An October Morning.

Oh the stillness of Monday morning.
The house is quiet.
No popping of the toaster, or the kettle boiling for tea and coffee.
The high chair is empty till the next grandchild comes to visit.
No airport pickups today.
Visitors from far away places in England, Canada and India have left.
The light, warmth and stillness invites us outside.
The calm after the storm.
Our friend the robin welcomes us.
He flutters and swirls around me, excited.
Others birds in the forest are singing their hearts out.
Two blue tits come down inquisitively looking for food.
A blackbird calls.
A solitary Raven chases away any competitors for the food scattered on the lawn.
The sunshine glistens on the water, thousands of lights dancing.
Tinkle, tinkle sounds come up from the last yacht below in the bay.
Where is the sun bed?
It hasn’t been packed way yet.
I stretch out and look up.
A few dry leaves drift past.
There is the blue sky beyond the bare branches.
Somewhere up there in an aeroplane is my son and his family.
I will savour the sunshine and beauty.
It’s a new day, I will not be sad.

Arctic Tern Takes Sanctuary

An Arctic Tern was taking sanctuary along the sea shore today.  It was warm in the morning sunshine and sheltered from the wind in a bend of the shoreline and safe from danger.

Brendan and I went for a walk this morning to Ballyhenry Island.  We noticed a lone Arctic tern sitting on a stone.  Normally the terns are in pairs or a group along the shore.  This bird did not look as if it had energy to go diving for food today.

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The terns come to Swan island opposite Strangford to nest and have their young in June.  They leave at the end of the summer and return to Africa.  The terns squeal, fight, swoop when they are feeding or returning to their nest. They dive into the water for fish, and take off again.  They are full of energy.  Here is a photo of a healthy group and one young taking a rest after fishing.

The average Arctic Tern lives about thirty years, and will, based on the research, travel some 1.5 million miles during its lifetime.  It is famous for its migration; it flies from its Northern breeding grounds to the Antarctic and back again each year, the shortest distance between these areas being 12,000 miles.  The long journey ensures that this bird sees two summers per year and more daylight than any other creature on the planet.  How amazing that this bird can travel so far.  We are privileged for it to visit us.

I took a closer look at the lone bird through the binoculars.  The bird’s feathers around the mouth look grey instead of the usual black.  The beak and legs were a dark red instead of a brighter red.  I think this bird may not have much longer to live.  It has taken sanctuary in this quiet place to spend its last few days.  No more flights around the world for this bird.

This coast must be the place where grey haired and grey feathered creatures come to stay.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/sanctuary/

Security in the Promise of God’s Word.

Psalm 121 v 7
The Lord will keep you from all harm.
The Lord will shield your going out and your coming in from now on for evermore.
On the Ryanair flight to Bratislava, I read this comforting Word from this Psalm.
The Lord, God Almighty who lives on high over all the earth, promises to keep me safe from I leave home till I return.

imageI left home at 4am and travelled by car and Aircoach to Dublin airport.  The flight to Bratislava seems to always be fully booked.  There are plenty of prams waiting to be loaded in the hold of the plane as we board.
Brendan and I were warmly welcomed by Marta.  We will rest till the grandchildren fly in from school looking for their Irish Grand dad and Granny.
I will rest knowing the security of my Heavenly Father watching over us.  The adventure in Slovakia begins.

Nothing Can Separate Us From God’s Love.

Romans 8 v 38
Nothing can separate us from God’s love. Death can’t and life can’t. The angels can’t and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries for tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep Gods love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Man has always been exploring the earth.  When people thought the earth was flat, Columbus set out west on the ocean to explore.  He believed the earth not to be flat.  He reckoned if the earth was round he would end up in India.  That is why he called the natives of North America, Indians.
Captain Cook explored the south East oceans to discovery more islands, Australia and New Zealand.  These were fearless men who weren’t afraid of stormy oceans and the discomfort of sailing ships.

Scriptures tells us the earth is a circle.
God sits above the circle of the earth. The people below seem like grasshoppers to him! He spreads out the heavens like a curtain and makes his tent from them. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭40‬:‭22‬ NLT)

In these last weeks I have been finding out from the media new discoveries that man is making.  Pluto has been photographed, men are flying around the earth in a spacecraft, “high above in the sky” and man had has gone down “to the deepest ocean” in a specially made vehicle to look for a creature not before seen by human eyes, the Giant Squid.  God’s love went with all these explorers to the farthest ocean, up in the sky or in the deepest ocean.

