I Hear the Brent Geese Honking.

My front door is one hundred and ten steps away from the sea shore.  This morning I can hear the honks of Canadian Brent geese that graze along the waters edge.  The sun is coming up over the hill to the left.  It will melt the crisp frost that has whitened the grass overnight.  It’s a new day dawning.

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I think of the song by Matt Redman

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

The Brent geese come to this area of Strangford Lough for the winter.  I always think of our friends from Canada when I see them.  They remind me of the blessing Canadians have been to my husband and family.  Canadians have visited us and we have visited Canada.

There are four aeroplane trails going west to east as I look up in the sky.  Flight paths pass over Ireland from Canada to London.  After the Christmas festivities with friends and family my heart is being drawn to travel and the nations beyond to tell my story of God healing me from cancer.

I was reading from the scriptures this morning.

This message is from the LORD, who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the human spirit. (‭Zechariah‬ ‭12‬:‭1‬ NLT)

How good it is to sing praises to our God.
He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
He counts the stars and calls them all by name.
How great is our Lord! His power is absolute!
His understanding is beyond comprehension! (‭Psalm 147 v 1 to 4

These scriptures remind me that the God who made the heavens, made me, and he healed my broken heart and healed my wounds and is restoring my life from sadness and sorrow.

I want to sing Bless The Lord Oh my soul.  I am alive to praise The Lord.  Psalm 88 says the dead cannot praise God.  It is good to be alive to hear and see the Brent Geese.

My sons, daughters and grand children were strumming on their guitars, playing a tin whistle and singing last night as we gathered together.  Songs of joy are filling our home and hearts.

One of my grand daughters gets up early to play her guitar and write songs.  She has to rush when her mum calls her for school.

He awakens me morning by morning and fills me with joy.

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My First Time Babysitting Grandchildren

I am still resting after rearing fourteen of my own children.  I have not rushed into the arena of looking after my grandchildren.  I know many peers that help out with their children’s children because both parents to go out to work.  

I called my son John yesterday.  He was getting ready to go to a wedding.  He sounded stressed.  I asked “Are you bringing the children with you?”  He has two boys under three.  Yes, he was bringing them.  What a nightmare?  I remembered many years ago when I brought my son that I was breastfeeding to a wedding.  I did not enjoy the day.  There was no one there who was sympathic to my situation.   I have found the attitude “You chose to have your children.  Tough on you get on with it.  You have a choice you know, not to have children, to save you all this work.”  Out of compassion for he and his wife I offered to babysit for a few hours until another relative would baby sit them in the evening.

I ventured to say “Put them to bed for their afternoon sleep before I arrive.”  I was hoping the boys would sleep most of the time I was there.  I arrived to see Rachel looking beautiful and glamourous.  She winked at me as they drove off for the day.  My son and his wife could have a day away from the children to enjoy a meal and relax with friends.

I made myself comfortable to do some work on my iPad.  Fifteen minutes later I heard  one of the boys crying.  I left him for a minute or two, hoping he would go over to sleep again.  But no, Daniel needed attention.  His mum told me he likes a bottle of milk when he awakes.  I prepared the milk and then picked him up from his cot.
He continued to cry even though I tried to comfort him.  He drank some of the milk but went back to crying.  I did not want to ring his parents and tell them their baby was crying.  I nursed him and prayed over him.  With his little arms he tried to push my hands away as I held him.  How come a one year old had such strong arms?  If any neighbour heard him crying they may have called the child help line to report a crying child.

After ten minutes little Daniel adjusted to his mum not being there and stopped crying.  He and I became great pals for the afternoon.  He isn’t walking yet but can stand up holding onto the furniture.  He crawled about the floor and played happily with blocks and looked at toy books.  

I needed to put some logs on the fire.   While I was doing that Daniel wondered off down the corridor.  When I looked for him he was in the bathroom.  He was standing up beside the toilet bowl dipping his hand in and sucking on his fingers.  Agharrrrr.   I don’t know if the toilet had been flushed.

