I keep thinking of The Christmas song made famous by Shaking Stevens. The lyrics go,
Snow is falling all around us,
Children playing, having fun,
it’s the season, love and understanding
Merry Christmas everyone.
We’re going to have a party tonight.
Up until 2020 we in the west have celebrated Christmas with freedom, prosperity and indulging ourselves on good things to eat and drink.
Christmas time last year was not fun. There was no snow, little understanding and few parties. Due to Covid, families were separated and not allowed to meet. We had to stay home from school shops and work. Our lives have changed forever. Do we consider why Christmas is called Christmas?
We celebrate Jesus Christ being born. He came to tell us about God our Father’s love and care for us. Jesus lived on the earth for thirty three years. He died a cruel death on the cross to set us free from the sin of Adam and Eve and the power of the devil who wants to rob, steal and destroy us. Do we need Jesus at all?
We are approaching Christmas 2021. Society is trying to get back to normal inviting the public to spend and spend to make this Christmas fun and party season again.
But how can there be fun in many families who are suffering the lose of a loved one, or going through the ravages of Covid which has left many weak and discouraged. Fear, despair and disappointment has taken hold of many people.
I can say we do need Jesus. He will bring comfort to the despairing and heal the broken heart. Parties will not heal broken hearts.
Psalm 138 v 3 says As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.
Learn more about Jesus this Christmas. By praying to him.
It’s coming up to the eleventh of November when in Britain people wear poppies to remember the many who died in the world wars. They fought bravely so others could live and enjoy freedom from tyranny.
I want to share a story taken from a book I’m reading called, Return from Tomorrow by George C Ritchie. It is a story of how one man survived in a concentration camp during the war in Germany.
George was a young American soldier whose group were assigned to a concentration camp near Wupperal to bring medical help. Thousands of men had died a little bit at a time over a period of years. Some recovered but for many it was too late.
In the camp he met a man they called Wild Bill Cody. He was one of the inmates of the concentration camp . He looked strong, his eyes bright and had plenty of energy. His compassion for his fellow prisoners glowed on his face. He was an interpreter for the soldiers who came to help. He worked long hours each day helping the work to release prisoners.
To the young soldier’s surprise he discovered that Wild Bill had been in the concentration camp for six years. He had lived on the same starvation diet, slept on the same airless and disease ridden barracks as everyone else had, but without the least physical or mental deterioration.
Wild Bill explained to the young soldier about how he came to be in the camp. He had lived in a Jewish quarter of Warsaw with his wife and five children. When the Germans came they lined everyone against a wall and opened fire with machine guns. He begged to be allowed to die with his family but because he spoke German he was put in a work group. He would be of use as an interpreter.
I had to decide right then whether to let myself hate the soldiers. I was a lawyer. In my practise I had seen too often what bitterness and hate could do to people’s minds and bodies. I decided then that I would forgive and spend the rest of my life loving each person I came in contact with. Loving each person was the power that kept Wild Bill alive and well helping others in the face of adversity.
The soldier returned home and became a medical doctor. He learned to help others and in helping others he forgot about himself. He died to his own selfish needs and discovered Christ. He learned from his war experiences to overcome hate and bitterness and to forgive.
Jon van Jon in Les Miserables said “To love someone is to see the face of God”. Someone had shown him love and kindness in his life and he went on to show mercy and kindness to many others.
Jesus said Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. It is good in one’s young life to learn to be kind and merciful to others. This way of life is often learned in growing up in family. The older children helping the younger children. Learning to give and share. Learning to forgive. Learning to be patient with one another. Learning to be supportive and respectful to elderly parents. It is the way of love.
These attributes are easily carried into adulthood. It will be easy then to reach out to someone in need: the baby, the foreigner, the widow, the orphan, the sick, the lonely and the elderly.
Jesus guarantees that when one lives a life of thinking of others that person will always get help when he is in trouble.
So young people learn to be kind when you are young. When you are older and faced with trouble your kindness will be remembered by God.
