Keep on keepin on
Being like us with Christ, to people like us without Christ
Newsletter October 2019
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ,
set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
For you died,
and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Brothers and sisters,
I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
But one thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind
and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3: 12b-14
Hello brothers and sisters, our friends in the Faith.
It has been 4 or 5 months since our last confession/newsletter, and that is pretty good going for us all things considered. It is a privilege and pleasure to write to you, it reminds us that we are supported, it reminds us that we are loved and cared for, even from afar, and it always reminds us of what God has been doing in our lives.
As said in previous updates, your prayer, written & spoken encouragement, and financial support, is vitally important, not just to God’s mission, but to us as a family in two ways, firstly it brings us comfort to know you have our back, and secondly it holds us accountable, spurring us on to good works, knowing that you care about how everything is going.
We sure hope you find comfort, encouragement and/or healthy challenges for yourself and those in your life, by reading about what God has been doing here with us.
God bless you.
Lots of love from Stuart, Lynsey, Indie, Hiromi, and Wee Al x x x x
Bathgate (West Lothian)
Whittling Down and Learning not to wait
In July we had discussions with some brothers and sisters who have a desire to minister in Bathgate, with the possibility of serving together, with a possible beginning in September. September came and it seems God has different ideas, and we have decided not to wait any longer, knowing that God’s timeline for us, and God’s timeline for others, don’t always match up. It’s very possible that what God wants us to do, and what God wants them to do is not compatible for close partnership.
So once again it seems God keeps whittling down the vision to us, and is telling us again to not wait on anyone but Him. We are fine with that, He knows best.
Show and Tell presents An Alternative Christmas Carol Service
We are currently planning another Show and Tell Event.
Pete Sneddon, owner of the local theatre, Chris McLellan, and Cornerstone Christian Ministries have all expressed interest in supporting the event, so once the venue is booked, we will pick a local charity to benefit from the event.
This is a tried and tested event, where musicians perform Christmas carols in an alternative style, the theme will be what is Christmas?, and filmmakers, artists etc will have an opportunity to present what they think Christmas is, and we will of course put forward in spoken word what Christmas is to us.
A charity benefits, God is praised, people (Christian or not) socialise and be creative with others, people are heard, and hopefully more connections are made with people we can love, care for and support.
You will see the posters soon.
Still loving and praying for folks
Zoe, Ibin and their children, Sammy Jo, Gibby, and their daughter, Gerald, Kev and Jenny, are all people connected to us, and connected to West Lothian, so please pray for them that God will reveal Himself to them in their good and bad times, we think they’re awesome, so you can only imagine how much God loves them.
Show and Tell
We may drop SIC altogether and just go with Show and Tell, but we’re not ready to chop this off yet, we’ll see how things develop with show and tell.
SIC is a good idea in our humble opinion, and maybe in time we’ll have the ability to fully make something of it, but right now we lack youth and numbers to make it work consistently and effectively.
What is Truth?
If you follow the What is Truth? Facebook page you will see the extent of what we are doing with that, we post questions, just simply to plant seeds of doubt! Yes, doubt. Better to be uncertain than to be blindly wrong thinking you’re right. The posts are being seen, so that’s good.
It’s really just to keep the online presence active, until such times as God reinstates an actual meeting, as mentioned in the last newsletter we know God is not done with What is Truth? We’ll keep you posted.
CHuRch for mISfiTs
Que Sera Sera
We remain open to the possibility that God will establish a community of believers whom we will teach and pastor, but for now we will continue looking for opportunities to use our gifts in preaching, teaching, praying and sharing insight with others, so please pray along with us, for God to provide us with those opportunities, whether that be in a church plant, or elsewhere.
A Church seem to like Stuart’s preaching, and we had the privilege of serving there in July.
We have been thinking of sending recordings of previous sermons to other Churches, in the hope that we can visit to serve them with the good news, utilise the gifts God has given us, raise awareness of the mission, and be in places where God may form relationships for His work.
Cornerstone Christian Ministries (Shotts)
We have probably mentioned Cornerstone Church in Shotts in previous newsletters, and it is our joy and privilege to share that we have decided to join their fellowship as ‘members’.
They have been our friends and encouragers for many years, they are mature and loving, and a real support to us, and the church in recent years have been invaluable in supporting us in so many ways.
Deciding to join them was a blessing for all of us, and we can only think that the reason we did not join earlier, was God training us, whatever the reason, we are glad to be there now.
It feels like family, it feels right, and there are opportunities for us to be served and to serve, just what the doctor ordered!
SL TREE and Miscellaneous Ministry
SL TREE provides around a quarter of our annual income, and we continue to explore ways in which we might be able to increase that. We have been exploring as mentioned in the last newsletter the possibility of creating a Curriculum for Christ, which would complement the Scottish Governments Curriculum for Excellence.
This would be based in biblical truth, particularly focusing on the curriculum areas of health & wellbeing, and other areas where ideology instead of truth is taught to our nations children, e.g. history, science, and modern studies.
This would be primarily for the benefit of Christian parents and youth workers who are concerned about what values their children are being taught, as a kind of apologetics programme and could be used simply to inform oneself, with the option of using lesson plans and/or talking points to help them talk productively about these things with their children.
We are also looking at amending our Let’s Go Mental, Mental Health Education Resource, to make it more accessible and affordable.
Please pray for us as we navigate what is becoming an increasingly difficult place for values based on truth, grace, and God’s word to be given a fair hearing.
Lynsey continues to listen, minister to and pray for a number of people, and we are very conscious of our responsibility to be a light to the parents of Indie and Hiromi’s friends at school and nursery.
Lynsey, 6 months later is still on a waiting list to see a specialist in Complex PTSD, and 6 months later is still on a waiting list to see an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) Specialist. The virus is long gone, but the mental and emotional impact remains.
