The Prosperity of Jerusalem

May the LORD bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭128:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

As I have read through the bible over the years I have come across many references to the City of Jerusalem. Particularly the verse mentioned above. I had a desire to one day go to Jerusalem.

Prophecy is being fulfilled in our days. The Jewish people are returning to live in Israel after many centuries of exile. It became a state in 1948 and since that time Jews from many nations are returning. I have been blessed to have traveled to Jerusalem. Each time I see changes; buildings going up and new roads and railways being constructed. I have been blessed to have traveled to Jerusalem. Towns are being built on the top of hillsides. What a work of engineering is going on!

The desert is blossoming. Farms are producing fruit and vegetables on land that was once barren. The story of the restoration of Israel gives me great hope for God’s promise of restoration and fruitfulness. He can cause water to flow in the desert of the Negev. What he is doing here the same God can do in our lives.
I was reading from Psalm 48 today.

“How great is the Lord, how deserving of praise, in the city of our God, which sits on his holy mountain!
It is high and magnificent; the whole earth rejoices to see it!
Mount Zion, the holy mountain, is the city of the great King! God himself is in Jerusalem’s towers, revealing himself as its defender.
We had heard of the city’s glory, but now we have seen it ourselves— the city of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
It is the city of our God; he will make it safe forever. Interlude
As your name deserves, O God, you will be praised to the ends of the earth.
Your strong right hand is filled with victory.
Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem.
Walk around and count the many towers.
Take note of the fortified walls, and tour all the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations.
For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭48:1-3, 8, 10, 12-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We have seen Jerusalem for ourselves. I was attracted to Jerusalem because I believe that Jesus the son of God walked here. He spent much time on the Mount of Olives. It can be seen clearly across from Jerusalem. It was from here Jesus ascended into heaven, after he had been crucified and risen from the dead. He appeared and ate with his followers.

“After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!””
‭‭Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭1:9-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jesus will return again with the two angels to The Mount of Olives. He told his disciples before he was crucified.  When the high priest asked Jesus “Are you the Messiah” Jesus replied ” I Am and you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”  Mark 14 v  62

“For there will be greater anguish in those days than at any time since God created the world. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless the Lord shortens that time of calamity, not a single person will survive. But for the sake of his chosen ones he has shortened those days.  Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great power and glory. And he will send out his angels to gather his chosen ones from all over the world —from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.
In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that his return is very near, right at the door.
“The coming of the Son of Man can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. You, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know when the master of the household will return—in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak. Don’t let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. I say to you what I say to everyone: Watch for him!””
‭‭Mark‬ ‭13:19-20, 26-27, 29, 34-37‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It is time to get our lives ready for Jesus return. Jesus main purpose of his coming on earth the first time was to save people from their sins. He told them to turn from their sins and believe in him. He rescued them from going to hell. Hell is real. It was prepared for the devil and his angels. But Satan deceives mankind and wants to bring us to hell with him. Jesus rescues us from the Devil’s power and our own sinfulness and promises to bring us to heaven.  Are you ready to meet him when he returns?

Ask Jesus now to help you and he will.

The Water of Life

“In my vision, the man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple. There I saw a stream flowing east from beneath the door of the Temple and passing to the right of the altar on its south side.

Then he led me back along the riverbank. When I returned, I was surprised by the sight of many trees growing on both sides of the river. Then he said to me, “This river flows east through the desert into the valley of the Dead Sea. The waters of this stream will make the salty waters of the Dead Sea fresh and pure. There will be swarms of living things wherever the water of this river flows. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will become fresh. Life will flourish wherever this water flows.

Fruit trees of all kinds will grow along both sides of the river. The leaves of these trees will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit on their branches. There will be a new crop every month, for they are watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for healing.””
‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭47:1, 6-9, 12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

These scriptures refer to the River of God that flows from heaven. It is the Holy Spirit that was released from the Father in heaven when Jesus returned to heaven after his death. This river will never stop flowing until the work on earth is done.
It the same water Jesus was referring to when he met the woman at Jacob’s well.

“Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.”

The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus told her, “ I AM the Messiah!””
‭‭John‬ ‭4:7, 9-10, 13-14, 25-26‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Be revived in the Holy Spirit today. Drink in the water. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit Brendan and I bore fruit, fourteen children. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit I am healed of fourth stage cancer. My leaf will not wither. I will bear fruit in old age!

Bearing Fruit in Old Age

I had a good sleep after our journey home from Slovakia.

I lie down and I sleep and I wake again sustained by The Lord.
Psalm 3 v 5.
These are days to rest after Brendan and my work in Eastern Slovakia.  We met beautiful families there.  It is a privilege to have the opportunity to share with others God’s goodness and mercy.

image

I went out to the greenhouse to fetch a tomato for my breakfast.  Brendan was creating a treat for me on our first morning home.  One particular tomato plant has been blossoming and bearing fruit long after the others have withered.  I bought three different varieties of plants at the beginning of spring. The tomato plants all looked alike on the shelf at Homebase.  Gardener’s Delight is the only one still bearing fruit.  Take note anyone with a greenhouse and green fingers out there.
I was reminded of the scripture verse that says,
You shall bear fruit in old age.  Your leaf will not wither.

