Testimony of God’s Love

My daughter Nora lost her wedding ring on Sunday 22nd September. She was taking part in the Belfast half marathon in aid of Heart and Stroke Charity, Northern Ireland.

Nora was happy and relieved to get across that finishing line! She was back home when she discovered her wedding ring was missing. She had taken it off and put it in her pocket during the marathon as her finger had swollen.

  1. She was upset. She prayed with her friend for the return of her ring. She sent a message on Twitter and Facebook. She returned to the area where she thought she may have lost it. The ground was muddy and there was no sign of it.

Here is the message she sent.

So delighted to have done the Belfast Half Marathon this morning 💥. The only problem was that I lost my wedding ring somewhere around the finish line – at the Stroke Association tent 😰 if by some miracle someone comes across it maybe you’d let me know? It has my name and wedding date engraved on the inside…. any shares appreciated.

You never know – miracles can happen! #BelfastMarathon Ormeau Park

The message went viral. She called me in the afternoon. She was tearful. We prayed again.

Next morning we got a message from a friend to tell us Nora’s ring was found. It was handed in to the organisers of the marathon. We text Nora to tell her. She hadn’t checked her other messages because she was in a hurry to attend work.

She was overwhelmed at the response to her message on media. She got her miracle.

The local newspaper the News Letter picked up on her story. BBC Evening Extra called her and asked her to join them in the studio to tell her story.

Colin, her husband collected the ring and joined Nora at the radio studio. There was joy as the presenter interviewed Nora and Colin about the recent events. He asked Colin to put the ring back on her finger. All of Northern Ireland listeners heard the good news story.

Nora got her miracle.

I was reading this message today. “I will be your God throughout your lifetime. I have created you and cared for you since you were born.” Isaiah 46 v 3

God cares for Nora and Colin. He cares about their marriage. He demonstrated his love for them publicly. Their covenant of marriage was re confirmed before thousands of listeners. Nora continues to be overwhelmed.

Water on Thirsty Ground

Today a friend took us for a drive to the mountains on the island of Zaykynthos. As we drove out we noticed heavy smoke billowing from a hill near the town of Keri. Forest fires broke out. The wildfire in progress on the island of Zakynthos has led authorities to evacuate some exposed houses on the village of Keri, in the southern part of the island, as well as 120 tourists staying at a hotel there.

The tourists were taken by bus to another hotel, in the nearby resort of Kalamaki.

The fire service said 10 of the 12 fires burning on Zakynthos are still unchecked, with high winds making it difficult to control the flames. A fire brigade commander says they have consumed mostly forests and olive groves so far.

Later we were having lunch in a small village on the coast. We watched as two aeroplanes dipped down to the sea and picked up water. Then they circled around to take the water and dump it on the fire fronts.

A short time later a helicopter arrived, hovered over the sea and filled a large container with water and flew off to fight the fire.

Before my eyes I was seeing the fulfilment of a verse I had read before my holiday.

“For I will pour water on the thirsty land,” Isaiah 44 v 3

‭‭This verse refers to the promise of God pouring out the Holy Spirit on anyone who is thirsty for the things of God.

UNCERTAINTY

There is much uncertainty in our nations, whether we live in the west, east, north or south of the world in these days. We are remembering fifty years ago man went to the moon. Nothing seems impossible for man then. The sky wasn’t the limit any more. They showed a view of the earth from space. One could see the circle of the earth, blue seas and white clouds.
Many nations have prospered since then and this has brought much benefit to mankind.
But sadly despite prosperity, more food, more health care and more money available, mankind has passed laws to kill their young. It is inconvenient to have a child. “It will interfere with my joy, my work, my lifestyle. I don’t want any trouble” say those who abort their offspring.

Will we have Brexit or not? Can I sell my goods at a good price? The rich are pressing on leaving the poor behind.
But with God who created the heavens and the earth, the astronauts saw, there is certainty. In the following Psalm we are given hope. He is with us in time of trouble when you trust him. He sends the river of God, the Holy Spirit who will lead us into life and truth. For those who believe in God and his Son Jesus there is a future. We are not to worry. God will care for us.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.””
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭46:1, 4-7, 10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

If you are distressed or despairing please read this aloud. Declare the truth and don’t be shaken by the nations in uproar.

