Behind Locked Doors

It is nine months since we learned about Corona Virus and it’s potential to cause death, especially to the vulnerable and elderly.

The government put the country in lockdown. People were advised to stay at home and not have others in their home. Fear of getting the virus has gripped our nation.

Restrictions were lifted in July. I sighed with relief. I could now visit family and friends.

Now in October we are told to stay at home again because the numbers of infected people have increased. More fear. Some elderly people I have heard are too fearful to leave their homes.

I remember that there was a group of Jesus followers who were in lock down. They were in a room together for fear of the Jews who had just killed their follower Jesus on the cross. They had killed their leader. They thought it was only a matter of time before the Jews came looking for them.

John 20 v 19.

When the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in their midst. He said to them Peace be with you. Jesus breathed on them and said to them Receive the Holy Spirit.

Are you lonely and fearful? Are you finding it difficult to stay at home? I encourage you that you are a good candidate for Jesus to come to to give you peace and fill you with his Holy Spirit. Expect Him to come to you.

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.

Sent from my iPad

Stay in His Presence

God’s word tells us where two or three are gathered in my name there he is in the midst of us.

Just meditate on that. Welcome his presence. Enjoy his presence. Take time to stay in his presence and enjoy being with God as you acknowledge him. Don’t run away to the busyness of work, shopping, demands of others. You will soon run out of energy and feel empty. Stop and and breath in God’s presence. Acknowledge what Jesus has done for you and thank him. He is our saviour, he is the Messiah, He died in our place. He forgives our sins and heals our anxieties and worries. He gives us peace. There is no other God.

The Father, Son and Holy Spirit have helped me in my life. The power of the Holy Spirit has given me the strength to live and rear fourteen children. He has given me the strength to be healed and remain healed of cancer. I live and move and have my being in God. He gives me authority over all the power of the devil and nothing will harm me.
He gives me power to forgive those who hurt me. He gives me love to love myself and others. I don’t have to strive to receive his goodness. I learn to receive and let him change the things I can’t change in me or in those who are near to me.

The heavens declare the Glory of the risen Lord.  Photo by James Kennedy.

He fights for me. Just like God did for kings of Israel when their enemies came up against them, God sent angels to fight against those that were gathered up against them and spoke against them.

Things may be falling around us in the world. Don’t worry. Open up, look up and ask God to help. If one draws near to God he will draw near to us. Don’t stand afar because of guilt or condemnation. God doesn’t judge, he forgives and remembers your sins no more. It’s the devil who brings to mind your sins and makes you feel condemned. Jesus is the light of the world he is shining brighter than the sun. He wants you to receive him today and stay in his presence forever from this day and into the life after death.

He puts you in family. You are not alone. Join with others who believe. Remember where two or three are gathered in his name God is present.

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.

Fear Makes One Tremble

What would make one tremble?

When we were in Iceland we saw an image that described fear.
An Alsatian dog was tied on a lead to the back of a wagon. It was barking and looked fierce. It’s ears were upright and his mane was big. He looked fierce like a lion.

A lady turned the corner with a white Scottie dog into the road where the Alsation was. When the small dog saw and heard the Alsatian it stopped and trembled with fright. The owner couldn’t move him as she tugged on his lead.

The Alasation could not do any harm, but his size intimidated the little Scottie.
Aren’t we often like that when we are faced with fear or bad news. One’s body trembles automatically and uncontrollably. I feel like that when I walk along a cliff or ride on a roller coaster. My body started to tremble when I was about to give birth to a child. The body reacts automatically for different reasons.

I was reading about a different kind of fear from the scriptures today.

God spoke to Moses and called him up onto Mount Sinai to give him the Ten Commandments. These were laws the Israelites were to follow. These commands are guidelines for life even today for mankind, thousands of years later.

“On the morning of the third day, thunder roared and lightning flashed, and a dense cloud came down on the mountain. There was a long, loud blast from a ram’s horn, and all the people trembled.”
‭‭All of Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the LORD had descended on it in the form of fire. The smoke billowed into the sky like smoke from a brick kiln, and the whole mountain shook violently.”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭19:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬
“Then God gave the people all these instructions: the Ten Commandments.
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭20:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬
When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear.

