The West Coast

Posted by Tim on 14 February 2009 - 5:34pm

  For the last week or so we have had our 2nd son, Mark, and our daughter-in-law, Aubrey here in Dublin.  It has been a wonderful time getting caught up as it has been a year since we last saw them.  On Thursday and Friday, we took our first opportunity to spend time on the Irish West coast, about a 3 and a half hour drive from Dublin.

  To start, we visited the cliffs of Moher, one of the most popular visitor locations on the Island!  To get there, we had to drive on narrow two lane roads a good deal of the way - like the one in the photo here:Irish Road

   Once we arrived it was hard to do anything but shot photos!  But almost the first people we saw turned out to be from Colorado.  As I offered to take a picture of their whole family with the Cliffs in the background, I found out they had been in Belgium about the same amount of time that we have been here in Dublin - AND doing many of the same things we are involved in.  Amazing . . .  just like the Cliffs!Cliffs of Moher












  As we get to know Ireland outside of Dublin, we are fast learning of it's beauty.  It is a land of lakes and rivers and seashores.  Sheep, cows and horses are often seen on the hillsides and even on steep mountain peaks.  As the current recession grows deeper everyday and crisis seem to be on every corner, it is always good to be reminded that we are not on this earth to be consumed by our need for financial security, but for our need for the creator of all . . . even stunning lakes like this one:

Irish Lake


The 'Irish Times' Headlines

Posted by Tim on 4 February 2009 - 10:00am

I thought I would share a couple of headlines in today's Irish Times Newspaper.  As you read this keep in mind that there are only a bit over 4 million people in The Republic of Ireland, including children.  Many are in full blown crisis over the economy, lack of jobs, and what it all means.  Like most of the world, there is uncertainty in Ireland and it is growing at record speed. . .  As you scan the two stories below please remember to seek opportunities to share WHO the ultimate answer is while helping with whatever you can.  That's what's we are trying to do as well:

Unemployment at 13-year high, CSO data show
The number of people signing on for jobseekers' payments hit a record high of 327,860 in January, bringing unemployment to a 13-year high of 9.2 per cent. A total of 36,498 people signed on for the first time last month, as companies shed staff after Christmas, according to Live Register data released today by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Irish service sector prices decline at record pace
Ireland's services sector cut prices at a record pace in January in a vain attempt to boost demand during recession and as input costs fell sharply.

Inauguration Day

Posted by Tim on 20 January 2009 - 12:46pm

As I write this blog I am watching Sky News coverage of the Inauguration of new President Obama.  It has been interesting watching, for the first time, American politics from a Western European perspective.  As Mr. Obama is now beginning his inaugural address, I wonder what the future holds for him from a political perspective.  I wonder how he will deal with the immence issues he must deal with as a new US President.

Here in Ireland, most feel great hope.  Not just for America, but for the world as a whole.  Most believe, or at least hope, that great change is about to happen.  Change in virtually every area: the economy, social conscience, military operations around the world, perceived human 'racial' relations, education, health care, terrorism, and on and on.  Does this sound like other times in human history?  Have we not learned that to place our trust in a 'human savior' alone can never deliver mankind from the evils that exists within human nature itself?

God has commanded us to pray for our political leaders, so pray we must.  Today is a new day in American politics, but let us not be seduced into thinking that a human being alone can change the world.  The only one who can do that is both fully human and fully God - the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus changes people from the inside out.  He alone offers new life, both in the here and now and eternally.  Perhaps today will give cause for many to rethink 'from where comes our strength?'

Former cricket star and missionary C.T. Studd, while reflecting on his efforts to take the Good News of a restored relationship, from the inside, to our creator God:  "Forward Ever, Backward Never"!

God & Our Guide Dog

Posted by Tim on 8 January 2009 - 7:37am

SCENE 1:  Last Friday night I was able to help a friend move a piano (everyone's favorite nightmare!) from his house to a new Nigerian church.  When the four of us arrived, with the piano, we found that the church meets on the second floor of an industrial building.  This is an older building with no lift (elevator) just 13 or 14 stairs. 

When we looked it over, we knew there was no way for the four of us to get this beast upstairs without another 3 or 4 young beefy guys!  The Nigerian pastor said they would be able to do it on Sunday morning when everyone would be there anyway.  So, we decided to try to wedge it in to the bottom stair landing until Sunday.

So, we finally got the piano off the trailer and through the small glass door opening without breaking anything.  This took a while as there was no straight forward approach and a tight corner to lift this thing around.

SCENE 2:  Over the next few days I began to notice twinges of sharp pain in my lower back.  Nothing that put me on the floor or lasted very long, just little 'reminders' that I'm not 25 years old any more!  Then last night (Thursday - 6 days later) it became difficult to find a position to sleep in without those pesky little 'reminders'.

Scene 3:  One of our team mates, Sue Rowland, who is nearing the end of her prefield ministry in the states called and asked if she could bring anything for us when she arrives on Monday, 12th January, for a visit.  I asked her to pick up a small bottle of Advil or its generic equivelent.  We had brought a  bottle with us when we moved 10 months ago, but had not been able to find it for months.  We brought this med because Kathy has a history of back problems!

Scene 4: Today is Thursday and Sue doesn't arrive until Monday . . . that's five more days including today.  Can I make it that long, or should I bite the bullet and see what I can find here?  It's not that something similar isn't around here in Dublin . . .  probably.  I just don't know what it would be as yet.

Anyway, Kathy noticed that Tullagh, our 6 month old Guide Dog puppy was chewing on and playing with something.  Nothing unusual about that, he has something in his mouth most of the time!  So, in her role as dog trainer,  Kathy told Tullagh to 'give'.  Tullagh complied and out of his mouth pops the long since missing bottle of Advil!  Its a good thing this bottle had a 'puppy proof' cap that protected the much needed capsules inside.

We knew God was using our guide dog to help us make new contacts, but this was  just another proof that God even cares for the little things and that He rarely works the way we think He will.  I am amazed!

SUE - We don't need you to bring the Advil anymore . . . 

Tullagh with Advil


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