NLC Worship song Thankful: Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Wanted to share the song Thankful from NLC (New Life Church) worship album Our God and Our King with you today. Though not all who read this post live in the USA and so will not be celebrating the holiday of Thanksgiving. We can all say thank you to our Heavenly Father for His daily provisions no matter what part of the world we live in.

As fellow believers in Christ, lets raise our hearts in thanksgiving not only for the day to day provisions of our physical needs, but also for our mental and emotional needs.

He has set our feet on solid ground through Jesus. Let the praises to the One and Only begin. Or to put it another way…get your praise on!

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

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Leaning into Thankful: Part 3 of 3

Returning Home to Grace

NLC Worship CD, Our God & Our King song Thankful, describes where I was, and where my heart is now. I have written the words to the song in bold throughout this post, I pray you are encouraged by them.

Though I accepted Jesus as my savior in my teens, I would be in my late forties before I realized what grace was about and Who grace is!

For ten years I was away from church. It wasn’t something I decided to do one Sunday morning; it was a slow walking away. Missed a meeting here, missed a meeting there, and before I realized it ten years had gone by. Ten years away from fellowship with the saints of God and ten years away from personal fellowship with my Heavenly Father. My bible gathered dust and my prayers were not powerful, they were; Pitiful. Worrisome. Complaining prayers. Sometimes they were cries for help, but mostly they were pity-party style.

I was homesick. A foreigner in a foreign land and I longed to go home where people understood me. I had moved countries and hadn’t settled in a church, I had visited many but none seemed a good fit, so it was easy to miss meetings. No-one was going to miss me.

Nightly muffled tears ran down my cheeks as I silently prayed, “Lord, I wanna go home.” I was referring to my earthly home. He knew better. I needed my spiritual home. I needed Him.

I was invited to attend a bible study group in a neighbor’s home; I went because I didn’t like to say no to my sweet neighbor. The group met weekly and I returned each week even though most weeks I reckoned it was going to be my last week. Slowly I was being drawn back to the Father. I knew I needed to find a church home.

I visited two other churches before I walked into New Life Church (NLC). As soon as I walked into the sanctuary I felt the presence of the Lord, something (someone) I had not felt in ten years. A sigh went out from deep within me as I breathed out the words “Home.”

I was lost, Jesus you found me. In your mercy you sought me out, lifted me out of the ashes, to your unfailing love. To your unfailing love

I was lost, but He knew where I was and He was patient with me. He didn’t leave me but drew me quietly back to Himself. The song talks about the Lord lifting us out of the ashes and pulling us out of the wreckage. That is exactly what He did for me, and He will do it for you if you are willing.

 You came for me when I was lost, hopelessly lost. Your life for my liberty on the cross traded on the cross.

I was the guilty-one not Jesus, yet He died for me, trading places so I may live in His liberty and freedom. He did this for you too.

King of Kings, rising in Glory. To the darkness your light has come, pulling me out of the wreckage to your unfailing love. To your unfailing love

His love is truly unfailing, He is not fickle like me, and the pressures of this life don’t control Him. He is light and He brought me out from under the dark cloud that engulfed me.

For your love everlasting, I will be thankful. For your mercy unending, I will be thankful. For the cross that you carried, I will be thankful. All my sin has been buried, I will be thankful.

I am thankful God did not give up on me, thankful He pursued me before and after I asked Him to be in my heart. I am forever thankful for His love, His mercy, His sacrifice and His forgiveness. I am thankful for His unfailing love. I am thankful I came face to face with Grace.

Our Heavenly Father waits for us with eager eyes and a longing heart for our return home to Him. He pursues us with His love and gently draws us closer to Himself. Come home dear one, back into fellowship with the One who loves you. He’s waiting for you.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

I had the privilege of sharing this article a few months back on Alice Standford’s blog mesetfree.com be sure to check her website out. Oops! sorry my link button is not working to connect you straight to Alice’s blog, but type in her web address in a search engine, you’ll be glad you did.

 

 

Leaning into Thankful: Part 2 of 3

 Thankful Ten

Photo Credit: Alex Geerts Unsplash

Thanksgiving: The time of year when we pause to reflect on the things we are thankful for.

Have you noticed the Thankful posts on social media? I have…

…and they have inspired me to write down at least one thing each day that I am thankful for. Rather than go for the usual list of family and friends; for which I am deeply thankful. I thought it would be good to narrow the list down to things I would normally take for granted.

Get creative or take the simple route. Own it, It’s yours!

