Monday, June 29, 2009

Sharing God's Love in Ireland

I was asked to speak in Dublin at Sacred Heart Catholic Church at a small Cursillo gathering.
A week later I spoke twice at Word of Life Church in Clonmel. Each time I shared my testimony and what the Father's love really is and how it restores us when we trust Him and receive it in absolute abandon.
I have spoken at gatherings for over 30 years, but the last eight years I have been on a healing journey. The only public speaking I do is as a teacher at Be In Health. So I was amazed at the difference God has worked as I have become more whole. There was a gentleness that had been fashioned in me that wasn't there before. I had such compassionate for those I was sharing with. Most importantly, it wasn't about me; it was about Father God and what He has done.
The first Sunday we got back, we sang He Raised Me Up and I realized that was exactly what He had done.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dungarvan - Looking for Roots

Ray had a copy of his grandparents' wedding certificate. They were married at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Dungarvan, County Waterford. So after leaving John we headed that way.
We went through Waterford, but that wasn't really the vibe we were looking forward and it was very expensive. One hotel we inquired at wanted $125 euros a night or approximately $175. Not exactly what we budgeted. So we decided to go on to Dungarvan knowing that it was smaller and the choices would be fewer.
Once we arrived, we fell in love with it and began looking for a B&B. I saw one that said Merry's located above Merry's Tavern. I thought that would be good Irish atmosphere. Ray went in and they had nothing but they suggested another and called to see if they had a room. They did. We warmly greeted at Casey's B&B by Maurice. He was a bit daunted by the amount of luggage we had. lol We are not seasoned travelers.
What really surprised us though was that it was 100 yards from St. Mary's. How cool is that?
The B&B is run by a loving couple, Maurice and Marie Casey. The room was not large but was en suite which was important to me personally. There were many personal touches to make us feel at home and very welcomed.
Each morning we were served an awesome breakfast and unlike many places, we had several choices. They are great cooks and the presentation made you feel like you were in a four star restaurant.
The table was set with china and again there were all of those little touches that made you feel welcomed and treasured.
During our stay there Ray searched out his ancestry. He found that one of his great-grandfathers was a soldier while the other was a sailor. He was able to get a copy of his grandfather's birth certificate and their marriage certificate.
The sweetest moment was when Ray and I entered the church and no other person was there. We set in a pew and declared our love for one another and our covenant. It was a simple way to renew our vows, but a precious moment for us.
Dungarvan is quaint and friendly. We ate twice at a place called Cakes and Bakes. The soup was creamy and in Ireland a serving of soup is two cups! Add Irish brown bread and you have a meal EXCEPT in a place like that, you HAD to have dessert. How about Berry Pavlova? Or cheesecake?
It was hard to leave Dungarvan because we felt so at home there and for the first time in a very long time, totally relaxed. Whether walking along the water or going through the castle, there was a sense of belonging that could not be denied. It was very healing and brought peace within. I wish I could really describe what I felt.
I just know that the Lord guided us and sang over us.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Exceeding Abundantly Trip to Ireland

