Scotch-Irish Cruise Journal—Day 8

Eilean Donan Castle

This morning our ship anchored in the bay at Portree on the Isle of Skye.

Skye is an island of breathtaking beauty.

It is part of the Inner Hebrides islands off the west coast of Scotland.

St. Columba (521 A.D. – 597 A.D.) first brought the Gospel here in the 6th century when, using an interpreter, he led a local pagan leader to the Lord.

The stone upon which he stood when he preached is still here at a place called St. Columba’s Isle.

The weather was horrible today—rainy and cold—but we still made it into town in the morning to look around and do some shopping.

In the afternoon, we took a bus trip to Eilean Donan Castle, probably the most photographed castle in the world. Eilean Donan is named after Donan of Eigg, an Irish monk who came to Skye as a missionary to reach the Picts with the Gospel. In the process he established a cell of monks on a small island at Eilean Donan and may have built a church where the castle now stands. Continue reading…

Scotch-Irish Cruise Journal—Day 7

Skara Brae

Today the the GSB team went the way of the herd.

We joined the excursion to Skara Brae.

Skara Brae is a 5,000 year-old settlement that was discovered by a local when a storm removed the sod covering the tops of these stone homes.

To put this in a biblical perspective, 3000 B.C. would have been perhaps a few hundred years before the Noahic flood.

Their homes were built from stones placed in holes they dug out in the ground to protect them from the wind and cold.

What happened to these people? Our tour guide said we don’t know. But look at those stone homes. Continue reading…

Scotch-Irish Cruise Journal—Day 6

On a cruise, each day in port offers a buffet of cruise-sponsored excursions.

Today, in Invergordon, Scotland that buffet included Scotch distilleries, castles, and of course, Loch Ness.

For the GSB team, I offered the Hugh Miller Excursion, subtitled, “The Kingdom Men Who Changed the World Tour.”

As I laid it out for them, I could see they were none too excited.

The Wife and I had done the distillery thing and Scotch tasting.

We had been to all the castles on the excursions.

We had been to Loch Ness numerous times and as recently as three months ago.

Yet the wife chose Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle, and the others followed. “Maybe we will see Nessie,” I’m sure I heard someone say.

“Let them go,” I thought. Let them tour the chachka-filled, tourist trap, gift shops. Let them pay the admission at the Loch Ness museum to learn we still don’t know whether there is or ever was a Loch Ness monster. I don’t care. Nessie may have changed Scottish tourism, but Hugh Miller changed the world. Continue reading…

Scotch-Irish Cruise Journal—Day 5

In Lounge at Sea

Today was an at-sea day, as our ship took us from Edinburgh to Invergorden, Scotland.

It was a day to relax.

There was little or no cell phone coverage and spotty wifi but plenty of time to read, relax, and talk.

I hadn’t mentioned it yet, but our newcomer to the GSB team on this trip is Cindi. She is a great addition. She has an amazing story of how she encountered God when her son, a former Nascar driver, dragged her to a church one day.

Those who have had a powerful experience with God often are the most convinced and committed Christians. We can talk all we want about not building faith around a subjective experience but explain that to the Apostle Paul, or those present at Pentecost. Those who have experienced the presence of the Lord in a powerful way know it and seldom need apologetics to convince them because, like Paul, they know by Whom they have been apprehended. Continue reading…

Scotch-Irish Cruise Journal—Day 4

Grange Cemetery

We had one more morning in Edinburgh before boarding the ship today.

While others slept and enjoyed leisurely breakfasts at the hotel, I went to the cemetery.

Not just any cemetery but Grange Cemetery.

Within Grange Cemetery are the graves of some great kingdom men and women.

Thomas Nelson, Sr. and Thomas Nelson, Jr. are buried in the far northwest corner of the cemetery. Thomas Nelson, Sr. founded the publishing company that has become the largest Christian publisher in the world.

Next to Nelson is the grave of Hugh Miller, a Scottish stone mason, who although self-taught, became one of the most respected geologists in the world while at the same time one of the most influential churchmen in the movement to establish the Free Church of Scotland. More about Miller on Monday. Continue reading…