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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

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

 

 

 

 

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.