On Top of the Hill, an Irish Boreen. Weekly Photo Challenge

Here are the views from the top of the hill above where I live in Ireland.

The photos were taken from the same spot.

This photo is taken to my left.

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The small road is called a Boreen.  

Not like the many laned motorways in other countries.

The Irish Sea and the Mourne Mountains are in the distance.  Slieve Donard is the highest in the middle.

“Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.”

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Why is Good Friday called Good.

 

Today is Friday of Holy Week when we remember the last days of Jesus on the earth.  It is called Good Friday.

Is it not a bad day when someone dies?

Jesus died a horrible death.  He was crucified.  His back was cut open from the a whip.  His face was covered in blood from a crown of thorns that pierced his head.  Nails were hammered into his hands and feet.  He was cursed, because anyone who hung on a tree was cursed.  He was covered in blood.  His side was opened up with a sword.  He was naked.  He was hungry.  He was thirsty.  He was separated from God.

Men mocked him.  He suffered.  He was in pain.  He did no wrong.  He did not sin.  He helped people while he lived.  He was full of love.  He forgave those who killed him.  He obeyed his Father.  He did not call on angels for help.  He was the perfect sacrifice.

His close friends deserted him.  He was spat upon.  He was punished.  He was rejected and betrayed.  He was despised.  He had done no violence.  He did not open his mouth.  He did not want his own will.  He gave up his Spirit.

Adam disobeyed God and was put out of the garden and separated from God.  Someone had to bring mankind back into God’s presence.  God told Moses to sacrifice bulls as offerings.  Aaron had to sprinkle the blood over the people to bring them close to God.

Jesus became a sacrifice to God to bring mankind into God’s presence again.  He died to self.  His blood was shed for us though he had not sinned.  Through his sacrifice we can be forgiven our wrongdoings, curses, and healed of sicknesses.  He understands our pain.  He took our pain so we can be healed.  As we believe and accept his sacrifice and forgiveness we can be free.  We are reconciled to God and can be with him on earth and in heaven.

We do not have to wait to die before we experience heaven.  Jesus taught us to pray “Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.”

This is Good News.

That is why the day we remember Jesus’ death is called Good.

Holy Week and the Signs in the Moon

 

We remember the last few days of Jesus life on earth this week Holy Week.  He was talking to his disciples about the future.  They were very nervous because he was telling them he was going to die.  They asked him about what was going to happen in the future.

He mentioned about his return and said “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.  Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.” (Luke 21:25, 31 NIV)   There will be earthquakes. V 11

When Jesus died on the cross there were signs and wonders in nature.  There was an earthquake and there was darkness for three hours.
“It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. (Luke 23:44, 45 NIV)
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split (Matthew 27:51 NIV)

Surely this would have shaken the people and caused them to consider what had just happened to Jesus.  They must have been perplexed.

What is happening in our times?  This very week the moon changed colour.  In some places it appeared red.  It could be seen all over the world!  Surely this will cause all of the peoples of the earth to think?

The prophet Joel foretold many years ago,
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.”  (Joel 2:28-31 KJV)

Jesus promised his disciples before he died that the Father would send the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, who would lead them into all truth.  God wants to pour his Spirit out again.  People will have dreams.  People will have visions.

It is time to seek The Lord.

There is no need to be afraid.  God promises in Malachi,
“But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. (Malachi 4:2 KJV)

Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:17, 36 NIV)

The Moon will Shine as Bright as the Sun

 

Last night, the fifteenth of April, at seven thirty my daughter called me into the kitchen.  Outside low in the sky was a full moon.  It had a glow around it like the colour of the sun.  It was the Lunar Eclipse.  This glow lasted as the moon rose higher in the sky.  My neighbour said, “It is like the sun rising!”

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The area we now live in called Bright.  It is well named.  The sun and moon rise in the east behind our house.  The sun shines all day and sets in the west at the front of the house.  If there are no clouds in the sky we have sunshine and warmth all day.  There are no trees, houses or mountains to cast a shadow.   I awoke through the night.  The moon was shining.  It was not dark outside.

I am reminded of the passage from the bible,

The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the Lord binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted. (Isaiah 30:26 NIV). 

Yesterday the sun shone all day.  It was brighter than normal.  I believe these signs are showing me that God is healing and restoring me and our family.  It indeed is the Year of The Lord’s Favour when we are being healed of wounds we don’t even know we have.  

This promise is not only for me but it is for you.  It is the Year of The Lord’s favour for you.  Call upon The Lord and he will hear.  He is near to the broken hearted and those who are downtrodden.  

