The God who made the Stars is a Nurse!

There has been a full moon and a clear sky these past few nights in Bright where I live in Ireland.
I look up at the stars and I am amazed that God called each one by name.

He made all the stars—the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the southern sky.
Job 9 v 9

King David looked up at the stars as well and wrote

“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 ‭8‬:‭3-4‬ NLT)

God cares for the individual.  Even though he is Mighty he reaches down to our level to touch us.

In another Psalm it is written

“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!”
Psalm 147

Why is healing mentioned alongside the stars?

The God, who made the stars for everyone to see everywhere on the earth, is the one who heals the broken hearted and binds up our wounds.  

When anyone anywhere looks up at the sky and sees the stars he can be encouraged that the God who made them, will heal his diseases and heal his broken heart and care for him.

I was reading in God’s word that God cares for us like a gentle flowing stream.
“My care for the people of Judah is like the gently flowing waters of Shiloah.”
Isaiah 8 v 8

When I was in hospital waiting to through a long operation I read this word from the Bible.

The LORD nurses them when they are sick and restores them to health. (‭Psalms‬ ‭41‬:‭3‬ NLT)

I took great comfort from this word and as a result I went into the operation without fear. God brought me through the operation safely and I was restored to full health.

Everyone wants to be in good health. You can have good health by trusting in Jesus. He will restore you to health when you are sick.

What a mighty God yet he will nurse us back to health.

Hello Morning Glory

The full moon is on my left high in the sky.
An aeroplane flies south just in front of the moon.
It is lit up by the light of the sun reflecting off its fuselage.
The sun is rising to my right.
The sky is changing from water colours of pink and purple to pale blue.
It will get brighter and warmer minute by minute and light up my kitchen.
Swallows twitter, swirl and rest on the telephone wires, gathering for their exit to warmer countries of the south.
I hear a croaky crow.  He is scavenging for breakfast.

Like the song “All God’s creatures got a place in the choir.
Some sing low and some sing higher.
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire.”

A solitary robin tweets.  I look out and he is sitting on the fence.
He will stay close all winter.  He will stick it out in the Irish weather, sun, wind or cold.
The robin was my mother in law’s favourite bird.
It visited her narrow back yard.
It brought delight to her in her latter years when she was confined to her home.
She passed away last week at the age of ninety four.
The shadows of the trees and house get shorimageter and darker as the sun rises.

 

A dozen sheep form a line as they walk down to the meadow opposite to graze in the warmth of the rising sun.
Their thirst will be quenched from the dew on the grass.
Some of my roses have responded to the September warmth and sunshine.
The red and yellow blossoms surprise me.
“Action”.
No it is not a film studio.
It is what I see and hear as I look out from my desk this morning.
The Lord is the director of this show.

This  scripture is very true.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. (‭Psalm‬ ‭19‬:‭1, 4-6‬ NIV)
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Hovering around him were seraphim, each with six wings.
In a great chorus they sang “Holy, holy, holy is The Lord Almighty! The whole earth is filled with his glory. The glorious singing shook the Temple. Isaiah 6 v 2

May the Sun of Righteousness rise with healing for you today.  Malachi.

Speaking about The Power of God. Developing your blogging voice.

Thanks to wordpress.com and the staff that are at hand to give advice, I have been given a Voice to write to the nations.
As I am just at the beginning of my development, age two years in the blog atmosphere, I can go at my own pace.  I am free to write when I am inspired, whether it is two blogs a day or have a gap of two or three weeks.
I have stories to tell about how God gave me his power to help me in my life;  how my husband and I raised fourteen children to third level education in this age when big families are frowned upon;  how God healed me from fourth stage cancer;  how God continues to bless me and my family as I look to him.
I am a Irish mother and housewife.  We raised our family during the years of Troubles in Northern Ireland and have survived.
I want my voice to tell about the wonders of our God who is real, who created the heavens and the earth, yet is interested in my life and shows me he cares.
I hope my stories will help others to find hope in life in this world and have hope of eternal life.
Angela

The Salmon

When Brendan and I were in Seschelt our friend Ivan took us for a drive up along the coast.

We parked near a bay and our host told us he often went fishing there. The salmon were abundant in these waters and one was sure of a catch. What an ideal way to spend an evening in the sunset on his little boat in the bay. This certainly was the good life.

We stopped off at a coffee shop. Some people called over to us and told us “The salmon are running!”
There was a small river flowing nearby. We crossed over to it and sure enough we saw salmon spawning in the shallow waters. What an oppportunity for us!

While Brendan and I rejoiced to see this feature of nature before our eyes, our friend took some video footage. We were all excited as we spent those moments. It was a once in a lifetime experience.