And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!” “Don’t be afraid,”
Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!””
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭20:1, 18-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It is good to have a holy fear of God. We need not tremble with fear when we know God loves us and cares. Here are some more references to the fear of God.

In Isaiah 44, the writer describes God,

6 This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies:

“I am the First and the Last;
there is no other God.
7 Who is like me?
7 Who is like me?
Let him step forward and prove to you his power.
Let him do as I have done since ancient times
when I established a people and explained its future.
8 Do not tremble; do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago?
You are my witnesses—is there any other God?
No! There is no other Rock—not one!”

And in Isaiah 66:2 I read,
My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine. I, the Lord, have spoken! “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word.”

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/tremble/

Referendum Results like an Earthquake.

Today the British Isles awoke to what someone would describe as an earthquake.  The British public voted to leave the EU.  Many people are concerned for their future livelihoods.

Psalm 2 says,
“Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans?

But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them.

Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! Serve the LORD with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭2:1, 4, 10-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

In Psalm 11 David decides not to run away in fear when faced with overwhelming situation.

“In the Lord I take refuge. How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain.

When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord is on his heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭11:1, 3-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Like, David of old who fought many battles and won them because his God helped him, let us trust in God.  Let us thank and praise him for who he is and for what he has done for you.  Do not give way to despair and fear.  Do not rebel.  Instead we are to pray for those in leadership so we can live in peace.

Like an old chorus that goes, the name of The Lord, is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and they are safe.  I will not run away to the mountains.

I Began to Fear Growing Old.

I was reading a list of recommendations given by Pat Devilly a popular fitness trainer from Galway, on his post.  A line on the list reads,

“Spend time with people over seventy and under the age of six.”

Having reared fourteen children, I have spent much time with children.  I have to admit I have not spent much time with older people over the years.

After reading this Blog by Pat Devilly, I decided to pay a visit to an elderly friend.  Ten years ago she had two knee replacements.  She was very brave and recovered well.  Every night her sleep is disturbed by night sweats.  She has to change her night dress through the night.  I thought “Poor lady, she has to endure this hardship.”  I was humbled to hear about her difficulties but she continues enduring without complaint.
I began to fear growing old and with it failing health.

I was reading on Facebook recipes for being forever young.  Drink plenty of water, eat vegetables, don’t take sugar or processed foods, go for walks, garden, lose weight.  The list goes on and on.  I realized I would become exhausted trying to be forever young and eating lettuce to avoid pains and aches that many older people suffer.

I began to drink more water and my whole system reacted to the excess fluid.  I wasn’t well for days!  I tried to diet but failed miserably.  I try to go for a walk but other demands come first.  The weeds are flourishing in my garden!  The dreams of cooking wonderful dishes with the herbs from my garden has not materialized.

I decided to stop reading such articles on Facebook, I stopped drinking excess water, I eat when I’m hungry and don’t starve myself.  I will go for a walk when I desire, not because I should.  I will go back to gardening when I have the strength.  I will continue to wear the dress size I need to and not try to fit into a smaller size.  My body and mind were getting stressed with the fear.

I reminded myself of the scripture fromPsalm 91
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;  He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (‭Psalm‬ ‭91‬:‭14-16‬ NIV)

God promises me a long life.  If I have any sickness, pain or any other trouble in the future God promises to deliver me from each one.  As for me I will enjoy my life each day and not live in fear.  God has delivered me from death by healing me from cancer.  He will continue to help me.

Testimony Tuesday. My Consultant Didn’t Want Me to have more Children.

When I was expecting my eleventh child I attended my consultant for a routine check up.  After blood pressure was checked, temperature taken and weight checked he wanted to talk to me.  He went on to tell me there was a risk my baby could be born with a disability because I was now forty years old.  I refused to listen to him even though he was a respected consultant.  Many women spent lots of money to go privately and get his help at the their births.  I told him I believed in God and God would look after me and my baby.   If I had  shown any fear he would have offered me an abortion.  I changed doctors.  I found a Cathoilc lady doctor who didn’t judge me for having more children.

