Thankful for Health Services

I was listening to a programme on BBC 4 radio this week. It was reporting on events in Ecqador during the Covid 19.

One lady was interviewed. Her husband contacted the virus and died in a few days. She rang the authotrities in her country to come and take away her husband’s body. Only after five days was his decaying body removed. The lady contacted the disease as well but survived. She had two young sons.


Many families suffered like she did. Dead bodies were left lying on the streets for days. The hospitals and normal services were not prepared for the death of so many people.

It is easy to complain about past and present wrongs in our country. I am so thankful after listening to that programme. I am so grateful for the services we are blessed with here in Northern Ireland. These services were put in place by people who believed God in generations past and wanted to help their fellow man. First of all I thank God for the people in our country who believe in God. God has preserved us from sickness and healed many who contacted the disease. Our local minister was told to prepare for many deaths from Covid. There were not any deaths from Covid in our town.

I am thankful for the Health Service, the many men and women who worked in the hospitals. I am thankful for the politicians who had to make difficult decisions in the crisis. I am thankful for the people in our families, villages and towns who supported each other through their fears. I am thankful for the people who know their God and intercede for others.

Let us keep alert and keep praying. God my Heavenly Father delivered me from death from cancer ten years ago through the prayers of many. I believe Jesus heals today. I want to tell others that Jesus will heal our diseases and even prevent us from getting sick. This is good news. Let us pray for workers in the harvest to go to those countries that don’t know of God’s love and care through Jesus sacrifice for us on the cross. The Blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin and sickness.

Testimony Tuesday. My Experience of How Nature Restores My Mind.

I was reading and article on the internet, from the New York Times, written by Gretchen Reynolds.  It is entitled “How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain.”  I will quote some of the article,

“A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve our mental health, according to an interesting new study of the physical effects on the brain of visiting nature.

City dwellers also have a higher risk for anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses than people living outside urban centers, studies show.

Volunteers who had strolled along the quiet, tree-lined paths showed slight but meaningful improvements in their mental health, according to their scores on a questionnaire. They were not dwelling on the negative aspects of their lives as much as they had been before the walk.  They were allowed to walk at their own pace.  As might have been expected, walking along the highway had not soothed people’s minds.

Most of us today live in cities and spend far less time outside in green, natural spaces than people did several generations ago.”

Thank you Gretchen Reynolds for this article.  I agree with this article.

In Psalm 23 I read,

The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.

He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful waters.  (‭Psalms‬ ‭23‬:‭1-2‬ NLT)

I lived in a town house when our children were small.  I grew up in the country and I longed to live again in the country.  I dreamed of my children putting on their Wellington boots and going out to play in nature in all kinds of weather, as I did when I was growing up.

Being in the town had more benefits for our family at that stage.  The schools, post office, shops, library, swimming pool, dentist, medical centre and friends lived nearby.  Driving my children to school, or to the shops would have added stress to our already busy lives.  I was at peace and realised living in the town was the best thing for us then.

Before we had a car Brendan and I always took our children on walks along the river or into a forest, nearby.  When our family increased we went for drives to the beach or other beauty sites a little further away.  Everyone piled into our minibus and headed out for a drive after tea or on a Saturday to enjoy nature.  We returned tired, refreshed and had a good night’s sleep.

Being in the middle of nature did lift any stress we or our children were under.  Any bad feelings or attitudes were forgotten as the children played together.  Brendan knew what would do us all good.  No need for headache tablets or Prozac for us.

Brendan and I now live in the country, beside a forest and the sea.  We have a double portion of nature.  Each time Brendan and I would take a walk for a mile along the foreshore we see something new.   One evening we saw six large storks that rose up from their feeding places as we walked along.   Their big wings flapped like skirts and they screeched, because they were unsettled from their feeding positions.  Never mind we had a wonderful display.

Another time I noticed something stir in the shallow water off the shore.  Air bubbled to the surface.  Was there a whale or dolphin out there.  No, three divers came to the surface.  It is a popular spot to explore wrecks of ships out in the bay.   A seal swam in the water along side as we walked by another time.  Every evening  there is a beautiful sky as the sun shines through the clouds at sunset.

