A Heart Ablaze with His Love

candlesThe candlelight service was underway, the worship team and individual singers and musicians excelled in glorifying Jesus with their talents. Each passionate in declaring the good news of our saviors birth.

“Where’s the fire, Nanna?” my young grandson asked.

He was referring to the lighting of the candles towards the end of the service and what a beautiful sight it is. The lights in the sanctuary are turned off plunging the sanctuary into almost total darkness if it were not for light radiating from one candle on the platform with the lead pastor. Other pastors then step forward and light their candles from the lone candle. They in turn go to the front row of each section of seats and light the candles of the people in that row. Each person then turns to the row behind them and lights the candle of the person standing there, row after row this is repeated until the whole sanctuary a glowing.

“Where’s my fire?” I asked myself.

Am I burning with passion for Jesus? Am I willing to walk on water if He asked? Or am I just content to tread cautiously in the water?

Are people drawn to the light of God within me causing them to want Him for themselves? Or am I hiding His light, keeping it to myself?

As I pondered the question “Where’s my fire?” I turned around to see how far the lighting process had gone in the sanctuary, it still had a way to go. I looked at my brightly burning, wax dripping, candle and prayed it would not burn out before the Pastor gave the okay to blow out the flame.

I don’t want a fast burning candle all aglow one minute and nothing left to burn the next. No, I’m in this for the long haul and the only way for my candle to burn brightly everyday is for me to come daily to the source of the fire. To spend time with Jesus basking in His love, receiving His grace, and standing on His truth.  Then I will burn brightly with the flame of His light.

How is your fire doing?  Are you burning brightly with God’s love, or are you dripping wax from a fast burning but short lived candle? As I see it if we don’t spend time with Jesus we will all burn out too soon. Enjoy spending time in His presence and let His light shine through you.  Let Him set your heart daily ablaze with His love.

I was just thinking what title should I give this post and I thought of This Little Light of Mine. Then it dawned on me that the light of God in us is not little at all. His light is brilliant, no darkness in it. So often we hear people say things like “Oh, I’m just going to let my little light shine.” as if it is a pathetically small insignificant light. Not so dear sister  in Christ. Lift your eyes up fix them on Jesus and let the Light of the world shine brilliantly through you.

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:14  Message Bible

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

 

Share your thoughts in the comment box I look forward to hearing from you. Share this post with your friends be their encourager. As you go back to work after the Christmas break Shine with His Brilliant Light so others will be drawn to Christ.

P.S. Just a reminder: The special offer for Grace Lace and Polkadots readers of 15% discount for Jill McSheehy’s new bible study, Journey Though Acts ends on December 31st 2016. You will find details and links my the post Preparing For Farewell.

 

 

 

Preparing For Farewell

Jill McSheehy

Jill McSheehy

I am excited to have Jill McSheehy guest blog for Grace Lace and Polkadots this week. Jill’s passion is to equip women to study the bible with enthusiasm and to equip them for ministry. Her other passions include Matt, her husband of 15 years, and her two children Drew (10) and Alyssa (6).  Jill blogs on http://journeywithjill.net and has a Facebook page Journey With Jill in the Garden where she guides first time gardeners through the basics of gardening.

As well as being a blogger, Jill has authored two books Glory in the Garden: 31 Days of Devotionals and Flourish. Her latest publication is a Bible Study, Journey through Acts. Be sure to check out the links below and take advantage of the sweet discount she is offering to Grace Lace and Polkadots readers.

I give you Jill McSheehy.

 

Preparing For Farewell

Good-byes are hard.

I remember the evening well. It was my last night to teach a class I had begun ten years earlier and had taught every week since. These women were my family. We raised our kids together; we wrestled with hard questions together; we laughed our heads off together; we grew as Christian women together. I spent my heart and soul pouring ten years of my life into these women. Some were my peers and others I had personally discipled. But the time came for me to say farewell.

When you close a chapter of your life — especially one in which you devoted so much of your time and energy, the final “farewell” is particularly poignant.

Twice in Paul’s discourse with the Ephesian elders in Acts 20, he proclaims that he didn’t “shrink back” from proclaiming the whole plan of God and anything that was profitable to them. In other words, no regrets.

How is that possible? How could Paul, an imperfect person like each of us, spend over two years with these people and have no regrets?

I think the answer is in verse 24:

“But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24).

Paul knows his calling; he knows his course of life: testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. Did he do everything perfectly? Probably not. But in what mattered, he succeeded. He was faithful.

Each Christian has the same responsibility as Paul — to testify to the gospel of God’s grace. But the way we work out this responsibility will be different. For instance, Paul was called to the Gentiles.

Who are the “Gentiles” God has sent you to? Your children? A class in your church? Your coworkers? Parents in your child’s sport or activity?

Realize that the time for farewell will come. Your kids will leave home. Your class at church will end. You will change jobs. Your child will choose new activities. When it’s over, will you be able to say, as Paul did, that you did not “shrink back?” Let go of the idea that you have to do everything perfectly. Instead, think ahead to that farewell.

Someday, when it’s time for that goodbye, you’ll want to say, “I did not shrink back; I finished my course.” So what do you need to do today, right now, that will enable you to have no regrets on that day?

 

jills-journey-through-acts-photoToday’s guest post is taken from Jill McSheehy’s new Bible Study, Journey through Acts. Click here to order your copy, and enter the code GRACELACE15 to get 15% off and free shipping! Offer ends 12/31/16

(Link to product: http://journeywithjill.net/product/journey-through-acts/)

Jill is also hosting a Journey through Acts Facebook group starting January 16th, where she will provide weekly video lessons and discussions. Members of the group also will get free downloadable memory verse cards. Click here for more information. (Link: http://journeywithjill.net/product/membership-journey-acts-facebook-group/)

Ladies I’m sure you join me in saying Thank You to Jill for sharing her heart and giving us a peek inside her new Bible Study, Journey through Acts. Also thank you Jill for the sweet deal 15% off plus free shipping through your link.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

Feel free to share this post with your friends.

