Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

We’re Starting in SCOTLAND

Written by: on June 13, 2019

Lisa and I can hardly wait. We are pumped to go to the United Kingdom! Being together to make lifetime memories–SWEET!

We are starting our time in Scotland, United Kingdom for 5 days before our London and Oxford Advance officially begins. Lisa is part Scottish and may call herself a Scotty on occasion. Our free Hampton Inn Hotel by Hilton (Gold membership has its privileges, or I just travel a LOT whilst my employer pays for rooms whilst I reap the rewards)will be in Edinburg, Scotland! We will take the train all the way from the London airport and will NOT rent a car when we get there (trying to walk a lot, or cheat by taking the occasional Uber). Among other sites, our Edinburgh itinerary includes:

Edinburgh Castle

Arthur’s Seat

Edinburgh Old Town

Royal Yacht Britannia

Royal Mile

Royal Botanic Gardens

Holyrood Park

National Museum of Scotland


St. Giles

Mount Scott

Reading Culture Shock! Great Britain by Terry Tan is and will be very helpful. Going to this island across the pond, although English speaking, is going to be insightful and adventuresome. I am thankful for the practical advice and helpful tips on all things British. Now if I can just remember my manners from previously reading The Culture Map: Decoding How People Think, Lead, and Get Things Done Across Cultures by Erin Meyer where it was stressed, “You have two eyes, two ears, and one mouth and you should use them accordingly.” [1] Basically, I think the advice of Tan in this week’s book will be extremely helpful, “Mind your manners! Learn how to behave as a guest.” [2]

How about the English language, I wonder how much we will struggle understanding the colloquialisms–thankfully Dr Jason has already helped break the ice of special use of the REAL English language. Rubbish, bonkers, using s’s instead of z’s, losing the sound of t’s, and hearing the phrase “thick as planks” (yep, that is me. Not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree). I must admit some confusion as to the meaning of “nerd” meaning ungainly, rather fumbling and incompetent, a term of abuse. [3] My son is proud of being a nerd, but probably not in the same sense. I sometimes chant a phrase about nerds that goes like this, “That’s alright, it’s okay, you’ll be working for a nerd someday.”

I read with interest the chapter on “The Very Proper English Tea” [4] I actually changed my lifestyle after visiting both Cape Town and Hong Kong. How did my lifestyle change? I still pause each day for “high tea” and I believe it is a great practice for reducing stress and connecting with people close by. My life is admittedly too rushed, so this lovely tradition helps calm my nerves and slow down the unrelenting pace.

I wondered what this book would say about religion in Great Britain. Gratefully, the Church of England and its members called Anglicans were prominently discussed. “High Church” [5] was wonderfully addressed, as was the rising tide of secularism. It breaks my heart to hear of the magnificent buildings being well preserved in magnificent testimony, but typically serve only as a tourist attraction. I felt the author was fairly honest about the state of Christianity in the United Kingdom. I am not sure how the Queen is the head of the church, but I desire to avoid being judgmental. All of the UK needs Jesus, and hopefully there are more and more folks willing to talk about salvation rather than focus on the 18,700 [6] ornate church buildings which have to be constantly maintained. And yes, we will watch every episode of The Crown before we arrive.

I understand later we will be reading more in depth about Oxford by author Paul Sullivan, so I will close the remainder of this non-academic (is that okay?) blog with Cultureshock! London by author Orin Hargraves. The cosmopolitan bustling city of London is going to be special for our eyes to behold. But to be honest, if it is at all like other big honking cities much of our time will be spent in traffic! This Montana boy is not used to that since I moved away from Denver, CO.

My background is in the sports world, so this was a fun place for me to investigate in our book. Amateur and professional clubs are prevalent, and I remember several of my college basketball teammates playing for professional teams in the UK, although the game of international basketball is a little different.

Here is where I begin to show my glaring ignorance–Cricket! I don’t get it, but I understand it it is somewhat of a religion there. [7] Could we see a game when we are there? I certainly hope so. I would even pay cash for the privilege, (and us Dutchmen do not easily part with our cash for games we do not understand).

I certainly respect English “Futbol” and believe me I understand how the Premier League is tops in the soccer world. I became more interested in Rugby after Cape Town (by watching the great sports movie about Mandela and the Springboks and by touring the nearby stadium on my time off).