I was fascinated to watch a programme about a live Giant Squid being filmed for the first time in its habitat 700 metres below in the ocean.  For forty years a scientist has been searching to see a live Squid.  He was rewarded after forty years!   Sometimes a dream we have takes a long time to be fulfilled.  This man was rewarded to see his desire come true.  He didn’t give up.  There was great rejoicing among his colleagues who were working together when their discovery was made.  It was breaking news.  You can watch this footage on U Tube.  Type in Giant Squid.  This creature lives in the depths.  God created it.  He knows the depths of the ocean.

Psalm 148. Praise The Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths.

The earth is displaying all its beauty morning by morning as the sun rises till the evening when it sets. It shows us God’s power and his divine nature for us who don’t go exploring,  like others.  Gods love reaches down to us wherever we are.  “You know when I sit down and when I stand up.”  Psalm 139.

Last evening when we were out for a drive we saw a double rainbow and a beautiful sunset.  There were signs in the sky.   How great is the love of God for us indeed.  It reaches down to man whether he is at home or in the highest heights or the deepest ocean.

A Walk Down Memory Lane

imageWhile visiting Glasgow recently I went to see the Transport Museum.  It proved to be a great day out and  I would recommend a visit there if you are in Glasgow. There is such a variety of vehicles displayed there, from children’s bicycles to double decker buses and trams.  One item that caught my eye was a pram that was in a recreated shop window. It brought me back forty three years.

My husband bought me a similar pram for our first child.  It had plenty of room, could be pushed over all sorts of surfaces without discomfort to the baby because of the large wheels and springs.  There was room for the baby to lie down stretched out.  Baby would quickly settle if she was rocked to sleep in this pram. The large hood protected baby from cold, sea winds that blew in the town in which we lived at that time.   I enjoyed many walks proudly pushing my pram.

When we returned from Scotland Brendan gave me this photograph he had taken forty three years ago of me pushing my pram with baby Shann inside.  Brendan has always had an interest in photography and has collected many beautiful memories.  See how he framed the photo to show my reflection.  He was being prophetic showing me going through water.  We did not know then what lay ahead in our lives but love has conquered.  I have been through many deep waters since but God had not let the waters come over me.

One disadvantage, it occupied the hallway of the next house in which we lived.  I often parked the pram outside the front door.  A young girl knocked my door and asked if she could help me look after my baby for a while.  I was happy to let her push the baby in the pram to get her over to sleep.  This young lady has been a friend ever since.

Six years later I bought another spring pram.  There was one similar to it in the museum shop. My family was increasing.  I remember pushing that pram with two children in it, baby Aaron lying sleeping and Nora sitting at one end.  It was the only vehicle we owned at that time.  I went shopping with two children and was able to put the groceries underneath in a tray.  I didn’t need a licence to drive that vehicle.  Many were the walks I had pushing my precious children in this pram.  I would arrive home from a visit with a friend with two content children sleeping.  We had a good day out. image I walked down memory lane as I looked in that shop window in the Glasgow Museum.

In Transit. My Desire Fulfilled.

Yesterday’s suggested Daily Post was titled “In Transit”.
I am inspired by this heading to write, even though it is a day late.
For the last seven years Brendan and I have travelled to Canada in the Fall. I thought this year would be no exception.  I looked forward to our visits when we renewed friendships, ate out at Vancouver Golf Club and took some meetings to pray and encourage others in their faith.
Brendan got in touch with our host about our plans but the time did not suit him.  A Spring visit would suit much better.  Brendan agreed because he had much work that needed his attention here.
I was disappointed and perplexed.  I am alive. I have recovered from Cancer and want to see new things. I had two dreams about being in Canada earlier in July.  I let the idea of going to Canada pass.
I was getting ready for some visitors last week.  I found this pendant as I was cleaning.  