Salmon live their adult life in the waters of the ocean. The Pacific is a big ocean, and millions of salmon return up the many rivers along the Canadian coast in Autumn. There are many types of salmon. The Sockeye is the biggest and most popular salmon caught. Wild bears and eagles have a feeding frenzy when the fish return.

The salmon has one goal, to return to the place where they were born to hatch their young. Once they leave the salt waters and enter the fresh water of the river the salmon stop feeding. They start the hazardous journey upstream over rapids, waterfalls and potholes to get to the shallow water when they can swim no further.

There the female releases her eggs in the sandy water bed and the male fertilises them. The parent salmon work is done. Every ounce of their energy has been used to get to their destination. They die soon afterwards.

We watched as the salmon released their eggs in that Creek. There were queues of fish waiting in the shallows to take their turn to lay their eggs. Perhaps they were not so keen to go forward because they knew their end was near.

Brendan, our friend and I savoured this moment. What is nature saying to us?

As I pondered on this I thought of my own life as a parent. Our goal as parents is to raise our young and help them through the stormy waters that we have passed through and show them the way.

The salmon entering the fresh water begins the journey of dying to self. This is symbolic of the one who decides to follow Jesus as well. He leaves the ocean, which represents the world and enters into the river of The Holy Spirit. Just like the salmon one has to die to self so more of the life of Christ lives in us.

As I get older I realise that on my journey in the river of the Holy Spirit I have had to die many times to my own will. As I trust God ‘s leading in my life I have peace. I can pass what I have learnt on to my children. I do not have to die physically like the salmon, but I have to die to my own will. The following scripture sums up the Christian journey.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen (Jesus the author and finisher of our faith) since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:7, 16, 18 NIV)

An Invitation for 2014

 

I want to send you an invitation for 2014.

“Come.  Let the thirsty one come, anyone who wants to;  let him come and drink the Water of Life without charge.” 
The invitation is to come to “A river of pure Water of Life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb.  On each side of the river grew Trees of Life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month;  the leaves are to be used for the healing of the nations.    Rev v 1-2 and v 16.
No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. (Revelation 22:3 NLT) 

The river speaks of the Holy Spirit.  God the Father sent the Holy Spirit after Jesus rose from the dead.  The Holy Spirit is symbolised by the river that flows from heaven to earth.  If one seeks to drink from this river one’s life will never be the same.
Isaiah 55 says “Come to the waters and you who have no money, come buy and eat.
Seek The Lord while he may be found, call on him while he is near.”

Jesus said “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. (John 15:4, 7, 8 NKJV)

I started to put this word into practice sincerely twenty four years ago.  Abide means to obey, follow or agree to.   I wanted to bear fruit.  I began to read the Word of God for fifteen minutes each day and meditated on it.  I wanted to know more of the truth.  Jesus said “I am the way the truth and the life”in John 14 v 6

I prayed for fifteen minutes as well.  I prayed in my own language but also in the language the Holy Spirit gave me.  The fruit grew.
The Holy Spirit gave me the power to have my children, to rear them, to be healed of cancer and continue to live.  
2 Timothy 1 v 7 says God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.

How precious is your constant love, O God.  All humanity takes refuge in the shadow of your wings.  You feed them with blessings from your own table and let them drink from your rivers of delight.

For you are the fountain of life. Never stop giving your blessings to those who long to do your will.
Psalm 36 v 7-9

Accept this invitation today.

Angela

 
 

 

 

PRISONER, PENSIONER AND PRINCIPAL

 

Yesterday Brendan and I went to visit a friend who is a prisoner, Brendan’s mother who is 93, and another man who is principal of a school. 

The first snow was falling as we drove early to the prison.  Our friend was glad to see us.  He was cheerful and encouraged us to keep on looking after our family.  His wife and all but one of his children do not visit him.  He realises what he has lost because of his selfishness.  He encouraged us and we encouraged him.  He is sure of God’s forgiveness and love and prays for his family.  He is hoping for restoration.

Brendan’s mother is settling home after a few days in hospital.  Despite her weakness she blessed us with Christmas gifts for our family.  She has lived a long life and has seen her children’s children’s children, all sixteen of them.  She was widowed young, reared her boys and lived humbly.  She is leaving behind a good legacy.  She has borne good fruit.

The principal of a school invited us to pray with him.  Two hundred and twenty five young children attend the school.  Jesus said “Let the little children come to me for such is the kingdom of heaven.”
We encouraged him and prayed for wisdom for his task in overseeing forty staff and all those pupils.
I always give thanks to God for the school teachers who cared for and taught my children.  I was reassured they were being well looked after, while I was busy with my younger children.

