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It was a  bad night: Rain sleeting in from Erris and drenching Deel country  outside Crossmolina. We turned the car towards Nephin:  October '69 and I was proud as  punch showing of my "new" 10 year old Vauxhall Victor:

My father and mother in the back seat, warm in the after glow of an evening spent with friends in Farragh, Nicotine like  chimneys from Sweet Aftons and Bendigo pipes! Thuribles of benediction free for the whole congregation to enjoy! Those were the days before gay marriage and autism and all was well with the world!

My brother Anthony, a nervy navigator, as we coaxed the Victor towards the hills and home: Even tho' a few years younger than me Anthony knew every inch of this road: He knew it like the back of his hand.That's why he was our chosen navigator!

"Castlehill on the left here" I heard him say and soon "Ballyduffy coming up now on the right! Sure we'll soon be home!. I felt like the uncrowned king of Mayo.

Exhausted the old car struggled up McAndrews long hill, past the |Fairgreen  and Lahardane village was spread out before us: "Thank God!" I whispered " Home and free!" All a little previous as it turned out.

For Lo and Behold! Just at the '98 statue, and from the dark of the barracks,  a furtive figure clad in Garda uniform, peaked, cap and baton at the ready materialised before us: "Sábhála Dia muid!" (Lord save us)   I heard someone cry:

"The Law"

Indeed it was the law and I had one bald tyre and a windscreen starved of any evidence of road tax : My whole world began to cave in and  vivid visions of a centre page Western People article the following Wednesday ran thro' my mind:

"Lahardane man thought he was above the Law: Fined and put off the road for 5 years.  A disgrace to his family and to his village"

"Drive on: Drive on I tell you" My fathers voice rang out from the back seat?


But parents must be obeyed at  times so,  foot to the floor we sparked past Devanneys' pub and home to our Drynaun hideout: I was trembling! I was shamed : I was beaten.We had just defied the authority of a whole nation and surely there would be hell to pay when the car was traced to us: How could an evening that started so well and promised so much end in such disaster?

 But dad was by now chuckling merrily to himself, at some private joke of his as his custom was. We asked how anything could be funny at a time like this: We asked if he would please share what he found so funny: He did just that:

" Twas only old John Walsh, a guard who was here 15 years ago: Too fond of the bottle: He lost the job in '61 but held onto the uniform: Sometimes after a few pints he forgets the glory days are gone and dresses up to frighten the daylights out of those who don't know the story"

Later we laughed ourselves silly, drinking mugs of tea around the open fire:

"Should have seen your face" my mother chided me: "End of the world!

Anthony, full of my mothers mischief and drama repeated:

"He lost the job but wait, wait, he kept the suit"  as we giggled ourselves to sleep:

What a day!  What an evening: I'll never forget it:

But the thing is I almost did forget all about it:: Let me fill you in:

About 10 years later the strangest thing happened to me and others in the family.

Jesus popped out from the dingy pages of an old black bible and within days became  a living, loving, vibrant and wonderful  friend. But actually more than a friend .. a lover. It was so new and so exciting and so life giving and such a revolution: Life and freedom on a large scale.

A relationship developed: We talked incessantly. We chatted: (We still do on every occasion for the romance never dies) I kept no secrets from Him even tho it was hard at first: You see  I met Love in Jesus .. not morality: I felt He would die for me if I was in trouble: (He did it before).

So I became cleaner and freer and more honest and upright (moral you might say)

He held nothing back of all I meant to Him and seemed intent on making me excited about our fiuture in the ages to come: He said it was all arranged even before time began or before sin existed. He compared it to a court case where the final verdict ever was issued by God that I was now as righteous as Jesus. I didn't feel it but I listened and took it in:

The Jesus I met and The Jesus I know today  knows nothing

of stale religion, darkness, gossip,  failure and law. He was a breath of fresh air!

However now and again the "old policeman" without an ounce of authority stepped out and tried to block my progress. The "Old Policeman" of morality, religion. works or

Early on the "Old Policeman" called "The Adversary" or Satan would make made an occasional appearance: He would stand in my road at critical times and fill me with shame and guilt and morality. I felt dirty and unloveable and a failure.

"Stop in the name of the religion" he would bellow.

"Stop in the name of Sunday worship you heathen!" he dared to say once:

"Stop and repent of your lack of works you imposter" I often heard.

"Stop in the tradition of the Saturday Sabbath! The feasts! The Tithes!"  

"Stop in the name of drink or adultery  or pornography etc. {to the power of 1000}

But now, just like back in 1968,  I hear the voice of my Father God in heaven from the back of my mind saying "Drive on! Drive on! Come up here into spirit world: It's only that liar called  the adversary: He lost the job back at Calvary but has kept the suit" and listening to my ABBA Father I flee into the safety of the Spirit and the warmth of His embrace.

And in an instant Satan's seductions melt before the fire of Gods presence and Spirit.

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It is the Ministry of NSearch that all inherit the Kingdom of God

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law....

Now the works of the flesh are evident, 

which are adultery fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,

idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies,

outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy,

murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like;

of which I (Paul the Apostle) tell you beforehand,

just as I also told you in time past, that those who 

practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering,

kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control,

against such there is no law. Those who are Christ's

have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Let us not become conceited, provoking one another,

envying one another.

Galatians 5:18-26

{Sorcery: "Pharmakia;" Primarily mentioned as one of the "works of the flesh." In "sorcery" the use of drugs. Blue Letter Bible. Galatians 5:20}

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