UNCERTAINTY

There is much uncertainty in our nations, whether we live in the west, east, north or south of the world in these days. We are remembering fifty years ago man went to the moon. Nothing seems impossible for man then. The sky wasn’t the limit any more. They showed a view of the earth from space. One could see the circle of the earth, blue seas and white clouds.
Many nations have prospered since then and this has brought much benefit to mankind.
But sadly despite prosperity, more food, more health care and more money available, mankind has passed laws to kill their young. It is inconvenient to have a child. “It will interfere with my joy, my work, my lifestyle. I don’t want any trouble” say those who abort their offspring.

Will we have Brexit or not? Can I sell my goods at a good price? The rich are pressing on leaving the poor behind.
But with God who created the heavens and the earth, the astronauts saw, there is certainty. In the following Psalm we are given hope. He is with us in time of trouble when you trust him. He sends the river of God, the Holy Spirit who will lead us into life and truth. For those who believe in God and his Son Jesus there is a future. We are not to worry. God will care for us.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.””
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭46:1, 4-7, 10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

If you are distressed or despairing please read this aloud. Declare the truth and don’t be shaken by the nations in uproar.

Believe God and don’t Fear

The Lord delivered the people of Israel out of bondage in Egypt with great signs and wonders. He opens the Red Sea for them to cross over, he sent plagues to Pharaoh and Egypt. God intended that they take possession of the Land of Canaan and He promised He would fight for them. Moses sent twelve spies into the land of Canaan to check it out, if it was a good land, was there cities, were there crops, what were the people like. The spies came back with a bunch of grapes it took two men to carry. So the land produced abundance of grapes. There were cities and a land flowing with milk and honey.

But ten of the spies reported that there were Giants in the land and they would eat their children up. They gave a bad report to the thousands of people that were in the camp. Instead of looking at the Grapes they looked at the Giants. Two spies, Joshua and Caleb tried to silence the people and said “Don’t be afraid. With God’s help we can defeat the Giants and take over the land. But the people doubted God’s help and were afraid of the Giants.

Because of their unbelief the children of Israel didn’t get into the Land God had promised them. The ten spies died and the rest of the people had to wander around a desert for forty years!

This story really shocked me when I first read it. I couldn’t believe that the people missed the opportunity to get a new inheritance that God was going to freely give to them. All they had to do was obey God and he would show them how to defeat their enemies. They had to suffer in the desert looking at sand for forty years! Joshua led their children into the Promised Land. Their parents who saw the Promised Land but didn’t enter into it, died in the desert.

I thought to myself, “I want to believe God and not have doubt and fear of my enemies.” I don’t want to live in a desert the rest of my life and my children have a chance to enter into their Promised Land. Caleb, one of the men who believed God, said at the age of eighty years of age, “Give me my mountain!” I say the same today, “Lord give me my mountain!”

Aren’t we often like the people of old when faced with difficulties that seem insurmountable, like the Giants. We complain and get afraid. If God has given one a promise that he wants one to have it. All hell will be let lose to try and stop one getting what God has promised. For example God promised Brendan and me unity in our lives. I believed God but our enemies came out against us. The same enemies the people of Israel had, fear, doubt, unforgiveness, rebellion, rejection, religion, cancer, to mention a few. With God’s help we continue to be alive, believe God and walk in unity. He has defeated our enemies as they rise up against us and as we walk in obedience.

Here is the reading that inspired me to write to day and testify to God’s faithfulness in the land of the living.
There were 44,760 capable warriors in the armies of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.
They were all skilled in combat and armed with shields, swords, and bows.
They waged war against the Hagrites, the Jeturites, the Naphishites, and the Nodabites. They cried out to God during the battle, and he answered their prayer because they trusted in him.
So the Hagrites and all their allies were defeated.
The plunder taken from the Hagrites included 50,000 camels, 250,000 sheep and goats, 2,000 donkeys, and 100,000 captives.
Many of the Hagrites were killed in the battle because God was fighting against them. The people of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh lived in their land until they were taken into exile.”
‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭5:18-22‬ ‭NLT‬‬.

Not only did they get land but they got plunder. The different enemies represent different demonic powers that are holding on to what belongs to us. It may be our property, our jobs, our husband or our children and our grandchildren. With the power of Jesus name and his Precious Blood we can fight Satan and his hordes. He is already a defeated foe with all his demons. He has no right to hold onto what God has intended for me. We can’t be passive, apathetic, angry or disappointed. We have to fight for what belongs to us. Fighting means believing God, dressed in our armour and praising him to help us win the battle. As Nehemiah said, “Remember The Lord who is great. Let us fight for brothers, our wives, our children and our homes.

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The Redeemed’s Story

“Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭107:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Though my blogs on WordPress I write stories of what The Lord has done for me in my life. I was in despair and feeling hopeless. I developed cancer and was near death. My family and friends cried unto The Lord for me and God saved me from death and delivered me from the growing tumour. The doctors couldn’t explain how the cancer disappeared.

