Wednesday 21 December 2011

Just thinking....

I am thinking of the past year.
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!

God bless.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Doggie joke

A wealthy man decided to go on a safari in Africa. He took his faithful pet dachshund along for company. One day, the dachshund starts chasing butterflies and before long the dachshund discovers that he is lost.

So, wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the obvious intention of having him for lunch. The dachshund thinks, "I'm in deep trouble now!" Then he noticed some bones on the ground close by, and immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat.

Just as the leopard is about to leap, the dachshund exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any more around here."

Hearing this, the leopard halts his attack in mid-stride, as a look of terror comes over him, and slinks away into the trees.

"Whew," says the leopard. "That was close. That dachshund nearly had me."

Meanwhile, a monkey, who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So, off he goes.

But the dachshund saw him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figured that something must be up.

The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard. The leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine."

Now the dachshund sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back, and thinks, "What am I going to do now?" But instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet. And, just when they get close enough to hear, the dachshund says:

"Where's that darn monkey? Sent him off half an hour ago to bring me another leopard."

Another fun doggie joke

Two men were walking their dogs together. The first guy with a Chocolate lab and the second a Chihuahua

The first guy says, "Hey, you want to get something to eat?"

The second guy replies, "Yeah, but they all have signs that say 'No Dogs Allowed'."

The first guy with the lab puts sunglasses on and hands the other guy a pair. "Follow my lead," he says.

As he walks into the restaurant a waiter stops him and says, "Sir, no dogs allowed."

The man replies, "It's O.K., this is my seeing eye dog." The waiter apologizes and leads the man to a table as the second man enters.

The same waiter stops him but the guy says, "This is my seeing eye dog. I'm with the other guy."

The waiter replies, "Sir, you can't fool me, you have a Chihuahua."

The man freaks out and says, "A Chihuahua? They gave me a Chihuahua?!"

Friday 25 November 2011

My first essay for college...

“Trials are Essential if we Hope to be Christlike.”

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

School, for Sean and me!

Well, Sean started school a few weeks ago and thank God, he loves it! No problems getting him up in the mornings and no problems with his homework either. Niall drives him and two other boys to school and drops them off about 8.30. They go in and have breakfast (by choice), then work and at the end of the school day at 3.45 he stays on, has a snack break and does his homework from 4-5.30 (this is also by choice). He makes it home for 6 which I think is dreadful but at least he has his homework done and he has the rest of the evening to himself. I won't grumble (much) about it because I suppose this is one of the reasons why the Bush has the second highest number of students in Louth going on to third level education beaten only by the Grammar.
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)

BTW, I start college tomorrow!
Three years women's ministry course in the Irish Baptist College in Moira every Thursday evening....CAN'T WAIT!!!!!

Friday 26 August 2011

This week we had Sean's friends Artem and his brother Denis over for most of the week. I took them swimming a few times and also over to JJB for play and football. We had a full, tiring but good week and I took a few photos of some of the things they got up to...

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Help for your prayer life...

I heard that this can be a good way to help you with your prayer life.

Think of your hand.
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....

Wedding number 1

Niall and I went to Portrush to attend a Christian wedding. It was a lovely, lovely wedding, one of the best I have ever been to.

Friday 19 August 2011

Looking forwards...

Well, the Summer is almost gone and although we didn't have much heat or sun, as usual I am starting to warm up to the idea of Autumn, my favourite season. This Summer went well for my family. Yes, Niall is still unemployed, but God is stretching and growing us in the midst of all this and I know the joy of going through various trials, cause through it all I see Jesus more clearly and that has got to be good.

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

How a child learns.

If a child lives with criticism,
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.

If a child lives with security,
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

Something Niall sent me... Very funny!


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?
WITNESS: Oral...
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?
And last:

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.

Tuesday 2 August 2011

Holiday Bible Club.

Today we started our Holiday Bible Club in the Dundalk Baptist Centre. This year we are working with our own children and a couple of their friends and it is so much easier :0)
Daniel and Chasity are the main organisers and Rebeca, Rory and I are helping out. We had great fun and the kids were so very well behaved. I think we are all looking forwards to tomorrow.
Chasity hard at it!
Daniel is a fab teacher and presented the gospel very clearly during the story/teaching time with the younger kids.
We rolled out large sheets of paper for the craft. Now this was fun!!!! We had to lie down on top of the paper and get somebody to draw the outline of our bodies on it. Then we coloured them in.

Makely won a prise for best effort/behaviour today.
We finished the day by playing lots of games... phew!!!

