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!!!

Advertisements

Christmas Shopping

image“So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We remember Jesus birth at this time.  A time of joy, to thank God the Father for making himself know through his son Jesus, who was conceived in Mary’s womb and born in an animals’ home.
God our Father’s plan was to redeem mankind from the power of sin, death and the devil, who kept mankind separated from God and prevented them from going to heaven.  The devil stole the authority over all the earth and all living creatures, from Adam.  Jesus is the new Adam.

Jesus grew up in his family and lived humbly helping his parents.  He would have helped with the other children, just as my older children did when they were growing up.  His father was a carpenter.  He did not have a high school or university education.  When he was thirty years old he entered his public ministry.  For three years he went about doing good, healing and delivering all who were oppressed of the devil. He was bringing down the power of the devil, who was keeping people in darkness, believing lies, living in oppression and sickness.  Jesus is the truth.

He was the son of God.  He could have set up a kingdom here on earth and ruled and ordered people what to do.  Instead he allowed himself to be arrested and accused of curing people on the day of rest, working miracles and claiming to be the son of God.  His accusers were jealous of him.  They had to get rid of him before everyone started following him and upsetting the kingdoms that were ruling at that time, including Romans and Jews.

His own people the Jews wanted him crucified.  “Away with him” they said.  Jesus never opened his mouth when he was whipped by soldiers, a crown of thorns hammered into his head, nails pierced into his hands and feet to nail him to a cross and when a sword opened up his side.  He hung on a cross till he breathed his last.  He suffered and died.  He became the perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.  There is no forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood.

A leader from India told us recently how people sacrifice their children in the fire or in the river, or cut themselves in order to get their sins forgiven.  Even after such pain they find no relief from their guilt.  This man told some of these people, “Jesus has forgiven my sins.”  I’m not guilty any more.  They were surprised.  “What sacrifice did you make.”  “How much money did you pay.”
He said, “I believe in Jesus.  He was the sacrifice for my sins.  He died in my place.  He shed his blood for me.  This is good news.  You too can know your sins forgiven by believing in Jesus.”
One woman said “Why did you not come sooner, before I gave my child to the God of the river.”  She was heartbroken.  She was prayed for and Jesus healed her.

“ But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who please God completely.. He is the sacrifice for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

What a wonderful privilege we in the west have to hear the name of Jesus.  We have good health care and good education.  Freedom to work, get married, have children, and live in peace in our homes and neighbourhoods.  But sadly many of us no longer know the power of the name of Jesus or the power of his shed blood or acknowledge, thank or honor him in our lives.   We have forgotten what Christmas really means.

We were travelling home from Dublin airport leaving at five pm yesterday evening.  The road out of Dublin was packed with cars.  On coming near Belfast the roads were packed with cars.  Why is this?   I have travelled at the same time earlier in the year and there were no holdups or roads full of cars.  Ah, people are out Christmas shopping!

Are they shopping for their children who are expecting Santa Clause to leave them some gifts?  Are they shopping for food and drink for fear the shops might run out of provisions nearer Christmas?  How can parents exhaust themselves and get into debt to buy presents for their children who think some mythical being drops them gifts down the chimney?  Are the father’s involved with the shopping, or is it just the mothers?  The children never thank them or appreciate the stress involved.  Why do they continue the lie of Santa Clause?

Do the refugees get presents?   Do the poor people of Africa or India get presents.  Does Santa just come to America and Europe and bless those who already have plenty.  I have asked myself this even when I was young.

Where does Jesus come in our celebration of Christmas?  “Joy to the World” the Christmas cards proclaim.   Brendan and I deleted Santa Clause out of our family when we had four children.  We told them the truth.  If we tell our children about Santa and years later realize there is no Santa, what will they think of mum and dad.  “They told us lies.”  We tell our children the good news that is at the heart of Christmas.  God sent the gift of his Son to us.  Jesus came to take away the sins of the whole world and the give the gift of eternal life.  We can be with him forever in heaven.  We tell them about the other gifts God has for us, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the gift of children, the gift of life itself.

Many people did not agree with us, including family, friends and teachers.  The headmistress asked us to stop our children telling the other children there was no Santa.  Our children did not miss out on gifts.  We saved up and brought our children on summer holidays instead.  I refuse to get caught up in the hype of Christmas.  It does not satisfy!!!

