The Shadow of The Lord

 

The house is quiet after the hustle and bustle of family staying for Christmas. I am awake early. I walk into the room across the way. The curtains are open. The sky is dark. No moon. The only light in my view is a flashing green light on a buoy out in the middle of Strangford Lough. It will be a few more hours before the sun rises.

On the lawn below I see my shadow cast by the light in the room. My outline is magnified and covers a large area of the lawn.

I am reminded of verses from scripture that tell me about other shadows.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,

If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.

He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.”
Psalm 91

God is speaking to me through the image of my shadow on the lawn. He is telling me that even though he is God Almighty his shadow is covering me and I can rest secure under his protection. Even though it may be dark in life circumstances all around, he is with me.

There is a story about Peter in the Acts 5.

“And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people;
Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭5:12, 15-16‬ ‭KJV‬‬

The power of God was with Peter in those days soon after Jesus died and arose from the dead, that even his shadow healed people. Jesus wants us to believe in him in these days so that signs and wonders will follow us so we can help others.

And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.
Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭5:12, 15-16‬ ‭KJV‬‬

One may feel that other dark shadows cover us, for example fear may overwhelm one and leave one unable to move. The pain of death, grief, betrayal, sickness, and other shadows may come to disable us but take heart. God will help. The word of God tells us 365 times not to be afraid. When God Almighty is with us all the darkness has to flee from the shadow of his wings covering us. Alleluia. We need not fear. Only believe in God, his son Jesus and the Holy Spirit who is hereto help us.

At the airport the bookshop is full of people browsing deciding what book to take down and read on their journey.  There are many books on “How to”, get rich quick, loose weight or meet the right one in your life.  I recommend the simple book of the Bible.  It is full of power, truth, success and life.

God bless you this morning and may this word from The Lord break you free from your darkness today.

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

My Grandchildren’s Christmas Play.

I attended my grandchildren’s Christmas play this morning. When they appeared on stage the mum, dad and myself had to wave until the two boys caught our gaze. They were ready to get on with the show knowing family were watching.

It doesn’t seem so long ago since I was watching each of my own boys and girls in a traditional Christmas play. They would dress up as a shepherd, an angel, a wise King or a donkey. They sang songs about Jesus birth.

Today’s event was different. The children invited us to see how six other nations celebrate Christmas. Poland and China were my favourites. The little ones were dressed in red Chinese costumes and flat hats. I must congratulate the teachers on managing so many young students. A big effort indeed.

I called my son last night to tell him I wouldn’t be able to make it. I was too far away, too cold, too sore, too old, too tired, too alone and my car wasn’t working. I awoke early. I changed my mind and made the effort to go. Ressurrection power kicked in.  The electric plugs had fused. First hurdle to overcome. I dressed in warm clothes because the chilly cold winter winds were blowing. I got the ferry. It was navigating across from Portaferry to Strangford on choppy waters. I sat nervous in my van. I hoped the wind would die down for my return journey.

All the effort was worth it to see my son’s and grandchildren’s smiley faces because granny came along. I remember being at a school event after my first grandchild was born. Everyone was congratulating me on being a granny. It must be an important hurdle for a woman. We now have eighteen grandchildren. Most of them live too far away to attend school plays. They live in far flung places; Canada, Slovakia and Dublin.

I’m glad I didn’t miss today’s Christmas show.

A Piece of Ireland

Would you like a little bit of Ireland to cherish.

Order now for Christmas and avoid hold up in the post.
I sent an order to Canada at Christmas last year and it arrived at Easter.

Here is a sample of necklaces I have made from Irish Seaglass and pottery.
I pick the glass up from the shore along the Irish Sea. It has been mounded by the waves crashing on the shore and then tossed about for decades.
For me it symbolises what God does in our lives. He takes that which is broken and makes us into something beautiful.

“Cast out but picked up,
Rejected but restored,
Cut off but brought back,
Worn down but built up,
Broken but renewed,
Hope for the future,
Scarred but made beautiful,
Sharp edges softened,
Cut down but living again.”

“O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭54:11‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Each necklace is made form leather or cotton tie and Seaglass or Pottery.
Cost is £5 per item. Postage is £1 in UK or £3 to Europe, USA or Canada.
Order through message on Facebook.
Other items can be seen and ordered from Etsy.com.

Order now for Christmas!!!

Christmas Shopping

image“So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We remember Jesus birth at this time.  A time of joy, to thank God the Father for making himself know through his son Jesus, who was conceived in Mary’s womb and born in an animals’ home.
God our Father’s plan was to redeem mankind from the power of sin, death and the devil, who kept mankind separated from God and prevented them from going to heaven.  The devil stole the authority over all the earth and all living creatures, from Adam.  Jesus is the new Adam.

