The Arctic Terns Have Arrived.

I drove out this morning to town.  I parked my car along the sea front and walked on the sunny side of the street.  It was too chilly on the shaded side.  Resident gulls and Brent geese on the waters below were enjoying the warmth of the early sun too.

The winter slumber of people and nature has been awakened by the warm sun and noisy gulls eager to prepare for new life.


The population of gulls along the shore has increased dramatically this week.  Artic terns have arrived at their usual nesting place on an island near Strangford harbor.  They are safe from intruders across a short stretch of water, but near enough for the onlooker to enjoy their activities.  They gather in the evening, bodies white against the black, sea washed rock.


Another attraction for many black headed gulls this morning was the presence of a farmer ploughing up a field nearby.  It is seed time.  He is busy getting the land ready.  I was reminded of the poem I Will Go With My Father A ploughing, by Joseph Campbell.

I will go with my father a-ploughing
To the green field by the sea,
And the rooks and the crows and the seagull
Will come flocking after me.
I will sing to the patient horses
With the lark in the while of the air,
And my father will sing the plough-song
That blesses the cleaving share.

Instead of horses the farmer today is using a big tractor pulling a large wide machine which grinds up the soil.  Hundreds of gulls follow the fresh upturned soil.  They dive for tasty morsels of worms and insects destrubed by the machinery.  Rooks and crows live nearby in the forest.  They join in the foray, just as the poem says.  Joseph Campbell was born in Co Down.  Perhaps his father ploughed in the green fields by the sea near where I live.

Look at the birds of the air,  they don’t sow nor reap yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.  Matthew 6 v 26
I saw our Heavenly Father at work today feeding the gulls.


Colourful Crocus

When I listen to the news about world issues it is easy to become discouraged.  Tragedies, famines and other crises are news headlines.   Clouds of doom and gloom can descend over my mind.


Jesus said, “Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in me.”  John 14 v 1
It was a beautiful, bright, sunny day today.   I took a snap of these crocus that opened up in the heat of the sun.  The sun dispersed any dark clouds.

These little blooms cheered my soul.

There is Life after Cancer!

People coming to my blog site for the first time may wonder why I am telling stories about my family, food, garden, my holidays, birds, scenery, and not All about cancer.  I looked at my list of topics I write about and cancer isn’t even in the top ten.


I thank God that he is faithful to help me as I have faith that he exists.  I do not have cancer in my body.  He is a living God who answers my prayers.  The power of the death grip that cancer had on my body has been broken by the power of the blood of Jesus.  Jesus died 2000 years ago but his sacrifice is effective today to heal me.  Jesus, when he was on earth healed ALL who came to him for healing, no matter what their condition.

There is no other person or spirit that can claim to heal or deliver and give abundant life.  Other spirits can heal but give you some other curse.  There is no other God that can forgive, love, bless, heal and deliver and give a new start in life and do all this for free.  Many people seek other remedies or therapies for healing of mind and body.  They will be out a lot of money, like the woman who came to Jesus.  She had spent all her resources to get healed to no avail.  One touch of Jesus garment brought her complete healing from an issue of blood for twelve years.

I now tell stories about how my life is being restored.  I am not just healed of cancer, I have new life experiences happening all around me.  My eyes are opened to see all the life around me, in my garden, in nature, in new grandchildren and in restored relationships.  If I was in the grave I could not write or tell of the wonderful things that are happening to me.  The grave cannot praise God.  I am alive to give thanksgiving and glory to God.  I now live for God.  The old Angela is dead but my new life is hid with Christ in God.  I no longer live but Christ lives in me.

English was not my favourite subject at school.  I had no desire to read books.  I know others who love books and can’t get enough time to read them.  My husband and I wrote a book about being healed from Cancer, Staying Alive.  Brendan has been writing for many years.  My book was the fourth book he has published.  I have learnt much from his wisdom.  I gleen from his hard earned experience.

I am surprising myself when I write a blog on the internet that is going out to the nations.  Psalm 71 says,

I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, though I am not skilled with words. (‭Psalms‬ ‭71‬:‭15‬ NLT)

The Word of God gives us a wonderful promise.  Jesus came to give us life and life abundantly.  He says,

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (‭John‬ ‭10‬:‭10‬ NLT).

