Friday 18 May 2012
Muirhevna Mor has been my home now for almost ten year.(you can never convince me God doesn't have a sense of humour). It's exactly where God wants me and my family to be. When I say it's my home I mean it in the sense of belonging, warmth, having found my niche, my field for harvesting. It's a place that I love and it's a people that I love. It has been, and continues to be one of the major source of blessings, of gifts you might say, from God to me. Isn't He amazing? Isn't it just one miracle after another? Doesn't He sometimes use the strangest things (and people) to bring glory to Himself?
He doesn't just change a persons sin life, sometimes He changes their ordinary desires too. It makes me smile just thinking of Him :)
I think I will look a little more into these blessings over the next few weeks and blog about them.
When Niall reminded me of the April anniversary that night in our sitting room I was struck with feelings of relief. No disaster had befallen me, Niall or Sean during the past ten years. I didn't realise it, but since God saved me and joined me to Niall, I had been constantly waiting for disaster to strike, again.
A long time ago my eleven year relationship with Dave in Dublin broke down and I lost my friends and home through moving back to Dundalk. Later Sean's father died in a car accident leaving me pregnant. Later still God used other hard things to bring me to Him. Eventually I submitted my life to Him, but I realise now that I have lived these last ten years waiting for Him to take Sean away from me, to take Niall away from me or to take my health away from me... and it's taken ten years for me to look back and realise that all those anxious thoughts were in vain. This ten year mile stone has given me the chance to take courage and Lord willing, face the next ten years with a more relaxed and optimistic view.
It's not that I didn't trust God. I know very well that He is in control of every situation in my life and thats the point. When I didn't believe in God I thought I was in control. Now I know that God is, and I know that He allowed all those miserable things to happen to me to draw me to Him.
But you know, if my life was a perpetual 'Ground Hog Day', and if I had to repeat the pain of Dublin, Newry and Dundalk again and again and again in order for the Lord to draw me to Him, I would do it gladly.
Although the scars run very deep, I will bring this situation to God and ask Him to help me to put all these thoughts out of my mind when they creep in. He will heal this too. Whatever the future holds, I'll try not to worry about it and count me blessings for today...
...and my blessings are many.
Monday 27 February 2012
Things as good in the MacCarthaigh house hold. Niall still hasn't a full time job yet but is is keeping very busy with the odd job here and there, keeping up with things about the house and doing voluntary work. He is teaching the board members of a local Credit Union how to use ipads and as you can imagine he is really enjoying that! His health, as usual is good thank God and he is as happy and full of life as he normally is:)
Sean is still loving school. He is really enjoying the tec drawing, wood work, metal work, computers, science and sports and also plays badminton outside school hours on the school premises. He seems to be taking after his first dad and running well. His school has asked him to run in some events that will be coming up soon and I think that pleases not only me but his granny Tess. He is still keeping up with his swimming, training for his two hour sponsor treading water to raise money to keep his sailing boat in the Sailing Club in Carlingford and he has started to attend the gym in Aura. His health is quite poor but we, along with our GP and his Paediatrician. He gets bullied over his height but is coping with it ok.
As for me, well, I am fine. Loving the women's ministery course in Moyra Baptist College and very sad it will be wrapping up for the year soon. Have to get off the lap top! Will be back soon I hope.
Wednesday 21 December 2011
I am thinking of how God is so good to me.
I am thinking about the great Church I am a part of.
I am thinking of my friends and the fact that I have them.
I love my family.
I am thinking I must blog more and change the photo that is above it!
Tuesday 6 December 2011
Friday 25 November 2011
Life starts by trials, the trial of giving birth and the trial of being born. We continue on
through childhood stumbling from one form of trial to another. This is proceeded by the
teen years with trials associated with siblings, peers, teachers and parents. Then onto the
years where we enter the workforce/mortgage/marriage/children. Middle age comes with
the trials of loss of one’s youth and the children moving on etc. Then on to old age and the
trials of loss of energy, memory, and health. Peppered throughout this time line may be
among other things death, divorce, unemployment, disability or illness. Finally, if we are
blessed to have lived a long life, the last trial for us is death itself.
It’s one of the tragedies of life, that some are taught that as soon as they are converted, all
will be well. No more sorrows, pain, and loss. I can understand the desire to believe this
lie, especially if their conversion had been a painful one, but it’s tragic to think that this
train of thought will lead them, sooner rather than later, into great hurt and confusion. The
real loss however is their lack of knowledge and understanding of who Jesus, their Saviour,
really is. This is one instance where suffering trials are definitely beneficial and essential for
Christians to mature in understanding and be more Christlike.