Jesus grew up in his family and lived humbly helping his parents.  He would have helped with the other children, just as my older children did when they were growing up.  His father was a carpenter.  He did not have a high school or university education.  When he was thirty years old he entered his public ministry.  For three years he went about doing good, healing and delivering all who were oppressed of the devil. He was bringing down the power of the devil, who was keeping people in darkness, believing lies, living in oppression and sickness.  Jesus is the truth.

He was the son of God.  He could have set up a kingdom here on earth and ruled and ordered people what to do.  Instead he allowed himself to be arrested and accused of curing people on the day of rest, working miracles and claiming to be the son of God.  His accusers were jealous of him.  They had to get rid of him before everyone started following him and upsetting the kingdoms that were ruling at that time, including Romans and Jews.

His own people the Jews wanted him crucified.  “Away with him” they said.  Jesus never opened his mouth when he was whipped by soldiers, a crown of thorns hammered into his head, nails pierced into his hands and feet to nail him to a cross and when a sword opened up his side.  He hung on a cross till he breathed his last.  He suffered and died.  He became the perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.  There is no forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood.

A leader from India told us recently how people sacrifice their children in the fire or in the river, or cut themselves in order to get their sins forgiven.  Even after such pain they find no relief from their guilt.  This man told some of these people, “Jesus has forgiven my sins.”  I’m not guilty any more.  They were surprised.  “What sacrifice did you make.”  “How much money did you pay.”
He said, “I believe in Jesus.  He was the sacrifice for my sins.  He died in my place.  He shed his blood for me.  This is good news.  You too can know your sins forgiven by believing in Jesus.”
One woman said “Why did you not come sooner, before I gave my child to the God of the river.”  She was heartbroken.  She was prayed for and Jesus healed her.

“ But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who please God completely.. He is the sacrifice for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

What a wonderful privilege we in the west have to hear the name of Jesus.  We have good health care and good education.  Freedom to work, get married, have children, and live in peace in our homes and neighbourhoods.  But sadly many of us no longer know the power of the name of Jesus or the power of his shed blood or acknowledge, thank or honor him in our lives.   We have forgotten what Christmas really means.

We were travelling home from Dublin airport leaving at five pm yesterday evening.  The road out of Dublin was packed with cars.  On coming near Belfast the roads were packed with cars.  Why is this?   I have travelled at the same time earlier in the year and there were no holdups or roads full of cars.  Ah, people are out Christmas shopping!

Are they shopping for their children who are expecting Santa Clause to leave them some gifts?  Are they shopping for food and drink for fear the shops might run out of provisions nearer Christmas?  How can parents exhaust themselves and get into debt to buy presents for their children who think some mythical being drops them gifts down the chimney?  Are the father’s involved with the shopping, or is it just the mothers?  The children never thank them or appreciate the stress involved.  Why do they continue the lie of Santa Clause?

Do the refugees get presents?   Do the poor people of Africa or India get presents.  Does Santa just come to America and Europe and bless those who already have plenty.  I have asked myself this even when I was young.

Where does Jesus come in our celebration of Christmas?  “Joy to the World” the Christmas cards proclaim.   Brendan and I deleted Santa Clause out of our family when we had four children.  We told them the truth.  If we tell our children about Santa and years later realize there is no Santa, what will they think of mum and dad.  “They told us lies.”  We tell our children the good news that is at the heart of Christmas.  God sent the gift of his Son to us.  Jesus came to take away the sins of the whole world and the give the gift of eternal life.  We can be with him forever in heaven.  We tell them about the other gifts God has for us, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the gift of children, the gift of life itself.

Many people did not agree with us, including family, friends and teachers.  The headmistress asked us to stop our children telling the other children there was no Santa.  Our children did not miss out on gifts.  We saved up and brought our children on summer holidays instead.  I refuse to get caught up in the hype of Christmas.  It does not satisfy!!!

I now live in the hope of going to heaven when I die.  I want to tell others this good news and tell them what Jesus has done for them.   God rescued me from an early death when he healed me of Malignant cancer.  I choose to follow him.  He is returning to the earth soon.  I want to be prepared.  I want to be of use in the years I have left.  I find comfort from this scripture,

“So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

A Star in the East

Today I awoke before sunrise.  I looked out the window and saw a bright star in the East.  I don’t know if it was Saturn or Venus.  It was the only star visible in the awakening dawn.