Some days are really bad for Lynsey, with feelings of anxiety, especially with the increased need to visit the hospital the last few months, but Lynsey keeps fighting and keeps going.
Why has Lynsey has Lynsey had to visit the hospital the last few months?
Because we’re having another baby!!!
Meet Wee Al
(as in Weird Al Yankovic and Paul Simon’s Call Me Al) not because it’s a boy,
just because the girls both love Weird Al and the song Call Me Al
Wee al is now 20 weeks, and so far so good, this was the 12 week scan, and we will go for a 20 week scan this week. They are moving and kicking, and even dad has been able to feel their movements. The downside is that Wee Al has completely drained Lynsey’s body, and made her feel nausea on a regular basis for 20 weeks, and it still doesn’t show signs of changing any time soon.
This has had a severe impact on both of us, along with the PTSD and ENT issues, Lynsey is unable most days to be as productive as she would be in good health, is often too exhausted, and to add to it she has a lot of physical pain when moving, and is easily out of breath.
The knock on effect is that Stuart’s workload has increased, in addition to SL TREE and Scum work, while Lynsey cares for Wee Al, this has meant that between the two of us nothing is being done to the level at which we would like, which if you are like us, you will know puts a tremendous strain on mental and emotional health.
We fully rely on God for our peace and joy, so that we can have the strength to continue, and we are truly grateful for the odd day here and there where we feel refreshed and able to focus on what we love to, including updating you folks.
Wee Al is a blessing and we cannot wait to meet them in mid February.
Indie (4) and Hiromi (3) continue to thrive, tire us out, teach us how to be better people, better parents, push us to the limits of stress, and bless us with their love for life, their sweetness, and the joy of seeing them grow. Hiromi is now at Nursery and loving it, and Indie has started primary school and loving it, we are so pleased with how they are socialising, getting on with their teachers, and the tasks and activities they are involved in.
Thankfully they are not bemused by Wee Al, and we would say that they are as excited as a 3 and 4 year old could be about the arrival of a sibling.
We feel like family, and hold on to each other, it is a joy.
Indie does now wear glasses, which we hope will correct her sight, but even if they don’t, she loves her glasses, and is excited about receiving a new pair this weekend.
We love being their parents and guardians and thank God for them every day.
Lynsey’s brother has fully recovered from his coma, what more can be said, it’s amazing!
Lynsey’s gran and Stuart’s Aunt Marion have come through their treatment well, and we thank you for your prayers for them, however because of their age further treatment may be necessary, and recovery is still ongoing.
Sadly, despite best efforts, and true heart and soul searching, prayer and listening to the word, and to the wisdom of mature Christians, we have had to pull back from an important relationship. The impact of this has been very difficult, but on the balance the effects are better than if we had not pulled back. Still though, it added to a lot of stress and anxiety in the home. Nonetheless, it is still something we are recovering from.
God working in us
In the last few months God has been doing some real work in us, picking us up, shaking us about, and setting us down in a better place than we were before. It’s like a very real understanding of sanctification, it’s painful, but praise the Lord it is good in the truest sense of the word.
All in all the last 6 months have been relatively speaking pretty abysmal mentally and emotionally, except the exciting news of Wee Al, but God’s love endures forever, and He is doing deeper work in us than in our minds and emotions, and we have always been able to rely on at least one of us to keep both of us going, and if not one of us, some other dear brother or sister in the faith. We are blessed for what God has given us, and remain hopeful for our family and the mission.
He will make a way, He always does, I suppose it just sucks that sometimes it’s the way through the minefield.
Be blessed in knowing you are supporting us, and in seeing that God works in the highs and lows of all of our lives.
Please read on for prayer and support points, and thanks for reading :)
People and Prayer Points
Lynsey is now regularly in contact with Michelle, and still plays an important role as a listener, and tentative and careful ‘advisor’. She still requires prayer, and we hope she will know God’s presence in all the highs and lows she faces. Please pray for Michelle, but also for Lynsey that she will be able to help Michelle find truth and Christ, and generally be a good support to her.
James is still around, still in contact, and we do still hope that in some way our activitiy will create opportunities for him to be connected with others
Zoe, Ibin and their family, Sammy Jo, Gibby and their family, Gerald, Kev and Jenny
Please pray for our West Lothian friends, we love to be around them, and hope we can be a blessing to them.
Please pray for Chris as He figures out where God is leading him in regards to ministry, we have hopes we will work together on some things, we hope that becomes clearer one way or another.
Show and Tell An Alternative Christmas Carol Service
Please pray that the venue, date, and time is God ordained, please pray that the contributors are God ordained, that the Charity chosen is God ordained, all for this event.
Please pray that people are enthused and attend, and that God does amazing work through it.
Healing for Lynsey, Alleviated Pregnancy Symptoms, and Wee Al’s growth and development
Cornerstone Christian Ministries
Please pray for the ministries our fellowship provide to the people of Shotts, after school kids club, youth group, church service, children’s ministry, and all the relationships our brothers and sisters there have formed in that community.
Please pray that God would anoint out contributions, and that Scott and Dani, and the leadership would be encouraged, and blessed with peace and joy so that they have the strength to minister in a very difficult mission field in a town with great need. This church are good people and they have a lot of what Shotts needs, Lord link the people.
Continued support for us and the mission
We couldn’t do any of this without your support, thank you, you have no idea!!!
So far, God, through you, has kept us working on the basis that SL TREE and Scum is what He wants for us and for others.
Please pray that this year or the next is a year in which we find the people, needed services, and ministry opportunities that would lead to either increased SL TREE income or increased Christian support.
Partners in the Mission
Please prayerfully consider becoming a partner in this missionary work through tithing and/or a donation.
To find out more visit snlgilmour.com/contact-support