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Am I being prompted to think about Canada again?  Proverbs 10 v 24. “The desire of the righteous shall be granted.”   We were planning a round trip taking in Toronto to see my son David, Jacquelyn and attend their baby’s christening.  They invited us to stop with them.  We told him we would not be coming.  He was disappointed.
This morning I went back to bed.  I felt in my spirit a prompting to get up and not get depressed.  I looked at flights to Canada again.  I found a good deal flying with Aer Lingus from Dublin to Toronto.  I could afford it.  Perhaps I could visit my son while Brendan stayed to get work done he was committed to.  I asked Brendan and he agreed for me to go.
I went to book the flight but the internet was down.  I tried to book it over the phone but no one was answering.  I went into town and was about to book the flight when it would not accept my card.  There was money in my account.  What was wrong?
Home again. “Perhaps the address I gave for my bank details were wrong”, my husband suggested.  I called the bank and sure enough my new address was not registered.  I went back into town with renewed hope and went to book again.  Still no success.  I thought to myself, “Let me check if I have money in my account”
There were not enough funds in my account.  Not to be deterred I went to the bank and  transferred money from one account to the other.  Surely I will have success now.   Back to booking the good deal flight.  Too late they were sold out!
I took a deep breath.  I was getting hot under the collar.  I took off my coat and cardigan.  Will I give up.  Maybe I shouldn’t bother.  Doubts filled my mind.  I decided to try again.  I found another airline called Air Transit.  I looked up their prices.  I found flights that suited the times I was planning to travel and my purse.  I went to fill in my Visa card details but I misplaced it.  I’m  glad no one else was with me.  They might say”Stupid woman”.
I searched my coat, bag, books, under and in the car!  Not to be found.  Again I steadied myself.  I was at the last hurdle.  Will I persevere?  I prayed.  Thank you Lord.  I found the card down the side of the seat.  I filled in the details and with the click of a button my flight was confirmed.  
What a relief.  What a joy, my hope was not deferred and my desire to go to Canada is being fulfilled.  And I have a happy son and family waiting to see me.  I am going to see my latest grandchild.  I will see my children’s children as Psalm 127 says.
Do you have a desire to do something or go somewhere?  Press in to see it fulfilled.  I had twelve difficulties to overcome. Try and try again.  A desire can be like a flickering flame but God by his Spirit can fan it into flame and bring the desire about.  Alleluia.  God is good.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/in-transit/

How I got a Better Phone after Mine was Smashed.

 

On Tuesday my husband and I left our daughter and son to the airport.   They were travelling to The United States for work experience in a retreat centre.
The journey went smoothly with no traffic delays.  We arrived on time.

Brendan left us off in the carpark while he went to find a parking space.  I thought to myself “I will not need my handbag” so I left it safely in the van.  My mobile phone was inside.

The children pulled their big cases to the check in desk and went through all the paper work necessary to fly to The United States.
They were nearly finished when my husband arrived with a mobile phone which looked like mine, in his hand.
I did not take any notice as I knew my phone was safe in my bag back in the van.
My husband said he found this phone in the car park.  The glass front was smashed and only half of the screen worked.
I suggested to my husband that he could look up some number on it and ring in order to get in touch with the owner.  People have been kind to us when we have lost mobiles before.
He said to me “This looks like your phone.”  I said “No way, my phone is in the van.”  I did not like the idea of my phone being smashed up.
“Ring my number to see if it is mine.”  I knew this would satisfy my husband, confirming that it was not mine.
He dialled my number and immediately I recognised my dial tone.  What a shock.  How did my phone end up in the carpark and how did Brendan happen to be walking past where it was dropped.  This was a bit too weird for me.
We pray before we travel asking God to protect our vehicles and journey.
I thought to myself, “Everything went so well today getting to the airport, and our children being blessed going to America.”  Often some difficulty arises.  Perhaps a traffic holdup, or forgetting something or running late.  But not today.
I knew this was an enemy attacking me to rob my joy at my children’s opportunity to get blessed. How on earth did the phone fall out of my bag and out of the van?  I did not expect this to happen.
I did not get upset.  I said the enemy has to restore what he has stolen, just like our car.
The devil comes to rob, steal and destroy.  Jesus comes to restore, to give life and life abundantly.
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10 KJV)
I use my phone mainly for texting and receiving calls.  I like to be in touch with family.  I enquired in the O 2 shop how to get it repaired.  It would have to be sent away for a week.  They gave me an estimate of 150 pounds to replace it.
I did not want to pay that.
My husband offered to help.  He confirmed it would cost the amount quoted.  He suggested I should go for an upgrade to an iPhone if I was going to pay out that amount.  He priced some on line.

My son, Jacob is home from  university.  He suggested we go for a cycle.

When we returned, my husband surprised me with a new iPhone.  He had spent hours sorting my problem out.  He made sure my contacts were transferred and he showed me how to use it.  He ordered a cover to make sure the phone is protected from breaking again.  My communication is restored, thanks to My husband taking the time and sourcing a new phone for me.  He is so thoughtful helping me, knowing I would miss having a phone.

This afternoon I am the proud and happy owner of an iPhone!!!

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15 NIV)
The enemy tried to strike my heel after our children’s success in going to America.  But Jesus restored a better phone to me after mine was smashed.  My phone is restored!

