I’m pleased to present to you our book “The Grapes are Worth it”.
Brendan and I picked our book from the printers on Friday.
It is the story of our lives, getting married and having fourteen children during the troubles in Northern Ireland.
It is a testament to Jesus’ power in our lives of forgiveness, healing, restoration and reconciliation.
I have been prompted by God’s Holy Spirit to write about how God helped me in my life for some time.
It was only after I broke my right arm that I gave up all distractions and started to write on my red lap top Brendan had purchased for me ten years previously when I had fourth stage cancer.
My daughter said “What is daddy buying a new computer for Mummy when she is going to die.”
Her dad replyed “She is going to write her book on it God healed me of cancer.”
If you would like a copy please get in touch.
One of the chapters of my new book
says, The Christian life is not a bed of roses. The early Christians were throw to lions and Jesus learned obedience to the Father through the things he suffered. He died a horrible death on the cross.
On Facebook and What’s App people want to share all the fun times in their lives. I don’t read much about their suffering or other difficulties.
When one who is depressed or in difficulty reads about the happy times others are having, he may think what is wrong with me? I don’t have the money or ability to do what they are doing. So his life becomes more unbearable and he goes deeper into the pit.
I remember friends of mine who were widows with four to five children. When they went to Church, they felt rejected. They didn’t have a husband, their clothes weren’t as pretty as the good living Christians. No one talked to them as others who knew each other stood in groups talking. Not surprising they didn’t go back to church.
When I was getting my six or ten children ready for Church there was fighting or bickering. When we got to Church we had to pretend all was okay and smile. Underneath all the facade I was hurting and felt no one understood me. I thought what is wrong with me. I must be a terrible sinner. Everyone else is happy. It seemed to me if your life was not all fun you were a bad Christian . One feels condemned and not good enough to come to God or to Church. I cannot live up to others expectations of me. I didn’t know that God loved me and was with me in my battles and was helping me through them.
One day a speaker talked about marriage. He said according to the scriptures those who are married will have more trouble than those who are single. This resonated with me.
So friends on Facebook or What’s App don’t be surprised that I don’t respond always to the happy clappy times. If you share your difficulties I will respond.
Please get to know what is going on in other peoples lives, especially family, the good and the bad. Then one can empathise or even pray with others.
What a beautiful warm day we enjoyed this Sunday in Ireland. The sun was shining and the sky was blue. The clocks went back an hour. People took the opportunity of waking up with an hour to spare and head to the outdoors. Perhaps we all wanted to enjoy the inviting warmth before darker and colder days approach.
We are like some butterflies, Red Admiral and Tortoiseshell, that came to my garden a few weeks ago. Late blooming sunflowers were lifting their heads to the sun in a sheltered corner of the garden. The butterflies spread their wings to soak up the warmth on the face of the sunflower. The beautiful colours of their wings lit up in the light. They lingered around the sunny corner trying out some other flowers they love, while the sun shone.
Brendan and I took the ferry from Portaferry to Strangford. A large crane was positioned near the terminal. It was available to lift any remaining yachts and boats out of the water to be stored for the winter. The end of the season for letting the wind fill the colourful sails.
We visited an outdoor market in Dundrum. As we walked about the stalls I could feel the warmth of the sun on my back. Everyone was light hearted. Smells of cooking wafted through the air. Both food outlets were doing plenty of business. We discovered a few hidden treasures; a mosaic topped table and chairs was my favourite find. I will restore them and look forward to tea in the garden next spring. Our children warn us not to be getting more stuff. But we don’t listen. Our home will end up as a museum full of items that evoke memories from our younger days, English Rose China, a crystal decanter, a rocking horse or tapes of old movies.
Some visitors called with us this evening. I sat with my friend by the fire. We chatted about our aches and pains. I suggested they can easily be warded off by a Magnisium supplement. I read yesterday from another blogger’s page that Magnesium is a cure for all; pain in limbs, high blood pressure, indigestion and insomnia. I will be keeping a bottle of Milk of Magnesia in the cupboard. There will be warm cups of cocoa at bedtime and Epsom Salt baths often this winter. No flu jab for me!
I was meditating on these words this evening after an active day.
But the godly will flourish like palm trees, and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. Even in old age they will produce fruit. They will remain vital and green..
So even to old age and grey hairs, O God do not forsake me.
Psalm 92 and 71.
My daughter Nora lost her wedding ring on Sunday 22nd September. She was taking part in the Belfast half marathon in aid of Heart and Stroke Charity, Northern Ireland.
Nora was happy and relieved to get across that finishing line! She was back home when she discovered her wedding ring was missing. She had taken it off and put it in her pocket during the marathon as her finger had swollen.
Here is the message she sent.
So delighted to have done the Belfast Half Marathon this morning 💥. The only problem was that I lost my wedding ring somewhere around the finish line – at the Stroke Association tent 😰 if by some miracle someone comes across it maybe you’d let me know? It has my name and wedding date engraved on the inside…. any shares appreciated.
You never know – miracles can happen! #BelfastMarathon Ormeau Park
The message went viral. She called me in the afternoon. She was tearful. We prayed again.
Next morning we got a message from a friend to tell us Nora’s ring was found. It was handed in to the organisers of the marathon. We text Nora to tell her. She hadn’t checked her other messages because she was in a hurry to attend work.
