God who made the Moon and Stars cares for You

I looked out the window this morning.  It was still dark with the bright moon high in the sky and a star above it.  
I was reading Psalm 8 later.  This is what I read.

O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens.
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place— what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? (‭Psalms‬ ‭8‬:‭1, 3-4‬ NLT)

The God of heaven who put the moon in place cares about me and you this morning.  He keeps all things in place.  The sun is not falling out of the sky.

A headline in the BBC News caught my attention yesterday.  A telescope has discovered new planets.
I quote from News.com.au, Science, Space.

“Three new planets, roughly the size of Earth, have been found in the ‘not too hot, not too cold — just right’ zone around their stars, significantly boosting the numbers of potentially habitable worlds.
And one of them may potentially be the most Earth-like yet discovered.
NASA’s Kepler mission early this morning made the announcement at a presentation marking the discovery of its 1000th exoplanet — the name given to worlds found orbiting stars other than our own. The results will soon be published in The Astrophysical Journal.
Each result from the planet-hunting Kepler mission’s treasure trove of data takes us another step closer to answering the question of whether we are alone in the Universe,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission.”

Man is discovering how vast the universe is.  But let man look for the One beyond the heavens.  He created the universe and there is no God like him.  He created us and cares for us.  He made himself know through Jesus his son who came on earth as a baby.  We just celebrated his birth at Christmas time.

All Christians pray the prayer Jesus taught us, “The Our Father.”
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be your name.

That means to thank God, honor him for who he is, praise him and magnify his works.  

I declare that God made the sun, moon and stars and all the universe, whether discovered or not yet discovered.  He is God yet he cares for mankind.

As I read about Moses, Daniel and other bible characters when they prayed they praised and magnified God for his power and works in creation first of all.  Then they asked for God to intervene in the difficult situations they found themselves.
I have discovered as I lift my eyes off my immediate circumstances and look up to God and magnify his works and power, then I find my worries seem small and He can take care of them and answer my prayer.

As I magnified who God is he reached down and touched me and delivered me from Malignant last stage Bowel Cancer

what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? (‭Psalms‬ ‭8‬:‭1, 3-4‬ NLT)

Can’t Beat Home Made Bread

We took a break from unpacking, washing and cleaning.

The sun was shining and reflecting off the water in front of our new home in the country.  We don’t just have a pond at the bottom of our garden, we have Strangford Lough!  I decided to make some Irish wheaten bread which cooks beautifully in the Aga.  Brendan wanted to go for a walk.  I asked him to wait till the bread was cooked before we left.  A friend said he would go for a walk and leave the food in the oven but too often they were away longer than they intended and the food was burnt.  I didn’t imagewant that to happen.

Brendan and I went for a walk along the bay.  The water lapped against the sea weed covered rocks.  I forgot my binoculars to do some bird watching.  I didn’t need them today as some birds were close by, gulls, sandpipers and many more were feeding on the shore. We walked around a little peninsula which becomes an island when the tide is high.  We sat down in the sunshine had coffee from my flask and enjoyed the view, Bella Vista.

The Lord is my shepherd; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. (‭Psalms‬ ‭23‬:‭1-2‬ KJV)

When my children were young I always wanted to move to the country to live.  I thought they could work off a lot of energy playing in the open spaces, like I did as a child.  It was not practical to live in the country for my family.  Living near schools, shops, friends, health centre and dentists in the town was more suitable.  The children could attend after school activities and sports events without me taking them by car.  They could walk home.  We weighed up the benefits of living in the country or the town.  Living in the town suited our young family better.

I haven’t made bread for twenty years.  When the children were young I made a batch of wheaten loaves every week.  Our children loved the hot bread with butter and jam running over the sides.  It was very satisfying. Baking bread was gone for a season but not forgotten.

When I was in Canada recently my host, Maureen, relaxes on the week end and makes a wheaten cake of bread for her family.  Her mum, who was from Belfast, taught her how to make it.  She keeps an Irish tradition going.  Perhaps she inspired me to get going again making bread.

I remember my mother made griddle soda bread for us.  It is made with flour, baking soda and buttermilk mixed together.  The dough was turned out onto a floured baking board, shaped into a circle an inch deep and cut into four parts.  The dough was placed on a hot griddle on top of the cooker.  When one side was cooked it was turned over to finish it off on the other side.  The smell of the cooking bread brings memories of provision, warmth and comfort.  If I was about when the bread was ready I loved to have a piece with butter melting on the fresh slice.   Homemade soda was fat free, nutritious and inexpensive.  Those were the days before supermarkets and mass produced food.

