Clap Hands on Receiving a Degree

 

My daughter Hannah received her degree in Master of Science, specialising in Midwifery this week. There was great excitement as we gathered with her at the Graduation ceremony in Dublin from Co Down, Wicklow, Belfast and Bratislava. We all had a part to play to keep Hannah encouraged over the last two years. She studied part time for her Masters. She would be exhausted on a Tuesday night after her trip to Dublin. Will she get her dissertation in on time?  Sweat, prayers and tears went into getting this Masters degree.

The hard work paid off. She completed with flying colours. She got the prize. She overcame and got the victory. Isn’t that something to write about, or the saying goes, “Something to write home about,”

Photographers took photos in the fading light. Students looked smart in black gowns, blue trim and mortar boards. Girls balanced in the highest of heels specially worn for the day and posed for the cameras on their i Phones. Photos were dispatched on What’s App.


It was time to gather in the hall and await the entrance of students, lecturers and dignitaries from the university. The orchestra played and trumpets announced the arrival of the procession.  That was the loudest noise that was made in the whole session. We were advised not to clap after each student received their award. The whole event seemed a bit dull without the accolade and celebration of each one’s achievement.

Clapping hands is like sounding a bell. The metal gong on a bell is called a clapper. Clapping raises a sound to heaven of jubilation and thanksgiving. Students and parents get dressed up in their best for the occasion and want to congratulate their daughter and friends on their success. Some African parents were there to celebrate. They shout, dance and sing to celebrate victories.

Clapping also has health benefits. It stimulates blood circulation, the lifeline of the human body. Having a good blood flow brings well being.

Clapping also shakes the powers in the air. When the children of Israel were going around the walls of Jericho they gave a great shout and the walls of Jericho fell down.  When Jesus was coming into Jerusalem all the people were honoring and praising him. Some one complained but Jesus said if they don’t praise me even the very stones will cry out.
One reference in the scriptures says the trees will clap their hands.
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Perhaps the trees outside the auditorium were clapping their hands.  After the ceremony finished we were treated to the best food I have enjoyed at a university graduation.  This was a saving grace.

I believe it is important to give the time to clap each student as he receives his degree.

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A Night at the Theatre to hear Handel’s Messiah

We were given complimentary tickets to Handel’s Messiah, performed in the Belfast Waterfront by the Ulster Orchestra and the Belfast Philharmonic.  We were joined by two friends who arranged supper and a lift to the theatre.

In the Program Notes it says that Handel’s first performance of Messiah was in Dublin rather than in London.  The Messiah was written around the 1740 s during the period of Enlightenment and scientific questioning, and the of message of Jesus Christ was unpopular.  There is nothing new under the sun.

In our secular, humanistic society there is not much mention of God.  Santa Claus is glorified at Christmas time rather than Our Father in heaven who sent his son Jesus on earth to redeem mankind.  The gospel is not popular where man is in control.

People would be entertained at the theatre or opera houses in Handel’s day.  The equivalent media today is television.  Not everyone liked the idea of the gospel message being played in the opera house.

The words of Handel’s Messiah are all biblical texts proclaiming Jesus birth, death and ressurection, written by Charles Jennens.  There was opposition to his work and the word Messiah was omitted for its first performance in London.  However I believe this work was inspired by God.

I particularly liked the Chorus. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities.  The chastisement of our peace was upon him and by his wounds we are healed.”

It is because I believe in the truth of these words that I am healed from fourth stage cancer.  Jesus was wounded so I can be healed.   

When Handel’s Messiah was performed in the nations down through the centuries people have heard the words of the gospel. The message of Jesus’ promise of forgiveness, healing, restoration and victory through his death on the cross has been sung in the great theatres of the world.  Who knows how God works.  He sends his word throughout the earth.  It will not return void.

Give thanks to The Lord, call upon his name.  Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.  1 Chron 16 v 8

When one speaks the truth of the word of God, Satan flees and people’s ears are opened.  Words are creative.  We are not limited to speak about God in churches.  Different songs are written and played through the media for people to hear.  One simple example comes to mind.  “Go tell it on the mountain.”  In the movie Sister Act there is a song the nuns sing called “I will follow him.”  Gods word says “Open your mouth and I will fill it.”  Johnny Cash went into prisons and sung the gospel message to the prisoners.

It was very powerful moment last night when the Ulster Orchestra played the Alleluia Chorus.  The drums beat and the trumpeters blasted.  The 160 strong choir stood up followed by the audience of two thousand people and sang out to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

The angels would have joined us.

“Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders.
And they sang in a mighty chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered— to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.” And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea.
They sang: “Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever.”
And the four living beings said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped the Lamb. (‭Revelation‬ ‭5‬:‭11-14‬ NLT)

Satan does not want the words of the Gospel proclaimed.  When Satan tempted Jesus in the desert, Jesus responded by saying it is written and quoted the scriptures.  When we speak in line with the scriptures we defeat Satan and God moves according to our words.  Mary said to the angel “Be it done unto me according to your word.”  She humbly accepted the words of the angel that she would become the mother of Jesus.

All creation gives Glory to God.  It was good to sing out with two thousand other people to give Glory to God.

In Transit. My Desire Fulfilled.

