TODAY I am in INVERNESS and tomorrow in ABERDEEN – PLEASE PRAY FOR ME
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THE CONTENTS OF MY HEAD AND HEART
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This bought me a couple of more hours in the flat in Glasgow where I had time for a porridge breakfast and then hung around to be available to speak with the Landlord. The flatmates had been having problems with some intimidating neighbours. The nice Landlord came and was exceptionally helpful.
I arrived in Stirling dead on time, passing signs for Bannockburn and the Wallace memorial. I remember that one of my good buddies whilst visiting the Wallace memorial had also asked where Grommet was buried and had somehow managed to get out of Scotland alive. Cheeky monkey.
Destiny church in Stirling was not only above the Bingo but actually resided in the place, occupying what was the old Cinema. In fact, they rented two of the screening auditoriums. I was green with envy. It was a fantastic facility. The leader Gordon was a tremendous chap. Open, expectant and with hot coffee.
He met me outside the church and took me to some free parking and helped me carry the PA and board back down to the Bingo which would become our base of operations. Here we chatted and got to know each other in a strange ‘do the work of an Evangelist speed dating kind of scenario’ before we walked into the city centre to find a pitch. It was less than a five minutes’ walk away. Stirling was not a big city.
The Bagpipes squalled at the entrance to the shopping mall and there was loads of people here and most importantly no bitter buskers. So, I decided where might be a good spot to put the PA and we headed back to the church to pray.
I took my trusty board out and wrote. ‘Rev’ back before my name (did this really give me street cred?) Stirling and the well known Minor prophet of HABAKKUK!
Actually Habakkuk is the prophet who has a question mark for a brain and is the doubting Thomas of the Old Testament (thank you McGee) and more importantly he asks the BIG question we all ask of God. “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
Steve joined me and Gordon to pray together at church and in not too short a time we had set up across from the entrance to the shopping mall and turned on the PA.
This wee PA has a vast sound and I got people’s attention and began to tell them what I was doing and also asked for some street interviews.
I spoke for a few minutes from Habakkuk. I was rubbish. No one seemed to respond or want to stop and talk. No one came forward for a chat or an interview.
I tried to drum up some street interviews but it wasn’t working. So I interviewed Gordon on the Street (who had been quietly engaging folk in conversation and handing out tracts) to see if that would draw some attention and get some other people interested. It worked. A very young buster reminded me that I had already asked him for an interview and so I did another one. “Oh” he says “The Piper also wants and interview” So I go and sit down with him and do an interview. He’s only aged 14 and studying the Pipes and the Fiddle at Music school. Amazing.
We decided to move our pitch up toward Café Nero’s. My PA came with two Mics and I wanted to interview Gordon on the Streets over this one BIG question. I told him that I would be slightly antagonistic. We bought coffee and so with Mic in one hand and with a cup of coffee in the other, we went for it.
Now the amazing thing was, people stopped to listen to the interview. Despite the pipes skirling in the background, people were stopping and listening to me giving Gordon a slightly hard time. Here was a local church leader being interviewed on the streets in a reasonably lively fashion and people were stopping to listen in. They seemed genuinely intrigued.
By now I had had several coffees that morning and imagined the possibilities of some on street scenarios for unique forms of Evangelism.
Imagine carrying a brightly coloured Sofa into a market place, plonking it down and having a few local Pastors being willing to offer some free advice, ON THE SOFA . Imagine carrying two brightly coloured leather (easy to wipe the rain off and highly attractive ) arm chairs into a city centre plopping them down and carrying out interviews over hard questions, the Christian response to current events. Imagine inviting the mayor, the police, the ‘whoever’ down to an ‘In the Armchair event’ out on the streets. Imagine putting a sign around the arm chairs that says “Pastor SoandSo challenges any atheist, agnostic, whatever to open discussion and debate – Microphone and hot coffee provided” This would get people’s attention! If it could be recorded then it could be played each week as a local Vox Pop in church, put on YouTwitFace and much talked about. Imagine, setting up a brightly coloured confessional booth in the city centre, where people could go and confess their sins and be prayed for. I mean c’mon, let’s get creative here. It’s all a can do and ANY local church can do it. C’mon Pastors put those eleventeen years of in depth Theological training to good use. Reach the lost where the lost are for a change.
The day was passing and I had to get on the road to Inverness. It was going to maybe be a three hour drive and I wanted to try and do most of the driving through the Cairngorms whilst it was still light.
Gordon and Steve helped load me up, we parted in prayer, (which is what Moses regular did and what barbers and surgeons should regularly practice) and away I went.
The Highlands were beautiful and sparsely inhabited until after nearly three hours; the road went through a pass which all of a sudden opened up to the well it and seemingly sprawling city of Inverness, the capital of the Highlands.
Tonight though I was staying on Nairn just twelve miles south of the City and as I drove there the night sky seemed to be lit up with a standing tornado, a bellowing billow of white smoke lit from below by a yellow and orange light which formed a fiery pillar into the sky. I passed it some five minutes later and saw that amidst the darkened fields there appeared to be a very active industrial complex.
Denny and Audrey where waiting for me. They were returned, they were brethren, they were welcoming, and they had the table set and the put the dinner on. I was there less than two minutes when Audrey asked if I had any washing. Did I have any washing! “Well bring it in then and let me put it on” I told her that I wasn’t happy about another women going through my smalls and she just laughed. “I’ve been a nurse all my life and I have handled worse things than your smalls.” I had been on the road for over 30 days. Even I wouldn’t handle some of my smalls.
It was a lovely meal and we chatted for an hour or so. Christianity is small world and getting smaller. It’s amazing who knows who. But more amazing is the common and immediate bond that can be formed by Christians. This is not a Masonic obligation, an old boy’s regimental recognition, or a team wearing the same strip kind of bond, no, this is a deep connection around Jesus as your saviour. “Tell me how became a Christian” is much more than a brief investigation of your credentials, it is a chance to revel in the mercies of God poured upon someone else’s life. It is very much a family thing that only the saved can truly enjoy.
Audrey and Denny had Wi Fi – so after plugging my devices in to get charged and queuing up the videos to load up onto YouTube a quick goodnight to Bridget and I was fast asleep. I wondered what tomorrow would bring.
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