Camping in December in Ireland

Back in December when campervans are stowed for the winter, Bones sprung into life again after her battery was recharged.

Bones is the name my husband gave a campervan we bought two years ago. The doors rattled and the engine puffed out smoke when we first drove it. It needed much repair to make it roadworthy. It reminds us of the scripture in Ezekiel v 1 “ Can these dry bones live?”

I needed to use the campervan recently as my own car was being repaired. Tax and a top up to the insurance needed to be paid to keep it legal on the road. I thought I may as well take it out for a drive.

It had been wet and windy weather for a week. One of the wild nights I was travelling back home. I had the heater, lights, wipers and radio on in the van. I trusted Bones to get me home.

It did but next morning there was no spark to start it again. The power needed the previous night drained all life from the battery.

I was dreaming I could go on an overnight stay in the Campervan over the Christmas period. Who would come with me and would it be cold?

I wanted to visit Cushendun again. It is a beautiful place up along the Antrim coast. We had stopped in the village back in the Summer time. According to the brochures it had a Campsite that stayed open all the year round. After Christmas festivities my daughter offered to go with me one night in the van.

The forecast was 11 degrees centigrade one of the days so we planned and packed for our trip.

It was refreshing to wake up early when the sun was rising in the east over the Irish Sea. We had breakfast as the light shone through the drifting clouds. We spent the rest of the morning walking on the beach and driving through the picturesque villages along the coast road.

We treated ourselves to coffee in the luxurious Ballygally Hotel before setting off for home. I’m looking forward to many more trips out no matter what the season.

It’s good to be alive and enjoying my life. God is good all the time. There in healing in the Blood of Jesus.

Sent from my iPhone

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.

 

 

In Memory of Nannie

I read in the local paper that Catholic missionaries are visiting each home in the parish over the next three weeks.  Attendance at Church each Sunday is dwindling.  It is twenty years since the last mission.

I remember there being a mission in our parish every few years when I was growing up.  People were encouraged in their faith by the visiting speakers.  It was an opportunity to renew one’s faith in God.

My daughter had a remembrance dinner for her Nannie, my husband’s late mother, recently.  She died two years ago around this time at the ripe age of ninety four.  Shann was telling me that Nannie, who was a widow and her sons had left home, kept a missionary every time there was a mission in her parish in Lurgan.  I never knew this about Nannie.

image

Next week Brendan and I are going on a mission to Slovakia.  Brendan has travelled to many nations.  She now has missionaries in her own family.  Who knows what blessing has come to her family because of her hospitality to the man of God.  She received her reward on the earth and in heaven.

I am reminded of the story of the widow from Zarephath who let Elijah the prophet stay with her when there was a famine in the land.  She was going to make her last meal when Elijah passed by.  He asked her to give him water and food and she did.  He said to her,

“For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’ ”
She went away and did as Elijah had told her.
So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.
For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.”  1 Kings 17 v 14 – 16.

Later the widow’s son died.  Elijah brought him back to life.  So Elijah worked two miracles for the widow because she let him stay with her.

Nannie was very generous with her widow’s pension.  Her source of provision never ran out.  Money seemed to turn up for her.  There was always a welcome in her home for the poor person.  Nannie would admit herself she was not perfect.  But she believed in what The Word of God says, ” pure religion is to look after the widow and the poor.”

When we would visit she always wanted us to pray for her before we left.  She had an overcoming spirit even though she had many sorrows in her life.  She was widowed since she was thirty years old.   She always sent our children money to help them at university.  She gave money to Brendan when he travelled.  Only God knows her sacrifices.  Our children are blessed because of their Nannie.

“but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭20:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

She is with the great cloud of witnesses looking on.

Irish Summer Weather is Unpredictable

The Summer weather in Ireland is unpredictable.  The weather forecaster may tell us there will be showers with some sunshine.  This unpredictability causes the Irish people to talk much about the weather.  You can be sure the tourists that come to Ireland don’t come to get a suntan.

We Irish have learned to make the most of our unpredictable weather.  Ireland is famous for having forty shades of green throughout the land.  We grow vegetables and crops that like rain and mature without hot sunshine.  One such crop is the potato. Another is Oates. The Irish have survived on these staple crops.

image

Our unpredictable weather causes weeds to flourish as well. One such weed is the nettle.  Nettles love to grow in good soil and flourish if there is no competition.  Nettles spring up everywhere, along roadsides, in gardens, in forests and wherever it’s seeds land.  One doesn’t have to sow nettle plants.  If there is soil and water they will grow.  The seeds are so tiny they can be carried by the wind.

I went for a walk this morning.  There were plenty of nettles growing along the road.  Many other grasses, thistles and weeds were flourishing, making the road narrow at some parts.  Maybe the road will dwindle to a pathway someday if the weeds are not cut back.

As I looked at the vegetation along the Boreen, I remembered a dream I had last night.  I saw a nettle plant open up before me and many of its seeds were released into the air, just like a fire cracker that is released at Halloween.  I have been thinking about Multiplication recently.  The nettle was releasing seeds for the multiplication of new nettle plants.  God created every plant to multiply, despite the weather.

“Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.”
And it was so.
The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.
And God saw that it was good.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:11-12‬ ‭

image

I am back from holiday.  My garden needs attention like the road.  If I don’t deal with the nettles and other weeds, the flowers and vegetables will be choked.  The decking is dotted with sycamore umbrella seeds.  The back yard paving has a sprinkling of leaves.  It is constant work subduing the land.  God created man to work the land and take care of it.  Weeds find a way to grow in the tiniest of crevices, on walls or between flag stones.  I need some men around here to clear up.

