Posts Tagged ‘drogheda’

Informal Ladies Meeting in the Barbican Centre, Drogheda

February 21, 2017

Lord willing, the above will take place on Friday, 24th February, 2017 between 7.30pm and 8.45pm approximately.

A testimony will be shared, as well as some reflections on a selected Irish hymn writer. Sadly many of our old hymns have been abandoned in the days in which we live, in favour of short choruses, many of which have no depth. These are very often sung repeatedly in an effort to stir up a certain “atmosphere” in the congregation, all to no avail.

Manie Payne Ferguson is the selected hymn writer at this meeting. Born in the town of Carlow, County Carlow, Ireland in 1850, she eventually emigrated to U.S.A., where with her husband Theodore, she founded “The Los Angeles Mission.” She wrote many other poems and hymns, including “That Man of Calvary” and “Christ in the Storm.”

I have written about her in my book “Singing on the Journey Home,” where I choose the hymn “Blessed Quietness” for a true story: “Lonely Hotel Room – and a Comforting Presence.” I write: “This hymn writer was mightily used of the Lord, having been associated with the Wesleyan/Holiness Movement in the 19th Century. After her conversion Manie had been struggling with a sinful nature but having experienced the fullness of the Holy Spirit, she felt empowered to write “Blessed Quietness.”

I pray that all will go in accordance with the Lord’s will at Friday’s meeting. Indeed I have no idea who will come along, as some people I have invited may not be able to make it… but I trust that it will be a blessing, even if our numbers are small!

 

 

Ladies, you are invited to an informal meeting

In the Barbican Centre, Drogheda

On Friday 24th February, from 7.30pm-8.45pm

Local lady will share her testimony

 Admission Free/light refreshments

For further information Email:

readywriterpublications@gmail.com

 

 

A Christian Bookstall in Drogheda… “The Wind Bloweth Where It Listeth…”

October 10, 2016

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Just recently, having noticed that people were selling all sorts of ware in the old town of Drogheda, I set up a book table in the town centre. Included on the long folding table were plenty of free Christian literature and booklets, CDs and DVDs, second-hand books, seasonal cards, bookmarks, my own four books and free John’s gospels in the language of many who now live in Drogheda: Polish, Russian, Lithuanian, French and Spanish. It was a pleasantly dry autumn day… but unfortunately also very windy!

I encountered a range of reactions on the day – everything from sheer apathy to mild hostility. In between there were many who were interested and curious, while one lady was very kind and friendly. “Oh you must be so cold standing there,” she said in motherly tones, “let me get you a cup of tea or coffee. Now what would you like? I’ll go now and get you something. Just tell me. I love your books, by the way!” She reached for a second-hand book and also two of my books, “Singing on the Journey Home” for herself and “Ricky the Runaway” for her little grandson. She was delighted with the scripture bookmarks too and I assured her with many thanks, that honestly I didn’t need a hot drink at that particular time. As she was in a hurry, we didn’t discuss spiritual matters but that lady warmed my heart with her friendly manner and I have prayed that the Lord will meet her at the point of her need.

A young man who had watched me put out the bookstall, now perused the books with interest and then asked me sincerely: “tell me, are you a nun?” to which I answered with an amused chuckle, “No, I’m married three children.” He was very interested in the testimony of an ex-nun which I gave him. He told me that he had been a Roman Catholic but was so fed up in the last few years of hearing about the child abuse scandal that he had left the church and had started to attend the Church of Ireland. After the short conversation, he had to hurry for a bus. It was so good to have these conversations, though, which under normal circumstances would never have happened…

Another elderly man came along and, not looking at me, proceeded to swiftly leaf through a few of the books, throwing them down again. “Do you realise,” he said angrily, “that all this literature you have here quotes from the Protestant version of the Bible? The church was built upon St. Peter you know!”