When I delivered my son Jacob another doctor suggested to me not to have any more children.  He said, “Your body is like a car, it will break down.”  I quickly responded, “No Doctor, God will renew my strength.  I went on to have three more children.  I was in my forties.  I didn’t always listen to the doctor.

My husband said every time I went into labour it was like having a revival meeting.  I would be calling on Jesus when I had a labour pain.  Having my son Aaron was the most memorable time for Brendan.  When I started in labour with Aaron we walked to the maternity home that was near where I lived.  It was like a home from home.  The midwives looked after the mothers.  The GP doctor would be in attendance when the baby was due to be born.   I was in labour all night.  The night nurses stayed on in the morning to see my baby born.  The night nurses and the new shift of nurses were all around my bed.  The doctor was in the background waiting.  The pains were getting intense.  The nurse asked me to lift up my leg.  I said “lift up The Lord “.  Everyone was embarressed.  Aaron was born to the sound of “Praise The Lord”.  He was a bouncy baby boy weighing in at ten pounds ten ounces.  Mother and baby were all well.  Brendan went home to get a rest.

Two people who worked in the Maternity Home became pregnant after my visit there.  One lady was a carer and another was a midwife. They were telling me when I returned to have my next child.

My consultant wasn’t the only one who wasn’t happy with me having many children.  Another doctor said on his notes “This unfortunate woman is pregnant again”.  That was when I was expecting Ruth, my seventh child!  Friends and family were fearful for me.  Thay thought something would happen to me if I continued having children.   I became afraid of what others thought.  I became pregnant with my eighth child.  I was afraid to tell anyone I was pregnant again.

Well meaning friends invited me out for coffee or to the gym.  They thought it would be good for me to get out for a time away from work at home with children.  I attended exercise classes with a friend.  I had never been to the gym before.   I still didn’t tell anyone I was pregnant.  At twelve weeks I had a miscarriage.  I lost my baby.  I could see the little human being of twelve weeks.  Brendan and I were sad.  Brendan took the  small baby and put it in a box.  He asked The Lord what to do.  The Lord told him to buy a grave and bury our child and to give our baby a name.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (‭Psalm‬ ‭139‬:‭13, 16‬ NIV)

Brendan bought a burial plot in the cemetery.  He took all of us there to bury our child.  All of our family gathered around as Brendan put the box in the soil.  We prayed a prayer , cried a little and went back to the car.  Brendan put the tape recorder on in the car.  It played a song by a New Zealand couple with the words in it, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book.”  We were all comforted by these words.  Our baby lived twelve weeks but God knew every day ordained for her.   My husband had a dream some time later.  God showed him our baby was a little girl and he called her Deirdre.  She was with The Lord in heaven.  I hope this is a comfort to other mothers who have had a miscarriage  or have had an abortion.  God is taking care for the little ones.  I will see my daughter in heaven. Like David when his son with Bathsheba died he said,

He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” (‭2 Samuel‬ ‭12‬:‭22-23‬ NIV)

After loosing my baby I told God I was very sorry for being fearful of what others thought of me being pregnant.  I told him I was sorry for going to the gym, which may have endangered my unborn baby. I realised that God is the author of life.  It was not within my own power to save my baby.  I had become blaze.  I was always healthy and my babies were healthy.  I determined never to be afraid of what others thought of me having children.  I was delivered from the fear of man. Doctors, friends and family can give advice,  but I want to obey God first.  He is my creator and helper.  I honor him.

David and Bathsheba had another son after their child died.  I became pregnant again and had my son Patrick.

Family Friday. People didn’t believe I had fourteen children

Prince William and Princess Catherine have a new baby girl.  Princess Catherine had no problem, it seems, giving birth.  She will be well cared for back in her own home with attendants at the ready.  Her departure from hospital happened very quickly before the media had time to catch their breath.

I remember my friend from India telling me how she celebrates her new grand children. She stays with her daughter for a month after the baby is born.  The new mother is not allowed out of bed to do any work.  The grandmother prepares lotion with herbs and essential oils to bath the new mother each day.  Special nutritious meals are prepared for the nursing mother.   After each feeding time the baby is settled by the grand mum, and the mother has time to sleep, rest and recover.  What a good start for any mum.  Well done.

