Thursday 28 May 2009

A nice birthday... again!

Thanks everybody for your birthday wishes:0) I got them on Niall's Face Book, ecard, text messages, cards and here on my blog. It's lovely to hear from you all.

We had a busy day, wont go into all the details but it was all good, just tiring. This evening Niall and Sean set up the sitting room for my birthday tea. This included lighting the fire and bringing in the kitchen table too. Dressing it up, including the ice bucket, lighting candles, hanging up (pink fluffy fairy lights), flowers etc... It looked great. While they were doing this and preparing the tea I was shooed upstairs where I lay on the bed watching a DVD I got from the Library today:0)

On our birthdays we tend to give each other small gits so Niall gave me and Sean a DVD each. Mine is a double DVD of Miracle of 34th street, both the old b/w & colour version and the modern version. (I like Christmas movies) He also gave me chocolates and flowers and a Yankee candle. Sean's gift was the big surprise. His birthday is in a few days time and somebody gave him 10 euros, so he took this and he his 5 euros from working last week and other savings and bought me a sterling silver dress ring. It's beautiful. I will try to post a photo soon. The wee pet, I am delighted with the gift, but also with him for spending every penny he had on it. Very giving and selfless of him I thought. (Takes after his dad you know!)

We finished the evening with a movie and chocolate cake/cream. It was very rich and I think this is the reason I am on the lap top at 5:22 watching the sun rise...

God bless and many thanks!


Tuesday 26 May 2009

My birth day.

So there is 29 minutes to go to my birthday and I am sitting up in bed with the bed on (electric blanket) playing with the family lap top. I am thinking of the hectic week. Today we home schooled, had a sister in the Lord, Mary Callan visit, went into town and started distributing the 5,000 envelopes (along with Christian tracts) then home for tea, power hosed along the back and side of the house while Sean had his Russian teacher over, went to the Library for an art exhibition that my sister invited me to and then finished the day by going to a wake of a 34 year old woman who has left a husband and three children behind...

Tomorrow I home school, collect the 2,000 newspapers and deliver some of them, Christian magazines and envelopes. Sit in the Library and look after the paintings from the exhibition that we went to tonight (my sister asked me to, she is one of the artists involved with it) pretend to be busy while Sean and Niall cook my birthday tea and hopefully enjoy that and a movie afterwards:0)

Thursday brings along more schooling, shopping, paper/magazine/envelope distribution. Then a trip to Dublin to visit somebody in hospital.

As for Friday/Saturday/Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday... It's just too much to think about. I had better stick close to Him or I will never get through it...

However, just 15 minutes to my birthday!!! I am like a BIG KID! I still get a kick out of it!


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Bloom in the Park




Here is a short video of Sean playing in fornt of a live band in the Pheonix Park, Dublin 2007. We had a FANTASTIC day out that day and enjoyed all they had to offer such as beautiful gardens made up for the weekend, childrens gardens with all sorts of creaatures from hedge hogs to hawks. There were all sorts of food stalls and also nature walks. On that particular day the sun shon all day.

Bloom in the Park in on this coming weekend and we hope to get to it again. Also, on Monday which is the June Bank Holiday, we will be heading back up to Dublin so I can walk the women's Mini Marathon:0)

School

http://www.firstsecondbooks.com/images/littleVampire/schoolRoom.jpg

On Sunday evening Sean and I were lying on our swing seat eating our tea and listening to the new starlings that have just recently flown the nest in our roof. He told me that he wanted to remain home schooled and not to go to secondary school when he is thirteen. I asked him why he had this change of heart and he told me that even though his friend Rhys is in the same class year as him and even though he is almost twelve, (a year older than Sean) he has so much home work to do. This seems to be playing on Sean's mind.

I have to say that I can hardly blame him. Sometimes the two boys work together, Sean on his home schooling work, and Rhys with his home work so we have both seen first hand the huge amount of home work his friend gets.

We had friends from the Church over for lunch earlier that day and the mother was telling me how much home work her son gets. She said he comes home from school after three, has dinner and works, sometimes for hours. Once or twice a week her son plays soccer (the 3 sons are very sporty) and by the time he gets home, has his tea and starts on his home work he could be still working until after eight...

I have to say this people. It seems to me that some children are working harder than their parents. If this is true then something is wrong. We have laws in this country to protect children from being taken advantage of, that protect them from working. Yet I see children going to school from 9 to 3 and coming home to work for another 2 to 3 hours most evenings.

