Has Your Halo Ever Slipped? Mine Did.

I did not flick him off!

I like to think for the most part I’m a nice person. I guess only those on the receiving end can testify whether I am or not. Please don’t think I’m fishing for compliments, I’m not.

I’m washed in the blood of Jesus, forgiven and growing in God’s grace. But alas my behavior does not always reflect the redemption bought for me by my savior. I wish it did.

It’s not like I get up in the morning and think to myself, “Today I’m going to be mean.” Yet, mean erupts from time to time. Sometimes it seems to come from out of nowhere but other times it can be pinpointed to an underlying concern.

Enter Miss Mean

I turned into Miss Mean a few weeks back. It was ugly! Yes I should have taken control of my feelings after all they should be subject to me and not I to them. That day I lost the battle, more of a skirmish; but not the war.

Oh yes, I had talked to the Lord about my concern telling Him all about it as if He didn’t already know. He listen. He let me ramble on while I reasoned it out in my own mind. Eventually I put it in the His hands though I still felt the sting.

My unresolved, underlying concern that had simmered beneath the surface, was fast coming to boiling point on the day I drove into the parking lot. I had been looking forward to a particular event, but now the day was overshadowed with insecurity.

Not Guilty Your Honor

If my mouth is moving my hands are also moving, and the faster my mouth goes so goes the hands. The parking guys pointed in the direction they wanted me to go. Bummer! I wanted to park where I normally park. I threw my hands up in the air in frustration as I informed the Lord how unfair it was. I know. I was acting like a spoilt child. Sad to say it got worse as my emotions accompanied by mouth and hands spilled out over innocent people. I was shocked when I was accused of giving one of them the finger. To me that was like being accused of a federal crime; one I did not commit.

I felt ashamed of my behavior.

I texted an apology to the parking supervisor, though texting is not the best form of communication it was all I had on hand. I confessed to the Lord and received forgiveness. I forgive myself and hoped the parking guys would forgive me for my attitude.

Hurting people hurt. That day my hurt, hurt others.

Refocus on Jesus

For several weeks I have not been able to write a fresh blog post. It was as if I no longer felt worthy to give encouragement to others regarding their walk with the Lord. My halo had slipped. I had fallen. I was forgiven but still my head hung low.

Have you been thinking you cannot be used by the Lord because your halo slipped? The good news is there is forgiveness in Jesus. It’s not in our own righteousness that we walk but in His. It’s not in our own worthiness that we minister to others, but rather in His.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

Join me in turning our eyes away from our own failings and instead turn them to look at Jesus. We are more than conquerors in Christ because He has won the battle for us. Read Romans 8:31-39 to get a fuller picture.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

 

 

 

 

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The Lie I Believed for Almost Fifteen Years

I’m happy to have Alice Stanford, a fellow blogger who hails from across the pond (UK) guest write for us today on Grace Lace and Polkadots. Alice believed words spoken to her by a friend when she was a young teenager. Read how they affected the way she looked at herself. I pray you are encouraged by her story. Take it away Alice!

 

 The Lie I Believed for Almost Fifteen Years

People lie to us all the time, sometime we are aware of it, but often we aren’t. Sometimes we can embarrassingly hold onto lies for far too long.

When I was about thirteen years old one of my “friends” told me that I should never wear my hair pulled back from my face. She told me that it didn’t suit me because “I had a huge forehead”

Despite no one else ever commenting on the size of my forehead, or ever being concerned about it myself, I decided to believe her. And, until recently, never wore my hair pulled straight back from my face.

Isn’t it amazing how those few little words impacted me. Of course I wouldn’t go as far as to say that they changed my life, but they did change the way I wore my hair for almost fifteen years!

I don’t think we fully realise the impact our words can have on people’s lives. If we did, I think we would all, myself included, be a lot more careful about how we use them.

We need to be careful of this and we need to responsible for this. I think this is especially true if you work with children or have them. The words that you say to them can and will shape their futures.

We also need to show some caution in accepting the words other people say about us. Not everything other people say about us is true! (I know, shocking, right?) They have their own agendas and insecurities which impact the words that they say. Who knows, the thirteen year old style expert who thought she could tell me how to wear my hair maybe had forehead issues of her own?

I personally think that if one person says something about your character that you don’t think is true, you can pretty safely set it aside and ignore it. But if multiple people say the same thing about you then maybe you should start to pay attention.

Literally everyone I have known well enough to invite into my home/ room / has seen my desk at work  would say I’m messy. So think that “Alice is messy” is probably a pretty safe assessment of my personality. But one person telling me I have a huge forehead is maybe one I should have ignored a long time ago.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

The other lies we can safely ignore are the ones that go against what it says in the bible.

Lies like you are useless, you are worthless or you are a failure.

You are none of those things

You are precious, you are beautiful, you are chosen and you are loved.

 

Alice Stanford is a teaching assistant living in Nottinghamshire in England. She has a degree in applied theology and loves serving in the church community. You can read more of her writing at www.mesetfree.com
Alice, you are indeed beautiful inside and out. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.
If you would like to read more from Alice be sure to click on her link.
Helena
Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.