We have all had our lives changed because of restrictions due to the spread of the Corona Virus. Tensions build up in the home when we don’t have the freedom we used to have. In a city in Northern Ireland the demand for rented homes according to an estate agent, has increased 50 %. There is not enough housing to meet the demand. It is caused by marriages breaking up. A new home is needed for the separated partner.
Why do we fight with one another, husbands against wives, children against parents? There is strife and no peace in our homes. It all becomes too much for the husband and father to look after and provide for his family. He is tempted to give up and leave. Why bother. His friend has left his wife and found another lady who agrees with him. “Why don’t I do the same. He is doing okay.”
The wife gives up trying to keep the family together. She complains “My husband never listens to me. He doesn’t understand. My children don’t listen to me! I hoped our lives would be better that this. I have done my best. I can’t go on any longer. All hope of things getting better is gone. I give up.”
Where is the love they had for each other at the beginning when there was only the two of them. They could have meals out together any time without arranging a baby sitter. They could have uninterrupted sleep. There were less bills to pay. No one else to disturb their peace.
The Word of God explains why all this is so. We fight not against each other but principalities and powers in heavenly places. Our husband is not the enemy. Our children are not the enemy. The devil and his fallen angels are the problem. He is at work to rob, steal and destroy our lives and families. He hates families.
All is not hopeless. There is someone who can help. There is a Redeemer. He understands the pressure we are under and he comes to set us free. His name is Jesus. He promises to care for us. He says he loves us. The Word of God says Jesus is the way the truth and the life. He came on earth to destroy the work of the devil,
When we believe in Jesus he sets us free from our sinful nature and then the evil powers of this world cannot hold us. Jesus begins to work in our lives to set us free from sins that have a grip on us. There is power in his name to deliver us from evil.
Isaiah says He was bruised for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquity and by his stripes we are healed. Jesus did it all when he died on the cross for us.
Psalm 103. Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.The devil tempts us to sin.
Don’t give up. Ask Jesus to come to help. He promises to forgive, heal and restore. He will come with his angels to save you. He is the Commander of the his heavenly army who will fight on your behalf the unseen rulers and authorities.
When you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.
This week I had the privilege of seeing the Harvest Moon rise over the city of Zakynthos. At Bohali above the city, the moon appeared over the horizon as a red glowing ball. It rose high in the sky giving light to the sea and land below.
I reflected that everyone on the earth can see the moon at some stage in twenty four hours. How amazing is this spectacular view of the Harvest Moon all over the world. All the nations can see God’s handiwork. He made it all.
Back in July 2021 I got a phone call from a Slovakia lady who is married to an Irish man and lives in Southern Ireland. She heard about my healing book Staying Alive translated in Slovakian. Her friend back home read it. This friend asked my daughter in law for my contact number.
The book Staying Alive tells of my journey to being healed from fourth stage cancer through faith in Jesus. I believe Jesus heals today. When Jesus was on earth He healed all diseases and cast out demons. He told his followers to do the same.
This lady asked me to pray for her son of fifteen months, who was born with a hole in his heart. He didn’t sleep well and suffered from fits. She was weary and in distress. I prayed for her son over the phone that he would be healed in Jesus name. I promised to send her a copy of my book Staying Alive.
In my book she read about my daughters doing a twenty one day partial fast for me. She started a twenty one day fast for her son’s healing after reading my book.
Two months on I got a text from her. She took her son to an appointment with her doctor. He had recommended that her son would need an operation on his heart to repair it.
The doctor examined the child. To his surprise he saw that the hole in the child’s heart was gone and his heart was working normally. The mum and dad are overjoyed. Their child will not need an operation.
Here is a copy of her text,
Hi last Friday Patrick had check-up his heart and we have great news: a Hole in his heart is close and is working perfectly.Patrick dosn’t need a surgery.God is amazing and the best our FATHER!ALLELUJAThanks a million for your prayers and have a good day.
This is a testimony of the power of Jesus to heal today.
You can buy a copy of my book from Etsy.com or Books.ie. Type in Staying Alive Angela Mc Cauley. Also from Kindle.
