Trip To Northern Ireland

Tomorrow we fly to Dublin, where we will spend a couple of days and then drive to Omagh in Northern Ireland. I will be ministering in Northern Ireland Sunday, Feb. 7 through Sunday Feb. 14. On the seventh I will be preaching both services at Omagh Evangelical Presbyterian Church (pastor Andrew Lucas) and speaking to the young people. Tuesday night I will speak at a public meeting sponsored by that Church. Wednesday night preaching at Kellswater Reformed Presbyterian Church (pastor John Coates); Thursday night at Stransmillis Evangelical Presbyterian Church (pastor Gareth Burke). Saturday I will preach three times at the Spirit of Puritans Conference at Whiteabbey Congregation Church (pastor Paul Dowling); Sunday AM at Tandragee Baptist Church (pastor David Patterson) and PM Loughbrickland Reformed Presbyterian Church (Pastor David Silverside). Monday in Dublin; fly home Tuesday. We were with these men a few years ago and really look forward to being with them and in their congregations. We appreciate your prayers.

So many are praying.  I was thinking this morning that whatever usefulness I might have it will be because of prayer.  Soli Deo Gloria

Feb. 11

Finally, good internet and schedule to write; trip has been good.  A day and a half in Dublin. Saw Book of Kells and Long Library at Trinity College. Also St. Patrick’s Cathedral (protestant). There is a chapel there where the Huguenot refugees worshiped. They began linen weaving in Ireland.  They also developed banking. We visited as well the Dublin Castle. Here Michael Collins began the Independent Government of the Republic of Ireland. Of course, visited Peterson of Dublin.

Saturday afternoon we drove northwest to Omagh. We stayed out in the country with Ken Condy and his wife Barbara. Tbey have four children  Ken is an elder at Omagh Evangelical Presbyterian Church, pastored by our good friend, Andrew Lucas. I preached the Lord’s Day morning from Galatians 4:1-7 on Adoption and in the evening on Romans 15:30-33 on prayer.  I also taught in Sunday School on how to listen to a sermon. Tuesday night I preached there on Psalm 100 on worship. These messages will be available on the Church’s web site: omaghepc.com.

Monday, Andrew drove us into Belfast  We were able to visit my friend Stafford Carson, who is the Principle of Union Theological College, the theological college for the Presbyterian Church of Ireland. We also visited the Evangelical Bookshop. I think it is the largest bookshop in Britain.

Tuesday, we visited the Ulster Folk Center. The center is a living  Museum tracing the development of Ulster folk from 17 century through their immigration to America.

Wednesday afternoon, we drove up to Ballymena. We are staying with Pastor Paul Thompson ans his wife Kay. They have 7 children. Paul is pastor of Antrim Free Presbyterian Church. Wednesday night I preached for my friend, John Coates, at Kellswater Reformed Presbyterian Church. I preached there six years ago for their 250 anniversary. Wednesday night I preached for them on Psalm 119:97-104, the wisdom that comes from the word.

Tonight, I will preach, Lord willing, at Stranmillis Evangelical Presbyterian Church in the center of Belfast. I will be preaching on Isaiah 58:13, 14 on the Christian Sabbath.

Feb. 16

Not much time to write until today.  We are at the Newark Airport.  Our 3:54  flight has been canceled because of weather. Not scheduled to get home before midnight. We left Dublin this morning at 4 AM eastern standard time.

The message Thursday night went well. There was a pretty good turnout. Before the service we had dinner with Pastor Burke, pastor of Stranmillis, and his wife, Ruth.We spent Friday with our friend, Will Gibson, from Cardiff. We saw the home where C. S. Lewis spent his childhood; Carrickfergus Castle: and a couple of very lovely villages: Glenarm and Carnlogh.

The conference Saturday went very well. we had a very good turnout. I preached on Sola Scriptura from Deut. 4; Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, and Solo Christo from Rom. 3:21-26; Soli Deo Gloria from Rom. 11:33-36.

We spent Saturday and Sunday nights with Pastor David Silverside and his wife, Anne. We had dinner, Saturday and lunch Sunday with David and Joan Patterson. Sunday morning I preach for Pastor Patterson at Tangradee Baptist Church on Psalm 87, The Beauty of the Church and Sunday night for Pastor Silverside at Loghbrickland Reformed Presbyterian Church on Psalm 119:65-72, Severe Mercy.

Yesterday we did tours of Jamison Distillery and Guiness Brewery, both very famous Dublin institutions and remarkable museums.

We met very many lovely Christians. It is easy to detect the Scotch-Irish influence on Southern culture. Special thanks to the five men, who are the committee that organize the Spirit of Puritans conference: John Coates, Andrew Lucas, Paul Thompson, Paul Dowling, and David Patterson. They represent five different denominations or congregations and are an excellent example of reformed ecumenicity. Pleas pray that they will be able to continue. Thank all of you for your prayers  please pray that we get home safely tonight.

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