Help in Time of Trouble

I’m always encouraged and get inspiration when I read about the kings of Judah and Israel. They were real people dealing with the role of leadership and ruling over their people. One theme that runs through all their history is that when a king turned to God in time of trouble or war when their enemies were coming up against their nation, God always came to their aid and delivered them.  I want to give you some references to prayers and victories that God worked for them.

Solomon built the temple and prayed to dedicate it. Here is how he began his prayer.

He knelt down and lifted his hands towards heaven.
O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all heaven and earth. You keep your promises and show unfailing love to all who obey you and are eager to do your will.
May you watch over this Temple day and night, this place where you have said you would put your name. May you always hear the prayers I make toward this place. May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.
‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭6:20-21‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Solomon’s grandson, Abijah went out to war against Jeroboam who had twice the number of fighting men that Abijah had. Abijah declared to Jeroboam and his army,
The Lord is our God and we have not abandoned him. We are following the instructions of the Lord our God but you have abandoned him. So you see God is with us. He is our leader. Oh people of Israel do not fight against the Lord the God of your ancestors, for you will not succeed.

His priests blew their trumpets and went to battle against Jereboam and his army. At the sound of the their battle cry God defeated Jereboam and the Israel army. Three quarters of Jereboams army fell before King Abijah.  2 Chronicles 13

King Asa, Abijah’s son reigned after him. An Ethiopian army of one million men came to attack King Asa and his people. Asa had only half the number of soldiers that the invading army had. As a cried out to the Lord, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty. Help us oh Lord our God for we trust in you alone. It is your name we have come against this vast horde. Oh Lord you are our God do not let mere men prevail against you. So the Lord defeated the Ethiopians. They were destroyed by the Lord and his army.  2Chronicles 14

These are some examples of the King’s prayers and how God helped them against their enemies. Many other Kings in Israel did not call on the name of the Lord. A prophet warmed them, “The Lord will stay with you as long as you stay with him. Whenever you seek him you will find him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you.”

God is the same God today, yesterday and tomorrow. There is still no other God like him in heaven and in earth. If one seeks him he will find him. God will come to those who call upon him and help him in time of trouble. I recommended you my reader, no matter if you are on the furthest part of the world, God is there for you to call upon to help you today.

The Redeemed’s Story

“Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭107:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Though my blogs on WordPress I write stories of what The Lord has done for me in my life. I was in despair and feeling hopeless. I developed cancer and was near death. My family and friends cried unto The Lord for me and God saved me from death and delivered me from the growing tumour. The doctors couldn’t explain how the cancer disappeared.

The Lord is the God who made the heavens and the earth and all that dwell therein. No matter what nation you are from God made it all. I live in Ireland, a country on the edge of Europe surrounded by water. We in Ireland have a heritage of Faith in The Almighty that extends back 2000 years. Sea travellers brought the news of Jesus to these shores in the first century AD. We have stories of the redeemed in Ireland that have been handed down through writings or stories told in families from generation to generation. The Irish are renowned as great story tellers.

The Irish travelled by sea to Scotland, England and into the heart of Europe via their rivers. They brought their stories and simple way of life to the nations in Europe. St Coulumbanus is buried in Italy. Another monk is remembered in Switzerland. The Irish went to Slovakia, where my son and his family now live. They told their stories of how they were redeemed from the hand of their foes.

The Lord saved me from the grip of Satan who was bringing me to death because of my sins of rebellion and bitterness. Jesus died on the cross, shed his blood and broke the power of the prince of this world over mankind. He provided a way of escape from those held in darkness by the blinder of people’s lives. I called on Jesus to save me from death. I received his power to be delivered from death. I’m alive.

Psalm 107 describes my situation.

Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭107:2, 17-21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

No matter what ones situation or whatever nation you belong to, call on the name of Jesus. Many young people are suffering despair and are suicidal because of war, poverty and disappointment in the nations. God will hear and act on your behalf. His word promises to help the poor and needy.

““The poor and needy search for water, but there is none;
their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the LORD will answer them;
I the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.
I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together,
so that people may see and know, may consider and understand,
that the hand of the LORD has done this,
that the Holy One of Israel has created it.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:17-20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The water refers to the Holy Spirit whom God will send as we call on his name. He will work the miracle needed for you.  What he has done for me, he can do for you.  God bless you today.

The Stairway to Heaven.

Two weeks ago I read this scripture.
“Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth. ””
‭‭John‬ ‭1:51‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I had never noticed this reading before. I remember another story from the Old Testament where Jacob had a dream.

