Good Morning to my Blog Family! Today is the transcript from my “life story.” It is fairly accurate to what I said. I prepare transcripts when I speak but on a very rare occasion would I use one. As you can see, I broke my life up into “segments” or “increments.” Each one has been titled and then following is a description of that season of time. Enjoy!
Big Stage = Big Mistake
I have been coming to the Senior Leadership Team meeting for over a decade – and always wondered, would I take the “big stage.” Here is my moment.
I took the “big stage” last spring when I donned the Master’s white jump suit and caddied the Par 3 for Ben Crane. In my group was Ben, of course, and then Master’s champion Zach Johnson and Jonathan Byrd. I made a couple of large mistakes on that “big stage” – didn’t clean a club, forgot to pull the pin, and stole Zach’s bag from a green to a Tee Box. Hopefully today, I won’t mess up too bad.
A “life story” for a speaker – that is too much terrain. For those of you who golf, it’s like that wide open fairway where you “can’t get hurt.” I always duff those drives. Too much terrain.
I have boiled my story into key time period’s or INCREMENTS. I will state the Increment and the “title.”
You already heard from Wiley – Eric Scofield, 47, married over 13 years to Marni, two boys, Hudson (12), and Charlie (5).
Increment #1: No time to cry
My childhood was a touch different than most, in that my dad built an airplane in our garage. It was a bi-plane, similar to Snoopy and the Red Baron. Two seats, pilot in the rear, and you wore a leather helmet and goggles. Open cockpit. Very cool.
One day, while I was in 3rd grade, my dad went to fly his “experimental plane.” He had to have 50 hours prior to bringing up any passengers. As he flew over our street – Holmes Ct. – he waved the wings. The engine also sputtered, which Mike Raschko inquired about, but I just muttered, “it has to be part of the plan.”
We received a call no more than 15 minutes later, and my dad had crashed the airplane between two homes. No one was hurt, including my dad. It was the same day as the school carnival. I remember being taken to the carnival by some friends and their parents. The next day my dad’s plane arrived by flatbed truck to our home. My dad began rebuilding the plane that morning, and had it done in a year.
The plane still flies today.
I learned a lot in my family. I learned that anything is possible. I learned that hard work pays off. I learned that if you crash, you get up, and you start working again. I never saw my dad cry over the crash; I did see him rebuild the plane.
Increment #2: That’s a waste of money
My sophomore year in high school I was invited to Young Life. I was a kid that was searching, but I didn’t necessarily realize that. The girl that invited me to Young Life sat next to me in Biology – and we dissected a frog together.
I showed up to Young Life as a kid willing to try anything – try any language, try any substance, try any sport, and try any adventure.
The night I came to club was an interesting night – for me. First, a guy who would come to my track meets got up and gave a message. It was an “ah ha” moment for me, as he knew MY NAME. I was a triple jumper, and the worst one at most meets and certainly on our team. My self esteem at this sport was hovering around zero. But there was Craig, showing up, and giving me great encouragement. He knew my name, he thought I was worthy of knowing and following at a track meet, and I was going to listen to him.
They showed a film that night – “Time for Livin’.” I signed up for camp. There is so much more to the story . . . . but I went home and got my deposit and walked it back that night. One woman, later that night after I left, mentioned to another that this deposit was turned in, “a waste of money.”
Two follow ups: (1) I dated that girl in my biology class for nearly 6 years. I also married her little sister, Marni. (2) That woman, Marlene, supported me $200 a month for over 12 years after confessing to me that story. God is good! (Hey, a little guilt-fundraising isn’t bad either!)
Increment #3: 200 hot dogs and 55 miles
18-22 for me was a good time. It started when I was a Senior in high school. I felt a clear call from the Lord, a baptism of the Holy Spirit, or nudging to serve. You can pick out what you like best.
As a Senior I decided to have a one night “8th Grade Bash” night. I bought two packs of hot dogs, made a flyer, and booked Iral and Gwen Barrett’s mansion for the evening.
As I pulled up I was so sad – no kids, no cars, except for the ones I brought. Oh well, there would be plenty of hot dogs. As I went downstairs to the basement I was blown away! It was packed with 97 kids! And then I remembered . . . there were no cars as junior high kids don’t drive, and these 97 kids ate well over 200 hot dogs. I was HOOKED.
I must have been, as Jeff Vancil asked me to Team Lead the South Salem club from 55 miles away! These were forming years . . . my parents thought I was crazy . . . and I would not change a thing.
Increment #4: Nearly fired!
My desire in my life was to be a teacher (English, with wire rimmed glasses) and to coach Varsity Basketball, and win the state championship – as I was on the runner-up state championship team. What a life a teacher had!
Well, I was a finalist in 4 jobs and didn’t get one of them. A church in Salem asked if I would come on an lead YL and be their Youth Pastor. It was a great job – and because I asked, it paid the same as a first year teacher. (Part of my parents desire.)
After one year on the job, and me feeling quite good about me, and like I was a gift to most anyone in the ministry world, I had a literal “wake up” call. My boss, Pastor David Smith came to my home, to my back bedroom window with no window coverings, and woke me up at 8:15 AM. “I need you at the church showered, shaved, and dressed for the day in 15 minutes.”
Later that morning he told me my job was in the balance, and that he was going on vacation, but to decide if my heart was in it to not only reach out, but to disciple these kids within our church as well. Wow, what a wake up call.
The next 3 years produced much fruit- three Young Life Regional Directors, and countless Area Directors and obviously today, people who love Jesus! I love “wake up” calls.”
