The Heron

Cyclists sprint past,
Cars hurry to the ferry,
Lovers chat,
Strong youths hike along the shore road
Unaware of the heron

Standing nearby

Long legs stiff

Beside the still water

Dignified with

Long, whispy feathers

Dangling from his chest.

Slender neck outstretched

Head tilted
Eyes staring, glaring.
Yellow beak darts and stabs.
A small fish is swallowed.

Rewarded.

Head wound into his shoulders

Rest for a while

Satisfied, savouring success
He waits into the night, fishing.
He knows that tomorrow
There will be choppy waters.
He shrieks, spreads his feathers,
Like a skirt hanging from his wings,
And rises to the hills beyond,
To wait, high in a tree,
Till the storm passes.

Worry, Stress and Anxiety Cause Disease

My husband and I have just returned from Iceland.
We stayed in Rekjavik, the main city.  Fresh snow was covering the houses and mountains that enclose the harbour.  It looked like a winter wonderland.

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Many tourists are attracted to Iceland to experience it’s many features of fire, ice and water.

There is an active volcano, many glaciers, hot springs and geysers.  A notice at the airport says “We don’t have coal we have fire.”  Hot water from under the earth is piped to heat their homes.

Some years ago Iceland went into recession. We were speaking to a lady about how the recession affected her. He lost two businesses and was in risk of losing her beautiful, big home. She shares her home with needy people. We visited with her. People appeared from different rooms as the night passed. She has a heart for the poor.

She has come through many crises. She told us she brings her bills to Jesus, and asks him to help her pay them. She continues to manage to pay them. Her house has not been repossessed.

She shared a dream with us. God spoke to her in the dream that her house would not be repossessed. To help her believe a voice said “When you go fishing you will see a rainbow, whales and abundance of fish.”  The Rainbow speakers of God’s promises.

She goes fishing often to take her mind off her troubles and get some food to eat into the bargain. The next time she went fishing she saw a rainbow, whales and fish. This dream continues to encourage her. God spoke to her and reassured he will provide for her.

I was reading this scripture this evening.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭11‬:‭28-30‬ NLT)

We were praying for some people recently for healing.  Most of them wanted prayer to be healed from diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney failure.

Diabetes is a condition where the body does not produce enough insulin.  The pancreas is an organ in the body which produces digestive juices and insulin. These aid the digestion of food in the stomach.  I believe when one gets stressed the pancreas’ ability to produce the necessary secretions is compromised.  The result can be an upset stomach or pain around the stomach, where the pancreas is.  

When one gets anxious, worried or stressed one often feels their stomach churn.  Before an exam I used to feel nervous in my stomach.  One may be devastated at losing a job or a relative dying.  Can I pay my bills at the end of the month?  One may lose their home.  Often parents worry about their children.  I know I did.  One gets overburdened.  Anxiety and stress result.  If a person continues in a stressful situation for a long term diabetes and high blood pressure may manifest.  These conditions put pressure on the kidneys, which get overworked, leading to their breakdown.

Jesus has a solution to this condition.  He said “Come to me.”  An invitation to help.  He will take our cares and worries.  He will relieve the burdens.  He will make a way out of any difficult situation, relieve the stress and the resulting sickness one is experiencing.  He may even speak in a dream to encourage your faith.

The friend we met in Iceland did as Jesus advised.  She is believing she will not lose her home and is bringing all her burdens to him.

From Intense Heat to Gentle Rain

I return to Northern Ireland.  I  carry the benefits of the holiday in Greece on my skin, in my mind,  and in my body.  I have my beauty treatment for the winter and the few extra pounds will sustain me in the colder days ahead.  My mind and body are rested.

Our son Isaac welcomed us with a meal of cooked fish.  He had fished it from the sea just an hour earlier.  He had  caught it when I rang to let him know we had landed into Belfast and were on our way home.

I am reminded of the story in the bible about Jesus preparing a meal of fish for his disciples.

“As soon as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid there on,and bread.”  KJV John 21 v 9.

Back in Ireland, warmth and freshness are in the air.  Flowers in the garden are flourishing in the extra September sunshine.  Purple Lupins give a welcome display at my back door.  A light shower of rain fell.  The beads of water glisten like diamonds.  Nasturtium planted late must think it is spring.  I love the deep green of the leaves and the orange, brown flowers.

I spent a while in the green house.  Tomato plants that didn’t need must attention all summer, have become fruitful vines.  I pruned back leaves to expose the fruit to the sun.  The main stem can now send its energy to the ripening fruit.

imageimageApples in the orchard are being painted red with the evening September sun.  The fruit that has fallen to the ground has been chewed on by rabbits and pecked at by birds.

What a picture of God’s beauty and goodness.

You take care of the land and water it.  You make it very fertile.  The rivers of God are full of water. You soften the ground with rain and then you give it a good crop.  You give the year a good harvest.  Psalm 65 v 9-11

In Canada

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There is a promise in God’s word that says “I would have fainted unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.” (Psalms 27:13 NKJV)

