Thankfulness in 2018

Dear Friends,

Happy Christmas to everyone and especially to new friends on WordPress. Thank you all for reading my posts and getting in touch this last year.

It’s near the darkest day of winter. To anyone of you who finds the dark days tough, physically or spiritually, hang in there. Some of you have lost loved ones, are sick or in other difficulties. Be encouraged. Signs of better days ware coming. New life is springing forth already in the garden. Seeds you have planted in people’s lives will grow this coming year. Daffodils and snowdrop green shoots are above ground already.

We celebrate Jesus birth at his time. It is indeed a good reason to celebrate. He came to set the captive free, to heal the broken hearted, to bring joy instead of mourning and beauty for ashes.

Believe in Jesus today. We all soften our hearts at the thought of a helpless babe in a crib in a cowshed. He was born into the lowest position on earth, not in a king’s palace. Jesus is alive by his spirit to reach down to anyone who feels low today. Let him be born into your heart today. His presence will remain with you forever, not just once a year when we celebrate Christmas. All other things bring disappointment. Jesus will never disappoint. He is not a man. He doesn’t break his promises.

May we press on into the New Year Staying Alive, overcoming and telling others about the goodness of God through Jesus. Happy Christmas.

Angela

Sent from my iPad

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.

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

The Robin

 

In Ireland the humble bird the Robin is celebrated on our Christmas cards. Images of the bright eyed bird with healthy feathers, red on his breast and brown on his body and wings are displayed on many a mantle piece.

One forgets that this bird has had to survive a busy schedule in spring and summer building nests, hatching eggs, and foraging for food to keep himself and young alive. Brendan leaves out seeds and leftover bread on the fence for the birds. One bird waits expectantly every morning. It has come into our kitchen when we leave the door open.

If I am away for a few days the Robin welcomes us back by hopping in circles around me from shrub to hedge to get my attention. I haven’t been looking out for my friend for a while. But this morning I was up early. The bird must have seen me move about the kitchen. He was looking for food.

I fetched the seed box and laid out some seeds. The Robin came along. Sadly he looked a bit disheveled. His head was bereft of healthy feathers. He had few red feathers. He must have been in a few difficult situations; fights, hungry or thirsty.

Perhaps the hungry mouths he was helping feed this summer pulled at his feathers when he was sharing his morsels. Is it time to moult his feathers? Or was he in some territorial fights? I discovered from a bird blog that robins defend their territory fiercely.

He has some nice territory to defend. He has two gardens in which to forage and get plenty of food for his offspring. He has a home owner who leaves out treats for him every morning. He isn’t going to give up easily.

Can I learn from this little bird. Jesus said look at the birds. I see this Robin as a real warrior fighting for his home and his land where he gets provision for his young. I read in Nehemiah 4 v 4 that the men prayed for their families and their homes. They built with one hand and defended their property with a sword in their hands. Like the Robin I often get a few ruffled feathers as I defend my home and children. It is my space and I want to keep it a safe place free from evil.

Jesus likens a man to a house.
““When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. “”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭12:43-45‬ ‭NIV‬‬

We can learn from this scripture Jesus warning to continue to keep our house free from evil spirits. They will always want to come back in. They will never give up. So one needs to be on guard to prevent evil coming back into ones life once we have been set free.

How does one do that. By believing in Jesus, by prayer, by reading the Word of God and by obeying what God has asked one to do.

Don’t Be Despondent

Strangford Lough waters were like a mirror early today.  The boats, newly parked in the bay below, are still. This morning I read these words from the Bible.
Proverbs 15 v 15
For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.

These words shook me out of feeling heavy laden and down. I looked up the meaning of despondent in the dictionary.  Dejected, sad, depressed, disheartened, lacking hope or courage.
One can be despondent because of unhappiness due to difficulties that you think will not be able to overcome.
I was prone to despondency and despair before I had cancer. I definitely got depressed and it deepened. Situations in my life seemed insurmountable. But God saw me and had mercy on me. He healed me from cancer.
I can’t afford to let myself get down or despondent. This word this morning shook me. I want to have a merry heart and a feast instead. I have so much to be thankful for.
Another scripture says ,
“Do not be downcast. Hope in God for I will yet praise him.”  I began to thank God for all his blessings.  I got washed and dressed. I decided to go out in the beautiful morning and let the cobwebs blow away. The warmth of spring is here. I praise God for life.

Joy in Prayers Answered

Our mouths were filled with laughter today when we heard about Derek’s story of God touching his life. We heard good news. Today it is often the case that people are burdened and sad and don’t have much joy.

