Discovering the Riches of God

As a child I would sometimes accompany my coal miner father to the colliery a.k.a. the pit, to collect his pay from the  wages office. A cut out in the glass window allowed the wages clerk to pass the small brown envelope containing my dad’s wages to him. No direct deposits in those days. Real money in your hand.

I felt like a big girl, walking through the busy work areas on the surface of the mine. I saw the big wheel that worked the shaft elevator (also known as the cage), saw the coalminers entering and leaving the cage as they started or finished their shift. I always loved seeing the pit pony, as the appointed coalminer walked it safely through the busy work area. On the surface was the offices, the engine room and the building that housed the showers. Believe me ladies, if your man was a coalminer there was NO WAY he was coming into the house covered in coal dust. Even after their hurried shower they still came home looking as if they were wearing black eyeliner.

But for all I saw, it was still only the surface of the coal mine that I experienced. The surface was an interesting place. But the coal, the treasure, lay deep below my feet.

I wonder how many of us have settled for a surface experience in our walk with the Lord? We settle for what we can see. We get involved in the busyness of church life, we give the right churchy responses while all along we have not dug deep into getting to know Jesus and the riches of His love.

And I ask him with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Ephesians 3 msg

To get to the riches of God, we have to leave the surface and choose to go deeper. Lord, take us deeper, show us more of your character. Show us who you are. Your love, your compassion and your grace.

As we allow His very character to saturate us on the inside. It is then, that those very same characteristics will flow out from us to others.

Time to Go

Go Down; down on our knees, to give thanks and praise for God’s provision.

Go Up; keeping our eyes looking up to our heavenly Father for His direction.

Go Out; move out of our comfort zones.

Go Beyond; beyond our self imposed boundaries.

Go forward; moving forward in our personal walk with God, into the future He has for us.

Go Deeper; deeper in the Lord than we have ever gone before.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

 

 

 

 

 

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Rejoice: Delighting in the Lord/Plus a Book Giveaway

I asked my new to kindergarten grandson: “Why were you dancing in line?” (He had received a warning from his teacher).

His eyes grew big as he excitedly informed me: “Because I’m a happy kid!”

Google Dictionary definition of Re-joice: Feel or show great delight. Well, he was certainly expressing outwardly the inner delight he was feeling.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4 NIV

Honestly, we don’t always feel like rejoicing; not even before the Lord. Some days (or weeks/months) we find ourselves trudging through life with just about enough energy to put one foot in front of the other. We don’t feel delighted, so we don’t show delight.

My old trusty Collins Concise Dictionary and Thesaurus describes delight as; take great pleasure and enjoy, feast on, glory in, indulge in, revel in and savor.

Isn’t that what Philippians 4:4 encourages us to do? Take great pleasure, enjoy, feast on, glory in, indulge in, revel in and savor the Lord? Rejoice/Delight…in Him.

Let me put it this way; we are not going to dance in line unless we are a happy kid on the inside. How do we expect to feel and show delight when we are disconnected from the source of our delight?

Tap Dancing on the Inside

King David’s life was not all sunshine and ice cream parties and neither is ours. Turmoil surrounded him even in his family. When he was fleeing from his son Absalom, David declared to the Lord in Psalm 3:3 “But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.”

We may come before the Lord with our heads hanging low, but as we spend time in His presence, feasting on His goodness our heads will be lifted. We will dance again because He is our delight. Okay, all the non dancers don’t freak out, you can do a little tap dance on the inside…no one will know your secret except you, the Lord and….. thousand upon thousands of angels.

 You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can’t thank you enough.     Psalm 30:11 Message

Whether we dance outwardly or inwardly is not the point. My point is; Jesus is our delight, not our circumstances.

“Jesus is our delight, not our circumstances.”

One way to express the delight we have in Him, is to write it down in a journal. One sentence or a full page, there are no rules, it is entirely up to you how much or little you write, or indeed how often you write. Whether you have a thousand journals…you know you need one more, or you are new to journaling I have just what you want.

I am giving away a beautiful journal with the words Rejoice in the Lord on the front cover and scripture on every other page. See photos.

When I saw the little bird on the front cover I wondered if I should signup for Twitter, so I can tweet about God’s love and grace. Do you use social media to brag on God?

How to enter: Simply leave a comment telling me what type of social media you use (please no links) to brag on God, OR a comment regarding journaling or about the Lord. Choose between the comment box on this site or gracelaceandpolkadots Facebook page. You can comment as much as you want, but only One comment per person will be entered into the drawing. Closes on Saturday August 19th at 10pm central time and winner will be announced Monday 21st in Grace Lace and Polkadots blog post.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

 

 

Hydrated in Love and Book Giveaway Winner

Last week we travelled through the prairie of Alberta, Canada and learned of the wide open spaces that only God can take us. Now come journey with me into the Canadian Rockies and see what lessons we can learn.

