’t get it.  This just isn’t working!  What are you doing?  Your congregation is dying.  You’re so irrelevant, and even you sound bored.  You’re doing nothing to get the attention of these young people who may be the future of your church.  And you have that person leading “worship”.  Do you not know how they treat people?!  [and the part I’m least proud of…] This is a joke.  You are a joke.  This Church is a waste of space!” 

Not Expecting
As I sat back, frustrated by pleased with myself, that’s when it happened.  I couldn’t tell you where it came from—inside, outside, above, below, beside, around, a voice, a thought, a feeling—but something went: “Well, Scott, if you’re so clever, go show me you can do it better”.

Never one to back down from a challenge, I thought with a gulp, “Ok, I will!”

Right then, in that very moment, everything made sense.  All at once I realised: “God is real. His Word is True.  Jesus died for my sins. The Church is His vehicle for reaching the world… and this is not what God intended The Church to be”.

This is not your normal called-into-ministry story.  I cringe as I think about my immaturity and corresponding attitude.  I’m encouraged by God’s ability to use (what appeared in the eyes of the world to be) a failing ministry to lead someone to Him; and I’m humbled by God’s ability to use a potentially-negative-trait—my competitiveness—to grab hold of my heart.  That Sunday morning, I wanted to be anywhere other than in that church.  Today, I dread to think what my life would be like if I hadn’t been there!

Unusual Response
As I was saying at the beginning of this entry, I’ve told my story many times but this time there was something new in the response.  My friend looked at me and said “Have you ever gone back to that church to tell them what happened?  If that church has been struggling along years, don’t you think it would be such an encouragement to them to hear that God called you into ministry during one of their services (leaving out the negative details of course!)?  If you haven’t, you might want to think about doing that!”  And I knew she was right!

A couple of weeks later I was up in Scotland and, with this conversation playing on my mind, I spent some time online working out what church it was that we’d been in and I paid it a visit.  The church building was open but empty.  It was surreal to be back there realising how much has happened since then!  I went and stood where I’d been sitting all those years ago (and took the photo above!)—it looks exactly as I remembered it—and I thanked God for the adventure He’s had me on and the way He’s transformed my life since that day!  It was a special moment.

Unable to speak to someone I did the next best thing I could think of… I found their visitor book by the door and in BIG LETTERS wrote a simple message: “15 years ago during a service here God called me into ministry, and since then I’ve travelled the world for Him”!

I hope they read it and are encouraged.

2014 ONE WORD 31st December, 2013

Posted by Scotty in Challenges.
1 comment so far

After a break from blogging I’m looking forward to getting back in the game later in the year (summer-ish).  For now though, here is my ONE WORD for 2014.

The ONE WORD idea is simple: instead of coming up with a list of resolutions for the new year, you come up with one word that summarises what you’d like to cultivate in your life for the coming year.  Last year, I chose “grace”, and over the course of the year I have grown significantly in what it means to receive and to give grace.

This year, I have decided that the attribute I want to cultivate is:


I’m a naturally analytical person which has its strengths and weaknesses.  On the negative side, I can be overly critical, failing to appreciate the good because I’m too busy looking for flaws.

Gratitude should be the natural result of appreciating the multitude of blessings God pours over our lives.  This year, I am choosing to practice thankfulness!  And worship flows from a thankful heart!

What’s your ONE WORD?

House Hunting in Birmingham 20th August, 2013

Posted by Scotty in Life.

Forgive me for the serious lack of blogging over the past months.  It’s been a very busy time between the reading and assignments for my degree, the fundraising, and preparing to move.  Now that things are settling again, I’m looking forward to diving back into the blogging world to share all the things God’s been showing me.

We live in Birmingham (England)!?!?!

On Thursday 8th we loaded up a van.
On Friday 9th I drove it to Birmingham (5hrs), unloaded it, and drove back to Glasgow to spend our last night there.
On Saturday 10th we cleaned the flat and moved out.
We spent a couple of days with my parents, then
On Tuesday 13th, we moved to Birmingham!

Today is a week since we arrived in Brum.  We are staying with a wonderful couple, Tom & Judi, who offered to house us while we search for a place of our own.  They have been outstanding hosts!

We’ve spent the week recovering from the move, viewing houses, meeting our team, and familiarising ourselves with our new stomping ground.  We have a BBQ tomorrow evening where we’ll meet the rest of the people who serve the Birmingham area with The Navigators, and then this coming weekend is a conference where we’ll meet the rest of the staff from around the UK.

