Posts filed under ‘Family’
Not sure how I could have forgotten to include this item in my post yesterday. The calf activity distracted me from finishing up our weekly activities.
Friday we were treated to a day in the city, Oklahoma City that is, by our friends Buddy and Lynnie Suthers. Buddy and Lynnie both work at Trinity after long careers in the family race horse business. At one time the Merrick Ranch was one of the largest quarter horse operations any where. While they are not nearly as big as they used to be they still love it and are keeping their hand in it.
So we went to the city for a big yearling sale at a very upscale, at least to me, sale barn. You can read more about it HERE. It is a very nice place and during the 3 day sale nearly 1000 horses were sold by auction. While we were there one sold for $185,000.00 based, I understand on it’s breeding and potential. It was quite a place and very interesting.
I had told our children and grandchildren that we were going to a horse sale and I was going to bid on some horses as an investment. I was not serious and even thought the way I wrote it they would know it was a jokebut apparently they didn’t and thought Poppa had bought them a horse. There were a few that sold for 2500-3K but that too is a little rich for me, since there is little room in our trailer for a horse. It was a lot of fun.
From there we went to Remington Park,the OKC horse racing facility where Lynnie’s brother Joe Merrick had a couple fo horses running. It is a beautiful race track with indoor viewing from a beautiful restaurant and the Suther’s treated us to a great dinner and an insiders view to horse racing. Linda did the wagering and hit it big when one of Joe’s horses won! We even were invited to the winners circle with the owner and his family for the “win” picture. That picture is posted on my facebook page if you are interested. HERE
It was one of those days where everything we did was new and exciting and being with Buddy and Lynnie is always special because they are such real and regular people who have been has high up as you can go in the horse business and seen their lives radically changed to be Kingdom people who are also in the horse business. Their family story is pretty cool to hear.
The last item has to be “my” Washington Huskies win over the mighty USC Trojans on Saturday. It was on TV here so I was able to watch it all. That sure was fun. Whatever happens from here at least we know what it can be.
I enjoy writing the meanderings each week because I get to see, right in front of me, what we have been up to. It has also been a good way to fill our family and friends in on what we have been doing too. So here is the 84th installment.
Item one. It was a great first week back in Western Oklahoma and full of things one could only do here. Got to go armadillo hunting for the first time (probably only time) which was an adventure. These little creatures are not good for flower beds, nice grass or any other plant you like to look at. They just rip it all up to get at the roots. So they have to be removed and since I was right here on the “ranch” and I had a shotgun, I got the call. One more task to add to my growing resume.
Item two. Went with friend Yandy Yarbrough to put up a deer feeder which I wrote about already on the Juniper Tree. Yandy works a regular job, is a life time cowboy, both working and rodeo, but what he really loves is hunting. Riding with him in his truck is adventure because he never misses any animal that might be out there, no matter how much light there is. One of the blessings of our life is the young families we get to enjoy relationship with here in Oklahoma. It is so fun to be part of their lives and have a part in encouraging their relationship with the Father.
Item three. We are beginning to settle in here, even though our regular spot is under construction. We are having a cement pad poured to provide stability and a mud free place to park. So we are parked nearby but without all our hookups. It is just fine but we are looking forward to our “new” place. Having these beautiful 100 acres as our Oklahoma home is really a blessing.
Item four. Plans for Summit2 are well underway. November 12-22 are the dates if you want in. email me if you want information. We are responsible for most of the administrative details of this conference and I do some teaching as well. Here are a few summations of summit1 speakers, I wrote after lasts years event: HERE and HERE.
Item five. Jake the dog just barked me up to see a calf hanging out in front of the trailer. Apparently an escapee from one of the pens here on the “ranch”. We went out to try and herd him into one of the stalls in the barn but were unsuccessful. Just another experience I rarely had in my past life.
I leave you with these words from my good friend Steve Grace: I would rather be a poor man serving Jesus than a rich man serving my own means. I would rather be weary fighting the good fight than well rested in my own irrelevant accomplishments. I would rather die for the cause of Christ than live for myself. (Steve Grace)
A young friend on Facebook, in a status update, made this comment: “I hate all blogs, all of them.” So, if you don’t hate blogs continue reading the first meanderings in several weeks.
