Joy in Prayers Answered

Our mouths were filled with laughter today when we heard about Derek’s story of God touching his life. We heard good news. Today it is often the case that people are burdened and sad and don’t have much joy.

We were saying our goodbyes to friends at the hotel in Zakynthos before going to the airport. A couple from England, Derek and Linda were standing at the bar. They were frequent visitors to Zakynthos and only stay at this hotel. They are personal friends with the family who own the hotel.

Our host told us about Derek. He was a kind person and did much charity work back home. She often went on holiday to England to visit with him and his family. But his health was failing. He had diabetes, had kidney failure and attended hospital in the Uk three times a week for dialysis.

Needing dialysis did not deter Derek going on holiday to his favorite place. Arrangements were made for treatment on the island while he came on holiday. It meant going to his room every four hours and taking the necessary drugs to help cleanse his blood. He didn’t want to give up.

We happened to meet him back in 2015. He told us about having treatment for kidney failure and was hoping to have a kidney transplant. My husband and I prayed for him to get a new kidney in the name of Jesus. We believe that Jesus heals today. I know Jesus power has healed me of fourth stage cancer and I always love the opportunity to tell others what God has done for me. I prayed on the basis of Psalm 41.

Blessed are those who have regard for the poor.
The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭41:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

We didn’t see Derek again until today. When my husband spoke to him today tears welled up in his eyes. His wife started crying and our host started crying. He told us what happened after we prayed. He didn’t feel any different immediately and had to continue using the dialysis. A few days later he got a phone call from a friend back in his home town. Arrangements were being made for him to have a kidney transplant.

Derek was seventy years old. The doctors had told him there was little chance of him receiving a donated kidney if one became available on the NHS. Younger patients would be given priority before him because of his age. He was way down the waiting list. He was resigned to living with his condition and remained cheerful. He continued to think of others before himself. He was well thought of in his community.

A friend talked to Derek one day and told him he heard of a man , let’s call him John, who wanted to donate one of his kidneys to someone. John’s wife was a nurse in the kidney unit of the hospital. He was touched by the need of patients whose stories his wife related to him. John decided he wanted to do something to help another person.

Derek’s friend said he would tell John about Derek’s situation. He received a phone call on holiday from John after we prayed for him. John offered Derek his kidney. Derek remembered our prayers. God was answering our prayers for healing by giving him a donated kidney!

The process began back home to see if John’s kidney would be a good match for Derek. The doctors were amazed that John was offering his kidney. Tests were done and it was found that the donated kidney would be agreeable with Derek’s body. The doctors operated to give Derek a new kidney. The operation went well.

One year on Derek is still going on holiday and no longer needs dialysis. There has been no reaction in Derek’s body to reject the donated kidney. The doctors said it was a miracle that the kidney became available and that it was a match. They suggested Derek’s story would make a great article in a newspaper.

This is the first time this story has been published. God is good. He answers our prayers. If anyone wants to hear more about prayer for healing please get in touch.

We prayed for Derek again today and thanked God for his mercy for Derek’s healing. My husband and I left the island of Zakynthos today with laughter and joy because God answered our prayers.

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

Irish Summer Weather is Unpredictable

The Summer weather in Ireland is unpredictable.  The weather forecaster may tell us there will be showers with some sunshine.  This unpredictability causes the Irish people to talk much about the weather.  You can be sure the tourists that come to Ireland don’t come to get a suntan.

We Irish have learned to make the most of our unpredictable weather.  Ireland is famous for having forty shades of green throughout the land.  We grow vegetables and crops that like rain and mature without hot sunshine.  One such crop is the potato. Another is Oates. The Irish have survived on these staple crops.

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Our unpredictable weather causes weeds to flourish as well. One such weed is the nettle.  Nettles love to grow in good soil and flourish if there is no competition.  Nettles spring up everywhere, along roadsides, in gardens, in forests and wherever it’s seeds land.  One doesn’t have to sow nettle plants.  If there is soil and water they will grow.  The seeds are so tiny they can be carried by the wind.