We have a lot of work to do in the coming weeks as we continue to house hunt, fundraise, plan curriculum for the coming year, spent time with the team, as well as familiarising ourselves with the area.

We’d appreciate your prayers as we look for a house.  At the moment we have to choose between space and location.  We’re asking God to make a place available that has both!

We’re excited to be here, and ready to be put to use.

We are exactly where He wants us and excited to share the things He’s been teaching us.

arial-campus(Aerial picture of the University of Birmingham Campus)


HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELLA! 16th August, 2013

Posted by Scotty in Blessings, Family.


One year ago today we were given the most incredible gift: our daughter Ella Joy.

She is the happiest, bubbliest, smiliest, most people-loving baby I’ve met.

And I just love waking up to her huge smiles and babbling.

Happy 1st Birthday baby girl!

We praise God for you!

RESOURCE: Kneeling With Giants 30th June, 2013

Posted by Scotty in Books, Discipleship, Prayer, Reviews.
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kneeling with giantsBack in December I received a message from someone I didn’t really know.  I’d followed Gary Hansen on twitter or he’d followed me (which ended in following each other) and that led him to my blog (check out his blog here).  After reading my blog and seeing my blogs about prayer and various books, he offered to send me a copy of a book on prayer he’d written, in return for reviewing it on my blog.  My thought process went like this:

“Free book?  YES PLEASE!!”
Prayer? BONUS!!

I’m glad to say that like the book!  I wasn’t all that far through when I realised it wasn’t just a book on prayer, but also a great discipleship tool.  So rather than simply reviewing it, I want to recommend it to you as a great discipleship resource you can use to help you (or people you’re discipling) grow in the essential area of prayer.

I’ve read a number of books on prayer and have a couple of “go tos” that I suggest to people but none that I’ve taken a specific liking to… until now.

The aspect of the book that really sold it to me is how practical it is.

There are many books that talk about prayer without really helping you develop your prayer life.  While many books provide a new insight into prayer, often prayer books stay quite theoretical, talking about ways to prayer without helping you understand how to do it.  Kneeling with Giants provides you with both. More than the other books on prayer that I’ve read, Kneeling with Giants gets into the how, providing us with practical instruction and examples that really help you to engage each style of prayer.

The premise of the book is wise: Awareness of different styles of prayer will help keep prayer fresh over time, and give you access to new styles of prayer which can help sustain you in different seasons of your life.  The author’s hope in the book is to help you find a way to pray that you will find life-giving, since for so many people prayer can be such a struggle.  By introducing you to different styles of prayer found throughout the history of the church, hopefully you’ll discover a style that will bring new life and enjoyment to your time spent in prayer.  Gary’s clear pastoral desire to lead us deeper into the arms of God, and to equip us with tools to enhance our intimacy with Him come through the book clearly.

The book looks at ten styles of prayer.  For each one Gary Hansen explains the particular type of prayer, grounds it in Scripture and historical writings, then by using his own experiences he helps guide us in experimenting with that particular method of prayer.  Of the ten styles covered, I’d say that his chapters healing and intercession are the weakest, but they introduce you to some great writings you can jump to for more!

When I received the book back in January my thought had been to bash through the book quickly and get a blog up.  At the end of his introduction came the exhortation: “However you go through this book, the one crucial thing is to pray (p15)” and I realised that “bashing through” would not do justice to his gift!  [If you read this book without giving time to his suggestions, you’ll miss just how rich this resource is and rob yourself of some opportunities to experience God in a new way!!]

The material is rich!  Each chapter looks at the writing of a great man or woman in church history (like St Benedict, Luther, Calvin, Ignatius of Loyola, and the Puritans) and explores how they experienced prayer.  Coated with Hansen’s personal experiences, which he reflects on throughout the book, the pages take on a humble pastoral persona, like a spiritual director helping you (and challenging you) to experience deep new ways of meeting with Jesus.

This would be a good book to work through as a group study.  At the end of the book are two helpful appendices.  The first suggests ways to use the book as a small group or class curriculum, and the second is a helpful summary of suggestions for to how to practice each of the 10 styles Hansen discusses.

I’d recommend buying the e-book.  It includes a reader (that isn’t included in the paper copy) containing excerpts from the primary source texts, which he draws from throughout the book.  Though the book is a fine tool without this, the reader would add an extra element of depth through exposure to some of the writings from the history of the Church.

