I come from a long line of ministers, going directly back to multiple great-grandparents in Scotland (yes, of course they were Presbyterians). So my visit to Scotland got me thinking, especially when we stopped in a shop near Loch Ness and I wanted to pick up a Scottish tartan tie. The helpful lady informed me that my family name appears in two clans: MacGregor and Lamont. That shop didn’t have any Lamont ties, so I picked up a MacGregor “Hunting” tie and wore it that night while preaching (the first tartan displaying to the right is the MacGregor Hunting tartan). For those of you who have seen me in Rush Limbaugh ties for a decade, well, this could indeed be a shock to you. But you’ll get over it.

The next day my host, Jack Seaton (you may recognize the name as most of you who are Calvinists have probably seen his Banner of Truth booklet, “The Five Points of Calvinism”), took my English host for the entire trip, Roger Brazier (who, being English, was the constant brunt of all of our Scottish references to William Wallace and the Battle of Sterling, etc., but, as the wonderful brother he proved himself to be the entire time I was there, he bore with our ribbing patiently) and myself to an excellent mill and shop right on the River Ness to look for more tartan stuff. There I picked up the rest of my clan ties, including a MacGregor (modern) and a Lamont (displayed in that order). I also picked up a few books.

While there in Inverness I called home and spoke to my parents about our forebears. While they are in the process of looking up some notes they took many, many years ago to help further verify what I had found, I did find it fascinating that my grandmother on my father’s side had once noted that my two sets of great-grandparent’s on my father’s side were “high and low,” we presume a reference, in Scottish parlance, to highlanders and lowlanders. It just so happens that the two clans in which the White family name appears split into those two groups: MacGregor being highlanders, the Lamont clan more on the coast. I also learned that one of those sets of great-grandparents was married in Glasgow (where I had ministered the day before).

All of this might explain a few things about yours truly. The Italian folks back on Long Island have always wondered why I’m not a big “hugger.” Now you know why. We Scots interpret “the holy kiss” as “the holy nod from across the room.” It’s just our way. I need my space since it takes a little room to get that William Wallace sword out with great haste and speed. 🙂

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