Posts Tagged ‘readywriterpublications’

Easter Book Launch of Novel: “Ricky the Runaway”

March 19, 2015

ricky the runaway front_small

Lord willing I hope to launch my fourth book “Ricky the Runaway,” which centres on the adventures of a twelve-year-old boy who runs away from home because of a well-known problem in our society: bullying at school.  The introduction to the novel reads…

“Set in the early twenty-first century, this is a story of how fervent prayer can create the winds of change in lives, blowing them safely to rest in that harbour which is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Each short chapter leaves the reader in suspense as the story moves from one situation to another, exposing many problems which are well known in our world: bullying, the exploitation of migrant workers, parents who are not listening to their children and children who have become a danger to society because of neglect and lack of love, guidance and discipline.

Ricky runs from one danger to another, revealing how ‘running away’ from situations at home, work or school is rarely the answer to our pressing problems. Meanwhile, not one person in his family is left untouched by the power of prayer in the lives of ageing distant grandparents who have become estranged from the family. Even anonymous souls, like a nurse in a hospital corridor, are affected by what is happening in the lives of the family. Written against an Easter background, “Ricky the Runaway” is about finding “that which was lost” and discovering love, forgiveness and lives made new by the Lord Jesus Christ.”

The venue for the launch, which will take place between 3.15pm and around 5.15pm on Monday 30th March, will be Richhill Recreation Centre, in the large committee room. (Disabled access) Parents, children and all interested parties are welcome to drop in anytime (and for as long as they wish) between those hours. Simultaneously I hope to have an Easter bookmark-making craft for anyone interested. (All materials free) Light refreshments are available for all – as well as small Easter eggs for the children while stocks last!

Normally retailing at £6.99, the book will be on special offer of £5 at the launch.

The dedication reads:

“This novel is dedicated to the memory of my beloved parents, Jack Hutchinson (1926-2011) and Ella Hutchinson (1929-2014) of Woodview, near Armagh in Northern Ireland. As parents and grandparents in a million, their gifts of love and encouragement to me are still so real, reaching even beyond the bounds of this life. I feel in my heart that they would have been overjoyed with the knowledge that young people, for whom they had a special affinity, would have been reached in this special way with the love of their Master.”

Acknowledgment: I wish to thank my daughter, Sarah, for her wonderful artwork on the covers of “Ricky the Runaway.”

May the Lord bless the proceedings on Monday 30th March next. I look forward very much, to meeting old friends – and greeting new ones!

ricky the runaway back_small

Derelict

October 18, 2011

I have always been fascinated by old deserted farms, cottages and even the ruins of what were once the grand mansions of aristocracy now lying miserably derelict and dangerous in their decadence. The Irish countryside is full of them! It is interesting how a house will soon fall to wreck and ruin because it is no longer occupied, a phenomenon known as ‘entropy’ or the ‘law of universal decay.’ I once explored the rooms of an old cottage in the Mourne Mountains which lay deserted and abandoned like the Marie Celeste. Within its walls lay the writings of those who had once lived there; I felt strangely saddened by the atmosphere and those possessions, now ruined by the lashing rain which had long since infiltrated the cottage in many places. How sad to think that if those people were still living there, the cottage would not have fallen to ruin…

Surely without the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, we too would face ultimate destruction?

A man, rich in prestige and the things of this world, but without Christ, is as without hope and decadent, as the ruins of any great house, but if he can humbly come to the Lord, and truly say with the Psalmist… “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow,” (Psalm 51v7), then the Lord will come in strength, and fill that heart with His presence!  I wrote the poem ‘Derelict’ many years ago now…

I see them everywhere,

The empty houses, the derelict houses,

In various stages of ruin,

But the end of them all is the same –

If they are never occupied again.

Birds nest in their chimneys,

Cattle walk in windowless living rooms,

Where children, long since dead, laughed and ate.

Rats nest in ancient fireplaces,

Stoked years ago by willing hands,

But the last flame died when love had gone.

Now weary travellers shelter from rain

Within their shadowy walls,

Once witness to the joy and tears of life.