““But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.””
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭17:7-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I gathered some fruit.  Brendan called me for breakfast.  It was very welcome.  My strength will be renewed after a few more days of rest.

Later today my son was telling me about a lady he met recently.  She was a young at heart seventy eight year old.  She works in a Charity shop three days a week and travels from Carryduff with her bus pass.  This lady welcomed customers warmly and engaged each in conversation.  John was struck by her enthusiasm.  He listened to some of her life experiences.

She worked in the company C & A in Belfast.  She turned in for work looking the part, well suited and make up, perfect.  She spent her money on the latest fashion and good food.  After marriage she decided to give up work and rear her children.  She found that she was able to manage without the extra income her job could have offered.  She survived without the latest fashion and the best of food.  She learned to budget and enjoy being home with the children.

When her children were reared she went back to education and got qualifications to teach, which she did till she retired.  On retirement she launched into some other activity. This lady has important life experiences and is sharing them with anyone who will listen.  She is not giving up.  She is living life to the full.  Her leaf is not withering and she is bearing fruit at old age.

Be Fruitful and Multiply

 

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:26-28‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Genesis in the bible gives us an account of God creating the earth and man to look after what he created.  It is God’s intention ongoing for humankind to increase and multiply.  God blessed them and said to them,”be fruitful and increase in number.”  God gave man and woman authority to look after the earth.  All Adam had to do was be a gardener.  It was not heavy work.  He rested.  He was able to spend time with his wife and talk to God in the cool of the evening.  He had open communication with God and his wife.  Oh what an idyllic situation.  Nowadays many men find it hard to communicate with their wives never mind communicating with God.  What happened to mankind since the Garden of Eden.

The devil interfered with God’s plan for mankind.  He tempted Eve to eat the Fruit of the tree of Knowledge of good and evil.  She and Adam ate the fruit and so sinned and disobeyed God.  They had to leave the Garden of Eden.  Sin and sickness came on mankind.

God’s intention for mankind to increase has never changed.  He wants to bless man and woman.  God’s promise to us in Deuteronomy you shall be blessed in the fruit of your womb.   This promise is freely given to one if we he obeys God.  The power of every sickness or hindrance that stops mankind increasing can be broken by the power of the Blood of Jesus who died on the cross.  Every affliction of a woman’s womb to stop a child being conceived or carried will be healed by the Blood of Jesus.  Every affliction on the man hindering him being fertile will be healed in Jesus name.  

Jesus tells us, “Ask the Father anything in my name and he will give it to you.”
“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
‭‭John‬ ‭14:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:7, 16‬ ‭

“In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf.”
‭‭John‬ ‭16:23-24, 26‬ ‭NIV‬‬

When I read these scriptures many years ago, I believed them.  I was excited to read them.  This was so simple.  No more long repetitive prayers were needed.  I wanted another child at that time.  I simply prayed to God and said I will give my life to you if you give me another child in Jesus name.  I became pregnant with my third child.  I had no complications or difficulty in carrying or delivering my baby.

I began to be fruitful and multiply.  You too can be fruitful and multiply. Continue reading

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

Healing Autumn Leaves

The leaves in this picture glow like a fire! This plant gives a great display in the autumn. It never fails.

image

I discovered this tree growing beside a little stream that flowed under the bridge. The photograph was taken between Banbridge and Rathfriland in Co Down. You can see the wall of the bridge behind. The tree was flourishing in the shade of the wall and in a sunny aspect with it’s roots bathed in damp soil from the stream.
Jeremiah 17 v 8 says “Blessed are those who trust in The Lord. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.

This picture reminds me of Revelation 22.

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (‭Revelation‬ ‭22‬:‭1-2‬ NIV)

As I grow beside the river of the Holy Spirit, soaking up the life from Him, I produce fruit and leaves of healing that I want to share with others.

Again in Colossians I read

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness for all he has done. (‭Colossians‬ ‭2‬:‭6-7‬ NLT). The tree above is a picture of faith.

The stream beside the tree can represent The Word of God. As I read it, I grow and I get nourishment. My faith will grow. My fruit and leaves will bring comfort and healing. Get deep into God’s word and others will come and see you burn with fire and they will get touched by the heat.

Memories of Blackberry Picking

It is the blackberry season.
My granddaughter Rebecca is nine today.
Her family came up at the weekend.
Rebecca noticed blackberries along the hedgerows as they drove along the Irish country road near our home.

She wanted to go blackberry picking.  image

Jacob my son is enjoying living in the country.
He offered to take Rebecca and her two sisters out to play while we talked with their mum and dad.
I remember when my sisters and I went blackberry picking.
The local store collected the fruit and we earned a certain amount for each pound.
We valued the extra money.  It was an incentive to go out along the hedgerows looking for the black berries.
We competed with each other to see who would have their jar filled first.
When we filled a small jar we would empty it into a bigger container.
Our fingers were covered in the black juice, as were our lips.
Last week we visited a friend who offered us fresh blackberry sauce and custard.  It was delicious.
So Rebecca’s mum will be making some blackberry conserve.
The family will remember their visit to grandma’s house.