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Celebrating Scott Brodie

Celebrating Scott Brodie

Scott Brodie has been a living epistle. People around the world have been changed by observing him and seeing God in the pages of his life. In Scott’s faith, hope, joy, and response to great affliction, we’ve seen God’s face, God’s truth, God’s character, God’s loving purposes for our afflictions. We’ve seen the very faith of the Son of God.

On November 5th, 2012, Scott met his Savior face to face. Scott had a singular goal on this earth: to apprehend Christ and in so doing, glorify God. Now Scott is beholding Jesus Christ in all His glory – the One who was His heart’s desire!

Our Connection

I first met Scott by phone in 2002. After talking with him and his wife Glennis, God put it on my heart to one day interview them. It was evident that God was doing a work in their lives through their afflictions. What an encouragement it would be to others to see this work – to know that what God was doing in and through Scott and Glennis in their sufferings He would also do in and through us in our trials.

Scott and Glennis BrodieIn 2006, I was finally able to interview Scott and Glennis and in the process tell their story of triumph in the valley of death. (Watch Walking Through the Valley: The Scott Brodie Story). I suppose many of us in Scott’s life thought God brought us alongside Scott to help and encourage him…but it was the reverse. God brought Scott into our lives to help and encourage us – to make rich, spiritual deposits in our lives; to impact and change us forever; to give us an example of:

  • how to live
  • how to believe God
  • how to cling to God and His Word
  • how to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer
  • how to be filled with Christ’s strength, His power, His faith, His perspective, His peace, His joy and His hope.

Yes, we received far more from Scott than we ever gave.

God caused Scott’s and my paths to intersect for more purposes than I could have imagined. In January 2011, Scott became a member of the Shades of Grace Board of Directors. Fed by a feeding tube; breathing with assistance from a tracheostomy and ventilator; unable to swallow, hold his head up or use his arms; and now in severe weakness – in a condition that would have long since left others in its wake – Scott welcomed spiritual responsibility and the chance to make the most of every opportunity. He knew how to redeem the time and seize God’s purposes for each moment of his life. In spite of overwhelming obstacles, Scott welcomed the opportunity to support this ministry and make a difference in the lives of those God called us to reach. Amazing!

At every turn, Scott preached as much through the way he lived life as the powerful, God-ordained words he typed with his toes. Just pondering one scene from his life, one scenario of his day, preaches a sermon so deep my mind cannot conceive the depths of Biblical truths and unparalleled illustrations of them. Scott suffered the loss of all things on this earth and in the process, showed us what gaining Christ really looks like. Scott’s life will continue preaching for generations to come.

Scott’s Condition

Weak but Strong in Christ

In 1997, Scott was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and given 2-5 years to live. Scott battled the slow progression of the disease, but because of his strong faith and perseverance (and that of his amazing wife Glennis and their four kids), Scott defied the odds. God kept him on this earth and ministered through him for 16 years – not in spite of ALS but because of it. It was this very weakness that made the power of God so strong on Scott’s life.

 “’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

 “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised
things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are,
so that no one may boast before him.
1 Corinthians 1:27-30

Scott’s physical mouth was weakened, even more so in recent years as he had difficulty speaking and being understood. Considering the inability of Scott’s hands to type words, his communication was rendered doubly weak in terms of being able to talk and express himself freely. How much more that made the power of Christ rest on his words! They are drenched — saturated — with Jesus and Holy Spirit power!

Hoping Against Hope

In spite of such a hopeless diagnosis in 1997 (for which medicine has no cure), Scott always held on to hope. Shortly after his diagnosis, God spoke to Scott through Romans 4:

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. (vv 18-21)

Scott demonstrated hope! He lived fully persuaded that God was faithful to his promises and would do what He said He would do. No matter how hopeless things appeared, Scott knew he was to look to and embrace what God said, rather than judging his circumstance by how things appeared.

Scott saw his illness as an invitation to know and experience Christ more fully. He looked to Jesus, the man of sorrows who was acquainted with grief. Scott found hope in the purposes and call of God, purposes for which God lovingly allowed him to walk his own path of bodily humiliation.