She was overwhelmed at the response to her message on media. She got her miracle.
The local newspaper the News Letter picked up on her story. BBC Evening Extra called her and asked her to join them in the studio to tell her story.
Colin, her husband collected the ring and joined Nora at the radio studio. There was joy as the presenter interviewed Nora and Colin about the recent events. He asked Colin to put the ring back on her finger. All of Northern Ireland listeners heard the good news story.
Nora got her miracle.
I was reading this message today. “I will be your God throughout your lifetime. I have created you and cared for you since you were born.” Isaiah 46 v 3
God cares for Nora and Colin. He cares about their marriage. He demonstrated his love for them publicly. Their covenant of marriage was re confirmed before thousands of listeners. Nora continues to be overwhelmed.
I was out yesterday gathering items along the sea shore to use in craft making. Just back from a recent holiday, I am invigorated and have plenty of energy. I was inspired by visiting some craft shops when I was away. Small sticks, driftwood, pottery and bits of rope were some of my find. What particularly interested me today was any flat pieces of wood.
A good sized rectangular piece was lying on one of the rocks. When I turned it over the remains of a placard was still attached to it. On it were these words in large bold letters,
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ”. The word Jesus is missing. This is a sentence from the Bible in 1 Timothy 2 verse 5.
Placards with a passage from scripture on it, I think are peculiar to Northern Ireland. You may find a notice with a scripture passage on a piece of wood nailed to a tree or hanging on a lamppost along a country road. Someone put it there in the hope of evangelising some unbeliever.
In the Provence where I live some Protestants try to evangelise Catholics with these notices. We had war in Northern Ireland because there was division and misunderstanding between Catholics and Protestants which led to hatred and murder of one another. One can easily take offence when one doesn’t agree with the another. Someone took offence at the placard, and dumped it in the sea!! As a teenager I remember a street evangelist reached me a tract with a scripture on it. He did not communicate with me to explain what he was giving me. I wasn’t interested and threw it away. I was offended just like someone with the same attitude threw this placard in the sea!
Back as a teenager if someone had told me about God’s love for me and demonstrated it to me by being kind, giving, and coming along side me to identify with me and get to know me I may have received their tract. It’s not enough to preach at one. One needs to show love. It never fails.
As I write this on reflection I met my husband in my late teens. He did the very things I have just recounted. He came along side me, was giving and kind. He showed me love. That is why I responded and fell in love.
There were troubles in Northern Ireland because, no matter what religion one had, we didn’t know God’s unconditional love, blessing, care, tenderness, forgiveness, healing, comfort and debts cancelled. Like all humankind without God, our hearts were hard and bitter. We didn’t understand one another. There was little generosity or forbearing one another.
I got to know God more later in my twenties when I met some loving women who introduced me to the Word of God. I began to read the scriptures and believed what they said. I believe in God our creator and in his son Jesus and The Holy Spirit. This same God healed me from Malignant Cancer.
I should be in the grave today. God is alive. He is real. Jesus tomb is the only empty one. He arose from the dead. I can tell you this for sure. He rescued me from the grave to tell others about him. He shed his blood on the cross and became a sacrifice to forgive all people their sins and bring them to heaven. If you believe in Jesus your heart can be healed and you can be sure of heaven.
When I overturned the piece of wood today I thought to myself, God’s Word will not return void. Isaiah 55 v 11 says
“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me void. But will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
He can use all kinds of ways to speak to people and get their attention. God even used a donkey to speak to Balaam when he wouldn’t listen. I want to encourage you through my story of God’s love in saving me from death. Believe in the miracle working God for yourself. Believe in Jesus and get to know him through reading his word.
The words on the placard, all messy with seaweed is still speaking. I retrieved it. I will publish it. Through the internet I can send this scripture far and wide across the nations.
It’s a miracle that so many people from different faiths and cultures live in harmony in Jerusalem.
When we arrived in Israel it was raining. This is the season when the rain comes to water the dry ground in Israel to help prepare for the sowing of seeds. We have been to Israel before but this is the first time we have seen the rain. I looked forward expectantly to our time in Israel. Will we receive His spring rain?
I was reminded of the scripture from Hosea,
““Come, let us return to the LORD.I
He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us;
he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.
After two days he will revive us;
On the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.
Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises, he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.””
Hosea 6:1-3 NIV
I haven’t been disappointed. I have been rested and refreshed in my body, soul and spirit. I have seen prophetic words from the scripture develop before me eyes.
4 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.
5 And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.
6 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts. Hosea 6 v 4 to 6. KJV
They are many young couples with babies in prams, children holding onto their arms, and pregnant mothers in Israel. It has a growing population. God is bringing his people the Jews back from all the nations of the earth to live in the land of Israel. We met Ethiopian, Russian and American Jews.
Old people, couples walking hand in hand, others on canes are walking through the streets. They have lived here to see the fulfilment of prophecy. Nearby where we are staying is a school. Yesterday morning as we went out we met young boys and girls chirping happily as they entered the doors.
“In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all— the most important place on earth.
It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.
People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob’s God.
There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem.”
Micah 4:1-2 NLT Continue reading
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.
Sent from my iPad
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