Saturday, 30 October 2010



Depression is an affliction that seems to be on the increase, with many bent low under its oppressive weight. There does not appear to be any one quick cure for this ailment and the believing child of God is as susceptible to its grip as anyone else. Counselling can be useful and sometimes medication will help to see a person through their darkest days, but we also look beyond ourselves in time of distress to our loving Heavenly Father for help and healing. Ironically it’s at times when we most need to lift our hearts in prayer that we find it difficult to put into words what we are feeling and what we desire of God. This little prayer can be said by someone going through the valley of depression or can be said on their behalf by a concerned brother or sister. Mental anguish can disable the sufferer from the ability to act for himself and it is incumbent on the body of Christians to lift and support each other during times of trial. Often all we can do is to listen and pray and trust the Lord to provide a way of release for our afflicted brother or sister. May God in His mercy give each one of us the necessary grace and wisdom to be a comfort and a support for all who are so afflicted. ~GOSh.~

Oh Lord, as I sit here in the middle of all my mess, I don't
have much strength or energy to pray. But I'm lifting up my head and my eyes to You because I know deep in my heart that You have the power to do all things. I believe that You want me to be happy and healthy more than I do. And I know you have a good plan for my life.

God, as I bring you my pain, please turn it into something good. Please heal me. Your Word says that ALL things work together for good to those who love You and are called according to Your purpose. Let my healing be a testimony to all the GREAT things you do every day.

I just raise my head to thank you Lord. Thank you for hearing me. Thank you for loving me enough to take care of me. And thank you for showing me what I need to do to feel better.

I ask and receive everything in Jesus' name.

Friday, 29 October 2010



"Do not fight the thing in detail:

turn from it.

Look ONLY at your Lord.




Amy Carmichael

Thursday, 28 October 2010



"Some sceptics say, ‘Oh, the miracles. I can’t accept miracles.’
"Well consider this then. One may drop a brown seed...

in the black soil...

and up comes a green shoot. You let it grow...

and soon enough you’ll pull up a root that is red.
Now you cut that red root and you find it has a white heart.

"Can anyone tell me how this comes about—
how brown cast into black turns up green
with red underneath and white inside?
Yet you eat your radish without even thinking of it as a miracle.…
Everyday is a miracle—a miracle of life that sustains our hope!"

William Jennings Bryan



In these difficult times pubs like every other business are feeling the pinch, so this enterprising publican in Ennistymon is covering all the bases in this inclusive sign that mentions everything bar the kitchen sink.

This must be the most redundant book title ever to grace the shelves of an Irish bookshop. There are many areas of human endeavour that we as a nation may need guidance and instruction in but how to drink is not one of them. In fact a more necessary title might be 'How To Stop' ! I spotted the book in a tourist shop in beautiful Ballyvaughaun.

Gerard O'Shea

Saturday, 23 October 2010



He seems to come in like the leaves -
Blown in at the open window ...
And always, I've noticed,
At an inconvenient time -
Right in the middle of the washing.
He looks at me and shows me these holes in his hand.
And, well, I can see them in his feet.
'Not again,' I say,
'Please don't stand there bleeding
All over the kitchen floor.'

Sometimes he comes softly, sadly,
At night - close, by the side of my bed -
Sometimes I latch the door -

But he never goes away.

Thelma Laycock

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


That old cliche, ‘ when the outlook seems bad-try looking up’ has become a lifeline for many in these trying times, as people return to ‘old fashioned’ prayer in the extremity of their needs. It’s human nature to turn to God in our need and then quickly ignore Him as our fortunes improve and this seems have been the case for this land as we hit the boom years. Now that the ‘bust’ is upon us those old materialistic certainties are gone and there is some evidence that there is a return to a spiritual pursuit, one aspect of which is Prayer. With our back to the wall as a nation there are precious few we can call to for help, how reassuring then that God is only a prayer away. ~GOSh.~


O Lord God,
As I survey the stormy economic seas troubling our nation,
Troubling me, my family, my friends, my community,
I ask Lord that we may steady ourselves in these winds of change,
By reaching out to you, being stronger servants.

O Lord God,
You banished Adam from the garden for disobedience.
You told him to work with the scare resources of the earth.
I ask Lord that we may learn to manage our resources more wisely,
By reaching out to you, being wiser stewards.

