How we came to be here

Last time I wrote Passages it was too close to Easter for really doing any kind of proper introduction. I note in the Passages dated June 1, that Jonah was mentioned in a contrast of Jonah to Isaiah, and the heart’s willingness and result. I can well relate to that story of Jonah.

A quick “who I am,” I identify as a follower of Jesus Christ. I tell folk I don’t do religion well, but I am trying to do Jesus better and better. Too often we identify by what we do, so, I’ll give a wee glimpse into that as well.

I was born a Nebraska boy but at an early age, then with a pastor dad, we moved around the upper mid-west. I went to Pillsbury Baptist Bible College where I met some Seeley folk and after Ruth and I married one of our first trips was to Seeley Lake in 1983 for a wedding at the Baptist Church.

I had an HVAC business just south of Dallas, Texas at the time but then God pointed me to ministry in Scotland. I wasn’t a fan of that idea, so I got out of church, which was my Jonah moment.

But God is good, Hebrews 12:6 says, “Whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every child He receives.” This is a proof in my life that I am a child of God. God works in the lives of His children.

But the journey brought me back into a relationship with Jesus and that took us as a family to Brechin, Scotland for almost 21 years.

The people of Scotland are a feisty lot but have some of the biggest hearts you could ask for. We enjoyed many areas of ministry, these spanned community groups, Brechin City FC (footbal club), school and care, home chaplaincy and more.

I also had several trips back stateside to report on the ministry we were doing and in January 2014 I was passing through Montana and stopped to see friends in Seeley Lake as I travelled to my uncle and aunt’s in Columbia Falls. (I then learned what winter weather was like, so winter wasn’t a surprise when I arrived this past January.)

Then, just a year ago,we were travelling from the Seattle area to Grand Forks ND, and I realized we were passing just 14 miles away from Seeley. Well, I had to stop to see my friends and do a wee catch up.

As luck would have it, the Sunday after we were here the pastor announced his retirement and so in July we returned to ‘fill the pulpit’ for 3 weeks and the call to come as pastor was extended.

The rest is history as the saying goes. Here we are, finding our feet and yet feeling at home with folk that remind us of the folks we left behind, similar hearts and attitudes.

I am looking forward to seeing how our relationships build and the conversations we will have about faith and life with many of you.


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