His Perfect Plan

Our Father’s plans are perfect, and in His grace, He marched forward, even while I was off chasing a squirrel trying to make things happen. At the very same time, I was having a conversation with another company, one of the individuals that I wanted to work for from my journal entry on January 27. I look back now and see the fingerprints of God all over this thing, but I do not recall being that excited about the door opening up. In fact, I remember the first phone call he asked me where I was at and what my ideal position would be? My answer was incredibly vague and unsure, at least that was my memory of the conversation. There was a fear to speak out loud what I had written in my journal just a week before. I remember it ended with him telling me to think about it and get back with him if I was interested in pursuing more. In the end the Lord did His thing, and my confidence began to grow regarding what I had recorded in my journal.

Over the course of the next 3 weeks, we had additional conversations and on our last meeting he presented me with an offer letter. It was everything I had written down in my journal about a month prior. I remember getting off the phone with him and rereading the offer letter over and over again…sitting in amazement of our Father’s goodness. He has always been so faithful to Danielle’s and my imperfect attempt in our life to follow him faithfully in every step. Just three months earlier the Lord asked me to step away into the unknown and rely on him, I struggled and wrestled with the Lord over those months, He taught me so many lessons, and in the end blessed us immensely for our obedience.

I remember as soon I signed the letter, I took a picture of the journal entry and sent it to my faithful and good friend. The Lord had specifically told me to not speak with him about this transition because he was the president of the company, I had just signed the offer letter for. Our Father knew we would try to make something happen and absolutely did not want that to be the case. My friend immediately called me and we laughed together as the Lord had basically told him the exact same thing in early January, “Do not talk to Scott.” I recall verbalizing, then laughing, at how amazing it is that the Lord did not need our help at all in this situation, that He moved the mountain without us getting involved, with the exception of putting our faith in Him.

God does not need our help, he simply needs our obedience to His call. 

I hope this inspires you and is a blessing to you!

With much love,

Scott and Danielle

P.S. I am proofing this sitting in a restaurant on a business trip by myself. I am sitting in the middle of the restaurant with tears running down my face over the goodness of my Father. He is such a good Father, the best there ever was or will be. When we put our faith in Him, He responds with a love that we will never ever comprehend simply from an intellectual and logical perspective. This is where our feelings meet our Creator, and the overwhelming calling of the Holy Spirit draws us closer to our PAPA! He is a good, good Father. He is sovereign and we can trust Him!

Valentine’s Day

We are taking a brief detour from Scott’s posts to hear from me, Danielle. I think it’s easy for us to gloss over the yuckiness of some seasons, especially once we have gotten to the other side and have had time to process. Obviously, my experience in this season was a bit different than Scott’s. My focus was trying to encourage him, praying A LOT (both personally and getting my prayer warriors involved), and reminding him that the Lord was working even when we couldn’t see it.

The Bible study I’m a part of has been studying Matthew this year and it has been such a sweet gift from the Lord as we went through the seasons Scott has outlined here. God met me in several ways through that study, reminding me that he is sovereign, and he is faithful. His plans and purposes come to pass, despite our human attempts to change or influence them. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” It may be messy in the in-between, but he is faithful.

While I was confident in God’s plans, I was struggling with Scott’s struggling! I know the saying is that if momma ain’t happy, ain’t no body happy, but this applies to daddies too. It felt like Scott was constantly battling a wide range of emotions and feelings. On Valentine’s Day, I reached out to my prayer warriors and asked them to pray. This was my text, “Please be praying for our family. I’m weary. Sometimes it feels like Scott is not much less miserable than before. I know it’s better, but every day is hard in the meantime.” I was getting desperate. And in my desperation, Scott and I had an intense and emotional discussion. I know I was all over the place in the things I was saying to him, but I had reached a breaking point where I couldn’t hold it in and be strong anymore. I just had to get it out. We made a promise to not let resentment grow between us and I was frankly getting to the point where I was going to start resenting him for my view of his attitude in this season. 

I felt like he was always looking for more. Looking to do something more. I remember asking him, “what is enough?” Now admittedly, I enjoy routine and normalcy and low risk. Scott is the opposite! That’s why God put us together, to balance each other out. He is driven, me not so much. I was an emotional wreck, but Scott was calm and reflective. It was not an easy conversation, but just as back in December, we had reached another breaking point. At the end of our conversation, under the Holy Spirit’s prompting (definitely not my own), I asked him, “What if your full surrender to doing JUST the three things God told you to do is the very thing that will cause a breakthrough in this season?” He didn’t have an answer right then, but I knew he would continue to process the question. He is teachable, always trying to learn from his experiences. I love that about him. 

