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/

Visitor From Iceland, The Redshank

On one of the mornings over the Christmas season I did go bird watching. I didn’t disturb my own flock who were getting a much needed rest.

Each time Brendan and I take a walk along the Lough shore we enjoy the newness of each scene.

image
One morning I picked out a wading bird with orange/ red legs and beak and speckled brown body. It is a Redshank. It bobs its head, looking here and there as it walks along the water’s edge. It feeds on insects and molluscs in the mud. When it is disturbed it flies up in the air and makes a loud screeching sound. There is a distinctive “v” shape on its back feathers while in flight. There were a number of these birds dotted along the seaweed, well camouflaged . They were not feeding together.
When I checked my bird book I was delighted to discover many Redshank come to winter in Ireland from Iceland. So this beautiful creature I saw could be a visitor from Iceland!
Today I am in Iceland. My husband and I travel back and forth to Iceland from Ireland like the Redshank.

Inspired by Iceland

When I was suffering from cancer back in 2010 a lady had a picture of a volcano when she was praying for me.  During the colonoscopy the monitor showed the tumour of cancer.  It was a bulbous and fiery mass, like a volcano.  Today again someone mentioned a volcano in prayer.

image

Back in 2014 I visited Iceland.  When I arrived there I read Psalm 18.  It perfectly describes a volcano.  Iceland has been built up out of the depths of the ocean by eruptions of volcanos down through the years.  Here is what the Psalm says.

The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. (‭Psalm‬ ‭18‬:‭5-6‬ NIV)

The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook;  Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it.  The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, Lord, at the blast of breath from your nostrils. (‭Psalm‬ ‭18‬:‭15‬ NIV)

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. (‭Psalm‬ ‭18‬:‭8, 16-17‬ NIV)

Deuteronomy 4 v 24. For our God is a consuming fire.  God’s presence is likened to fire or a volcano.

On my visit to Iceland God showed me that he rescued me from cancer and death.  He was angry at my enemies of death and cancer coming to destroy me.  He burnt up my enemies in the fire from his mouth.

Who is like our God?  He will continue to deal with my enemies with the fire of his breath.

Psalm 107 v 2. Has The Lord redeemed you?  Then speak out!   Tell others he has saved you from your enemies.

Family Friday. Our Slovakian Grandchildren Come to Visit.

 

I arrived home from Iceland last Friday.  Our son John, Rachel and their boys were waiting for us.  They had prepared dinner.  It was delightful to see the children and their joy at seeing grand Dad and grand Ma.  The boys ran about the kitchen excited to see us.  I could see they had grown in a week.  Joseph said Hello Granny.  He has four grannies, two of them being great grannies.  It is amazing he doesn’t get us mixed up.

John and Rachel wanted to hear what adventures we had while away.  When Brendan came home for trips to other countries me and my children were eager to hear his stories about what he saw and how God used him to help others.  Now Brendan is taking me with him on his adventures.

This week I will see my grandchildren who live in other nations.  My son Aaron and his family are visiting from Slovakia.

imageAaron and Marta have three children. They call our home the Ireland house.  They arrived yesterday.  The children were amazed as we walked from room to room and eventually got to the bedroom where the two girls will stay.  Once again the corridors are full of the sound of little children playing.  Our home is ideal for them to play hide and seek.  A little child can squeeze into a small space, under a coffee table, or in a kitchen cupboard.

Children have a disposition to explore and try out new things.  They can easily occupy themselves, chasing each other outside, climbing walls, trees or making mud castles.  Us adults often instill fear into our child, afraid little Johnny may fall and break a bone, afraid of the child climbing the stairs, “Don’t do that?”

When I was young my brothers and sisters played games or went for walks to give our mother space.  We did not have computer games, television, dolls, Mexicano, Lego, iPads or DVDs.  I loved going for walks through the fields to find out what was over the hill at the back of our home in the country.  I loved paddling in the stream that separated my dad’s field from his neighbour’s, on hot days.

Mummy was busy in the kitchen making a meal for us all, or feeding the new baby that had arrived.  We would return home when we were hungry.  None of us got lost or injured.  If we scaped a knee we would give it a rub and continue playing.  We didn’t visit the accident and emergency at the hospital.

I remember having a cut on my forearm.  I was not rushed off to the doctor’s surgery.  I walked around protecting the injured part and the wound closed over in a week or so.  No penicillin or stitches. In those early days seed of believing that God heals were sown.  If I had a cold I learned after a few days I would be well again.  If I fell off my bicycle and grazed arms and knees, in time the cuts would heal.  God made our bodies with an immune system that fights off infection and replaces cuts and bruises.