Somethings not right.

Although I like home schooling Sean and am all for home schooling, I don't normally give out about regular school. There are pros and cons to both forms of education. However, I think we (parents) should stop and think through what their children are having to do, year in, year out.

Sean and I continued to talk about going to school. I told him that I am not able to teach him past the age of thirteen. I did encourage him by telling him that when he goes to school we hope that the teachers will make allowances for him for a while and that I will continue to help him to settle in a lot. Also, although he must take Irish as a subject, the particular school he has been accepted into has a separate class for students like him who have no Irish. They will be staring at the start (unlike other schools that make children sit in the Irish class with other students who have spent over 6 years learning Irish) and wont be taking exams on the subject. Another thing is the different teachers and classes. Cooking (which Sean likes) Art, Computers, Music, Wood work,, Metal work, Sports etc. These are subjects which he will enjoy and are not hard subjects at all.
I told him that I will ask the parents of a nice boy we know who started secondary school last September if he can come over and have a chat with Sean and tell him what it is like.

Hopefully this will encourage him to look forwards (as he had been doing) and not be worried about school.

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Growing up

This morning, after his bath, Sean told me that he gets a bit 'smelly' under his arms and could he have deoderant please. Well, what can I say? As I leaned down to lift up the washing I had tears in my eyes. I thought about him being a baby and a toddler and a small boy and as I hung my washing out in the sunshine I felt a mixture of sadness and happiness. Sadness for me, leaving my child behind and happiness for Sean who knows he is growing into a 'man.'

So, he asked if he could go down to the local supermarket and pick out some deoderant for himself... This should be fun; who knows what he will take home!!!

Friday 22 May 2009

Some old photos... and memories!

Now here's a blast from the past! Sadly, that's me stretched out on the bonnet of the car! Dad used to let me drive it up and down the lane. That's me again on the right with my younger sister on the left. Can't remember who is in the middle.

This is my younger sister with me when we were about twelve:0)


Dad used to design and build his own boats. They used to start out like this,and when that part of the boat was finished we would gather our neighbours together to lift it out of the shed, into the garden, turn it over and bring it back in to finish it. Here is dad and my eldest brother Bill sanding and making oars (I think). We never really used them, they were just there for emergencies if the engines cut out. On this occasion Bill had to take the boat out of the water to do a bit of work on it. Launching a new boat was always exciting with fellow fisher men, neighbours and a dozed children helping out... ... and admiring it!


This is one of the last boats dad made. He had called her 'the Optimist' Now we are on to the 'Big Hair' photos! Me and Niall!
This is Sean as a baby with his two grannies:0)Mum (on the left) in Bundoran with her friend. She was about eighteen then. This is dad at home in Blackrock with his mum. He was probably about the same age. These are my great grandmother, great grandfather, grandmother, great aunts etc at home in Blackrock. I remember them all, along with the garden. They had fantastic gardens with orchards, rose gardens, tennis courts etc. All gone now. The whole site where the house and gardens were now have sea view bungalows built on it.



Ahhh, I enjoyed that!

Wednesday 20 May 2009

Home Schooling

Here is one woman's oppinion on home schooling I have just read. Just lovely...

Tuesday 19 May 2009

1 Timothy 1;15

This is a comment I received from a recent post I wrote about my family...



Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a fellow Christian, I am amazed to hear you judging your family.


I have had to think about this one! It's a good thing to be challenged now and again. Sometimes we need to go back to scripture and see if we are wrong and when we are, to be thankful to that kind and patient sister/brother who, in love, showed you your wrong application of God's word. We can confess to God and others (if need be) and apply the truth to our lives. And who knows? Maybe God will use us to pass on this truth to other brethren who are still in darkness concerning that particular scripture.

Sometimes we are right and need to confirm this by going back to scriptures to assure ourselves of the particular truth. I think of what my sister in the Lord, Marie says in relation to teaching Sunday school. She says it's a very good thing, as we have to learn scripture ourselves before we can teach others and therefore it is a real blessing. Again, going back to scriptures straightens us and enables us to, God willing, be able to teach others.

I am not going to go back over my original post. However I would like to say a few things in the hopes that my anonymous sister/brother may read it.

I think that if a christian suspects that another christian is in error over Scripture, that christian should point it out and offer what they think the true interpretation of scripture is. (2 Timothy 3;16) We should always strive to speak the truth in love. (Ephesians 4;15)

Another thing to consider about the above comment is the fact that it is anonymous. Now, this may be because the person who left it has no profile. But if he/she has, then it could be that they are afraid to say who they are... Consider Proverbs 29;25.

