Water on Thirsty Ground

Today a friend took us for a drive to the mountains on the island of Zaykynthos. As we drove out we noticed heavy smoke billowing from a hill near the town of Keri. Forest fires broke out. The wildfire in progress on the island of Zakynthos has led authorities to evacuate some exposed houses on the village of Keri, in the southern part of the island, as well as 120 tourists staying at a hotel there.

The tourists were taken by bus to another hotel, in the nearby resort of Kalamaki.

The fire service said 10 of the 12 fires burning on Zakynthos are still unchecked, with high winds making it difficult to control the flames. A fire brigade commander says they have consumed mostly forests and olive groves so far.

Later we were having lunch in a small village on the coast. We watched as two aeroplanes dipped down to the sea and picked up water. Then they circled around to take the water and dump it on the fire fronts.

A short time later a helicopter arrived, hovered over the sea and filled a large container with water and flew off to fight the fire.

Before my eyes I was seeing the fulfilment of a verse I had read before my holiday.

“For I will pour water on the thirsty land,” Isaiah 44 v 3

‭‭This verse refers to the promise of God pouring out the Holy Spirit on anyone who is thirsty for the things of God.

An Invitation to be Still

Come stop.

Do you hear the click, click, click?

A flurry of Turnstones,

Along the shoreline,
Looking for insects,
Tasty, moist morsels,
On up-turned pebbles.
Ignore your ringing phone.
Do you see their darting bodies,
Brown and white, camouflaged.
Their beaks turn over stones
Among the seaweed
That glistens in the sun.
I cannot see God
But I see his Glory
In these little creatures.
Forget about shopping.
Don’t worry,
Dinner can wait.
Come stay a while.

A Piece of Ireland

Would you like a little bit of Ireland to cherish.

Order now for Christmas and avoid hold up in the post.
I sent an order to Canada at Christmas last year and it arrived at Easter.

Here is a sample of necklaces I have made from Irish Seaglass and pottery.
I pick the glass up from the shore along the Irish Sea. It has been mounded by the waves crashing on the shore and then tossed about for decades.
For me it symbolises what God does in our lives. He takes that which is broken and makes us into something beautiful.

“Cast out but picked up,
Rejected but restored,
Cut off but brought back,
Worn down but built up,
Broken but renewed,
Hope for the future,
Scarred but made beautiful,
Sharp edges softened,
Cut down but living again.”

“O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭54:11‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Each necklace is made form leather or cotton tie and Seaglass or Pottery.
Cost is £5 per item. Postage is £1 in UK or £3 to Europe, USA or Canada.
Order through message on Facebook.
Other items can be seen and ordered from Etsy.com.

Order now for Christmas!!!

Paths of Peace

Brendan and I were visiting a friend today.

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In her garden is an ancient olive tree.  It has a knarled and thick trunk. There are young trees springing up around the trunk from olive seeds that took root.  The olive tree is symbol of peace.  When invaders conquered a region in ancient times they cut down the trees.  This olive tree has remained standing.

Here is the view out the front of her home.

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Her garden is a peaceful place, a little bit of heaven on earth.  As I walked through the garden and discovered the olive tree and took in the beautiful view,  I was reminded of some verses from Proverbs,

“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.

Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:13-18‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Today I was walking along paths of pleasantness and peace.

Sun, Sea and Sand in Zakynthos

The sun sets over the hill to the west on the last evening of our holiday in Zakynthos.  Shadows are cast along the shore as the sun beds are folded away and umbrellas are pulled down.  Footprints in the soft sand are a sign of the many people that have passed this way today.

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The cool of the evening is very welcome after a hot day.  I believe anyone coming to this beach will leave rested, healed, beautified, blessed, rejuvenated, refreshed and restored.

He leads me beside still waters to restore my soul.  I thank God I am alive to enjoy the goodness of God in the land of the Living.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.   (‭Psalm‬ ‭23‬:‭2-3‬ NIV)

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. (‭Psalms‬ ‭27‬:‭13‬ KJV)

We have met people from different nationalities, German, Russian, English, Greek, and Austrian.  We have met young and old, from the babies and toddlers to the two eighty something year old couples that were our neighbors at the poolside.  We could not communicate but we all were enjoying the warmth of the sun on our bodies in the silence.

