UK Kingdom Travel Journal—Epilogue

The Wife and Mrs. H at The Martyr’s Monument, St. Andrews

We are back home now.

When we got off the plane the warm air felt good.

I realized I had acclimated to the cool climate of Scotland, where 55 degrees Fahrenheit felt warm, not as acclimated though as my Scottish playing partner at Royal Dornoch who wore a short sleeve polo on a windy mid-50s day.

Similarly, by the time of Wycliffe, and then Tyndale and Knox, England and Scotland had become acclimated to a corrupt, lifeless, church, so much so that Cardinal Beaton felt comfortable living openly with his mistress and eight illegitimate children in St. Andrews Castle.

It took men like Wycliffe, Tyndale, and Knox, who took their cues from the Lord and His Word rather than from culture to see so clearly what others who had looked at the corruption and lifeless religion for so long could no longer see.

When I think about the take-aways from this trip, I think about these men and the others—Patrick Hamilton, George Wishart, John and Charles Wesley, William Wilberforce, Queen Bertha, Augustine of Canterbury, Columba, and Cuthbert—and what enabled them shape the course of history and advance the kingdom of God in such spectacular fashion.

Three characteristics come to mind. Continue reading…

UK Kingdom Travel Journal—Day 16

The Old Course at St. Andrews

Today we traveled from London to New York to Nashville.

I do not like traveling because of the security measures, being herded like cattle from one place to another, moving bags from one place to another, packing, unpacking, and packing again.

But what would Bede, Cuthbert, or Knox have thought about the speed and comfort in which we travel today?

I try not to complain, but I am a work in progress.

Yesterday we were in boarding group 4. As we watched groups 1-3 board first, I bemoaned the elitist system that would classify people traveling into groups and give one preference over the other.

Thankfully, today we were in First Class on the flight from London to New York.

On the flight back to the States I was able to finish a book I was reading for the trip, A Season in Dornoch, a book about a golf writer who spent a summer in Dornoch. Not much to recommend there, but it got me thinking about links golf. Continue reading…

UK Kingdom Travel Journal—Day 15

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh

This morning we left the place that had been our home near Edinburgh for the past two days.

As with St. Andrews, we all vowed to return, convinced we had only scratched the surface of all of God and golf this area of Scotland had to offer.

We also learned the proper pronunciation of Edinburgh is not Edin-berg or Edin-burrough but Edin-bra, as in “Hey bra, what up? The surf was epic today.” Easy to remember.

Knowing this was to be a John Knox day in Edinburgh, Mrs. H asked where Knox was born.

I was embarrassed I did not know. A quick check of Wikipedia answered the question. We were shocked at the answer: Giffordgate, a street in Haddington! We had driven through Haddington twice yesterday and then again just 20 minutes ago, but we had limited time; no time to turn back. Continue reading…

UK Kingdom Travel Journal—Day 14

The remains of Melrose Abbey

Melrose Abbey, only thirty miles away, was an hour drive from our hotel in Gullane.

The winding roads from Gullane to Melrose are an appropriate metaphor for Scottish history in general and the Scottish Reformation in particular.

Melrose Abbey is the place where Robert the Bruce’s heart is buried.

Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco, but Robert the Bruce left his in Melrose Abbey.

Melrose is also the place where Cuthbert grew up and later served as prior at the original abbey beginning about 662 A.D..

You may recall we visited Durham on Day 7, the place where Cuthbert is buried.

Cuthbert was known for the miracles the Lord worked through him. Bede notes that Cuthbert was very evangelistic. I believe the two are related. God doesn’t provide the spiritual gift of miracles (see I Corinthians 12:8-10) so Christians can be Spirit-filled Penn & Tellers but to confirm His Gospel and draw people to Himself. Continue reading…

UK Kingdom Travel Journal—Day 13

Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness

Today was a travel day.

We drove from Dornoch, via Loch Ness and Stirling, arriving in Gullane, east of Edinburgh around 10:00 p.m.

This was a day when we planned to enjoy the beauty of the Scottish Highlands and its lochs.

This we did, but we also found time to stop at Urquhart Castle, located on Loch Ness between Inverness and Fort Augustus.

It was here that St. Columba, the missionary to what is today Scotland, led a Pictish nobleman, Emchath, to the Lord in the late sixth century.

As Adomnan, Columba’s biographer tells it, after Columba crossed the Druim Alban mountain range (a mountain range that divides western Scotland from east) and arrived on the Loch Ness (east) side, “he was inspired by the Holy Spirit.”

It is humbling to realize the same Holy Spirit that inspired Columba works in me and in all Kingdom citizens. Continue reading…