Posts Tagged ‘north county dublin’

Balbriggan Library Event – A Seasonal Reading

December 6, 2014

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On Wednesday, 10th December next, Lord willing, I hope to participate in a ‘seasonal event,’ reading short stories and poems which I have written over the years. This short time (lasting just one hour – from 3.30-4.30pm) will also include a power point display of inspirational and seasonal photographs. I also hope to bring my books and bookmarks along to the event.

Balbriggan, once a fishing village, is now one of north County Dublin’s heavily populated towns, with many nationalities occupying its recently built housing estates.

However, as I’ve commented previously, even though more than 20,000 people of numerous nationalities now live there, relatively few people attend such events. To any Christian reading this I would say – even though numbers will most likely be small, please pray that those who attend will be blessed and met at the point of their individual needs.

Current Link to this event:

http://www.fingalcoco.ie/events/event/default.aspx?guidStr=6783871e-6a7c-e411-9c55-0050569b0000

 

Sowing the Seed on All Ireland Poetry Day

October 7, 2011

Seeing a window of opportunity in “All Ireland Poetry Day” on 6th October, I made a leaflet entitled: “A Little Selection of Christian Verse from the Irish Countryside.” It was interesting to discover again the old villages of Garristown and the Naul in North County Dublin. Garristown has a small Carnegie Library and the Naul is known for ‘the Seamus Ennis Cultural Centre’ which also accommodates a small coffee shop. I distributed my poetry leaflets to both locations and also to the village of Stamullen and to the library in the town of Balbriggan. Little seeds can sometimes blow much further than we think!

How good it is to use every opportunity we are presented with to reach others with the good news of salvation. Even when we find ourselves in situations that are far from pleasant, we can use these new developments in our lives to the glory of God and for the extension of His kingdom. During recent months I have been in hospital because of ill-health but I have made contacts in that situation and have had the joy of giving signed copies of my first book “A Biblical Journey through the Irish Year” to some patients who I instinctively know it will touch.

In recent times I have also been thinking about the little maid who was carried away by the Syrians in 2Kings Chapter 5. I am sure that this was the last thing that she would have wished for herself, but that little maid was able to put a man of influence in touch with the Lord’s servant Elisha – and ultimately God’s healing and saving power!

I also think of Joseph who was sold by his brothers into Egypt; yet the Lord not only protected Joseph, but He raised him up to use him to save a nation from famine!

Yes, life can lead us down some dark paths, for even as Christians we live in a polluted and dangerous world, where satanic opposition should not be underestimated; yet we have this reassurance that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8v28)

And so we walk on, by faith, even through the darkest of nights, trusting that the Lord will protect us and bring us Home to be with Him forever, when life’s short day is over. Meanwhile, we have so little time to serve Him here and the night is fast approaching when “no man can work” (John 9v4). Therefore, let us ask His guidance for every new and unique opportunity that comes our way to reach the souls!

Below is one of the verses from my little poetry leaflet, based on the verse… “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs 4v18)

The Path of the Just 

Softly glowing light

Throughout the darkest night,

Every cloud its silver lining,

Every sorrow, love entwining.

My path meanders on,

In faith towards the Dawn –

Oh breaking glory, eternal Day,

Forever with my Lord to stay! 

© Elizabeth Burke

Reaching out with Christian Literature in Balbriggan, North County Dublin

October 24, 2010

I remember seeing this small town for the first time back in the early 1980’s when it was little more than a village with a few extra housing estates under construction. I don’t know what the population was back then, but according to the census in 2006, it had reached 15,559. Today it is estimated that more than 20,000 people live there, many of whom are of African and East European origin. Last week, armed with Christian literature and a burden for souls, I apprehensively set out to reach one estate in particular. It was a cold, dark evening as I rang the first doorbell. No one was in! I found this to be the pattern at quite a few houses, although perhaps people were reluctant to come to the door after dark – especially when they had to climb down a couple of flights of stairs, as this particular estate had narrow three-storey town houses. On these occasions, I pushed a tract into the letterbox. After a time I came to a house which was completely decked out for Halloween – although Halloween at that point was nearly three weeks away! I felt suddenly an evil presence and also very despondent and alone in my endeavours. Here I was trailing around houses where the vast majority of people probably just didn’t want to know. Recent disclosures about the clerical abuse of children in Ireland have resulted in anger, cynicism, apathy – and a reverting to old Pagan ways. Many feel justifiably hurt and furious about the horrific abuse that took place over the decades, but sometimes they look at anyone whom they would view as ‘religious’ with this same cynicism. Despite this, the human soul has a need to worship and some are turning to systems of belief other than Roman Catholicism.

This is where other cults sometimes step in. A Bible study set up by a group in this town is mysteriously unforthcoming about who is running it; I have reason to suspect that these may be ‘Cooneyites.’ My conviction is that any system of belief which has its roots in ‘salvation by works’ as opposed to faith must be termed ‘a cult.’

I thank God for His gifts of freedom and faith – something that is missing from erroneous systems of belief. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8v36) I do not have to ask permission from anyone before I embark on telling others of the wonders of His love for mankind. He sent His Son to die that people in Balbriggan, in Dublin; in every country, city, town, village, hamlet and tiny homestead in the world might have life – and life that is more abundant. And so those of us who know Him as Saviour must keep our lights burning as we witness to others until the Lord calls or comes to take us Home.

Above is a photograph of Balbriggan lighthouse which reminds me of that hymn: “Let the Lower Lights be burning!” The story behind this hymn by Philip Bliss is that many lives were lost on a ship, all because the man who was supposed to light the lower lights along the shore, failed in his duties. In this allegory, the lighthouse is that Great Light of the gospel, through the Word – while Christians are ‘the lesser lights along the shore.’

Let us never fail to serve Him on the darkest, most depressing nights; in spite of the prevailing cold winds of apathy, cynicism and the threat of ‘spiritual wickedness in high places.’ May the Lord empower all who do so with a clean heart, a bright light, courage – and a love for the souls of this world for whom He died.    

Link to this hymn: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/l/l/llowerlb.htm