The Importance of The Scriptures

I’m sitting in a splendid home overlooking the newly built houses, apartment blocks, towers and roads that wind their way through the valley below and over the hills in Jerusalem. The roofs of the many cars glisten in the sun making them look like water drops. Sunday is a working day in Israel. Yesterday all activity ceased. The roads were quiet. Here the commandment given to Moses by God so long ago is being honoured. No work is done on the Shabbat.

Orthodox Jews are a religious group of Jews that give their time to studying the Torah, the first five books in the Scriptures. They teach the Torah at their religious services on Shabbat. Teachers in church, schools or universities are very important people in our lives to pass on truth they know to others.

I remember growing up in the country in Ireland attending Church on Sunday. Chapters from the Old Testament, the Psalms and the New Testament were read. I believe these were were seeds that went into my heart. Later in my life I was given a bible. When I read it I came across passages that I remember hearing all those years ago. They came to my mind again. All scripture is important whether we hear it in song or at Sunday School or in the Torah or in Church or from a mother’s lips as she cradles her young child to sleep with a hymn. God’s word promises that it will not return to him void.

““As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:9-11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

So all those years ago the word of God going into me has borne fruit much later in my life. So it is with many people. I was listening to a young man’s testimony. After many years living a decadent lifestyle he remembers what his granny said to him. “If you call out to God he will answer your cry. ” in his time of need he did call. God answered and led him into new pathways.

I turned to God when I was in need too. He led me to meet other people who knew about God and read the bible. I began to read it for myself and have done so down through the years. I use the Daily Bible everyday. That helps me cover the scriptures in one year.

It has proved to be a great support in time of trouble or suffering. God brings to mind something I have read which will be just what will encourage me. As I travel and meet people high and low, I find they do not have a knowledge of the Word of God. They may have great qualifications but do not know the Scriptures.

The Word of God is truth. Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life. He was the Word of God become flesh. The scriptures are like bread. When one reads the words it is bread from God to strengthen one. The words bring healing to one’s body and soul. No other book claims to bring healing.

I was reading about Joni Ereakson. She is a lady who has coped with being a Paraplegic
for fifty two years. She awakes every morning and says, “Lord I’m in pain. I can’t do this any longer. I don’t want to go through the regime of needing someone else to lift me out of bed, bathe me and brush her hair. You need to help me Lord. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” So starts her day. She has done this for fifty two years. She says her pain, despair and depression drives her to Jesus. She remembers words of scripture that will help her each day.

I would not have got through rearing fourteen children and recovering from cancer without the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. I encourage you today to read the Word of God. Your life will never be the same. If you are suffering read the Word and you will get relief.

Just say something like this. ” God if you are there please help me. Speak to me. Lead me in the right way for my life. Amen”. He will answer.

The Fellowship of his Sufferings

Philippians 3:10 
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.

When Pastor Thampy from India visited with us recently, he shared stories about following the call of God in his life.  He was kicked out of his home when he chose to believe in Jesus and share his message of forgiveness to those around him.  He went for days without food.  The leaders in his town didn’t want him there either.  They spoke to his landlord and told him not to rent the room any more to Thampy.  He was kicked out of his town.  He was doing what Jesus told us to do.  Go and tell people the good news.  

This was just the beginning of his forty five years serving God.  He has been kidnapped, threatened with death, maligned, accused and beaten.  When his wife met him, God asked her, “Was she willing to suffer for the gospel?”  She said yes.  They have both suffered in their service for God.  But their ministry has borne fruit, fruit that has remained.  They have established Churchs, schools, orphanages, homes and bible schools throughout India. 

Thampy is not afraid to face people who do not believe in Jesus.  He talks to them to convince them Jesus is the truth.  He is anointed to evangelise the poor people who have not heard of Jesus in India.  They listen to him.  When God sends one to a people he will equip that person to get the job done.  No sacrifice is needed to please Jesus.  Some of the people in India offer their children as a sacrifice to their gods.  They are seeking forgiveness for their sins.  They can find no relief. only more pain and broken hearts.  Jesus became a sacrifice on the cross to forgive our sins.  All one has to do is believe in Jesus, receive the Holy Spirit and walk in freedom from condemnation and guilt.  

