Struggling with Memory: Another Anniversary

IMG_0227The month of May began with anniversaries as I posted here; it concludes today with the anniversary of my ordination in my home church 27 years ago (University Street Christian Church, Eugene, Oregon).

That Sunday in 1987 was a very difficult day, with little to celebrate and even less to rejoice in. That may surprise you. Yes, Tam (a few weeks pregnant with Jess) and Andrew and I were surrounded by family. Yes, we were encircled by friends and extended family and church family. And yes, it was a kind of homecoming for us. But it became blurred with loss and grief.

The day started out wonderful. I joined my friend Greg in co-teaching his Sunday School class, renewing a tie Greg had established a couple of years earlier by coming alongside me to encourage and mentor me. Arlene, his wife was there. The minister, Gary and wife Gini were there. Tammy sat alongside our friends Paul and Jan. A couple of their children, as also with Greg and Arlene, were in the youth group that Tam and I led for a couple of years. A dozen and a half friends gathered together thinking together about God’s passion for the nations. And the anticipation of a Sunday afternoon ordination service with several of our respected friends, elders, and family participating.

When Peggy poked through the dividers to call Gary out of the class, nothing really seemed amiss. When she came back and called Paul and Jan out, accompanied by Gini, we began to wonder what was up. And then, as best I can remember it, it was Gary who returned to call Greg and Arlene out from the class. Our hearts were troubled. Greg and Arlene’s daughter Marci was with Paul and Jan’s son Steve for their high school prom. A few minutes later Greg returned to tell us terrible news: “There has been an accident. Steve has been killed. Marci is critically injured and we have to leave.”

Parenthetically, this wouldn’t be the last tragedy our friend Greg and family would endure. While Marci would eventually recover from her injuries, a few years later (now 20 years ago), we were the last to visit and take photos of Greg and Arlene together, just days before we moved to England in 1994. The next morning Arlene was murdered on her front doorstep by a stalker with mental issues and known to the family.

The rest of that morning and afternoon was overshadowed by shock and sadness. The decision was made to carry on with the ordination service; we had travelled from Arizona to Oregon for the weekend and we couldn’t easily reschedule. Many of our friends would now not be taking part. Church leaders and church family scrambled to care for our hurting friends. Other friends, teachers, and loved ones filled the gaps. Somewhere I have a copy of the ordination service sheet which would remind me of all those who took part, but I confess my my memory of the day is quite fuzzy. I really do not remember much of anything of my own words which I spoke to those gathered to encourage and support and share their love with me and my family.

IMG_0180Over the course of these many years, apart from the vivid memory of the departure of my friends in succession from the Sunday School class and the raw emotions which culminated, I remember a single passage of Scripture. These words of Paul to his beloved co-worker Timothy, whom he coached and mentored into Christian leadership and contributed indispensibly to his shaping as a follower of Jesus, about the nature of his calling and spiritual responsibility:

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.”

“Be ready in season and out of season” is the refrain I hear and reflect on each time I remember this event or when 31 May comes round. It remains apropro. With my 53rd birthday coming up next week, I have been around long enough to experience seasons of life and ministry. There have been weeks or months and years when hearing and following Jesus has been fun, adventurous, rewarding, ‘easy,’ and exhilirating. Similarly, there are have been patches of time when being a disciple has been wearying, mundane, exasperating, a struggle, and hardly affirming. There have been seasons when we are crystal clear about our passions and focus and gifting and purposes; and seasons when we wonder “what am I suppose to be doing?!!”


The last three years have been a season unlike any we’ve experienced previously. Finishing a DMin dissertation (Tim) hip replacement (Tam), several months of decline and then death of a parent (Tam’s dad), the unexpected heart attack and death of another parent (Tim’s mum) and both within ten days of each other. Diffused ministry focus with Dickens Heath Village Church, thethirdplace, the Fellowship of Churches of Christ (National Leadership Team and Church Planting Task Group), our CMFi team in the UK and internationally. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve hosted a team of 12 university students in a cross cultural ministry experience, made a trip to Oregon to see Tam’s mum because of health concerns, visited 23 of our supporting churches travelling 7800 miles over ten weeks.