Hidden Clutter/Giveaway Winner

christmas-mantle

The Christmas tree was almost finished, just a few more baubles to go and plastic storage boxes containing Christmas bits and bobs cluttered the living room. I still had the fireplace mantle to decorate but, honestly, I didn’t have the energy to proceed. It wasn’t that I was physically tired, it was more that I felt overwhelmed at the thought of designing something pleasing to the eye. Pretty is not something I’m good at.

What was I going to do with the glass vases that resided on the mantle all year long? It wasn’t as if I had another place in the room away from the prying hands of young grandchildren to place them.

So I left the project for the next day, and for two more days after that. Plastic storage boxes continued to clutter my living room. I found myself getting grumpy and a little snappy (Oh, my poor husband). I can handle clutter for a day or two but after that I’ve had it. The clutter has to go!

Two of the vases was relocated to another room safe on a shelf in a closet, I used the other two in the design. I felt happy with my design. Simple and clutter free.

You know that one thing can lead to another, don’t you? Before I could place the plastic storage boxes back on their appropriate shelves I had to move a few items. It was then that I realized I had become a hoarder of Christmas and birthday cards. Not new cards but cards received from others and, of course I had to read every single one before deciding its fate. Many hit the recycling bin, however I did deem a handful worthy of keeping for now at least (I have a box full of received cards in another room to sift through). Along with the cards were old car magazines from 1992, yep they hit the recycle bin too.

If you were to visit me you would not consider my home cluttered, maybe a tad unkempt on times, after all homes are for living in. My clutter is neatly tucked away hidden out of sight. I realized that day I was holding onto things in my life that I should of left go a long time ago. I had my own hidden clutter tucked away that no one could see.

We do that don’t we? Hold onto things for various reasons, all of which make sense to us. At different times I have held on too long to people, to a job, to a belief system that was not in line with the Word of God. To a piece of clothing that has long gone and I mean decades out of fashion. I am well aware we don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. But gosh ladies it’s time to throw out the cold, dirty bath water. It’s not like it’s of any use to us or anyone one else for that matter.

I have closets to declutter and I have a life to declutter. How about you do you have any decluttering to do? We don’t have to wait for spring to put the past in the past.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Ps 51:1o

Only three weeks left of 2016 may we finish the year well, decluttered of the junk we have held onto. Be refreshed in the Lord and renewed in our spirit.

Note: The beautiful decorated fireplace in my photo is the work of NLC Creative team. It is part of the Christmas décor in the foyer at Church. Hmm, perhaps they could decorate mine next year…I can live in hope can’t I?

Giveaway Winner Is:

Thank you to all who shared my post Invitation to Dance. Congratulations to Camille Talbert winner of Lysa TerKeurst book Uninvited. Camille I will get in touch with you to arrange delivery of your book.

Be sure to come back next week Jill McSheehy will be my guest blogger. So excited to have Jill share with us. Heads up, she will be offering a sweet deal that you won’t want to miss for Grace Lace and Polkadots readers.

Stay warm and free of clutter.

Until next week

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.

Feel free to like, share and comment.

 

 

 

 

 

Invitation to Dance

christmas-dance-bauble

Hi friends.  I’m giving away another wonderful book Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst. Details in this post.

Have you ever felt left out?

You see the happy smiling faces of your friends on Facebook. Looks like they are at a party. At first you are intrigued, who’s hosting the party? What’s the occasion? You tap the screen, then enlarge the photo, and name each person quietly in your head. Then it hits you.

You were not invited.

In fact you didn’t even hear so much as a rumor among your friends about the up coming party.

Totally Uninvited.

You feel rejected and dejected and your mind goes into overdrive trying to figure out why. Why were you left out? Why was it kept hushed? So many questions.

We have all been uninvited at some time or other in our lives. I remember when I was fourteen attending my school class Christmas dance. Music was playing but no one was dancing. To help the party along the teachers asked the boys and girls to line up different sides of the room facing each other.

Next the boys were invited to ask a girl to be their dance partner. One or two of the boys were glad of the invitation and bravely crossed the room to approach the girl of their choice, slowly others followed their lead. The line of girls dwindled down to just a handful, with a little more encouragement more boys crossed the room. Then there was one girl and one boy left in the line up and, he did not want to dance with the girl that was left standing. She was left feeling uninvited.

I was that girl. He had red hair and was freckled faced and I thought he was cute. That evening I got the distinct impression that he would rather have gone home than dance with me, the last girl standing.

And it hurt!

Fortunately I asked Jesus to be my Lord just two years after that awful experience and learned that He does not reject me but rather willingly invites me into His dance. A dance where I am loved, where I am wanted. A dance where He leads and I follow. A dance of forgiveness and grace.

“The more fully we invite God in, the less we will feel uninvited by others.” Lysa TerKeurst in her book Uninvited.

When the King of Kings invites you to His party all other parties fade in comparison. You are invited to live loved, cherished and wanted. Accept His invitation to the best dance of your life.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.

This week I am giving away Lysa TerKeurst book, Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely.uninvited-book

To enter simply share this post, tag me (Helena Davies) in it so I will know to enter you. Will post name of winner Monday December 12th 2016. Winner required to respond in 24 hours.

Feel free to comment, I look forward to hearing from you.