Stumbling Upon the Sacred Holy

by | Jun 3, 2012 | Uncategorized

Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island, near Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England

But how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust?And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them?And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it?

That’s why Scripture exclaims,
A sight to take your breath away! Grand processions of people telling all the good things of God!

Romans 10:15, The Message

H and I pass a link in the chain of our faith pilgrimage on the way to Edinburgh, Scotland.  Our mouths fall open, eyes widen when we see the sign for Lindisfarne Castle .  A 16th century castle perched atop the sea of diamonds shimmering in the sun.

Her stately stones stack from a former priory. Monks sent there in AD 635 from Iona off the west coast of Scotland, to Northumbria at the request of King Oswald.

The monastery becomes the base for Christian evangelism in the North of England, an early marker in the Celtic movement, a place of frequent attacks by Vikings.

So while I crawl out of a warm bed, sip my steamy tea, read scripture from one of several bibles laying around my house, I am thankful for those who risked to tell of Christ.

May we all be castles waving His flag of salvation to those who pass by.

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  1. Jean Wise

    We plan to see this place on our trip there this October. You are making me very excited!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Oh Jean, so excited you get to visit. We were so disappointed that we didn’t even realize we would be passing by there or we would have factored it in to the time to roam around a bit. Maybe next time. You will have to tell me all about it. My husband, being the scholar he is, knew all about it when we passed by.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Amy, I had a beautiful canvas to capture every day of our trip to Europe.

  2. Lynn Morrissey

    Shelly, I have sojourned in England, Scotland, and Ireland, as well, so reading your vivid, poetic posts brings it all back. You indeed are standing on ancient shoulders, passing on the Good News. Thank you for sharing your pilgrimage. And because you often refer to castles, I wanted to recommend a book to you and your readers called Our Mighty Fortress:Finding Refuge in God by author Joan Esherick. She uses the metaphor of the medieval castle to describe our journey to the heart of God–the only place where we ultimately find refugre. In light of your recent travels, I think you would find this book particularly meaningful. I’ve drawn great comfort from it. Thank you for taking us to God’s very heart with each of your passionate posts! I’m on pilgrimage with you!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Ooo, that book sounds lovely. Thanks for the recommendation. Happy Birthday Lynn. Hope you had a wonderful day celebrating lovely you.

      • Lynn Morrissey

        Oh you are so very sweet! Thank you for your beautiful birthday wish! I am the big 6-0 today, and as a way to get over the shock of that :-), my husband Michael is throwing me a “Sixtieth Birthday Serenade”! It’s that fun? A wonderful operatic baritone in the professional Bach group w/ which I sing, is performing after a luncheon for 30 women (whom Michael affectionately calls my “herds of broads”! They love him, though 🙂 My singer friend is 81 and used to sing with the NYC Opera Co. And he still has a fabulous voice. i rejoice in how God gives us special things in life to celebrate the journey. One song that Jay will sing is “Ev’ry Time I Feel de Spirit.” May I say, sweet Shelly, that whenever I read your lyrical, soulful, and meaningful writing, I surely do feel the Spirit! You continually draw us to the Throne Room of Grace! In castle lingo, it’s the Chapel and also the Solar. I hope, if you have a chance to read Our Mighty Fortress, that you will enjoy it. Thanks again for everything, Shelly!

        • Redemption's Beauty

          My mother in law always says age is state of mind (like most things in life) and I agree. It sounds like you had a wonderful celebration and how kind of you to connect with me on this special day. Your words encourage me so much. Thank you.

  3. debra elramey (@elramey)

    Love that version of Romans 10:15 from The Message.
    And your message here, well, just divine!
    I doubt I’ll ever see such stunning places except vicariously when I visit your holy place Shelly.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Never give up hope. You never know where life might take you Debra. Always a pleasure to connect with you friend.

  4. simplystriving

    Oh, I read through Romans this last week in the Message (my first time in the Message). You captured it beautifully, as always, friend. thank you!

  5. dschondog

    Interesting that I should happen upon this translation of Romans 10 just after leaving Titus 2 over at Lori Alexander’s. These two seem to be at odds with one another. I think I have my subject matter for next week’s posts. I will return.

    As always, it was good being here.

    Thinking in PA,

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I’ve enjoyed connecting with you on weekend posts. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. elizabethfstewart

    So thankful for the path blazed before us, and very conscious of the need to keep the way clear for the generations to follow.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      These saints keep me pushing beyond my comfort zone when I want to give up. So thankful for their stories of faith.

  7. Dea

    Oh yes! Love this in The Message. And while we are waving let’s ask God to make us castles because we need to be strong against the one who would tell us that path to tell is too treacherous, dangerous, and costly. Because it is….

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yes, it is. The sermon was actually on that topic today and I lost it at the rail. Things feel hard right now, in every area but when I compare my trials with the early saints, to the road Jesus walked, it gives me perspective.

      • lily

        Praying for you dear Shelly since I read you are having trials right now. I cried after reading your Surprised by Redemption.. it was so touching, I just feel so much for the little unknown people who faithfully carry on like Bill without knowing whether the sacrifices they’re living are making any difference.. I think it was the Spirit that was moving in me that made me cry and I couldn’t stop, and the couple I was reading together with for devotions seemed touched too, and not a little surprised that I couldn’t stop crying.
        Please know that He is using you, God loves to use the broken people. Love Michele xxx

        • Redemption's Beauty

          Michele, thank you so much for visiting and leaving such a touching comment. I am curious how you found me?

  8. Diana Trautwein

    Oh my, Shelly! Lindisfarne was an absolute highlight of a trip to England and Scotland for our 25th anniversary over 20 years ago. LOVED that place, so rich with story. Thank you for this reminder!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Oh my, that makes my heart sing knowing its how you spent that anniversary. It was my 22nd and hope to have at least 20 more Diana. So glad we can share the knowledge of this place. We hope to actually walk the grounds if we get lucky enough to go back.

  9. Sandra Heska King

    This takes my breath away! May I be trusted to reflect Him in my life!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Me too Sandy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to leave behind that kind of legacy to our children and theirs?

  10. Joanne Norton

    Gorgeous, of course. But I also remember seeing historic program.. IMAX, as I recall … that showed this monastery and the invasion. I COULD have the wrong one, but, if nothing else, I know this was a common event back in those years. Would LOVE to go to England and just follow the historic sites… have done it before and would very happily do it again.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Would love to see that IMAX Joanne, it sounds wonderful. When I read the little bits I could find about Lindisfarne, I was moved deeply.

  11. nancy

    Love to you, Shelly.

  12. lolitavalle


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