Starting November 13th through November 23rd (Thanksgiving Day) join me in jotting down what you are thankful for and why. Doesn’t have to be eloquent, raw honesty is always good. Grab a notepad or if you journal write it there. Get creative or take the simple route. Own it, it’s yours! Your list can be as private or public as you choose. The main deal is appreciating and giving thanks to the Lord for the everyday things in our lives.

I’ll go First

I am thankful for HOT WATER!

Let me explain why.

Hot water was an everyday item I took for granted until I went to Guatemala in 2010 on a ten day mission trip to the wonderful people of the Zacapa mountains. The team would leave our low key, but comfortable hotel in pick-up trucks each day and head for the mountains visiting a different village each day.

The scenery and the people were beautiful and the roads were DUSTY . By the time we got back to our hotel each night we were covered from head to toe in fine brown dust. There was no way to leave showering until the morning no matter how tired we were.

The hotel was comfortable and the food was great, but there was one thing that caused me dread and that was taking my nightly shower. NO HOT WATER! Not even cool water. It was colder than cold. It was icy cold.

Each night before getting into the icy cold shower I would have to tell myself to be brave. The worst part was washing my hair, oh am I glad I took a two in one shampoo/conditioner. That was one less rinse under the icy cold water.

On my return home the hot water from my shower never felt more welcoming. Seriously, I was worshiping the Lord with a thankful heart for hot water.

Hot water is not available worldwide. I am so thankful I have the privilege to take hot water showers.

Now it’s Your Turn

I invite you to not only keep your personal account for ten days of the everyday things you are thankful for but to also join me each day November 13th through 23rd on Grace Lace and Polkadots Facebook page for Thankful Ten.

“I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among the throngs I will praise you.” Ps 35:18

 

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

Share this post with a friend and invite them to join in Thankful Ten over on Grace Lace and Polkadots Facebook Page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leaning into Thankful: Part 1 of 3

A Thanking Woman: Right Off the Bat

Right off the bat I want to say thank you and welcome to Sue Moore Donaldson of welcomeheart.com. Sue is my guest today on Grace Lace and Polkadots.  Intentional hospitality is Sue’s hallmark. With a thankful heart she welcomes others to her table and invites them to know Jesus. 

Take it away Sue!

 

I want to be a Thanking Woman, right off the bat.

To begin my prayers with: Thank You, God.

To begin my words with: Thank you, friend.

Right off the bat, I want to start Thankful.

We’re taught to say: “Thank You” at the end of a party, at the end of an email, at the end of the day. Let’s switch it up to the top of the page:

 Thanks for inviting me. Thanks for thinking of me. Thanks for loving me.

Thanking God–right off the bat so that I’m ahead of the game when I get to heaven.

Is that possible? Can we get ahead of any game with God? I’d like to try. If I die trying, it’d be a great way to die –

Thank You, God – Whoa – here I am–here YOU are–in person! Thanks for that and for You.

My youngest always thanks me for dinner. At the end, not the beginning. But I love it. I didn’t tell her to do that. She just decided to. Even if it’s curry and curry isn’t her favorite. Even if we’ve had a rough dinner–one or more of us saying one or more things–we shouldn’t have. No matter the meal, no matter the tone, I hear her voice call out as she goes up the stairs,

 Thanks for dinner.

self care

Really. You’re thanking me. I appreciate that. I thank you for thanking me. This could go on and on.

Maybe it’s supposed to.

Thank you.

Well, thank you for thanking me.

No, thank YOU for thanking me.

(It could be worse. No thanks.)

I’ll start today:

Thank You, Lord that Tammy came for lunch and stayed all afternoon and that lunch was simple (and that she loves cilantro) and that I have enough of it leftover for dinner.

 

Whew. That covered a lot. We covered a lot.

Lunch: a simple meal. Thank you: a simple thing to say. May lunch remind me to be a Thanking Woman.

I want it to start with breakfast. No, before I get out of bed. I’ll especially be thankful if I get breakfast in bed. Either way, I want to be a Thanking Woman.

Ken Williams said,

Gratitude not expressed is not gratitude.

A Grateful Woman

Free printable.

Paul knew how to start a letter:

I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge…I Corinthians 1:4,5 NIV
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people,  I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. Ephesians 1:15,16 NIV

He used parachute words–he covered a lot:

always thank my God for you

I have not stopped giving thanks for you

Who needs your thanks? (I stopped writing this momentarily to write two pastors a little Thankful note. Short and to the point: “Thank you for this morning…” Every pastor needs a few more Thanking Women in the audience, don’tchaknow? (Every husband, as well, but that’s another post.)

Don’t know what to say? Don’t know what to write? Start by thanking. Right off the bat.