A lot has happened and nothing has happened. After an eventful trip from Western Oklahoma to the Pacific Northwest we hung out with your adult children and our grandchildren. Went to the beach, the zoo, Northwest Trek, Seattle, camped with everyone for a week, visited a few friends, preached a couple of times, went to church with Brad and Summer and the time went by. All the grandkids are growing and changing and doing well. Summer is growing and changing with granddaughter #2 and grandkid #6 and she is doing well too. While there are challenges in each of their lives they seem to be handling them well and living life with hope and confidence. I am very proud of our children and theirs. Most of our time was spent enjoying and caring for our family.
Item one. The trip back to Oklahoma took us through Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and back into Oklahoma. We made stops outside Missoula, Montana at a favorite stopping spot for a couple of days. We drove through the northwest gate into Yellowstone Park (up on of the steepest, windiest and narrowest roads we have travelled) and into Cody, Wyoming where we stayed on the grounds of the Cody Night Rodeo with our friend Dan. Dan is from Sayre but was spending the summer announcing the rodeo in Cody. He was our tour guide to the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum, one of the great museums in the west, in my opinion and around the beautiful Cody area. He has become a Cody expert and it was fun to spend some time with him.
After Cody we drove up the Shell Canyon route to the top of the Big Horn mountains where we met my brother Mike and sister in law Vicky, for 5 days of camping and fishing in the most beautiful country anywhere. We lived on the west side of the Big Horns when Mike and I were very young and then Linda and I and our family lived on the east side 20 years ago. The Big Horns and the North Fork of the Tongue River are very special to all of us. It was such a wonderful time and we really didn’t want to leave. I would love to move back there again some day. Just need a job!
The fishing was outstanding. The North Fork is a meandering stream, through tall willows and so every corner is a new adventure. 20 years ago part of it was designated catch and release, barbless flies and lures only and it has turned that little stream into a monster cutthroat fishery. We caught so many fish over 18 inches that the little ones (under 16 inches) were almost boring. I caught 3-4 that were in the 22+ inch category, which in that river is a huge fish. Probably weighed 3-4 pounds. And, yes I did get a license!
There are moose every where up there as well and the four of us went “moose hunting” each evening. Linda has some great pictures she will post somewhere I imagine.
It was a very peaceful and soul renewing time for all of us. I remembered again why fly-fishing has been so important to my mental and soul health, over the years. Life has been quite uncertain, in a lot of ways, the last 4 years but one constant in our lives has been the opportunity to travel and see places that have real meaning in our history and refresh our lives.
Item two. What the future looks like here in Sayre begins to play out this morning. Linda will go to work on some administrative details that have piled up related to the ministries we serve. I will get some things rolling for Convergence and Summit2 and we will both begin getting back into the relationships that mean so much to us. Things have changed here in many ways since we have been gone. I am not sure what it all means or how it all works out but we have a Father who does and loves to see us happy and fulfilled so we will enjoy that blessing.
Seasons change and so do we. That is the Father’s intention. He loves to love us and He loves to have us dependent on Him and Him alone. That is the hard one for most of us. We have our agenda’s and our need to be in control but life works best when we are desperate for Him to lead us through each day. That is where I am this morning.
Blessings on all of you who read this. You can follow us on facebook (www.facebook.com/gregory.scandrett) and there will be some regular additions to the juniper tree as we move along.
Here is the weekly update of our life on the road between “homes”.
Item one. Travelling between Western Washington, Western Oklahoma and Arizona is becoming pretty “normal”. We have logged nearly 50K miles over the last 3 years but some of those miles are just the here and there of “living” somewhere for a couple of months at a time. This is at least our 8th trip back to Washington since we sold the house and started living on the road. It is good to be back in Washington but it never quite feels “right”.
Item two. Part of this nomadic life means you really don’t completely “fit” anywhere. There are no roots and no real permanence. That is the trade off. If you live in a house and work in a community you collect stuff and take care of stuff and turn in a circle of relationships at work and whatever else you do to connect with people. When you “live” in a variety of locations you don’t sink down in, because you know you are moving on and so every stop is temporary.
The relationships we have are as good as any we have ever had but they are such that you never quite “fit” because life is so different for us. We don’t have regular jobs and we don’t have lawns to mow, houses to take care of or regular meetings or gatherings to attend especially when we are not in Sayre. Sometimes I really want that “normal” again but that isn’t possible here in Mason County and if we settle into that normal in Western Oklahoma we miss out on life with our family here in Washington. It is always a dilemma without a good solution, so we keep on doing what we do.
