The Gospel is Good News.

The gospel is good news.  Jesus Christ came from God to help us become children of God. He was born of a woman and became flesh and blood like us. He died for us to free us from sin and death. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested. Hebrews 3

I believe Jesus Christ walked on the Earth in Israel. He had friends and after he died his friends told others about Jesus being the Saviour of the world. God confirmed the message by giving signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit that we read about in the scriptures. The message of the gospel has been handed down through generations of believers for 2000 years.

The Bible is a book inspired by the Holy Spirit and gives an account of God’s dealing with mankind. He chose Abraham to be the father of all those who believe. Through Abraham’s descendants he prepared a people who could receive his son as the Messiah. The New Testament tells about the works Jesus did when he was alive and other works his disciples did after he died.

I began to read God’s word forty years ago for myself. I read about what Jesus did when he was on earth. I read the stories of Moses and Abraham. I decided to believe in Jesus as the only one who knew how best I could live and free me from the fear of death, and forgive my sins and free me from condemnation and guilt. I know he is real and he helps me. I believe in the Father God who is the creator of all things. I believe in the Holy Spirit who teaches me how to live. I made a covenant with God. I gave my life to him and he gave his life to me. He lives in me. He is keeping me alive. He is real.

God has worked signs and wonders for me. He delivered me from a mental home. He delivered me from death and healed me of cancer. He healed my heart that was damaged because of rheumatic fever. He restored my broken bones. He has blessed with with fourteen children and eighteen grandchildren to date.

If anyone reading this blog once believed in Jesus this message is for you.
“So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬
“Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.”
So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest.”

Believe in God!! Turn back today to God. Believe again and trust God. Say sorry for turning away and like the prodigal son you will be welcomed with open arms by God the Father. Don’t let the devil blind your eyes to the truth. Turn again and you will hear His voice telling you how to live.

Father in Heaven, Almighty God you are the God of gods and Lord of lords, and King of kings. I honor you and thank you for your truth given to mankind through Jesus your son. He shed his blood to remove the veil of unbelief that blinds your people from believing. I blow away the lies of the devil that deceives people’s minds from believing. Let your light now shine upon my readers today and let them be freed from darkness and despair and fear of death. Grant them faith to believe in your son Jesus because no one comes to him unless you draw him. Amen.
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭3:12-15, 19‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Bird Watching Again.

I’m telling my children who are returning for Christmas to make sure they bring warm hats and gloves. No we are not going skiing. I’m planning to go Bird Watching instead of Christmas shopping. I have plenty of binoculars to share and I am blessed to live by the an inland sea Lough which invites many birds to stop a while. I will not have to organize a long journey. There is a variety of bird life nearby.

I am being restored in my mind and body as I take time beside still waters as Psalm 23 says.

He leads me beside still waters to restore my soul.

I discovered a group of birds I had not encountered before yesterday. They were a delight to watch. I was happy to look at these birds for a while. God too is taking pleasure in his creation.
I was reading today from Revelation 4 v 8 to 11

8 Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—
the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”
9 Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), 10 the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say,

11 “You are worthy, O Lord our God,
to receive glory and honor and power.
For you created everything,
And it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created.

When I returned home I got out my bird books. Brendan has bought me quite a few over the years. I looked up my favorite one. It gives pictures and descriptions of the most common birds found on our shores. There were all kinds of birds, ducks, geese, swans, sea gulls, oystercatchers, and waders but there was no sign of my discovery. I looked through another. It must have been bought in America. No luck here either.

At last I picked up a hard backed book with a picture on the front. At last. There on the front cover was my new discovery, a bird with a few feathers sticking up from its crown, a Lapwing.

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According to the book the lapwing has green feathers on his back and wings. I was not close enough to see the green colour of the back wings. His underbody is white. The lapwing gather is flocks. When one takes flight they all do. Their black under feathers make up a full wing span and aides it to spin, twist and dive in flight.
This bird is distinctive because of the tuft of feathers on his head.

Yesterday this group of lapwings were resting along the shore. They were within easy sight as the full tide allowed the water to come up near the bank. They were well camouflaged amid the stones and seaweed on the shore.