What is Christ like? The fruit of the Spirit given to believers will start to give us insight into
what a perfect human being might look like. Love, joy, peace, self control and happiness
( ). Add to this list perfect obedience to the Father, perfect fellowship with Him, perfect
holiness, etc., and we will not only see what Jesus’ likeness should look like, but we should
notice immediately how unlike Him we really are. So how do we become Christlike? Well,
its’ a learning process. Our Teacher is the Holy Spirit, His classroom is the world where you
live, His curriculum is the Bible and His chosen methods are mostly through trials.
Why are trials essential? Well, there are a number of reasons God allows trials in our lives
and there is a tension between suffering for righteousness sake and suffering because of our
sins. One reason may be to teach us to be humble. Another might be to wean us from our
dependency on the world; yet others could be God’s way of correcting us, expose our sins,
test the strength of our faith or help us look forwards to heaven. Trials can show us who
we really love or teach us to pray. Enduring a trial might help us to love the brethren more.
If we struggle with our sin and suffer trials that are common to all men, we can use this
understanding to show love and compassion to man. This outworking fruit of the greatest
commandment of God, ‘To love your neighbour as yourself, ( ) is beautifully stated by
Binnings. ‘This is the highest point of conformity with God, and the nearest resemblance
to our Father. To be like Him in wisdom, that wretched aim did cast men as low as hell;
but to aspire into a likeness in love lights up the soul as high as heaven even to a mutual
indwelling.’ (Christian Love, Hugh Binning, p10)
We can look to the Bible for the results of God testing His saints. Job is a good example.
Not only did God bring him through his trials a wiser man, but Gaebelein notes the
following... ‘The purpose is not just to test Job as an end in itself, but to give Job the
opportunity to honour His lord....The primary purpose of Job’s suffering, unknown to him,
was that he should stand before men and angels as a trophy of the saving might of God.’
(The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Frank E Gaebelein, p880-881) God can also teach us
aspects to His character through our trials. He showed Job that He is his Jehovah Rophe.
This is a name used in the OT sixty times and it always means to restore, to cure or to heal.
By the time Job was restored to full health he knew God is a way he never knew Him before.
It is essential that we grow as Christians and to grow means that we must go through trials,
learn from them and then produce the fruit of these trials which is the fruit of the Holy
Spirit. This in turn leads to be Christlike.
Trials are vital in the lives of our Pastors. Without them they wouldn’t preach of the Word of
God half as effectively as they do. I should think there would be nothing like a trial to drive
a Pastor to his knees and nothing like a trial to help them to empathise with their flock. In
a biography about Spurgeon, Douglas accredits suffering as one of his teachers; ‘He was
well versed in the three things which according to Luther, made a minister: temptation,
meditation and prayer. The school of suffering was one in which he was deeply taught.’ (The
Prince of Preachers, James Douglas, 1894 – Spurgeon. A New Biography, Arnold Dullimore,
P176) The Apostle Peter was a man who had to go through some very hard trials before he
was entrusted with the care of Christ’s flock. On this subject Sibbes says, ‘After conversion
we need bruising so that reeds may know themselves to be reeds, and not oaks.... Thus
Peter was bruised when he wept bitterly (Matther 26:75). This reed, till he met with this
bruise, had more wind in him than pith when he said, ‘Though all forsake thee, I will not.’
(Matthew 26:33) The heroic deeds of those great worthies do not comfort the church so
much as their falls and bruises do.’ (The Bruised Reed, Richard Sibbes, P5) We also need the
good fruit that trials produce in the lives of Christians to enable us to stand firm against the
Devil and cope with the plague of trials that threaten to engulf and split our churches.
Lastly, I would like to highlight another trial, death. Christ suffered and died in a way that I
cannot properly describe here, and he died well. If we hope to live a life of obedience and
faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and follow that life with a death that would be Christlike, then
it is essential to allow God to bring us through our trials successfully and joyously. How
can we hope to trust and have any comfort in Jesus during our time of death unless we
have trusted Him to successfully take us through other trials during our lifetime? Where
on our deathbed will our comfort come from other than from scripture? Ryle has this to
say, ‘Chapters, passages, tests, promises and doctrines of scripture-heard, received, believed
and rested on-these are the only comforts I dare promise to anyone, when he leaves this
world.’ (How readest thou?, JC Ryle, P50) John Bunyan’s ‘Stand Fast’ is a good example of
how we as Christians would like to die, giving testimony to a life where God guided us and
helped us, where He lead us through difficulties right to the end.