 

Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep. As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway. At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac.” But he was also afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!””‭‭Genesis‬ ‭28:11-13, 17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

On holiday in Greece recently I visited a Craft shop. The Artists make their pieces from reclaimed items they find on the beach. I too work with stuff from the shore where I live in Northern Ireland. Small sticks, driftwood, pottery, Seaglass and bits of rope are some of things I find. The man of the shop made ships and boats. On each one was a ladder that went from the deck of the ship up the mast. Ladders also figured on the lady’s work. Here is an image of a ladder reaching up from the earth to the clouds above. It is from a piece of art I bought form a craft shop in Greece.

I was excited to see the image of the ladder. I was thinking back to the scripture about Jesus being a stairway or a ladder. I told the couple what the image of the ladder can mean. They were very happy to hear what I had to say.

The theme of the ladder came to me again today. I was reading Merlin Carothers’s book Proson to Praise. In it Merlin recalls a vision he had.

“I saw a bright summer day. Up above was a solid heavy black cloud. A ladder extended from the ground into the dark cloud. At the base of the ladder were lots of people who wanted to get a chance to climb the ladder. They had heard that beyond the cloud was something beautiful. Some people tried to climb. As soon as they got to the dark cloud they came sliding down again. Merlin climbed the ladder. He kept going through the dark cloud even though it was difficult. He came into intense brightness.”

The Lord explained to Merlin that the ladder represents praising God. Some people start out praising God but give up when times get difficult. They lose faith and go sliding back. When one continues to praise God he comes to a place where he can walk on difficulties no matter how dark they seem as long as he keeps his eyes off the problem and looks to the Lord.

I’m encouraged today after reading about Praise. I will believe that God can work all things together for good as we praise him and thank him no matter how difficult the situation gets. He is in control. Keep clinging to the ladder of praise and keep going up. Keep clinging onto Jesus who is the stairway to heaven. He takes us from the earth to heaven, just as Jacob saw in his dream.

 

 

Honouring your Parents.

This last year I have been at too many funerals. It keeps one vulnerable to the reality that my time is short on this planet.

Praise God he extended my life by healing me from fourth stage cancer. It will be nine years this year since I was healed. I have experienced more and more God’s care and restoration in my life.

Psalm 71 says Even when I am old and grey, do not forsake me, my God.

Psalm 90 says, Our days come to seventy years or eighty, if our strength endures. Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

I hope in God’s promises to me. He has been faithful to heal me.

Seeing friends who are ill and vulnerable makes me realise the importance of family. My husband and family have been there for me when I had cancer and more recently when I was nursing a broken arm.

Receiving a phone call to show one cared lifted my spirits. I felt even better when one came to visit or stay a while to help me. Bringing cooked food showed me love.

Many parents are left lonely and without help in their old age because loved ones leave home to work in foreign countries. Work there demands their time and they don’t have time to think of parents back home growing old.

Sickness can come to an aged person because of loneliness. With no one to visit or encourage one, it is harder to recover. Yes the health services help to a certain degree. Friends, if one has any, can help for a season.

Having the support of family keeps one alive. Psalm 127 says “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.” When I had cancer my children rallied around me, cared for me and prayed for me. They were patient with me and brought my healing.

I know a friend who in her forties returned home to care for her elderly parents which took a period of twelve years. She is now married. Another friend, even though she had family of her own cared for her parents for ten years. Another lady, a widow, lived till her eightieth year, though she had ill health all her life, because her two sons went to see her every day.

Old people live long lives in Japan and Sardinia, not because they have money. In Japan older people have communities where they have activities and social interaction. Life is extended in Sardinia because the elderly parents are cared for by their children. They are surrounded by their grandchildren and help in their rearing. It has been studied that helping with grandchildren extends one’s life.

In China the law requires the children to look after their parents. They will be punished if they don’t. It is good to hear that China’s law’s are in line with what the Word of God says. “Honour your mother and father and it will go well with you and you will live along life.” It’s the only commandment with a promise.

In the West, so called “civilised world” sadly this commandment has been neglected. Young people have opportunities of education, travel and work. They end up being busy and years pass by. They forget their parents who reared them and gave them a start in life.

I visited a home recently where a lonely elderly couple lived. The garden was unattended. The paint work was not renewed for years. Inside the dust has gathered. Newspapers are piling up. They are neglected. The children have gone to foreign lands to work. Money does not buy love as the Beatle song goes. Another song has words that say “Bring your love to me, don’t send it.”