Now back to Scott…

Blessings,

Danielle

Obedience Through Shutting My MOUTH!

“Hold your tongue and do not share openly what you are doing right now.” That was the impression I heard from the Lord.

I remember I was out for a run in early January, when I knew the Lord was telling me to not say a word about what he was doing accept for my immediate family and a few select people who I knew would pray for us, but not try to solve the problem for us. This was a tough challenge from the Lord for me, because when presented with a problem to solve I WILL find a solution. And with this directive he took one of my greatest problem-solving skills away…networking to find a solution. I left my job, didn’t know what was next, and I could not utilize my network to find the job he had for me. I had to give up all control on this one, risk being viewed as lazy for not looking for a job, and put it into his hands.

As the weeks ticked by this directive became increasingly difficult for me because people knew something had changed and some asked questions. One such instance came up in the beginning of February, not very long after hearing from the Lord about moving mountains. A previous salesperson for a vendor that I had previously worked closely with reached out to me to see what was going on. In a moment of weakness, I shared with him that I had resigned and was looking for the perfect opportunity.  He shared with me a potential opportunity and put me in contact with one of the hiring managers. My mind immediately went to work researching the company, the people, the culture, everything I could find out about this company. My mind desperately wanted to believe this was the door the Lord was opening, and I would see this season come to a quick end with the perfect job. I scheduled a phone call with the contact, and we had a great conversation that ended with an agreement that I would apply for a specific job and she would get the process rolling. That all occurred on a Friday afternoon and that same evening I spent the time walking through the application process and submitting my resume, cover letter, etc. 

Saturday was spent consumed by the thought, “This is it, the season is coming to an end and I will have a job soon!” This is a gift and a curse that I have had to learn to control and discipline over the years. When presented with a problem, my brain will be consumed with it until it is solved. This is good when I can impact the problem, but when I cannot do anything about it, my brain will continue to focus on the problem…that’s the curse. I woke up Sunday morning and as the family and I were getting ready for church, I received an auto email from the company I applied to.  It was one of those canned and artificially sympathetic emails letting me know that I was not chosen for the job. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? I just had a great conversation, we discussed having conversations with a few more members of the team and before any of that could happen, I was told I was not the right fit???

I spent the following few days trying to understand what happened, reaching out to my contact and receiving no response, and just generally trying to process what in the heck happened. I remember waking up and going for a run a few days later and hearing my Father’s whisper again after being completely consumed by the opportunity for the last four or five days and forgetting about him. “Scott, I asked you to not talk about this and try to come up with a solution…I asked you to leave this in my hands.” I had allowed doubt of what the Lord had spoken to me a few weeks earlier and my desperation to provide for my family financially, get in the way of what I knew the Lord had asked of me. I had gotten distracted and wasted time and energy that could have been focused on what the Lord had called me to do: run, write, and serve. And just like our amazing Father, full of love and mercy, he allowed me to walk down the wrong path for a few days so I could remember that the best solutions occur when we submit to his will and allow him to go to work on our behalf. This was approximately the 777th time I have had to learn this lesson.  Father, I lay myself and my family at your feet…we are yours…have your way!

Just a few observations and challenges as I read through this post again. I love to talk and be in conversation with people regardless of the topic. Let’s just say it is hereditary. Like all gifts and strengths that we have, we must learn discipline. We use our gifts and talents to serve, to love, to encourage those around us. When we use them for our own purposes and our own desires, we end up never realizing the fullness the Lord intended in our lives. This was a season where the Lord was asking me to be disciplined and to keep my mouth shut, he wanted me to focus on him and what he asked of me during this season.It was a lesson I needed to learn AND he was not going to let me out of the season until it was learned.

I want to encourage you to evaluate your gifts, are you using them to serve others? Is the Lord asking you to commit those gifts to him and his service completely? We will only discover the fullness HE has to offer us when we fully submit our gifts to him…and sometimes he ask us to fully give up the gifts we carry for him…that is where we have the opportunity to profess he is the Lord of our life with more than words…

Blessings, go and serve with all you have!

Scott

The January 27th Run

January 27 was a Thursday like any other; I woke up early, put my running clothes on, and went out for a run.  Up to this point there had been many hours of prayer and focusing on what the Lord was calling our family to, but not many answers had come our way.  This particular morning the Lord would change all of that and challenge my faith in a pretty big way.