Item three. Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington. The most direct route to Washington from Oklahoma passes through all of those states and covers a little more than 2000 miles. We stopped in Colorado Springs overnight to have dinner with my dad and see his new apartment. He has a $3000.00 view for $300.00 in a senior housing place. Really great.
I parked the trailer at my brothers business and it was the biggest trailer mess ever, by far. I got into one of those jams people who pull trailers avoid at all costs but because of the “perfect storm” of situations I got to the place where I could not back up or pull forward without damaging the trailer, the pickup or both. It was a lose/lose situation. Wish I had pictures so you could see what I stepped in. It was totally bad judgement on my part but there were so many factors going on it was easy to make a bad decision. After much effort in a rain storm, angels lifted the trailer a couple of inches and we made it out with some small scrapes. I still have nightmares about it.
We went from The Springs to Charlie and Lorissa Kingsbury’s family ranch outside Greeley, Colorado where we spent the fourthof July weekend with Charlies family. We were treated like family (which we are) and had such a great time. Wonderful meals, the Greeley Stampede (87th annual), fireworks at the country club (never been to one of those) prayer with Charlies car dealership partners over their businesses, church (the most patriotic Sunday ever!) and many more fun activities that left us gasping for breath. Great fun with great people.
We left Greeley about noon and drove into Wyoming and on to a rest area 60 miles east of Bozeman, Montana where we spent a short night and then on the next morning to Missoula where we loaded up on groceries and headed to our destination along Lolo Pass and the Lochsa River. We have stayed in this National Forest Campground many times over the years and always enjoy it there. I caught a lot of fish including 10-12 of the biggest cutthroat trout ever on that river (16-20 inches) Great fun.
Did something dumb there too. Because the nearest place to buy a fishing licence is about 50 miles one way, down the winding highway, I decided for the first time ever in my life, and I fish a lot in a lot of different states, to see how the fishing was before I made the trip to get the license (there was road construction too). I have fished dozens of different rivers in at least 5 states over the years, always bought a license and never, ever been checked, ever! You guessed it. 10 minutes into my decision to check the fishing before buying the license, along comes the LAW and checks me for a license! I felt so stupid and there is nothing you can say, no explanation wanted and none he hasn’t heard before. The saga is still not concluded because it looks like I will have to drive back over there to appear in court. I am trying to work something out but they are pretty tough on poachers! “You just have to believe me, Sir, I have never done this before, honest, really, I never have…” Sure.
We left Wilderness Gateway Friday morning and drove the 500 plus miles to Shelton arriving in time for #1 grandson Sloan’s 5th birthday. We drove to Gig Harbor to pick up Brad’s two children, Canyon Paul and Sage and brought them to Shelton for Sloan’s party as dad was doing a wedding and mom wanted to go along without two small children. It was a long day but a log of fun.
Well, that gets us to today and the start of 7 weeks or so in Washington before we head out on another adventure in living “nowhere”.
Not sure what we will do with all of this time here but will let you know.
We have the trailer parked in a new section of the Lake Thunderbird Lake State Park just south and a little east of Norman Oklahoma. Norman, of course is the home of the University of Oklahoma, or OU for short, the school I pull for out here in Big 12 country. If it is OU why is it not called Oklahoma University? We have some more work on the truck tomorrow in OK City so this was a good place to come from Duncan.
Item one. We left Sayre Friday and headed south to Duncan, Oklahoma for the Oklahoma state high school finals (rodeo). This event is the culmination of a year long effort to be a state champion in one of many events in high school girls and boys rodeo. We had a great time going to the final two performances of a week long event, hanging with Charlie and Lorissa and the kids and with Jason and June and their family. Their son Lane finished up his year as state champ in the bull riding event. He will ride in the National Finals rodeo in Farmington, NM later in the month.
It is amazing to me that at these high school/junior high rodeos they begin the event with prayer. True for all rodeo events as far as I can tell. But not only do they have prayer to start off they almost all have a church service if the event goes over a Sunday, as most of them do. Can you imagine starting basketball games in Washington with prayer and weekend tournaments hosting a church service?