He went to walk off hurriedly and I called him back. “Here’s something to read,” I said, offering him an ex-priest’s testimony tract. He shoved it in his pocket and hurried away without another word… This incident reminded me of another one some time ago. This time a middle-aged woman approached me angrily. “You’re causing dissension between people, that’s what you’re doing!” she told me.

Another young woman (of Ugandan origin), after giving me much encouragement, hurried down to her church to get me some literature of interest. There were others who took an interest and still others who kindly helped in a practical way, when a sudden gust of violent wind sent my lighter literature (especially the tracts) down the street! Looking back on the scene, after leaving for the day, I didn’t see one tract on the street. The wind indeed, “bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3v8)

It was a tiring ordeal, but praise God, my hope is built on nothing less than the real Rock on which the true Church is built – the Church not built with man’s hands or devised by man’s schemes. “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (1Corinthians 10v1-4) Praise the Lord, once again I lean on this His faithful promise: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55v11)

 

King of Kings, Lord of Lords… and He shall reign For ever and Ever!

December 26, 2015

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Just recently my husband and I attended a performance of Handel’s Messiah and as is the tradition, everyone stood for the “hallelujah chorus.” I was touched by the rendering of these and other words of scripture throughout the performance and would pray that those who sing them would not only have a head knowledge of the words they sing – but also a heart knowledge of He who is “the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting Amen.” (1Timothy 6v15&16)

I had been thinking of all the horrific things which are perpetrated in this world today. Such sheer unspeakable evil and cruelty abounds, reminding me of the words of 2Timothy 3v13: “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” We also learn in the previous verse that “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

Those who uphold the truth, whether it is on Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, London, or whether it is from behind many a pulpit throughout the world are attacked and even silenced by many who refuse to accept the deity and Lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ, before Whose judgement seat we all shall stand. (Romans 14v10)

The last recorded words of Jesus in the Bible are: “Behold I come quickly.” (Revelation 22v20)

And He is coming again – perhaps very soon. The Bible tells us that “there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts. And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2Peter 3v3&4)

Sadly few in this world are anticipating the “Day of the Lord” which “will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2Peter 3v10)

We have a choice in this the Day of Grace: either we repent and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour in this scene of time – and bow the knee to Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords now; or we wait until Judgement Day when our acknowledgement of this fact will be too late to save us.

“For it is written, As I live saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” (Romans 14v11)

All those vicious crimes, all the horrific injustice in the name of “religion” or politics, the lies of men, the unanswered questions; these will be exposed and answered! Justice will triumph when Jesus is King! “Not willing that any should perish,” are His words to a world of lost sinners today. Oh that all who read would trust Him, for it is His will that your soul which He loves and died for would also reign with Him for ever and ever!

Is This Your Stolen Car?

April 25, 2012

On a misty, but warm spring day some weeks ago, my daughter and I decided to take a walk along our local beach at Gormanston in County Meath. This beach has been previously labelled “the most radioactive in Europe” and I can well believe it since it lies directly opposite the nuclear reprocessing plant at Sellafield in England. Sellafield, unfortunately, had been dumping nuclear waste into the Irish Sea for many years and is said to be the contributing factor to higher cancer statistics in my local area and on our east coast in general. On a warm day we used to go into the sea here but I have been a little reluctant on hearing one local say that he wouldn’t even let his dog into the sea now!

The long sandy beach which stretches for many miles from just south of Drogheda in County Louth right through to Balbriggan in County Dublin has the potential to be an area of outstanding beauty, with its scenery and bounty of wildlife. However, because of international and national pollution and the fact that the Irish Army use the Gormanston area for military purposes, this makes it most unattractive.

On this particular day, though, all of nature seemed to be in its glory, with the rush of the sparkling waves slipping in over the sand, the seagulls crying in the breeze and daffodils growing wildly and waving on the high cliff above the beach. I took a deep breath of (who knows what kind of) air and everything looked good until I spotted it – a car which was partially submerged in the sand, with no number plates and smashed windows. When we took a closer look we noticed that the interior was smashed up too. Somehow this cast a shadow over my previous optimism, when we had set out on our walk.

