Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thanks Rog

Prompted by Craig's posts on gratitude I now want to thank another person who has a huge influence on my life. (Read about the first one here)

I was around 12 or 13 years old when this brand new Pastor came to our little village in the North of Scotland. Looking back I am still not sure what possessed a twenty something English Pastor to relocate his family to a small village where everyone talks strange, but you will have to ask him that. But thats what Roger Blackmore did.

Roger is without doubt the sole reason I am in "Ministry" today. There certainly was nothing to suggest that I would end up involved in the leadership of a church. (Nothing much has changed really) I was a painfully shy, lost in the crowd skinny runt with as much potential for leadership as a wet rag.

Roger in today's terms mentored me. It was not called that back then but over the next few years he spent time with me, he encouraged me, he gave taught me and opened my world to a Christianity that was wider that the straight jacket I had grown up in.

Working with him and others at Sunshine Corner (Kids Club), chilling out at his house, leading an outreach meeting in a nearby town, preaching short sermons at church before he did the main preach, visits to Youth Camp, endless encouragement even when I did daft things, great teaching and challenging discussions. I did not realise it then but God had sent me a mentor that was going to change the course of my life.

Under his guidance I got a real job for a couple of years before I headed off to Bible College another piece of advice which was spot on. After my time at college I fully intended to return to my home village and serve him there. Things never quite worked out that way. I ended up in Milton Keynes and by the time I was planning to go back things had turned sour for him there. He had done a great job but some people want there way rather than God's way. (That will probably get me in trouble with a few people if they ever see this but its the truth)

A few years ago Roger moved to the USA and planted a church in Long Island - Church at the Movies. We do not see each other too often now but he is still my Pastor. With the wonders of the Internet I can still here him preach here. I still love him (I know we Scots are not supposed to show to emotion but hey I've got past that now) and I will be eternally grateful for the influence he has had in my life.

Thanks Rog.

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