Teachers do a great job, but the parents can give the best example to their children.  How we live our lives as parents affects our children.  We do not get to be selfish for long as we rear our children.  One of my favourite verses in Exodus 20 says God promises to bless us to the thousandth generation of those who love The Lord but curses come upon our children to the fourth generation if we disobey God.  What choice will you make? 

But I believe their is hope for the prisoner and his family.  Jesus forgives our sins and promises to restore all that is lost.  Over and over in the bible we read about the children of Israel.  When they were far away from God because of their sins He always had mercy and restored them.  When I was feeling hopeless and about to die of cancer, God sent his healing and restored me.  There is hope.

Brendan and I were in Canada and Slovakia recently sharing this hope with many people.  God wants to restore families.  Jesus shed his Precious Blood to pay the price for our wrongdoing and our forefathers’ wrongdoing.  You can go free from guilt and shame.  Do not blame, just forgive.  And God will restore that which has been lost.

May God bless you and your family in this season of good will.

Angela

Christmas Gift from God

It takes three days to settle into a new situation. Today all the changes have caught up on me. I awoke dehydrated, jet lagged and itchy from mosquito bites and a bee sting. After breakfast we decided to take a break from the sun, stay in our room and caught up with newspapers.

In the cool of the evening we took a walk down by the beach. We sat down and little sparrows flitted about our feet. Look at the birds of the air they neither sow nor reap yet their Heavenly Father looks after them.

Brendan, me and our two children moved to Coleraine. Brendan was going to attend university there as a mature student. Shann was attending primary school and Brendan was at play school. I was not working. I had time on my hands. I desired to have another child. I had read in the Bible that children are a blessing from The Lord. I asked God for another child. I believed he is the author of life. He answered with a baby girl we called Nora.

My baby was due near Christmas. A friend of my husband visited us. He invited us over to London to stay with his family for Christmas. He was returning by car so all four of us could travel with him. No Ryanair or Easyjet then, or even the money to pay for all of our travel. I was excited at the opportunity to get a HOLIDAY. We said yes.

I went to see my doctor to tell him my plans. He thought I was crazy to think of travelling such a distance when my baby was due. I said to him “Well, Mary travelled on a donkey seventy miles to Jerusalem.” He had nothing to say. He gave me some notes to take with me. My friend took me to their doctor in London. He did the necessary checks. All was okay. We all enjoyed the adventure, Christmas dinner and toys for the children. Our hosts were very generous to us. We were like the sparrows, being cared for.

While there I went to the local church. Some people met to pray. I decided to go along to get some prayer. There was some women there who were from Kerry in Ireland but now lived in London. Even though I was from the North of Ireland they welcomed me as a daughter. Just being from Ireland united us.

Nora was born on the twenty eighth of December. The delivery went well and baby and me got out of hospital after two days. We returned to Ireland in early January. Our new ex Irish friends sent us out with their prayers. As I was waiting to board the boat at Liverpool, a priest was waiting on the gangway. He saw I had an infant with me and he offered to pray for us. My new child was well covered in prayer.

Around the time of her birth, changes were happening in my husband’s life. He would spend time carrying her in his arms and looking into her face. Something was happening in his heart. Perhaps our daughter was radiating love to her father and he to her. He spent many hours with her. Our new baby brought us closer as a family. The two older children enjoyed having someone else to look after and play with.

Nora is an answer to my prayer. God sent her into our lives. She is special. She brought a lot of healing to my husband as he helped me care for her. He enjoyed the little bundle in his arms. She drew out the nurture and care that only a father can give.

Not only is Nora special to us she is special to her husband and to God. He is watching over her. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow her all the days of her life. Psalm 23 NIV.

FATAL ACCIDENT

I went to school in the country in a place called Drumaroad. It was a two teacher school. The head master was an excellent teacher but was know to be strict. He taught the basics of subjects that prepared one for the grammar school. As well as Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Religion, we learnt Algebra, Latin and Geography. I enjoyed Mathematics and Geography.

Children in my class stood around the maps of the world, as the teacher pointed out faraway places. We learnt the names of towns, mountains and rivers in Ireland. We learnt about the capitals of the nations, London, New York, Moscow, Paris etc. I saw that New Zealand and Australia were at the other end of the world, on the opposite side from us. I wondered if I would ever go there.

Many years on I have had the opportunity to travel to New Zealand, when my daughter got married there. I have been to London, Paris, Bratislava and unusual named places like Quala Lumpar and Dubai.