I went for a walk this morning.  There were plenty of nettles growing along the road.  Many other grasses, thistles and weeds were flourishing, making the road narrow at some parts.  Maybe the road will dwindle to a pathway someday if the weeds are not cut back.

As I looked at the vegetation along the Boreen, I remembered a dream I had last night.  I saw a nettle plant open up before me and many of its seeds were released into the air, just like a fire cracker that is released at Halloween.  I have been thinking about Multiplication recently.  The nettle was releasing seeds for the multiplication of new nettle plants.  God created every plant to multiply, despite the weather.

“Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.”
And it was so.
The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.
And God saw that it was good.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:11-12‬ ‭

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I am back from holiday.  My garden needs attention like the road.  If I don’t deal with the nettles and other weeds, the flowers and vegetables will be choked.  The decking is dotted with sycamore umbrella seeds.  The back yard paving has a sprinkling of leaves.  It is constant work subduing the land.  God created man to work the land and take care of it.  Weeds find a way to grow in the tiniest of crevices, on walls or between flag stones.  I need some men around here to clear up.

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭2:15‬ ‭NIV‬

The trees and weeds will continue to bear seeds and multiply.  God made them to produce their own kind.  It’s man’s job to manage all the produce of new life.
It all seems an never ending battle to deal with weeds.  But I take courage.  God said he would bless the work of our hands.

“You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land.
The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.
The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭28:3-4, 8, 12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

There will be order again.  The weeds will not take over.  I will enjoy the fruit of the apple and pear trees, the tomatoes and other vegetables.  There will be trailing nasturtsums, daisies and roses.  The decking will get cleared and the lawn cut.  It is good all the weeds die back for the winter.  It gives me a chance to get ahead of the growth of nettles next spring and keep them at bay.

Plants and weeds flourish here despite our unpredictable weather.

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

A Place of Space, Peace and Quiet.

I was reading from 1 Chronicles this morning.

The men listed above by name were leaders of their clans. Their families increased greatly, and they went to the outskirts of Gedor to the east of the valley in search of pasture for their flocks. They found rich, good pasture, and the land was spacious, peaceful and quiet. (‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭4‬:‭38-40‬ NIV)

This passage reminded me of the South West of Ireland where The Lord led us to go on holiday for the first time thirty years ago with our “flock.”   Brendan had bought our first car and we were thinking of going on holiday together.  Brendan asked me, “Where would you like to go on holiday?”  I immediately thought of Kerry, in the south west of Ireland.  The best way to accommodate  our growing family was to rent a holiday home.

We felt the Holy Spirit was telling us to get in touch with someone in Kerry, who was in the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship.  This turned out to be George Mc Auliffe.  Brendan rang him and asked him if he would locate a house to rent suitable to our needs.  He had never heard tell of us before,  but he kindly responded and found us a holiday home.  The two weeks it was available was at the beginning of August when my eighth child was due.  I wasn’t afraid of travelling there, because my children never arrived on the date the doctors suggested.

i believe holidays are not a luxury they are a necessity.  Family life, being together, can get neglected when work and other pressures put demands on the dad and mum.  Being together on holiday helps everyone unwind.

The day to travel arrived.  We were so excited to be setting out on an adventure that would take us 600 miles away.  The Peugot 505 was filled with children and provisions for our stay for two weeks.  We invited another family to stay in our home when we were away.  We believed in sharing with others.

As we got nearer Kerry we’d looked at the colourful houses with gardens full of roses.  Would that be the one we will be staying in, or that one?  I would like that one.  We dreamed on.  The one we finally arrived at was beyond our expectations.  There were five bedrooms and two big living rooms.   Mary even had a room of her own!  It seemed like heaven for the children.  Plenty of space inside and outside the house.