We were saying our goodbyes to friends at the hotel in Zakynthos before going to the airport. A couple from England, Derek and Linda were standing at the bar. They were frequent visitors to Zakynthos and only stay at this hotel. They are personal friends with the family who own the hotel.

Our host told us about Derek. He was a kind person and did much charity work back home. She often went on holiday to England to visit with him and his family. But his health was failing. He had diabetes, had kidney failure and attended hospital in the Uk three times a week for dialysis.

Needing dialysis did not deter Derek going on holiday to his favorite place. Arrangements were made for treatment on the island while he came on holiday. It meant going to his room every four hours and taking the necessary drugs to help cleanse his blood. He didn’t want to give up.

We happened to meet him back in 2015. He told us about having treatment for kidney failure and was hoping to have a kidney transplant. My husband and I prayed for him to get a new kidney in the name of Jesus. We believe that Jesus heals today. I know Jesus power has healed me of fourth stage cancer and I always love the opportunity to tell others what God has done for me. I prayed on the basis of Psalm 41.

Blessed are those who have regard for the poor.
The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭41:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

We didn’t see Derek again until today. When my husband spoke to him today tears welled up in his eyes. His wife started crying and our host started crying. He told us what happened after we prayed. He didn’t feel any different immediately and had to continue using the dialysis. A few days later he got a phone call from a friend back in his home town. Arrangements were being made for him to have a kidney transplant.

Derek was seventy years old. The doctors had told him there was little chance of him receiving a donated kidney if one became available on the NHS. Younger patients would be given priority before him because of his age. He was way down the waiting list. He was resigned to living with his condition and remained cheerful. He continued to think of others before himself. He was well thought of in his community.

A friend talked to Derek one day and told him he heard of a man , let’s call him John, who wanted to donate one of his kidneys to someone. John’s wife was a nurse in the kidney unit of the hospital. He was touched by the need of patients whose stories his wife related to him. John decided he wanted to do something to help another person.

Derek’s friend said he would tell John about Derek’s situation. He received a phone call on holiday from John after we prayed for him. John offered Derek his kidney. Derek remembered our prayers. God was answering our prayers for healing by giving him a donated kidney!

The process began back home to see if John’s kidney would be a good match for Derek. The doctors were amazed that John was offering his kidney. Tests were done and it was found that the donated kidney would be agreeable with Derek’s body. The doctors operated to give Derek a new kidney. The operation went well.

One year on Derek is still going on holiday and no longer needs dialysis. There has been no reaction in Derek’s body to reject the donated kidney. The doctors said it was a miracle that the kidney became available and that it was a match. They suggested Derek’s story would make a great article in a newspaper.

This is the first time this story has been published. God is good. He answers our prayers. If anyone wants to hear more about prayer for healing please get in touch.

We prayed for Derek again today and thanked God for his mercy for Derek’s healing. My husband and I left the island of Zakynthos today with laughter and joy because God answered our prayers.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/laughter/

Present Time Still Standing

The present cold, dull day makes one want to stay close to home comforts. My AGA cooker is one of my home comforts. For the last few days it was not working properly and I was feeling the cold. The engineer checked it over on Friday night. The problem was a blocked filter stopping the oil flowing to power the cooker.

I had been meditating on the scripture about five wise virgins who had their lamps filled with oil. I wrote a blog on the subject. I was experiencing at first hand what it was like not to have the oil flowing. I was very cold as a result. I was waiting patiently to see if the Aga was working again. I was overjoyed to see it was working better than it had been for a long time and my kitchen was warm again.  I cooked pancakes for breakfast, made wheaten bread in the oven and cooked soup, all before ten am.

In the early morning the sun light up the sky and sea to a pale blue. Light and warmth were returning. Is the winter over?

My husband and I went for a walk along the shore. We walked through the variety of boats safe on dry land for the winter. A rich man’s yacht, a black upturned curragh, an unfinished wooden skiff and some fiber glass small boats sheltered there. We went to our favorite spot to collect sea glass. Oh, the welcome warmth on our backs as we bent down searching.

Later we sat at the quay sharing some fish and chips. Other creatures were enjoying the welcome sunny morning. Brent geese fed in the water and gulls soared overhead. Two gulls landed on the pier a little distance off. I took a photo of them. A friend distracted me for a while. She was out enjoying the morning as well.

When I looked at the gulls again, I noticed the bigger one was standing on one leg. I commented to my husband. A moment later the gull stretched the missing leg out behind. He limped a few steps forward and sat down. His partner looked on attentively. He must have been in pain. We prayed that the gull’s leg would be healed and restored.

Yesterday was a joyful day. I wanted to fit in so much while the sun shone. The joy of yesterday overflowed into today. The cold and dullness at the present time has not dented my sense of wellbeing.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/present/