My husband’s work involves travelling to the nations and I have often travelled with him.  But this year I stayed home with Angela to help her through her studies and help her keep up to date with university applications and keep life as normal as possible  for her.  She was missing her siblings and we were all feeling our house was a bit empty.
When we moved to our present home there were nine children with us.  There was always activity, companionship, warmth, cups of tea, chats around the fire.  Life was bursting out at the seams.
I have been in turmoil over whether I should stay on in this house.  It holds many memories for us and our children.  I looked around at all the things I had put together to make this house a home.  I have enjoyed living here.  I looked out at the patio area that Brendan and the boys had built.  Patrick had the idea.  We spent many happy times there having meals and barbecues.  Downpatrick is not in Australia.  Ireland is known for its rain.  But the sun shone on us.  There is a beautiful view across the countryside from the patio.  Many an evening we have sat there enjoying a meal watching the sun go down.
If I look out another window I see a paved area that my son John built for us for our fortieth wedding anniversary.  Beyond in our garden is an area we let grow wild.  Brendan had often had a bonfire there with the children around him listening to his stories.  The walls of our home hold many memories.
Summer came round.  Angela finished school and exams and her decision was made about university.  She had a party and had fun with school friends. They said their fare wells before moving on in their lives.  Brendan lit a Chinese lattern for them.  It lifted off the ground and flew away into the distance.  The girls stood quietly gazing upwards till the balloon was a speck in the sky.  The end of an era.  We will all move on.
In September Jacob, Abraham, Isaac, and Angela left for university.  Brendan left for a trip.  It was a long year for me.  I was feeling restless. I had been confined to home for the last months because of a broken wrist.  I had cabin fever.
When Brendan came back from his trip he saw that I was in need of some tender loving care.  I was about to faint!  He booked a trip for a whole month in Canada!  Four years ago when Brendan and I were speaking at a conference in Canada a couple invited us to Dawson Creek.  It sounded magical, as they talked about the snow that they have there.  I thought to myself if I am ever in Canada for a longer period of time I would like to go to that magical place up north.
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Brendan has been to Canada many times over the past twenty two years.  He prays, prophesies and  encourages people.  On this trip I have joined him and I have been praying for healing.  In between we got to enjoy the hospitality of our Canadian friends.  I have certainly got to enjoy the goodness of God in the land of the living this trip.Image
I got to go up to Dawson Creek after all.  We saw the snow, got a sleigh ride and tasted a bit of life there.  David Roch, our host is a chef and we had a great time with him and his wife.  We went to Moby Dick’s in Whiterock for their famous fish and chips with Randy and Christine Emerson. image We went to North View Golf club in Surrey tonight .  There were Christmas decorations, friendly staff and excellent food.  Check it out if you are ever in Vancouver.  Randy brought us to visit someone in hospital and afterwards we went to Max’s, an award winning deli.  We also got to hang out with Ivan Fox in Sechelt.  Thank you.
Jesus said “Who is my neighbour.”  He went on to tell the story of the Good Samaritan.  He helped the man to the Inn where his needs were cared for.  We have been staying at the “Inn” in Canada.  The Canadian flag has leaf on it.  The people of Canada are called for the healing of the nations.  I have received healing in Canada.
God is faithful and good.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  He wants us to have rest and refreshment as well as work.
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GONE FISHING

Caughting FishMatthew, David’s friend, invited him to go fishing along the Co Down coast yesterday evening.  He saw a fishing rod in a dream the night before.  It had inspired him to go fishing.  He got his fishing rods out and called at our home.  Isaac was here so he went along as well.  His family often go fishing
when they go on holiday, so Matthew knew what bait was needed and had all the gear.  He was saying this year when on holiday, they got up early every morning to go fishing but never caught anything.
The boys headed off.  Brendan and I left to pick up Brendan’s mum from hospital. We called at her home first to light her fire and freshen her bedroom up.  She had been in hospital for ten days getting treatment for an infection.  She had recovered well.
We arrived at her home.  Brendan helped her from the car over to the door and proceeded to get the keys to open up.  They weren’t in his pocket.  They weren’t in the car.  This had never happened to Brendan before.  Nannie got back in the car.  We all were quietly praying Lord help.  Brendan kept calm in the tense situation.  Not a good outcome for Nannie.  Eventually a friend helped us get the door opened.  Nannie was glad to get inside.  We stayed late until Nannie was settled.  Brendan promised to come back in the morning to see about changing the locks and getting keys cut.
I got a phone call from David to say they had caught thirteen fish, some Pollock.  They were cooking them and promised to have some for us when we got back. The fresh fish was delicious.   What a pleasant surprise after the disappointment of losing the keys.  The boys were as pleased as punch with themselves.  Isaac had reeled in three at once.  He had never fished before.  This reminds me of the story about Peter who had fished all night and caught nothing.  Jesus told him to fish on the other side and their nets were filled with fish.
My son Aaron was visiting this weekend.  A friend of his, Branio from Slovakia was travelling with him.  I kept some fish for our visitors. They arrived tonight.  I was eagerly telling them about the fish catch and we had a meal ready for them.  It’s funny they did not seem as excited as I was.   When I was out of the room, Branio asked Aaron if there was anything else other than fish.  Fish was his pet hate.  In his own country the fish that is popular is boney and tastes of muddy water.  He refuses to eat it.
I called the boys down for dinner.  Aaron said there was some chilli and offered it to Branio.  I said “No, we have plenty of fish for everyone.  We made it specially for you.”  In our house one of the rules for our children is  “You don’t have to like it, you just have to eat it.”   Branio remembered the scripture that says “Whenever you enter a home, eat what is set before.”  He sat down.  I was unaware of his distress.  He proceeded to pick at the food.  He was surprised.  This fish was different.  It was tasty.   He cleared the whole lot and had a second helping.  it seems the rules apply to visitors as well.
He then told me his story about never eating fish.  He could not get out of eating it because I had insisted.  We had a good laugh.  He said I can’t wait to tell my wife.  She will not believe me.  He said himself he was delivered from his fear.  The fish catch proved a winner and gave us joy.  God has a sense of humour bringing Branio all the way to Ireland to enjoy fish.  God’s promises “The abundance of the sea will be added unto you.” Deuteronomy  33v19
Angela, have you a fishy story?