A swim in the sea is welcome to cool our bodies.  It is no effort to swim in the salty, still, shallow waters.  The young and not so young, able bodied and not so able bodied, buxom and slim alike, bodies modestly covered and others less well covered take a dip.

This is a favorite beach not only for sunbathers but also for Turtles.  The females lay their eggs high up on the beach in May and the young hatch out in October.

Earlier today our friend brought us to a faviourite restaurant, high above the town of Zakynthos.  We enjoyed the glorious view, the red roofed houses below, and the blue bay shimmering in the sunshine beyond.  A Ferryboat from the Greek mainland announces it’s arrival into the harbor with a loud horn blast.  We watch it dock.  Other boats are dwarfed by this new Ferry.

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For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (‭Habakkuk‬ ‭2‬:‭14‬ NIV)

We return from this haven to the hear of the turmoil in the nations.  A new Labour leader has been elected and some countries of Europe close their borders to Immigrants.

I will keep looking to Jesus, like Peter in the storm.  He could walk on the water as long as he fixed his eyes on Jesus.

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. (‭Matthew‬ ‭14‬:‭28-29‬ NIV)

I Miss the Ferry Today

Today in Northern Ireland the media is celebrating Red Nose Day.  Money is raised for charity by celebrities doing fun things.  There will be plenty of buzz on the radio and TV to distract people who are annoyed with others who go on strike.

It is also the day the Unions for Public Transport Workers, Teachers and Health Care Workers called a strike in protest for more pay.  Don’t we take for granted the services we enjoy, until they are not there and only then we appreciate the service they provide.

From the front of our home we look out on Strangford Lough.  We see the Strangford – Portaferry ferry cross over the channel ever fifteen minutes.  Today there is no sign of the boat.  I feel lonely and  bereft.  I miss the security of the ferry.  I love to see the boat cross, regular as clock work from seven thirty am till eleven pm.  When we are taking a trip into town we have to take the ferry.  We can leave the house a few minutes before the ferry is due to leave the port.  We get there on time.  No waiting around.

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We cross over on this ferry often.  When we were moving house here a few months ago, one of the workers on the ferry said to my husband, “You will soon own this ferry with all the money you are spending.”  My daughter stayed here a few weeks ago.  She said the ferry was company as she watched it lights as it moved to and fro across the lough. There were lights even though it is not Christmas.

There have been storms this week.  The ferry stills works even through gales, snow  and chilling winds.  Often the men’s hands and faces are blue from the cold, as they collect the fare.  The weather does not stop them being cheery and give a pleasant greeting. But today they are having a day off, even though they are taking unpaid leave. They deserve a reward for the service they provide.  Thank you.

The sea is calm, the sky is bright, no dark clouds or cold winds.  There is no activity beyond on the channel of Stranford Lough today. There is no chug chug from the diesel engines. Only the sound of birds shrilling in the warm sunlight. Today is one of only a few days that the ferry does not operate.  I am so thankful for this service.  God bless the workers today.

Have your ever Thought that Fields and Crops Burst out with Joy?

I was reading these verses in Psalm 96 today.

Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! 
Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Image
Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!  (Psalms 96:11, 12 NLT)

The sky above changes from clouds to the sun’s rays breaking through.

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 I now live near the sea.  I hear the sound of the waves in the distance.

The sky above changes.  

From grey to clear blue.  

From the ball of hot sun by day to the white moon at night.

There are fields of rapeseed oil nearby in their full glory, ripe for harvest.

Isn’t it amazing to think that the crops of rapeseed are bursting with joy!

That the waves crashing on the shore are praising God!

All creation is praising God.

Didn’t Jesus say “Even the very stones will cry out” when the Pharisees complained about Jesus disciples praising Jesus as he entered Jerusalem.

I thank God I am alive to praise him. 

One of the psalms says “The dead cannot praise God.”

Let us open our mouths to Praise God.