Jacinta's Miracle

Jacinta’s Miracle

- Healing from chronic fatigue

   Photo of newly risen sun - Pam Bishop

“Do you think we could pray for my niece Jacinta today?” my friend Joy asked as we settled into the comfy lounge chairs at my little house in Carina.  There were four of us, the ‘core group’ of a little prayer group I led for many years.

“Her chronic fatigue is so bad now she can’t even shower herself.”

“Oh! Of course,” we said and proceeded to pray. 

We prayed for Jacinta for months, every time we met. We realised many others were praying – her family and friends, her church leaders.

Before chronic fatigue

Jacinta had been a strong, popular, highly motivated girl who did well at school and was a dancer. She did ballet, pointe, jazz, Latin and tap at a local dance school and did voluntary dancing and choreography for her church’s musicals.

When she was seventeen and in Grade Twelve, the trouble began.

She was tired. Exhausted.

For six to eight months, she became sicker and sicker.

She would suddenly get s…

God has many faces

"Don’t forget to set your alarm for five o’clock. We’re going to the beach early,” 
Margy reminded me one night during my holiday with her family in Nambour.
“I haven't forgotten!” No way would I forget a swim at the beach.
“I’m coming too!” Ten year old Pam was excited.

I prepared for bed and sat in a chair.  Sipping a cup of tea, I read my Bible and sat, hoping to feel God's presence.

I'd welcomed these holidays. I hadn't been a Christian long and was still finding my way. A recent mountain top experience with God had left me hungry to hear more of that still small voice, but He'd 'gone silent' in my busy life. 

Now I was staying with the Smiths, my friends in Nambour, for six whole weeks. Surely all that free time would enable me to hear from Him!

The days drifted past lazily and happily. 
I spent plenty of time praying. 
Surely He'd speak to me? Wasn't that part of what I’d ‘signed up’ for when I surrendered to God?
But there was silence.

While I pray…

Whispers all around us now

Photo Arlene Dodson

A few weeks ago a close family friend was planning to leave for a New Zealand holiday with his wife. They looked forward to their much-needed break.

A day or two before they were due to leave, Rob (we’ll call him Rob), in preparation for his flight, went to the doctor. He hoped to get help for a lingering cough after a cold.

The doctor examined him carefully and said, “Your cough is fine but your heart’s not beating normally. It needs to be checked.”

Rob groaned inwardly. Surely not a delay in getting away on holidays?

The doctor sent him for tests.

He was not okay at all.

He was admitted to hospital where further tests showed atrial fibrillation–

“You were headed for cardiac failure,” the doctor told him. He proceeded to treat him and aborted the threatened crisis.

God had put it clearly on Rob’s mind to get the cough checked. If he hadn’t, the flight would probably have precipitated a cardiac arrest either in mid-air or on…

DROUGHT - written a while ago in Kenilworth

Until recently Queensland was in severe drought. Parts still are. This was written a while ago but is still applicable in some areas. I pray for the farmers who still suffer the effects of drought.

The land is aching. Parched. I look from my veranda to dry yellow-brown grass, plants dying, even weeds wilting. The entire countryside is tired, drained.

The river has shrunk in parts to a narrow silver thread, trickling lazily over dry rocks. Only the deep hole there to swim and cool off. Down near the little stream are banks of cracked mud. Dry and scaly. In the wet weather the mud swells, and now it has shrunk.

Further up, big cracks form in the land.

Crows make loud protesting ‘ark’ sounds. They hover and flap in the dusty air.

Over dinner one night I comment how pretty the yellow-flowering creepers are on the trees near the bank.

“They’re a pest,” Jim tells me. “They kill the trees. Suck the life out of them. They’re parasites.”


I wonder if, in drought, only parasites thrive.

I watch one…

Does God Hide Things?

Our New Zealand holiday sparkled with miracles, many involving our bright orange Vauxhall, Amazing Gracie.

We were puttering along happily when Gracie made a strange groaning sound. Then stopped.

Nobody said anything.

We all prayed silently, desperately. How many more breakdowns could this old car survive?

The boys got out and managed to open the bonnet and peer in. Even Alan was mystified.

“Look, there’s a garage just down the road.” Peter tried hard to sound cheerful.

“I’ll see if they can fix it.” And off he went.

Soon after, he arrived back with a mechanic. The mechanic poked around under the bonnet while the boys looked on.

“Sorry, Mate,” the mechanic said. “It needs a new part. Well, an old new part actually.”

“Not a problem,” Peter told him. “We’ll buy it if you can fix it.”

The mechanic cleared his throat.

“I’m sorry. You don’t realise. This is a very old car. They don’t make these parts any more. We haven’t got any.”

“You mean . . .?” Peter’s cheerfulness wavered.

“This is it. You’ll hav…

Praising in the Rain

"What happened to our holiday?" Jenny sighed, fighting tears.  Cold, soggy tent material swished over her face as we lay in our little tent in the (rainy) Bay of Islands.

I frowned into the darkness. Jenny was a diabetic and had health problems to cope with. 

What was going on with our holiday?

Our New Zealand holiday had begun in Auckland  - a sunny, blue-skied time. We slept on comfy beds and were treated to wonderful home-cooked meals.
As soon as we'd collected our luggage at the airport, we’d established that we could not hitch around the two islands. Our knees buckled as we wobbled across the airport lounge with the heavy metal-framed packs on our backs.We barely made it across the room!

So we bought a car – a 1949 bright orange Vauxhall, for a mere $120 between five of us (1976, mind you).Consequently we called it Amazing Gracie. Little did we know how often that car would earn its name!
 Photo from Pixabay
Gracie puttered all the way up to the Bay of Islands. We’d heard …

Mary River Reflections

I’m floating along the Mary River in a small canoe. It’s late spring and the warm sun is balm on my back. 
I relax and forget the busy life I’ve been leading back in town. I’m on holidays.
                                                   Photo - Roger and Daphne Saunders

Branches trail across the river’s edge, dripping vines into the water. Tiny wrens break the silence with their twittering. 

The current carries me towards the Homestead shores, so there’s no need to paddle now. Just bask in the sun and enjoy the silence and the beauty as I drift on the current.

Dragonflies glisten, their wings catching the sunlight as they skip across the water weed.

Beside me float images of pine-clad mountains, trees and clouds. They skim along on the river’s surface.  Great billowing grey and white clouds slide beside me. 

My mind drifts to that other world of busy people, chatter, teaching lessons. I enjoy it all – but this peaceful world is a haven.

Gazing back at the reflections of clouds and trees,…