Posts Tagged ‘lisnaskea’

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

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