But in time they start to crumble,

Becoming decadent, dangerous,

Worse than useless.

Even the ruins of what were once

The grand mansions of aristocracy

Now lie sadly decomposing, with weeds and fungus

 Sprouting from their tarnished walls.

And one bleak day, with stones

And memories washed away by time,

The wind will whisper in a space

That once was home.

I see them everywhere –

They are like a stage without actors,

A person with no personality,

A plan without a purpose,

A body without a soul,

Man without God…

No indwelling Presence

To nurture, love and fill with warmth…

The second law of thermodynamics:

All things left to themselves…

Will eventually decay.

© Elizabeth Burke

Where is Youcef Nadarkhani?

October 8, 2011

A global day of prayer has been called on Sunday 9th October for this young man, Youcef Nadarkhani who has already suffered so much. He was originally charged with protesting but later the charges were changed to apostasy and the Evangelism of Muslims. Anxious to carry out the death sentence in Youcef’s case, the authorities have come up with new charges of rape and extortion, although there was no mention at all of such charges in the original documents. Now we are told that a verdict will be delivered in his case on Monday (10th) next.

The words: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake,” (Matthew 5v11) came to mind when I first learned of these new charges.

Youcef has remained loyal to his Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, for how could he deny He who went to Calvary to purchase his salvation?

“The time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (John 16v2) I sincerely believe that the persecution which we are currently witnessing in Iran will someday (perhaps sooner that we think) become a worldwide phenomenon and only those who are walking closely with the Lord will be able to endure such persecution.

Much to the consternation of the Iranian authorities, the eyes of those in power in the international community are now focussed on this case and it is unanimously agreed that these new charges are ‘trumped up.’

Please continue to pray for Youcef in the knowledge that, whatever happens, the Lord will have the last say in the life of His servant. Pray too, for his wife, his children, the members of his congregation and for other anonymous souls who have been imprisoned for their faith throughout this country with its evil regime.

So, where is Youcef at this very moment, as I write? Is he still in the secret police security prison in Lakan, where he has been held in solitary confinement – or (knowing that the Iranian authorities are capable of such things) has he been taken away and hanged secretly?

I just don’t know but I will continue to pray, as the Lord leads, in this ongoing horrific situation.

And I do know that wherever Youcef is, he is in a safer place spiritually than the most supreme religious ruler of Iran… because no one is safe in this sinful uncertain world, as long as they have not yet repented of their sins and trusted in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.

24th February 2012… The lastest news on Youcef  is  that  an order for his execution has been signed. Please pray for him and his loved ones and make representation on his behalf to the Iranian Embassy in your country. But mostly – continue to pray.

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

Thoughts on Bicycles and Pioneering Missionary Mary Slessor

June 25, 2011

The past week (18th -26th June) was National Bike Week in Ireland and I have been thinking about the history of the bicycle, which made its debut as early as 1817 when Baron von Drais invented a ‘walking machine’ to help him to get around the royal gardens. I have also been remembering a bicycle trip that I made between the east and west coasts of Ireland around twenty-five years ago now. It was an exhilarating journey; my husband and I camped here and there en route and cooked meals over a little camping gaz. Actually we didn’t have a car at the time and couldn’t afford a holiday, so this was the next best thing! Somehow cycling has a way of making you feel healthy, de-stressed and relaxed, although even little hills can be quite taxing. These days I have also been taking a long look at each passing bicycle, as my youngest daughter’s bicycle (pictured below) was stolen recently, much to our annoyance. Cycling, we are told, is healthy, safe, environmentally friendly and economical – but of course it can be dangerous on some busy roads where motorists are not so sympathetic to cyclists.

As I was thinking about bicycles this week, I remembered an old book in my possession, about the Scottish missionary Mary Slessor (1848-1915). There is a picture in the book of Mary Slessor on her bicycle, which always made an impression on me. Like many other pioneering missionaries in the continent of Africa, Mary used this method of transport to travel through wild terrain where superstition, barbarism, witchcraft and paganism reigned. In some regions when twins were born, they were either buried alive or left to die in the woods but Mary Slessor won the hearts of the leaders of African tribes and of the ordinary people she worked with, to the extent that many turned from this brutality to a living faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. At one point she nursed an African chief until he died and then with her own hands she made him a coffin and buried him.