My anonymous friend may very well be right, but I think they may have gone about the whole thing is a wrong way, and perhaps is guilty of the very thing they have accused me of? It's hard to know, that's one of the down sides of leaving a comment like that. Although it was not a mean or hurtful comment, it's not edifying or helpful either....

I can't begin to tell you how many times I have got (and sadly continue to get) things like this wrong in my own life and so I would like to say that I am so very grateful to God and my brethren for patience and love shown to me. This comment has made me stop and think, not so much about the content of my post, but about how I react to others, verbally and in my mind, when they do things that I think are wrong. (Romans 8:28)

So I will leave you with this particular scripture, Proverbs 27:17...

'As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.'



May God bless us by continuing to sanctify us by His Holy Spirit and conform us into the likeness of His Son every day:0)

Monday 18 May 2009

Song to my parents

Jeff added this comment to my post: Children and the future
Hey Ruth. I hope your family gets to read your blog so they would know your heart. This reminds me of Keith Green's "Song to My Parents".
Here's a YouTube version of the song with lyrics...

George Bernard Shaw

I don't think Pastors normally quote Mr Shaw on a regular basis but yesterday our visiting Pastor, Tom, quoted him and I think it is good enough to pass on to you guys!

'God made man in His image,
and man returned the compliment.'

Think about it....

Sunday 17 May 2009

Children and the future

I am just home from the evening Church service and am in bed having supper watching an old Day of Discovery video. When I was first saved I used to get a catalogue and every now and again send for a video on a particular subject. They would post it to me, I would watch it, sometimes pass it on to somebody else, then post it back to them. A few years ago they said they were changing over to DVD so I wrote to them asking them for some of their old videos. They very kindly sent over lots and lots of them to the Church here in Dundalk. So, although they are very old, and very light, they can be just the thing after a full day.

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, I was listening to one of the male singers and noticed how he has lost a lot of his hair over the years (although he is young) and I thought of a very young boy who lives in Virginia that I know. He is a good looking wee fella with fair hair and I thought to myself, 'what will he look like in twenty years?' His dad lost his hair early in life and this child might too when he grows up. I got to thinking about this boy and his younger sister. Their parents are Christian and the children have also been converted and baptized. They used to play with my son when they were 4&5 years old. Their mum was the first Christian woman who befriended me. I have had the great privilege of having them in my home, being in their home, minding them for a week at a time, teaching them in Sunday school and the Bible club, being involved in their lives and loving them and I think being loved by them in return.

Last year they moved back to the States and I tell you, it was a pull on my heart, and it still is. However, I keep in contact with the mum by e mail and the odd phone call, with the dad through Face Book, with the boy on the odd occasion by e mail and with the girl through e mail and blogs. I get to see photos of them in their every day lives which is good.

My point is, tonight, the thought struck me that I have something really nice to look forwards to that I have not really noticed before. I have the great joy and privilege of not only watching my son Sean grow up with a hope that I hadn't, but them also, and other children in my Church family.

It's not the same as my nephews and nieces... I have some that are almost thirty, living between Dundalk and New York. The difference is that they have not been reared in a home with ANY resemblance of Christianity. Five are already single parents. One is a musician, (I know first hand all about that lifestyle and it's not something I would want for Sean) one a model, sounds good in a worldly way but again, not a good career choice, quite a few are unemployed and sadly the list goes on along those lines. I have watched most of them grow up and been very involved with most of them and although I love them and they have been a joy to me over the years, it is very VERY sad to see how they are turning out... Very sad.

So now, I find that I have been given the chance to do it all again, but this time with my new family. The family God has adopted me into. This time I have a hope that things may well turn out differently with some of these children. They have a chance that I, my family and most of our children didn't have. They are being brought up in homes with parents that love their children God's way, who discipline their children God's way, who bring up their children God's way.
Instead of watching children being took from one pub to another, I am watching them learning about God in a safe, friendly and loving environment in our Church Centre.
Instead of hearing about young children going to therapists for help with abusive parents, I am watching children form strong bonds with godly people in the Church.
Instead of hearing about children being taken out of bed in the middle of the night by drunken parents, I am seeing children tucked up in bed early, with prayer and protection.
Instead of seeing these same children grow up a bit and being took to the pub with their parents when they are fourteen years old, I am seeing some enjoying their childhoods to the full, just being children:0)

So, although I grieve at the way my family's children have been reared (I don't forget that this would have been me if God had not intervened) and am sick to the pit of my stomach to see it start all over again with this new generation, I am witnessing something that is pleasant, fresh, clean, hopeful, good and holy.