Just a week after we returned from this exhausting whirlwind of speaking, presenting and people, it became clear that Tam’s mum was having some issues with her memory and needed help after a move of house. So, Tam was off to Oregon again for a fortnight to help mum unpack and settle in and develop some good practices for taking meds and socializing with her new neighbours. Tammy returned Friday morning. Less than 24 hours later and just a couple of hours ago, we learned that one of mum’s neighbours had found her wandering about looking for family and not knowing where she was. Morover, she hadn’t taken any of her medications since Tam left. She had just had a couple of lucid conversations with her brother and daughter (Tam’s sister, Terry). And we ask the question again, “What would God have us do?”

The answer, today, this anniversary of my ordination day, Be ready in season and out of season.

The answer, today, this anniversary of my ordination day, from the morning office of the Northumbrian Community which Tam and I just prayed together: To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have come to know that you [Lord Jesus] are the Holy One of God.

The answer, today, this season of aging and passing parents, of memories fading and forgotten and sometimes remembered again or remembered on behalf of those struggling to remember, comes again in words I read at my mum’s funeral two years ago, and also from the Northumbrian Community:

Lord, You have always given
bread for the coming day;
and though I am poor,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always given
strength for the coming day;
and though I am weak,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always given
peace for the coming day;
and though of anxious heart,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always kept
me safe in trials;
and now, tried as I am,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always marked
the road for the coming day;
and though it may be hidden,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always lightened
this darkness of mine;
and though the night is here,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always spoken
when time was ripe;
and though you be silent now,
today I believe.

Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Snail Destination

Lindisfarne Study Week – Day 8 and Wrap-up

And to every trip and travel there comes a journey’s end. Saturday morning also dawned clear after a night of rain. My hosts, Netsanet and Misrak (and Nathan, Jaden, and Lewi from oldest to youngest) treated me to a cooked breakfast of sausages, eggs, toast, and orange juice. Not to mention a lovely cup of coffee!


And then I was on my way…and in 10 seconds it was raining! At the first petrol station I got under cover and put on my waterproof trousers which stayed on the rest of the day even if there was only a couple of showers to ride through. I went to Holmforth from Leeds and tried to see a friend there, but he was off playing tennis so I spent a couple of hours moving south through the Peak District, making a stop in Bakewell to buy a mother’s day gift for Tammy and get a sandwich and a drink. I may not have gotten very wet, but the wind felt like gale force!

And then it was make my way home by as direct a route as I could, arriving 4.00pm in the afternoon. All told, I got 847 miles on the bike on the four days of the eight that I traveled. I saw some great scenery along the way, the landscape of Celtic Christianity, great experiences and new friends, and a lot to tell Tammy and some practices to introduce into my life in following Jesus. I suspect some of these will show up in future postings as I reflect on what I have learned and am learning.

Lindisfarne Class editedIMG_1837For more photos, go to Thanks for reading and following my adventures of the last 8 days!

Lindisfarne Study Week – Day 7

The last day of ‘formal’ class dawned bright and clear. To be honest, there has hardly been anything ‘formal’ about our studies this week. Our little hodge podge of Kiwis, Scots, Canucks, Americans and English have enjoyed a delightful week together looking at the roots, story, and style of Celtic mission.

After writing about Thursday’s experiences, I walked again past the ruins of the old Benedictine Monastery (which replaced the buildings and Celtic monastic site  some time after the Norman Conquest of 1066, four centuries later). I took more photos of the local scene (which can be found at, several of which I thought turned out very well. The serendipitous slo-mo video of the bumblebee was a highlight!

Olive led the final session, helping us to reflect on ‘Spirituality to Go’ which also happens to be the title of a book she wrote a few years ago. Essentially, as the Celtic Christians, integrating prayer intentionally into the warp and woof of life. This is the question I wrote to myself, “What daily practices do I have that can become spiritual practices because of what prayer or posture I add to it?”

We concluded with communion together, and then each of us was given a large piece of matzos (unleavened cracker). We were to go to each of our classmates, break off a piece, and say something to that person about what we had observed, enjoyed, or been challenged by in him or her. I wish I had been able to record or video this! The little groups of two gathered to speak to one another: laughter, tears, smiles of encouragement. I can only say that it was deeply affirming.

And then it was gear on, motorbike started, and off Holy Island! I headed for Bamburgh (the view of the castle as one comes into the town is amazing!) and took the coastal route south for an hour before heading inland toward the Northumberland National Park – and a short stop to see Hadrian’s Wall. Making my way south, I went through the stupendous and barren beauty of the Fells, north of the Yorkshire Dales.

