Archive for the ‘Book Locations’ Category

Delivering Books to Monaghan, Lisnaskea and Enniskillen through Ireland’s Border Villages

May 15, 2015

0141 Just recently our car was recalled for some software updates at a garage in the Monaghan area, so I took the opportunity to visit some of my old haunts, including Val Irvine’s ‘Oasis’ bookshop in Lisnaskea – and also to visit the I.E.B. “Real Life” Christian bookshop in Enniskillen for the very first time. (My books have been sold in both outlets since 2008.) After work was completed on the car at a place near ‘Annayalla,’ we drove on to Monaghan town where I braved the (really!) cold weather to deliver books to the Monaghan town library. I was also interested to visit, for the first time, the Christian bookshop there in Monaghan which is run by Mrs. Elsie Moynan. We both discussed the fact that there were once Christian bookshops in Drogheda and Dundalk but unfortunately these have been closed down for a long time now. En route from Monaghan to Lisnaskea, we stopped to have our packed lunch in the small village of Rosslea which is just over the border into County Fermanagh. Wikopedia tells me that Rosslea or Roslea, (from the Irish Ros Liath) meaning grey grove/wood is a small village in County Fermanagh near the border with Co. Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland. In the census of 2001 it had a population of 554 people. At that time 97.5% were from a Roman Catholic background and 2% were from a Protestant background. I wondered, as I read this information, about the 0.5%! These little villages which nestle closely to the Irish border interest me, in that they have a strange air about them; you have this feeling that you are in ‘no man’s land’ and yet they do have a character all of their own. Some very negative facts emanate from ‘the troubles’ though; sadly many people were killed in these regions over those years, including members of the security forces. However, there were many more victims that had no connection at all with any organisation, legal or illegal. One of these was Douglas Deering, the last Protestant shopkeeper in Rosslea. Married with three children, he attended a Gospel hall in Clones. Thirty-eight years ago on May 12th 1977, Mr. Deering (52) was shot dead in his shop, which had already been bombed four times by the time of his murder. I felt a sad air about Rosslea as we passed through it on the return journey. The rain was now falling more persistently as I got out of the car to take a photograph of a bridge on the grey river. Somehow bridges always remind me of that allegory that Jesus is the only bridge between God and mankind. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and Men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1Timothy 2v5&6) There is only one effective bridge over the troubled waters of this life… the way of salvation through Jesus Christ. Stories of human tragedy abound where the ‘troubles’ in Northern Ireland are concerned, many individuals still suffering physically and emotionally as a result of the violence and many more lie in unmarked graves… awaiting the day. And that day is surely coming… “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are within shall be burned up.” (2Peter 3v10) “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14v11&12) As I also took a photograph of the little Gospel hall on the edge of Rosslea, I thought about the residents of this and other villages throughout Ireland. Whether the history of these communities is peaceful or otherwise, each and every soul within them needs to repent and to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, if they have not already done so. I pray for those evangelical organisations, Christian fellowships and churches which are presently reaching out to communities in rural and urban areas throughout the island of Ireland. And I pray that individuals, like me, will be empowered to reach precious souls as the Lord leads. There are places we may never pass through again, quiet villages and little hamlets…. We need to love and reach those souls, for who knows what tomorrow holds? (Matthew 24v36) 0139

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Sunshine, Hailstones… and the Ups and Down of Life

May 2, 2015

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Like the changeable Irish weather, this was a mixed week for me. On Tuesday I was at a funeral which was attended by many hundreds of people. The deceased, at 51 was quite young and had many close friends, acquaintances and loved ones, having three brothers and six sisters who all, of course, had extended family. When I reached there, after a two hour drive, I could scarcely believe how packed the village was with cars. The church could not contain everyone and so I, along with many others, was directed to the church hall – which was also packed. I felt a great sense of sadness for many reasons that day and after the funeral stood for a while at my parents’ grave. I longed to talk to them about my feelings… that overwhelming sense of loneliness. There were things I longed to say to them, that only they would understand. After that I was standing in a supermarket car park when I noticed that I was the only one left in the car park which was about to close… A voice sang over the intercom in that great empty space, somehow echoing my melancholy mood.

But then I reminded myself… the Lord was with me during all of that day, upholding me and comforting me. I remembered how, on reaching the village, I prayed that He would provide me with a parking spot – somewhere. It seemed impossible as the streets were so packed. Miraculously, my simple prayer was answered in an instant, when I noticed a man putting a little boy into a car seat. Noticing my predicament, he smiled and waved for me to take his spot when he had gone. And that spot was very close to the church which was good, as I had been delayed on the journey. It was good to be there, if only to give a comforting hug to the bereaved and to speak words of comfort to others that I met.