King David in the Psalms wasn’t afraid to speak and write about his despair and distress. He didn’t stay there. He trusted God and called out to him for help. There is plenty going on in our world that can cause us to fear. Sickness, no job, Climate change, wars, poverty, etc.
Psalm 143 says
Hear my prayer, O Lord; answer my plea because you are faithful to your promises. 4 I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear. 5 I remember the glorious miracles you did in days of long ago. 6 I reach out for you. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. 7 Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens; don’t turn away from me or I shall die. 8 Let me see your kindness to me in the morning, for I am trusting you.“
Robin Mark is a successful Christian Singer from Belfast. I listened to him sing a song All is Well” back in January 2021. I was coping with the change that was happening to Brendan and myself. We were moving from our home on the shores of Strangford Lough. We had filled it with beautiful things; furniture, paintings, family photos and memories. I had a workshop where I whiled away many hours making mosaics and boats from sea glass and wood found along the shore. For me the home was beautiful inside and outside.
The brochures don’t tell one of the colourful sunrises and sunsets; the low winter sun reflecting off the water giving warmth and light to my kitchen. Or the full moon lit nights around Christmas when family was home sitting on the veranda at the log fire. Or the collections of shrubs and bulbs all selected by Brendan to bloom at different seasons.
The amount of work needed to downsize overwhelmed me. I felt paralysed. I could not start packing up. I listened to Robin Mark. God was comforting me through the words. All is Well. I also found a small painting my sister Rosaleen gave me with the words All Is Well.
Seven months on we are settled in Belfast. All belongings are stored or got rid off. Life is simpler. Not as much housework. My children can call by to see us. They are caring for us. I can sit at Cafe Nero in the sunshine and enjoy a different view. All the nations pass by.
Four weeks ago Covid hit Brendan and I. Isolation, fever, sleeplessness, lack of appetite, mental anguish encompassed us.
The scripture “Out of the depths I cry to you” is how I felt. I was depressed. I was fearful. Would I get better? The whole world is under fear because of the reports of what Covid will do. I felt that fear. David felt fear as he describes in Psalm 143.
One night while I was sick I felt the Holy Spirit hovering over us saying By the stripes of Jesus we are healed. God prompted me to sing and listen to Isaiah 53, By His stripes we are healed. He reminded me of how He healed me before and He will heal me again,
You see God is faithful to me. He promises to be my shepherd and care for me. I gave my life to him many years ago and He has been faithful to give His life to me. His power rises up to defend me when I am in trouble. He did it again to raise Brendan and I from our sick bed.
He will do the same for you. Give your life to Jesus and He will give His life to you. Take action. Do something. Engage with God. Believe He exists and He is a rewarder of all those who seek Him. Knock and the door will be opened unto you. That is what I did. God has rewarded me with many blessings, family, healings, peace and joy. I am like other people. I live in this world as well. But I believe in the One who made this world and in His power to help me while I live here.
I listened to Robin Mark tonight. I am recovering. I am healed by His stripes. Yes All is Well.
If you look up my husband’s website, as above, you will find my book The Grapes are Worth there. I wrote the bare bones of my story and Brendan who is a gifted writer, added the flesh.
it is a testimony of how God helped my husband Brendan and myself in our life together and how He helped us raise fourteen children.
God rewarded my Faith in Him. I believe in what His Word, the Bible says. John”s gospel says The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us. This is Jesus who was born, lived in a family like us, healed and delivered anyone who came to him, and died a cruel death on the Cross.
I availed of this historical fact. Jesus body did not stay in the grave. And he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans’ v 4
When I believed in Jesus I received the blessings He won for me by His death on the cross. Forgiveness of sins, healing of diseases, deliverance from demons, and restoration of relationships and the promise of eternal life.
Our marriage would have ended because of our life style of rebellion. I turned to God because I wanted my marriage to survive and raise my two children. God turned my life around from cursing to blessing. Deuteronomy 28. Leviticus 26