Given that Mary Slessor’s father had been an alcoholic and she had worked hard to support her mother and the rest of the family when he died, it is truly amazing how the Lord subsequently used this young woman to reach remote regions in the continent of Africa. I have no doubt that she was followed by the prayers of her mother who (unlike her father) was a godly Christian who devoted her life to her children.

With bicycles in mind, I am reminded of this spiritual analogy: climbing the hills can be strenuous but what a beautiful view we have when we reach the summit! Mary Slessor’s life was burnt out in the service of her Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, often it must have been an agonising uphill struggle – but what a marvellous sight awaited her when, on reaching the summit of life, Mary passed into the Presence of her Saviour!

“Something Lives in Every Hue – Christless Eyes Have Never Seen”

August 12, 2010

The first thing I realised as we meandered around hairpin bends on the edge of dangerous precipices, climbing higher into the green mountainous terrain – is that I had to commit my fears to the Lord! I soon learned too, that the way of life here was slower and less stressful. Although the journey to the other less ‘touristy’ side of Corfu was a short one, it seemed to take forever that late afternoon, but despite the dangerous roads and fiercely hot sun burning into the car as we drove, I just loved to be here again. Who wouldn’t after a cold Irish winter and a mediocre summer? “I know we’re going to have difficulty finding those apartments,” commented my husband, as he negotiated yet another ‘devil’s elbow.’ “I couldn’t even find any road leading to them on the Google map.”

Soon we were descending from the mountains again and I could see the blue sea in the distance. In time we found ourselves in the small village where the apartments were situated. But where were they? I soon learned too, that an address in these parts tells you very little. We asked some locals but no one seemed sure about the location. Eventually one lady in a bakery knew exactly where we wanted to go and gave us directions. I wondered at the time why she gave me a parting sympathetic smile. The streets were incredibly narrow – barely able to take our own small hired car, as we meandered down sheer slopes and bends towards the sea. Parking in a piece of rough ground, my husband went off to investigate, while I stayed with the luggage in the car. After a while he returned, wiping sweat from his brow. “You’re not going to believe this,” he gasped, “to get to our accommodation you’ll have to cross a field on foot and climb over a wall. There’s actually no road to the place.”

I stared at him for a moment and then sighed. “Well, we’ll make the best of it…” Yet I discovered that although the accommodation was basic, the surroundings were stunningly beautiful – and the manageress was friendly and hospitable. The price of our accommodation was good in the present economic climate – of which Greece was very much a casualty. I remembered the words of St. Paul:  “…for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Phil. 4v11). And who, in good health, could not be content in such idyllic surroundings?

At night we would go to sleep to the crash of the waves washing in over the shore, which was just ‘a stone’s throw’ from our little balcony. Every morning I awoke to the sound of a cock crowing and the warmth of the amber sunrise. I loved the vibrant colours of the wildflowers, the bright blue sky, fluffy little white clouds and the golden beaches lapped by the sparkling azure blue waves of the sea. Behind the beach there was a backdrop of greenery in the form of pine and other trees – such sheer beauty!

I sincerely believe that the beauty of God’s creation can only really be appreciated by His children. George Wade Robinson (1838-1877) aptly portrays this in his hymn: “I am His” The hymn describes the relationship that the saved soul has with His Creator and how he experiences a deeper appreciation for the beauty of nature. Yet some day all of nature (as we now know it) will pass away to be replaced by a new heaven and a new earth which has not been tainted by the fall of mankind – a truth which can be read in Revelation, chapter 21. And for those who love Saviour, the last few lines of George Wade Robinson’s hymn eloquently describes this wondrous truth…

“Heaven and earth may fade and flee; firstborn light in gloom decline;

 But while God and I shall be, I am His and He is mine.”

