Something A little Different This Week: Worship On Wednesday

 

Worship on Wednesday, a time to honor and be refreshed in the Lord. #singanewsong #worshiponwednesday

Welcome back to Worship on Wednesday (I didn’t post last week). Monday I wrote about my visit to Central Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Arkansas for the Be. Loved. Women’s Conference, well I decided to stay overnight and attend their weekend service.

How Contemporary is the Question

Sunday morning I pulled up to CBC with its impressive stately columns and prepared myself mentally for a traditional service. A friendly lady had informed me the evening before that they hold one traditional and two contemporary services in the main sanctuary. Know this, I attend a non-denominational large church with awesome worship teams. This was going to be somewhat different for me.

To be honest I wondered how contemporary was their version of contemporary. I know that sounds narrow minded, but to me those stately columns loudly declare traditional to the core. There is nothing wrong with traditional, worship after all comes from the heart not the style of music. However, having been brought up with traditional hymn singing, I now prefer contemporary…just saying.

Finding Refuge

Two women at the conference steered me to attend The Refuge, a service CBC holds in the gym at the same time as the main sanctuary holds theirs. They knew nothing about my preference in worship music, so it intrigued me that they would guide me there.

The gym was transformed by pipe and black drape, though the basketball hoop was evident you didn’t feel as if you were in gymnasium. People of all ages gathered while the worship team arranged themselves on the low stage at the front.

After opening in prayer, the worship team struck up the first song (withholding song title for now). Though I’m familiar with the song they sang, I have never heard it played as part of a Sunday service before…heck I’ve not heard it played in any service before this one. I will and do however sing it loudly in my car when it comes on K-Love radio station.

It’s a Heart Issue

It just shows you can’t judge a church by its stately columns. Neither can we judge each other by our outward appearance; It’s what on the inside that counts. When Samuel was looking to anoint the next king, Jesse had line up all bar one of his sons. When Samuel saw Eliab, he thought this must be the one, but he wasn’t.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart,” 1 Samuel 16.7

How’s your heart doing today?

So, what is the name of the song that I have never heard sang in any church service?  Drum roll please….Lift Your Head Weary Sinner: David Crowder. It’s not a quiet gentle song so you may want to turn the volume down if you don’t like your music too loud. Otherwise go for it.

Helena

If you have a worship song recommendation let me know in the comments.

Photo Credits: Daisy Photo; Unsplash.   Main Sanctuary, Refuge Sign and Refuge Meeting; Helena Davies (me).

Enjoy.

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You Purchased the Conference Ticket: Now You Feel Like Backing Out.

You were excited about going when you bought the event ticket. Now the time has come you are having second thoughts. I've had those thoughts too. My reasons may be different from yours, but the end result is the same...we stay home. What's a girl gonna do? In my blog post I tell you what I did.

Impulse Buy

I was beginning to wish I had never purchased the ticket. In January it seemed like a wonderful idea, now April was here I wasn’t too sure. Just two weeks to go for the Be. Loved. Women’s Conference and I felt like backing out.

I am quite happy to fly internationally on my own, though the journey is tiring, I find airports fascinating. Each airport has its own personality, its own vibe. Even LAX airport didn’t seemed as intimidating in daylight hours as it had appeared at midnight.

But don’t ask me to drive solo for more than thirty minutes. You see anywhere I want to go locally is no more than a thirty minute drive. I always buy my gas at the same location, I know how to operate their pumps, so the thought of having to figure another companies pump doesn’t thrill me. I guess I’m comfortable in my routine.

The Stretch

It would be a little over two hours drive to the conference. Not far, but definitely out of my driving comfort zone. But it wasn’t just the stretching of my driving miles that bothered me.

Over the years I have backed out of many local events at the last minute. “Why?” you may ask. For the same reason that some of you back out; no-one-to-go-with. As women we love company, friends to share the moment and make memories with.

But hey, just because you or I are interested in an event doesn’t mean others are. So what is a girl to do when none of her friends are available?

We have a choice. We could stay home and pity party (done that), or we could go to the event (starting to do that).

Talk to Me

With Google Map set to give me directions I headed out into the dark of early morning and towards the freeway. I was glad I had written the directions out as the lady on Google Maps did not speak to me. Not a Word!! Having not used her for directions before I figured I must of missed a step to hearing her sweet voice.

I made it to Jonesboro with prayer and written instructions, but, Where. Was. The. Church? A helpful employee of McDonald’s fixed my Google Map problem and gave me verbal directions. In just a few minutes I arrived at my destination of Central Baptist Church. The McDonald’s lady told me I couldn’t miss it and she was right…this place was huge!