I thought of the story of the three wise men from the east who followed a star to Israel.  Did they travel by night and rest by day?  How would they have seen the star by day?  Perhaps it was too hot to travel by day.  I don’t know but people have different reasons to set out on a journey.

Thirty eight years ago I set out on a journey.  Many people thought I was crazy including my doctor.   A friend of my husband invited our family to spend Christmas with him in England.  I was excited at the opportunity to have a holiday and our family of four to be looked after.  No Christmas shopping or cooking.

The only concern was I was due my third child on Christmas Day!  I paid a visit to my doctor to tell him about my plans.  He was surprised.  He strongly advised against me travelling such a long journey being heavily pregnant.  What hospital will I attend?  What if I start labour on my journey? He continued to persuade me to give up the idea.

He did not convince me.  I reminded him that Mary travelled on a donkey seventy miles from her home in Nazareth to Bethlehem.  She was heavily pregnant.  I would be travelling by car, a bit more comfortable than a donkey!  The joy of having a holiday outweighed any concerns I had.

The doctor did not say anything more.  He gave me a letter to give to the doctor in whatever hospital I was admitted.

Our family travelled by ferry to Liverpool and on by road to our destination.  I enjoyed the journey. My excitement kept my hopes up.  Our host took me to see his doctor.  He received me and assured me that I could attend the local hospital whenever I went into labour.  There was going to be room for me in the Inn.

Mary gave birth to her baby in a stable surrounded by animals.  There was no midwife or doctor.  No medical care, no pain relief, no comforts, only the breath of the animals to keep her and her baby warm.  Some shepherds were told by angels to go and greet the new born baby.  Some time later the three wise men from the East arrived bringing gifts for the baby Jesus.

Many women is poorer counties can identify with Mary.  Medical care may be expensive or non existent!  Having a baby is not a sickness.  It is a normal process of bringing new life into the world.

I knew for sure the same God, whose son was born in a manger, was looking after me that Christmas in England.  Our friends were very generous to our family.  My baby did not arrive on the due date, Christmas Day.  My husband, myself and two children had the finest of fare without a care in the world.

Three days later I started in labour.  My baby was on the way!  I gave birth to a healthy baby girl with no complications.  I was delighted.  We called her Nora.  She is an answer to prayer.  I already had two children, a girl and a boy.  But I had a strong desire to have another child.  I prayed and asked God for another child.  I believed God and said “I will give my life to you if you give me another child.”  I became pregnant.  God was faithful to give me another child and looked after me on my travels.

I am still travelling on a journey down through the last thirty eight years.  I have read in God’s word many other stories about how God led his people on journeys.  These stories have helped me along my path.
In that time I have reared fourteen children and been healed of fourth stage cancer.  God continues to care for me on the journey.  God is faithful.

Pens and Pencils. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/pens-and-pencils/

 

I bought a writing pad and envelopes recently.

These items connect me with

imagethe past when I remember my mother writing a letter to her daughter who had left home.  She had sent many letters to her leaving children after that.  She would have looked out for the postman to see if there was a response to her letters, a longing for a demonstration of love to be returned to her.

I enjoy getting a hand written letter that the postman brings. At a Christmas event my sister gave her siblings hand written letters we had sent to her forty years ago.  They brought back memories, jogged the mind to remember past events, and produced a few tears.

I set the writing pad and envelopes in my writing bureau, knowing I will be inspired to use them, someday.  That “someday” was this morning.  I have just written a hand written letter to my friend, whose phone is not reliable.  And even if it is working she often does not answer it.

Very often an elderly relative appreciates a hand written letter or card.  They are not able to connect with Facebook or e mail, the modern way of communication.

When my children were at home it was difficult to find a pen when one needed it to make a note to buy an item or when my husband needed one.  The pens always circulated into bedrooms and under beds.  No matter how many pens were left in a holder to keep them together, it would have to be refilled often.

Now the pens stay in the overcrowded holder.  My husband would forget the children are not here any longer, and would include a packet of pens in the shopping when they are on offer.  He cannot pass a bargain.

Our first Christmas card this season was from our son Jacob.  It was sealed on the outside with wax.  He wrote down thoughts from the heart to his mum and dad on the beautiful card.  I found out later he had sent a hand written card to each of his family at Christmas time, especially to those who live in other countries.   He is not a fan of Facebook.  I still have his card on the mantle piece of the fireplace.

I bought some of my children fountain pens this Christmas.  I remember using one for all my school work.  The teachers were very careful to make sure we had neat hand writing using an ink filled pen.  Some traditions are returning.