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.

Tableaux Thursday . A Black Bird Blocks the Fire

The scripture says “Look to the birds of the air.”

I love bird watching.  I have found them in different habitats near and far.  I viewed them in my garden, at the beach, in the forest or in far flung places of British Columbia where I saw many bald eagles.  I have learnt about blackbirds, magpies, wrens, finches, thrushes, tits, robins, jackdaws, pigeons, doves, swallows, starlings, sparrows just bird watching in my garden.  On the Loughshore I see Canadian Brent geese, blacked backed gulls, fulmars, swans, and many sand digging birds.  I have seen buzzards, crows, hawks and pheasants in the open country.  

This is the season when birds are building their nests to have their young.  Blackbirds and pigeons are nesting in the ivy growing over the empty cow shed.
But one bird caught my attention this morning.  I looked out my back window to see a crow with a heavy twig in its mouth.  I admired it for its skill in collecting twigs to build its nest.  There are tall trees nearby suitable for a crow’s nest.  I watched to see where it was building its nest, expecting it to fly off in the direction of the trees.  Surprisingly it flew over in the direction of my chimney.  Oh no.  Not the chimney of the fire I want to light in the big room when people visit!   I had lit it last week but noticed it wasn’t on fire as it should have been.  

I went outside to investigate.  I looked up to see the chimney was covered with wire to stop any birds entering.  Out comes a black bird through the mesh with the twig left behind.  How was it able to navigate through a hole in the mesh with a twig in its mouth? 
It was determined to occupy my chimney.

I went inside to my living room and lit some paper in the fire place to smoke the bird out.  Too late, its nest has already blocked the top of the chimney.  The birds can built their nests anywhere but not in my house.  They have places to live and this is my place to live.  

I cleared another chimney of a crow’s nest before Christmas.  I wanted to make a log fire, so often prortrayed on happy family scenes on Christmas cards.  How often do you see an open fire? Family and friends have enjoyed many happy evenings around our fireplace since.

The Holy Spirit is referred to fire.  When the disciples were in the upper room tongues of fire settled on their heads.   

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (‭Acts‬ ‭2‬:‭1-4‬ NIV)

Do not put out the fire of the Holy Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt (‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5‬:‭19-20‬ NIV)

The black bird, crow, can symbolise some power trying to block the fire of the Holy Spirit in my life.  I do not want any obstacle stopping the Holy Spirit in my life.  I will get this chimney cleared from twigs and put a wire at the top to prevent the bird returning.  I will be able to light the fire again in my fireplace and give warmth to visitors.  I will make sure nothing with stop the fire of the Holy Spirit in my life.

The Smoke Filled the Room instead of the Chimney!

Moving house is said to be one of the most stressful things anyone can experience in life. All our belongings are removed from the previous house. There are boxes still to be opened and sorted. I think what drains my energy is deciding what to keep, what needs passed on, or where is the new place for each item. I was exhausted and we decided to take a day off from work.

There are different jobs that need sorted. Thankfully different workmen have helped us beyond the call of duty. There are two window blinds that need new chains for them to be used. In town we saw a van with the words “Genesis Blinds”. I said perhaps he could call over and replace a chain for us. The owner of the van was working in a house nearby. I popped my head round the door and said “Is the blind man here?” The workmen all looked at me. I laughed. I looked over to a man who was working at the window. I said “Are you the blind man. I need someone to put a chain on my blind.” He wasn’t amused. He said “You need to make an appointment for someone to call out.” Some day we will get the blind fixed.

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The most recent snag was a chimney that needed cleaned. There had previously been a gas fire in the living room. It was removed to leave an open fire that will burn wood and coal. I like direct heat and a blazing fire is welcoming on a cold night. I couldn’t wait to get a fire lit in my new house, and take a rest from unpacking.

I tried a firelighter and a few sticks to start off. After a few minutes smoke started to fill the room instead of going up the chimney. Thoughts of “Why didn’t we leave the gas fire in” came to mind. We wouldn’t have all this bother. The fire alarm went off and there was upset and frustration for a while. There must be some blockage up the chimney. When one is trying to restore something there are always a few obstacles to overcome. This fireplace may not have been used for twenty years! We left the idea of a fire for another day.

A father has many coats to put on. Yesterday my husband became a chimney sweep. He cleared away the debris of a nest that crows had built at the top. There was no soot, just twigs and straw.

This evening we are going to sit by the fire and put our feet up and de stress. Wish you were here.
We will have real Christmas logs burning on the fire. We are starting to enter into the Festive season. As the song says, “Tis a season to be Jolly.”