As I was about mid-way through the run, I heard that familiar small voice whisper to me, “Scott, faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.  What mountain would you like me to move?”  I remember feeling incredibly humbled when I heard this.  My only response was, “I want to know my calling without a shadow of doubt.  I want to walk in confidence, but humility.  As far as what I do, I want to do only what you want me to do.  I want the desires of your heart not mine. I trust your desires more.”  Over the years I have learned that when I take on things myself, when I try to meet a desire of my heart without prayer and petition before the Lord, I fall down hard.  I was tired of trying and failing on my own…and my heart’s desire at this point is to only do what my Father asks me to do and only say what my Father asks me to say…just like my Savior Jesus, my example.  

As I continued my run I heard the Lord whisper again, “Scott, you have faith greater than a mustard seed, mountains will move for you.”  As I heard those words and continued to run, I remember struggling with the ability to dream of the mountain…what mountain did I really want the Lord to move?  I do not trust my own desires, I only trust His, and I needed him to show me.  I kept running and processing and found myself dreaming about my perfect job. I remember my heart softening and a desire to serve washed over me.  The Lord was helping me shift my mountain away from benefiting me to moving a mountain that would impact others.  The thought popped into my head that I wanted the opportunity to return to an older project that I never had the opportunity to finish…I wanted to refocus that project and see it become successful so it would be a blessing to two specific leaders at the company.  My desire was to serve two people I had a lot of respect for and see the fruits of their leadership be successful.  I knew that through this the Lord would provide greatly for our family at the same time and allow us to continue down a road of generosity.  I remember asking the Lord to open the door and remove any barrier in the way so the mountain could move.

I rushed home and wrote the experience in my journal.  But then the inevitable happened…doubts arose, the flesh attempted to seize control, and temptation came marching in.  We MUST be diligent and stay disciplined and know the enemy is crouching at the door and waiting to pounce at the most opportune time. Usually, for me my most vulnerable times are when I hear specific direction from the Lord, the enemy creeps in and whispers lies, “what you just heard and envisioned is all in your head…it will never happen.” I have to remind myself the battle belongs to the Lord and all I have to do is follow His steps.

Easier said than done…

Blessings,

Scott

Three Things

During the week prior to my last day of employment, I was out running early in the morning and I heard very specific instruction from the Lord.  My running time is sacred to me as it is typically early in the morning and a quiet time for the Lord and I to connect.  My typical rhythm is to get up early, grab a cup of coffee, read and pray for a little bit, and then head out for a run.  It is a peaceful time where I can focus on the Lord’s voice.  As I was running that morning three words kept echoing in my mind and I knew that was the calling the Lord had for me during this season: Run, Write, and Serve.  As I was processing those words, my brain was quickly defining what each thing meant and how it would play out.  Only until I was ready to let go of what I thought it all meant was the Lord able to get ahold of me and teach me a few lessons.

RUN…I love to run, and I really didn’t know what this meant, so I committed to run more and ensure I spent as much time with him in my running shoes as possible.  The more I ran, the clearer the direction became.  I needed to sign up for and run the Cowtown Marathon on February 27.  I signed up and got to work creating a training plan to ramp up my mileage so I could run 26.2 miles.  The training went well, but as I put more miles in on the road, I was able to process the season and ensure I was taking the necessary time to connect with my Father and hear His voice and direction.  It also gave me the opportunity to rest my brain and really focus on what I was learning and experiencing in this season.  The more I was training the greater sense I gained that this training and culmination of running a marathon was the time period of the current season.  I truly felt as though the marathon weekend was going to be a tough run, one where I had to leave everything I had on the course, but it would also be the gateway to the Lord blessing the next season.  

If you have ever run a marathon, you understand there is nothing you can do to prepare for the race except take every training run as it comes, one at a time.  You simply keep checking off the runs from your plan and don’t worry about which ones felt good or bad, because they are all adding to your ability to finish the 26.2 miles at the end of the training…you MUST trust the plan.  Leading up to the race people kept asking me, “are you ready?”  I don’t think I have ever felt ready for a full marathon, but I have prepared, and the rest is in the Lord’s hands.  That is what he was showing me…you train, you prepare, you submit to his plan and all you can do is take one day at a time and trust in Him that the outcome will be exactly what He wants.  That was our reality…we were trusting in Him that our leap of faith would result in exactly what he wanted…all we could do is take one day at a time in faith.

