Sunday, 21 October 2012



AT Kotgarth, fourteen yeaes ago,while I was praying, my eyes were opened to the Heavenly Vision. So vividly did I see it all that I thought I must have died, and that my soul had passed into the glory of heaven; but throughout the intervening years these visions have continued to enrich my life. I cannot call them up at will, but, usually when I am praying or meditating, sometimes as often as eight or ten times in a month, my spiritual eyes are opened to see within the heavens, and, for an hour or two, I walk in the glory of the heavenly sphere with Christ Jesus, and hold converse with angels and spirits. Their answers to my questions have provided much of the material that has already been published in my books, and the unutterable ecstasy of that spiritual communion makes me long for the time when I shall enter in permanently to the bliss and fellowship of the redeemed.


Some may consider that these visions are merely a form of spiritualism, but I would emphasize that there is one very essential difference. Spiritualism does presume to produce messages and signs from spirits out of the dark, but they are usually so fragmentary and unintelligible, if not actually deceptive, that they lead their followers away from, rather than to, the truth. In these visions, on the other hand, I see vividly and clearly every detail of the glory of the spiritual world, and I have the uplifting experience of very real fellowship with the saints, amid the inconceivably bright and beautiful world made visible. It is from these angels and saints that I have received, not vague, broken and elusive messages from the unseen, but clear and rational elucidations of many of the problems that have troubled me. 

This "Communion of the Saints" was a fact so real in the experience of the early Church, that it is given a place among the necessary articles of their faith, as stated in the "Apostles' Creed." Once, in a vision, I asked the saints for a proof from the Bible of this communion of saints, and was told that it was to be found clearly given in Zechariah 3:7-8, where "those that were standing by" were not angels, but saints in glory; and God's promise, on condition of Joshua fulfilling His command, is that he will be given "a place of access to walk among them (saints) that stand by," and these are his "fellows" the spirits of men made perfect with whom he could commune. There is repeated mention of Spirits, Saints and Angels in this book. The distinction I would make between them is that spirits are good or bad, which after death exist in a state intermediate between heaven and hell. Saints are those who have passed on through this stage into the higher sphere of the spiritual world, and have had special service allotted to them. Angels are those glorious beings to whom all kinds of superior service have been allotted, and among them are included many saints from other worlds, as well as from this world of ours, who live together as one family. They serve one another in love, and, in the effulgence of God's glory, are eternally happy. The World of Spirits means that intermediary state into which spirits enter after leaving the body. By the Spiritual World is meant all spiritual beings that progress through the stages between the darkness of the bottomless pit and the throne of the Lord in light. 

Sadhu Sundar Singh 
 (written in 1926 as a preface to his book, 'Visions of Sundar Singh')


Thursday, 18 October 2012


I only came across Sara Groves very recently, lovely voice and a great songwriter. I've already shared this one on my Facebook page but thought it was too good not to pass on to fellow Hermonites...enjoy !

Monday, 15 October 2012



A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband. Suddenly her husband burst into the kitchen. "Careful. CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh NO! You're cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW! We need more butter. Oh NO! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER? They're going to STICK! Careful.

CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL! You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking! Never! Turn them! Hurry up! Are you CRAZY? Have you LOST your mind? Don't forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt. USE THE SALT! THE SALT!"

The wife stared at him. "What the heck is wrong with you? You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?"

The husband calmly replied, "I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I'm driving."

Wednesday, 10 October 2012



The summer-flower has run to seed
And yellow is the woodland bough ;
And every leaf of bush and weed
Is tipt with Autumn's pencil now.

The woodbine- trees red berries bear,
That clustering hang upon the bower ;
While, fondly lingering here and there,
Peeps out a timid dwindling flower.

Beneath a yellow fading tree,
As red sun light thee, Autumn- morn,
In wildest rapture let me see
The sweets that most thy charms adorn.

O while my eye the landscape views,
What countless beauties are display'd,
What varied tints of nameless hues, -
Shades endless melting into shade.

John Clare (from 'Autumn')

Tuesday, 9 October 2012



A cold pasta meal
By this windswept lake
Deep in county Clare,

Fingers nipped
In unseasonable cold -
Scurry back to car
And window sealed warmth,
Sipping hot tea.

Settling after chocolate 
To write these lines 
Of record...