Thursday 28 July 2011


Sean's friend Nosi came over to hang out and they ended up having a huge community water fight!
I have started more work in the estate weeding and planting. Watch this space for more!

Yesterday we got to the beach for a few hours. The weather fas fantastic and sadly I only put on factor 10 so I got pretty burnt on my face... And of course today it's raining!!!!!
Hope you are having a great Summer.

Friday 22 July 2011

Hen party.

My sister Nicola is getting married soon and so she had her hen party today.
Being the last of 11 children we three were called the three wee ones.

My nephew's girlfriend Fionnuala.

They are away off to Carrick on Shannon in this party bus for the weekend. I left them to it!

Sunday 17 July 2011


I thought I might share a little about dress/clothes. This can be a touchy subject, along with women's hair and make-up! But I will start with God and what I think He has to say about it.

In the beginning nakedness was not a sin. However, when sin entered the world we had to cover up. Why? Because our way of thinking is now perverted and corrupt and we are unable to look at the human body in the way we used to, without sinning. How do we sin? Well, I suppose the most obvious way is when a man lusts after a woman. A husband may desire his wife but a man who lusts after a woman is sinning. Women too can lust after men but, to be honest, we're just not in the same league as the men! However, we don't get away that easily, we can be envious of how other women look and that's sin.

Clothes can be worn to cover the body, to be comfortable and to keep you warm, and then they can be worn to cover the body but accentuate certain parts and draw the eye of the opposite sex.

Before I became a Christian I wore clothes for different reasons. Jeans, tracksuits etc just to hang around in and to work in, to keep warm and to be comfortable in. I also wore clothes that would draw the attention of men towards me, and then I wore clothes to impress other women... peer pressure! Other times I wore clothes as a kind of armour, power dressing. If I were going somewhere important and meeting somebody who intimidated me, I would put on the smart trouser suit, make up and hair... my armour!

When I started going to Church services I began to look at the way other Christian women dressed. Some, most, wore clothes that were not expensive. Others wore outfits that were put together with a little thought but again, not expensive and others didn't seem to mind what they wore so long as it covered them!

There were some young women in out Church and they really surprised me by how they dressed. They looked great! Trendy, modern, up to the latest fashions and discrete! They wore some of the same kind of tops that were out there in the boutiques but instead of wearing it low cut, they would put a t-shirt under it, or they altered it by sewing it and still looked great!
As I got to know the women in the Church, one by one, some of them told me that they shopped in second hand clothes shops as well as the regular shops. One woman, who was quite short, got almost all her clothes second-hand, gave them to a dressmaker to alter them and looked fantastic! You would never know she did this! Another woman I know in the Church dresses herself and her kids from the second-hand shops with the best of clothes, good labels and all, you'd never know!

I had thought nothing of wearing tops that didn't leave much to the imagination, skirts that were too short and clothes that were too tight. But how do we know what is too short, low and tight? What do we gauge it all against?

I came to realize what I was doing was wrong when I read in the Bible that when a man looks at a woman and lusts after her in his heart, he commits adultery...

When I go to church wearing something that is used to draw the attention of men to my figure and attract them to me, I may be stumbling them and possibly tempting them to commit adultery in their hearts with me and sin against God. Tough stuff.

Some would say that surely it is up to the men to mind themselves and just look away.

Well, yes it is, but it is also up to me to consider my brother, to esteem him higher that myself, to protect him and not to stumble him. Personally, I didn't know a lot about the Bible at the time, but I knew enough. The fact that somebody looking at me with lust caused him to sin. I didn't want to be a part of it, so I changed. It didn't happen straight away. It took months initially and a few years to iron out the finer points and if I am honest, even now I still find myself tempted to slide back into the ways of the world, but then God gives me a gentle nudge and pulls me back.

It can be a fine line sometimes. You can go too far one way or the other. It is up to you to love your brother and not stumble him so you can't go around wearing certain styles of dress. However, we are not called to cover ourselves from top to bottom.

Let's use a bit of wisdom here ladies and consider what we wear. Do we want our brothers to be talking with us after the service while trying desperately not to look at our cleavage, or can we give them one less thing to struggle with in the world that day..? We don't have much choice in what we have to look at from day to day in the high street and work place, but we can make out Church services a restful place to be, where our brothers, husbands and sons can rest from temptation in this area, even if it is just for a couple of hours.

At home.

When I lived in Dublin City in the early 80's I used to work. Because I came from a large poor family, and because my father encouraged us to do well for ourselves and not rely on men to get us through life, (he had 7 daughters) I became very independent and would strive to be strong and not to be dependant on anybody, especially a man. I would pay my way in restaurants, holidays, anything, and felt awful if I were under any complement to anybody.