I didn’t panic.  I have reared fourteen of my own children and no disaster is going to befall my grandchild that I will not be able to cope with.  I trust God’s promise.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; (‭Psalm‬ ‭91‬:‭9-11‬ NIV)

I did not rush him to the Local Accident and Emergency.  I washed his hands and mouth and carried on with our day. So keep the toilet door closed if you are baby sitting.
Daniel was none the worse for his day with me.   I was not reported to Childline and I did not have to go to the A and E.  His mum and dad had a great day out.

Absolute Beauty, Daily Prompt. http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/absolute-beauty/

Thank you for today’s daily prompt.
It could not have been more timely.
On the fourteenth of September our thirteenth grandchild was born in Toronto, Canada. 
Our son sent us a photograph.
I see that she is an Absolute Beauty.
I can almost smell her smooth, soft baby skin.
I can feel the peace she emanates.
Well done Mum
What a joy for her mum and dad and extended families.
I was able to get to see most of my other grandchildren soon after they were born.
I will have to wait to see this little one.
When I had my own children I always enjoyed nursing my new born infant.
It is a special moment for every mother.
It didn’t matter to me if it was my first or fourteenth.
Each baby was special to my husband and I.
Their dad was at each of  their births.
This a special moment for the child to be held by their father.
His comforting hands can reassure the little one’s body and soul after the trauma of being delivered into this world.
He received each child as a gift from God.
Jesus said 

“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 
Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭18‬:‭2-5, 10‬ NIV)

He also said “a little Child shall lead them”
Our families welcome our new grand daughter and will support her parents to look after her.  As we do so we welcome Jesus and her angel who will guard her.  She is a special child.  
Thank you Lord for your gift to us.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/absolute-beauty/

The Fields are White Unto Harvest

I grew up on a small farm in Co Down, Ireland.
My dad raised ten children from farming the land.
He kept a herd of Freisians cows.
That meant milking the cows twice a day.
No lying in bed when one felt like it.
Mum reared chickens and sold the eggs to a local grocery store.
I used to carry buckets of grain and water across a field to feed the chickens, and then collect the eggs.
Dad grew crops of potatoes for the family’s use and oats and barley to supplement the feed for the animals.
We children always helped out when we could.
When the oats crop was ripe and cut, we would help dad gather up the stalks and bind them into sheaves.  The sheaves were then collected and built into a stack.  At the top of the stack an empty food sack was tied on to keep the seeds and stalks dry until threshing day.

 

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Here is a photograph I took recently of such stacks.  There are eight stacks, the number of daughters my father had. The scene prompted me to write this post.
This farmer keeps the tradition of threshing going to show the next generation how the oats were harvested.

Threshing day for dad would come around.   Farmers in the neighbourhood came to help with the work.
A Threshing machine was used to separate the seeds from the straw, and bind the straw into bales to be stored for cattle bedding.
It was an exciting and joyful day for our family.  We helped our mum prepare a big pot of stew and home made soda bread to feed all the men who came to help.  The boys helped the men while us girls played around in the sunshine.  It was a golden scene with the sun gleaming off the straw.
In Ireland in the past this harvest event would have been a time for match making.
A marriage could be arranged between a suitable young man at the threshing and a daughter of the household.
The single men who attended dad’s harvest may have had designs on us daughters, but we thought they were far too old for us.

We found our husbands in farther away fields in other counties.
Today some of our children have found husbands and wives from the nations.
We got news yesterday of the birth of our Canadian grandchild!  This is my harvest!

A very long way from the Threshing field in Dunmore.
Life in the past was more leisurely and people depended on each other to help with the harvest.
It did not matter if you were a Protestant or a Catholic when it came to helping your neighbour.
We  could not hate our neighbours.
Sadly the community atmosphere has disappeared.
Small farmers have to supplement their income with another job.
Big families are rare.
The combine harvester sweeps up the harvest .
No more cups of tea and soda bread with melted butter running down the sides in the harvest field.
No more talking and sharing stories or finding out who had got married or had a baby.