The King’s Daughter

Lies held me captive!

I have listened to the enemy’s lies, sometimes I have received them as truth because they sounded plausible. I have hung my head low for day or two, sometimes for years. I wasn’t good enough, educated enough, pretty enough, witty enough, friendly enough and definitely not spiritual enough.

I needed reminding of my heritage. I pray the story of The King’s Daughter reminds you of your heritage in the Lord.

The King’s Daughter

No matter where in the room I went, I was aware of her presence. She stood there head held high but not in a snobby kind of way. She was beautiful, elegant, peaceful and radiant. Qualities I longed for in my life.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30 NIV

She was beautiful.  Time, life, and sun had not yet taken its toll. Although I first looked on her outward beauty, it was her inner beauty that kept my gaze. A beauty that cannot be gained through self help books or self improvement classes. This beauty, her beauty came from spending time with her father, the King of Kings, getting to know him, becoming more like him.

Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. Ephesians 6:14 NLT

Oh such elegance! She stood tall with shoulders back, no slouching for this girl. She had been taught and groomed in the Word of Truth. She knew her father spoke only truth and what he said about her; was who she was. On occasions a lying thought would try to persuade her otherwise. With royal feet firmly planted on solid ground and with the authority of the King she would declare the words her father had spoken over her. The lying thought knew the King spoke truth and now his daughter was speaking the same truth…the lie had no choice but to go and go quickly.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 NIV

Peace became hers the day she was born into royalty, a gift given to her by her brother. Even though the gift of peace was hers she didn’t always embrace it. No, her brother’s peace was something she would embrace as she learned to trust him more.

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5 NIV

Like a new born baby swaddled in a blanket, radiance covered and encased her. Her brilliant glow did not cause me to hide my face, instead it drew me in. I had heard stories of her life before the King adopted her.  She had plenty of reasons to be covered with shame. Yet, I saw no shame in her. She had given all her shame to the sacrificial lamb. She no longer looked back to who she once was, now she looked forward straight into the eyes of her redeemer.

Sisters in the Lord.

Spend time in His presence getting to know Him more.

Put on the belt of God’s truth.  Wear His armor of righteousness and stand in your Father’s authority against the lies of the enemy.

Trust Him with everything and be amazed at the gift of peace He has for you.

Stop wearing old labels and give your shame to Jesus your redeemer. Look straight ahead into His loving eyes and be covered and encased in His radiance.

Helena

The Kings Daughter first appeared on Grace Lace and Polkadots March 2016

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Three Ways to Help When Disaster Strikes

Winner of book giveaway in post.

Leaves are just starting to yellow on the trees, early morning brings cooler temperatures in the low 60’s, rising to a pleasant 82f. A welcome relief from the summer heat reaching in the high 90’s f.

People don’t have to force themselves to be outdoors when the weather is beautiful. It calls our name; and we respond by leaving our air conditioned homes and stepping outside into the fresh air. Whether that means sitting on the patio, taking a walk, playing a round of golf, working in the garden or hiking up the nearest mountain. We enjoy the escape into nature and the escape from the concerns of the day. We disconnect if only for a moment and all is well with our little world.

But. All. Is. Not. Well.

Not well in the world around us. As we (me included in the royal we) bask in the beauty of early Fall. There are parts of this country (USA) going through fires and storms on a massive scale.

Even though we may watch the news or follow on social media for a few minutes here and there, it is easy for us to feel disconnected unless we have either been through something similar or have family and friends in the path of the fire or the storm.

Praying. Going. Giving.

I’m not suggesting that we stop everything and glue ourselves to the television or social media. What I am encouraging us to do is first of all pray to our Heavenly Father for protection and wisdom for those in the affected areas. The people who live in these areas and the volunteers who travel to help in the aftermath are still in need of prayer.

My second suggestion, find out how out how best we can help. For some that might mean joining a rescue or volunteer clean up team. Not all are able for one reason or another to go, so here is a third way to help. Collect items to send with the teams….but ONLY items that have been requested, usually it is toiletries, gift cards and water but check with the organization of your choice. Lastly give financially though reputable organizations and churches. It doesn’t have to be large amounts, every cent, every dollar counts. Use the resources we have to be a blessing to those in the disaster areas.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Col 3:23

However we decide to help, whether by praying, going, giving or a combination of the three. Let us remember as we help those in need to do it all to bring honor and glory to the Lord. Not ourselves.

Texas, Florida and Northwest you have not been forgotten.

Two announcements

First: Priscilla Shirer’s book God Is Able was not claimed. We have a new winner congratulations to Joelda Hope of NM. Second: The winner of Micah Maddox book Anchored In is Danica Stirk of the UK.

Joelda and Danica I know the books will be source of encouragement to you.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.

 

 

 

 

 

Anchored In:Book Review and Giveaway

Introducing a New Author

Every now and then along comes a new author who’s book speaks to you from the first to the very last page. Micah Maddox book Anchored In: Experience a Power-Full life in a Problem-Filled World spoke to me in a clear relatable voice with every turn of the page.