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Eph 3:20
We have just come back from two weeks in southern Ireland. We made the decision early on not to try to see everything, but to thoroughly enjoy what we did see. This was not a marathon, but a vacation to celebrate 30 years of marriage.
Writer Frank O’Connor said, “It would take more than one lifetime to discover the reason for all the ruins in Ireland, but it sure makes for a diverting tour of discovery trying at least to scratch the surface.”
It was a dream we had as a couple since day one.
We were met at the Dublin airport by a dear friend. John lives and works in Dublin and for the next 72 hours showed us Dublin's highlights from the Ha'penny Bridge to The Hole in the Wall. He took us to Newgrange which is over 5,000 years and to my first castle.
John lives in Phoenix Park, Europe's largest urban park - five times the size of London's Hyde Park, double the size of New York's Central Park. Aras an Uachtaráin,
the residence of the Irish president is also in Phoenix Park.
John lives in the Bailiff's Manor, an 1835 stone manor. Very grand, but at the same time simple. His job affords him this luxury. We stayed there at the beginning of the trip. it is surrounded by more than seven miles of solid stone walls, access is via the eight major gates and six smaller (pedestrian) gates. One of those gates is round to allow the ladies access with their full petticoats over a century ago. Phoenix Park was the old hunting grounds of King Charles II and was stocked with deer in the 1700's. Descendants of these deer(about 600) still make their home there. In fact, when we came home Thursday about midnight, we were surprised to see over 50 of them literally yards from the road sprawled across the lawn.
John heads up Cursillo for Dublin. It was at Cursillo that my husband met the Lord 29 years ago. So we went to his group gathering Thursday evening to share our testimony about Cursillo. It was one of the sweetest moments of trip. There was a lot of healing that night.
Over the next week, I will share more of our trip.
We just give God all of the praise and glory. We could have never put together a trip like the one He planned.
To see a a few pictures from our first three days in Dublin, go to:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Glenalought and Wicklow

Today these are some of the scenes we will see.
Please keep us in your prayers. We want to be a blessing to each other and those we meet.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Today We Leave for Ireland

When we awaken Wednesday morning, We will be in Dublin.
We will go straight to Glendaloght, Newgrange and Wicklow Hills.
Here are some of the things we will see:

Today Is The Day

In 30 minutes we begin our trek to the airport. We have to stop at AT&T on the way because we are having texting issues. Ray and I are so non-techie!
Last night past our bedtime, we got still another phone call and a generous gift was deposited in our checking account this morning for the trip.
Each time a gift arrives, I hear in my spirit:
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Eph. 3:20
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that [there shall] not [be room] enough [to receive it].Malachi 3:10
This past week, it has been:
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:38
We are truly in the running over mode now. It is funny for over a month ago, the Lord laid on our hearts to give $100 to a missionary. We barely had $100, but I knew that I knew that we were being directed by the Holy Spirit to give it. Absolutely NO doubt. At first, it made no sense because we were pooling money to go to Ireland. But we were obedient.
I have a Mary Kay business. When I felt I was supposed to take a week off from work three weeks ago to spend time with my mother and my children and grandchildren, it made no sense. In the natural I could not afford to do that.
While away from home the Lord blessed me with over $300 in online orders plus these other gifts. In fact, while I was out of town doing what I thought the Lord was asking me to do, the church took up an offering for our trip that exceeded a week's pay!
Have you ever heard of a church giving someone an offering to go on vacation? In 64 years I have never seen that unless it was a pastor and I think that was ONE time. ONE time in 64 years! Had to be God! That is when I hit the "running over" mode. I praise God I attend a church that loves its sheep. What a family it is!
Our prayer is that EVERY gift regardless of the size will be multiplied back to the giver abundantly.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Love Can Last Forever If you Make It Fun

Ray and I leave in two days for Ireland. It is the realization of a 30 year old dream.
It is a time to have fun together away from schedules and responsibilities.
Fran & Marlo Cowan below has been married 62 years, over twice what Ray and I have been married. They saw an opportunity to play on the piano at the Mayo Clinic Atrium. I mean, come on, just the name Mayo Clinic means serious stuff is going on.
Instead, they found some fun in the moment and made others smile, too.
Today look for ways to make others smile.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I Am in Awe of How God Is Meeting Us

Abba Father has indeed blessed our trip to Ireland. My heart overflows with His many kindnesses and generosity.
I am eager to share all of this with you, but am still catching up in my schedule. So today I just want to encourage you. God is faithful. He is faithful even when we aren't. He sees our hearts and He knows our journey.
So I want to add this music called Faithful God. My favorite version is by Shannon Wexelberg, but I don't have it in a format that I can upload.
I chose this one, because there is no pretense in the presentation. It is a humble, heart-felt rendition.
Don't let anyone take away your dreams. They may not unfold the way you expected. Still they can unfold in an unexpected, delightful way.