I was not so good at creative writing. One day the Master asked us to write a letter to a friend who had been in an accident. I started off saying, “I hope you have recovered from your fatal accident.” I did not know what “fatal” meant. I heard the word being used by someone so I thought I would try it out. When the master gave back my work he pointed out my mistake. He laughed. I laughed as well. I did not take offence but I have never forgotten what “fatal” means.

I was remembering this recently. I may have been prophetic then because I have recovered from the fatal disease of cancer. Nothing is impossible with God. Jesus rose from the dead. There is power in His name to recover from accidents and diseases.

I love to tell others what God has done for me by healing me from Cancer. Isaiah 66 says “I will send some of the survivors to the nations, to distant lands that have never heard of me or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory to the nations.”

I am in Scotland visiting my children, three of whom are at university there. Angela has recently gone to Edinburgh. Abraham is at St Andrew,s, where Prince William and Kate met. Jacob is in Aberdeen, home of the oil industry. I have had the oppportunity to tell Abraham’s friends about my healing. I am giving them something to think about, that cuts across the the secular humanistic thinking of education.

Our God is the God who hears when anyone prays. He has compassion on all he has created in this world. He created all the nations that I studied about all those years ago, as I stood around the maps in that country classroom.

Some people stand out in our lives as having a big influence on us. Master Fitzpatrick is one of those people and I thank God for him. He had knowledge and he wanted to impart it to the next generation.
He was a good teacher. Thank you. He may not have travelled beyond his parish but someone he has taught has gone to the nations. I am sure he helped many others, who have done well in life.

We don’t realise what good we do when we help someone, that can have far reaching effects.

Angela

GONE FISHING

Caughting FishMatthew, David’s friend, invited him to go fishing along the Co Down coast yesterday evening.  He saw a fishing rod in a dream the night before.  It had inspired him to go fishing.  He got his fishing rods out and called at our home.  Isaac was here so he went along as well.  His family often go fishing
when they go on holiday, so Matthew knew what bait was needed and had all the gear.  He was saying this year when on holiday, they got up early every morning to go fishing but never caught anything.
The boys headed off.  Brendan and I left to pick up Brendan’s mum from hospital. We called at her home first to light her fire and freshen her bedroom up.  She had been in hospital for ten days getting treatment for an infection.  She had recovered well.
We arrived at her home.  Brendan helped her from the car over to the door and proceeded to get the keys to open up.  They weren’t in his pocket.  They weren’t in the car.  This had never happened to Brendan before.  Nannie got back in the car.  We all were quietly praying Lord help.  Brendan kept calm in the tense situation.  Not a good outcome for Nannie.  Eventually a friend helped us get the door opened.  Nannie was glad to get inside.  We stayed late until Nannie was settled.  Brendan promised to come back in the morning to see about changing the locks and getting keys cut.
I got a phone call from David to say they had caught thirteen fish, some Pollock.  They were cooking them and promised to have some for us when we got back. The fresh fish was delicious.   What a pleasant surprise after the disappointment of losing the keys.  The boys were as pleased as punch with themselves.  Isaac had reeled in three at once.  He had never fished before.  This reminds me of the story about Peter who had fished all night and caught nothing.  Jesus told him to fish on the other side and their nets were filled with fish.
My son Aaron was visiting this weekend.  A friend of his, Branio from Slovakia was travelling with him.  I kept some fish for our visitors. They arrived tonight.  I was eagerly telling them about the fish catch and we had a meal ready for them.  It’s funny they did not seem as excited as I was.   When I was out of the room, Branio asked Aaron if there was anything else other than fish.  Fish was his pet hate.  In his own country the fish that is popular is boney and tastes of muddy water.  He refuses to eat it.
I called the boys down for dinner.  Aaron said there was some chilli and offered it to Branio.  I said “No, we have plenty of fish for everyone.  We made it specially for you.”  In our house one of the rules for our children is  “You don’t have to like it, you just have to eat it.”   Branio remembered the scripture that says “Whenever you enter a home, eat what is set before.”  He sat down.  I was unaware of his distress.  He proceeded to pick at the food.  He was surprised.  This fish was different.  It was tasty.   He cleared the whole lot and had a second helping.  it seems the rules apply to visitors as well.
He then told me his story about never eating fish.  He could not get out of eating it because I had insisted.  We had a good laugh.  He said I can’t wait to tell my wife.  She will not believe me.  He said himself he was delivered from his fear.  The fish catch proved a winner and gave us joy.  God has a sense of humour bringing Branio all the way to Ireland to enjoy fish.  God’s promises “The abundance of the sea will be added unto you.” Deuteronomy  33v19
Angela, have you a fishy story?

NO FEAR

People have often asked us how we managed to rear our fourteen children. If I was to be anxious or worried about the future I wound not be well. I have learned not to be fearful and be at peace.