The Lord is the God who made the heavens and the earth and all that dwell therein. No matter what nation you are from God made it all. I live in Ireland, a country on the edge of Europe surrounded by water. We in Ireland have a heritage of Faith in The Almighty that extends back 2000 years. Sea travellers brought the news of Jesus to these shores in the first century AD. We have stories of the redeemed in Ireland that have been handed down through writings or stories told in families from generation to generation. The Irish are renowned as great story tellers.

The Irish travelled by sea to Scotland, England and into the heart of Europe via their rivers. They brought their stories and simple way of life to the nations in Europe. St Coulumbanus is buried in Italy. Another monk is remembered in Switzerland. The Irish went to Slovakia, where my son and his family now live. They told their stories of how they were redeemed from the hand of their foes.

The Lord saved me from the grip of Satan who was bringing me to death because of my sins of rebellion and bitterness. Jesus died on the cross, shed his blood and broke the power of the prince of this world over mankind. He provided a way of escape from those held in darkness by the blinder of people’s lives. I called on Jesus to save me from death. I received his power to be delivered from death. I’m alive.

Psalm 107 describes my situation.

Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭107:2, 17-21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

No matter what ones situation or whatever nation you belong to, call on the name of Jesus. Many young people are suffering despair and are suicidal because of war, poverty and disappointment in the nations. God will hear and act on your behalf. His word promises to help the poor and needy.

““The poor and needy search for water, but there is none;
their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the LORD will answer them;
I the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.
I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together,
so that people may see and know, may consider and understand,
that the hand of the LORD has done this,
that the Holy One of Israel has created it.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:17-20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The water refers to the Holy Spirit whom God will send as we call on his name. He will work the miracle needed for you.  What he has done for me, he can do for you.  God bless you today.

Water in the Dry Valley

“The Holy Spirit is often referred to as water in the scriptures. Jesus told his disciples before he was going to his death that he needed to go so he could send the comforter, the Holy Spirit to them. The Holy Spirit gave them power to be witnesses for the Saviour and to work miracles, signs and wonders like Jesus did when he was on earth.

I was excited to read the story in 2 Kings 3 about the King of Israel, the King of Judah and the King of Edom going to war against the King of Moab. The three kings and their armies had travelled through the wilderness for seven days. They were in big trouble because they had no water for their men, horses and cattle. They were afraid the King of Moab would defeat them.

King Jehosophat called for the prophet Elisha a man of God. He asked God to help.

Elisha said, “Now bring me someone who can play the harp.” While the harp was being played, the power of the Lord came upon Elisha, and he said, “This is what the Lord says: Make this dry valley full of ditches. You will see neither wind nor rain, says the Lord, but this valley will be filled with water. You will have plenty for yourselves and your cattle and other animals. “

But this is only a simple thing for the Lord, for he will make you victorious over the army of Moab! You will conquer the best of their towns, even the fortified ones. You will cut down all their good trees, stop up all their springs, and ruin all their good land with stones.” ‭‭‬‬

The next day at about the time when the morning sacrifice was offered, water suddenly appeared! It was flowing from the direction of Edom, and soon there was water everywhere.”
‭‭2 Kings‬ ‭3:9, 15-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬

God worked a miracle by providing water for so many people.
Can the same God not send his Holy Spirit to the dry valleys of our lives? Yes he can.
I pray that God will pour out his Spirit on anyone who is dry and thirsty today in Jesus name. Amen.

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The Happiest Elephants on Earth.

I love to watch programmes about nature when I can. There was a series recently about Earth’s Great Rivers on BBC. The film crews followed the course of three rivers The Mississippi, the Amazon and the Nile from source to sea. Each of these rivers provide water for the vegetation, crops, wild life and people that live along their banks. There is a ready supply for water and food for the inhabitants. They will never run dry, there is no famine or wilderness. The leaves of the trees and vegetation are always green.

I am reminded of Psalm 1 where I read, Blessed is the man who does not stand in the way of sinners, but his delight is in the law of God. He is like a tree planted by streams of living water, whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. In John
7 v 37 Jesus stood up and said If anyone is thirsty let him come to me and drink and if he believes in me out of his belly will flow rivers of living water. The Holy Spirit is described in Revelation as a river that flows from the throne of God. On every side, trees are growing and their leaves are for the healing of the nations.

I was excited as I watched these great rivers influence all the lands they flowed through. Each river reminded me of the river in Revelation that flows from the throne of God. On every side are trees and their leaves are for the healing of the nations. When one receives the Baptism in the Holy Spirit he can be a river that touches others around him giving life and encouragement from God.

The River Nile is the longest river in the world. It is 4000 miles long. At one part of its path it spreads out into vast swamplands called the Sud. There is a ready supply of vegetation and water for the wild animals that live there. It is a big contrast to the open savanna lands that dry up in the hot seasons when vegetation and water is sparse, causing the wild animals to leave to find other pastures. In the savanna lands the elephant can’t travel very far to find food. They live on sparse vegetation from the leaves of trees and scrub, while waiting for the rains to come.