We remember Jesus death on the Cross this week.  He died and shed his blood to set us free from sin, sickness, curses, oppression of the devil and restore mankind to wholeness.  Believe and receive Jesus and he will make you whole.  

I am healed of cancer.  I made a choice to believe that Jesus could heal me and I received it even against what the doctors said.  I was in a place of hopelessness, brokenness and despair when I had cancer.  He is now healing all my family from all these things and is restoring them.  We do not deserve this, but God wants us to receive his mercy, goodness and blessing so I can tell you about Him.

Why does my Washing Machine make Socks go Missing?

Do your socks ever go missing in the wash?
I think this is a problem every household faces whether there are two or twenty living there.

I had a laundry basket I left in the washroom.  There the children put their dirty clothes. When there was few of us I enjoyed doing my laundry.  I learned to separate whites, towels, jeans, and different clothes types.  I was able to recover lost socks and pair them off.

Thank God for washing machines.  Years ago woman had to spend all of Monday scrubbing clothes clean with soap.  No washing machines or tumble driers then.

One day I was visiting an older lady.  I noticed her washing dazzling on the washing line outside.  It was indeed like the TV advert recommending a certain detergent.  I wanted to know what detergent she used.  In Ireland we still hang our washing outside, weather permitting.  The fresh air and sunshine freshen the clothes.  I love the smell of clothes brought in from the line.  I even ironed my husbands shirts then.

As the family grew my older children did the washing.  If I did not oversee what they were doing, towels would come out blue after being washed with jeans.  A delicate dress would end up wrinkled beyond repair.  My husband’s Tee shirts would shrink at a too high a temperature.  The children’s clothes I bought for them were made of material that did not need ironing.  The iron got little use.

I gave up on the sock problem.  I bought a wooden box.  I put all odd socks in it.  My husband gave up on losing his socks so he resorted to buying pairs of socks all the one colour.  They would not all be lost!

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Now there only three of us at home I am back to enjoying the laundry.  I even ironed my husbands Tee shirts at the weekend!

My Boys did not go to Eton College!

 

Scripture tells me “They will not labor in vain, nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them.”(Isaiah 65:23 NIV)

I watched a programme recently about three boys from a state school who got scholarships to Eton.  It is a prestigious British boarding school for boys from eleven to eighteen years old.  The fees are 33,000 pounds per year.  Music tuition is an added  cost.  Princes and Prime ministers are educated there.

Each child is allocated a room with a bed, desk, chair and wardrobe.  A matron does their laundry and carefully returns it folded and pressed.  I wonder does she have any trouble loosing socks in the wash?  A cleaner refreshes their rooms each day.  Food is provided in the refractory.  

The boys are free to concentrate on their studies, homework and other school activities. If they are homesick they are able to be in touch with parents by Skype. The boys settled into their new school and did well in their exams.  After a hectic term the boys go home to rest and catch up with their families.  

I was thinking it must be difficult for them, leaving family and friends at such a young age.  No home comforts or times to relax with family at the end of the day.  No outings to the beach or movies!  No coffee times with mum or football matches with mum and dad cheering on the sidelines.  No drives to school if one missed the bus.  No fights with their sisters or brothers.  All the normal things that in the tumble of family life causes one’s character to develop.

My last nine children lived in their new home with plenty of space.  Some of them had a room on their own, with a desk to study at, thanks to their dad.  We made sure they kept up with their school work but I seldom had to help them with it.  They were successful in exams, music and sports.

I did the washing, cooking, and cleaning when they were younger.  Mum was laundress, caterer, nurse, cleaner, advisor, protector, trainer, comforter, intercessor, taxi driver and cheer leader.   If there was any trouble at school the teachers knew we were nearby, and things got sorted.  If a child got mistreated we always defended him.  Above all I prayed for each one.  We would pray together each evening as a family.

My husband was their mentor, helping them fill in forms to apply to university and advise them about life choices.  He was there model too.  He has travelled to the nations and our children are extending their wings as well.

As they grew older chores were allocated to each child.  The oldest at home would cook the evening meal.  Someone else was in charge of washing.  Another, hoovering.  Each one tidied his room.  

Eight of the children were able to walk to the grammar school ten minutes from home.  
They came home for lunch.  I had a warm meal ready for them.  No lining up in the school canteen for them.  One of my sons could see the smoke rising from the chimney of our home and he said he looked forward to seeing me at dinner time.

The teachers were great and encouraged my children in their particular talents.  My youngest daughter played the double bass at school.  She took part in the yearly school orchestra performance in Belfast.  There was room to practice her double bass at home.
Another son played the Tuba.  He took part in school orchestra events.  All this experience for free!