So… if you find prayer challenging, if your prayer times seem dull, if you’re looking for a prayer study for yourself or a group, or if you’re simply intrigued now that you realise there’s more than one way to pray, I’d highly recommend you grab a copy of Kneeling With Giants!

Thanks go to Gary for sending me such a great resource!

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

Posted by Scotty in Calling, Life, Ministry, Travel.

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!

Nostalgia: In the Prayer Chapel 31st March, 2013

Posted by Scotty in Heart, Multnomah.

At the beginning of the month—thanks to the gift of airmiles—I was in Portland for one of my best bud’s wedding.  During the trip I dropped by the Multnomah Campus to say hey to a couple of friends and to enjoy some moments of nostalgia.  I had some time to kill between appointments and as usual my feet walked me to the little Prayer Chapel that sits on campus.

I went inside.

I sat there for about a minute enjoying the feel and the smell of the place.  The smell is a funny one for me: I can’t work out if it’s simply that old smell—of old carpets and old wood; or if it’s the smell of years of prayer; most likely it’s a combination of both.

I’d forgotten how much I love this little chapel.  I spent 20-30 minutes journalling and reflecting on the numerous hours I’ve spent with God in that tiny little building, learning from the Perfect Teacher, being operated on by the Master Surgeon, and having my heart renovated by the Great Architect.  Here are some things I thought about:

  • The hours simply praying:  It would be fun to know how many hours I’ve spent in that little place.  (Though I’m sure if I took the number of hours in the Prayer Chapel and compared it to the number of hours I wasted on nonsensical things, I’d not feel so great!)  I spent numerous hours in the prayer chapel praying; praying with friends; memorising Scripture; playing piano and worshipping; reading Scripture or doing lectio divina homework assignments; interceding for friends, family, and difficult situations; asking God to grow and change me.
  • The hours growing:  I arrived at Multnomah fresh, excited and naive.  I’d come armed with lessons I’d learned (or thought I’d learned!), theology I’d absorbed, and ministry philosophy I’d inherited.  It was at Multnomah that I really grew.  There in the Prayer Chapel God took the things I’d learned from others and sifted them through, leading me to embrace some things and discard others.  It was there that my understanding of ministry moved from my head to my heart; and I began to understand who I am and how principles looked when lived out as me, rather than as an imitation of someone else.  Seminary, ministry, and close community teach you lots about yourself.  I often went to the prayer chapel to talk with God about my pride and selfishness, my fears and insecurities, my hopes and dreams.  I went when things were great to praise and thank Him.  I sat there when my heart was troubled and downcast pleading with God to intervene.
  • The hours breaking:  It was there that my heart began to break for the world.  Sitting in classrooms engaging leaders from around the world, hearing the plight of various nations, and pining to return to my own to do what God had called me to… much of this was applied to my heart and carved there in that little prayer room.  It was there also that my heart broke at itself.  Actions, assignments, reflections, and scripture-responses all alerted me to the extent of my depravity; the understanding of my powerlessness to change apart from Christ; coming face to face with my sinfulness and beginning the slow and painful journey of embracing pain and brokenness to walk towards wholeness and holiness.  A journey I’m still walking.
  • The hours transforming:  Although God had been working on me long before I went to Multnomah, I look at that time as the start of a huge season of heart transformation.  While learning about God, and about myself, I saw more of the places where my heart was wrong.  I wish I had one of those instantaneously-fixed stories, but I don’t.  Instead, it’s been the long slow process of gradual change, grieving sin, repenting, making more mistakes, crying out to God, grieving some more, and having Him open my eyes to see my sin as He sees it.  (Oh, but there’s the beautiful flip side of this too: having my heart of stone replaced with a heart of flesh!  My heart began to grasp grace; my identity in Christ; my role in His Kingdom; the gifts He’s given me; and the Power that works through me.
  • The hours committing: On a regular basis I sat in that room offering myself to God.  There were things I committed to not doing (wrong actions, attitudes, sins, etc) and then numerous commitments to doing His work, laying down self, and loving others.  In the prayer chapel, seeking God’s guidance, I committed to pursue the girl who would become my wife—the greatest gift of my life outside of salvation.