Though a large building it was not intimidating as volunteers were everywhere to help. Once seated I was soon joined by an elegant woman and her friends, we struck up conversation and I felt at ease. No feelings of sticking out like a sore thumb as if every woman there was eyeing the only woman who came on her own (me). I’m sure there must of been others who came without company. Somehow, we feel as if we are the only one.

During lunch I met a woman and her mother who use to own the meat market just half a mile from my home, and now lives within my thirty minute radius. Small world!

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

There comes a time my fellow, no-one-to-go-with sisters when we have to decide to stop making excuses and go anyway. I was not alone on my journey. Jesus didn’t leave me after my thirty minute drive. No. He was with me ALL. The Time.

He Meets my Every Need

When I needed direction, He was there to alert me to the roadside sign. When I needed Google Maps, He provided someone with technical knowledge. When I needed company, He provided several women. When I needed gas, He walked me through it, and when I needed a restroom and lunch on my return journey, He provided one at the right time. Yes ladies, I ate lunch on my own in a restaurant…now, that is something most of us women don’t cherish doing. But I did it, and I was fine.

Time for us to take back what the enemy has stolen; our God given confidence. Use Godly wisdom as you travel, have fun, be adventurous, meet new people, see new places and know you are never alone.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

Not having someone to go with has held me back many times. What is holding you back (other than funds) from attending events whether they are church related or not? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Photo Credit: Pink Roses; Alina-Sofia on Unsplash.   Church photo; Helena D

 

 

Hidden: Worship on Wednesday

Worship on Wednesday, a time to honor and be refreshed in the Lord. #singanewsong #worshiponwednesday

A New Chapter

I felt the stirring in my heart, the uncomfortable feeling of a change about to happen. Have you experienced that too? My church was gearing up to launch their eighteenth campus, and while I was happy for the other seventeen, I in no way felt a prompting to volunteer to help; there was plenty to do in my own campus.

To cut a long story short campus number 18 is now three months old. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the larger campuses, nor do we have our own building. Instead, we set up and tear down pipe and drape, chairs, audio equipment, welcome table, coffee table and children’s rooms every Sunday in an elementary school cafeteria.

It’s definitely nothing like my former campus. I grieved for what I knew, what I had come accustom too. My friends, would they soon forget me? Would I just be a distant memory to them? And what about the guest speakers who come through? No way are they likely to visit campus number eighteen. Fear of missing out (FOMO) plagued me and I wondered why the Lord had put it on my heart (and my husband’s) to change campuses.

Not Just a Face in a Crowd

For the first two months I kicked and questioned the Lord’s intentions. I mean, what is He thinking placing me (my husband loves it there) in this tiny country town. As the people of the town and surrounding neighborhood have come in, as I have welcomed them there in my volunteer position as a greeter I have got to know them by name, they are no longer faces in a crowd.

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” Proverbs 5: 5 & 6 Msg

Over and over I hear the Lord encouraging me to trust Him. Trust that He knows what He is doing. Trust that He has good plans for me. Trust Him with my future. Could it be that I would actually miss out more by returning to my old campus than choosing to stay at the new one?

It’s hard when the road ahead is not clear, when we don’t understand the plan. It’s then that faith and trust in our Heavenly Father becomes a reality.

I have chosen Hidden: United Pursuit as this week’s worship song. These words speak to me, if you are in need of encouragement I hope they speak to you too.

Now I am hidden in the safety of your love

I trust your heart and your intentions

Trust you completely

I’m listening intently

You’ll guide me through these many shadows.

 

Prayer: Father you know the path you have planned for us. Help us to trust you when we can’t see or understand. Your plans are good. Your heart is good and your intentions are good. Help us to lean in and listen to your directions. Amen.

Helena

P.S. I had been doing the Jeff Goins 500 word daily challenge, pop on over to Grace Lace and Polkadots Facebook page and check out some of my posts. We are only on day 10 of 31 (Help!!) so still a way to go. Some of Jeff’s writing prompts I keep private, while others are on the Facebook page. Join me, I need your encouragement.

 

Learning to Trust God When You Don’t Trust People

Is God trustworthy? Learning how to trust God.

 

“But you promised!”

Most people don’t like to break a promise, it’s not something we plan to do. Life happens, sometimes it becomes impossible to keep. Sometimes it’s broken through choice.

We have all probably known the disappointment of unfulfilled promises, the list I’m sure would be extensive and varied. The parent disappointing the child who had looked forward to the ice cream treat, or excited about dad/mom being there for the ball game. The employer withholding the promised pay rise or promotion. The spouse who promised to love and cherish until death do you part, now lives with someone else, or remains at home cold and indifferent.