Our children poured out of the car, stretched their legs and arms like cattle released from the stall.  There was plenty of space to run and chase each other.  There were cows in the green fields over the fence.  Good pasture lands.  There were rainbows in the sky.  It was near the beach.  The journey was worth it.

Back then there was war in Northern Ireland.  There was pressure in the atmosphere.  Everyone was under a cloud.  Kerry was so different.  There was no oppression, people welcomed us with their soft arms, hearts and voices.  George introduced us to other families who welcomed us into their homes, even though we had a big family.  Thus began our visits to the Kerry and Limerick area.  From that year on we went for two weeks holiday there during the troubles in the north.  We enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and warm welcome wherever we travelled.  We always returned refreshed.

In more recent years,  Brendan and I have been on a holiday to Greece in May to recharge our batteries after winter and work schedules, take in the sun and good food.  Our children have left home.  We had not planned anything this year.  There was no time free in May.    My body was weary and needing some attention.  I dreamed of travelling west in Ireland to be refreshed seeing the mountains and green valleys.  I decided to help Brendan continue prepare for people who were coming to stay with us.

June was busy with guests from Alabama and India.  The day before guests arrived another friend called to offer us his home in Adare at the end of June.  When Brendan told me I was delighted.  God is faithful.  He knew my need of rest and he provided.   As we shared our home with others, God inspired another person to share his home with us.  He had let us and our family stay in his home many times over the last years.  Not everyone wants to let a big family have the run of their home.

A man reaps what he sows.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (‭Galatians‬ ‭6‬:‭7, 9‬ NIV)

On our holiday in Adare, we slept, worked in the garden, ate and slept again, a bit like hobbits.  One of the evenings we ventured out to visit a friend.  We travelled along the coast of the Shannon estuary through Ballybunion and on to Tralee.  I remember stopping at a viewing point overlooking Tralee sometime before when our children were with us.  The blue of the river and ocean framed the hills of Clare to our right and the stronger mountains of the Dingle peninsula to our left. Tralee was nestled in the green valley below.  The big sky had plenty of room for darks clouds carrying rain in the midst of clear parts where the sun shone through. There was always a cloud dropping rain somewhere.  I could spend hours on that spot letting this beauty wash over my soul.  I drank in the beauty again that evening.

The glory of God covers the earth as the waters cover the sea.

I now realise why we came on summer holidays with our children to this part of the world so many times down through the years.  It was a place of quiet, peace and space, with lush pastures to restore our souls.

Refreshment in a Land flowing with Milk and Honey.

I believe holidays are not a luxury, they are a necessity.
In this busy world, work and other activities demand our time and energy until one is worn out. I thought it important for us as a family, even though a big family, to get away for a summer break. We had valuable time together creating memories.

Brendan and I are staying in Limerick.  It is a little bit different this year.  We are on our own, instead of eight, nine or twelve of us.  A friend offered us the use of his home while he and his family are on their holidays.  We usually take a holiday at the beginning of May to recharge our batteries after winter and work schedules.  There was no time free in May this year.  My body was weary and needing some attention.  I dreamed of travelling west in Ireland to be refreshed seeing the mountains and green valleys.  I decided to help Brendan continue prepare for people who were coming to stay with us. I continued to dream.

June was busy with guests from Alabama and India.  The day before guests arrived our friend called to offer us his home in Adare at the end of June.  When Brendan told me I was delighted.  God is faithful.  He knew my need of rest and he provided.   As we shared our home with others, God inspired another person to share his home with us.

A man reaps what he sows.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (‭Galatians‬ ‭6‬:‭7, 9‬ NIV)

Thirty years ago, our friend offered us the use of his home.  We had eight children at the time.  It was a generous gesture.  Not everyone wants to let a big family have the run of their home.  We were able to visit the local tourist scenes and go to the beach when the sun shone.  The children played about in the fields nearby or at the beach like young calves released from the stall.  We have stayed in his home many times down through the years.  He is a blessing.