O Lord God,
You told the rich young ruler to give everything up and follow,
You understand the material walls we build to shut you out,
I ask Lord that we may constantly seek to break down the barriers,
By reaching out to you, being better disciples.

O Lord God,
You provide all that we need to live a life fulfilled,
You never abandon us even when we are selfish and foolish,
I ask Lord that we may see the wealth we have in you,
By reaching out, being dependent only on you.

O Lord God,
You sustain your faithful people through good times and bad,
You know when we fail and when we are faithful to your will,
I ask Lord that we may show the Gospel in the midst of economic confusion,
By reaching out to you, being beacons of your Word.

David Cowan

Thursday, 14 October 2010


The 33 Miners


I remember (just about) being glued to the TV coverage of the Apollo moon landing back in 1969 and recall the sense of history in the making, as the pictures showing Neil Armstrong take those first steps on the lunar surface were beamed back to earth. As a child of 13 I was awestruck looking at the extra terrestrial drama unfold, but in the early hours of yesterday morning I sat transfixed watching live coverage of the rescue of 33 men trapped in the subterranean depths of the San Jose mine in Chile. The two events seem parallel to me in historical significance, but in terms of raw human emotion the plight and unfolding resolution of the miners situation is uniquely moving and inspiring. I confess the rescues moved me to tears, as each one in turn emerged in the tiny capsule from a depth of 620m of solid rock and were reunited with loved ones who have been waiting and hoping for the past 69 days.

Freed miner Esteban Rojas kneels to pray
with his wife after being brought to the
surface from the San Jose mine

There were so many heroic acts associated with the rescue it is difficult to single out one, but certainly the rescue worker who made the initial descent stands out for me as the man of the hour whose bravery and composure were just extraordinary. On another level the co-operation of nations shows what can be achieved through unity of purpose, apparently American engineers were pivotal in the drilling operation and the specialised drill was manufactured here at Smithfield Industrial Estate at Shannon, just a fifteen minute drive from my home. The world media gathered to cover the rescues and ensured when the first man, Florencio Avalos (31) emerged unscathed there was global celebration.

Luis Ursula (front right) the foreman of the
mine and leader of the trapped men
was the last to be rescued.

Many people around the world have been praying for this happy outcome, a point acknowledged when the Chilean President described the rescue as ‘a miracle’. Chile is still largely a country of religious faith with a large Roman Catholic population and a growing number of Evangelical Christians. As well as food and water miniature Bibles were also fed down the pipeline to the miners and it will be interesting to hear in coming days the details of how they lived together and kept their morale up in such difficult circumstances. Mario Sepulveda, the second miner to be rescued said in an interview, "I have been with God and I've been with the devil," And judging from the disposition of the men as they emerged from the rescue capsule, morale was maintained and spirits were kept high. At a time when we are so accustomed to the daily tirade of doom and gloom it is a wonderful occasion to genuinely rejoice and celebrate this marvellous outcome of human endurance , ingenuity and courage.

Gerard O'Shea

Tuesday, 12 October 2010



This remarkable picture shows a beaming unborn baby breaking into a broad grin at just 17 weeks ,while in the UK an abortion can legally be performed up to 23 weeks. The remarkable scan surely suggests that a baby experiences feelings and emotions much earlier than previously thought. Professor Stuart Campbell who took the scan said that while the image did not necessarily show the child had feelings, it was a display of recognisable human behaviour. It seems to me to be another significant finding indicating what many of us have contended all along , that the unborn life is sacred and should not be aborted or interfered with. The obvious Scripture that immediately comes to mind is Psalm 139...

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother's womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvellous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Clair de Lune compiled by Enigma


hese are without doubt stressful times we are living in and it is easy to get caught up in the madness and the anxieties that seem to assail us with such frequency. So good then to withdraw from the maelstrom and seek the Lord in the stillness, drawing from Him those resources which we lack in ourselves that enable us to ‘overcome’ this world. Music is also God’s gift to still our fears and our rages and De Bussy’s ‘Claire de Lune’ is one of the most beautiful compositions for piano. Take five minutes away from whatever is bothering you right at this moment and make this a time of listening not just to the calming notes of the music but to another Voice, of One who cares for you and who longs to comfort and restore you. ~GOSh.~