But in the Sud the elephants that live there are in heaven. There is a ready supply of green vegetation and water all the year round. They can spend time swimming and wallowing in the deep waters of the Nile instead of searching for food. Their trunks act as snorkels as they play in the water. There is no danger of the young drowning. Their bodies are bouyant. One elephant was lying back in the water kicking up his legs. This family of elephants were having a fun time together frolicking about in the deep. What a wonderful sight.c

This is a picture of abundance. There is plenty of food and water for all the wild life around the River Nile in the Sud. Large animals live together; the hippo, the elephant and the crocodile. When we trust God and let the Holy Spirit move in our lives we can live in abundance without famine. God will supply all our needs. And there will be fun times too.

The Stairway to Heaven.

Two weeks ago I read this scripture.
“Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth. ””
‭‭John‬ ‭1:51‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I had never noticed this reading before. I remember another story from the Old Testament where Jacob had a dream.

 

Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep. As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway. At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac.” But he was also afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!””‭‭Genesis‬ ‭28:11-13, 17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

On holiday in Greece recently I visited a Craft shop. The Artists make their pieces from reclaimed items they find on the beach. I too work with stuff from the shore where I live in Northern Ireland. Small sticks, driftwood, pottery, Seaglass and bits of rope are some of things I find. The man of the shop made ships and boats. On each one was a ladder that went from the deck of the ship up the mast. Ladders also figured on the lady’s work. Here is an image of a ladder reaching up from the earth to the clouds above. It is from a piece of art I bought form a craft shop in Greece.

I was excited to see the image of the ladder. I was thinking back to the scripture about Jesus being a stairway or a ladder. I told the couple what the image of the ladder can mean. They were very happy to hear what I had to say.

The theme of the ladder came to me again today. I was reading Merlin Carothers’s book Proson to Praise. In it Merlin recalls a vision he had.

“I saw a bright summer day. Up above was a solid heavy black cloud. A ladder extended from the ground into the dark cloud. At the base of the ladder were lots of people who wanted to get a chance to climb the ladder. They had heard that beyond the cloud was something beautiful. Some people tried to climb. As soon as they got to the dark cloud they came sliding down again. Merlin climbed the ladder. He kept going through the dark cloud even though it was difficult. He came into intense brightness.”

The Lord explained to Merlin that the ladder represents praising God. Some people start out praising God but give up when times get difficult. They lose faith and go sliding back. When one continues to praise God he comes to a place where he can walk on difficulties no matter how dark they seem as long as he keeps his eyes off the problem and looks to the Lord.

I’m encouraged today after reading about Praise. I will believe that God can work all things together for good as we praise him and thank him no matter how difficult the situation gets. He is in control. Keep clinging to the ladder of praise and keep going up. Keep clinging onto Jesus who is the stairway to heaven. He takes us from the earth to heaven, just as Jacob saw in his dream.

 

 

A Turbulent Flight Home

Yesterday my husband and I were enjoying chatting and having lunch with friends, our last meal together before we left Israel. We sat on the balcony enjoying the sunshine and warmth which had returned after much rain. Our hosts had made a Greek salad with bread and Calamari Pasta. I savoured and had plenty of the delicious food. The meal strengthened us for the journey ahead. We had just finished when the taxi man called to say he was waiting outside. After quick farewells we got the taxi to the TelAviv airport.

We checked the times of flights at Ben Guirion airport. Ours was the only one that showed the flight was delayed. When it came time to board old and young, babies in arms, Arabs, Jews and returning tourists gathered at the Gate for departures. An infant cried the whole time. There were Orthodox Jews on board, some old, feeble, humble men with long white beards and black hats. The attendants welcomed us on board and helped settle mothers with young and the old.

We were allocated our seats at the very back of the EasyJet aeroplane. This economic airline has no frills or extra comforts, but gets you places one could not otherwise afford to go. We didn’t mind because we had an unoccupied seat on the inside giving us space to stretch and have a sleep if need be. We were thankful.

The pilot spoke before our departure and apologised for the delay due to baggage handling back in the UK. He announced the flight time would be five and a half hours, which seemed a lot longer than our flight there. He didn’t tell us about the turbulence on the way over. The pilot has to slow down through turbulence. There were no frills but plenty of spills and thrills ahead of us.

We were strapped in our seats for the first two and a half hours of the trip home! The plane shook and jerked. Mothers and babies were sick. The flight attendants were going up and down the aisle giving out orange plastic bags and cups of water to help the sick.
I was praying as I do when turbulence hits on a journey. But never has it lasted so long.

I thought of the scripture when Jesus was asleep on a pillow at the back of the boat in the storm! Brendan and I were at the back of the aeroplane in a storm. He rebuked the disciples for being fearful and having little faith. Mark 4 v 38 to 40 KJV

And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

I decided not to be fearful and trust in God. I prayed for many others who were vulnerable. Brendan sang in my ear a song “I feel pretty”. We heard it in the movie we watched one night on Netfix. It’s called Anger Management staring Jack Nicolson. He got his clients to sing a song if they were in a difficult situation. Not only was Brendan singing but he ordered some snacks and a drink from the attendant. He was not fearful but enjoyed a few treats in the storm.