Increment #5: Welcome to Young Life – you are on reduced pay!
My first meeting with an official Regional Director came after I accepted the job as Area Director of Salem, Oregon. The Area was (17K) in deficit and I didn’t understand why this could not be moved to another account. It obviously wasn’t mine.
The most amazing thing to me about the Area Director job in Young Life is how God just shows up . . . He seemed to just have my back, our back, and Young Life’s back.
The PO Box was never empty my first three months on staff. We came out of deficit and never looked back. The PO Box was never as full as it was when the Area was in deficit. Sound like Manna?
Young Life houses, ministry for hearing impaired, Vida Joven, and story upon story of not the ministry we were doing with kids, but the ministry that happened in Leaders lives who were giving to kids.
I tell this today to Area Directors and they roll their eyes . . . “another story from Scofield’s past . . . waaaaa waaaaaa.” But the highlight for me during that season of exponential growth was our Tuesday morning Team Leader meeting. We all met at 6:15 every Tuesday. We were tired from the night before . . . but, we met over the scripture, we drank in not only the coffee but the Holy Spirit . . . and it seemed that it was set apart.
Increment #6: Step up? Step down.
I never thought I would leave Salem. Sleepy, small Salem, which for me seemed huge. This was all until I moved to Seattle! Vancil asked me to be the Associate RD of Leadership Development. We started a Student Staff program, it was great, but there was another story much better for me.
First I was asked by one of my old club kids to live in his “area.” Jamie Hanson was the AD over Northlake. We lived a mile apart, which was a huge gift, and I started a Wyldlife club in my spare time with some AWESOME UW student staff.
Wow, all I can say is I once again fell in love with what we get to do. All doors were closed, and then via the Holy Spirit, all doors were opened. 35 guys were at my house the morning after an old girl friend came and took me to dinner – she said God told her we were to be together. We were. We were married about 4 months later. Sweet Marni!
Three months into our marriage – the woman who “couldn’t get pregnant” got pregnant. Hudson was born near our anniversary. A miracle child!
Step down when you become a leader for an old club kid, step down when you get married, and step down when you become a parent. Yet, in so many ways each of these were huge steps UP!
Increment #7: Texas = Big visions, big wins, and big losses
My first board meeting I remember being clear about where we were as a region, and where the gaps were. I walked out with over 60k in checks THAT FIRST DAY in my pocket. We saw our Endowment complete – with at that time, 4.2 million in it. The main thing I learned was BIG MONEY follow BIG VISION.
But, I lost my heart in Texas. My heart was my sweet wife. We had 5 miscarriages in Texas and each one took a toll. I loved being asked to be the RD in Houston. Wow, what a huge, huge honor and gift these years were. I am still friends with so many people. We loved our church, and we loved these memories of little Hudson at the Children’s museum and Houston Zoo.
Other than some great people and work endeavors . . . the best thing to come out of Texas for me was a word from John Sharp. I formed a Covenant Group in those
years and we have been meeting for over 10 years now. WOW . . . life giving.
Increment #8: SoCal Surprises
When the word came from my boss on a golf course to me, “What would you think of San Diego?” I thought, “Does my new boss not like me?” The crazy thing was that I had prayed just that morning – I was spending an hour a day, thanks Tom Raley, with Jesus, and had written down prayers for San Diego.
Truth was, the ($597,000) deficit in San Diego was so huge I didn’t want to move to San Diego. Truth was, the prestige that came with Houston would not be in San Diego, and that was so scary to me . . . I think I had become attached to the wrong things.
God surprised me in so many ways, and continues to. The biggest was this: I was arguing with Marni at Woodleaf in June of ’06. I said, “God is not going to plop some kid in our lives from some suburban high school where the boy is the QB for the football team and the girl was on the Homecoming court!”
I do not have the time to describe to you the miracle of GOD. With no effort on our part, we received a call from a woman whom our names came to in the middle of the night. She called to see if we were even interested in adopting.
I was driving south on the 101, leaving Santa Barbara, and I will never forget it. I said yes, and she said, “Don’t you want to know about these two high school kids?” I said, no, I trusted her.
She said, “Well they are both from Oregon. They are both sophomores. He is the varsity Quarterback, and she is on the homecoming court.”
I have learned a lot in Southern California so far . . . but the biggest is no debt of money, or debt from womb can keep God from moving.
Increment #9: Change in the air
The hardest phone call I have ever received was on the day of Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate going to a US Open 18 hole playoff. I had tickets, but would be boarding a plane to be with my dad who suffered a horrendous stroke – all learned about on a sobbing early morning call from my sister.
My dad lives in a care home, and though he is happy and well cared for, the man who can “do anything,” physically cannot, and he has passed that baton to me.
Two years ago at our Covenant Weekend Marni called to share with me this thought, “How are we really different?” She also shared with me that she felt that I drank too
much. I agreed. It was penned in multiple journals my desire to give up all alcohol. She knew me all to well as she left the same message on one of my Covenant Brothers voice-mail boxes as well.
I have not had alcohol for two years. I have lost 35 pounds, and feel like I am coming out of some sort of “slumber” the evil one had put me into.
God has provided so much for me, for my family, and for all the ministries I have ever been a part of.
Tuesday’s I help with a middle school campaigner group. There are 15 kids in the group, and one of them is my son, Hudson.
“He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.” Phil. 1:6
God has moved my whole life . . . I look forward to the next “increment.”
Have a great Monday!