Posts Tagged ‘castleblayney’

Lurganearly Mission Hall, County Monaghan

March 28, 2019

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With all the current discussion and fierce debate regarding “Brexit,” I found a recent trip through Irish border areas very interesting. The narrow country roads I traversed that day meandered, sometimes north of the border and sometimes south. In fact I kept driving from one country into another without even realising it! Driving through areas which would previously have been seriously troubled, sadly I believe that today, in a sense, they still are; suspicion of strangers is still very much the order of the day in some places…

I remember a large family my parents used to visit when I was a child. This family lived on a farm close to the border and I can still see in my mind’s eye the old kitchen, with a table by a window where the sun shone in on the mother of the house who stood making bread. I have been told that the farmhouse now lies uninhabited. It is not unusual to find abandoned houses in rural areas of Ireland with all the bedding, old furniture and crockery still sitting there!

It is fascinating to realise that the Irish border is not easily defined. Some people’s land or farms straddle the border, while there are those who claim that some rooms of their houses are in the Republic of Ireland while others are in Northern Ireland. I sincerely hope that they’ll never require a passport to walk from their living room into their kitchen! It is many years ago now since we visited that family but as I reminisce on youthful days, I realise that spiritually speaking the need of mankind remains the same and the people of Ireland, whatever their political views, need to come to personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, if they have not already done so.

Still nestling amongst the peaceful emerald drumlins of County Monaghan (which is south of the Irish border) are some non-denominational little mission halls and Lurganearly is one of these. Lurganearly is a small townland, lying just 10km (around 6.5 miles) south east of Castleblayney. There is good car parking space across from the little hall, which is ran by a Mr J. Smyth who lives halfway between Castleblayney and the hall. Every Sunday at 12noon a Sunday morning worship service is held here and I know that anyone desiring to go would be made most welcome.

Every Wednesday night there is a prayer meeting at 8pm and a Sunday evening service is held on the first Sunday of each month at 8pm. The visiting speaker at this first Sunday evening meeting normally also speaks at the morning service. Unlike many mission halls, this one continues to operate during the summer months, except on rare occasions for a very good reason. There are sometimes other special mid-week meetings arranged, with visiting speakers and organisations invited to the hall.

This year (2019) it will be 63 years ago since Stanley Conn (see previous blog https://readywriterpublications.wordpress.com/2019/03/16/the-testimony-of-stanley-conn-1928-2007/ ) put his trust in the risen Saviour in this very place and I thank the Lord for the existence still, of such places of worship where there are no denominational barriers. In the sparsely populated rural areas of Ireland and indeed in the towns and cities, I pray that souls will still repent and listen humbly to that “still small voice” which continues to whisper in this the Day of Grace… not only in places of worship but in city streets, villages, country lanes, mountains and valleys.

Political regimes and leaders may come and go, terrifying events will surely happen and this old world is changing fast “but the Word of the Lord endureth for ever” (1Peter 1v25) and “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13v8)

Praise God for the text on Lurganearly’s wall which may even speak to weary travellers on that narrow country road… “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…” (Acts 16v31)

 

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Springtime in Ireland – and a Prayer for Revival

April 8, 2010

“For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;” (Song of Solomon 2v11&12)

Today I was reminded of these words as I made a fascinating little journey through parts of rural Louth, Monaghan and Fermanagh. The warm rays of the sun were so welcome after the floods, snow and winter gales which have battered us until very recently. However, unlike the climate in Solomon’s part of the world, rain is usually somewhere on the horizon in Ireland, which is why rainbows are a common sight here!

After receiving a request from the proprietors of bookshops in Co. Fermanagh for more books, I took the opportunity to call en route at An Eaglais, once an old Presbyterian Church, but now home to a tourist amenity and heritage centre. It lies halfway between Castleblayney and Carrickmacross on the N2 Dublin to Derry/Londonderry Road, has a little café and sells arts, crafts and books – including my first book: “A Biblical Journey through the Irish Year.” After lunch here, we were off on the road again, driving towards the Fermanagh/Cavan area where the I.E.B. bookshops in Enniskillen and Cavan (see website below) and Val Irvine’s Christian Bookshop in Lisnaskea kindly facilitate my books.

Today as we travelled home, we noted many derelict houses, swans sailing on sparkling lakes – and quaint remains of historical interest. It was one of the latter which led us off the ‘beaten track’ on this lovely day to take photographs. Someone stopped to ask us ‘what were we doing?’ To cut a long story (very) short, I had the opportunity to speak to this person on spiritual matters, although I felt that I could have said much more. Yet our detour, I believe, was no accident and as we drove today through tiny hamlets, past lonely farms and thatched cottages, I longed to see (spiritually speaking) the winter past and a new awakening in my native land: both north and south of the Irish border and in every green field and city street. Oh, that in the words of Solomon, many could say: “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” (Song of Solomon 7v10)

Ireland today is spiritually parched. April showers may gently fall upon an emerald green landscape, creating in their aftermath purity and freshness in the air and the beauty of the rainbow. Yet, spiritually speaking the atmosphere is dry and rancid. Lord, “wilt thou not revive us again; that thy people may rejoice in thee?” (Psalm 85v6)  How I love the old revival hymns, such as Fanny Crosby’s “Showers of Blessing” and “For a Worldwide Revival” by Leila N. Morris. When I recall the old revivals that flooded these islands and other nations in the past, today I pray for revival – and I pray that it will start within my own heart.

Below are links to the two hymns mentioned:

http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/s/b/l/sblessin.htm

http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/f/o/r/forworld.htm

http://www.irishevangelisticband.org/bookshops.php