Welcome everybody to A Quiet Life, we’re here with Scott this morning. This morning – it’s even afternoon here, I’ve got that wrong. Whenever you are listening or watching this, you are very welcome.
Scott is very famous in our little town for his amazing sense of humour. Amazing in an interesting way because he hosted the morning show on our local community radio station Ultra 106.5 which you can find and listen to online. And at around about take the kids to school time he would share with us his sick joke of the day and they were pretty sick.
Scott left Ultra last year.
This year, early this year. January 2018, which was sad, sad but good I’m sure.
Well it was sad for me too really, after fifteen years, it was a big change.
But getting more sleep I’m sure is wonderful.
Scott and Marianne have how many kids?
Five kids, that’s so good. So I’m looking forward to learning a bit more about Scott today. I’m not even sure when we first met, to be honest, it could have been even back in–
I was going to say I think it could have been back in, like, the nineties when I first got involved at 7HFC FM.
Yeah, right, which became Ultra, and my parents, who you hear about in passing all the time–
–were crucial, instrumental.
I’m pretty sure we met back then.
Because I worked there for a while too. I’m the only person in my family who was never an announcer at Ultra.
Man you must be such a disappointment.
I know, I know.
But I did a lot of cataloguing songs and stuff like that.
Cool, so let’s go back to before the nineties. We’re going to start with childhood today. What would you like to tell me about your childhood?
Oh man. I’ll give you the elevator pitch of my childhood.
I guess I should start from when I was about ten. I lost my dad when I was ten, he died of cancer. And a lot of things changed in my life then. You know we had a pretty happy family, and we played games. I remember my dad would love to run and tickle and play sports and, you know, all that sort of stuff.
And then at around about age 10 he got sick and died of cancer so that really changed my life. I became a pretty angry young man. And did some really dumb things as well in those teenage years. But I think what I was doing is that I was on a real search for God.
We seem to have this hole, this missing part, so I was just trying whatever I could, including drugs and sex and rock and roll, anything I could find. I mean, getting brought home in the back of police cars, you know, that sort of thing.
But now I look back and think now I was just searching. I was searching for some meaning in my life.
I found it when I was 16.
You found it when you were 16, so how did that happen?
I had a friend and he was always a good mate and he said, ‘My mum’s making me go to an Easter camp.’
Oh, not these camps!
I know, I know. And it was a Uniting Church Easter camp. And he said, ‘Will you come?’ I said, ‘Is it a Christian camp?’ He said, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ And I said, ‘No way! Christians are dorks. Christians are nerds. There’s no way I’m going on an Easter camp.’ So anyway, he just kept nagging and nagging, ‘Come on, I don’t want to go by myself, I want to be with a friend.’ I’m like, ‘Ah OK.’
So I ended up going on this camp. But the thing was, my dad was a real hugger and I’d missed that for all those years that he’d been gone. So when I became a Christian, it wasn’t about even recognising what Jesus had done for me. It was more, ‘I want what these people have and they’re giving me hugs and they’re showing me love. I want this.’ So really that was my first experience with Christians was that they were hugging me and just showing me genuine love.
So I’m like, ‘whatever it is you’ve got, I want that.’ So that was it.
Wow. So, the question that comes immediately to my mind in all of this is, you’ve got five kids and you lost your dad when you were ten. So we’ve got two kids and my husband, his dad left when he was two and his step dad stepped into the picture when he was eight. And I remember when my kids were two, three, four, five, Moz just saying, ‘I don’t know how to be a dad. How do I be a dad to kids this age?’ And God stepping in there.
Have you found that God’s stepped in for you in that place?
In a huge way, yeah.
When I first found out we were having our first child, and I was 29 at the time, but even then I didn’t feel like I was a man. I didn’t feel like I had ever really grown up to be a man. So I had three months of panic.
I remember going to the golf course with a friend and saying to him, ‘I’m not ready to be a dad, I’m not mature enough to be a dad, I can’t be a dad.’ And he gave me some really good words. But I think, yeah, God stepping in, but God stepping in with other men in my life.