We went for a walk along Barhill Rd, a National Trust property one Saturday evening.  Not many people know about it.  A lane took us to open ground beside a near a newly sown corn field.  We saw six hares play together in the evening sun.  The path continued down to the sea.  We walked along a bar made from stones throw up by decades of sea waves.  Across from us on an island lay many fat seals, safe from an intrusion.  We rested a while, amazed.  “How Great Thou Art”

Brendan and I are certainly enjoying nature and our minds and moods are being changed by the healing environment where we live.  Our souls are being restored.

Yes I recommend old and young getting out in nature for a walk.  You will be surprised by the show God puts on for you.   You can listen to the music of birds, leaves, wind and waves.  Your eyes will see life around you.

Nature declares the Glory of God!

Can’t Beat Home Made Bread

We took a break from unpacking, washing and cleaning.

The sun was shining and reflecting off the water in front of our new home in the country.  We don’t just have a pond at the bottom of our garden, we have Strangford Lough!  I decided to make some Irish wheaten bread which cooks beautifully in the Aga.  Brendan wanted to go for a walk.  I asked him to wait till the bread was cooked before we left.  A friend said he would go for a walk and leave the food in the oven but too often they were away longer than they intended and the food was burnt.  I didn’t imagewant that to happen.

Brendan and I went for a walk along the bay.  The water lapped against the sea weed covered rocks.  I forgot my binoculars to do some bird watching.  I didn’t need them today as some birds were close by, gulls, sandpipers and many more were feeding on the shore. We walked around a little peninsula which becomes an island when the tide is high.  We sat down in the sunshine had coffee from my flask and enjoyed the view, Bella Vista.

The Lord is my shepherd; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. (‭Psalms‬ ‭23‬:‭1-2‬ KJV)

When my children were young I always wanted to move to the country to live.  I thought they could work off a lot of energy playing in the open spaces, like I did as a child.  It was not practical to live in the country for my family.  Living near schools, shops, friends, health centre and dentists in the town was more suitable.  The children could attend after school activities and sports events without me taking them by car.  They could walk home.  We weighed up the benefits of living in the country or the town.  Living in the town suited our young family better.

I haven’t made bread for twenty years.  When the children were young I made a batch of wheaten loaves every week.  Our children loved the hot bread with butter and jam running over the sides.  It was very satisfying. Baking bread was gone for a season but not forgotten.

When I was in Canada recently my host, Maureen, relaxes on the week end and makes a wheaten cake of bread for her family.  Her mum, who was from Belfast, taught her how to make it.  She keeps an Irish tradition going.  Perhaps she inspired me to get going again making bread.

I remember my mother made griddle soda bread for us.  It is made with flour, baking soda and buttermilk mixed together.  The dough was turned out onto a floured baking board, shaped into a circle an inch deep and cut into four parts.  The dough was placed on a hot griddle on top of the cooker.  When one side was cooked it was turned over to finish it off on the other side.  The smell of the cooking bread brings memories of provision, warmth and comfort.  If I was about when the bread was ready I loved to have a piece with butter melting on the fresh slice.   Homemade soda was fat free, nutritious and inexpensive.  Those were the days before supermarkets and mass produced food.

My first loaf of wheaten bread on my new Aga turned out tasty.   Brendan enjoyed it for lunch after our walk.  The smell of the freshly baked bread filled the room.  We will have daily bread from now on.

Jesus told us to pray, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. (‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭9-11‬ KJV)

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/gone-but-not-forgotten/

Gladioli That Point up to Heaven

I bought a bunch of Gladioli in the supermarket this week.  The trumpet flowers open out from the tall green stems.  The gladiolii flowers come in many shades, purple, pink, red, yellow or white.  These flowers bring back memories of attending Church as a child and the routine of Sunday morning in our home on the farm.

image

In the country where I grew up, the community gathered at the church on the hill.  It was within walking distance from our home.  Dad and two of the family would go to first mass at eight o’clock.

Seasonal flowers decorated the Church altar.   The gladioli stood out for me as the most beautiful flowers I had ever seen. Their stems reached up to the heavens and the flowers opened up into trumpets.  I imagined they were brought from some exotic place far away.  I never saw such flowers grow ing in the local gardens.

I remembered the smell of the incense and the singing of the choir at Church.  Words were sung to someone beyond my world.  My heart was lifted up above my circumstances.  People dressed in their best clothes.  Families sat together in pews.  Going to Church on Sunday for me was very special.  Those holy, innocent days going to Church as a child are long gone.  I was oblivious to the big world beyond the church and the farm.  I imagined the Gladioli came from out there somewhere?

Dad would stand and talk to neighbours after mass and get a catch up on the local news.  Mum would make fried, fresh, farm eggs and bacon with home made soda bread for dad’s return.  As we smelt the bacon we would turn up for breakfast at different times.  Sundays were restful.  No farmwork or school to go to.  No last minute rush to catch the school bus at the bottom of the lane.
The rest of the family would walk or get a ride in the car to second mass at eleven o’clock.  Whoever went to first mass would prepare the Sunday dinner for us all.  Dad would sit by the fire and read the newspaper.  It was his day off.  We usually had a stew.  I loved the smell of it as it cooked on the stove and we waited for the others to return.  After dinner we would listen to Family Favourites on the Radio.  I remember songs being played that were sung by Burl Ives, The Ugly Bug Ball, The Little White Duck or Rudolfh the Red Nose Reindeer.

I never heard about the Sabbath Day then. I now know that God intended that man should rest from his labour one day of the week.  Our family did have that day off.

Observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. (‭Exodus‬ ‭31‬:‭16-17‬ KJV)

God intended the Sabbath for man to rest.  If God needed refreshed after working all week, I think I will take his example.  He does not want to harm us, it is for our benefit to have a day off, in this world where so many other things take up our thinking, strength and money.
Have a good Sunday.

FATAL ACCIDENT

I went to school in the country in a place called Drumaroad. It was a two teacher school. The head master was an excellent teacher but was know to be strict. He taught the basics of subjects that prepared one for the grammar school. As well as Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Religion, we learnt Algebra, Latin and Geography. I enjoyed Mathematics and Geography.

Children in my class stood around the maps of the world, as the teacher pointed out faraway places. We learnt the names of towns, mountains and rivers in Ireland. We learnt about the capitals of the nations, London, New York, Moscow, Paris etc. I saw that New Zealand and Australia were at the other end of the world, on the opposite side from us. I wondered if I would ever go there.

Many years on I have had the opportunity to travel to New Zealand, when my daughter got married there. I have been to London, Paris, Bratislava and unusual named places like Quala Lumpar and Dubai.

I was not so good at creative writing. One day the Master asked us to write a letter to a friend who had been in an accident. I started off saying, “I hope you have recovered from your fatal accident.” I did not know what “fatal” meant. I heard the word being used by someone so I thought I would try it out. When the master gave back my work he pointed out my mistake. He laughed. I laughed as well. I did not take offence but I have never forgotten what “fatal” means.

I was remembering this recently. I may have been prophetic then because I have recovered from the fatal disease of cancer. Nothing is impossible with God. Jesus rose from the dead. There is power in His name to recover from accidents and diseases.

I love to tell others what God has done for me by healing me from Cancer. Isaiah 66 says “I will send some of the survivors to the nations, to distant lands that have never heard of me or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory to the nations.”

I am in Scotland visiting my children, three of whom are at university there. Angela has recently gone to Edinburgh. Abraham is at St Andrew,s, where Prince William and Kate met. Jacob is in Aberdeen, home of the oil industry. I have had the oppportunity to tell Abraham’s friends about my healing. I am giving them something to think about, that cuts across the the secular humanistic thinking of education.

Our God is the God who hears when anyone prays. He has compassion on all he has created in this world. He created all the nations that I studied about all those years ago, as I stood around the maps in that country classroom.

Some people stand out in our lives as having a big influence on us. Master Fitzpatrick is one of those people and I thank God for him. He had knowledge and he wanted to impart it to the next generation.
He was a good teacher. Thank you. He may not have travelled beyond his parish but someone he has taught has gone to the nations. I am sure he helped many others, who have done well in life.

We don’t realise what good we do when we help someone, that can have far reaching effects.

Angela