Help the Poor and Needy

Today I read in James 1 v 27

Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for the widows in their troubles and refuse to let the world corrupt us.

Many times in God’s word it is written that God is interested in his people looking after the poor and needy in our midst. One can’t say they have faith if he doesn’t show it by his actions. We can’t say God bless you to someone in need without giving them food if they are hungry or clothing if they have no covering.

We Christians can be busy fighting over doctrine and our differences. We can be so busy disagreeing that we become ineffective in living the way God wants us to.

““Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 22 v 16

Jeremiah rebuked Jehoiakim for living in affluence. This son of Josiah would have seen how his father repented and brought revival to the people of Israel by teaching them the ways of God. Josiah looked after the poor and needy. He was not busy acquiring wealth but he was seeking to please God first. But the son disregarded how his father lived. Judgement came on the son.

Looking after the poor and needy can save your life.
“Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the LORD delivers them in times of trouble.
The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭41:1, 3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

We had a friend who was kind to the poor in the town in which we lived. He was in distress when his father was dying of cancer. He could not face life without his father. He took poison to kill himself. Some of his friends prayed for him and he was completely healed with no side effects and was restored to life.

Today think about how you can be kind to someone in need. Don’t avoid the poor you come across.
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Bird Watching Again.

I’m telling my children who are returning for Christmas to make sure they bring warm hats and gloves. No we are not going skiing. I’m planning to go Bird Watching instead of Christmas shopping. I have plenty of binoculars to share and I am blessed to live by the an inland sea Lough which invites many birds to stop a while. I will not have to organize a long journey. There is a variety of bird life nearby.

I am being restored in my mind and body as I take time beside still waters as Psalm 23 says.

He leads me beside still waters to restore my soul.

I discovered a group of birds I had not encountered before yesterday. They were a delight to watch. I was happy to look at these birds for a while. God too is taking pleasure in his creation.
I was reading today from Revelation 4 v 8 to 11

8 Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—
the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”
9 Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), 10 the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say,

11 “You are worthy, O Lord our God,
to receive glory and honor and power.
For you created everything,
And it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created.

When I returned home I got out my bird books. Brendan has bought me quite a few over the years. I looked up my favorite one. It gives pictures and descriptions of the most common birds found on our shores. There were all kinds of birds, ducks, geese, swans, sea gulls, oystercatchers, and waders but there was no sign of my discovery. I looked through another. It must have been bought in America. No luck here either.

At last I picked up a hard backed book with a picture on the front. At last. There on the front cover was my new discovery, a bird with a few feathers sticking up from its crown, a Lapwing.

image

According to the book the lapwing has green feathers on his back and wings. I was not close enough to see the green colour of the back wings. His underbody is white. The lapwing gather is flocks. When one takes flight they all do. Their black under feathers make up a full wing span and aides it to spin, twist and dive in flight.
This bird is distinctive because of the tuft of feathers on his head.

Yesterday this group of lapwings were resting along the shore. They were within easy sight as the full tide allowed the water to come up near the bank. They were well camouflaged amid the stones and seaweed on the shore.

I didn’t have my binoculars or note book with me. I will make sure we are fully equipped for our nature study day at Christmas time. Who knows what other residents or visitors to our Irish shores I will find when I next go bird watching.
It will not cost us money. There will be no temptation to overspend or visit coffee shops. Just a flask and a few nibbles will help the bird watchers to endure. They will enjoy it so much; a welcome change from work and study. Time to breathe fresh air, slow down and hang out together like the birds. Time to heal and be restored. A time for peace.

Restore our Fortunes.

God will restore our fortunes.

Today I read in Northern Ireland Visitor’s Journal the following article.

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I was born near where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea in Co Down Northern Ireland.  I took its beauty for granted.  I left home at 18 and studied in Coleraine, eighty miles away.  A new university had opened there and I applied to go there and was successful.  I remained there and raised my family.

I came to visit with my sister for a few days with four of my youngest children.  She lives in Co Down.  We went for a drive to Newcastle.  As I approached the town I was amazed at the beauty of the mountains that stood before me.  I had not appreciated this beauty before.
Are not we all like that.  When we are young we can’t wait to leave home to seek our fortunes somewhere else.

Percy French wrote a song which helped  publisize the Mountains of Mournes in Co Down.

