Warning in Dreams

I started to read from Matthew’s gospel each day since the beginning of this new year. I am excited to read in the first three chapters there are five dreams given by God. The first was given to Joseph, who was engaged to Mary. When he heard Mary was pregnant he decided to break the engagement quietly, so as not to disgrace her publicly.

“But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.””

The angel reassured Joseph in his distress and told him what to do. Joseph obeyed the Angel. He didn’t question or doubt or be unbelieving.

Here are the other references to the dreams.

“After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭2:9-12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭2:13, 19-20, 22-23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Just in two chapters of Matthew we read about God speaking to Joseph four times to guide him as the guardian of Jesus before and after his birth and Mary his wife. This is a great encouragement of any nervous man who doesn’t know who to marry or where to live, for the safety of his family. God is good and caring. It is good to trust in God.

Three Magi came to see the young baby Jesus bearing gifts, of gold, frankincense and myrrh. What did Joseph think when the Magi fell down before Jesus to worship the new baby, Jesus. Joseph didn’t know what was happening. These gifts would have covered the expense of his travels to Egypt, his stay there until he returned.

God spoke to the Magi in a dream to warn them not to go back to Herod who wanted to kill anyone who claimed to be a king. The Magi had come to Jerusalem looking for the new born King of the Jews.

The fact that God spoke to Joseph and the Magi in dreams is an encouragement for anyone starting out on a journey of faith. God will guide along the way.

God has spoken often to my husband, myself and other members of the family to guide us in testing times. When I was suffering from cancer, my husband and family had dreams to encourage me I was going to be healed. This helped me enter into faith to receive my healing.

Action and faith is required after God speaks. Joseph went to Egypt after he was warned in a dream. The Magi obeyed God and didn’t go back to Herod.

My son had a dream the first night after I started my chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I was feeling discouraged and fearful. God sent help. In the dream he heard a voice say, “The blood is not getting to the cancer. His sister, who is a doctor said in the dream “let’s wait till the doctors tell us.””

It is right to go to the doctor to show one is healed. When Jesus healed the lepers he told them to go to the doctors to show they were healed. This dream greatly encouraged me. It was God’s will to heal me but I had to believe myself and act as if I was healed. I went through the treatment of five weeks the doctors advised.

But when they wanted to operate I told them I knew I was healed of cancer and I didn’t need an operation. The doctors thought I was crazy. I remained strong in my faith and didn’t waver. The doctor did a colonoscopy. There was no sign of the tumor. I showed my self to the doctors. They saw the tumor was gone. Even after seeing the photos of my clear colon the surgeon insisted I still have an operation in case the cancer was still there. I refused. I said to the surgeon “I believe that God has healed me completely of cancer.” He was perplexed.

I was confident to speak to the top cancer surgeon because of the revelation from God in my son’s dream. If I gave into doubt or fear I would not have been healed. I showed myself to the doctors and they couldn’t find the tumor. I remain healed seven years later and I do not have to take any medicine! Thank you Lord.

Let me explain a little more how I received my healing. In Joel I read about God speaking through the prophet.

““Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”
“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”
‭‭Joel‬ ‭2:12-13, 28‬ ‭NIV‬‬

In Joel God warned the people to return to Him with fasting and mourning. When I had cancer it was a time of mourning and weeping for me. I had to cry out to God. I confessed my sins of rebellion, independence, self ambition, resentment, bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness. God forgave my sins. After my confession of sin I was healed of cancer. Then God sent his dreams to bring my healing as Joel promised.

So at the beginning of this New Year 2017 let us return to the Lord. Let us thank him for all his goodness and mercy. He does not treat us as our sins deserve. He is pleased with a contrite heart. As David said in Psalm 51 “Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence O Lord.” Only God knows what is lurking in our hearts. I didn’t know what was in my heart. God had to reveal it to me.

All Creatures Praise God

 

A reading from the scriptures caught my attention today.

Two weeks have passed since we remembered Jesus brutal death on the cross, his burial, and his resurrection from the grave.  There is no other grave in the whole world that is empty!
Jesus appeared to many of his friends and even ate food with him.  Finally he ascended into heaven where he is seated at the right hand of the Father.  John, the beloved apostle had this vision of heaven and he describes what he saw.
The Lamb is Jesus who was slain, sacrificed for us, forgiving our sins and giving us eternal life.

11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.
12 In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
13 Then I heard every creature in the air and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” (‭Revelation‬ ‭5‬:‭11-13‬ NIV)

Not only are the multitude of angels praising The Father and Jesus, but so too are the birds of the air, animals on the land, even rabbits that burrow under the earth and the fish of the sea.

As one meditates on these words you will have peace.  We are encouraged by scripture to keep our minds on things above, and the peace that passes understanding will enter our minds.  This is a good way to heal a troubled mind.

Meditate on this truth.  This will keep me thinking for a long time.

Healing Autumn Leaves

The leaves in this picture glow like a fire! This plant gives a great display in the autumn. It never fails.

image

I discovered this tree growing beside a little stream that flowed under the bridge. The photograph was taken between Banbridge and Rathfriland in Co Down. You can see the wall of the bridge behind. The tree was flourishing in the shade of the wall and in a sunny aspect with it’s roots bathed in damp soil from the stream.
Jeremiah 17 v 8 says “Blessed are those who trust in The Lord. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.

This picture reminds me of Revelation 22.