The work of the devil is to steal, kill and destroy in people’s life.  He comes to steal our health through sickness and tragedy.  He is the thief Jesus speaks about.  Jesus defeated Satan when He shed his Blood on the Cross.

Jesus promise is true for me.  I am living a rich and satisfying life.  I do not have much money.  But who could pay a mother pheasant and her five chicks to walk across my lawn?  Can I pay for the sun to rise every day and give me light and warmth?  Can I pay for forgiveness of my sins and healing for my disease?  Can I pay for my son to catch fish for supper?  Do I pay for the produce that grows in my garden?

When I believe in God the Creator, and his son Jesus he gives me so much in return.  As I have faith in God he is faithful to help me when I need him.  He promises to be with me in trouble and deliver me out of it.  He will not forsake me now when I have grey hair.  I can highly recommend you my reader, no matter what age you are, to have faith in God Almighty, creator of the heaven and the earth.

O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. Now that I am old and grey, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me. (‭Psalms‬ ‭71‬:‭17-18‬ NLT)

Young people may wonder “What is the point in my believing in God and obeying his commands?  I am young, healthy, strong, I have money, a good job, everything looks rosy.”  The prodigal son went off to see the world.  After many years when things didn’t work out he needed help.  I was like that.  I turned to God for help in my distress when I was twenty eight.  I tried to follow his ways since then.  When I was nearing death God was faithful to help me.  So the years of following God have not been in vain.  It is true God has not abandoned me now I am old and grey.

I am alive to enjoy the goodness of God in the land of the living.  Bring on the coffee and cake!

Healing Autumn Leaves

The leaves in this picture glow like a fire! This plant gives a great display in the autumn. It never fails.


I discovered this tree growing beside a little stream that flowed under the bridge. The photograph was taken between Banbridge and Rathfriland in Co Down. You can see the wall of the bridge behind. The tree was flourishing in the shade of the wall and in a sunny aspect with it’s roots bathed in damp soil from the stream.
Jeremiah 17 v 8 says “Blessed are those who trust in The Lord. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.

This picture reminds me of Revelation 22.

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (‭Revelation‬ ‭22‬:‭1-2‬ NIV)

As I grow beside the river of the Holy Spirit, soaking up the life from Him, I produce fruit and leaves of healing that I want to share with others.

Again in Colossians I read

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness for all he has done. (‭Colossians‬ ‭2‬:‭6-7‬ NLT). The tree above is a picture of faith.

The stream beside the tree can represent The Word of God. As I read it, I grow and I get nourishment. My faith will grow. My fruit and leaves will bring comfort and healing. Get deep into God’s word and others will come and see you burn with fire and they will get touched by the heat.

This Sunflower Brightened my Day

This sunflower caught my eye last week as I was out and about.



Would you believe this is from someone’s garden in Northern Ireland?

The head of the flower lifts it’s head to the sun to receive power to grow and flourish. We can be like that if we lift our eyes to Jesus. He is the Sun of Righteousness who rises with healing in his wings. Malachi 4. He looks down on us with eyes of compassion and lights up our life and gives us power to live.
As I look on the bright face it causes me to smile.
The yellow petals hold the sunshine as the season changes.
It captures the sun for wet, windy, dark days that are ahead.
This picture encourages me to hold sunshine in my heart to shine some brightness into others’ lives in the coming days.  I hope I can make someone smile.

The Fig Tree’s Fruit is Sweet

I live in Northern Ireland where the weather is not extreme.  Our winter is mild and our summer is not too hot.  When I travel to warmer climates it takes time for me to adjust.  It is true the saying, “there is no place like home.”

Given that, I do enjoy going on holiday to the sun for a week or two in the year.  My body gets comforted by the rays of warmth on my back.  Then a quick dip in the sea or pool to cool off.  I do believe I get healing when I come to Greece.  The sun is much brighter there.  In the scripture it says ”   The sun will be seven times brighter when I heal the wounds of my people.”  Isaiah 30 v 26

This is my beauty treatment for the year.

When I go to the Mediteranean countries the stories from the bible come alive.
In Greece I have seen families sitting outside their white washed houses, eating, talking and relaxing under a veranda frame with a grape vine covering it.