Oh Mary this London’s a wonderful sight

With people here workin‘ by day and by night

They don’t sow potatoes, nor barley, nor wheat
But there’s gangs of them diggin’ for gold in the street
At least when I asked them that’s what I was told
So I just took a hand at this diggin’ for gold
But for all that I found there I might as well be
Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.

The song tells us about a young man who left behind his girlfriend in his hometown near the Mournes, to seek his fortune in London.  He comes to realize the futility of hard labour away from his homeland, his beloved and his beautiful country.

Some years later my family moved from Coleraine back to Co Down.  God brought me back to my father’s land.  Just as he doing for his people Israel.  Over and over God promised his people Israel that he would restore them to the land of their forefathers.

Down the centuries many people have left Ireland.  Many songs and laments about Ireland have been written.  The inspiration comes out of hearts remembering where they came from and longing to return.  They listened to stories their forefathers told them.

Psalm 126 describes the fulfillment of the longing of the Jewish exiles who returned to their homeland from exile.

“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭126:1-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God fulfills dreams.  Are you longing to return to your homeland?  Take the leap of faith and return.

God is restoring my fortunes and filling my heart with joy in my homeland.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Fifty: Jubilee

 

God cares about mankind.

He told Moses to set prisoners and slaves free, cancel debts, and restore land and houses every fiftieth year or Jubilee.

It was a year of favour.

Jesus came and proclaimed Jubilee to everyone not just every fifty years but now today.

He gives freedom.

Believe.

 

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/writing-challenge-fifty/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Ibrofen and Paracetemol could not Help me when I had the Flu.

 

One has highs and lows in life.  When we returned from our holiday in Jerusalem we hit a low.
 
Thursday the twentieth of February I was laid low with the flu.  My husband had not been well for a few days and had complained of aches and pains.  I had not been very sympathetic.
For three days I was aching all over and had a temperature. I took some paracetamol and ibrofen.  They did not agree with me.  I felt even more wretched.  My husband was sympathetic and comforted me as he knew how unpleasant this flu was.  I needed his reassurance.

 
I was fearful during this time and felt very vulnerable.  When one is weak one’s fears come rushing in.  Despair took a hold of me.  Would I get better.  I was not thinking reasonably. I appreciated my family who visited and prayed for me to get better.
 
In the moments in the night I lay awake and reminded myself how God had helped me before.  I remembered some of his promises.
 
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91:14-16 NIV)
 
The next day a friend sent me a text.  It was another Psalm,
 
Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor! The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble. The Lord protects them and keeps them alive. He gives them prosperity in the land and rescues them from their enemies. The Lord nurses them when they are sick and restores them to health. (Psalms 41:1-3 NLT)
 
This word really comforted me.  I just relaxed into God’s arms and let him care for me when no one was around.  When one is sick one is not in control.  I could not be independant.  I needed others to help me.  I needed a kind word of reassurance.  
 
I read this Psalm many years previous when I was awaiting surgery for a knee injury.  The words were balm to my pain at that time.  I came through the operation and was restored completely then.
 
Psalm 1 v 2 says Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 
 
I believe what the bible says.  I read it regularly.  It is like bread to my soul.  So when I was sick I was able to remind myself of God’s promises and claim them for myself.  This is faith, believing what God says he will do and wait for him to do it, not doubting.  He will do the same for you.  Believe what you read in the bible and God will bring it to pass.
 
Yes I did despair recently when sick. I doubted if I would get better.  Despair is an evil spirit that makes one hopeless and sad.  It makes one think things will never change.  It has been an enemy of mine.  Before I was diagnosed with cancer I had lost hope that things would get better in my life.  But God is good.  He did answer my prayers and renewed my hope and healed me.
 
On Sunday my husband was praying for me and I realised I was suffering from despair.  I refused to think that way and I rebuked this spirit.  I chose to believe that I will be healed.  I got a breakthrough that afternoon.  We were invited out for dinner.  I enjoyed a lovely comforting home made dinner at a friend’s home.  I have been feeling better and getting stronger since.
 
I know I need to continue to meditate on God’s Word to nourish my soul and continue to Praise and Thank Him.  As I have said before from John’s gospel I can nothing without Jesus.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5 NIV)
 
My iPad sat lonely for a couple of weeks.  My chair sat empty.  My room in which I write was quiet and cold.
 
Praise God I am healed and writing again!