Yesterday’s suggested Daily Post was titled “In Transit”.
I am inspired by this heading to write, even though it is a day late.
For the last seven years Brendan and I have travelled to Canada in the Fall. I thought this year would be no exception.  I looked forward to our visits when we renewed friendships, ate out at Vancouver Golf Club and took some meetings to pray and encourage others in their faith.
Brendan got in touch with our host about our plans but the time did not suit him.  A Spring visit would suit much better.  Brendan agreed because he had much work that needed his attention here.
I was disappointed and perplexed.  I am alive. I have recovered from Cancer and want to see new things. I had two dreams about being in Canada earlier in July.  I let the idea of going to Canada pass.
I was getting ready for some visitors last week.  I found this pendant as I was cleaning.  

image

Am I being prompted to think about Canada again?  Proverbs 10 v 24. “The desire of the righteous shall be granted.”   We were planning a round trip taking in Toronto to see my son David, Jacquelyn and attend their baby’s christening.  They invited us to stop with them.  We told him we would not be coming.  He was disappointed.
This morning I went back to bed.  I felt in my spirit a prompting to get up and not get depressed.  I looked at flights to Canada again.  I found a good deal flying with Aer Lingus from Dublin to Toronto.  I could afford it.  Perhaps I could visit my son while Brendan stayed to get work done he was committed to.  I asked Brendan and he agreed for me to go.
I went to book the flight but the internet was down.  I tried to book it over the phone but no one was answering.  I went into town and was about to book the flight when it would not accept my card.  There was money in my account.  What was wrong?
Home again. “Perhaps the address I gave for my bank details were wrong”, my husband suggested.  I called the bank and sure enough my new address was not registered.  I went back into town with renewed hope and went to book again.  Still no success.  I thought to myself, “Let me check if I have money in my account”
There were not enough funds in my account.  Not to be deterred I went to the bank and  transferred money from one account to the other.  Surely I will have success now.   Back to booking the good deal flight.  Too late they were sold out!
I took a deep breath.  I was getting hot under the collar.  I took off my coat and cardigan.  Will I give up.  Maybe I shouldn’t bother.  Doubts filled my mind.  I decided to try again.  I found another airline called Air Transit.  I looked up their prices.  I found flights that suited the times I was planning to travel and my purse.  I went to fill in my Visa card details but I misplaced it.  I’m  glad no one else was with me.  They might say”Stupid woman”.
I searched my coat, bag, books, under and in the car!  Not to be found.  Again I steadied myself.  I was at the last hurdle.  Will I persevere?  I prayed.  Thank you Lord.  I found the card down the side of the seat.  I filled in the details and with the click of a button my flight was confirmed.  
What a relief.  What a joy, my hope was not deferred and my desire to go to Canada is being fulfilled.  And I have a happy son and family waiting to see me.  I am going to see my latest grandchild.  I will see my children’s children as Psalm 127 says.
Do you have a desire to do something or go somewhere?  Press in to see it fulfilled.  I had twelve difficulties to overcome. Try and try again.  A desire can be like a flickering flame but God by his Spirit can fan it into flame and bring the desire about.  Alleluia.  God is good.

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Grandchildren are the Crown and Glory of the Aged

“May you live to see your grandchildren.”  Psalm 128 v 8 NLT

I was reading this verse on Wednesday. I was thinking, does this mean I will get to see my grandchildren that live near Dublin? I was not planning to see them. Could I go to see them soon?

My husband had taken photos at a recent family event. He takes great photos and puts them together and sends them away to Photoshop. He makes wonderful memories for his family.

Some photo books came in the post. They were a present for two of our grandchildren. Brendan suggested we go down to visit and deliver the books the next day. It was my husband and my 43rd wedding anniversary. I knew we should, because I had read that scripture.

As we drove into the street where my son lives, there was a lot of activity. Women were chatting at their doors while their children played with each other.

I thought of the verse Zechariah 8 v 5, “And the streets of the city shall be full of girls and boys playing.”

The warm sunshine brought everyone outdoors. When our grandchildren saw our car they ran over to hug us. They had been waiting for us. Because we were delayed I didn’t ‘t get the tea and scones that Tamara had specially prepared.

Tamara is a great cook and we all enjoyed dinner together, to celebrate our anniversary, when our son got home from work. We got to see, enjoy and bless their three girls before they go off to Italy.

We stayed at our daughter Shann’s home for the night. Her family were glad to see us for a surprise visit. The next day Brendan spent time helping our daughter work in her garden. She appreciated her dad’s help and expertise.

When the her children, a son and three girls,returned form school we got to spend time with them. It was a warm afternoon. They pleaded with their mum to put out a small swimming pool. They were so hot they just wanted to dive into cool water. Jean Luc unwrapped the pool. The girls were eager to get the pool working.

It was dinner time.  The children chatted to their dad telling all that happened at school. It was getting too late to use the pool. It will be filled with water tomorrow. We will have returned home and will have missed the squeals of delight as the grandchildren splash and dive in the cool water.

At bedtime the children came to us for prayer and a blessing.

“As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭59‬:‭21‬ NIV)

I am alive and seeing my children’s children.  I did not die of fourth stage cancer.  Jesus healed me.

“Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged.”  Proverbs 17 v 6