My first loaf of wheaten bread on my new Aga turned out tasty.   Brendan enjoyed it for lunch after our walk.  The smell of the freshly baked bread filled the room.  We will have daily bread from now on.

Jesus told us to pray, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. (‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭9-11‬ KJV)

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My Oncologist Friend is Perplexed at my Healing from Cancer

While on our visit to Slovakia I had dinner with a friend who is an Oncologist.  She has many year’s experience.  I met her before in November 2010 after I believed I was healed of Bowel cancer.  It was early days then after my treatment.  I knew when I was telling people I was healed, many of them had an attitude,  “We will see.” 

When one has fourth stage cancer, which I had, the doctor gives treatment to extend one’s life whether surgery and/or treatment.  The cancer usually continues to grow and cause death.  The doctors will admit they do not have a cure for cancer.  They treat the condition. I know the seriousness of my diagnosis but I give Glory to God who has healed me. 

My daughter was helping me pack last weekend.  She found some notes I had from a doctor, the Consultant Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgeon who was writing to a colleague.  I will quote some of the letter.

“I explained to Mrs Mc Cauley that pre operative chemo radiotherapy was used as an adjunct to surgery rather than an alternative to surgery.  The current evidence would suggest less than 5% chance of healing from chemo and radiotherapy only.  It is unknown for such a good response to chemo radiotherapy.  Even if the tumour has fully responded to the chemo radiotherapy there may be viable cells within the lymph nodes.  If there is lymph node metastases then chemotherapy would be warrented to reduce the risk of disease.  I explained that surgery to remove the rectum was a major operation but there could still be groups of cancer cells.  Therefore a non operative approach could not be recommended.”

I explained to the doctor at the time, that I believe that God has healed me and he does not do part jobs.  He has done a complete healing for me with no matastases. 

Another consultant  wrote,”In my opinion, Mrs Mc Cauley should be strongly urged to proceed with the next stage of her treatment.”( surgery). Leaving the treatment at the chemo radiotheraphy
stage is not sufficient for her long term survival.”
“There is significant risk of damage to the bowel after chemo radiotherapy, colitis, discharge, inflammation and bleeding.”  

Praise God I had non of these side effects from the chemo radiotherapy.

I read this Psalm today.  

I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy.
Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! 
Death wrapped its ropes around me; the terrors of the grave overtook me. 
I saw only trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the LORD : “Please, LORD, save me!”
The LORD protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me.
He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. And so I walk in the LORD’s presence as I live here on earth!
I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD. (‭Psalms‬ ‭116‬:‭1-4, 6, 8-9, 17‬ NLT)

I showed the Surgeon’s letter to my Oncologist friend.  Her mouth fell open.  ” I did not know that you had such a big tumour.”  It was nine centimetres.  She continued, “It is normal for there to be metastases  with such a big tumour.”  She was perplexed.  She was looking from her doctor’s point of view.  My friend had sympathy for the doctors who were treating me.  “They must have been very stressed with you, she added.  She was amazed that I did not have an operation for such a serious condition.  She  admitted,  “You look so well four years on.”  

I continue to tell people that God has done a miracle for me.  My Oncologist friend admitted this is a miracle.  

From the Top of the Sand Dune I watch the Seals.

From the top of the hill near where I live I can see the sea at Rossglass.  There lives the biggest gathering of common seals in Northern Ireland.

image from Islay Natural Trust.

 

image

 

My son and I were out for a cycle on Wednesday morning.
I live two miles from the local Rossglass beach.  It suits me fine to go for a cycle locally as the roads do not have steep inclines.  The journey takes in some fabulous scenery and coastline along the way.
As I cycle along the road there is a stillness in the air.  I can hear the bees buzzing in the honeysuckle that is bursting out of the hedgerows.
My son is keen to advise which gears to use to tackle the hill ahead.
But I am enjoying what my eyes and ears are sensing.  I am not in a hurry.  I don’t have an appointment to keep.  It is good to be outdoors on a warm summer’s morning in Ireland.
We have rich farmland here.
There are different crops are at different stages of growth.
Some farmers grow Maize for cattle fodder.
Potatoes are growing in one field with rows of purple flowers and lush green leaves.
Another field has rapeseed growing.  It is ripe for harvest.
Another field is sown with barley.  It will turn golden soon.
The fields are ripe for harvest.
All the farmer has to do is plant the seed and it multiplies in the ground producing a good income for the farmer.
He has faith.  He is not fretting every day looking to see how his crop is growing.  He trusts God who causes the seed to grow in the ground.
God has promised seed time and harvest.

