Turn the Hearts of the Parents

Malachi 4

The last paragraph of the last book of the Old Testament ends with

Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all of Israel. 

See I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.  He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the hearts of the children to their parents. Or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.  

0n the media this week we hear of a father and mother who were sent to jail for the neglect, torture and death of their son.  Twenty eight children have died in Great Britain last year, at the hands of their parents.  Those who should nurture and protect the young killed them.

Laws are passed in these islands to allow a mother to kill her young in her womb. 20,000 women needed hospital care after using DIY home abortions. The law of the land allows a woman to get a pill from the chemist to get rid of a baby in her womb. These mothers hearts are not turned to their young. Where are the fathers of these babies?

The laws of God, our creator and Father of mankind, have been broken. Are we headed for total destruction? Is very creation crying out? Man is destroying the earth, the place we are given to live in. Our very climate is changing. There is a pandemic happening over the nations.

God started mankind from one family when he created Adam and Eve. God destroyed mankind because of evil in the time of Noah. God saved one family, Noah’s. He doesn’t want to destroy mankind again. God has put eternity in our hearts. If we respond to our hearts we will find God. If we don’t we will be judged.

God hasn’t changed. God is patient with us. He is merciful. He is waiting for men and women to seek him and turn from their sins. There is hope for our hearts to change. God promises to send someone who will tell us where we have gone wrong. If we listen and believe in God one will be saved from destruction. One of the signs of change will be if we turn our hearts to God, to one another and to the children and elderly.

The beginning of the New Testament tells us about John the Baptist. He called for people to turn to God. He pointed to Jesus. “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”. Believe in Jesus and he will give us his Holy Spirit and power to live in uncertain times and we can overcome and be healed.

We will not live forever. There is a heaven and hell after we die. If we turn to Jesus he will forgive us our sins we will have eternal life. If we don’t one is faced with destruction and eternal hell.

I am a Sign

About forty five years ago, my husband Brendan and I were having a drink in our local bar. The owner always enjoyed our visit. He would have conversations with Brendan. One night Harry gave me a bible.

I read the first chapter of the first book of the bible, Genesis. Verse twenty seven jumped out of the page at me. It says,

So created man in his own image. In the image of God he created him. Male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them Be fruitful, and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it.

In this passage some facts are recounted. God created man and woman in the image of God. God spoke to man. These words encouraged me. My heart was thrilled to realise I am made by God and that he can speak to me on the earth. At that point in my life I didn’t know God can speak to people on the earth or that He can be involved in my life.

God was giving me permission to increase and multiply and fill or populate the earth. That day I read these words, I received faith to have many children. At the time I had two young children. I was hoping to have more children but nothing was happening. I prayed that morning to the God who created the earth to give me a child. God answered my prayer. I became pregnant soon after.

My life changed that day. I no longer needed to be anxious to get a job. God was giving me a job. And his blessing as well.

I went on to have fourteen children in total. He also speaks to me through his word in the scriptures. I hear his direction in dreams and prophecy. I am a sign to you today pointing you to God in heaven our creator who wants to speak to you.

All over the world God’s Spirit is moving. All over the world mankind in different nations sees the same sun and moon at different times in the day. We can see God’s handiwork. Wherever you are today look up to God who created the earth. He wants to speak to you. Talk to him today just as I did all those years ago. He will answer you.

The Harvest Moon

Deuteronomy 4:19 says

When you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.

This week I had the privilege of seeing the Harvest Moon rise over the city of Zakynthos. At Bohali above the city, the moon appeared over the horizon as a red glowing ball. It rose high in the sky giving light to the sea and land below.

I reflected that everyone on the earth can see the moon at some stage in twenty four hours. How amazing is this spectacular view of the Harvest Moon all over the world. All the nations can see God’s handiwork. He made it all.

Gathering Shells

Robert Louis Stevenson said

It is a more fortunate destiny to have a taste for collecting shells than to be born a millionaire.

I’m staying in Tarbert, Scotland. The local people said “Have you been to the shell beach yet? I was telling some folk that I collect sea glass and shells to make mosaics. I call it my hidden treasure.

Tucked away out of sight along the coast at Tarbert are two shell beaches. Other inlets nearby are covered in rocks. For some reason only two small inlets are covered in broken clam shells, pink, white, brown and orange with hues in between, lie stacked up on the shore. The waves for years have broken the shells into small pieces.