The Comforter has Come

Jesus was talking to his friends at the last supper when he explained to them what was going to happen in the future.  He was fore telling his death and that he was going to leave them.  

“But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: 
for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; 
but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 
And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:”
‭‭John‬ ‭16:6-8‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Jesus called the prince of this world, Satan.  “The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out.”  John 12v 31.  Jesus defeated Satan when He shed his blood on the cross.  Satan’s power over this world was broken.  When we believe in Jesus we come into God’s Kingdom and Satan doesn’t have to rule over us any longer.  We believe this by faith in Jesus.  We need to progress in the knowledge of God and not let Satan deceive us any longer.  The Holy Spirit leads us into truth.  

He reassured  them that he would sent a comforter, the Holy Spirit.  
The Holy Spirit is referred in the scriptures as the helper, the advocate, the counsellor as well as the comforter.“

In these troubled days who doesn’t need a comforter.  A father, mother, child or friend may not be with one in his life to bring friendship and comfort.  But God promised a comforter who will never leave or forsake one.  He is the Holy Spirit.  

By believing in Jesus one can ask the Holy Spirit to come into one’s life.  God will give him the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the gift of speaking in tongues, a different language than one’s own. This is prayer language that builds our spirit up. With this prayer one defeats Satan.

Don’t be afraid to receive the Holy Spirit.  Ask the Father in Jesus name to send you the Holy Spirit.  If one asks his own father for a gift, will he not give him it.  How much more our Heavenly Father will give to us The Holy Spirit.  He will not give us anything that is harmful.

The Happiest Elephants on Earth.

I love to watch programmes about nature when I can. There was a series recently about Earth’s Great Rivers on BBC. The film crews followed the course of three rivers The Mississippi, the Amazon and the Nile from source to sea. Each of these rivers provide water for the vegetation, crops, wild life and people that live along their banks. There is a ready supply for water and food for the inhabitants. They will never run dry, there is no famine or wilderness. The leaves of the trees and vegetation are always green.

I am reminded of Psalm 1 where I read, Blessed is the man who does not stand in the way of sinners, but his delight is in the law of God. He is like a tree planted by streams of living water, whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. In John
7 v 37 Jesus stood up and said If anyone is thirsty let him come to me and drink and if he believes in me out of his belly will flow rivers of living water. The Holy Spirit is described in Revelation as a river that flows from the throne of God. On every side, trees are growing and their leaves are for the healing of the nations.

I was excited as I watched these great rivers influence all the lands they flowed through. Each river reminded me of the river in Revelation that flows from the throne of God. On every side are trees and their leaves are for the healing of the nations. When one receives the Baptism in the Holy Spirit he can be a river that touches others around him giving life and encouragement from God.

The River Nile is the longest river in the world. It is 4000 miles long. At one part of its path it spreads out into vast swamplands called the Sud. There is a ready supply of vegetation and water for the wild animals that live there. It is a big contrast to the open savanna lands that dry up in the hot seasons when vegetation and water is sparse, causing the wild animals to leave to find other pastures. In the savanna lands the elephant can’t travel very far to find food. They live on sparse vegetation from the leaves of trees and scrub, while waiting for the rains to come.

But in the Sud the elephants that live there are in heaven. There is a ready supply of green vegetation and water all the year round. They can spend time swimming and wallowing in the deep waters of the Nile instead of searching for food. Their trunks act as snorkels as they play in the water. There is no danger of the young drowning. Their bodies are bouyant. One elephant was lying back in the water kicking up his legs. This family of elephants were having a fun time together frolicking about in the deep. What a wonderful sight.c

This is a picture of abundance. There is plenty of food and water for all the wild life around the River Nile in the Sud. Large animals live together; the hippo, the elephant and the crocodile. When we trust God and let the Holy Spirit move in our lives we can live in abundance without famine. God will supply all our needs. And there will be fun times too.