 

As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” (‭Genesis‬ ‭8‬:‭22‬ NLT)

 

We can take courage from the farmer and sow good into people’s lives and it will produce a harvest in due course.
God is pleased when we bear fruit.

 

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. (‭John‬ ‭15‬:‭5, 7-8‬ NLT)

 

We turn down a road that stretches along the Rossglass coast.
I suggested we stop for some refreshment. I had already prepared some coffee.
We parked our bicycles down a path to the beach and rested on top of the sand dune.
This particular coastline is an area where common seals congregate.  It has the largest colony in Northern Ireland.
“Perhaps we can catch a glimpse of some seals today” I said to my son.
This is a safe, quiet part of a large bay stretching from Ardglass to Newcastle.
The seals blend in with the colour of the stones and outcrops along the coast.
There must be plenty of fish in the bay.  Seals are not the friend of fishermen.  They eat too many fish.
The timing of our stopping off could not have been better.
The tide was coming in.  The seals lie on small islands offshore,  safe from anyone disturbing them.
As the tide rises the islands get covered with water.  The seals move to the next piece of dry ground.  There were about twenty heads popping in and out of the sea circling around after being dislodged from the rocks by the incoming tide.  Mother seals frollicked with their pups in the water.
I couldn’t believe my eyes.
A mother seal and her pup climbed onto an outcrop of rock not far from us.  Their black glossy bodies rippled up onto the rock to enjoy the warmth of the sun and just laze.  Others mothers and pups soon joined them.
The biggest seal, a male, took the highest point of the rock outcrop.  From the top he could be on the look out for danger, protecting his herd.  I suspect he was the head of the group.  They were of various colours, white specked, grey and black.  They blended in with the colour of the rocks.  I counted thirty seals.
I had a never to be forgotten opportunity to see the seals close up.  Different factors contributed to this moment.  There was a high tide and warm sunshine just happening as we were out this morning.  I could not have planned it better.
I sat for half an hour savouring the experience of this intimate scene.  The seals were oblivious to their visitors.  We were well camouflaged on the bank nearby.  From the top we could observe the wildlife.  It was special moment.
I did not have my camera with me that morning.  I went back the next day trying to capture some seals on camera.
Conditions were different.  The tide and the seals were far away.  As if to say “You will not recapture the moment” a mist quickly rolled in from the sea.  I keep the sightings of the seals in my memory.
Sometimes God displays his Glory just for our eyes.

 

“He leads me beside still waters to restore my soul.”  Psalm 23

 

 

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How Giving to the Poor Brought Healing to Me.

My husband brought me to the accident and emergency department in my local hospital when I told him I was bleeding.
This is now four years ago.
I was examined there by a doctor from Kerela in India.
He asked my husband and daughter to come into the cubicle to talk to us all about the examination.
My daughter is a doctor herself and was very nervous about what he was about to say.
She feared the worst.
I was numb and was willing to go through the process the doctor advised.
Instead of talking about my condition the doctor addressed my husband and said, 
“Don’t I know you?”
“No I don’t think we have met before.” 
“Are you the man with the big family?”
“Yes I have a big family.”
Mary and I were perplexed.  “Why is he not getting on with talking about how he can help me?”
“Ah I know where I have seen you before.  My mother has a book written by you.  There is a picture of you and your family on the back page. That book is in my mother’s home, back in Kerala, India.”
My husband has written two books for a lady in India.  Her work reaches out to the poor.
Brendan and I looked at each other.
We knew God was with us in that hospital cubicle.
In our time of distress a doctor remembered Brendan.
That book has helped raise money for orphanages and poor people in India.
The doctor, a stranger remembered Brendan.  God remembered too.
He was reassuring us he was with us.
Psalm 41 says 

Blessed is he who has regard  for the poor and needy. I will be with him in trouble. The Lord will raise him up from his sick bed.  V 1 and 3

We were in trouble and I was on a sick bed.
We all smiled despite our present dilemma.
The doctor proceeded to tell us that he found a mass of tissue inside my back passage when he examined me.
My daughter quizzed him to get more information.
He answered, “It is a firm mass.”  My daughter knew it can only be cancer.  She did not voice what she thought.
“I will make an appointment to get a colonoscopy.  I will ask for you to be seen as soon as possible.”
We thanked the doctor and walked out of that cubicle, silent, anxious but comforted that God was with us in our trouble.
We would face the future together.
Four months later I knew I was healed from cancer.
God is faithful.