Link to this hymn: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/i/a/iamhisah.htm

The Lovely Greek Island of Corfu

August 9, 2010

It is true that Corfu became the first Greek island to be introduced to tourism in a big way but today it is still possible to find a secluded beach, or a quiet little village unspoilt by time. “Come ye apart and rest awhile” Jesus said to His disciples and today, as then, sometimes as Christians we need to draw apart and rest awhile. Yet even in our resting moments, we are still His ambassadors, ever showing our love for the souls who briefly touch our lives. I have always enjoyed trips to Greece and its islands, having a special affinity with the Greek people and would have to say that I have been impressed, for the most part, by their honesty and integrity as a nation.

Once when I was very young and travelling alone with a rucksack on my back across mainland Greece, I became ill from sunstroke. I don’t remember how I came to be in a dark room, lying on a bed of clean cool linen sheets, or how I had came into contact with the old lady who carried me glasses of cold fresh water and looked after me. The curtains were drawn for what seemed like days; I had lost all count of time. I only recall feeling extremely sick and thirsty and having no wish to even look at the sun for a very long time. As I lay there in the darkness, she hovered around anxiously trying to communicate with me, although she spoke no English and my knowledge of Greek was practically non-existent. Eventually I recovered and I vaguely remembered thanking her and leaving her little dwelling for the journey to Athens. But I will never forget her; like others I had met on my travels, she touched my life in a very special way, that old lady.

St. Paul journeyed to many parts of Greece and its islands, although it is not recorded that he ever visited the island of Corfu. Today religion lives on in Greece but sadly Evangelical Christians are few and far between here. I entered a tiny Byzantine church on Mouse Island (aptly named because of its shape) off Corfu. There many candles had been lit by visiting tourists, but my attention was drawn to the many young people entering the church to kiss the pictures of the saints that hung on the walls. Superstition and idolatry are probably as widespread today as they were in the days when St. Paul preached on Mars Hill in Athens. (Acts 17v22-34) Added to this is the fact that many Greeks have become disenchanted with the traditional Greek Orthodox Church, embracing instead erroneous cults which deny fundamental Christian doctrines such as the trinity.

The green island of Corfu is just 583 square kilometres in area, but has a population of around 116,000. How these beautiful islands and the mainland of Greece need to be reached with gospel! From the Ionian Islands to the large island of Crete, many souls have never heard of their need of salvation. And there are tiny remote islands which have probably never even been reached at all. From the busy, bustling and cosmopolitan city of Athens to the smallest medieval village in the mountainous area of a Greek island, they need to hear the message of salvation. Yes, “the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few”… “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest…” (Matthew 9v37&38)

Who Will Reach the Nations? The Great Commission Needs Clean Vessels!

August 6, 2010

Leaving the green fields of Ireland, we headed out over the Irish Sea, eventually landing in London Gatwick. The air was warm as I clambered down the steps to the runway; London had been having a heat wave in recent weeks but it wouldn’t be as hot as our destination all the same. I thought of all the places that I was to visit in the time ahead; a world of cultures lay before me and dozens of opportunities to share the gospel with others, but I needed courage and wisdom.

From the men in the typical English pubs to the Greeks who sat outside the tavernas swinging their ‘worry’ beads; from the smooth streets and roads of the British Isles to the unsurfaced roads of Albania, I would gain many impressions; yet most of all I was to be burdened by the fresh realisation that millions of souls needed to be saved.

Christian… awake! Life is but a short breath when compared with eternity. There is no time to waste on the negative issues which vie for our attention upon this earth. The Saviour needs our every breath and gift to be used for His service. Believe me, I feel convicted by my own words when I say this. As every second brings us a little closer to the end of our own lives, time is at a premium and so we must work while it is day for “the night cometh, when no man can work.” (John 9v4)

The taxi drivers, the guesthouse owner, the coach driver, the cleaners, that waitress in the restaurant, the person sitting beside me on the plane, the woman or man who gives us directions on the street… the  list is endless. We must reach out to those we meet daily, with the resources that the Lord gives us, whether in spoken or written words, or in deeds of love and kindness. My very manner must portray that I am “not my own” and that “I have been bought with a price.” (1Cor. 6v19&20)

Christian – we are “the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5v13-16)

The world hurtles on down the broad road towards the terrible cliff of eternity. Will you not say a word for the Saviour today? Souls on the broad road that leads to destruction are spiritually hungry and dying. And the activities of the ‘broad road’ must have no part in the lives of those who claim to be Christians. We must love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls and minds and we must love our neighbours as ourselves. (Matthew 22v37-40)

Remember the words of Jesus: “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad.” (Matthew 12v30) Are you and I ‘gatherers’ or ‘scatterers’ today?  We cannot be both. Either we are active in the Lord’s service and living in accordance with His Word – or we are in serious danger.