Sitting in the prayer chapel again I reflected on the journey God has brought me on.  We talked about my journey around the world and back.  We talked about the massive leaps forwards in facing my brokenness.   We takes about my journey from singlehood, through marriage, to parenthood.  We talked about my season battling cancer.  We talked about friends, conflicts, transitions, fears and blessings.  I thanked God for His guidance, His provision, His sanctification, the gifts He’s poured out, and the way He’s walked with us so closely through everything we’ve faced.

Today is Easter Sunday.

Today we remember and celebrate the Resurrection Power of God.  We rejoice in the incredible work Jesus did to give us the greatest gift imaginable.

Some days I look at my life and all I can see is how far short of Christlikeness I fall.

But today, as I think of the importance of the resurrection, I look back over my life and see how far I’ve come, and celebrate the Power and work of Christ in me.

I would love to say that all those hours spent in the prayer chapel resulted in me walking forward in a flawless pursuit of Jesus.  Sadly, that’s not the case.  But it did result in me walking forward with a greater awareness of my need for Jesus and knowing how desperately I need His power to be at work in and through me.

Oh how amazing it is to know that Christ is Risen.  He is risen INDEED!

Why protestants should pray for Pope Francis 18th March, 2013

Posted by Scotty in Church, Heart, Prayer.

0315-pope-francis-first-jesuit_full_600Growing up, I never really understood the Pope.  As a child, he was just a really old man in funny clothes.  As a teen he captained the other team and so wasn’t relevant to me.  As a young adult I listened to people debate about him.  But as my faith has matured I’ve grown in empathy for this Roman Catholic figurehead.  My curiosity was piqued reading Dan Brown’s novels, with their details of the conclave and the process for electing the pope.

I was intrigued when Benedict resigned, and began musing about the papal election.  When I was in the airport travelling home from the States all the TVs were focused on the Vatican Chimney, and so I watched and pondered.  As I was reflecting, I found myself more horrified for the man than excited for him, and I realised the tremendous responsibility we have as believers to PRAY FOR THE POPE.  Here’s why:

  • The Pope was appointed by God.
    Scripture is clear: “There is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Rom 13:1), and we are to pray for those in authority (see 2 Tim 2:1-4).  If you believe the Pope is a good and godly man, pray for Him, for He has been appointed by God to lead the Roman Catholic church, and he needs our prayers for God’s Spirit to empower him to govern wisely.  If you believe the pope is the antichrist, pray for Him, for He has been appointed by God, and needs our prayer for God’s Spirit to take hold of his heart.  It doesn’t matter where you fall on this spectrum, the result is the same.  We have a responsibility to pray that God would move in and through this man.
  • The Pope is a sinner and in need of Jesus.
    It is quoted that upon accepting the papal office, he said: “I am a sinner, but as this office has been given to me, I accept.”  This is a truth we need to remember.  The Pope is a sinner and needs to experience Jesus.  He comes to his office with a past riddled with sin, and he will continue in sin while in this office… because he is human.  It is wrong to venerate him as a god, as some will do.  But we must not do the opposite and accuse him of being the devil incarnate, for he is no more a sinner than we are.  A sinner in such a high position desperately needs the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
  • The Pope is the face of Christianity.
    Whether you like it or not, this is the truth!  Ask a random person on the street to name influential Christians, and the person they’ll name is the Pope.  They don’t know Tim Keller, or Mark Driscoll, or John Piper, or your denominational leader… but they know the Pope.  Every move he makes, every success and failure will be broadcast to the world and impact how people view Christianity.  The enemy of our souls would love to exploit this situation to mar the image of Christ, so let us pray that the opposite be true.
  • The Pope immediately becomes the most loved and hated person in the world.
    The instant Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis, he became a figure adored by 1.2 billion catholics, but hated by millions who are antagonistic towards not only towards Roman Catholicism, but towards religion in general.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a “normal” person one day, and one of the most hated people in the world the next day.  Moments after the election I saw an insane number of tweets and facebook posts simultaneously blessing and cursing him.  The media now has their sights set on bringing out into the open any tiny piece of dirty laundry they can find, and conspiracy theories galore can be found with this man’s name as the focus.  Throughout his life time he will receive death threats, curses, and all-night prayer vigils focused on his harm.
  • The Pope has an unfathomable burden of responsibility to bear.
    I can’t begin to imagine what it feels like to carry the burden that Pope Francis now carries.  I think only Benedict and other world leaders can comprehend that amount of pressure.  1.2 billion Catholics are looking to Pope Francis to lead their church.  Within the Roman church competing factions all want him to address or ignore various issues.  The rest of the world is looking on to see what he will do to address the major failings that the media has made us so aware of.  No matter what actions he takes, people in and out of the church will not be happy!  In the midst of all this, he is somehow supposed to seek God, hear Him and do His will.  I would crumple under such a tremendous load.  I have a hard time picturing a Cardinal sitting in the conclave desperate to become Pope for the power and accolades.  Instead, I imagine drops of sweat pouring down the face of any man whose name was read out from a ballot because of the gruelling task of implementing reform that is being called for from both inside and outside of the church.
  • The Pope has an unfathomable amount of power and influence.
    He can use this power for good or evil.  His actions will have incredibly large ramifications, sometimes in the direction he is hoping, and sometimes those consequences don’t go quite as planned.  Through him, more people can be influenced towards Jesus, but equally, many can be turned away.  At the same time, we need to remember that the power to bring someone to Christ lies not with man, but with the Holy Spirit.  God can use any person or any circumstance (good or bad) to introduce people to Jesus.  With such a visible presence, I am praying that God will use this man to draw people to Christ rather than pushing them away.  Pray that God would protect him from the lure of worldly power and use him to influence people toward Christ.
  • The Pope is a Christian.
    Of all the things I’m going to write, I know this is the place where people may get heated.  I believe this pope knows Jesus.  I have read some articles by prominent Christians I respect who know this man personally and attest to his love for Jesus.  I get frustrated when Christians use blanket statements which state that Catholics aren’t “saved” as if being a Protestant is what saves.  I have some wonderful Roman Catholic friends who love Jesus more than most of my Protestant friends and are clearly in a saving relationship with Jesus.  Yes, we disagree on areas of theology, but then I don’t see eye-to-eye with every Protestant either.  (I’m yet to meet a Christian with flawless theology, and those who claim to have it are making a dangerous claim!)  There are people in the Roman Catholic church who think they are saved but aren’t.  That breaks my hearts… just as much as when I look at people in my own church who claim to be saved but live lives that show otherwise.  Sadly, there are many people around the world who attend churches and confess to be Christians, yet they don’t have a saving relationship with Jesus.  I am encouraged that Pope Francis has a desire to ensure that Christ is preached.  And I am praying that God will use the Pope’s imperfect-and-sometimes-erroneous preaching to win people to Christ in the same we He works in spite of my imperfect-and-sometimes-erroneous words to the do the same.