I didn’t have my binoculars or note book with me. I will make sure we are fully equipped for our nature study day at Christmas time. Who knows what other residents or visitors to our Irish shores I will find when I next go bird watching.
It will not cost us money. There will be no temptation to overspend or visit coffee shops. Just a flask and a few nibbles will help the bird watchers to endure. They will enjoy it so much; a welcome change from work and study. Time to breathe fresh air, slow down and hang out together like the birds. Time to heal and be restored. A time for peace.

The Unknown God

Many people are not sure if there is a God.  There is a story in a book called the bible, about a man called Paul who was a follower of Jesus.  He was in Athens, where he found an altar to The Unknown God.  I quote,

So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.
“He is the God who made the world and everything in it.
Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs.
He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need.
From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth.
He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.
His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us.
For in him we live and move and exist.  “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.” (‭Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭17‬:‭22-31‬ NLT)

The one whom he raised from the dead is Jesus.  He came and lived on the earth for three years and went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the Devil.  God spoke out of the cloud his love and approval of his son Jesus.

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (‭Matthew‬ ‭17‬:‭5‬ NIV)
No other person has risen from the dead.  No other God is kind and merciful.  No other god claims to lift heavy burdens from people’s back and offer them rest.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭11‬:‭28-30‬ NLT)

He gives food to the hungry, he frees prisoners, and opens the eyes of the blind.  Psalm 146 v 7-8

He healed the sick.

And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. (‭Matthew‬ ‭14‬:‭14‬ KJV)

I choose to believe what these words say.  I choose to believe in Jesus.

There are many books written about people who claim to help you if you follow them.

Psalm 146 v 3 says

Don’t put your confidence in powerful people, there is no help for you there.

I was diagnosed of fourth stage bowel cancer in 2010.  “That is a death sentence”, someone said.  I should be dead in the grave.  But I took hope in Jesus’ promise to heal today.  He told his followers to do the same as he did.  He is not a dead god.  He is alive and interested in our lives.  Jesus healed me from all cancer!  I am alive! I pray for others to be healed in Jesus name.

The unknown god that Paul spoke about many centuries ago healed me from cancer in 2010.  His name is Jesus.  Call upon him and you too can be healed.

Gladioli That Point up to Heaven

I bought a bunch of Gladioli in the supermarket this week.  The trumpet flowers open out from the tall green stems.  The gladiolii flowers come in many shades, purple, pink, red, yellow or white.  These flowers bring back memories of attending Church as a child and the routine of Sunday morning in our home on the farm.

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In the country where I grew up, the community gathered at the church on the hill.  It was within walking distance from our home.  Dad and two of the family would go to first mass at eight o’clock.

Seasonal flowers decorated the Church altar.   The gladioli stood out for me as the most beautiful flowers I had ever seen. Their stems reached up to the heavens and the flowers opened up into trumpets.  I imagined they were brought from some exotic place far away.  I never saw such flowers grow ing in the local gardens.

I remembered the smell of the incense and the singing of the choir at Church.  Words were sung to someone beyond my world.  My heart was lifted up above my circumstances.  People dressed in their best clothes.  Families sat together in pews.  Going to Church on Sunday for me was very special.  Those holy, innocent days going to Church as a child are long gone.  I was oblivious to the big world beyond the church and the farm.  I imagined the Gladioli came from out there somewhere?

Dad would stand and talk to neighbours after mass and get a catch up on the local news.  Mum would make fried, fresh, farm eggs and bacon with home made soda bread for dad’s return.  As we smelt the bacon we would turn up for breakfast at different times.  Sundays were restful.  No farmwork or school to go to.  No last minute rush to catch the school bus at the bottom of the lane.
The rest of the family would walk or get a ride in the car to second mass at eleven o’clock.  Whoever went to first mass would prepare the Sunday dinner for us all.  Dad would sit by the fire and read the newspaper.  It was his day off.  We usually had a stew.  I loved the smell of it as it cooked on the stove and we waited for the others to return.  After dinner we would listen to Family Favourites on the Radio.  I remember songs being played that were sung by Burl Ives, The Ugly Bug Ball, The Little White Duck or Rudolfh the Red Nose Reindeer.

