The King’s Daughter

Photo Credit: Summer Williams Photography

Photo Credit: Summer Williams Photography

I could not peel my eyes away, 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

 

Her outward youthful beauty was evident.  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 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 but 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 your 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.

You and I are the King’s Daughters.

Leave a comment and tell me about your experience as a daughter of the King. Look forward to hearing from you.

Helena

 

 

 

 

Ministry In Action

Orewa Beach New Zealand

Orewa Beach New Zealand

 

 

The church foyer was alive with activity the Sunday we entered through the glass paneled doors into the unknown and unfamiliar. We were strangers from far off lands come to worship with the local saints. There was nothing about us that would cause them to screamed, “Look Out! There’s Aliens!” Unless we opened our mouths to speak, no-one would be any the wiser.

Through the hustle and bustle of the crowd we determined the sanctuary lay straight ahead. While still taking in our surroundings we were approached by a friendly woman in her thirties. She introduced herself to my two companions and I, and with genuine warmth she welcomed us. Guess we must of had that I’m new here bewildered look on our faces

Alien’s Uncloaked

Our attempts to blend in with the locals had come to an end. Yep! In order to communicate with her we needed to open our mouths. Open them we did, and our foreign accents made it quite obvious to her we were not from there. Instead of causing us to feel like a freak show or a novelty, she made us feel at home.

Conversation was easy, it was like talking with an old friend. She explained a little bit about the church and what we could expect in the meeting. I personally found the information helpful and appreciated that she did not overload us with details. There was one important detail she had not covered, one that every woman wants to know. Where is the restroom?  Am I right? Or am I right? We all need to know where it’s at.

Call To Worship

The sanctuary was full and we sat in the last row, in no time at all the first note of music calling all to worship rang out. The congregation stood to their feet and worship to their Lord and Savior, Jesus, commenced. I was not familiar with some of the worship songs but found if I listened to the words as I focused on Jesus, I could worship Him along with those who knew the words.

Family

I was a long way from Kansas. Well long way from Arkansas to be precise, I had travelled to the other side of the globe. Way down under, further down under than Australia. I was in New Zealand, Land of the Long White Cloud, as it is known to the native Mauri people. I was a  foreigner in a foreign land as were my two companions. Yet here I was worshipping the same savior, the same redeemer as I did in my home church in Arkansas, and as my two friends did in Great Britain. Here among God’s redeemed, we were no longer strangers or foreigners we were family. We shared the same out pouring of forgiveness and grace from the one who died for us.

Best Greeter Award Goes To:

I don’t recall the name of the young lady who greeted us when we visited her church in March of 2015. I do remember her warmth, her smile, the genuine interest she showed in us and our in welfare. I remember she came and sat and talked with us after the service as we enjoyed a visitors complimentary coffee.

Yes, she was on duty as a volunteer greeter but she took it further than just a job to be done. She ministered. It was evident she greeted from the inside out.

If you are a greeter at your local church I hope you are inspired to minister by greeting from the inside out.

Share your tips in the comments box for helping new guests feel welcome at your church. Look forward to hearing from you.

Helena

 

 

 

 

 

Getting To Know You

South Island, here we come!

My flight from Los Angeles touched down in Auckland New Zealand bang on time at 8am, unlike my previous (read my post DELAYED) connections that were no where near on time. It had been many years since I last saw my friend and I wondered if she had changed in anyway? For years our main source of connection was through email, now we were going to spend three weeks together. Three weeks!

Her radiant smile greeted me at the airport and by 10am we were sitting in another terminal waiting to board a flight to Queenstown South Island. I was tired even though I had slept a few hours on the international leg of the journey, conversation was a little one sided and I hoped she didn’t think my lack of chattiness as rude.

After settling into our accommodation we (my friend, her husband and I) decided to do some sightseeing around town. Queenstown is a small but lively town bursting with tourists. The waterfront was a hive of activity with people walking, sunbathing, playing games, and sitting outside cafés drinking tea/coffee.

There’s a first time for everything.

This was my first trip to New Zealand and I was about to experience another first. They decided on eating at a Thai restaurant.  I had never eaten Thai food before but what the heck I was on vacation, be adventurous right?  I was pleasantly surprised that I liked it and have eaten Thai food several times since returning to the States.

DSCF0863There were some firsts I decided I was not going to experience. Bungee jumping from one of the many bridges that span over deep narrow valleys was a definite no, even though my friend did her best to persuade me. The only time I’m going to fly through the air with the greatest of ease is when the dead in Christ rise and we who are still alive will meet them in the air: now, that will be a first for me and one I look forward to.

Our South Island adventure took us to places such as Milford Sound with its majestic fiords and cascading waterfalls. To Glenorchy where a portion of Lord of the Rings was filmed. We travelled north east exchanging the magnificent rocky range of The Remarkables for rolling green landscape splattered with vineyards. Hours travelling in a car together talking, laughing, and asking questions about each others lives.