When Jesus said: “Be ye ready also, for the Son of Man cometh at an hour when ye think not,” (Luke 12v40) He was speaking to His followers.

Christian – awake to danger today. Remember the parable of the talents in Matthew 25v14-30. Some would try to tell us that ‘we are all unprofitable servants,’ but the Bible draws a clear distinction between the two. It is true that some may be more profitable than others but the fact remains that the unprofitable servant is cast into outer darkness. (Verse 30)

Last week as we flew over many countries of Europe, I thought about both this eternal outer darkness and about the mansions of Heaven, far away in time and space. Looking down I saw at times vast tracts of land, ships far out to sea, sparkling rivers, or great roads winding like snakes, mountains, villages, towns and cities. Tiny dwelling places belonging to souls for whom my Lord has died, lay faintly visible through the great clouds. But who will reach the nations?

Christian – you are unique and the Lord has specific work for you to do today. He needs you – but He can only use clean vessels! It is only by faith that we can walk the narrow road and let the Lord accomplish His will in our lives. Today, if you have not already done so – consecrate your life to Him. Give Him your all and trust Him to sanctify you for His service.

Finally, “let us not be weary in well doing;” for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Gal. 6v9); never forgetting the reward of the profitable servant… “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12v3)

On Millstones, the Sea, Sin – and Amazing Grace!

June 5, 2010

“Millstones…” Isn’t it strange how our train of thought takes an unusual tangent, when we are disturbed by something we hear on the news? The particular item I refer to is that of a recent report on the clerical abuse of children throughout Ireland. This abuse spanned a period of many years we are told – who knows how long? Well actually, God knows. In fact there is nothing He doesn’t know, hence the term that we use to describe His nature – “omniscient.” Every word spoken in secret, every evil and clandestine behaviour on the part of man (or woman) – He knows it all, and some day everything shall be exposed!  (Matt. 12v36; 1Cor. 4v5; Rev. 20v12).

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea,” Jesus tells us in Matthew 18v6. Having had an opportunity to view millstones in an old converted mill, I was impressed by how solid and massively heavy they were. There is no way that they could be lifted by ordinary human hands! Many would be of the opinion that these abusers deserved ‘a millstone necklace, and to be subsequently launched into the sea.’ As a mother, I felt justifiably furious by the idea that people in positions of ‘spiritual’ authority would use those positions to abuse children, given that we can never even begin to estimate the psychological damage sustained by the victims.

Then I thought of those millstones again – and the sea, and someone who had been a sailor. This person had taken advantage of his position to abuse African slaves on board ship, during the vile slave trade of the 18th century.

The seas were often treacherous on his long journeys back to his native England, but it was on one such journey that the Lord spoke to John Newton. On March 9th 1748 he happened to pick up and read a Christian book that he found in his cabin. Already disturbed by the contents of this book, the infamous slave trader became terrified the following day when the ship was caught up in a violent storm. Sadly, one man was swept overboard and the vessel severely damaged by the crashing waves. However the Lord used this terrifying situation to bring John Newton to his knees. He became acutely aware of his sin, to such an extent that he was convinced that he could not be forgiven. For weeks his ship drifted at sea, violently tossed to and fro by the angry waves; furthermore the crew were rapidly running out of rations. But during this time John Newton searched the scriptures, with a desire in his heart to get right with God. Then, miraculously, the winds abated and the ship found a safe haven in Irish waters, anchoring on the shores of the lovely Lough Swilly, County Donegal.