Broken promises hurt!

It’s hard to trust when we become accustomed to broken promises, whether they come from one person or an accumulation of people. Walls erect to protect us from the let down. We listen to their words and think “Yeah, sure!” and prepare for the inevitable excuse.

God’s promises are eternal

This attitude follows us into all our relationships, including our relationship with the Lord. We want to believe Him, yet we wait for the let down. News Flash! God will not go back on His promises…EVER!  2 Corinthians 1: 20 informs us, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

Did you get that? All the promises God makes He keeps! His track record of keeping His promises is a perfect 100%; and will always be.

We can trust Him!

The Bible is full of promises from God. Promises we can stand on. Promises made a long time ago that still holds water today, and will remain true throughout eternity. Nathan the Prophet in 2 Samuel:7, gave King David a message from the Lord concerning his family and the nation of Israel. This is David’s response in the second half of verse 29.

“For you have spoken, and when you grant a blessing to your servant, O Sovereign Lord, it is an eternal blessing!”

God’s promises are not only for us today but for eternity!

Search the scriptures, get familiar with what it says and discover what He has promised. Here are a few to get you started.

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 1 Peter 5: 5-6

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. Psalm 145: 8-9

Even if my Father and Mother abandon me, The Lord will hold me close. Psalm 27: 10

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” Acts 2:17

Our Heavenly Father is compassionate. He is never going to leave, instead He chooses to go with us and gives us His rest. His plans gives us a future and a hope, others may abandon us but He will hold us close to himself. He promises if we will come to Him, He will come to us. He will pour out His Spirit on us.

We (you and I) can trust Him with….our hearts, our lives, our now and our future.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

Share this with a friend (or the world) encourage someone today.

What promise from scripture speaks to you today? Or what promise from scripture have you held onto during a past storm in your life?

Photo Credit: Ina-Soulis/Unsplash

 

So Will I: Worship on Wednesday

Worship on Wednesday, a time to honor and be refreshed in the Lord. #singanewsong #worshiponwednesday

 

Sparkling Jewels

I wondered why were stopping as we traveled northwards from Queensland. I was tired and ready for the next hotel on our tour. I just wanted to close my eyes and sleep. You know the feeling, you have enjoyed the day and don’t want to appear rude to your host, but in all honesty it was time to say goodnight and put the day to bed.

Stars like sparkling jewels lit up the night sky with the brilliance and beauty of a gem covered ball gown. My friends left the car to stand and gaze upward, I viewed from the open door of the car too tired after my international flight to fully appreciate the wonder of what I was seeing. Though appreciate I did but not with the same enthusiasm as they.

We are surrounded by so much natural beauty on this planet we call home, majestic mountains, beautiful lakes, winding rivers and rolling oceans. Trees of all kinds, flowers from the sought after exotic to the humble daisy. Interesting cloud formation and blue skies,  sounds of thunder and flashes of lightening, they all declare the glory of God.

Unexpected Visitor

I woke up the other morning to birds chirping as they sang their morning song. Hmm! How come birds never sound off key? One night not too long ago I got up around 3am needing something to drink, so I headed for the kitchen. As I sat there with my cup of milk the outside light came on, I looked out the window to find out why. There waddling down the garden path and onto my deck was a raccoon, though not sure if my garden was the place for him to be, I had to admit he was beautiful.

He is loving and kind, longing for each of us to know Him in a deeper way each day

Creation is beautiful and the One who created it all is beautiful. He is loving and kind, longing for each one of us to know Him in a deeper way each day. We think nothing of standing in awe of a beautiful sunset, or a magnificent waterfall. Words fail us, we breath out a wow as our eyes widen to take in the beauty of our surroundings.

How much more is our creator, our Heavenly Father worthy of a breath taking wow from us? He is worthy of praise from the depth of our being. Worthy of our adoration. Worthy of unconditional obedience. I love how David encourages us in Psalm 100 to worship the Lord.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God.

It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;

give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;

his faithfulness continues through all generations.

It is our privilege as the redeemed children of God to praise Him. Will you worship Him today? So will I.

I give you So Will I by Hillsong United

Enjoy

Helena

Excited Yes Meets Hallelujah Dance: Reading the Word.

Victory is ours but it's hard to see when our eyes are on the problem and not the one who fights for us

Yellow Highlighters

Oh my gosh!! Is that saying what I think it’s saying?

Have you ever had that happen to you as you read the scriptures? One line or even one word standing out from the myriads of other God inspired words. You have read that particular chapter and read those particular words before, and they have sailed past without a so much of a raised eyebrow.