Here was someone’s car which had been stolen, vandalised and left as litter on the beach. My heart went out to the owner, since my husband had his car stolen too once; smashed and dumped by a joy rider, in an area of Dublin where even the police are reluctant to ask questions.

Perhaps I have painted another picture of Ireland here; one that questions its ‘green’ and peaceful image and one that would not readily appeal to tourists. Yes, it can be an unpopular route to take, when we see things for how they are and when we point out the negatives in our society.

Of course other parts of the world have problems too… “for we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8v22)

At this moment those who know the Lord live, sleep, walk and work in environments which have been polluted and in societies where sin abounds. We are not immune to the diseases and effects brought about by mankind’s sinful attitudes and desire to make themselves rich. We live in a polluted world, both from a spiritual and environmental point of view – but God is Sovereign. Just as He delivered “just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked,” (2Peter 2v7) those who trust Him in this the Day of Grace, will find in Him a refuge, through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 The month of April has been designated as “National Spring Clean Ireland,” a time when individuals and organisations can work to clean up their environment. This is an admirable thing to do, but spiritually speaking, only the Lord can get to the root of the problem. Surely for changed attitudes in every sphere we need ‘clean hearts?’

Yes, His blood “can make the vilest clean,” so for those who know Him as Saviour, let us reach out in love to the souls and communities around us, as directed by Him. Not everyone is a joy rider, a thief or suffers from drug/alcohol abuse – but all have need of a Saviour. For the moment, the Christian lives in a world where he may be robbed, attacked and subject to disease which has been brought about by men’s greed but if we are faithful to the end, the Lord will bring us into a haven, infinitely safer than that of Lot’s on this earth. There will be no thief, liar, vandal, immorality or disease; no crying and no pain.

“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” (2Peter 3v13&14) Praise God.

“There’s a Flag Flown High – From the Castle of my Heart!” (Romans 12v18)

July 12, 2010

We had driven for miles that glorious July day along one of Northern Ireland’s scenic coastlines. The blue sea shimmered in sunlight, as we admired the rugged beauty of the landscape across the peninsula. Evening found us in a lovely little harbour town, but by now much traffic had slowed our progress. “Why is everything moving so slowly?” I whispered, as I wound down my window in the stuffy car. Just then I could hear the distant sound of drums and accordions playing some familiar melody. “A band!” one of the children shouted. “That’s why we’re stuck in traffic. Hope we see it soon!” But before the band came into view, we saw first the fascinating array of banners and colourful flags flown high and to the forefront, blowing in the sea breeze.

Suddenly I noticed something else too – the hostile crowd that had gathered across the street. Someone shouted at those who paraded. I hoped and prayed that there would be no further hostilities that evening, and thankfully I believe that the proceedings concluded peacefully – but I can still remember those flags flapping in the summer evening breeze, and the variety of expressions on the faces of those who observed…

Some years later we found ourselves again in traffic, this time travelling south of the border. Gaelic football supporters were driving swiftly towards the latter, their little flags and colourful ensigns rippling triumphantly in the breeze. This time the atmosphere was jubilant and light-hearted. At the sight of those colourful emblems of victory, even opponents of the team in question would cheer good-humouredly and wave. This, however, is not always so under similar circumstances. We are all acquainted with media reports of football hooliganism, and certain colourful emblems which inspire fury in the hearts of opponents. “It’s like showing a red rag to a bull” is a familiar old saying. Indeed (I am ashamed to say) I can recall watching a bullfight in Barcelona many years ago. I felt sorry for that bull as it charged in fury towards inevitable doom…