It is an amazing miracle how God can reach down into a family such as mine, pick one of us out of this painful, this crazy mixed-up group of people and transform them. To do this, with no one noticing......

Life has gone on much the same with my family. Gone on, down the broad road of destruction. No one can see that I am born again, that my life has been transformed. That I have peace and happiness, hope and comfort. That God is my dad, that I am his daughter, that Jesus is my friend and brother, that I have One that comforts me and is with me all the time, who will never leave me nor forsake me.

They see someone who threatens them. They see somebody they can't understand. They see somebody who rejected their lifestyles and think I rejected them.

I love my family and I am brokenhearted that I can't reach them.

But I have a friend who can, so I pray and wait, wait and pray and above all, I trust my friend.

And while this awful life is continuing along its path, God has given me another pleasure to give thanks for, to enjoy and to hope on, these children. This new generation that may not go the same way that others go, with God's help.



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Friday 15 May 2009

At Home.

Koke Has really made himself the new member of our family! I have to day that I didn't realize just how fond of him we would be so quickly! I just love him and I don't even mind cleaning up after him... much:0)

He sits when you tell him to. Fetches and retrieves for a treat, stays outside my bedroom and most importantly, knows what NO is!
Last January I bought a tool box for Sean up north for just over €5.00. A month or so later Niall picked up a power tool for Sean for just around €20.00. We had planned to give them to him on his birthday next month but decided to give them to him this week instead. Something came up that needed work and we thought it would be good for Sean to help out, also, he gets lots of toys etc for his birthday and we think he would appreciate it more if we gave it to him before then. Well, he does! He was all excited with it and off he went with his dad to try his new tools out! (we also gave him some cheap screwdrivers, nails etc)



Here is a pic of me and Coke with my neighbour Becky and her mum's new pup!

Monday 11 May 2009

Photos

Niall multi-tasking!
Sean & his cousin 'Marco"
Tug-of-war between Guards (police) & Firemen:0)
Sean showing his granny and cousin how a volcano works... I still have stains on my kitchen ceiling after the last attempt!
Dylan having a sleep over. The boys always insist on sleeping on the floor?
Sewing Sean's birthday present...

Chopping the last of our big grass. Hard work, no kidding!
Google Earth visited our estate!!!

Sunday 2

It was so nice we decided to make a picnic lunch and take it to the beach. We were joined by some of Sean's friends and we all had a good day.


Sean told me this is his six pack...!

Sunday


I walked to the Church Centre yesterday and Sean come with me on his bike. It was a beautiful day and so I took a few photos. There were so many wild flowers along the way, it was wonderful just noticing them!







Wednesday 6 May 2009

Something nice :0)

Most Sundays when I come home from the Church service I listen to John MacArthur on my pod casts while Niall and Sean cook dinner, bless their hearts. This Sunday I was listening to one of his sermons on the Beatitudes and at the end of the show the presenter invited the listener to email them and let them know they are listening, just to encourage them. They do this regularly but this particular day I decided to mail them. (probably had something to do with the fact that my iPhone was beside me and it took no effort!)

So I sent him an email saying who I was and when I got converted. I explained how my pastor gave me the job of cleaning the Church Centre at a time when things were a bit tough for me as a single parent. I found some audio tapes of a man called John MacArthur and used to play them over the loud speaker. I liked them very much and started passing them on to a brother in the Lord who suffers from ME. Since then, I have received free Cd's and books and now free pod casts to my phone every week. I thought by telling them this it would encourage them. At the bottome I gave the link to my Christian testimony for them to read if they were interested.

Yesterday I received this email back from Grace To You...

Dear Ruth

John MacArthur has asked me, as European Director of Grace To You, to pass on his thanks for your letter of testimony, which he was so grateful to receive.

Whilst John gets to read the letters that are sent to him, time doesn’t allow him to personally respond to each one, but he wanted me to be sure to pass on his greetings in Christ.

Would you be willing for us to publish your testimony and photo in our Christmas newsletter, which is read by our listeners all over the U.K and Europe?

