Well, we eventually had to leave the beautiful “Emerald Isle” & flew via Ryan Air(great deals on flights in Europe) on to Edinburgh, Scotland, where I had spent awonderfully happy summer doing mission work back in 1972. Edinburgh is abustling city with nearly a half a million inhabitants. It’s the second largest city in Scotland and the seventh largest in the U.K. It was a major historical center of the Enlightenment and was known as the “Athens of the North.” Both the Old Town and the New Town have become UNESCO World Heritage Sites because of their unique beauty and charm. In fact, there are some 4,500 buildings listed on their national register! Today, Edinburgh is Scotland’s political and cultural center, and although we visited in May (which is a great time), I would definitely consider coming for the Military Tattoo in August (if you can get tickets…40 years ago it wasn’t hard, but now the tickets sell out way in advance)! Also in August “The Fringe” occurs, the world’s largest arts festival, sprawling all over the city, especially down the Royal Mile, and boasting almost 2700 shows including over 1,400 world premieres and over 600 free! (Choose with care.) 🙂 We arrived too early on a Sunday morning to check into our apartment, andso we chose the only reasonable alternative…a great comfort breakfast! From my months of sharing the gospel with folks all over the city, I felt at home on the the Royal Mile and Princes Street, and so we parked and began a walking tour.Our first event was to enjoy a worship service at one of the many area churches.Even the evangelical services are conducted in magnificent buildings with gorgeous interiors and inspiring music. After a refreshing service, we continuedup the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle, built at the top of volcanic Castle Rock.This area hosts the Military Tattoo & has become a national symbol of Scotland.Due to the great views and museums, it’s Scotland’s top tourist attraction. Beingvery tired by this time, we stopped for a wonderful Indian lunch and decided tosimply meander through the interesting fabric mill and enjoy the shops rather than tour museums or even their delightful zoo and botanical gardens. We weremore than ready for a nap when it was time to check in and were amazed at thegleaming apartment (including even a laundry room) that we had found online for less than the price of most regular rooms in capital cities around the world!Thus revived, we headed out to enjoy views of Holyrood Palace and the gorgeousnatural beauty surrounding Edinburgh. I remember back in 1972 thinking that some day I wanted to bring Alan back to see Edinburgh and the wild North Sea.Thank you, Lord, for allowing me such a great privilege! Following God on the upward climb has been much more challenging than I ever could have imagined, but still, I’m thankful every day for the gift of life, for our wondrous world, andfor a God who loves us and is willing to guide us home to heaven.
“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3)
“There is not a heart but has it moments of longing, yearning for something better, nobler, holier than it knows now.” —Henry Ward Beecher
Higher Ground (by Johnson Oatman)
“I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I’m onward bound,
‘Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.’
“My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Though some may dwell where those abound,
My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.
“I want to live above the world,
Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
For faith has caught the joyful sound,
The song of saints on higher ground.
“I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright;
But still I’ll pray till Heav’n I’ve found,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
“Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on Heaven’s table land,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”