The adventure of re-getting to know each other had began. Had she changed? Well, yeah. She wasn’t looking twenty three anymore and neither did I. Other than aging, she still possessed a zest for life and the interests of her youth had deepened with time. I wondered, though I dared not ask, if she had noticed any changes in me other than the color of my hair? I would have to wait to find out the answer to my question.

With all the social media available it’s easy to keep in contact with each other. We follow our friends on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter,  Snapchat, Texting and whatever else is out there. In long distance friendships that is all we have and we are grateful that we don’t do snail mail anymore having to wait weeks for a reply. However, none of these methods of communications can compare to talking face to face, sharing a meal, meeting for coffee, or going for a walk together. Getting to know someone is more than reading their words. It involves seeing their body language, their facial expressions, their reactions, their laughter and their tears all in real time. You can’t physically hug a friend when you are not with them.

It takes time and effort to meet with people but it is oh so worth it. Invite someone you know out for coffee or go for a walk together. Enjoy interacting with a real live person.  Put the phone on vibrate incase someone needs to contact you. Make new friends, get re-acquainted with old friends, and develop the friendships you already have.

What are some things you do when you are with your friends?  Share in the comment box. I look forward to hearing from you.

Helena

 

 

 

 

 

Delayed

DELAYED. The words screamed at me. I sighed, there was nothing I could do but wait. Eventually the plane arrived and we boarded. Relieved, I settled into my seat for the flight from Little Rock Arkansas to Dallas-Fort Worth Texas. It is just a hop, skip, and a jump of a journey but every second counted.  The descent into DFW airport seemed to take forever. Of course it didn’t take any longer than normal but I was getting a little anxious as I had to get a connecting flight to Los Angeles California and then on to New Zealand.

As soon as I was off the plane, I donned my backpack and took off running. At this point I was thankful that I was familiar with the airport. I took the Sky Train to my next terminal, then ran to the appropriate gate. It was cutting it close and I was breathless to say the least. A large crowd of people were standing at the American Airlines gate when I arrived. I assumed the boarding process had commenced. I was wrong.

DELAYED. A fellow passenger told me there were security checks.

At last we boarded the Dallas to Los Angeles flight.  When we touched down in LA the captain announced there was a DELAY at the docking gate, another plane was there so we sat on the runway. I was anxious, I didn’t know this airport and I didn’t want to miss my connecting flight to New Zealand.

“International terminal?” I asked the desk clerk. She pointed left and told me to go down the steps. Hurriedly I made my way and at the bottom of the steps I asked again. “Go outside and turn left, it’s the next terminal,” I was told. I followed the instructions.  I went outside where it was raining.  I was tired and I was not impressed with Los Angeles airport.

The international terminal was huge and quiet with very little activity. It was almost midnight and I knew in my heart I had missed my plane but I had to try. I imagined them calling my name overhead but all I heard was silence. I couldn’t even find the Tahiti Nui Airline desk that I was suppose to report to. I felt lost and alone in a foreign land.  Okay, I know I was still in the states but just saying I was out of my comfort zone.

My flight had indeed left without me and I would have to reschedule. This entailed going back to American Airlines terminal and back outside into the rain. I was not amused.

I found the rescheduling area and lined up with the multitude who also had missed connections. The desk clerk told me the next flight was in two days. “Do you have anything else?” I politely enquired. She eventually found a direct flight on Air New Zealand. Thank you heavenly father!

After a short sleep in a nearby motel I was back at the airport by lunch time. It’s surprising how different things look in the light.  What seemed like a cold and unfriendly place during the night was now a hive of activity with plenty of people to guide me on my way.

My journey was plagued with problems and my reaction was not always one of calm composure. I didn’t get mad at anyone and I remained polite but on the inside it was a different story. A war was going on. I grumbled and complained about the DELAYS and about missing my international flight. I was not at peace.

I sighed with relief as I buckled myself into the seat on board the plane bound for New Zealand. Subconsciously I told myself that it was safe to relax, I was on my way with no more DELAYS. The truth is the Lord had me in his hands all the time.  It was always safe to relax. I was always on my way, just not on the schedule I had booked through the airline.

“God’s Timing is Perfect”

I arrived a day later than the original plan and unknown to me, when I rescheduled, my friend had already booked us on a flight to Queenstown South Island which would be departing at 10.30 am. Before the desk clerk found my Air New Zealand flight she had offered a flight on Qantas Airline with a stopover in Brisbane, Australia. That flight was scheduled to arrive in Auckland mid afternoon. I was tempted but turned it down, it just didn’t sit right with me. My rescheduled flight arrived at 8am allowing me plenty of time to clear customs, meet my friend and catch the 10.30am flight.

God’s timing is perfect.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8

Maybe you are in a time of delay or are now seeing the fulfillment of God’s perfect timing in your life. I would love to hear your story, feel free to leave me a comment.

Helena

*Disclaimer: I am not being paid by the above mentioned airlines to include them in my blog. They just happen to be part of my journey to New Zealand.