So because I didn’t have a dad to walk me through my teenage years, and there are things, there are gaps. I remember when I was 24 and I was working and I got a flat tyre in my work car. And I didn’t have any idea how to change a flat tyre. So I called my boss and I said, ‘I’ve got a flat tyre.’ And he said, ‘Well change it’ and I said, ‘I don’t know how.’ So he mocked me, relentlessly because he didn’t understand that nobody had ever showed me how to change a tyre.
So I had gaps. But it’s amazing how God blessed me in bringing amazing men into my life just to mentor me through all of that. When you look back, you’re like, ‘Wow, he actually, he fathered me into being a man.’ I didn’t have an earthly father but my Heavenly Father showed me everything I needed to know, and still does. I mean, I still make mistakes, we all do.
And after I had one child, Mikayla, I think I finally got what it meant to have a heavenly Father. I didn’t really get it, it was almost like it was he and I, and he was on high being the judge. I felt close to Jesus but I never felt close to my heavenly Father. And when I prayed I couldn’t say, ‘Dear heavenly Father, dear Father’. It was like, ‘Dear God.’
And then I’m holding this child and I’m just like, ‘Man I love this child’. I mean, you know what it’s like as a mum, it’s like you would lay your life down for your child. And no matter what they ever do you are like, ‘I’m going to love you no matter what.’
And I used to tease and joke with my kids, ‘There’s nothing you can ever do that would ever stop me loving you.’
And they’re like, ‘What about if we stabbed you?’
I’m like, ‘I’d still love you!’
‘What about if we saw you coming down the street and we got a car and we ran you over?’
‘I’d still love you.’
I think your kids inherited your sense of humour, Scott.
But it just gave me a sense of our Heavenly Father and who he is and that he adores us. We’re his treasures. That was a big changing point in my life as well. To understand what fatherhood really is.
So I jumped the gun. When you were at that camp when you were 16 was that when you actually gave your life to the Lord?
So that was hugely life-changing.
It was massive. And I remember the next day after I’d become a Christian, I’d look at the grass and I was like, ‘I’ve never noticed the grass to be so green before. And look at these trees, they are so beautiful.’ I just started noticing his creation which I’d never even noticed before. And then I’d be talking to people and I’m like, ‘there’s something really amazing about you.’ It just changed my whole outlook on life, everything. It was just so precious.
Sometimes I wonder later in life whether I’ve lost some of that early, I don’t know what the word is, just genuine amazement.
When I was first a Christian, I used to jump on a bus and just share my faith with people. I wouldn’t even know where the bus was going, I’d just find a bus and jump on it. Because I just wanted to share it.
Sometimes I wonder, I’d love to get that back.
That first love. That infatuation, almost.
It’s like, ‘You need to know about Jesus!’ Yes.
I bet your Mum had a bit of a shock at the change in you over a weekend?
Yeah she did. But she’s been amazed over the years. I adore my Mum, absolutely adore her. But I remember the night that I was coming home from the camp, she picked me up, and I said, ‘Mum, I’ve become a Christian!’ and she said, ‘Oh it’s just a phase you’re going through.’
And I’m sure she’d seen you go through many phases.
I’d done lots of crazy stuff so she thought it was just the next thing. So this year I celebrated my 30th birthday as a Christian, so it’s a very long phase.
That’s so great.
So we met recently at a summit, and you told me that you’d gone into real estate, so I guess my first question with that, was that your first real job?
Kind of yeah, it was my first well-paid job anyway. And my last career job.
So how did your faith work, thinking about when you were a real estate agent, how did your faith show itself in being an agent?
It’s funny because God often uses little things in your life to build your faith. He’s done some amazing big things in my life as well, but I remember back to a time after I’d just become a Christian, I’d been asked to share my testimony at a Salvation Army congress. They were expecting a thousand Salvos in Launceston. And I remember being so nervous, but that morning when we were getting ready they said, ‘If you could wear a white, collared shirt? That would be great.’ I was like, ‘Yep, sure. No worries.’