Foot Traffic

Even though I was a ninety minute drive away I could see the mountains in the distance. They rose up to meet the sky, forming one long dark wall that ran the length of the horizon. I was eager to see for myself the beauty that can only be appreciated when up-close and personal.

First stop was Johnson Canyon, due to time restraint my four friends and I chose to visit the Lower Falls only. A path along the side of the mountain lead us onto a man-made walkway suspended over the icy cold water that flowed from the fall. Narrow in places, the walkway creaked with the weight of foot traffic from the vast number of sightseers. I offered up a silent prayer for the walkway to hold firm. It did!

 

While many focused their attention on the waterfall, a handful of us met a friendly, brown ground squirrel, who stopped by for an impromptu photo shoot. It’s not just the big events in life that deserve our attention, interesting and beautiful things are found along the way too.

Snow in July!

I knew from an internet search Lake Louise is a popular lake to visit and I was about to find out why. As I emerged from the tree laden path into the open my eyes beheld what I can only explain as jaw dropping beauty. The light blue-green water of the lake against the dark rock of the  snow capped mountain was stunning. Snow in July!

I walked the path alongside the lake, taking in the majestic scenery. Unfortunately the path does not go all the way around the lake, so we walked as far as we could before turning back.

I Almost Missed It!

It was on my walk back that I noticed a small stream running down the mountain-side. It could easily have been missed as it was hidden by foliage and tree limbs. The stream poured through the dark underbrush, over rocks smoothed by its constant flow. Not even a fallen tree limb was going to stop it, on it flowed finally making its way into the lake.

I positioned myself for a closer look. I peered into the darkness of the undergrowth and the clear, refreshing water steadily pouring itself out. It reminded me of Jesus our living water.

Hydrated in Love

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below-indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 NLT

His love, truth and grace is constantly flowing from Him to us. No amount of underbrush, rocks or fallen limbs in our lives can stop the flow. When life seems dark, He is still present. When we feel dry, His refreshing water is still available. When life is rough, He makes a smooth path. When we feel empty, He fills us up.

We don’t have to be dehydrated in the Lord’s presence, He invites us to drink of Him. Not a one time drink, or an occasional drink, but a continual intake of His love.

Today, be hydrated in His love for you. Come before Him and learn of His grace, read the written Word (scriptures) and know His truth…. Nothing can separate us from His love.

Giveaway Winner

And the winner of Rick Bezet’s new book, Real Love in an Angry World is……Dorothy Johnson!!! Congratulations Dorothy. Please contact me by Wednesday 8/9/17 10pm to receive your prize.

I want to take this opportunity to welcome new followers to Grace Lace and Polkadots (GLP) and to thank all those who faithfully return week after week. If you would like to receive GLP blog directly into your email, you can signup on the blog…simply fill out Follow Blog via Email, It is on the right hand panel in the blog and way down the bottom of the page on a mobile device.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

Photo credit for all photos in this blog: Helena Davies

 

 

 

 

Do You Throw or Carry Your Burdens?

Book giveaway details in post. Enter to win.

I have just returned from my first ever trip to Canada. What a beautiful country! Admittedly, I only saw a small portion of this vast land, but the portion I saw was awesome.

After being reunited with my childhood friend Glenda, and meeting her husband, Andy, at Calgary airport, we made our way south to their home town of Okotoks, just 11 miles away. Okotoks, is surrounded by prairie with a view of the Canadian Rockies rising up to meet the sky in the distance.

I looked out of the car window and I was amazed at the bright, almost florescent yellow fields that greeted me. It would not be the last time I would gaze upon the glimmering yellow canola fields as they were present in abundance.

The vast openness of the prairie was a source of delight and wonder to me. With only a handful of trees dotted here and there, I could literally see for mile, upon uninterrupted picturesque mile. Its beauty rolling out before me in a never ending carpet of green and yellow, reminded me of a verse found in the book of Psalms. (18 vs 19)

He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delights in me.

Sometimes life feels so closed in, we worry and fuss, we busy ourselves with details and we wonder if reprieve is possible. The air we breathe is stuffy, our oxygen saturation numbers are low, spiritually speaking; and we gasp in an attempt to survive. Our thoughts and eyes are clouded and we feel trapped, unable to hold our head up: Life has become heavy and burdensome.

That is not how Jesus, wants us to live.