I can’t help but feel a lump at the back of my throat when I read some of what Stand-Fast
said while crossing the river (of death), ‘I see myself now at the end of my journey, my
toilsome days are ended. I am going now to see that head that was crowned with thorns,
and that face that was spit upon, for me. I have formally lived by hear-say and faith, but now
I go where I shall live by sight and shall be with Him, in whose company I delight myself.’
(Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan, Penguin classic, P277)
Monday 19 September 2011
The bottom line is that Sean just loves school. He has made loads of friends and is getting along no problem with the work and the teachers. The only thing that he is finding a problem with is getting his books from his locker. The quiet corridors turn to bedlam at the ring of the school bell and it's every person is for themselves when it comes to pushing and shoving for room to replace used books and get more for the next classes. However, we had a chat about it last night and he has a couple of tricks up his sleeve that he is going to try out.
As for me, well, it's terrible. I have all morning AND afternoon to myself to tidy, shop, walk the dog, blog, read etc.... :0)
Friday 26 August 2011
Tuesday 23 August 2011
Your thumb is nearest to you so think and pray for the people nearest and dearest to you, family, neighbours and friends.
Your second finger is the one you point with when teaching so use this as a reminder to pray for all the teachers in your life, Pastor, Sunday school teacher, husband etc.
Your third finger is the tallest, the VIP finger! Use this finger as a reminder to pray for your government leaders and other leaders in your life.
Your forth finger, according to a piano teacher is your weakest so pray for the sick and the troubled people in your life.
Finally your small finger is the unimportant one and when we think of this finger we should think of ourselves....
Friday 19 August 2011
Sean is happy. He spent a great five months in school, and has spent the Summer looking forwards to going to 'big' school at the end of this month. We got to the beach a few times and he also went on holidays with his nanny to Cranfield several times which is nice. He enjoyed lots of play and hanging out with kids on the street, lots of lie-ins, sailing most Saturday's in Carlingford, studying a christian book along with me about astronomy and also spending time in the College football grounds with his dog and practicing his javelin. All in all he has had a very good Summer.
I am looking forwards to going to Moira Baptist College in September!!!!!! I, and three other women from our church are hoping to start the three year women's ministry course on the 21st. I am so pleased to be doing this. I wanted to do it four years ago but decided it would be too much to take on with what with teaching Sean at home. I spent a lot of time in the garden and working on community gardening. I also joined the resident's association this year and this has kept me busy.
Niall is forever busy for an unemployed man! Always helping somebody out and he is also working away at his training with FAS. We are also busy during the week working on the slide show of Dundalk for our visit to the local nursing home. It is going down a treat and we are all enjoying the experience.
As usual, the next few days are busy with a wedding tomorrow in Portrush N.I., Niall, Kevin, Stephen and Mick holding a talk in Carlingford on Tuesday while displaying Mick's model Ark in the Carlingford Heritage Centre, outdoor movie for the local kids on our back garden, Sean back to school the following Monday and my sister's wedding that Thursday.
I am grateful to God for bringing us safely through the Summer with only the incident with Sean in hospital to cloud our happiness and even then He answered prayers.
I hope you all had plenty to thank God for and so, on that note, I am happy to let go of Summer and look forwards to shorter evenings, more fires, duvet on bed and time on my own every morning, that is, time with just me and my Lord :0)
Tuesday 16 August 2011
He learns how to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
He learns how to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule,
He learns how to be shy.
If a child lives with shame,
He learns how to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance,
He learns how to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement,
He learns how to have confidence.
If a child lives with praise,
He learns how to appreciate.
If a child lives with fairness,
He learns how to practice justice.
He learns how to have faith.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship,
He learns how to find love in this world.
Monday 8 August 2011
IT CAN BE HARD KEEPING A STRAIGHT FACE AS A COURT REPORTER
These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken
down and published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while the exchanges were taking place.
ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?'
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!
ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?
WITNESS: July 18th.
ATTORNEY: What year?
WITNESS: Every year.
ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?
WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which.
ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?
WITNESS: Forty-five years.
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget..
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He's 20, much like your IQ.
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you kidding me?
ATTORNEY: She had three children , right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death..
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male.
ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
ATTORNEY: Doctor , how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.