Just this morning, I saw a small window of blue sky in the otherwise dreary grey overcast, a promise of the bright sun-lit day to come. God is always giving us signs of His love and faithfulness to us.......if we are looking. That is what this blog is all about. Are we looking? And what did we see, hear, smell, or feel that our loving Creator put in our path? Why does He do that? Do we really want to connect that close with His affection for us? So many questions. Let's exhange some of them, and share our own sightings!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Photos of the British Isles

June contrasts

     Well, it is 115 degrees outside right now, and I have resigned myself to the next three months of staying housebound after noon each day and a huge AC bill each month.  This is a good time to get caught up on my writing, my art and other indoor activities.  The neighborhood pool is still just cool enough to be worth the walk, and I enjoy doing my water aerobics to the sounds of worhip music being piped into my ears by tiny earbuds attached to the IPOD securely anchored in my hat's headband.  A couple of foam noodles under my arms assure me that my head will stay dry and not ruin one of my most treasured possessions.
     I read an article this week in the latest Charisma Magazine written by Misty Edwards, my favorite worship music artist.  You can go online and read the article as well as others by Kari Jobe and Paul Baloche, among others.  Misty writes about combining prayer and intercession within our musical worship. After all, powerful worship is truly a dialogue with our wonderful God...we tell him in our songs how much we love Him; we sing of His awesome and all powerful attributes and how they empower us. We are hearing His Word speaking to us.  We are praying! 
     Why not take this time of intense focus and faith to intercede with prayers that agree with this empowerment?  For instance, yesterday in our church corporate worship, we sang about the power in Jesus' Name and His mighty deeds on earth.  We sang of His holiness and His all powerful majesty.  As our worship rose in repeated crescendos, I found myself interceding for two or three people whom I could see in the congregation. I spoke out the Name of Jesus over the strongholds that I know are keeping these people or members of their family from responding to the love and truth that Jesus offers them.  I knew these prayers were effective and would be answered.  After the service, I spoke to others who also had been led to pray during the worhip. It's also one of the most enjoyable ways to pray during our own personal times of fellowship with the Lord.
      I just returned from an absolutely wonderful  trip to England and the British Isles. After spending three days with my pen pal of sixty years  and her husband who live an hour north of London in a quaint little town with 1000 year old churches and thatched roof houses, I met my son, Scott and his family at Harwich to board a 10 day cruise to Normandy, France, the British island of Guernsey,  then three Irish ports and two Scottish ports, along with Liverpool. 
     We spent a day in Dublin, visiting Trinity University where we saw the forth century originals of the gospels (hand written and illustrated by monks), ate fish and chips, rode the off and on bus that gives a tour of the city and had dinner with my daughter-in-law's relatives at a local pub with live musicians jammin' the old Irish favorites.  In Scotland, we toured Inverary Castle after a breathtaking drive along Loch Loman.  The castle was a filming site of some the the Downton Abbey PBS series.
     We also drove to Loch Ness at the next port (home of Nessy, the mysterious monster), a very beautiful huge lake. The ruins of a tenth century castle sits on a natural promentory and the Visitor's center explains the centuries of battles between the original Celts, the Vikings, the Normans, and the British.  With all the spectacular beauty, there is a melencholy in the Irish music and Scotish bagpipes that is really haunting.
     In addition to the spectacular beauty of these kelly green Isles spackled with wild rhododendrums, bluebells and  yelllow rape along the roads everywhere, homes and buildings in the towns sported hanging baskets overflowing with huge pansies, petunias and lobelia.  I loved the sheep in many of the fields that are separated not by fences but by green hedges or low stone walls and the friendly  people we met everywhere.  The only thing I did not love were the hundreds of steps I climbed up and down countless times each day.
     This story would not be complete without telling you of the joy I found sharing a stateroom with my two fifteen year old grandchildren.  I'm serious!  Yes, they were normal teenagers, didn't want to be with us much of the time, and found their own friends quickly onboard the Celebrity Infinity ship.  But we had fun sharing the room, and I had a few precious private hours with each of them.
     I'm so grateful for not only the opportunity (a gift from Scott and Mary) to take this trip, but to be with my son, his wonderful wife, and the kids.  They are a delightful and funloving family. God has truly answered so many of my prayers and concerns, especially for my grandchildren. I am so blessed.
     I leave you with this beautiful verse that was noted today in my favorite devotional, Jesus is Calling.
The beloved of the Lord dwells in safety.
The High God surrounds him all day long
and dwells between his shoulders.
Dueteronomy 33:12