The following day I made another journey in my own County Meath, to distribute books and again I felt the Lord’s guidance and comforting Presence. It was a sunny day as I set out and I felt much encouraged as I travelled to the town of Ashbourne where the large modern library stocks my books. Ashbourne, although a small town, has a cosmopolitan feel, with many people of different nationalities living here. Driving on through little hamlets, villages and rural areas, I passed through the small towns of Ratoath – and Dunshaughlin which also has a library where the books are available. I soon arrived at my last destination – the quaint town of Trim. Here I was reminded of my parking incident of the previous day; I was about to buy the parking ticket, when a business man who was simultaneously about to leave the car park came over and kindly offered me his ticket, which he said was valid for the rest of the day. Again, I felt the Lord caring for me and encouraging me.

Even the traffic warden had a smile on his face, when he turned his attention from sticking a parking ticket on some unfortunate’s car, to face the river where ducks and tiny ducklings were waddling by the waters’ edge. Sunshine sparkled on the rippling river Boyne where the quivering leaves of lovely trees were reflected. “Aren’t they so beautiful?” I said, as I snapped a photograph of the little ducklings and their duck chaperones.

“Indeed they are,” affirmed the traffic warden warmly, as he too took out his camera – which would normally have been put to more unpopular use!

It was good to meet the lady in the Trim Visitor Centre again, to visit the little library and to talk to Antonia in Antonia’s Bookstore which also stocks my books.

Heavy rain and hail came down just as I reached the car. Again, the Lord prevented me from getting totally drenched! I sat eating a sandwich as I looked out at it in fascination. ‘What a changeable day,’ I thought, ‘just like life itself… one minute the sun is splitting the trees and the next thing you see a black threatening sky, hear a peal of thunder and soon there are hailstones banging off your windscreen…’

And yet the Lord is with those who love and serve Him through all the weary ways in life – He is ever- present in the sunshine and ever caring in the storms. As I recall the ducks attending to their young, I am reminded of the Song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32v11, about an eagle this time… “As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings…” so the Lord does lead us as He led Moses.

He cares for, protects and guides His children; He bears them up and they shelter in the shadow of His wings. Yes… and how He loves all the people of this world, desiring that they would accept His greatest gift of all: the gift of the Lord Jesus Christ who died to save us all.

“O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom thou hast made them all; the earth is full of thy riches.” (Psalm 104v24) How the deity of Christ is upheld in this verse… “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:” (Ephesians 3v9) Our wonderful Creator – and our loving Redeemer… He cares for me. Why not cast all your care upon Him for… “He careth for you.” (1Peter 5v7)

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A Visit to Lovely Trim in County Meath

November 30, 2013

 

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My books have been distributed to some unusual outlets in interesting locations, one of these being the tourist information office and genealogy centre in the medieval town of Trim in County Meath. From time to time I call at these places to see whether the books are still on the shelves and whether the outlets concerned require more. Just recently I had reason to travel once again to Trim, a quaint little ‘country’ town of famous historical significance with its numerous ancient monuments. Boasting the largest Norman Castle in Ireland which was built in 1173, the town is also home to Trim Cathedral.

The Trim Castle Hotel which is just across the road from the tourist information, genealogy and coffee shop is where many visitors from the U.S.A. stay and I have reason to believe that many of these may have acquired a copy of “A Biblical Journey through the Irish Year.”

The bookshop “Antonia’s” is another outlet and the books can also be acquired through the small library in Trim.

My mind travels nostalgically back to some quiet afternoons as I sat quickly scratching my biro across some paper; while the Lord gave me the words for my first book I had such a strong sense of His Presence. Back then I had no laptop and only a little access to our computer, as my daughters were all studying at the time. I trusted Him and I still trust Him for the future; to guide my every word to His glory and for the extension of His Kingdom.

Eight hundred and forty years have passed since the great castle in Trim had its beginnings and I find it so fascinating that this large fortification still stands to remind today’s men and women on Trim’s streets of how it was all those years ago.

Today God’s Word, the Bible, still remains (and forever will) to remind us of not only ‘how it was’ – but how it will be and how we should live today in this world. Never has a book so comprehensively covered every aspect of life and given instructions on how it should be lived – but then God’s Word is no ordinary ‘book.’

 As I look at the emerald banks lining the sparkling River Boyne which flows by the castle, I am reminded that “all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” (1Peter 1v24&25)

I thank the Lord today that His Word “will not return unto Him void” and that my fellow countrymen and women, as well as visitors to Ireland may, through the written and spoken words of the Lord’s servants, still be touched by that ‘still small voice’ and brought to a living faith in my Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour.

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