The vine can grow up quickly.   It’s tendrils shoot out leaves in many directions so it can cover a large area.  The broad leaves make a green canopy to give shelter from the sun.
Fig trees can be trained along a frame as well.  Their broad leathery leaves protect and shelter from the strong sun’s rays.

The fig tree however takes years to grow.
Here is a fig tree I took a picture of recently.


Neither of these plants wither in the harshest heat.  An added benefit to the householder is the sweet fruit both plants produce.

The fig tree and the vine are symbols of peace.
It is God’s will that man has a home and lives in peace and not war.
The scriptures tell us about the harmony of man benefitting from the plants.
Solomon is know as a wise king.
During Solomon’s lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, everyone under their own vine and under their own fig tree. (‭1 Kings‬ ‭4‬:‭25‬ NIV)

There was peace. Another scripture says,

Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken. (‭Micah‬ ‭4‬:‭4‬ NIV)

In times of war, houses are demolished and trees destroyed.  No more days of peaceful family times.
Often families can be in turmoil and war internally.  No more happy times eating together and sharing.  The vine tree is left unattended and the fig tree not pruned.

But God gives hope when there is no hope as we trust and praise him.

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (‭Habakkuk‬ ‭3‬:‭17-18‬ NIV)

Even in the darkest times of war from without and from within God promises restoration.

The Fields are White Unto Harvest

I grew up on a small farm in Co Down, Ireland.
My dad raised ten children from farming the land.
He kept a herd of Freisians cows.
That meant milking the cows twice a day.
No lying in bed when one felt like it.
Mum reared chickens and sold the eggs to a local grocery store.
I used to carry buckets of grain and water across a field to feed the chickens, and then collect the eggs.
Dad grew crops of potatoes for the family’s use and oats and barley to supplement the feed for the animals.
We children always helped out when we could.
When the oats crop was ripe and cut, we would help dad gather up the stalks and bind them into sheaves.  The sheaves were then collected and built into a stack.  At the top of the stack an empty food sack was tied on to keep the seeds and stalks dry until threshing day.



Here is a photograph I took recently of such stacks.  There are eight stacks, the number of daughters my father had. The scene prompted me to write this post.
This farmer keeps the tradition of threshing going to show the next generation how the oats were harvested.

Threshing day for dad would come around.   Farmers in the neighbourhood came to help with the work.
A Threshing machine was used to separate the seeds from the straw, and bind the straw into bales to be stored for cattle bedding.
It was an exciting and joyful day for our family.  We helped our mum prepare a big pot of stew and home made soda bread to feed all the men who came to help.  The boys helped the men while us girls played around in the sunshine.  It was a golden scene with the sun gleaming off the straw.
In Ireland in the past this harvest event would have been a time for match making.
A marriage could be arranged between a suitable young man at the threshing and a daughter of the household.
The single men who attended dad’s harvest may have had designs on us daughters, but we thought they were far too old for us.

We found our husbands in farther away fields in other counties.
Today some of our children have found husbands and wives from the nations.
We got news yesterday of the birth of our Canadian grandchild!  This is my harvest!

A very long way from the Threshing field in Dunmore.
Life in the past was more leisurely and people depended on each other to help with the harvest.
It did not matter if you were a Protestant or a Catholic when it came to helping your neighbour.
We  could not hate our neighbours.
Sadly the community atmosphere has disappeared.
Small farmers have to supplement their income with another job.
Big families are rare.
The combine harvester sweeps up the harvest .
No more cups of tea and soda bread with melted butter running down the sides in the harvest field.
No more talking and sharing stories or finding out who had got married or had a baby.

Jesus was familiar with harvest time in the Land of Israel.  He would have seen the farmers gather in the grapes, olives and wheat.  He mentioned stories relating to the harvest, olives being pressed to make olive oil, grapes being crushed to make wine and grain being crushed into flour to make bread.

We remember His death through the breaking of bread and drinking wine, the fruit of the vine.

He spoke of a different kind of harvest, the harvest of souls to bring to heaven.  He is looking for workers in His Harvest.  Let us bring joy to Jesus.

Nowadays we find out the news from friends via Facebook.
The harvest field is now the nations.
Welcome to my field.
Thank you for listening to my story.