I wasn’t able to go through the Dales again because I had to make my way to Leeds and our friend Hirpo. Meeting him and son Mattiel, we drove to the home of the current leader of Emmanuel Christian Fellowship, to whom Hirpo handed over leadership after planting the church. I have got to write down their names, because they are Amharic, I cannot wrap my head around the spellings! I certainly could wrap my mouth around the curry and rice I was served and the warm cups of coffee and the hospitality I received!

Lindisfarne Study Week – Day 6

Another wake-up at 4am after a late night; I thought this week was about rest and restoration and getting some sleep! Only six hours a night isn’t what I wanted or hoped….. Anyway, I offer the below of my thoughts from the day. Go to if you want to see photos.

Nevertheless, today’s events were thought and prayer provoking. The morning communion service at St Mary’s was worshipful and meaningful for me, particularly some thoughts given for those who follow after Jesus in whatever form or fashion unique to that person or community. Speaking of Julian of Norwich (in the Roman and Anglican form of worship there are often references to saints or significant individuals in the life and history of the church), there was a reference to her service to God in ‘agony and joy.’

That turn of phrase really caught my attention. Later, in our morning session led by Mary Fleeson (google Lindisfarne Scriptorium and you will find her and husband Mark’s shop and artistic work), she asked us to identify two or three significant events from the previous day. Mary then asked us to select a couple of items from a large glass fish-bowl. Two items immediately caught my attention; a small piece of confetti and a shell with a small hole in it amongst all the shells and glass shards softened and smoothed by the sea.

Cleverly, Mary asked us to gather in groups of 4x and explain our selected item(s) and the significant event(s), and then to think of writing a ‘breath’ prayer. That is, something which could be said in the course of an exhale before requiring another intake of breath. And this is what I wrote, which became a kind of contemporary celtish prayer to Father, Son, and Spirit for me:

Lord of agony and joy, of emotions high and low, of service sacred and difficult, of mind ebullient and fecund and afflicted and sorrowful, be also this day my agony and my joy.

WordPress on the iPad doesn’t let me put in meter and rhyme like I would prefer, and it may not make sense to you…but it does to me!

I had to move out of my lodgings at The Open Gate today, and move over to the Manor Hotel (from cheap and reasonable to very expernsive!). Apparently, 40 some Anglican bishops from the north of England have invaded Holy Island for 24 hours, and my lodging at The Open Gate had already been reserved before I made my booking.

To end the day, I attended evensong at which Anna was singing. I entered at the same time as Anna, who was a bit fraught from arriving later than she wanted so I sat in a pew toward the front next to her and then prayed for her when she had settled. Almost immediately, in this very quiet and reverent building could be heard the gaggle of bishops noisily making their way to the entrance and then to their seats. I smiled to myself as I noticed many a head turn to see what the clucking was all about! While many responsive readings are not my style or a form of worship that excites me, I was pleasantly amused that this very full building of bishops and villagers and visitors couldn’t recite the canticles and Psalm 73 in unison quite right!

The retired bishop who spoke a reflection on Psalm 73 (I didn’t learn his hame but chatted briefly to him after evensong, so that’s how I know he was retired, but apparently even in retirement you are still a bishop, I guess) that was very insightful, but it was Anna singing, of all things, a little known Graham Kendrick Easter song that penetrated deeply. Her clear and pure voice made these words ring profoundly in my soul. A selection doesn’t do it justice, so here it is in total:

No scenes of stately majesty for the King of Kings, No nights aglow with candle flame for the King of love, No flags of empire hung in shame for Calvary, No flowers perfumed the lonely way that led him to a borrowed tomb for Easter Day.

No wreaths upon the ground were laid for the King of kings, Only a crown of thorns remained where he gave his love, A message scrawled in irony “King of the Jews’ Lay trampled where they turned away and no-one knew That is was the first Easter Day.

Yet nature’s finest colours blaze for the King of kings, And stars in jewelled-clusters say: ‘Worship heaven’s King!’ Two thousand spring times more have bloomed. Is that enough? Oh how can I be satisfied until he hears The  whole world sing of Easter love?

My prayers shall be a fragrance sweet for the King of kings. My love the flowers at his feet for the King of love. My love the flowers at his feet for the King of love. My vigil is to watch and pray until he comes. My highest tribute to obey and live to know, The power of that first Easter Day.

