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/

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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.”

A Place of Abundance

My son Abraham pumped up the tyres on my bicycle today. The firm tyres seemed to improve my progress cycling along the path. I didn’t have as many aches and pains this morning. My body must be adjusting to my new regime. I was able to cycle further too.

“The hand of the LORD was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.
This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones:
I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.”
‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭37:1-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬Y

Breath entered my bicycle and it was working better! I will remain ember Abraham as I go for a cycle. He leaves today to take up a job in London after finishing university this year. He leaves the nest today.

Sparrows came to my attention today as I was out on my bike ride.
There was an abundance of them. They flourish here because food is readily available. There are plenty of safe nesting and roosting sites nearby in the hedgerows and trees. A flock of birds flew up from the seaweed along the shore. Little grubs, beetles and insects break down the seaweed. The sparrows have easy nutrious pickings.

If they fancy a change the hedgerows are full of haws, blackberries and honeysuckle fruit. Nearby barley has been harvested by the farmer. There should be plenty of seeds left behind after the reaping. All this provision should see the birds through the winter months.

Seeing the sparrows reminded me of Psalm 84,
“Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭84:3-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This scripture was a great encouragement to me when I was praying for a new home. God knew where it would be best and safe for Brendan and I to live to rear our young. There was always the provision of friends, shops and schools in the towns we ended up residing. As I reflect I see God’s leading in every house move. He brought us to a place of abundance. Just like the sparrows today. They are flourishing in a place of abundance.

Jesus used the illustration of a sparrow because it is the most widely distributed wild bird and it lives close to human habitations.  Wherever I travel in the world I always see sparrows.  Jesus said he knows when a sparrow falls to the ground.  We are more important than the sparrow.  We can be assured of Jesus care for us, just as he cares for the sparrow.  If we fall or are downcast he knows and comes to our aid.

An Appointment With Nature

 

Over the summer months I have been focusing on writing a book. I haven’t had much exercise; not even working in the garden or walking. Despite a minimum of attention tomatoes, herbs and flowers have blossomed in the sunny summer we have had. Butterflies flutter and swallows swoop overhead . They are enjoying the end of summer sunshine.

My body was telling me it needed some exercise. I feel a bit stiff after sitting at a desk for hours on end.  I needed to get away from my computer and books.  I needed to get outdoors to see life around me.

Yesterday I awoke early to a warm, bright morning and decided to go for a cycle. I prefer cycling to walking. It is not too taxing pushing my bike along the Loughshore Rd. The seashore was just to my right. I heard the sound of stones hitting one another and stopped to investigate. I counted ten turnstones, tiny seabirds, busily upturning small stones and feeding on the juicy morsels of insects exposed. The birds were well camouflaged against the brown and grey seaweed and stones. One wouldn’t know they were there except for the noise they were making. I was delighted to discover them on my trip outdoors.

Each time Brendan and I go for a walk there is always something going on in nature. On the way home I noticed a dozen teal ducks who had come ashore to drink fresh water from a brook that trickles down to the sea. They were resting and preening their feathers. They were safe, warming themselves in the morning sunshine. How beautiful? What have I been missing?

A speaker once said that Nature is the bible of creation. Jesus said “Look at the birds.” I learn a lot from watching birds.

This morning I was full of aches and pains after cycling. I was feeling sorry for myself and wanted to stay resting under the blankets. I didn’t want more pain from exercising. Brendan encouraged me to come down for breakfast. After a chat and food I was revitalised. I persevered to go cycling again. I decided to keep up the exercise. What has nature in store for me this morning?

I got my bicycle out again. I wasn’t disappointed. I stopped to rest at Ballyhenry Island. It was low tide. A flocks of seagulls were sunbathing. I heard the chugg chugg of a boat in the distance. It was setting out towards the marine station where research is taking place. I watched as it came close.

A tall black bird caught my eye in the distance. It was flapping its wings. Perhaps it was stretching after feeding. It continued to flap and stretch its wings for fifteen minutes. I was amazed at its energy.   It’s not easy to see a cormorant up close.  They keep their distance from danger.  When on the ferry one can catch a glimpse of a cormorant as it surfaces after diving for food.  Their short legs and streamlined body help them easily glid into the water.  They have been likened to penguins. Bird Island off Kircubbin is where they can safely nest and rear their young.

I thought of the following scripture,
“Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars,
wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds,
kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and women, old men and children.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭148:7-12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I imagined the cormorant was praising The Lord with its outstetched wings for more that fifteen minutes. I could not keep my arms raised for fifteen minutes. I marvelled as I watched the black bird in the distance.

It was time to return home. I look forward to tomorrow morning. What will the birds be doing?

Living in Harmony

Watching a wildlife program about Japan has inspired me.

