The Father Giver of Gifts

The sun rising this winter’s morning.  

Only five more days till the darkest day of the year in the Northern part of the world. My last child number 14 in our family, has her birthday on the 22nd December. When she was born she brightened up our lives in the middle of winter. Four other of my children were born within three weeks of Christmas. When lots of people were in a frenzy buying presents we were having babies. They are gifts from God our Father. “‘Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.” Psalm 127

Christmas is a time when we remember Jesus being born among mankind. God the Father sent his son Jesus from heaven to be present with us in the flesh. He was a gift to us from the Father.  He came from heaven to save mankind from sin and death, caused by Adam’s disobedience.

Having some of our children around the Christmas season when Jesus left his home in heaven, reminded my husband of a vision he had. He saw spirits of children around them Throne of God in heaven. They were asking God could they be born on the earth. Brendan said he was open to have as many children as God wanted to give him. We didn’t plan our family. God is our family planner.

Any parent loves to buy his children presents especially at Christmas time. They are excited opening the beautifully wrapped gifts. One mother I know puts £30 pounds aside every month for Christmas. But sadly thanks for the presents are given to a crazy, old, fat man in a red suit following a reindeer. Jesus said, “If you, then know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matt 7 v 7. God our Father delights to give us what we ask. We don’t have to be confined to asking God for presents at Christmas time.

God the Father is the true giver of all that is good. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Brendan and I reared our children on very little money. We believed the word of God,

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;
and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The supermarkets are full of food and gifts at this time. What will parents do who can’t afford the gifts and food that they see? I can testify that our family never went hungry at Christmas time. They were never in lack. God is faithful to look after us. He is our shepherd.

I would encourage anyone to do what Jesus said, Ask and It shall be given onto you.

My Grandchildren’s Christmas Play.

I attended my grandchildren’s Christmas play this morning. When they appeared on stage the mum, dad and myself had to wave until the two boys caught our gaze. They were ready to get on with the show knowing family were watching.

It doesn’t seem so long ago since I was watching each of my own boys and girls in a traditional Christmas play. They would dress up as a shepherd, an angel, a wise King or a donkey. They sang songs about Jesus birth.

Today’s event was different. The children invited us to see how six other nations celebrate Christmas. Poland and China were my favourites. The little ones were dressed in red Chinese costumes and flat hats. I must congratulate the teachers on managing so many young students. A big effort indeed.

I called my son last night to tell him I wouldn’t be able to make it. I was too far away, too cold, too sore, too old, too tired, too alone and my car wasn’t working. I awoke early. I changed my mind and made the effort to go. Ressurrection power kicked in.  The electric plugs had fused. First hurdle to overcome. I dressed in warm clothes because the chilly cold winter winds were blowing. I got the ferry. It was navigating across from Portaferry to Strangford on choppy waters. I sat nervous in my van. I hoped the wind would die down for my return journey.

All the effort was worth it to see my son’s and grandchildren’s smiley faces because granny came along. I remember being at a school event after my first grandchild was born. Everyone was congratulating me on being a granny. It must be an important hurdle for a woman. We now have eighteen grandchildren. Most of them live too far away to attend school plays. They live in far flung places; Canada, Slovakia and Dublin.

I’m glad I didn’t miss today’s Christmas show.

The Blackbird

Little blackbird.

It is winter.

You know where to find the tasty morsels.

You toss the wet leaves on the grass.

The little creatures scurry.

Too late.

Your bright yellow beak picks them up.

You have been busy from early morning;

Scratching in the soil

Along the raised beds

Looking for snails.

There is abundance of provision for you.

You know where to find it.

When I open the door

You rise and dart over the fence.

You will come back to forage later

Among the plant pots.

Thank you for your company.

The Blind and the Lame

I was up late into the night getting ready for a craft fair.
This morning I awoke late and was feeling tired. I’m still recovering from a broken arm. I was going to forget about the craft fair.
My husband encouraged me to go. He helped me get ready and came with me to the event.
People were beginning to gather. There was a festive atmosphere. A choir serenaded us with Carol songs. Some words of one song caught my attention, “healing the lame and the blind”.
I sell mosaics and my book Staying Alive at the craft fair. It gives me an opportunity to talk about Jesus healing me from fourth stage cancer. If anyone is interested I offer to pray for them for healing.
A couple of young teenagers stopped at my stall to admire my seaglass necklaces. One of them had a cast covering the lower part of her leg. She walked with the aid of crutches. I asked her what happened. She had broken her foot. I asked her if she enjoyed sports. She said she was an Irish dancer. I offered to pray for her healing and she accepted. I proceeded to pray for her healing in Jesus name and declared she would dance again.
When I was packing up after the event a young mother called me over to tell me her son was off medication. I had met her in the hairdressers two years previous. Her son had deteriorating eyesight. He was getting help from medication that was injected directly into his eye. I cringed at the thought of this young boy having to endure this treatment with little hope of his eyesight being restored.
I offered to pray for her son. Next time I was talking to her she was telling me her son was off the injections and was taking medication orally. A year on I met her today and she told me he is off all medication. His eyes are better. He can see! Jesus is healing today.
I remembered the words of the Carol, the lame shall walk and the blind shall see.

The Chaffinch

What a colourful bird is the Chaffinch.

In springtime when the birds are feeding their young many come to our garden to eat the titbits my husband leaves for them. The food ranges from bread crumbs, left overs and some seeds. Each bird is glad of any extra food to feed their fast growing young.   I enjoy the company of our feathered friends.