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭2:15‬ ‭NIV‬

The trees and weeds will continue to bear seeds and multiply.  God made them to produce their own kind.  It’s man’s job to manage all the produce of new life.
It all seems an never ending battle to deal with weeds.  But I take courage.  God said he would bless the work of our hands.

“You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land.
The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.
The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭28:3-4, 8, 12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

There will be order again.  The weeds will not take over.  I will enjoy the fruit of the apple and pear trees, the tomatoes and other vegetables.  There will be trailing nasturtsums, daisies and roses.  The decking will get cleared and the lawn cut.  It is good all the weeds die back for the winter.  It gives me a chance to get ahead of the growth of nettles next spring and keep them at bay.

Plants and weeds flourish here despite our unpredictable weather.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unpredictable/

Storm Clouds and the Rainbow.

When storm clouds gather do not be afraid.  Often there will be a rainbow in the midst of the storm clouds.  Here is a picture of dark clouds coming in over Co Down in Northern Ireland.  The Mourne Mountains are in the distance.

image

It is holiday season in our country.  It is time when people have time off work.  Time to unwind, sleep, eat, take in the sun, get fresh air, spend time with family, catch up on household repairs, do gardening, see friends or take a holiday.

Down time is very important to have for our wellbeing.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  We need this time to be restored, our batteries recharged.

In the waiting for time off many people may get exhausted or circumstances seem to be overwhelming, just like storm clouds gathering.

Before I left for a week’s holiday in Ireland I took this picture of a rainbow outside our home.  The rainbow is a sign from God to all mankind.

image

“And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come:

Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.
Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.””
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭9:12, 14-16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

All mankind means all people of all nations.  This promise is not just for believers in God but for all men because God loves all unconditionally and wants all to know he cares.

If you are holding on to a promise from God, look at the rainbow.  It will encourage you.

Storm clouds will disappear.
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/storm/

Be Fruitful and Multiply

 

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:26-28‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Genesis in the bible gives us an account of God creating the earth and man to look after what he created.  It is God’s intention ongoing for humankind to increase and multiply.  God blessed them and said to them,”be fruitful and increase in number.”  God gave man and woman authority to look after the earth.  All Adam had to do was be a gardener.  It was not heavy work.  He rested.  He was able to spend time with his wife and talk to God in the cool of the evening.  He had open communication with God and his wife.  Oh what an idyllic situation.  Nowadays many men find it hard to communicate with their wives never mind communicating with God.  What happened to mankind since the Garden of Eden.

The devil interfered with God’s plan for mankind.  He tempted Eve to eat the Fruit of the tree of Knowledge of good and evil.  She and Adam ate the fruit and so sinned and disobeyed God.  They had to leave the Garden of Eden.  Sin and sickness came on mankind.

God’s intention for mankind to increase has never changed.  He wants to bless man and woman.  God’s promise to us in Deuteronomy you shall be blessed in the fruit of your womb.   This promise is freely given to one if we he obeys God.  The power of every sickness or hindrance that stops mankind increasing can be broken by the power of the Blood of Jesus who died on the cross.  Every affliction of a woman’s womb to stop a child being conceived or carried will be healed by the Blood of Jesus.  Every affliction on the man hindering him being fertile will be healed in Jesus name.  

Jesus tells us, “Ask the Father anything in my name and he will give it to you.”
“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
‭‭John‬ ‭14:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:7, 16‬ ‭

“In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf.”
‭‭John‬ ‭16:23-24, 26‬ ‭NIV‬‬

When I read these scriptures many years ago, I believed them.  I was excited to read them.  This was so simple.  No more long repetitive prayers were needed.  I wanted another child at that time.  I simply prayed to God and said I will give my life to you if you give me another child in Jesus name.  I became pregnant with my third child.  I had no complications or difficulty in carrying or delivering my baby.

I began to be fruitful and multiply.  You too can be fruitful and multiply. Continue reading

Restore our Fortunes.

God will restore our fortunes.

Today I read in Northern Ireland Visitor’s Journal the following article.

image

I was born near where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea in Co Down Northern Ireland.  I took its beauty for granted.  I left home at 18 and studied in Coleraine, eighty miles away.  A new university had opened there and I applied to go there and was successful.  I remained there and raised my family.

I came to visit with my sister for a few days with four of my youngest children.  She lives in Co Down.  We went for a drive to Newcastle.  As I approached the town I was amazed at the beauty of the mountains that stood before me.  I had not appreciated this beauty before.
Are not we all like that.  When we are young we can’t wait to leave home to seek our fortunes somewhere else.

Percy French wrote a song which helped  publisize the Mountains of Mournes in Co Down.

Oh Mary this London’s a wonderful sight

With people here workin‘ by day and by night

They don’t sow potatoes, nor barley, nor wheat
But there’s gangs of them diggin’ for gold in the street
At least when I asked them that’s what I was told
So I just took a hand at this diggin’ for gold
But for all that I found there I might as well be
Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.

The song tells us about a young man who left behind his girlfriend in his hometown near the Mournes, to seek his fortune in London.  He comes to realize the futility of hard labour away from his homeland, his beloved and his beautiful country.

Some years later my family moved from Coleraine back to Co Down.  God brought me back to my father’s land.  Just as he doing for his people Israel.  Over and over God promised his people Israel that he would restore them to the land of their forefathers.

Down the centuries many people have left Ireland.  Many songs and laments about Ireland have been written.  The inspiration comes out of hearts remembering where they came from and longing to return.  They listened to stories their forefathers told them.

Psalm 126 describes the fulfillment of the longing of the Jewish exiles who returned to their homeland from exile.

“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭126:1-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God fulfills dreams.  Are you longing to return to your homeland?  Take the leap of faith and return.

God is restoring my fortunes and filling my heart with joy in my homeland.