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

 

Radical Love: Part 2

I am so thankful for Jesus. Thankful for His willingness and obedience to pay for my sin on the cross. Thankful also that the story does not end with a battered and bruised bloody corpse, laying lifeless wrapped in linen on a cold tomb slab.

It was early in the morning, when Mary and several other women came with spices and perfumes to use on Jesus’ dead body.  They wondered how they were going to roll away the stone? Think heavy stone, not a small boulder. Oh what a shock they had when they got there!

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. Matthew 28:2-4

If I had been with these women I too would of been surprised to see the stone rolled away. But oh my gosh! An angel! Really! Scripture tells us we sometimes entertain angels unaware, but these ladies were very much aware of what/who was sitting on the rolled away stone before their eyes. No mistaking his appearance, this being was glowing! Looks like the guards who was on duty to ensure no one stole Jesus’ body were pretty shocked too.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just like he said. Come see the place where he lay. Matthew 28:5,6

In Matthew 28:7 The angel goes on to tell them to go quickly and tell the disciples that Jesus is risen from the dead. Afraid but filled with joy they ran (vs 8) Yep! think I would be running with the wonderful news too. They were instructed to tell the disciples to meet in Galilee where they would see Jesus.

Oh my gosh, look what I found in vs 9 & 10. Seriously I must have read this scripture many times over the years but only now is it popping off the page. Jesus meets with the women as they were on the way to the disciples.

Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

When the eleven disciples met with Jesus on the mountain in Galilee they too worshiped Him (see vs 16,17). He told them in vs 18 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…

…He then goes on to give them the great commission.

But wait! What happened between Friday’s crucifixion and Sunday’s resurrection? Well, He had keys to take back. Keys that Adam and Eve had unknowingly handed over to Satan. The keys that allowed death to enter. Jesus had paid the price and the keys now belonged to Him.

The Ever-Living One [living in and beyond all time and space]. I died, but see, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of [absolute control and victory  over] death and Hades (the realm of the dead) Revelation 1:18

Get this He not only took the keys back but He made a spectacle of the spiritual forces.

He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets. Colossians 2:15

A victory parade indeed!

In Acts 1 Paul tells us that Jesus (after His resurrection) appeared to the disciples over a forty day period teaching them about the kingdom of God. I imagine they were ready to listen and believe more so than in the previous three years. But time came when Jesus needed to leave earth and return to heaven.

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. vs9

The awesome news is He is coming back!

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. Men of Galilee, they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Meanwhile, as we wait for His return we can be assured that nothing and no-one can separate us from the love that God has for us. Jesus paid the price, the deal was closed. Anyone who excepts His gift of salvation becomes family, His family. Sealed with His blood.

In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39 NIV

We, you and I are radically loved. Live in His love!

From my family to yours

Have a wonderful Easter Sunday

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.

As always feel free to share, like and comment

Radical Love: Part 1

As a child, Good Friday meant eating hot cross buns loaded with butter and topped with strawberry jam…Delicious!

For me, hot cross buns was the only good thing about Good Friday. Why on earth would anyone think it was a good day was beyond my comprehension. A man had died. No, not just a man. God’s son had died and, people called it a good. Did they not like him? Were they glad to get rid of him? I didn’t see the good, except for the Hot Cross buns.

Even though I accepted Jesus as my savior as a teenage, it would still be many years before I would remotely begin to understand the good in Good Friday…yes, I am still learning, still discovering, still realizing the good.

JESUS KNEW THE PLAN

“I came from the Father and entered the world;

now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

John 16:28

His death and method of death was not a surprise to Him. I don’t think it was physical death that bothered Him so much as it was the spiritual death (separation from the presence of God) that He would go through.

Luke 22:37 NIV ” It is written:  ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’, and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

His life was not taken from Him, but rather He gave himself for us.

He was the sacrificial lamb to be slaughtered for our sins. He was willing but the reality of actually going through with it hit home and He prayed. “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” He knew what to expect and He still went through with the plan to rescue us from eternal separation from God. Now that is Love!

“He stayed there, not because the nails held Him, but because His love for you and me did.”

As Jesus hung nailed to the cross, people in the crowd shouted “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” Luke 23:35b. Of course He could of saved Himself, He could of left the cross whenever He chose.

But, He didn’t!

He stayed there not because the nails held him, but because love for you and me did.

Abandoned

From noon to three, the whole earth was dark. Around midafternoon Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Matthew 27:45,46 Message Bible

It blows my mind that Jesus willingly went to the cross knowing that when the sin of the world was place solely on Him, it would cause Him to be separated from His Father. The Father that He had been one with before the world was ever created. Now that is radical love!

I don’t think it could of been easy for God either, seeing His son bearing the sin of this world. God is Holy and there isn’t any darkness in Him, so to see Jesus full of darkness must of been really hard. Some say that God turned away from Jesus at this time, that would explain why Jesus asked why He had abandoned Him.

Salvation through Jesus was His plan, His idea because He too loves us.

“For God so [greatly]loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:6 Amp

The price was paid, the transaction was done and salvation had been secured…

…Sunday is coming!

If you have not accepted God’s gift of salvation, please don’t hesitate. He loves you so much and is eager to forgive you of sin and restore you to a personal relationship with Himself.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

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What does Good Friday mean to you? Look forward to hearing from you in the comment box.