But this time it’s different! It’s almost as if a yellow highlighter with flashing lights is begging you to look at the words. You read and re-read the same words, the same line. You pause to ask God a question, then read the words once more. The penny drops! The light bulb lights up! And you do a hallelujah dance, or at least an excited ‘Yes!”.

What you once didn’t understand, you now do. Don’t you just love it when that happens?

Excited Yes, meets Hallelujah Dance

2 Samuel 5  we find David asking the Lord’s advice regarding attacking the approaching Philistines. He gets a “Yes” from God, David and his men send the Philistines packing. But the Philistines return. David once more enquires of the Lord whether to attack or not. The answer is still a yes, but with different How To instructions. How many of us think if God did something once then that is the only way to do it? I know we would never think like that, at least not out loud.

Verses 23-24 “And again David asked the Lord what to do. “Do not attack them straight on,” the Lord replied. “Instead, circle around behind them and attack them near the poplar trees. When you hear a sound like marching feet in the tops of the poplar trees, be on the alert! That will be the signal that the LORD is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistine army.”

These are the words where my excited yes did a hallelujah dance…”When you hear a sound like feet marching in the tops of the poplar trees…”

I had to read it several times. If it had said “When you hear the sound of wind” or “When you hear the rustling of leaves,” it would of made sense and I would of kept on reading. But feet marching, not on the ground but in the tops of the trees. Who marches that high off the ground? Angels perhaps?

Open His eyes Lord

It reminded me of another story found in 2 Kings 6. King Aram had sent an army to find and capture Elisha. Someone informed them Elisha was in Dothan, so King Aram’s men surrounded the city at night (vs 14). In the morning when Elisha’s servant got up he saw the army surrounding the city and he was afraid. Who wouldn’t be?

 

“When all we see is the problem, we need our eyes opened to the One who fights for us.”

 

Elisha was calm and told the servant in verse 16, ” Don’t be afraid”, the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”  I wonder if the servant thought Elisha had finally lost it? All he could see was the invading army. When all we can see is the problem, we need our eyes opened to the One who fights for us.

Elisha prayed for the servants eyes to be opened and he saw (vs 17) “…the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Victory

We have not been left to battle alone, we don’t fight for victory but rather we stand in victory. Here are a few verses to help us remember God our Heavenly Father fights for us.

Romans 8:31 “What, then, shall we say in response to this? if God is for us, who can be against us?

Exodus 14:14 “The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

Isaiah 54″17 “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgement you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15: 57″But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Joshua 1:9 ” Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

I pray you have had a penny dropping, light bulb lightening revelation today.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.

Share your favorite battle victory verse in the comments, I look forward to reading them.

If this post has encouraged you share it and encourage your friends.

Photo Credit: Mona Eendra/Unsplash

 

I Won’t Forget: Worship on Wednesday

Worship on Wednesday, a time to honor and be refreshed in the Lord. #singanewsong #worshiponwednesday

Milestone

One hundred and counting! No that’s not my age. This is my 100th post!!! Woohoo!

Some of you have been with me at Grace Lace and Polkadots since the beginning, and others have discovered the blog along the way. Whether you have read all 100 blog posts or this is your first time to visit…THANK YOU! Without you my writing would be lost in cyber space. Thank you for every Like, Comment and Share.

I appreciate each and everyone of you. I pray you have, and will continue to be, encouraged in the Lord through my writing. As the Apostle Paul said (my version) “I thank my God for y’all.”

Easter

The day when light shattered the dark. It blows my mind to think of how much God loves us that He was willing to pay the price for us to be reconciled to himself. Besides the physical torture Jesus experienced on the cross, I think maybe the emotional torture of separation was far greater. Mark 15:34 “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” – which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Jesus was the purest person on earth, sinless, without spot or blemish. That is why He could pay the price for our salvation. That is why His death, His blood was acceptable to the Father. He didn’t deserve to die, He didn’t have to carry the weight of our (my) sin; He chose to. He knew it was the only way to reunite us back into fellowship and right standing with God.

“I won’t forget the price you paid. Though death was mine, You took my place.

I won’t forget the sacrifice, for to this love I owe my life.” (1st verse of I won’t Forget)

 

Maybe you are reading this post and you don’t know Jesus, let me introduce Him to you. He is kind, loving and generous. He is the son of God and He loves you very much just like God the Father does. He wants more than anything for you to know His love, He cares about you and every detail of your life.

He’s waiting for you. You don’t have to fix yourself before coming to Him. You can’t earn His love; He gives it freely. There is no set prayer to say or eloquent words needed, simply speak from your heart. Forgiveness is waiting for you, ask and receive.

Happy Easter everyone.

Helena

Enjoy this song by Bethel Music, I Won’t Forget.