Don’t Be Despondent

Strangford Lough waters were like a mirror early today.  The boats, newly parked in the bay below, are still. This morning I read these words from the Bible.
Proverbs 15 v 15
For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.

These words shook me out of feeling heavy laden and down. I looked up the meaning of despondent in the dictionary.  Dejected, sad, depressed, disheartened, lacking hope or courage.
One can be despondent because of unhappiness due to difficulties that you think will not be able to overcome.
I was prone to despondency and despair before I had cancer. I definitely got depressed and it deepened. Situations in my life seemed insurmountable. But God saw me and had mercy on me. He healed me from cancer.
I can’t afford to let myself get down or despondent. This word this morning shook me. I want to have a merry heart and a feast instead. I have so much to be thankful for.
Another scripture says ,
“Do not be downcast. Hope in God for I will yet praise him.”  I began to thank God for all his blessings.  I got washed and dressed. I decided to go out in the beautiful morning and let the cobwebs blow away. The warmth of spring is here. I praise God for life.

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/

Late April in Slovakia

I’m sitting under a willow tree in Slovakia,
My body welcoming the warmth of the sun
Along with all the creatures
That had to endure the long winter.
Life is breaking forth all around me.
Sparrows chirp above me in the branches,
Taking turns to fly up
Into crevices in the wall
Building their nests to have their young.
I survey the green panorama of the forest trees.
Two weeks ago they were bare brown trunks.
Doves call from their midst.
The apple trees burst forth buds and flowers
Attracting bees that buzz and hum
Busy collecting nectar and pollen.
White butterflies float in the air,
Outlined by the green background.
Although a thousand miles apart we share
Familiar wildlife in our gardens.
Sparrows, swallows, doves, bees and butterflies know no borders.
My son works with the soil.
My daughter in law is planting flowers,
Free from the repetition of washing dishes and clothes,
Cooking, baking and cleaning.
Their children play nearby,
Safe in the space of the new mown garden.
A hose gushes cool water.
The children dart in and out of the spray,
Running, chasing and squealing.
Barbecue smoke drifts through the air,
Inviting us to the picnic table.
Grilled chicken, courgettes, pineapple
Sweetcorn and mushrooms are ready.
Let’s dive in.

God Sovereignly Moves.

I was struck by what I read in the scriptures recently.

John was born to Elizabeth and Zachariah who had no children.
God spoke to Zachariah who was a priest serving in the temple of the Lord, that he would have a son. He didn’t believe and was struck dumb. Despite the priest’s unbelief God still kept his promise to him. His wife became pregnant and she had a son and called his name John. Their relatives and friends rejoiced with them at the birth of their son. This son was a special child and was set apart for the Lord. His parents taught him the ways of God. He learnt to hear from God himself.

“Then John testified, “when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.”
I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn’t know he was the one, but I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God. ””
‭‭John‬ ‭1:32-34‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”
John 1 29-33

God can use impossible situations to bring about his plans and purposes. His ways are not our ways. God sovereignly intervened in Zachariah’s life to bring forth a son who would be the one prophesied about many years before in Malachi.

““Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives. His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.””
‭‭Malachi‬ ‭4:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

John lived in the desert, wore a hair covered tunic and lived on locust and wild honey. He called people of Israel to repent of their sins. They had forsaken their God who had done mighty signs and wonders to deliver their forefathers out of the land of slavery in Egypt. Many people listened to him and were baptized in water to show their change of heart.

Then Jesus appeared. John baptized him as well. The Holy Spirit descended on him like a dove. Jesus gives the same Holy Spirit to us today. He will be our comforter, our guide, healer, he will lead us into all truth, he will set us free from captivity and help us to hear from God for ourselves and cause us to live for God.

God will sovereignly move in your life today to bring about God’s plan for you.

Catherine Marshall’s Encouragement

 

An older couple I know heard I had cancer. They felt they should give me a book by Catherine Marshall written Back in 1950.  She was a young mother with a three year old son, when she was diagnosed with TB. She was confined to bed for three years. She was very frustrated with her situation. She was young and found it difficult to come to terms with not being able look after her son and husband.

She remembered back to going to Church when she was a young girl and hearing about the story about a blind man whom Jesus healed. She was excited to hear that Jesus healed. Then her teacher told the children that healing does not happen today, only back in Jesus time on earth. She was perplexed and left the debate with the teachers.

Fifteen years later, she was confined to bed with a disease the doctors could not cure. She wasn’t getting better. She thought back to the story of the blind man. She began to read the stories about Jesus healing people. She had plenty of time to read the bible as she lay in bed. She studied the scriptures. She forgot about her condition as she occupied herself with search. She wondered could she be healed of her disease. Did God heal people nowadays? She dared to believe.

In her studies she found that Jesus was moved with compassion for the sick and he healed them. He healed a woman who was bleeding for twelve years, he healed lepers, he raised a dead child, he healed a cripple and all who came to him who was sick.

Catherine bowed her head and prayed. “Lord, I need your help. You made my body. You can heal me. Will you do for me what you did for others?”

I quote from her book, “Beyond Ourselves”.

A few nights later she was aware of a Presence, a Power, a Personality in her room. She knew it was Jesus. Her body tingled as with a shock of electricity. This was the turning point in her illness. The X-rays after that showed progress, she began to get out of bed a little at a time until she finally was healed. She was encouraged by another girl she heard of who believed God healed her of TB. Many symptoms of her disease were still bothering her, fever, a cough or the fluid in her lung. Yet she knew she had to keep her eyes on Jesus, not on her symptoms. She was totally healed a few months later. Catherine Marshall says “The woman who rose from bed and went out to meet life was a different woman.”

As I read Catherine Marshall’s book today I know her story impacted me back in those months I was suffering from cancer. All I wanted to do initially was to crawl into bed and hide there. I was too weak. TB is different from cancer. But deep in my heart I saw a glimmer of hope come to me. My faith was encouraged by Catherine’s healing by Jesus. I dared to believe. I thank God for the couple who gave me a copy of Catherine Marshall’s book. She received her healing back in 1945! I received my healing from Cancer in 2010. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Hebrews 13 v 8

On Easter Monday 2018 I celebrated being healed from cancer for eight years.

 

 

Article Published in Local Woman Magazine

I had the privilege of having an article written in a Northern Ireland magazine.
It is called Local Woman. The Belfast editor, Maureen Coleman got in touch with me. She wanted to print something for Mother’s Day.
Here is a copy of the article. You can go to your local newsagent and as for the March copy of Local Women.