International Woman’s Day

It’s International Woman’s Day today, the day aimed to help nations worldwide eliminate discrimination against women. It also focused on helping women gain full and equal participation in global development, according to what I read this morning.  

The Duchess of Sussex at her last engagement in London as a Royal spoke about the need for men to care for the women in their lives. Any man will have a mother for sure, perhaps a sister and a wife. His ability to care for women in his life will be influenced primarily by what he has seen modelled to him by other males.

Down through the generations the family  with a mother and father has been the nurturing place for the healthy growth of human beings, physically and emotionally. Families with similar values group together in many cultures to support each other. In nature we see male and female creatures create young and spend their energy to raise them. The adults stay together with their own kind in flocks, herds or shoals where the young are protected. There is power in numbers.

The family model I grew up with that shaped my early life was my dad, who worked on the farm and my mother who looked after us ten children at home. Dad was a gentle man who cared for my mum who needed to be strong to rear us. My parents showed their love to me by providing food to eat, a warm home, education, sharing their time and guiding me in the best choices to make for later life, all on a limited amount of money. Extended family often visited our home and we attended the local church where I heard about God and met our local community.

I left home and chose to explore the world beyond the safety of family and home. I went to university during the troubles in my country. When I had two children of my own I began to look for the best way to rear my children. And give them the nurture and care I believed was important. In my search for truth and the right way to live I mixed with many different people with different values form me. I met some Christians who were kind to me. I looked at their lives and I began to read the bible.

I read about Jesus. He went about doing good and healing those who were oppressed of the devil, both men and women. All who came to him were healed of disease and delivered form devils. Jesus was particularly merciful to women and children. He released the woman who was going to be stoned to death, the punishment her culture demanded. He cast seven demons out of Mary Magdalene. He raised the son of a widow so she would have someone to look after her. He let the little children come to him and took them on his knee and blessed them when his disciples wanted to stop them. A woman who was not from his culture came to him and asked him to heal her daughter. He did as he asked. He didn’t discriminate.

In my generation many women here in the west have had the opportunity to be educated and work alongside men. Women have now the freedom in the west to be independent of parents or husband due to their access to wages. Today we celebrate Woman’s International Day which wants to highlight discrimination against women and give equal participation in the global development of the world.

I totally agree with this vision. Is education and equal wages the answer to woman’s discrimination. I believe there is more to understand that can bring freedom to women. I am a free woman because Jesus forgives my failures and wrong choices and gave me a new beginning. He helped me rear my children and give them values for them to have when they leave home.

He healed me of fourth stage cancer and delivered me from demons of rebellion , rejection and bitterness. You see Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. Sin and sickness are works of the devil. No amount of education or money can deliver a woman from poverty, sickness or abuse. People don’t know there is a spiritual force at work in the world, the power of the devil. Jesus came to save us from his power and show us how to live in freedom. Yes he wants men, as The Duchess of Sussex said, to look after the women in their lives. But they can’t do it properly with out the help of Jesus. It means laying down your life and your own desires for them, like Jesus did for his Church.

When Jesus, whose face was covered in blood from his crown of thorns, was carrying his cross along the streets of Jerusalem, he stopped to talk to women. He told them not to weep for him but to weep for their children because he knew it was going to be hard to rear children.

A woman’s role if she is married, I believe is to protect her unborn child and bring good values to her children. The world offers today women in the west, money, comfort and ease. But at what expense? Woman now have the choice to kill a child in her womb that will be an inconvenience to her way of life. Many people are afraid of the Corona Virus but there an ill in our society that is even promoted and paid for by nations, the killing of innocent children in the womb.

My advice as a mother of fourteen children to the global development of the world is to embrace Jesus, believe in him, accept him and follow him like many women did when he was on earth. Read about other women who were courageous to bring freedom to their nations, like mary, Judith, Jael, Deborah, Esther and Ruth.

Historical Jerusalem

The chill of winter is in the air yet the Almond Trees lining the streets of Jerusalem are  in blossom. The prophet Jeremiah spoke about the Almond blossom being a sign from God that he is alive and active even in harsh conditions to bring about his promises in our lives. I am always encouraged to keep believing God’s promises for me. Brendan and I are just home from visiting Jerusalem.

erusalem is an historical city. Today it is flourishing. There was disruption on our way from the airport. Lorries and heavy machinery blocked our way. New roads and tramways are being built. Cranes litter the skyline helping in the construction of tall buildings for hotels, businesses and homes. We saw with our own eyes the restoration of Israel as prophesied thousands of years ago. People are returning from the nations to make their home there. Mothers and babies, old men and women with canes are walking the streets of Jerusalem. Groups of young men and women are sitting, talking, rushing or playing. Abundant life is all around.

We walked in a park dedicated to Teddy Kollek. He was Jerusalem’s Mayor since 1967 to 1993. He is numbered with the leaders of old who restored Jerusalem, for example Hezekiah. In his time Kollek put in place programmes for housing the people, theatres , libraries and old people’s homes. He encouraged peace and unity among Jerusalem’s people. He raised finances to help with the work.