Over the summer the Robin was our regular visitor, with only a few visits from Sparrows and Tits. The young had flown the nest and the breeding season had come to an end. The adults could take a rest. We would have only an occasional visit from the Chaffinch.

The Chaffinch is larger and stronger looking than the robin and more confident. He is handsome with a blue-grey cap, reddish-brown breast and back.

It’s now winter. Brendan supplements the food he leaves out with bird seed bought from the pet shop. The Chaffinch is now a frequent visitor. Brendan noticed he comes to feed when dark seeds are left out. He is not so fond of bread or other lighter coloured seeds. He feeds on seed from the thistle, which is a thorny plant. The chaffinch is sometimes associated with Christ’s crown of thorns.

It is a delight to see this beautiful visitor on our fence in the morning especially after reading about the chaffinch’s association with Our Saviour. I lift my eyes to our God who made the heavens and the earth. I thank God for his son Jesus. The crown of thorns pierced his head, blood flowed down his forehead and matted his hair. The flesh on his back was opened up with the thongs of a whip. His body and clothes were covered in blood from his wounds. Men turned away from the sight.

“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭53:2-3, 5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Jesus wounds healed me from fourth stage cancer.

The Gospel is Good News.

The gospel is good news.  Jesus Christ came from God to help us become children of God. He was born of a woman and became flesh and blood like us. He died for us to free us from sin and death. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested. Hebrews 3

I believe Jesus Christ walked on the Earth in Israel. He had friends and after he died his friends told others about Jesus being the Saviour of the world. God confirmed the message by giving signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit that we read about in the scriptures. The message of the gospel has been handed down through generations of believers for 2000 years.

The Bible is a book inspired by the Holy Spirit and gives an account of God’s dealing with mankind. He chose Abraham to be the father of all those who believe. Through Abraham’s descendants he prepared a people who could receive his son as the Messiah. The New Testament tells about the works Jesus did when he was alive and other works his disciples did after he died.

I began to read God’s word forty years ago for myself. I read about what Jesus did when he was on earth. I read the stories of Moses and Abraham. I decided to believe in Jesus as the only one who knew how best I could live and free me from the fear of death, and forgive my sins and free me from condemnation and guilt. I know he is real and he helps me. I believe in the Father God who is the creator of all things. I believe in the Holy Spirit who teaches me how to live. I made a covenant with God. I gave my life to him and he gave his life to me. He lives in me. He is keeping me alive. He is real.

God has worked signs and wonders for me. He delivered me from a mental home. He delivered me from death and healed me of cancer. He healed my heart that was damaged because of rheumatic fever. He restored my broken bones. He has blessed with with fourteen children and eighteen grandchildren to date.

If anyone reading this blog once believed in Jesus this message is for you.
“So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬
“Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.”
So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest.”

Believe in God!! Turn back today to God. Believe again and trust God. Say sorry for turning away and like the prodigal son you will be welcomed with open arms by God the Father. Don’t let the devil blind your eyes to the truth. Turn again and you will hear His voice telling you how to live.

Father in Heaven, Almighty God you are the God of gods and Lord of lords, and King of kings. I honor you and thank you for your truth given to mankind through Jesus your son. He shed his blood to remove the veil of unbelief that blinds your people from believing. I blow away the lies of the devil that deceives people’s minds from believing. Let your light now shine upon my readers today and let them be freed from darkness and despair and fear of death. Grant them faith to believe in your son Jesus because no one comes to him unless you draw him. Amen.
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭3:12-15, 19‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Healing the Wounds

The season has changed.  This weekend the clocksgo back.  I went outside and looked up at the full moon high in the sky.  It was lighting up the land and sea below. I spent a few moments marvelling at the beauty all around. Praise The Lord maker of heaven and earth.  I didn’t stay too long in the chilly air. I headed off to bed looking forward to the extra hour under the blankets.

Here at my home in Northern Ireland it is a beautiful day. The sky is blue and clear of clouds. The sun is shining brightly, yes more brightly than normal. It shouldn’t be so warm at the end of October! The yachts and boats that were moored in the bay have gone.  The owners brought them to the harbour.  They have been hoisted out by a crane a few days ago.  It’s time to store the craft for the winter.

My grandchildren are visiting. It is warm outside, the air still and the water surface like glass. The conditions tempted the children to go down to the shore. It is a perfect day to go messing about in the water. They persuaded grandad to help them put our boat in the water again. It is a small yellow pedalo. It glides quietly over the water. No need for oars, sails or an engine. Just turn the pedals with your feet. Our grandchildren have such fun in it. No need to own an expensive yacht. The only equipment each one needs is a life jacket. Supervised from the shore by grandad and their mum, the children paddled effortlessly up and down the bay till their hearts were content.

I am reminded of the scripture,

“The light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be seven times brighter, in the day that the Lord binds up the breach of his people, and heals their wounds.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:26‬ ‭KJV‬‬

As I am writing this I hears the calls of some birds overhead.  I look up.  It is a chevron of seventeen swans flying south.  They must have taken advantage of the perfect weather conditions, light by day and night to migrate south for the winter.

I am nursing a broken arm. It is very painful. I am feeling helpless and miserable. I fell from a stepladder as it crashed under me. My right arm and bottom took the full impact. Today, three weeks on I am encouraged by God’s word. My wounds will heal.

If you are feeling discouraged, are sick or heavy burdened don’t despair.  Look up.  See creation all around.  Your Heavenly Father who created all this beauty cares for you.  Through believing in his son Jesus you will be healed.   It’s time for your breaks and wounds to heal.

“Be still and know that I am God”