But I was a poor Christian student and struggling to pay my rent even. So I got home and thought, ‘Where am I going to get money for a shirt? I can’t even pay my bills.’ So I remember getting on my knees and saying, ‘OK God, if you want me to talk tonight, you’ve got to get me a white shirt.’
Literally within five minutes there was a knock on the door and this woman who I had never met before, she was very sheepish, she said, ‘I don’t know why, and I’m really embarrassed, but God’s told me to give you this.’ And she passed over a brand new white shirt in my size.
I was like, ‘ … thank you’.
But the more I thought about it I thought, God knew my prayer before I’d even prayed it. Because she was probably more than five minutes away. And she would have had to have got the shirt. And it just blew me away.
So now when I struggle in life or when I was in real estate, I look back and I think God knows what he’s doing.
So that’s almost flavoured everything in my life. Little things like that end up being really big things in your faith.
I remember once I was sitting in a house, this is my faith in real estate, and these people, they were a young couple and they were going to sell their house, they wanted me to sell it. And there was just something inside me, and maybe it was the Holy Spirit, that just said they shouldn’t be selling their house, they are going to get in trouble.
So I went through all their details, their finance and stuff and I said, ‘Can I be honest?’ They are like, ‘Yeah’. I said, ‘I don’t think you should be selling your house. Sure, I’d love to sell it, but I don’t think you should be selling your house.’ And I went through all the facts. I said, ‘You’re selling in the same market as you’re going to be buying so you’re going to have to buy a more expensive house (you generally build up). I just wonder, do you two both want to have to work full time?’ I kind of went through all that.
And they were like, ‘You know what? I think you’re right. We’re not going to sell our house.’
And I just left it. I had complete calm about that. I’m sure my bosses weren’t that impressed that I talked them out of selling their house.
But the amazing thing was I started getting phone calls from people saying, ‘We hear you’re Hobart’s only honest real estate agent and we want you to sell our house.’
So all of a sudden I got all these houses that I got to sell just because I had shown integrity with one couple that I felt really shouldn’t be selling their house.
So I think there’s benefits in being a man of integrity. So that was one thing. It’s probably the main thing. It just impacts everything, your approach to everything.
And you’re listening to the Spirit in everything you do.
And you want to genuinely care for people. So as you’re selling their house, you’re not doing it because you want to make a buck. You’re doing it because you genuinely care that these people are OK and you want to do the very best by them.
I think being a Christian for me means it has to impact every aspect of my life. Faith doesn’t just start on a Sunday morning. Faith is everything. Even when you’re alone at home, it’s got to be part of everything.
For sure. And God rewards that. God actually comes through for you.
That’s why I was amazed, you know, ‘can you sell our house?’ I’m like ‘OK?’
So you rose to the top pretty quickly.
Well I was only there for a year. But I did really well. I got an award. I got flown to Sydney. And I loved it, I absolutely loved it.
But I think the thing for me is family always had to be number one. Well, God number one but my family after God. And I was working crazy hours, ridiculous hours. My bosses, genuinely thinking they were doing the best for me, said, ‘Mate you’ve got three years, you’ve got to build a database, you’ve got to go crazy for three years. Then after that you can kind of chill out a little bit.’
So I just went nuts. So I was working 70-80 hours a week, just trying to do it. But I remember there were days, days on end, when I wouldn’t even see my daughter. I was like, ‘This is crazy, what am I doing?’
And then Isaac came along and I missed all the scans, didn’t go to a single scan for him. So when he was born I got there, to see him born, but the next day I was back at work again. And I had pressure from people saying, ‘Come on mate, you’ve got to get back.’ I thought, ’This is crazy.’
So I got that award, I went to Sydney, and I remember the lady from LJ Hooker in Sydney, one of the Sydney offices, she said, ‘If real estate is not the number one thing in your life, you shouldn’t be here right now.’
And I just remember how much that impacted me. I was like, ‘It’s not the number one thing in my life. And money is definitely not the number one thing in my life, it’s not a driver for me. So why am I here?’
So I quit.