The Holy Spirit infused Scott with strength and determination. He clung to and appropriated God’s promises in His Word.  As the apostle Paul wrote “he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be a partaker of his hope.” Scott was a partaker of hope in Christ’s salvation for his life and for his circumstance. Scott wasn’t just a partaker of hope, he was a proclaimer of hope too! Scott couldn’t help but share the good news of the gospel. He was a fisher of lost souls.

Following in the Footsteps of Paul

It has been an unparalleled privilege to know Scott and Glennis – to have been placed on this earth in this season of time to and observe their walk with Christ. To me, that’s like having lived along side the apostle Paul.

Who wouldn’t go back in time, if they could, and sit under Paul’s preaching…and observe his life…soaking up every word, every action, every nuance of the power of Christ on his life? I feel just that privileged. Privileged to:

  • have observed Scott’s life and the way he led his family on their journey through ALS
  • have learned from him how to hope against hope and never stop persevering
  • have learned from Scott’s example that there is no circumstance so dire that God’s joy cannot permeate
  • have received from Christ’s power that rested on Scott because of his sufferings
  • have been convicted by his example.

Scott’s life bears another resemblance to Paul’s. Although imprisoned in Rome, Paul wrote letters to friends – letters that have impacted the lives of millions throughout the centuries. In his confinement, Scott too wrote letters of sorts. He talked on camera and typed blog and Facebook posts and messages to friends. His words recorded in obscurity and captivity have impacted countless people around the world and will continue to do so.

Scott once wrote to me,

Natalie, Glennis and I were laughing at how utterly ridiculous it must seem for us to have a vision to share Gods word all over America and the world when I am struggling just to get my next breath. Well we know the devil is a liar and nothing is impossible with God to them that believe. So we are excited about what lies ahead because of all the adversity. …By sight I am sick, frail, and one step away from the grave. But God uses the weak to confound the wise and the same spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead dwells in me. Time is short and we must not lose our faith! “Whosoever is born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).

Scott and Glennis Brodie in Arizona

Scott and Glennis in Arizona

Scott felt called to serve God in Arizona one day. He spoke of it often. He believed he was commissioned to give thousands of people hope.  God fulfilled that call – Scott did go to Arizona and minister. However, as evidenced by the posts on Scott’s Facebook wall recently, God’s ministry through Scott was worldwide too. God has given thousands of people hope in their circumstance through Scott. God did what He said He would do…and so much more!

Scott’s Communication

Scott preached his own funeral. Yes he did…when his family showed these two video segments at his memorial service last week:

 

A Few Examples of Scott’s Online Posts, Typed with His Toes

Regarding God’s victory over our enemy:

“Theres a place in the spirit where God wants to take us where we can weary our enemy by our rest, we can discourage him by our faith, and depress him by our joy.” ~ Scott Brodie

Regarding God’s work in the darkest moments of our lives:

“God’s greatest work is done in secret during the darkest moments of your life. Despite the hardship in trials; there is an unexpected beauty that can shine through in times of helplessness. Uniquely, God desires to use those difficult moments of your life to bring forth something extraordinarily beautiful. If you are in sickness, may your sickness glorify Him; in perplexity, let Him guide you, If you are in sorrow, let Him comfort and cherish you. May you see the treasure you truly are to God and to others. God has created you for a definite service. He has committed a work to you which He has not committed to another. You have a mission; it may be unknown to you in this life but you shall be told it in the next. You were created for a unique purpose in the plan of God. Whoever you are and whatever you are facing…you are of great value. You are a brilliant gem in God’s quarry of jewels. Is 45:3 And I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, Who calls you by your name.” ~ Scott Brodie (From Beautiful Gems, Posted by Scott on Sunday, December 23, 2007)

Regarding finding peace in the valley:

“When we choose to allow God to be in control of our lives, we are saying, “God you’re the only answer I have, you’re the only option I have, I give up!” He is always there for us, waiting for us to let go of our ways and give them to Him. When we surrender to Him, he does something wonderful; he floods us with waves of love. He reassures us that in His love we are secure and His promises are true.