Did you catch the word FREE as in free printable? You will find it under the second image. Be sure to click on the words Free Printable. Also check out Sue’s website and shop you will find encouragement and maybe a gift of two for yourself or a friend/family.
Visit Sue’s website: welcomeheart.com
View custom jewelry: welcomeheart.com/shop
Feel free to share this post with a friend and on social media.
Helena
Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

Do You Feel the Tug to Say “Yes Lord.”?

She looked down my row, smiled at me and asked to be excused. “Certainly,” I responded as I moved to give the slender, dark haired lady access. She made her way further down the row before deciding on a seat. The other seats quickly filled and I thought no more about her.

Number Eighteen

The Lord has been tugging on my heart to assist with the launch of our eighteenth church campus. You would think it would be an easy decision, but truth be told I put it on the back burner with the hope it would dissipate into thin air. It didn’t.

I’m comfortable in my present church campus. I’ve made friends there. I have seen it grow from just over one hundred people to needing three services in a building where the sanctuary will hold two thousand. I have grown in worship as the worship team has grown in leading worship. I have watched young teenagers become adults, marry and have children of their own. I have witnessed young pastors find their God given voice. I have seen lives changed and marriages healed. I have seen the hand of God at work.

It’s home. I’m reluctant to leave.

Yet, I hear the call and I feel the tug.

God’s power provides the heart with everything it needs. Micah Maddox//Anchored In

The population sign informed those passing by that 2234 lived in the town (I use the term “town” loosely). Oh my! almost the whole town could fit into the sanctuary of my present campus. I’ll admit it concerned me. I haven’t been part of a small church in years, and not sure if I want to be.

Sweet Fellowship

A new friend and I listened to the voice on the GPS give us directions to the home of another launch team member, one who lived in the “town.” After several twists and turns along country roads we came upon the street we needed and found her home.

Four strangers drinking coffee (tea), eating desserts and getting to know each other around the kitchen table. We shared out hearts and our concerns. We shared our testimonies of how we first came to the church campus we all have come to call home, and we prayed together.

Little did I know when the lady at church asked me to excuse her that I would be sitting at her kitchen table later that afternoon experiencing sweet fellowship.

I think I’m ready to help in the new campus when it launches in January. I’ve already made three friends! Don’t know if this is a temporary assignment or long term. I only know I’m taking the next step that the Lord is leading me to take.

Do you Feel the Tug?

What is the Lord tugging at your heart to do? Are you ready to step out of your comfort zone and say “Yes Lord.”?

I leave you with this quote from Heather Dixon of The Rescuedletters.com from her bible study Ready

Jesus will prepare our hearts for what He has prepared for us

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

Photos: Pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Worry Comes Knocking the Door

The calm pond water lapped against the curve of the grassy bank, an inviting place for fowl to meet and prune together. Oblivious to those walking nearby they pecked and pruned as if getting ready for an important event. They were focused. Not even the dogs passing by concerned them.

An idyllic scene for sure. Ooh wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have a care in the world like the waterfowl, unperturbed by menaces that pass close by?

God! Look! Enemies past counting! Enemies sprouting like mushrooms. Mobs of them all around me, roaring their mockery: “Hah! No help for him from God!”

Alas, as we know all too well rough seasons come, and when they come it can feel as if all of hell is against us. Worry and anxiety knock on the door of our heart and bids entrance…

…we open just a tad and they come in along with their relatives fear and doubt.

We worry we will never get out of the mess we are in. We pray but we fear He no longer listens, though we know in our hearts He does. Yet, we doubt He is listening today. Anxious thoughts spin and turn like a never ending revolving wheel.

We feel forgotten and abandoned by God. No longer do we share sweet moments of fellowship with Him. Instead we set about fixing our problems by ourselves….

….and He waits for our return.

But you, God, shield me on all sides; You ground my feet, you lift my head high; With all my might I shout up to God, His answers thunder from the holy mountain.

Patiently, like a loving Father waits for his child who insists on learning the hard way. He waits for us. He doesn’t stop caring, He doesn’t stop looking, He doesn’t stop listening. He waits for us to look to Him as our Helper and Deliver and when we do; He lifts up our head and grounds our feet in Him.

Real help comes from God. Your blessing clothes your people

Sweet fellowship returns when we look to Jesus. Fear, anxiety, worry and doubt has to leave in His presence. His peace fills us calming our troubled emotions, bringing clarity to our thinking and enabling us to live in His love once again.

Sweet fellowship awaits you dear friend.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

Scripture used in this article was taken from Psalm 3 Message Bible. Photo my own.

Share this post on social media or with a friend, they may your encouragement today.

 

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