I met Micah at She Speaks in 2016, a three day conference organized by Proverbs 31 Ministries for writers, speakers and leaders. Brought together through a mutual friend, I found myself sharing table space with her at meal times on more than one occasion. A beautiful young lady, with a smile that lights up her face and a sense of humor that is infectious…who wouldn’t be drawn to her.

I had no idea until I read her book, Anchored In, the pain and struggles she has experienced in her young life. Abandoned by her biological father as a child, cancer that invaded the body of the man she now calls dad and the mysterious illness that almost cost her husband his life. Add to those problems the emotional side, and you have a raging storm.

You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3

Micah has definitely had her fair share of storms. Haven’t we all in one way or another? Our storms may look different from each others but it’s the same anchor that holds us secure. I love how Micah encourages us to be anchored in the Lord before, during and after the storms in our lives.

 Turn Down the Distractions

A mother to three precious school age children and foster mother to one, a pastor’s wife, women’s ministry leader, conference speaker, blogger, writer and now author. Micah knows how easy it is to be distracted from spending time with the Lord. She encourages us to turn down the distractions and spend time in His presence. I love this quote from her book.

“We often choose the current over the eternal. And when we do, often we later see how our choice to focus on what felt crucial was really a distraction from what God was trying to draw us to-Himself.”

What is Victory?

So often we think victory in our lives is the absence of personal storms, but both you and I know storms can flare up at a moments notice. One moment the sun is shinning and all is well, the next we are experiencing sideways blowing rain. Victory, Micah tells us is not found in how life is going or gone but in God’s presence.

I could keep writing about Anchored In. But I won’t. I don’t want to rob you of the joy of reading it for yourself. You can purchase the book through Amazon, Lifeway, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBook and Abingdon Press.

One last quote from Micah, this time about the book, taken from her website MicahMaddox.com “I think you will love it! I hope you do. But most of all I hope you hear from God in it, not from me.”  What can I say? A women with a heart for God and a heart for people.

Book Giveaway

Release date for Anchored In is September 5th. So, yes it’s a brand new book by a brand new author. One I’m sure you will love. To celebrate Micah’s book release I’m giving away one copy of Anchored In.

To enter: Sign-up to receive Grace Lace and Polkadots weekly blog posts via email. You will find the Follow Blog Via Mail button on the right hand panel of the blog page (if using a computer), or scroll way down on your phone. Entry closes on Saturday 9th 2017 at 10pm Central Time. Winner will be announced Monday September 11th 2017 in blog post. Those all ready receiving Grace Lace and Polkadots by email will automatically be entered for the drawing.

The winner of Priscilla Shirer’s book God Is Able……is Lisa Wistuba. Congratulations Lisa! I will PM you.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

P.S I am not receiving compensation in any form to advertise Anchored In. I truly enjoyed the book and believe it will be a source of encouragement to you.

 

 

 

 

Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20

Sometimes I forget the greatness of the one I serve. I know He is my creator and that I am made in His imagine, as are you. My heart releases worship to Him because I’m thankful for Jesus. Thankful for His love and His mercy, thankful that I am part of the whosoever will. Daily I find joy in His presence, listen, there is nothing that can compare or compete with that….

…yet!

Somewhere. Somehow.

I have stopped expecting the exceeding, abundantly, beyond answers to prayer. I know they exist because I have been the recipient of this type of answered prayer many times.

It’s not that I have stopped believing. I do believe.

Rather, I stopped expecting this type of answer, and because of that my requests to God have become in some areas small minded. He can do beyond all that we can ask or think. So why am I thinking small?

I know He is able, capable of doing it. I know He is willing. But will He do it? As I talked this issue out with the Lord it dawned on me, I wasn’t sure if some of my requests are in His will. Are they God given desires? Or pure selfishness? Am I asking for the right reason? The only reason; His glory. So I asked for His help.

I was drawn to start re-reading my already well highlighted and underlined book by Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker. Some books are worth re-reading and The Circle Maker is one of them. While in a local Lifeway Store a Priscilla Shirer book caught my eye with its bright red cover, but it was the title that caused me to pick it up, God Is Able. Seriously folks! It was a given I would pick it up seeing that I was having issues in this area.

A friend gave me a book for my birthday, she had no idea what I was going through, The Daniel Prayer: Prayer That Moves Heaven and Changes Nations, author Anne Graham Lotz. I asked for help and I am getting it, though none of these books supersedes God’s written word, The Bible. They sure will be helpful.

Have your prayer requests become small minded? Have you stopped believing or expecting God to answer you in an above and beyond what you can think or ask way? Talk to Him, it’s not like He doesn’t already know. He loves it when we come to Him and ask for His help.

This weeks giveaway is Priscilla Shirer’s book God Is Able.

To enter simply follow my Grace Lace and Polkadots Facebook page, make sure you have your notification button turn on so you don’t miss a post. If you already signed up to follow my Facebook page you will automatically be entered. Entry closes on Saturday September 2nd at 10pm Central Time and the winner will be announced on Monday September the 4th.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

Little girl with roses: Photo Credit Pixabay