Learning to Live Light

Matthew 11:28-30 tells us, if we are weary and burdened to go to him. He promised to give us rest. He asked that we take His yoke on ourselves and learn from Him. He said He is gentle and humble in His heart. For the second time within the three verses He reminds us that He will give us rest. He tells us His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

I don’t like living closed in and worn down with a heavy burden. The Lord knows I spent way too long in that condition. Give me the open space of His love and the lightness of His yoke. Such a better way to live.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1Peter 5:7

It’s true! Jesus cares about us. He wants to rescue us and bring us into the spacious place of His rest. So why doesn’t He just do it?

Here’s why!

We were given free will, that means we have the freedom to choose. We can choose to stay weighed down by life, longing for rest, gasping for air. Or, we can choose to cast our burdens and anxieties on Jesus. (Google Dictionary definition of the word cast; to throw something forcefully in a specified direction)

It’s a choice. It’s up to each one of us whether we live feeling trapped or not. The solution is found in Jesus. Ladies (gentleman), let’s get good at forcefully throwing our concerns, burdens, anxieties, disappointments, and all that weighs us down straight at the feet of Jesus….and goodness me! Please leave them there.

Before I sign off it’s time for a book giveaway. Real Love in an Angry world: How to Stick to your Convictions Without Alienating People, released in July, author Rick Bezet, Pastor of New Life Church (NLC) Arkansas.

To enter: simply signup to follow me on Grace Lace and Polkadots Facebook page. That’s it! Nothing complicated. Winner will be announced Monday August 7th and will have until 10pm central time on Wednesday 9th to respond. No response and I will choose another winner. Those already following Grace Lace and Polkadots FB page will automatically be entered.

Join me next week as I travel into the Canadian Rockies.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

 

 

 

 

A Chance Meeting at the Lake

Smell the Bacon

Darkness had not yet given way to light, but it was coming, and soon. It was 5am and my husband was already up. As I slowly awoke from my slumber so did my appetite as the smell of bacon cooking wafted its way to greet me good morning.

It was almost 6am before I arose, the cooked bacon had gone, but not the welcoming smell. Daylight had made her appearance and bade me to start my day. Which was not going to happen until I had a cup of tea and a bowl of porridge (think Goldie Locks and the three bears).

Not My Usual Friday

It was Friday, that meant three things, (1) It was curbside recycle day. (2) Free Friday Download at a local store. (3) My mother’s weekly call (free calls on the weekend).

I hurried down the driveway, hoping not to be seen by neighbors while still wearing my pajama’s and wrapped in a dressing gown that made me look twice as round as I am (think soft, shapeless blanket). Hey! don’t knock it, I got the dressing gown on sale and it’s really comfortable. I needed to get the recycle bin to the curbside before the truck arrived, sometimes they come early and sometimes not. There was no way of knowing and I didn’t want to miss them.

My husband informed he had downloaded the Friday freebie and yay! it was a box of porridge. Something at last I would use. I normally pass the free stuff onto my daughter, but not this time….sorry Sam.

My mother usually calls around 4pm central time, that’s 10pm in Wales. The day was young and the weather an usually cool 78f for a July morning in Arkansas, I had plenty of time to walk and do errands before her call. My favorite place to walk is a local lake with tree covered trails, a welcome shade when the temperature rises.

The Lady With A Divine Appointment

I was half around the bigger of the three lakes when a lady with a hiking stick stopped and asked if I thought it was going to rain. I looked up to the bright blue sky with only a few white clouds feeling a little like Elijah’s servant looking for a black rain cloud. We conversed a little more about the possibility of rain, then she asked if she could walk with me as she believed this was a divine appointment.

We walked side by side, taking about Jesus. She asked me questions of how I received Christ as my Lord and I asked her similar questions. She shared about her family and asked about mine…I gave vague answers. Yes, I’m protective.

She loves gospel blue-grass music and insisted on playing a song for me. Know this I am not a blue grass fan, gospel or not. The song title is On My Father’s Side, maybe you are familiar with it? I wasn’t. The song tells the story of Jesus answering questions in the temple when he was 12 years old. Here are some of the words to the song.

“What’s your name son?”

“On my mother’s side my name is Jesus, but on my father’s side they call me Emanuel.”

“How old are you?”

“On my mother’s side now am 12 years, but on my father’s side I’ve just always been.”

For you [who are born-again have been reborn from above-spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified and] are all children of God [set apart for His purpose with full rights and privileges] through faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26 Amp

In this world I answer to several names, Helena, Mam, Nanna, Nurse even the occasional “Hey You!” those are my temporary names.  As I listened to the words of the song I was reminded that my Heavenly Father calls me Redeemed, Beloved and Daughter; my permanent names. If you know Jesus as your Lord; Redeemed. Beloved and Daughter are your permanent names too.