We exchange our damaged, battered and broken lives for His perfect plan for our life. Our attachment to the priorities and the things of this world dissipate as we get to know His great love toward us…this is where true healing begins. Your journey may take months or years, but once you find His peace in the valley, death no longer has power over you, and time no longer controls you. As you begin to experience the comfort of His love in your valley, you will find your healing and purpose. Others will see God at work in you, as you become conformed to His image and His plan begins to unfold. God will give anyone that is seeking, unique promises to encourage their faith and trust in Him.” ~ Scott Brodie, July 2007

(For more, see Scott’s blog: www.deathvalleypromises.org.)

A Runner Who Set the Pace

One of the first limitations Scott experienced was the loss of the use of his arms and hands. For years Scott typed with his toes. As you can see, he didn’t type words of lament and despair, which would have been understandable given the

Scott Brodie and grandson Brodie

Scott and grandson Brodie

bodily devastation he suffered. No, Scott sacrificially, lovingly, laboriously typed words of spiritual exhortation – words that snapped me out of temporal preoccupations, gave me an end-of-time perspective and enabled me to embrace what really mattered, what was really lasting.

With Scott’s life in view, I couldn’t wallow in even the slightest amount of self-pity, or worry or weariness — because his life of deep faith and fortitude demolished any excuse I might have had for such carnal behavior. Yes, I found myself tempted…but as soon as I started down that road, the life of my brother Scott came to mind. Just one thought of Scott’s life and testimony was all it took. And all is still takes. This is one way that Scott set the pace for my spiritual race. With one thought of how he persevered, I am snapped out of encroaching despair and spurred on to deeper faith!  I stop obsessing on the temporal – my dreams, my desires, my plans, my wants – and walk over into God’s deep world of eternity.

God continues to work through Scott’s life to encourage, teach and exhort believers around the world. Through Scott, God gives us proper perspective and a hunger for a deeper walk with Him. He inspires us to run with perseverance and determination the spiritual race He has set before us!

Scott spoke often about his spiritual race. In a question and answer post Scott helped me write two years ago, Scott answered a question by referring to his spiritual race:

(To see more video responses from Scott and Glennis, plus video outtakes from Walking Through the Valley, see Scott Brodie: Answers and Inspiration)

To give you an idea of just how powerful Scott and Glennis’ influence has been in my life (and also in the lives of thousands of onlookers who observed him tenaciously running his spiritual race), I want to share a one of my private messages to him:

Scott, your walk of faith is energizing! “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:8-9).

Your walk of faith encourages and energizes me to stand firm and resist Satan! It reminds me of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians: “If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.”

Your comfort produces in us onlookers (and co-runners in this race) faith and patient endurance!

Thank you for running your race with strength, with endurance, with patience, with trust, with expectancy, with faith!! You and Glennis are the kind of runners who may be injured, may be dehydrated, may have bleeding blisters all over your feet, may be deemed physically incapable of continuing, but you never slow your pace. You just keep running … steady … sure … confident … focused … right on through the finish line…while other runners with far less muscle cramps, far less injury and no dehydration are on the sidelines whining and crying over a mere stumped toe! And here you are with conditions that would render lesser runners powerless to continue.

You and Glennis are the Olympic quality runners that we all look to and admire – the ones who set the standard for the rest of us. The ones who set the records, who endure strict, rigorous training, the ones whose goal is singular. Olympic competitors set the standard for other athletes in their sport. That’s what you and Glennis do for us! We are so privileged to be able to observe you and Glennis and receive endurance, strength, faith, perspective, peace and glory in our own race…simply because you are running and receiving it in yours.

In many ways, Scott and Glennis have been filling up what was lacking in our sufferings — and letting us benefit spiritually from their sacrifice.

I believe the writer of Hebrews would exhort you and I to do one thing:

“We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised” (Hebrews 6:12).

A Runner Who Finished His Race

This was my last message to Scott, posted on his Facebook wall when I heard the news that he would soon be with His Savior in paradise. I share it here in celebration of Scott’s life, his ministry, his race completed, his victory won.

In the last correspondence I received from Scott, he shared a link where he was able to listen to Times Square Church worship service online (not just the preaching but the music too). He had recently realized it was available.

