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.

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.

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.

Promise of Healing

Only ten days to Christmas the lady on the Radio said this morning. Does she mean to warn us we still have those days to spend our money on parties, food, drink and presents.

Or is she warning us to prepare our hearts to remember Jesus coming as a baby to earth. I prefer to remember the coming of our Saviour to set up the kingdom of heaven on the earth. He came to end Satan’s rule over the world, the kingdom of darkness. He came as a lion to defeat the wicked witch who kept the world in coldness as depicted in the Narnia tales.

I praise and thank God at the end of 2019 for his goodness and kindness to me this past year. I am still alive and I believe his promises to me that are not yet fulfilled. I was hopeless when I was dying of cancer. I thought God wasn’t answering my prayers or was going to fulfill his promises to me. My hope in God was restored when I was healed of cancer and delivered from death.

I was reminded of God’s promises to me this morning as I looked out at the sunrise around nine am British time. We are in December, having long dark nights. When the sun rises in the morning it brings warmth and light and hope to me. God our creator is faithful.  Psalm 50 describes

The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the Lord binds up the bruises and heals the wounds of his people.
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:19-21, 26‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Lashed by Storms

Jesus was asleep when a storm arose on the waters of the Sea of Galilee. My daughter noticed in her translation of the bible that he was resting his head on a pillow. As a result of her revelation she began to make pillows from recycled materials and grew a business out of it. She made pillows to comfort old people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Jesus disciples were at their wits end and thought they were going to drown. They asked Jesus “Do you not care?” Jesus immediately calmed the storm. The waters became still. His disciples were amazed that he had authority over nature.

When the group came to dry land they came to a town where there was a man who lived among the tombs. Jesus cast out all the demons called Legion that afflicted him and healed him. Jesus showed to the onlookers that he had authority over the powers that trouble a person and he restores him to wholeness. Just as He calmed the waves that were going to overwhelm them in the boat, so Jesus calmed the waves of torment that afflicted the man living in the tombs. He was teaching his followers and us today how to overcome tremendous situations.

We must face our storm or be drowned by it. After three years being with his disciples, Jesus died and rose again from the dead. He is Lord of heaven and earth, life and death. He spent time with his friends and gave them authority to cast out demons and heal the sick. He tells us the same today. He said before he died that greater works will we do because he went to the Father.

It was through deliverance form the spirits of rebellion and bitterness and confession of sins that I am healed today. My husband cast out a demon of rebellion and a friend prayed for me against a spirit of bitterness. Thank God for those who are willing to cast out demons here where I live. I am completely healed from fourth stage bowel cancer. I am delivered from death. I’m not in the grave where my children could visit and put a wreath on it at Christmas.

I have had many waves of storms lash me in my life. It is the devil who is the God of this world who stirs up the waves of trouble against us, whether sickness, calamity or mental distress. I had no choice but to face my waves of cancer and distress. I had to overcome Satan and all his works against me or die, I choose to live. I resist Satan and all his works over my family and life in the name of Jesus. He shed his blood on the cross and made a public spectacle of him. He is defeated in my life and I address him. I tell him to “Get out of here”. He has to go or he will overwhelm me with his tactics.

Make a turn around in your life today. Are you beset by many difficulties that don’t seem to stop coming. Ask God to help you. Believe in Jesus, receive him. Then you have authority to say to waves of trouble, this far and no more in Jesus name. It’s as easy as that. Do not fear.

I make articles from pieces of glass, wood and pottery that I find along the seashore where I live. I make something beautiful out of these pieces that have been broken and worn down by lashing waves for decades. We are often broken by life’s circumstances but Jesus takes us and heals and restores our brokenness. He has done it for me. He can do it for you. There is hope.

Here is some of my work. You can find me on Etsy.

How Great Thou Art

Praise God for the beautiful display in his creation these recent days in Co Down, Northern Ireland.

Beech trees in gardens and hedgerows are resplendent with leaves of reds, orange,  gold, yellow, and brown.  These trees hold onto their leaves despite wind and rain.

Strangford Lough is full to the brim today.
The Ferry looks imposing on the high water.

To crown a beautiful sunny day we have a full moon tonight.
It’s light is glistening on the waters.
The reflection brightens up my bedroom.

Its good to be alive!

At the end of the day I want to proclaim to God,
How great thou art!
How great thou art.
You are beautiful beyond description.

Too marvellous for words.
I love you Lord!

Water on Thirsty Ground

Today a friend took us for a drive to the mountains on the island of Zaykynthos. As we drove out we noticed heavy smoke billowing from a hill near the town of Keri. Forest fires broke out. The wildfire in progress on the island of Zakynthos has led authorities to evacuate some exposed houses on the village of Keri, in the southern part of the island, as well as 120 tourists staying at a hotel there.

The tourists were taken by bus to another hotel, in the nearby resort of Kalamaki.

The fire service said 10 of the 12 fires burning on Zakynthos are still unchecked, with high winds making it difficult to control the flames. A fire brigade commander says they have consumed mostly forests and olive groves so far.

Later we were having lunch in a small village on the coast. We watched as two aeroplanes dipped down to the sea and picked up water. Then they circled around to take the water and dump it on the fire fronts.

A short time later a helicopter arrived, hovered over the sea and filled a large container with water and flew off to fight the fire.

Before my eyes I was seeing the fulfilment of a verse I had read before my holiday.

“For I will pour water on the thirsty land,” Isaiah 44 v 3

‭‭This verse refers to the promise of God pouring out the Holy Spirit on anyone who is thirsty for the things of God.