I was grieved last year to visit a dying friend. She was in a luxurious nursing home, where no expense was spared. Her children paid the bill, but they were in far away countries. No one to hold her in her last days on earth.

I could give more examples. If this message touches your heart, please think of your own parents or look out for elderly people you know.

In “Healing”

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.

The Spreading Oak Tree

Brendan and I were taking a walk in the forest of Budmerice Castle this morning. The castle grounds are open for the use of the people of the village for cycling or walks. Festivals are held in the grounds at different times of the year. Young and old gather to meet and view the stalls of food and crafts.

All was quiet this morning except for the tapping of a woodpecker. It is harvest time. Plum, Chestnut, Walnut, Apple, Oak trees are casting their fruit. It was drizzling with rain softening the ground after the dryness of summer. Every time we come to Slovakia the weather turns out to be suitable for us, just like back in Ireland, not too hot or cold with a bit of rain.

We came to a clearing in the forest. In the centre of the meadow was an oak tree which spread its branches on every side. It is a tall, healthy, strong and sturdy tree. It is the representation of something that God wants each one  of us to become.  Such a tree provides shade from the heat of summer for people, animals or birds. The birds build their nests in the branches to rear their young. I can imagine young children climbing up on it spreading boughs, or boys competing to get to the top branches. My grandchildren call this “Our climbing tree.” They spend many a summer’s afternoon there until they get tired.

Psalm 1 talks about a man who is like a tree. “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalms 1:3).

The tree I saw today is healthy because it has been planted in a good area to receive the proper nourishment it needs to withstand the adverse conditions it may encounter during its life.  Such a tree is hundreds of years old.  It is in a broad meadow where it’s leaves get direct sunlight to nourish its leaves. It receives heavy falls of snow in the winter. The branches are able to withstand the weight of snow. This snow melts in the spring and waters the roots spread underground.  The roots go deep into the ground and extend as wide underground as the branches do overhead.

For a man to flourish like a tree he needs to let the water of life nourish his soul. This water is the Holy Spirit and the word of God is nourishment. We must remain close to God and Jesus Christ, the source of this nourishment in order to maintain a constant flow of the Holy Spirit day and night. “He who believes in Me as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). And in 2 Corinthians 4:16 it says, “Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”

Overcome

 

I had to overcome a few difficulties today.

I went to a Craft Fair in Lisburn today. It was raining heavily when I arrived. I hadn’t packed an umbrella or warm clothes. I parked in a loading area for a few minutes. If the traffic warden came along I would get a fine. I had to take the risk of getting a fine. I would only be there a few minutes. I unloaded two cases filled with my mosaics. I put them on a small trolley to take them to the event. I walked across the street. The trolley toppled the two cases in front of waiting traffic. The rain continued to fall. I gathered up my belongings and got out of the way of the cars. My hair got wetter and wetter. I will look like a drowned rat by the time I get to my stall.

I didn’t complain. I remembered people in Mexico, the Caribbean and Florida today who have to deal with more difficult situations than a shower of rain.

I take part in Craft Fairs to sell my mosaics of sea glass and my book about being healed of malignant cancer. I take the opportunity to tell people about being healed and how God is restoring me. Doing the mosaics is part of my restoration.

I was amazed at the end of the day. I met so many people who had stories about overcoming cancer.  I did not hear a negative story today.  Two older ladies had cancer many years ago. They are doing well. One lady had cancer in the womb many years ago. She had a hysterectomy and the cancer didn’t come back.

Patricia had Ovarian Cancer last year with secondaries. She has just been through operations and treatments. She looked well today. I prayed that she will be totally healed in Jesus name.

Another lady’s niece had cancer twenty years ago. She was just married when diagnosed. Not only did she recover but she went on to have three children. Another girl I heard of had cancer in 1986 when treatments were not as advanced as we have today. She recovered , went on to be a nurse, get married and have children.

I prayed for a young woman today who is going through breast cancer at the moment. She was open to prayer. I reassured her Jesus will heal her.

One lady had just visited her cousin in hospital. Many people were praying for him. All the people who shared with me opened up and shared their stories as I shared mine. They all had family and friends pray for them. They believed in healing. How many people who walk by in the street have stories to share?

These are all testimonies of how these people have overcome difficult situations of being faced with cancer and death.

In Revelation we are told that “They overcome by the Blood of Jesus and they love not their life unto death.” Women today were not afraid to share.

Despite a bad start to the day, I had overcome rain and mishaps to get to the Craft Fair.  https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/overcome/