School children came for lunch In the Kollek park. Water fountains burst into life as geysers bubbled up to differing heights. Young boys skipped in and out of the spray. The park is a welcome oasis for the weary child or tourist.

I was reflecting on my visit to Jerusalem as I happened to read Psalm 48.

We had heard of the city’s glory, but now we have seen it ourselves— the city of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
It is the city of our God; he will make it safe forever.
O God, we meditate on your unfailing love.
God himself is in Jerusalem’s towers, revealing himself as its defender.
Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem.
Walk around and count the many towers.
Take note of the fortified walls, and tour all the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations.
For that is what God is like.
He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die.”

The Almond Blossom

Snowdrops coming out of the earth welcomed my new year. Daffodils are beginning to open, trumpeting spring and brighter days. They have withstood the strong winds of winter.

I am excited to see my Almond tree blossoming in the full light of any sunshine that comes. It is indigenous to Mediterranean Climates. There it is known as the first tree to blossom. My walled garden is a good place to grow.

Brendan and I travel to Israel at this time every year. My Almond tree draws my mind to the Almond trees that line some streets of Jerusalem. Blossoms will be appearing there too, symbols of warmer and better days. I hope to see them soon.

I find it fascinating that each plant knows it’s time to emerge from the earth and put forth its shoots and flower. We can learn from the different species. If we trust God he will cause us to grow and blossom when it’s our time.

The bible tells us in Jeremiah that the Almond Branch is a symbol of God’s faithfulness. He will do for us what He promised. He will bring about our time to blossom just as the earth causes plants to come forth in their time. Let us be patient as we wait.
Let us learn from the farmer as he gets on with other activities waiting for his crops to grow and he will receive his harvest.

Jehovah Rapha your Healer

There has been much concern throughout the nations since the discovery of the Corona Virus in China some weeks ago. China authorities are stopping the movement of people in areas where Corona Virus has hit. This means much hardship for the people of China. And no one knows how long this will last.

Not only has the Virus caused health problems for the nations to prepare for, but there is an economic effect too.  Some factories in China have shut down. Goods that are produced in China for cars and large machinery are not available, and this will affect factories in the west.  Even in Northern Ireland our Hotel industry has been hit because of cancellations of Chinese customers. When the Chinese tourists come here they are big spenders and like to visit all our tourist sites.

The news of the spread of the Corona Virus can instill much fear in people’s lives throughout the nations.  Will there be medication to help overcome?

I am not a medic but I have good news for anyone who is fearful of this virus or any other disease. God who created the heavens and the earth revealed himself as Jehovah Rapha, the healer to Moses in Exodus 15 v 26.   Again in Psalm 103 God tells us he is the one who forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases.

I have experienced the power of God to forgive all my sins and heal me from my diseases. I believe in God our Father who made the heavens and the earth. He was revealed to mankind through his son Jesus who lived in Israel 2000 years ago. Jesus had compassion on the crowds who came to him and he was known for healing all the people who came to him.

Isiah 53 foretells the coming of Jesus and what he would do. “He was bruised for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquity and by his stripes we are healed.” Jesus died on the cross and shed his blood for our healing. Believe and receive from Jesus, like I did.

I decided to trust God as my healer when I was young girl of nine years old. I had Rheumatic fever, a rare disease nowadays. But it left me with a damaged heart. The doctors said I would only be strong enough to have one child. God gave me the strength to have fourteen children.

I had fourth stage cancer in 2010. God totally healed me and it has not returned. Today is the day to trust God Rapha, your healer. Ask the Father God in Jesus name to heal you of any disease, brokenness or trouble. Jesus is alive by his Spirit to answer your prayers today.

You may have tried many other remedies to heal you and have spent much money to do so. There is a story in the bible of a woman who had an issue of blood. He had spent all her money on physicians but was not healed. She joined a crowd that was following Jesus. He pushed through the people to get to touch even his garment. When she did so she was healed. She had faith that Jesus would heal her.

Have you went through treatments, remedies, and taken people’s advice but are still not healed? I want to introduce you to Jesus who takes away your sin and sicknesses. Please ask him to reveal himself to you and ask him to heal you. I know God is Jehovah Rapha, my healer. He is there to heal you too. He does not charge you money either.

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Gulls Feasting at Strangford Lough

The tide is high at Portaferry today. But instead of troubled waters and sea weed washed up over walls by storms, the sea is calm. The sun is glistening off the water and it’s warmth is concentrated in a bay near our home. Other parts of Northern Ireland are covered in snow. People are not venturing too far. More cold temperatures and storms are forecast.

On my way home I took this video of a flock of sea gulls gathered in the bay to feed off insects in the seaweed disturbed by the rising tide.

Sea gulls flit about, dive and fly. They don’t stand at the edge of the water to feed. They are nervous creatures and rise up out of the water at the least noise.

This scene cheered and warmed my heart today. I hope you enjoy it too.

I enjoy watching birds as Jesus told us. Every time I study them I am reminded of God’s care and blessing.