For all these reasons and more, Christians world-wide should pray for Pope Francis.  We can sit back and criticise, or we can pray.  I know which one God commands us to do.

If you are looking for some fuel for prayer, here’s an idea:  Spend some time this week imagining what you would do if you were the Pope.  Consider how you would fare if you were given his responsibility to bear.    How would you address the controversial issues that lie before him?  What backlash do you think you’d have to deal with?  What changes would you make to the church and how would you implement them?  What events in your life would the media dig up and how would it make you feel having them aired to the world?  Would you be able to stay faithful under the pressure and while being enticed with power and riches?  Then allow this to inform how you pray!

Lord Jesus, I pray for Pope Francis.  Enlighten the eyes of his heart that he would know You deeply.  Pour your Spirit over him, filling him with grace and humility to advance your Kingdom, not any worldly system.  If his ways are opposed to Yours, convict him of sin and align him with Your Word.  Give him wisdom to do govern wisely, and use him to bring people to the cross and in doing so exalt the Name of Jesus.  Amen.

One Year All Clear!!! 25th February, 2013

Posted by Scotty in Cancer.


I have been sitting here taking care of some administrative tasks and just looked at the date and thought… wow… that crept up on me?!  Yesterday… is the year anniversary of getting my ALL CLEAR from the hospital!  It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since that portion of my journey ended.

In the midst of chemo, I felt like the world was ending.  It felt like it would never end.  But here I am, a year later, looking back on it and I have a hard time believing that was me?!  It feels like a different person, another life.  It’s amazing how a difficult season can feel like a lifetime while you’re going through it, but when you’re out the other side and looking back–and especially if you’re looking from the perspective of eternity–it’s such a tiny slither of our existence.

God uses massive experiences like this past season to do huge transformative work in a person’s heart.  I have a hard time reconciling the man who was diagnosed with cancer with the man who sits here typing.  At some point soon I’ll try to put some of that transformation into words but for now I’m content simply to acknowledge the phenomenon.

I’m alive! My life is His to use in whatever way He sees fit. And..

To Him be the glory