(Graham Kendrick, copyright 1998 Make Way Music)

Lindisfarne Study Week – Day 5 (Wednesday)

After 2 late nights with mostly Celtic song one evening and Celtic dance on the other (the first I really enjoyed as a listener and occasional joining in song; the second certainly an active and participatory learning style but not so much to my liking), it was refreshing to have a slower morning.

After joining in morning prayers at St Cuthbert’s Centre at 9.30am, we walked Lindisfarne Island. Not the whole length and breadth, mind you (at nine miles in circumference, a bit too far for most), but across the middle then along the border, fences, and beaches. Absolutely delightful and full of conversation with others of this diverse group (three couples, the rest singles; five of us taking the course non-credit; four for credit and tasked with writing papers and more reading than the rest of us).

The walk was led by Andy Raine and concluded at the ‘prayer caves’ overlooking St Cuthbert’s Island. Little more than slight depressions into the cliffside, and requiring a bit of nimble navigation on a pathway to occupy, these are places of prayer with centuries of history. Aiden founded the monastery on Lindisfarne in 635AD. Cuthbert made a temporary hermitage on the little island only a few yards away c.675 (I’m guessing the year from the little bit of information I have to hand as I write this), before moving to an island a couple miles further out and away from Lindisfarne (still visible from the prayer caves).

After lunch John and Olive led us in some discussion of key learnings, in their view, of the Celtic expression of following God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit (as these early Christians would have no doubt emphasized the Three in One.

There is much too much to share here, but I felt affirmed in two or three aspects of following Jesus and being missional (sharing and being the Good News of the Kingdom of God to people in a proactive and embracing way). First, the the style and approach of putting belonging before behaving and believing. What I mean by that is there is something about being a Jesus community together first that shapes and influences and testifies and transforms others in their behaviour as they take part in the community before their beliefs (heart before head, or feeling before intellect). John quoted a producer of television programmes with whom he was acquainted that said ‘I want to help people feel so much they cannot help but think.’

There’s also the practice of ‘soul friendship’ or being a Soul Friend. Andy mentioned this while were on our walk as a kind of person ‘who prepares another for death; and then prepares that person for life.’ It involves listening to another’s story (listening!!), helping that person discern what God is doing and how to respond to God, what practices or manner of life help work out that response, and praying for that person.

I can’t help but think of my friend Larry with whom I’ve been meeting for 15 years to pray and talk and listen and consider our ways of life. Or Tammy, my love of 31 years, who has helped me in a myriad of ways unpack the life I lived before meeting her and in our years together since then. Or other mentors and guides too numerous to mention. Now, maybe these don’t strictly meet the Celtic understanding of a soul friend (for many, apparently, it was only necessary to meet one’s soul friend 1x a year), but these are indispensable to me. And for which I am deeply grateful.

Lindisfarne Study Week – Day 4

Well, a late night last night and an early morning make for a tired boy as I write in the late afternoon reflecting on the day thus far.

This morning’s guest speaker was Kate Tristram. What a fascinating woman! Raised in Stourbridge just south of Solihull, she trained at Oxford to be a teacher in religious studies and history, taught in secondary school for a few years, then began lecturing at Durham University in their theological college. Having moved to Lindisfarne in 1979 after 16 years at Durham, this energetic 83 years young Anglican church leader spoke for two hours on the history of the Celts, Anglo-Saxons, and early Celtic and English (Anglo-Saxon) leaders (monks and saints).

Amazingly, at age 63 she decided to get a post-graduate degree in both Medieval Latin and Medieval Irish. She said the Latin was fairly easy and interesting, but the Irish nearly drove her crackers! If anyone has come across such names as Naimh (pronounced ‘neeve’), then you’ll have a little flavour of what she means.

Kate described the beginnings of Lindisfarne as a monastic site in 635AD. She described it’s relation to Iona (off western coast of Scotland), and the education the band of 12 monks with him began. They took in 12 non-literate children (Anglo-Saxons were illiterate but an oral culture) and Year 1 was learning to read and write Latin and memorize, in Latin all 150 Psalms! Graduating to Year 2 was to learn the Gospels in Latin by heart, and the years following included laws of the OT, the prophets, epistles, and so on.