Here the locals helped the crew to repair the damaged ship and John Newton came to see that God’s grace and mercy is extended to the most ‘hopeless’ sinner – even him. Soon others noticed the changed life of this man who “once was blind – but now could see.” How marvellous that one who once blasphemed the Saviour’s name was inspired to write some of the most beautiful poetry and hymns in the English language. Perhaps the best known of these today is “Amazing Grace.” Written in 1772, it lived on to touch hearts over the centuries and continues to be sung even at secular events today. His numerous other hymns include: “How Sweet the name of Jesus Sounds” and “In evil long I took delight.”

Having been a drunken infidel, sunk in the mire of the deepest sins known to mankind, John Newton had put His trust in Jesus who still calls out to all who will hear His voice today: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16v26).

Whether a man wears the robes of a priest or bishop, or the rags of a debauched John Newton, is irrelevant to God, for He can see beyond the outward appearance, to the ‘inward man’ and his spiritual condition. In 1Samuel 16v7, we learn that… “Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” What is more, He is willing to forgive the most awful sins of mankind, providing that they repent and put their trust in the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary; He wants too, to heal the victims of abuse and crime.

Most of us have probably never sunk to the depths of depravity that John Newton sank to, but every one of us needs a Saviour, and not one of us will get to heaven without taking the humble route that John Newton took! Whether we wear a clerical robe, a salesman’s suit, a police uniform, or a judge’s wig – we must get right with God, if we have not already done so. We need to recognise the truth in those words in Romans 3v23… “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Then we must be willing to let God put matters right, by simply repenting of our sins and asking Him to take over our lives.

When we do this, it will be as if “our sins have been cast into the midst of the sea;” we read in many portions of scripture of the great mercy of God in this respect. While men may find it hard to forgive us, God does not remember our sins and hold them against us, when we are truly repentant, turning away from sin in His strength. “He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7v19). He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2Peter 3v9) Not willing that a millstone be hanged around anyone’s neck, but rather that their sins would be cast into the sea! If the Lord can bring about dramatic changes in the life of a man like John Newton, there is no limit to what He can do with your life, whatever it has consisted of in the past! Please trust Him now – for your destination for all eternity depends upon it, and in this life God can use you for His glory, just as He used His servant, John Newton.

© Elizabeth Burke 2008

Link for hymn: “Amazing Grace”: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/a/m/a/amazing_grace.htm

May Ladies Meeting in the Failte Centre Balbriggan – Re. Child Evangelism Fellowship

May 12, 2010

Lord willing, a ladies meeting will be held in the Failte Centre, Balbriggan on Friday 21st May, 2010.

I had been feeling burdened about having this form of outreach in the community for some time and then just last weekend as I was walking alone in the beautiful countryside behind our home, I felt the Lord’s leading on this. Such meetings, I feel, fulfil a need in this and other areas.

First of all, it will be good to renew old acquaintances and for those who already know each other to have fellowship.

Secondly, it will be an outreach to the area in which it is held and perhaps further beyond. Balbriggan has mushroomed in population in the last few years and there are now many new nationalities living there, including immigrants from the continents of Africa and Asia, as well as those from Eastern Europe. Jesus said: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16v15) And so, for those of us who are Irish Christians we have “all the world” on our very doorstep these days!

Thirdly, I would hope that this meeting and others would create awareness of the lives of others in their work for the Lord. This in turn should lead to increased prayer for the individuals concerned and practical giving to the Lord’s work.

I look forward to this first meeting of its kind, when Ms. Attracta Hanna will give her testimony and tell us about her CEF work with children in many areas of Dublin, including Mulhuddart, Finglas, Clondalkin, Ballymun and Crumlin. She is also involved in door to door work in Darndale.

I hope to bring along copies of my children’s book: “God Made You, God Loves You, God Saves You;” all profits from the sale of these on the night will go towards the work of Child Evangelism Fellowship in these areas.

May the Lord bless our meeting together on that evening and above all, may something be achieved for the extension of His Kingdom!

Details of Child Evangelism Fellowship can be viewed at this site:  http://www.cefireland.com/controller.php