Sixteen Graduations in One Family

Brendan and I set off for Scotland from Belfast City Airport on Thurday. We arrived on good time for our Flybe flight. I was looking forward to spending the afternoon with our son who was picking us up from the Glasgow airport.

We checked our flight on the screen. It was rescheduled for a hour later. That was fine. We relaxed in the lounge. Our flight was called but we were told to wait in the lounge. Time passed. We missed our flight! A big shock! Brendan comforted me but I was shaken. An attendant arranged for us to get the next flight at six thirty without any further expense. That eased the pain. We missed seeing our son. More waiting.

Today, Friday, 7/7/17, our daughter Angela graduated from Edinburgh university. We were with her to see her receive her award along with over a hundred other students. It was a colourful and jubilant occasion.

Angela is the last of our fourteen children. All sixteen of us have received a degree from university. It is forty five years since I graduated from university. Today’s celebration was worth the waiting.

I have lived to see all my children graduate after having cancer in 2010. God is good. He is faithful to keep his promise that he will bless my children. Exodus 20. Brendan was at each birth of our children and at each graduation. That must be a record. He is a great husband, dad and grand dad.

God and his angels rejoice when we were born on the earth. God and his angels are rejoicing over us today.

When God gives a promise nothing can stop it coming about. Our own mistakes, difficulties, even missing a flight will not stop what God plans to bring about.

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Unto us a Child is Born

We all loved Nora.  Then one day Shann and Brendan started praying for another baby. They said, Mummy we want a baby brother as well.  They thought babies just come to order.  They had childlike faith.  Eighteen months later Aaron was born.
Aaron was a beautiful baby. The scripture says, Moses was a beautiful baby.  When Moses was born Pharoah had the midwives kill all the male Israelite children because he feared the nation of Israel would grow too strong.  But when Moses’ mum saw that Moses was a beautiful boy she defied Pharoah’s decree and hid the child and kept him alive.  No abortion for Aaron.
The Mary Rankin, in Coleraine was an old style maternity home where you could have your baby and your GP would attend.  It was staffed by caring midwives.  It didn’t have the clinical atmosphere of a hospital.  It was only a five minute walk from our home, over the bridge across the river Bann.
When my labour increased I packed my bag and Brendan and I walked over to the home.  Labour continued throughout the night.  Aaron was in no hurry.  It was time to have my baby when the night shift had to change.  Instead of leaving the night nurses stayed on to see the new baby.  The new staff were in the labour ward as well. The doctor was also iin attendance when the baby arrived. The circus had come to town.
Brendan and I had been sharing our faith in Jesus with the night nurses. At this stage of our journey we were also both baptised in the Holy Spirit.  We both spoke in toungues.  When I’d have a pain I would begin to pray in the Holy Spirit as long as the pain lasted.  I believed Jesus would help me through my labour without it being unbearable.
It was like a prayer meeting in the delivery room with six nurses watching and the doctor pacing the floor.  At one point the nurse helping me said “Angela lift up your leg,” and just then a massive labour pain kicked in and I yelled at the top of my voice, “Lift up The Lord,” and Brendan and I started loudly speaking in toungues. Aaron was born in revival.  A healthy ten pounds ten ounces boy was born with no complications on April the eleventh near Easter time.  I later met two of the nurses who attended that revival who told me they became pregnant shortly afterwards.
This morning in Zante there was a little boy in a high chair at breakfast.  He reminded me of Aaron.  He was calling “Abba, Abba” to his daddy.  God wants us to call him Abba – Daddy.  There is no other God who wants us to call him a child’s first word to his father.
We now had four children, two under two years old. We bought a big pram, an old fashioned type, that could hold one baby at the top and one at the bottom and a week’s shopping underneath.  It was a bit like a stagecoach. The pram was the only vehicle we owned.  I took my babies out in the pram for walks, shopping or to visit friends.  All recreation was within walking distance.
One day I went to visit one of the well-off ladies from the prayer group.  Her husband was a business man and they lived in a posh end of town.  I was half way up her driveway with my pramful of life when the husband put his head out the window and roared “My wife is not at home.”  He obviously wanted to keep us well away from his big house. I can still feel the sting of those words.
I took all my children to church.  I carried the youngest baby in a sling tucked close to me so if the child cried I could breast feed the baby discreetly, or so I thought.  One day a man complained that “I should not be feeding the baby in church.”  I was discouraged.  One man did not want me visiting his wife and another complaining about me feeding my baby in church.  Then I read the scripture in Joel  2:16 about calling the nursing mothers and the infants at their breast into the solemn assembly. God did not disapprove of my breastfeeding in church and I would feed a whole lot more before it was all over.
Growing up my son Aaron was not like the rich man shouting out the window for the poor to go away. Aaron excelled at sports and athletics but he was not proud.  His circle of friends always included the weak and rejected.  He really loved all classes of people.
Now Aaron has a son of his own also called Aaron, as well as two wonderful little girls, Sara Joye and Eilish.  He is married to Marta from Slovakia.  Brendan and I now travel to her country and share about how God has healed me.  Aaron and Marta inspired us to translate my book Staying Alive into Slovakian. To date 5,000 copies are distributed in Slovakia..  Through this Slovakian connection we now have also translated the book into Italian.  Seems like we are publishing our books into the language of the spouses of those children in the stagecoach pram.
Way to go. Pressing on!