It’s Harvest Time

It is August, the month of harvest in Ireland.  The fields of barley and wheat around our home are ripe. It has been a sunny, dry summer and the farmers can expect a bumper crop. I saw a tractor pulling a trailer full to overflowing with grain. Did the farmer do anything extra this year more than other years to get a bigger harvest? No he is faithful to prepare the fields in the springtime and sow the seeds of wheat. He waits. He has faith.  He expects to get a harvest a few months later.

No amount of worrying will help the seed to grow. No matter what the weather is like if he believes he will get the harvest in. It is because of God’s mercy and goodness we have had good weather this summer in Ireland for everyone to enjoy and especially for the growth of crops and fruit. The earth has brought forth bountifully. When we visited with friends over the summer we enjoyed the strawberries from their garden.

Last year at this time the ground in some parts of Ireland was too wet for heavy machinery to gather in the harvest. In September a dry spell of weather allowed the farmers to clear the ground. It was later than usual but the harvest time did come.
God word promises
““As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.””
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭8:22‬ ‭NIV‬‬

A prophetic word was given by an American prophet back in May. He said,
“For the next season there will be an open heaven over you. There will be a release of God’s revelation and power. You can expect to receive payment for the attacks of the enemy. God is breaking clouds of darkness and bringing people out of the wilderness and God’s light is going to shine.”

Yes the light has been shining naturally all summer. God is showing us his favor. I am like the farmer expecting a harvest from what I have sown naturally and spiritually. I am expecting payment for what the devil has stolen. God is going to move sovereignly on my behalf. I didn’t earn his mercy. I believe in his promises and his prophetic words to me. He is going to keep his promises to me.  I have faith because God has said in his word.

There was a rainbow arch right across the sky in front of my home on Saturday. It is a sign of God’s covenant with me and with all life on the earth. He will never again flood the earth. It is a sign to me that God is there and he sees and encourages me to keep believing him. He told Noah and his family when they came out of the Ark,

“As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”
“And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;
And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.”

God has blessed Brendan and I with increase of children. I believe he will continue to increase our family in number and multiply on the earth.  We will get our harvest now.  It is harvest time.

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Search and Rescue.

Last evening I returned on the ferry from Strangford to Portaferry.  It was a dark, cold and blustery night.  I was comfortable in my warm car and looking forward to a glowing coal fire back home.  The men who keep the ferry service going are to be commended for their endurance in these winter months.

Portaferry is usually quiet, but this evening as the boat pulled into port, green and red lights were flashing and sirens were going off at the lifeboat house.  Someone instructed the ferry to wait offshore.  There was an emergency at sea and the lifeboat had to be launched.  More brave men headed off seaward into the dark in answer to some distress call.  The ferry docked safely.  We all secretly hoped others would be safe tonight and prayed.

An hour later I noticed an helicopter overhead and the lifeboat in the lough.  Both has search lights scanning the water below.  A vehicle had blue lights flashing.  Brendan and I went down to the shore.  A police vehicle stopped with us and told us a flair at sea had been reported earlier.  The lifeboat responded as did a rescue helicopter from Dublin, to help search the sea for anyone in danger.

It was dramatic to see the large search light scanning the lough.  A large area of the water lit up in the dark.  Someone in danger would be glad of this light shining on them.  Life or death.  The  helicopter remained for some time.  What a good job the men on the rescue services do. They are willing to give of their time and skills to help others.

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Dramas often happen in our life that cause fear and anxiety.  Sometimes it seems we are on a stormy sea when troubles come.   I needed rescued five years ago.  I had fourth stage cancer.  I was dying.  I went through dark days but God brought me through them.  Jesus shone his light on me and rescued me up out of the sea of despair and death.  Jesus is the light of the world.  He healed me and gave me new life.  He will rescue you.  He is searching for you with his light.

I slept late this morning.  Oh how sweet sleep is when one awakes rested and secure.  My  husband brought me my breakfast in bed!

The room was brighter than normal.  The sunlight was shining on Strangford Lough.  The light from the sun and its reflection on the water brightened up our home and gave added warmth.  We have our own micro climate.  The weather reports on the radio don’t seem to apply to us.

What a good day to wake up to.  The drama of the previous evening was forgotten.  A brighter light shone this morning.  I checked the BBC news.  There was no report of people being rescued or anyone missing.

