What a summer here in Edinburgh! It is on record as the warmest/dryest since 1976. It has been so nice. Lots of sunshine and very little rain. The locals keep telling us, “Don’t get use to this. This is not typical. You got lucky your first year. Usually the summers are miserable.” Oh, and wild rasberries grow everywhere. We walk around eating them every chance we get.
In addition, Hailey, Allison’s sister, spent one week with us. This was a great time as she got to experience Scotland for the first time. It was nice to have family here. Then the Lamberts came to see us! It was so good to let down, talk about familiar topics, and have fun. They are truly wonderful friends.
The longer I go without blogging, the harder it is to sit down and write. Too many things have happened. Some good. Some bad. Right now, we are currently living in the Marchmont area in Edinburgh. We decided too late that we wanted to stay in our flat where we spent our first year in Edinburgh. We were sad to go and desperately miss the neighbors that we built relationship with. As Alanis Morissette sang in the 90s, you live, you learn. We are now on the hunt for our second home in Scotland. The market moves insanely fast and is quite competitive. For now, we are renting week-to-week. We have property viewings today and tomorrow. We shall see.
I was recently hired as a tutor in the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh. This is wonderful. One of the courses is “Studying Religion” and the other is “God in Philosophy.” OMG, I don’t think that I could be more excited. The first will cover topics centered around historical, anthropological, and philosophical views of religion. The latter will take a look into the various views of God that philosophers have held over the past 3,000 years. Yep, I am giddy!!!
Did I mention that I found my own copy of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics yesterday at Oxfam for only 3GBP? Oh yes!
I am getting more and more direction for the 3rd and 4th chapter of my thesis. As opposed to the first two chapters, the third chapter is now taking a direct turn into the world of theology. I am so excited. Verses from Matthew 5 and a passage from Matthew 19 are now moving to the center of my research on supererogation (the core concept that lies at the heart of my research). The next two months will be spent digging through books and commentaries related to Matthew 5 and Matthew 19. I am so glad that I am now at the point that I get to open the book that I love the most—the Bible. I get to continue to read moral philosophy, articles and books by Christian theologians and ethicists, and the wonderful Word of God all at the same time. And of course, all of this must be done with coffee.
This week, Ezra reached what Allison called a “major milestone” in childhood. It has been wonderful. We have been celebrating this all week. However, I don’t know if we have told everyone in the fam so I better refrain from giving details! Concerning Rhema, she is on record as the chunkiest 7-month old in Scotland. Okay, this is an exaggeration and hasn’t been empirically verified, but it is probably true.
Most importantly, I want to grow in kindness and gentleness. This involves not rushing past people. This involves keeping a careful eye on the tone that I use with people including my wife and kids. Words aren’t everything, you know. This also involves trying to stay more in touch with people from past seasons. I had the opportunity to talk with Pastor Allen Hickman the other day for the first time since moving here to Scotland. It was wonderful. He makes me want to be better. He makes me want to be more humble. I appreciate the influence he has had in my past as well as now though it looks differently.
May the Lord use all of us today in the lives of people. People are hurting. People need to talk with someone. People are torn with busyness, stress, pain, disappointment, and confusion. For all of us in Christ, we have light and warmth. Holy Spirit, use us today in small and humble ways. Help us, Lord, so that we do not fall short of all that is in your heart.