Jesus was familiar with harvest time in the Land of Israel.  He would have seen the farmers gather in the grapes, olives and wheat.  He mentioned stories relating to the harvest, olives being pressed to make olive oil, grapes being crushed to make wine and grain being crushed into flour to make bread.

We remember His death through the breaking of bread and drinking wine, the fruit of the vine.

He spoke of a different kind of harvest, the harvest of souls to bring to heaven.  He is looking for workers in His Harvest.  Let us bring joy to Jesus.

 
Nowadays we find out the news from friends via Facebook.
The harvest field is now the nations.
Welcome to my field.
Thank you for listening to my story.

I Agree With The Statement “No Pain, No Gain.”

I agree with the statement “No pain no gain.”
Human beings are born with the desire to find out about the world around them.
A child is born to be inquisitive.
He comes from the womb crying, wanting to live.
From an early age children are adventurous.  
They want to climb trees as mum watches with her heart in her mouth.
He wants to reach his arms out.
Mum underestimates the reach of little Jimmy.
She leaves him in the cot in the hotel bedroom adjoining hers, puts the telephone well out of the way and leaves him to sleep.
The hotel receptionist knocks on the door the next morning and asks “Did anyone dial 999.  The police have called and said they got a call from this building and a child’s voice was heard in the back ground.”  
Big shock for Jimmy’s mum.  He had reached over to the telephone and had pressed some numbers.  
Hey presto, police and childline are notified.  
This happened this weekend at a weekend Gathering.
Teenagers want to drive fast cars not knowing the dangers thereof.
A few road accidents trains them to be more careful.  A little pain helps him to drive safely.
Later on they want to read and find out more about the world around.
We will always be learning till we die if we don’t give up that desire.
God gives us dreams.  Each of needs to follow his dream.
We are given the dream in the first place to give us the passion to overcome difficulties to achieve  a dream
We need to follow our dreams.
But to get into our dreams one has to deny oneself the comforts of life.
For example the athelite has to train, exercise, get up early, eat the proper foods, get enough sleep.  He suffers pain in the training.
Staying up late, hanging out with friends, drinking, taking drugs, eating comfort foods does not need any self denial or pain.
So one does not gain any reward.
For a student to get the degree he has to deny himself to take time to study, and attend lectures.
He has left home and has to be self disciplined to cook his own foods to survive.
If no pain he will not achieve the reward of a degree.
A friend of mine has a son who trained to be an airforce pilot.  He always had a dream of becoming a pilot.
He had to go through rigorous training and plenty of pain through hours of flying, his plane being tumbled about in the air in a thunderstorm, and other trials to become a fully qualified rescue pilot. 
My daughter is a qualified surgeon.  She had a dream of becoming a doctor.  I did not realise the discipline that was needed to accomplish her goal.  She had to deny herself friendships, outings, having fun with friends to spend time studying to qualify as a doctor.  He has to work unsociable hours to do her work helping others.  No pain, no gain.
Why all the pain? Why bother?  
Jesus is our ultimate example of pain.
He was whipped on his back, pierced with thorns on his head, his side opened up, shed his blood, was crucified and died.
Why all that suffering?
Jesus, for the joy set before him endured the Cross.  
He looked forward to the joy of returning to heaven and making way for humankind to get to heaven.  He provided forgiveness of sin, healing of diseases and destroying the works of the devil to set humankind free.
He helped mankind.
If we want to help ourselves and our fellow man we need to follow Jesus’ example of being willing to suffer pain, to help others.
A father and mother suffer pain in raising children.  If there is no pain they do not have the joy or gain of seeing their children raised as responsible citizens.
Jesus said you must take up your cross and follow me.  He is our example. We are to deny ourselves.  Jesus gives us the strength to go through the pain because he is our example. No pain no gain.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/pains-and-gains/

I am Being Restored and my Youth Renewed.

Do you ever feel you are tired and weary and can’t go on.

I have been there often but God always turns up to show his care for me.  In his word it says, Come to me all you are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

When we moved to our present home in Bright, a neighbour said you will get ten years added to your life living here.