I never heard about the Sabbath Day then. I now know that God intended that man should rest from his labour one day of the week.  Our family did have that day off.

Observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. (‭Exodus‬ ‭31‬:‭16-17‬ KJV)

God intended the Sabbath for man to rest.  If God needed refreshed after working all week, I think I will take his example.  He does not want to harm us, it is for our benefit to have a day off, in this world where so many other things take up our thinking, strength and money.
Have a good Sunday.

Difficulties in Life are Meant to be Cut Down like Grass. http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/writing-101-brevity/

I am on a break after a busy summer.
Time to stop all activity, no housework, cooking, shopping, talking, gardening, phone calls or driving.
I have learned if I don’t take a holiday at this time of the year my body will cry out some other way.
I will take sick and be confined to bed, or some other circumstance arise to cause me to stop working or giving out emotionally or mentally.
God knows we will over work.  He tells me in Psalm 23
“The Lord is my shepherd, he leads me beside still waters and green pastures to restore my soul.”
As I was enjoying the view of pine trees across from my window, the peace and stillness was broken by the chug, chug of an engine.  I looked out to see someone mowing the long grass outside.
The sound took me back fifteen years.

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Our family had moved into a big house with a big garden.
It was overgrown and had not been cared for.
Years of fallen leaves had built up and thorns and briers grew up freely.
I knew there would be rich soil underneath all this cover.
How was I going to restore this land?
I like a challenge and outdoor work.
I found a second hand lawnmower in the Ads for Free magazine, just like the one the gardener is using today.
It did not cost much but this was a power machine for me over the next years to clear my land.
Briers, thorns, old grass and odd refuse were cut to pieces and collected by my machine and I.
I sowed grass seed in the newly cleared ground and before long I had a green lawn.
I was not daunted by the overgrown garden.  It was a challenge I overcame.
I cleared my land of thorns and thistles.
Today I am glad to be resting from my labour.

Because The Night: Daily Prompt

Because the night comes,

I unwind after the day’s activities.

I love the quiet of the night.

Everyone is asleep.

No noise.

No TV programmes to distract.

No one needing my attention.

No cooking to be done.

It is the end of the day.

I reflect on the day that is past.

I prepare for the day ahead.

I rest.

I awake while it is dark to read.

I get inspiration.

It is the time I write.

Jeremiah 36 v 2 says take a book and write down on it all I tell you.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/because-the-night/

Lingering at the End of our Holiday

At the end of a holiday is the time I love to linger and not want the day to end. Tomorrow it is back to reality, work and the challenges of life.
I met three of my four daughters at the weekend after their holiday in the sun. One of my daughters and her husband had booked to go on holiday but the company grew to five.  All of them work long hours and they badly needed a break.
There was not as much sun as they had hoped.  But they had plenty of sleep, wine, good food, and fun hanging out together.  They all seemed to me different after a week away; youthful looking, relaxed, joyful, peaceful.  They seemed aglow, transformed after their holiday.
I had been praying for them that God would make His Face, His Son, to shine on them after they called me to tell me there was no sun!  I know it is God’s will for our bodies to be refreshed.  Jesus took his disciples aside for meals and times to talk alone.  The Jews had festivals during their year when the people gathered together for times to relax and eat.  It is a need of the human condition.
This is exactly why I have always said ” A holiday is not a luxury but a necessity.”  Even though we are a big family we always made a point of going on holiday each summer.  It is time to chill, laugh, swim, make a barbecue etc.
So the time I remember lingering was on holiday the evening before we were due to travel home.  Back to work and cold weather.
The evening sun was going down behind the hill in the west.  The beach was empty.  The sun beds no longer held relaxed bodies.  Their work of healing was over for the day.  The bleached white sun umbrellas flapped in the gathering evening breeze.

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Brendan and I had just finished our meal in the beach cafe.  It was of fresh fish.  The abundance of the sea shall be added unto thee.  We were finishing the wine and reminiscing.  Totally relaxed now compared to irritating moments we had together at the beginning of our holiday.
We wanted this moment to last.  We lingered till the sun went down behind the hill and the chilly air blew in from the sea.
This article was inspired from Daily prompt