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/

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.

 

 

Sitting Down in the Storm

I am sitting having breakfast in our friend’s home in Jerusalem. I’m reading the newspaper headlines from the UK.
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“Devastating Storm Doris has battered Britain, with a woman killed and 100mph winds thrashing parts of the UK

The Weather Bomb has ripped roofs from buildings, pulled trees up, toppled walls and resulted in travel chaos across large parts of the country with roads blocked and trains and planes cancelled.”

As Doris hit, Peel Ports in Liverpool announced the city’s port had been closed due to “100mph gusts of wind”.
Network Rail advised “Storm Doris has caused significant disruption throughout the country”, with an enforced speed limit on some lines.” Quotes the Sun.

Brendan and I set out on our journey to Israel at five am on Thursday unaware of any storm that was brewing. We had booked an early morning flight from Belfast to Manchester and then connect with a flight at twelve noon to TelAviv. We were looking forward to our visit to Israel and catching up with friends.

The pilot on the easyjet flight from Belfast landed the plane carefully into Machester. We made our way through security for our connection to Tel Aviv. Then we managed to avoid the waves of beautiful attendants trying to sell us duty free perfumes and drinks till we found our favourite restaurant called Giraffe. Mexican breakfast specialities were on offer. I ordered Masala chilli eggs and salad from the menu. The young man who served us warned me that this dish was quite spicy and hot. I hesitated but decided to try it anyway. The waiter must have thought chilli was too dangerous for a grey haired, female pensioner. Brendan and I sat back and relaxed. Our holiday began.

The rain lashed against the window. The wind shook the roof. Outside planes landed. Below the luggage handlers and technicians unloaded and prepared some planes for their next journey to Finland or Iceland or Germany. The men were well wrapped in water and wind proof jackets. Inside we enjoyed our breakfast.

When our flight was called we made our way to the gate. Jewish men with their black coats and hats were easily recognized. Jewish women with children in arms were pushing prams and balancing luggage. Arab men were waiting as well. They were wearing long grey tunics and small caps. Arab women were distinguished by their long dresses and shawls. Some ladies were covered up completely except for their eyes. We were going to be sitting at close quarters on the plane to Tel Aviv.

We waited in line at the gate to get on the plane it seemed for ages. The wind was getting stronger outside and it was getting colder inside the terminal. Finally an announcement was made. We were advised to return to the waiting area till further notice. Our plane was not leaving. Announcements came over the tanoid system telling of cancellations to different flights due to the weather conditions. I was praying that the Tel Aviv flight would not be cancelled.

I remembered the scripture I know so well “A hope deferred makes the heart sick but a hope fulfilled is a tree of life.” The day before I noticed in my garden a bush that was in blossom. I looked closer. I heard a couple of bees buzzing around the white flowers gathering pollen. I thought to myself “Is that an Almond tree”. I hadn’t noticed it before. Yes it was an Almond tree. I remember when we were in Israel four years ago the Almond trees were in blossom. They are the first trees to blossom in the spring and the last trees to bear fruit. When I looked at the blossoms in my garden I was reassured that I would soon be seeing the Almond blossoms in Israel. The previous week had been very busy for me. I was looking forward to getting away on holiday.

God gave Jeremiah a promise,

“The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied. The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled and all my plans carried out. ‭Jeremiah‬ ‭1:11-12‬ ‭NIV‬‬
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The Almond blossom is a sign of hope. One has not to give up. If God has given me a promise then he will bring it to pass. When I had cancer I had grown hopeless and doubted God answering my prayers and fulfilling promises he had given me. I was impatient. God is faithful. Despite my doubt and fears he healed me and restored hope to me. Now when I am faced with difficult situations I do not fear but trust God for the outcome.