WRITE…I thought this was all about blogging the season the Lord had for us, but it was so much more.  During this season I had the opportunity to teach a Wednesday night men’s class at church.  It is a class that I have gone through previously, so it has been a ton of fun going back through the material, adding to it what the Lord has for these men and spending every Wednesday night with them.  We have been able to build up and strengthen each other, seeking the Lord and understanding His identity for each one of us.  This season has been so timely to this class because I have been able to teach from a place of having to put all my faith and trust in the Lord for direction and provision.  Secondly, the Lord called Danielle and I to start and lead the small group ministry at our church.  This too has been very timely as we have had the extra time to develop out a strategy, training plan, and recruit potential small group leaders.  It has been so cool to see how the Lord operates when we walk in obedience…He makes the time for the initiatives He wants to be a priority, all we have to do is walk the path of obedience. 

SERVE…I always want to learn from situations and apply those lessons to my own life.  This part of the calling was no different.  I had my own thoughts on what this looked like and honestly, I thought I was going to need to keep a calendar for the opportunities that would arise.  I sought out opportunities to do “handy-man” work, miscellaneous projects, clean-up, really anything that people who may not have a carpentry skillset needed done.  The thing that baffled me is there were very few of those projects.  I was incredibly thankful for the projects that came up around our church which I was able to serve and accomplish, and it allowed me the time to serve my family in additional capacities and give them a break from normal life.  I have some mixed feelings on this subject; I am not sure if it was the Lord directing me to focus primarily on my own family or if it is the fact that our society is so crazy independent, and we do not know how to ask or accept help.  The biggest lessons I learned out of this portion of the calling for the season was:

  • Do not be discouraged when the Lord calls you to do something, and the opportunity does not present itself.  Be faithful to what He has called you to and keep seeking.
  • Serve your family well.
  • Be willing to ask for help and allow people to help you.
  • Do not allow perfection to get in the way of allowing people to serve.  They may not meet a standard you have or the perfect project you want, but they are a willing servant trying to answer a call.

Blog #5 coming soon.  My heart’s desire is that our transparency with this season of our lives will encourage you to seek and follow the Holy Spirit in your life.  Stop, listen, make sure you have those you trust and love around you to do the same, and walk in obedience as the Holy Spirit guides.  It will be difficult but rewarding!

Blessings,

Scott

The Last Day

The last day at my job was January 4, 2022.  It was a good day, but for me personally it was a little difficult.  There is always difficulty in passing from one season to another because oftentimes the people in those seasons change.  Some relationships are maintained, and others are left behind because they were established and rooted around the things of that season.  It is always a little difficult for me to work through that dynamic personally because I love people and I want relationships to last forever.  Due to the way I am wired, I do not automatically differentiate between relationships and friendships; they are often one and the same to me.  I love people, I love to serve people, and I will give what I can to a relationship or friendship.  I have had to learn over the years that there is a difference between the two and I cannot be the only one maintaining the friendship.  Thus, the difficulty I have moving into new seasons.  

I must trust the friendships that are meant to carry on will be carried on by both parties and the ones that are not meant to carry on…all you can do is transition really well and honor those individuals to the best of your ability.  It does no one any good, to burn bridges and hurt people over seasons changing, but often we do exactly that.  With transition comes the temptation to air your grievances and tell people what you feel, but in the end that benefits NO ONE.  I loved the people I worked with over the last 3 years, they helped me gain back my identity in my Father, and we were all part of one another’s journey.  To journey together on this path of life is one of the greatest gifts we have been given…I am a firm believer we do not take this as seriously as we should.  We were made for community, and we were made to walk this life together; relying on and serving one another.  I am SO thankful for the people that were in my life at this time, they were placed in my path by the Lord.

The hardest part of the Lord’s calling during this season has been my fear of being completely honest with people and why Danielle and I were making the decisions we were making.  There is always a fear about when you hear from the Lord and take a step of faith that people will think you are crazy or mistaken.  We (including myself) often judge people based on our own life situations, experiences, strengths, weaknesses, etc. For example, one of my spiritual gifts is faith.  All of us are called to walk in faith, but I believe some people have been called to walk in a different type of faith (1 Corinthians 12:8-10), a spiritual gift of faith.  I am by no means comparing myself to these people but think of Hebrews 11, all these individuals walked in the spiritual gift of faith.  God told them to do something, and they jumped off the proverbial cliff and said yes.  This is part of the lens that I view the world through and if I am not careful with it, I will judge others by it.  I see someone who has an opportunity to do something great if they would just step out in faith…but what I do not understand is that they were not called to take the same risk or leap of faith I am.  In doing so, I misjudge their faith as weak, but the reality is, it is simply NOT what their calling is.  This is where my own fear comes into play.  I am keenly aware of my own frailty so when I take a leap of faith, I do so with the fear of being misjudged by others.  So, I do not tell the full story of what the Lord is doing in our lives, which quite possibly is not allowing others to encourage us or to be encouraged.  One of my friends so clearly communicated that it is often our gift that will crush us if we allow it to.  This is why I must continually run back to the Father for assurance and strength.  