Somehow all of these thoughts came together as I studied with interest a little book I had discovered, on the history of all the flags of the nations of the world. There were flags which were used to distinguish between friend and foe on the battlefield; flags on sea-faring vessels; flags for signalling; flags for sport and recreation and flags for religious celebration. What fascinated me, though, were the complete array of flags currently in use by each nation, and the fact that each design and symbol was of historical and political significance. Many emblems (such as the hated swastika in Germany) are no longer in use on flags – but can be seen on graffitied walls, and continue to instil fear in the hearts of those who remember truly terrible days. Little nations, such as Lithuania, reverted to use of their old flags after gaining independence. On the Lithuanian flag, for example, yellow represents wheat and freedom from want; green symbolises its forests and renewed hope; while red symbolises patriotism and courage. It is interesting to note how many nations have been born out of warfare and shed blood, represented by the red on their flags, while the Islamic country of Saudi Arabia carries the Muslim statement of faith and a sword! On the other hand, the flag of the Republic of Ireland signifies peace between ‘orange and green’, while the flag of Cyprus, with its two olive branches, portrays peace and prosperity between the Greek and Turkish communities. However, since the Turkish invasion in 1974, the two parts of the island also fly the national flags of Greece and Turkey.

As the Lord looks down upon the earth He sees democracies, dictatorships, divisions, injustices, famine, war, evil laws, rampant terrorism, human trafficking and hostage taking. But beyond the flags of nations, with their colours, races and creeds, He sees, knows and loves each individual within those nations. Indeed, as we can see from His Word, there is no one for whom His precious blood has not been shed.   (1John 2v2; 1Tim. 2v6; 1Tim 4v10; 1John 4v14). It is His will that all should come to repentance (2Pet. 3v9; 1Tim 2v4), and share eternity with Him in heaven. Of the Christian, the Bible tells us … There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3v28&29) Whether we are black, white, yellow, coffee-coloured or of ‘Planter or Gael’ background makes no difference when we are true and loyal subjects of His Kingdom. The Christian cannot be ‘neatly filed away’ in precise little compartments governing colour, race, creed, gender or class. Out of every nation they are those who, by faith, have been born again of the Spirit of God. A ‘peculiar people’ (Titus 2v14) they put God first in their lives; the Bible is their guidebook through life’s journey; and they love their Saviour, even unto death. The verse: If it be possible, as much as lieth within you, live peaceably with all men, (Rom. 12v18) is applied, in practical terms to their daily lives. Also, as citizens of the ‘heavenly kingdom’ on a temporary journey through life’s short day, their mission is to reach others with the love of the Saviour, but not to be “conformed to this world” (Rom. 12v2). According to His promise they look for that day which is described in Isaiah 65v17… “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.”

In Rev.7v9&10 we read: “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice saying, “Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” Are you ready for that glorious Day, and will you stand with the ransomed of the nations singing (not national anthems) but praises to the Lamb, and waving (not your nation’s flag) but palms of peace? Surely “Jehova-nissi” (the Lord is my banner) is a powerful word to those who serve the “king?” As a child I remember being taught a little chorus:

“There’s a flag flown high from the castle of my heart – and the King is in residence there.”

I sang the words but did not have ‘the heart experience’ until many years later. Now, thank God, I have been set free to sing those words ‘in spirit and in truth.’ Remember, He loves you, and it is His will that you repent and ask Him into your heart now, for He has paid the ultimate price for you as an individual – whatever your skin colour, your nation’s flag, or your team’s colours! And it is His will that some wonderful day you will be allied with those who sing a new song…

“Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by the blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth.”(Rev.5v9&10

Throughout the annals of history we may read of how invading armies arrived suddenly and unexpectedly to conquer. Some day Jesus, too, will return very suddenly to conquer and to claim His own. Just as the white flag indicates surrender and peace to an invading army, our white robes will show our total surrender to He who loved us and gave Himself for us. That dazzling white may not always guarantee safety where the armies of the world are concerned, but it will where He is concerned! Furthermore, unlike an invading army, he wants the very best for us and He wants to share His riches with us for all eternity.

In Revelations 6v17, we read: “For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Surely only those out of every nation, and under every flag, who have “washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev. 7v14).  Oh that all who read would be numbered amongst that “great multitude, which no man could number!”

© Elizabeth Burke 2010