John would also like to send, with his compliments, a copy of the MacArthur Study Bible. Could you confirm that we have your correct details:


Well, what do you think of that? I am very glad my testimony is going out there. I have it on a blog and a short version is on our Church web site but this will take it out further afield. Since just before my baptism, when I had to write my story out, I have been lead to pass it out to the general public. It has been on the newspaper, radio and been published into a nice wee booklet and distributed into the homes of the village I come from, Blackrock. Initially I was concerned about putting a lot of my private stuff (a lot of it not very nice) in public but I have always thought it is what God wants me to do. I know it's not for everybody but like I said, I believe it has consistently been my thing since my conversion and so, you can understand that I am pleased to see it go one step further.

On two occasions I seated it when it went out. The first time was when He wanted me to put it, along with a bible, into the homes in Blackrock... I was living there at the time, just me and Sean and I have to admit that I cried over it. I could just see myself pulling a shopping trolley along (I have no car) full of bibles and my testimony and people thinking I was some kind of odd ball. I could imagine people looking at me and Sean on the bus whispering about us and Sean being teased when he would go to school. However, I submitted to God and told him, (through many tears!) that I would do it. The next week I told Stephen my pastor and he said, 'Well, that's something the Church can take on as a project." I couldn't believe it! I thought I would be photocopying about ten testimonies at a time and putting them out. However, the Church ordered 2,000 copies to be printed in the form of a booklet and a year later, with the help of a team of Christians from Texas, we put out many hundreds into the homes in Blackrock.

The nice part of this story is that by the time it happened, I had married and moved out of the area so none of my fears came about!!! I couldn't believe it and still can't sometimes :0) By the way, even though it's seven years on, we have started putting out the Bibles into the village too so that's the second part of my dream coming true!

The other time I worried over my story going out was when we moved into this estate after we married. (7 years ago) We and another family from the Church decided to put a letter of introduction saying who we were and what Church we attend, along with a Bible and my testimony into each of the 48 homes here. I worried that people would think I was weird. However, a few months later, Sean was invited to a birthday party and I was in the kitchen of my neighbours home and while I was there, I was thinking, how am I going to introduce the fact that I am a Christian to them? Then I remembered that my testimony had been put into their door and that they already knew and it ended up being such a relief! I didn't have to try to announce to all who I was! I know it is a sin to be afraid of people and what they may say about me but I confess that this is a sin I regurally struggle with. However, I normally don't let that stop me:-)

Since then we had bible studies in our home along with prayer meetings. In the community centre two doors down we had monthly Gospel meetings for a few years along with a weekly kids bible club and holiday bible club. People know who we are!!!

Anyway, that's me news and I thought I would share it with you and who knows? Maybe it might just encourage you too?!!!

PS.

Niall has a MacArthur study bible that I use so I plan to pass my gift on to a young believer who plans to be baptized soon. He has a huge appetite for God's word and I think he will get many years of bible study out of it:0)

Sunday 3 May 2009

Coke


Well, we are after having a few days with or new puppy Coke. He is just lovely. His colour is great. It takes me back to when Sean was small. You had to feed him, change him, watch him so he didn't bump his head/eat something strange and play with him to tire him out... just like Coke!

The kids in the street are having a ball with him and have been calling over to see and play with him every day after school:-) I will have to watch this though because they are getting him over excited and his has begun to nip.

My neighbour Becky gave us a loan of two DVDs about dog training. She has a Huskie! The guy on the DVDs is called the Dog Whisperer, and some of the stories are very amusing!

We went to buy wire fencing yesterday to put up around the fence in the front garden to stop Coke getting out and the cheapest was €69. We can't afford this and are thinking about other options.

Niall spent two nights on the sofa bed listening to him yelping during the night and going out to stop him. I don't want him to be a nascence to our neighbours but having said that, he has to stay out at night and if he develops any bad habits now it will be pretty hard for him to break them later on.

Sean loves him and is very eager to make him his. He hasn't the authority yet to command Coke but this will come in time. We all think that when Coke has his final injection and we are able to take him out walking, Sean will find his feet so to speak.

Ah, he is cute though. We took him to the beach yesterday and he played in the water and the sand. It was so funny to see his hind legs running faster than his fore legs! And when he was digging with his front paws, he wasn't fast enough and would end up face down in the sand, so funny!!!

Right now though, I am wondering if it will drive our neighbours nuts if we put Coke in his kennel for a couple of hours so we can to to the Church service?!


Coke exhausted after his first day:0)

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