Snooker madness [8] is not a game or tournament I am familiar with, but Wimbledon tennis is an international magnificent spectacle.

The only problem about reading these books is we can’t go for a few more months. Did I say we are pumped to go?


[1] Meyer, Erin. The Culture Map: Decoding How People Think, Lead, and Get Things Done across Cultures. New York: BBS Public Affairs, 2015. 26.

[2] Tan, Terry. Cultureshock! a Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette. Kindle Ed. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Editions, 2008. Loc 1382.

[3] Ibid. Loc 4368.

[4] Ibid. Loc 3356.

[5] Ibid. Loc 679.

[6] Ibid. Loc 665.


Hargraves, Orin. Cultureshock! London. Kindle Ed. London: Marshall Cavendish, 2006. Loc. 3358.

[8] Ibid. Loc 3413.

Both Images taken from Netflix.com

About the Author

Jay Forseth

Superintendent of the Western Conference of the Evangelical Church. Blessed with 28 years as the husband of my amazing wife who I can't make it without. Now three of four in our family are attending University, but both my children are way smarter than me.

10 responses to “We’re Starting in SCOTLAND”

  1. Mike says:

    Hello Chap! You will love it in Scotland for sure! The last time I was in Edinburgh Castle was in 1961-62 time frame, doing an Easter egg hunt on the royal grounds and climbing on the cannons on top of the castle walls. My Dad learned to play golf in Scotland, how appropriate.
    I’ve been to London before and lived in British colonial influenced countries. I’ve been called a “wanker” (idiot) and told to p… off many times by my British expat friends. They seem very rude for the most part, but it grows on you and after a few months it is just a new normal. Once they befriend you, the relationships seem deeper and more lasting than expected.
    What surprised me about the demographics was the 25% diversity level in London. Wow!
    I want to see a few episodes of “The Bill” and see how it compares to US and Canadian cop shows.
    Have fun in Scotland and see you when we all arrive in London, England!
    Stand firm,


  2. Hey Jay, I loved your sports analysis. Sports is a great way to enter and appreciate a culture. Within my mission organization there is a Sports Affinity Group which is comprised of missionaries who use their participation in sports teams to build relationships, share the gospel, and discple people; while appreciating the opportunties for spiritual growth and transformation that come from team dynamics and action on the court.

  3. Jean Ollis says:

    You pause for high tea every day? Good for you! Love that new tradition. I’m so excited for you and Lisa to explore Scotland – sounds like it will be a wonderful trip. Can’t wait to hear more about your Thursday hikes! I have hike envy lol!

  4. Chris Pritchett says:

    You’re great Jay! I so appreciate you and your desire to learn and grow and help others follow Jesus sincerely, and your willingness to put yourself and your thoughts out there. Like you, I am so excited for this trip coming up! Blessings on your time in Scotland before Lodon.

  5. Mark Petersen says:


    We loved watching the Crown, and considering the spiritual aspects of The Queen’s sovereignty over her realms, even Canada. She heads the Anglican Church, which in English (historical) eyes is The Church. She is meant to be a type of the Lord’s sovereignty over the world. I hope you catch that in the series. Just a picture of what is good, not the totality of the truth.

  6. Kyle Chalko says:

    Great points Jay. I guess I should watch the crown, although I normally woudlnt choose that show. So pumped that you get to go to Scotland and it looks like you have a full itenerary. And yeah, we will all probably say something silly in the queens english.

  7. Dan Kreiss says:

    In the Salt Lake City airport now enroute to home after a great experience in Fort Belknap MT. I’d be happy to help you understand cricket if you want but it is not likely we will catch a game as it tends to be summer. However rugby and football are far more likely to be occurring during our time. I will certainly be checking schedules to see what we can take in. It’s going to be a great experience and I wish my wife and I could join you in Scotland. I have been fascinated by Oswald Chambers since someone gave me My Utmost as a young man. I have read it almost every day since then along with a biography of his life and teaching much of which was done in Scotland. Looking forward to seeing you again even if we can’t room together.

  8. Greg says:

    Jay. It is fun to journey with you and your thoughts about our European adventures. I too am excited about what we will learn and hope that I will not make too much of a fool of myself. I have talked with a lot of people about cricket (even the taxi driver in South Africa) and don’t understand the fascination. I would assume they would say the same about American football. thanks again for you insights.

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