Thampy and his wife are an example of a couple who are willing to deny themselves and obey God’s calling on their lives.  Pastor Thampy has know the resurrection power that has rescued him from troubles and has know why it means to share in the sufferings of Christ.  God has delivered him out of many situations when he could have died.  He didn’t die but is staying alive to declare the works of the Lord.  As a result he and his wife pray for others and the resurrection power moves to deliver from demons and bring healing and salvation to those who are hungry.  

Many Believers think signs and wonders, like Jesus did when he was on Earth are not for today.  But Jesus said to go and his disciples will do even greaters works than Jesus did himself.  Go with Thampy to the tribes of India and you will see the signs and wonders.  Demons come out of people.  Healings  happen just like Jesus said.  They get filled with the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues.  One’s mind will change.  

Thampy prayed for a friend of ours who was suffering from cancer.  He had been living on puréed food for months. He was failing.  After the meeting he had tea and a piece of cake with no ill effect.  He continues to eat well.  I believe he is healed from cancer and the doctors will confirm it soon.

I Began to Fear Growing Old.

I was reading a list of recommendations given by Pat Devilly a popular fitness trainer from Galway, on his post.  A line on the list reads,

“Spend time with people over seventy and under the age of six.”

Having reared fourteen children, I have spent much time with children.  I have to admit I have not spent much time with older people over the years.

After reading this Blog by Pat Devilly, I decided to pay a visit to an elderly friend.  Ten years ago she had two knee replacements.  She was very brave and recovered well.  Every night her sleep is disturbed by night sweats.  She has to change her night dress through the night.  I thought “Poor lady, she has to endure this hardship.”  I was humbled to hear about her difficulties but she continues enduring without complaint.
I began to fear growing old and with it failing health.

I was reading on Facebook recipes for being forever young.  Drink plenty of water, eat vegetables, don’t take sugar or processed foods, go for walks, garden, lose weight.  The list goes on and on.  I realized I would become exhausted trying to be forever young and eating lettuce to avoid pains and aches that many older people suffer.

I began to drink more water and my whole system reacted to the excess fluid.  I wasn’t well for days!  I tried to diet but failed miserably.  I try to go for a walk but other demands come first.  The weeds are flourishing in my garden!  The dreams of cooking wonderful dishes with the herbs from my garden has not materialized.

I decided to stop reading such articles on Facebook, I stopped drinking excess water, I eat when I’m hungry and don’t starve myself.  I will go for a walk when I desire, not because I should.  I will go back to gardening when I have the strength.  I will continue to wear the dress size I need to and not try to fit into a smaller size.  My body and mind were getting stressed with the fear.

I reminded myself of the scripture fromPsalm 91
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;  He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (‭Psalm‬ ‭91‬:‭14-16‬ NIV)

God promises me a long life.  If I have any sickness, pain or any other trouble in the future God promises to deliver me from each one.  As for me I will enjoy my life each day and not live in fear.  God has delivered me from death by healing me from cancer.  He will continue to help me.

Testimony Tuesday. Enduring When Suffering many Trials

It was my grand daughter Eilish’s birthday on the thirteenth of March.  She was five years old.  She is an inquisitive little girl.  She asked me “Why is your hair white?  It is dark in the photographs.”  She lives in Slovakia and calls our home “The Irish House”.
I remember well the day she was born.

I had just come back from visiting one of our sons in hospital in Glasgow.  He had contacted a infection while playing football.  He grazed his shin and thought nothing of it.   But he developed a fever and was rushed to hospital and needed intensive care to combat an infection he had.  I flew over to see him.  I wanted to pray for him for God to heal him.
When I visited him he was quite happy and oblivious to any danger he may have been in.  Some friends, the Bowers, let me stay with them and they encouraged and prayed with me for my son.

