Present Time Still Standing

The present cold, dull day makes one want to stay close to home comforts. My AGA cooker is one of my home comforts. For the last few days it was not working properly and I was feeling the cold. The engineer checked it over on Friday night. The problem was a blocked filter stopping the oil flowing to power the cooker.

I had been meditating on the scripture about five wise virgins who had their lamps filled with oil. I wrote a blog on the subject. I was experiencing at first hand what it was like not to have the oil flowing. I was very cold as a result. I was waiting patiently to see if the Aga was working again. I was overjoyed to see it was working better than it had been for a long time and my kitchen was warm again.  I cooked pancakes for breakfast, made wheaten bread in the oven and cooked soup, all before ten am.

In the early morning the sun light up the sky and sea to a pale blue. Light and warmth were returning. Is the winter over?

My husband and I went for a walk along the shore. We walked through the variety of boats safe on dry land for the winter. A rich man’s yacht, a black upturned curragh, an unfinished wooden skiff and some fiber glass small boats sheltered there. We went to our favorite spot to collect sea glass. Oh, the welcome warmth on our backs as we bent down searching.

Later we sat at the quay sharing some fish and chips. Other creatures were enjoying the welcome sunny morning. Brent geese fed in the water and gulls soared overhead. Two gulls landed on the pier a little distance off. I took a photo of them. A friend distracted me for a while. She was out enjoying the morning as well.

When I looked at the gulls again, I noticed the bigger one was standing on one leg. I commented to my husband. A moment later the gull stretched the missing leg out behind. He limped a few steps forward and sat down. His partner looked on attentively. He must have been in pain. We prayed that the gull’s leg would be healed and restored.

Yesterday was a joyful day. I wanted to fit in so much while the sun shone. The joy of yesterday overflowed into today. The cold and dullness at the present time has not dented my sense of wellbeing.

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

Advertisements

The Heron

Cyclists sprint past,
Cars hurry to the ferry,
Lovers chat,
Strong youths hike along the shore road
Unaware of the heron

Standing nearby

Beside the still water

Dignified with

Whispy long feathers

Dangling from his chest.

Slender neck outstretched
Eyes staring, glaring.
Yellow beak darts and stabs.
A small fish is swallowed.

Rewarded.

He rests for a while to savour success

His head wound into his shoulders.
He waits into the night, fishing.
He knows that tomorrow
There will be choppy waters.
He shrieks, spreads his feathers,
Like a skirt hanging from his wings,
And rises to the hills beyond,
To wait, satisfied, high in a tree,
Till the storm passes.

Brilliant Sunshine Ireland.

Our cold January mornings have been cheered by the brilliant light of the sun reflecting off the water in front of our home.  I’m reminded each morning of God’s mercies being new every morning.  No matter what our difficulties, God promises to rise with healing in his wings.  (Malachi)

The sun shining in our windows give added warmth to our front rooms. It brings an invitation to venture out for a walk or work in the garden, instead of lingering under the bedclothes. The shoots of snowdrops and daffodils are already appearing above ground.

Today is different. The ferry between Portaferry and Strangford is suspended due to fog over Strangford Lough. The chill is not dispersed by brilliant light today.

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

Faith for Provision

It was 1998. Brendan wanted to take me to India, my first trip with him to the nations. He had been to India many times and wanted to introduce me to his friends there. Brendan wanted to bless me for looking after our children and home, while he travelled. He was wondering if it was the right time to go.

We had just moved house from one end of Northern Ireland to the other with nine children. We were still settling into our new home and getting a feel of our surroundings. It would mean getting visas and booking flights, and believing God for the provision.

One evening our family were relaxing watching a nature programm on television. It was about wildlife in India. The Brahmaputra is a river that winds across north India. The lush grass along it’s banks supports some of the biggest animals in the world. Wild buffalo, elephant, rhino, tiger, deer and many other species co exist. The documentary showed a large family of otters chewing on fish. They lay on the bank of the river in the sun contented with bellies full. There is plenty of food and space for all the species. They are not jostling each other for space. There is an abundance of water and food.

He covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, and makes the grass grow in mountain pastures. He gives food to the wild animals and feeds the young ravens when they cry. (‭Psalms‬ ‭147‬:‭3-5, 8-9‬ NLT)

At this time we were in transition. We had just moved from a town house with its restrictions for a large family to a broad place, a bungalow with large garden on the edge of town. We had taken a leap of faith. The documentary was an encouragement to me that as God provides for the wild beasts in Northern India will he not provide for me and my big family. We had more space in our new home, for our growing boys. There was plenty of room for them all.