When I had my son Seán, I was just the same. Because I didn't drive, sometimes I relied on people to drive me here and there and would give them money for petrol and this would help me feel less of a burden. I really disliked cooking and thought it was the most boring thing in the world to have to do. My plan was, as soon as Seán was old enough, he would go to play school and I would get some part time work.

After my conversion things changed for me in these regards. I wanted to be with Seán more. I didn't mind spending most of my time with him. Also I longed to cook for somebody! My sister and my pastor used to call over every Tuesday morning and I used to be happy to make up something small for them to eat for lunch. Nothing fancy, a salad or omelette or soup etc. This pleased me and these feelings took me by surprise!

Before I married Niall I started to get used to making dinners for more than just me and Sean.... I would invite visiting speakers to my home, along with other people from the church, and that got me back into the swing of things. So by the time I married Niall I was very happy to cook and wash and keep home and homeschool... Something I would have once really disliked, I now love! Having said all that, I am not a fab cook and sometimes still get a bit bored cooking two times a day..

I am so glad and grateful that the Lord has taken me out of the workforce. I do have a small job cleaning a local community centre once a week that helps pay the bills. It is literally 3 doors down from my home which is great. Once we made the choice to home school Sean then that took the option of working outside the home from me. I am grateful for that.

I am not superwoman. I can't work outside the home, then come home and shop, cook, wash, dry, iron, clean, be mother, wife, helpmate, sister, be a regular church goer, let alone spend time reading the Bible, reading other godly books, pray and visit folk.... I just can't do it all and I don't want to.

So how do we get on? Just live a simple life. It may not be as simple as I would like it to be, but by today's standards it's pretty simple... But the benefits are amazing! We son't have a lot of spare cash but God provides for every one of our needs. So, right now, this is what my life looks like.

I get a lot of hand-me-downs... I quite enjoy that!
I buy second-hand.
I buy new in the sales.
I buy very little make-up.
I don't buy perfume.
I very rarely buy magazines.
I have a great friend who cuts my hair for free :0)
I don't drink.
I don't smoke.

What we do...

Sometimes we go to the movies.
We go to the pool.
We go to the Library.
I go to visit my sisters and brothers in the Lord.
Sometimes we go on holidays.
We light a fire and settle down to watch a movie or read out loud to one another.
We have a family bible/prayer/song time most days which we all enjoy.
We go on outings.
I visit neighbours and friends.
We visit family.
We visit a local nursing home.
We go to church services.
I walk.
I blog.
I read.....
This September I hope to go to a Baptist college for a part time three year women's ministry course.
I do a lot of community gardening in the estate where I live.
I am on the residents committee.

I couldn't do the half of this if I were working, and I would be working if God hadn't given me the desire for a more simple home life.

I love my life, I really do. I love my home which I call 'my nest!' I love my family. I don't care if the world thinks it is unusual for me to be home so much, to be fulfilled with my life as it is.

Not too long ago I would have despised this kind of lifestyle, now I love it.

I am not is any way putting down women who work. I am just saying that I believe that at this time and moment, this is what God wants 'me' to do and I am grateful.

Friday 8 July 2011

The source and beginnings of christian love.

We know that the source of christian love is God and the beginning of christian love for us started when God created the first man and woman. The love Adam had for God was a true, perfect and clean love, as was his love towards Eve.
I can't help but wonder what it would be like to live in a world where people had this kind of love for one another. After all, this is what God intended when He created Adam and Eve, isn't it? It's very hard to understand what it should be like because when we destroyed our relationship with God we also destroyed our relationship with one another. Now we are left with a world full of people who are only capable of self love unless, that is, they are saved and converted by God and even then, due to our sin this new love that is planted in our hearts is just a vague impression compared to what it soon will be.

In his book 'Christian Love,' Hugh Binning begins by talking about God's creation of His world with unity and order and then goes on to say,

'Now, it is most reasonable to suppose that, by the law of creation, there was to be no less order and unity among men, the chiefest of the works of God. And so it was indeed: as God had moulded the rest of the world into a beautiful frame by the first stamp of His fingers, so He did engrave upon the hearts of men such a principle as might be a perpetual bond and tie to unite the sons of men together. This was nothing else but the law of love, the principle fundamental law of our creation - love to God, founded on our essential dependency on and subordination to God, and to man, grounded upon that communion and interest in one image of God.'

But things have changed so much that men's only love is turned inwards and it is only self serving. We turn everything towards ourselves and no one, least of all God, gets a look-in. God has to convert us and teach us how to love the right way, and at a high cost.