I was not afraid or disappointed at the thought of us not getting away. I had a quiet hope. I sat down and waited. I was reading a passage in a book written by Watchman Née the evening before. Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father. After he died on the cross to forgive our sins, heal our diseases, break all curses and restore us and provide for us, he went back to heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. God invites us to sit with Jesus in that heavenly place and bring our sins, worries and burdens to him. We are to enjoy what God has done for us. We are to rest and let Jesus bear the weight and responsibility of any difficulty that faces us. As I sat on the waiting room bench, I decided to sit with Christ in that heavenly place and let him take the responsibility to get me to Israel. I did not fret, or feel disappointed or look at the storm raging outside. I was hoping to get there. God will not disappoint as we trust him.

Three hours passed. Then I saw some of the people that were queuing earlier for our flight walking towards the flight gate. I went over to enquire if the Tel Aviv fight was leaving. They said “Yes”. Jesus was getting me and my husband to Israel. My heart was leaping inside.

We boarded the plane. Jews, Arabs, English and Irish sitting together, all happy and thankful to be getting away. The pilot boosted the engines to full power and we rose above the storm.

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.

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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.

Be an Expert in Prayer

If one is in any kind of trouble he wants someone who is an expert in that area to help.  If your car breaks down you call a mechanic.  If you have a burst pipe in the house you call the plumber.  If the electric wires are not working you call an electrician.  You don’t call a plumber to fix the electrics.  If you need a house built you call a builder.  If you need to sell your house you call someone who can market your house.  If you need legal advice you call a lawyer.

If one’s body is the trouble he calls the doctor.  The doctors can help by diagnosing his disease.  He will give his professional advice and prescribe drugs or advise surgery if necessary. It is marvellous the advances in medical care in the 21st century in the west and we get to benefit from it.

I discovered in my research, that people who have cancer in Russia do not have the expertise in health care we can avail of here in the United Kingdom. What can they do?  What about people in third world countries who do not have medical care?

I realised early on in my journey through cancer that the doctors helped in my diagnosis and recommended radiotherapy and radiotherapy, then an operation.  At no time did they offer a complete cure.  I went along with their treatment but in my heart I was sad because I didn’t want to have part of my body cut away.

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I looked for another way.  Was there any other expert that could offer me complete healing.   I read about Jesus in the bible.  He healed all people who had all kinds of diseases.  I also found out God gives experts in the Church who have different gifts to help the people.  Some people have the gift of healing.  So if one is sick call the experts in healing.  Call those who believe in God, who know how to pray, and help spiritually to bring healing to the mind and body.

Call people who believe God answers prayer, people who believe that God heals.  People who already have experienced healing.  One wants to be around those who have faith and who love and help one through the days of loneliness, fear, and sickness.

For one day I had the symptoms of sickness and wretching, side effects from having treatment from chemotherapy and radiotherapy.  Wretching alone made me feel weak and fearful.  My body and mind could not take any more pain.  I passed out.  During that morning two people rang me.  One lady felt The Lord prompted her to ring me and pray for me.

Knowing God alerted someone who knew how to pray comforted me.  She prayed for me and she brought me peace.  My niece rang me and said God told her to ring me and pray for me.  He told her to remind me it was God who taught me to pray.  Again I was overwhelmed with God’s love for me.  He sent help.  I am so thankful God preserved me from pain, burning and sickness.

Fear of death can overwhelm the cancer sufferer.  It can leave one with no courage to fight.  So one lies down under the sickness and loses the will to live.  I had been bleeding for three years from my colon but I thought it would go away.  I thought the blood could be coming from heamoroids or colitis.  I believed that God can heal and have prayed for others who have been healed.  At no time did I think of cancer.

I eventually came to realise my condition was not improving, but getting worse, I told my husband.  I needed others to help me.  We went to the hospital.  The doctor examined me and referred me on to the oncology specialist.  It seemed I had cancer.  I was numb and was relieved that my condition was discovered.  I now knew the truth.  I was too weak to care.  I had no fight left.  I was not in control any more.  I was now dependant on the help of experts, the doctors to diagnose the condition and those who believe that God heals.

The news hit my husband and children hard.  They were sad but not hopeless or overwhelmed.  They loved Mum and didn’t want me to die.  They believed God would come to our aid in my time of despair.  They gathered around me the first night and prayed for my healing.  My family arose as an army to fight fear, cancer and death.  The war was on.  They became experts at praying.