There is a lot of freedom in following the Holy Spirit and his direction, but it is also when attack comes from the enemy, and we are at our most vulnerable and exposed state.  The next day I woke up, immediately trying to fill my 8-5 day with “work.”  I was striving to feel valuable, to accomplish something, to prove myself, and all the Lord wanted me to do was rest for a few days.  Over this period Danielle and I had to be very intentional about spending time together in prayer with each other and on our own.  I worked hard to maintain a very consistent time early in the morning to read the Bible, study His Word, and spend time in prayer and worship.  I had to be super conscious of thoughts and emotions running through my head because our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the dark forces of this world.  In all transparency, this was a battle I needed to be exposed to and needed to fight through. The Lord used this period to help me learn to discern between what was actually happening and a fabricated emotional story my brain was creating.  The valleys of attack are the greatest opportunities of learning that we have; embrace the suck, learn, and stay on the path the Lord has for you in obedience…the end result is more wisdom, patience and confidence in the Father.

One little addition as I read through this post again…we must never underestimate the power of our feelings. If they are left unto themselves they will lead us down destructive roads; destroying relationships, opportunities, etc. Our feelings will deceive us, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). For those of us who are “feelers”, this is a great asset because your empathy is a gift and can be used to listen and encourage. But if you allow your feelings to drive you, then you will end up, isolated, lonely and often put the blame on everyone else. Times of transition are a time to remain guarded, staying firm in TRUTH. Paul encourages us in Philippians to dwell on what is noble, what is right, what is pure, what is lovely, and what is admirable…this goes for our words too…we are to be the light of the world and shine, that means my words MUST speak life.

With so much confidence I speak this…you were created for a purpose! That purpose includes having a positive impact on those around you, go…and make a difference.

With love and blessings,

Scott

Making Room For Faith

I am currently winding down my training plan for the Cowtown Marathon at the end of February. Yesterday was my second to longest run in the plan at 18 miles. I felt compelled, as I have for the past two long runs, to run by myself. If you have ever trained for a marathon or really anything that requires long and uninterrupted workouts, you understand it is nice to have a partner or a team come along for the ride. These two runs, I felt as though I needed to battle through them alone to fight the mental battle but also to process through some thoughts and ideas I have had lately.

Yesterday was all about faith. I woke up and really did not want to, nor felt like I could go out and run 18 miles. But, I had to put faith in the training plan that is in place and know my body will respond appropriately. As I was running I was thinking through something our pastor said a few weeks back on a Sunday morning. It was along the lines of “Our faith provokes God to action on our behalf.” As I was processing that thought a verse popped into my head.

“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

Matthew 17:20 NLT

Starting last November and up to the present time the Lord has asked Danielle and I to step out in faith and test His goodness in our life. We have made some pretty significant and drastic changes in our life; changes that for some reason the Lord does not want me to publicly disclose right now. These changes were somewhat out of the blue for us, but aligned with desires we believe the Lord was calling us too. They all had one common attribute; they were incredibly uncomfortable and not wise from a worldly perspective. As I was running and processing though these changes and this call to have greater faith, the thought crossed my mind…we were making room for faith in our life. Before some of these changes, faith was not a requirement in our lives which limited God’s access points to our family to do His thing. I want our Father to have access to all of our family: our finances, our relationships, our jobs, our EVERYTHING!

This is not a long post, but culminates with a couple of questions…

Are you giving God access to your life and your family through faith?

Are you making room for faith in your life or are you living the American dream of being independently successful?

The Lord has blessed Danielle and I so much in our 22+ years of marriage. The greatest blessings (and I mean not just physical things, but when our relationship is the closest with the Father and growing) is when we have made room for faith and stepped out into the unknown. I can easily look back over the last few decades and give Him praise for the mile markers that only He is able to create and build upon.

I can only speak for myself here, but when the Lord calls me to move a mountain, I want to be prepared to not only shift the mountain, but to pick it up and throw it off its foundation…for that is what my Father asked me to do!

Are you making room for faith in your life?

I love you brothers and sisters!

Scott