Recently I visited my brother to give him a present for his birthday. He works on the farm where I lived as a child. He reminded me of a day we came to visit. I laughed. I remembered it well.

When Brendan and I moved back to live in Co Down I was looking forward to introducing my children to the open spaces of the countryside where I grew up as a child. We drove up to the farm soon after we settled into our new home. All the young children piled out of our van and ran about wanting to explore the farmyard. My brother became very anxious. He was worried about some of them having an accident. The government is always warning the farmers about farm safety. My brother could not get over how easy going we were.

Brendan gathered up all our children and took them for a walk in a field where there was plenty of room for them to let off steam in safety. Brendan and I have learnt to trust God will keep our children safe. In Psalm 91 He gives his angels charge over you so you will not strike your foot against a stone. Jesus tells us not to be afraid. Perfect love casts out fear. As we obey God promises to watch over our going in and out.

Some years ago a family from New Zealand arrived to live in our area. We got to know them. We met up with them and other friends to go for walks. They had four children. Their children were adventurous and had no fear. They climbed on walls, trees, and jumped from great heights. We in this country would be telling our children, “Be careful in case you fall and break a leg.” My husband determined, after seeing the freedom these children had, not to be fearful when our children played.

This last month has been a time of some of my children leaving and others returning. Mary, Hannah and David have returned home after their time in Africa and India. Thank God they are back and looking well. God is faithful. He kept them safe and free from disease.

I remember my son Brendan leaving home to do a world trip after he finished university. That was twenty years ago. His friend’s mother asked me “Are you not afraid for you son going away”. I told her I knew God would look after him because God’ s word promises we are under his daily care. In Psalm 91 says no disaster or disease will come near you.

One morning while my son Brendan was away, I awoke one morning and sat bolt upright on my bed and said the words “My children are not born for misfortune”. This is from Isaiah 66. I was reassured in my spirit that my son would be okay and he would return home safely. Brendan and his friend did some mountain hiking in the Himalayas in Nepal. They needed some water. Brendan drank from the local stream. His friend did the same but suffered terrible tummy upset. I suppose in the rough and tumble of living in our home with a lot of other people, one’s immune system learns to fight off all bugs. After that I learned not to be anxious if any of my family were far away in another country.

If one of my children felt unwell, my husband Brendan and I would pray for him. He would recover with a little tender care and rest. Only if the sickness persisted did I take them to the doctor. My father rang me up one time and asked me “Why are your children never sick”. Other families, he said get colds and flues in the winter. He was amazed.

We even pray for our animals. Brendan had bought a Wolfhound pup. We called it Shadow. He cost a good deal of money. The previous owner sent home a list of food she recommended Brendan should feed the dog. I took one look at the list, fried chicken, eggs, etc and told my husband my children do not even get as good food as she is recommending for a dog. Brendan brought the list to the local pet shop. The man there asked him if this was a human being he was feeding? The shop keeper sent him home with a bag of dog meal.

My husband was away on a trip. It was summer time. My children were playing in the garden with the puppy. They were spraying water on each other. The puppy got caught up in the fun. Later that evening I noticed the puppy was shivering. “Oh no” I thought. “What is Brendan going to say if something happens to the new puppy.” He had invested so much money and would be disappointed if anything happened. I quickly gathered the children together to lay hands on the puppy and pray that God would heal him. Shadow recovered and brought our family much joy in the coming years. He grew big and lived to a ripe old age.

I remember watching a programme on TV around the time we had just moved from Coleraine to Ballynahinch. We had nine children with us. I must have been worried about provision for my children.
The programme was about wild life around the Bramaputra river in Northern India. The biggest animals in the world live there happily. There is room for them all. Water buffalo, elephants, rhinoceros, tigers and leopards roam freely in the rich grasslands along the river. The river often overflows its banks and deposits nutrients to sustain the lush growth. The climate is warm all the time with no harsh winds or cold.

This programme showed a large family of otters feeding on fish in the river. They chomped happily on the abundant supply of fish. After they had gorged themselves they climbed up onto the bank and lay basking in the sun, content with full bellies and safe. A picture of abundant provision. No famine there.

Brendan and I are strong characters and sometimes we jostle for our own space. This programme reassured me there is plenty of space for big characters. I could imagine my children lying happily in their beds safe, well fed and content like the otters. God looks after the animals will he not also care for us. And there would be plenty of provision for my big family with no fear of lack. We could lie down in safety with nothing to disturb us.

Psalm 36 v 6
You care for people and animals alike, O Lord
How precious is your unfailing love. O God.

Angela