What Counts as Home?

I've been pondering the way we tend to use the word home--- rather loosely as it turns out. I've also been wondering--- what counts as home? We have cliches of course---- 'home is where the heart is' 'there's no place like home' and so on. It seems to be a place where most of us long to be, but why? I call High Point N.C. my hometown, because that's where I was born and grew up (through high school). But it's not really my home any more. It appears that the normal use of the term home … [Read more...]

Billy Graham’s Prayer for America

I grew up in Charlotte, not far from where Billy Graham's family originally had their farm. I became friends with his co-worker Leighton Ford when I went off to Gordon Conwell. Billy has meant a lot to me, and one thing for sure--- agree with him or disagree with him, he was always a straight shooter, telling the truth as he saw it, and usually I agree with him. Here below is his prayer for our country.'Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek … [Read more...]

The Durham Chronicles– Down by the Riverside, Up on the Tower

Spring has finally sprung here (I had begun to think the spring was broken). So, I decided to take Ian Rankin with me down to the river (the novel, not the man) and read for a while, as the river flowed by. Thing was... there were another zillion people who had the same idea on this gorgeous day. So, I got some reading done, but mostly I heard snippets of conversations--- like "I was standing in the queue at the hospital and the nurse came and got me, even though I wasn't at the front of the … [Read more...]

The Rankin File— Tooth and Nail

While I was in Edinburgh, there was a tour on offer, where one would apparently ride around and gawk at the famous writer's houses etc. The writers from Edinburgh who were listed were Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson, J.K. Rowling (yes Mrs. Potter herself), and Ian Rankin. The only one on this list I drew a blank on was the last mentioned Mr. Rankin (pictured above).My friend and colleague, Larry Hurtado, enlightened me... "he's a crime novelist, maybe the best in … [Read more...]

The Durham Chronicles— Visit to York Part Four

Saturday, since time immemorial in the U.K., is market day... and when market day happens in old York, all the buskers, blowers, crooners, bangers, players of music show up to entertain, along with jugglers, actors and ghost hunters. It's rather like a 3 ring circus comes to town. You can even ride the Ferris wheel by the river. But I digress. Let me show you some of the likely lads I came across...Nothing like a good pipes and drum corps to get the blood pumping. … [Read more...]

The Durham Chronicles– Visit to York– Part Three

So once you get outside the cathedral, seeing most anything is possible. York is, like Durham, on a good-sized river. In this case the Ouse (pronounced ooooze of course). But likely the first thing you notice when you get off the train is the old city walls.Then as you cross the bridge over the river, you will see the museum park where lie the ruins of an old abbey (in this case not referring to a person!)---And you may be tempted to do a wall walk... but don't bring … [Read more...]

The Durham Chronicles– Castle College

They say a man's home is his castle, but what if a castle is a student's home. Yes, it's true, the castle which used to be where the prince bishops used to dwell, is now the residence of a whole lot of Durham students, to some of whom I had the pleasure of listening to and giving a lecture to last week... so here are some snaps of Castle College... as it is now known.But of course you have to get by the porter to get into that courtyard... and here's the formidable gate...One … [Read more...]

The Durham Chronicles– Visit to York Part Two

I have a confession to make--- I am a stained glass window junkie. I just love those things. I go to exhibits and museums and cathedrals and ordinary churches just to see them. They are to the English tradition, what icons are to the Orthodox traditions--- windows on or into heaven.And York has so many great stained glass windows, they even have a guide to stained glass windows and a chart explaining all the OT and NT images. For example, his the chart explaining the OT … [Read more...]

The Durham Chronicles– The Visit to York, Part One

It was finally a nice spring day. Finally. And so in the carpe diem category, since tempus fugit and I fidget I decided to hop on the train and take the hour's ride down to another of my favorite medieval English cities--- York, (for which the Big Apple was likely named). Now there is much to do and see in York--- old medieval houses, the medieval gates or bars as they are called, the walls around the city, Clifford's tower, and of course as the crown jewel--- Yorkminster, a very very … [Read more...]