The tourists would never find it. Access to the beach is hidden at first glance. If you follow a well worn path under the ferns, over stones and bared roots of trees you will reach the beach. Perhaps Robert Louis Stevenson, who was from Scotland, knew about it when he penned the words I have quoted.

Day Trip in Northern Ireland Series

Hurrah. Lockdown has eased in Northern Ireland. Shops are open and people can dine out again in Belfast.

Brendan and I were going on a Mystery Tour with Our daughter, Ruth. Mary Black’s songs were seranading us as we headed north out of Belfast.

Brendan and I were singing a different song eleven years ago as we went to the hospital to have a test to check for cancer. “Because he lives I can face tomorrow”. The Cherry Blossom trees at the entrance were in full bloom.

Today eleven years on Cherry Blossom Trees are in full glory in the sunshine. They seemed to line our journey today, waving from gardens and hedgerows. Scripture says the trees of the field will clap their hands as we go out with joy. Yes I have joy after those sad days of cancer eleven years ago. I am healed by the power of the name of Jesus.

Our first stop was Ballyronan, a caravan and woodland park on the shores of Lough Neagh, the largest lake in the British Isles. Plenty of wildlife flourish here. We saw two healthy herons up ahead on the walkway. Whopper swans and ducks come here from Iceland. Chaffinches and sparrows sang overhead in the Ash tree branches. Although we didn’t see any, there is a good population of bats and owls.

Our next stop was where the River Blackwater joins the Lough Neagh. We lingered there in the stillness. A kingfisher flew over the water and disappeared in a flash.

Time for lunch. We headed towards Ardboe. At a crossroads not far away was a small building with a sign outside saying

High Cow Bagels, Drive Through. Coffee.

Brendan said “Let’s stop here. This guy has a sense of humour.” High Cow is the English translation of Ardboe. Ard means High and Bo means Cow.

I asked the Chef, “Is there any cow on the menu.” We chatted back and forth and had a good laugh. I told him I was healed of cancer. He was happy to receive some of my books.

Ruth looked at the menu.

High Cow Classic, High Cow Melt, The Cowboy Melt, High Cow Big Breakfast and much more. We enjoyed a unique tasty lunch, coffee and a High Cow Classic Bagel al fresco. The chef was a bundle of fun and the food was five star. I’d definitely go back again.

You never know what you may find when you leave the motorway and go on the roads less traveled.

Bird Watching in Northern Ireland. Guillemots

Jesus said to look at the birds. They don’t sow nor reap yet their Heavenly Father looks after them. I love bird watching. I had plenty of opportunity to study different birds when I lived along the shores of Strangford Lough.

Near where we lived in Portaferry was a favoured nesting place for three couples of Guillemots. These are small sea birds that spend their time at sea until spring. They build their nests in crevices above the water line on the stone wall. The south facing wall received the full warmth of the sun, a comfortable place to get the maximum heat for their vulnerable young. The chicks were hidden from the blast of chilly winds and out of reach from predators.

This particular group of Guillemots became quite tame. They would sit on the wall above their nests unafraid of walkers passing by. They are a feature every spring. One is sure to see these little black birds flying or swimming near their nests. I was able to photograph one couple last year close up from my car. They didn’t fly away even though I was very near them.

Their black feathers flow smoothly back from their pointed black beak. They have bright red legs and a patch of white on each wing. Their feathers look as of they are smoothed with oil. This gives the bird effective movement down underwater to feed on food at the bottom of the Lough.

During the strong winds and storms of February 2020 the shore wall a further few miles along from Portaferry was broken. The road remained closed for several months. The reason for the delay in the repair was because it is a nesting site for a colony of Guillemots. Many pairs make their nests and rear their young safely. There was even less disruption to their nesting and feeding because the road above was closed. Well done to the council who waited till the birds had reared their young before repairing the road.

Last week on a drive north along the Antrim coast we stopped at Glenarm. This village has a small, picturesque harbour with white limestone walls rising from the deep blue water. We walked close and to our delight little black birds flew out from the walls and skimmed along the water away from us. Guillemots were nesting here. It is an ideal nesting site, with crevices between the stones on the south facing walls and small fish swimming below in the water for them to feed on. We watched the birds. It was lovely to see the black and white birds below us before they ventured back to their nests. This harbour is an ideal place for the Guillemots to rear their young.

Seeing the Guillemots reminded me of God’s faithfulness to me when he tells me not to worry.
Matthew 6 v 25 to 27
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Good Tidings

View from our home in Portaferry, Ireland.