When I got back to Belfast I stopped off at my daughter’s home for a cup of coffee and let her know how my trip had been.  She shared with me a dream she had the previous night.  She dreamt I had died.  She was upset and I reassured her I was okay.  But I wasn’t okay.  I was bleeding and I was getting worse.  My son being sick upset me as well.

Then the phone rang.  It was another son to tell me his wife had started in labour and was on her way to the hospital.   We prayed for a safe delivery for mum and baby.  We got news later that the new mum was rushed into theatre when she arrived at the hospital and had a Caesarian Section to deliver the baby.  Something serious had gone wrong and mother and baby’s life were in danger.  But Praise to God he preserved their lives.  They were traumatised but mum and baby were alive.

I began to realise we were under attack from our enemy Satan.  He was trying to take my son’s life, my daughter in law’s and my grandchild’s life and I wasn’t feeling too well myself.  But he didn’t succeed.  Six weeks later I was diagnosed with cancer.  More suffering.  How much more could I endure?  I was weak and feeling hopeless.  I couldn’t fight any longer.  It is when we are helpless God moves.

We came through many trials in the springtime of 2010.

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold.”

People often ask why they have to suffer.  Will we just believe in God when times are good, when he is blessing us?   Going through trials makes our faith strong.  When we see Jesus, who went through horrible suffering when he was whipped, pierced, bruised, and crucified for us, it will give us courage to continue to believe and hope in his help to bring us through our suffering and heal us on the other side.

“So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. (‭1 Peter‬ ‭1‬:‭6-7‬ NLT)

God preserved my life and my children’s life from death.   I am able to say God is good and merciful.  He is faithful to care for us as we obey him.  I have joy instead of sorrow and crying.  I now don’t look at the suffering but I hope in the joy after we suffer a little while, until God brings the answers to our prayers.

Psalm 91 says God will be with us in trouble and deliver us out of it.

Are you going through pain or despair at the moment? Are you hoping for God’s promise to you being fulfilled and it looks impossible for that promise to come about. Be patient in your trials. Your faith is being tested. Will you still believe God or give up and doubt and have unbelief?  He will give you strength to go through and come through to the other side. May your hope in God’s help be renewed.

I Agree With The Statement “No Pain, No Gain.”

I agree with the statement “No pain no gain.”
Human beings are born with the desire to find out about the world around them.
A child is born to be inquisitive.
He comes from the womb crying, wanting to live.
From an early age children are adventurous.  
They want to climb trees as mum watches with her heart in her mouth.
He wants to reach his arms out.
Mum underestimates the reach of little Jimmy.
She leaves him in the cot in the hotel bedroom adjoining hers, puts the telephone well out of the way and leaves him to sleep.
The hotel receptionist knocks on the door the next morning and asks “Did anyone dial 999.  The police have called and said they got a call from this building and a child’s voice was heard in the back ground.”  
Big shock for Jimmy’s mum.  He had reached over to the telephone and had pressed some numbers.  
Hey presto, police and childline are notified.  
This happened this weekend at a weekend Gathering.
Teenagers want to drive fast cars not knowing the dangers thereof.
A few road accidents trains them to be more careful.  A little pain helps him to drive safely.
Later on they want to read and find out more about the world around.
We will always be learning till we die if we don’t give up that desire.
God gives us dreams.  Each of needs to follow his dream.
We are given the dream in the first place to give us the passion to overcome difficulties to achieve  a dream
We need to follow our dreams.
But to get into our dreams one has to deny oneself the comforts of life.
For example the athelite has to train, exercise, get up early, eat the proper foods, get enough sleep.  He suffers pain in the training.
Staying up late, hanging out with friends, drinking, taking drugs, eating comfort foods does not need any self denial or pain.
So one does not gain any reward.
For a student to get the degree he has to deny himself to take time to study, and attend lectures.
He has left home and has to be self disciplined to cook his own foods to survive.
If no pain he will not achieve the reward of a degree.
A friend of mine has a son who trained to be an airforce pilot.  He always had a dream of becoming a pilot.
He had to go through rigorous training and plenty of pain through hours of flying, his plane being tumbled about in the air in a thunderstorm, and other trials to become a fully qualified rescue pilot. 
My daughter is a qualified surgeon.  She had a dream of becoming a doctor.  I did not realise the discipline that was needed to accomplish her goal.  She had to deny herself friendships, outings, having fun with friends to spend time studying to qualify as a doctor.  He has to work unsociable hours to do her work helping others.  No pain, no gain.
Why all the pain? Why bother?  
Jesus is our ultimate example of pain.
He was whipped on his back, pierced with thorns on his head, his side opened up, shed his blood, was crucified and died.
Why all that suffering?
Jesus, for the joy set before him endured the Cross.  
He looked forward to the joy of returning to heaven and making way for humankind to get to heaven.  He provided forgiveness of sin, healing of diseases and destroying the works of the devil to set humankind free.
He helped mankind.
If we want to help ourselves and our fellow man we need to follow Jesus’ example of being willing to suffer pain, to help others.
A father and mother suffer pain in raising children.  If there is no pain they do not have the joy or gain of seeing their children raised as responsible citizens.
Jesus said you must take up your cross and follow me.  He is our example. We are to deny ourselves.  Jesus gives us the strength to go through the pain because he is our example. No pain no gain.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/pains-and-gains/