Maybe it was a divine appointment that interrupted my normal Friday routine with a reminder from my Heavenly Father of who I am in Him.

4pm arrived and my mother called right on time.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

How has today been for you? Good? Interesting? Not so Good? Down right awful? Other? Using one of the five tell me in the comments how your day went.

P.S Just a reminder I will be doing a few giveaways in August, starting with Pastor Rick Bezet’s new book Love In an Angry World.

From Fear to Freedom

 

She couldn’t see him. He was there one moment and gone the next.

My daughter had signed her first born up to join swim team. The same team she swam for as a child. It was his first time to join a summer sports team and he was an excited four year old. She drilled him about listening to and obeying his coach but this particular swim practice he saw something that looked like fun and followed suit…he saw some older boys jump into the pool and thought he would do the same; they could swim, he couldn’t.

My daughter was sitting with the other moms, one eye on her one year old daughter and the other on her son. Various age groups with their coaches were in the water and several life guards were on duty.

Suddenly! She thrust her one year old on the lady next to her (insert shocked lady) and took off running down the side of the pool. Fully clothed she jumped into the water, her little boy was sitting at the bottom of the pool. He was new to swimming and for the most part held onto to his coach or the kick board when practicing. He didn’t possess the knowledge of how to push himself up to the surface. He needed to be rescued.

Physically he was fine. Mentally, he experienced nightmares, waking up crying in the middle of the night. Once I knew about the nightmares I did what any other born again, bible believing, praying grandmother would do. I took authority in the name of Jesus over the fear. As far as I was concerned it was not going to have a foothold in my young grandson.

The thief comes only in order to steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10 Amp

Fear is not of God and not how He wants us to live. I’m not talking about healthy parameters, such as, don’t play with fire or jump out of an airplane without a parachute. Our enemy has come to kill, steal and destroy and fear is just one of his tactics.

As born again believers in Christ we have the same spirit that lives in Jesus; that of peace, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Jesus came that we may live free in His truth, free from the lies of the enemy. It’s time for us to believe what the word of God says and not just read it like a story book.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 NIV

We don’t have to remain in a state of drowning at the bottom of the pool of fear. Our rescuer has come! The price has been paid for our freedom, through the sacrificial blood of Jesus.

We don’t have to live as a shackled Christian: We can live free.

Until next week

My apologies dear reader, I missed last week. I had a post written but it just didn’t sit right with me and, I am not about publishing posts for the sake of getting something out there. I want the posts to be source of encouragement to you in your walk with the Lord.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.

How has knowing God’s truth set you free? Would love to hear your story, please feel free to share in the comments.

P.S. My grandson is back on swim team this year and now swimming without a kick board.

 

 

 

 

When You Lose Sight of Your Calling

I wanted to purchase a pair of wide legged linen pants, so why was I trying on not one but two pairs of skinny jeans? It was the colors that caught my eye; a cool shade of aqua and a happy red to be precise. The jeans felt comfortable, but looking in the mirror I could see they were not a good fit at all.

I continued my search. I found a pretty summer dress in green and navy with a tad of white and oh, a cute floral blouse. Back to the dressing room I went, decided I didn’t like the blouse after all, but I did say yes to the dress and a pair of leggings.

I can get distracted by pretty things especially anything with small Polkadots and, yes I did pull a few items of clothing with Polkadots off the rack.

Stay focused! I told myself. Linen pants, linen pants I repeated to bring my mission back into view.

It took me three hours to buy one pair of linen pants. Plus another hour to visit a new children’s store in town where I purchased some clothes for my three grandchildren…going to that store was not part of the day’s plan. Can you say DISTRACTIONS.

Losing focus when shopping can lead to impulse buying i.e. dress, leggings and kids clothes. Losing focus on God’s plan for our lives can cause us to run impulsively in many directions other than the path we are called to walk.

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Proverbs 4:25 NIV

Stay Focused!

Focused on Jesus and focused on what He has placed in our hands to do. It’s so easy to be distracted, to lose sight of a goal especially when it is seems far off.

We get involved in too many things and neglect the one thing the Lord has asked us to do. Whatever it is stay focused. Spend time in His word and in prayer. Listen and be alert to His direction. If you get distracted, refocus! We don’t always realize the significance of what the Lord has placed in our heart’s to do and, we may never know until we are home with Him.

Proverbs 4:27 tells us “Do not look to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

 

What distracts you and what helps you to refocus? Share your thoughts in the comment box.

Until next week

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance