Storm Clouds and the Rainbow.

When storm clouds gather do not be afraid.  Often there will be a rainbow in the midst of the storm clouds.  Here is a picture of dark clouds coming in over Co Down in Northern Ireland.  The Mourne Mountains are in the distance.

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It is holiday season in our country.  It is time when people have time off work.  Time to unwind, sleep, eat, take in the sun, get fresh air, spend time with family, catch up on household repairs, do gardening, see friends or take a holiday.

Down time is very important to have for our wellbeing.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  We need this time to be restored, our batteries recharged.

In the waiting for time off many people may get exhausted or circumstances seem to be overwhelming, just like storm clouds gathering.

Before I left for a week’s holiday in Ireland I took this picture of a rainbow outside our home.  The rainbow is a sign from God to all mankind.

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“And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come:

Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.
Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.””
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭9:12, 14-16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

All mankind means all people of all nations.  This promise is not just for believers in God but for all men because God loves all unconditionally and wants all to know he cares.

If you are holding on to a promise from God, look at the rainbow.  It will encourage you.

Storm clouds will disappear.
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/storm/

Honor and Worship God

How do we honor and worship God in our lives today.

I was listening to a recorded Christian Service on Radio Ulster on Sunday 19 th June 2016.  It was held in St George’s Church in Belfast to celebrate 200 years since it’s opening.

I enjoy singing praise songs to worship God on my own or sing along to a CD.  I attend small groups of people who gather to worship God.  In a small group, people can be shy to sing or to lift up their voices.  The pressure often is on the guitarist and singer to carry the worship meeting.  But the service I listened to on the radio was different from the small groups I am used to.

From St George’s the organ sounded and lifted up the choir’s voices.  When I listened to the organ blasting out the music it allowed for people to sing along whether they sung in tune or not, or whether they sang high or low.  I noticed that the speaker spoke clearly and loudly for all to hear.  It seemed as if the service was being help at another time in the past.  I wondered were the pews full of people on last Sunday.  We don’t know.  Perhaps when this church was dedicated all those years ago people gathered with enthusiasm to praise and thank The Lord and make loud noises with the organ and choir.

I was reminded of David’s psalm in 1 Chronicles 15 where it is describes how David had prepared himself and the people to bring the Ark of The Lord back to Jerusalem.  There were musicians and singers making music to celebrate the return of the Ark of the Covenant into the middle of  God’s people.

“David assembled all Israel in Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the Lord to the place he had prepared for it.

David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their fellow Levites as musicians to make a joyful sound with musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals.

Kenaniah the head Levite was in charge of the singing; that was his responsibility because he was skillful at it.

So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouts, with the sounding of rams’ horns and trumpets, and of cymbals, and the playing of lyres and harps.”

‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭15:3, 16, 22, 28‬ ‭NIV‬‬

He appointed singers and music players to make loud noises to celebrate.   David danced like a mad man before the presence of The Lord and the people.  His wife rebuked him later for acting so foolishly.  She was left barren because of her complaint.  He was not ashamed to praise his God who delivered him in many situations in his life.

Today we dance to a different song than David of old.  You may be watching football matches.  The different supporters shout out their anthems for their teams.  They are not afraid to lift up their voices.  Their spirits are lifted and everyone waits in anticipation to see if their team wins.  The pop stars, U2, Beyoncé, Coldplay, Bruce Springstein or the Rolling Stones fill stadiums with people to hear their concerts.  The footballers and stars are millionaires because of the people’s worship of them.  People join along in the song and dance with their faviourite stars and pay a lot of money to attend.  Today do we show the same enthusiasm for our God as we do the pop stars or our football teams?  Do we give as much money to a minister of God as one gives at the ticket box for these shows.

Come let us return to The Lord.  Like David let us prepare our hearts and prepare a place for God to return into our midst and let us lift up our voices and music to praise and thank him.  Let us honor and worship God alone.

God’s Signet Ring

I started to write this morning after reading this scripture.

I will treat you like a signet ring on my finger, says The Lord, for I have especially chosen you. I, The Lord Almighty, have spoken. Haggai 2 v 23

People think God is far removed from our daily lives. They think he is busy up in heaven thinking up some punishment for us. Or that we have to offer him some sacrifice to appease him. No no, God cares for us. He sees everyone and is acquainted with their grief. It is the devil who brings oppression and sorrow. But he is defeated by Jesus death on the Cross. He shed his Blood. His sacrifice is enough to please the Father. We believe and receive his blessings.

I am reminded of Robin Mark’s song, Revival in Belfast. This song was written about Belfast when there was war on the streets of this city.  Despite the war Robin Mark declared “You love this city and you love these streets.”   We now have peace on the streets of Belfast.

Here are some of the words that remind us God sees and loves us in our situation.

Every child out playing by their own front door
Every baby laying on the bedroom floor.
Every dreamer dreaming in her dead-end job
Every driver driving through the rush hour mob
From the young man working through his hopes and fears
To the widow walking through the veil of tears
Every man and woman, every old and young
Every fathers daughter, every mothers son.
One may feel their life is hum drum, or does my life really count.

But God has chosen you and me to be His very own…to be His priceless possession. To be His signet ring means we are under a covenant with Him..an everlasting relationship that extends to eternity. Do you hear Him telling you, “Everything that I possess belongs to you…Its like a package…When you have me…you have everything”. When God says that you are His signet ring, it means that He has given you the power and authority of the King of Kings…and whatever you claim in His name is given to you and nothing can prevent you from receiving it. You are given the power to break the yokes of the devil, you are given the authority to claim victory, you are given the rights to change the decrees written against you..because you represent the King of Kings.

I used the authority of the name of Jesus, the King of Kings, to rebuke all cancer in my body, that I will not die but I will live to tell others what God has done for me.  God responded to what I said and he healed me.  I remain healed.  I do not have cancer in my body.  I do not take medication to stop cancer returning.  God has done a good and complete job.

Like in a marriage the bride wears a ring,  as the song goes “to show the world that she belongs to the me.”

Do you realize your noble status? You are not an ordinary person..You belong to a royal family. We were not worthy to be called His own, yet He chose us to be one. So let us consider ourselves ,honored and privileged to be called His own and use the power and authority of our Father, the King of Kings.

God loves you and is betrothed to you. He wears a ring on his finger to remind him of you. Do you feel rejected? That no one has chosen you? That no one has bought a ring for you? God cares and loves you. Receive his love and use his name to pray for your needs.

 

See also Revival in Belfast by Robin Mark on U tube.

 

 

COLOURS OF THE RAINBOW

 

Today there is a display of colours of the rainbow in my living room.  My husband bought me a beautiful crystal bunch of grapes many years ago.  I had it sitting in my display cabinet for a long time.  
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About three years ago, after he was decorating our living room, Brendan decided to give the crystal  a more prominent place in our living room.  He hung it from an old gas light fixture on our wall.  It hangs like a bunch of grapes on a branch.  Brendan is very creative.
 
Later that morning he entered the room and there were flashes of rainbow colours all along the wall.  He called me to see the spectacle. Whow!!  It was special moment.  We watched as the lights danced along the wall when Brendan spun the grapes around.  The rainbow is a sign of God’s covenant.  
 
When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life. When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.” (Genesis 9:14-16 NLT