The moon will be as bright as the sun, and the sun will be seven times brighter—like the light of seven days in one!  So it will be when the LORD begins to heal his people and cure the wounds he gave them. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭30‬:‭26‬ NLT)

There is a saying,”The darkest hour is just before dawn”.   Only believe.  Hang in there.  Light and rescue are on the way.

Tableaux Thursday . A Black Bird Blocks the Fire

The scripture says “Look to the birds of the air.”

I love bird watching.  I have found them in different habitats near and far.  I viewed them in my garden, at the beach, in the forest or in far flung places of British Columbia where I saw many bald eagles.  I have learnt about blackbirds, magpies, wrens, finches, thrushes, tits, robins, jackdaws, pigeons, doves, swallows, starlings, sparrows just bird watching in my garden.  On the Loughshore I see Canadian Brent geese, blacked backed gulls, fulmars, swans, and many sand digging birds.  I have seen buzzards, crows, hawks and pheasants in the open country.  

This is the season when birds are building their nests to have their young.  Blackbirds and pigeons are nesting in the ivy growing over the empty cow shed.
But one bird caught my attention this morning.  I looked out my back window to see a crow with a heavy twig in its mouth.  I admired it for its skill in collecting twigs to build its nest.  There are tall trees nearby suitable for a crow’s nest.  I watched to see where it was building its nest, expecting it to fly off in the direction of the trees.  Surprisingly it flew over in the direction of my chimney.  Oh no.  Not the chimney of the fire I want to light in the big room when people visit!   I had lit it last week but noticed it wasn’t on fire as it should have been.  

I went outside to investigate.  I looked up to see the chimney was covered with wire to stop any birds entering.  Out comes a black bird through the mesh with the twig left behind.  How was it able to navigate through a hole in the mesh with a twig in its mouth? 
It was determined to occupy my chimney.

I went inside to my living room and lit some paper in the fire place to smoke the bird out.  Too late, its nest has already blocked the top of the chimney.  The birds can built their nests anywhere but not in my house.  They have places to live and this is my place to live.  

I cleared another chimney of a crow’s nest before Christmas.  I wanted to make a log fire, so often prortrayed on happy family scenes on Christmas cards.  How often do you see an open fire? Family and friends have enjoyed many happy evenings around our fireplace since.

The Holy Spirit is referred to fire.  When the disciples were in the upper room tongues of fire settled on their heads.   

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (‭Acts‬ ‭2‬:‭1-4‬ NIV)

Do not put out the fire of the Holy Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt (‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5‬:‭19-20‬ NIV)

The black bird, crow, can symbolise some power trying to block the fire of the Holy Spirit in my life.  I do not want any obstacle stopping the Holy Spirit in my life.  I will get this chimney cleared from twigs and put a wire at the top to prevent the bird returning.  I will be able to light the fire again in my fireplace and give warmth to visitors.  I will make sure nothing with stop the fire of the Holy Spirit in my life.

Inspiration as I Look at The Moon

I awoke early.  I looked up in the sky.  There was a sliver of the moon shining brightly.  The dark arc shaped outline across the moon is the shadow of the earth.

“Have you not known? have you not heard? has it not been told you from the beginning? have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

It is he that sits upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretches  out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in:”  ( Isaiah 40 v 21 22 KJV)

In warmer countries people sit outdoors in the cool of the evening.  They would be aware of the changes in the moon each month.  The moon is visible to all nations all over the world.  Looking at creation has inspired scientists and writers to do their work.  They would have wondered why is there changes in the moon?

There was debate among Christian scientists in earlier centuries.  Some thought the earth was flat.  But this line in the bible “He sits on the circle of the earth” gives us a clue that the earth is round.  Columbus set sail on the sea.  If the earth was round he expected to come back to where he set off.

The moon is made up of material that reflects light.  The sun shining on the moon gives it light. The earth blocks some of this light when it is positioned between the sun and the moon.  This happens during each month.  We can see the arc of the edge of the earth on the moon another sign that the earth is a circle.

As I looked at the sky I began to worship God who created the sun, the moon and the stars when I remembered these scriptures.  This morning I can see part of the circle of the earth on the moon.

I was reading the story of Jonah this week.  He disobeyed God and got on a boat.
A storm hit the boat.  Here is what it says.

“Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship.
But all this time Jonah was sound asleep down in the hold. So the captain went down after him. “How can you sleep at a time like this?” he shouted. “Get up and pray to your god! Maybe he will pay attention to us and spare our lives.”
Then the crew cast lots to see which of them had offended the gods and caused the terrible storm. When they did this, the lots identified Jonah as the culprit.
“Why has this awful storm come down on us?” they demanded. “Who are you? What is your line of work? What country are you from? What is your nationality?”
Jonah answered, “I am a Hebrew, and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.  Then he told them he was running away from The Lord..”   (‭Jonah‬ ‭1‬:‭5-9‬ NLT)

Jonah identified himself as one who worships the God of heaven.

I am so encouraged that people from many nations read my blog.  The moon that is shining on you, shines on me here in Ireland.  I encourage you to look up at the moon and watch the changes each month.  Look beyond the moon to The Lord who made the it.  He knows all about you.  You cannot hide from him like Jonah tried to do.
Call out to the God of heaven and his son Jesus and he will deliver you.

Silhouette . The Farmer Bringing in the Harvest

A photo oppportunity came my way today.
I did not have to get up early to catch the sunrise or wait till sunset.
I am glad because today is windy and cold and not conducive to be outside for long.
The hot days of summer in Bright seem to have passed.
My iPad can be temperamental.  When I click the button it sometimes seizes up.
I took a number of shots, but this is what turned out.

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The tractor and trailer passed by my house.
My neighbour was gathering in this harvest of hay.
It will be used to feed his cattle and horses through the winter months.
You can see the rays of light silhouetted through the trees and giving off rainbow colours.
I am reminded of this scripture.

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” (‭Genesis‬ ‭8‬:‭22‬ NIV)

This was given to Noah after the earth was flooded. God promises mankind that the earth will never again be flooded completely and he put the rainbow in the sky to remind us of his covenant.

Farmers need faith in God to do their work.  They plant the seed in the spring time.  They trust God that there will be dry days to get out in the fields to get the ground ready.
Ground is ploughed up, harrowed and then seeds sown.
The seeds grow up as the weather improves and the ground get warmer.
God causes the seed to grow.
As the crop ripens there will always be a warm day for the farmer to go out into the field with his heavy duty tractor and equipment to bring in the harvest.
God promises there will be time to bring in the harvest.
I was studying about the god of Baal.  He was the god of thunder that people of old worshiped and made sacrifices of their children to in order to get good weather for harvest.
God our Father is the only true God, revealed through Jesus.
He is In control of thunder, lightening, hail, rain, wind and sunshine.
He promised he will give good weather for the harvest.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.  (‭Psalm‬ ‭19‬:‭1-4‬ NIV)

Praise The Lord.

Cheri Lucas Rowlands | August 15, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Tags: light, photography,silhouette, sunset | URL: http://wp.me/p23sd-n4i

People are Like Flowers, they will Blossom in the Right Conditions

 

My husband and I love working in the garden.

We often pick up bargains of plants at markets at the end of the growing season. 
We look out for exotic plants at the local supermarket.
It is exciting when spring comes round, to see what appears in the pots from bulbs and dried up roots we planted in the late autumn.
Our last home had a big garden with hedges, walls and trees.
I could position plants that suited the different conditions.
When we moved house recently we could only bring our pot plants with us.
We now live near the sea, no trees for shade but it is warm and sunny.
Our new climate has advantages and disadvantages.
Strong, salty winds blow in the winter and hinder tree growth and plant life.
A neighbour said he spent a fortune on plants for his new house and they all died in the winter.
He warned me that “Nothing will grow here,” as I planted out my window boxes in spring after I moved here.

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Okay, I have not lived through a winter yet, but I am determined to make the most of the hot, sunny, long days of spring, summer and autumn.
 Lilies have blossomed a month early in the same pot, but in their new setting.  They never flourished like this before!

My roses are doing well in the sunshine and free flow of air. 
Before they were shadowed by trees.
Plants need good soil, water and light to grow.
Jesus told the parable of the farmer and the seed.
Where the seed fell on good soil the plants grew up and produced thirty, sixty and a hundred fold.
On the rocky stony soil the seed died soon after planting because of dryness and lack of nutrients for growth.
We can flourish in the right conditions to remain healthy, and grow.
Jesus is the Light of the world. 
When he shines on us he brings healing.
The Holy Spirit is symbolised as water.
The Word of God is symbolised as Bread.
Plants need light, water and good soil with nutrients to grow.
If we are nourished by the spiritual symbols light, water and nutrients, we will flourish body, soul and spirit.
Jesus is the Good Sheperd. Psalm 23 promises The Lord will lead us beside still waters and green pastures to restore our souls. 
I am being refreshed in body, soul and spirit in this new land.