My kids love that. They love it. I say to Isaac, ‘I quit because I love you so much. And you’re more important to me than any job or any money. So the reason why I quit is because I am more dedicated to you than I am to my job.’ And they’ve seen that over the years. If it’s been job or family then I say family wins.
Absolutely. I just love that story. I think that so many of us are under so much pressure to just do three years of 80 hour weeks or just do … And personally I don’t see that after those three years it slows down for anybody. I think that we need to make a choice as Christians to stand against that sort of attitude.
The best choice I’ve ever made.
So I’m now working three days a week, and I’m not on the world’s biggest wage, in fact I’m probably on a pretty low wage. But God looks after that and he blesses that.
It’s amazing how, when I worked at the radio station I was on a ridiculously low wage for a lot of years. I would literally have earned more on the dole than I would have at the radio station. But I knew God wanted me there, clearly God called me there.
When I was 18 years old I was on a camp, I’d only been a Christian for a couple of years, and normally when I hear from God I’ll hear from his word or there’ll be a sense of something or I’ll be talking to somebody, there are a whole bunch of different ways. But it’s the first time ever, I remember I was praying, ‘God, give me direction. I don’t know what I’m going to do in life. Please just show me something.’ And as clear as anything, in my head this voice, ‘Radio.’ It was like this audible voice, ‘Radio.’ And I’m like, ‘No, seriously God, what do you want me to do?’ ‘Radio.’ And I knew from that day I was going to be in radio.
And it wasn’t until I was a lot lot older, I think it might have been 16 years before I finally got into radio.
So I think when God gives you something he doesn’t always fulfil it straight away.
There’s often a wait there as well. Which I think is part of the journey.
The vision and the timing are often two different things, aren’t they?
So I knew, when I heard this spot on the radio that they were looking for someone, I knew clearly, ‘this is what God wants me to go for.’ So I rocked up and Neil Jeanneret was there at the time. And I said to him, ‘God wants me here, and I’m willing to volunteer full time. If you want me, you’ve got me full time, I’ll volunteer.’ And after three months I think they recognised that it was right for me to be there so they offered me a small wage.
But it’s amazing how when you’re faithful in what God’s called you to do. It doesn’t matter what money, I mean you can be on nothing, and he’ll provide what you need. And time after time after time, just saying, ‘OK God, you’ve got me here, I’ve got this bill for $250 that needs to be paid.’ And then you’ll rock up to church on Sunday and there will be an envelope in your pigeon hole that’s from anonymous, for $250. And you’re like, ‘Thank you Lord.’ He just provides.
But he more than provides, he really blesses, when you’re just walking faithfully in what he wants you to do.
And people look and go, ‘Are you crazy to only live on that amount?’ But I think unless you are willing to step out in faith and say, ‘OK my life is in your hands, including my finances, so Lord you need to provide everything I need if you want me here.’ And he does. He does.
I think sometimes when people want to be so safe in life and they want to get the job because they need a certain level of income and all that sort of stuff. I think in some ways they rob themselves of a blessing. I think there’s a real blessing in just saying, ‘My life is in your hands.’ I know that it looks like it’s not possible for me to even pay my mortgage, but every month after every month after every month God comes through with what we need.
I think we can rob ourselves of a blessing when we try and control all that ourselves instead of saying, ‘You are in control. You want me to do this, so I’m just going to be faithful in that. And you take care of the rest.’
And there’s a level of western consumerism as well that you need to choose consciously to make a stand against. It would be nice to have this, but this is not necessary for life and it’s actually going to rob you of a bit of your joy. So let’s put that off to the side and just …
And I know from being in Cambodia, we’ve been to Cambodia multiple times, there’s such a joy there. And it’s because they have nothing. And it sounds contradictory but it’s like they have nothing but in so many ways they have everything. They have close families, they have close communities, they work together of a day, there’s just a real simple life. And it’s not complicated. And then I come back and I see all these miserable people that are suffering anxiety and depression, and I think sometimes you can have too much and I think it actually does, it strips the joy out of your life.
I crave the simple life. Sometimes I just want to go into the country and become a hermit.
I get that.