We were in a spiritual battle.  When someone comes into your house to steal your property will you stand by and let them steal it?   No you will put up a fight to put the robber out or call the police for help.  So it was with my family.  The devil was bringing cancer and death to their mum to steal her away from them.  They believed God and spoke God’s promise over my life that I shall not die and by the stripes of Jesus I am healed

Scriptures say the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (‭John‬ ‭10‬:‭10‬ NIV)

Jesus was referring to the evil one,  the Devil who comes to kill.   The Devil is a spiritual being and one cannot fight him physically.  But we can fight him and defeat him with Gods spiritual weapons of war.  Jesus came on earth to destroy the works of the Devil.  He preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God, for people to turn to God away from sin and He would forgive their sins and heal their diseases.  He died on the cross and shed his Blood.  If we accept his sacrifice we will be healed.  By his stripes we are healed.

The weapons to defeat Satan are faith in God, speaking out the Name of Jesus, and saying the Blood of Jesus is against you Satan and walking in peace, forgiving others as Jesus has forgiven us our sins.

If I am in trouble I want to call someone who is an expert at praying and who knows how to pray to God and get results.  I needed prayer warriors who were not afraid of the enemy and had the right weapons and armour to win the battle.  As news of my trouble spread people prayed for me.

After my family prayed for me, the bleeding stopped within a week.  The battle was on and my family was winning.  The healing from Cancer began.

God promises to be with us in trouble.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. (‭Psalm‬ ‭91‬:‭14-15‬ NIV)

If I am sick I want to call someone who is an expert at praying for my healing.

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

Praise Flows out of Love

Everyone flourishes under praise.  When I was spoon feeding my grandchild this evening I congratulated her on each spoonful she accepted, chewed and swallowed.  Before we knew she had the whole bowlful finished.  My son was able to enjoy his dinner while I looked after Ava.  Normally she would help herself.  Dinner would be spread all around the table and on the floor.  Dinner time was a delight and peaceful without having to persuade Ava to finish her dinner.  No one cared about the mess.  What we did enjoy was our meal together at grand dad’s house.

Our two sons and their families are visiting from Canada.  We are getting together for our son Patrick’s wedding next week.  I am alive to celebrate my son’s wedding and to enjoy my sons visiting from Canada.

When I praise my husband he doesn’t know what hit him.  A light turns on and he would do anything for me.  But sadly I forget too often to thank or praise him.  Recently a friend was praising me for my work and it was very humbling to accept her thanks and approval.  Often one is negative instead of appreciating what a friend, daughter or son does, or value their worth.  I am often guilty of seeing what someone doesn’t do instead of praising them for who he or she is.

I think praise for someone comes out of a heart of love.  I have experienced the love of my family and friends when I was healed from Fourth stage bowel cancer.  They prayed to the One whom they believed and hoped would bring my healing.  I thank and value the help of doctors but they  admit they can treat cancer but do not offer a complete cure.  The One is Jesus.  When he was on earth he went about healing all those with diseases.

I have come to experience God’s complete healing from this deadly disease in my life.  He’s a God who answers prayer.

I am completely indebted to God for my life.  I now find it easy to thank and praise God every day and I want to tell others what a wonderful God he is.  Expressing praise in words and song from the heart to God brings an intimacy with the One who loves me.

“Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭48:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

He returns his peace and love to me.  I am safe in his care where no enemy can touch me.  Other peoples’s negative words roll off me like water off a bird’s waterproof feathers.  When I am in difficult situations I am not afraid.   From this safe position I can value and praise others rather than express my frustration and negativity.

My heart has been changed by knowing God’s love and praise for me.  He values me.  Jesus lifted me up from the pit of despair, depression, disease, fear and death.  He said he can set me free because he died on the cross 2000 years ago to forgive my wrongdoing, to heal my disease and give me life and a hope and a future.  He conquered death by his own death on the cross.  We don’t have to die prematurely.  God promises three score and ten years of life.

“Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭90:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I am now living in that future, a future of restoration, life, peace and love.  He is a God to be trusted and given praise.

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

Sanguine Sunday. An Earthquake hit our Family in 2010

When I received the news that I had Malignant Fourth Stage Bowel Cancer it was like an earthquake hitting our family. We were shaken and the after effects nearly overwhelmed us.

“Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.”psalm 32 v 6

In our generation because of good communications we hear news of worldwide events very soon after they happen.  There are wars, persecutions, earthquakes, tsunamis and signs in the sun and moon.  Many people have died in these disasters.  Jesus predicted these events would happen.

 “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things.”
“And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars.  And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides.  People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. (‭Luke‬ ‭21‬:‭10-11, 25-26‬ NLT)

People feel helpless and  experience fear and distress as they watch these events unfold on their television screens.  Jesus gave us an antidote in a few verses later, by advising us to keep alert and pray.

“Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware,
Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.” (‭Luke‬ ‭21‬:‭34, 36‬ NLT)

I faced death myself in 2010 when I was diagnosed with Malignant Bowel Cancer, fourth stage.  A different Earthquake hit our home.  Death came to our door.  I faced death.  My family faced death of a loved one.  We all experienced the feelings that come along with helplessness, fear, distress and looming death.  We were weak.  Unless something changed the prognosis for me was death.  Man has no power over death.  I realised I was dying.  I had no desire for anything in this world.  I was prepared to leave my husband and family behind.  

But there is one who has the power over death.  It is Jesus.  He died on the cross and took the keys of death and hell off Satan.  

In the previous years of my life I had tried to pray and read the Word of God each day.  We prayed together as a family.  I tried to obey him God as far I knew how to.  In my hour of need God turned up.  God made my husband and family strong.  They prayed for me.  My husband and I had taught our children how to pray. God heard their prayer. Psalm 102 describes what happened.

“LORD, hear my prayer! Listen to my plea! Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress. Bend down to listen, and answer me quickly when I call to you.

My heart is sick, withered like grass, and I have lost my appetite. Because of my groaning, I am reduced to skin and bones.

My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. I am withering away like grass. But you, O LORD, will sit on your throne forever. Your fame will endure to every generation. You will arise and have mercy on Jerusalem — and now is the time to pity her, now is the time you promised to help.
He will listen to the prayers of the destitute. He will not reject their pleas. 
Let this be recorded for future generations, so that a people not yet born will praise the LORD. 
Tell them the LORD looked down from his heavenly sanctuary. He looked down to earth from heaven to hear the groans of the prisoners, to release those condemned to die. 
And so the LORD’s fame will be celebrated in Zion, his praises in Jerusalem, when multitudes gather together and kingdoms come to worship the LORD. 
He broke my strength in midlife, cutting short my days. But I cried to him, “O my God, who lives forever, don’t take my life while I am so young! 
Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands. They will perish, but you remain forever; they will wear out like old clothing. 
You will change them like a garment and discard them. But you are always the same; you will live forever. 
The children of your people will live in security. Their children’s children will thrive in your presence.” (‭Psalms‬ ‭102‬:‭1-2, 4-5, 11-13, 17-28‬ NLT)

I am recording this today to tell you and the children yet unborn that God in heaven, who made the earth and heavens reached down from his throne and delivered me from death.  He did not turn away from me as it says in verse one. “Don’t turn away in my hour of distress.”

You may be at home reading this, you may have never heard that God answers prayer today.  He does.  He is interested in you.  He loves you.  Are you distressed about what you see coming on the earth, troubles within and without.  Begin to pray and and talk to God as you would a friend.  Begin to read the scriptures.  I am telling you this is the best medicine you could take.  It will make you strong.  It is guaranteed to bring healing.  What God did for me he will do for you.

It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.  Revelation 22 v 2

May the words I share with you today bring healing from fear, distress and anxiety.   As Jesus said “Look up.” 

So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!” (‭Luke‬ ‭21‬:‭28‬ NLT)