I now believe that the simple food our mother made us kept us healthy.  We ate home made bread, soups, stews, porridge, eggs and milk from the farm.  In the summer we would have salads, some fruit or the odd apple tart. The fridge and cupboards were not stacked with cereals, chocolate, coca cola, crisps,  biscuits or sugary snacks.

What I learnt when I was growing up helped me rear my own children.  I did not have a fridge or freezer.  My food was bought fresh and eaten.  I did not keep excess.  There was no eating in between meals.

When my grandchildren arrived I had a pot of soup and homemade bread ready for them.  What I learnt from my mother, I did for my own children and now for my grandchildren.  They will play happily while they are visiting grand Dad’s Irish home.

As we sat at night praying and reading the children’s bible with our own children before they went to bed,  so we will do the same with our grandchildren when they are visiting with us.  We will tell them stories of how God answered prayers for us.  Brendan will tell them about his adventures when he travelled in other countries.  I will tell them that God healed granny from cancer;  how God provided our new home for us with space for them to come and visit and many other examples of God’s goodness to us.

Exodus 10 v 2 says,
You will be able to tell wonderful stories to your children and grandchildren about the marvellous things I am doing, to prove I am The Lord.

Today Brendan and I leave to go to Canada.  We will see our Canadian grandchild.  We will have experiences and new stories will be created to journal and recount at another visit of our children and grandchildren.

Iceland the Island of Fire

 

My husband and I are in Iceland after a two hour journey from Belfast International Airport.  Brendan planned this trip back in July 2014.  It is the fulfilment of a desire I have had for ten years.  The first people we spoke to at the airport were two Irish women from Kilkenny who have been living here for twenty six years!  It was good to meet them.  History tells us that some Irish people settled in Iceland one thousand years ago.  The Irish are still here!

I was just reading from Psalm 18.  I read the following verses.

I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies. The sorrows of death entangled me;  But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears. Then the earth quaked and trembled. The foundations of the mountains shook; they quaked because of his anger. Smoke poured from his nostrils; fierce flames leaped from his mouth. Glowing coals blazed forth from him.
Then at your command, O LORD, at the blast of your breath, the bottom of the sea could be seen, and the foundations of the earth were laid bare. (‭Psalms‬ ‭18‬:‭3-8, 15‬ NLT)

Back in May 2010 there was an eruption of Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland.  It disrupted travel in Europe for many weeks.  I had been diagnosed with cancer the previous month.  My daughter had booked for us to visit her and her husband in Switzerland some time before.  We were planning to go even though I wasn’t well.   Because of the ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano our flight to Switzerland was cancelled.  I was disappointed.

But I am not disappointed today.  Psalm 12 v 13 says “A hope deferred makes the heart sick but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”    My desire to come to Iceland is fulfilled.

I was reading through some brochures about Iceland after our arrival.  It is known as the land of fire.  Iceland has a high concentration of active volcanoes due to its location on the mid-Atlantic Ridge.  One volcano erupted out of the sea and created new land.  Last August another volcano
Bardarbunga, erupted with intermittent earthquakes. It continues to bubble up five months on, as the video from Sky news shows.

I am amazed when I read Psalm 18, particularly the words “The foundations of the mountain shook, the bottom of the sea could be seen, glowing coals blazed forth from him.”   David, who wrote this Psalm, prophesied two and a half thousand years ago what is happening in Iceland today.  I am reminded of my distress four years ago when the cords of death were entangling me and I called upon The Lord and he delivered me from death.   He heard my prayer and and like David of old, he answered me.  Alleluia.

My interest in visiting Iceland was inspired by Tim Severin’s book about a voyage that he travelled from Ireland, Scotland, Pharoe Islands, Iceland to Greenland.  He followed what was thought to be the path St Brendan took many centuries before.  My family visited the boat In which Tim travelled.  It is preserved in Kerry, Ireland.  It was built from wood and covered in seal skins, materials available to the early Celts.

I am happy to be here on this island of Iceland in 2015, mentioned so long ago in writings from St Brendan.

Alleluia.

Shared from Sky News: Volcano Spectacularly Erupting Five Months On http://news.sky.com/story/1409583/volcano-spectacularly-erupting-five-months-on

I want to honor the Iceland people who live in an environment that many of us could not endure.   They keep their hearts and land open to the nations who want to come and see the signs and wonders in their island; the Northern Lights, the turbulent lava in a live volcano, the glaciers and the warm geysers to mention a few.

It gives me more reason to Praise the Creator of all things.