“Natalie,” Scott typed, “I wept and wept at the presence of God that flowed right into my bedroom. It was as if i was transported into the very throne room of God.”

And today…this man who treasured the presence of God more than anything in the world will see His Savior FACE to FACE! I can only imagine the celebration in Heaven, the welcome party Scott will have. His deep walk of faith inspired, touched and taught us all…but that’s just from Scott’s walk that was made public. The most beautiful part of his faith was never seen or observed by human eyes but by Heavenly hosts (Ephesians. 3:10). Scott did as David Wilkerson exhorted us all to do: Scott ministered to Jesus! The person most blessed, most honored, most impacted by Scott’s devotion and worship: His Savior!

And oh the joy on His Savior’s face when He welcomes Scott home. Well done, Scott! Well done, faithful servant! You finished your face! You finished, my brother! You ran well! You never quit. You never tired. You never slowed. You ran for the glory and honor and praise of Jesus Christ!!!!!! Thank you for setting the pace for us. For showing us how to run our spiritual race. We’re cheering today! Clapping and celebrating your race completed. Your race won! You didn’t run half-hearted, dragging your feet, panting, looking behind, looking around. No, your gaze was fixed on the prize for which God called you heavenward in Christ Jesus! You gave it everything you had! You kept the faith!

“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day” (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

As The Message words it: “You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting—God’s applause!”

Scott, we hear God’s applause! We echo the shouting!! We can only imagine your great reward! Thank you for showing us that this is the only race worth running. You ran hard right to the finish, brother. You believed all the way! We accept your challenge to take over in your absence and run our race with the same perseverance, the same commitment, the same deep faith, the same glory in the cross of Christ!

You poured out your life in worship to your Savior and in sacrifice and example for us. You held such a prominent place in our lives that the void will be immeasurable in your absence. We’re weeping tears of sadness…but also tears of joy. Because you did it! You completed your race!! You ran right to the finish, Scott, not foregoing an ounce of what God wanted to do through you on this earth. Now enjoy bowing in worship before your Savior, raising your hands in praise…dancing for joy! You can reach up with your arms now and receive your prize!!!

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).

I imagine you might leave us with one challenge: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Cor. 9:24). We will, Scott. By God’s grace and enabling, we will run as you taught us. We will run to get the prize. Thank you, coach, for showing us how. Words cannot express our gratitude. Thank you for trading physical athleticism for spiritual athleticism and perseverance. We miss you already…but we’ll see you soon. And we’ll share your incredible view – Jesus! Lamb of God! Seated on the throne! High and lifted up! “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” (Rev. 5:13).

A Runner Who Danced His Way to the Finish Line…

I’ve learned volumes by watching Scott simply live his life. Of all the behind the scenes footage I’ve seen of Scott and his family, nothing has impacted and instructed me as much as watching him dance. Can you dance through your storm today? Scott would urge you to look in hope to Christ, receive His strength and run your race with joy!

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scott Brodie and Family

Thank you Glennis, Justin, Jessica, Ashley and Kylee Brodie for being the Bible many people are reading today. You are the most amazing family I’ve ever known!  Thank you for dedicating your time and energies to tirelessly, joyfully serving and caring for Scott. Without you, none of us would have been blessed and impacted by his life and ministry. Thank you for sharing Scott, and so many of your private moments, with the world.  You’ve been a vital part of God’s ministry to us too. He has taught us volumes through the way you’ve lived your lives and loved your Savior.

May God comfort you in the absence of this spiritual giant of a man, husband, father and grandfather. I cannot imagine how much you miss him. May the Holy Spirit comfort and carry you in these difficult days and fill you with joy at the thought of Scott healed and whole in the presence of the King.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SCOTT AND HIS FAMILY, SEE HIS WEBSITE, FACEBOOK AND YOUTUBE PAGES:

Scott’s Content on Shades of Grace:

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Shades of Grace will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

One Response to “Celebrating Scott Brodie”

  1. You seem to be a great family with a lot of beautiful friends, I’m happy for you ! Great article by the way !

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