Kerry and Limerick are famous for the production of milk. Lush, thick grass grows all the year round to support the herds of Friesien cows. There are plenty of green pastures. It is a land flowing with milk like the Promised Land.

Back then people were in conflict in Nothern Ireland.  There was pressure in the atmosphere.  Everyone was under a cloud.  From that year on we went for two weeks in July for holidays to Limerick, Donegal or Kerry.  We enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and warm welcome wherever we travelled.  We always returned to the  North of  Ireland refreshed.

Blowing the Whistle.

I have faith in God the creator who reveals himself through the bible.  As I read the scriptures I find many promises God makes to those who believe that he exists.  He promises to reward those who diligently seek him.  Perhaps you don’t believe in God, or maybe you used to believe but through disappointments and hardships you gave up.  Try again.  Pray today and seek him with your whole heart.  He is there for you and a wonderful life of blessing for you and your descendants will open up for you.

God, revealed through Jesus, is the only God who promises blessings to our descendants to a thousandth generation. Exodus 20.  When I sought God wholeheartedly 38 years ago he revealed himself to me in many ways.  I prayed for a child and he answered me.  I prayed for my husband to believe in Jesus.  God revealed himself to my husband.  God blessed me with fourteen children because I believed that God would bless my children after me to the thousandth generation.
There is no other God who promises to bless us and our children after us.

Now in rearing my big family I have faced many difficulties.  For example, needing a home big enough, needing money to provide for my family or facing the opinions of people who thought I was crazy for having a big family.
Jesus said in this world you will have many troubles but be of good cheer I have overcome the world.  John 16 v 33

Psalm God promises to be with us in trouble and deliver us out of all of them.

When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. (‭Psalms‬ ‭91‬:‭15‬ NLT)

In Numbers 10 God told Moses to instruct the people,

“When you arrive in your own land and go to war against your enemies who attack you, sound the alarm with the trumpets. Then the LORD your God will remember you and rescue you from your enemies.  The trumpets will remind your God of his covenant with you. I am the LORD your God.” (‭Numbers‬ ‭10‬:‭9-10‬ NLT)

I had been praying over some situation in my life for a long time.  I felt I had no energy to pray any more.  There did not seem to be an answer.  I read the passage above.  I did not have a trumpet but I bought myself a whistle.  I blew the whistle and I believed that God would act because he is true to his word.  I have made a covenant with him in believing and trusting God with my life, and he will keep his promise to be with me in trouble and deliver me out of it.  God brought about the needed change.   Sometimes one can blame others for the difficulty one is facing.  But it is the devil our enemy who is holding back the needed change.  God heard and moved my enemy the devil out of the way.

I was in holiday in Rostrevor, Ireland one summer.  We had been given the use of a home in a beautiful setting.  It was along a quiet road in the forest.  Many young couples would park their cars there at night to be alone.  One evening my husband went out with the older children to a music festival.  I was home with the younger children.  It was getting late and I thought I heard noises outside that made me feal uneasy.

I looked for my whistle.  I went outside and blew the whistle as loudly as I could.   I called on The Lord for help.  All at once five cars’ engines were started and sped off down the road as fast as they could.  They cleared off frightened by my whistle.

In England the policemen used to have a whistle to alarm trouble makers or to call for help.
Soon after my husband and family returned.  Help arrived.

The Fig Tree’s Fruit is Sweet

I live in Northern Ireland where the weather is not extreme.  Our winter is mild and our summer is not too hot.  When I travel to warmer climates it takes time for me to adjust.  It is true the saying, “there is no place like home.”

Given that, I do enjoy going on holiday to the sun for a week or two in the year.  My body gets comforted by the rays of warmth on my back.  Then a quick dip in the sea or pool to cool off.  I do believe I get healing when I come to Greece.  The sun is much brighter there.  In the scripture it says ”   The sun will be seven times brighter when I heal the wounds of my people.”  Isaiah 30 v 26

This is my beauty treatment for the year.