Greetings to all of you.

Thank you for your interest in my blogs in 2020.

Look for the goodness of God in the land of the living. This promise kept me going on many difficult days.

My grandson Benjamin asked me the other morning, “When is the sun going to waken up”.

This morning the sun is arisen and beauty is multiplied all over the sky. Enjoy it from where you live.

Malachi says “May the son of righteousness rise with healing in his wings”

May God, the creator of the earth , sea and sky bless you and keep you and make His face to shine on you and grant you peace.

Bird Singing in the Night

Outside my hotel window

It is the dead of night

Wem

A bird is singing

The sweet tweets echo through the silence.

Is he announcing good news?

Is he calling for attention

Like the multitude of heavenly hosts praising God

When the angel announced Jesus birth to the shepherds

Singing Glory to God in the highest

And on earth good will to all men.

There is room for me in the Inn

In a soft plush bed

Because He was born in a straw lined manger.

The Christmas street lights are bright

October

Many artists have written poetry, songs or painted scenes from October! The month of October for me brings a season of change and harvest. Situations I have been praying for seems to get answered in October. Our large family made a move from Coleraine to Co Down in Northern Ireland back in October the seventh in 1998. One son and two grandchildren have been born in this month. Another son, his Canadian wife and three young sons have just returned from Vancouver after six years away. He left with a suitcase and has returned with his arms literally full. My book, “The Grapes are Worth It” was completed and printed this month.

Change is reflected in nature. The full moon in the sky hails change. It is called the harvest moon. In our area the fields are emptied of rich crops of potatoes, wheat, barley and corn. The brown earth has yielded its goodness to the farmers.
The leaves of the trees have changed color from summer green to amber. I am reminded of a verse from scripture, where the Angel of the Lord is described .

I saw a figure that appeared to be a man. From what appeared to be his waist down, he looked like a burning flame. From the waist up he looked like gleaming amber. Ezekiel 8 v 2

We took a drive through the Mourne Mountains at the weekend. The trees’ leaves in the valley and hillside near Rostrevor painted a glorious picture that will stay with me. Seeing the beauty of the leaves of the trees at this season is healing to the soul. Scripture tells me “The leaves are for the healing of the nations.” It is true.

Brent Geese return form Canada in October. Seventy five per cent of the population of Brent geese in the world come to Strangford Lough for winter. Their brown necks and shoulders blend in well with the seaweed and stones. Underneath they have white feathers.

One morning I was traveling up the Ards peninsula. The sun was rising in the sky behind me. Birds were feeding along the shore of Strangford Lough, enjoying the warmth of the early morning sun’s rays. I noticed a large group of sea birds in the distance. They looked like white gulls. But to my surprise they were Brent Geese. Their white underbelly feathers reflected the low sun’s light.

These are some of my reflections this October of 2020.

Black Guillemots Nest Nearby

The Loughshore Rd in Portaferry, Co Down is very popular with local walkers, and more so during the Covid restrictions. There is less vehicle traffic. A family of Black Guillemots have become quit celebrities to local visitors.  They have brought joy to many people during this difficult time when people have had to self isolate.  Getting out in nature among God’s creation brings healing to the soul and mind.  

The Black Guillemot is a small black sea bird with a white patch on each wing. Each has a pointed beak, smooth feathers and red feet. They feed on sea creatures and can dive very deep underwater to feed. It’s a privilege to get to see such wild life nearby.

Black Guillemots have a nest amid the rocks in the wall along the shoreline of Strangford Lough.  They  have become quite tame. Passersby stop to watch them as their family play in the water below. My daughter was driving past last evening. Two birds were sitting on the wall. I asked her to reverse the car to see if we could see them up close.

Amazingly the two birds were not disturbed as we stopped. They didn’t fly off. We were able to take photos of them close up. What a delight.

The waves from storms in February breached the shoreline wall in various places. Some were repaired before the lockdown. The road had to be closed to traffic about a mile along the shore from where we live. The wall was broken and part of the road fell into the sea. The Covid lockdown prevented workers getting to fix it.

Then in July when work was due to start to repair the road, it was discovered that another group of Black guillemots had built nests nearby. They were still feeding their young in the nests. The department of the Environment stepped in and advised work to stop. The repair didn’t go ahead. The workers are waiting till the Black Guillemots are finished reading their young.