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!

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.

Camping in December in Ireland

Back in December when campervans are stowed for the winter, Bones sprung into life again after her battery was recharged.

Bones is the name my husband gave a campervan we bought two years ago. The doors rattled and the engine puffed out smoke when we first drove it. It needed much repair to make it roadworthy. It reminds us of the scripture in Ezekiel v 1 “ Can these dry bones live?”

I needed to use the campervan recently as my own car was being repaired. Tax and a top up to the insurance needed to be paid to keep it legal on the road. I thought I may as well take it out for a drive.

It had been wet and windy weather for a week. One of the wild nights I was travelling back home. I had the heater, lights, wipers and radio on in the van. I trusted Bones to get me home.

It did but next morning there was no spark to start it again. The power needed the previous night drained all life from the battery.

I was dreaming I could go on an overnight stay in the Campervan over the Christmas period. Who would come with me and would it be cold?

I wanted to visit Cushendun again. It is a beautiful place up along the Antrim coast. We had stopped in the village back in the Summer time. According to the brochures it had a Campsite that stayed open all the year round. After Christmas festivities my daughter offered to go with me one night in the van.

The forecast was 11 degrees centigrade one of the days so we planned and packed for our trip.

It was refreshing to wake up early when the sun was rising in the east over the Irish Sea. We had breakfast as the light shone through the drifting clouds. We spent the rest of the morning walking on the beach and driving through the picturesque villages along the coast road.

We treated ourselves to coffee in the luxurious Ballygally Hotel before setting off for home. I’m looking forward to many more trips out no matter what the season.

It’s good to be alive and enjoying my life. God is good all the time. There in healing in the Blood of Jesus.

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Ph D Graduation Day.

I am celebrating today with our daughter Mary at her graduation for completing a Ph D, researching Maternity care in poorer nations of the world at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. I thank God I am alive to be with her today. Eight years ago, I was suffering from Cancer. Through the tender mercies of God I am healed and alive to declare today that God is faithful and good.
“For you will not leave my soul among the dead. All the good things come from you.” Psalm 16 v 2 and 10
I am alive to continue to support my family in the ways of righteousness. Mary would call me up when she needed encouragement. I would talk and pray with her. Along with other family, friends’ and colleagues’ help she completed today.   Well done Mary.  I’m proud of you.

Sun, Sea and Sand in Zakynthos

The sun sets over the hill to the west on the last evening of our holiday in Zakynthos.  Shadows are cast along the shore as the sun beds are folded away and umbrellas are pulled down.  Footprints in the soft sand are a sign of the many people that have passed this way today.

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The cool of the evening is very welcome after a hot day.  I believe anyone coming to this beach will leave rested, healed, beautified, blessed, rejuvenated, refreshed and restored.

He leads me beside still waters to restore my soul.  I thank God I am alive to enjoy the goodness of God in the land of the Living.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.   (‭Psalm‬ ‭23‬:‭2-3‬ NIV)

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. (‭Psalms‬ ‭27‬:‭13‬ KJV)

We have met people from different nationalities, German, Russian, English, Greek, and Austrian.  We have met young and old, from the babies and toddlers to the two eighty something year old couples that were our neighbors at the poolside.  We could not communicate but we all were enjoying the warmth of the sun on our bodies in the silence.

A swim in the sea is welcome to cool our bodies.  It is no effort to swim in the salty, still, shallow waters.  The young and not so young, able bodied and not so able bodied, buxom and slim alike, bodies modestly covered and others less well covered take a dip.

This is a favorite beach not only for sunbathers but also for Turtles.  The females lay their eggs high up on the beach in May and the young hatch out in October.

Earlier today our friend brought us to a faviourite restaurant, high above the town of Zakynthos.  We enjoyed the glorious view, the red roofed houses below, and the blue bay shimmering in the sunshine beyond.  A Ferryboat from the Greek mainland announces it’s arrival into the harbor with a loud horn blast.  We watch it dock.  Other boats are dwarfed by this new Ferry.

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For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (‭Habakkuk‬ ‭2‬:‭14‬ NIV)

We return from this haven to the hear of the turmoil in the nations.  A new Labour leader has been elected and some countries of Europe close their borders to Immigrants.

I will keep looking to Jesus, like Peter in the storm.  He could walk on the water as long as he fixed his eyes on Jesus.

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. (‭Matthew‬ ‭14‬:‭28-29‬ NIV)