Brendan and I were getting like the last house we lived in before we moved.
It was old, creaky, felt the cold, windows getting dim, and walls needed new coats of paint.
We could not do all the work needed for its upkeep any more.

Like the house we needed some loving care.

Brendan always mended leaks, fixed fuses, fixed washing machines when they stopped working, fixed door handles, changed light bulbs, got Internet access working and much more to keep the show going to rear 14 children.
Our present home is a new house.  Behold I make all things new.

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. (‭Revelation‬ ‭21‬:‭5-7‬ NLT)

My husband said “Praise The Lord” when he realised he didn’t have to fix anything any more.  Alleluia.
It is warm at the flick of a switch and from the sun streaming in the windows.
No more cold and having to light fires.
It has thick walls that are sound and strong and insulated.
Our eyes are brightened with the sunshine.
We have been out for ventures on our bicycles.
Our bones are stronger.
I have a new coat for our sons’s graduations.
God has given me a garment of Praise instead of a heavy spirit.
No more fixing for Brendan.
I do not have as much cooking, washing, cleaning, or grocery shopping.
Although I have pain as children leave home to settle other countries, God has not left me.
Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit who is my Comforter.
I are blossoming where I am planted like our plants in their pots.
I receive the rain that falls on me and I are at rest.
My youth is being restored and I will rise up with wings as eagles.
We flew to Aberdeen today for our eleventh son’s graduation from Law School.
We passed a big shop that is called “Bright House”.
My future is Bright and Beautiful.
God has done this for me.
God is faithful to care for me, when I am worn down by circumstances.
He revives my drooping spirits.
I hope in his promises.
I am writing all that has happenend recently to encourage you who read this.
What God has done for me he can do for you, no matter where you live.

God has healed me from fourth stage cancer and providing an environment where I remain healed.

Turn to God and believe in his son Jesus and receive his Holy Spirit.
He will make all things new for you.

 

Grandchildren are the Crown and Glory of the Aged

“May you live to see your grandchildren.”  Psalm 128 v 8 NLT

I was reading this verse on Wednesday. I was thinking, does this mean I will get to see my grandchildren that live near Dublin? I was not planning to see them. Could I go to see them soon?

My husband had taken photos at a recent family event. He takes great photos and puts them together and sends them away to Photoshop. He makes wonderful memories for his family.

Some photo books came in the post. They were a present for two of our grandchildren. Brendan suggested we go down to visit and deliver the books the next day. It was my husband and my 43rd wedding anniversary. I knew we should, because I had read that scripture.

As we drove into the street where my son lives, there was a lot of activity. Women were chatting at their doors while their children played with each other.

I thought of the verse Zechariah 8 v 5, “And the streets of the city shall be full of girls and boys playing.”

The warm sunshine brought everyone outdoors. When our grandchildren saw our car they ran over to hug us. They had been waiting for us. Because we were delayed I didn’t ‘t get the tea and scones that Tamara had specially prepared.

Tamara is a great cook and we all enjoyed dinner together, to celebrate our anniversary, when our son got home from work. We got to see, enjoy and bless their three girls before they go off to Italy.

We stayed at our daughter Shann’s home for the night. Her family were glad to see us for a surprise visit. The next day Brendan spent time helping our daughter work in her garden. She appreciated her dad’s help and expertise.

When the her children, a son and three girls,returned form school we got to spend time with them. It was a warm afternoon. They pleaded with their mum to put out a small swimming pool. They were so hot they just wanted to dive into cool water. Jean Luc unwrapped the pool. The girls were eager to get the pool working.

It was dinner time.  The children chatted to their dad telling all that happened at school. It was getting too late to use the pool. It will be filled with water tomorrow. We will have returned home and will have missed the squeals of delight as the grandchildren splash and dive in the cool water.

At bedtime the children came to us for prayer and a blessing.

“As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭59‬:‭21‬ NIV)

I am alive and seeing my children’s children.  I did not die of fourth stage cancer.  Jesus healed me.

“Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged.”  Proverbs 17 v 6