The most northerly island, Hokkaido has the harshest climate of all the islands of Japan. The people who have settled there are farmers who grow cereals and flowers in the short summer. Fishermen harvest the rich sea before the cold of winter freezes it over.

In September the Pacific salmon begin to return to the rivers of Hokkaido to spawn. Black bears gather at the coast to feast on the fish that team in the river mouths. Fishermen who also collect the bounty of salmon, sit mending their nets. These men and bears live in harmony with each other. There is plenty of food for both. Often a mother bear is fiercely protective of her cubs, but there is no need to fear in Hokkaido.

The farmers have reclaimed marshland on the coastlands. They were once the feeding grounds of large, tall, white birds called the Red Crowned Cranes. To the Japanese they are symbols of beauty and long life. A century ago their numbers were reduced to thirty pairs. They were in danger of extinction. The farmers, who drained the cranes’s feeding areas, rescued the cranes by giving them grain through the winter when the ground is frozen. Their numbers have now grown to 1000. Here is another example of men and wildlife living in harmony. They co-exist in the harsh conditions.

These cranes are known most of all for their singing and dancing. When they gather in large numbers they put on a show. The enormous birds lift up their heads and raise a deep call from their throats. They pirouette, jump and flap their large wings. They don’t crash on the icy ground. Their performance reminded me of the ballet dancers I saw recently in “Giselle.” The male star leapt across the stage. The many ballerinas created an enchanting atmosphere with their movements in the second act.

The Red Crested Cranes are an example to us. They live in a cold, harsh environment. They could chose a more comfortable climate. Instead they flourish, dance and sing where they are meant to be. Their beauty, strength and endurance are to be admired. I am encouraged to lift up my voice and dance, like the cranes before the One who created me, even in the most difficult of situations. The psalmist calls us to praise Him. “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” Psalm 150 like King David danced with all his might before the Lord when he brought back the Ark of the Lord.

Will You Handle Snakes?

I have enjoyed a BBC series about the people and nature of Japan. It is called the Enchanted Islands of Japan. There are many instances of how wild animals, nature and humans work together.

On one small island Okinawa, a person who is eighty years old is called young. Many of the seniors live to over one hundred years old. They put long life down to love, the ideal climate, growing their own vegetables and living off the sea produce.

Two seventy year old woman go down to the sea every evening to fish for snakes, which live in the warm, fertile water around the coral reefs. They need to come to the surface for air. At night time they gather in caves for shelter and to drink fresh water. Their venom is ten times stronger than that of a rattlesnake. The two small ladies start off at dusk on their mission. Each lady goes down into the cave on her bare feet. She reachs into the water and pulls out a snake by its neck. She has no fear. The snake doesn’t resist. It is collected in a net till the night’s catch is complete. These ladies have followed a tradition that was handed down on these islands over many years.  They are the only ones left on the island who fish for snakes. Modernism has stopped this ancient craft.

Next day the snakes are smoked and cooked to be eaten. This meal is regarded as a delicacy and was reserved for special people, even kings in the past. I laughed when I watched this part of the programme. Genesis 3 tells me that the woman will crush the serpents head. Are these woman doing what it says. They have no fear of the snakes, whereas a cameraman did not want to enter the water without protective clothing. Are these ladies an example to us not to be afraid of the very thing people are afraid of, snakes, physically and spiritually?  Has modernism and humanistic thinking blinded mankind to the truth that the Devil has power and we need a saviour who can release us from his power.  Yes the saviour has come.  He is Jesus and he came to destroy the works of the devil.  He even told his followers to do the same.

“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

Jesus confirmed what Genesis says when he spoke to his disciples.

It reminded me where Jesus told his disciples you will pick up snakes and scorpions and they will not harm you.

“The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭10:17-19‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Jesus gives me power over all the power of the devil. Yes the devil has power but Jesus defeated him when he died on the cross. In Jesus name I can defeat demons. I do not see them but I see their fruit in sickness and bondage over people.

Women are you willing to pick up snakes and break the power of the enemy of your soul and your family. They will be bread for you. You have the authority given by God and with the power of the Blood of Jesus you will win.

Each morning I go fishing for snakes when I pray in my room.  I break the power of the enemy stealing my family or others who come to mind in Jesus name.  Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.

To give you an example.  There is a spiritual snake called the Spirit of Phyton.  The natural Phyton is one of the largest snakes in the world.  It can grow to 26 feet.  It does not have any venom.  How it kills its prey is by wrapping itself around its victim and squeezing it to death. This spirit works slowly on a person to bring deception to his mind and then bring a disease which will operate slowly to bring death.  The person will not be healed unless the Phyton spirit is cast out.

Lets believe in Jesus and use the authority he gave us.