Stay in His Presence

God’s word tells us where two or three are gathered in my name there he is in the midst of us.

Just meditate on that. Welcome his presence. Enjoy his presence. Take time to stay in his presence and enjoy being with God as you acknowledge him. Don’t run away to the busyness of work, shopping, demands of others. You will soon run out of energy and feel empty. Stop and and breath in God’s presence. Acknowledge what Jesus has done for you and thank him. He is our saviour, he is the Messiah, He died in our place. He forgives our sins and heals our anxieties and worries. He gives us peace. There is no other God.

The Father, Son and Holy Spirit have helped me in my life. The power of the Holy Spirit has given me the strength to live and rear fourteen children. He has given me the strength to be healed and remain healed of cancer. I live and move and have my being in God. He gives me authority over all the power of the devil and nothing will harm me.
He gives me power to forgive those who hurt me. He gives me love to love myself and others. I don’t have to strive to receive his goodness. I learn to receive and let him change the things I can’t change in me or in those who are near to me.

The heavens declare the Glory of the risen Lord.  Photo by James Kennedy.

He fights for me. Just like God did for kings of Israel when their enemies came up against them, God sent angels to fight against those that were gathered up against them and spoke against them.

Things may be falling around us in the world. Don’t worry. Open up, look up and ask God to help. If one draws near to God he will draw near to us. Don’t stand afar because of guilt or condemnation. God doesn’t judge, he forgives and remembers your sins no more. It’s the devil who brings to mind your sins and makes you feel condemned. Jesus is the light of the world he is shining brighter than the sun. He wants you to receive him today and stay in his presence forever from this day and into the life after death.

He puts you in family. You are not alone. Join with others who believe. Remember where two or three are gathered in his name God is present.

The Stairway to Heaven.

Two weeks ago I read this scripture.
“Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth. ””
‭‭John‬ ‭1:51‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I had never noticed this reading before. I remember another story from the Old Testament where Jacob had a dream.

 

Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep. As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway. At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac.” But he was also afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!””‭‭Genesis‬ ‭28:11-13, 17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

On holiday in Greece recently I visited a Craft shop. The Artists make their pieces from reclaimed items they find on the beach. I too work with stuff from the shore where I live in Northern Ireland. Small sticks, driftwood, pottery, Seaglass and bits of rope are some of things I find. The man of the shop made ships and boats. On each one was a ladder that went from the deck of the ship up the mast. Ladders also figured on the lady’s work. Here is an image of a ladder reaching up from the earth to the clouds above. It is from a piece of art I bought form a craft shop in Greece.

I was excited to see the image of the ladder. I was thinking back to the scripture about Jesus being a stairway or a ladder. I told the couple what the image of the ladder can mean. They were very happy to hear what I had to say.

The theme of the ladder came to me again today. I was reading Merlin Carothers’s book Proson to Praise. In it Merlin recalls a vision he had.

“I saw a bright summer day. Up above was a solid heavy black cloud. A ladder extended from the ground into the dark cloud. At the base of the ladder were lots of people who wanted to get a chance to climb the ladder. They had heard that beyond the cloud was something beautiful. Some people tried to climb. As soon as they got to the dark cloud they came sliding down again. Merlin climbed the ladder. He kept going through the dark cloud even though it was difficult. He came into intense brightness.”

The Lord explained to Merlin that the ladder represents praising God. Some people start out praising God but give up when times get difficult. They lose faith and go sliding back. When one continues to praise God he comes to a place where he can walk on difficulties no matter how dark they seem as long as he keeps his eyes off the problem and looks to the Lord.

I’m encouraged today after reading about Praise. I will believe that God can work all things together for good as we praise him and thank him no matter how difficult the situation gets. He is in control. Keep clinging to the ladder of praise and keep going up. Keep clinging onto Jesus who is the stairway to heaven. He takes us from the earth to heaven, just as Jacob saw in his dream.