Not only that, in middle class families in India each baby is given a servant to help look after the child as it grows up.   When I told the people in India I had fourteen children they did not believe me.  They asked “How many servants do you have?”  They just cannot imagine how I carried and gave birth to fourteen children, never mind rearing them.

Genesis says,

To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children.” (‭Genesis‬ ‭3‬:‭16‬ NIV)

This pain was the result of Adam and Eve disobeying God and were deceived by Satan.  I want to believe in God and obey him.  Through believing in Jesus I do not have to suffer the severe pain in childbearing.

Many woman are afraid of giving birth.  They are afraid of the pain.  There is pain when one goes into labour.  When I went into labour I rejoiced because my pregnancy was over and within a few hours I would be holding a new baby.  Yes there is pain but there is joy ahead.  I looked to Jesus as my example, who for the joy set before him endured the cross.  He suffered terribly on the cross for me to forgive my sin, my sickness and the curse of having pain in child bearing.

When I started in labour the pains would come irregularly, maybe every half an hour.  I had pain in my lower back but did not need any pain relief.  If the pains would come every ten minutes I knew it was time to go to hospital.  As the pain got more severe, I would stop and take a deep breath.  I would continue going through the pain taking deep breaths until near the time of the baby was due to be born.

I would ask for gas and air which relieved the pains of the delivery contractions that helped the baby to be born.   I had to have a pain relief while in labour with my first child.  For all the rest I did not have pain relief,  an epidural or a ciscerian section.  All my children were born normally and I didn’t need stitches.  Most of my children were around ten pounds!  Isaac was twelve pounds in weight!   Praise God.

Oh the joy of a new baby being handed into my arms by the midwife.  Each time it was amazing to hold new, perfect life.  My heart was always full of thankfulness to my Heavenly Father who gave us a reward.  ” The fruit of the womb a reward.”

The Lord gave me the “Oil of Joy” Isaiah 61, each time I had a new baby.  My husband and children celebrated the new arrival.  We believe children are a blessing from The Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.  We received each child in the light of God’s word.  I didn’t have servants.  My children helped me.  Brendan made sure I had nutritious foods to strengthen me.

I have a plack in my home.  It reads “Have courage, Have children.” If you are afraid of having a child, ask God to help.  His love will drive away all fear.  He will help you through the pain.

What is the Definition of Love. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/i-want-to-know-what-love-is/

I was impacked by this story.  A mother had given birth to twins, a boy and a girl prematurely.  There is always a risk a baby will not make it when born prematurely.  This was so with the little boy.  The doctor gave the “dead” baby into the mothers arms and left her alone with her husband.  The mother laid the baby on her heart, the father put his arms around him keeping him warm with their body heat.  The mother spoke to her baby and told him how much he was loved and about all his extended family that he belonged to.  She continued speaking lovingly and tenderly.  The baby began to breathe and move.  The doctor said “No, he is dead.”  But the little boy lived and is now a healthy five year old.  There was life in the words the mother spoke over her lifeless child.  As we show love and speak love it brings life.  This speaks to me of a saying that love is stronger than death.
This mother and father expressed their love through touch.  The baby was held on the mother’s body close to her heart.  It was a familiar sound to him, as he would have heard it in the security of his mother’s womb.  The touch of the father’s hands brought warmth and security.

When our children were born the person who held them after the nurse was their daddy.  He welcomed them with his voice and strong hands holding their small bodies.  There was someone strong who was going to look after them.  I had carried them for nine months but when they were born from the safety of the womb, into the big world, their daddy was there to hold them and take away any fear.

Love takes away fear.  Love takes away selfishness.  Love lays down ones life for the other.  Love involves sacrifice.  Love is not self seeking.  Love never fails.  Love is patient.   Love is kind.  Love is not jealous.  Love forgives wrong.

I try to be a loving person. I often fail. But because I experienced God’s love when he reached down and healed me of Cancer I am able to love more than before.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/i-want-to-know-what-love-is/