We are priveledged to have free education to second level in Northern Ireland.  We have great schools.

My children had many of the benefits of Eton College but were able to live at home and it did not cost us a fortune.  Think of the thousands of pounds we did not have to pay.  If all nine of my children went to Eton We would have had to pay 2,000,000 pounds in total.  

My husband says I have saved him millions of pounds.  It is true!

All fourteen of my children have gone to third level education.  Some of them have been rubbing shoulders with students from Eton! 

I can truly say God has blessed our children as I mentioned at the beginning.  It is not in my own strength I was able to be a multi task mum.  God gave me the strength and he still does.  My children have done well because God promises to bless our children if we obey his voice.  

Have you Blown it and Need A Second Chance?

 

God provided a year of favour in the Jubilee or fiftieth year.

God gives a second chance:  he even gives three, four, five and more chances. God cares about mankind and he knew they would get into trouble.   God will make a way when there is no way.  

When the Queen of England was reigning for fifty years she celebrated her Jubilee year.  When a couple are married for fifty years their anniversary is called their Jubilee year.

For the Jews the year of Jubilee was celebrated to give restoration and freedom or the Year of The Lord’s favour.  

When Jesus started his ministry he declared he had come to proclaim the “Year of the Lord’s favour.”  He went about healing all those who were slaves to sickness or poverty, or oppressed mentally.  He forgave sins and gave people new beginnings, a new start in life.  Jesus brought Jubilee.

The year 2000 was a year of Jubilee for me.  I was coming up to my fiftieth birthday.  I really came to understand what Jubilee meant and that God cared for me.  

In the previous years I was praying for a bigger house for my growing family.  I wanted more space.  The house we lived in then was great but I knew as my children turned teenagers it would be too small.

God saw my heart’s desire was to help my family.  We had a limited income.  Certainly not enough to buy a bigger home.  If God gave land according to the size of their tribes of Israel, I thought it would be no problem for him to provide a bigger home.  I was his child and his Word says he is my Father.  Matthew 6 v 9.  Would a Father not give good things to his child?

He knows life throws up its hardships and misfortunes.  Rearing children is hard work!  When the children were young I could put them to bed at night and know where they were.  What would they get up to when they became teenagers?  

God promises to give a way of escape.  I needed a new beginning.  

In the year 2000 God provided a new home in a smaller town.  Not only that but God brought me back to near where I was born.  He brought me back to my father’s land like the children of Israel whom God promised to restore them to their father’s land.  Jer  27 v 22. 
I was nearer extended family.  My children were able to get to know them.
It was like moving back in time ten years.   Restoration.  

Football provided activity for my growing boys.  There were no night clubs.  There was less drink and drugs available.  My children made new friends and their parents welcomed them to visit after school.  They were being supervised.  God gave me new friends as well.  I celebrated my fiftieth birthday in my new home.  What a birthday present from The Lord.

Do you feel you are coming to a dead end?  Look up to The Lord.  He will raise you up to a higher plateau and give you a new start. 

Weekly Photo Challenge. Threshold

 

Threshold
We are going over the threshold into a new season in our lives.
This is the gate to our new home.  It indeed is a new beginning for us.

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The anticipation of a new beginning gave us energy.
We moved on the first day of April to the country.
This is a good time of the year to move. 
Leaves are coming out on the hedgerows and lambs skip in the fields.  
The days are longer and there is warmth in the sunshine.
The beach is nearby.  We can take a walk, nothing too strenuous, and enjoy the waves and the mountains.
Horses graze in the field behind us and cattle wander around the meadow in front of us.
It is like going back in time.  I grew up in the countryside.  
I was anticipating moving house for some time.  Now the day had arrived.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Fifty: Jubilee

 

God cares about mankind.

He told Moses to set prisoners and slaves free, cancel debts, and restore land and houses every fiftieth year or Jubilee.

It was a year of favour.

Jesus came and proclaimed Jubilee to everyone not just every fifty years but now today.

He gives freedom.

Believe.

 

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/writing-challenge-fifty/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Prompt Express Yourself : Joy

 

I express myself best when I am doing something that brings me joy.

I love to laugh.

It was my smile that attracted my husband to me.

I enjoy dancing.   We met at a dance.

When I watch a play, movie or comedy I laugh heartily and other people wonder what is so funny.

Life throws up many troubles that robs our joy.  Don’t stay there.   Overcome.

Sunshine comes after rain.

Be with people who have joy.  It will infect you.

Proverbs says “A merry heart is good medicine.”

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/04/05/daily-prompt-express-yourself/