When I go to the Mediteranean countries the stories from the bible come alive.
In Greece I have seen families sitting outside their white washed houses, eating, talking and relaxing under a veranda frame with a grape vine covering it.

The vine can grow up quickly.   It’s tendrils shoot out leaves in many directions so it can cover a large area.  The broad leaves make a green canopy to give shelter from the sun.
Fig trees can be trained along a frame as well.  Their broad leathery leaves protect and shelter from the strong sun’s rays.

The fig tree however takes years to grow.
Here is a fig tree I took a picture of recently.
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Neither of these plants wither in the harshest heat.  An added benefit to the householder is the sweet fruit both plants produce.

The fig tree and the vine are symbols of peace.
It is God’s will that man has a home and lives in peace and not war.
The scriptures tell us about the harmony of man benefitting from the plants.
Solomon is know as a wise king.
During Solomon’s lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, everyone under their own vine and under their own fig tree. (‭1 Kings‬ ‭4‬:‭25‬ NIV)

There was peace. Another scripture says,

Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken. (‭Micah‬ ‭4‬:‭4‬ NIV)

In times of war, houses are demolished and trees destroyed.  No more days of peaceful family times.
Often families can be in turmoil and war internally.  No more happy times eating together and sharing.  The vine tree is left unattended and the fig tree not pruned.

But God gives hope when there is no hope as we trust and praise him.

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (‭Habakkuk‬ ‭3‬:‭17-18‬ NIV)

Even in the darkest times of war from without and from within God promises restoration.

I Always Have Difficulty Working the Shower When On Holiday

I always need my husband’s help to show me how to work the shower when we stay abroad. When I travel I have come across such a variety of showers in hotels and apartments.

I was in Homebase recently and my mind could not take in the variety of bathrooms and showers.

In this competitive market an hotel’s rating could balance on how good the shower is! Is there power in your shower? Each hotel wants their name to be number one on trip advisor.

My daughter manages a hotel in Belfast that has been awarded number one on Trip Advisor.   I believe the award is due to my daughter’s management skills.

I have never come across instructions on how to use showers. The owner always presumes that the user is up to speed with modern utilities, or has access to the internet “to google it”.

Usually there is a metal dial that is hard to grip with wet hands.   Not a simple tap that can be turned easily. One has to adjust it to get the right temperature.  If I am undressed I run the risk of freezing with cold water or being scalded with hot water as I turn the dial.

I am staying in a cottage in a quiet village near the Tatra Mointains in Slovakia.

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It seems we stepped back in time. My neighbours were preparing blueberries to make Jam. I awoke the first morning and went to wash. It was too early to awake my husband.

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I reached into the shower to turn the knob at the top. I thought, “I will get the water running before I get undressed.” Cold water sprayed me from left and right and soaked my arm and dressing gown. I tried the next knob to the left and right?  It would not budge.

I have never come across such a complicated shower unit in my life, and so unexpected since this is the country. All I want is a shower that works simply and helps me get washed in the morning, not a torture chamber that threatens one with sprays of cold water.

I began to feel this shower unit behaved like an enemy and was out to stop me having a simple wash. Will I have to resort to a quick freshen up with a facecloth like the old days before showers were used. It certainly would be less complicated.

I checked out the bathroom upstairs. I decided to have a bath instead and used the shower head to wash my hair. I was going to steer clear of the torture chamber downstairs.

Later that morning my husband went to wash. I did not warn him about the torture chamber.  I wondered, “Will he be my knight in shining armour again to rescue his distressed wife, wrapped in a towel?”

He got the shower working!  Hurrah.

There was even a radio in the shower to help one whistle while you wash. He conquered my enemy. What a great husband I have!

This shower seemed to be an upright hot tub. With all the knobs turned to the proper position, water sprays from various openings along the wall, to massage the occupier. The reward for discovering how to get the shower working!

When Brendan and I speak at conferences in different countries, we need an interpreter to help us communicate. In future I will need an interpreter to show me how tho use the modern gadgets!