Congratulations to my Da, Ollie Deegan, who retired early from Powergen, ESB, in 2009. He has now successfully completed all 3 stages of the demanding RSA/ADI exams. He is presently being registered and will shortly appear as an Approved Driving Instructor on the RSA website.
For good measure, he is also a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and holds a distinction in Fetac level 5 Occupational First Aid. So Prospective pupils will be in very safe hands indeed.
Although in full employment since ESB retirement with Endesa Ireland, he is already looking forward to a new career.
Well done, Da.
Diarmuid Deegan (Son)
By Robert Dunlop
The Combine stands in solitary silence
Fingers pressing into the stalks of wheat
No noise erupting from the great machine
Mother Nature controlling all that happens and closing down the early effort to get things going.
Last year the soggy field yielded well
No doubt with patience this season’s crop will be safely gathered in.
I felt a signal in the silence,
Pointing to a future day when
The engine would whine, the blades would run and the grain would flow.
I decided to look forward, to anticipate the joy of wheat saved for winter’s needs,
To bless the great Creator
And put my mind to making space for the harvest of the heart.
OFF THE CUTTING EDGE by Pastor R. Dunlop
Keeping up Appearances
One term in the Greek language for “putting on an act” is translated hypocrite. It is a term of derision and is never welcomed by professors of religion. It is one of the labels which landed on the Pharisees, who saw themselves as the preservers of the Divine law.
Externalism was an important part of their practice and they placed a great deal of emphasis on outward codes of conduct and posture.
This is one reason why Scripture says “man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart”.
Rules and regulations have their place. After all, the ultimate definition of spiritual reality calls us to love God with “soul, mind and strength, and our neighbour as ourselves”.
Those who attend to exterior religiosity while neglecting inner spirituality may be numbered with the Pharisees. One writer offers a lucid description in the following terms……………….
“The Pharisee, outwardly a saint, inwardly a hypocrite, with his long prayers and ostentatious almsgiving, with illuminated texts of Scripture worn on the fringe of his dress and on the peak of his cap, with punctilious fastings and scrupulous payments of tithes, - stood a living lie.
Coming into the Temple, he sweeps to the front where other eyes may see him”
It is a constant battle to maintain humility and authenticity in the core of life’s choices and commitments. Everyone is exposed to the temptation to keep up appearances and press on regardless. Through prayer, spiritual reflection and attachment to the terms of discipleship a Pharisaical trap may be avoided and a better way embraced. At the end of the day, the sort of modesty released by this walk with God makes an impression without parading superficial religiosity. It is deeper than merely keeping up appearances.
There is more than a grain of truth in the old saying “The heart of all true religion is the religion of the heart”.
VALEDICTION (For Debbie and Stephen Stone -- Malone House)
September is the cruellest month
Leaves fatally multicoloured
Darkness encroaching daily
An end to evening strolling
Malone abandoned to its bats --
The Stones a-rolling.
Go East, middle-aged couple,
Seek Eden anew,
On island off an island
Acquire an ancient tongue.
Forsake your western roots;
Reverse the odysseys
Of former generations.
O brave new voyagers,
Our hearts go with you
Even as our heads
Still struggle not to wag.