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (‭Revelation‬ ‭22‬:‭1-2‬ NIV)

As I grow beside the river of the Holy Spirit, soaking up the life from Him, I produce fruit and leaves of healing that I want to share with others.

Again in Colossians I read

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness for all he has done. (‭Colossians‬ ‭2‬:‭6-7‬ NLT). The tree above is a picture of faith.

The stream beside the tree can represent The Word of God. As I read it, I grow and I get nourishment. My faith will grow. My fruit and leaves will bring comfort and healing. Get deep into God’s word and others will come and see you burn with fire and they will get touched by the heat.

How to Heat a Two Hundred Year old House.

This week I got a harvest of wood.  Last summer a friend asked me if I had a wood burning stove.  I told her I had four.  I bought two of the burners very cheaply.  Many people nowadays prefer gas or oil for their heating.  Cutting wood is hard work and wood is in short supply.  I had the workers, all I needed was the wood.
Image
She told me her neighbour had left stacks of broken logs in her part of the grounds where a few trees had been cleared.  I was delighted with her offer.  My stack of logs needed replenished.  In the autumn I went out to see this new source of wood.  My boys did not have to do the heavy work of cutting down the trees or chainsawing thick trunks.  They pulled out logs from the stack in sizes manageable to carry to the van.  Two days work supplied us with wood we are still using.  The boys chop the wood back in our garden and store it.

Image
I visited my friend this week to thank her and she said we are welcome anytime.  Brendan and the boys decided to gather in some wood before they returned to university.  It started to rain the day work was to start.  But undeterred Brendan and the boys headed off. The rain stopped.
We had storms recently.  In the middle a Eileen’s garden was a tree that had fallen in the storm.  Brendan and the boys cut it up and now all the tree is in my back garden.
When I moved to our present home which has seven bedrooms, fourteen years ago I was wondering how were we going to heat it.  It is two hundred years old and had some fire places and some oil heating.  To keep us comfortable may be costly.
I had a dream.  In it I saw a stack of wood, a stack of coal and a stack of turf.  I believe God was showing me he would supply the fuel for my big house.  To the back of our home was a small wood that needed cleared for houses to be built.  That was our supply of wood for a few years.
One spring, trees were washed up on a local beach in a big storm.  I discovered it and alerted Brendan.  In no time, with the boys help, we had the van full of wood.
Another friend, who lived in a big estate offered us any fallen trees.  So God supplied the stack of wood, and the turf and coal.  From time to time we bring home turf from Kerry when we return from holiday.  I burn coal only on the cold days.  So I have not had a big bill for fuel in the years we have lived here.
When I had the dream I was reminded of the poem by Padraic Colum.

Old Woman of the Roads

O, to have a little house!
To own the hearth and stool and all!
The heaped up sods against the fire,
The pile of turf against the wall!
To have a clock with weights and chains
And pendulum swinging up and down!
A dresser filled with shining delph,
Speckled and white and blue and brown!
I could be busy all the day
Clearing and sweeping hearth and floor,
And fixing on their shelf again
My white and blue and speckled store!
I could be quiet there at night
Beside the fire and by myself,
Sure of a bed and loth to leave
The ticking clock and the shining delph!
Och! but I’m weary of mist and dark,
And roads where there’s never a house nor bush,
And tired I am of bog and road,
And the crying wind and the lonesome hush!
And I am praying to God on high,
And I am praying Him night and day,
For a little house – a house of my own
Out of the wind’s and the rain’s way.

Image

When the chilly winds and rain of winter blow, we are cosy in our big house with the home fires burning.  My son said he misses the warm fires when he is away.  I even have a dresser of my own with the Delph.

From the Roar of the Sea to Stillness of the Flock of Dunlins

Today I am noticing birds. It is mid January and spring is in the air.  The sparrows are chirping in the hedgerows, the starlings are searching for food under the leaves:  the doves flit from branch to branch, and the little chaffinches chase away any intruders from the bird table.  Blackbirds are making an appearance from their winter hideaways.  The time for singing of birds has come, early!
Image
 The earth is causing the first flowers to spring up.  I saw snowdrops today.  There are a sure sign for me of brighter days coming.  I bought the first bunch of daffodils this week.  I am reminded of the scripture
“Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.”  from the Song of Solomon 2:12 NIV.
Later in the morning I saw other birds.  Brendan and I went for a walk along the promenade in Newcastle.  The tide was high, the sea calm, with waves gently lapping on the rocks.  A few days ago the waves were crashing, splashing, and cascading onto the promenade, leaving sea weed and sand.  There was  power in those waves.
Image
I looked closer at an area of beach covered in pebbles.  There was a little flock of Dunlins.  Their white bellies and grey backs enabled them to be camouflaged among the stones.  They were still and silent in unison, all facing the same direction.  The moment reminded me when people would be silent out of respect for someone important.  It seemed they were worshipping.  It was a holy moment.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and though its waters roar and foam.  He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:1-3, 10 NIV)
It was marvellous to look at the flock of birds.  Can we learn from these little birds and be in unity?  Sometimes one can be quiet for a moment, but for a group of people to stand in quietness without being told to is unusual.  Our world is full of noise, talking, traffic, radio, TV, music and machines.  Perhaps we can try with our friends or family to be quiet and still for ten minutes like the Dunlins.  Be still and know that I am God.
Creation is is declaring the Glory of God as the waves crash and the little birds together stand still, hidden among the stones.