This is the my year of Jubilee.  In the Jubilee year the Israel people got back what was stolen, land, houses, property or family.  Whatever they lost by misfortune or robbery was to be restored to them.

 

 

Photograph of Sea and Sky on the Move

I was on the move recently flying at 500 miles through the sky.

Here is a photo taken from 37,000 feet up in the air.

The view is of Islands off the Greece Coast.

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/on-the-move/

 

 

Leaping with Joy like Calves let Out to Pasture

 

In Northern Ireland from spring to autumn we have long days of sunlight.  The sun does not get too hot here but the brighter days make one want to make up for the dark days of winter.

“Behold the winter is past the time for singing of birds has come.”  Song of Solomon.

I awake early with the sunrise.  Overhead I see at least twenty trails of aeroplanes returning to Europe from North America.  Life is going on all around.

As it is getting warmer, birds and animals are revived as well.  The local farmer moved his cows with young to greener pastures from their winter feeding area.  They were released from the stall.  They will give birth there.
Lambs are born and birds are building their nests for their young.  The cycle of new birth turns again.

I have been released as well into green pastures.  I can truly say with Psalm 23  “The Lord is my shepherd.  There is nothing I shall want.   Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose.  He guides me beside still waters to restore my soul.”

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I am receiving new strength with the joy of having my new home.  I want to do so many things.  Multitasking!  I get ideas as I sit.  I make a note of groceries to be got for this Easter weekend.

I send greetings for Easter via email and text.  I get an idea for a blog.  I want to plant some flowers that will bloom in the window boxes.  I want to pray.  I want to worship God.  It is not a chore because thanksgiving and praise rise because God has been so good to me.  I want to live and shout and sing and dance!

As the sun rises in the East may the Sun of righteousness rise with healing in his wings for you this  Spring and Easter season.

“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings.  And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. (Malachi 4:2 NLT)

 

How my Plans were Directed by the Inspiration of a Hymn

 

The day before I was due to travel to Jerusalem, I awoke singing the hymn, “Nearer my God to Thee.”  I had not been singing this hymn or heard it for a very long time.   I only knew a few verses.  I sang them over and over before I got out of bed.

I looked up the internet to find out all the words.  The hymn was written by Sarah Adams in the Nineteenth century and inspired by Genesis 28 v 11 to 19

 “So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it…”  

Here are the words.

Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me;

Still all my song shall be nearer, my God, to Thee,

Chorus: Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Though like a wanderer, the sun gone down.  

Darkness be over me, my rest a stone;

Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee,

Chorus

There let the way appear steps unto heav’n;

All that Thou sendest me in mercy giv’n;

Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee,

Chorus

Then with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,

Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;

So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee,

Chorus

Or if on joyful wing, cleaving the sky,

Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upwards I fly,

Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.

Chorus

I Iistened to the hymn being sung on u tube.  I was enjoying this early morning praise, when I was rudely interrupted by the door bell.  My neighbour came to tell me our car was just stolen from the car park, in broad daylight. I let my husband deal with it.  

Police were contacted.  The thief had entered our home through the back door, stole the keys from the kitchen and started the car.  All this happened while I was upstairs listening to the hymn!  I thought to myself, “Something good is going to come out of this.”

Next day we left for Israel.  We were meeting friends there.  They wanted to see the historical sites in the old City of Jerusalem.

One morning Brendan was reading from a book about Jacob having a dream in Bethel.  I said “I want to go to Bethel.”

That morning I had been reading in the bible from Exodus 20 v 24

“Build altars in the places where I remind you who I am, and I will come and bless you there.” Jacob had built an altar to God at Bethel after he had the dream.  

So I said “I think we should go there.”  A  week later we all agreed to go to Bethel.  We hired a Taxi.  We drove thirty kilometres north.  We came to the city of Ramallah.  Bethel was three miles from there.  Our driver took us to the site when Jacob had his dream.

It was wonderful to look out over the land of Israel from the spot where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lived so long ago.  

The house with the domed roof is the site of Jacob’s dream.

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“Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants. ” And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him. After that, Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord. (Genesis 12:7, 8 NLT)

Photo taken from inside the domed building.

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We went down to the site where it is said to be the place where Jacob had his dream.  That was a special moment for us all.  I believe we were blessed by God there, just as I read from the bible a week earlier.  Many are the plans of a man but God directs his path.  I believe we were directed by God to go to Bethel.  Three things happened to lead us,  Bethel mentioned in the Hymn, Brendan reading about it in his book and my reading from the bible.  Let everything be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses.  

We return home tomorrow.  We will look for a new car!