Gerard O'Shea

Friday, 5 October 2012



"A wealthy man, a southern land owner went to a slave market. Upon arriving, he noticed a young African-American man being auctioned off to the highest bidder. He bid on the young man and won. The land-owner noticed the anger sparked in the slave's dark eyes. No doubt the young man wondered how badly he would be abused at the hands of this new owner.

As the wealthy man walked off with his new 'slave', he turned to the young man and said, "You're free."

The slave looked at him in surprise. "What? What do you mean?"

"I said you're free."

Puzzling this unexpected announcement, the young man's eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "Does that mean I can say and do whatever I want?"

The land owner smiled. "Yes, of course."

"Can I be whatever I want to be?"


"Can I go wherever I want to go?"

Smiling again, the older man replied, "Of course."

Tears began to fill the young man's dark eyes. "Then I think I'll go with you."

Isn't that a beautiful picture of Christ? He bought us with an invaluably high price. And once He bought us, He set us free. Who better to stay with than the One who loved us enough to give us a choice!

You see, I am a slave for Christ. Joyfully free, but choosing to follow the One who gave me my freedom. There are some amazing things about being chained to my Saviour:

1. I am His. I am joined with Him in all things. We live together, we die together. He is with me every step of my journey. (Galatians 2:20)
2. When I feel like I'm struggling, the Lord lifts me up. (Romans 14:4)
3. I am one of the secret keepers of God. He reveals mysteries that the rest of the world is dying to discover. (I Corinthians 4:1)
There are so many other beautiful gifts to being chained to Christ. But I know this: since being His slave, I have never felt more free.

Tara Johnson from ‘Christianity Without Religion’

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


 Phyllis Doherty
1926 ~ 2012

I know the Lord is always with me.
    I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
 No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.
    My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead
    or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life,
    granting me the joy of your presence
    and the pleasures of living with you forever.

Psalm 16:8 ~ 11 


 There were emotions of sadness and joy yesterday at the Baptist Church in Limerick as a capacity crowd gathered together to celebrate the life and witness of  Phyllis Doherty from Adare.Phyllis passed away to her eternal reward after a short illness and a long life dedicated to her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
 I remember her from my years in Mallow Street Hall Christian fellowship where she faithfully worshipped and served and in the words of Peter Child’s  ( Church Elder) became an unofficial Elder in the little assembly.
 My abiding memory of Phyllis was on my visits to Graigue farm in Adare where she lived with husband Bill and a houseful of children ( 7 in all I think). As a young Believer I was often a guest there, where Bill supplied the lively conversation while Phyllis always lavished the table with irresistibly wholesome fare. As her daughter Jean recalled at the Service of Thanksgiving, her mother loved people and always kept an open house for visitors. Only occasionally did she deviate from her welcoming persona, like the night a couple rang from Limerick and more or less  demanded to visit, at 10 pm ! Even though the family had retired to bed it was all hands on deck and a slightly forced smile of welcome greeted their nocturnal visitors. 
Her marriage to Bill was recalled as an enduring love affair. From an early age Bill had his eye on her but propriety demanded that he would wait until she was 21 to formally ask her out. They suited each other well and worked together to raise a family and become involved in a wide variety of work for the Lord, Jean, her daughter revealed to the congregation that Bill tenderly referred to Phyllis as his ‘Peach’
.The Gideons International was an organisation that she became hugely involved with and her passion for the placement of Bibles in Nursing Homes and hospitals remained right up to the end of her life. Her son Hughie recalled this story that summed up her zeal for the sharing of God’s Word. While in hospital Phyllis told one of  the family that there was a box of Testaments under the stairs at home and she wanted them brought in to give to the doctors and nurses who were looking after her. The New Testaments were duly brought to the hospital but sadly she had slipped away, the family fulfilled their mothers wishes and distributed the books amongst the staff. It was my personal privilege to have known her and  to attend this Service of Thanksgiving for a saint of God who had run the race well and is now enjoying the presence of her Lord in glory. May her life and example inspire all who walk the pilgrim path to keep on keeping on and endure to the very end.
Gerard O'Shea

Monday, 1 October 2012


 The Falls at Curragour looking very placid under a bright October sun.


" Near and more near, he heard the roar 
 Of rock impeded Curragour ?
 Whose boiling torrent's headlong sway, 
 Howl'd like a tiger for his prey."

 ( from 'The Story of Drunken Thady' by Michael Hogan)