Jason and June were responsible for the church service and invited Charlie and another friend, world champion bull rider, Matt Austin to be the speakers. Jason was leading worship and invited me to play with the band (they were short handed). It was a lot of fun and the guys did a great job of speaking Kingdom into these young people and their families. Matt and Charlie are both Convergence students and great friends.
Item two. We have been busy lately with a number of interesting opportunities. We hosted a group from Fellowship of Christian Cowboys at Trinity a couple of weeks ago and have also been spending some time helping them with some administrative duties. They are one of the many national Christian organizations that are in transition and so we are helping them to refocus and to think more long term. Lots of organizations tend to have some real growth and influence but after a few years discover they are not longer making much of an impact doing things the way they used to do them. It has been a challenge to find the right hooks back into viability but it is coming.
Item three. We started teaching a new Convergence class this past week called “Pursuing a Kingdom marriage and family”. We had the biggest group we have ever had for a Wednesday evening class. My thesis is that like so many other things that are called Christian, marriage has taken on more of a cultural influence than it has a Kingdom one. The high point in a Christian marriage is usually the wedding and from then on “Christian” marriage looks about like any other marriage. Divorce rates seem to bear this thesis out. We need to help our young people see what marriage was intended to be prior to marriage and to guide those already married away from the cultural way of doing the marriage relationship and into a Kingdom one.
For the first session I worked hard to raise our awareness of the high value of marriage as a picture of how much our Father loves us and desires intimacy with us. Marriage and the sexual union in marriage is designed by the Father to be a picture of His love for us and the potential of intimacy with Him. The highlight of the class had to be a discussion of how sexual intimacy in marriage is a graphic illustration of how the Bride is to come into an intimate relationship with the Bridegroom, through worship. If you want to listen to the audio of the teaching you can find it HERE.
Hope to get the next post on 24 up this week. We are ready to focus our attention on the second of 3 questions the disciples asked Jesus in Matthew 24.
Have a great week.
The View From the Juniper Tree went on line in January of 2007. Having never “blogged” I had no idea what I would write about or if anyone would read it. Now 52 months later the Juniper Tree has passed the 100,000 mark in views. That feels pretty good to me.
On October 30th of 2007 I posted a conversation with Lee and Mary Akin along with some pictures of them and their daughter Jada. That post, along with some follow up posts on the Akins, is by far the most viewed of the 377 times I have posted on the Juniper Tree (nearly 8K views). Second most popular post was written by Linda about what it was like to move from a big house into a 5th wheel RV. It is read many times every day! The most read of my writings is this one on the institutional church. The “about” page has been viewed nearly 1000 times, which I think means there have been a few folks drawn here that wanted to know something about the author.
The blog started as a way to keep our family and friends updated on our travels between Washington, Oklahoma and Arizona, along with many points in between. Monday morning meanderings has been a staple on the blog to accomplish that purpose. The first one was put up on my brothers birthday, June 25, 2007 , posted from Shelton Washington, and the last went up a few days ago, from Sayre, Oklahoma. There have been a total of 79 meanderings, written from nearly 30 different locations.
I have done a couple of series along the way that have drawn some interest. This one on the Kingdom began back in March of 2008 and so far there has been 16 in the series but 131 of the 377 posts have had a Kingdom focus. Nothing more important for the Juniper Tree than the Kingdom.
The most difficult series to write has been the current one 24. I am learning as I go and finally outing myself as to my theological views. The current one precedes this post.
Posts with pictures get way more views than long posts about spiritual stuff. Hard to figure that out!
All 5 of the grandchildren are a special part of the Juniper Tree. This post announced the arrival of the Eyob Mark Armstrong, who joined the family from Ethiopia. Eyob is now nearly 2.5 and though he has struggled to adapt and be adapted to, he is deeply grafted into our family. Sloan, Sean, Canyon Paul and Sage round out the grandchildren with more to come we trust?
There are hits from all over the world. Included in the last 30 hits to the site, are Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, New Mexico, Missouri, Mississippi, Massachusetts, along with the usual staple of visits from Washington, Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona. In the last 30 hits to the site, there have been visits from the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Kuwait and Canada. At last count people from more than 70 countries and all 50 states have stopped by the Juniper Tree. By far the largest concentration of hits comes from Washington and Oklahoma. Nearly 100 visits come from Shelton, Union and Olympia every week.
Since I started linking the blog to my Facebook page the visits have increased by 10%. Guess I should get a MySpace deal too.