I now live in the hope of going to heaven when I die.  I want to tell others this good news and tell them what Jesus has done for them.   God rescued me from an early death when he healed me of Malignant cancer.  I choose to follow him.  He is returning to the earth soon.  I want to be prepared.  I want to be of use in the years I have left.  I find comfort from this scripture,

“So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

A Star in the East

Today I awoke before sunrise.  I looked out the window and saw a bright star in the East.  I don’t know if it was Saturn or Venus.  It was the only star visible in the awakening dawn.

I thought of the story of the three wise men from the east who followed a star to Israel.  Did they travel by night and rest by day?  How would they have seen the star by day?  Perhaps it was too hot to travel by day.  I don’t know but people have different reasons to set out on a journey.

Thirty eight years ago I set out on a journey.  Many people thought I was crazy including my doctor.   A friend of my husband invited our family to spend Christmas with him in England.  I was excited at the opportunity to have a holiday and our family of four to be looked after.  No Christmas shopping or cooking.

The only concern was I was due my third child on Christmas Day!  I paid a visit to my doctor to tell him about my plans.  He was surprised.  He strongly advised against me travelling such a long journey being heavily pregnant.  What hospital will I attend?  What if I start labour on my journey? He continued to persuade me to give up the idea.

He did not convince me.  I reminded him that Mary travelled on a donkey seventy miles from her home in Nazareth to Bethlehem.  She was heavily pregnant.  I would be travelling by car, a bit more comfortable than a donkey!  The joy of having a holiday outweighed any concerns I had.

The doctor did not say anything more.  He gave me a letter to give to the doctor in whatever hospital I was admitted.

Our family travelled by ferry to Liverpool and on by road to our destination.  I enjoyed the journey. My excitement kept my hopes up.  Our host took me to see his doctor.  He received me and assured me that I could attend the local hospital whenever I went into labour.  There was going to be room for me in the Inn.

Mary gave birth to her baby in a stable surrounded by animals.  There was no midwife or doctor.  No medical care, no pain relief, no comforts, only the breath of the animals to keep her and her baby warm.  Some shepherds were told by angels to go and greet the new born baby.  Some time later the three wise men from the East arrived bringing gifts for the baby Jesus.

Many women is poorer counties can identify with Mary.  Medical care may be expensive or non existent!  Having a baby is not a sickness.  It is a normal process of bringing new life into the world.

I knew for sure the same God, whose son was born in a manger, was looking after me that Christmas in England.  Our friends were very generous to our family.  My baby did not arrive on the due date, Christmas Day.  My husband, myself and two children had the finest of fare without a care in the world.

Three days later I started in labour.  My baby was on the way!  I gave birth to a healthy baby girl with no complications.  I was delighted.  We called her Nora.  She is an answer to prayer.  I already had two children, a girl and a boy.  But I had a strong desire to have another child.  I prayed and asked God for another child.  I believed God and said “I will give my life to you if you give me another child.”  I became pregnant.  God was faithful to give me another child and looked after me on my travels.

I am still travelling on a journey down through the last thirty eight years.  I have read in God’s word many other stories about how God led his people on journeys.  These stories have helped me along my path.
In that time I have reared fourteen children and been healed of fourth stage cancer.  God continues to care for me on the journey.  God is faithful.

Pens and Pencils. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/pens-and-pencils/

 

I bought a writing pad and envelopes recently.

These items connect me with

imagethe past when I remember my mother writing a letter to her daughter who had left home.  She had sent many letters to her leaving children after that.  She would have looked out for the postman to see if there was a response to her letters, a longing for a demonstration of love to be returned to her.

I enjoy getting a hand written letter that the postman brings. At a Christmas event my sister gave her siblings hand written letters we had sent to her forty years ago.  They brought back memories, jogged the mind to remember past events, and produced a few tears.

I set the writing pad and envelopes in my writing bureau, knowing I will be inspired to use them, someday.  That “someday” was this morning.  I have just written a hand written letter to my friend, whose phone is not reliable.  And even if it is working she often does not answer it.