Aiden, who started this monastic community, promptly left it and travelled the lands of Northumbria. When he began his journeys, the King gave him the finest horse (think F1 or Porsche or Ferrari) which Aiden promptly gave to a beggar on his first journey outside of the castle gates. When taken to task by the King, he challenged him, saying “How can you care more for the son of a mare then for a son of God?!” This humble man journeyed the lands, and all his monastic band did so without weapons (knife) in a violent society. (Kate mentioned that in this warrior society, it was not uncommon for a young girl of 12 to be married and be widowed up to 3 times by the time she was 18; her husband(s) in battle as early as aged 14 would often be killed.)

Significantly, ‘pilgrimage’ in those days was not about one’s personal journey to a religious or holy site for one’s own spiritual life and development, it was a one-way trip of adventuring with God to wherever He might take them. Hence these wanderers travelled the length and breadth of the British Isles and Continent with humility, identifying with the peoples to whom they travelled to bring the good news of the Kingdom of God.

Kate’s final recitation of an Irish poem about pilgrimage sums up that God was with these peregrinatio: ‘To go to Rome. Much problem. Much difficulty. You will not find there the God you seek unless you take him with you.’

There was more to the afternoon, with Ray Simpson (The Open Gate) and the evening yet to come with Andrew Raine (Northumbria Community), but I am tired and think I will take a nap!

Lindisfarne Study Week – Day 3

Having got to bed early last night, I expected a good night’s sleep. But I woke up at 12.30am and spent an hour reading before finally falling asleep again to rise at 5.30. I wanted to make my way to the Anglican worship service at 7.30am, followed by a communion service at 8.00am.

One would think that finding the building would be easy in this small village, but I managed to wander a bit before entering late. I was received graciously by three people. The leader happened to be Ray Simpson (see yesterday’s posting) and the reader Kate Tristram, both of whom are featured in our schedule for the week on Tuesday. The communion service had one more participant, a man who I later met and found was from Montreal, and finished yesterday St Cuthbert’s Walk.

I was struck by the holiness and hope of two of the Scripture readings, which hearkens back to my 1 May posting on Anniversaries. The first was from Exodus where Moses and the community of Israel are gathered as a holy people to the holy mountain where they worship a holy God. I was struck, personally, by the person I am, more often profane than holy, but full of hope and made holy by Jesus’ act of rescue and reconciliation remembered and recounted in Romans 6.4,8,9 in a responsive reading:

‘Since we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that Christ has been raised from death; he will never die again. We have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that we may walk with him in newness of life.’

The afternoon was spent meeting John and Olive Drane (Fuller adjunct professors and course organisers; Scotland), Pat (York, England), Christine (Ontario, Canada), Michelle and Daryl (Christchurch, New Zealand), Mark and Maggie (Seattle, Washington), Colin (Sandpoint, Idaho), and James (Fairfax, Virginia). We listened to each other’s stories about why we were here.

The day ended with Anna and Andrew Raine of the Northumbria Community  bringing a concert of mostly Celtic flavoured music (well, Anna mostly).  Photos on facebook at

Lindisfarne Study Week – Day 2

When I woke Sunday morning it was to the sound of rain; it was tipping it down. Were the weather reports not on my side for the day? After some quick checking, it was apparent that a weather front was moving through, and by the time I would be leaving the B&B it would stop. Sure enough, I didn’t get rained on all day, and while there was no sun to brighten the day, the clouds did not bring a single drop on me.

I left Kirkbymoorside around 10.30am and spent the next 90 minutes making multiple stops because my noise canceling earphones weren’t properly seated or I tried them over my ear plugs or to get petrol. But my first stop out of Kirkbymoorside was to take a photo of three rings. This is probably something local, but it reminded me of the three interlocking rings of Celtic origin, symbolic of the Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit). We use this as part of our logo for thethirdplace. Made for a lovely start to the day, and a sense of promise for the week ahead.

I made 227 miles for the day. I took a short detour to see Hadrian’s Wall…at least that’s what the sign said. And the detour wasn’t so short and then I saw just a short and deteriorated section of the wall from the road about 10 yards long with no convenient place to stop. As it was this detour was long enough that I wasn’t able to ‘follow’ the route of St Cuthbert’s way, and I was worried about making it to Lindisfarne before the rise of the tide made the way impassable. So, I arrived to the island about 4.15 with an hour to spare.

