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THE CONTENTS OF MY HEAD AND HEART
SO DO CHECK BACK-MEANWHILE :
I got up at around 7:00am. The mornings are getting darker and I am afraid that I want to sleep that much longer. I feel that I need some fresh wind and some fresh fire for the remaining part of my journey. Inverness was my 36th city and was the farthest city north. Not only was I on my way home numerically speaking, but now, I would be travelling back down South. Indeed, when I left Edinburgh I would be in the New Testament and in New Castle! Would I need a translator from sojourn in the North East of England? Undoubtedly. In any event, I intend to get a vertical black and white soccer shirt for Newcastle and a red and white one for Sunderland. I’m not worried!
Mitch in Belfast had prayed that in my 66 city journey I would find each city n seven to contain some peace and rest therein. A city with the pressure off. I can honestly say that I have found this. I might not take a day off in these 66 cities but you know, I am finding that the pressure of the day is occasionally being taken off me. Isn’t that wonderful?
Meanwhile in Inverness, my wonderful brethren host, to add to her recovering from cancer also had Lyme’s disease to cope with. She had extended herself yesterday and now was exhausted. Yet despite this, after I got out of the shower, my clothes now appeared on my bed, washed, folded and all my shirts ironed and to top it all, breakfast was on the table and some Sandwiches had been made for my lunch. Another Dorcus labouring for God and asking nothing in return. The Gospel goes out on the back of such people. We should never forget that.
Denny, Audrey’s husband, had gone out to the wee Gospel hall to put the heating on for the elderly congregation. On a good day there would be six old ladies. I wondered what become of the building when yet another wee light flickered out.
We breakfasted together on hot tea, toast and marmalade and then I was off. Inverness was twelve hours North of Nairn, but I had time to check out the wee town and the beach. It was a beautiful morning and this place was obviously a retirement town. It looked a beautiful place and the Sunday morning quiet was just lovely.
Driving the maybe 12 miles North back into Inverness, I passed the wood factory, still perpetually flushing out its steam in vast amounts. It was so strange to see this heavy industrial unit in the middle of such grandeur. Still, Scotland has more than enough forests to keep feeding the beast and apparently the pilots coming into the airport loved the living windsock which painted the wind direction in a flourish of hot white steam clouds below them.
I had decided to find a coffee shop and catch up on my missed days of typing. But as I was on the phone to David talking about the Costa coffee meeting this afternoon, the initial 40 people turning up at Costa seemed to be going down and so, I decided to join him at his church and see if I could get some more to come along and bring some of their friends.
I arrived at 10:45 and found that the church was associated with the US Calvary Chapel’s movement and the Pastor and his assistant were both American. They had been beavering away for years and today there was about 40 folks in attendance. The Pastor invited me up the front to make my pitch for 66 Cities and Costa in the afternoon and afterward over more coffee I managed to get some more interviews. These folks were serious about the Bible.
The Costa meeting where I would be sharing from Zephaniah started at 3:00pm and by the time I got out of church, I had maybe an hour to park the car, find the coffee shop and eat my Sandwiches which Audrey had also made me just in case no one invited me to lunch (thank you Audrey!). I called Bridget and we both shared our church experience of that morning and spoke about cats and ‘Downton Abbey,’ which though good, in my mind is a poor Sunday night television replacement for ‘Larkrise to Candleford.’ which I unashamedly love. I used to curt my sermons short Anyhow I digress.
I got back to Cost at 2:45pm and people were lining up for coffee. David was perpetually on the phone, texting, calling, rushing around and to cut a very long and boring story short, about ten of us eventually sat down in a bit of a scabby and private room upstairs. This was not Café Church as is usually done elsewhere. Even the very mild and placid Cid Latte would be in convulsions at our little Costa gathering.
Zephaniah is a tough message, redeemed only with the wonderful verses of the King of Israel rejoicing over His redeemed people with singing. It’s like having a very burnt and bitter back cup of coffee with no sugar lightly topped off with a little wee bit of cream and bright red maraschino cherry. It’s a strange drink to swallow. This prophet, some 23 times mind you, talks of ‘The Day of the Lord.’ Listen: The great day of the Lord is near; It is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the Lord is bitter; There the mighty men shall cry out. That day is a day of wrath, A day of trouble and distress, A day of devastation and desolation, A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness…. Zephaniah 1:14-15. How do you like that for a Sunday afternoon. There were only a few questions afterwards and this might have been because they were in shock!
I left maybe an hour after I had planned. Honestly, I don’t know if I had done any good. Bless their hearts, I seemed to leave some of the young folks looking like frightened rabbits caught in the headlights? I hate this ‘wham bam thank you maam style of preach and go’. You must have follow up. Thankfully the assistant Pastor was part of the group so hopefully he will pick up the thread. I was already an hour over my intended departure time.
The drive down to Aberdeen, apart from getting stuck behind several tractors, took me a couple of hours. The countryside was beautiful and the Whiskey trail was clearly signposted. I realised for the first time that my very good Scottish friend had probably named his first child ‘Moray’ after a brand of Whiskey. I smiled.
I started arriving in Aberdeen at around 7:00pm. I had in my mind that this was a small city, but I forgot that is was the third largest city in Scotland. I seemed to be driving through Nineveh and it was taking forever. My meal providers lived in the South of the city and I arrived at John and Liz’s at around 7:30pm. They had just moved up here themselves from Newcastle. Their two delightful dogs greeted me and we sat down to a wonderful meal of chicken and chips with gravy and red wine in a real glass, all followed by homemade chocolate cake. I mean, C’mon! How wonderful is that. It was super to chat over old times and deliver some curtains and stuff from Audrey in Inverness. (Liz and she were old, old friends). I had known John and Liz myself for a few years now and they were wonderful people. We ate, chatted, prayed and laughed. It was worth the journey just for that and by 9:30pm John had guided me a few miles down the road to another lovely Christian couple who were the leaders of Destiny church in Aberdeen. I would be staying at their house for the next two nights. They did not have Wi Fi. But the bed was warm big and bewitching. Thank you Jesus.
Despite the seduction of the duvet, I chatted with my brand new friends until way after 11 and again found my spirit to be warmed and excited but what was going on.
Eventually, as usual, I plugged in all my stuff to re-charge and fell immediately to sleep wondering what tomorrow would bring.
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