Very often an elderly relative appreciates a hand written letter or card.  They are not able to connect with Facebook or e mail, the modern way of communication.

When my children were at home it was difficult to find a pen when one needed it to make a note to buy an item or when my husband needed one.  The pens always circulated into bedrooms and under beds.  No matter how many pens were left in a holder to keep them together, it would have to be refilled often.

Now the pens stay in the overcrowded holder.  My husband would forget the children are not here any longer, and would include a packet of pens in the shopping when they are on offer.  He cannot pass a bargain.

Our first Christmas card this season was from our son Jacob.  It was sealed on the outside with wax.  He wrote down thoughts from the heart to his mum and dad on the beautiful card.  I found out later he had sent a hand written card to each of his family at Christmas time, especially to those who live in other countries.   He is not a fan of Facebook.  I still have his card on the mantle piece of the fireplace.

I bought some of my children fountain pens this Christmas.  I remember using one for all my school work.  The teachers were very careful to make sure we had neat hand writing using an ink filled pen.  Some traditions are returning.

I Hear the Brent Geese Honking.

My front door is one hundred and ten steps away from the sea shore.  This morning I can hear the honks of Canadian Brent geese that graze along the waters edge.  The sun is coming up over the hill to the left.  It will melt the crisp frost that has whitened the grass overnight.  It’s a new day dawning.

image

I think of the song by Matt Redman

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

The Brent geese come to this area of Strangford Lough for the winter.  I always think of our friends from Canada when I see them.  They remind me of the blessing Canadians have been to my husband and family.  Canadians have visited us and we have visited Canada.

There are four aeroplane trails going west to east as I look up in the sky.  Flight paths pass over Ireland from Canada to London.  After the Christmas festivities with friends and family my heart is being drawn to travel and the nations beyond to tell my story of God healing me from cancer.

I was reading from the scriptures this morning.

This message is from the LORD, who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the human spirit. (‭Zechariah‬ ‭12‬:‭1‬ NLT)

How good it is to sing praises to our God.
He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
He counts the stars and calls them all by name.
How great is our Lord! His power is absolute!
His understanding is beyond comprehension! (‭Psalm 147 v 1 to 4

These scriptures remind me that the God who made the heavens, made me, and he healed my broken heart and healed my wounds and is restoring my life from sadness and sorrow.

I want to sing Bless The Lord Oh my soul.  I am alive to praise The Lord.  Psalm 88 says the dead cannot praise God.  It is good to be alive to hear and see the Brent Geese.

My sons, daughters and grand children were strumming on their guitars, playing a tin whistle and singing last night as we gathered together.  Songs of joy are filling our home and hearts.

One of my grand daughters gets up early to play her guitar and write songs.  She has to rush when her mum calls her for school.

He awakens me morning by morning and fills me with joy.

An Inherited Brooch Brings Back Memories.

I was wearing a brooch on my coat lapel today.  It belonged to my husband’s mother.  I liked it because it was in the shape of a tree.  It caught my son’s eye as we were out for a walk.  He said “Is that the olive tree with all the branches around your table.”  He was referring to a scripture that described our young children sitting around our table.
Blessed is every one that fears the Lord; that walks in his ways.
For you will eat the labour of thine hands: happy will you be, and it shall be well with you.
Your wife shall be as a fruitful vine within your house: your children like olive plants round about thy table.
Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed imagethat feareth the Lord. (‭Psalms‬ ‭128‬:‭1-4‬ KJV)

We used to sing this Psalm often.  Abraham said “Let me count the number of leaves on it.”  He counted fourteen, the number of children we have.  I was excited and could not wait to tell Brendan.  I showed the brooch to him and he was pleasantly surprised as well.  He counted the number of leaves.  Yes there were fourteen.  But he looked again and counted six white leaves and eight green leaves.  We have six girls and eight boys in our family.

The brooch is inexpensive but it is priceless now.  It is prophetic.  Nannie had this brooch for many years.  I bet she never expected her son would have fourteen children.  I am wearing it in memory of her and all our children The Lord gave us.

Children are a blessing from The Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127

We moved house recently.  Brendan has been working to get our home ready for visiting family and grandchildren.  We push ourselves to get one more job done, even though our bodies ache.  We take a break and start again.  We have a big house and it is a bit  lonely with just the two of us, after years of activity and bustle.  Our hearts ache as well when we remember our loved ones far away.