It has been fun, frustrating, fulfilling and freeing to keep up this regular regiment. It has become a regular part of my life and I am thankful so many of you find it a regular part of your life, as well. Thanks for reading.
100,111 and counting!
Western Oklahoma really does have great weather, except for the wind, hail, tornadoes and did I say wind? But not today. Not much wind, beautiful blue skis, green grass as far as I can see (which is a long way out here) and a high of 80. If the wind can stay below 15, it is almost perfect here.
Item one.The fb is on fb. (read a few posts back) Not sure I fully get Facebook. Not sure of the ins and outs that make it a more enjoyable experience. Brad helped me some and playing around with it, you learn a little. It has been fun to reconnect with some people I haven’t seen or heard from in a whole lot of years. No one from my high school has showed up yet. Perhaps after 41 years it is asking to much (ouch). Weirdness happens pretty often, when up in the right corner a picture appears of a person not all that easy to see that asks me to “add as friend”. Some pretty witty thoughts go through my mind… Probably happening to them too. I think you have to be a friend to view my facebook page.
Item two. I had an opportunity to speak at Trinity yesterday. So I got all dressed up in my clean shirt and blue jeans, yes jeans and did my thing. How cool is it that you can preach in jeans and not a tie in the place. That feels real good. The notes from that message are in the previous post and if you are so inclined you can access the message in the archives of Trinity’s. HERE.
I really enjoy speaking, miss it a lot. I teach in small venues a fair amount and while I work just as hard if there is half a dozen in the group, there is nothing quite like being in front of a few hundred people sharing what the Spirit has downloaded into your heart. It was special for me and the Spirit used it. Nothing better than being used by the Father.
Item three. Just so I don’t forget how to post pics, here is a picture of 4 boys I like a bunch (well at least 3 of them):
Sean, Eyob, Sloan and Jake the Dog.
And one of another couple of kids that make me smile! CP and Sage O.
Time to go back to Washington to get some more pictures. They change so fast. Pictures please, parents!
Hope you have a great Monday and a great week. Glad my NW family and friends had a great weekend of weather. When it is nice in the NW there is no better place on earth.
When Linda doesn’t get it..
The weather the last several days has been more like Washington then what we are used to in Western Oklahoma. We have had some beautiful days along the way but cloudy and drizzly days have been the norm. Hasn’t really rained a lot and we need it here. (I wrote this last night and it started raining early this morning and is still at it.)
Item one. This is tornado countryand May is the busiest tornado month of the year. A couple of weeks ago there were several tornadoes that touched down just north of us about 25 miles. Here is some great videoof a couple of those tornadoes:
Item two. Linda had an enjoyable Mother’s Day. Church of course, then dinner with good friends and young families who stand in on days like Mother’s Day for our kids and grandkids that are a long ways away. Then Linda spent an hour talking to her parents on Skype, then an hour or so with Traci on and finished up the day talking with Brad. Saturday night she talked with Summer for a while as well. She is a great mom and Nanny and I am proud of the way she cares about her natural/Spiritual children and grandchildren, as well as her Spiritual children.
Item three. One blog I read often is written by Seattle pastor Eugene Cho. He is insightful and thoughtful and has a good grasp on the culture. Andy often says that out here in the Bible Belt we are the last to know about major changes and shifts in the American church. However if you are trying to “do church” in the Northwest, like Eugene Cho, you know you are on the front line. Eugene writes about several recent secular press articles about young Christians abandoning the church. It is a good read and actually makes me hopeful about real change. Find the article HERE.
Item four. I know I have been out of touch lately but I had no idea I missed the last day of church. Who called it?
I suspect Pastor Bobby would not like my recent posts on Matthew 24!
Item five. It has been at least 15 years since I first heard the Newsboys. I remember it because our kids and their friends were listening to them during the days after son Paul was lost, nearly 15 years ago (I think it was Mike Settle who brought the disk over). The Newsboys song I seem to remember most was about heaven. I can’t find the song in their discography so maybe it wasn’t them. Something about a big, big yard to play football… Anyone know?
Anyway, here is their most recent release called “In the Hands of God”. Maybe I don’t get it but I think the Newsboys still got it!
Have a great week. More 24 coming up! Don’t get behind or catching up will be brutal. It is really going to get good in the days ahead!