If God is love and we are made in His image then I think is it a very good starting point to base our christian lives on. It doesn't really matter how old we are as Christians, if we haven't got a proper understanding of what love is and who we should love, then nothing else that follows in our lives will grow to the potential that it otherwise should.

Let's consider 1 Corinthians 13:1-3,

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Just consider that list. Amazing! God is saying that the first thing to get right in our new lives as christians is love and if we don't get that right, well, everything we do that follows is, at the least, questionable. It seems to me that if we don't have a proper understanding of how to love God and our brethren properly then our motives for doing anything in the name of God is tainted. I suppose what I am trying to get at is that this is not only a fundamental doctrine but the fundamental doctrine and it is vital that we find out more about it and then do it.

Right now when I think of the scripture that tells me how decietful I am (The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked - Jer 17:9), and then I think of the things I do for the Lord, I can't help but want to go back over my reasons for doing them and check if they were out of love for Him and the brethren or were the reasons tainted with sin.
Did I do stuff out of love or because it may have looked good in God's and the church's eyes.

Starting with myself first, I think it may not be a bad thing to examine ourselves and look back over some of the things we have done during our christian life and see with what intentions we did/do them. Here are some things coming to my mind...

If we go to the church services just to get fed, well that's wrong. We should go not only to learn and grow, to be helped and encouraged but also to worship God and love Him and His by ministering to other saints, not least our elders and their wives.

Do we go to visit other christians for our own edification or for theirs?

When I pray, is it mostly for me and mine, or do I consider others, above and beyond my own needs?

When I make life-changing decisions, are they based on me and mine only or am I taking my church family into real consideration?

Have I a decent knowledge of the Bible but don't share it with others. Do I encourage and help others to understand it and to get them through hard times?

Friend, it's real hard fighting against the old man and against putting ourselves first.
It's real hard putting God and His children first, before ourselves and not just making an outward show of it.
It's real hard crucifying ourselves for others who are in our immediate family let alone our church family but we are called to do that.
It's real hard to only see this current world/situation we are in and not look forward to a time when we won't have the choice to please God any more. This is a crucial and fantastic time when we have the choice and can say yes (or no) to God.

But I am very encouraged to know that God has supplied me with everything I need pertaining to my life and godliness (His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness - 2 Peter 1:3).
I am very encouraged to know that when I do these things and practice them that they become a part of my life and I tend to hold onto this world and the things in it a little less every time.
I am very encouraged to know that God is pleased with all my efforts to obey Him and He will help me, every step of the way, and I am very encouraged to think that rather than suck my church dry, I can give a little back and maybe even surprise myself and be a good example to others.

Wednesday 6 July 2011

A bit of sport.

Today we went to visit the Kirwans and Sean took his javelin along. Ann''s son is great at that sport, winning all Ireland's gold in the under 18's and 19's and was happy to give Sean a bit of instruction. He is 20 in two weeks time and is getting baptised into our church on the same day! You have to play the video through two times to get a decent picture.

Monday 4 July 2011

Fun day in a nursing home!

This morning I had great fun with my family. These past few months it has been on my heart to visit the old folk in the local nursing home and read the bible to them. A sister in the Lord goes there on Wednesdays and Fridays for a few hours and asked me if I would do some kind of craft with them. I had a chat with Niall and came up with an idea that we thought was good. We were going to pick a christian song every week (say Amazing Grace), play a couple of different versions of it, give the people there a bit of background about the writer and a piece of scripture.
Well, the sister didn't think the idea was so good but we did talk things through and came up with another idea which we got to do today.

We got a projector and large screen and showed old and new photos of Dundalk town to the folk. It sure did start some very interesting and fun conversations. After doing that to our captured audience (over 40 people) we finished off with some interesting facts about today's date, the 4th of July. Niall did quite a bit of research into the subject and came up with some interesting facts. One old gent (below in the last photo) called Michael who couldn't be heard very well took quite a while on his walking stick to get to Niall and told him that Louis Armstrong was born on the 4th of July and then walked back to his seat :0)
The lady in the photo above is called the 'Queen of Mondays' as that is her day for attending and she is a bit of a bossy boots, although very nice!!!
By all accounts the staff really liked the slide show and were kind enough to give us refreshments. The nurse in the white coat is Kevin's mum.
All in all it was a fab morning and we are looking forwards to going back every Monday at 11 this month with the option of continuing for many months after that. We were even given some requests by the folks. They want us to look up information on the Internet about some areas in Dundalk where they lived.
We had to laugh, there was even talk about a famous one armed footballer!