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?  Though she may forget I will not forget you.”  (‭Isaiah‬ ‭49‬:‭15‬ NIV)

Abraham returned from university yesterday; the first of the birds flying home to Ireland for Christmas.  Three more arrive on Friday.   I am blessed today as God reminds us of all our children we reared down through the years, in this little brooch.  They are returning home.  He has not forgotten us.

Lift up your eyes and look around; all your children gather and come to you. As surely as I live,” declares the Lord, “you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on, like a bride. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭49‬:‭18‬ NIV)

I will wear my brooch and think of God’s love and faithfulness to us.  Yes his promise to me will come true.  My children will return.

I received an e mail from a friend in Canada. She reminded me of Proverbs 13 v 12,

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭13‬:‭12‬ NIV)

When I was suffering from cancer I had lost all hope in the future or my dreams and prophesies coming true. But God intervened. He had mercy on me and for his Name’s sake he healed me. Today my hopes and dreams are coming true. The brooch resembling a tree is an encouragement to me that my longings are being fulfilled, and that God is restoring my life.

There is life after cancer. I am staying alive.

DAVID’S BIRTHDAY part two

My daughter got in touch with Brendan at the airport.  The information desk paged him on the intercom.  He was soon to board his flight to London.  He returned home to be with me at the hospital.  Our baby was well on its way when Brendan arrived.  I was delighted to see him.  The labour progressed.  Brendan brought me extra courage and strength.  David was born, a healthy baby boy of ten pounds with a strong pair of lungs.

I have always been excited when I started in labour.  I know the waiting is over and my baby will be born soon.  I had no fear for my well being or my child’s health.  I believe in God’s promise that “Children are a gift from God”Psalm 127 v 3 and “He will keep me safe in childbearing.” 1 Timothy 2 verse 1.

Children wait in anticipation for a Christmas present from parents, or “Santa Claus” and do not be disappointed.  Before Christmas I see parents going around franticly looking for their children’s presents, greeting stressed out and spending much money.

“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” (Luke 11:11-13 NLT)

Brendan and I decided many years ago to delete Santa Claus out of our family.  We had many reasons.

1.  Santa Claus is a lie. If we as parents tell our children lies when they are young, then how will they trust us  to believe important things we tell them later in life.

2.  This lie is mixed in with an important event in the Christian calendar, Christmas, the birth of Jesus, a gift from God the Father.   It is good to give gifts to one another at this time to celebrate God’s gift to us.  But let us be truthful about it. You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.

3.  One can live within ones means.  Many people get into debt at Christmas time.  The consumer society makes most profit at this time.  How come Santa does not go to the poor countries of Africa?

4.  One does not have to get stressed out living up to expectations of having to buy presents, Christmas tree, turkey, make big meals, celebrating.  Christmas Day is the most stressful day of the year when family tensions run high.

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. (Matthew 6:31-34 NLT)

5.  Many people want the fun, fellowship and feasting but do not acknowledge the One that Christmas is all about.

It turned out that eight of our children were born around the Christmas season.  Our children were gifts from God to us.

I was very comfortable in the maternity unit I was transferred to.  It was a home from home.  Twenty five years ago mothers were happy to stay in hospital to get help with their babies. One could get a good night’s sleep.  The night nurses fed the babies.  Now because of financial cuts and mother’s choice the stay in hospital is one or two days after the baby is delivered.

I was happy for Brendan to go to the conference.  I would stay in hospital and enjoy the care, until his return.  I got plenty of rest, good food, and had time to bond with my beautiful new son.
I had no care for tomorrow.

David is a bright, handsome young man.  He has a heart to work with disadvantaged people.  He has already worked in Nicaragua and India.  He is overcoming difficulties to get into his destiny that God had planned for him before he was born. May God bless him this year.

It is also the twenty fifth anniversary of the Keg Worth aircraft crash today. On the night of David,s birth, when Brendan was on his way from Belfast to London, a flight from London to Belfast crashed with 114 people on board.  Forty seven people died.  It is a sad day for many.  I will not forget David’s birthday.