I reassured my husband to go ahead and book the flights for India. I had faith that God would supply all our need according to his riches in Glory. His bank is not broke. Heaven is not running out of gold. The streets are paved with gold. He is looking after all peoples and nations. Is it difficult for him to look after our family? He provides even for the animals, will he not also provide for us.

The documentary encouraged our faith. Brendan needed further reassurance. He asked a friend to pray. He responded and said God gave him the word, Thomas. This was a word of knowledge, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Brendan researched about Thomas. He was one of the disciples of Jesus and it is thought he went to India.

The Holy Spirit confirmed I should go to India. Brendan went ahead and planned the trip to India. Friends looked after our children while we were away. God looked after all who were away and all at home.

A Love Song from the Father

God wants to pamper us.

When one is a child he looks forward to treats or celebrations of birthdays or Christmas time when there is a feeling of good will and some kindness is offered. These good times are easily remembered. When one grows up responsibilities overwhelm a person and there is little remembrances of good times or special days. One doesn’t even want to remember his birthday. One doesn’t even want to make the effort to set aside holidays.

Each day is an ordinary day, get up, go to work, come home, have dinner, look at the kids, watch some television or have a beer or glass of wine and off to bed. One falls into the routine and there is no desire to change from the ordinary. Everyone else lives like this. This is what is expected. The mortgage and car hire gets paid. What could anyone want for? It used to be the woman stayed at home to be a homemaker. Nowadays woman are in the workplace and join in the work routine.

I heard this song on the radio while out driving recently. It is a Stevie Wonder song written many years ago.

It is “I just called to say I love you.” Here are some of the lyrics.

No New Year’s Day to celebrate
No chocolate covered candy hearts to give away
No first of spring
No song to sing
In fact here’s just another ordinary day

No April rain
No flowers bloom
No wedding Saturday within the month of June
But what it is, is something true
Made up of these three words that I must say to you

No summer’s high
No warm July
No harvest moon to light one tender August night
No autumn breeze
No falling leaves
Not even time for birds to fly to southern skies

No Libra sun
No Halloween
No giving thanks to all the Christmas joy you bring
But what it is, though old so new
To fill your heart like no three words could ever do

I just called to say I love you
I just called to say how much I care, I do
I just called to say I love you
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart.

I want to use this song to illustrate God’s love for us. Life may seem routine and ordinary. When we know God’s goodness and provision, everyday can be like Christmas, when there is goodwill and rest and giving one another gifts.
I watched the movie, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. All of nature and animals were under the spell of the witch. Everything was frozen. There was no Christmas! It was never celebrated.

This movie is an allegory of the power of the devil keeping everyone under his spell. There is good news. Jesus comes to deliver us from the power of the enemy and bless us and make our lives as if it can be Christmas every day. He gives us joy instead of sadness, family instead of loneliness, healing instead of pain, forgiveness instead of guilt. God pours his love over us and melts the ice and coldness we have come to be used to, as if it is the norm.

I was reading in the scriptures today. Two lines speak of God’s care for the individual.

” I have cared for you since you were born.
Yes, I carried you before you were born.
I will be your God throughout your lifetime— until your hair is white with age.
I made you, and I will care for you.
I will carry you along and save you.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭46:3-4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Psalm 68 v 19
Praise The Lord, for each day he carries you in his arms.

What a wonderful promise to think about. Let God carry you. Let him bring you out of the ordinary into the extra ordinary. Jesus came to give us 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

God wants to pamper us for a while to help us through life’s difficulties.

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

A Piece of Ireland

Would you like a little bit of Ireland to cherish.

Order now for Christmas and avoid hold up in the post.
I sent an order to Canada at Christmas last year and it arrived at Easter.

Here is a sample of necklaces I have made from Irish Seaglass and pottery.
I pick the glass up from the shore along the Irish Sea. It has been mounded by the waves crashing on the shore and then tossed about for decades.
For me it symbolises what God does in our lives. He takes that which is broken and makes us into something beautiful.

“Cast out but picked up,
Rejected but restored,
Cut off but brought back,
Worn down but built up,
Broken but renewed,
Hope for the future,
Scarred but made beautiful,
Sharp edges softened,
Cut down but living again.”

“O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭54:11‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Each necklace is made form leather or cotton tie and Seaglass or Pottery.
Cost is £5 per item. Postage is £1 in UK or £3 to Europe, USA or Canada.
Order through message on Facebook.
Other items can be seen and ordered from Etsy.com.

Order now for Christmas!!!

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.”