After dinner, and meeting briefly a couple of other students and the course instructors for the week, I returned to The Open Gate (a celtic community and retreat centre) where I am lodging and took up some reading again in George Hunter’s The Celtic Way of Evangelism and read a reference to Ray Simpson’s Celtic Prayers for Life Today about simple modern prayers for every day life including motorcyclists! I realized then that Ray Simpson is the co-founder of the community in whose retreat house I was staying! Not only that, their library and bookstore had that book. So I looked up the prayer, and read and prayed this prayer:

#39 On a Motorcyclist: God bless your steed. God bless your speed. Christ meet your need. By the Spirit be led, with angels overhead, until you reach your bed.

Every time I start a ride on my motorbike, I pray for safety and protection, wisdom in my riding, and for God’s blessing on our friend and colleague David in America in his riding, and for fruitfulness and effectiveness in finding and restoring lost people to the Father. I will be adding this to my prayer blessing.

I am trying to add photos to this blog, but since I using my iPad and a bluetooth keyboard, it isn’t straightforward. There is a WordPress iOS application to upload photos, but I cannot seem to get logged in. Until I sort that, you’ll find photos on my facebook postings which you can locate at

Lindisfarne Study Week – Day 1

After setting out from home in the morning at 10.20am (I was aiming for 10.00am), I made my way from Shirley, first to Leicester, Melton Mowbray, Colsterworth, Sleaford, Lincoln (beautiful view of the city and cathedral and where I stopped for petrol); then on to Wragby, Caistor and Barton upon Humber, site of the Humber Bridge. I really wanted to get a photo of the bridge, but missed the one place where I could do so. When the toll booth attendant waved me passed as there is no charge for motorbikes, I was tempted to go over the bridge again to find that spot!

From the bridge I made my way to Walkington and at some point thereafter, seeing a dozen motorbikes stopped at a chippy, decided that it was time for some fish and chips….not to mention a loo break. Oh, I did mention that! I got into conversation with one couple and my accent, as I often find even after 20 years in the UK, made it easy for questions about origins and home places and travel for the day. When I mentioned I was going to Lindisfarne, the gentleman said I would have a great stay there. And as I prepared myself to get on my bike, he came by to again wish me well and said I would love Holy Island (as many call it).

Encouraged by those words, I made my final few of 219 miles through Malton and Pickering to Kirkby Mills where I was met by the proprietor of Brickside, the B&B where I’m staying for the night. After settling in for the evening, he directed me across fields to the town centre and a local pub where I got my evening meal.

Returning back to the B&B (dodging the sheep, rabbits, and the little things they leave behind everywhere), I re-commenced reading George Hunter’s The Celtic Way of Evangelism. I stopped before picking up early this morning where he describes an early Celtic prayer guide called the Carmina Gadelica that taught Celtic Christians forms of prayers for any and every activity of the day, from lighting the fire in the morning to ‘smooring’ the fire at the end of the day (a prayerful process of ‘subduing’ the fire down for the night; I had to look ‘smooring’ up in google to determine the meaning! I would give you a link but WordPress and my iPad and the bluetooth keyboard I am using won’t let me select a word to give a hyperlink!).

And I came across this prayer, which would have been great to pray last night before the day ended, had I found it then. But it still serves as a great way to end this post for Day 1:

I lie down this night with God, and God will lie down with me; I lie down this night with Christ, and Christ will lie down with me; I lie down this night with the Spirit, and the Spirit will lie down with me; God and Christ and the Spirit be lying down with me.

Today I make my way to Lindisfarne. There is a walk called St Cuthbert’s Way which meanders 62 miles from Melrose to Lindisfarne. I will mimic that walk on the motorbike as best I can today. The tide prevents access to the island after 17.20 today, but I shall be there long before that.

Lindisfarne Study Week – Day 1 (Pre-Departure)

This morning I am departing Shirley and over the next two days making my way to Lindisfarne on the motorbike. A couple of months ago I booked a Fuller Seminary audit course on Celtic Christianity and Spirituality (one of the benefits of being a Fuller DMin graduate). I will be away eight days! I have been eager to have this time of retreat and study away from home and in a new and different place. I am praying for clarity and focus on our next season of ministry, or at least for the next six to eighteen months.

I will be on my Honda NT700 Deauville (2009), and it is fully packed and ready to go.

Lord, bless Tammy today and this week while I am away. Protect me while I ride the roads to my destination. Give me ears to hear and eyes to see what you want to do in me this week. In your mercy, hear my prayer. In Jesus’ name. Amen.