A Horse needs a Bridle and Bit to Keep it under Control.

 

I was talking to my neighbour recently.

He was telling me about his favourite hobby, horses.

John loves horses.
He learnt about horses from his father and other relatives who had been successful in breeding race horses that have won important events in world of horse racing.
He can tell me who was the mother and father of the recent winner of the Derby, “Australia.”
He is knowledgable about many horses that are winners.
He is hoping to have that big winner some day.
He owns five horses that graze in the field behind our home.
He rescued two of them from the “Knacker’s yard”.
That is where horses go that are no use any more.
They are rejects, too old, not profitable for their owners, or their owners cannot afford them in this climate of recession.

Image
The horses belonging to my neighbour are sleek, tall, colourful, bright eyed and beautiful.

John hopes to train his best horse which will cost him some money.

The horse will live in a stable, eat food that will strengthen him, let someone ride on his back, and will have to suffer a few lashes of a whip in the process.  Pain.
It will have to run miles every day to get used to running fast.
Not so pleasant as running free in a field, grazing grass.
It can no longer do its own will or want its own way.
It has to learn to obey its trainer and perhaps be successful in a race.
It can be of use to its master and win a race.

God likens one who is rebellious to an untrained horse, stubborn, self willed, running free, not under authority, not obedient, not knowing how to be useful or profitable.

The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. (Psalms 32:8 NLT)
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” (Psalms 32:9 NLT)
“But no, my people wouldn’t listen. So I let them follow their own stubborn desires, living according to their own ideas. Oh, that my people would listen to me, walking in my paths! How quickly I would then subdue their enemies! How soon my hands would be upon their foes! (Psalms 81:11-14 NLT)

God in his mercy longs for us to seek him.

We may not suffer the consequences of our wrong doing in our lifetime, but it will manifest in our children after us.
Discipline or pain is not a popular word in our culture.
The doctor prescribes tablets to ease pain of mind and body.
A child left up to its own devises will be unruly and unpleasant to be around.
How much more so a grown up person who is not self controlled and chooses to do whatever one feels like.
Such a person will not be useful.
God our creator has made us and knows what is good for us and how best we can live.
The self has to die and that is painful.

I have learnt obedience through the things in my life that caused pain; heartache, sickness, and mental anguish.

I don’t want to be self willed or rebellious.  I defer to others when making decisions.  To live with others I seek to live in peace and listen.  I have to put down that power in me that wants my own way.

Jesus was crucified.  We have to crucify our selfish nature and live according to God’s word.
Like the trained horse, we often suffer pain in our lives to help us to choose the right way to go.

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